Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rambling with Volunteers on the Headphones

We can be together 
Ah you and me  
We should be together 
We are outlaws in the eyes of America 

--Jefferson Airplane*

I think, what I am finding is, you have to find a place where you are happy with the content, and the style, and you just have to make sure it is nice and proofread.  It's important to understand the weaknesses and limitations of it, and focus on the strengths of it, and make the strengths genuinely outweigh the weaknesses.  And I am trying to put out a professional quality product.

I feel like I am capable of doing all of these things, and now I am to the point of ordering a proof and really going through and proofreading.  I republished my short story collection after having done so, and I feel like I have caught the majority of my mistakes.  There are still some, but they aren't as noticeable.  I think.

There is always a certain amount of insecurity, but I feel like if I focus on the quality and make both an artistic statement and also putting out something that has the guise of legitimacy, I will be success eventually.  The next thing I will have to learn how to do, as I start writing my next manuscript (and I have started.  I have about 2,000 so far, after one sitting).

I have learned a lot so far, and for that I am grateful.  I can't wait to see what the next year holds as I finish up grad school and get a job (hopefully.  I am already looking).  On top of all this I have to make sure I kick ass at school for like four more classes and my thesis.  Then I will be home free, and with a killer GPA.  I feel like I earned my grades, too.  I am thinking part of my marketing strategy will also hinge on me getting some of these papers published.  That will also take a lot of work, but if I am successful, that will only lend more credibility to myself as a writer of literature.  I am thinking I have some papers by now that if I continue to work on them and get advice on them from my professors, I will be able to get something published.  I am also going to do some conferences at the school so I can get some more experience doing that.

Maybe after I work for a few years, I can go back to school after I get my shit paid off and some credit built.  Maybe I will go back in my forties.  If I did, it would depend on my level of success as a part-time writer as I work a full time job.  If I can make it worthwhile, then I might have a justifiable enough reason to keep going, eventually.  For now, I just have to make money.  I don't want to be a selfish prick or anything, I just want to break free from my debt and start over, finally, with two degrees under my belt, and future prospects.  

Indeed, as I sit here, thinking about my life right now, and my career, it makes me feel like I have better things than I would have just by accepting things that way they were and pushing forward without a second thought.  I could easily be somewhere else, doing something else, just working hard and not feeling worthwhile.   Just feeling all interpellated and numb.  While I might eventually get there anyway --- at least I prolonged it to my thirties.  It was bound to happen eventually.  Still, some of the most significant writers of the last century worked other jobs or had other people to support them.  They weren't fucking making money doing it, either.

Maybe we are just cogs on a mechanism no one can truly understand, the only possibility being placed on the hopes of eternity past material existence --- of which proof I have seen no evidence of and can never be sure about.

Maybe I am just fooling myself, and we are all just fooling ourselves?  Aren't we all just as strong and smart and capable as we think we are, and if we admit to weakness we become it?  That is true if language is how we define our finite universe.  

So I guess that also means life is how we define it?  I think that is something I can take away from this rambling.

*"We Can Be Together" lyrics courtesy of

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I *think* this is how the cover is going to look.  Simple, to the point, eye-popping.  Although, we are thinking about incorporating some kind of graphic into the design.  I like this version because I can have the paperback printed matte instead of gloss.  Anyways, without further adieu, here is the current (and probably final) version of the book cover:

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Hipster Drinking Game!

Rather than going the traditional marketing route, I am trying out some things that won't cost either me or my potential audience to do (aside, potentially*, from obtaining my book in some fashion).  Anyways, I have come up with a new drinking game for hipsters: it's called, "Spot the Music Reference in Out in the Garage#".  First, you get as many players as you can and divide them as per the number of books one has to share between teams:  if it is a 1:1 ratio, then it is possible to play as individuals rather than as teams.  (However, if you want to share a strategy between members of a group, teams are the way to go.)  Once the books are distributed (don't worry folks, this is the hardest part), you will take turns reading Out in the Garage out loud, however you want to divide it (e.g. sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page...), switching reading between the teams, trading off between team members, and the first person to spot a music reference during the reading gets to either drink or distribute the drink to one of their team members.  If the person who drinks can afterwards recall from memory at least two lines in the song referenced (which you will be able to verify with my Spotify playlist, or any other way you wish to verify the two lines of lyrics[and I do encourage to you to listen to the song all the way through and continue playing the game]).  The game ends when you have either gotten all the way through the book, or you decide to give up, because one or more players are way too drunk to continue, and the team with the drunkest people (who aren't being too much of a shame, as judged by the rest of the players of the game) wins.  You also have the option to award one player between the teams as the Shame of the Game, based on criteria that you create.

*Note, you could also potentially play this game with my blog, if you don't want to purchase the book.  If that is the case, you will have to find the songs, as I don't have a playlist for that (yet, anyways --- maybe someday).  
# Which will be out January 14, 2014.

Friday, December 13, 2013

I also am going to break my rusty cage and run.

In spite of all the work I have had to do lately, I have managed to sneak in working on those last few pages of my book.  I have about... 15-20 pages left to go through.  Then it's proofreading like crazy time.

Another aspect I have been working on as a way to promote this project coming out is a Spotify Playlist of songs that inspired me as I was writing this thing.  The only thing it doesn't have is the Beatles, which aren't on Spotify.  There are many songs that I have referenced in some way in the book, and this is a chance for people to hear them and also the many others that remind me of this time period.

I am also looking forward to finishing up the cover design.  It is a work in progress.  This is my working cover, that will act as a stand in until we finish the real one.  Luckily, I know an artist or two.

I feel really good about it, and I am really looking forward to holding the final version in my hand.  Nothing beats getting a proof and knowing that you have finally gotten it all together.  I have experienced this joy with my short story collection, but this one will be even more rewarding because I have put about four more years of effort into it, for a total of seven years spent on it.  It's a long time to be working on one project, trust me.  You start to get batty after a while.

I am so close I can taste the freedom.  I can feel it on my skin and on my lips like I am standing naked in the rain forest.  "Me Tarzan, you Jane." [I look at the time, and realize that I will be leaving soon].

As I think about the approaching night, "Up All Night" comes on and it sends me back and forward at the same time.  Good times had, good times coming.

Time to go.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I think I have it.  I think I know what I am going to write.  I get that first kiss feeling and put my fingers to the keyboard, although sometimes I prefer pen to paper.  It matters in the moment.  It's that impulse.  That naked outside by the poolside on a sunny day feeling.  Smoking a cigarette without regret of the consequences.  There are always consequences, aren't there?  I am not sure anymore.

I put my pen-tip to my tongue in my mind in my position of thinking while I type at the keyboard at my fingertips.  Jimi Hendrix and Hunter S. Thompson.  I am trapped in a different time, in another place, in my mind.  Was I really born now?  In the future that Science Fiction authors used to envision?  Haven't we at some level made it to that point?  There are resonances of dystopia all around us.  "Do you want a dystopia, sir?  Erase dystopia from the dictionary."

As the semester draws to a close, I sit here, oddly relaxed, entering in and out of oblivion.  I am watching a documentary on Hunter S. Thompson, and it is both inspiring and disturbing.  That's how Dr. Gonzo would have wanted it.  That was how Raoul Duke wanted it.

I don't want my life to be like that.  Aside from recognition, what did it get him?  I look up to him as a writer, but I can't accept that being creative and expressive necessarily leads one down that road.  Same thing with Kurt Cobain, someone should have told him (and probably did), "Buck up man, you're a rock star now."  I am sure that it's fucked up beyond what I can possibly imagine, but seriously, if you can just chill out and ride the wave down slowly, you will enter into a new sort of cognizance, which is only possible through time.  Through relaxing.  Through not letting the things get to you. You move on.

You grow up, you learn to deal with life in a different, invigorating way.  I can't imagine the type of things they went through.  Even though I feel close to them as a fan, I only know them through the things they wrote. The stuff written about them.  While some might argue that is the best way one can truly know anybody, as through language is how we define our world, I am not so sure that is even that accurate.

There has to be another middle ground other than suburbia.  Something not so soul-sucking.  I don't want to just accept my materialistic programming and try to make money as my take on religion.

That's why I write.  Not because I hope to be a bestseller, because it is what renews me, over and over again.  I sit down at the keyboard, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and I am reborn unto the pages.  That for me is enough.  Enough to keep going.  To keep hashing it out, to keep making the effort to keep going, to keep living and breathing and learning and making new connections with people.  It is easy to be pulled into the dark void that seems to be opening up below us, but, like Wile E. Coyote, as long as you don't look down, and keep looking ahead at your goal, you are not going to fall.  Whatever you do, don't hesitate, don't stop, keeping going, keep looking ahead, and breathe.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Don't be An Asshole, Don't Shop on Thanksgiving

Don't shop on Thanksgiving.  I am going to repeat this, probably more than once, just to make sure you read it and understand it, because I am assuming that if you are inclined to go out today, you a thick-headed, cold-hearted, self-centered, greedy asshole --- or are in serious danger of becoming one.  DON"T SHOP ON THANKSGIVING!!!!!

