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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Sometimes the B'ar Eats You..."

I realize the "Big Lebowski" cracks are going to come for a while now.  

I have managed to awaken myself, and the non-alcohol-induced hangover is lifting.  My favored power shake (see the link), and lots of caffeine are working...

...more problems with the Nexgen system at the Ticket, but other than that disastrous start, the two games went okay, and the Senators won them both.  Goodness, but AA ball is pretty bad, pitching wise.  I've played Little League games where the hurlers had more control!

One dude for the Binghamton Mets literally threw his first pitch 40 FEET away from the plate and nearly hit the guy in the on-deck circle...guess that's a ball.

I remember my first year playing ball, and came to bat against a kid with zero control.  His first pitch sailed on him, and went a good 15 feet over my head.  That was a bit different.  I thought he was trying out his knuckleball.

I was able to finally start the editing of "Silk Road Days."  I do believe this 600 pages of whatever will need to be broken up into three parts.  The first one is fairly easy, I just have to figure out where to make the break.

These can't really be separate books, because all three parts are connected reasonably well.  So much more to deal with there...

Also dropped $200 on my car yesterday, but it was either that or blow a key component of the vehicle.  Well worth it, because at 216,000+ miles, the Silver Saturn is still rocking along damned well.  I do however have to go to the dealership to get the transmission seals fixed.  Joy.

You know, on the running gun battle that's been happening between my friend Riz and her old high school friend Michael...ei yi yi...I think everyone involved in that debate on Facebook, re:  the Wall St. Journal and the YA know, we just blew so much energy warring.

I fell into it, because I do feel without trying to sound terribly defensive, that I must stand up for the artist in me, and in others.  As I said, the first duty is to the artist, again semi-quoting Zappa.  What do the readers, the market and the others bear beyond the reading and buying, I don't know.

You know, I think we all agree that parents (of which I am not one) have a hard time finding stuff for their kids to read, but kids do have a say in what is and is not.  What is popular is one thing, what is good is in the mind of the reader.  One person's trash is another person's great work.

I think Bret Easton Ellis for example is a sick, pretentious fuck, but so many people think "American Psycho" is one of the greatest books ever written.  Matter of opinion.

For those who have read early drafts of my first book in the Sweet Dreams Series, they range from brilliant to, "I tried to read the first 15 pages, and I just didn't get it."

My friend Ron was quite serious, but he was trying to nice.  That's cool; I appreciate the feedback, good, bad or whatever.

Alice had an interesting thought on the opening scene:  "It reads like an Associated Press report."


My journalism training and experience...this is not good.

Add to it, my old and dear friend Sara once said the same thing about an old story I'd written.  More of a reporter's view.

Hmmm...need to get back into the shoes of the person more...

It is interesting, isn't it?  Some people can write terrible prose, and yet it is called the most amazing stuff on Earth.  James Joyce is patently unreadable to me; I tried in high school to read one of his books, I don't even remember what one...the one with Stephen Daedalus in was horrid, and I did not read it.

"Johnny Got His Gun..." I can't remember who wrote it.  Read that in high school, too...horrid prose, no punctuation; but I got the stream of consciousness in the character, so it was kind of, "Okay, I get this."  Depressing story; makes you think about things you don't want to.  Hitler would've ordered that book burned in the 30's, as he did the book by Remarque, "All Quiet on the Western Front."  To me, one of the greatest novels on war and its futility that there will ever be.

Now...a bit more contemporary.  Larry McMurtry's books, and his "He said, She said," style.  Stark, one-line stuff...but it fucking works.

"The Last Picture Show" and "Rhino Ranch" are 45 years apart in release, but they bookend the Duane Moore series.  Both are brilliant, funny, and terribly sad at times.

"Picture Show" in my opinion, should be read by every high school English and Literature class.  If I taught, you would read it, and I would expect some very intelligent and well-thought out reports and discussion, kiddos!

Banana Yoshimoto's "Kitchen" is a book I recently read.  In its simplicity, there is without doubt a beautiful and thought-provoking story.

Now, that all said:  considering that I an writing a series that targets the YA market, you might wonder, "Don't you read any of that?"

First of all:  my agency sees the YA market as the primary target audience, I do not.  These books work for people of all ages.  I don't mind focusing on the YA, but I want people to know it does not matter your age. You will get something I hope from these stories, and my others.

Second:  have I read Harry Potter, or Twilight.



First of all, I shy away from whatever is popular or trendy; I do not like trends.  Not being a poseur here, I just don't care for what's hot.

I know, Rowling's books are said to be wonderful, and the movies look fantastic, what I have seen of them.  All well and good.

Stephanie Meyer...don't get me started.  Ask Riz, she'll tell you.

I don't hate on Ms. Meyer the way Riz does, but I don't care for poorly-written, sparkly vampire stories.  I care even less for what came after, all the knockoffs, with every publisher signing their version of Meyer's writings.

I don't mean to be arrogant, but you know, every time I was past the Teen section at the Office, and see all the knockoffs, I just say, "I WRITE BETTER THAN THAT SHIT!!!"

And I do.

Not being an asshole, but I know what I put into my stories.  I put a lot of real, and not always entertaining, funny, sun-shiny cracksmoking shit that people expect to have written for them.

This ain't the Hardy Boys, or Nancy Drew, peabrains!  By the way, Joe and Frank were both pansies, y'know...why do you think they never knocked the bottoms of out of Callie and Iola?

Because the girls were lesbians, that's why...;-)

Yeah, I read all the Hardy Boys stuff as a kid, but now I realize how bad formulaic writing can be.  Very dangerous; your creative skills and your soul can be lost.

Journalism does the same thing.  I know what I lost during the years I worked as a reporter and a News Director.  It kills.

Anyway...I don't mean to be pretenious wanker here; I just hope you get what I mean when I tell you that writing may not look like a hard job, but it is mentally, and it can be physically, because the drain you put on yourself can leave you feeling like you just did a workout that would put an MMA fighter's to shame.

I also love what I do.  I love to write, and I love to create a universe that I would like to see, but know that it is not practical.  So I make it as real as I can, with doses of what I feel, I see, I experience and hope to share.

This is what I do.  Get used to it.  And as the Stranger warned, don't let the b'ar eat you...


  1. Where can we buy/read your stuff?? It sounds exciting! Thx!!

  2. I'm currently unpublished, Kelly...I do have an agent that is kicking in doors for me. I have considered possibly serializing a version of one of my stories here or elsewhere, but I need to think that through. If you want a copy of the first one in its rough form, let me know. Thanks!