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Bit of a doozy

Friday 7/9/21

* I wonder what it feels like not to write for a week. Or a day.


* I've been frantically pitching. Desperate, desperate, desperate for money. I must have just sent out thirty things.


* It's all a club, though. From a letter I wrote to some people today which was mostly about a sociopath who stalks me, steals from me, gets their education from me, such as it is, and who wants to be me: "It just shows you that you can be the worst at writing, you can be insane, you can know nothing, and if you get the email address of these people, lick them, praise them, suck up to them, they're so stupid, so incompetent, so fake, so sick and broken themselves, that you can actually get in fairly easily. BECAUSE NOT A SINGLE THING IN THIS INDUSTRY HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH WRITING WELL SAVE THAT WRITING WELL WILL HURT YOU."


* I'm not an all caps kind of guy. And yet, in this case, there it is.


* The News and On air sections of the site are updated. Little else is remotely close to being up to date.


* I wrote a short story today called "Orange Buddies."


* So, this week, I wrote seven full short stories, the bulk of a chapter in the Beatles book. A hundred letters, did the radio, did these blogs. A lot of head work was done on "Up the Sea" and "Captain Enclave."


* I sent a nice Halloween idea to JazzTimes. And I have the perfect Halloween idea for other places pertaining to Edith Wharton's ghost stories, which they'd assign to any hack-slob who can't write, but they won't so much as write me back, because I'm the devil to them. Sent that to some people.


* You should have such an advantage if you know anything, because these people know nothing. They don't have a single subject they know about. You'll see some MFA wank-writer who praises other MFA wank-writers do some hack-y MFA wank-writer piece in BookForum for a hundred bucks, and do you think they know anything about anything in this world? Any subject? Or do you think they just stroke other wank-writers? Rot their already limited brains by staring at MFA-wank? Of course that's all they do. And if that person is going to write a short story, what can they possibly put in it? Do you realize that you have to know everything to write fiction? You have to know how people are. You have to know art, film, music, literature, sports. How the world is. You have to be able to pull from so much. And the details you have to provide as you make these worlds--those details come from all kinds of worlds if you're any good, because that's how the world is. You think these people know? When all they do is rub-and-tug their awful little cronies? You think they know anything about anything? Then it's just slopped in because of the connection. Because one freak likes another freak (which really means, recognizes the sameness). I've lived this for twenty-five years. Twenty hours a day. No days off. And that's all this is. It's such a joke that you can't even take it vaguely seriously even as it kills you as it is killing me. And let's say you were someone who was, I don't know, a white male, and you were sixty, and you worked all your life to get better at writing. And you were born with a real gift. And finally you had time to start doing some work, and it was great. You'd have no chance--I'm laughing as I write this--in having any of these places take your work. You'd have a better chance swimming to Saturn by noon tomorrow. You'd just have absolutely no chance. They wouldn't even look at you. You'd have to be in such denial, and so stupid, to think that anything in publishing is about how well anyone writes. If you're actually in publishing at all. You'd have to be crazy, so arrogant--and deep down, so insecure--and just totally oblivious to reality.


* And look at the hack-shit they pitch. It's just such basic Betty imbecility. That a hundred other simple nimrods pitch. So then the preferred nimrod is picked. But what are you going to do? Pitch this brilliant music thing no one else would come up with? Ha. Come on. No bloody way. People don't know anything. If you know something, you should be at such a huge advantage, because everything is just so much hackneyed slop and you can make a fortune by actually having new stuff that is not the same old crap. The shit that I read in "fancy" magazines has no more substance or creativity than the asinine conversation I hear two people have next to me at the Starbucks. And no, it's not, "well, they capture the voice of the people." Spare me. It's none of that bullshit. It's a total paucity of imagination, knowledge, intelligence, writing skills, and having anything in the brain about a subject that the slob on the street doesn't have. But you just know the right people. And have a fistful of silver spoons sticking out of your gob. That's 100% all it is. I could not say a more truthful thing. That's everything this is. It's nothing else.


* I need to start naming more people on here, including "big fish," and getting after it. I've taken too much, been far too generous, because I don't want to be someone who destroys someone, ends their career. And I just want fairness for my work, for myself, and to move forward. But I've had enough. I've experienced too much, dealt with too much, and I know too much. I need to show more of it. Show it to bosses when need be. Their letters that show their bigotry, their sickness, their insanity, their theft, their threats. If you are one of them, I don't want to be doing it. Do the right thing before it's too late. I'm obviously a deeply kind, nice man. Anyone who reads this sees it. Anyone who listens to the radio hears it. Anyone who sees something like that letter the other day that I wrote to that child--which is typical of me--knows it, understands it. Do the right thing. Just do the right thing. Stop with the bullshit. You know exactly what you're doing. It's so fucking obvious.


* Moving on.


* Tuesday on Downtown I'll talk about the Dead's Skull Fuck album, which is marking its fiftieth anniversary, the Robert Mitchum version of Farewell, My Lovely, the first five-part Johnny Dollar episode, why you shouldn't stick the word "however" in the middle of a sentence and other writing tips, and my least favorite sports, which I'm sure Kimball will have something to say about as a subject on his end.


* The Dead's "Bertha" is just about the perfect live song. You can embellish it in all of these cool ways, depending upon the mood/vibe of the night. It was the song that first hooked me on the Dead, just like "Sugar Spun Sister" was the song that hooked me on the Stone Roses all of those years ago.



* My bad--it's a little bit later. I feel like I did something so special and significant to "The Last Slip." An off-hand comment inspired something in me, and then there was this big eureka moment.


* From a letter about this story: "The story is intense, and a lot occurs in it--both in the present, and the past--but the central construct is that of a mother who will lose her children if she takes a drink that she seems she's going to take. We're told via implication, and through other methods, what has gone on in her past, and the family's past, and the story becomes a battle. A form of war.


"A word on the title. It's three-fold. The story does a lot with the idea of grading something--sports cards, for instance--and also the qualification of a grade. Very good to excellent. Gem mint. Etc. So, we have a half slip, playing on this qualification idea, and that manner of liminal, in-between qualifier. Too, we have the idea of an actual half slip--like a half fall. It's not a full fall. And, further, we have the clothing of the half slip. Where is this? It's out of view, yes? It's not meant to be seen. This is happening out of view. It's not meant to be seen--or she doesn't want it to be seen. This battle. And how close she is to losing this battle. Which also wouldn't mean--or might not mean--what one could easily presume."