Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Separation of Church and State

My gas station has a certificate hanging on the wall that says:

"My gas station is hereby granted a license for the sale of frozen desserts, ice cream mix, confectionery soda water or fruit on the lord's day."

I guess "the lord's day" should be capitalized, but every other letter is capitalized, so I didn't bother.

I looked up "the lord's day." It means Sunday.

I think this certificate is pretty bizarre. Not only "the lord's day" thing, but why would they need a license to sell this stuff on one particular day? Shouldn't there be a license to sell it in general? I am too lazy to look and find out. Maybe Massachusetts has an antiquated law left over from the time before Noah?

I think that you aren't allowed to sell liquor around here on Sunday, but ice cream? Is eating ice cream on Sunday really a problem for religious nitwits?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Don't You Know Who I Am?

I am a celebrity.

The internet says that I am a celebrity.

The Internet never lies.

Paparazzi grows between my toes.

I have to rub cream over them to get away from the cameras.

The tabloids report on where I go for breakfast.

I am always front page news.

I wrote one sentence in my novella today: "Instead of sleeping, I hide under the covers with a flashlight, The Anarchist Cookbook, the pipe from under the kitchen sink, and a bag containing gunpowder that I scavenged from my sleepaway camp’s rifle range last summer."

I heard on Entertainment Tonight how there were a record number of suicides among my billions of fans due to my lack of productivity.

The fans that are still breathing are anxiously awaiting my next sentence.

All over the world, sad people left notes that said: "I cannot bear to live another day knowing that Bradley Sands' manager convinced him to come into work two hours early, which resulted in his attempt to go to sleep earlier than usual, which resulted in suffering from insomnia, which resulted in extreme tiredness during his shift, which resulted in a lack of confidence in his writing.

My fans who survived this ultimate disappointment copes with the pain by reassuring themselves that even though I had already failed at my attempt to write one chapter in my novella a day, I still vowed to work on it every day, if only for one sentence at a time.

They will set their alarm clocks to the time when I wake up and we will know each other's internal body clocks. But unlike me, cybernetic pterodactyls will not guard their bodies from obsessed fans who want to rip out their gallbladders so they have something to put on top of their Bradley Sands shrines that they keep in their garages.

Micah Hacim. Do not come within two hundred feet of me. I have a restraining order against you. My cybernetic pterodactyl bodyguards have been ordered to devour you on sight.

Friday, May 23, 2008

TV Snorted My Brain

I'm posting chapters of my novella (or maybe novel) as I complete them. I'm using a new blog. It is private. It can only be read if I send you an invitation. If you would like to read it, send me an email containing the email address that is associated with your blogger profile. I will send you an invitation. I have already sent it to a few people.

Reading-wise, I think the novella is pretty internet-friendly so far.

I don't know why I think having audience during a work-in-progress will motivate me. I think all my blogging has turned me into this sort of person. I don't even like reading novels online.

me=hypocrite

I've just been saving chapters in private entries on my livejournal since I'm paranoid about a hard drive crash. I thought it would be cooler if other people could read them, if they wanted to read them.

I've already posted the first two chapters in this blog, but I've made a lot of changes, so I posted them again in my new blog.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

this entry is a little boring is some paragraphs

I just ate breakfast at a diner near me, although I doubt it's validity as a dinner because it shares a building with a DVD rental store and an asian food market. All the customers were elderly. That was a little weird. I wonder if no one my age who lives near me eats out at eight thirty in the morning. I guess they are either sleeping or commuting to work.

My roommates are leaving at the end of this month. The Prince of Candy is replacing them. That will be nice. I like the Prince of Candy. It will be the first time in a long time that I will be living in a place that feels like it's "mine." Since my current roommates lived here before me, it feels like their place. My house before that had five people, so it did not feel like "mine." I moved into it with a friend, his friend, the friend's brother, and the friend's workmate. A lot of people moved in and out while I was there. My friend joined the Peace Corp and moved to Romania.

