Category Archives: WTF

A Poem by GM Quinte

International Call

You can see in the early light of dawn
Facing the noise of the so-called Twilight
Bright stars through the perilous fight, and a wide range of his lines and
Flow because we are bold, fluttering looking at the wall?
The rockets red light, and bombs, and the explosion in the air,
Evidence throughout the night that we learned he was still;
O Star Spangled Banner still wave
Fluttering bravest of the land of the free world?

(“The Star Spangled Banner” first stanza, Google translated from English to Chinese to Russian to Korean to Arabic to English.)

Worst Performance by an Author (cover version)

Some years ago, Jonathan Franzen made a terrible author video. I watched it many times and laughed. The more I watched it, though, the more it made sense to me as the ideal act of authorly rebellion…and the more I found myself sympathizing with Franzen’s concerns.

Finally, today, I recorded my cover version. Here it is in all its glory:

“Jonathan Franzen on Author Videos” (cover version) from Antoine Wilson on Vimeo.

Here’s the original Franzen version.

To balance the scales, here’s a much better Franzen video on comic writers (re Gogol: “He was a chilly motherfucker.”):

A Blurb from Rainn Wilson…

…for Panorama City!

Um, the city.

“I have a special relationship with Panorama City, CA. First of all, The Office is literally filmed there. Also, I saw Dungeons and Dragons, The Movie there a long time ago. Also they have a Home Depot. I haven’t read the book yet but if it’s half as interesting as the actual city, it’s gonna be a doozy.”

–Rainn Wilson

Blammo! New Tab!

I’ve added a tab over there on the right (“NEIGHBORS’) to spruce things up around here.

Now Starring…

  • The temporary home of poet G.M. Quinte, currently residing in his cousin’s guesthouse and on my server. Stunningly opaque free verse.
  • The Slow Paparazzo. His motto: “Right Place + Wrong Time = 100% Fame.”
  • Jean-Jacques Arsenault’s inspirational self-published coffee table book, Shopping Carts of Panorama City
  • Festival of Books

    Another year, another LA Times Festival of Books. I’m feeling somewhat melancholy in the wake of it. It’s hard to come back to the desk after such a wonderfully stimulating series of social interactions, literary or otherwise.

    Usually I get excited to meet one writer or another, someone whose work I’ve always admired but I’ve never had the chance to meet, someone who is a friend of a friend whom I’ve never met in person, etc. Those moments tend to stick in the mind as the most emotional or meaningful after the tents come down.

    This year’s emotional high point came from an unexpected place, though not one entirely surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention to world 2.0, where the content comes from YOU.

    The What Are You Reading Wall

    The "What Are You Reading" Wall

    The LA Times set up a giant wall where attendees could simply write what they were reading right now. I don’t know if the image translates via computer, but in person in was quite overwhelming. I was struck dumb by this collection of titles and authors in a bunch of different handwritings. Turns out this wasn’t a festival only for people who didn’t know how to fucking walk. It was also a gathering of people for whom reading is really, really important. People like me. (And people who write “The Bible” with a happy face, and “The Koran,” and ATLAS SHRUGGED in block letters above everything else.)

    For those who wonder whether they’ve seen that pic before: I tweeted it, Richard Nash RT’ed it, and others spread it around Twitter, attributed to @R_Nash.

    Now an anecdote. I was unable to attend the festival on Saturday because of kid stuff, so I was there bright and early on Sunday to check in for my 10:30 am panel. (Fiction: Breaking Point, with articulate and intelligent mofos John Wray, Hari Kunzru, and John Haskell. Moderated by articulate and intelligent mofo David Ulin.) Anyhow, when I went to check in, they didn’t have my laminate. I had to settle for a blue wristband while things got sorted out.

    Eventually, I got a replacement:

    The Replacement Laminate

    The Replacement Laminate

    Which came with a story. Apparently, sometime Saturday, someone had checked in as me. Someone had walked around wearing an author tag with my name on it. They had cruised the green room, eaten food, maybe even talked to other writers.

    Did anyone meet “me” on Saturday?

    Worst of all, the interloping doppelganging Antoine Wilson claimed my FoB mug!

    The Interloper signed for my FoB mug!

    Looks like they tried for Antoine

    That’s his (her?) signature above. Anyone have any leads?

    (The kind people of the FoB gave me another mug.)

    Speaking of the kind people, I don’t even know how to begin thanking everyone who was involved with the FoB. It is by far the best literary event I’ve ever attended. Best as in best organized, best attended, best at not leaving authors in the lurch, and so on. It was a pleasure seeing everyone, too, and the Granta Party Saturday night was a blast.

    Finally, I propose that John Wray is the Dane Reynolds of fiction. Or Dane is the John Wray of surfing.

    Fellow Panelists John Wray and John Haskell

    The Dane Reynolds of Fiction, with John Haskell

    The John Wray of Surfing

    The John Wray of Surfing

    Am I the only one who knows what I’m talking about here?

    Both are young, sick talents, and smarter than they look.