Sunday, December 28, 2008
It is VERY similar to my screenplay. I think if I completed my screenplay and it was filmed, this would be the worst possible version of it.
So I guess I have lost interest in writing this screenplay. I was writing it as an exercise, but I was still hoping that it might end up being good and it might end up being sold. My mother has crushed my dreams. I sort of wish she didn't tell me about this awful movie until I had finished the screenplay. Then I wouldn't have lost the inspiration to complete it. And although I couldn't sell it, at least it would still exist. I have wasted a lot of time. Fuck Hollywood for creating the shittiest version of what could have been a great movie.
Now I have another idea for a movie. It is a secret. The zeitgeist cannot steal it from me. Fuck the zeitgeist. Happy birthday. All of your ideas have been devoured by giant worm retards.
I wrote a review of Sam Pink's Yum Yum I Can't Wait to Die. It was for Noo Journal: www.noojournal.com/view.php?mode=1&issue=nine&id=173
I thought I knew what I was talking about while I was writing about it. But then I tried to find examples to prove what I was saying, it felt like I was talking out of my ass. Mike Young said it was ok.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Go read Carlton Mellick III's story, "Candy-Coated." It is in the new issue of Vice. It is online. It is a very good story. I saw Carlton Mellik III read this story. He is a better reader than you are.
Madelyn Burgess, who is supposed to be "the girl who tells you which register to use at Whole Foods over the PA," also reads it online. I don't think I've ever heard her voice before. I usually go to Whole Foods in the morning. It is not busy in the morning. I like the way Madelyn Burgess says, "laydaaays." Madelyn Burgess's voice is more calming than Carlton Mellick III's. Carlton Mellick III also has a story in the upcoming Bradley Sands is a Dick anthology, as do many others who are not named Ryan Call.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The electricity on my cart just went out.
It just went back on.
I am reading a book called The Art of Seduction. I am embarrassed that I am reading it. I am reading it because I LOVED the author's first book: The 48 Laws of Power. I am reading it because my hymen has grown back.
Someone needs to write a book called How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed if You Are a Recluse and Only Leave the House to Go to Work and You Are Afraid of Women Who Use the Internet for the Purpose of Meeting Men Because That Shit Is Highly Suspect. I would buy it. I once wrote a flash story called "How To Get Beautiful Women into Bed" (and a zine called Olympus Found published it), but I would be breaking a lot of laws if I followed my own advice.
The next issue of Bust is filling up fast. Maybe one or two slots left. This NEVER happens. Maybe I will have a few months to "chill." Maybe I would make Bust quarterly instead of bi-annually if I could spare the cash. But I cannot. Although I am a very wealthy man, there is a limit to the amount of money that I'm willing to spend on publishing literature that excites me.
I'm flying back to the states on February 2 to do a reading in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Dire Reading Series.
(Don't read this unless you're Mike Young: It is on a Monday instead of a Saturday as I had originally thought. My housemate does not know if he can drive. I hate driving in the city, so I will not. It is not during AWP.)
I am going to start working on my novella (TV Snorted My Brain) again. It has been too long since I worked on it. I have not worked on a proper book since June. I am no longer waiting to work on it. I am excited. I think it might result in a short novel rather than a long novella.
I will probably wait until I have a day off from selling Whatchamacallits to incredibly wealthy men. It's sort of a ritual/excuse to be lazy of mine to wait until I have a day off before I start on anything major. In the meantime, I will reread what I've written so far to get back into the voice of the protagonist. I also need to edit a synopsis for a comic book submission.
I am writing the novel for a specific company. I hope they like it. If they don't...
I wish there were more options for me as far as submitting my books for publication.
What I write is not literary fiction. It is not genre fiction. It is not experimental fiction.
It will probably be too short for a glitzy NYC publisher because glitzy NYC publishers rarely publish novels under 300 pages.
The small press is an ideal place for short books. The small press tends to specialize in literary fiction and genre fiction and experimental fiction.
Lately, I have been writing entertaining, humorous, absurdist, surrealist stuff. I guess "fucked up commercial fiction" would be a good description of it. Or Bizarro Fiction.
I guess it is a little similar to the works of Christopher Moore or Jasper Fforde. But not really. And those guys write long-ish stuff. I think I would like their books better if they were short-ish. I think I would like most books better if they were short-ish. Most novels published by ritzy NYC publishers seem to have dull filler so they can meet the ritzy publisher's 300 page requirement. Take a page count from a novel and subtract 200 from it. This is often how many pages need to be cut before the book is a decent read.
On second thought, I've gone a little overboard. I blame my tendency to write books that are 200 pages or less. I think 300 page books are usually ok. Anything more=too long.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
i forgot that i made sam pink a character in the shitty novel that i was working on and am not working on anymore
"Hi, Grover," said Sam Pink. "I am going to knock out your teeth and then pile them on top of each other. Then I am going to climb up your teeth and sodomize the man in the moon. He will finally have something to smirk about. His anus blood will rain down upon the Earth. Crops will grow at a rapid rate. They will all be shaped like my bowel movements. When people eat vegetables, they will be eating bowel movement shaped-vegetables. The bowel movement-shaped vegetables will explode out of their stomachs and do snazzy dances. The shape of my bowel movements in the form of vegetables shall inherit the Earth." He made a retarded face. "Did you like my poem? If you didn't, I will cum on your pet armadillo."
Grover said, "No, Sam Pink. I didn't like your poem. I hate you, Sam Pink.
Sam Pink said, "Why aren't you in school, Grover? Want to watch cartoons?"
Grover didn't answer him. Instead he knocked out Sam Pink's teeth, piled them on top of each other, climbed up them and sodomized the man in the moon. Then the man in the moon's anus blood rained down upon the Earth, causing crops to grow at a rapid rate, shaped like Sam Pink's bowel movements. People at the vegetables and the bowel movement-shaped vegetables exploded out of their stomachs and did snazzy dances. But the bowel movement-shaped vegetables did not inherit the Earth because the U.S. Army took their asses down before their dying uncle could bequeath the Earth to them in their will. And Grover walked home.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Issue #8 demonstrates why this journal has been hailed as the figurehead publication for absurd and surreal literature. Throughout these pages readers will find a man with an endless supply of money in his pockets, a nun who finds teeth in her ice cream cone, and a giant mechanized Michael Ironside stalking the streets of Galveston, Texas. Readers will also find the apocalypse as experienced by the cast of Friends and a race of chickens that enslaves a man and forces him to eat the last egg ever to be eaten. No one theme or tone dominates this issue. Some stories feature mindless violence or irreal nonsense. Others display sharp cultural satire or brain-tingling wordplay. At a time when most fiction serves up the standard fare of realism and common sense, issue #8 offers a zany feast for the ravenous imagination.
Includes stories by Sam Pink, Blake Butler, D. Harlan Wilson, Rhys Hughes, Ofelia Hunt, Cameron Pierce, Mike Young, Matthew Simmons, Darby Larson, Aaron Sitze, and Adam Breckenridge. Contains book reviews of Duncan Barlow''s Super Cell Anemia and Jeremy C. Shipp's Sheep and Wolves .It costs five bucks plus shipping. Do it. Do it. Do it.
There's a few story excerpts that you can check out on the webpage.
Submissions are open again. Do it. Do it. Do it.
Now I need to do some hardcore internet promotion. I have not done any hardcore internet promotion since last year. I do not look forward to it. I hate hardcore internet promotion.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Luckily, Whatchamacallits are a delicacy in Vietnam and only rich warlords can afford them.
