Thursday, December 30, 2010

End-of-the-Year Report for JMM Holders

Look at this!

Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  It's me!

This is a chart of my value as determined by how many people visit my blog.  When I put up a good post, which I apparently did around October 1, my efforts are rewarded by many visitors.  When I put up a less interesting post, as I've apparently done every day since, fewer people are interested in viewing it.

It's funny how linear it is, how it's moving almost predictably toward the asymptotic ZERO mark.  What am I to conclude?  I won't list all the possibilities, because I've already decided on the correct answer. 

I am a stock, and people want to make money off of me when I get big, so they are selling me off now so that I lose value and they can later buy low, sell high.  They expect to anticipate my overnight rise to stardom and jump on the train at just the right time.  It's a classic capitalist game (like Monopoly, or electing a president, or, say, buying and selling stock).

To prove my point, let's look at some other stocks.  You'll see that they are also going down.  See:

Wait.  That's a bad example.  Try this one:

Crap.  Those are both going up.  All of these stocks I'm looking at are going up.

I'm a lonely little stock.  Wait.  Here's a stock that's declining like I am!



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Blair Witch Entry

The following journal was found scrawled in blood on my computer screen.  I have typed it here as best I can decipher.  The handwriting at the end gets pretty awful.


12/26, 12:01 AM . . . Christmas Day has ended beautifully!  Despite having to leave my parents' house earlier than expected to avoid a snowstorm, I had a beautiful day and arrived safely in New York.  Having received presents in abundance, I was forced to mail my bounty home to Boston, where it will meet me upon my return from the isle of Hispaniola!  I have here with me a tupperware of leftovers from Christmas and some Bojangles biscuits that I bought at the Charlotte airport. I'm looking forward to eating them tomorrow.  Good night!

12/26 12:02 AM . . . That's odd.  My room has no refrigerator. 

12/26 12:06 AM . . . I've constructed a makeshift refrigerator from some ice, a plastic bag and the bathroom trash can.  Satisfied that my food will keep, I'm going to sleep.

12/26 1:57 AM . . . Almost 2 AM.  Can't sleep.  Strange haunting feeling that this is all going to go terribly wrong.  Oh well.  I'm sure it will pass. 

12/26 9:22 AM . . . Just returned from breakfast.  Managed one of the last pieces of sausage before the breakfast bar was closed promptly at 9 AM.  Wanted a waffle, but the line was too long for the waffle maker. Still a little hungry. I wonder if that forebodes anything.  Probably not. 

12/26 12:49 PM . . . I've reheated my Christmas leftovers, and they look delicious.  Not going to eat them all at once, though.  Instead, I will ration them so I don't have to eat out while I'm here. 

12/26 1 PM . . . I've eaten all of my Christmas leftovers.

12/26 1:12 PM . . . Delta has canceled my flight for tomorrow morning to the island of Hispaniola.  Looks like I'm here for a little longer.  At least I had time to write a funny blog post.  And I reserved my hotel room for another night on, so I'll have some place to stay while I figure out what's going on with Delta.  No complaints here!

12/26 1:14 PM . . . The Delta web site is unresponsive, like it's getting a lot of hits or something.  I wonder what's going on outside. 

12/26 1:15 PM . . . Delta isn't answering their phone.  Is there something I should know about? 

12/26 1:16 PM . . . Just got word from Jolizabeth, my traveling companion, that her bus has broken down in Connecticut.  At an Arby's.  No news on when they'll be moving again. Also, she tells me it's snowing outside.

12/26 1:17 PM . . . My God.  It is snowing outside.  The snowstorm found me.  I don't know how, but it found me!

12/26 3:45 PM . . .Took the airport shuttle to JFK and back.  Talked to a very nice ticket man, who helped me rebook my Delta flight for Tuesday morning.  Jolizabeth called, said the bus is fixed.  She's moving again.  All should be well now, as I'm sure the snow will clear up any moment. 

12/26 3:47 PM . . . Jolizabeth called.  She's sitting in heavy traffic and may not arrive until 6 pm.  Well, what's an vacation without some adversity . . . right? 

12/26 6:13 PM . . . Jolizabeth called.  She has reached Manhattan!  I'm going to go meet her there.  Wow, the snow is really falling out there. 

12/26 6:14 PM . . . The front desk informs me with a laugh that, no, you can't walk to the metro from here.  A cab ride is the only option, which would require a significant tariff.  I guess I'm staying here until Jolizabeth arrives.  You can check out, but you can't ever leave, right?  Ha.  Ha ha.  Ha?  Stomach rumbling.  Going to order some food for delivery instead of going out.  That way, I can have it waiting for Jolizabeth.  

12/26 6:54 PM  . . . I've been calling places that deliver food.  None of them will come here.  Carry-out only.  Beginning to wonder how I'll eat tonight.  

12/26 7:11 PM . . . Jolizabeth called.  She's now at the end of the A-line, only two miles from here.  I didn't tell her about the food. 

12/26 7:12 PM . . . Jolizabeth called.  Apparently, the AirTrain at the airport isn't running, but there's bus service to make up for it.  She should be here shortly.  

12/26 7:33 PM . . . A glimmer of false hope.  I was told there was a Burger King within walking distance.  Venturing outward, I found this to be a lie.  A cold, cold lie.  There is nothing near here.  Nothing but 50 mph winds and barren highway.  

12/26 7:37 PM . . . Jolizabeth called.  The bus just threw her out at the long term parking lot, JFK airport, promising another bus to come.  The snow is really coming down now. 

12/26 9:31 PM . . . DEAR GOD HAVE YOU NO MERCY!  Jolizabeth called.  She is still at long-term parking, one stop away from where the hotel shuttle picks up, under normal conditions.  If only . . . Wait.  Not that it matters, because the hotel shuttles are stuck in the snow.  

12/26 10:02 PM . . . Calling taxi companies.  They won't even answer their phones.  The shuttle drivers are booking rooms and hunkering down for the night.  Even the front desk is ignoring me.  Beginning to think Jolizabeth might die out there. 

12/26 10:16 PM . . . Jolizabeth called!  She is saved!  

12/26 10:34 PM . . . Jolizabeth arrived.  She looks terrible, and I am working to revive her.  Together, we ate some leftover pizza scraps two British Oxfam workers gave us.  Half-eaten crust never tasted so good, and I won't ignore those Oxfam collectors on the street ever again. 

12/27 8:36 AM . . . Morning.  Next door, a child is screaming.  22 hours until we leave this frozen hell hole. 

12/27 9:02 AM . . . Managed a waffle and some fake eggs and cheese at today's breakfast, which was significantly more tense than yesterday's.  Most of the meager breakfast bar had been grabbed by 8:30, and the staff isn't restocking.  In fact, right now, they're unstocking.  People are clinging to their waffle batter and tap water like I cling to my mini-muffin.  A tall black man is complaining that people have to eat.  He is correct.  My stomach grumbles, even post-waffle.  An uprising may begin. 

12/27 9:17 AM . . . Checked with the front desk on my reservation for tonight.  It's not in the hotel's computer.  I don't have a room for tonight!  3 hours to fix this problem before the hotel kicks me out in the cold.  First food, now shelter.  I'm wondering when we'll run out of air.  My stomach grumbles again.  

12/27 11:55 AM . . . Just fought with for over an hour . . . over a discount hotel rate, too . . . almost exhausted the last of my energy . . . but I have a room for tonight . . . feeling feeble . . . need vegetables . . . fruit . . . looking hard at the chimichangas you can buy in the vending machine here . . . if they're not sold out . . .

