Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Much Ado About Advertising

I’ll start by saying that I loathe the word blog.  I hate it with a purple passion.  It sounds like a word you would use when describing (if you felt compelled to describe) something you did in the bathroom preceding the emptying of an entire can of air freshener straight into the ozone.  TMI, I know, but that’s how I feel.  If you’re here, you’re obviously interested in my opinion for some unfathomable reason, so there you have it.  I shall hereby officially commence my web journal…wournal?

This is me:

That always seems to happen with photographs...perhaps I should see a doctor?


At any rate, I’m antisocial, misanthropic, and generally cranky.  I can be quite disagreeable, but we all have our bad days.  Like any good natured person, I enjoy kittens and puppies and the vibrant yellow color of a parking ticket on someone else’s windshield.  Schadenfreude is a state of being.

I grew up here: 


If it looks a bit like the cactus is flipping off the sun, that's because it is.  Fuck the sun.

Now I live here… 
for quite obvious reasons.


I do not enjoy talking about myself.  I’d much rather sit in a dark little cave with my mean little dog and live in my own little world until I get hungry and need to go out and buy cookies.  Whilst wearing a disguise.  But there’s this thing called marketing and guess what, boys and girls?  Apparently a-marketing-I’ll-go if I want my book to be successful.  

What’s that, you ask?  A book?  I’ve segued right into the thick of it, haven’t I?  Yes, I have a book.  A long time ago (longer than I’d care to admit, as I’ve been working on it since) I was at the library.  This is not a rare occurrence by any means, but during this particular visit, I couldn’t for the life of me find something I was in the mood for.  So I set about writing it. 

As I’m sure many writers will tell you, stories have a tendency to grow a mind of their own.  Apart from the edits, and revisions, and months (let’s be honest; years) of working on it, the story basically wrote itself.  It should be available on Amazon.com on March 1st.  Here’s the official blurb:

Vincent Sullivan is down on his luck.  When a chance encounter generates a job prospect he’s too desperate to decline, Vincent is well on his way to a career in crime.  But after the job goes wrong and he’s gravely injured in the process, things couldn’t get much worse.  Except that he may have just killed a man. 
With the entrance of a mysterious stranger, life is finally starting to look up.  Unless his luck is about to run out for good.

Blurb isn’t a particularly attractive word either, but it’s better than blog, so it can stay.  Anyway, Chance Assassin: A Story of Love, Luck, and Murder, is basically a gay hitman love story.  It’s that simple.  I believe in happy endings (not to spoil anything for you) because despite my otherwise sunny disposition, deep down inside, I can be quite sentimental. 

Look!  A dog in a unicorn costume!
That’s Ms. Moxie.  You’ll likely hear way too much about her. 

Now that the business aspect is out of the way, we can get into the fun stuff.  What I consider fun, at any rate.  Raving and ranting.  I shall call these segments Misery Loves… and Misery Hates… respectively.  To be my ever perky self, I’ll start with loves…

One of the downsides to writing, even if it brings you the kind of peace it brings me, is that you start looking at books differently.  You see those little typos that snuck right past the editor (assuming there even was one) and despite your best efforts; you start critiquing.  Descriptions you may not have used, a sentence that could be worded just a little better, even names of characters that don’t sit right. 

Or else you read something like We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, and fall so in love with every single word that you set down your pen and paper and hang your head in shame of ever presuming you could be a writer yourself.  I LOVED this book from the first word. 

I’ll admit that the cover art is what made me pick it up, but Shirley Jackson’s storytelling is what stopped me from putting it down.  I read it straight through in one afternoon, staring at the words and feeling more akin to Merricat Blackwood than I’d ever felt with any of my previous literary heroes.  The games she played, the seething hatred she had for the townspeople, and her protectiveness of her older sister Constance, all struck close to home. 

As much as I loved this book, it made me sad.  Not necessarily jealous, as I believe an author’s experience is truly part of the creation process, and the book couldn’t have possibly been written by anyone else; but I felt inadequate.  Then I read more about her… 

You can find the preface written by Shirley Jackson in Just an Ordinary Day, in which she describes being 16 years old and deciding “one evening that since there were no books in the world fit to read” she would write one.  I didn’t feel quite as strongly about my lack of reading material as she had, but needless to say it struck a chord with me. 

When she presented the story she had written to her family, they were hardly impressed, and with what I imagine was absolute humiliation, Shirley Jackson vowed never to write again.  I’m so very thankful that she ended up breaking that vow, so someone like me can sit here and feel inspired by her life and her work.  Putting my book out there certainly isn’t easy, but hey, I enjoyed writing it, and I enjoyed reading it.  I’ll be over the moon if someone else likes it (please buy my book!) but if not, that’s okay too.  I wrote it for myself.  And if it’s good enough for Shirley Jackson, then it’s good enough for me.     

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