I am a very wealthy man.
I am trading Whatchamacallits for nuclear missiles and trading the nuclear missiles for white slaves from impoverished countries.
I am also now a Vietnamese citizen. I gave a Whatchamaccallit to a corrupt government bureaucrat and he gave me a citizenship.
Life in Vietnam is simple, pleasurable, and highly profitable.
Mike Young was supposed to visit yesterday, but his plane was hijacked by flying monkeys. Not real flying monkeys. Actors who were supposed to have played flying monkeys in the new Wizard of Oz remake before the Hollywood system decided the world would be a better place if they stopped remaking movies and started paying screenwriters to write stories that are 90% rehashed movie and 10% new material.
Mike Young is either in Oz or on the bottom of the Atlantic, having developed superhuman gill-like attributes. If so, you may send care packages to him at the following address:
Last night, I attended a film festival showing American-made movies about Vietnam. There was a big protest outside. The Vietnamese people were unhappy that all the American-made movies about Vietnam were about the war. They took hostages. I escaped in my Bat Mobile. I always wanted one of these things. Its tires feed upon the blood of the disgruntled.
New from the home front:
TTB was caught contributing to the corruption of the youth of America. He has been fired.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Yes, I'm really in Vietnam.
It is dangerous here.
Decades ago, the VietCong set up bear traps and hid them beneath VietCong feces. The VietCong are tricky.
I haven't stepped in one of these bear traps yet because I know what VietCong feces looks like. But I like to have a picnic next to a bear trap and wait for people who look mean and point and laugh when they step in the bear trap. I also make a sad face whenever a person who looks nice steps into it.
The VietCong strategy was for their VietCong feces to infect the wound so their victim would have to get their leg amputated. This was back during the time that I like to refer to as Nam'. Now, all of the VietCong feces is an antique and can be sold on E-bay for like twenty bucks a pound. It is so old that it no longer causes infections, but it is not yet prehistoric, so it is still really gross to have slathered all over your bloody leg.
Getting caught in a bear trap can still cause your leg to become infected. But at least you stand a chance if you get to a hospital ASAP. Like if you gnaw off your leg and bring it to the hospital to be sewn back on. Your leg will never become infected if you gnaw it off. Vietnam has some excellent hospital seamstresses.
Mike Young says he's visiting me on Friday. I will try to help him avoid the bear traps.
If anyone wants to send me a care package, please use the following address:
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Why are you interested in working at the Bronx Zoo?
Because that is the first place I ever hid in a bathroom stall and blew out a mouthful of all-kool-aid-vomit through a harmonica and let the harmonica-spray hit my feet.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am currently interested in things like filling my mouth with all-kool-aid-vomit and then blowing it through a harmonica onto my feet in a public bathroom at the Bronx Zoo.
If possible, I would also buy a wax dolphin like the ones they sell at the Brookfield Zoo because I enjoy throwing those at the ground and stepping on them.
If I contacted your former employer, what would he tell me about you?
My employer, he or she would say, "Yeah, he's a pretty good person who we employed at this location, but he had a habit of leaving work to like, blow a mouth of kool aid vomit through a harmonica onto his feet in a public bathroom like some place such as the Bronx Zoo. He also calls off of work with excuses like, 'it was too soon after the last time being there' and 'it is the first anniversary of me deciding to declare an anniversary before work'. But definitely hire him, he is a great hugger."
What is your greatest strength?
Sitting completely still on my couch listening to the fridge and feeling like a very special person.
What is your greatest weakness?
Any of the ways another person could manipulate my body to result in death.
Can you tell me about a time you had a problem with an animal and what did you do to alleviate the problem?
The only animal I experience currently is my roommate's cat. When I sense that the cat is about to misbehave, I pick him up and rock him back and forth and also I make up songs for him and sing the songs while I am cradling him. There is no living creature who can escape my infinite love.
Do you have any questions for me?
Yes I do:
Bradley Sands, aside from eating ass, which is your main pursuit, how do you spend your time?
When I am not enjoying the sensation of having my ass eaten by you, I watch my family and friends on surveillance cameras, hoping to catch you in the act of attempted murder.
Oh no way! Awesome. So, let's say you are not eating ass, and instead you go to get some fuel for your car. How do you resist filling each of your pockets with gas and lighting your pockets on fire and then just standing there?
When I am not enjoying the sensation of having my ass eaten by you, I think about my family and friends and how I wouldn’t be around any longer to protect them against you.
Good answer, Bradley! Can I just cut some skin off your skull a little? Open your mouth and let me throw a rock at the back of your throat. Why are white people necessarily evil and what is the best way to kill the white people?
Yes, yes, chlorine in swimming pools, forcing them to ingest a change purse of pennies and lit firecrackers (although this would not work on my family and friends).
I hadn't even thought about it like that! I am impressed by your answering ability. Did you have anything to ask me?
Why are you so damn hard to kill, Sam Pink?
I am hard to kill because every time someone tries to hit me or kill me I put my hands over my eyes and then I disappear into that person.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Jason Moore: Let's get started with something that immediately struck me about your work. I'm talking about your use of poetic devices, poetic language in your fiction. How does your reading and writing of poetry inform your fiction?
Blake Butler: I began with writing by writing 'poems'. Some common freakshow over the Beats, in particular, Allen Ginsberg, who slammed me against the wall. I read his collected poems back to back several times when I was fat, and I got fatter before I got thin. I wrote a lot of shit through high school and into college, trying to get a computer science degree. I was, and still am mostly, an awful poet, when I think about writing a 'poem as a poem.' Though I think, with writing, because it all comes down to the word, to the arrangement of words, you have to be in a semi-'poetic' mode to say anything at all. Most of the time when I read narrative fiction now that is more about the 'story' or the developing of the character or the ideas inside it than it is about the way those perspectives are phrased, how each word rams into the other one by one to build sentences, if it does not feel syllabicaly deliberate, I can't continue. I think at best, whatever you are writing, there is a balance there of language and content that when strung & struck together in some unnamed balance, is where the shit is. 'The shit.' Often people spend too much time thinking I think about 'what it is' they are writing, rather than just letting words come out. Recent people who have rung my bell as master balance are Eugene Marten, Ken Sparling, Stanley Crawford, and most every day, William Gass.
JM: Right, William Gass. I love him. He said something about how too much contemporary fiction lacks a performance and auditory sense. He said he tries to write for the ear. Something to be heard. I see the same thing in your fiction. From editing/reading you I notice some times you will bypass the clear word or phrase to achieve a musicality. Do you agree with Gass? Do you think fiction should be written "by the mouth for the ear"?
BB: I think I write 60% out of just rhythm. Though for me, it's more a mouth in my head than in an out loud mouth, because when I talk I mumble, and even more often I just would rather think. Too, people are reading inside their head, and so I write mainly I think from some kind of tremor that is up there. I will leave or insert words that have no meaning that I could want to explain because of the way they come off when I hum them. Then, if I want to be a son of a fuck, I could go look again and affix a meaning or reason why those words are there, 'what they are saying,' though really, that doesn't matter to me as much, because there is always something there. I believe in saying something without knowing you are saying it, because anything I've ever felt I've really said were things I did not think about and had no idea why I was saying them. When I think about what I am saying, I usually say really stupid or obvious shit. My girlfriend makes fun of me for it. 'Oh that would be awesome.' I say. Or 'That sounds good.' I don't think it’s an accident when you don't know what you are saying. It is combination on a level that does not require even intuition.
