In the spirit of Joe Hill’s “5 to Try” post, here’s my list. I’ve tried some pretty odd things so far. I’ve written a science fiction novel with no plot or characters (Ex Machina) and I’ve written 77 plays that would be impossible to produce (Clockfire). My next book, The Politics of Knives, contains poetic sequences that blend prose, poetry, essays, and fiction. These days I’m working on a somewhat traditional critical monograph, but by the end of the month I will be back to work on my madness. So here are my 5 to try:
1. Write a novel with an inhuman narrator. The novel I’m working on, The Crow Murders, attempts this, so if I’m successful then I will check this off the list.
2. Write a comic book series. I have an idea for this, that I have discussed with Alchemical Press, but no real moves have been taken other than a treatment for the first story arc.
3. Write song lyrics. I used to play in bands, and wrote my own lyrics, but what I have in mind here is writing song lyrics for some established band or musician. My friend Pat, of the awe-inspiring This Hisses, doesn’t seem interested….
4. Write a picture book. The narrative compression required is what attracts me here. I think of my favourite picture book ever, The Monster at the End of This Book, and wonder if I could do something so simple but brilliant.
5. Write a book-length poetic-critical study. I could argue that I have done this with The Politics of Knives (a meditation on violence) or Ex Machina (a meditation on how machines have changed what it means to be human), but both books are more poetic than critical (hence their publication as “poetry” books). I’m thinking more of something along the lines of Godel, Escher, Bach or some of Derrida’s more radical work.