Sunday, October 31, 2010

...I finished "Shiver," a hit teen or Y.A. novel. It was not very good. It was actually pretty crappy. I don't know how authors get away with such lazy writing. What was the editor doing? Anyway, the book's not worth the rant. I also finished Howie Good's chapbook "Rumble Strip" which was vintage Howie and quite excellent. ("The man in the window insists that truth is a moving target." How great is that?) Also, as I said in an earlier post, Mel Bosworth's little ditty, "Grease Stains, Kismet and Maternal Wisdom" is really a charming read.

...I am a bath person. I am a bath person and I am not afraid to admit it. (I also like pink, so there.) I favor bubble baths, though evidentally they don't sell bubble bath anymore. I like long soaks with a book and a glass of vino and a pen and paper handy in case inspiration strikes. If it's been awhile since you last took a bath, you should try it. You'll like it. If not, I'll gladly refund your money.

...I'm going to go turn on the tub water right now.

Here are two quotes I rather like, none having much to do with the other:

"Every story is a war." -- Richard Bausch

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." -- Marilyn Monroe

Saturday, October 30, 2010

…I have two new stories up, "Castaways" at 52/250 A Year of Flash and "Vampire Weekend" at Loch Raven Review. Somehow "Vampire Weekend" got published without me getting a final notification, so I just found out it's been there since summer. I also have a poem, "Repeats" in The New Verse News, which is a literary mag focused on current events and/or politics.

…I ran 17 miles this morning in cold rain. I'm still cold, even after a hot shower, and despite the fact that I'm wearing thick, comfy slippers.

…Two more days until "Write a novel in a month" starts. I'm nervous. Probably won't be many stories or poetry coming out of me that month, but I will still blog.

…These are fun. A friend shared them, and now I'm sharing them with you:

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The
ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve
you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and
says: A beer please, and one for the road."

6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does
this taste funny to you?"

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'"
That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" Well, ! "It's Not Unusual."

8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to
Dolly, I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you,"
says Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing
to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I
couldn't find any.

12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He
shouted, Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know
you can't - I've cut off your arms!"

13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.

14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other
and says Dam!".

16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire
in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have
your kayak and heat it too.

17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.
"But why," they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't
stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer." !

18. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them
goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in
Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to
his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she
wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, They're
twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time,
which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very
little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from
bad breath. This made him ..(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A
super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns
to his friends, with the hope that! at least ten of the puns would make them
laugh. No pun in ten did

Thursday, October 28, 2010

…I have two new stories, "Answering Machine" and "One Out of Two" up at In Between Altered States and Necessary Fiction respectively. Both are also here under "Words in Print"

…I got Mel Bosworth's novel, "Grease Stains, Kismet and Maternal Wisdom" in the mail and have started reading. It's pretty adorable. You should read it as well.

…A friend sent me a link about November being "Write a novel in a month, month." I think I'll give that a go. I've been stalling on my next book. I have the outline more or less done and even the first few pages. That's the problem with short fiction and poetry--it pulls you (me) away from larger, longer work that requires faith, persistence and massive trains of will power. The short stuff is so easy-- effortless almost at times-- and fun. I've even had this writing disease lately where any slightly interesting image or word or phrase will trigger a story or poem. That happened last night and I wrote, I don't know, 10 poems and five flash stories. I finally had to make myself go to bed. I suppose there are a lot worse problems.

…Here are some Social Networking Rules for Men, from Esquire magazine, one of my favorites. (These are in random order, and I just picked the ones I liked, but read till the end because they're pretty witty/funny.)
-- Rule # 687 -- Unsubscribe every time.
-- Rule # 688 -- In descending order of appropriateness at the bar: playing with your phone, playing with yourself, playing with your iPad.
-- Rule # 689 -- You might have tweeted your condolences, but you still need to send flowers.
-- Rule # 690 -- People who know what you did: God, Santa, the guy at the Genius Bar.
-- Rule # 692 -- The man who types "LOL" in an email is half a man.
-- Rule # 694 -- No one has ever rolled on the floor laughing before typing "ROTFL."
-- Rule # 695 -- The satisfaction of finishing "War and Peace" is diminished by 20 percent when read on a Kindle.
-- Rule # 696 -- Email greetings in order of gravity for message: Attention!, Greetings, Hello, Hi, Yoyoyo check it.
-- Rule # 702 -- The serious email that you spent ten minutes composing and proofreading will have one glaring grammatical error that will undercut your point.
-- Rule # 703 -- And that error will be your instead of you're.
-- Rule # 706 -- Everyone is 30 percent more attractive in their online profile picture than they are in real life.
-- Rule # 707 -- 50% more attractive if it's a black-and-white picture.
-- Rule # 708 -- 70% more attractive if it's a black-and-white photo and half their face is in shadow.
-- Rule # 709 -- And if that shadow is being created by a kitten they're holding, forget it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