In the book I read last night, Ken Sparling's DAD SAYS HE SAW YOU AT THE MALL, which is amazing, there is a line: "If you think you can say a word, tell a person a single word, without telling the person everything you know, you are wrong."
JM: Yeah, I have that same problem of saying obvious shit or completely boring things like "definitely" or "sounds cool." You can have all these complex thoughts but in certain situations they stay locked inside. I mumble a lot too. Maybe it has to do with that. Or maybe we are thinking too much about what we are saying.
But I want to get your opinion on something I once heard Jonathan Franzen say. He said experimental fiction limits literature's potential for mass readership and sends a negative message that "good" fiction is difficult to read. Being someone who likes to experiment with words and ideas, what are you thoughts on this?
BB: I don't care. Jonathan Franzen has never written a single word that said anything to me. So why does he need a big audience? What is essential about what he is saying that it should be spread into so many people? He's competing with the sitcom. I would rather say more to less people. I would rather say things to myself.
Most of the time when I write I am writing to no one. To nothing. I don't mean that as a misnomer, or as some sort of qualifier for why one thing is better than another. I would rather be saying something that no one can claim to understand than something that housewives can get cajoled into buying. The funny thing to me about the Oprah vs Franzen snafu was that he was right where he should have been. He just got coy. I would like to make Oprah throw up into a bucket. I would like to impregnate Oprah with paper and then induce the abortion.
At the same time, though, I don't think writing intentionally for shock or in babble or to 'be experimental' has much value either. Again, there's some kind of line there, like in the mash between narrative and language, in which you can completely disrupt people's heads while giving them something to suck on.
People talk too much about what things are supposed to be instead of making them into what they are, I think. Usually when I start bitching about something eventually I think I think I wish I had just shut my mouth and put my words into something else.
Good fiction doesn't have to be difficult to read, but if I understand everything you are saying, if my head doesn't get opened up, I might as well be renting DVDs or asleep.
JM: I was checking out something you've been working on for a while, 2500, a series of stories written in lists. I saw something like that in some Donald Bartheleme pieces. What drew you to that technique?
BB: I started writing the lists as something to distract myself from a bullshit job I had at the time. I came in one morning and my supervisor said 'Good morning' to me and I wanted to throw up on his desk but instead I went to my desk and started writing the first thing that came out of my head. In an office, waking first thing, the lists just came out naturally, and gave me an ordered system to write in fragments while I was doing other things for the job. I had read Barthelme's 'The Glass Mountain' before that but it wasn't on my mind at all: it was pure function. I wrote them in my Gmail browser so I could hide what I was doing.
But in general, I just love lists. I tend to think of everything I write in list fashion to some extent. It probably comes from having first wanted to try to make things after reading Ginsberg, who is a list master.
I finally just finished the 50th list in the series yesterday. I have some more to do fix-wise before I'm done with the fucker, but I am glad to have an end in sight. 50 lists turns out to be a lot.
JM: So what is your revision process like?
BB: I guess it depends on what I am working on, but probably not. I tend to revise a lot while I am writing directly, in that, at least, I am careful with how I phrase things as they come out. I like to make a good sentence the first time, and spend time on it, which is different than what a lot of the advice I got in writing school was. They say, "The first draft doesn't matter, just get it out." Which can work, but I think then you are setting yourself up for a fuckton of work and probably a lot of shit to wade through. I'd rather do it well the first time, and I think in the vomit-write method you end up with a lot of stuff that masks what you are really trying to do. So, even though I often end up writing really fast, I usually have at least a decent manuscript when I am finished.
After that, I read through the manuscript over and over, adding or deleting, until I feel like I can read through it without wanting changes. Of course, the longer you wait between drafts, the more you tend to see, but at least with what I've been doing lately everything is of such a specific mind that I like to try to get it finished in the same stretch. That's another revision rule I'm not crazy about, "Write something, set it aside, then come back and see what sticks." I think that method works with certain kinds of writing, but often I want something that comes out of who I am right then. I also tend to increase my word count through revision, as I find more holes and openings in ideas I left half-stranded on first pass. I like the idea of expansion, finding little tunnels into sentences, and worming them open, making more.
I read an interview with William Vollmann once where he talked about his idea of revision being that he takes a sentence, and packs more and more into it until it explodes the way a kernel of popcorn does, with all these other surfaces and edges to it, that weren't there in the original kernel. That always stuck with me.
JM: Insect imagery recurs throughout your work. Do insects have any special metaphorical significance for you? Do any particular themes or ideas fascinate you or run through your work?
BB: I hate insects. I don't think about insects in metaphor. I try not to think like that when I am writing. I've said 'crap' and 'crud' and 'dander' and 'foam' and other things of that nature quite a bit throughout the stories I've published in the last year, though I am trying now to move off of that. To force myself to use other terms. Though I like the idea of things recurring. I think everything I've ever written is connected in some way, even in a designed way to some extent. Though I try not to think about things like 'scope' or 'significance' or 'themes' when I am writing. Or ever really. Ever ever.
I am trying to stop writing about babies getting destroyed or eaten or ripped to bits but I seem to have trouble thematically disregarding that.
I like candy and bubbles too I think.
JM: I want to switch things up a bit and get into editing. You're editing a journal called Lamination Colony. How do you approach editing other people's work? What makes a good editor?
BB: With Lamination Colony, I mostly only accept things I don't have to edit for content. Meaning, I really only edit grammar and punctuation errors, etc. I don't think it is my job as editor to change what is said. In other words, I don't take a piece of writing if I am not willing to run it as it is submitted, line for line (though I guess in rare exceptions I have suggested very minor changes, or cuts that make it stronger). I'd say at least 9 out of 10 pieces though are left entirely unchanged. With other things I've edited I don't do this, but in the case of Lamination Colony, I think this is the way that works best. Too often things are edited down to remove their quirks or to smooth out things that don't need to be smoothed, usually in the case of clarity, but I like some lack of clarity here and there.
In certain circumstances, I've even left in grammatical errors that would throw the reader out of the text, because I like to throw a reader out of the text in some cases. For example, in Sam Pink's 'i clipped a random picture from an obituary ate ate it...', the last line is 'one of the first things you have to learn is how to ties your shoes.' Obviously that isn't proper english, but I like the way it comes off, and I like how it functions at the end of the piece, as a semantic ejection. Whether or not Sam did that on purpose, I don't know for sure, but I am going to believe he fully did, because I trust a text as it is on the page until I am given reason not to. I think it would much less funny without the 'ties.'
Editing is a funny business. In this particular journal's case, I say, 'Let the monsters live.'
JM: I agree, to an extent, about letting the monsters live. Too much clarity, especially in surreal or bizarre fiction, takes away a lot of the power. N.O Brown said that surrealism is a "systematic illumination of the hidden places and a progressive darkening of the rest." And of course most surreal poetry/fiction is full of so-called errors, and there isn't much in the way of clarity. Do you think clarity is overemphasized in contemporary fiction? Just look at all the how-to write books out there. They're mostly about achieving perfect clarity. It's kind of an obsession with them.
BB: I don't think it is clarity as a whole that is overemphasized necessarily. Clarity of text is important, though I think moreso in saying it the way it should be said rather than in clarity of meaning. There definitely is too much reliance on 'knowing what is being said' and 'what is human about this text, what is the experience of it.' People misinterpret the question of what is relatable to in a text for the way it creates parallels perhaps, but I think even obfuscation is human, probably more human that clear understanding.
