Monday, April 12, 2010

Pulp Non-Fiction....

Much does not pass these days for me without some mechanical scheduling procedures, whether it be getting the ex-wife to agree to disagree on verbiage contained in a sterile email regarding calendar dates for the summer (I would post the text of the email here; however, the reference to John the Baptist, Centurions, reflexive equilibrium, Western Philosophy, and The Grapes of Wrath are way to erudite and misunderstood by me to even venture into that realm) or it is working with the new and improved travel booking system at work that requires a little more time and patience than the previous system – but seems to be thinking of everything that I fail to think of – hell, I get meeting reminders on my calendar, phone calls with flight updates, emails with changes, and with some ease, it actually lets me select lots of different airlines for one trip, or it is actually looking at my Outlook Calendar and scheduling yet to be determined schedules for yet to be determined deliverables that repair yet to be determined opportunities for improvement….you all know the drill. If I spend less than four hours per week on scheduling, then apparently, I have scheduled poorly, and can rest assured that something is going to bite me in the ass (and trust me, that is not pleasant unless you are paying for it).

Now I am reading this book by an editor, turned author, about writers – and given that I have no editors, and carry on this whimsical hobby out of a sheer need to put my delusions onto paper (better than anti-anxiety meds any day) that goes into great depths about the process of writing – it does not really spend much time about the process of reading – but thankfully, the previous owner did a pretty good job of marking up the margins, highlighting areas that she/he found pertinent, and spent a particularly large amount of time focusing on making notes about the dysfunctional nature of many authors (this particular reader, through the margin notes, went so far as to hint to me, the current borrower of this book, that she may have issues with alcohol and drugs because her sense of longing is not being fulfilled through the literary arts and the masterpieces she pens – based on her notes, I would think that she would be fun to go out on a date with – once – but after that fourteen hour drug and alcohol induced rampage through whatever town she lived in, and then the five days of regret, and six months of therapy needed to heal your wounded and battered soul, you may choose not to see her again unless of course, you wanted to spend another six months in hypnotic therapy trying to recall why you woke up with a sore bum and a midget wearing a Viking Hat). The reading part to me is always the best part – I like to read other authors – I don’t like reading my own stuff – because, like this book says, I don’t spend the time outlining and parsing and diagramming and picturing an end result to these short essays – I just sit on a plane, type, and when something comes to mind – then I put it on paper. Some months, you might be lucky enough to get me sit down and scratch some crap out four, maybe five times – some months, once – so for me, I figure that I am saving the planet by reading other works that have made it to print – versus sending mine to the publishing houses – I print this stuff for free – well, with exception to the ninety-two cents that I am up to on Google AdSense – I must make another comment about AdSense – I think the only real way to make money on the Internet is to create a game like MafiaWars and get the anti-socialite in all of us to strive to be a level 263 Goombah (much like myself), sell penis enlargement pills, or advertise and publish some sort of twisted and sadistic sexual act – I consider this a fairly high brow blog, with plenty of hits and a few followers – but I bet if I were to throw in some nude pictures, a couple of anatomical enhancement ads, and some high quality hair replacement remedies, that I may actually be able to get up to about three or four dollars in hits. It amazes me that the most profitable models on the internet are porn and gambling – I am not surprised by it, I am just amazed by it – there is even a gambling site where you are electronically dealt blackjack cards by a naked dealer – now that my friends, is cornering the market on this here internet thing…back to the subject that will eventually lead to the subject that I first set out to write about (my writing, I have determined, is much like following a goat trail through the high grass – I am never really sure where it is going, and pretty sure that I am going to either run into water, a salt lick, or goat turds – but eventually you will get somewhere with it).

