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Showing posts from June, 2012

Hemingway's Last Interview

(Interviewed by, Jimmy, a seven-year-old:)


“My mom said that you said writing is hard. I get tired sometimes when I write. Do you get tired?”
“Sometimes I do. We all get tired of doing things we like to do. What do you write about in school?”
“Things.”
“What kind of things? Things is a big subject, Jimmy.”
“I wrote about a smelly bird once.”
“A smelly bird, huh?”
“Yep.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. What’d it smell like?”
“Like poop. It was dead.”
“Oh, I see.”
“My mom says you can’t write at all.”
“She said that, huh?”
“Yep.”
“Well you tell your mom there’s millions out there who would agree with her. Most days, I think I would agree with her.”
“What’s a drunking sot?”
“You mean a drunken sot.”
“Yep.”
“Why do you ask?”
“Cause my mom says you’re a drinking sot.”
“I see. I presume your mother doesn’t want me to sign a book for her.”
“Nope. She says she wouldn’t wipe her butt with your book.”
“Tell me Jimmy, does your mother, by chance, write reviews for the New York Times?”
“I dunno.”
“Well, when …

Why Gone with the Wind wouldn't get published nowadays

Recently there was a controversy in my neck of the woods when our local library banned Fifty Shades of Grey for its sexual content. After a huge uproar, mostly by those who hadn't read it, the library capitulated and put it back on the shelves. I thought they made the right decision, but maybe they could restrict check-out of the book to thirteen and older. A kid that age doesn't need to obtain sexual knowledge from anything as primitive as a book nowadays, anyway. They have a whole Internet filled with porn to enlighten or frighten them, depending on the site they choose.
It was much simpler when I first experienced the horrors of puberty. My friends and I would spend hours in the library flipping through Ian Fleming novels looking for the sex scenes. The Bond movies didn't do justice to the libido like the novels did.

But banning popular books in the library is nothing new. I always thought it odd they would ban Lady Chatterley's Lover and yet have National Geograph…

Give it up, you'll never publish your poetry. (If it rhymes)

Poetry is obviously not the sexiest form of written entertainment. That honor goes to novels, followed by non-fiction, then short stories, then flash fiction, then novellas, and then finally, poetry. You doubt me? How dare you. I shall validate the lowly status of poetry. All right, let's see a show of hands. How many of you know the name of our nation's poet laureate? That's what I thought. Well, for your information, she is Natasha Trethewey. Yeah, I don't know who the hell she is, either. Now, how many of you know who wrote Twilight? I rest my case.
Let's face it, for the last seventy years or so poetry has really sucked wind. Why is that, JJ? you ask on bated breath. I'll give you my opinion. Since the 1940s, or so, poets have been afraid to write with rhyme and scared shitless to tell a story. They're afraid their peers with their M.F.As, who were taught in the universities by professors with M.F.As, will make fun of them and castigate them in the acade…

What I Miss:

Driving without a seatbelt.
Driving without a seatbelt in a car with bench seats.
Driving without a seatbelt in a car with bench seats and a metal dash.

Driving without a seatbelt in a car with bench seats and a metal dash with your date beside you.
Following the Mosquito Man on my bicycle.
Chasing down the ice cream man and pounding on the side of the truck to get him to stop.

Watching the movie projector light through a smoky haze.
Attending a rock concert where the crowd uses lighters instead of cell phones during ballads.
Nurses in tight fitting white uniforms and those silly hats.

Stewardesses in tight fitting uniforms.
A&W waitresses delivering food to your car in tight fitting uniforms.
Miniskirts. (I see a pattern here.)
Delivering 86 newspapers on a bicycle that has two baskets on the side and one in the front.

Catching blowfish off the bridge using frozen shrimp as bait.
Popping blowfish with my foot after they puff up.
Crabbing at 2 AM off Mather’s Bridge.
Lying on the warm hood of a ’…

The Argument for Paper Books over Kindle

I don't like reading from a screen whether it's a document on a monitor or an e-book on a Kindle. I also write everything by hand and can't type, but that's beside the point, I need that tactile pleasure of crinkling real paper in my hand when I read. Paper is a good thing. I don't mind them chopping wood, Ma, after all, them trees are God's recyclables. So cut a tree down for me, boys, but make sure you plant one in its place. Green, indeed. I need my paper books, hardbound or paperback. When I'm finished writing a chapter or a short story and my wife has typed it, I like to print it out and read it, not lean in close to the monitor and fumble with the scroll bar.
Kindles are cute and look cool on planes but they have lots of disadvantages. A few examples:
They're expensive. You're not only buying the book, you're buying a costly container.They have batteries that will need replacing and you buy the electricity to charge them, money that could …