…I have two new stories, "Ruthless Trust" and "I Like You" up at Troubadour 21 and Camroc Press Review respectively. They're also here under "Words In Print."

…Well, it finally happened. Yes. Yes, it did. PANK accepted a story of mine. I'm really happy about this. I've never tried so hard to get into that particular publication. Ironically, I had vowed that this story would be my last. So, good news. It will come out until February.

…I write, I run, I do some public speaking. I did some speaking to the public today--about 200 business leaders from the Everett Rotary. I think it went well. Usually my style is to teach by telling stories. I find people remember your points better that way. I also spoke to a group of forty on Sunday in Wenatchee. That was fun, too.

…I've been listening to a lot of Augustana lately. You should listen to them, too. "Boston" and "Mayfield" are so good.

…Here are some rules of writing worth noting from the cranky-but-talented-and-dead George Orwell:
1.) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2.) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3.) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4.) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5.) Never use a foreighn phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6.) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
I would add--don't repeat words in the same paragraph or even same page if they're uncommon words. It speaks of being an amateur or laziness.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

…I have two new pieces up, a poem, "Homecoming" at Cynic Online Magazine, and "Free" at 52/250 A Year of Flash. Both are also here under, "Words in Print."

…Fourteen musical Australians had been staying at my house for three days. They've gone now. Nice people, hip people, those Aussies. I think it would be fun to be Australian, although I've never been there, so maybe I wouldn't like it. I used to always want to live in Maine, too, until I visited and saw all the herds of moose and not much else. Seriously, there are fields of moose everywhere. You've got highways clogged with cars in LA, and in Maine you've got to watch your shoulder so it doesn't get sliced by a set of antlers.

...I'm thinking that romantics probably have their dreams dashed more often than other people, than realists. What do you think?

…In the car on the way back from soccer, my son and his friend were playing Dead Celebrities whereby two people take turns naming celebs that have either committed suicide or overdosed. It sounds macabre, and I probably seem like a bad dad for letting him do it in the first place, but if you'd been there you would have thought the answers were intersting. You would have.

…The new issue of Virtuous Mimicry came out and I have three poems in it. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a separate link for them, so I've printed them here:


I kidnapped her lips and thin lies
before she could pout or spout.
There are times now
when the sky is a see-through sheet
and my mistakes glare like a surgical scar
or cement handprints.
We were both young once
but I was the only foolish one.

so she’s become a spinner of sins.
She offers her dusty cheek.
In the tub
she sings like a vulture with its crooked neck
and oily-black plumage.
She soars with other buzzards,
higher than eagles,
waiting for prey to twitch and show themselves
as something edible.


Here they have bears and forestation
but I take the weedy path
where there is uncertain rustling on each side,
a scampering,
or conspiracy.
I try not to act scared.
I loosen my grip on your hand.
I watch the breeze tackle your hair.
I watch memories flicker in your eyes
and wonder if this is a place he might have taken you,
if he held your hand like this before going further.

When I start to run
you call after me.
But I am running because I love you
and I know when an orbit’s been completed.

You’ve shredded my chest worse than any angry bear.
Montana. I fucking hate that place.


My daughter undresses the bed in a frenzy
and brings out pillow cases with which to catch the hail.
Ten billion tiny white mints
pebble and pock
the roof and our
blind us as we lift our sacks heavenward for Halloween
like nature’s gladest pair of beggars.

