by Janice Lee
TEX is a bricolage novel using correspondence to construct its multi-level narrative. Collecting text messages, phone photos, emails, Craigslist responses and more, the book explores the various relationships formed and maintained by its author, Beau Rice, during the process of its making, with one relationship taking center stage: his evolving attachment to an Austin-based former fling, Matt G
Included by Rice in TEX are text-based “screenshots” of the author’s inbox: exchanges between he and his editor at Penny-Ante. Giving a nod to the book’s format, we asked the editor at Penny-Ante to form a collection of “Letters from Beau” that were sent during the editorial and now, ongoing post-book promotional process.
The below fragments were submitted with the author’s permission.
From Beau Rice (an inbox screenshot):
I just wanted to make sure you were still interested, because the text is growing and I’m thinking about it constantly, so I just wanted to make sure you were still interested.
Your help with this impasse would be much appreciated.
I’ve given [the work] a preliminary title, ~book: [corn] [alien head] [baby bottle] [showgirls]. Thoughts?
Pics attached (lol, I’m so not used to typing that phrase outside of, like, responding to sex ads on Craigslist).
I’m going to have to fight you about [possible book title] Untitled.
Noooooo — why??
I feel you on the reshuffling.
If you insist, I’ll need a week.
And I know you want to be a dominatrix about it because it’s urgent, but I’m ready to start looking at other stuff.
I’ll be shopping around for something perfect-er.
Let’s keep in touch about any other text message books we come across, I want to be as aware of them as I can.
Ooooooops — the draft I sent the other day was missing a few things and fucked up in a few ways, so please work with the one I’ve included here.
(“Forms of incoherence that are listenable to.”)
I smoked weed for the first time in a while earlier tonight.
Q3: Let me know about your trip to LA!
You’re surprisingly clever when you’ve just woken up.
It’s very preteen-y but surprisingly relevant.
(I hate the first email I sent to you today.)
Are you in LA?
I favorited it.
Give me a few minutes.
I have to warn you: the list of changes I’ve mentioned is not insignificant.
I also want to see it with our names in Calibri or whatever that chat one was.
I’d like to reemphasize the Matt thing (I just landed in Austin) and try to procure a photo of him in profile to stare impassively at me from the back of the book (?).
Actually this gets us closer to what my original intentions were.
Also/omg, including the drug dealers and online sex people: YES.
Here are those pixx of him + more to follow.
Sorry, that just does not work for me.
Let’s redact “Scissor Sisters” and “Le1f.”
Let me know if you want me to fictionalize any of the YOU IN THE BOOK shit.
That phone has been violated in a final manner, it is not to be turned on.
Tomorrow I’m taking Vyvanse and dealing with as much of this drudgery as I can.
I’m beyond tipsy and this is not a real message.
Here are more chats, mostly of the BDSM variety.
“But really it is I who have invaded my own privacy.” –Dodie Bellamy, Pink Steam
Apologies for the folder weirdness yesterday, I don’t know what was up with that.
For example, the one that references the galley copy of Knausgaard should appear in spring of this year (but I’m not worried about being totally accurate).
Oh my god, I cannot shut up.
But that is our secret.
I had a feeling.
SO BUMMED ABOUT THAT, but it’s fine.
Hahaha — “all these intense writer people.”
I agree with you totally on the “dildo in the corner” thing.
THANK YOU. I can only imagine what an incredible headache it is to format all of this.
We were only focusing on his missives.
Either pseudonym is fine with us.
I like “Tex” too!
I trust you.
We don’t need to change Alex’s name.
I am happy to lose most of the poetry, but NOT the ones I send to him in the first email sequence [p. 3-4].
Lol — I just said to my friends, “I think she [you] is pretty aware that I get fucked up at this time every night.”
We both want to tone down the meta-narrative.
I so relate, I ask everyone I’m around not to let me talk about it at all.
Seriously — I am 96% convinced of this.
Lol, I really did feel like a demon.
I understand and I wish to continue.
Feeling down with the cheap lazy vibe you describe.
Can you give me some other font options for the email essay?
I think I might reactivate my [Facebook] profile sometime around October to promote the book to my friends on there, but for the most part it’s important to me to stay off of it.
As much as I’d like for us to be in agreement, I’m still uncomfortable with my face being on [the cover] in such a big way.
I’m glad you’re doing that list thing — I worry I was overly delete-happy yesterday.
Let me know if I’m being too vocal and stressing you out.
The butt plug photo?
I’ve been drawing that icon a lot recently.
I like the fragmentary vibe of those inbox shots.
The version of this intertwined legs pic you’re using is slightly different, and not as good.
Since you mention “fixing the peach” [on the cover] I want to emphasize again theBUTT [Magazine] thing, and ask that we go peachy enough to not be pink.
It’s funny how unrealistic the prospect of fame makes us.
Could you try phrasing that differently?
No no no no no no no.
I totally lied to you.
I could get behind that.
It’s pretty unromantic in actuality.
Anything particular instructions for that?
I’m still not sure whether or not to say this [and I am saying it] but — I apologize if any of the stuff about our parents in that excerpt made you sad.
All I need to do is link my current checking account to my PayPal account, I guess.
Note: you aren’t as defined/personified by this as you probably imagine.
Ah dang, I’m glad it was meaningful to you.
Two word answers!
A nice texture!
I feel like a human makes it less sterile
I’m wondering (finally) what the money/royalty situation is.
Hmm… still UGH.
I think that’s my car insurance.
But now I’m done emailing you for the night.
Hahahahaha — that is precisely my feeling.
Which I’m all in for, in most cases.
At USPS now, about to mail this fucker to Hilton Als (bad idea?).
Just using you as a therapist slash neurosis hole.
I’m about to go to bed and listen to this song and cry:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu8MqdC0Zms
Wow… Typos. Embarrassing.
WHY DO I KEEP FORGETTING TO DO THIS.
You just got engaged. Why are you emailing me? Shouldn’t you be having sex or something?
Lol — “I’jj.”
So how do you want to do this?
Here’s the thing on that: No, it doesn’t.
Really, I’m up to discuss this.
“IT” is the “proprietor” ? The proprietor is non-gendered?
This process is weird.
Redundancy, bad poetry, etc.
This book is not going to ruin my life.