These dudes don’t look familiar, I’ll need to see identification…
{ posted: 16 hours ago // views: 4 // words: 4 }

[src: PMcCullough @ reddit]

Instagram #Bn3ZkSEFkpZ
{ posted: 21 hours ago // views: 9 // words: 7 }

Sammy dictated this.

[Photo src: P_G_McCullough @ instagram]

Draft finished
{ posted: Saturday, 15 September, 2018 at 11:08pm // views: 10 // words: 100 }

First draft finished around 8:40 this evening. 125,988 words. As I wrote yesterday, it’s not particularly thrilling. My next step is to get plot sorted out. Doing this by going back through and writing as concise a summary as possible of each section so that I can take that and play with the big blocks. Move things around, remove, etc… if necessary. I guess the first foundation I laid for the book is laying out all of the stories and recollections I had gathered. I want the second to be an engrossing, enjoyable read. Then prose, thematics, etc… etc… on top.

All but done
{ posted: Friday, 14 September, 2018 at 11:19pm // views: 11 // words: 233 }

Stopping for the night at 122,838 words. Not going to bother updating my little word count tool again with another guess. Only one scene left to put down, anywhere between 1-4,000 words, I’d imagine.

The final spurt I had tonight did nothing to help my concerns about rushing through the end, as it took a central event and split it up with short, interconnected vignettes that tied most everything all up. It’s a sort of motif that I used at another point (to a lesser extent) and arguably doesn’t mesh with the rest of the narrative style, but I’m not certain that it won’t work–that it will seem too incongruous. But either way, I got everything down that needs to be got down. All the scenes are there now to be rearranged or trimmed or expanded as necessary in editing.

I have no doubt that before the weekend is out, I’ll be finished with a draft. I wish that felt a bit more final and exciting, but at the same time I’m glad it doesn’t. I like to think it means I’m taking a longer and more thoughtful approach than I had with efforts in the old days, which I’d finish and be bored by and then send off with a shrug hoping someone would give me loads of money for it.

re: What two characters played by the same actor would be most freaked out if they suddenly switched places?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Friday, 14 September, 2018 at 11:01am // views: 9 // words: 7 }

Kurt Dussander and Cogsworth

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

re: What office do you think Zephyr Teachout will run for next?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Thursday, 13 September, 2018 at 7:07pm // views: 9 // words: 31 }

Nah, 19's no good. She needs to give another district the opportunity to fall in love with her! Or, my town council is always looking for talented go-getters…

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

{ posted: Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 at 12:21pm // views: 12 // words: 63 }

Started with a 90,000 word guess of where it would wind up, broke through that last fall. Thought 115,000 would do it, and now through that. Really just tying things up now though. Revised the (admittedly meaningless) guess to 120,000. Could still easily wind up back at 90,000 after editing.

re: I Am Bret Easton Ellis Writer And Host Of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 3:32pm // views: 11 // words: 23 }

Waugh once described a writer who really strained to do the work as being cursed with being "fastidious and lazy".

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

re: I Am Bret Easton Ellis Writer And Host Of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 2:31pm // views: 16 // words: 50 }

I read once (don't remember where) that one of your greatest qualities is that when the insufferable waiter constantly trying to get eyes on his manuscript hits you up, you actually accept and read it. Did you ever actually get handed something that wound up going somewhere?

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

What office do you think Zephyr Teachout will run for next?
{ posted: Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 7:50am // views: 9 // words: 16 }

Will she keep working her way down, or just loop back to Governor/Congress?

[src: PMcCullough @ reddit]

{ posted: Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 at 7:03am // views: 15 // words: 150 }

Ideas from THE MOVIEGOER–“creosote” as descriptor for the ashy/heat taste in cigarettes or overly dark coffee. “Pipestem pants”. Just like the sound.

Incredibly close to be being done with the manuscript. Maybe just a couple of thousand words, maybe ten, but everything’s moving quickly with the downhill momentum of resolutions trying to pull themselves out. It makes me uneasy, like I’m rushing, and it’s a strange feeling to know each time I stop writing, I’ve worked a bit closer to a very near finish when for the past several years it always felt like throwing pebbles into a well.