I think the only time that I've ever lived in a place that was "mine" was when I summer subletted two different apartments during college.

The Prince of Candy is probably my oldest friend. I met him when I was eighteen. I think he might have been like twenty-five, but I forget. He would be the adult guardian to my alcoholic beverages that he purchased on my behalf at a goth club.

I think he moved away the next year. He lived in Brooklyn in a neighborhood that was filled with hasidic jews. I visited him there once or twice or three times. Once was around my twenty-first birthday. We went to see Einst├╝rzende Neubauten the day before I turned twenty-one. We found out it was a 21+ show and the doorman was very anal retentive. He would not let me in. The Prince of Candy claims that I then pretended to be retarded to get the doorman to let me in. I do not remember doing this, but it did not work. The Prince of Candy did not abandon me to see Einst├╝rzende Neubauten by himself, even though he likes them a lot (at least I think he does). That was nice of him. After that, I lost contact with him until a couple of years ago. He lived in a bunch of different places, including Korea.

I used to not be good at keeping in contact with people. This is before I used the Internet every day.

Two years ago, I stumbled across The Prince of Candy's profile on Friendster in the Cool People in Your Area section. It said that he was twenty-eight, which was two years older them me. I wrote him a message. He claims that it only consisted of: "You are SO not twenty-eight!" I do not remember it only consisting of that sentence, but the thought of that amuses me.

Ever since we started hanging out again, he refuses to tell me his real age. I would guess that it is thirty-six. We have a shtick going on between us regarding his fake/real age. I think he enjoys this shtick, so he will not tell me his real age so we can continue with our shtick. I vow to find out his real age this summer while he is living with me. He will find clues around the apartment. I will discover these clues. I will triumph. I am a master detective. I am Sherlock Holmes and he is my Moriarty.

He says, "Not to expect him to stay past August."

This is boring, but stressful:

I found out yesterday from my building's real estate office person that getting onto the lease for my apartment in order to renew it in September is not as easy as my roommates told me it would be. My weekly income needs to be equivalent to one month's rent in order to be on the lease by myself.

Two people can also be on the lease if their combined weekly income is equivalent to one month's rent. But The Prince of Candy does not want to be on the lease since he's probably not staying past August.

So we're now officially summer subletters.

I had originally thought that I might need to find a new place to live after the summer because the process of finding a roommate through a Craig's List ad would be annoying since I might tell someone that I'm down with living with them and then they (or both of us) might not get approved for the apartment. So then I would have to find someone else (assuming I would have been approved). That is very annoying and stressful. So I thought it would be easier to find a room in a new place. Taking over someone else's lease or whatever.

But now I have a new idea. I think I will try to get a teaching job in Korea. I have been thinking about doing this for years. I have been very wishy-washy about it.

I emailed my mother about it:

I think that I'm going to try to find a job in Korea for September and teach there for a year. I have a friend in Korea who thinks he can get me a job. I really want to do this.

I'm getting tired of this place (although I would be happy about returning for grad school). I don't want to have to look for a new place to live again, and that would most likely happen. I don't want to work at a gas station for another year, and that's assuming I get into grad school. I want to actually use my college degree to advance myself career-wise. I want to get some teaching experience (since I want to be a creative writing professor). And being a teacher will look a lot better on a grad school application than being a cashier at a gas station. I really want to do something with my life besides write and edit. Those are the only things that I have accomplished since graduation.

Plus teaching in Korea pays well and I would like to pay off my credit card debt and start saving for grad school. I can't really do this from working at a gas station. I just make enough money to live off of and pay the minimum monthly payments on my credit card.

September is the ideal time since I won't be tied down to a lease and if all goes well, I will be going to grad school the following September. And the teaching contracts in Korea are for one year.


She hasn't responded back yet. That makes since because it is still a little early. She probably won't be too happy about this decision.