I watched an Andy Warhol documentary the other night where he said something along the lines of how people criticize films because they are too irreal for life, but in those films the basis of an emotion is displayed in an actually jarring palpable way, a way you can feel, whereas most of real life, when things happen, it is flatline, it is deadpan, the moment comes and goes. If I wanted to experience a fiction that simulates those big emotions in definitively connective ways, I would watch a movie or TV.
I read mainly because I want to be pulled into something like what is there when I am asleep. And for the same reason I enjoy dreaming, I enjoy fiction that leaves itself unanswered, or an answer buried in it, not simply systematically embedded and orchestrated and answered in all ends, with a specific purpose, not fake tits.
JM: This morning I was reading something from James Hillman's Revisioning Psychology. He was saying that our dreams tend to produce the most distressing images--perversions and disgusting images, fantasies we tend to shy away from while awake. He said "the worst images are the best." Is this irruption of the unconscious similar to what you were alluding to when you said "I want to be pulled into something like what is there when I am asleep"?
BB: I think so. I like images that erupt more of what they are and their collision than something orchestrated by a human mind, with intent. That's not to say there is no authorial design in texts that leave things unanswered, but more that it is something the author was not necessarily fully of aware of during the creation. Writing, and by the same ticket, reading, should be a process of discovery for the author and the person experiencing the text, I think. You hear certain kinds of writers talk about how the act of writing and reading is a 'contract between the author and the reader, and when that contract is broken, all trust is lost.' That's an awful way to think about it, I think, and dangerous, and suffocating. In many ways I think the author is just a vehicle and the text is something altogether of itself, that it is the text creating the author and not the other way around.
Searching for a waking dream state is probably why I get out of bed at all.
And yet even the term 'dream state' gets used to ill ends, such as Gardner's concept of the narrative dream, in which if you ruin the contract, you have destroyed the story. So many of my dreams are so shocking and terror ridden in me distinctly because I am aware of what they are trying to do to me, and manner with which they construct walls that seem both made of parts of me I know and do not know. I guess that's where the collision of the creative state for me is: on some cusp. Because I only ever feel half awake in the first place. Because humans are meat.
JM: Gardner, to me, took a lot of the mystery, terror and soul from the term "dream". As if dreams come from some rational space in the mind where everything is known, easy-to-follow, well-lit. I don't know about you but my dreams aren't always "vivid" or "continuous." Have you had any interesting dreams you'd like to share?
BB: Exactly. 'Rational dreaming.' Jesus christ. I just got an ad in my email inbox from Narrative Magazine. How fitting.
As far as recent dreams, they haven't been as violent lately. Usually my dreams are fairly brutal and seem to last for many days. I think this comes out of my usual pattern of shitty sleep, which has gotten a lot better in the past month or so.
Here's a calmer dream I like from many years ago, from the dream journal I unfortunately no longer keep:
I'm in an evacuated shopping mall, walking along the rows of unlit stores with a baby who does not seem old enough to hold himself up, but who nevertheless is able to keep right in sync with my every stride. He saunters like an experienced cowboy.
Together we peer in through various store windows. Each one is filled three-quarters of the way full with a cloudy volume of water, and is weakly lit by florescent lighting that exudes from the back of store. If I concentrate hard enough I can make out the presence of figures that hover just above the floor in strange scuba gear. They hold stock-still and stare back at me with frozen disregard, as if they are trying to avoid being discovered by some presence.
Whenever we come to a pair of escalators, I stand and watch the baby ride up one, and then down the other. He grins with a mouthful of fully developed adult teeth and socks me in the gut every few minutes.
Here is one more typical of me: http://blakebutler.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-should-probably-keep-dickhead-dream.html
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Posted two minutes after I was emailed the acceptance. Immediate satisfaction.
Wish I knew the direct link since it probably won't be up on the main page for long.
Finished with all my MFA apps except one. Will mail out writing samples in the morning. One unfinished app needs tax return info. Not enough time to figure that out (since I'm at work) before I leave to go to the airport.
Applying to grad school=destroy
Will be traveling from 9 AM EST to 7:17 PM PST. I hate traveling. I will destroy. Going to Bizarro Con in Portland-ish Oregon.
This is the last time I will ever tell the truth (besides dull announcements about not dull things that get published).
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Seth Schultz has multiple personality disorder. He used to have two, until he killed one off with a chainsaw. He is writing a book about how to manage your money. It is called Mutant Money Management, I think. He was working on his memoir, but that was many years ago. It was called Mutant Memoirs. I think he might have lost interest in it. He was once the leader of his own cult.
Why do you enjoy being naked at parties?
It is part ego trip and part trying to get people to let loose. It's not about sex, or even seeing people naked. People are so uptight and trapped in our societal structure and parties are supposed to be a way to wind down. But even most "smash the system" people I know are too uptight and or insecure to get naked amongst friends and party goers. So when I'm the only person that does get naked I feel like I've out done everyone. Though I'd feel like I actually achieved something if I actually convinced any number of people at a party to get naked and wild.
Why are you writing Mutant Money Management?
I'm writing a book on how to manage money because most people I know don't seem to manage their money well. The long term goal is to convince enough friends to become financially stable enough to participate in a dream co-housing plan of mine. Or at least live with cool people who also have money to pay bills on time. Of course, by the time this happens everyone I know will be married and have kids. Because that's what humans do. They get bored, mate and breed uncontrollably.
The reason I'm presently not working on this book on managing money is because I'm a procrastinator, I hate the human race, and I think I have this strange fear of completing things. I would much rather start work on three other projects that probably wont be finished than work on this one right now. Also I've been playing the sequel to the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because gunfights with Russian speaking characters in radioactive landscapes is closer to what I wanted to be when I grew up than a writer.
The problem with inner piece is that you don't really give a shit if you die and don't leave anything amazing behind. Wait, is that inner piece or depression?
I'm not answering your question. I'm the interviewer. You're the fucking subject. You don't get to ask me questions. Especially questions that don't have proper answers. I'm on to your schemes. There are men in black suits watching outside your window.
How come you decided to write a memoir when you're not elderly, a former drug addict, a homosexual, or a former abused child? People who aren't elderly, former drug addicts, homosexuals, or former abused children aren't allowed to write memoirs. Also, when are you going to finish your memoir?
I'm writing a memoir because I'm not an abused elderly homosexual drug addict. Sure I suffered, but in a more common way, in a way we all suffer.
My first inspiration for writing a memoir was the whole "Mutant" thing. We are raised to be mediocre. Only by sheer accident does anyone achieve any form of real greatness. I've spent my life trying to understand the whole situation of social/intellectual mutation. I saw it happening when I was very young, but I didn't really know what it was or how to fight it. That can really screw up a kid.
I've spent most of my life alone. Trying to find out what a Mutant is and why we are what we are. As well as what it means to be a Mutant on a very personal level. I've gained many great abilities and learned how to find peers and allies. The work I've done so far has been received positively by the few I've shared it with.
But that's not enough. It is not enough to say your life has sucked. Or even to say that you have come to terms with your issues and have found inner peace and a place in the world. That is just masturbatory bullshit and that is not real work!
The reason I have not finished my memoir is because I have a lot of questions left to answer. Or at least to word properly enough to leave for the next generation of Mutants to work on. And because I just haven't gotten back to that project.
