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Robert W
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 09:13 am:   

Hi Forrest,

Figured I'd start a new thread with this.

Can't remember exactly how I came up with the idea of bread as sentient, but the story happened in a class I took with Carol Emshwiller, right after moving to New York City in early 1995. She had us write a short piece in 3rd person objective voice (or whatever it's called), and I wrote the first part, using the Italian grocery store across from where I lived. The next week, she assigned writing a story of mostly dialog, and somewhere in there I thought about continuing on the bread thing for the dialog, then I wrote the other two parts, played with it a while, and waited six or so years for it to show up in print.

I'm glad people have liked it. At the time I was working on it I started a story about a former professional football player who retires to become a baker, but I never did anything with it. Wouldn't want to become too obsessed with bread the way some people are with, I dunno, squid.

Robert
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 03:45 pm:   

Hmm, and what's wrong with squid?
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Jeff VanderMeer
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 03:49 pm:   

Squid?! Did someone say...squid?
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Luís
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 05:38 pm:   

I think any writer worth his or her salt should have at least one animal/food obsession. Heck, Nabokov had his butterflies, didn't he?

I'm also working on a theory that establishes a connection between writers and cats. It seems almost every writer out there, given the possibility, will get one or more cats. It's my belief that felines are able to communicate telepathically with their owners, subtly pushing certain words and thoughts into their subconscious mind. Of course, the writer must have some talent for his trade, otherwise any cat owner out there would be a creative genius.

This could explain the worship of cats in ancient Egypt, where they were known to whisper powerful protective spells in the ears of their human friends. So remember: even though many of the feline persuasion are utter Bast-ards, you should always treat them well if you ever want to succeed in a writing career. Take heed in the sad but untrue story of novelist Scott L. Fisch, who kicked his cat and got permanently stumped 100 pages into what could have been a Nobel Prize-winning book.

Best, Luís
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Deborah Layne
Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2003 - 05:46 pm:   

Luis, that's a good theory about the cats and explains why much of my revision process involves going back and getting rid of the stray mouse and sardine references that inexplicably turn up in my early drafts. :-)

Hi, Robert, my real purpose was to stop by and say I liked the bread thing, too.

Deborah
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Luís
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:20 am:   

Deborah,

If mouse and sardines appear in your text, you're probably not feeding your pets properly and they're sabotaging your work. While cats may not eat your tongue, they can come pretty darn close.

Oops. Time for medication . . .

Cheers,
Luís
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 05:37 pm:   

So, Robert...you're like some kind of...Bread Head...aren't you?
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Robert W.
Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:04 pm:   

Hi Deborah--Thanks!

Jeff, hmmm. You'll never know.

Has anyone heard of a squid sandwich? This would be a combination of two perfect foods, so one would think it would be available at Subways everywhere (not that the bread at a Subway is worth discussing here). In New Orleans, you can find shrimp or oyster po'boys. Why not fried squid, I ask?

Robert
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:10 pm:   

Believe it or not, cats are the key to successful publishing.

The more cats, the more successful the press. I kid you not. I have three cats and am moderately successful. Another guy with only one cat? Less successful. The guy with seven cats? Incredibly successful.

Who knew?
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Deborah Layne
Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 02:55 pm:   

Okay. I got it now.

I only have one cat and my press is somewhat successful -- I need more more cats.

Concerning what Luis said about what I feed my cat(s) and what words he gives me...hmmmm...

Okay, Nine cats and I feed 'em squid sandwiches and my press takes off and I win a Nebula, right?

Thanks, guys. You rock.

Deborah
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JeffV
Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 02:22 pm:   

I have two cats, but one of them is as big as two cats, so I really have three cats.

I have a couple of squid, too. They strobe blue-green. Quite cool.
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Kristin Livdahl
Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 06:04 pm:   

Robert -

I lost my earlier post here and was too demoralized to re-post. I think enough time has passed to try again.

You know that I think you are the king of bread porn.

Alan De Niro wrote a story about squid, called Cuttlefish. It was in Lady Churchill's a while back. In Japan, "squid" was often translated as "cuttlefish" so I think they are the same thing or close relatives. My favorite food from the time I lived in Tokyo was Ikka (squid) on a stick. It was a festival food, so I only had it a few times. They stuck a stick in a cleaned squid and grilled it with only the sea water in the body as a seasoning. They made small horizontal cuts across the body and left the legs dangling down. You'd start by pulling off the legs and then progressing to the body. Yum!

We have three cats and a larage, neutered male Shepherd mix that the cats think is their mother. Do we get extra cat publishing vibes for him?

Kristin
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RobertW
Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 07:00 am:   

Hi Kristin--Nice to see you here (and up there in Ratland).

I'm partial to Vietnamese/Chinese salt-fried squid myself. There's a Malaysian restaurant nearby that does it nicely. But you're going to have to take your squidtalk over to Vanderworld. He's the squid kind 'round these parts.

Notice I've stayed away from the cat thread. Some criminal element hijacked this board, turning it into a catfest. I have cats too, but you're not going to get anything out of me here. No sir.

Robert
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 11:23 am:   

I am a writer who is allergic to cats. Why couldn't it be squid, or dropbears, or.. or bread?
Why does it have to be cats? But it is. If I had one in here, within a few days my sinuses would rupture, and that would make a mess on the keyboard.
So I have an imaginary cat called Jesus In Furs. He wishes I would put more fish in my stories, because imaginary cats can eat imaginary fish. He says that if I don't put more fish in, he will go and live with Jeff VanderMeer, who comprehends the importance of seafood in literature.
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   

I'm allergic to cats as well. And, to be honest, I may be the only person on earth who genuinely doesn't *like* them. I'm more of a dog person.

Actually, I want two pets: An albino crow named "Mr. Chalk" and a platypus. Not sure why, that's just the way I am.
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Luís
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 03:35 pm:   

I don't like cats either, even though I hijacked the thread to reveal my theory to the world (sorry!).

There was an albino crow in the Gormenghast tv series. Beautiful animal, indeed.

I don't think you'd enjoy having a platypus. They're extremely voracious creatures, and angrier than they seem, not to mention that the males have poisonous spurs.

Myself, I'd love to have a lemur for a pet. And a small kangaroo.

Best,
Luís
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Mike Simanoff
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 08:24 am:   

Luis,

There's no such thing as a small kangaroo. They are born full-size, meaning 8-9 feet tall, from their mother's pouch. Don't ask how; it hurts, and that's why the mother 'roo is always subdued on mandrake syrup.

The so-called "pygmy kangaroo" was a hoax. It was just a half-foot statuette, carved from wood, with googly eyes glued on top and a pipe wire tail. It didn't breathe, move, or eat, and an Anglican Bishop named Marn confessed on his deathbead that he created it to fulfill his own repressed demiurgical impulse.

A real adult kangaroo can grow to 22 feet. Captain Cook, famously ignorant of Australian fauna, assumed that something so large could only be reptilian, thus the foundation for the modern Godzilla legend, being a beast that tramples on things.

Just thought you should know.
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Forrest
Posted on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 10:37 am:   

Yes, well "Mr. Chalk" did come from the Gormanghast books.

And I wouldn't be petting the platypus, just want to have one handy. You never know when that nasty little spur (there's only one, if I remember correctly, behind one of the legs) might come in handy!

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