Update: My mother seems to be ok with it. I think she may be tired of telling people that her son works at a gas station.

I still need to email my friend in Korea about it. I have not written to him in a while.

I also told my mother about my novella.

I just started working on it again last night. I feel like it will be easy to write. I really like my main character. The writing process for it is fun. I now have an outline that is over ten thousand words long. So may it will be a novel rather than a novella.

The chapter that I wrote last night was extremely short. Maybe 450 words. I think it took me an hour, which is a lot quicker than normal for me. The two chapters before it are significantly longer. I've written about 3,452 words so far.

I'm going to wait for notes from my mentor before I begin writing the third act. He is very busy. He won't be around to help in July. He's ok'd the first two acts. I think I will try to write a chapter a day. I think there are thirteen chapters in the first two acts. It shouldn't take very long to write.

I will work on it at work and after work. I believe I am incapable of waking up early to work on it before work.

I waited until last night to work on it because I have this thing about waiting until a night off to work on my writing when it's something new or something that I've been away from for a long time. I have been away from writing fiction for a bunch of weeks. I think this book is easy enough to do at work.

I should have written more than just the one chapter last night, but I was tired and didn't want to drink my caffeinated tea in fear that it would give me insomnia. Plus I am a little stressed out and wanted to take it easy.

I also replied to a few emails, watched Diary of the Dead and the last episode of Lost, and did laundry. I do not understand how all these things added up to an entire night. One day I will try to figure out where all my time goes.

Diary of the Dead was surprisingly good considering how much Land of the Dead sucked. It was not as good as George Romero's three famous zombie films, but pretty close. Some of the acting could have been better. It was also surprisingly good because I think most horror movies being made these days suck. They're just so unpleasant. I think I've only seen one other one this year that I liked. And I used to love horror movies when I was younger. I think at this point of my life, I'd rather see movies that make me happy than depress me with their violence.

I like writing long blog entries. Go fuck yourself.

Sorry to be rude. I imagine all these people complaining about reading long blog entries. They should go fuck themselves.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

food

I had to take two buses to get to work on Sunday night.

I had to wait forty-five minutes for the second bus.

I decided to go to Subway. I bought a six inch veggie delight with "the works." The works are all the vegetables except the spicy stuff. I asked for Balsamic Vinaigrette or something that resembled it. I also asked for American Cheese, even though I want to eliminate dairy from my diet.

Baby steps. I just bought soy milk from the grocery store.

I bought a Sobe drink when I got to work. I forget what it was called. I think it might have been the last one. Something berry-ish that lists a bunch of vitamims on the front of the bottle and tastes so good that I assume it isn't very good for me.

I also bought a ninety-nine cent bag of pretzels.

The woman/girl/whatever who I was training offered me a Milano cookie. I said 'no thanks.' It was mint chocolate I think.

I always feel weird saying 'woman' when I'm describing someone who is younger than me.

I do not feel like an adult. I feel like I am in my twenties. I am in my twenties. But not for long. I feel like I should be in my twenties for a lot longer. I feel like I've accomplished little in my twenties besides writing and editing. My mother told me when I was young that the years feel quicker when you get older. This is true. I do not feel like it has been eight years since I turned twenty-one. I feel like it has been two or three. Except for the writing and editing aspects of my life. That feels like eight years. Maybe more. I feel like I am living in two different lifespans. Like my writing/editing is counted by human years and my actual living is counted by dog years. I think it may be all the phases of employment and unemployment that I have gone through. This has sped up my life. Mostly the tedium of employment. I can be at work and feel like I've never left. I think worktime should be measured in a different amount than non-work time. Many months at one job can seem like an excessively torturous week. School went by so slooowly. Because there was so much going on, I think. I want to go back to school. To slow down the pace of my life.

