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Writing-Related Tom-Foolery

Several months back, or so it seems, I did an interview with Andrew Farago (andrewfarago) for The Comics Journal. Like all Journal interviews, it was (or at least it felt) pretty exhaustive, and Andrew was great to talk to, and all-in-all, I think it came out well, and I even managed to avoid saying anything I was sure I’d regret later. I can’t speak for Steve Lieber, who was also interviewed by Andrew for the same issue, but I can guarantee that Steve had more interesting and insightful things to say than I did.

Excerpts of both interviews have been posted, and they’ll be available in their entirety in The Comics Journal #287, which, I am told by Mister Farago himself, most likely hits shelves…uh, today, actually.

The timing on this is interesting. I’ve been in a slump for the last six-to-eight weeks or so, dealing with a variety of issues related to writing in general, and my writing in particular. Continued frustrations in dealing with people who really ought to know how to do their jobs properly, for instance, and the lethargy that seems to always set in just in time to really complicate the already exceptionally complicated rush into the holidays. I don’t know if it’s just SAD from living in the PNW during weather like this (and for a wonderful write-up on just how, uh…wet it’s been for some folks, take a look at mercuryeric‘s journal) or something else, but, like clockwork, my mood and my productivity both go to Hell in a handbasket around my birthday.

I was in LA on personal business the last two days, and I got to spend some time with my brother and his bride, and I got to see Andrew and Xtie, and that was good for the soul, especially opposite the contortions I’ve been going through the last several weeks. I feel better. I’ve made some decisions. One of them is that I’m not renewing my exclusive with DC. Others less deserving of announcement at the moment, but of no less import to myself and my family.

And last night was the beginning of the Festival of Lights, and for all the crap that swirls around the historical truth behind the holiday, it’s still wonderful to fill your home with candles and to light them eight nights in a row until there’s a riot of tiny, dancing flames reflecting in the windows. One solution to seasonal affective disorder, at least.

32 Responses to Writing-Related Tom-Foolery

  1. lithera

    There isn’t much (work related at least) that frustrates me more than me not being to do my job because other people aren’t doing their’s. It drives me up the wall. At times you have to weigh the merits and flaws of doing it all yourself.

    Did you and yours survive the storm with out harm? I got drenched but other than that I’m fine. The area between where we live is going to need some serious help, though.

    There is a giant star down town this time of year, takes up the whole side of the Bon Marche (now Macy’s) building. There is very little that can consistently make me smile like that giant star. I usually perk up in the winter months, as I find summer oppresive most of the time. Candles and all of the lights really do a lot to cheer a person if you let them.

  2. sd6

    Glad to see that you and the family aren’t up to your necks in liquid suck. Jessica’s mom works in Chehalis and her store is still under 5.5. feet of water; it may be a total loss.

    I’ve always found SAD to be a curious thing, as my productivity and mood improve *significantly* when fall and winter come. Spring and summer are my mortal enemies! Give me the snow, sleet and rain (in humane amounts)any time!

  3. stealthbunny

    I don’t do well with SAD myself. I have one of those nifty full-spectrum natural lighting lamps that I camp out under all day.

    I tell myself over and over that winter is pretty. Snow is pretty.

    It doesn’t work so well on days like today when I had to spend over an hour chiseling my car out of an ice bubble about half an inch thick, in 20F cold.

    My car wears a Decepticon insignia. I kept telling it how dare it let ice encase it. A true ‘Con wouldn’t let mere weather stop it.

    It wasn’t listening. I swear it even giggled.

    Winter is pretty, snow is pretty….

  4. admin

    I was following the updates while I was in LA. I seem to have an uncanny ability to leave town just before the foul weather really collapses on the PNW.

    I’m not claiming SAD, btw — I’ve got a very clear idea of what it is that’s been chewing my tail, and I think I’ve gotten a handle on it, now. But this time of year is always hard — the assault of Christmas, what it does to the schedule, always complicates things.

  5. sd6

    Hmmm. Now I wonder if you’re somehow CAUSING the bad weather. Pretty suspicious, pal.

    And I absolutely get where you’re coming from. I do believe that SAD is a real thing for those who suffer from it. That being said, the stress of the last quarter of the year is enough weight for anyone, never mind any other matters that may be occupying your mind.

  6. nealbailey

    Wow…the DC thing is a biggie. I’m hoping it’s not a huge stress for you.

    The flooding is pretty crazy. I was going to do a post myself of what I went out and did to help the locals pack up and get out, but it paled in comparison to Eric’s. I was about ten feet from the river in Sumner, I think it was (I’m bad with town names and I followed a caravan) and it scared the shit out of me…and it was about four feet below where it eventually got.

    The holiday lull is just something I’ve learned to deal with, given that it’s meant to be a time to pace yourself. You’ve got deadlines, no doubt, which means you can’t. My advice, ergo, is shit. BUT, I can speak to crunching, horrid, awful deadlines when you want to be doing something else or when your passion may not be in the work at hand. I’d say, “You can…” but all I have is, “You poor, poor bastard.” Joking aside, I don’t know what to say. I still haven’t taken a solid day off since September 23.

    In January, however, for me there’s always this insane burst of energy. Don’t know why, don’t know how. But I hope you get that.

  7. kali921

    Happy Chanukah!

    Happy Chanukah! Want some latkes? Actually…my mom lives out of state now, so I haven’t had her latkes in over six years, and this makes me sad.

    When I first read “festival of lights,” I thought for a second there that you were celebrating Diwali, too.

    I’m intrigued to hear of pending directions in your writing, particularly who you’ll be writing for, and await further announcements.