1:07 PM . . .  Local news reports that the JFK airport has run out of food.  That's good, because I was entertaining thoughts of pillaging it.  Why do I feel so . . . basic?

2:07 PM . . . Jolizabeth uses the phone.  The phone laughs in Jolizabeth face.  No deliver food.  Room spinning.

3:30 PM . . . Where am I?

3:33 PM . . . Jolizabeth say food come soon.  No believe. 

4:00 PM . . . Where food?

4:22 PM . . . Nice man come from India.  Bring spicy spinach.  Tomorrow Ra bring me big metal bird.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New York (Heart) Me

If you're New York, or if you live in New York, or if you're good friends with New York (Newark!), don't read this.  It might hurt your feelings. 

*ring*  *ring*

Hello?  Dominican Republic?

Of course I recognize your voice.

Just let me explain okay? 

Okay.  Here goes.

First of all, I'm so, so, so, so sorry.  I will be there as soon as I can.  What?  Late at work?  No, I'm not late at work.  Traffic?  No.  No traffic.  Well . . . it's . . . you're not going to want to hear this. 

. . .

New York has fallen in love with me.  And no one can separate us.  No.  One.  Not even Delta. 

I didn't say I loved her! 

I don't care what my shirt says!  New York (heart)ed me first!  I swear.  She's the one who initiated this long-term thing.  She wooed me here with US Air, then she closed down her car, train, plane and bus routes.

I swear!  All of them!

Well, no, I haven't actually tried catching a train to come see you, but I'm pretty sure the logistics don't work.

Thank you.

I don't know!  She probably sent those low pressure zones down south, just to get me up here.  I swear, baby.  It's not my fault. 

Look, if you really want the details . . . 

The Big Apple was a short-term thing, a one-night stand . . . nothing like the five days I wanted to spend with you . . .

Well, of course I'd rather be warm and country than cold and urban!

Because I didn't mean to.

Why?  Well, it's just that . . . I guess I just had this connection here . . . and then -- wait, no, let me explain -- not that kind of connection.  I swear.

When?  As soon as I can.  Tuesday.  I'll be there Tuesday.  I'll get out of here at 7 am.

I'm telling you the truth, baby.


Say again?

You forgive me?

. . . good.

My voice?  There's nothing about my "la voz."

. . .

Okay.  One more thing. 

. . .

I don't have any protection with me. 

my junk, small and dark and lacking protection

Hello?  Hello?  DR?  Uh oh.  

*camera pans out on a lonely hotel room at JFK airport*

*SOUND: "Let it Snow" plays softly as I, in shorts and a t-shirt, weep*

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Wishes

Please stop asking me when you'll get my Christmas card this year.  The answer is "YOU'RE NOT!"

I'm sorry to shout, but I don't have the time or energy to buy real Christmas cards, or to stamp them, or to mail them, or to choose e-cards, or to take a picture of my young son and / or daughter and put them in a Santa hat, or whatever you people do these days.  I'm trying to start losing touch here, okay?

What I do have time for is a blog post in which you can search for your name and see if you would be receiving a Christmas card, if I were to do such plebeian things.  You can also read what I would say to you this holiday season.  This includes my wishes for the new year, because honestly, who knows when I'll write again.  I have so much else to do.  Like . . . never mind what like.  Just, stuff.

I encourage most of you not to go searching for your name unless you want your hearts broken.  Reading further is probably a futile effort, as I've almost certainly started to forget you as a person, even at the holidays.

But on you go . . .


First, generally:

The Boston Phoenix: I would like to vote for myself as Man of the Year for 2010.  Merry Christmas!

Time Magazine: I would like to vote for myself as Man of the Year for 2010.  Merry Christmas!

Highlights Magazine: I would like you to institute a Man of the Year poll, and I'd like to win it for 2010.  Merry Christmas, kids!

To the dozens of organizations that email me hourly asking me to sign this petition or call this representative or come to this emergency meeting or freak out about tomorrow because if I don't then wolves won't have civil rights in two years: here's $4 so we can keep Christmas.

President Obama:  Thank you for extending tax cuts for the mega-wealthy.  I want them in place when I get my first billion.  Happy Ramadan! (That's now, right?)

To the Boston school board:  Thank you for proving that democracy doesn't work.  рождество!

To the outgoing Democrats:  Thank you for proving that democracy doesn't work.  圣诞节快乐!

To the incoming Republicans:  Thank you for proving that democracy doesn't work.  Hilaris Sarcalogos!  

To jets, cars, factories, and sheep : Thank you for our unusually warm summer and deep-freeze weather in the Midwest and Europe.  Happy flying, driving, emitting, and farting!

And on a more personal note:

The man who was rapping loudly on the train: People don't think you're awesome.  They think you're mentally ill.  Merry Christmas!

To the guy in "The Crying Game:"  Please don't turn out to be a woman.  Happy Holidays!

To the man who was collecting money in a Santa suit at the corner of Mass Ave and Melnea Cass under pretense of being poor: How did you get a Santa suit?  Merry Christmas!

To the annoying orange: You are a group.  You can't get fans.  Moron. 

To my 47 "like"-ers: Your reward is in Heaven, and your ranks shall soon be great. (I think that's from the Bible.  That or I made it up.)

To everyone I've forgotten: I forgot you on purpose. Should Old Acquaintance be forgot . . .  sing along . . . and never brought to mind . . . Happy New Year!  Good luck riding someone else's coattails in 2011!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Hate You, Me

Jamaica Poor, MA 

December 17, 2010

JMM of the Future
Richland, USA

To my future famous self:

I know you're reading this.  And I hate you.  A lot.

It's true.  You know it's true.  You remember.

But do you remember why I hate you?  Because you're there.  You've made it.  And I'm . . . just . . . waiting.

You've probably forgotten waiting.  You're famous now, and you don't need patience any more.  You haven't waited on anything for decades.  Not meals, not rides, not money.  You don't even wait in line.

That's exactly why I'm writing to you, to remind you what it was like to wait.  (In fact, reminding you about me was the point of this whole blog.  Or had you forgotten that, too, you famous prick?)

Right now, it is almost the winter solstice.  It's almost the first snow of the year.  It's almost Christmas.  It's almost 2011.  The world is at a precipice and, even though you know what happens next, I don't.  Not.  Fair.

What do I get for Christmas?  Is it an agent?  When do they get me published?  Do I make a lot of money right away, or does it take a whole 6 months?

How does my second novel turn out?  How many millions read it?  How many enjoy it?

Do the Cubs ever win the World Series?  Will I care?  (woohoo, baseball!)

Does Kyrie Irving's toe heal before the end of the year?

What do I do tomorrow?

Will I find something more worthwhile to blog about, or will I forever write meaningless crap about waiting to my future self? 

Waiting sure is boring.  I wouldn't even dedicate an entry to it, except that I want you to suffer reading about it.  So . . . I hope you're suffering.  Are you suffering?  I guess I'll find out one day.  One . . . day.

Until then . . . I'll be waiting to turn into something I hate.  See you there.

Sincerely you,


PS Please write back, or just time travel in the new Delorean and say "Hi."  

Friday, December 10, 2010


I'm going to guess that most of you* who read this blog have heard of me.  If not, you should start at the beginning

I'm also going to guess that most of you haven't heard of Kyrie Irving.  If so, you should start at the beginning.

