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Acting accordingly

Wednesday 9/14/22

The op-ed and Beatles writings sections are up to date on the site.


When a writer begins talking about their agent, unprompted, for no reason, and tries to shoehorn the words "my agent" into a discussion, and all the more so when that's how they begin talking to you, know that that writer is attempting to overcompensate for their complete lack of ability and any honestly earned achievements. There are no exceptions to this, and there never will be.


I had a story from some time back. Two months ago, perhaps--a little less. I hadn't look at it since the morning I wrote it. Today I pulled it up and evaluated what I had, and then completed the work. It's called "Gummy Worms" and it is excellent. I did that experiment I do where I posted an excerpt on Facebook without saying where it was from, and sans quotation marks. People then read it, thinking it's me talking, and they are more likely to hit the like button, because it's not giving me credit for fiction I wrote.


It's very simple. Fiction is credit for skills and ability. There's no deflection. It's direct credit to a person, with no buffer. It says, "Wow, you invented this, it's amazing." It's a talent-based compliment. Full credit recognition.


People will not do that with me. Given that they think this is some post about something I've observed, they'll express approval for that, because they're crediting that thing, not my skills and imagination.


I am not saying this is everyone everyone. Yes? So if one goes on Facebook or whatever and thinks "that's from a great new story from Colin," I understand that people can know what's what and act accordingly. Perhaps you do. In which case I'm obviously not talking about you, right?


What I'm talking about is the most part. It's so predictable. Just like if I write a piece about Carnival of Souls or a book about Sam Cooke, people are more likely to give the credit to Carnival of Souls and Sam Cooke. They'll compliment that film and that singer. They don't want to give me the credit. It can be for different reasons. It can certainly be envy. It can be fear. They don't know how to approach me or talk to me. They view me as being on not just a completely different level from them, but from anyone they've ever known or know of. That shuts mouths. Seals lips. They can think that what they might say, and what want to say, couldn't possibly be "good" enough. Be worthy. Sound smart enough. This is true of just about everyone I know, and obviously it's true of strangers. It's true in publishing, where unique ability breeds unprecedented envy and animus.


I worked on a story called "Carlyle," which I began in December. I was probably working on it on Christmas, which of course I spent alone. Different stories take different amounts of time. I began the long piece on Miles Davis's On the Corner. I worked some more on the story "Museum Worthy." It's very close to done. 3100 words long. The range of those three stories. The range of the protagonists. They're each third person, though.


The schema of protagonists in "Museum Worthy" is quite sophisticated. It's the bleeding woman, yes, but also Hovan and Jenkins. Sometimes they're paired, and sometimes they're not. They both have separate thoughts and share thoughts. And the art on the wall is a kind of protagonist, too. The way the story opens up into both of Hovan and Jenkins' individual lives is surprising. We're not expecting that. It's a story to discuss. For the class to talk about and have this great class such that when the bell rings people still want to say something else, and they don't want to leave. Or they don't even notice the bell. It's that kind of story.


This is last night's radio segment in which I discussed an episode of Gunsmoke about baseball, baseball's rule changes for 2023, the Yardbirds' 1966 single, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," a Bob Dylan soundboard tape from Atlanta in 2002, and my return to the Bunker Hill Monument. I'm just going to say this, because it's obvious and it's not some self-aggrandizing assertion to say something this obvious, but it is a joke that I don't have my own radio program. A joke. There has never been anyone anywhere as strong as I am on the radio. And that is obvious. All of this is obvious. You know what else is obvious? That this is a post-ability world. Because everyone knows what I am in every area. And none of that matters, save that it makes things worse. I hear people on the radio making six and seven figures, and there is no one who thinks they are close in talent with what I do if we are played back to back. Just like there is no fiction in the world that anyone can put up against even just the three excerpts I posted on here today and think that there is any comparison. We can keep going. We can do this with every kind of writing and talking that there is. It is obvious. The radio is such a joke though. I listen to fools who can't even speak, let alone say something interesting and entertaining.


Walked three miles. Also, I haven't been updating this little tally enough, but Sunday marked 2261 days, or 323 weeks, without any alcohol.


Talked to my mom about taking care of herself. Getting exercise, drinking water, finding activities like driving to the beach for a walk and reading in a cafe. I care about her greatly, of course. I want to be able later to fly her out and have her be a part of my success, if it ever comes. I want her to be able to enjoy that, especially after all of these years of witnessing her son's hell. I gave my neighbor some input, too, on her English paper. I've let her in the last few days when she gets home from school, because she has no keys.