All The Work Safe Or Die Trying Essays So Far

Hi Everybody, 

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been writing an essay a week for Real Pants. The essays are about creativity and working for a living. I work heavy construction in an oil refinery and while I’m there, I write on my cellphone on my breaks. A few of my novels were written that way, most of my stories and poems were written that way. Here’s a list of all the essays so far. I’m really enjoying this project and not sure how long it’s going to keep going, but 22 pieces into it, I’m still having a ball. 

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing these links with people who you think could gain anything from them. Sometimes we all get stuck in our creative efforts. I hope these essays help some people out of a creative jam they have found themselves in. 

Much love, 

Work Safe Or Die Trying Column at Real Pants 

Something To Do


last night there was no hot water 

so I wore my winter coat 

into the shower

ear muffs too

today I filled up an orange juice jug 

with beautiful botanical gin 

my neighbor Bill gave me 

because it made his head 

swell up like a sad party balloon 

tomorrow I don’t know 

what will happen on the long drive 

to your mother’s house

it might be that we’re killed behind

the wheel, or it might be 

that we find the most obscure songs

on the radio 

and stay in love longer 

tomorrow night 

we will be somewhere 

tearing life apart 

to make new patches 

for your blood soaked 

jean jacket.


New short “Coral Reef” and an Interview at Moonsick 

Today I have a story called Coral Reef at Moonsick Magazine. The story is about two peeps driving around their hometown on acid and contemplating cutting off the head of the town’s mascot, a plaster brontosaurus. It’s also about coming to terms with one of your exes fucking a police officer. “But you used to be so punk rock …”Read Coral Reef here

I also talked to the editor of Moonsick, Gwen Beatty about my writing, working heavy construction (how we get nicknames on the jobsite) how I edit my novels … It was a good conversation, Gwen is a great writer and editor. I really liked her book, Kill Us On The Way Home out from Passenger Side Books … Take a look at our conversation here 

Maybe this is all too much stuff for one post, but I also wanted to share a new essay for Real Pants called “On The Beach” about swimming, getting sunburnt, even the time that I was working at this fancy house on the ocean and the homeowners insisted on giving us chocolate cake and milk during a heat wave. Here is the essay 

Thank you for reading this stuff. Drop me a line sometime. 

One Year Anniversary of My Novel F250

Beautiful day here in New Jersey. Sun is shining like crazy and I’m coasting my way towards Memorial Day weekend and the beach and beer and the start of a suntan. 

Today is also the one year anniversary of the release of my second novel F250, the story of a man named Lee Casey who is in a noise band called Ottermeat. 

To celebrate the anniversary of the novel, I am sending out free Kindle versions. Just email me at or tweet me @bud_smith 

F250 is on Goodreads here 

I also did an interview at The Rumpus right around the time of F250’s release. Check that out here

And last but not least, I was also in The Other People podcast when the book came out to talk to Brad Listi about F250 and how it was written on my cellphone while I was at work at the oil refinery. Listen to that here


Two Readings 5/24 + 5/25

Oh my lawd!

Tonight in Brooklyn, Cool As Fuck reading series. 6:30 pm. I’ll be hosting and toasting with Bill Lessard at Pete’s Candy Shop. Readers will be Mark de Silva, Amanda McCormick, Stephen Thomas, Jamie Perez and Adam Robinson

Here’s some more info about the Cool As Fuck reading happening tonight, 5/24

“Kind of like if a kooky variety show went to the library” – NY Mag

Tomorrow night, Wednesday. Molasses Books, 8pm, I’ll actually be reading. Other readers include Alex Molotkow, Lauren Hilger and Stephen Thomas … This is a release party for Stephen’s book The Jokes out from BookThug. Here’s some more info 
If you’d like to be a bookish individual come to these things


New Story “The Paralyzer” published at Third Point 

Couple updates :Last night was a good night. I got a haircut so I don’t look like this anymore. It was a nice haircut because as soon as I waked in the place, they poured me a bourbon and handed it over with a smile. 

Around the corner from the barber shop is a bar that has classic arcade machines and beer. I sunk a couple dollars into The Simpsons game, and remembered when I was a kid and used to play that machine at the Seaside Boardwalk. 

Speaking of that, I’ve got a story called The Paralyzer all about the boardwalk, a water park, some kids having fun/getting distracted while their world gets further fucked up. 

The story just got published at Third Point Press, and the editor Tyler Goff Barton really did a nice job on the the edits. Thanks to him. And thanks to you. 

Check out The Paralyzer her