Kyrie Irving is a college basketball player (I can't seem to remember who he plays for).  He is a projected top 3 pick in the next NBA draft.  He may be the most talented point guard to play college basketball since. . . ever.  Time will tell.

Scratch that.  Time ain't no f'ing snitch. Mr Irving has a stubbed toe . . . a sprained toe . . . turf toe . . . a torn ligament . . . no right foot?  He's out for a few minutes . . . a few games . . . a few weeks . . . a few -- the season? 

People want to know what's wrong and when he'll be better.  They really want to know.  Some would say they're obsessing.  They're watching ESPN, reading blogs, following Kyrie Irving's twitter feed. (16,161 followers).

Add this to the fact that he's 18, he already has more facebook "like-rs" than me, has more people paying attention to him than me, his future full of millions is closer than mine . . .

. . .and now people are more interested in his toe than my entire career?  It should all make me pretty angry. 

But I have to be honest. 

I think I'm more interested in Kyrie's toe than my entire career.  I know, what a pessimistic thing to say.  But it's true.  Here I am writing an entire blog entry about a young man's toe instead of working on a second novel or fixing my near-perfect screenplay.  Even while I write this entry, sugarplum visions of healed ligaments and non-surgically-repaired feet are dancing^^ in the front of my brain.  I am neglecting my future self^ for these obsessions, and why?


Will I snap out of it, or will podophilia derail me, consuming my thoughts and deeds from now until the end of the "season?"  Stay tuned.  I'll let you know in 7 - 10 days.

*Mom mom mom mom mom!
^ Hi future self.  Please, please come back in time and tell me how Kyrie's toe is.
^^ Mambo #5

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Buy Me Things

In all this madness, I've forgotten to prepare for Christmas. 

Here is the stuff I want.  Sorry I didn't get this out in time for Black Friday.

Happy shopping!

1. A tv less then 7 years old (preferably without a pock-marked screen)
2. A pair of shoes with tread left
3. A t-shirt that was not given to me by a relative, comedy festival, or student organization
4. A desktop computer with the capacity to run two programs at once
5. A pair of dress socks without hearts on them
6. A pair of regular socks without holes in them
7. Scuba gear
8. A cow box
9. Some pizza ("some" as in a quantity, not as in "just an ordinary pizza that you found on the street")
10. Neil deGrass Tyson
11. A Delorean that travels through time (NOT using plutonium)
12. Perspective on all the good things in my life that money can't buy

My shipping address:

Jamaica Poor, MA

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Hi.  Come here often?  If so, excuse me.  I didn't recognize you.  If not, please stay a while.  My regular readers* will tell you how good I am to them.

For example . . . 

Around Labor Day, I started an ongoing feud with George Clooney (717,413 "like"-rs).  If that weren't enough, around Halloween, I opened a regular segment tracing the omens in my life that are foreboding my fame.  Interspersed, I've shared invaluable insight into the process of failing to get published.  What more could you ask for?

Well, for those of you who are pagans (i.e. non-Christians), you probably don't know that last Sunday was the first Sunday of the advent.  Translation for you:  that means it's almost Christmas.  I'm feeling giving again.

Announcing a new regular segment on my soon-to-be-famous blog!!!!!!!!!!!

My Celebrity Icons.  Part One.

Through this segment, I will act as an intermediary between the not-famous and the already-famous.  It is, after all, my temporary place in this world.  I will bring my regular readers* brief portraits of already-famous people you might not know much about.  That way, you'll all* get a glimpse into what I will be like when I am famous, and you can start preparing now for the change.  Plus, in the meantime, you'll know who my heroes are. 

My first celebrity icon is...

Professional football player Stevie Johnson!!!!!!!!  (Yay!!!!!!!!!!!)

Stevie Johnson plays for the Buffalo Bills!!!!!!!  He has 59 receptions (should be 60) for 796 yards (could be 836) so far this season.  He earns $388,380 a year in salary!!!!!  People would love to be him.  Most importantly, he writes things like this on Twitter after he drops important passes:


Is he your hero yet?  He's mine.  I mean, how many people do you know who have God following them on twitter?  WTF, RT?, THX THO...

I'm shaking my head in amazement.  I want to be like Stevie.  Goodbye MJ, hello SJ. 

Here is a tweet I just sent to the agent who rejected me yesterday:


I feel better!!!!!!!

I'll be doing everything like Stevie Johnson from now on.  So don't throw me any important passes (I'm looking at you, Ryan Fitzpatrick). 

*Hi, mom!
^unless you're an agent who does, in which case, go football!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Leave me alone, beach!

LEAVE ME ALONE!  If you want to mess with me, you come through me first!  

How dare you bother me, after all I've been through?  All you people care about is readers and making money off of me.  I'M A HUMAN!

What you don’t realize is that I am making you all this money, and all you do is write a bunch of crap about me.  All you people want is more more more more more.  Leave me alone!  

You’re lucky I even performed for you.  LEAVE ME ALONE!  Please.  

. . .

There.  I'm glad I got that off my chest.  

If it matters, I'm at the beach.  Yes, the beach.  I'M BEING AN ORDINARY HUMAN BEING AT THE BEACH IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU?? 

I won't tell you which beach*, and you won't ever find me.  But it's beautiful here.  JUST ORDINARY AND BEAUTIFUL IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU??

I won't be updating about agents or manuscripts or omens or writing anything, ANYTHING about George Clooney or his many, many, many, many "like-rs".  I've had enough.  ENOUGH IS THAT OKAY WITH YOU??  I NEED A FEW DAYS OFF IS THAT ALL RIGHT WITH YOU??

You people really don't get it.  When I put my private business out there, like on a blog or on youtube or every major news network, and I ask people to care about everything, EVERYTHING I do--I'm not giving you all permission to nudge about in my affairs!  THEY'RE MY AFFAIRS!  NOT YOURS!

All I ask is that I work when I want to work and don't when I don't, that I be rewarded extravagantly for just walking into a room, and that people adore me when I want to be adored and LEAVE ME ALONE WHEN I FEEL LIKE BEING LEFT ALONE!

Read my mind, assholes.  It's because of people like you that I've gone crazy and shaved my head. 

I have to sign off now.  The ocean breeze is intruding on my well-deserved privacy.  I'm going to go shout at it.  

. . .


Monday, November 22, 2010

A Private (Very Public) Confession

I read an interview with the agent who is currently (happily) perusing (with growing delight over each passing page) my manuscript.  In said interview, said agent expressed that he or she prefers to take on clients who already have platforms.  So I went out and built a 4' x 5' x 10' wooden structure.  (Punning, my mother tells me, is the first sign of a first-class intellect!*)

No, seriously folks.  What is a platform?  Basically, it means you already have a following. (Think, for example, Jesus or Glenn Beck.)

It is a reality of the publishing world.  These days, publishers want immediate best-sellers.  After all, about 90% or more of books never earn back the author's initial advance.  In other words, publishers lose money on most books they print.  Consequently, publishers are keen on authors (first-time or not) who already have a following so that, when the book comes out, there are already people who want to buy it, and everyone wins. 

Perhaps you feel that this expectation reflects a certain laziness on the part of the publisher -- that they want to print the book, distribute it, then watch it sell itself.  Maybe you think it's irrational that the marketing burden at first falls significantly on the shoulders of the least-established writers, instead of on major publishing houses with virtually unlimited resources.  Perhaps you also feel it is a catch 22 that in order to gain recognition (say, for a book you wrote) you have to have already gained recognition; it falls into the same category as "it takes money to make money," "the rich get richer," and "good things come to those who wait patiently surrounded by adoring fans in their private pool."  If you share any of these opinions about a platform, I direct you back to the topic sentence of the previous paragraph.