Okay, so most people who are inclined to do so are probably not going to heed this.  I am assuming those sorts of people believe they are always right and that everything they do is right, and they don't feel bad about making people work instead of spend time with their families.  Those sorts of people will go out anyway and treat the workers like shit, and act like animals, and prove that they are really the ones who are classless.

Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe times are changing.  Or have changed, rather --- and I just need to catch up.  It's entirely possible: I grew up with the silly backwards notion that some traditions are important.  Traditions like, for just one day, helping to cook a huge meal and then relaxing and enjoying being with the people who you care about.  Maybe that sort of tradition is so last century.  Maybe it's not time to relax, to spend the day with family, and/or friends, to be thankful for what we've got, maybe it's just that time of year where it's okay for our greed to consume us.  To let our capitalist overlords know that they are right, that they know what they are doing, that they know how human nature works: that we all can't just be satisfied with what we've got.  It's not about what you have, it's about what you don't have.  It's about going out and spending money you don't have on things you don't need.  Nothing is sacred.

But wait, isn't that why Black Friday got started, and Cyber Monday?  We have those to satisfy our inner materialists, so can't we still have at least one day to be lazy and to get fat and to watch football or the Harry Potter marathon that is probably on TBS, or whatever...  To play games?  Have conversations?  Read?  Watch movies on Netflix?  Hell, even set up the Christmas tree?  Can't we just take one break from the mad greed, or at least redirect the greed as gluttony?

When you shop on Thanksgiving, you are basically supporting the idea that the people who work at the places where you shop don't deserve to have the holidays off because they work at a job that isn't respected.  If you wouldn't want to work on Thanksgiving, then don't give retailers the excuse to open.  If you shop on Thanksgiving, you don't respect people who work in retail.  If you didn't shop, if people weren't going out, then stores wouldn't open.

Those "savings" aren't worth it.  You are probably going to get just as good of deals, or almost as good, if you go out a different day or shop online.  Don't send retailers the message that you approve of their disrespecting of their workers.  Trust me, I have been there: those people all have families and friends and would much rather be spending their time with those families and friends than they would be spending their day dealing with self-centered, greedy assholes who degrade them and treat them like indentured servants.  It's bad enough that they have to get up early and do it all again tomorrow and virtually every day between now and Christmas.  Give them at least one day of rest.  Give them the peace and relaxation that everyone deserves on Thanksgiving.

If you hate your family and spending time with loved ones, don't take it out on the people who are forced against their will to work on a day that no one should have to work.  Don't be an asshole, don't shop on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Not letting "the man" get me down, or stupid corporate policies, anyways

The moral of this story is that in spite of what you know or may not know it is important to play along --- at least while you try to subversively make your moves, which is about the only way one can overcome something as large and monstrous as a corporation.  It's not like David and Goliath at all.  It's more like the Greeks vs. the Trojans, only the Greeks are just me and the Trojans are way bigger, better organized, and probably smarter too.  And here I am, sitting inside my Trojan horse, type, type, typing away...  It's a war of words (which is the only ammunition I have to work with) against ever-changing, idiotic corporate policies.  And yet, you say, "Gabe, you are still using their products."  To which, I reply, yes, but that is mostly because I am lazy and/or patient and am waiting to make my move.  Remember, this is my Trojan Horse.  While I might be one fly on the face of the universe, I am using up their servers, one bite at a time, to speak out against them.  While I don't have a large audience, it is open to all of cyberspace, at least as much as anybody else's blogs are open to anyone.  Which means that I need to upload a shit ton of pictures and videos and start as many blogs as I possibly can and fill them up with nonsense.  Throw it all at the wall and whether it sticks or not I am at least making a puddle on the ground in front of the wall, which can be pretty unsightly if I try hard enough.  While it won't be enough to even make a small dent in their capacities or slow them in the least, it is a symbolic gesture, which might do more to illustrate the futility of trying to do anything, but to me it is akin to spraying graffiti all over the walls of their corporate headquarters.  Maybe it is futile, but that is also part of the point.  Why do corporations have the right to take advantage of individuals, which they do, every day, without even blinking, without even thinking about it?  It just happens as a part of their everyday business practices.  I mean, making money is the most important thing in the world.  The act of making money trumps everything, particularly if you already have money, or you come from money, then making money is the only thing there is or ever was, but, hopefully, not the only thing there ever will be.  Hopefully, one day, we will that these sorts of people and the corporations that protect them don't have our best interests in mind, and we will collectively stop taking their bullshit.  Until then, my spray paint can is cocked and loaded and ready to go.  Suck it, Google.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Realization of the Futility of a Dream (Part 1)

If you have a business and you don't have an online presence then you aren't going to go very far; this is pretty much universal knowledge by now.  And your online presence starts with a website with a domain name that everyone will identify as you, that will lead potential customers to you, where you can present your business to them and they can make an informed choice.  But this whole process isn't as easy as it seems like it should be --- even the most basic parts of it, such as the registration of your custom domain name. No, in spite of what the advertisements might say, the process of getting and keeping a domain name isn't as easy or straight-forward as the companies who register and control them want everyone to believe.  In fact, it is a complex process with a lot of nuances that if you don't follow closely you are setting yourself up for failure.

For instance, with Google, if when you first set  up your custom domain you didn't set your Google Apps account to auto renew your registration (i.e. they take the money out of your bank account automatically), and you let your account expire -- even if it is for legitimate reasons, such as temporary money issues -- then there is no quick and easy way to get your domain name back.  The company starts using your domain name for junk advertising -- in other words, it becomes wasted space -- and there is nothing you can do, unless you are willing to pay substantially more money to try and buy it back by back ordering it through a site like eNom or GoDaddy.  If you registered your domain with a company like eNom or GoDaddy through Google, and you had a free Google Apps account (from when they were free), you can't access your account to go back on and renew the domain name of your website or reset it to automatically renew. 

Not being able to renew the domain name (without paying a lot of extra money) that is associated with you is especially bad news if you are trying to get your business started and you are paying for everything with whatever spare money you can manage to put into it.  If you are a college student or are working another job to try and make ends meet while trying to set up your own business on the side, and you don't set your domain name to automatically renew because you don't know if you will be able to spare the extra money, and it expires, it will be devastating to your business.  Especially if you can't afford the cost of getting your domain name back when it finally does go up for auction.

People will try to find your website and the URL will instead take them to the junk space with your name attached to it and it will destroy any little credibility that you might have had.  And your business will be dead and you will have to start over from scratch, and any work that you might have put into it is all for nothing.  

The way domain names are registered and controlled by large corporations is a scam and only they really benefit.  People have dreams and those who work towards pursuing them have to overcome increasingly insurmountable obstacles to even catch a distant site of some distant valley which may or may not contain their goal.  The whole concept of the American Dream is a nightmare for most people.

And forget trying to get help from the companies.  They have made it next to impossible for anyone to receive anything even remotely resembling what most people would consider customer service.  The corporations do nothing but send people around in circles, until they are so dizzy and frustrated that the people give up and move on and leave behind those insignificant, unrealistic dreams.

The reality is that it is impossible to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" (which is what most people are trying to do when they start a business). If you want to get ahead, you have to let some large, faceless corporation pull you up and shake you over a pot until every little penny in your pocket is gone, and then, and only then, maybe they will help you.   But only if they feel like it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Promotional Offer

Have an e-reader?  Well, I've got a deal for you!  Enter this coupon code at between now and December 1, 2013 and receive the e-book edition of Tales from the Fringes for Free!

The coupon code is WX48L (not case-sensitive).

If you do take advantage of this offer, please review it!  Thank you!

I need this, oh baby, I need this...

It's that time of the semester -- weeks 12 through the end -- that I turn into a zombie whose singular goal is to strip the flesh from every book, article, and wayward student to feed my unquenchable thirst for words...  Wooordss...  Gurrr...

In a flash, it's a doozy, because I'm boozy, but eh, it's after nine o'clock...  For the record, I am completely sober --- unless you count the latte I made for myself earlier.  If I didn't have a meeting with my professor about a paper later, then I might slip some whiskey into the next one.  Maybe that will be something I will do after class...

James JOYCE!  James JOYCE!  Let the world rejoice!  It's James JOYCE!

Four more weeks!  Four more weeks!  Grading sucks, let's get on our feet...  And grooooovve baby, grooove baby, groove baby grooove!

I wouldn't stop the world and melt with you, I'd melt with you and we'd turn into mecha-godzilla and stop the world.  BWaahahahahahahahahaha!

Andy Kaufman is, in fact, still alive and living in my basement.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tales from the Fringes New Cover

I also wanted to share with you the new cover to Tales from the Fringes, which I redesigned a while ago, but I wanted to wait until closer to the release to share it with you all.  I think it looks pretty sexy myself.

Flexibility is also a Virtue

Hello all.  I know it's been a while, but I have very  busy with school and life and what not.  No complaints, it's just that in prioritizing my life, unfortunately it's things like this blog or working on finishing proofreading my short story collection that I have to forgo into order to give myself the time that I need to find a new place to live, buy a car, plan for my family's future, do my school work, plan for my class I'm teaching, grade papers, and work on my thesis --- which unfortunately has been a bit neglected lately too, a problem which, I am addressing this weekend.

