Kill’d a Bird at TheNewerYork

Happy Black Friday. Good day today. Ate some left over thanksgiving food, didn’t leave the house, am drinking a beer right now. Pizza is rumored to be on the way. Friends and family are gathered around this house and there’s even a fire going in the fire place. Oh boy.

Also today, TheNewerYork posted a flash piece of mine called “Kill’d a Bird” that is about birds, songs, babies and me. There’s also a trip to the doctor. You can read the story here

The art work above is my Lori Nelson, it was attached to the story at TheNewerYork and I included it here so you’d be intrigued to go and look at what they did with the story and the art paired up. Love that artwork.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for all the nice messages and stuff lately. Means a lot to me. Happy holiday. Are your tetanus shots current? Lemme know.

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Spring’s Out There.

It’s Saturday and I have the window open next to my desk, that feels some like some kind of victory. I’m listening to the self titled Crystal Castles record, and drinking a cup of coffee that was so hot, I had to put an ice cube in it: that’s what happens in my percolator, maing.

I wanted to share some poems and stuff today, before this three things happen #1 I exercise so I don’t wind up a fat crippled old man #2 I take Spout on the train downtown for some brunch in the sunshine #3 I meet up with some writer friends at a roof top bar for a birthday party for a good amigo of mine.

 

Violas

there was a woman
on the radio
talking all about
eating flowers
how great it is to eat flowers
bees like them for the nectar
so will/do we
and the texture!
try them in a fucking salad!
I look at my dying
window plants
shriveled up
all sunshine doomed
and take out a carton
of eggs
instead

 

Keep Replaying Side B

when I’m all busted up and lost, I realize it
because I’m not seeking out new music
I’m just sitting in this same floral chair
lifting the arm with the needle
and going back to the start of track five
but all that will be fixed, today
the flowers are jumping out of the sidewalk
the cardboard boxes are there in an army
filled with cheap wax, three for five dollars
yesterday, I got a recommendation
Dvorak, The New World symphony
that sounds about motherfucking right.

 

See You Later, Alligator

interests include: opening the window, letting the birds in off the fire escape; watching my wife get tan in white sand; grey bats criss crossing the moon, fireworks not burning any houses down, but maybe catching the top of an insignificant 300 year old maple; swimming, always swimming, arms outstretched in an aqua marine hot spring

not to mention: dark rum, shirtless in the afternoon; driving reckless down a mountain, sheer drops on either stupid side; new sunglasses found on the sidewalk; everything stinking like coconut, finally; the dew running off the branch, slapping the ledge outside, like an alarm doing its job right.

but this: the other night, for the first time, the ice cream truck arrived. It parked and played its broken glass circus song on loop for an hour. It would have been more, but I finally put my shoes on and walked out of the apartment. The sidewalks were empty and the sun had gone down. I was the only one, troubled. I said to the ice cream man, “why don’t you move along–you’re parked right underneath our goddamn window.” He said, “Not going anywhere.” The song continued. The truck stayed. I went back upstairs. My wife said, laughing, “Looks like that didn’t work.” I said, “I know what we’ll do. I’ll get a bunch of watermelons. And I’ll drop them on his truck, one by one.” She said, “Nothing feels more like summer than a watermelon war.”

 

I hope everybody has a good weekend. I’ve got the music going pretty loud here now. And, outside the window, the birds are going crazy. There’s guys doing construction on my street. I can hear them yelling back and forth like crazy, not to mention the goddamned bike riders, those peeps dressed in full spandex, they zoom by yelling at the construction workers, “GET OUT OF THE WAY, YOU’RE IN THE BIKE LANE!” I’m waiting for one of them to get knocked off their bikes with a shovel.

🙂

SPRING!

bunnies

The Frog

Adam hated Abbington, and most of all their new trailer park, Pine Acres. He begged his mom to take them back to Slip River. She said it was impossible. So, he went off alone to kill frogs.

They were in weeds beside the drainage ditch. Slowly he collecting them in a large white pail that he’d stolen from behind Fried Paradise that still reeked like chicken.

Adam wore a too-tight striped green and orange shirt, his pale belly hung out the bottom. His jeans were muddy and torn, his canvas sneakers had holes near the toes.

The boy leaned over the pail, breathing heavily from his mouth. He wasn’t winded: thats just how he was breathed. The frogs bounced around randomly in the chicken bucket. Snot came out his nose. He let it fall.

He wanted one more frog to make an even ten, so he climbed back down into the drainage ditch, pretending the cattails were Vietnam vegetation and he was Rambo.

The next frog was mutated. Adam said, “whoa mamma!” It seemed to shine like a diamond: glowing even, an iridescent sheen on its skin. The light caught its strange body and glimmered in the sun. Adam chucked it into the pail, there was a heavy clunk, as if it was made of cast iron. This wasn’t a normal frog. Adam walked up through the reeds. Stumbling with each step.

He walked to the back of the strip mall as if he had both sneakers on the wrong foot.

The water tower appeared looming over the trees like a large sea-green jellyfish just floating there, “Abbington.”

“I hate Abbington,” he said.

Adam had no friends.

He hadn’t had many friends in Slip River but at least they talked like him.

