Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Toast for the Coming Year

Don't Let the 2016 Blues Keep You Down

Greetings, party people! I am coming to you live from Akron, Ohio, on the last day of 2016, which has pretty much been the best year on record here at the Gott household. *coughs*

I am coming to you today because it has come to my attention that I need to stop making declarations about whether I am or am not going to do something or another, because invariable, I almost always end up doing the opposite... Like right now, for instance, writing this, when I said two posts ago that I was done for the year--so let it be known, from this day forward, I am no longer going to make declarations, and am instead going to plan to do things silently to myself and then follow through with them.

Actually, I might be better served to make plans to do the opposite of what I intend to do, because in not following through with my plans, I will actually be working towards doing what I really intend to do, because apparently, and I think there is some documented evidence to show this, that is just how my mind works.

I know, right? I don't know that if I can change that at this point, though, so I am just stuck with working around it. By 34, I think your personality is pretty much set, and I think my oppositional nature is pretty firmly in place. As long I get to where I want to go, the journey is just a part of the fun. If it was easy, everyone would be doing what they want for a living...


Even though this year has been a difficult one for me personally for a variety of reasons totally unrelated to celebrity deaths or the election, I feel like I have also experienced a lot of growth, both as a person and as a writer, and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store, and I mean that, truly.

At this point in my life, I have faced a great many obstacles, and, certainly with a great deal of help from my wife, my family, and my friends, I have somehow gotten this far, and while my life may not be perfect, and it certainly hasn't gone as planned, I wouldn't change anything. Why dwell on something when it is impossible to go backwards? I just try to learn and pick myself back up and dust myself off and keep pushing forward.

While the world might seem to have a dark cloud over it right now, everything is always changing, and sometimes great things happen when you least expect them. Often times, these great things come out of adversity, and when you do have a negative experience, it might be difficult to understand when it is happening, it doesn't ultimately help to dwell on it too long and let your life be controlled by that experience forever.

Sometimes, and more often than anyone would probably care to admit, we have to learn things the hard way, because sometimes that's the only way that those lessons will stick for any length of time. And while these mistakes might seem avoidable to some, just because it seems that way, it doesn't make it true, and often times, it is from those experiences that you learn something you didn't even know you needed to know, and you come out stronger, and better, for having survived.

It's all in how you choose to use that knowledge that makes a difference, which is why I have faith that, even if things don't go as planned in the coming year, great things will happen, regardless. It's all in how you define greatness that matters, and whether I succeed or fail at my plans, I will achieve greatness in the knowledge that I gain from the experiences.

If I keep going, and I keep learning these lessons, and keep seeking out more knowledge on how to get where I want to go, eventually, if I am determined enough and work hard enough, I just might find myself where I want to be.

With three books coming out, and a novel I know I can finish if I set my mind to it (after all, I have done it before), and much, much more that I plan on accomplishing (or not plan, but work towards by planning the opposite), I know that 2017 will be a good year, and I sincerely hope the same goes for all of you.

*raises champagne flute*


Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Existential Rant, Just in Time for the Holidays

What is the point?

That is a question I find myself asking a lot lately, including but not necessarily limited to the big "what is the point?" topic, that is, life. I don't mean it in a "I hate myself and want to die" sort of way, though, it's more of a moral-existential-philosophical question: What is the point of my/our existence on this planet in this galaxy/universe/multiverse?

Of course, I am by far not the first person to ask this question, and it is not the first time in my life that I have asked it, either, but it seems more relevant than ever with the state of things in the world. I don't know if things are better or worse than they always have been, or if we are just more aware of what is going on, but it seems like everything is spinning out of control and at some point, probably sooner than later, we are all going to be flung off into the abyss.

Okay, so that did take a dark turn there for a moment, but I really don't mean it in an existential dread sort of way, it's more of an intellectual curiosity. Over the millennia, an almost endless number of schools of thought have developed on the subject, and I think we too often rely on something or someone else to define the narratives of our lives out of fear of the unknown. It's why so many people subscribe to particular sets of beliefs, even though when they are understood from a rational distance, they often times seem absurd and illogical.

Does that necessarily make them wrong? That, I can't answer definitively, but I would say that some of them have to be wrong, right? I mean, come on, Scientology... That is clearly made-up.

Honestly, I do think to a certain degree it is relative, at least in the way we understand what there is out there, but I also think that we don't give ourselves enough credit in some ways, but we also give ourselves way too much credit in others. For example, on one hand, we use technology primarily as a means to entertain ourselves or kill each other, and that too often we see ourselves as the very center of existence, for lack of any other explanation, and because some religions explicitly tell us that is the case.

I mean, most people know that we are not literally at the center of the universe, but at the same time believe us to be chosen as such by some deity, effectively making us what we know ourselves not to be, which is why we are so short-sighted with what we do with what we define as "progress."

With our capabilities, we could be striving much harder to explore what there is out there, and trying to more realistically define our place in the universe, but most people don't give a shit. Conditioned by the idea that a few popular religions tell us that we are the chosen ones, and if we follow a certain set of rules, we will live forever, the people who subscribe to this, when inundated with commercial promises that we deserve to have our desires fulfilled, become caught up with having the most and being the richest.

This is why Christmas has become such a big overblown materialistic clusterfuck instead of the religious holiday celebrating the birth of the only person in Christianity whose ideas ever actually made any sense what-so-ever, regardless of whether you believe that he was crucified and came back to life three days later, or not.

We are all almost definitely going to be flung off into the abyss sooner than later, because we continue to allow ourselves to be spun around and around and around again, because it's easier not to question the things that truly need to be questioned, and to let ourselves be trapped in certain systems that redefine freedom as being able to choose between a few carefully selected choices, just so the people who get to choose what we have to choose from can be even more better off than they were last year, and we can feel satisfied for five minutes or so, until we are inundated with ads for whatever After-Christmas holiday extravaganza, blasting across our telescreens.