Whatever you believe, I, as a man of privilege, disagree with you.  I have a platform, and people support me, and I intend to use those people's support to ultimately leave those people behind.  Starting now. 

Are you ready for my readership to triple, my handsomeness to grow, and my "like-rs" to surge past Clooney, Conan and JK Rowling alike? 

Today, on November 22, 2010, I have a confession to make.  Here it comes . . .

. . .

I was on the grassy knoll.^  Not only that, I switched Kennedy's body with another handsome Kennedy at the autopsy.^^  And I placed the pristine bullet on the stretcher.^^^

Please don't tell anybody about this confession (e.g., by sharing a link to my blog on your facebook page, or mentioning my blog repeatedly to your friends, or by buying advertising space on the History Channel, then donating it to my blog).  I'm a very private person, and I would wither at all of the media attention I would get if people knew that I also rerouted the motorcade.**  (Oops.) 


* Carpentry is the first sign of a first-class Messiah.  Happy Holidays!
^ May not be true
^^I was not alive in 1963
^^^Replace "pristine bullet" with "a small cat" and "stretcher" with "my lap"

**I stole the Lindbergh baby

Friday, November 19, 2010

Did Someone Lose a Story?

Today, I came home from AC1 to find the following on my computer desktop, saved under the file name "Dog Story."

"Mr.Poofyfluffers ran like the wind. NO! He ran faster than wind. Faster than light. Faster than....time . . .Mr.Poofyfluffers arrived at where the Skate Park should have been. Poofyfluffers emerged from the bushes to find dust. He looked to his right; he saw sand and dust as far as the eye could see. He looked to his left, and he saw what appeared to be a small town off in the distance. A tumbleweed blew by. The sun was beaming down on him at this point. Mr. Poofyfluffers began to walk toward the town. The sun shone so brightly in his eyes, he didn't see that something, or someone, was following him very closely."

I swear, I did not write this.  I don't even know a Mr Poofyfluffers.  Or a Mrs Poofyfluffers, for that matter.

But, if you do, then maybe you have lost your story (or part of your story) on my computer desktop.  If this is your story, and you can send me the rest of it, I will recommend you to my agent.*

Consider that a challenge.
*when the next one says "yes"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Turn (A Poem in Blank Verse)

It's Autumn, change is in the
air, baseball ended,
basketball began,
the republicans took the house
of representatives
the leaves are
to the not-yet-frozen ground
robert downey jr in due
date, autumn leaves
autumn sunsets
autumn clocks fall back on their heels
go to hell carolina go to hell
autumn rivalry
peace be with you
autumn peace
an agent appears
autumn agent
he asks to read my manuscript
autumn request
a full request
so rare
1 out of
ten queries
or so
autumn statistics
he works in New York City
a city of
autumn change
will a
basketball curse
follow the
baseball curse
it is possible
request date?
15 november
an off day for the
new york knickerbockers
in the middle of a
losing streak
autumn remembers
winter forgets
i took the one less traveled by
glazed with rain water
beside some white chickens
autumn chickens
autumn white
and that has made all the

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baseball!! WOOOOO!!!! (Big fan hand in the air!!!!)

Boy, do I like baseball.  Latin people hitting balls.  Balls hitting Latin people.  Bats hitting balls.  Batted balls hitting people's balls.  Latin people hitting balls.  Bats hitting Latin people in the ballsBases.

Boy, do I love baseball. 

Remember how John Danks of the Chicago White Sox posted a 3.72 ERA with 162 strikeouts (K's!) this season?  That put him 19th in the American League in strikeouts, only eight K's behind Texas's CJ Wilson.  And CJ Wilson went on to pitch in the World Series.  Probably because his team, the Texas Rangers, had the most productive outs in baseball this season.  But, alas or hurray, they lost to the San Fransisco Giants

I sure hope free agent pitcher Cliff Lee doesn't "wind up" (that's a baseball pun) with the Yankees (grrr!).

But really, underneath, I don't care who^ beats whom^ for whom^.  I'm just a fan of the game!

I love baseball. 

If you are an agent, stop reading now.

Maybe the rest of you think I've lost my mind, or at least the thread of my blog.  I haven't.  On the contrary, I've garnered some vital information in my pursuit of an agent.  Ready?

Agents LOVE baseball!

Wanna know how I figured it out?  Well, there's a curious pattern forming.  

The First Request

I started marketing my novel around the beginning of baseball season.  At first I was getting all rejections.  Finally, the first request (and subsequent rejection) I got happened in September, from a letter I sent in July. The agency was in Toronto.  Let's look at the Toronto Blue Jays' record surrounding the date of that request:

Sun 8/29    @DET   L  4-10
Mon 8/30   @TB     L   2-6
Tues 8/31   @TB     W  13-5
Wed 9/1    @TB     L   1-2
Thurs 9/2  OFF DAY (!!!!)
Fri 9/3        @NYY   L  3-7
Sat 9/4        @NYY   L  5-7

Weird.  The agency in Toronto asked to read my manuscript on the Toronto Blue Jays' off day, in the middle of a losing streak.  Could it be that they were disenchanted with their team, wanted a distraction?  No . . . could it?

The Second Request

The second request (and subsequent rejection) I got was from a New York City agency on September 9.  I will assume they are Yankees fans, since they ultimately rejected me. 

The Yankees were going as follows at that time:

Sun 9/5     TOR   L   3-7
Mon 9/6    BAL   L   3-4
Tues 9/7    BAL   L   2-6
Wed 9/8    BAL   W  3-2
Thurs 9/9   OFF DAY (!!!!)
Fri 9/10     @TEX  L  5-6
Sat 9/11    @TEX  L  6-7
Sun 9/12    @TEX  L  1-4
Mon 9/13   @TB    L  0-1

Okay, now I'm getting paranoid.  Is requesting my manuscript some sick thing agents do when their team is choking?  Is it a coincidence that, like the Toronto agency, the New York City agency asked for my manuscript on an off day in the middle of a nasty Yankee losing streak, and to the bottom of the AL no less? 

I'm not crying yet, but let's call it strike two. 


Then October "hit."  (Oh man, I'm full of 'em.)

During the month of October, I sent out 11 query letters (selectively, and intermittently*).   Four of them garnered form-letter "no's."  Six of them have not garnered responses at all (yet?)

And boy did those form-letter "no's" ever seem just a little too hastily written -- as in during "God Bless America!"  (I use this time to write letters, too.  I mean, do we really need two Hurray-for-America songs every baseball game?)  I'm glad I didn't query any Boston agencies in October.  They would have written back "Bum bum bum!  So good, so good, so good!"

Finally . . .

One of the October letters garnered a request for what we aspiring novelists call a "partial." (That is, one agent requested to see the first thirty pages of my novel.)  The letter is dated November 2.  What day did the World Series -- and thus, baseball season -- wrap up?

Well, if you can't answer that, then you obviously don't know anything about baseball.  I hope you're not trying to publish a book or become an agent.

Strike three.  Thank God baseball season is over.  Now I can start to be taken seriously!

. . .

Unless they pay attention to the hot stove  . . . ?
* in case some agent is still reading
^I think I used "who," "whom," and "whom" correctly!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Blog is Not About My Butt

Like any great thinker, I am occasionally mocked. 