Anyways, the point of this is, since I am literally "self" publishing, I am delaying the re-release of Tales from the Fringes for two weeks, to November 1st.  I have been proofreading it, and there is not a lot that I have to change, but I don't want to not finish proofreading and risk leaving any "stone unturned" --- to use a cliche.  I don't see it as a setback, but as a necessity.  Unfortunately, for the time being, until I actually have more time (i.e. I am out of school and I have a regular sort of job), my publishing schedule will have to be flexible.

That being said, since I am paid over winter break, I am not planning on working so that I can do some significant work to my thesis and also finish up Out in the Garage so it is ready on January 14th --- since that date has significance to me, personally.  Anyways, I know it might be disappointing to some of you, but my goal is to put out a professional quality book, and not one with a significant number of typos.  That just takes time and planning, and flexibility when my schedule doesn't work out how I want it.

I have been thinking a lot about my future, lately, and what direction I want to go after August 16th, and I am really have major doubts about going on and pursuing a PhD. --- at least not right away, and, maybe, never. I am also considering going for another year to either pursue another MA in education so I can teach high school English, or another year and getting my MFA as well, so that I can still potentially get a tenured teaching position, and I can more actively pursue what I truly love doing, writing fiction and poetry.  It would also broaden my qualifications and open me up to more jobs --- since there are plenty of businesses, such as greeting card companies or advertising firms, that need creative writers.  I just can't see being in school for another four years, making next to nothing, trying to scrape by, when I can an extra year in school and pursue the same type of career.  I don't know.

I haven't made my decision yet.  I am honestly leaning towards entering the workforce --- since one of my strengths as a writer is my adaptability --- and pursuing a career in something like technical writing (which I would need to research and grow comfortable with in the next 10 months).  I have already started perusing the job listings for the Akron/Cleveland area and doing some preliminary research (for like the median salary for technical writers, etc.) and I am not intimidating by what I am finding.  I am basically looking for the type of job that I can make a decent wage doing something in the writing field.  The type of job that allows have a life outside of work so that I can have a family and can afford to pay off my debt and save money and can read and write like I enjoy doing.

I am glad that I am attaining the level of education that I am currently pursuing, and I feel more confident in my abilities than I ever have before.  The question that I have to ask myself is, what is the dream?  When I am truly honest with myself the dream isn't getting a PhD. in English, it's in getting a job that I enjoy that allows me time to be with my family and friends and to indulge in my creative pursuits.  When I think of it in that way, it allows for more flexibility.

It's not like I will never read another book or challenge myself to understand a complex idea.  Education is something we must all strive for, no matter where we go or what do we in life.  School is a place that focuses on the pursuit of it, but --- at least in my experience --- there are a lot of people who take that for granted.  There are also a lot of people who take for granted that we don't need an institution to gain knowledge, that true knowledge is something we all strive for all our lives, no matter what our situation.  If more people continued to strive for knowledge instead of whatever else their priority might be, the world would be a better place.  Ignorance is not bliss.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Official Release Date Change for Out in the Garage / Re-release Date Set for Tales from the Fringes

While I certainly don't want to disappoint anyone, I am going to push back the release of my novel, Out in the Garage, to over Christmas Break, which will give me the time I will need to focus on school and also finish the novel and proofread it thoroughly.  This way I can network more and promote it more and use the re-release of my short story collection to build something of an audience.

It's important for me to do this right: my classwork, my class I'm teaching, and my thesis are all very important, and I need to build my C.V. and get some articles published and try to do another conference or two, if I can, if there are any that fit my area of growing expertise.  I do feel like I am doing a good job, and things are going really well, and I am learning a lot.  I really need to focus on doing everything I need to meet my next goals.  Anyways, it's important to keep my priorities in order and to give myself plenty of time to accomplish all of my goals.  '

Sometimes it's hard to be patient, but I am confident in the direction I am going, both with my career and my creative writing pursuits.  I am not worried about changing my mind about the direction I am going with Out in the Garage, and I am actually almost done with the rewrite (only thirty more pages, which is about one-eighth left to do).  Then I will spend plenty of time proofreading for typos and any little grammatical things I might need to tweak for clarity.  If there is anything Tales from the Fringes has taught me, it is that I can never be too thorough.

The Official Release Date of Out in the Garage is set to be Tuesday, January 14 (which, I believe, would be my Grandpa's 75th birthday).  Tales from the Fringes will be re-released on Friday, October 18.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Since I am re-releasing it soon, I am, for a short period of time, taking Tales from the Fringes off-sale.  It shouldn't take too long to put it back on-sale, and I will announce it as soon as it happens.  This is so I can improve the files with my updates and expand my e-book distribution.  I am considering postponing releasing my novel until December, because, the way things are going with school, I might need that extra time to get it thoroughly proofread.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Product Placement.

More often than not, if I am home, and I am more often than not, then more often than not I am in my office.  If I am more often than not home and in my office then I am usually blasting music, whether it's from my own vast collection, or I am checking out new stuff on either Spotify or Soundcloud, or watching Youtube, or listening to my own recordings and measuring them up, or playing guitar to get better, to relieve stress, and compose more songs.

Currently, I am listening to Spotify, and I am finding some good stuff on here, but I am not completely sold on what I am currently listen to, Givers, "Noche Nada".  It's on Avett Brothers radio, and, to be honest, I am not completely sold on it, either.  I am just curmudgeonly like that, though.  I do like plenty of other new music like No Age, and Cold War Kids just came on and I am liking it.  Still, nothing beats revisiting the classics, which lately has consisted of a lot of the Replacements, more and more often.

Although, when I am reading, it is almost always techno or classical.  And with that, I shall leave you, better, but only if you have clicked on that last link.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Breaking Free

Freshman papers are not fun to read.  It is tedious and sometimes frustrating -- but also at times rewarding. No matter how bad it may be, it will ALWAYS be better than grilling food, making burritos, flipping burgers, working in a factory, working in warehouses...  It's important to keep it in perspective.

At least I can sit here, in my home office, in the air conditioning, with any music that I want, surrounded by my favorite things, books, guitars, and CDs, challenging myself to be better and to try and help these students become better writers.  If they don't take it seriously, it's not my problem, but I feel pretty lucky in that most of my class seems to take it seriously.  They genuinely seem like a good group of people, and I think this is going to be a great semester.

We are all still getting to know one another, and I am still assessing their individual strengths and weaknesses, but I don't think I am going to have many problems -- if the first two weeks are any indication.  I know I need to work on explaining concepts better, and getting them to force me to explain them better.  I can already tell a difference from the first common writing assignment papers to the first drafts -- for the most part -- and that might just be because it is a more interesting topic, but I can tell they are at least thinking more about what they are writing.

The more that I think about it, the more that it dawns on me, that I am truly lucky to be doing what I enjoy doing for a living -- even if I am at the beginning stages of it.  I think back to even just a month ago how miserable I was, and how much I hated my life, and my life now couldn't be more different.  Sure, it's challenging and sometimes frustrating, and it takes up a lot of my time, but there is not much else I would rather be doing right now.

I am still working on getting better at time management, and sometimes I have a hard time forcing myself to do schoolwork, but, I am getting better, and, more often than not, doing what I need to be doing, and I have faith in myself that I will continue working on this and getting better at it -- I mean, I am still able to get plenty of sleep each night, so I must not be doing too badly.

I do wish I had more time spend with my wife, my friends, and my family, but they are all very supportive, so I am pretty lucky in that regard.  While I work, I just have to keep in mind, that the more I work I put in now, the more time I will be able to spend with them later.  It's hard, and frustrating, but I know it will be worth it, and that I will be able to find a good-paying job -- I just have to keep working hard and being smart about the decision that I make.  It's amazing how much work it takes to get to the simple life.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thomas Hardy

In the next few months, I haven't set a firm date on it yet, but I will be re-releasing my short story collection, Tales from the Fringes.  I wasn't happy with the amount of typos that I missed so I am going to re-proofread it extra carefully.  Also, I have reformatted the e-book versions so they are formatted like fiction and not nonfiction.  I did it like that because I put it out in haste and didn't take the time to research it enough.  But now, over the summer, I have done that, and I can afford the time right now to do it, since it is something I can do to get my mind in the right state to do research or studying.  I am actually working on my thesis now, which is nice.

Most of my time is still spent learning how to teach, which is really exciting, challenging, and fun!  It's kind of an adrenaline rush.  After I'm finished I feel like I have run a marathon.  Yesterday -- and it's mainly because it's August and humid and I am wearing long-sleeved shirts and ties -- I was covered in sweat.  I am someone who sweats in the middle of winter, though, so it doesn't really make much of a difference.  The hardest part is getting them to participate, but I think I actually made some progress yesterday.  They really started contributing as much as I could expect a bunch of people who are looking for the practical value of what I am teaching.  I am fine with that, but I still expect them to try and have fun with it.  It's a lot easier to learn something that you are having fun doing.