So merry fucking Christmas, I hope you all get exactly what you deserve. I know I will, and that actually does help me sleep at night.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Upcoming Releases

For those of you who have not quite gotten sick of me in 2016, well, 2017 is just around the corner, and you might just get your chance yet.

I have plans to release no fewer than three books over the course of the year. Of course, that is the minimum number that I will publish, and the maximum will be four. I would not count on that fourth one, though, as it will only happen if I can get my act together in the next couple of months and finish my second novel.

I have big plans to take a week-long stay-cation and just bust out the rest of the rough draft. It should go pretty quickly because what I have is pretty solid--but I have said that before. Hell, I intended to be done with it by now. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Anyways, without further adieu, here is a preview of what I have in store for you in 2017:

Release Date: JANUARY 20, 2017

First up, just in time for Inauguration Day, is my first and maybe only poetry collection, which is interestingly enough the longest of my three chapbooks, and by quite a bit, too. It has 24 poems divided into three sections over 70 pages, and I am particularly proud of the fact that I also did some art for the interior of the book, which is a first for me.


Release Date: APRIL 1, 2017

A few short months later, my well-hyped second flash fiction collection (and third chapbook, overall) will be hitting digital bookshelves everywhere. I am pretty excited about this, as it features many of my stories that have previous been published in literary magazines, and, like my poetry collection, it is entirely suitable for the state of the world as we know it. Of course, I am assuming that we haven't all died in a nuclear war in the first few months of Trump's Presidency. *fingers crossed*


Release Date: August 8, 2017

If we survive until the latter portion of the year, which I am not holding my breath about, you will see the release of my own Chinese Democracy that I started working on a while back and then sat aside, and then worked on again some more before I scrapped entirely. Well, now it's back--technically. Really, this is a different collection than Tales from the Fringes (which I have, sadly, taken out of print), or what would have been a third edition of it. Ocho only has six of the stories from that first collection, all of which have been extensively reworked and re-edited, in addition to the two stories that were written around the same time but were published in different ways. All eight of these stories were originally written between 2010-2011 during my last year and half at Kent and were intended to be read as a collection. The other stories that were in Tales from the Fringes just didn't make the cut and probably should never have been published in the first place. Anyways, these are the best possible versions of these eight stories, and I am sure you will all agree with me on that. I just felt like I had to get it right, once and for all, and I am very confident that this is it for this set of stories.


Not only do I have these three books to release, but I also look to really follow through with my plan to schedule and pre-write my blog posts so I can publish once a week on Saturdays. I am also working on a social media plan so I can be more consistent and hopefully grow my audience. Not to mention, I have a few events in mind to do over the course of the year, as well.

This will most likely be my last post of the year, but I might have something left so I can't say that with 100% certainty--I guess we'll just have to see. I do have a couple of long weekends coming up, so anything is possible.

Whatever holiday you celebrate (if any), I hope you have a good one, and I also hope you have a happy New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

On the Mend

Greetings people, and on a Thursday afternoon, no less! I suppose you are probably wondering why I am coming to you at this moment, and I will tell you that it is because I have been home with some plague or another. 'Tis the season, after all.

Being sick isn't the best (thank you, Captain Obvious), but thank God for PTO and sick days. I am on the mend, now, though, and I should be ripe and ready to go back to work tomorrow. At least the way that I am feeling at the moment, anyways. I think sleeping in until noon helped, but also probably just generally eating healthier and leading a healthier lifestyle (lately) has helped me fight this off relatively quickly. This time yesterday, I felt like absolute garbage, and while I'm not 100%, I feel quite a bit better.

Of course, it could also have been one of those 24 hour bugs. Mine was more like 36 or 48 hours, though, because it technically started Tuesday night, when I was literally exploding liquid out of places where it normally does not come out.

Anyways, since I am home and feeling better, now, I have made some changes to the design of the site again. I hope you like it. The last design was cool, but this is more relevant to where I am currently, as far as projects go. I think it looks good, at any rate, and that's really what's important (by my way of thinking, anyways).

It's not a ton different from the way that it has been for the past few weeks, but particularly the new background picture gives it a new look and feel. I have made a few other changes, also, including making my bio and the contact page first person, as I feel like it makes the site a bit more personable. I am also thinking about changing the book descriptions to first person, where relevant. Right now, they are as they currently appear, and when published will appear, on websites like Amazon.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@elliots_human) will probably also recognize the background from the screenshot that I posted the other day of me working on my poetry chapbook, Live Organ Transplants. The art is the same as the cover art of that forthcoming book, which is coming together surprisingly quickly.

The cover is completely finished, and the interior is mostly there, as well. There are a few more small changes that I plan to make to the design and a few of the poems, but for the most part I am happy.

Currently, I am dusting off the cobwebs of the part of me that used to want to be an artist for Disney (back when I was like 8). I am working hard on some illustrations for the text, which will be another first for me. You can see a preview of what you have in store as far as that goes with the brain drawing at the top of this post.

I might redraw it in pencil and then and then ink it, as I originally planned to do. I am also currently working on a heart and will be drawing some eyes when I am done. The three organs correspond with the three parts the poems are divided into in the collection, and I might draw a few other organs if these three go well enough.

If you go to the books page on this site, you will see that I have updated it to include this newest project--well, new-ish project anyway. In reality, it has been in the works for a while, but it is coming together now because I feel like it is extremely relevant, as I might have mentioned in my last post.

Now that I am repeating myself, it is probably a sign that I should let you go. I will try to get another one in this weekend, since unfortunately, this is to make up for not writing a post last weekend.