Can/should we create more Mutants? If we can, can we limit the negative effects through controlled mutation? Should we keep our mutation secret or is it safe to be open about it? Are elements of Mutant-ness hereditary or spiritual? Is there a better term than Mutant? There are a lot of questions I can't answer and a lot that I can't even formulate correctly yet. It is also hard to talk about such a thing without sounding insane.
For those interested in my research, I recommend the Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn. It's about home schooling or self-schooling, but it describes in non crazy ways how society is making us mediocre and how to fight back.
I know that you're involved or were involved with the Church of the Subgenius. I know the church considers its members "mutants." I'm wondering if your "mutant" philosophy came from them or if it's entirely your own creation.
Another question: Can you tell me about your time spent as a SubGenius?
I actually forget where I heard the term mutant used to describe people. It probably was the Church or DEVO, but DEVO is so linked with the Church of the SubGenius that is doesn't matter which. My use of the term isn't much different from that of the Church. I still embrace a lot of their teachings and still have a lot of respect for that philosophy. While there is a connection, I don't believe that Mutant is an entirely SubGenius term. I'm sure many of the books and articles on Social Darwinism have influenced the corruption of the term from its origins in biology. The Church and others like myself are just further offshoots.
I'm afraid I can't talk about my time as a SubGenius at the moment.
And why not?
Actually I could talk about the Church of the SubGenius, but it always ends up being a mixture of trying to tell the truth and sounding absurd, making shit up to sound more plausible and just talking about the boring stuff that doesn't really say anything. Like the guy who took a dump in the hot tub on X-Day. (Editor’s note: X-Day is the end of the world. It was supposed to happen on July 5, 1998 at 7:00 AM. I don’t think it happened. I think. I think the Church has an X-Day event every year. When the end of the world doesn’t happen, they say something like, “Oops, we made a mistake. It is actually supposed to happen last year." Less and less people come to these X-Day events each year)
Being an active member of the Church is a different experience for everyone (unless you are a Pink or Bobbie in which case your experience is probably pretty typical and not really related to mine). What I can say is that my time with the Church greatly expanded my being. In some ways I actually can't discuss.
What the heck is "Bobbie"? You need to explain yourself better for people who don't know these things. They don't know what "A Pink" is, although I'm confused about what it is in the context of being a member of the church and being a pink at the same time.
*sigh* This is why I tried to avoid talking about the Church in the first place. We're getting wrapped up in things that don't matter. If a reader is interested in trying to understand the Church of the Subgenius. Making most people (including most members) confused by our religion's inner and outer workings and strange terms is an important part of it's functionality. Spoon fed truth does not taste as good as hard earned truth. Nor does it get digested quite as well. This is especially true with spirituality and space demons.
(Editor’s note: Fuck Seth Schultz. A Pink might be a person who is not a member of the Church. A Bobbie might be someone who is a member the Church, but not really a member. More like a poseur. I don’t know)
I have a crossbow. Give me your life savings.
Having watched you try to use my crossbow, this threat feels pretty hollow.
I will aim for your heart. You will end up blind in your left eye.
What's it like to have multiple personalities and does having an extra one normally result in starting a cult that's disguised as a student group?
Having multiple personalities is strange. Luckily mine tend to exist simultaneously and are aware of each other, so I don't get that confusion of lost time and wondering why I'm wearing pants with a tail sewed on the back.
I suppose you are asking about Booga. Well, he was an exceptional character. I don't think the whole "start a cult" thing is normal to that sort of situation and in his case it was kind of an accident. By failing to do one thing (set up a SubGenius Devival at a college) something far greater happened (formed Mutants Against Majority Organization). Sometimes that's how Slack works.
Who is Booga?
Towards the end of high school I started getting into the Tank Girl Comics. Booga was Tank Girl's boyfriend. a mutant Kangaroo with a personality I very much related to. So I started using the name. In college I used the name almost entirely. Most people never new my real name.
During my time as Booga I had a lot of energy and a lot of bold ideals. But over time I realized that while I could make people listen to me at a passive level I could not pass on that energetic zeal.
Emitting that kind of energy without the feedback I desired became tiring and after a while that part of me died off. And with that, I stopped using the name Booga.
Who is Seth?
Well first off, I am Seth. A man, aged 31 years. I think a big element that explains a lot about me is innocence.
Imagine an alien child with nothing but good intentions dropped on this planet. He is intelligent, but lacks many of the biological instincts which make humans do the things they do. Because of this he did not mingle well with the humans around him as he grew up, so he also lacks many of the socially formed instincts or habits. And unlike superman or any other alien dropped on earth story, there is no super power or fourth nipple. To everyone else he is just another man.
This is kind of how I feel a lot of the time. I feel like the logic behind my decision making is vastly different than most people's. Even when I do the same thing other people are doing I feel like I'm doing it for a different reason. And so it is hard for me to connect with other people. There are very few people I meet in life who I feel like I actually understand and get along with in any sort of 'real' way.
Through growing up in this world with such different eyes I feel like I've seen things in ways others might not and I've wanted to express this in the hope of bringing on some form of positive change. But as anyone who has tried (alien or not) knows that this is a very hard thing to do. All of this has made me a bitter, tired and lonely man.
So I often spend my time distancing myself from the rest of the world, attempting to figure out dating rituals and get a girlfriend or plucking away at a few projects I feel might make a difference.
I am very depressed. I do not think it's for any particular reason besides the chemicals in my head. Do you have any suggestions for alleviating this depression?
If your depression is caused by chemical imbalance then I would suggest drugs. Preferably prescribed by someone who knows what they are doing. If your depression is caused by an inaccurate interpretation of yourself and/or the world around you then I suggest therapy. If however your depression is caused by an accurate understanding of yourself and/or the world around you then you have a tough choice; fix what is depressing or kill yourself.
Ok, I will kill myself after I’m done posting this interview on my blog.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Acceptances: 3 (all male)
Rejections: 16 (15 male, 1 female)
Duotrope still needs to update the listing to show that submissions are open again.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
And I stumbled across this: Amazon is selling Steve Aylett's great book, Lint, for only five bucks.
There is a ridiculous review that I wrote on that page.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Email TTB regarding Jaguar Uprising stuff: firstname.lastname@example.org
He promised me that he would respond.
Bloggers: Spread this message. Post it on your blog or whatever. People should be warned about losing their money.
Friday, October 17, 2008
What don't you like about yourself?
Raymond Chandler: Maybe the greatest prose stylist ever. I can't really get into other noir-ish authors because of him. He puts them to shame. I bought five Elmore Leonard books today at a library sale for a buck-a-piece. We'll see. Chandler's best novel is The Long Goodbye. Robert Altman adapted it. Elliot Gould makes a really weird Philip Marlowe. I "plagiarized" Chandler in my novel. I took a chapter and changed nearly every word, creating something entirely new. I left words like "the" and "he" and "it" and "and" intact. I'm always afraid I did something wrong by doing this. It was like writing an essay in sixth grade and copying a few paragraphs from an encyclopedia while using synonoms for every word so you won't be accused of plagairism. It's a lot harder to write fiction this way. It feels Oulipo-ish. I wrote another thing like this. A story for Lamination Colony. I rewrote the beginning of Naked Lunch.
Mark Leyner: Every word counts. No word counts. Irrelevance without any filler. I saw a movie a while back that he co-write with John Cusack and the guy who wrote Bulworth. It was called War Inc. It was pretty good.