Near the end of my shift, I walked across the street to the Cumberland Farms gas station. I bought a turkey wrap. It had tomato flavored mayonnaise. I am not sure if mayonnaise is dairy. I don't think it is. I think it is poultry. The wrap was very good. It is odd that a gas station has good prepared food.

A couple of hours after I got him, I toasted a plain Lender's bagel that I bought in a package of six (maybe?) from the supermarket. I put Smart Balance's buttery spread on it. It is supposed to be good for my cholesterol. I don't eat it for my cholesterol. I eat it because it tastes better than regular butter. Also, it is dairy, but I think it is better for me than my usual cream cheese.

Tonight, which is the night of the morning that I ate the bagel (and my next shift at work), I forget to bring food as I had intended. I went across the street to Cumberland Farms. I bought a steak wrap. It was good, but not as good as the turkey wrap from the night before. I also drank another Sobe's drink. I have the empty bottle in front of me: "Black and Blue Berry Brew"

Below that, it says this in a slightly smaller font: "Blackberry and Blueberry"

Below that, it says this in a really smaller font: "With other natural flavors"

Below that, it says this in a much larger font: "Flavored Beverage"

Below that, it says this in a non-bold font: "with a blend of guarana, juniperberry & vitamins C & E.

I am not going to tell you how many fluid ounces it contained.

Below the bottle cap are these words: "RESPEK THE LIZARD"

I felt the urge to write "sic" after "RESPEK." I fought this urge.

I meant to get whatever flavor I had last night, but picked "Black and Blue Berry Brew" instead. This is because I don't think there were any left of last night's flavor. I am repeating myself again. I liked "Black and Blue Berry Brew," but not as much as last night's flavor. But it was a nice change, because I drink last night's flavor a lot, whatever it may be called.

Friday, May 16, 2008

ouch

Got into a car accident today.

During: I thought, I am dying, how odd.

I did not die. I have a nasty bruise on my leg.

It was not fun like the only other car accident that I had, ten years ago.

I have never been in the same room as an airbag until now.

The car is fucked.

This laptop that I'm typing on right now also did not die.

I am getting the nasty bruise on my leg checked out by a doctor in a little more than an hour.

It will be during my bedtime.

This is unfortunate. I could not get out of work tonight. Although I got the OK to show up a couple of hours late.

I hope I can walk. If not, I do not think I will be showing up a couple of hours late.

Gah, I do not like public transportation.

I am afraid of driving now though, so we must learn to love each other.

I do not think I want to drive again for the next one two three...rest of my life.

A car hit me while I was turning and then I hit a bus that was standing stationary at a bus stop. I will wait at this bus stop tomorrow for the bus. My roommate was in the bus at the time. I find this very amusing. He might as well. The bus got away on its own four wheels. I think I might need to make a bus my own personal vehicle. I would prefer it if the bus was my own personal jesus. But I would like it even more if it were my own personal pan pizza.

I would like to hear Eric Blair's Personal Pan Pizza song right now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

this is what happens when two editors get drunk

Well, Andersen Prunty isn't really an editor....yet (he writes books). It's his editorial debut, I think. He seems to be describing himself as a "kind of editor" though. So I guess it his kind of an editor debut.

And I don't know if we were actually drunk when we came up with the idea. Maybe I was so drunk that I don't remember being drunk.

I tried to convince him to make the deadline my birthday since it's 27 days after his official deadline. He was against the idea for sensible reasons.

GUIDELINES

BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK: The Anthology of Vitriol

BRADLEY SANDS IS A DICK strives to be the most ill-conceived, poorly planned e-anthology out there. Please send your stories to me, Andersen Prunty, at andersenprunty@yahoo.com. Include “Bradley Sands is a Dick” in the subject line. I will send you an email letting you know it has been received. I will kind of edit the anthology. Every story will be titled “Bradley Sands is a Dick.” I should come away from your submissions feeling that Bradley Sands is a dick. How you make me feel this way is entirely up to you. Submissions should be around 1000 words and under. They should be bizarro, weird, funny, angry, or a combination. You are welcome to submit them to me whenever but I will not begin reading them until September 1, 2008. I will stop reading them December 1, 2008. In January 2009, the selected stories will appear in a free PDF e-anthology published by BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND EAT ALL THE CHICKENS and assistant edited by Bradley Sands. Readers will vote on the selected stories. The author of the winning story will be paid 100 American dollars and the much sought after title of Bradley Sands’ arch-nemesis.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I hate it when people post stories in their blogs but...