Thanks for stopping by, and stay healthy!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Little Shameless Self-Promotion, in Honor of Black Friday

"Winding along the first interstate
built through a city, in my
windshield, the urban sprawl
and the suburban slump,
with Goodyear emblazoned
in gold, and smoke stacks
belching black into the
sherbet-swirled sky.
The last holdouts from yesterday
are hiding within these crumbling
ruins of the working class
-- that are fading in my
rear-view mirror. I nod
and give thanks. Firestone
dances in red for just an instant
as I dart in the opposite direction,
towards my exit."
--Akron, Ohiofrom my upcoming poetry collection.

Akron, Ohio by Sleepydre on Wikipedia.

When I finally realized that all of the stories from Dispatches from the Information Age were either published by who was given first publishing rights, or rejected, I decided on a January 2017 release date. Then I had a conversion with someone about a fun idea as a way to promote the collection and realized I would have to publish it more towards the end of the February or the first of March 2017 for it to work effectively.

At first I was depressed, because I have been wanting to put out more fiction more often, then I thought about my options and realized that I was sitting on a poetry chapbook, and it was thematically suited for what is happening in the world right now.

That is not to say by any means that I consider myself a poet, I mostly just dabble. I am not even the type of person who, quite frankly, reads all that much poetry. I did go see W.S. Merwin at Kent State a few years ago, though, and that was cool. It's maybe where I started putting my songwriting after I stopped writing songs--stopped writing them as often, anyhow.

So that means I will be publishing my first ever, and probably only, poetry collection on January 7, 2017. I am still tossing around a title. I might just stick with Live Organ Transplants, but I need to come up with an anatomical textbook that no one needs, get out my X-ACTO knife and get to work, all Terry Gilliam-style.

If that doesn't tell you, quite frankly, about the poetry that will be contained in it, you will just have to go to my poetry page and read "A Cosmic Joke."

Lol, that was shameless, even for me.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Call to Action

Image courtesy of GLady on Pixabay.

I sit here in my office with the lingering smell of burning dust from the little electric heater that I am using for the first time in a while. The Vaselines "Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam" fills my ears from my computer speakers as I sit here typing this out. I made this playlist to listen to while writing my second novel, but shortly afterwards, I realized it would not work and then never really listened to it.

It sure is nice for writing this post, now, though. I finally feel a flow of words lighting up my synapses. They flow through my fingertips and appear onscreen. It feels good after a bit of a drought. Inspiration is fluid in that way, though. Up until this point, when I have sat down to write the next post after the last, I wasn't sure what would be appropriate to say after a few recent events, especially after a man in my own community immolated himself yesterday morning.

While I am certainly upset about the election, I guess what I have to do is find a better way of using my anger and sadness, and turn it into something good. I feel intensely sad for that man and his family, and I think I just need to find peace and help others do the same. 

I don't blame people, though, for how they feel. Everyone experiences things is his/her own unique way, and it makes sense that people would need time to grieve--some people have a lot at stake, and at a cost far higher than financial.

Making my art, though, writing this post, writing my books and stories, is my way of fighting, resisting: creating. Putting every ounce of anger and frustration into the works I create, and I feel glad to know that I am not the only one. That's what I love about this community and the friends that I keep: I look around and see so many others struggling, but resisting, and forging their own unique paths ahead.

Our voices can be used to shape how others perceive this world and the people around them, each in our own unique way. So I guess this is a call to action. We can take what is happening and be positive lights, and shape the outcome for the better. Making art is our way of resisting against a world where only a few select people get to pick and choose who gets to be included.

Instead, we can use our anger and sadness, and work towards making a positive difference in the world. It is in our power.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

End Quasi-Temperamental Disjunctive Time Disruption (QTDTD) Once and For All

Today I would like to talk to you about a very important issue that politicians are almost entirely ignoring this election cycle, and indeed, have been ignoring for years. As far as I am aware, neither the Trump nor the Clinton campaigns have even so much as mentioned it; however, the issue affects everyone in the United States and has widespread implications throughout our society, and in fact, most of the rest of the world, as well.

It starts every fall, when we are given an extra hour of sleep or drinking or sex, or some combination of the three, only to have it taken away just a few months later. That's right, I am talking about the Canadian Scourge (no, not Alanis Morissette or Justin Bieber), which is one Benjamin Frankin's worst and most idiotic ideas, Daylight Savings Time, or as it will from now on be known as, Quasi-Temperamental Disjunctive Time Disruption, or QTDTD for short.

According to Time and Date dot com, which must be the authority on such subjects, since, after all, it's in the name of the website, and Wikipedia dot com, the most reliable of sources for information on all subjects, this oppressive practice was started by the Illuminati to cause mass confusion and make people late to work. Okay, so maybe I didn't actually read those websites, but I assume that's what they say. So screw you, Jay Z, you son of a bitch.

Now that we are back in real time, on this sixth day of November, 2016, I, Gabriel Bryan Gott, propose that we end QTDTD once and for all. Imagine a world where you don't have to stare at your clock for eleven straight hours just so you can stay up until 2 a.m. pretending you're riding around with Doc Brown in a Delorian, only to fall asleep before you have a chance to reset your clock, and it just screws up your entire Sunday. Image a world where farmers stop being such primadonnas and start using electric lights like God intended.

Perhaps we can get the energy industry into it, since after all, for half of the year they lose out on an extra hour of electricity sales each and every day. If they can get Presidents to start wars in foreign countries just to steal those countries' natural resources, and usurp sacred tribal lands just because they feel like laying some pipes like a disease-ravaged sex addict on boner pills at a Reno brothel, then perhaps they can persuade congress once and for all to leave our clocks the hell alone.

Today is the day that we collectively slap Woodrow Wilson in his stupid goddamn face once and for all and tell him are not going to stand for this injustice that is almost entirely his fault. After all, who are we to get to change time whenever we feel like it, just so we can have extra daylight for a few months? It's time to stop being greedy and start living in a reality where time stays tacked down where we put it in the first place. No more 3 a.m. bar riots (or is it 2 a.m., or 1?) just because some assholes at some point decided to get all fancy.