For example, I humbly and sincerely, upon the creation of this blog, specified that its* purpose is to record what it's* like to be "regular" before I forget.  Some of you have tried to turn this noble intention into some kind of poop joke.  Well, I have news for you.  

My blog is not about sh*t. 

I specifically chose the word "regular" over words like "normal," "average," "typical," and "mundane" (especially "mundane") because these words listed above refer to a person's innate and inherent qualities.  A "normal," "average," "typical" or "mundane" person is "normal," "average," "typical," or "mundane" by their very nature.  It is a personality flaw (or, more likely, a series of personality flaws), if they even have a personality to begin with, and it is their fault for being that way.  This being the case, these personality-oriented adjectives (which don't apply to me) could only be shed through character building, through socialization, through "self-work," and I simply wouldn't have the time for that (if these adjectives did apply to me, which they don't).

The word "regular," on the other hand, refers not to my personality, but to my caste, to my wealth, to my unfairly denigrated standing in the eyes of George Clooney (and his fans), and implies that society's failure to recognize me is absolutely not my fault (which it's not).  It is easily shed by a sudden change in the social order, and since this is the United States, such changes to the social order happen all the time.

All of that being said, I think you'll agree that "regular" is the better choice in describing my current predicament.  But if you still think "regular" is funny, just wait.  Upon my arrival at the top, I intend to shed the word "regular" as quickly as, well, an easy trip to the toilet, not to work it off like, well . . . a much longer trip to the toilet. 

But I still intend to be as regular as possible.  I hope that makes sense.  

In summary, fame and the toilet have nothing to do with one another.

*Hey, I used "its" and "it's" correctly!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Progressive Manifesto

When you're someone like me -- someone with a blog -- you have to be careful about how you use your considerable e-power.  I refrain, generally speaking, from getting involved in politics.  After all, if I speak my mind, I might actually change something, and I think I already outlined those risks.

But since I've dipped my foot in this pool, I may as well go for a quick swim.  The water's so nice and blue -- red -- no, blue . . . anyway, it's warm from the bloodbath.  (Pardon me if this post meanders into earnesty.) 

If you agree with the following post, feel free to declare so on the facebook page I just created!

In 2008, 70 million Americans across 50 states voted in favor of Barack Obama's platform of energy independence, health care reform, military restraint and transparent, accessible government.  The political results have been, at best, mixed.  However, while the ensuing progress on these issues has been disappointing to us, we have not stopped believing in or fighting for these issues.

To continue to do so effectively, we must reject the following three common presumptions.

1) The progressive "left."  We must reject the idea that "progressive" values are in any way "fringe" in American politics.  The words "progressive" and "liberal" are currently used almost interchangeably for far left politics, and these terms are simply not the same.  We live in a political climate where many progressive ideas - like those outlined above - enjoy great popularity, yet they are viewed as borderline socialist ideas.  This is inaccurate.  Most progressive ideas are very popular. (If you live in Massachusetts, you should definitely click on that link and call it to the attention of your representative.)

2) Democrat = Progressive.  We must reject the idea that the Democratic Party is the people's party or the avatar of progressive ideas.  During the last two years, Democrats have enjoyed an unprecedented opportunity to fight for progressive principles, and they have compromised those principles repeatedly.  While there are many truly progressive Democrats who deserve their constituents' support, the party as a whole is too fragmented to be labeled "progressive."

3) The outsourcing of political debate.  We must reject the idea of a distant government that must in turn be lobbied and beseeched to carry out the will of the people.   In the 2012 general election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be open to our will, and each registered voter will receive one vote.  The officials in our government are beholden to us, and we must not be afraid to exercise our power.

Given these principles, I believe that we, the people of the United States who organized so boldy for progressive principles in 2008, must use that same organization to reclaim that power in 2012 by doing two things.

1) We must continue to support progressive candidates in major parties who have stood boldly these two years for our ideals.  We must differentiate between those who have relied only on rhetoric and those who have channeled their principles into a voice on our behalf.  We must reward them.

2) In districts where there is no option which we can enthusiastically support, we must oppose Democrats and Republicans alike by fielding and supporting true independent, progressive candidates in the general election.  We can not allow politicians in the current parties to take our vote for granted simply because we are willing to vote for the lesser of two evils.   We must give rational, disillusioned, angered voters in poorly-represented districts an alternative to voting against a system which does not truly represent them and offer them one that does.  Previously, progressive organizations have supported progressive candidates in Democratic primaries.  This is not enough.  We must present all Americans -- not just registered Democrats and those who vote in the primaries -- a positive option at the polls, and we must see those options to victory.

We musn't forget that the enthusiastic voters and volunteers who believed in changing Washington in 2008 are still here and that, in fact, our numbers are growing.   By our continuing to organize through the free press, through social networking sites, and by simple word of mouth, we can absolutely attain these goals.  By doing so, we will gain new leverage over a system that is drifting further and further from its democratic roots.

How does this sound?  A little too idealistic?  Well, I have three words for you. "Yes, we . . ."  Wait.  We're going to need a new motto this time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Second Omen: I Burned My Face

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the omens in my life.  I posted that the first omen foretelling of my future infamy had arrived -- in the form of a check.  I had recognized it right away as an omen, and I was proud.  I thought I was good at recognizing such things. 

I was wrong (about the recognizing part).  A second, even more obvious omen was already in the making, had already entered my life, walked up to my doorstep, practically slapped me in the face . . . and I hadn't even noticed.   

When the first omen arrived on October 16, I had already been contracted to perform at an upcoming event for Harrington Events.  Specifically, a "client" in Newton was throwing one hell of a Halloween party (get it?), and Harrington Events was hiring actors to play ghouls, zombies . . . Julia Child, Zoltar . . . you know, the usual Halloween faces.

A spooky event at a creepy house.  It should have occurred to me that this, too, was just like Betrayal. . . was an obvious omen . . . but it didn't. 

Then, I went to the event, and they turned me into this handsome devil:

I should have realized what this was (an omen, in case you're an idiot or just starting reading this mid-post).  I didn't.

I took myself out into the party's garden and wiggled around on the ground:

Women screamed at seeing me. (Guys dressed like Owen Wilson just watched with their hands in their pockets.)

That should have given it away.  I mean, women scream at famous and near-famous people all the time.  And Owen Wilson stares at famous people all the time.  Obviously an omen, right?

I still didn't realize, though.  I was blinded (Well, half-blinded.  I could only see out of one eye.).

I went back inside, where they turned me into this thing:

I took myself to the dance floor, where women screamed again, but for a different reason.  They danced all around me.  One groped my face.

I still didn't realize.  (How dumb am I?)

As the party went on, I met Tiger Woods and some nice BP people.  And Supergirl, and Batman, and Richard Simmons.  The Village People were there.  How could I still not see?  How could I not recognize that this whole party was one big omen?  Well, I didn't.  And not just because the latex was now dripping into my good eye.  I'm just that obtuse.

Then, finally, on the way home from the event, a friend of a friend asked "So, how many actors were hired for the event?"  I did a quick once-through in my mind.  Me, Keith (Name changed to protect his identity, but you know who he is, Conan O'Brien!), another ghoul  . . . a headless man . . . a bride . . . Julia Child . . . Six.  Six actors.  Six of us at a creepy house. 

A light bulb went on.  How many explorers are there in a game of Betrayal?  Finally, I saw this party for what it was.  A second omen.  

