Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Hard to believe it's been nearly five years since I first published an ebook. Is it easier to believe that I've made almost nothing on that poem? I've earned more money writing about teaching preschool than from the best 10,000 syllables I've ever composed.
Some of you know what I'm talking about. Some of you don't and it's all my fault. I've let myself shrivel as a creative writer. The business has beaten me until I've almost given up. But I won't give up.
Cathartes Aura and the Apocalypse Zoo is the post-apocalyptic story of a zoo on the day no one showed up, narrated by a captive turkey vulture. The story is built of one hundred ten-by-tens. That's 10 syllables per line, 10 lines per stanza, 10 stanzas per chapter and 10 chapters in all for a total of 10,000 syllables. Yes, I counted them all several times.
Step one of my rebirth is rereleasing things I've already written. When I first published Apocalypse Zoo, I didn't include a page break between each stanza. Smashwords strips them out anyway. Therefore, when you read it on your device, you will probably get more than 10 lines on your screen. It's difficult to consume one stanza at a time that way, which is how it was intended to be read.
I just reformatted it to have only ten lines per page. I resubmitted it to Amazon:
As you flip through the pages on your device, you should get ten lines at a time. The whole piece should be easier to grasp that way.
Please buy it and read it. $2.99 is as cheap as I can sell it on Amazon. I keep 70%. You'll spend $3 on less valuable things this week, I'm sure.
This poet is rapidly heading toward a future where his kids wonder whatever happened to his dreams. Help me achieve my biggest one.
Coming very soon, the sequel: Cathartes Aura on the Road from Nowhere. Also reformatted. Then Inside the Skull of David Priest and The Cheshire House will get some new noise. Growing at the Sun also needs to become an ebook.
Then I need to look into print-on-demand and get them printed in the real world. Who has some POD advice?
I want those books to start doing something for me. Then I'm getting back to work writing fiction. I haven't been myself lately. I miss being constantly exciting about building characters and crafting plots. Those things never leave my head once I get working on something. They haven't been in my head for a long time.
I'm tired of being shy about self-promotion. No one does it for me. So please, buy the book, read it and share it.
The writing is precise. It's exactly 10,000 syllables. How could it not be precise? It's physical, forceful and sensory. It's narrated by a soaring scavenger. You've read nothing like it.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
RIP Eighty Six the Poet
October 5, 1974 to September 15, 2015
It happened fast and then it happened slow. So slow no one noticed, not even the artist himself. But he is no doubt gone.
It happened the day he became a car salesman. At first, it seemed to make sense. All his life he'd worked in customer service. Then he became a mercenary freelance writer on any topic. What really interested him was his work with green cars.
He bought his own electric car and loved it. Frustrated with the low income ceiling in the restaurant business, he chose to step into auto sales. He got a job with BMW, the best green car company in town. Like he'd done his whole life, he lowered his shoulder and got to work.
He knew it wouldn't be easy. The hours would be long, but doubles in the hospitality biz never bothered him. He even imagined his writing could help him gain clients. He started Where is My Electric Minivan?, aspiring to be a strong influence weaning people from gasoline.
But never did he have the time or the energy. He had to sell what the customers wanted. Getting up on his podium and banging his shoe about driving electric was a turn off.
And he never earned what he wanted in the car sales game. He never wrote. He never appeared at EV events or sounded off on EV forums. He faded away.
Poverty and failure will do that to a person. You don't want to be seen, you don't want to speak, you don't even want to be around people when you have nothing good to say.
Eventually, he ceased to be.
The 86 the Poet tattoo on his arm, rather than being an affirmation of purpose, became a mockery in the mirror every morning as he rose before dawn. He shaved, showered and put on a BMW polo before driving to work to put on an energetic facade.
Coming home after earning no money to a family that needs it is like being fired every day. Except you have to keep going back.
Now, analyzing all that has happened, he realizes his is nothing he used to be.
He doesn't write, perform on stage, go on field trips with his kids, make his wife smile, eat well, have fun or have cash in his pocket.
It can't go on. He ain't going out like that. So I'm taking the CHAdeMO charger for my Nissan Leaf, sticking it in his chest and defibrillating his corpse. People always like poets better once they're dead anyway.
Eighty Six the Poet is dead. Long live Eighty Six the Poet.
Pressure and friction.
The only way out
From between two millstones.