Slow Winter Weeks

Since finishing work with my editor, a near-constant back-and-forth between myself and the production team at Little A has started, only slowing this last week and a half with the holidays. A few notes, from one person or another:

  • Can the interlude datelines be unbolded?

  • The serif reads too purple, maybe one closer to Garamond (or just Garamond)?

  • The fleurons read too purple, maybe an interpunct or ellipses?

  • Does this font speak to pre-war or post-war?

  • Do these accents do the same?

  • What about the photo crop? The color saturation?

I tried reading Gass’s The Tunnel and did read the note he attached to the manuscript. A mistake, maybe. Fewer working gears with Sprinting, but I like books as objects (as well as what’s inside), so can’t help but think about how the parts add up to the whole. I recognize much of this doesn’t translate to the reader’s time with a book.

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At the same time, I’ve started work on the next nonfiction project. It won’t be public until next year, if ever. It follows a few students who attend an art school in the 1940s. Whether great art is created from retreating from the world, or constantly learning about it, attending to its issues.

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I’m halfway through teaching a creative writing research class at Catapult. Last week’s readings, on the accumulation of research and on synthesizing information, included Nan Shepard’s The Living Mountain, Wil S. Hylton’s NYT Magazine story on Laura Hillenbrand, and a few Svetlana Alexievich essays and lectures. Difficult questions about confronting a mass of sources (unless Robert Caro) and a drought of them.

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I read John Williams’s Stoner for the first time recently. One of the few late pandemic books I’ve enjoyed. And I’m about halfway through Ruth Scurr’s John Aubrey, My Own Life and surprised just how much I’m enjoying it. I knew I was interested in the form, but the delivery is just as enjoyable.

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No essays or stories in the works, but the formal launch of the book will happen soon after the new year (along with the cover, the blurbs, all those other machinations). I hope you’ll tune in for those.

A.