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Give me art. Give me failure.

I’m waiting on an answer from my publisher for the new book…

Meanwhile, I am writing my words every day and planning out the summer. I have a big family and a tiny budget, so hey, I need to get creative most of the time. However, one thing I hope we can pull off, is Québec City’s Music Fest. The line up is impressive and exciting, from Stevie Wonder, to GNR. And I have this “date” with Axl Rose from the time I was sixteen and he came to Montreal and ditched the show. I still remember running through the alleys with my asthmatic little brother, trying to find refuge from the SWAT team. I’d slept on the sidewalk for a night to get those GNR tickets. 

I’m old now, so I’ll just buy them with my credit card online this time around. How times change.

So anyway, plan is, to pack the family in our ol’ beat up 1998 Plymouth and drive to the old city and find some cheap camp site and see as many shows as we can cram in three days. 

It’s going to be a hot summer in Montreal and I plan on making the best of it. There’s going to be a lot of things happening and I intend on making good use of my two legs and hitting the pavement. Being straight is for the winter.

It’s summer time now. The queer in me is aching to get out. 🙂

By the way, In his secret life, my new novel is getting really good reviews and I am shocked. I’d blogged about how I thought it would bomb and how people would hate Davinder, the bi man in the book. Turns out, I underestimated my readers and I’m sorry:-( 

So far, people say it’s my best book. See, you can never tell. Shows you how clueless writers can be about what works and what doesn’t. Also tells me I should just keeping writing what I love and be true about it. The rest will come.

But it sure takes a long time. I’ve been giving this career a lot of fuckin’ foreplay and I need to see some satisfaction for a change!

if you detect a little bitterness there…well, you’re right. I was on amazon, looking at my ranking like I do sometimes (sometimes–yeah right), and I saw Dan Brown came out with a new book just about around the time In his secret life came out. It’s called Inferno…I refuse to comment on other writer’s work (if they’re alive and I’m only going to say things like this sucks so bad I wake up at night just to remind myself how much I hate it, or God doesn’t exist, this proves it) and anyway, the book ranks number one and it has already rendered 2500+ reviews.

I’m certain it’s a fine story.

I just wonder what I’d write if I had three years to produce a novel and I could chose to go wherever I desired on the face of the earth to research my work, and had a team of experts willing to double check everything for me, and an agent, a publicist…And MONEY lots and lots of MONEY.

Would that make me a better writer? 

I don’t know…but the best books have often come out of the worst times in an author’ life. When I am stressed out about money and family issues, and sitting there with only two hours to write before I need to tend to real life, and the fucking pressure is on, and I think, “How the fuck am I going to write in this state?” And I stare at my screen, and I wonder why am I still doing this? Am I one book away from making a living out of this? Two books? Five? Never? When do I stop? When do I give up and go work at the pharmacy? 

In those moments, I write my best. I write from a place of hunger and hope and mostly, I write from that place that can’t take the daily minutia anymore and needs to escape–needs to forget. And see, that’s when I actually do forget and forgetting is the best way to write. You’re not thinking about ranking and branding and readers and royalty checks and reviews and expectations…you’re thinking about nothing. The characters are thinking now.

So, if I was in Florence, had all the money I needed, and loads of time to write a book…I’d get drunk every day, make new friends every evening, and forget why I was there in the first place. 

If I had money and time, I’d probably write like shit and never sell a book in my life.

All right, so, the key to my success as an artist is commercial failure. 🙂

Hm…I’m going to go check my sales ranking again.




About Mel

Montreal queer fiction writer.

2 responses to “Give me art. Give me failure.

  1. Debra Low ⋅

    Mel…your books are brilliant, each one captivates me more than the last, but none quite the same as the first. You keep going girl; royalties cheques or no, money and fame or no, you *are* a writer.

  2. Mel

    Thank you, Debra! You’re so sweet for saying that. xxx

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