Saturday, February 9, 2019

Everything You've Always Wanted to Know about Me

And More...

Given the generally positive reactions to my recent dipping of my toe into writing science fiction, my flash fiction chapbook, Dispatches from the Information Age, it's probably not a surprise to anyone that I also want to continue writing more in this vein, and indeed, that's why, until recently, I have gotten away from the more "realism" style in which I also write.

However, since deciding to split my short story collection, Xennial, into two collections, Xennial, and Asshole Years, I've come to the conclusion that both sides of my writing personality can coexist, just maybe not in the same collection--at least not this time. Since Asshole Years is what I'm focusing on first since it's much further along, for now, you'll probably hear me talk it about it and the stories it contains more than you'll hear me talk about what now comprises Xennial, but that's not too say that Xennial is on the back-burner, necessarily, I just won't be working on it as much. Once I get Asshole Years to the editing stage, it will be easier to work on both projects simultaneously.

I like to think my writing now is some cross between realism, dark humor, modernism and science fiction/satire that comes out as a kind of science-fiction-leaning Flannery O'Connor. This is more evident in Xennial, and in Asshole Years, it doesn't all come out at once, and certainly the collection as a whole strays mostly in the territory of realism and modernism, there is still a glimmer of the dark humor and science fiction that I also like. A very brief glimmer, but still a glimmer. That being said, Asshole Years is definitely firmly entrenched in a universe very closely based and very similar to our own.

These stories aren't true stories in that they actually happened, but they are stories about my life through fictional events that in some ways mirror my actual experiences. Call it truthiness. It's not an autobiography but the characters are truthful. That's what makes it fiction.

One idea I have toyed around with for Asshole Years to keep the ball rolling towards a 2019 publication and to get back to Xennial is to set a number of pages, say 200, and stick to it, no matter what. My plan is to smoothly and as naturally as possible get as close to whatever goal I set and then to fill the remaining pages with splashes of visual art. That would make it easier for me to do the design at the same time. Hell, I will likely finish it before I ever finish the three new stories, which is what mostly stands in my way of completing this thing. If I cut it close on the writing and editing to whatever deadline I set, the design will be done, or nearly done, and I can mainly just focus on finishing up.

Needless to say, while I am excited about Asshole Years, I am even more excited to get back to Xennial, which I aim to publish in 2020 on or about as close to election day as possible. Since it is more in the style that I aspire to write, I am going to just pull out all of the stops and get Asshole Years done so I can get back to it. I have spent the past eight years or so on most of these stories so it's about god damn time I get them in print the way that I want them to exist for forever--or, at least, that's what I tell myself will happen in order to be able to let them go.

Given then, that spirit of making progress, I have decided upon a cover, which I am happy to share here. Thank you to those on my Instagram stories who voted between the three cover designs. It was a hard choice but ultimately, I thought the design below was the best one to represent this set of stories.

Hopefully my desire to stay busy on this project will also mean good things for those who read this blog since I like to come here to think out loud and hone my ideas. I can't say at this point whether reality will truly reflect this desire, but I am hopeful...

So until next time, fare thee well, my friends!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Vacationing in the Snowpacalpse

Or, Midnight Confessions: Where did our life go... Right?

By Source, Fair use,

 by the Go-Go's has become the unofficial anthem this weekend around casa de Gott.

We have at least a foot of snow and more is starting to come down, but the cold didn't seem too bad to me when I went outside to shovel. Then again, there is a difference between a city cold and a country cold, and Akron is definitely somewhere in between.

Sarah and I originally took Monday and Tuesday off to go on a long weekend trip, but because of the weather, of course, that didn't pan out. To be honest, we're making the best of it, and I am kinda glad it turned out this way. It has given me time to reflect, a little. Here we are, in our little bubble, living life, struggling at times, feeling successful at times, but getting through it and feeling stronger together. It is much nicer to have someone to hold hands with through the roller-coaster.

After the Go-Go's, The Grass Roots seems the next place to go as I choose the soundtrack to our hibernation. It popped up the other night when we had friends over and I was picking out just random records that I hadn't listened to in a while, and everyone seemed to enjoy it a lot, and I am especially super-jazzed about rediscovering it because it has on it one of my hands down all-time favorite songs, "Midnight Confessions."