Micah Hacim wanted me to publish a story of his and threatened my life. He also threatened to continue to butcher the word, "going."

I told him that I would publish a story of his in my blog.

He responded, "You called my bluff, I don't have any stories."

I wanted Micah Hacim to write a story for my blog, so I threatened his life.

He wrote a story for my blog. He is usually funnier. I think he wrote it while he was sober.

Micah Hacim's interests include obsessing over cute eight-year-old girls, watching either Hackers or Blue Crush ten times in the same day, drinking, vomiting, and drinking 'hair of the dog that bit him' smoothies to wash the the taste of vomit out of his mouth.

He is very lonely. His only friend is a fake cabbage patch kid (of An Interview with Tony fame).

He has a blog about watching TV: http://tonyandmewatchtv.blogspot.com

He has not updated it in a month. He needs to watch more TV.

"So Brad said he'd publish my story, but I'd have to spell check it first and I said I didn't have any stories, but everybody knows everybody has got a story so here is mine; It's called 'The Writer's Chopping Block"

THE WRITER'S CHOPPING BLOCK

I was raised by two parents who never wrote about fictional stuff and never imparted upon me the wherewithal to write good stories. I'm not criticizing anybody here with jealousy. I'm just pointing out that kid with two jazz musicians for parents that seems to have a natural genetic talent for playing music which escapes the rest of us has an advantage over those of us whom don't if his talent was for writing stories instead of music.

My parents were into accounting and making crochet sweaters. Well, I can do a decent math and as for knitting - allow me to weave you the tale of: "The Work Week That Took a Lot of Patience to Get Through."

The abandoned alleyway was affright with terrors. Ghosts, Goblins, and Gooks cowered in fear as the White Upper-Middle-Class Elite were heard trading their stocks in the attics of our society. A moon shone on the lifeless body of Tony in the gutter. It was lifeless with drunkenness and sprayed by water from the tires of a passing automobile passengered by a man on his way home from work (he was a passenger because this was in the future and Robot was driving (but the passenger owned the car)).

When the water hit his lifeless body, Tony sprang to life and shuffled his fists in anger, but the passenger paid no mind as he passed on and paid for one of the many tolls one finds while driving on the east coast and continued driving once the tollgate opened. Work, for this passenger, had been taking a lot of patience to get through this week.

His boss had been a Beeotch. The Passenger, hereafter known to the reader as Jim, was both tall and bothered. The writing assignment given to him on Monday (due the following Monday) was retribution from his boss for his natural genetic talent of being smarter than his stupid boss. Jim was a writer and he had writer's block, which had prevented him from working lately and that made his boss even more angry and his boss had decided to use Jim's writer's block against Jim.

According to Jim, bosses didn't know a thing about being a boss other than bossiness, and this was a bullshit assignment anyway! Jim wrote the assignment anyhow and how that assignment was received is the twist ending to this story because this is the very story you are reading right now! It was not well received by his boss either.

When his boss read it, Jim's head was cut off with an axe... on a chopping block!

P.S. This story is fiction; I did not have a shitty week at work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Last Naropa Essay Entry (part 1)

I have a new story up at decomP.

"In order to help us determine if Naropa University’s Creative Writing graduate program will be suited to you, we ask you to give us a sense of your background and interest as a writer and a reader."

This might be bad because I'm overtired as usual (damn my manager for banning laptops at work!), but I feel like writing this right now.