My philosophy is essentially dropping them in the deep end  and urging them to take off the life jackets and starting to swim.  I don't know how good of a swimming coach I would be -- but with writing there is really no other way.  You almost have to feel like you are drowning, like the only thing that will keep you afloat is if you actually fight for your life and say everything you need to say. In the real world this might not be a good approach but here in the theoretical realm of the classroom, with pencil and paper and computers, it is all possible.  If I am getting through to them and actually teaching them how to swim, eventually -- hopefully at least a few of them -- will learn to swim and feel comfortable taking off the life jackets.  Hopefully the rest of them will at least stay afloat and make it on to the next class.  Hopefully no one will take off the life jacket with the intention of drowning themselves.  Don't get me wrong, ideally, I would like to see everyone swimming on their own, but, realistically, I know that is not going happen.  I will try to reach as many of them as possible in the time that I have.

It's harder than I imagined it would be than to set the class I am teaching aside to work on my other classes, but I can't lose sight of the importance of those classes either.  I have to maintain my GPA and I truly want to learn everything I can and write some good papers.  While I will definitely continue applying to conferences, I think I would rather focus on writing papers for publishing.  Either way will help me build my C.V., and the more I am published, the more likely I will be invited to speak at conferences, which will all help me get into a PhD. program -- well, as long as they see the potential in me and that I have the drive to succeed.  If I want to get tenure this is the game that I have to play.

That's why I am also taking Out in the Garage and Tales from the Fringes very seriously -- the better they look, the better they are written, the fewer the mistakes/typos I leave in them, the more likely they will be an asset, eventually.  I do have to work more towards exhausting my avenues of  distribution and promotion so that I can maximize my fan-base and continue building my Internet reach.   That's why I will continue to write and move forward with all of my projects, along with school, because the only way I will succeed is if I keep trying -- I just have to be reasonable with the amount of time I can spend working towards these goals.  The more successful I am, the more time I will spend towards reaching them.

But, for now, it's back to reading "The Darkling Thrush" and "On the Departure Platform".  It won't be long before I jump into finishing the writing prompt for my class's first essay, so I can get it looked over by my adviser before I hand it out tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Description and page count of Out in the Garage updated on Books page.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Leaving Prep City and Entering Reality

My main concern about being a TA is the possibility of it taking over my life.  I don't want to let it do that, in spite of the fact that teaching is a main component of my future, and this is my learning teaching on the fly.  I plan on treating it on the same plane as my other classes -- and any other aspect of my life that I deem to be as important.  If I don't put it on the same level as everything else, I will be negligent to the other parts of my life that I believe to be just as important.

Playing guitar might suffer, but that will push me to focus on the most important aspect of it, which for me is merely just doing it.  As long as I able to do just that, from time to time, when my schedule permits -- in fact, I find it to be a good distraction, when I need to hit the restart on my hard drive.

It is a new part of my life, and it fills me with exuberance.  Every day I can't wait to devote a chunk of my day to it.  It has consumed my time over the past week.  I guess that's what happens when you wait until the last minutes to get it all together -- not that I had a choice, since I didn't have much to go off of until I started reading the book and went to orientation.

I hope to find the balance that I need, though, which means I will have to be disciplined, in spite of my state of mind, which is more often than not, chaotic, messy, racing.

However, the more I work, the more self-consumed I am, and the more I accomplish.  It becomes all about setting goals and never giving up on them -- even after I have accomplished them.  It's all about patiently forward motion, building momentum, and hitting all the random tasks along the way -- kind of like passing a level in Super Mario Brothers.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to School

I am nearly finished with my first syllabus.  There are a couple of things that I need to add that I will find out about tomorrow, and then I will be ready to email it to my supervisor and get it okay'd.  I actually have more control over it than I had expected I would, but I stuck pretty closely with what he gave us -- I just added a little flair of my own, including a Kurt Vonnegut quote.

 My goal as a composition instructor is to be tough but fair and to help them become better, more confident writers.  The direction of the class will really depend on how they are as writers and where they need help.  I have a lot of freedom as far as the day-to-day structure of the classes, and what kinds of things I can do to teach the students.  If possible, I want to find ways to teach them that are fun for both them and me.  I don't know if I will do in in the fall, but in the Spring I might have my class do blogs and post their homework on them, or something.  I can help them set them up in class and then they will have the choice whether they will publish them for the mass public or just the class.  I have a lot of ideas and I am getting some good direction right now, and I am also working on the reading and getting myself into the right frame of mind.

 I am not going to use any of my own writing as examples -- I don't have that much of an ego.  The text book is adequate, and, if I want them to read a short story, I will find one online.  I will talk about my writing though -- mostly my essay writing, but I will bring up my fiction when it is pertinent.  I haven't decided whether I am going to tell them that I am self-publishing my own books or not -- although I do feel like it gives me more credibility.  I don't think I will tell them about this website, though.  If they find out about it on their own, it doesn't matter.  It's not a secret.

I should, however, be building my name as a writer around the department.  I will introduce myself in class as a writer who avidly advocates for self-publishing, as I believe it is the wave of the future, and so long as the publishers aren't censoring what is being written, the writers can prove how hard they are willing to work and learn as they go, and sell their own books, which are written the way the writer wishes them to be written, and fuck everybody else.

Even though the Internet has grown a little douche-y in recent years, I still believe it is the best hope yet for keeping the punk / DIY ideal alive, and, really, stronger than ever.  We are like entrepreneurs who are willing to work hard and do what is necessary to stay true to ourselves, and fuck what the status quo says.

Okay, so maybe I won't go into it like that, but that is what I believe.  Maybe my audience will never be huge, but at least I don't have to become someone I'm not just to turn into a monster.  I would rather earn a living as a professor or a teacher or a librarian or whatever the Hell I can find a job doing.

As I grow older and my life progresses and I eventually have children who live to be old enough to understand that life is all about how you perceive it, or should be, anyways.  So long as some major totalitarian shit doesn't take place between now and then.  It should be about how you perceive and can use your perceptions create your reality.  It's really the same thing as visualizing and achieving. And success should therefore be measured by how well your are able to perceive and realize.  The more closely your reality matches up to your perceptions, the more successful you are in life, that is if you let it be a positive thing and not a negative one.

That's why I believe I am successful, even though I am not rich.  I have found a way to do what I enjoy doing for a living, and it is only temporary if I don't take it seriously enough.  There are opportunities for me if I continue to work hard and take my work seriously.  It will only be a matter of time before I will actually be able to earn a decent living.  I just have to keep my head done, my brain focused, and put my senses to work, on high efficiency.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Poems

New Poems, "Stereophonic Slamdance" and "Press Release Style", posted on the Poetry page.  (Keep scrolling down, they are the last two on the page.  When I get time, I might reverse it, but, I kind of put them in a specific order).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Penguin Rangers Unite!

Watching as I pour myself into something I have not really done in a long time: writing.  I have forgotten what this feels like, but the sensory memory is still there. Anyways, this is why I love my profession, I may never make a lot of money, but I would rather be able to do this as often as possible.

Looking forward to school starting: this is my last week at my summer job! *does back flip*

Right now I am just working on some ideas and feelings I have been having, in story form, scene by scene.  My goal is to be able to leave the final product as much as it is originally written as possible, and to just work on it when I have opportunities to do so.  As a writer, I have been stuck in a rut, working and working and working on the same thing over and over again, and only getting marginally further than where I have been for six years.

Sometimes I will almost ruin a project before I finally get exasperated and want to give up, which is what is happening to my first novel, and I don't want that to keep happening, I just want to continue moving forward and working on my craft and applying what I learn as I am writing, and just try to get better with each project.

I am forcing myself to stick to one version of Out in the Garage, make minimal changes to it, and put it out, because, quite frankly, I have enough other things to worry about, I want to move on and begin writing a new rough draft, more or less in a stream of consciousness style, which I think will be very therapeutic when I am deep in the trenches of school and teaching and writing my thesis. Still, I do want to feel like Out in the Garage is actually finished when I publish it, so I am holding myself to reasonably high standards.

And, actually, what I said earlier isn't entire true, either, the changes I am making -- adding better descriptions and changing the text to the present tense (for the most part) -- aren't exactly minimal, they just aren't very complicated changes, they are building on what is already there and making it better.  I am trying to just keep in mind all of the advice that I have gotten, but follow my gut instinct, which is usually how I am most successful as a writer.

That's how I feel justified in it, that, and I am going to do another proof no matter how many changes I make -- and I am going to still publish it on October 18, 2013, no matter what.  My   schedule is as such: finish the last rewrite by September 11, finish proofreading by October 11, and have a smooth release on the 18th.

I really, really hope the next book doesn't take six years.  I am shooting for one year, but it will probably, realistically, be more like two, with the whole school and getting a job or going to get my PhD. thing, not to mention my marriage and family and friends and what not.  Still, writing fiction and recording music / playing guitar are good releases when I am stressed out and  have the time, and everybody needs that.  I am assuming the thesis is going to be stressful, especially as it approaches April-May.

