Monday, March 30, 2009

Okay, I'm off and raving. In truth, I have a few meager publishing credits. I even have a novella entitled Penitence. I'll rave about that at a later date. I promise. I've taken several classes on how to write fiction, read lots of books, tried and failed, tried and succeeded a few times, had professional writers read my stuff and tell me it's good (even received a letter from Bentley Little once). I don't say all this to boast. It should be readily apparent that I'm not all too confident in my abilities. I wouldn't be doing this if I was. My point for recounting my successes is this:

I know nothing about construction. I can honestly tell you hammering a nail in is a struggle for me. I pay through the nose for all types of home repairs. There's this guy I barely know more than what would be referred to as an associate relationship. He knows I write, he's read my novella and some of my shorts. I know he's a builder and, from what I hear, he's pretty darned good at it. Today he asks me, "any new books in the hopper?" I respond that one more is done and another is percolating in my mind. He asks about the stewing novel. And I tell him--in great detail. Never ask a writer to elaborate on something he's excited about. This guy, we'll call him Bob the Builder, proceeds to say, "Let me tell you how to write that book."
He tells me how to write my book. The book I just know is going to be the best I've ever written, the book I teared up over after I wrote the first chapter and looked on at God-like admiring its creation.
I'm listening politely.
Perhaps I should go to his house this weekend and prod him continually with the butt of a hammer. "Hey, Bob, this is what you need to do here." Snap a chalked plumb string across his brow, "Hey, Bob, you should always put a toilet next to your dishwasher."
C'mon! People always assume that writing a story, a novel, non-fiction, is just a walk through the park. A good idea + time=best seller! Never mind the hours and hours of perfecting your idea then creating it. Then revising it. Then revising it. Then revising. Then getting crushed by an honest reader's feedback again and again and again. Then sending off query letters and getting denied again and again and again. Then rewriting the whole thing. All Bob the Builder has to do is install his toilet next to his dishwasher and pop a squat. Then letting it all go with the ease of a laxative-like enhanced accomplishment. His toilet is still there. So long as he installed it correctly,which he probably did, his toilet will always be awaiting him there. It will never fail him, no one will ever come over to his kitchen and sit on that toilet, grunt and say, "Nope. I didn't like the way it sits me." It's a toilet. Which is where his opinion should remain. Until he flushes it.

Critique: Too wordy.
Sign off: I'll call you--you won't call me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Post the First

Yeah, I know it's a stupid title. Does it sound artsy? No. First off, a little about myself. Mainly, I'm a writer. Or claim to be. This blog was my wife's idea and I can't say it isn't a bit pretentious--why the hell would anyone care about a writer trying, in the most vain, to get published. You see there, "in the most vain," that's literature. Here's the skivvy on me in a boring, simplistic format:

DOB: 8/26/73

Location: Central Illinois

Education: Bachelor's in English--graduated with honors

Occupation: I'd rather not say.

Likes besides writing: Reading Cormac McCarthy, Harry Crews, the classics, Chuck P, Bentley Little, Jon Krakauer, Bret Easton Ellis; watching movies that don't suck, Lost, weightlifting, playing basketball, Cardinal Baseball, spending time with my family.

Dislikes: My job, Stephen King, Chicago Cubs, all East Coast sports teams, math, Geico commercials, not getting published.

So I decided to start a blog. It's a desperate attempt really at getting published. I heard once that another writer was DISCOVERED by a blog she had which was read by somebody who was somebody. Also, it's an exercise in writing daily. So why not. I will use this medium to bullshit, rant about everything from not getting published to anything else that strikes my fancy (strikes my fancy is a cliche). I may post a short story from time to time w/o the slightest fear that anyone will rip me off and publish it, have it made into an Oscar Award winning film, and be set for life.

So that's it for today. I have bronchitis, a fever, and snot stretching towards my space bar. I will sign off regularly with a quick critique of my current entry.

Today's critique: I notice I've used the word so a lot at the beginnings of sentences.

Witticism: And, as always, I'll call you--you won't call me.