From the Writing Desk Of: Matthew Sirois
It's no surprise that the Split Lip FAM is a talented, well-published bunch. As more and more of the FAM comes out with books, we want to celebrate and spread the word about their achievements. In this spirit, From the Writing Desk Of was born.
Today we visit the writing desk of Matthew Sirois, whose memoir pieces "Brad Beckett: A Eulogy" and "On Saying Goodbye" appeared in our 2016 special memoir issue and 2017 FAM issue, respectively. His novel Near Haven will be published by Belle Lutte Press on September 1, and is available for pre-order now.
A bar. Yeah, I know. But, frankly, I don’t have a writing desk. I almost never write at home. It might be a café, sometimes a diner, but I need to be out somewhere. I need the traffic and chatter and second-hand smoke of reality to help me create even barely-plausible fiction. Also, as I write this, the city of Charlottesville, VA is under siege by aspiring Nazis wielding barbeque accoutrement, so I think every rational American is entitled to one or twelve drinks of their choice tonight.
A snifter of Jim Beam, and I know what you’re thinking: Jim Beam has no business being served in a snifter. You’re right. But, in this eleventh hour of neoliberal capitalism, we all gotta cinch our belts and get used to paying for “perceived value.”
A pint of some local IPA, which I think is called “Be Hoppy,” because I guess “If You’re Hoppy and You Know It” was too difficult to fit on a tap handle.
A manuscript in revision. In this case, the luminous novel CASSANDRA’S EYE by Elizabeth Gargano, droppin’ in early 2018 (Belle Lutte Press.) I’m not engaged in my own work at present, because after eight years of drafting my debut, with my head so ambitiously shoved up my ass, I was in danger of asphyxiation, and possibly going blind like some species of cave-dwelling fish. Seriously, though: editing and beta-reading for other writers is one of the best things you can do for your own work, your own career, and for those other writers. Take advantage when it knocks. Fill your not-writing time with writing-adjacent activity. (Sorry, I realize that tip—and previous imagery—was totally unsolicited…)
This woman sitting next to me, who keeps asking, “What are you doing? Is that homework?” Totally charming.
The guy next to her, who seems to be rehearsing a monologue entitled “My Ex-Wife.” Not particularly charming, but these things are, after all, subjective.
The music, which sounds like what might happen if you asked Al Gore to compile a playlist of “alternative rock.”
My car keys, which are…somewhere.