Wrote a mystery story that’s also a play

Hello friends. Life is good here. I finished the biography of Derrida, and I wrote a review of his book, and of his place in the world of letters, that is only slightly complicated by the fact that I’ve never read any Derrida and find his writing to be incomprehensible. I think it strikes a properly erudite tone, though! I’m going to try and send it to the London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books in the next week. Don’t have high hopes, but you never know!

I’ve also written a sort of radio play that’s also a crime story: it’s about the Perfect Murder Club–a club where people get together to plan the perfect murder and then never ever carry it out. The first rule of Perfect Murder Club is "Don’t actually murder anyone." But when one member thinks she’s found a way of perfectly murdering another member, it’s up to our heroine to think things through in real time and convince her that the murder won’t work.

I’ve always wante to write a short play. With COVID, people aren’t really staging plays, but they’re doing readings and whatnot, and anyway it’s a writing sample! I’m also thinking about submitting it to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which I’ve been reading lately (inspired by Nick Mamatas’s recent story there, which was one of the better stories in the last issue), but the format might be a bit too outre for them. I don’t know.

Still kind of stalled on the novel rewrite. Am sort of awaiting Monday, when I’ll finally have some uninterrupted time (I wrote the beginning of the Perfect Murder story during my baby’s first nap, figuring out the plot while she was awake, and finished it during her second nap).

But writing is going great! I feel good about it! Reading is going well too. I started (and finished) Mattilda Sycamore Bernstein’s recent memoir [The Freezer Door] last night. Probably won’t review it. My turn into reviewing has made me realize that reviewing narrative is much harder than reviewing straight nonfiction. But it’s a great book! Powerful and poetic evocation of what it means to be lonely and queer, and to look for something sustaining that maybe the queer community once had, but doesn’t really possess anymore, particularly for transfeminine people. It really resonated with me.

I also spent a significant amount of time over the past few days trying to figure out how to convert Markdown files into word format. It wasn’t as easy as I’d like it to be! Definitely feels like a format designed by computer programmers. So far the easiest way is to use a command-line program called pandoc, which is simple and flexible, but kind of impenetrable. I sometimes find myself wondering why I am bothering with this, but to be honest I think it’s just neat! I have always felt I have the heart of a computer programmer: I just never had the patience to learn how to write code. Maybe I will someday though! You never know!

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