Her new laughter rings out
with frozen fog coughs.
It’s been ten months fourteen days
and we are
just now walking a cold path by ourselves,
searching out a life without you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

…I have a new poem, "Slapdash" up at Eye of the Needle to celebrate Jack Kerouac's birthday, and another, "Homecoming" at Cynic Online Magazine. Both also appear here under "Words in Print."

…I write about dark things. Sometimes. Not all of the time, but, yeah, well, okay, most of the time. I write about dark things most of the time.
I don't consider myself a dark person. I have dark places and spaces the same as the next bloke, but I don't wear much black and I eschew mascara.
I often wish I could write happy things. To me, happy endings are not very interesting, although, in real life, I much prefer them. In fiction and poetry, not so much.
I like to explore suffering, devastation, loss, regret, estrangement, revenge--cruel and fascinating subjects, ones that allow me to play in those arenas without necessarily having had to have actually experienced them.
Mystery writers haven't ever killed anyone, or if they have, certainly they have never killed as many people as are slain in their books. Writing about murders and murderers doesn't make them killers. However, they get to romp around in that playground.
For whatever reason, many people who read my stuff think I'm like some brooding recluse. I'm not. I hardly brood. I live on a lake surrounded by people and relatives. It's beautiful where I live, and quite often so spectacularily sunny that I have to draw a shade to keep from having my corneas scalded.
In a recent article in USA TODAY, Edward Norton talks about this subject. I really like his take on things. Here, read:
"I've done films that followed a darker kind of impulse, and it can blow back on you. But you have to get comfortable with the idea that if you're going to do dark, some people are going to feel indicted. Some people are going to be frightened by it. Some people are going to question whether it's healthy to look at those things. I've gotten to the point where if some people don't reject it, then I don't really feel I've done anything.
In the late 70's and early 80's, Bruce Springsteen was one of the people, along with De Niro, who gave me my first experience of the excitement of somebody going into dark things. I remember 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' and 'Nebraska' in the same way I do films like 'Raging Bull' and 'Taxi Driver.' There is this shock when you realize at a certain age that there's something important about naming darkness. It does something positive for people.
A lot of people are scared to do dark things. But you're doing something that makes people realize that they're not alone with the thoughts they have inside them. It's like the C.S. Lewis line that 'we read to know that we're not alone.' It's this realization that you're doing something for people to provide solace and commiseration and compassion."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

...I got the new Elton John collaboration he does with Leon Russell. Some of it is really sleepy and a bit whiny like an old Willie Nelson record, but I usually need to give a disc two listens to know for sure whether it's good or not. Sometimes I'll flip-flop on the second listen.

...Well, Pale House really liked my letter to "Dear Citizens of Los Angeles." They're handing it out to 10,000 people in LA and are going to publish it in their November issue online and may include it in their anthology coming out in Spring. I did include my name and town at the bottom because it seemed necessary. If I hadn't put any name would have been a cop out. Now, however, I'm hoping that no angry LA folks come up here trying to rough me up. I was honest in my thoughts, but not always flattering.

...Presently there are fourteen hip people from Australia at my house. They are muscians, which, like writers, are my favorite kind of people. It's hard to dislike Australians, even if you wanted to, because they have that accent. Vegamite, however, provides a case for distain. That stuff looks like gelled motor oil and smells like anchovies.

...This is really good: "The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, and it smells good. Writing is mere writing, literature is mere. It appeals only to the subtlest senses--the imagination's vision, and the imagination's hearing--and the moral sense, and the intellect. This writing that you do, that so thrills you, that so rocks and exhilarates you, as if you were dancing next to the band, is barely audible to anyone else."--Annie Dillard

Sunday, October 17, 2010

…I had my 200th story/poem accepted for publication this weekend. The first hundred took over a year, the second hundred only four months, and that was while writing a novel. To get my stuff published is both really thrilling and really humbling. I'm a guy who knew he wanted to be a writer when he was nine but didn't really, really pursue until he was, well, many, many years later. (Read "Terminal" here and you'll get it as that is a true story from my life.) I've always been insecure, and to put your writing out there--much of it personal or odd--to have it judged is daunting and scary. It is for me, anyway.

…I saw "It's Kind of a Funny Story" again today with my son and wife. I liked it just as much the second time. Zach Galifinakos is so brilliant, as is the kid in the lead, and even Emma Roberts rocks it.

