I had an essay on moving that was a mess--it must have been like 8000 words long. Diced it down today, to, I don't know, 3500 words. Along with five other pieces it went off to a venue. They really should take all five--which is only going to be a grand--but I know they'll take at least three. The other two are so viable, really tight pieces, so we'll see what shakes out, what I figure out insofar as other options go, if need be.
I tended to some matters with the short story "Acorn Caps," which was composed yesterday. One would not have noticed what I tended to, but I wanted to leave it overnight. Sent it to The Sun, where I am deeply detested. You saw the "Donkey at the Gates of Heaven" piece. I have received a lot of notes on here about how awful that story is, and asking if that was for real, or was I trying to make some point by creating an awful story? Look, there's the link. It's real. That's what they ran. Yes, it is that bad. That's why I put it up. "Acorn Caps" is another major one, but a short major one--ala "Jute." Short word count-wise, not life-wise. It's a kind of sequentials (it occurs in sequences) work, like my story "Sequentials" over at Conjunctions, but with more parts, and it ends on a continuation of the first part. As I said today on the email chain, it's "Sculptural. Precise and evocative. Highly imaginative and highly realistic. Very 'there,' and also elsewhere."
I had to send a marketing plan to Dzanc by this morning for If You [ ]: Fantasy, Fabula, Fuckery, Hope. They put a huge emphasis on comparing the book to other books out right now. They wanted me to do that with this book, by talking about new works of fiction that I like. I don't like any fiction I see right now. I don't think any of it will last, I don't think any of it has a role to play right here, right now, in our world. I think all of it is disposal, has no stakes, and is interchangeable. I don't believe there is a single book comparable to that book--or any book I do--and that to me seems like it's something you lead with as a strength, not that you view as a pejorative. I'm not going to make anything up. The range in Brackets is obscene ("Sequentials" is actually in it). You have like thirty stories in completely different styles and I don't even know how you can believe that one person wrote all of them. It's like literature's version of the White Album, if you want to do one comparable. But there it is. People try to sell with sameness. That's because most people just have similar versions of the same shit, and the people who do the selling fall into patterns, rather than employ vision, use some balls, some freshness.
I don't have similar versions of the same shit. Can't look at me the same way, can't market me the same way. So let's sell on the back of genius, innovation, uniqueness. (And also integrity and character in an industry without much of either.) A unique artist, a lightning rod, with a unique career, a unique track record, who is here for change and revolution, a person with this journal, even. Talk is backed up. Everything is backed up. So let's not pretend this is just yet another writer. Let's fucking go for some shit. And anyway, if you sit back with me, and hope that people are going to hook me up, shill for me, it is not going to happen, and I was explicit about that, too. That's just how it is right now.
There would be an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, and then Buried would sell a hundred copies. You could see the provenance. There was not one single review in the world for that book. That's how far this blacklisting goes. But people would see the op-ed, they'd like it, they'd see that book mentioned as the lone thing in my bio, they'd buy it. It's just one place. Take away the blacklisting, or when I get around it, and the sales will be constant. The visibility will go up and up. You have to know me, you have to know that this is not your garden variety writer or career, it helps if you understand that there is history being made here, and you have to have some vision. This can change any day, or it can go on for a while yet. But it is going to pay out. I am going to pay out. And then the cash cow will always be there for you.
I heard from Andrea, who I really like--she's good at things--and who is in the process of finding me a new webmaster. I gave her the bit of text from the back cover so that she could put Meatheads up on the Books page here. Don't have the links yet for purchasing, but should have them soon enough. The publisher wrote the text of the back cover--I had very little to do with it--and I think she did a great job.
I don't know why I look at social media. It really is the cancer of all culture. You see people that you know who do nothing, who are seemingly incapable of any action, any act of actual courage or sacrifice, lecturing some nameless, faceless, non-existent audience for their virtue signaling points. And you look at these people, and you know them, and you think it's almost a miracle that they can so much as draw themselves a bath. But there there are, these hollow digital tigers. They're fixing society, though. Right. When they can't even take a single honest look in a single bloody mirror. Or commit to anything that is hard. We are a society of grandstanders talking in cliches. Then we close the window, and we fucking watch Netflix.
Anyway. I have to go for a run now. It's hot, it was hot yesterday, I had sweat pouring out of my forearms. For whatever reason, my hands are clammy each day until I run, then they're fine, but it's gross. Oh--I also wrote a 2000 word piece on record stores. It's not fully done. It's mostly done. This is a TV Guide cover of The Golden Girls, which I like, because I just like The Golden Girls, and Dorothy looks like she is going to throw hands. Recently on Twitter, I asked people to rank the Golden Girls in order of who was funniest, but given that it was my account, all of one person weighed in. Let the record state that I would go 1. Dorothy 2. Sophia 3. Blanche 4. Rose, but that does not mean that I do not think Rose is funny, and she got in the best joke in the history of the program, when she was talking about how her husband died when he was having sex with her, but you could tell what was happening. Blanche asked how, and Rose said because he started yelling, "I'm going, I'm going"--rather, of course, than that he was coming. Pretty funny.