No longer will I stand idly by and let this injustice continue. In protest, I am going set my clock back one hour every day until this practice is ended. Only once people have come to their collective senses will I keep my time to myself, and that's a promise you can count on.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rebirth: New Direction, or What I've Been Missing

One of the things that I have been thinking about the most lately is how I am going to continue to keep writing in my life, throughout my life. It's something I am fully committed to doing, and I have been looking for ways that I can maybe even make doing it the thing that I, well, do.

Then it hit me: it has been staring at me in the face the whole time. It is literally doing so now. That's right, I am talking about this blog. *cue inspirational music*

My inspirational music, by the way, happens to be Donovan's Greatest Hits on vinyl (which I bought here in Akron, at Time Traveler), what is yours? [Feel free to comment below. Also, for the record, I don't try to be a hipster, it just happens naturally.]

By Source, Fair use,

Anyways, since I have gotten back into writing a new post almost every Saturday, I am feeling pretty good about what I have accomplished so far, and I am looking to build on that. This website I have steadily, with relatively few gaps, been putting my time and effort into for several years now, and it's time that I take it to the next level, so to speak.

To put it plainly, I have invested time and money into building it into what it is today, and I have no reason not to use the resources I have available, with maybe a small budget for advertising on Facebook, to really reach out and start building even more of an audience. I appreciate everyone who reads it now, I just want to multiple you without having to learn genetics.

So I will be writing more about my life, which people seem to like, as well as things going on in my community, and things happening culturally, and about music. I don't know what kind of blog you would consider it, but I have always maintained that it is it's own type of thing, and I wouldn't really adhere to a set of specifications, I would just write about what struck me at the spur of the moment and go with it.

I guess all things change, but like all good changes, this change came naturally by way of me changing--it happens to the best of us. I am in the process of setting a schedule and figuring out advertising and promotion, and the whole bit, so it will take some work on my part. Mainly, other than planning, I will sometimes have to do stuff during the week to prepare for the blogs, so I can't just sit on my ass in front of the TV anymore, but it will be worth the effort.

It's like that Talking Heads song [see above] about Bob and Judy starting a TV show and saving their marriage, only with words and pictures, and stuff, on a digital canvas and me, not so much saving my marriage, since that is fine, but doing something with my life worthwhile for me to do. Hopefully, others, or more others, rather, find it to be worthwhile, as well--there is only one way to find out.

See you on the other side!

Saturday, October 22, 2016


A chorus of birds heralded the sun as it broke through the clouds, which dissipated before his eyes. He took in another deep breath and smiled, then started on his way, jumping over the puddles that had taken over the tree-lined path. He didn't know where he was going, but at the moment, he wasn't going to worry about it.—"The Wanderer," from my chapbook, The Ever-Present Moment

It's important, as a writer, to write what you have to write, and then put it out there and hope for the best, sharing being second only to actually sitting down and producing it out of your mind womb.

These blog posts, I guess, are a sort of instant gratification, in that regard. It's a smaller albeit no less significant wave.

As I work on this post, I am also preparing some fiction to send out. It is a never-ending quest, or really, seemingly without end, for the time being. When I finally find homes for this set of stories, I will hopefully have finished the four I am currently writing, and start the whole process over again.

It gets easier with every passing year. I hone my skills more, continue the pursuit of the craft, just letting the words pour out of me.

As I find new homes for my writing, I meet new communities and find my place among them, sharing my stories and branching out, rushing headlong into the future.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ramblin' Gamblin Man, or You Can't Keep This Elephant Caged

Today's ramblings are brought to you by Cage the Elephant's latest album, Tell Me I'm Pretty (not Bob Seger, sorry Bob). When I first saw these boys at Lollapalooza in 2009, I knew they had something great going. Two albums and an EP later, and they only continue to prove it.

Anyways, for those of you who are relatively new to reading my blog, I haven't written a post this rambling in a while. I apologize to those who are used to my more polished prose. Blame it on the cold medicine. To be honest, though, I am not really that sorry. This is more of a return to form for me, since I spent the first several years of this website's existence just rambling about whatever topic struck me at the moment, which is what I am feeling like doing today. If you don't like it, don't approve of it, I will give you a moment to find something else to do...

Alright, are we good? Everyone still here? I am counting heads, and I only seem to have lost a few, just as I thought. Most of you are pretty loyal, which I appreciate. Keep up the good work!

I think I have come to an answer regarding the dilemma that I outlined last Saturday about the novel that I have partially written (a first draft of). Namely, I am going to finish it. Huzzah! When it comes down to it, not finishing it is a cop out, and I know that it is good, I just needed to remind myself why I chose this particular story to tell in the first place. In short, I wanted to make an artistic statement, as well as make a social criticism, and the time is right for me to do it now. If I wait, I could miss my opportunity, and I don't want to do that.

Right about now you are probably thinking, "But Gabe, you have told us about this novel more than once, but you have not told us a goddamn thing about it!"

That's true, and I am at the moment wrestling with myself about whether I want to tell you about it or let it remain a secret. The part of me that wants to tell you just punch the part of me that doesn't in the face. However, the part of me that doesn't is pretty resilient and is in quick order going to retaliate--I will let you know how it goes. It could be a long fight.

Hold up a second! That's actually not true that I haven't told you anything about it. I have in fact alluded to what it's about, possibly more than once. Without combing through several blogs, I remember specially telling you at some point over the past year or so that it takes place in Chicago in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Take that, bitch!

Okay, so I see that some of you who were expecting me to ramble are starting to lose interest. I built it up but then started talking about my book, and, with the exception of these talks about my rambling, and the intro paragraph, it has been pretty focused on that. The problem is, I don't really know where to go from here. My mind is pretty focused on this topic right now.