The kids in this new town were stuck up preppies who stuck to themselves, staying indoors playing Videogames. He was not invited.

He was from the Pine Acres trailer-park. He was a mouth breather. They lived in nice houses. They had straight white teeth. It was only a matter of time before Adam was not a stranger to them, the beatings would continue then, same as the last town.

Abbington Elementary, his new school was out of session for the summer, but he went there because it has a nice brick wall. The boy set the pail down and peered in.

“Ok … Which one of you wants to go first?”

The frogs flopped around randomly in the plastic pail, occasionally croaking.
Adam stuck his hand in and pulled out a fat one. Green and slick, catching its foot.

Adam went into pitching position as if he was standing on the mound in Yankee stadium. He wound up, kicked his chubby leg into the air, windmilled his arm around, smashed the frog against the wall.

A wet thud.

Adam glanced uncaring at the dead frog, twitching in the dust. He looked all around, hoping some other kids would show up.

The boy reached for another frog. This time, he caught the translucent mutant. What a strange animal, he thought as he wound up like he was about to deliver a 100 mph fast ball. Again he kicked his leg up, drew his arm back …

The frog left his hand and smacked into the wall.

There was an explosion. Shards of brick shot back at Adam, dust and specs of debris raked his eyes.
He was blown back 10 feet.

When he sat up, coughing, the wall had a massive pit in it–caved in. The bricks cracked, shattered, smashed to pieces.
The translucent frog was there on the ground, unharmed, one piece. It hopped away through the dust, towards the treeline.

Adam watched it in fear … Then he chased it down, scooped it back up; back into the pail it went.

He looked at it in his cupped hands. Each time it took a breath, a little spark of lightning seemed to pulse inside its body. He watched this ‘lightshow’ with unwavering fascination.

His slingshot had been taken away by his father. “You’re too angry for this kinda toy.” Now as Adam stood in the parking lot for the bus depot, he didn’t care so much. He had something better than the slingshot. He had the pail with him, the only frog he’d kept was the translucent lightshow mutant.

He was staring at a large white van with MATTRESS MAYHEM airbrushed on the side above a detailed painting of a stack of mattresses. One of his favorite things to do back in Slip River, was to shoot rocks at parked cars. Now, he wondered what would happen with his new toy.

He took the frog out and he threw it as hard as he could against the side of the van. The frog tore through the sheet metal. The windshields exploded. The tires popped. Adam got back up to his feet. Went around the other side. There was a hole in that side of the van too. The frog had ripped a hole through the steel on the driver’s side of the van. The maroon car beside the van had also been damaged. The windows busted out. Tires flattened.

Adam found the frog hopping towards him from him under other cars. He put it back in the bucket–rode his BMX away from the commuter lot, laughing and in total fear simultaneously.

It was his secret. He didn’t tell anyone. Not that there was anyone to tell. His mother and father both worked two shifts. He took the frog around and he destroyed things.

He believed that the frog had been sent to him to help him get back at this shit town. Abington deserved to be leveled.

Adam found a sling shot buried in his toy chest. He went up on the roof of the general store. The water tower loomed above the small town. His trailer was just below the tower. Pine Acres: all of it.

Adam took the translucent frog out of the container, he loaded it into the slingshot, drew the rubber band back very far back and held it there, under tension … He wanted to go home.

He fired the frog, the water tower exploded in a wall of water flooding the trailer park below. As he watched the streets flood, and his own silver trailer rush away in the rapids, he wondered if the frog would be swept away forever, or would it find him again.

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The Rainy Day

The Rainy Day

“Can you believe our luck.” Lucy said from bed. Sunlight streamed into the dark bedroom, but only across her face.

“This always happens to us,” Dave said, rolling over. He sat up and peeked through the venetian blinds.

“How bad is it?”

“Worse than you’d imagine,” he said.

It was Sunday morning. The birds were chirping in the lemon grove that surrounded their house. The sun was glowing. The damned sky was bluer than ever.

“Another hellishly beautiful day.”

“Ughhhhhhhhh,” Lucy said, punching her pillow. Duck feathers flew out.

They’d gone to bed hoping for a nasty day. They’d wished for as inclement as inclement could get. The rabbit hopping across the glade confirmed it, nope- it was a perfect day.

“I’d have liked to stay in bed all day.”

“Me too.” Dave said.

They’d tried that in the past, but it didn’t work. The horrid nice day guilt.

They tried anyway. They shut the blinds and they laid pretended it was sleeting outside.

“Repeat after me, Lucy … It’s not 76 degrees and sunny … there’s not nectar in the air.

“It’s not 76 degrees and sunny … there’s not nectar in the air.”

“It’s not … yeah, this isn’t working.”

“I know. I know.” Lucy said woefully, “We might as well get out there, do our yard work.”

“Sure, I should paint the shed …”

“I should trim back the rose bushes…”

Neither of them wanted to do anything but stay lay there, rolling around, looking, talking. All that.

They got up, though. They began doing their chores.

Dave was folding up his large grey canvas painter’s tarps when he got an idea. Lucy was dragging the sprinkler around the lawn when she got an idea.
They both ran around the side of the house and told each other about the sudden revelation they’d had.

