Friday, November 18, 2005

I Can't Go On, I'll Go On

It seems appropriate to start a blog about writing (by an all-but-unknown writer, no less) with a confession: I hate writing. I hate the process. I hate sitting down and trying to focus on the work at hand. I go to mighty lengths to distract myself from it; I am in fact much better at not writing than I am at writing, which is why at 34 I only have a small handful of stories in print, and run the very real risk of being one of those sad souls who could have made it, should have made it, but just didn't have the gumption to get the job done.

The bitch of it is there's nothing else I'd rather do. When I've finished a story, or even a paragraph I'm proud of, I literally feel like I've snorted a line of cocaine. My body is electrified, the endorphins are crackling, I punch strangers in the face because dammit, I can. Luckily I'm pretty good at it (writing, that is; not so much with the punching (at the end of this little post I'll list some of the places you can find my stories, so you can come to your own conclusions on whether or not I'm full of shit)). And I certainly don't want to end up on that scrap heap of might-have-beens. So -- for the first time in my life -- I'm making a commitment to writing every day. That's part of the reason that I started this blog; even if no one ever reads this thing (and, really, let's be frank: if you're here, who the fuck are you? What is the matter with you?), I'll feel as though there is a presence over my shoulder, which I should not disappoint.

In this blog I will likely write about my daughter, though I've not decided yet how much I should. I'll write about bartending in New Orleans, which I did for nearly ten years, and bartending in Asheville, which I've done for four months so far, and which is far less interesting. I'll try to avoid politics, though no promises there. Let's just say I'm on the left and leave it at that (for now). I'll write about writers I admire, and why I admire them. I'll probably write a little about horror fiction, and why I'm drawn to the genre despite being uncomfortable with its existence as a genre. God knows what else. I've never done this before.

Here's a list of my stories so far and where they might be found, starting with the most recent.

"S.S." The 3rd Alternative #41
"You Go Where It Takes You" SciFiction (reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, Vol. 17)
"The Malady of Ghostly Cities" The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, edited by Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts
"The Casual Conversation of Angels" The Silver Web (#11) (apparently to be reprinted in their forthcoming Best Of anthology)
"She Found Heaven" The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, (reprinted at Fantastic Metropolis, and included in Breaking Windows: A Fantastic Metropolis Sampler)


At 2:47 PM, Blogger Gone said...

Dammit, now I have to go edit today's entry.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Keith said...

Always nice to have other writers on line. And you're at least ahead of me, havign something actually published.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Hi Keith. Glad to join the crowd. I just checked out your own site and it's good stuff. Keep plugging away at that novel!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Michael Jasper said...

Hey Nathan -- good to see you 'round here. Been a while since DC in '03 at the World Fantasy con (we sat next to each other at dinner).

Hope you're doing well.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

I remember it well, Mike! It was a little hike from the hotel, but it was a good time. I remember you, John Klima, Jay Lake . . . . It's nice to hear from you again. Thanks for stopping by my fledgling little blog!

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Nathan. Great to see you've got this presence in the blogosphere. I'm adding it to my daily rounds.

I'm glad you're safe and sound in Carolina.

Best regards,


At 8:22 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Is this Laird Barron!?

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes, Laird Barron here.

What do you have in the works?

I haven't gotten my hands on SS yet, but it sounds like my kind of thing from a couple of reviews I read. I need to allocate finances to a Black Static (TTA) subscription...A lot of good stuff is coming out of that venue.


At 10:47 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Wow. I am a BIG fan. You need to put together a short story collection, brother. I need more than one at a time from you. Do you have enough?

I'm working on a short story called "North American Lake Monsters" that is, so far, decidedly lighter than my usual fare (I was hoping for SciFiction, but hell). Also a pretty bleak one called "Making Love." I hope you can track down a copy of "S.S." . . . it was a tough story to write, and publishing it was like dropping a stone down a deep well: it might as well never have happened, from all I've heard about it. Since it may not see the light of day again until I get my OWN collection out there, I can always email you a copy.

At 12:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would love a copy.

Hit me at--

erin baar at msn dot com

Spelled out to hopefully foil the bots.


At 8:35 PM, Anonymous bar supply said...

I love it! I m going to bookmark this and come back. I have a friend of mine interested in bartender school and he may like to see this Blog.

This is the first time I 've read a Blog like this. Gotta go still looking for info on bartender school.

You and your readers are always welcome to visit my favorite Las Vegas directory.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger cylon said...

Great stuff you have here! I have a bar equipment site I think you might enjoy.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger VioletJenny said...

Nathan, I stumbled on your blog today, and therefore your stories. Its 5:00 and I havent left the house yet. Reading and reading... I feel like I just lived a day in my past, although no common memories were posted. I am not sure how you accomplished this. How much New Orleans air did you suck in and then breath out anyhow?

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

Hey, VioletJenny. Thanks for the kind words. I've since moved on from this blog, onto livejournal, but I guess you've probably discovered that.

As for New Orleans air: I didn't breathe in enough. I miss that city so much it literally hurts, sometimes.

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Violet+Jenny said...

Yeah, something about that New Orleans Air.
(btw, VioletJenny is Violet, who breathed in alot of avenue air years ago). I cant believe how much Mia has grown.

I have the new blog address as well.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

Violet! I wondered if it was you. You still wanna swap citizenships? :)

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Violet said...

You'd have to sweeten the deal a little bit at this point. I would go dual, but I think the US doesnt allow that anymore. You're either with 'em, or against 'em, and its so relaxed up here... Plus I am planning a trip to Africa next year. I want to make out alive. Schwarzenegger came up in a 14 car motocade to sign an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. I dont know why the irony didnt get more press. He drove by my house to check out the beach with the same amount of security.
In any case, you know you always have a Canadian safehouse. Check out the digs...

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Violet+Jenny said...

I saw Sicko yesterday


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