Speaking of The Grass Roots, this seems like an excellent opportunity to sneak in a Creed Bratton meme:

Other than this blog post, I have also committed time this weekend towards working on my short story collection(s) and what might be the beginning of a new music project.

The short story collection(s) I'm referring to is(are) what used to be called Xennial. I've got this crazy idea to split them because it wasn't really working for me to have the stories I'm writing now paired with stories I wrote ten years ago. Or even 8 years ago. The stories I'm writing now are different. I've grown, I think, as a writer, or at least developed my style, or, rather, a style that works for me. So those new 18 stories are what is currently titled Xennial. Most of these need a lot of work to finish so I realistically think it will be 2020 before it comes out, but that's okay, it will be a good book to publish on a major election year.

Don't worry though, I haven't given up hope about publishing something in 2019. The other 15 stories that were originally going to be included in Xennial with those 18 will be paired down to the best nine, and will be published, probably next, under the new title Asshole Years. These are all of my realistic fiction stories, most of which I wrote for different fiction classes at Kent State University. Here's what it will contain:

  1. Eargasm (based on a blog post)
  2. Dropout (new story based off of my old story, "The Other Side of Cool," originally published in Tales from the Fringes)
  3. Truck Shop (published in Literally, Literary on Medium)
  4. The Day the Music Died (published on Smashwords as a single)
  5. Greasy (updated, originally published in Tales from the Fringes)
  6. The Opossums (updated, originally published in Tales from the Fringes)
  7. Highly Evolved (new)
  8. A Hipster Confession (updated, originally published in Tales from the Fringes)
  9. The Joint (new)

I don't have any cover art but that will be forthcoming, probably after I finish this blog post. The three new stories need finished but they are all pretty far along so this one I feel confident that I will be able to publish this year. It will probably be around 200 pages.

The music project will be under my Survival Pilot moniker, and will be at least one song, but I have at least two drum parts so there might be more. I don't know if I will finish it over this long weekend, but that is my goal. I am thinking about doing a free Soundcloud EP for record store day, or something, just for shits and giggles.

As you can see, I am never bored. Hopefully, you all are staying safe, warm, and entertained like we are here in Highland Square. And if you haven't heard "Midnight Confessions" in a while. Maybe you should give it a listen. You won't regret it.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Procrastination Paradise

Greetings, fellow humans of 2018. It’s been quite the year, eh? I know it has for me. It started off strong—my Akron Soul Train Residency came and went (and went extremely well) during the first quarter of the year, and then my inspiration to write kind of fizzled after that, with maybe a few short bursts here and there. Maybe I just used it all up and needed to refuel—I don't know.

I’m not even really sure where I’m going with this blog post, to be honest. Not that that’s ever stopped me before. No, I’m going to do like I do and just sort of wing it. See where it goes. Put fingers to keys, words to screen, and hopefully, after the dust settles, what I write will make some semblance of sense. Maybe even have some coherence.

We'll see, I suppose, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too much.

Black Sabbath's Paranoid is spinning on my record player, because I needed some “Electric Funeral” in my life. This was recorded before they spent more money on cocaine than on the music. It should at least be a 50/50 split. I don’t know. Cocaine has never really been for me, and I feel like, at 36, I’m too old to start that shit now. It would just be sad, at this point. Too mid-life crisis-y for my taste.

In my experience, it’s better to use drugs to help find inspiration, rather than relying on them for inspiration. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. It’s best this way, when they're more of a tool than a crutch. I’m finding that meditation works really well for that, too. It’s also much healthier. I’m no spring chicken anymore, so I have to think about that shit. I’ve already started falling apart enough—I don’t need it to get any worse.

Finding inspiration can definitely be tricky. It might not always be, but sometimes it is. Even if I know what I'm going to write about, even if I’ve already brainstormed it and outlined it and all that business, actually sitting down and punching it out is the hard part.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I am something of a first-rate procrastinator. Even in grad school, even during my short but busy journalist days, I have always been one to wait until as close to the deadline as humanly possible to complete an assignment. It usually always worked out for me, which is probably why I have kept doing it all these years. The results speak for themselves, anyways. Well, it has gotten me this far.