Steve Aylett: Similar to Leyner. Bigger. Better. Funnier. Actually makes plot work. Genre-y.
Thomas Ligotti: Horror author. One of the few that I like. Short story guy. Like Lovecraft if Lovecraft was a much much much much better writer. His work makes my brain feel funny. Like I'm in another dimension. I don't think he writes fiction anymore. Just essays about hating the human race.
Kelly Link: She lives near me. She's great. Genre-y. Not genre-y. I don't know what else to say. I took her new book out of the library today. I hope I will not be dissapointed. I will be dissapointed. I am dissapointed by everything these days.
Carlton Mellick: He tears shit up. Later work much much much better than early work.
Tao Lin: Tao Lin Tao Lin Tao Lin Tao Lin.
D. Harlan Wilson: Writes books that I want to read. Irreal. Stranger on the Loose best story collection. Dr. Identity best novel.
The next three authors seem to share the same face but grow out of three different facial expressions:
Paul Auster: Last two books have been
Jonathan Carroll: Like if mid-period Paul Auster wrote fantasy without crazy heaps of exposition and coincidences. Seems like he is probably a nicer person than Paul Auster. Most of his books are also a blur. Minor characters in some novels are protagonists in other novels. Uses a town in upstate NY a lot for setting. His books used to cure my depression. His characters felt like friends. He put them through hell, but it felt good to read about them going through hell. Just took his new novel out from the library. Read about halfway. It's ok. Better than his last novel, which I did not like. I have liked all of the earlier ones. I think I might be growing out of him. I think I'm growing out of a lot of authors. I need new authors to grow into. The writing is good in the new novel, but it is confusing. Not "What the hell is going on?" confusing. More like "Why the hell are the characters doing these things?" confusing. Feels like someone ripped out a bunch of random pages. Took me a while to like Carroll's endings. Dissapointing at first. Open-ended. Like poetic open-ended endings to bad movies that leave it open for the sequel. After being dissapointed a lot, I started to really like the endings. Carroll explained them by saying something like this: "My endings are like life. Everything does not work itself out in the end."
Steve Erickson: The only author who I'm not growing out of in the trio. Reuses characters like Carroll. Different realities without explanations. Makes it work. Makes it awesome. Does funny things to my brain. Like Ligotti, but not as dark. If you are familiar with Erickson, you might think to yourself, "Ligotti sounds totally fucked." I didn't like Erickson's last book the first time I read it: Zeroville. Felt different. User-friendly. Reread it and loved it. Not my favorite novel by him, but not my least favorite.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We've got a truck on fire, can't find the switch to turn the ski lift off, and can't stop the dancing chicken. Send an electrician.
I'm doing a reading at the Bizarro Con next month. Jess Gulbranson is reading after me. I feel sorry for him. He wouldn't even be able to avoid being upstaged if he read a story entitled, "My Los Lobos Playing Metallica-Induced Hard-On Destroys the Universe.
A few mornings ago, I asked myself: "Is that the sun or the moon?" It felt apocalyptic.
I have this fantasy where I get laid as the result of my writing. It seems like the ultimate compliment. I think a lot of writers have this fantasy. It's probably one of the reasons why I write. It's pretty stupid. I think it ranks pretty low on the "reasons why I write" scale. There are easier ways to get laid than sitting in my room by myself and tapping my keyboard. But I don't think they would be as satisfying. I have not fulfilled this fantasy yet. It's too bad all the women who like my writing live far, far away from me.
I wonder if some people have a fantasy about getting laid because of their blog. Now that's REALLY pathetic.
I'm probably going to participate in National Novel Writing Month next month. So I will probably stop blogging. Not that I've been doing it very much lately. National Novel Writing Month is the new blogspot. My novel's protagonist will be Mike Young's weird, evil laugh. The novel will be called Hunky and Full of Spunk.
I haven't been liking novels and stories lately. I am going through a phase. I went through a similar phase around the beginning of the year. I called it "book depression." I could not find any novels or stories that I liked. It was really depressing.
Now I am going through the same thing, but I am not bothered by it. I'm reading a lot of non-fiction. I am not desperate to find fiction that I like. I have stopped looking. Fiction that I like will come to me. I will not pursue it actively. There are a few recent novels and short story collections that I intend to read, but I do not have high hopes.
There is something about the narrative in fiction that hasn't been maintaining my interest lately. For instance, I can find a blog post interesting, but not a story posted on a blog or not an autobiographical blog post that is written like a story - with characters and description and action and dialogue. Right now, I prefer writing that is like a one-sided conversation.
It is a good thing that I work with another editor on Bust or else I would have a lot of trouble filling an issue (although sometimes I think he is pickier than I am).
For the past year, I have either loved a book or hated a book and there has been no in between.
Except for maybe the last book I read: Chuck Klosterman's novel. I haven't decided whether or not I liked it. I liked it until the ending, and then I no longer knew. It's called Downtown Owl. It's like a pop version of literary fiction. There is no plot arc. It is one of those books which is often described as a book where "nothing happens," although something happens at the end. Things happen, but there is no conflict. The character have few goals.
On page 71, a high school english teacher talks about the novel, 1984: "You're all 106 pages into the story...or at least you're supposed to 106 pages into this story. I'm sure many of you feel like nothing is happening. Don't be alarmed. All great books are like this. All great books feel boring until finished reading them."
This man is not a very good English teacher.
I would have liked this piece of dialogue to occur on page 106, but Klosteman disappointing me.
I assume he is saying his novel is a great book here. But his novel is not boring.
The end of the novel leaves every loose end in the book hanging. Thus is life. But fiction is not life. Fiction is an artificial reproduction of life. I don't like novels that are too much like life.
Chuck Klosterman is the narrator. The narrator is God.
I wouldn't have ever read this book if I didn't like Chuck Klosterman's non-fiction so much. The jacket flap text makes the novel seem boring. I wouldn't have enjoyed this book as much if I hadn't read already of Chuck Klosterman's non-fiction.
Back to "book depression." I don't know why I'm going through this. I have gone through phases in my life where I can read and enjoy almost any fiction assuming it's not too terrible. My attention span is fucked. I'm not willing to give things a chance. I need to be entertained by the very start. I am not willing to give anything the benefit of the doubt.
I prefer movies and serial TV now. The plots are usually tighter than in novels, which have more padding. The dialogue is usually not as good.
I like movies with artificial dialogue. Movies that make me believe the screenwriter slaved over each word. Movies where the dialogue sounds artificial. But the content of the dialogue should still sound like something a person in "real life" would say. But not the way they say it.
I don't usually like dialogue like this in novels, unless it is noir-y. I like when they dialogue sounds like something someone would say in "real life." I want the other prose to feel as if it has been slaved over.
But I love words. So preferring film over prose cannot last forever. That's why I continue to read non-fiction. To get my word fix.
That sounds really stupid.
I read two books by Roger Ebert. The Great Movies and its sequel. I want to read more books written by people who are great writers and who are passionate about something that I am interested in.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I went back to being a vegetarian. Maybe a week ago. I did it so Tao Lin would like me more. No, that's not why I did it.
A large amount of books are waiting for me at the library. I went a little crazy and ordered too many at the same time because I am afraid that I will be heavily fined soon. And if I do not pay off the fines, I will not be able to check out books. I wish the mailman who removed my library books from the mailbox had walked the five feet it would have taken him to return them for me.