Dave got out his paints and he started to paint clouds on all on the grey painting tarps. Lucy hooked up all the hoses she could find to the spigot. Together they started to poke holes into the tarp with knives from the silverware drawer. Then carefully, Dave went up on the extension ladder and tied a rope from the corner of the tarp up into a pine tree. They moved the ladder, did the same thing on each corner.

“Oh … that looks real!”

“It does.” Dave admitted. From the ground looking up, the underside of the grey tarps looked just like miserable storm clouds. The two of them smiled.

On their way back into the house, Lucy opened the valve on the sprinklers that were resting on the top of the grey tarps.

Then, they were laying in their bed, looking out the window at the nasty grey clouds and the rain that was coming down though them and they were very pleased.

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The Wasteland Motel

It’s Thursday. I’m guzzling coffee and looking forward to my trip this weekend out to a massive bonfire somewhere in Pennsylvania where massive bonfires are allowed. Rumor has it there will be drugs and alcohol and loud music there … Score!

In further Bud Smith news, I took my car to the car wash and the guys there were amazed. They said, “we’ve never seen a car this dirty.”

I didn’t believe them. But then they started taking pictures of my car. A before shot. They washed it, took an ‘after’ shot and a picture of me. They said they wanted to hang it on the wall of the car wash next to the register. I was proud.

Also; here’s a new short story of mine called “The Wasteland Motel” that’s running at Horror Trash Sleaze … Needless to say, I am so happy to see my story there. It’s a very punk rock:fucked up site. I love that.

Read The Wasteland Motel

Thanks for reading and shouting out. Let me know what you think.

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Fourth of July Weekend

The shrieking of tires startled me from my magazine: swimsuit girls kissing in tropical water. I looked up as a blue LeSabre, already smoking severely, was struck by a rusted out F-250 pickup truck. The impact shredded plastic, ripped away metal, sent the LeSabre careening out of control—pummeling into the tollbooth next to mine.

Debris whizzed in my window next to my head. Cling. I  flinched so hard that I’d cut my head open striking it on the door handle. The floor felt electrified.

Black smoke, all around. All there was. I jumped out of my booth as tires squealed again. The pickup thundering away from the LeSabre, ripping its own bumper and fender off. It almost got struck by another car as it zoomed away wildly through the lanes.

Stop pay toll …

The LeSabre which’d arrived smoking, was then fully on fire. Flames licked from beneath the hood. I coughed in a fit as the wind sent the fumes at me. Cars stacked up behind us. Holiday traffic. Heat wave. But everyone was still snaking by in super slow motion: rubber necking as birth right, rolling through the toll without paying.

“It’s gonna blow up!” I heard an old woman yell out of a red station wagon, like it was an action movie.

I ran to the LeSabre, the dashboard engulfed. I ripped open the driver side door.  A woman fell out, her hair on fire, orange dress, shoeless. I rolled her around on the blacktop, stomping out the fire with my white Nike’s. I beat the fire out with my palms, my shirt, with her own dress. She moaned. I beat harder. The fire vanished.

There was a little girl in a car seat, still in the back. Three years old. Blonde pigtails. I yanked at her, the car seat was still buckled in, she shrieked in my face, clawing me, as I unclipped her belt. I threw the car seat with her in it out onto the road–skidding. The plastic was hot, melting. I had no fingerprints on my left hand for two months. All I could smell was burning hair, skin, plastic.

The kid shrieked louder. And louder. The burnt woman wheezed. Her once fair face now black. There were driver’s outside their cars then, staring at me. It was the fourth of July. I heard an ambulance. I heard a thousand car radios all at once. I heard the horns in the distance because traffic was stopped. Someone else screamed, “It’s gonna blow up!” It was my second day on the job.

How to Write a Short Story

PadPen1

I’ve been meeting a lot of people who wonder, “How is a short story written, what is involved?” I figured I’d break it down into simple steps. They don’t have to be followed exactly, but, they’ll probably help you on your quest.