    Because it never gets old:

  8. jonlaw

    Holidays are stressful times, no doubt, and yet, I seem to have some of the best times around these dates too. I did get engaged on a December 9th (long ago), so, between “official” holidays, birthday, and other good memories (despite hitting the big four-oh (d’oh) this year), the balance always works out pretty positive. I hope things continue on the upward trend for you.

    Once again, my brilliant idea for a family gift for your kids will be late this year (why break a batting average of 1000?), but something will make its way to the sodden Northwest eventually.

    All the best.

  9. adgy

    Thanks for the update about Comics Journal. I completely forgot that you were going to be in it.

  10. triphos

    Glad to hear your trip to LA made you feel better, and that you missed the terrible weather. I have a few friends stuck up there, it sounds pretty bad, if not quite life-threatening.

    The DC thing is huge. I hope you’re not leaving the business altogether, that would be incredibly sad, and a pretty big loss for the medium.

  11. martinjdekay

    Good luck with wherever your talent takes you!

    I’ve been meaning to mention, I love the new Question series! (though I have to more or less tell everyone who comes in the shop I work at to ignore the title and call it “The Question”) Seems to do better that way, in my opinion.

  12. zachary_cole

    Geek in me screams: NOOO!!!! ThIz Is tEh ScuKkers!1111

    Guy with brain rationalizes: I understand your actions. If you feel like work pressures are mounting because of factors outside of your control, its downright sensible to walk away.

    As for the weather, it seems as if both coasts are getting whacked. Where I leave, most everything is shrouded in snow and trucks threaten to hit me as I walk to school.
    - Zachary -

  13. incogvito

    i just finished reading said interview this morning on my way to Hanley’s. Excellent reading, I must say, and all day I kept telling myself to find a minute or two to “tell Greg what a great interview” it was.

    And then the internet blows up.

    I wish you luck, Greg. Not that you’ll need it, but take it anyway. You’re one of my favorite people to talk to who, what a coincidence, is one of my favorite writers. Maybe one day we’ll be able to talk about this one-on-one, but I’m glad to see it was on your terms instead of someone else’s.

  14. blakemp

    Hey, Greg — hope this doesn’t mean no more DC work from you at all (I love Checkmate and Crime Bible, and am really hoping Batwoman gets off the ground), but I’ll follow you wherever you wind up. Best of luck, man!

  15. robgpugh

    I really hope you stay on Checkmate.

    My dream world is you working on Checkmate, Queen and Country, Stumptown, an ongoing Question [even if I still miss Charlie] and the next Atticus novel.

    Hope that doesn’t contribute to more burnout… glad to hear you’re feeling lighter, metaphysically speaking.

    Please stay on your DC books Greg, even if you’re not exclusive…

  16. dewline

    Speaking of Chehalis…the photo of that I-5 intersection made the front page of the Toronto Star today.

    My best to everyone out that way.

  17. dewline

    Re: Happy Chanukah!

    *amused splutter at this example of ‘unclear on the concept’!*

  18. sd6

    Yeah, it’s really insane. Living near there for so long, it’s one of those little towns that you kinda take for granted, you know? And now, it’s this complete disaster area.

    However, I should note that my mother-in-law’s store WILL reopen, so hope springs eternal…

  19. admin

    We managed the storm all right here. Just a helluva a lot of water and some flying branches, but nothing like what I’ve seen of the footage from the coastal areas and further north. Thanks for the concern!

  20. admin

    Re: Happy Chanukah!

    Brisket!!! Brisket!!! NOT ham, you idiots!!!

  21. admin

    Yeah, I’ve got a big ‘ol box for you and your kids, too, but I figure why start being timely now?

  22. admin

    Thanks for pushing the book.

    And, yeah. It should’ve been called The Question.

  23. admin

    I haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy, yet, but I’m glad you dug it. Farago did a great interview, in my opinion — let it move along organically, and that’s the best way to do it, at least for me.

    You’ve got my email, right? Fire me off your mailing address when you have a minute.

  24. admin

    It’s contingent on many, many things. I love DC’s characters, those are the ones I feel I have the most passion for. But we’ll see what happens. Thanks for the kind wishes.

  25. admin

    There are plans.

    There are ALWAYS plans.

  26. lithera

    A 7 hour 440 mile detour to get from Seattle to Portland. Chehalis is a complete mess. Scary stuff.

  27. nem0

    Re: Happy Chanukah!

    Oh wow. That might actually trump the time the university cafeteria served, “HINDU BEEF.”

  28. stealthbunny

    Heehee… one of my sisters and I were always chronically late with birthday presents. Like, about a year and a half late. It was always… this is either really late, or rather early.

    Then came along and we no longer had an excuse.

    The sad thing is that I am ALWAYS forgetting my other sister’s birthday. …. it’s two days before mine.

  29. incogvito

    is it just your first name @ your

  30. robgpugh


    Although you forgot to type in the appropriate maniacal cackling laughter – “Bwahahahahahahhahaha!” – though I’m sure you meant too.

    Oh, and I also asked Santa to bring me the next Q&C novel and an ongoing Batwoman. See if you can do something about that too, kay?

    Happiest of holidays to you, good sir!

  31. robgpugh

    Shoot… “meant to,” not “meant too.”

    No typing before coffee, clearly.

  32. dewline

    I know from small towns, so I get the feeling completely. Some of the towns in Saskatchewan I spent tonnes of time in or near regularly, I wonder sometimes if they’ll still be there in a year or ten.

    Hope is worth having. Even when it hurts.

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