Play Misty for Me (2)

July 29, 2020

Continued from previous…

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This too shall pass your mother liked to say, even if she didn’t believe it. But she was right. Mist or fog, it evaporates. At times you embrace sadness, its depth and gravitas. But like an old friend he can overstay his welcome. Then you have to wait him out. Drag him along on your errands. Enduring his sourpuss and cynicism. Sometimes, you might ditch him on a hike. He couldn’t keep up in the gym either. If those things failed, you brought him to a meeting, tossing him center circle with everyone else’s shit.

Relief comes. And when it does you embrace it. Sing its song for as long as you can, feel your body electrified by it. Such joy is a blessing. And fleeting. A feminine spirit, she does as she pleases. An ephemeral pink cloud, you keep the window open for her.

You do miss the excitability of grandiosity. But ridding this was a fair price to pay for the leveling of valleys. Roller coasters are thrilling but no way to live. Soberly, you tread flat terrain.

But still…

There is the matter of your lesser addictions. Gluttony. Lust. It’s paradoxical, leaning in to them while turning away. You cannot resist the siren’s song.

More content coming soon!

Bodily Functions (2)

July 19, 2020

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Continued from previous post…

If you hadn’t started shaving your head decades ago, before it was trendy, you might wonder how much hair you actually have left. It began falling out in your late twenties, when you got married. Whatever amount remained it would most certainly be gray. Thankfully, this is a moot point. You are relieved that your cranium is smooth and without unsightly contusions. A shaved head suits you. If it doesn’t, no one has told you otherwise.

Though your prescription has remained essentially the same for years, your eyes are getting weaker. They test well in the optometrist’s office but reading or writing reveals a different story. Lines blur. Like ants, letters crawl around the page or screen. You have become quite adept at guessing words rather than waiting for your eyes to focus. When writing you depend on spellcheck, the way a teenager does.

What else? Ugly toenails. Thankfully, not so much but the yellowing hue gives pause for concern. No matter how hard you exercise certain muscles don’t respond like they used to. Your ass cheeks have become soft as a fat woman’s tits. After one big meal your belly bulges, seemingly creating flab overnight.

To be continued…

 

Author Unknown (Pt. 4)

July 12, 2020

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Promoting yourself made you as many enemies as fans. Haters relentlessly trolled you online calling you untalented, vainglorious or worse. Colleagues wondered if you were paying more attention to your novels than your job. Your wife thought you were chasing windmills. To some extent they all were right. But the genie was out of the bottle; you simply had to keep trying. Something would click. You would have the last laugh.

One morning, you saw a complete stranger reading your novel on the “El” in Chicago. Small sample, but no less thrilling, it was all you could do to keep from introducing yourself to the reader. In terms of validation this rare sighting would have to do.

Much later, your daughter’s high school art teacher read two of your novels, one after the other. During that relatively long period of time, he had constantly told her how good they were. Your daughter respected her teacher and by him praising your work you knew she respected you. Any glimmer of awe she had towards you was significant. Especially given how you’d fallen from her pedestal. This would have to do.

The accolades you received for copywriting, the wealth it provided, ego trips. For many, that would have done quite nicely. For you it wasn’t enough. Like Icarus you’d reached sublime heights, until your wings got clipped and you fell to earth.

In the end as in the beginning, a writer writes. Writing for its own sake, without the obsession for income or outcome. A writer writes. This, too, will have to do.

(If you’re interested in any of my books please click on the links right side of this blog. Thank you!)

Author Unknown (3)

July 8, 2020

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Oh, but how you want to be known for something! Even for just one book. One story. Being published is a fantasy as powerful as any opiate, more so because of your tireless effort. Each book was an obsession, like Captain Ahab’s Great White Whale, Ernest Shackleton’s quest to find the arctic passage, compelling you forward, driving you insane. You forsook everything to write –parties, movies, dinners with your wife, talking and fucking. _______ vacillated between resignation and resentment, jealous of your ardor for writing, how you cherished the craft more than her. It would pay off, you told her, you told yourself. When you became a known commodity.

You came so close…

The meetings in Hollywood were electric, with so many important people giving a shit about you and your work. Even so, the pinnacle eluded you. For your first book you settled with a dozen mostly positive reviews on Amazon and a $7,500 dollar option from Touchstone Pictures that went nowhere. Your second and third novels had equally mixed results. None were failures. But none were great successes, at least in terms of the marketplace.

Self-publishing demanded you do your own marketing and publicity. Being an ad man you took this on with gusto. For The Last Generation, you produced a teaser video, which can still be found on You Tube. You created billboards and posters for The Happy Soul Industry. For Sweet By Design you hosted an online book cover contest, giving away an iPad to the winner. Each book had its own website, Facebook and Twitter. You wrote press releases. You wrote more queries, this time looking for options, reviewers and always a legitimate publisher. Above all, you wrote checks. Lots of checks. Some days it felt like buying lottery tickets. Other times you were pissing in the wind. But you paid. You would always bet on yourself.

To be continued…

(If you’re interested in any of my books please click on the links right side of this blog!)

Author Unknown (2)

July 5, 2020

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Pencils down.

Eventually, you had to call each book finished, regardless of blemishes. But you were not done working… and writing. Not by a long shot. One required representation, an agent. In order to get one you had to find one. There are many journals and websites devoted to these people. You must start at the beginning, with “A.” It is like reading a phone book. Other than a famous few, one cannot tell the crackpots (bored housewives, failed authors, drunkards) from the magicians, the one who will be your champion. After curating a list of too many names, you then wrote each a personalized query letter, including synopsis and biography. Unless it was perfect, this may be the only thing you write that your prospect ever reads. Most replied via form letter or a quick scribble: Not for me. Thank you! You used to save these rejections. When it became morbid you threw the entire stack in the trash. The few agents that expressed interest always had “notes.” One suggested you rewrite a certain character. Another wanted a new ending. And so on. Saying no wasn’t an option for an unknown commodity. So you rewrote the character, with all that that entailed. You created a different ending, not sure if you even liked it or, moreover, if your patron would let alone a reader. In the end, you were rejected anyway.

Multiply this by three novels, two screenplays and dozens of short stories. Then divide it by a wife and three children. Subtract it from your real job, the one that is paying you.

This was your life. This is your life. Author unknown.

To be continued…

(If interested in any of my books please click on the links right side of this blog!)