  1. Get an idea
  2. Since it’s ready taken, don’t worry that it’s already taken
  3. Masturbate to a photo of Flannery O’Connor
  4. Have a cup of coffee
  5. Start your story briskly!
  6. Briskly throw it away after 5 minutes.
  7. It’s the law.
  8. Restart.
  9. Write about life
  10. Or death
  11. Don’t let anyone else know that, make them think the plot is about as simple and carefree as having sex in a helicopter.
  12. The first sentence of your story should only take you about seven months
  13. If you think it’s done any sooner than that, keep crumpling it up and throwing it in your bird cage
  14. Have a bird and a bird cage
  15. Maybe a cockatiel just cause that’s funny to say
  16. Cockatiel
  17. write a rough draft of your idea
  18. keep it loose
  19. put in some of the key building blocks of life and humanity
  20. such as love
  21. betrayal
  22. trust
  23. typos
  24. grammatical errors
  25. explosions
  26. the Pacific Ocean,
  27. You love the ocean but don’t get to go as often as you’d like
  28. In the short story mention a bunch of other cool shit
  29. you have a lot of options
  30. Don’t mention anything lame for more than 3/4 of a sentence.
  31. Have you been writing on a yellow legal pad with a blue ball point pen? Go back to number 6.
  32. Ask everybody on the street for clues about who Alice Monroe is
  33. did they tell you? Perfect. Add some of her wisdom
  34. find out from the deli girl slicing your ham who Denis Johnson is
  35. insist on “thin sliced ham”
  36. Back to the story. Add tension
  37. add more tension
  38. Make sure there’s a conflict
  39. Make sure there’s a resolution
  40. Make sure your character undergoes some monumentous forced bullshit change
  41. Does it feel forced?
  42. not working
  43. Force harder
  44. Add some love triangles
  45. Also add an artistic scene of the narrator glancing out at the Pacific Ocean like the end of Barton fink.
  46. Was that a short story?
  47. I dunno
  48. Maybe write Barton Fink as a short
  49. Or whatever you want
  50. It’s your story
  51. You call out of your job for a week
  52. You finish the first draft of your short story!
  53. Celebrate!
  54. Go out for a $250 steak dinner
  55. Get a strawberry slushy from 7-11, add 13 shots of mescal
  56. Get drunk in a random limo
  57. Tell the limo driver to take you to Raymond Carver’s house
  58. “Who’s that?”
  59. “Look her up motherfucker.”
  60. “Get out of my limo, you look like you’re gonna choke on your own vomit.”
  61. At home you hit your head on the mirror, slipping in the bathroom
  62. Nasty
  63. Get some stitches
  64. “What happened to your head?” someone asks
  65. “Art” you say. Not meaning it. You just think it’s funny to say.
  66. Submit your first draft to McSweeny’s!
  67. Get rejected by the mailman as you hand him/her the envelope
  68. Send it also to Esquire
  69. The Paris Review
  70. Your mom
  71. Get rejections from all the magazines in six months
  72. Your mom whenever Thanksgiving is
  73. Rewrite your story
  74. Type it this time
  75. I thought you had enough common sense to type your draft …
  76. you sent a handwritten story in an envelope without even an SASE? OMG?!
  77. It goes like this:
  78. Idea
  79. Yellow legal pad
  80. blue ball point pen
  81. Type it up
  82. Double space it
  83. 12 point times new roman
  84. Put your email and name on the top of each page
  85. Don’t be a smug asshole in your bio
  86. Be nice
  87. Thank the editor for their time
  88. That’s it
  89. SASE if sending through snail mail
  90. who cares if it’s digital.
  91. whew, alright, pressing  on …
  92. Ok, you need critiques on your story
  93. It’s obvious
  94. Have your barber look it over
  95. “Make your protagonist a barber” he’ll say
  96. Don’t do it
  97. Spell check your work again
  98. It’s ‘your’ not ‘you’re’
  99. Or ‘it’s’ not ‘its’
  100. A bunch of other shit
  101. Delete all the Martians
  102. All the celebrity psychics
  103. All the werewolf detectives
  104. Write about regular people
  105. Give them regular names
  106. Or no names
  107. Make their lives interesting (kinda)
  108. But please don’t make them spies
  109. Or cops
  110. Or Jean Claude Van Dame
  111. Rewrite the first sentence over and over and over again until blood comes out of your eyes
  112. Then delete the entire story
  113. Say “Fuck why did I delete that?”
  114. Take your computer to a tech geek. Have the file rescued from wherever fucked up accidentally deleted files go.
  115. Take the tech geek on a romantic weekend getaway to a secluded bed and breakfast in upstate NY
  116. Screw loudly
  117. Get complaints from the old couple that run it
  118. Print them out your story on the printer by the chess board next to the fireplace
  119. “Lose the barber. Who wants to read about a barber?” the old lady says.
  120. “Make him a werewolf spy,” the old man suggests.
  121. Submit the second draft to university presses
  122. Get rejected