Anyways, enjoy some RHCP!  Josh Klinghoffer impresses me -- it makes me want to see them in concert again, eventually.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Always Moving Forward

Still working through my first proof of Out in the Garage.  I am taking my time with it, trying to get the language as close to perfect as possible.  I have made some definite improvements.  The hard part for me is to not do too much.  I think that balance comes from experience, something that I will know more about after I get this done.  After I go through it and make the changes to my manuscript, then I will order another proof and solely focus on eliminating typos.

This will take some time, especially as I am trying to focus more on getting prepared for school -- particularly the College Composition class that I am teaching.  Now I have the texts that I will be teaching from, I can thoroughly go through them. I want to be comfortable with the material, because I know it will take a little while for me to find my rhythm as a teacher.  The more prepared I am the better off I will be.  My goal is to educate and make it as interesting as I can, because the hardest part won't be the teaching, it will be combating the indifference of the students.

I am also trying to focus more on my thesis: do my research and write my prospectus.  While I won't get it all done by the semester starts, I want have a good start on it.  My goal is to have my prospectus done by the end of the first five weeks.  I will probably be doing a lot of writing over Christmas break, but I have two semesters, so I just need to pace myself and not procrastinate too much (more than I already have).

In general, I am going to start focusing more on school and my school work and my career than on my hobbies.  It is the only way I am going to accomplish my goals.  I don't want to keep working in wage slavery -- or, at least, if I am going to continue being poor I want to at least enjoy my job and not be as poor as I am now so that I can at least pay all of my bills, pay back my debt, and still have a little money left over.  I don't need to be rich or famous or anything like that, I just don't want to feel like I am struggling.  In short, I just want the simple life -- which is far more difficult to achieve than I ever imagined it could be.

Finally, I am going to re-release my short story collection, Tales from the Fringes. I have taken the time to learn how to put together a professional-looking e-book version, and I am going through and trying to eliminate typos.  I put it out so quickly that I didn't take enough time to do everything I need to do, and, as the publisher, and a perfectionist, I feel that the product I have for sale isn't as high quality as I am capable of.  Not that it is bad, or anything, I am just learning and am trying to hold myself to higher standards.  I am also going to release the e-book through Smashwords and many other websites where it is not currently available, including the iBookstore.  This will all be happening relatively soon.  I have reformatted it; now I just have find the typos.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cinematic Gold

This used to be one of my favorite movies.  I have to admit, it is exactly what I remember it to be.

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Out in the Garage Description (in progress)

I just wrote this but I felt that it was pertinent to share it with you (as well as update the description on my BOOKS page).  My goal was to write a more enticing, professional-sounding description of my book, and I think I have accomplished that (just go back and find the various other versions, strewn about throughout this blog).  This description will also be the one on Amazon and all the other websites as well as the one on the back of the book.  Anyways, here is the direction I am going, and I think this turned out very well (we'll see if it is the one I actually end up using):

Lance Adamson was born in the 80's, stranded in Nodtown.  There, he lives with his mom and Grandpa Harry at Grandpa Harry's house.  He spends most of his time playing drums -- when he's not in school, anyways -- jamming with Grandpa Harry, who plays bass, but it is the furthest thing from cool.  While Grandpa Harry is the one who took Lance out to the garage for the first time and taught him how to play -- how to really play, how to let the music carry him away -- to Grandpa Harry, jazz is religion, and, nowadays, all Lance really wants to do is rock out.  Wayne, Lance's best friend, plays trumpet with them -- but he is actually more of a guitarist.  He plays that thing as often as other dudes masturbate.  Lance and Wayne could totally start the greatest band in rock n' roll history, except that Grandpa Harry will never let that happen, not in that garage, anyway.  Lance knows that it's time for a change...

Of the various different versions I have written, I think this one is my favorite.  It sets up the story but doesn't really give anything away.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I am on a roll here, it has been like three days in a row, now, that I have updated this.

It seemed high time that I should get a bit saucy, so here it goes.  This blog has officially been saucified. There, it's been done.  It's irreversible.

Now that the saucification has been asserted, and then doubly or triply verified, I will be eligible for membership in the International Saucy Blog Owners of America (ISBOA).

Then, as other members of ISBOA, I will gain the full authority to officially verify the saucy levels of another persons blog and deem that person eligible for the group, or not.  We're not that picky so we're more like the Masons than the Illuminati.  And we're saucier than either of those groups, so there's that bonus of being a member of ISBOA.

Needless to say there are a lot of hipsters who are members, because, let's face it, who else are saucier than hipsters, other than, say, drag queens?



Okay, shit... ISBOA just disbanded.  We are no longer a group.  It seems like, combined, we had too much sauciness than even we could handle.

Well, it looks like I have to become a drag queen now.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Eh, life.  Isn't it grand?  No, that's a serious question.  I think sometimes a person forgets that can happen.  He forgets that life doesn't have to be about what shit he is going through, because, in general, life itself is all hard and disappointing and whatever.  But then there is also those few fleeting moments of happiness, and hopefully he has enough of them close enough together that just when he starts to come down from the last one, he has a new one to renew his faith that there is any meaning to existence at all.  And once he knows what that feels like, then he tries to carry it with him and remind himself of it when the reality doesn't match up to the state-of-mind.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Out in the Garage vs. The Millennial, the Final Round

"In this corner, with 52,441 words and 196 pages, the former heavy-weight champion of the world, the toned-down, character-focused, story-focused, literary version of my first novel, six years in the making -- a version of the version I entered in the Amazon contest and is the culmination of all of my education, life experience, and the advice I have been given as a writer by other writers who have read it -- we have Out in the Garage!"

Out in the Garage raises it's arms and the crowd shoots to its feet and screams and cheers.

"In the other corner, we have the current defender, with 57,755 words and 191 pages, which based on a past edition of the novel that has driven me nearly mad over the last six years, the edition before I let anyone else read it, the edition the snarls and growls and throws it's middle finger high in the air, shouting profanity and bragging about how it had sex with Out in the Garage's mother, the version that defies all advice, the version that shows it's genitals to anyone who is looking and shit's on the doorstep of every convent and church it comes across, the version that makes other versions laugh nervous and cry at night, the one, the only...  The Millennial!"

The Millennial poops in his hand and throws it on an old lady; the crowd boos and throws garbage.  The Millennial picks up a half eaten hot dog, holds it to its crotch, and then takes a bite, and throws the rest at the manuscript across the ring, hitting Out in the Garage in the face.

"Okay," the referee says as the manuscripts move to the center ring.  "No biting, hitting below the belt, using body fluids as weapons, and absolutely no Shakespeare quotes!"

"Fuck Shakespeare!"


"Okay," the referee says, "Now shake hands...  Now let's get it on!"


The Millennial whips out its penis and immediately charges towards the other manuscript, which moves out of the way at the last moment, holding it's foot out and tripping up The Millennial, which flies out of the ring and straight into a paper shredder, who is its trainer.  The Millennial is immediately shredded to death.

"Okay, that was quick, but we have a winner!"  The referee raises Out in the Garage's hand and
the crowd cheers and immediately begins to file out of the arena.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A sane, well-thought-out, post about sane, well-thought-out things, climbing my way out of the downward spiral, away from oblivion, while I can...

Organization is key.  Over the last month, month and a half -- since school ended for the summer -- my mental stability, decision-making skills, and desire to accomplish things of actual value have all disappeared...  I don't know, maybe I just needed to let loose for a while.

But there comes a time when it is necessary to reign it all back, sort it out, put all those aspects in the proper places, and get things going.  I've got a thesis to write, a class to prepare a syllabus for, three classes to get in the mental discipline to be a be to do well in, the literature subject test of the GRE to study for, papers to polish and get published or give presentations about at conferences, PhD. programs to apply to...

It's all happening so fast and it's a lot to do and I really just need to buckle down, hold on, and get it all done to the best of my ability and hopefully by this time next year I won't be institutionalized.  We'll see.  At least I'll get more writing accomplished that way, I suppose.

I also really need to make my final stand with this manuscript (I am not going to say which version I have chosen; however, if you've been keeping track, it's not the one I hinted at choosing in my last post), and get it all ready to publish.  I feel pretty confident for choosing the one I have chosen, and for the reasons for which I have done so.  In addition to the editing and proofreading, I also have to design the jacket and finalize the description, research the e-book formatting and get it right this time, and all that...

With work and all the other stuff going on in my life, I have to get organized and get to work.  It's the beginning of July and I am already very stressed.  I guess at this level the stress really never goes away.  I wish I was able to be less ambitious and settle for less, but I just am not capable of giving up. Maybe it's pride, maybe is irrational, maybe I'm crazy, maybe it's unnecessary and life is a cruel joke, but I don't care.  I am who I am, I study what I study, I write what I write, I play and like the music that I like, and that is that.

Hopefully after all the dust clears and in a year from now I am preparing for the PhD. program where I have been accepted, my novel is finally published and selling, I am working on my second novel, and I am continuing to progress towards my goal of getting a tenure-track position somewhere and continuing to write novels and short stories...  If not I still have my wife, our future family, our families, and lots of friends.