You can tell me this is all coincidence and I'm making things up.  But I ask you: Now which one of us is being obtuse?  And which one of us is two steps along the 13-fold path to celebrity?

Here are the omens so far, so you can follow along attentively at home (or on your iphone or other web-enabled mobile device).

1) My Zeitgeist Stage check
2) I Burned My Face
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?
7) ?
8) ?
9) ?
10) ?
11) ?
12) ?
13) Probably a giant check

PS More photos of the event are available on Harrington Events' facebook page.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Erection Day!

Here is some new polling I didn't make up:

"Nearly half of voters who favored GOP control of Congress said their feelings reflected a vote of protest against the Democrats."  Yes!  Perfect!  Huzzah!  Woohoo!  Yes!  Thank God at least half of voters still get American politics.

But maybe you're not one of them, so let me explain what you don't get.

See, 2 years ago we did this to the Republicans.  We told them their clothes looked funny, and their hair was bad, and they were a bunch of scared white boys, and we wanted nothing to do with them.  And it felt great.  Man, did we show them.  We elected so many Democrats that Republicans practically cried.  Man, oh man.  I mean, man.  Do you know what it felt like?  Do you know how silly those Republicans looked? 

It felt great.   

And do you know what it accomplished?

Nothing.  But if that's what you care about, then you don't get American politics.  I mean, at all.  I'll have to explain some more:

The point has never been to actually change things (In fact, that is the opposite of the point.)  The point is always to feel like we've changed things so we can walk around for a few months with our balls hanging out, high-fiving each other.  Pennsylvania basically humps Ohio every two years, it's so excited about all the change we're making.  

And now we get to feel that way again.  And again two years after that.  And again two years after that.  We.  Are.  So.  Lucky. 

Okay, so maybe this isn't getting us anywhere as a country.  Maybe we're not solving our most critical problems.  Maybe we're coming across to the rest of the world as entitled teenagers who don't actually know what we want, but know that we don't want that.  But -- do I have to say it again?  THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF POLITICS!

So go vote Republican tomorrow, even if it doesn't reflect your values (Wait.  These parties actually have platforms?).  It's going to feel really good.  Then, enjoy it for a few months, grow disgruntled, start complaining about out-of-touch politicians, and get angry again.  Then vote Democrat in 2012.  And Republican in 2014.  Democrat 2016.

Man, it's going to be an awesome decade. 

Just do me one favor.  Whatever you do, don't go voting for some hippie shit.  A) It'll ruin the fun for the rest of us, and B) That would be wasting your vote.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Condoleeza Rice is Scared of Me


Did I getcha?  If you are a politician or major corporation, then my guess is "Yeah, I gotcha."  Happy Halloween.

You wouldn't be my first victim.  As an aspiring published novelist, I have a  record of intimidating politicians and major corporations.  In fact, it's part of the order of things.  Here's a quick study I made up regarding who has the most power in this beloved country of ours (By "ours" I mean "white men's."  If you are not a white man and you are reading this, make sure you take special note of where you belong in the order of things.  And stay there!)


10) Aspiring novelists who are not white men
9) Anyone else I don't mention here (also, Latina mothers)
8) Toyota (also, stock brokers)
7) God (also, Satan)
6) "Big Ag"
5) Politicians (current and former)
4) George Clooney
3) The Tea Party, bigots, misogynists and racists (as of next January)
2) Exxon Mobil
1) Aspiring novelists who are white men

I will now support the above "theory" (which is actually fact).

Five years ago, I wrote a performance piece for MOSAIC called Kyoto Toyota.  It criticized Toyota for destroying almost their entire fleet of electric cars back in 2005.  (Sidenote: Yes, Prius owners, you read that correctly.  You are suckers.  Not only did Toyota get you a good one by making your gas pedals stick to the floor, they also developed a completely electric car a good 3 years before the "revolutionary" Prius.  And people liked it, and you probably would have, too.   You know what?  I don't have space in this blog post to tell you how much of a sucker you are.  The politicians and major corporations are scared and waiting for me to get on with it.  Just go here if you own a Prius.  Then, cry.)

So back to the point.  Politicians and major corporations -- sorry to keep you scared.

My MOSAIC piece, Kyoto Toyota, was the cat's pajamas.  We danced around.  We imitated local car commercials.  We smashed matchbox cars with whiffleball bats.  A fun time was had by all (except the lady who got hit by the tiny flying wheel).  What we didn't know at the time was that Kyoto Toyota was an intimidating pair of cat's pajamas (Happy Halloween again).  It was about two months after the piece was first performed that Toyota started changing their ways (sort of).  Again, it's too big to get into, so go here (Basically, Kyoto Toyota, MOSAIC and I are the reason why Toyota didn't crush all of their electric cars.  You're welcome.)

In case you aren't lost yet, fast forward another month.  October, 2005.  In response to another piece of mine from that summer (entitled "Wesley Willis 'Does' Tom DeLay" -- linked for your enjoyment here), Tom DeLay, "The Hammer" himself, is arrested.

Holy cow!  2 for 2.  It was at that point that I stopped writing meaningful pieces for MOSAIC and for the next five years resorted to pieces about sticking your tongue out at the audience and M Night Shyamalan.  Then, last May, I left MOSAIC before I could do any more damage.

So now it's October, 2010.  I'm almost famous, working the occasional odd job to keep myself humble, and wondering why Back to the Future is back in theaters (hint: it's because all the good movies have already been made).  As far as I'm concerned, for the time being, I'm harmless.  Right?  I mean, until this blog entry, I haven't scared a politician or major corporation for five whole years.  Honest.

I decide to test the waters.  I pick up an odd job ushering for a Condoleeza Rice speaking engagement here in Boston (yes, really).  I promise myself that I won't bring my matchbox cars or whiffleball bats along.  I'll even keep my hands down and my voice calm, and I won't tell anyone from MOSAIC about the job.      

Enter Condoleeza Rice.

Oops.  On the other hand, don't enter Condoleeza Rice.  My reputation precedes me.


I did it again.  Now if only someone would arrest her.  She and Tom DeLay could compare mug shots.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Come and Find Me

I just want to publicly acknowledge that tomorrow or, technically, later today, I will be entering the Davis Mega Maze.  I've conquered this maze three years running (with a little help), but this year, it is highly possible that my corn-cutting team will be down a few key members.  For example, last year's star mapper, Jimbo (name changed to protect identity) may not be present.  What is a man to do?

I've had to think quickly.  And I came up with an idea.

I rented a helicopter and am spending the night surveying the maze from above.  It was worth the $7,250.

Still, despite my extraordinary pre-game efforts, I may, once the proverbial husk hits the weevil, get lost. 

So . . .

If I never make it to the top of the world and this blog comes to an unsatisfactory conclusion, it's because I'm trapped in a bunch of corn.  In which case:


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Omen? Check!

Some people are beginning to think that this blog is facetious.  My mother, for one.  She taught me the word "facetious."  I have one word to teach her: "hater!"

My mother, you see, has played a lot of games.  Trivial Pursuit, Life . . . a lot of Pac-Man.  A LOT of Pac-Man.  One game she has never played (guaranteed)?  Betrayal at House on the Hill.  If she had, she would understand the profusion of vestiges portending my fast-approaching illustriousness (See, ma, I can learn words on my own now, thank you very much.)