I could talk about the election, but I am pretty burnt out on that, to be honest. I have followed politics pretty closely for all of my adult life, and I was even the precocious middle school journalist who, while not taking it too seriously, followed politics at that time. Hell, I even attended a Bob Dole rally with my 8th grade newspaper staff, which basically meant standing in line for a really long time outside of Ashland University, which I spent most of entertaining (or annoying) those around me with my Ross Perot impression, which I basically stole from Dana Carvey: "Would you please just let me finish, Larry..."

What's going on this time around, though, what a shit show. Seriously. Just a real big fucking steaming pile of shit. And, if you thought it was going to end on Election Day, just wait. The candidate who I dare not speak his name is probably going to draw this out for a while, that motherfucker.

It's not like I am particularly excited about the other candidate, either. It's like choosing which rabid animal I want to rip my face off. What a fucking time to be alive! No matter what happens, I am still probably going to be poor and just smart enough to know that I don't have to be poor, but just dumb enough to lack the means of actually pulling myself out of poverty.

This election has made me feel almost completely disenfranchised. While I technically have the right to vote, and will still exercise it, I kind of want to give it back and go vote somewhere else. I hear Northern Europe is nice this time of year. I don't know Swedish, but I could learn. I mean, I have followed Ikea instructions, so how hard could it be, and Finland's education system has it's appeals...

That brings up a question, though: does a legal entity have to take away your right to vote (or prevent it) in order to disenfranchise you, or can they do it merely by setting a system that is so convoluted, that it doesn't actually matter how you vote?

Certainly there is a big difference in the candidates' polices (or lack thereof), so I am not suggesting there wouldn't be differences between a presidency of one or the other, but what I am suggesting is it doesn't matter whichever one gets elected, because there won't be much either one will actually do or change to make a significant impact on my life, realistically. I mean, look at all of the stuff President Obama tried to do for the greater good, that only turned out to be half measures or symbolic gestures, at best.

I am not suggesting he didn't ultimately make a difference in some peoples lives--although, to be honest, the biggest of those changes happened through the court system--but things he actually did initiate, or attempt to initiate, like healthcare reform and immigration, are even bigger issues, now, than they were before him. And it's not like he didn't try to make a difference, but when the system is set up to largely benefit those who already have everything, then it is their policies that are going to hold, in the end, rather than ones that are intended to make the system more fair for everyone. Oligarchy, anyone?

The only way any changes will happen that will have a lasting impact is through actually changing the constitution and leveling the playing field, and that doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon. I feel like it would be healthy for our country if the states decided to hold constitutional conventions and passed a measure that would make a real difference, but are we even capable of that, as a country,  as a people?

Seriously, though, Northern Europe, I can handle your winters if you can handle my American loutishness. Once I chill out and calm the fuck down, it should go away in a relatively short order. We can make it work. Think on it...

Okay, so maybe my ramblings are more focused now, but I guess that could be a sign of my overall growth as a writer, rather than as a weakness. I don't want to end this on a political rant, though, but I do want to go to Taco Bell, so I need to decide on something more satisfying pretty quickly.

I guess I could bring it around full circle. Doesn't that sound nice? I think so. I think that's what I am going to go with.

This Cage the Elephant album is pretty fucking great. I have listened to it twice now while writing this, and I can honestly say that I might listen to it again. "Mess Around" is catchy as hell, as well as "Trouble," but really it's just a solid fucking album all the way through. If you like rock n' roll, it's fucking worth the ten bucks. Seriously.

I did this with Melophobia, too. That album blew me away. That transition in "Spiderhead" is fucking phenomenal, and "Cigarette Daydreams" gets stuck in your head, in a good way. Hell, maybe I will listen to Melophobia instead, now that I think about it.

There, that should get the bad taste out of your mouth from the discussion which I shall not mention the topic of that came just prior.

Speaking of tastes, Taco Bell beckons. I guess I should probably take a shower, too. 'Toodles!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Driving Myself Crazy

Courtesy of Pixabay.
To write, or not to write, that is the question. Specifically, I am referring to what is currently my second novel. I suppose every writer goes through this every now and again, but I never really had this much doubt at any point about my first one.

When I started writing the first one, Escapes/Out in the Garage, I had no idea what I was doing, and that shows in the final version (and the fact that I published three editions within a year of it being first published). Even though I worked hard to make it better as I learned, there are some things that you just can't overcome, and sometimes that means you just have to give up on a manuscript. For better or worse, I didn't do that the first time around, and while I am proud that I completed it and put it out to the world, I know that it isn't perfect and never can be, no matter how much work I put into it or how many changes I make. I have reached a point that I am content with it, and how it is now is just how it is going to remain.

That being said, this current novel doesn't have any of those problems. I can say honestly, it is far and above better than that first one. For one, I have spent the last several years working to improve my writing and learning everything I can about literature, and I have a good understanding of the process and what it takes to complete a manuscript and get to a final draft I can stand behind. While I am sure I will continue learning and continue growing, and that someday I will look back on what I am writing now and will be able to assess it as I am doing now with what I have written previously, the writing I am currently producing is pretty good. I am finally really honing in on my style and figuring out what stories I want to tell.

The problem with this second novel, then, is less of a problem and more of an excuse. In short, it is literary fiction, set in something relatively close to the real world. There are elements of surrealism throughout, particularly through the second half, and as with most of my writing, it has a bit of a postmodern leaning, as well, which is subtle but still exists. That might just be the postmodern times in which we live, though. Anyways, the reason why I want to discontinue writing it, in spite of having already written 25-30k words, is that I am going in more of a science fiction direction.

While it is relevant both to my life and the world today, it doesn't as accurately reflect my style and the direction I want to go. Of course, I could make it more weird and up the surrealism another few notches, but around the time I seriously started working on it, I also developed another novel idea more in the vein of what I am looking to write. At the time, I wanted to "take my writing more seriously" so I decided to focus on writing the more serious work first.