  123. Marry the tech geek on the beach
  124. You both love the beach
  125. Submit draft 3 to online websites like Pank and the Nervous Breakdown
  126. Get rejected
  127. Submit draft 6 or better to small press online sites
  128. Get accepted!
  129. Say, “fuck them! One more draft”
  130. Resend to the New Yorker.
  131. Never hear back
  132. Forget your story for a decade
  133. start a family with the tech geek
  134. Get a condo
  135. Take the cockatiel with you
  136. Gain 24 pounds
  137. Figure out how to make jello no bake cherry cheese cake
  138. “Easy as shit”
  139. Have two kids
  140. Twins
  141. Whatever non identical is called
  142. Boys
  143. Kyle and Wiley
  144. Start growing your own weed in a secret room behind your bookcase
  145. Also, take your family on a vacation to see colonial Williamsburg in Virginia
  146. They’ll hate it
  147. You’ll hate it
  148. That kinda stuff is good for your writing. Hate.
  149. Also: crash your car into a telephone pole while fucked up on over the counter prescription medication that you crushed up and snorted
  150. It doesn’t matter
  151. It was a Mazda miata
  152. That’s also good for your writing
  153. Tell your kids “SHUT THE FUCK UP! I’m trying to write”
  154. Draft 8
  155. Draft 9
  156. Suffer at work
  157. Get the silent treatment at home
  158. Decide to enter into rehab for the prescription drugs you snort
  159. Adderal mostly
  160. This saves your marriage
  161. Your kids make the highschool soccer team
  162. Whatever
  163. Soccer sucks
  164. Take your first writings class!
  165. After the first class take the writing teacher out to the bar
  166. ask, “So how did you get published in the New Yorker?”
  167. Be surprised when the teacher says, “sheesh, I can’t even get a short story published in the local newspaper.”
  168. Send your story to the local newspaper
  169. It’s accepted!
  170. Reject them too.
  171. Laugh at the editor on the phone.
  172. “Sorry, bub” you say. “Bigger and better things, bub.”
  173. Do some research
  174. Get someone to hit you with rocks so you finally understand Shirley Jackson’s “the lottery”
  175. Workshop your story all that year at one of your six writer’s groups
  176. Shut up and Write!
  177. Write Prison!
  178. Write N’ Munch
  179. Scribble Fun
  180. The Leather Elbow Pad
  181. MFA MOTHERFUCKER’S ANONYMOUS
  182. they’re all helpful
  183. Tighten up your troublesome short story with all that wonderful FREE advice from all those other aspiring writers
  184. Get a twitter account
  185. Follow people who hash tag #ThePenIsMightierThanGettingFucked
  186. Follow Raymond Carver
  187. Finally read one of his stories
  188. Tell me if it’s any good
  189. Make your story sadder
  190. Put in cancer
  191. A car crashing into a train
  192. Maybe some assault of some kind. people love that
  193. Give everybody a pet dog with a wet nose
  194. set the story in Pittsburg
  195. In a steel mill
  196. The day it’s set to close
  197. Give every character a ton of back story
  198. Write it in third person present tense
  199. Oh shit your story is 63,000 words
  200. Lean what flash fiction is
  201. Learn Hemmingway’s 6 word story about the fucking baby shoes
  202. Learn who Hemingway is
  203. Cut your story by 61,000 words
  204. Ditch the steel mill
  205. Let your cockatiel go free
  206. It dies in the snow
  207. “Stupid” your computer geek spouse says
  208. Your kids laugh
  209. You think that’s a bad sign
  210. Maybe they all need lithium
  211. You don’t want any
  212. You think psych drugs will take away your creativity
  213. after work one day you stop in a your local seedy dive bar where bands and poets play/read and you are surprised to see a zine stuffed in the toilet
  214. Fish it out
  215. Rinse it off
  216. what the hell, you send them your story
  217. They publish your story!
  218. You are 55 years old, you feel accomplished
  219. “I’m a published author” you scream from your home at the top of Mt. Everest which you climb up and down all the time to do all your goddamned errands and crap.
  220. That’s irony
  221. Learn that.
  222. Put it in your new shit.
  223. Now, write a zillion more stories.
  224. About what?
  225. Anything but writing
  226. Unless you don’t give a fuck
  227. Just have fun
  228. Go to the beach
  229. Bring sandwiches
  230. And an umbrella
  231. And a blanket big enough for all of you
  232. Watch the blue sky
  233. jump in the green ocean
  234. Feel good while you can
  235. say, “I think this sandwich just gave me an idea for a story …”
  236. “About what?”
  237. “You’ll see. When they publish it.”
  238. “Who?”
  239. “Well, I’m not sure yet.”
  240. “There’s sand in my sandwich.”
  241. “Isn’t that exactly what life is?”
  242. The sun goes behind a cloud and a chill comes off the ocean
  243. you lay down next to your love
  244. you both cover up for a little with the big beach towel
  245. that’s your favorite part