…I started my new novel. The beginning is not as good as it should be, not as good as I thought it would be. What happened? I'm going to rework it before going on. Most instructional books about writing tell you to just put it all down before editing, but if you go back afterward and it reads like crap, won't you think, "Oh, man, this is absolute crap." and toss it? Seems as if I would. This book should be funny and fun and very readable. I see the story in my head and just need to paint it with the right colors and hues.

…It's funny to have so many friends that I've never met. Some of my best friends now are people I've never seen physically. I like writers a lot. I like readers a lot. My son says teens don't read. When I pointed out Twilight and Harry Potter he said, "Only teen outcasts read." I think he might have that wrong, though I do know that teen boys read less than any other demographic. My new book is a teen novel whose lead character is male. Should I worry? Well, there are girls in it, a love story streamed through out, as well as really fun, unusual and memorable (I hope at least) characters in it, so maybe a whole bunch of teen girls and their teen-feeling moms will read it.

…On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "not happy" and 5 being "very happy", 50% of men 50 years of age rated their level a 3 or lower. 20 year-olds rated themselves a LOT happier. I wonder what that means. It seems a little sad, if not tragic.

…On another note, I like this: "Beauty is the special province of the arts." -- Sean McDowell

Friday, October 15, 2010

…I have three new things up:
--a poem, "We Might Be" at Calliope Nerve
--a story, "Black Magic" at 52/250 A Year in Flash for their issue on The Brutality of Friends
--a story, "Hunger Strike" at Anastomoo for their Recession Poetics issue.
All are also here under "Words in Print."

…Yesterday was a good day. I wrote two stories, shipped them off to the cyber universe, and got them accepted in the same day. That seldom happens, but when it does, it's a nice morale boost.

…Today I start the new novel. I still don't have a title and it's not as tightly outlined as my last one, but I think I'm ready. If I don't start soon, I'll keep finding excuses to put it off.

…Oh, and now I'm an editor at the online lit magazine Metazen. It had always been one of my favorties, plus they've published four or five stories of mine. I'm excited about the new endeavor.

…"Why people want to be writers I will never know, unless it is that their lives lack a material footing." -- Annie Dillard

5 Tips To Polish Your Fiction
September 03, 2010
by G. Miki Hayden
Half the difference between what works and what doesn''t in fiction has to do with how the words are phrased. If you want to be a polished writer, remember these rules for smoother and more powerful writing.
1. Use appropriate and frequent paragraph breaks.
Readers want breaks. That''s why text is divided into paragraphs to begin with. A skillful writer can always find a spot to put in a hard return. If you can't, look again; you can so.

2. Use only one name for a character.
If the character, Ron Carpenter, is a doorman, call him either Ron or Carpenter, but not both. And be careful about referring to him as ''the doorman.'' Although that seems like a good substitute for the name that has been repeated so often, unless his occupation is more than clear, the alternation between name and job title can be confusing.

3. Choose entirely distinct character names.
Don''t name your two lead characters Stan and Steve. Sure the names are different, but readers can''t always track that fact—especially when they pick up the book three days later to read again.

4. Don''t use slang unless you clarify it.
I''m pretty well-read but when I came across the phrase "seven deadlies" with the assertion that they built to felonies, I thought this was a special law-enforcement phrase and not a way of referring to the Seven Deadly Sins.

5. Limit your use of possibly offensive language.
Reasons exist for characters to swear. But remember that, nowadays, most books are bought by women and many women don''t like swearing for swearing''s sake (even in gritty or naturalistic novels).

Monday, October 11, 2010

...I have two new stories:
--"Wicked Water" @ 52-250 A Year of Flash
--"The Musketeers" @ Retort Magazine
Both are also up here at "Words Under Print."

...Yes, it happened again. Another rejection from PANK. This time the electronic form letter. No, "I didn't get this poem" or "good job, but." I am not a quitter. On the contrary, I often should give up when it's clearly in my best interest. I have one more story in the well I'll try. It's a piece that feels PANK-like. If that gets tossed back, then I'll bow out. I do love the magazine and its writing. To me it feels different than most of the others out there. So, that's been my main impetus for trying. Plus it's the whole playing-hard-to-get/challenge thing. And Roxane is editor, so there's that. And in my initial rejections I got lots of positive feedback, which has fueled my drive to get in print there. But hey, if it's not to be, it's not. I understand that places like PANK get deluged with subs and I know that any particular piece might be good, yet not be fully aligned with a lit mag's asthetic. I get it, I do...