Back to Betrayal at House on the Hill.  This is a game in which, in short, 6 explorers explore (go figure) a haunted house and as they do so, different omens appear.  Once a certain amount of omens have appeared -- thirteen at the most -- one of the explorers is chosen to leave the others behind and, well, who cares what happens next.  It's irrelevant to my blog.  ((If you have never played and are intrigued, though, you have an opportunity this Thursday.  Let me know.  But be warned that I always win.)

I have, in fact, won this game so many times that now, it and I have become one.  Every time I play now, I am the explorer chosen by the omens to ascend beyond all other explorers.  Coincidence?  No.  Because, if you haven't figured it out by now, I have also been chosen in life (except by those who don't choose me.)

Is it further coincidence, then, that these omens have begun to appear in my "real" life?  (I put real in quotation marks because, honestly, what's more real than exploring a haunted house with little plastic figures?)  Here is the first one:

This check is from Zeitgeist Stage for my role in Enron.  It's the first check I've ever received for acting in a formal theatrical production at the BCA.  Not only that, but look at the script!  No man writes like that!   This check was written by a lost soul, or maybe a werewolf (possibly a witch).

Conclusion: omen #1 has arrived.  The list begins. 


1. The Zeitgeist Stage check
2. ??
3. ??
4. ??
5. ??
6. TBD
7. ??
8. ??
9. ??
10. ??
11. ??
12. ??
13. (see below)

By the time I get to omen #13, I will have arrived at my haven of exaltation.

I hope it looks like this:

 Now that's an omen (girl!)!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Cold Clooney Consequence

I'm sure you've been following the me vs George Clooney competition as closely as I have.

Your house is filled with stacks of notebooks (and George Clooney biographies), all covered in detailed notes on just what the actor is up to and how it will affect his popularity.  You're staring at The Men Who Stare At Goats.  You're considering robbing a casino to get yourself into the news.  You're staying up from dusk 'til dawn and tiring out your good wrist in the process (writing in those old-fashioned notebooks does a number on the forearms). 

Some of my new like-rs are thinking right now, "What are you talking about?"  Don't worry, new like-rs.  Unlike GC, I will care for you.  So . . . playing catch-up for those of you who haven't been with me since day 1:

As of September 29, 2010 - the day after I started my own "like"-able facebook page -- George Clooney had 636,057 facebook lik-ers.  I had 13.  At that point, I declared war.  Immediately, the numbers jumped in my favor.  Here's what it looked like 24 hours later (this is for everyone now):

GC: 636,057 like-rs (I didn't look, but I assume he stayed put.)
Me: 36 like-rs (!!!)

I nearly tripled my like-rs, and GC?  Well.  Bump on a log.  Some "career."  Probably too busy "filming."

Then came my three rejections.  And here's where things stand today.

GC: 661,090 (+25,033)
Me: 42 (+6)

Ouch.  It looks like those rejections took the momentum right out of my campaign.  It looks like it's time to give up.  I guess I've lost this competition.

If you are George Clooney, stop reading now.


HA!  (I hope I didn't write that too loud.)  Here is a secret for all of you non-GC -types.  

The fact is,  I'm playing possum.  Yes, you read that correctly (Unless you didn't.  It should read "I'm playing possum."  If that's not what you read, go back and read it again.  Now you've read that correctly.).

We all know that if I wanted to, I could continue to accumulate like-rs at an exponential rate.  But look what the arms race did to the Soviet Union.  It made them Communist. (Thanks to my publicly-educated rural NC friends for teaching me this.) 

So what am I really up to?  I'm letting George Clooney dig his own commie grave by building up arms (like-rs) until he, like the Soviet Union, turns black and white and red all over.  In the meantime, like a boutique agency, I'm keeping my clientele list small so that I can care about you all and stay "real" (until I get famous).  See how much I care?   I'm not just some numbers guy. 

Don't forget this.  

PS Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon and Conan O'Brien, please don't tell George about this secret part of my blog post.  You'll ruin everything. 

PPS It's still okay to "like" me on facebook.  I'm accepting new clients. 

PPPS And by the way, whichever one of you is outbidding me by 50 cents right now . . . please stop.  I only have $11 in my pocket given my recent rejections.  And I NEED to win something for my ego (did I mention the rejections?). 

PPPPS "You're welcome" for the tune in your head, link-clicker.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rejection Reflection (or) The Mouths of Babes

One week, three rejections.

Two were from agents who read my full manuscript. One was from an agent I was high on who declined to read it.

Again, for those who are not going to be famous soon, this happens often. It is somewhat infrequent that an agency requests to read your full manuscript at all, and you count yourself lucky every time it happens. Accordingly, I am deeply thankful that anyone at all has even given my novel the time of day, and I understand that rejection is part of the ordeal. They say that the worst thing you can do in Vegas is win on the first hand; I don't expect this to be an easy process or one that I am entitled to succeed in (The only thing I am truly entitled to is my eventual fame.) 

That said, here is a disturbing mini-trend in the nature of said rejections. First, from an agent who declined after reading the manuscript:

"I'm afraid that we just don't know that we can successfully sell this given the current climate in the publishing world. The book dances between YA themes and themes more suited for an adult reader."

And from the one who declined based on the query letter:

"You've set up a hard situation: 12 [year-old] protagonist in an adult novel. Not impossible to do, but in these 'duck and cover' times in publishing, it would be hard to pull off, both in writing and in selling."

So agents think that publishers think that [real] adults don't want to read books that open to them the minds of "young [not yet real] adults"? Noted.

Here's a game for you.

Q) For $1,000, what are the two big raves right now in fiction?

A) vampires (eck) and crossover fiction (*slushing sound*)

Q) For $1,000 more, what is crossover fiction?

A) Fiction that will appeal to both an [real] adult and a young [not yet real] adult reader. Think Harry Potter. Now, stop thinking or your brain will explode from the catch 22. (Which would make a great book title, btw. Someone get on that.)

Great. Your check's in the mail, right beside mine.

Q) Oh, for another $1,000, what do all of these news items from the last month have in common?,,20431814,00.html,CST-NWS-duncan23.article

A) Easy. They are all further evidence that publishers are correct. The happenings in the lives of young [not yet real] adults have absolutely no relevance to [real] adult life. And as such, [real] adults aren't talking, thinking or reading about them.
Bonus round!

Here is a short list of some of the themes in my novel. [Real] adults (and [real] adults only!) -- let me know which ones have no relevance to you. I will take them out forthwith. No money at stake here. Just my future.

- violence
- racism
- inequity
- intolerance
- isolation
- love
- hope
- subway travel ([real] adults still do this, right?)
- the unavoidable connection between the fate of the privileged and the fate of the poor
- peacocks

Friday, October 8, 2010

Work? A Choose-My-Own Adventure!

A friend of mine posted the following query on today.  (Some people just call it "facebook.")

"Writer friends: Do you actually LIKE the act of writing? The part where you have to get your ideas out on paper? And if not, how do you make yourself like it?"  So far, there are 27 responses, all bemoaning the difficulty of being a writer and documenting the heroic struggle of people like me and millions of others as we valiantly overcome and . . . somehow . . . write . . . anyway.

Please.  What is an artistic career compared to the difficulties of an ER doctor?  A truck driver?  A single mother?

But wait . . .
Some poorly-woven backstory:

Starting in April 2010, I made a commitment to write every day, at least 30 minutes a day, until I get published (and ergo famous).  I also committed myself to shipping out two query letters a week as part of the deal.  After all, if a tree falls in the forest and all of that . . .