Since then, however, I have had a number of flash fiction stories published, and they are all in more of the science fiction/postmodern direction I want to go, which makes me want to either go back to that other idea or start something new entirely (which I have also sort of, technically, done). Additionally, the next flash fiction chapbook I am releasing (sometime early next year) is definitely solidly in this new direction. While it's not really that new (see "The Bananamen Prophecy" from my short story collection, Tales from the Fringes), it is the direction I want to go because it is more my style, more what people want to read, and more fun to write (and read).

When it really comes down to it, the only reason that I am thinking about finishing this, what could be my second novel, is that I have already written a significant portion of the first draft, and it is actually much better than my first novel. If I do finish it, it will be the last of this sort of writing that I do for a while, maybe ever. If I don't, I could always come back to it someday, when I am feeling stuck creatively, and I want to change directions (if that ever happens).

Of course, this could just be me making excuses. I could just be dragging my feet, and I really just need to finish it and not worry so much about these things. My career as a writer is what I make of it, and maybe this isn't where I want to go, as a writer, it is where I am currently, so perhaps I should not get ahead of myself? Perhaps I should just stop thinking about it and start doing something, anything... These things, no matter which one I do first, aren't going to write themselves.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

September 24, 1991

Two albums that have been pivotal to my life came out on the very same day, my ninth birthday, 25 years ago today. While it's true that I would not discover them for maybe a few more years, they eventually became pivotal in my life, both as an appreciator of music and a wannabe musician/songwriter. Probably even as a writer, too.

I was always kind of into music anyways, because I was always sort of just surrounded by it, and I loved Disney and Don Bluth movies. When dad wasn't home, I would sometimes run around the house and sing the songs from the movies, sometimes at the top of my lungs, to the detriment of my siblings and my mom. However, both of my parents and my older brother all listened to music a lot, too. While we also watched plenty of TV, the stereo, on average, was on way more often.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Nirvana's Nevermind, as it was to many, was a revelation. For one thing, I was a geeky, overly sensitive kid, and, finally, after years of taking shit from assholes, I had found an outlet for my angst. There was also this sudden injection of testosterone and whatever other hormones that probably also made it necessary, and this album, and soon this genre of music, seemed to fulfill my need on a level that I had not previously experienced with any other music, or anything else, to that point in my life.

It may not have been the first album or the first band that drew my attention, but when it hit me, when I really listened to it the first time, it became one of the most important in life. Soon, others would join it.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

I was older yet when I discovered the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magic. I had heard songs from it many times as my brother listened to it and the radio played "Give It Away" and "Under the Bridge" on heavy rotation, but it was another one that suddenly just made sense to me one day, and in a language I was just beginning to understand: as a bass guitarist.

At the age of 13, with money saved from my allowance from recycling pop and beer cans, I bought a 3/4 scale Kramer bass guitar from my brother. He had bought it and owned it for a while but never really played it, and decided to sell it, and I was the only one willing to pay what he was asking for it. It was cherry red all over, including the neck and the head stock, shiny, and cheaply-yet-sturdily made, and not until I had the vocabulary from playing it did the Red Hot Chili Peppers make sense to me.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

As far as I was concerned, Flea was just the greatest musician on the planet. It would take a few years before I was able to play anything remotely resembling anything by him, but I eventually taught myself how to play "Give It Away" pretty adequately.

Now, however many years later, when I listen to these two albums, although I don't get the same rush that I once did, I still sort of experience the memory of the rush. I can only image what it must have been like for those people in those bands, and how great it must have felt when they were making that music at that time, and I wonder if maybe they had gone through similar sorts of things to create these sounds, songs, albums that I have so identified with over my life.

Created by Gabe Gott.

As an artist, I appreciate the difficulty, and really, luck, that it sometimes takes to find the thing that others identify with about you. It is something that I have sought through my writing for years. and I finally feel like I might be getting close, but only time will tell. That's probably why I listen to music by bands like Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I write, because it helps me find and convert, then focus that energy in a way that makes my writing more powerful.

Maybe, if I am lucky, I can help even just one other person go through a difficult period in his/her life the way those bands and those albums did for me. That's why I do this, and why I will continue to do this. That, and my ego, of course.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Evolution of an Idea

In the summer of 2014, I took a flash fiction writing workshop as my final class of grad school. I needed the credits to graduate, and I wanted to go out on a class I would enjoy with an instructor I really liked. At the time, I knew that it would likely be my last class as a student (that has so far remained true), and I thought it would be fun, and certainly not difficult, as I enjoy writing fiction, but I didn't think that the class would impact me to make flash fiction the focus of my creativity for any length of time.

However, here I am, two years later, with multiple short shorts published online and in print, and in the process of putting out not one but two flash fiction chapbooks. The first one is actually out now (see last week's posts) and the second one has yet to be given a specific release date---although, I am shooting for early next year, possibly January. The idea to do these chapbooks actually came during the class when I was putting together my final portfolio. The title of the second, Dispatches from the Information Age, came directly from that project, and quite a few of the stories in it did as well, albeit many of them have been edited and/or rewritten.

Dispatches from the Information Age will not only contain many of the stories from that class, but all of my stories that have been published over the past two years, and many more along those same lines, which I think is my future direction as a writer. Fast-paced, weird, angry, and (hopefully) humorous, it can be described as what would happen if Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury got together with the members of Monty Python and wrote a flash fiction chapbook. At least, that is the aesthetic I am going for with it.

In order to accurately reflect this aesthetic, I have carefully considered the cover art, and it has evolved over the development of the project. At first, I was going to have my brother design it, but then I started playing around with a few ideas, and came up with a couple of my own.