FREE BOOK FOR KINDLE

Free kindle download of my short story collection Or Something Like That

Free today (Wednesday feb. 13th) and tomorrow ( Thursday feb. 14th)

Here’s a link to an audio recording to the first story in the collection Me, My Brother and Silver Bullet

Thanks, as always for reading. Please spread the word to anyone you’d know who’d like to read a collection of funny/strange short stories for the price of zero dineros.

Mucho gracias!

How To Pick Up Chicks in 110 EZ Steps

chicks

I’ve been meeting a lot of people who wonder, “What’s the best way to pick up chicks?” I figured I’d break it down into simple steps. They don’t have to be followed exactly, but, they’ll probably help you on your quest.

  1. Get born
  2. Chicks love babies
  3. Just be a baby as long as you can
  4. Resist growing any bigger than a baby and thus becoming a toddler
  5. When you’re six years old, you’ll have to start devolving some hobbies to show chicks that you’re interesting
  6. Don’t eat paste
  7. Read a lot.
  8. Read good shit, like Thomas the Train and the Phantom Tollbooth
  9. Don’t pretend to be a dinosaur when they’re around. Unless they’re into that.
  10. Start slicking your hair back
  11. None of the other six year olds will be slicking their hair back yet, it’ll give you an edge
  12. Probably don’t peg any girls in the face with rocks on the playground
  13. Also, don’t rip their pigtails out
  14. so now you’re out of grammar school
  15. congratulations
  16. Now that you’re ten years old, get a car (yes, you’re 10 years old, I understand)
  17. Get a car
  18. all the other kids will ride the school bus to school or ride their BMXs, get a car
  19. probably a Transam
  20. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see over the steering wheel
  21. crash the Transam
  22. get a badass scar
  23. a face scar
  24. now you’re eleven years old and have a legend that’ll surround you
  25. You’ll be popular
  26. Make friends
  27. Make friends
  28. But only with other kids who have good looking chick sisters
  29. Wear fancy shoes, shiny ones. Nicer than your dads.
  30. Wear a suit everyday
  31. Don’t bother with a tie
  32. Graduate middle shcool at the top of your class
  33. Or get into a fight with the principal on the last day of school and spend the summer in juvenile detention.
  34. Learn French
  35. just kidding, that doesn’t work
  36. Brush your teeth
  37. So now you’re in highschool, stay in there and learn
  38. If your Sex Ed teacher is sexy you’ll want to try and lose your virginity with them if you haven’t already
  39. Hang cool pictures in your locker of you climbing mountains
  40. flying on the back of golden eagles
  41. wrestling bears
  42. all that crap
  43. When you see a chick you sweat, wink at her
  44. don’t do that quickdraw thing with the pistols. They think that’s lame.
  45. forget pickup lines
  46. ask questions
  47. ask her more questions
  48. this is important
  49. no talky: no nookie
  50. find one that makes you laugh
  51. make her laugh too
  52. if she’s not interesting you’ll never get bored. If she’s not interesting don’t bother trying to pick her up.
  53. a new direction: take a high dollar prostitute to the homecoming dance
  54. take a girl to the prom who couldn’t get a date: it’s just the right thing to do
  55. have a high dollar prostitute waiting for the both of you in the motel room after prom, surprise!
  56. don’t take your dates to the movies
  57. or museums
  58. Take them on acid trips
  59. Graduate high school, but don’t go to the graduation. There’s no opportunities for meeting chicks there.
  60. Go to college
  61. major in smooching and not telling
  62. for more college info see: Animal House
  63. see The Graduate
  64. see: Ernest Goes to College
  65. see: Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield
  66. After college, get a nice place of your own far enough away from the train tracks and the corner where people get shot, but close enough that you can walk to get your drugs
  67. have a pet alligator
  68. have a house where every wall is a tropical fish tank
  69. Tell girls you’re in Metallica
  70. if they say, “Metallica sucks,” you say, “I know that’s why I’m quitting the band today.”
  71. get good at back rubs
  72. get some kind of fancy back rub certification
  73. don’t tell anyone about the certificate let the back rub myth travel by way of whispers in the shadows
  74. get some facial hair
  75. you’ll either look better or worse
  76. If you look worse, cut it off
  77. listen as the chicks say, “you look better!”
  78. Remember how much chicks loved you when you were a baby?
  79. Become a baby again. Find Zoltar.
  80. Or steal a baby
  81. Don’t make a baby
  82. That means no more chicks
  83. Get a heart shaped hot tub
  84. A red race car of some kind with a moonroof
  85. A guitar signed by Eddie Van Halen
  86. A fur coat made from those arctic wolves that rock
  87. Carry a suitcase full of your money handcuffed to your wrist
  88. Buy the Godfather trilogy on DVD
  89. Use Godfather 3 as a coaster
  90. Chicks dig that
  91. Also: if they ask you if you’ve read a certain book, say “No, I wrote that under a pen name”
  92. Concentrate on your career
  93. By that I mean concentrate on not having one. It interferes with picking up chicks.
  94. Be rich
  95. How do I get rich?
  96. That’s another step by step list for another time.
  97. When you hit middle age, start to talk with a British accent
  98. If you’re British start communicating with sign language
  99. If you’re deaf, you already get all the chicks
  100. When you hit 56, you better put in an ANOTHER in ground pool. Each year add ANOTHER in ground pool. Until you hit 75. Then, just chill.
  101. As you get older, walk with a cane with a very large jewel on top
  102. Wear an Indiana Jones hat
  103. Tip your hat at all the ladies
  104. don’t talk about the old days
  105. have fun at all costs
  106. always be kind and patient and caring
  107. if somebody looks like they need help, help them
  108. At 100 years of age, settle down from the dating circuit
  109. Ask your best gal to go steady
  110. Pass away in your sleep on a warm spring afternoon on a hammock by the river.

Writing A Novel From Start to Finish (in steps)

typewriter

I’ve been meeting a lot of people who wonder, “How is a novel written, what is involved?” I figured I’d break it down into simple steps. They don’t have to be followed exactly, but, they’ll probably help you on your quest.

