Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Media Diet Update and a Christian Lit Reference Question

Just a quick check-in.

First, I know I should have written more in How to Love God by now, but I just found out there's a new book out called The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality which would seem to be essential to my own. So I need to go into the city and read that someplace comfy. Also, I need an Epi-pen. (Note to self: always buy expensive drugs BEFORE you lose your health insurance!) Yesterday was spent mostly cleaning up around the house--I even cooked chicken! It was even moist when I was done!--and looking into various magazines to see where I might be able to send articles.

I was actually hoping to just take a week off and do nothing but laze around. My plan was to rent an Xbox 360 or something, get Mass Effect (I hear it's good without being impossibly difficult), and waste several days in a row in a fantasy world where I'm gainfully employed and can carry infinite possessions. I haven't taken a vacation in two years and I felt I was due. But remember how my identity got hacked and I had to cancel my debit card? Well, until the replacement comes in a week or so, I ain't renting bupkes. Instead, I spent an appalling amount of time yesterday writing puzzles--two for TimeOut New York, one for the Enigma (expect a new cryptic, you NPLers!), and one just for myself, so I could figure out how to write a grid in a Word program that tries so fucking hard to help you not do it, and how to save it as a PDF. The good news is, I think it worked! (Thanks for the helpful comment that led me to this realization.)

Thanks to everyone who's sent me job listings. I think I'm actually going to be off the market for a week or so, so I can take advantage of my leisure and write with the intensity I want. There WILL be something to show for it, soon, I promise.

In the meantime, I will say that I've learned another really nice thing about my friends. One of them is a member of some Hollywood guild or other, and as a result, she gets all the "For Your Consideration" movies mailed to her. [Name withheld so she doesn't get in trouble in case this is rogue behavior.] So thanks to her, I've been catching up with the Oscar race...for free! So far I've seen The Savages and No Country For Old Men. Nickel summary: The Savages, with its brilliant cast but quiet story, will get nominations but probably won't win anything, and because of the oddly meandering ending, No Country For Old Men, brilliant though it is, has no chance in hell of winning Editing. (By the way, I don't know why no one talks about the ending for No Country For Old Men as if it contains any spoilers at all. I was afraid it would be some sort of "And then it was all a dream, the narrator's been dead the whole time, and his girlfriend is really a man!" But it's the simplest of bad endings: it just keeps going long after the action of the story feels complete, and then it stops like an amputation. If you prepare for it, I think you'll like the film better.)

Up next: Away From Her (yay, Sarah Polley!) and There Will Be Blood. Also, I'm happy to report that next up in my Netflix queue is the 1936 film version of In His Steps, which is, as far as I know, the final version of Charles M. Sheldon's Christian classic In His Steps that has entered the culture. So now I think I really can write an article about the history of the fictional attempts to figure out "What would Jesus do?" For those keeping score, the resources I have are as follows:

In His Steps by Charles M. Sheldon (1895)
In His Steps (film) (1936)
What Would Jesus Do? by Glenn Clark (1950)
In His Steps Today by Marti Hefley (1987)

Is there anything I'm missing? I'm looking specifically for books that see themselves as offshoots of Sheldon's original. (In Clark, the grandkids of the original people are involved; in Hefley, the characters are all inspired by reading the book.) So Thomas Girzone's Joshua and other Jesus-today novels of that nature aren't relevant to my study. But if I'm missing anything I really need to know. Help!

By the way, if I had the guts and the wherewithal, I'd love to write a book of my own in this same tradition (only with a satirical bent, showing how impossible it is to live like a 1st-century person), but I know I suck at novels and would probably never finish it. Such a shame, too, because I have the perfect title: WTFWJD?

Labels: , ,


Blogger Jason Rohrblogger said...

You are right-on about the ending of "No Country for Old Men." It is horribly disappointing. And I don't usually say that about a Cohen Brothers film.

1/18/2008 6:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home