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Showing posts from 2012

Find Dennis LeHane's Dog

I haven't written a blog in quite a while but I have been busy over the holidays. First, some news about me. (I'm sure you're all holding your breath in anticipation) I have signed on with a literary agent. She is Jeanie Loiacono of the Sullivan-Maxx agency and she has agreed to take me on for a year. She intends to push my novel Prodigious Savant to publishers. Also, I have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for short fiction. This goes to show you the power of negative thinking, which will probably be my next blog. Anyway, preparing with an agent does take some time as you both must edit the manuscript and set up your page on their website.

Now back to Dennis LeHane's missing dog. I have the pleasure of attending the Eckerd College Writers in Paradise workshop every year for the last three years. Dennis LeHane and Sterling Watson sponsor the workshops each year and bring the big names in books to be instructors for 8-10 students for eight days of workshops where …

When Is a Novel a Novel?

I've written six novels though none have been published and may never be published. Who knows what that great and evil publishing god has in store for us? Now, here's the problem. Is it a book if it's not published and what does one define as published?

At a recent writer's conference the literary agent asked me the standard question of me:

"What have you written?"

I said, "Six novels, 250 short stories, magazine articles, etc. etc."

And she said: "Are the novels published?"

My answer: "No."

Her smart-ass reproof: "Well then, they're not novels then, are they? To be a novel it must be a tangible book with an ISBN number and front and back covers."

My smart-ass comeback: "So if I write some tripe and self-publish, you'd consider that a novel?"

Her bored reply: "Yes. If it has an ISBN number, pages, and covers, it's a novel."

Like Peter Griffin said, "That really grinds my gears."…


These are translations of conversations. The first part is what they actually said, while the translation part is what they actually meant.

Husband and Wife:
Him: Are you going shopping tomorrow?
Translation: I want to play golf.

Her: No, I thought it’d be nice if we spent the day together.
Translation: You want to play golf.

Him: Oh.
Translation: Damn.

Her: I heard there’s a good movie on at the mall.
Translation: Three hours for the movie, then a walk around the mall, then dinner, some place nice for a change.

Him: I told the guys I might be busy.
Translation: I want to play golf.

Her: Good. They can get by without you one time.
Translation: You play every damn Saturday!

Him: Although they did book a tee time for four already.
Translation: I want to play golf.

Her: If you really want to go, then go.
Translation: I know the divorce laws in Florida.

Him: No, that’s okay. I’d rather spend the day with you.
Translation: Maybe I could get the guys to change the tee time to Sunday.

Dog and Master:
Dog: Woof

My White Trash Picture Learnin' Book

I was thinking about writing an irreverent picture book. Here's the start of it. I would appreciate any comments, threats, suggestions, thoughts.  Thanks to both of you readers ahead of time. John

By Karrielynn Jackson This is my White Trash Picture Learnin' Book and I am six and I have two brothers and 1 sister and none of 'em knowd as much as me. Cipherin' There are 4 things on the kitchen counter an one of  'em is dead. The others you kin eat. If Becky et one and Joshua et another, and the dead one is still dead, how many do you got left? Answer: One-that ain't dead. Animal Sounds Neighbor's dogs go Bark, Bark, Bark and don't never goddamn shut up. Cats go Purr, Purr, Purr 'cept when your daddy throwd them off a bridge in a pillowcase. Armadillers are for hittin' with the truck and don't say nothin'. Hogs squeal Oink, Oink, Oink and r hard as hell to trap. Fun Facts If you hang meat from a rope an…

The Sophomore Jinx and Novelists

I just returned from a writers’ conference where I had some success with the literary awards, taking a few second places as well as making the top ten in an anthology they published, so for a few days I had a modicum of notoriety, congratulated many times by many writers. Then I come home to my loving wife who is more impressed with my ability to remember to take out the trash on Thursday than she is on any awards or publication credits I happen to amass. Ah—literary fame, a huge high and then a big downer, kind of like illegal drugs and sex, though less dangerous. From the few conversations I have had with New York Times Best-selling authors, it seems their biggest fear after achieving fame with the success of their first book, is the sophomore jinx. It’s because the only thing worse than publishing a book and having it fail is publishing a book and having it succeed. A successful book now means you have to follow up with another, just as successful, otherwise you feel you are a failur…

Obama vs. Romney--Choosing a President Based On The Books They Read

After the recent televised debate, pundits and viewers alike may have been swayed for one candidate or the other based on Obama and Romney’s beliefs, plans, and rhetorical skills, but I believe the essence of a man (or woman) is in the books he reads. I have eclectic taste in books, from comic books to Joyce’s, Ulysses, with a tendency toward the eccentric. I would make a lousy president with my inability to decide anything. If I had a choice, I would choose not to have any choices but therein lies the rub, since I would have to choose not to choose. See. I told you I’d make a lousy president. Okay, so let’s choose the next leader of the ‘pretty close to the greatest country in the world’, depending on whether the greatest country is determined by the number of IPhones owned by its populace. First, let’s go over a list of books the candidates say they have read recently. I will analyze their choices afterward. That will be a guess on my part, but I believe the candidates released these …

Women Are From Venus And Men Are Pigs And Lie About Everything, Including Where They're From

Okay, the title rather says it all, but this blog is actually about why men prefer reading novels by male authors, while women favor female authors. This is not an opinion but a fact. Not sure where it came from but a fact, nonetheless.
This element about literature and the sexes started 40,000 years ago in a small cave somewhere in Europe. A singularly talented Neanderthal gathered his buddies one Friday night and after a few rounds of caveman libations, drew some excellent artwork on the cave wall using chalk, charcoal, blood, and flower dye. This first picture book / novel was drawn in three scenes: 1. A rousing illustration of him and his tribal fellows attacking a neighboring village. 2. A stunning depiction of a mass killing of all the men in the village. 3. The victors clubbing the enemies' women and dragging them back to their caves. The artist beamed as his fellow Neanderthals clapped, jumped, and hooted at the mural in great admiration of the author and artist's sk…


A good friend and an excellent poet, Nilanjana Bose, has sent out a request that I post eleven facts about myself and answer eleven questions from her.  Here is my response:

Okay, here goes...11 random facts about me.

1.I lie a lot. In fact, I’m even lying about lying.
2.I have 48 cousins.
3.My favorite food is a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.
4.I write everything by hand (six novels, 145 short stories, ten poems, 1 song, 1 blog, six illegal prescriptions) If melancholy consumes me I’ll type the suicide note to be different.
5.I’ve been in love with the same girl for 37 years. (No, not Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island—my wife silly.)
6.I am good friends and still love my daughters despite having to raise them.
7.I never smoked or took drugs. I drink only on days that end with a Y.
8.Surfing (Ocean not web) is my therapy, yoga, Yin and Yan.
9.I dislike most politicians except for the reluctant ones. Those are the ones who don’t want to serve but do so …