  1. the idea (get the idea)
  2. make sure it’s a stupid idea that nobody has used yet
  3. add some sex
  4. add some more sex
  5. make it three-way sex of some kind
  6. don’t focus on the plot, focus on the main character’s dick and what the main character’s dick wants from the world
  7. If it’s a lady protagonist, concentrate on her pussy and what it wants from the world (or to give the world … ie, babies, nothing, copulation, ect.)
  8. draft out a scene
  9. draft out another
  10. throw them away
  11. ditch your sex obsessed characters
  12. think of ones that want something from life other than mindless bang action
  13. write another scene. save this one. hold onto it til the revision process (six years from now)(throw it away then)
  14. in the first chapter, make your character do something heroic if he/she is an unlikeable character, or something unlikeable if he is a hero. Make him/her more complex
  15. how?
  16. I dunno, have them save a fucking cat from a tree …
  17. or have them throw a cat into a tree (see 14)
  18. while you draft out the beginning stages of your novel, keep the tension high. In all sex scenes don’t use lube. But it’s more than that! Add fights, terse dialogue, arguments, mistakes. These things keep the reader interested.
  19. Give your writing odd details
  20. avoid the “info dump”
  21. that means, don’t tell me everything about the characters right away. Practice the slow reveal
  22. reveal as much about your characters through dialouge as you can
  23. do the same with the plot
  24. at this point, whatever your plot is, make it simpler and stupider
  25. congratulations, you are halfway done with your draft!
  26. how? That was quick?
  27. it doesn’t take as long as you think it will.
  28. keep a notebook by your bed. carry a notebook with you wherever you go. take notes on your cellphone. Or, if you really wanna be productive, write on your cellphone with your thumbs.
  29. the middle of your book sucks
  30. you wanna stop
  31. you don’t. you keep going because Bud Smith says, “YOU CAN FIX IT LATER”
  32. your characters have nothing to do
  33. what do I do? My characters are bored …
  34. send them to the zoo. Have one fuck a lion. Have another one get eaten by a bear. Have one start working at the zoo at the balloon stand. Change your main character into a penguin for awhile.
  35. why?
  36. Penguin is a great publishing house and maybe the main character being a penguin will help you get published there
  37. it rains, you get drunk
  38. you skip out on work
  39. you don’t write for three weeks
  40. you make a small note on the back of a business card that says, “I need an MFA”
  41. A friend calls you up and asks you if you wanna trip
  42. you trip. shrooms soaked in boiling water with green tea bags and lemon. Also, mint.
  43. later that night, laying in bed, you can’t sleep. You think about your novel. You decide to get rid of the zoo scene
  44. the new draft has a car chase
  45. the new draft has a fist fight between a brother and a sister. He loses a tooth. A very valuable ring of hers get’s swallowed by a penguin.
  46. get rid of the fucking penguin
  47. whatever
  48. raise the tension
  49. 3/4 of the way through the book don’t even think about adding a dream sequence
  50. also, don’t even think about setting up a twist ending
  51. fuck your twist ending idea
  52. whatever your conflict is, make it more badass
  53. start to worry that your book is too crazy
  54. make it crazier
  55. draft out the conclusion
  56. it’s perfect, you say!
  57. tear it up
  58. rewrite it
  59. excellent!
  60. wait a year
  61. write another thirty pages after the “old ending”
  62. SUBMIT!
  63. SEND EVERYWHERE
  64. don’t bother to learn how to query correctly
  65. send a random letter to every agent in the world full of tangents and a bio that makes no sense and says nothing about who you are
  66. get rejections
  67. get a million more rejections
  68. get one rejection that says, “run spell check on your query letter”
  69. another that says, “for your benefit, please check out QUERY SHARK to learn how to write a proper query letter”
  70. you actually take both of those critiques as legitimate advice.
  71. you fix your shit
  72. it takes another two years
  73. you send out a great query
  74. AN AGENT or SMALL INDIE HOUSE wants PAGES
  75. 40 pages please, double spaced … 12 point times, contact info, bio, page numbers
  76. you send it out that night
  77. your manuscript has not been edited
  78. so you never hear from anyone
  79. ever
  80. the rest of your life
  81. a year later, you say, “Maybe I should spell check my novel …”
  82. you do that
  83. then you say, “what the fuck, maybe I’ll even proofread it.”
  84. How though?
  85. Ok, it’s easy
  86. first take the word doc, make the font 18 instead of 12, make the line spacing 1.5 instead of one. Start at the beginning. Delete all the parts that annoy you.
  87. Remove the unnecessary ands and ors and buts
  88. do this all the way to the end
  89. fix your dialogue by reading it out loud
  90. fix your punctuation like you’ll die if it’s wrong
  91. this part is important: PRINT YOUR NOVEL OUT
  92. make a dummy proof on a website like Createspace
  93. export the word doc as a PDF, upload
  94. make yourself a cool book cover with a simple program
  95. It’ll cost you three dollars to order a dummy proof for yourself
  96. $3!!!!
  97. Yeah, unbelievable right?
  98. The proof comes. It looks all fucked up. Cover is stupid. The inside is hard to read, make notes about the text spacing, the layout, the overall look of your book
  99. try Georgia font 11 for a 6 x 9 book. 1 inch margins whereabouts. 1.1 line spacing. 1.2 is even better
  100. drink all the alcohol in your house
  101. get fucked a couple times
  102. refreshed, dig into the book, sober
  103. SOBER
  104. STAY SOBER
  105. OK?
  106. get a highlighter
  107. as you read your dummy proof highlight a shit ton of it