(Internal P.S. A query letter, for those who won't be famous soon, is a "do you want to read my book and maybe publish / represent it?" letter.)

This commitment has been fairly easy to keep.  After all, my second bold move was to take this summer "off."  That is, after working a summer job every year since I was 16, this summer I only took 3 weeks of paying work, and that was only for 4 hours a day, 4 days a week.  It left me plenty of time to write, to market, to act, to frolic and to go broke. 

Here is a short Choose-My-Own-Adventure Game for you to play.  It documents this week's return to my "day job."  I recommend a scrap sheet of paper.  Here are your stats:

Query Speed: 1     You can finish one query letter per hour. 

Gold pieces: 3       1 gold piece = 1 "earth dollar"
Movement Rate:   to artistic job #1: 20
                                to artistic job #2: 25
                                to artistic job #3: 40
Hit Points:              40       
Inventory:              Cliff Bars (121 of them).  These allow you to skip breakfast without penalty.

To WIN, finish the week without:
losing artistic job #1 (AC1)
losing artistic job #2 (AC2)
losing artistic job #3 (AC3)
losing your girlfriend
disappointing your parents
breaking your commitments to yourself (i.e. write 30 minutes each day and get 2 query letters done this week)
running out of hit points

If you fail at any of these things, your character is dead.  Let's start easy.

Sunday, midnight.  You can:
1) Sleep.
2) Stick thumbtacks in your eyes. 

If you chose (2), lose 40 hit points.  You can quit now if this is getting too difficult.

Monday, 8:15 AM.  AC1 begins at 9 AM.
1) Get up and go to AC1: throwing teddy bears at children, which teaches them to get along.  Lose 4 hit points from energy exertion.
2) Lose your amazingly fulfilling day job.
3) Quit now.  Man, this blog is boring today.

Monday, 2 pm.  AC1 ends.  You are due at AC2 at 2:30.  To get there, you must add your movement rate for AC1 (to get home, 20) to your movement rate for AC2 (to get from home to AC2, 25). 
1) Cry.  Lose 40 hit points. 
2) Rush home, then to AC2 and try to be at your best.  This involves eating PBJ on-the-go for lunch: lose 2 hit points.  Lose another 4 hit points if you want to be present and keep your job at AC2.
3) Give up on doing artistic stuff and go watch tv.  (By the way, you can't afford cable.) 

Monday, 5 pm.  AC2 ends.
You have no further artistic commitments for the day. 
1) Head off to your first social commitment, a date with your lady.  Gain 2 hit points. 
2) Lose your girlfriend.  Didn't you read the rules?  

Monday, midnight.  You can:
1) Sleep.
2) Search the bedroom for dust mites.  Lose 6 hours of sleep.  What, are you allergic?

Gain 1 hit point for every hour of sleep until 10 am.

Tuesday, 10 am.  Your first AC - AC2 - isn't until 2 pm.  You have four hours.

Resting: Each 1/2 hour of rest will earn you back 1 hit point.  
Eating:  Take 20 minutes to eat and lose no hit points.  Take 10 minutes to eat and lose 1 hit point.  Skip lunch and lose 3 hit points. 
Don't forget your daily and weekly commitments.
Don't forget to include your movement rate when making sure that you're at AC2 by 2 pm. 

Tuesday, 2 pm.
1) Be present and energized at AC2.  Lose 10 hit points.
2) Lose AC2.  You really don't care for instructions, do you? 

Tuesday, 7 pm.  AC2 is over.  You are supposed to be at dinner at 7.  Movement rate to dinner: 40 
1) Are you seriously still reading this?  It will pay off.
2) Skip dinner.  Lose your girlfriend.  Your character is dead. 
3) Rush to a delicious dinner.  Gain 3 hit points for eating.

Tuesday, 11 pm.  You're home.

Make sure you finish your writing for the day.  
Gain 1 hit point for each full hour of sleep until 8:20 AM. 

Wednesday, 8:20 AM.  AC1 begins at 9 AM.
1) Go to work.

Good choice.  Lose 4 hit points or the kids won't like you and you'll lose AC1.

Wednesday, 1 pm.  AC1 ends.  AC2 begins at 2 pm.  Don't forget - to get to AC2, you must add your movement rate for AC1 (20) and AC 2(25).  

If you take less than 20 minutes for lunch, lose 1 hit point.  If you skip lunch, lose 3 hit points.  
If you make it to AC2 on time, lose 8 hit points for your time there, or lose AC2.

Wednesday, 5 pm.  AC2 ends, but is incomplete.  AC3 begins at 6:30 pm.  To get there, you must add your movement from AC2 (25) to your movement from AC3 (40).
If you take less than 20 minutes for dinner, lose 1 hit point.  If you skip dinner, lose 3 hit points. 
If you make it on time to AC3, lose 6 hit points for performing with energy.

Wednesday, 10:30 pm.
 Get as much sleep as you can.

If you don't allot 1 more hour to AC2, you lose AC2 and are dead.
If you don't allot at least 10 minutes to calling your girlfriend, you are dead.
Don't forget to include your movement rate, unless you plan to sleep at the BCA.
Don't forget your daily writing.
For each full hour of sleep until 8:20 AM, gain 1 hit point. 

Thursday, 8:20 AM.
1) Go to work.  Lose 4 hit points or the kids won't like you and you'll lose AC1.
2) Give up.  Lose AC1 and all hit points.  Your character is lame.  And dead.

Thursday, 1 pm.  AC1 ends.  AC2 begins at 2:30 pm.  Don't forget - to get to AC2, you must add your movement rate for AC1 (20) and AC 2(25). 

If you take less than 20 minutes for lunch, lose 1 hit point.  If you skip lunch, lose 3 hit points.  
If you make it to AC2 on time, lose 4 hit points for your time there, or lose AC2.

Thursday, 4:30 pm.  AC2 ends.  AC3 begins at 6:30.
You know the drill.  Movement rate for AC2 and AC3; if you skip or rush dinner, you suffer the hit point losses (3 or 1, accordingly) . . . 

Thursday, 6:30 pm
If you made it to AC3 on time, lose 6 hit points for performing with energy.

Thursday, 10:30 pm.  As you've made it home and finished your daily commitments, you may either:
1) Go to your girlfriend's house, hitting traffic on the way.  Movement rate: 45. 
2) Lose your girlfriend. 

Gain 1 hit point for each full hour of sleep until 8:20 AM.

Friday, 8:20 am.
1) Go to work.  Lose 4 hit points or the kids won't like you and you'll lose AC1.
2) Take today off.  Lose AC1.  You only get one day off for the year unless you're sick, and if you use it today, you may as well quit now.

Friday, 12:30 pm.  The second class canceled for today.  You get 30 minutes of your life back. 
Use this hour and a half as you like.

Friday, 2:00 pm.  An encounter!
You receive an email from the new agent who is perusing your manuscript.  They like it, but don't know how to market it and have chosen to pass.  Lose 2 hit points and 16 sanity points.  Use the remaining 5 hours as you like.  

If you take less than 20 minutes for linner, lose 1 hit point.  If you skip linner, lose 5 (!) hit points.  
If you choose to post in your blog, gain 4 sanity points. 

Friday, 7:00 pm.  AC3 begins.  Be on time!

Lose 5 hit points for performing with energy.
Are you still alive?  I am.  But I'm not at AC3 yet, and I'm at -12 sanity points.

Okay, so maybe I don't have anything on the ER doctor or the single mother, but man . . .

This artistic shit is harder than full plate dragonscale!