Every writing advice column/blog/magazine is loaded with the sorts of advice that the aspiring writers who subscribe to them will follow and have varying degrees of success with in the real world. I used to subscribe to that advice, too, writing so many words a day or for so long a day, or whatever it happens to be this week, but to be honest, I think the best advice I have ever gotten is to just find what works and stick with it, no matter what the experts say.

The key is to just keep, keeping on, even if that means only sitting down every once and while, when the inspiration actually does strike, and getting out what I am able to get out during that time. I just keep doing it, no matter what. Eventually, something will click and I’ll finish what I set out to finish. It might not turn out how I originally thought it would, but that’s okay. It’s almost always for the better, that way.

So maybe I’m doing more guitar-playing than writing right now, but that’s okay. I will come back around to the writing again. See? I’m doing it now. That’s all the proof I need. It might not be the thing I need to focus on writing, but it's something. That, the short story collection, might be far from done, but if I continue pushing myself, continue story by story, page by page, word by freaking word, no matter how long it actually does take, I will get it done, and it will turn out exactly like it's supposed to turn out.

Maybe the trick for me is motivating myself through sitting down and writing a blog post first, because I feel pretty super-jazzed about writing right now. Hmmm, maybe there's something to that. I'm not sure, but I'm just going to go with it, because at least it's working now, and that's all I really need.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Next Title: Coming 2019!

Xennial is Gabe Gott’s definitive collection of short stories, which was written between 2008 and 2018. The set is divided into three sections: 1. Pop, 2. Auto, and 3. Rejects. Pop is a set of brand new science fiction and dark humor stories. Auto contains the autobiographical stories that Gabe wrote during his final year and a half of studying English at Kent State (between 2010 and 2011). Rejects contains some of the first stories Gabe wrote and published on his blog between 2008 and 2011.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Birth of a Salesman

My minds eye is always looking towards the future, towards the next project, towards how the projects I am working on now will shape that future and how I can better reach my goals and still retain my humanity.

I think that's why I usually end up jumping from one project to the next, and indeed, I have come far as a writer and a publisher, but maybe I am being too hasty when I just move on to the next thing. Maybe I actually need to stick with a project after I have completed the creative side of things and really dig down and try to get people interested in it.

That being said, I've never wanted to be a salesman so there is a balance that I have to maintain, but there is not reason why I can't take some time to put my book out there and get people reading it. I see no reason why I can't treat what I do like local musicians treat their music and build an audience.

That's one of the benefits of living somewhere like Akron. There's plenty of opportunities for me to do readings and vend my wares on people at events where people come to purchase such wares. There's a market for what I do and potential readers all around me. I just have to present what I've got to them and hope that it strikes their fancy.

While I am definitely planning and preparing for my next move, I am not in a hurry to dive down and pour all my focus in the next pot. I am pretty proud of how Idiot Parade turned out, and I can't wait to get it out there. It's worth spending more time on and building an audience around.

In other words, expect to see my shining face around town this summer.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Launch of Gott Press Website

Yesterday, I officially launched the website of my brand new publishing company, Gott Press (click the image below to follow link to Starting a publishing company is something that I have wanted to do for a few years now, and thanks to Akron Soul Soul Train, I have been able to do it.

Eventually, I would like to publish others' works, but right now, until I can get this thing off the ground, I will be focused on publishing my own books. At least for this next book, I will still be distributing through Createspace, but that is also eventually going to change, as well.

Right now, you can say that I am in a transitional phase. I am still doing most everything myself, but for future works, I am going to outsource things like editing and cover design to people who specialize in those things so I can create more professional products and focus more on the writing and the promotion of the works. At least for most stuff anyways. Pet projects I will still do it all myself. For example, I don't feel like I need to outsource editing for my poetry, but my novels, it make sense to hire an editor.

Now that I have the framework setup, I can focus on getting this first book, Idiot Parade, finished and ready to be released. To be honest, I don't have too much left to do to get it ready as it has come together pretty easily and naturally, and I don't want to overthink it too much. I might cut a few of the weakest poems out of it just so I have a tighter, stronger set of poems. Other than that, there's not much left to do. I will be ordering a proof this week.

Thanks again everyone for all of the support! It definitely makes this easier and more exciting for me. Maybe eventually I will make a living doing this, but for now, I am happy with where I am with everything. I feel like I am making real progress, at any rate.

I hope everyone likes Idiot Parade. I guess I will find out on May 12.