Rushed or not shouldn’t matter–everything ought to be fixable in editing. The first draft ought to be nothing more than a big slab of marble about the same proportions as the intended statue. I’ve always gotten lazy and impatient and discouraged with edits though and rushed to call it done. Hopefully not this time.

Letter from Rosa Mae to Gean
{ posted: Thursday, 6 September, 2018 at 3:28pm // views: 14 // words: 650 }

Atlanta, Ga.
March 3, 1939,

Mr. Gean McCullough
My dear Bro and Family

We are all sure glad to hear from you my heart like to stopped when I read you letter for I have heart troubles any how and I was so excited I red a little at the time. We have all often wondered where you was some said you must be dead but I always felt like you wasnt. this leaves all well except my self. I have got the flue the worse kinde. Almost had pneumonia been in bed since Monday. Can’t write laying down but [illegible] read it would of wrote sooner but Roy had your letter with your add and went down to Uncle Joe’s. Raymond is here. He lives across town, Ralph is down below College Park about 14 miles working on W.P.A. Roy did work on it but I think he has quit to go to the country. Clyde is here, she married Rube Tarbush about 5 year ago. Nellie is married and has a little boy about 10 or 11 mo old. Ward is guarding convicts at Reidsville Ga. at the Tattnall Prison, Alvin hasnt been heard from in about 5 years. Asa left here in July 1929 and died in Rock Hill, S.C. in 1932. I still work at the exposition off and on. Have been working now 4 or 5 mo. Bernice is as large as me now. My other little girl died that was a little baby when you saw us last 2 or 3 mo old. She lived to be 10 mo old and I had a little boy to die 6 weeks old right after her. so I’ve only got Bernice and thank the lord for her. I don’t see how I could do without her, she is the sweetest thing. I wish I could see you and your family. Am glad you married that is if you are settled. For Roy and Ralph will never marry and settle down. Raymond married about 8 years ago to Ruby Stue but they just live together a while at the time, they haven’t got any kids and my self I waited til the very last to tell on my self. I have married so many times till I was sorter ashamed to tell on my self. Haha. I married Gilbert Lee 3 years ago. Well I just got lonesome staying by my self just me and Bernice and working every day of the world and I’m getting old but not gray. Clyde is pretty gray headed. And Poor Son that’s what we all call Raymond. he is nearly bald headed. but dont ever mention it to him when you write for it sure do get him. he gets mad over it too. We all kinder set him, I seen your pictures you sent Roy. You sure do look fine and your wife is real pretty. I always loved Raymond’s wife and Alvins, I no I would love yours too. I want you all to send me some pictures of all of you and the children too.

Well I feel so bad and cough so much and can’t write laying in bed I guess I’ll have to quit for this time, sure am happy to hear from you. Ans real soon, and tell your wife to write she’s my little sister same as Ruby and Iva, by by your sister

Rosa Lee

I forgot to tell you I live at 580 Fowler St where you wrote to Roy, been here nearly 3 year. but won’t be here but 3 or 4 more mos for the Government is going to tare these houses down and build appartments here so every body will have to move, but you write to 580 Fowler St NW, guess we will move out the edge of town so we can have a cow and hogs but haven’t found a place yet.

So ans soon.

re: They’re birthing a meme over in /r/trashy right now and it has potential, but needs professional help
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 at 9:38am // views: 11 // words: 17 }

I could see a static "That's methed-up" caption for snappy response to offensive humor.

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

Finishing a Draft
{ posted: Tuesday, 4 September, 2018 at 11:20pm // views: 13 // words: 554 }

It’s been a little over nine years since I completed a manuscript. Which is not to say I’ve padded out the decade with false starts, there’s just not been anything.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the completion of the last manuscript aligns pretty tidily with when I left Brooklyn. No car, no kids, no old house in need of repairs, just an apartment and a 9-5 job, with long evenings and weekends to drink Polish beer bought by the bottle from the bodega on Nassau Ave, and churn out pages.