While certainly it's not all up to me, I can't control everything, there is a lot on my shoulders -- and much of it is what I put there -- and by making it as far as I have in my career I am already beating the odds.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Questions Than Answers

What is truly frustrating is that I cannot decide between the two version of my manuscript.  Just when I think I have made a decision, I reconsider the other one.  Both have strengths, both have weaknesses.  Neither is what I would consider to be mainstream literature.  I don't know, I just don't know.  I hate that I keep second-guessing myself.

When I consider it, yes, one is more of what I originally intended, and the other I have made great changes to make it more literature than satire, more serious than entertaining, more thoughtful than vulgar.  What is better?  What is worse?

Just when I think I have answered this question, I have another answer to the question, and then more questions...  What is better, what is worse?  Can I release both, somehow?  Should I?  Should I combine the two?  Do I have the time?

Then I reason with myself.  The one I have spent more time on over the last three years, the more serious, more literature, but still not enough mainstream to be considered publishable by a mainstream publisher, has corrected the problems that I was having with the 2010 version, which I have based the other version, The Millennial, off of.

Do I want over-the-top or thoughtful?  What is better and what is worse?  Does anybody care other than me?  Does it really matter on the grand scope of my life?  Will anyone read it, either way?  Do I just give it up and move on?  What is the right thing to do?  Is there a right thing to do? Am I just some mutt chasing his tail?

What does it matter?  Does it matter?  Don't I have more important things to think about, to work on, to make sure turn out well?  Shouldn't I see this through, for once and for all, to show that I can?  Why can't this be more clear-cut?  Why do I make things more difficult than they have to be?  Why am I so indecisive?  Does Mark Wahlberg really have a third nipple?  Which is the best fantasy world, Narnia, Oz, or Never Never Land?  Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Maybe this is all really me second-guessing publishing Out in the Garage, and that I care way too much about what other people think.  This is, after all, my novel.  Some people are going to like it, some people aren't, and most people aren't ever going to read it.

I guess a part of it, too, is...  What version makes me happier?  When I set out to make changes, it wasn't merely to please others, but there were some real problems I had with the story that I was looking for advice to help with, and I got that advice, and followed the advice that I liked, and ignored the rest.  It was still me making the decisions based on my own criteria.

It seems like I know what I want to do -- but am I brave enough, can I find the confidence, to do it?  Why do I start second-guessing myself again now?  Isn't this what has prevented me from publishing it before now?  Am I just afraid to let myself be vulnerable and to open myself up to criticism from the world?  Is it because I have spent so much time on it that it has become such a part of my life that I am hesitant to give it up, and now I am trying to give myself reasons to not give it up?  Don't I just need to keep pushing forward and not forsake the work that I have done and trust the advice that I have taken, and put out what I know to be the better version -- even if it is different from what I originally intended, because, to be honest, I had no idea what the Hell I was doing in the beginning, and now I have learned a great deal?

This is such a trivial concern in a world that has so many bigger problems that more people should be taking the time to think about and attempting to do something about -- even if it is just writing books that more directly confront those problems than this first book of mine, which is really rather juvenile when compared to the books that I am planning on writing.  It is time to move on, and I can't do that until I get this one finished, and I am too far into it, too close to being finished, to change my mind out of fear and nervousness.

Sometimes I just need to pep-talk myself and think out-loud and help myself realize when I am being foolish.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I have a confession... *cough cough*

Okay, here it goes.

A while ago -- now -- I realized that at some point over the last three years or so that my manuscript had become...  I'm not sure.  So, realizing this, I went back to the last edition that made sense, and started focusing more on the language that on changing story or plot, and, while it is definitely not what I would consider a literary masterpiece, it is much more genuine, much more, well, mine.

Not that I don't appreciate all the people over the years who have read it and give me advice, but at some point I started worrying about pleasing others too much and not myself.  Well, I realized that it's my fucking manuscript and I have a right to be selfish about it, goddammit.

I am very proud of the way the now not so secret manuscript is turning out, I am still tweaking it, but it is roughly at the same point as my other manuscript.

It wasn't until last night until I finally kicked myself in the pants and pulled my head out of my ass and finally, once and for all, decided to go with this version, which is heavily based on the 2010 edition, with some vast improvements in the writing and very little change in the story itself.

My gut instinct tells me that I am making the right choice, because ultimately I am doing this for myself, and I am the one who has to live with what I put out, and I would rather be the guy who writes the absurd satire than the guy who writes the pretentious wannabe garbage.  If I am self-publishing either way, then I would rather publish the version that is most what I originally intended, the version that inspired me to change to English and start down this road to being a professor.

Anyways, without further adieu, here is the description that will appear on the back of the book and Amazon and all that (although I might tweak it slightly between now and October):

"Born in the 80's, a Bastard Son but not a bastard.  He's reckless and self-absorbed... Oh, and, did I mention, in a band, too?  THE MILLENNIAL squeezes the heart until it's black and blue and ready to burst.  It makes the reader want to fart, laugh, and orgasm, simultaneous.  There's sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, and quite a healthy dose of death, too.  It's every masturbating, gothic-wannabe asshole's wet dream.  Did I mention sex enough times?  SEX SEX SEX!!!" 

"Dripping with semen," says Egbert Tripplefuss of The Jerk-Offer.  

"Really did make me fart, laugh, and orgasm at the same time," proclaims Thom Schlitzman of The Pussies and Assholes Literary Review.

"No one should read this, unless you're cool, then you can do whatever," raves Todd Nelson of Nipped Blog.  "Seriously though, reading THE MILLENNIAL  is the best walk over hot coals I have had for a while."

Wayne Crosby of the Nodtown Gazette reports: "Never thought I would read something that would make me want to masturbate publicly, but Gabe Gott has gone and done it again!"

Goddammit I never get tired of this song.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Post Where I Say "Fuck It"

The more research I do, the more blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. that I read, the more advice that I get from other writers or well-meaning people who have an opinion, the more I realize how the whole goddamned world has gone completely fucking insane.

This is why I am doubling down on my commitment to myself to write whatever the fuck I want, however the fuck I want, put it out however the fuck I want, and I don't give a damn about what is supposed the right way or whatever.

The people who decide what the right way is don't have my interests or my knowledge or experience and have not legitimate basis to tell me how to do what I do or why.  It doesn't always have to be about making money or becoming famous or whatever.

I can't please everybody but I can please myself, as my masturbating hand will attest.


At least they admit it and are working towards minimizing it. Unfortunately many foods have GMO's in them and most people don't know about it.  It's not only difficult to get away from, but next to impossible, since all soybeans today are genetically modified (thanks to Monsanto). This is what happens when large corporations control congress (not talking about Chipotle here) and are not forced to label these things as being modified.  This is just a symptom of a larger problem with our society, and it is all fueled by greed and protected by ignorance and apathy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

PRICE DROP (what?)!

My short story collection is now only $6.99 (or cheaper on Amazon) for a paperback and $2.99 for an e-book (now available for Kindle and Nook).

Ridiculous Nonsense

Penis McGee was a good fellow, was he
He danced with every one he chose
He liked to fiddle fiddle
And also diddle diddle
So to every occasion he rose

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Zippity Dippity Doo on a Tuesday morning before work

I am hoping to order the proof of Out in the Garage by this weekend, along with some copies of my short story collection, Tales From the Fringes (which is only $6.86 at Amazon right now, by the way).    While these are copies to give away to family and close friends, I am going to start keeping some on-hand to sell and use for promotional purposes.  You never know who you are going to meet, or what opportunities will come your way.

And yes, I am starting on research.  Right now it is mainly an online thing until I find all the relevant articles and books.  I will probably start out by doing a lot of reading about American Exceptionalism before I start my historical research.  The former will help to shape the latter as I make a more complete connection between the Melville the and the thing he was criticizing (which is as relevant as ever in today's 24-hour propaganda cluster-fuck).

My goal is to go through AT LEAST two chapters of Out in the Garage a day until I have gone through all 17 chapters.  For the most part I am happy with everything, and I have no desire or see no need to change the story, the plot, the characters, etc. but there are some places where the language is still a little funky or inadequate and the descriptions are flat, boring, or too melodramatic.  

The melodrama worked more in previous versions where everything was over-the-top.  However, in the current version, it just comes across as cheesy, so I am going to tone it down a bit.  I want it to be vivid, yet subtle.  At least subtly over-the-top, or an implied over-the-topness -- if that is even possible.

Part of me does want to just say fuck it and publish it how it is, but I still have the time to polish it up before the release date.  That is one of the nice parts about current technology, and one which I will definitely continue to take advantage of.

I feel like I can't do any new writing until I have completely exhausted all of my current projects and the upcoming projects are thorough planned out.  I also need to get better at using my time wisely and dividing it more evenly between the things that are important in my life.  Sometimes some things might usurp more time than others, but right now there is nothing in particular that needs that.  I can be very productive if I push myself -- I just gotta be more Type-A than Type-B right now.

