[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
70°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 19
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]


“As I Stand Living,” California State University, Northridge assistant professor of English Christopher Higgs’ new book, opens with its protagonist washing his face and fanaticizing about torturing an African poacher, and then segues into speculation about an alternative universe where rock legend Jimi Hendrix and jazz legend Miles Davis collaborate.

The book, which was published last month by Civil Coping Mechanisms, provides an intimate look at Higgs’ fears, secrets and fantastic ponderings as he prepared for the birth of his son.

“We all have these thoughts — about our fears, our fantasies, those strange things you think about when your mind wanders,” Higgs said. “We just don’t put them down on paper. I did. If we do put them down, we do it like [author] Steven King and assign those thoughts to a character in our story, which frees you of responsibility for those thoughts since they belong to your character, not you.

“I’m not hiding behind a character,” he said. “I am allowing myself to say, ‘I have these feelings and have these thoughts.’”

Christopher Higgs

The stream-of-consciousness memoir started out as a writing experiment inspired by William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Faulkner allegedly wrote his book in little more than two months in 1929, writing only in the evenings — while working a nightshift at a coal-burning power plant, without a plan or direction, and without a single edit to his manuscript before sending it to his publisher.

Taking up the challenge, Higgs decided to conduct what he called “The Faulkner Experiment.” Higgs wrote the first things that came to his mind each evening over the course of a year, from Oct. 25, 2012, to Oct. 25, 2013. Instead of fiction, Higgs’ stream of consciousness turned into an amalgamation of his thoughts — from ponderings about the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and television shows to how much coffee he drank that day — as he and his wife, CSUN English lecturer Caitlin Newcomer, transitioned from graduate school to the working world and prepared for the arrival of their son.

“I thought I was going to write a novel, with made-up characters and made-up settings,” Higgs said. “That’s what I had always done until this book. I write mostly fiction. But when I sat down, something else happened. I talked to my publisher right before [the book] came out, and she said, ‘I think this lays you bare from the get-go.’ It’s my third book, and it’s the riskiest thing I’ve ever done.”

Despite the risk, Higgs said the book seemed to be a natural evolution of his interests in modernist and post-modernist literature and his desire to push literary boundaries.

“I’ve always been interested in the idea of the persona, and where the line is drawn between character and person,” he said. “In a sense, we all have different personas. There’s the person we are at work. The person we are at home. The person we are with our friends.

“When you say you know me, you only know a part of me,” he continued. “My students know one me, and my wife and son know someone else.”

“As I Stand Living” gives readers a glimpse of another side of Higgs — one, he said, whose mind jumped from topic to topic in seconds, ate too many sugar cookies and spent time pondering the fate of the Lakers, pop singer Taylor Swift, English literature and his son’s future.