I guess I'll stop watching television and movies until after I finish reading all the books. I only watch television and movies through the cable company's on-demand service, through downloads, and through streams on the websites of TV networks. I watch too much. If the first season of a show is really good, I will continue to watch additional seasons even if they are weak, hoping they will once again be as good as the first season. This only happened one time: Lost. My Achilles heel free time-wise is that I love serial stories. Reality TV and sitcoms might be shit and clog up the airwaves, but there's some good serial shows floating around.
I wanted to pick up my books from the library this morning. But I felt weird. I did not want to drive because I felt the same way that I did before I got into my car accident. I felt that way most of last night. It sucked. I did not do very much last night. I hate wasting night's off.
Last night, I woke up and went with my roommate to a diner. We met his friends there. I ate a Spanish omelet, which I did not like. I ordered it because I really like the words "Spanish" and "omelet." I wanted to say them out loud to the waitress.
I went home. I had a kind of absurd literary argument with Mike Young for forty-five minutes on g-chat. He's doing a reading tomorrow night. I will go if I can force myself to wake up three hours earlier than usual, but that is unlikely.
I read some stories for Bust. I accepted two. One solicited and one out of the blue from my favorite writer.
I'm faxing the proof approval form to the printer tonight once it gets kind of late and less people are likely to come in the store. I am waiting because the fax is in the back room.
So the new issue should be out in two weeks or so. It has taken longer to put out this issue than any other issue. About nine months. The issue is cursed. Hopefully the next one will be more timely. It is looking promising so far since we've already accepted two stories for it. The submissions will open again after the new issue comes out. Submit, human.
I was just interrupted by a customer. He wanted to fill up his car with gas. I got a head rush when I stood up. Now I feel weird again.
I need to force myself to go to sleep earlier. I need more sleep when it is colder outside. I need to admit this to myself so I can have a better quality of life when it is cold outside. But I always get preoccupied with things and go to sleep late.
It feels weird to type "late" since I go to sleep in the afternoon.
Back to last night: I started feeling weird after reading the story by my favorite writer. It was long. It hurt my eyes to read it on the screen. I should have printed it out. It kind of destroyed my brain. This is when I started to feel weird. I couldn't do anything productive after. I had planned to proofread some stories for my grad school writing samples and edit my admissions essays. I guess I'll do that tomorrow night.
Instead of doing those things, I watched a movie on demand. I started to watch Hitman, but it was stupid, so I turned it off. Then I started to watch a Christopher Guest movie, but I wasn't in the mood for it, so I turned it off. So then I watched Jaws, which I liked a lot. But it started to drag while the characters were floating around in a boat and trying to kill Jaws. It was very slow. I got bored. Maybe the slowness was supposed to make it more suspenseful. But I was tired, so it made it more boring. I turned of the movie with the intention of picking up where I left off in the near future.
Then I started to feel a little better. I proofread a story because someone solicited one from me, then I sent it.
Then people started emailing me at the same time. I emailed back. I received new emails every few minutes. It was like I was instant messenging with multiple people at the same time, but with email. I got kind of caught up in that. And that's the reason why I'm tired right now.
Last week I was at work and thought, "I wish all the babies in the world died right now at the same exact moment." I felt bad about thinking that. I wish death upon people all the time. I'm a bad person. I cannot stop myself. Sometimes I get into stupid religious-mode and think, "God is going to totally fuck me up because of my thoughts. My afterlife will not be any fun." This is another reason why I like to work the graveyard shift. There are less people to see. Less people to wish deaths upon.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I found this out a few days ago. I asked my roommate, "What's up with that house next to us? Do we live on top of them or something?"
Last week, I noticed the house next to us. It is kind of hidden. While our house is at the top of a small hill, the one next door is at the bottom of a small hill. It is built into the ground.
It's kind of cool that I've been kind of living on top of a house for a couple of weeks without knowing it.
Not that it's much different than living below the people upstairs who I have never met, but at least I knew they were there.
My roommate told me he was offered a room/apartment/whatever in the bunker by the landlord, who owns both houses. My roommate chose the main house because the bunker "doesn't make sense." It has "weird angles."
Lately, I have been watching too much TV on the internet. I miss the TV strike. Comcast has a new site, I think, where they stream shows. Damn you, Comcast.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show Good Job is probably the best show on TV right now.
I sent the printer the next issue of Bust, so it should be out in a couple of weeks.
I realized why I have been sleeping so much. I was on an antibiotic for my cough. I still have my cough, but I finished my antibiotic. Thanks, my doctor.
The webmaster of www.facialticks.com emailed me. He requested an unbiased site review on my blog. He offered either a product sample or payment to do this. If I choose the product sample instead of the payment, the product sample is mine to keep. I don't need to send it back!
The product sample is an ebook about facial ticks.
An ebook about facial ticks is mine to keep!
It's tempting, but I think I'll take the payment. Thanks, webmaster.
The site is selling a product for children with Tourette's Syndrome. The product eliminates facial tics within 72 hours without dangerous medications that cause harmful side effects.
I am confused, but I will write my unbiased review anyway:
www.facialticks.com COCKSUCKER is a nice site CUM DUMPER. I think ANAL SPLURGE they are FUCK STICK selling a product CUNTBEAR that could possibly beneficial to children ANAL FUCKFEST. The site design FECAL FUCK could use some CLITBEAR work, but the design is better COCK TOES than amateurish. Regardless, they are still FUCKBEAR selling what could be a BITCHFUCKDICKSUCK beneficial product.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I hate writing formal essays. They are incredibly annoying. I love writing informal essays. They are the easiest things to do ever.
I'm going to work on fiction in the meantime. It has been a while. I think I've only written one story this month. I have a couple of ideas for short pieces that I want to work on.
I really want a big project. I need a big project. But I'm on hiatus from a big project. I'm not sure if starting a new one is a good idea. I think that if I started a new one, and then switched back to the old one, it will be even harder to get the narrator's voice right.
Fuck it. Maybe I should do it. I'm feeling desperate and excessively lazy.
I think I want to write a novella about a shanty town, like the one in Desperate Living. I have no idea what the plot would be. I guess I will start brainstorming after I finish the two short pieces that I mentioned. Or during.
I have been sleeping too much lately on my nights off. I find this troubling. Maybe it is the change of temperature. Today, I set my alarm to wake me up. It was the first time in a while that I set my alarm to wake me up on my night off. I slept for about eight hours. I was still tired when I woke up. I stayed up for a little while, ate drank some tea with caffeine that doesn't do harsh things to my nervous system, and waited for the caffeine to kick in. It did not kick in. I went back to sleep. Napping is the new cup of coffee. At least for me. And it is not really that new since I haven't been able to drink coffee without painful consequences since last year.
I napped for three hours. I like sleeping, but napping for three hours is just a waste, especially after a decent night's sleep. I think I need to set my alarm before naps.
I also had a night off the night before last. I woke up with TMJ induced head pain, which was caused by stress. I napped for four hours. My one accomplishment that night was finding out that I liked the television show, Entourage.
The night after, I drove over what appeared to be an empty container of Ben and Jerry's ice cream on my way to work. Perhaps it would have appeared to be something else during the day.
When I got to work, TTB informed me that we were out of gas. I found this very funny. It has never happened before. TTB is probably to blame. I put up "Sorry, we are out of gas" signs on every pump because I did not want to bother to run outside every time a person tried to pump gas. Some people cannot read.
I think that I'm a slacker when it comes to jobs that make money and a workaholic when it comes to jobs that don't make money - like writing and editing.