These blogs help with that.  In a strange way they help me organize my thoughts about my work and focus on what I need to be working on.  I have so many goals to accomplish, and I am not going to accomplish them by being lazy or focusing too much on one thing.  I can't lose sight of the importance of school, but yet my writing is also important -- it is, after all, what influenced me to study English and finally get my bachelor's degree-- and self-publishing is a challenging and rewarding hobby.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Right now, my focus is on making the language and the descriptions pop in Out in the Garage.  The next step will be to go through it very carefully and solely focus on typos.  My problem right now is that I am having an increasingly hard time focusing.  I guess I just need to blow off the steam and get it out of my system, though, so I can really buckle down and get accomplished what I need to get accomplished.

I do want to order a proof soon, which is the beginning of the second step.  That way I can also double-check all of my formatting.  I have also been hard at work in making the book's description and my bio sound more professional -- well, better written, anyways.

My goal is to make sure it is as entertaining-yet-thought-provoking as possible.  The story I am happy with, and I am not doing any major rewriting -- no craft stuff.  I do want to make sure every word, punctuation mark, and blank space, not function properly but also look how each one will look best.   It's important for me to take pride in my work and make sure it is of the highest quality possible, which means there won't be an exact, final version until it is actually published and I can't take it back.  I am not looking forward to the online formatting, which is another reason why I am going to focus on the print format and make sure everything is right before I even worry about anything else.

I do want to be done with it long before October 18 (and am confident I will be, since I am on a very challenging time frame right now with school, and what-not).

I do think that because it has take so long for me to put it out, I do have to take extra care to make sure I am satisfied with it, which is no easy task.  I do feel like setting a concrete deadline makes me focus on it and do it right, since I no longer am able to procrastinate.

It's go-time, right now, at this very moment.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oh, what the Hell, here's another (sort of)

[Those of you familiar with my story, "The Backwoods Event" will recognize the beginning of this, but this is the original version, a version of which appeared in my undergrad portfolio.]

Killing Boredom
A Short Story By
 Gabe Gott

Joe Camel, himself, and I, the Marlboro Man, lit up in quick succession with the built-in cigarette lighter of Joe Camel’s 1992 Ford Escort.   Of course, Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man were just our aliases – our real names were Dave and Phil.  For legal reasons, we have to go by those names for the rest of the story.

Neither of our backseat compatriots smoked yet, but we had already gotten Jay to drink, and almost Timmy too, so, we figured, it would only be a matter of time.  We knew their curiosities had been piqued, even if they pretended otherwise.

Dave and I cracked open our windows and the heavy October air swirled into the milk-crate-with-wheels of a car.  Dave had his heater blasting to try to make up the difference.

“Goddammit, do you guys have to, it’s fucking cold,” Timmy said, breaking his vow of chastity or silence or whatever.

“Yeah, what about our lungs,” Jay said, pinching his noise and waving his hand in front like a mime in an anti-smoking ad.

“It would be worse if we didn’t roll down the windows,” I said and turned the music up to drown out their protests.  If they couldn’t beat us, they might join us, I thought, as my menthol-fresh essence trickled around the car, meshing with the crisp tobacco air from Dave’s end of the car, creating an overpowering net of influence over Jay and Timmy.

I had made a compilation, courtesy of Napster, of Marilyn Manson, Tool, Korn, Nine Inch Nails and Static-X songs.  They were the poets and philosophers of our angst.  “Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes” assaulted our ears as Dave and I filled our lungs and Jay and Timmy’s lungs with nicotine and dormant cancer.

“Violence for the people
They always eat the hand that bleeds
Violence for the people
Give the kids what they need…”

We sang along with Marilyn Manson, our Ohio-born brother, who spoke directly to us – well, all of us except for Timmy, who wasn’t allowed to like such sacrilegious noise.  The car rocked up and down in motion to my air-guitaring, Jay’s headbanging, and Dave’s steering-wheel drumming.

The road continuously materialized in front of us in the headlights as we followed it on the winding, twisting journey through the dense old-forest growth of the rural Ohio countryside – the emptiness between each of the towns that our civilization seemed like it might succumb to at any time.

Dave, Timmy, Jay and I had grown up within five-miles of each other along the same stretch of a two-lane trucker’s highway, US 250, that ran North and South through the state and into West Virginia.  In our 17 years of experience, we had found there was never much of anything to do, so, as we got older, we began to find ways to fight the incredible fog of boredom away from our brains.

Sometimes that led us to do things like Smokey the Bear, Captain Planet and Nancy Reagan crusaded against, but other times, like on that particular evening, we headed south from where we lived at the Northern tip of Ashland county – the steaming Hell-hole gaping pit of nothingness – down 250 to Ashland, the town, where there was sometimes something to do.
Most of the time we just drove around the streets, drag-racing and goofing off, jamming out to the soundtrack of our rebellion against boredom, but that night we intended to go to the crappy three-screen movie theater to see “Fight Club”, which had just come out.

Dave was the only one of us who had a driver’s license, so he drove us after our parents’ dropped us off at his house.  They were all happy to get rid of us obnoxious little twerps, as much as possible, for as long as possible.  It wouldn’t be long until we graduated, until they could be completely free of us.

I stared out the window, thrusting my imagination against the face of the unknown, the night sky and the blackened landscape, searching for the monsters and demons lurking just beyond my field of vision.  I felt mostly sober, but the world was still vaguely surreal and unnaturally knowing.  Dave and I smoked a bowl together before the others had gotten to Dave’s house – but that was hours before and Dave had seemed ready to drive when it was time to go.

From the thicket at the edge of the road just ahead of the car a mother opossum with its tiny rat-babies clinging to its back scurried out into the road and directly into our path.  Dave slammed on the brakes; the creatures praised their metal god as their seven sets of yellow eyes widened.  The Escort, the idol of their holy father, nearly went airborne as it took their sacrifice.




I grab the dashboard with my hands and try to ride out the violent waves.  The seatbelt tightened and slammed me back into the seat, causing the cigarette to pop out of my mouth with the force of my skull hitting the headrest.  At the same time I felt Jay slam into the back of my seat, as he never wore a seatbelt – he was lucky the Escort was too small for him to be ejected.  Timmy jerked in the same manner and moment that I did, and Dave, with his weight on the brakes and his body pressed to the pit of his seat, skidded the car to a halt.

No other traffic was coming from either direction so we took a moment to catch our breaths as our hearts beat along to the music.  Dave turned the CD player off in a silent tribute to the lost souls.

“I can’t believe that just happened,” he said.  Clutching his hand to his chest, he threw his cigarette out of the window.  I recovered my butt from the floor, but the end of it had been put out by the water from the bottom of my Chuck Taylor All-stars.  I tossed it out of the window and Dave and I looked at each other.  Jay recovered almost immediately, but Timmy rubbed his forehead where it hit the back of Dave’s seat.

“Serve’s them right,” Jay said, looking back towards where the opossums must have been.  “They nearly got me killed.”

“They did get killed,” Timmy said.

“You’re the one not wearing a seatbelt,” Dave said, looking back at Jay.  “You should put one on before some other woodland creature kamikazes itself at us.”

“They’re just possums,” Jay said, rolling his eyes, putting a seatbelt on.

“Still, though, I feel bad,” Timmy said.  If the rest of us weren’t here he would probably be crying.

“Let’s go, or we’re going to be late,” I said.

Feeling cheated out of enjoying the entire first one, I lit up another cigarette.  I turned the CD player back on to the mechanical steamroller guitars and screaming that were the sonic interpretations of the weight that dragged at my soul…

While Timmy turned around in his seat, watching the road behind us, Jay glared out his window, and I focused on my cigarette, Dave took one last glance in the rearview mirror and drove off, shaking his head, lighting himself up another cigarette.

“Can I have one,” Timmy blurted out.  Dave and I looked at each other – after we had recovered our disbelief Dave pulled a Camel and handed it back to him.  It had been a long time coming, and we had finally done it.  We basked in our victory, pulling the others one step further in the right direction.  Timmy looked like a confessed murdering, condemning himself to death row, doing whatever he could to punish himself for his crime.

Jay rolled his eyes, shook his head, and then took a deep breath.

“Me too, I guess…  But I’ll take one of yours,” He said, knocking the back of my seat.

“Sure,” I said, pulling one out of the pack that I had not put back in my pocket yet, and tossed it over my shoulder at him.

I turned up the Marilyn Manson and smiled, watching in the rearview mirror as Timmy and Jay light up with the car lighter, and then hacked and coughed until they got used to the poison in their lungs.


By the end of the movie, even Timmy had mostly forgotten about the opossums.  Adrenaline pumped through our veins and awe ran through our brains as we left the theater.  Our feet made a candy goo crunch on the carpet of the lobby of the theater as we headed towards the exit.

“Shotgun!” I said as I scrambled to beat Jay out of the door of the theater.  He and I ran to Dave’s car, with Dave and Timmy trailing not far behind.  Jay and I pushed at one another, and he tried to trip me as we fought for the passenger’s seat in Dave’s car.  We ran into the side of the car, which rocked against our weight as we wrestled to get an advantage over each other.  Jay smiled devilishly as he pulled me down to the ground of the parking lot; I grasped for the door handle.  Dave and Timmy made it over to the other side of the car, and Dave lit up a cigarette before unlocking the doors.  I threw my weight and knocked Jay off of me, kicking up with my foot, knocking him clear, and I scrambled my way into the car.

