Confessions of a Failed Tentacle Porn Writer

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I’m in trouble. I’m a writer who doesn’t write. Not really. Not enough. I’m too distracted by the rickety, creaking carnival ride of life that has me gripping the broken safety bar. I’m white knuckled and sweaty because things are at a weird and scary juncture right now. It’s a dicey, unstable situation, and I’m a few bad months away from living in someone’s garage.

But here’s the real problem: I shuffle back and forth between “writing for the love” mode, and “writing for an elephant’s diaper load of money” mode. Mostly because I love writing but I’m also terrified of being broke. REALLY broke. It’s a hobgoblin that wakes me at 2am when I realize, simultaneously, I’m middle aged, my rent is due in a week, I’ve got four hundred dollars in the bank, three days of work on the books, and two dozen promising but half-finished stories in my queue. To compound the misery, there’s an article on Huffpost about authors who make a hundred grand selling tentacle porn or some other weird kink on Amazon for ninety nine cents a pop. Continue reading

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Why Writers Fail, Part One: Don’t Open The Ark of the Covenant!

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So you’ve finally found the resolve to sit down and get some writing done. You’re seated there, fingers at the ready, your will is steely and strong. You start typing. It comes easy at first, and you’re pounding at the keyboard. Then it starts to get harder.  You grind to  a slow, painful slog, word after word. You falter. Doubt creeps into your mind. This sentence sucks, and so does this paragraph. In fact, so does the whole, stupid idea. Great satan’s beard it’s turning into monkey dung right before your eyes! You’re drowning in it. Monkey dung up to your eyeballs. You’re desperate for relief, but you can’t leave the desk. You promised. This time would be different. This time you would finish something. But OH THE PAIN! SOMEBODY PLEASE SHOOT ME! ARGGHHAAGGHH!!! Continue reading

The Usual Suspects: Denizens of the Writers Group

snowflake_imageRemember opening your bedroom curtain in the morning to find the first heavy snowfall of the season blanketing the ground with a foot of pure, unspoiled, pristine  snow? You couldn’t wait to get out there and roll around in it. Snow, glorious SNOW! Then after about four hours, the magic wore thin; you had to pee, you couldn’t feel your fingers and your face hurt because some jerk nailed you in the head with an ice-ball. Jerky jerk-off.

So it is with writers groups. Consider the following: Continue reading

The Universe Is An A**Hole That Can Hear You

Year-2012-in-Space-30+-Outstanding-Photographs_06-@-GenCept  Anyone who has secretly yearned for something in life is probably familiar with the feeling I’m about to describe. It’s a feeling that is particularly common among frustrated artists who slave away at work that is Other Than. It’s the feeling–no, I take that back, it’s the FEAR–that the universe might eavesdrop on your private whisperings and actually DO SOMETHING about it.

And nobody wants that. Not me, that’s for damn sure! Not unless I get to decide the What, When, Where, How–and ONLY IF it comes with a generous plan for health and dental. I want easy change. Pleasant change. Change that doesn’t frighten me and make my bowels transform lunch into liquid lava. Continue reading

Bridge Trolls and Other Writers

We’re as ubiquitous to the profession as a Weenie Bite Competition is to a Biker Rally: Non-writing writers. The corpses of our stillborn ideas and best intentions lay dying a slow death in computer file folders across the land. They languish, starved and forgotten in the yellowed pages of countless notebooks. They haunt the collective creative consciousness of us all; not quite dead, but not among the living either. We are the slobbering, warty bridge trolls who live in self-imposed exile beneath the literary highway overpass; a highway traveled by those far better than us. And by far better, I don’t mean smarter or more gifted or  funnier or more educated or  better looking (though don’t rule it out); Continue reading