I like working overnights at a gas station because of all the downtime. And because I get insomnia at night and sleep like a baby during the day. I wish I wasn't like that. I love the daylight. Plus trying to have a social life is annoying. Occasionally, I see my friends in the morning. I usually wake up right before work time. On my nights off, it takes me a few hours to get the urge to go out and do fun things. By that time, most fun things are near completion.
I have probably mentioned this before. I repeat myself a lot.
I miss college when I had a lot of nocturnal-ish friends. Nearly everybody I know is a nine to fiver. I feel isolated. Time is strange for me. The morning occurs on the same day as the previous evening for me. Sometimes I get mixed up when talking to people with normal schedules.
For a while, I was going to sleep soon after I got home from work. It was nice to be awake in the early evening, plus I needed to do it because that was usually the time when potential housemates were conducting interviews. Since moving, I reverted back to waking up right before work, which is also useful because I have been looking for a different job, although very passively, and job interviews usually occur in the morning.
I'm so lazy about finding a new job. I've only interviewed for one since I moved. I kept seeing signs on the road next to hotels. They were looking for someone to fill a third shift person. It turned out all the hotels were owned by the same company, so they were all advertising for the same position.
It doesn't look like I got the position because they never called me. I had two interviews. The first one was great. A conversation. No bullshit questions like "What is your greatest strength?", "What is your greatest weakness?", and "Tell me about your worst experience with a customer and what you did to solve the conflict."
The second interview was filled with bullshit questions. I did not expect them. I thought the job would be a sure thing. That no other person in my area with a college degree would have tons of experience staying up all night and actually want to do it.
The interview did not go badly, but it did not go well. Sometimes I have not gotten jobs when the interview went well. Sometimes I have gotten jobs when I thought the interview went badly. This did not happen.
It's always the same questions. I don't know why I never plan out my answers. I always tell myself that I should. I will from now on. Immediately following getting each interview appointment, I will plot out my responses corresponding to the specific job. It's not as if they need to be the truth. I'm just really bad at lying on the spot. I always tell the truth. If I had a lot of time to think about my answers to the questions, I probably wouldn't have to lie. I have probably experienced something in my "career" that would make a good response to each question. But I do not have the time to figure this out at the interview.
To the "What is your greatest weakness?" question.
I answered: "Most people probably say that they're a perfectionist. So I'm not going to."
The interview laughed.
There was a long pause while I thought of something to say.
I said, "I am incapable of working nine to five jobs because I am a night person and cannot drink caffeine because of medical reasons."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I'm thinking about releasing an e-book version of the issue. I'm not sure about the idea. I think I would like to charge one dollar for it. I would do this because I'm afraid that people will not buy the print issue if they can read it for free on the internet. But I'm afraid that a lot of people will buy the online issue and I will not be able to recoup the cost of the print issue.
What do you think? Will people still buy the print version?
I would like the issue to be read as much as possible, but I want to break even.
Plus I will need to put spaces between the paragraphs for easy web reading. That will be annoying. I wonder if there is a way to do it with a few button clicks. It would make a lot of sense. I hate formatting web submissions and vice versa when something was written for the web.
I was very tired this morning. I went to the library to return a couple of books. I accidentally put them in a mailbox that was next to the library instead of the book return container. My friend shouted at me, but I am not a good listener. Neither a librarian nor a postal clerk could help me out. I hope the mailman who opens the mailbox walks the five extra feet to return my books. If they are not returned, I hope I do not have to pay a king's ransom. They are old books, so that might be a good thing or a bad thing. Samuel Beckett's End Game and a poetry book by Richard Brautigan called June 30th, June 30th. The poetry book is out of print.
Once I left a book on the bus and it was returned. That was nice.
I really like the goodreads website. It's nice to be able to remember what books I read. I only list books that I have completed because I tend to give up on books prematurely and this embarrasses me. I do this less when I pay money for a book rather than take out from a library.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Micah Hacim is the co-creator of the zine, Chiaroscuro, and gets ready for work in the morning while listening to Oingo Boingo's Little Girls
I didn't want to bore anybody with accounts of my life. So I didn't.
Soon after meeting Mike Young, I started my own blog. I noticed that many writers had blogs. I joined the herd. I thought it might help my book sales.
My book sales have gone down drastically since I started a blog.
The economy has gotten totally fucked since I started a blog.
My rule for my blog was I wasn't allowed to post stories and I wasn't allowed to make it an announcement-only blog like so many others.
I occasionally post story things, so I have disobeyed my rule. I guess it's pretty rare.
I have made some friends through my blog, which has been nice.
I have tried to entertain the readers of my blog, but I occasionally don't care and post about boring shit.
I often post about my life, which I think is pretty dull. But the dullness is occasionally broken up by little things of interest.
Like a couple coming into my work and asking if we had lube. The woman said, "It's for his ass." The man said, "No, it's for hers." I told them that we didn't have lube, even though we had vaseline. It did cross my mind that vaseline is lube. When I think of the word, "lube," I think of a tube of something that is bought in a sex shop. So they asked me if I knew where they could buy lube. I said, "Maybe Stop and Shop, but it closes in fifteen minutes." They rushed off to buy it. They came back a couple of nights later to tell me that they made it to Stop and Shop, but they didn't use the lube that night.
So things like that break up the tedium.
It feels like I'm burning up ideas that I could use for poetry by writing about them on my blog. But that is ok. I'm not a poet.
I also think it's more entertaining when a writer describes boring stuff in their life than a non-writer who is doing the same thing on livejournal.
Writer=someone who gets excited about language
I have included that definition to avoid a pretentious us vs. them mentality.
I like blogger.com a lot for some reason. I like the white on black look of my blog. I sometimes go to my blog and just stare at it. It is a precious thing to me.
Livejournal blogs are kind of diarrhea to the eye.
I don't care if it's a little more difficult for people to read if they're livejournal users. I think I like this for some reason. My blog seems like a separate entity rather than one of ten million blogs on livejournal.
I have a lot of fun writing on my blog. It is a different sort of writing. I don't obsess over every little thing. I just let the words pour out. It is relaxing. It is like a vacation from serious writing.
It took me a little while to be open about myself. I don't know what it is about writing in public that turns off my inner editor. It should really be the opposite. I think that I'm addicted to writing in public. It's like writing in a coffee shop while someone looks over my shoulder, but without the creepiness of a creepy person who is reading my computer screen without my permission. If someone did this in public, it would feel like an invasion of my privacy and make me feel uncomfortable. I'm still trying to determine why it has the opposite effect when I'm almost doing the same thing on the internet. It is like if Ms. Writing Alone in Your Room had a baby with Mr. Live Via Satellite.
This is a strange phenomena that should be studied by a scientist. The scientist should finance this with the government's money. It will be a waste of money, but less of a waste than most of the other stuff the government spends our money on.
Everything that I write here is a first draft, although I occasionally fix typos and add a few sentences here and there when I forgot things.
Blogging also satisfies me a little when I'm going through a fiction rut like I'm experiencing now. Without a blog, I would go insane.
I need a new project.
I need to stop thinking about needing a new project until after I'm finished with my grad school admissions stuff.
It is very likely that if I had a new project, my grad school admissions stuff would not get done. I turned a twenty two page grad school essay that I wrote on my blog into two pages. I even had a four page limit. I just kept cutting and cutting and cutting.I am hoping to get the other stuff finished lightning fast - maybe within the next couple of weeks.
It is a good thing that I have a blog.