I've known what I've wanted to do ever since I was a little boy. I've always wanted to be a writer, obviously. I told my mother this, maybe in second grade. She said that writers barely make any money (she was correct). I was ok with this then. I am ok with it now. I think she thought I was going through a phase. I think she thought I would grow out of that phase. I did not grow out of that phase.

Books were an important part of my life at a very young age. My parents reading them to me every day before I could figure out the words myself. I wonder if they regret this. Regret that I've devoted my life to writing rather than financial stability. I think they might regret reading books to me every day. Maybe not. I could ask them, but I think they might not give a truthful answer.

My parents have been pretty good about it though. They have never told me that I should not pursue a writing career. They have told me that I should pursue other careers and write at my leisure though. This is ok. I assume a lot of peoples' parents tell them that they are wasting their lives. My parents have always encouraged my writing, but they have never seemed absolutely thrilled about encouraging me.

I learned to read at an early age, I think--kindergarten. I thought I knew how to read before I actually learned how to do it. I used to babble gibberish to myself and think that I understood the story.

I read books that were advanced for my age.

I found it strange that I read very difficult books in high school and college, while I cannot stomach difficult books anymore. I cannot handle books that make me work to read them.

My parents found out about Asperger's Disorder recently. They think I might have it because I was a gifted child and I lack social skills. I don't know. Maybe. I think Asperger's is the new disorder of the season. Kids used to be diagnosed with ADD, now Asperger's is more popular. It's probably total bullshit in the majority of cases, and actually genuine in a few.

I did a little research on it and supposedly people with Asperger's do not have an imagination. So that would mean that I'm in the clear.

But I don't know. I've looked at posts on Asperger's forums where people discuss their fiction writing. So that seems like a contradiction. Maybe I have it. Just another disorder to add to my collection of disorders.

But more likely, my parents were being...oh, I can't think of the word...let's use misguided and overdramatic.

Oh shit, Naropa. I've gotten off the subject, haven't I?

So yeah, I've always loved books. I was reading a book when I came out of the womb. No, this really happened.

I was a voracious reader.

I took books everywhere I went.

I used to read them while I was watching television.

I used to read them when I was eating a meal (including when I went out to dinner with my family)

I used to read them during car rides. At first, I would get very car sick. I suffered through the car sickness. I made myself immune to car sickness.

I used to read books when I was supposed to be sleeping by turning on the small lamp near my bed and putting a towel under my door to hide the light.

I think I averaged one book a day.

I was totally obsessed with the Hardy Boys. I have read so many Hardy Boys books that it makes me sick. The one that I particularly remember is the book where Joe's girlfriend gets killed in a car bombing and Frank and Joe go undercover as arms dealers to solve her murder. I think I might be combining two books in the series here. My memory is terrible.

I always took part in my library's reading program, maybe in the summer? We received gold stars for every book that we read. I received a lot of gold stars. The kids with the most gold stars won prizes. I always won prizes.

I used to be able to read a lot faster. I now average the length of a novella a day, assuming I find the time to read. I blame aging. I believe that my concentration level has decreased over the years. I'm no longer able to read anywhere I want. I need quiet. I cannot concentrate without quiet. If you are too loud then I will destroy you.

I wrote my first story when I was in first grade. My teacher, Mr. Frasier, would often assign us to write stories. I wrote many stories. They would now be referred to as "micro fiction." Mr. Frasier was infamous for always having coffee stains on his shirt. I would often write stories about his coffee stains. In my stories, his coffee stains could talk and eat and shit and dance.

I just visualized Mr. Frasier in my head. I have not done that in like...I don't know...twenty years maybe? Mr. Frasier was a little old.

