Message from My Igloo

So I’m sitting in front of the keyboard, shivering and needing to use the facilities, but just can’t make myself go out into the cold to do it–meaning leave my office and face the world’s distractions.


The facilities are out the door to the rear

Yes, folks. It’s NaNoWriMo time. And I’m working on a novel that’s been in the works for twenty years. But it wasn’t until just recently that I had a handle on the tone I wanted to set. Enter from stage left: Dan Chaon.

You know how sometimes another writer’s work speaks to you so strongly, it feels like you’ve inhabited their body? Or maybe they’ve taken over yours? So much so, that it becomes an out-of-body experience.

I’ve been reading Chaon’s collection of short stories, Stay Awake, again, as inspiration. For good or evil, he is my mentor.

I will be steeping myself in the rest of his work this month, Among the Missing (National Book Award Finalist), You Remind Me of Me, and Await Your Reply. Let’s hope some of his mojo rubs off on me.

Hope you all are keeping toasty by the fire… 


or in the case of those down under, enjoying the beginnings of summer.

20 thoughts on “Message from My Igloo

  1. Kate is says:

    Summer has arrived early. Thank you for returning it. I worry every year you might decide to keep it.
    Congrats on getting the feel of this novel you’ve been brewing. Yes, I do understanding the inspiration from another. Keep at it.

  2. Call of the Siren says:

    There’s something really exciting about finding a book/author that serves as a mentor/inspiration. I can see why you’ve connected with Chaon, in light of your previous post about him, Jil. Mine’s been William Styron, which is good and bad. I wish you well, my friend!

  3. Lady Fancifull says:

    Hey Jilanne – that you for your heads up last month on Chaon. I bought Stay Awake, am nearing the end (only 2 more stories to go) and, oh, how fine this collection is. Sneakily, snakily, difficult to grasp but his writing and his characters insidiously burrow under the skin!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Oh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying them! I think one of the interesting things about his books is that his characters are so often mysteries to themselves. Watching them try to figure out the world and their lives is fascinating and sometimes excruciatingly painful.

      • Lady Fancifull says:

        An excellent way of putting things – mysteries to themselves. I think that is what gives them reality – who, after all, knows themselves, through and through, and does not at times experience themselves like a stranger. He has left me puzzling the ‘I’ of me!

Please feed the chickens...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.