Without going into any more detail or fear of being sued by the lady who previously owned the book that I am reading, I will not foray any deeper into the mental anguish she apparently suffered from and shared in the margins. (Pardon me for the interruption, there is a four year old locked in the airplane toilet – but there was a fairly young mother standing outside of the door speaking in her best loud inside voice, “Push it really hard baby, no you have to push it hard, I cannot help, push it really really hard baby”. That, in any environ, would cause a few heads to turn, and just gave me a great idea for my internet money making venture – it has to do with penis enlargement, pornography, and airplanes – but, lest I provide too much of this excellent venture capital opportunity, I will keep the details to myself) Anyway, the other lady (not the young mother screaming push harder on the airplane) - she apparently took this book really seriously – and maybe I am considered a horse’s ass for the way I take writing – I don’t spend the time necessary to be a really really good writer – I just take the time to be a writer – that’s really not being a student of the art, it is more of being an abuser of the practice. Vocabulary lists maybe would help, and word counts, and remembering all of those diagrams that my half stoned English Professor taught me may create some sensibility in all of this stuff, but caustically, I just don’t give a shit enough to stop, delete, edit, throw out, re-do, re-visit, clarify any of these pieces. I figure my stuff is moonshine versus store bought whiskey – moonshine tastes like hell, but for the price, and for the slight risk of being made blind, will get you drunk or sterilize most wounds, and it takes half of the time. Good store bought whiskey on the other hand, may make you look cool to others, is smooth, and actually tastes better than gasoline – but takes about seven years to age in dark barrels. I am not interested in aging in a dark barrel, so I am going to continue to pour out glasses of crappy corn mash in old milk jugs. I am; however, interested in perfecting the casual art of being a casual author (the picture comes to mind of me sitting barefoot in a john boat somewhere next to my trailer writing pieces for the Penny Saver “Local Flea Market Sells Record Numbers of Guppies in August” or “Find Your Next Treasure in Trash”) – and am realizing that even to be considered an author, one must have published something – and loosely, with the minor exception of two or three technical pieces on a financial model, and the long forgotten community college poetry collection, I can hardly say that I am anywhere near the technical definition of author. Bullshit purveyor, comic relief, part time blogger, one line expert – but far from that picture of Hemingway, half lit in Key West, vomiting in a trash cash, and cursing the day he learned how to type in between twenty word spurts or brilliance. (I have the half lit and getting sick part down pretty good though)

The book does go step by step into what I am supposed to do to become a better author – and (much like this lazy leap from my last paragraph that I expect all of you are following with ease) I decided pretty quickly that I needed to at least give a solid attempt at defining my genre – now I have heard this word used frequently in conversations with lawyers at cocktail parties, fine misses at nice restaurants, and those really snobby dorks at parties with the former in-laws, but I have never bandied about in my Sunday finery in pleasant conversation with my pinky lifted ever so slightly whilst sipping a fine Earl Gray tea – that I pursue a more succinct definition of my genre – so pardon if I seem a bit miffed by having to choose something that is defined as “this is the shit you write about and how you get it out” – genre (don’t worry, you will not find that half-assed commoner definition in Webster, but if you are a friend of mine, or even not, feel free to use that type of definition with me – I will respect you more). Defined loosely, I am a Pulp Non-Fictionist. I am not sure what that means – but I am pretty sure that somewhere in the mix of cynicism, humor, satire, bleeding heart sleeve dumping, emotion, name-calling, and memoirs I throw into this thing, that anybody can understand what I am talking about – I don’t write high end pretty stuff. I don’t use big words because I don’t know big words. I am not good at making good stories because my life does not permit me to invent characters – I see enough of those everyday – and given the fact that I am limited in my ability to share about the ones I am with everyday, I generalize and marginalize them into a blog format, but they are all real. I don’t write to put out the next great hard cover self help book, or even one of those trashy novels with the naked dude carrying (I tried to use the word “rapturing” but the spell check changed it to “rupturing” and that mental image was too much for even me) the scantily clad woman – I don’t even aspire to put something out that hits the “inspirational shelf” somewhere in between “You Should Stop Drinking and Start Living” and “How to Become a Better Dad Through Medical Science” – (I know, that is a wild stretch to think that I would be allowed to hit the inspirational shelf) –

So now that I am well on the road to becoming a more well defined writer, and on page 26 of this book – I would like to be referred to as the moonshine of literature – just cheap, fulfilling, get the job done stuff that makes me for a little while, take my mind off everything else and dump some of this pulp non-fiction out in the never-never land of the blogosphere – and not spend a large amount of time hassling over the details. Besides, don’t the real writers have ghost folks and editors in large rooms to take care of all that bullshit anyway?

Until next time- and maybe in a more polished and refined authoritorical manner (I don’t know if that is even a word – but if George Bush can make up words, and Dan Quayle can misspell them, then damn it – so can I).


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