...Well, I saw "It's Kind Of A Funny Story" and loved it. I was happy to have just finished the book a week prior. Like "An Abundance of Katherines," (a fantastic read), "IKOAFS" is a teen cross-over novel. The movie was funny and dark and fun and odd. I had a blast. It's a little sad, however, to see that the new inane (granted I have not seen it myself) Katherine Heigl film opened a gazillion dollars higher. Doesn't seem fair. Anyway, go see "It's...Funny Story." You'll be glad. It's not just for teens or teens who read teen novels.

...I've been asked to write an open letter to the city of Los Angeles. How strange is that, right? Evidently they saw my writing and liked it. This so-called letter will be handed out to 10,000 people. (Holy crap!) And I can write about anything. This is one of the more unusual undertakings I've had and it has not been easy. When I'm done with the letter-thingy, I'll post it, so even if you're not one of the few pedestrians trundling the streets of LA, you can read it, too.

..."I don't think style is consciously arrived at, any more than one arrives at the color of one's eyes. After all, your style is you." - Truman Capote

Friday, October 8, 2010

...I have two new stories up:
--"Burial Music" @ Troubadour 21
--"Wicked Water" @ 52/250 A Flash a Year
Both are also here, under "Words in Print."

...I find I write about water a lot. I think it's because I live on a lake and much of the time I'm staring out at it. I wish you could see what I see. It's quite beautiful, no matter what the weather. Every day it has nuanced differences.

...I love Post-It's. I hope the inventor is a billionaire. I think he/she should have won the Nobel Prize.

...I like magazines. I think they're one of the best entertainment values around. I especially like Esquire, although I liked them more when they regularly/monthly published short stories.
They had a survery for men about random topics, but they split the two groups in those aged 20 years old and those aged 50 year old. Some of the answers were a little startling.
--In general older men are more pessimistic about the strength of America's future, they are half less likely to exercise than younger men, they nearly double younger men in their belief that gay marriage is wrong.
--Younger men are three times more likely than 50 year olds to say that divorce is NEVER an option and there are more 20 year olds who self-identi\fy as pro-life rather than pro-choice. Younger men more are more likely to wan their wives to stay home and take care of the kids.
--A full quarter of both age groups think Glenn Beck is the most trusted person to get their news from. (Honest, I'm not making this up.)
--And the last interesting thing was both age groups rated Clint Eastwood as the coolest man in America by almost the exact same margin.

...I spent yesterday submitting around and I wrote one small piece after I read an article on bullying. Here it is:

Black and Blue
for Hope Witsell

My lover has corduroy skin now, sea shell irises and feather-stuffed limbs that he swings around me as we slow dance on a night when my parents are out. If my brother catches me, he’ll be cruel like all the rest of them. He wouldn’t understand how precious you are, what a wonderful secret-keeper you are, not like my schoolmate who turned me inside out so that now there’s graffiti slurs written beside my name and places I can’t go without being spit on.
It’s a cheap road I’m taking, I know, I know. I don’t want anyone sad on my account, yet I didn’t choose to be here either.
I kiss my lover goodbye. I’ve knotted a string of mother’s scarves together. I tie one end to the canopy bed and one across my neck. I know I’m not a slut. I know I’m not a bad person, even if everyone else disagrees. God will take me in. His arms were long and warm, his voice soft and loving.
These are the visions I want to be true, the last things I tell myself before I leap.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

...I think one of my favorite sounds/things is hearing my kids belly laugh and being the cause of that laughter. Sometimes my kids and I will laugh so hard we'll cry. That's about as good as it gets.

...I was going to start the new novel today but, of course, I wrote a story instead. It's sad and somewhat biographical, yet I like it because the voice isn't mine--or rather, it's not my typical voice but one I might have had if my life had turned out different.