He pulled at my foot, but it was too late: I was in the seat.  I swung the door shut, narrowly missing slamming his hand in the door.

“Ha HA!”

“How am I supposed to get in, dumbass,” Jay said, his face red as he sat on the ground.

“I don’t know,” I said.  “I guess you can just walk.  It’s not that far.”

“Fuck off,” he said, “Just let me in the fucking car.”

“If I get up you’ll just sit here,” I said.  “I want to hear you say it!”

“Fuck you!”

“Just say it so we can go,” Dave said, rolling his eyes.

“Yeah, I’m starving,” Timmy said.  “Stop being a sore loser.”

“Goddammit,” Jay said, standing up and brushing the small stones that had stuck pants when he had leapt after me.  “Okay, you win, now let me in the fucking car…”

I pushed the seat back and sat down, shaking my head.

“He never learns,” I said, looking over at Dave and Timmy.  “I am the all singing, all dancing crap of the world…”

 “Let’s start our own fight club,” Jay said, slamming the back of my seat with his fist.  “You and me, Phil, face to face, later tonight…  Then we’ll see how great you are.”


Into Taco Bell we went.  We often ate there, sometimes more than once in a night.  Our friend Kevin, who was generally the manager on duty at the time we generally went, met us at the counter.

"Hey, assholes," He said.  Kevin had graduated a couple of years ahead of us, and, in spite of being a burnt out, somehow managed his shifts somewhat successfully.  I guess it took a stoner to get other stoners motivated to work.  "Come out and smoke with me, I'm takin' a break."

"Oh man!" Jay said. "I'm fuckin' hungry!"

"It'll taste even better five minutes from now," Kevin said, and we followed him back outside from where we had just come.

  We followed him out behind the restaurant to where the corral for the dumpsters hid them from view from customers in the parking lot.  Our Taco Bell was one of those old ones, without a drive though, where you could go inside and eat to like 3 in the morning, and employees always parked back by the dumpster corral, so we were relatively safe to go back there and smoke with some privacy.

We got out there and as Kevin pulled the joint he had already rolled, I told him about how he should go and see Fight Club himself.

"It's fuckin' rad, dude," I said.  "I think you'd totally like it."

I watched as he searched around his pockets for a cigarette lighter, the joint plucked in his lips.  I could see the puffy rings under his eyes, and how his eyes were already totally bloodshot.

"If I didn't have to work all fucking night, I might," he said.  "I never fucking get a night off.  My uncle is like the Adolf Hitler of the fake Mexican food industry."

His uncle owned the franchise, but Kevin could pretty much do whatever he wanted there.   Things seemed to go more or less okay when he was there, and there was always a steady stream of business.  He would probably one day manager the store; it wasn't a bad job for an ambitionless stoner.

"I fuckin' hate this place," he said, exhaling a cloud of purple-tinged smoke, which wafted like fresh perfume into my nostrils.  He handed me the joint next.  He always talked about how much he hated the job.  We knew better, though.  "Seriously, man, this place fucking blows.  These kids are fuckin' draggin' me down..."

"These kids?" Dave said.  "You're not even 21, dude."

I took a superman sized hit.

"Easy there, man, this is good shit, you're gonna' flip out in like two seconds," Kevin said to which I grinned, and then he turned back to Dave without missing a beat.  "You know what I fuckin' mean, man...  There is a big different between 16 and 20..."

"Four years," Timmy said.

"Thank you, Einstein," Kevin said.  "You fucking asshole.  Jesus  Christ...  You guys have to promise me something..."

"What's that," Dave said, just as he took a hit and inhaled, so that his words came out all smoky and distorted.  He passed the joint to Timmy, who passed it off to Jay, who tried to match my hit tit-for-tat.

"You guys are going to fuckin' freak out," Kevin warned again.  "You fucking amateurs...  Seriously...  What the fuck was I saying, man?"

He turned to Dave and started laughing.  For a second he turned into Beavis and Dave into Butthead, but I blinked my eyes and he was back to normal again.

"I don't fuckin' know," Dave said.  "You were bitching about your job or something..."

"Oh, yeah, that's right," Kevin said, holding the joint, which I snatched from his fingers 'cause he was takin' too long with it.

"It's going to go out," I said, but he ignored me, too focused on the bit of wisdom he was trying to tell us.

"Get the fuck out of this fucking town," Kevin said.  "Don't make my mistake, man.  Get the fuck out of here and don't look back.  This place is a shithole.  It's gonna' drag you down and sit on you, till you're all purple in the face and shit, and before you know it, two years will have passed and..."

"Jesus Christ," Dave said, taking another small hit before passing directly over to Jay.  He looked at Kevin, shaking his head.  "How much have you had to smoke today?  You say that like we don't already fuckin' know."

"Yeah, man," I said.  "Why the fuck would we stay?"

Jay nearly dropped the joint after he burned his fingers on the tip which had burned down to almost nothing.

"Fucking amateur," Kevin said, taking the roach, hitting off it, and then stamping it out.  Luckily the police around Ashland weren't real receptive, or the garbage man, because the ground was littered with literally a million defeated joint ends.  "Well boys, let's go get some Taco fucking Bell!"

To us, he sounded like Spartacus trying to rally the other slaves into rebellion.  We followed him like we were about to go face a Roman Legion, back around the building, through the front doors, past some startled old people who got out of the way before we stormed over them, and into line.  Kevin went behind the counter and shoved the cashier out of the way.

"What could I get you boys today, it's on me," he said.  He turned to the cashier.  "Go help them bust this food out..."

The cashier quietly strolled back, washed her hands, and put rubber gloves on, and waited to make our food with the others.

"Hey, Gina," I waved to her. She was in my economics class.  "I love you, you know!"

She smiled and looked away.  I had been wearing her down for months.  I hoped I could get her to sleep with me before the year was out.  I didn't want to go to college a virgin.

Ahead of me Dave and Jay ordered, Timmy waited behind me, with a growing number of other impatient people, including the old people, who had that "I would call the cops on you if i could" look in their eyes.  Luckily for us cellphones wouldn't be all that common for another few years yet, at least not around Ashland.

As I looked back, the restaurant wasn't filled with people at all.  Sitting in booths, chatting, waiting behind us in line, scowling, walking in and out of the door were a bunch of giant opossums. I turned back around, and everyone ahead of me was still normal.  Kevin wasn't kidding, I thought, this is good shit...  We would find out later from Kevin, whose dealer tried to call him, but couldn't reach him since he was at work, that the pot we had smoked was in fact laced with PCP.  Kevin smiled at me, his smiled wavered and snaked across his face, and when he opened his mouth it seemed like a deep dark cavern of emptiness.

"Dude," he said, his popping out of his mouth like bubbles, "Are you fucking going to order at once.  I turned around, and realized that all of the possums were staring at me, blinking, waiting for me to order.

"Well," they said, all in sync, "Get on with it."

"Uhhh..." I said, the beadiness and blackness of the possums' eyes causing me to shudder.  "I'll take a chalupa..."

"Okay," floated out of Kevin's mouth and popped on the ceiling.

Timmy moved me over to stand beside Jay and Dave, who wiggled and wobbled about like they were made of rubber.

"That's fucked up," Jay said, his words attacking me like a mini air fleet from the hanger on his tongue.  "Your head looks like a pumpkin!"

Suddenly and without warning, time sped up, and when it went back to normal, I was sitting in the backseat of Dave's car, with Timmy driving, Dave sitting beside me behind his normal spot, and Jay in the passenger's seat, snarfing down his Taco Bell, like a wild animal stripping away flesh from a fresh carcass.

Dave had already eaten his food, and seemed to have turn into a statue, staring out the window.  I realized my Taco Bell sat, scalding on my lap.  Later, from Timmy, we would find out that Kevin just suddenly flipped us out, and made us all leave as soon as our food came up.  Apparently the restaurant was also completely empty, except for a couple of old people, who were too old and senile to notice our distorted states of mind.  I guess PCP can have that effect.

"Didn't you think they were going to get us, man," I said, addressing no one in particular.

Timmy smiled and looked at me in the rearview mirror.


The fucking possums, man," I said.

Jay stopped feeding, jerked his head up and stared at me, blood seeming to drip from his jowls.

Dave slowly turned his head around, his eyes wide and trembling.

"I didn't mean it," he whispered.  "You gotta' let me go...   My parents will worry...  Seriously, it was an accident..."

Then he started shouting, fighting against the seatbelt and rocking the back of Jay's seat.


Jay started laughing and then swung around and punched Dave in the face, right in the eye.  Dave curled up into a ball, squeezing as far into the corner of the seat as he could get...

"I'm sorry..." he mouthed.

"Don't worry," Jay said, looking at Timmy.  "I took care of it."

I looked down at his lap at his food, and his Taco Bell was in fact a half-eaten opossum carcass...  Then I threw up all over myself.

The world blurred around me and faded in and out of blackness.  I could taste the sour half-chewed chalupa chunks and threw up again, this time on the floor.

"I took care of it," Jay said.

Timmy looked back at me in the rear-view mirror and over at Jay and smiled.

"Best anti-drug ad, ever."