Showing posts from December, 2004

Written In 30 Days: Fifty Thousand, Four Hundred Eleven Words.

In fact, I hit the fifty thousand word mark before midnight last night. Thanks for issuing the challenge, Mr. Baty. Now I can stop hating your guts for planting the notion in my mind. Six hundred words a day — that’s all I’m really good for. Hence, all my future novels shall have, at the least, sixty or ninety day deadlines. Though, a real, tangible deadline is definitely the key. So, in addition to the most words I’ve ever crammed into a single Word document, this year’s accomplishments include: Writing a lousy play about a girl who dates a serial killer — and she is entirely OK with it. (I’ll post the three remaining awful, awful scenes soon.) Starting and abandoning too many blogs to count. Beating the shit out my Dell PC; then buying a Dell laptop — and resisting the urge to beat the shit out of it every other time I turn it on and something else stops working that worked fine the last time I turned it on. Performing in two FUN, FUN, FUN shows. Rekindling old friendships and es

One Thousand, Nine Hundred Eighty-Nine To Go

And, thus far, what’s been learnt? That I can’t write a “novel” in thirty days. At least, not a vaguely autobiographical novel about people and places I knew twenty years ago. Instead, I’ve embarked upon this (at last count) 175 paged self-guilt trip through history and fantasy. Yeah, I thought it’d be noble. One early page of notes reminds me to: Write your pain. Write your embarrassment. Write your regret. And I have. And that is why the Word document is password protected, and will likely never see itself, at least, in its current incarnation, in any printed form. Though, forty thousand words in, I may have finally found my plot. One more thing, if you’ve read the “These Two Ever-Present Scraps” post, then you’ve read an excerpt. I’ll probably post other cleaned-up excerpts in the future.

The Nurse Was Cute, Too.

Christmas Eve, the seven of us were playing Scattergories in Sam’s hospital room. Sam — who is about our age, and who pumps iron (minus the illegal enhancing you-name-it) like Arnold Schwarzenegger did when he was about our age — got several feet of intestine cut out of him last week. And, from the infection and the surgery, he looks about as beat up as Arnold Schwarzenegger did at the end of Terminator 2 (I embellish, a bit). Anyway, Scattergories. The letter was: I. Two minutes (or however not-enough time it was) to come up with all these things that had to begin with the letter: I. Number seven on the list: “Things you replace.” I wrote down, and even spelled it right, “Eyeglasses.” Because I really need to replace my own pair. What I had done, I did not realize, not until JC asked what I put down for number seven; and not until the word came out of my mouth, “Eyeglasses,” and everyone started splitting their guts. Yes, even Sam had to hold (what was left of) his in. You know how r

These Two Ever-Present Scraps

After the remark about movies (and all of Art) serving only as fodder for conversation, I (years later) found, as a response, something that Thornton Wilder wrote. Because, you see, after Dad’s insult, it became my mission in life to find how art mattered beyond simply a diversion for afterward surface discussion — that is, beyond, “Oh, I loved the set, the pretty costumes, the superb acting, the clever writing,” etc. Wilder wrote: “The response we make when we ‘believe’ a work of the imagination is that of saying: ‘This is the way things are. I have always known it without being aware that I knew it. Now in the presence of this play or novel or poem (or picture or piece of music) I know that I know it.’ It is this form of knowledge which Plato called ‘Recollection.’ We have all murdered, in thought; and been murdered. We have all seen the ridiculous in estimable persons and in ourselves. We have all known terror as well as enchantment. Imaginative literature has nothing to say to tho

This Weather?