In the meantime, there have been two cars, two kids, one old house in need of repairs, and a series of cobbled-together freelance assignments to scratch together a living in a rural outpost of New York State. But then the house started staying warm through the winters, reeked less of mildew, had a few exterior sections scraped and re-painted, and the kids started sleeping through the night.

And so, just over two years ago, I created a draft in Google Drive of a book I’d always figured I’d write eventually, and which I’d put down a couple of 10-20,000-word false starts toward back in the Brooklyn days, only to scrap each one. But this time I’d seemed to have cracked it. I kept going, if slowly and very haltingly. Months without a word, days with a flood of them.

To try and keep myself on it, I built a little app in which I could set a final estimated word count, and a date by which I wanted to finish, and it would tell me at any given time how many words I needed to write that day to keep on track to the goal. The deadline has changed as often as the word count–I’d initially had a guess that the manuscript would run about 90,000 words, then I broke past that last November, then stalled out again over the holidays only to wake up and find summer nearly past.

Now it feels as if I’ve reached the point where nothing new is to be introduced, no arcs need to be forced into a different direction–there is only the orchestration of everyone’s disentanglement from the knot of the story, completed by each character taking the final steps down the course they’ve started. So the current estimate of 120,000 words feels like a horizon that won’t sink any further, and the deadline of September 15th a reasonable enough time by which to reach it.

Of course the editing process I have planned will take plenty of its own time, but I can’t deny the excitement I feel at the prospect of finally tying up a story the better part of a decade since I last did so.

Managed 1,173 words today (my app calculated that I needed 736 to hit my target, so the number ought to be less tomorrow), and used the word “inchoate”, which I’ve had a forbidden romance with since encountering it in Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel in high school (“He knew the inchoate sharp excitement of hot dandelions in young Spring grass at noon”). It’s a distracting word, I think, that expresses little more than the fact of the author’s knowledge of it, but it’s always been somehow perfect and sublime to me.

Twitter #1037005671022174208
{ posted: Tuesday, 4 September, 2018 at 11:53am // views: 49 // words: 48 }

Continuing my Hamilton reading after Chernow's definitive biography with this book penned by a descendant of the recipient of one of Hamilton's final letters, Theodore Sedgwick.

[context: PGMcCullough @ twitter]

re: Would Cynthia Nixon make a better governor than Cuomo?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Friday, 31 August, 2018 at 5:36pm // views: 13 // words: 191 }

I won't vote for either of them, ever, but my biggest gripe with her was well-articulated in a NYTimes op-ed months back. I can't stand public figures deciding they want to become public servants and going directly to the very top position. One of the great things about Congress (either on the State or Federal level) is that you can go in with big ideas, then get under the wing of an experienced lawmaker to learn the ropes of how it all works. I know a lot of us love the idea that so much of that "learning the ropes" is bureaucracy, corruption, compromise, whatever, and the best thing in the world is getting in an outsider, Mr. Smith type, but in reality, no one in the military starts off as a general, no one in a career field starts as CEO, so why should a political neophyte's introduction be at the very top post?

No one would have ever given her the time of day if she wasn't a (minor) celebrity. It's really unfortunate how that's become such a big path to governmental leadership these days.

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

re: What’s the longest daily work commute you’ve ever had, and how long did you last?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Friday, 31 August, 2018 at 12:09pm // views: 16 // words: 24 }

Unless Buzzfeed has taught me nothing, I'm guessing your employer surprised you with a new car and now you're the CEO?

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

re: Americans, what’s your favourite britishism and vice versa?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Friday, 31 August, 2018 at 12:07pm // views: 13 // words: 13 }

Wot wot? Are you taking a piss with me chap?

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

re: Americans, what’s your favourite britishism and vice versa?
reddit (comment)
{ posted: Friday, 31 August, 2018 at 12:06pm // views: 20 // words: 38 }

Good question. For me it's a toss-up between, "put that shrimp on the barbie" and "time to smoke another faggot!" I don't think I could live in Jolly Old London for a day without laughing!

[context: PMcCullough @ reddit]

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