In second or third grade, I think, I would often go to my dad's office after school because my mother couldn't watch me because she was out doing something. I would spend the entire time on his computer. I would work on a story. The story never seemed to end. Maybe it was an unfinished novel? It was a couple of hundred pages long. It was about me and my friends. We went inside a haunted house. There was supposed to be treasure hidden there. I don't think we ever found the treasure. I think the house had an infinite amount of space.

I do not have this story in my possession. I believe it is stuck on a decaying hard drive in a landfill.

Flash forward to high school. I started taking writing classes. I wrote "experimental fiction." Looking back, I believe I chose to write experimental stuff because I did not know how to write properly. I believe that in order to write successful experimental fiction, a person needs to have mastered the techniques of fiction writing. I had not mastered the techniques of fiction writing in high school. My writing was not very good. I took a short cut by writing "experimental fiction."

I excelled in literary pranks. For example, I feel that my best work from that period was a campaign speech from a fictional candidate who my friends and I ran for school president, as well as a letter that I mailed to random houses in my neighborhood claiming that the bearer of the letter had won a sweepstakes and the prize was to become God.

Pranks motivated me to write. I always found them inspiring.

I continued to read a fucking lot of books. I got bored. I looked for books that were different, that were unique. My source for finding these books was Spin Magazine. They used to review a lot of interesting stuff. My favorite books that Spin is responsible for is Jeff Noon's Vurt (cyber punk-y virtual reality drug novel) and Simon Black's The Book of Frank (performance artist lights his head on fire, calls it art, meets a girl, decides to kill himself on stage, calls it art, also wants to do it to impress the girl).

I read Tom Robbins. He taught me that it was possible to do gorgeous things with language while using a wacky, offbeat plot.

I discovered William Burroughs. I read Naked Lunch. It influenced my writing. I did not like it at first. I read it again. I did not like it. I read it again. I did not like it. I read it again. I really liked it!

I think I was starving for a book like Naked Lunch. I had never read anything like it. It is the most well-known book like it. It is nice when a book is like Naked Lunch but actually has a plot structure.

I read Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's Illuminatus! Trilogy. It became my favorite book ever, at least during my high school years. It changed my belief system to agnosticism. I stopped thinking in absolutes. Not only did I think that God may or may not exist, but I had no idea and there was no possible way to prove whether or not God existed and I was not going to worry about it, but I thought that EVERYTHING may or may not have existed, but I had no idea and there was no possible way to prove whether or not EVERYTHING existed and I was not going to worry about it.

Many years later, after serving as an assistant editor for Weird Tales, I reread the Illuminatus! Trilogy and thought it was a mess. I regret that not being able to shut off my recent inclination for paying attention to the mechanics of writing ruined my favorite book.

In college, I discovered Kurt Vonnegut. I devoured everything that he wrote in a month. I tend to do this whenever I discover a writer who excites me. Vonnegut showed me that it was possible to be unpretentious while writing about profound philosophical and societal issues. His writing was simple and concise and fun and I do not think I am describing it very well.

I chose English as my college major. I took many literature classes. Unfortunately, none of these classes were focused on the mechanics of the prose that we read. We discussed less significant things like theme and shit. I am bad at expression what literary theory-ish classes are all about. I wrote a lot of essays that compared something about one work of literature to something about another work of literature. I think everybody did this. Or maybe not. Maybe we just wrote really silly titles for essays like Light and Darkness in William Faulkner's Light in August.

I found them very motivating since we were assigned to write stories. I did not find them very helpful. The professors were usually grad students who were too focused on their own education to teach me anything useful about writing.

I also took many film classes. They were all similar to my literature classes. They all studied films as if they were each a text.

Actually, all of these classes were similar to my literature classes except one. A class on horror movies that I took in the summer.

It was a great class. We focused on things like camera angles and lighting and acting and sound and editing and music. It taught me how to write comic book scripts, which I became interested in doing after college. I still wonder why there weren't any classes like this, but for literature?

This entry is getting long and I need to go to sleep soon. I'll write part 2 (post-college) within the next few days.