Ran three miles, walked five. I have a version of "Shed" with a different ending and also a different title. Alternate. Options. I can do anything with words now, anything I damn please. And I think that is ultimately what will result in me beating these people. This isn't arguing if Chekhov or Gogol is better, this is '93 Michael Jordan v. nursery school students--but nursery school students rammed through with prejudice, a classism fixation/obsession, envy, and pretension. You can say anything you wish about their work and it is not possible to mount a defense, and I can say anything I want about mine, because it's obvious that's what it is. I make no false claims one way or the other. And they can't hurt me more than they already have. I am still publishing constantly, and I am getting better every day. And if you can't hurt me more than you already have, there is nothing you're going to do when I say the truth about your work and/or how you run your operation. You don't have a blog to take it to, you're too lazy, you can't produce the words, you're not smart enough, you don't have the track record, and you're not going to take me on mind v. mind because I will splay you open. So it's a matter of keeping going, staying healthy, and keeping going some more. But I am starting to think these people are going to need me a shit ton more than I'm going to need them. You're going to see more venues wiped out by this coronavirus pandemic. (Later, Playboy. They would have had a chance to carry on if they had published "Fitty," because "Fitty" would have exploded there and been its own story. But hey, bigots, well done. Three editors there deserve their own separate blog post, but I'm saving that one for a little bit. I want to put it up after a certain thing happens first.) And eventually, no matter how obtuse most of these people are, some of them are going to realize that you can't just keep shoveling the same bad, meaningless shit at people, you can't keep doing the same thing that is destroying your industry. Because more and more people in it are not going to have jobs and there is not going to be anyone to save their ass and hook them up any more. And I am right here, because I am not killable. And I am getting stronger as an artist every day. I am truly going to outlast these people. My future grows, and their windows, such as they are, such as they ever were, close noticeably each week. You can't just keep shoveling Laura van den Berg, Lydia Davis, George Saunders, and all of this crap at the world. It all sucks. No one truly wants it. The awards in this business, the all-but-paid for puff reviews, it's all bullshit, none of it is real. Time for a change. Time for a change if you want to last. I am that change.
Week round-up: Two short stories--"Shed" (4300 words), "Sleepies" (1500); Pepys essay (2000); radio appearance; Tom Brady op-ed (700 words); ten blogs (God knows how many words); JazzTimes McCoy Tyner feature published.
Ready to do better next week?