The Horrors of Writing


You're a writer? The horror. The horror.

Don’t get me wrong, writing’s a blast. It’s one of the things that keeps me from becoming a total madman, drooling over myself in a corner somewhere, murmuring about paranoid delusions more than I already do. In that respect, it’s an incredibly important part of my life.

It’s also a way for me to entertain myself. I’m pretty sure that I’m entertaining other people with my writing,  but it would be awfully presumptuous of me to assume that everything I write results in anything more than a quick breath through the nose and maybe a nod of the head.

All of this has been brewing in my head since, oh, January of last year, when I was recuperating from Scarlett Thomas’s weekly realist lecture. (She called it tutoring in the Creative Writing M.A., but it was really just gushing about how we should all be like Tolstoy.) I started thinking, “Why did I decide to go for an M.A. in Creative Writing?” I could have done anything that wasn’t in the sciences. Fuck, anthropology’s cool. I could’ve gone into anthropology.

Anyway, I finished the degree, and the really good part about it was that I managed to get a rolling start on Cloyd, which is now finished and is in the drafting-cover-letters portion of its nascency. But the doubts keep coming, which I guess is a good thing. Overconfidence is a weakness, as Luke Skywalker said before being electrocuted by Emperor Palpatine.
Continue reading


Riddle me this, riddle me that, is this idea a lump of shat?

So nu. I’m considering starting a new blog, thus adding to the growing non-empire. It’d be called Diplomatic Immunity, and I’ve preemptively reserved an address for it.

The basic premise is that I pitched a TV show to a travel network and was given the greenlight for it, but the show never aired. The blog would take the form of screenplays/teleplays/scripts of each episode. Each episode would involve me going… somewhere–either in the U.S. or Europe–and traveling looking around for “what makes humanity tick.” By the end of the episode, shenanigans would have occurred and I would have been deported, arrested, or kicked out of a state or country.

For example, I manically wrote part of the first episode the other day; it involves going to Rome and falling in with a cult of Mars. By the end of the episode, I would have drunkenly taken part in a failed revolt, wound up chased to the American embassy, and deported.

So, something you’d be interested in? I’m hoping to hear from a few people at least. (Hi JonChad. Hi Flynn.) So, yeah, let me know if you’d be interested in reading something like that/you (the ubiquitous you) would get a kick out of it.

Twenty-Five Songs for Leaving Places

So, first off, thanks to everyone who showed up last night. It was great seeing you for… well, not the last time, but, you know, for a while.

Anyway, I don’t know anyone who’s good with goodbyes. The person in my family who’s best with them is my brother, and to tell you what that means, here’s a story:

My family had a golden retriever named Pebbles. We got the dog when I was about seven. Second grade, whenever that was.


The Dog

The first memory I have of Pebbles is when my Mom and Dad drove us out to a rescue ranch in rural Ohio. The place was literally full of dogs in need of homes, and my Dad fell in love with a Wookie of a dog named Queenie. However, as chance would have it, as we pulled up and got out of the car, Pebbles, at that time, two years old and hyper as hell, bolted around the side of the house and started circling me, panting and nudging a tennis ball at me. So, yeah, I was the youngest, and we got Pebbles.

Anyway, she made life a lot easier. My parents were divorced a few years ago, and it messed me up more than I thought at the time, but I got off lucky because I had Pebbles to play around with. (You know, in addition to all of my friends and whatnot.) Then, a couple of years later, my Mom and I (Joel having started college) moved down to Tennessee. Tennessee was not my favorite place to be, and, if it weren’t for a few really, really good friends, I probably would have turned into a Goth or some crap, and that just wouldn’t have been any fun. But, through it all, Pebbles was around, and my brother and I essentially had a little sister.

So, midway through my sophomore year at UT, when I heard that Pebbles died after having to deal with severe doggie arthritis, old age, and having a rough time of it all, I was wrecked. I’d like to say that I held it together, but that’s a pretty harsh lie, and it was a rough few weeks. Everyone in my immediate family, especially my Mom, Joel, and I, were sad, but Joel had a pretty Zenned-out attitude towards it all. While my Mom and I were sitting around in the condo sighing, Joel was knocking back drinks in her honor and telling stories about the time she ate a bag of chocolate chip cookies and puked on the bed, wrapped him up in her leash and sabotaged one of his runs, and fought off three Scottish Terriers over her tennis ball. I did this too, don’t get me wrong, but, he managed to sound like a stand-up comedian wheras I sounded bereaved.

The reason I say all of that is to illustrate that I seem to have inherited a terrible weepy gene from my Dad. (The other story I can tell is how, on my Bar Mitzvah, my Dad couldn’t say anything on the bima because he was crying.) Case in point, this leaving business after hanging around for a year is a right bitch, shall we say. As I don’t have a dog around (quite yet), music’s the best way I’ve got of getting some sort of emotional outlet stuff going on (yes, that’s right, I say something like that and I’m a published writer), and so, here’s my Leaving List. Shall we say.

Continue reading