...I've been reading Young Adult novels, prepping for my enterance into that genre. A lot of YA novels really suck. I mean, suck as in loud, rumbling Hoover vacuum cleaner suck. It's tragic. What's with all the werewolves and vampire romances? I feel like a dope reading some of them, yet once I begin a book I always finish it. JK Rowling did wizards as art and kids got it.

...And then we have Stephen King, who wrote a lot of that stuff long beforehand. He didn't suck. He still doesn't suck. I know some haughty lit people might shout him down, but he's a craftsman. And prolific. He could write about a rabid dog or a possessed automobile and make you think it was true. These werewolf-vampire books out today are vapid. I think they condescend to kids.

...Speaking of Mr. King, I read his very fine book, "On Writing" a year ago and there are some wonderful insights in, many about writing, but many about life. Enjoy:

“When you’re still too young to shave, optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
“Life isn’t a support system for art; it’s the other way around.”
“You can learn only by doing.”
“Good writing is seduction.”
“Novels are really letters aimed at one person.”
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
“You’d do well to remember that were also talking about magic.”
“The closed door is your way of telling the world that you mean business.”
“Book-buyers aren’t attracted, by and large, by the literary merits of a novel: book-buyers want a good story to take with them on the airplane, something that will first fascinate them, then pull them in and keep them turning the pages.”
“If you don’t want to work your ass off, you have no business trying to write well.”
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
“Sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”
“I would argue that the paragraph, not the sentence, is the basic unit of writing—the place where coherence begins and words stand a chance of becoming more than mere words. If the moment of quickening is to come, it comes at the level of the paragraph.”
“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
“Fear is the root of most bad writing.”
“Paragraphs are almost as important for how they look as for what they say; they are road maps of intent.”
“Writing is refined thinking.”
“Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story
“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you re-write, your main job is taking out the things that are not the story.”
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”

“The reader must always be your main concern; without Constant Reader, you are just a voice quacking in the void.”
“Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
--Stephen King, “On Writing.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

...Being that it's Monday, I have another piece in at PANK for consideration. It's one of my favorite poems, "This Is Not A Love Poem." I hope it works.

...I get sad every time I hear Nick Drake. Today I listened to him and Eva Cassidy, two singers who died in their twenties and didn't get famous until after death. You should You Tube Eva's version of "Time After Time."

...I have a new poem coming out in The Camel Saloon middle of this month for a special version Russell is doing on the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's death. I don't know a lot about Jack, but he was quite witty. See what I mean by checking out these assorted quotes:

"Maybe that's what life is…a wink of the eye and winking stars."
"My witness is the empty sky."
"I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion."
"My fault, my failure, is not the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them."
"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life."
"I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you."
"What is the feeling when you're driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It's the too huge world vaulting us, and it's goodbye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.
"All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together."
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spider across the stars and in the middle you see the blue ceterlight pop and everybody goes, 'Awww!'"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

...I have two new poems:
--"Apples" at XENITH
--"Drowned" at Cynic Online Magazine
Both are also posted here under "Words In Print."

...I just saw "The Social Network." I can't stop thinking about it. I hated all the major characters. It's hard to like a film where you detest the main actors, which I think, in itself, says a lot. The movie really moved, too, never-a-dull-moment speed, almost as frenetically as Mark Zuckerman and the Napster guy speak. You should see this film. It's rare anymore to get a well done, riveting movie that addresses relevant/current issues in real-time history. You have to go back to the '70's with movies like "The China Syndrome" or "Silkwood."
...Next up is "It's Kind of a Funny Story," which is a book I'm reading that's been made into a film starring Zach Galifianakis, out this coming Friday. If it's bad, I will weep. I will cry buckets and streams.

...I'm not a fan of Oprah, nor of "The Harry Potter" franchise and JK Rolwing, though I do appreciate and admire what both women have done for reading. Anyway, "Oprah" was on the other day. She was not as annoying as other times--not as condescening and arrogant--interview JR and I was impressed with her love of writing, the craft, story-telling. She said she has to write every, that it's essential to her mental well-being. I can relate to that.

...Here's a closing quote from a great writer, but an angry man, George Orville:
"The great enemey of clear language is insincerity. When there's a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like cuttlefish squirting out ink.,"