Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bust stats

I want to do something boring and keep a record of the gender stats for the next issue regarding acceptances and rejections. Ridiculous people get touchy about gender.

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

Bear and Boy Books and Lint

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

Jaguar Uprising Press warning

TTB says that you should not buy things through their website. You may never see your money again. You may never receive a book. The Industry is trapped in an insane asylum for insane wrestlers with no internet access. John McCain put him in there or something. I don't know. I don't know what the hell TTB was talking about. He was wearing a bandanna on his head.

Email TTB regarding Jaguar Uprising stuff: twotearsboye@gmail.com

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

He was known for his indifference and for wearing a monocle

New Robot Melon is out. I have a story in there.

What don't you like about yourself?

Favorite authors:

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 the shit. Early books were cool. The New York Trilogy worked well with my obsession back in the day about language not being able to convey emotion. Later work like Moon Palace had lots of exposition. Lots of coincidances. I am ok with this. Paul Auster was the coincidance and exposition guy. It worked well for him. He was the only author who I gave a license to use either of these things. Like I gave Will Self a license to write big words that would make me use the dictionary all the time. No one else is allowed this license. Most of Will Self's novels suck except My Idea of Fun. Too long. He should publish another short story collection. Will Self=greatest short story writer who uses annoying words that I have never heard of. I can't really tell most of Paul Auster's novels apart. I probably read most of them in a month. They are like a blur. I cannot distinguish the mid-period stuff.

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.

Sam Pink. I am you.

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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.

My existence is telling people that we do have a bathroom and condoms and we do not have coffee.

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

why kill time?

My stomach hurts. I shouldn't eat rice with curry sauce so close to waking up. I am writing this blog entry to pass the time until my stomach stops hurting. I am at work. I am about to eat a few Rolaid chews. They taste a little like Starburst candy.

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.