It’s not cold enough . And what I really love is how it cracks my skin regardless of how much Lubriderm I smear on. Honestly (though I am honest about the blood-cracked-through knuckles), what’s great about the winter is LESS NOISE, no bugs, and less crime. And, with the snow, all the drivers around me are forced to drive the speed limit with me. Finally. Assuming you’re not homeless, you can always come in from the cold. Air conditioning, however, when outside is 90 plus, is not required by law. Also, I love my blue jeans, my heavy leather coat, and my long black overcoat made in England. These things don’t show how chubby my tummy is, or how scrawny my arms and legs are. I feel much tougher, cooler, and richer wearing these things. Also, everything that’s seemingly not religious (but more correctly ritualistic ) about Christmas — the lights, the music, the parties, all those old Holiday TV specials, the sales, the gift giving — bring it on! (Yes, I don’t watch them any more — the

“HE” Gaveth Thee A Lemon

Why is this body falling apart so young? The hearing — like cotton balls smashed all the time into my eardrums. Across the eyeballs, flashes and streaks — like my very own, personal, spur-of-any-moment Fourth of July fireworks. (Only, I DEMAND my money back for this lousy display.) And, inside my skull, dripping (always only on the left side) — like rolling beads of sweat, but on the wrong side of my skin. At least I’ll leave a fairly ship-shape corpse. That is, on the outside. The autopsy, I imagine, will be a funhouse of surprises for the coroner.


get a life. so you can write about it.

Christ, What A Wuss Am I.

Two half cups of glogg; one nearly full glass of merlot, and — WHOA — good morning, hangover!

Please Keep In Mind

Dressed like that , it’s REALLY HARD to maintain eye contact.

A Reminder.

“There’s always a bigger fish.” —Qui-Gon Jinn


This is totally true, and completely unrelated to yesterday’s blog entry… So, for the hell of it, I just did an Amazon search on my stepdad — the sometimes salable author/screenwriter — and what do I find? A long out of print book on group sex! I kid you not! I know it’s my stepdad’s because I also know the co-author of this same book. And let me tell you, my stepdad is one of the reasons I’m so uptight! WHAT THE FUCK??? The short name of this book? The Groupsex Tapes.

And Another Thing

Instead of, “I’m all right. How are you?” I want to say, “Tell me about the orgy. Be specific.” Add to that, “And why wasn’t I invited ??? ”

A Preference.

I’d much rather NOT lose my mind in increments.

Stalwart Nature

Golden leaves still cling to the pair of trees flanking the mouth of our driveway. This is so even after the first two snowfalls of the season. Up and down the street, the rest of the trees stand bare-branched, and envious.

It’s Been Scientifically “Proven”

Live it up, ladies, ‘cause, one day, men will be as obsolete as the rotary phone. Perhaps, they already are. (If nothing else, boys, it’s the ever weakening Y-chromosome that’ll someday do us in.) Fine. Good . No more dicks, nor balls. Nor hairy backs, either.

Thirty-Six Thousand, Six hundred Ten To Go

Looks like some of you are making an appearance in my roughest of rough drafts, after all — but mostly in a fictional form. For example, that Murder Mystery night goes much worse than it did. Not that anyone gets killed. In fact, everything, ultimately, works out for the best. Really, so far, you folks are only making cameos. And, sorry, but most of you will probably be cut from the first revision. Not that your characters in my book are doing a bad job, they just don’t really belong in this story. And, OH, what a mess I'm making! Hemingway said it: “The first draft of anything is shit.” My creative toilet of a Word document is overflowing with it.

Ciara Ann

Mom leans the baby niece at me. “That’s close enough,” I say. “Why?” she asks. “What do you think will happen?” A pause. Then, I deadpan, “It’ll explode.” Mom leans the baby niece in closer. “Five, four, three, two…” I plug my ears, squeeze my eyes shut; pray to Almighty God: Please, please for an end!

Forty-Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred Eighty-Eight To Go.

Today, I commenced upon the quest for a 50,000 word novel in thirty-one days. So far, it’s leaning toward the autobiographic. But don’t worry, you won’t be represented in this one. Don’t know if I can swear to that for the next one. If there is a next one. This is my promise: Barring some debilitating catastrophe, if I can’t meet the 50,000 word deadline by 11:59 P.M., December 31, I’ll hang up my writing cap for good — no, I’ll burn it. If I don’t make it, I’m going back to school to learn something practical. Like plumbing. Like tractor-truck driving (growing up, “BJ And The Bear” was one of my favorite TV shows). Or, like hotel-motel management. Or, I hear Halliburton’s still hiring. That’ll be good money and something to write home about. If I survive. So, if I’m not here for a while, it means I’m too busy banging out the day’s word quota.