These were meant to be stand-ins while my brother worked on his idea, but I liked the direction I was going, and decided to continue working on it. After all, I have designed all of my other covers, and while not many writers can really do that effectively (at least according to the advice blogs I read), I think it is something that I have actually turned into a strength.

This week, I finally realized the one that I had been seeing in my mind's eye, but couldn't quite capture, and of all of the ideas I've had, it fits the best with the contents of the collection:

A good friend and confidant described it as "Warhol for the 21st century," and I could easily refer to the set of stories as a form of pop art, so it fits. I am really trying to capture the absurdity of life in our culture today, and I think that anyone who sees this cover will be able to gather that.

This direction, while my natural inclination as a fan of satire, science fiction and dark humor, and my calling as a dissident intellectual and highly educated poor person, it also came in part from the reaction to these stories by my classmates and my professor, who only encouraged me further down this path.

Before that class, I spent my time working on a novel, and several short stories, but nothing has really connected for me in the same way as flash fiction. It just goes to show that you never know the direction you are going to take as an artist, and sometimes, you just have to go where life takes you, and trust your instincts.

While my writing will not exclusively take the form of flash fiction, it is a form that I really enjoy exploring, and I will continue to do for a long time to come. It has all of the elements that I enjoy about writing: it's fun and challenging, I can be poetic and experimental, and people actually sometimes take the time to read what I write. Additionally, as more and more of our culture is absorbed and transformed by the internet, it is a growing and popular form for fiction, as people have much shorter attention spans, and there are more places to publish it and fans for it than ever.

If you are faithful to the process, what you're working on might turn into something great, but hopefully, at the very least, you will have fun with it. That is the most important part.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Space... The Final Frontier

Now that "The Ever-Present Moment" is out, I can focus my creative attention on my next chapbook, "Dispatches from the Information Age," which I would like to publish in the next six months.

Another stand-in for the cover.

I soon hope to have a more concrete idea of when it will come out, but it is being held up for a good reason---namely so that the journals that are going to publish or are thinking about publishing stories from the collection are able to do so (since they have first rights).

Two more stories from it are going to be published in October, and there is one more I am waiting to hear about. It has been six months, so maybe I should reach out and find out for sure that they have rejected it.

The journal in question only stopped accepting submissions in May, and I submitted my story for the Fall 2016 issue, so I should be hearing soon. It only publishes annually, so they don't move as fast as the quarterly or monthly people, and they have a Submittable, so they should at least mark it as rejected (or accepted) when (or if) they do reject (or accept) it.

Courtesy of

I have also been thinking about submitting to a few select journals one or two more of the stories from "Dispatches," just to see what happens. You never know. The likelihood is that they will get rejected, but it is not definite. After all, sometimes I am surprised, and my stories don't get rejected. It happens, and there is no way to know until you send them out.

It does take some thick skin, but everyone gets rejected. The writers that "make it" are the ones that keep trying, and keep sending stuff out until they make a name for themselves, and journals start asking them for stuff. I don't know if that will ever happen for me, but I can dream, right?

In the meantime, I  also have to decide for sure on whether or not to continue writing the novel I have been writing. Part of me really wants to ditch it and start on something that more accurately reflects where I am and where I want to go as a writer. While I like literary fiction, I see myself writing more sci-fi and absurd, satirical stories, which seems to be what draws people to me the most.

My current novel is interesting, but no one really reads literature anymore, and those that do could give two shits about my writing, so why would I bother continuing to cater to a market that has no interest in my writing? It doesn't make much sense.

Plus, if I abandon literature and pursue the direction I have been going, I will be building on the audience I have already been building on with the stories that I have thus far gotten published.

Courtesy of Pixabay.

Except for the very first one five years ago, every story that I have written that has been published by others has dealt with topics such as alternate dimensions, Reagan clone invasions, time travel, and distant alien races taking over the galaxy. The next two that are going to be published are about Bigfoot and electronic devices coming alive, so it only continues.

I would rather write for people who want to read what I am writing, and I have always been a fan of sci-fi and the like. While Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury are two of my favorite writers, I am not the best read in this area---however, that can easily change.

So maybe "The Ever-Present Moment" will be my farewell to that style of writing. It's been real, but it hasn't been that fun (overall), and I want to have fun with it and lay off the serious shit for a while.

It sounds like I have already made up my mind. Maybe I have. I guess there is only one way to find out.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Available Now!

The Ever-Present Moment

$5.50 Print | $0.99 eBook
ISBN-10: 1534992529 
ISBN-13: 978-1534992528

Through the nine stories collected in this flash fiction chapbook, Akron, Ohio, author Gabe Gott explores what it means to live in the moment. Featuring “Brakes,” “Catharsis,” and “Priorities.”

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Battle Royale:

A Tale Concerning This Blog & Two Flash Fiction Chapbooks

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

One thing that has kept me from writing more posts lately is that I am still trying to decide what direction I want to go with this "thing." I want to choose a topic and then start focusing on blog entries on that topic, instead of just writing about my writing.

I haven't really been able to nail a topic down yet, so I guess I will just continue doing what I have been doing, and just continue writing about whatever is on my mind at the time, and in the format that I choose in the moment.

I don't know if you would say that it has necessarily been working for me yet, but I am bound to turn the corner sooner or later.


I don't know. I guess it will also depend on what I am doing next fiction-wise, and we'll for that we'll just have to see after these flash fiction chapbooks come out, which I hope people enjoy. At the very least, they are both quite short and not that expensive, so I am bound to get some takers, sooner or later. I have at least sold a few books over the years, and have gotten okay ratings so far. Definitely stuff I can build on---I only hope I have been reading my audience right with the two distinctive directions I am going. I have also had a few things published online and even some stuff in print---so that will also factor into my decision-making process.

Perhaps I will decide what to do after they both come out, and see which direction goes the best. That seems like a logical way to go about it.

So I guess that means, to whichever direction wins!