  108. you will find an amazing amount of mistakes, missing words, typos, crap sentences … all that shit
  109. if your original idea was stupid enough
  110. if your characters have enough life
  111. if your plot is about life
  112. if there is a change
  113. if there is a fight to the death
  114. if there is mind blowing sex
  115. if there is friction and intrigue and tension and blood
  116. your manuscript will be salvageable
  117. salvageable
  118. yes … you’re dummy draft is 83,000 words, with the highlighter and a blue ball point pen you will strip 32,000 words
  119. why?
  120. the part with the goddamned penguin. The fucking dream sequences. The twist ending.  The part where no one was fighting or fucking or slowly revealing the plot and changing as a result, YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALL THAT OUT
  121. You whimper
  122. You remove those things, though it kills you
  123. you add more references to the real world
  124. your own memories
  125. your fears
  126. you put your favorite songs in there
  127. you get your characters trashed
  128. you set things on fire
  129. you blow things up
  130. you make everything more ridiculous
  131. you make everything matter MORE
  132. you add a moment of unexpected tenderness
  133. soft things
  134. sharp things
  135. there are three dimensions, maybe more
  136. in a separate word file, you start to write these things down
  137. it comes real easy, you’re surprised
  138. you feel drunk
  139. you sweat a lot
  140. it’s 4 am and you’re still writing
  141. two months later, “finished”, you order a new dummy proof.
  142. this one is 90% to your liking
  143. you decide to give six copies away to people who you think will give you an honest opinion
  144. no one even reads it
  145. you try to find an editor from among your online friends
  146. you can’t find anyone to edit it for you
  147. you consider freelance editing services
  148. you note that it’s $1000 dollars, you cry
  149. so, you start to write another book …
  150. but, a year later, you do go back to the penguin manuscript
  151. you start to edit it yourself
  152. really edit it
  153. it sucks
  154. it’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to do
  155. but you stick with it
  156. it takes three months, but you actually copy edit you’re own book
  157. you’re so proud!
  158. you send it out for consideration at a house that you respect
  159. you get a rejection that says, “It will benefit you to have your work copy edited. The wiring here is very rough. Not to mention that the part about throwing a cat into a tree was very cruel.”
  160. lose the cat part
  161. find a writer who you admire
  162. make sure they like you too
  163. swap manuscripts with them
  164. you edit  theirs
  165. they edit yours
  166. go chapter for chapter
  167. when it’s ALL done, fuck their brains out
  168. they are awesome
  169. you are awesome
  170. SEND YOUR FINAL DRAFT OUT TO A VERY SMALL PUBLISHING HOUSE
  171. They accept it!
  172. Reject them!
  173. Send it somewhere better
  174. They reject you
  175. send out a zillion more queries
  176. talk to everyone
  177. make yourself a blog
  178. get a twitter
  179. go to parties
  180. go to readings
  181. read your fucking work
  182. extend your bio
  183. write short stories
  184. BUT I’M A NOVELIST
  185. fuck you, idiot
  186. write short stories, get them ran at literary websites you like
  187. make friends with people who are cool
  188. buy them beers
  189. go see rock concerts with them
  190. submit some poems to cool lit sites
  191. BUT I’M NOT A POET
  192. you’re a writer, write some poems, asshole
  193. go perform your work. DO READINGS.
  194. NO!
  195. YES! DO READINGS
  196. get in zines. get in newspapers, get in everything
  197. write everyday
  198. write every night
  199. write while you sleep
  200. edit, edit, edit
  201. one day you get a request, WE WANT PAGES
  202. you send pages
  203. they say, we wanna see more
  204. you die from excitement
  205. but you did all the work, you spent your time crawling up from the underground. You learned on the way up. You were full of doubt and misery and pain, but THEY WANT A FULL MANUSCRIPT
  206. you cross your fingers, you send it out
  207. you wait
  208. they like it!
  209. they want it!
  210. they want you to change a lot of things
  211. like what?
  212. well .. it needs more tension and more sex and a love triangle and it needs spies and vampires and magic
  213. No problem
  214. tell them yes
  215. but what you mean is, “fuck off”
  216. work on your revisions
  217. work on your rewrites
  218. miss your deadline
  219. miss the next one too
  220. send them “not what they wanted”
  221. listen to them say, “PERFECT!” as if their suggestions weren’t even uttered.
  222. the copy editing begins with an outside editor
  223. you get a proof with almost every single word changed
  224. you reject every single correction
  225. the copy editor feels slighted
  226. fuck the copy editor
  227. your book comes out!
  228. it doesn’t change your life
  229. you don’t make that much money
  230. but …
  231. you have fun at the release party
  232. you avoid all the reviews
  233. you take your significant other to a seaside town and rent a room by the ocean. You buy $200 worth of average weed. You smoke it all. Laugh your asses off, screw in the hot tub, though it’s really difficult (not like the movies)
  234. your partner says, “What’s next? You gonna write another book?”
  235. you say, “No.”
  236. You’re done
  237. it was the hardest and most draining thing that you’ve ever attempted
  238. the payout wasn’t worth it
  239. you’ve gained 36 pounds
  240. you haven’t played the guitar in three years
  241. “So what are you gonna do with all your free time now?”
  242. you say, “come over here and kiss me deep.”
  243. and that’s it
  244. for awhile
  245. just for awhile