Higgs’ other books include the novels “The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney,” published by Sator Press, and “ONE,” published by Roof Books. His shorter works have appeared widely in such and print and online venues as AGNI, Pleiades, Denver Quarterly, Post Road, Quarterly West and The Paris Review.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Monday, Sep 18, 2017
California State University, Northridge students and faculty have joined forces with Bet Tzedek to expand legal aid for undocumented parents of CSUN students.
Monday, Sep 18, 2017
College of the Canyons will host the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking,” on Friday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Sep 15, 2017
The College of the Canyons Job & Career Center will host its fall semester Job & Career Fair on Friday, October 6, providing job seekers with employment opportunities in various industries and career fields.
Friday, Sep 15, 2017
Civil rights activist and movement builder Susan Burton will speak on behalf of formerly incarcerated women and read from her book “Becoming Ms. Burton” at California State University, Northridge on Thursday, September 21.
Thursday, Sep 14, 2017
The College of the Canyons American Sign Language (ASL) department will host Elevate! ASL Artist 2017 on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Six Flags Magic Mountain's biggest season of Fright Fest, presented by Snickers, reopened Saturday.
Magic Mountain Fright Fest Back, Bigger Than Ever
Child pornography resulted in a six-month jail sentence for a Santa Clarita man Monday, officials said.
Santa Clarita Man Suspected of Child Pornography Pleads No Contest
California Credit Union is inviting all Los Angeles County teachers who have a great class project idea to apply for a credit union grant through its bi-annual Teacher Grant Program.
CCU’s Fall Teacher Grant Applications Underway
California's housing market defied gravity as existing home sales and median home price registered increases on both a monthly and an annual basis in August, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said Monday.
State Sees Increase in Housing Market
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]
California State University, Northridge students and faculty have joined forces with Bet Tzedek to expand legal aid for undocumented parents of CSUN students.
CSUN, Bet Tzedek Expand Legal Aid for Students’ Undocumented Parents
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the family of a missing 16 year old Hart High student is asking the community for help in locating him. Plus, dust off your resumes: COC is hosting its Fall semester Job & Career Fair soon. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, September 18, 2017
The Governing Board of the Saugus Union School District is extending the deadline to apply for the 7-11 Advisory Committee through Thursday, September 21 at 4 p.m.
Saugus School District Extends Deadline to Apply for Surplus Committee
After letting an early two-set lead slip away, the TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied from behind to secure a 3-2 win over the San Diego Christian Hawks Saturday night.
Mustangs Volleyball Team Rallies to Beat San Diego Christian 3-2
The Master's University and Bethesda University battled 110 minutes to a scoreless draw in double-overtime Saturday afternoon on Reese Field.
TMU, Bethesda Men’s Soccer Teams Battle to 0-0 Draw in Double Overtime
The TMU Mustangs men's and women's cross-country teams raced in the open division of UC Riverside’s event Saturday.
TMU Cross Country Impresses at UC Riverside Invitational
The TMU Mustangs volleyball team rallied to win sets four and five against Arizona Christian Friday, taking the match 3-2 on Bross Court.
TMU Volleyball Edges Arizona Christian 3-2
The Gentle Barn is celebrating its 18th year of spreading compassion and hope for animals around the world from its current locations in Santa Clarita, California, Knoxville, Tennessee and the newest animal sanctuary set to open September 24 near St. Louis.
Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Sanctuary Turns 18
“Wildwood Canyon: The Resilience of Nature,” a photography exhibit by artist Kristina Jacob, will be on display at the Jo Anne Darcy Library in Canyon Country from September 26 through January 24.
Sept. 26: Wildwood Canyon Photo Exhibit at Darcy Library
October is National Arts and Humanities Month and to celebrate the city of Santa Clarita will host ARTober during the month.
October is ‘Artober’ in Santa Clarita
College of the Canyons will host the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking,” on Friday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: COC Hosts Human Trafficking Conference
College of the Canyons hosted the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Preview on Friday, attracting a field of more than 500 cross-country runners to the course at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
Canyons Women Take Second at CCCAA SoCal Preview
The Dodgers enter the final leg of their 10-game road trip (4-2) tonight with the first of four against the Philadelphia Phillies, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Dodgers and Kershaw Open 4-Game Stand in Philadelphia
Family members report they have found Elias Ortiz, a 16-year-old Newhall resident who had been missing since Saturday night.
Newhall Teen Missing Since Saturday Found
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that six of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be reduced in size, with changes to several others proposed, but the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is not on Zinke's shrink list.
San Gabriel National Monument Not on Interior Secretary’s Shrink List
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will move from its present location at City Hall to new office space at 28494 Westinghouse Place, Suite 114, Valencia 91355, on October 12.
October 12: SCV Chamber Moves to New Office
The Modesto Nuts pulled away late and swept the California League Championship Series with an 8-1 victory over the JetHawks in Game 3 on Friday night at John Thurman Field, ending the season for the Lancaster team.
JetHawks Swept in CLCS to End 2017 Season
New stencils on Santa Clarita crosswalks are part of the city's 'Heads Up' pedestrian safety program.
‘Heads Up’ Crosswalk Stencils Boost Santa Clarita’s Pedestrian Safety Effort
Senate Constitutional Amendment 12, or SCA-12, authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Los Angeles) with Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) the principal co-author, has passed by the State Senate on a bipartisan vote of 27-7.
Mendoza-Wilk Supervisors Expansion Bill Clears State Senate
The California Highway Patrol's Newhall station screened 375 vehicles in a DUI checkpoint in Stevenson Ranch Friday night but made no arrests.
CHP Screens 375 Vehicles in Stevenson Ranch DUI Checkpoint
A man died of a suspected heroin overdose in the 17000 block of Sierra Highway in Canyon Country late Friday night, according to SCV Sheriff's Station officials.
Canyon Country Man Dead of Suspected Heroin Overdose
1962 - Articles of incorporation filed for Golden State Memorial Hospital on Lyons Avenue [story]
1879 - First official Newhall School building erected near Walnut & Ninth streets [story]
While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking. It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.
Changes to ‘Sanctuary’ Bill Made it Better | Commentary by Sheriff Jim McDonnell
In the conceptual planning stages for decades, the extension of Lyons Avenue to Dockweiler Drive could finally be shifting out of neutral.
Plans Are Out for Lyons Extension to Dockweiler
1872 - Sulphur Springs School District established by Mitchells and Langs [story]
Jack Shine, founder and president of American Beauty Homes and a key figure in the development of affordable housing for veterans in the Santa Clarita Valley, died Thursday. He was 82.
SCV Home Builder, Philanthropist Jack Shine Dies at 82
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today reiterated his call for consumers to take action to protect their identities in light of the recent Equifax data breach, and provided links to do so online.
AG Urges Consumers to Take Action After Equifax Data Breach
The Santa Clarita City Council's Public Safety Committee will meet at City Hall to review preliminary plans for the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station on Tuesday, September 19 starting at 3 p.m.
September 19: City Public Safety Officials Review Plans for New Sheriff’s Station
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, see the Grand Finale of NASA's Cassini mission. Plus, Fair Oaks Community Elementary students not only got a "bag of books" on Friday, they also got to see their principal and vice principal get a shaving cream pie in their face. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, September 15, 2017