The second cover is tentative only and is a stand-in for the cover that my brother is designing. He is very talented so I am sure it will look way cooler.

Either way, I suppose I will just have to be happy with what happens between the two chapbooks. Knowing my luck, there will not be a clear difference, and I will be in the same position. Who knows. So far my best rated, most downloaded story is more the first one, but pretty much all of the flash fiction I have gotten published by others is more like the latter.

I also have two short stories finished that I can get out there. The first is around 3,500 words and the second is around 2,000. The first one has been six years in the making, and the other has been six months.

They are also somewhat representative of the dichotomy of the two flash fiction collections, so I guess they are also somewhat of a test. Both I hope to get published online, in magazines or possibly literary journals, but we'll see what sticks.


By the way, this is my second blog post IN ONE DAY! Would you have a look at that?! I haven't been this blogtastic in a while.

I see it as a good thing, and I hope you agree. If not, I don't give a shit, so you'll be hearing from me soon---unless, of course, you just decided to start ignoring this page entirely.

Whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.

Some Optimism During Pessimistic Times

Illustration Courtesy of  Pixabay.

I wander around the crowd
The noonday sun
Shining down on everyone
I stop and wonder
And try to define my biggest blunder
But maybe its not all on me.

Surely there's mistakes I've made---
More than just a few---
But during this shit show parade,
Dead ends come out of the blue,
And then there's nothing you can do
But start again.

So that's where I am,
And maybe I should
Give less of a damn,
Because it hasn't all been bad,
And even though I'm sad,
I have made it through
And there's nothing
I can do
But feel this light that's shining,
Find my own way,
And live for today.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Don't Call it a Comeback...Or Do, Whatever Floats Your Boat

Greetings friends! That's right, I am actually writing two weeks in a row, but don't call it a comeback. Okay, maybe you can... Just don't tell L.L. Cool J, because I don't want his mama to knock me out.

Right now I am listening to The Dreemer's "Is, Is" EP in preparation for this year's PorchRokr Festival. This festival is one of the many reasons why I enjoy living in Akron, and it is also proof of how many great bands we have in Akron, and really in Northeast, Ohio, in general. We are very lucky. The Dreemers are headlining this year's festival, and another band I covered for The Devil Strip, the Punch Drunk Tagalongs, will also be playing the main stage.

Yes, this year's festival is pretty stacked with talented bands, and I look forward to a beer-soaked day of good tunes and fun. If you are interested in coming out, the bands started at 11 and will go all day.

In other news, I have not one, but two stories in Insomnia & Obsession 4---although, one of them, "A Sci-Fi Story, Interrupted...," is a different (earlier) take on the other, "What We Know, and What We Don't Know." I am little surprised they published both versions, but I can't really complain since I am known for publishing multiple versions of the same thing. :-P I am really just happy that they wanted to publish anything that I wrote.

If you click on the picture, it will take you to the link to purchase the issue. If you like weird stories/science fiction, there are many great writers included here, including Tony Bradford and Chris Bentley (who is also responsible for all of the artwork). I strongly encourage you to check it out!

And if that isn't enough of my flash fiction for you, in two weeks, on September 2, I will be publishing my first of two flash fiction chapbooks, "The Ever-Present Moment." The second, "Dispatches from the Information Age," has no set date, but will hopefully follow in the next six months, or so.

It is probably the most personal of anything that I have ever published, and, I think, is probably some of my best work. It is nine stories and 30 pages long. The print edition will be $5.50 online (although cheaper if you buy them directly from me) and the eBook will be $.99.

Well, I have to go bathe myself and then drive to Cuyahoga Falls to return a headphone extension cable---that is either broken or just a piece of crap---before I can enjoy today's festivities.

I hope to see you Akron folks at PorchRokr!

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Holy shit, it's the middle of August! It seems like, more and more, time rushes by so quickly it makes my head spin. The month of July just flew by, and I can't hardly believe that it's over already. Really, this whole summer has gone by in the blink of an eye.

While I am no longer in school, I still get a residual of that nervous tension that I used to feel before going back after a long summer of activities. Maybe it's just because I love the warm weather and being outside--although, the fall is nice for that too. Since I don't go back to school now (thank God), I guess my life, overall, won't change that dramatically. The routines will be the same, even though the weather will be different (will it?).

It seems like just yesterday that I was ten years younger and even more lost than I am now. Not that I particularly want to go back to that time period in my life, but it makes me think about how insanely quickly time passes, and if you don't live and enjoy your life while you are living it, then you will completely miss out on everything that makes life worthwhile.

One thing that I have tried to do this summer is take a lot of pictures. While I don't generally take many of the activities that I do (for some reason), I have captured some beautiful shots, and I thought I would share some of the best ones with you all (who don't follow me on Instagram or Tumblr).

Malabar Farm State Park.
Malabar Farm State Park.
Springmill Drive-In, Mansfield, Ohio.
Ruggles Township.
Just outside of Greenwich, Ohio.

Ohio is a beautiful state with a lot of nice features. One thing that I really enjoy doing is taking a nice slow drive through the countryside on a sunny Sunday afternoon, which is what I was doing when I took the latter two pictures in this set. The first two (from inside the cave), I took during a hike with some good friends, and the drive-in picture was taken during the first intermission of a triple feature (with the same friends, actually).

When I was younger, I would take this area for granted, but I appreciate more and more, the older that I get.

Having a phone that takes great pictures (and enables me to edit them, on the spot, basically) is one thing that I will not take for granted. I love using my 35mm camera, but it is a bit more complicated, and I can't afford a nice digital SLR, which I would love to get (someday, Gabe, someday...). Anyways, this works out pretty well.

My goal (or one of my goals, rather) is to continue to capture more pictures (including of the activities that I do), and especially of Akron, which is a beautiful city, and I live in a particularly nice section of it. Sounds like a good end of summer/beginning of fall project!