"Some Tears May Be Crocodile, But My Salt Is True."
May 26, 1926. Would have been 89 today. Still more alive than most people.
The Octo-Fez chaperones a futuristic themed school sock-hop. Oddly, not a single kid came even close to getting out of line.
I think this makes it official: Welcome Thieves is coming. Less than a year from now, it will be in your face. Or on your shelf. Or left under the seat next to you on the bus. Or in the recycling. But it will exist! Can't wait to see the cover.
At that time I was pretty sure the world was an endless golden opportunity. To be indifferently smirked at.
"She is a pretty fascinating casting choice, though. On the surface, what else does Don Draper want besides a rare steak, some scotch, a Jaguar, and a few hours to pretend to read Dante? Jane Russell, of course. Or some similarly pneumatic skirt full of obviousness. But Megan isn’t that at all. She’s tall, gawky, awkward, a tomboy playing at fashion. She’s not your grandfather’s bombshell, she’s the next iteration: Francoise Hardy or Jeanne Moreau. In the 60’s, only bookish, jazz-inflected types with bad perms and an aversion to being stabbed by Norman Mailer would dare fess to craving such smart, arch sexuality. Conversely, the generation of Dons who returned from Utah Beach or Panmunjom were uninterested in a discussion of Beckett over Malbec, predictably insisting on the sort of muscle car blonde the 60s pretended to be full of but rarely was. If only because it turned out that people actually had thoughts and feelings and distinct personalities, all of which got in the way of wooing a less erudite Tina Marie." Check the rest out HERE.
"Joan is all smirk and prow, poured into a truss of pink Angora. Joan is a strafing B-52, dusting cornfields full of lustful men. Joan is the Hindenberg, one massive, vibrating undercarriage floating above Berlin, a zeppelin for every spotlight, a primal shape for every fantasy. She is a near-ancient totem, a matriarchic symbol, a repository of fear and wonder." Check the rest out HERE.
Is it possible to curate the 50 Most Bad-ass Movies Ever in under 7k words? Apparently so. Hint: there's no Adam Sandler. Yes, feel free to tell me every way I'm wrong.
So, on Friday I turned in the very final draft of my story collection Title In Flux (not the title). It's ramping straight into production and will be out a year from now. Hitting the deadline required a level of madness unseen since that Robitussin-and-Coors summer I lived in a squat and roofed houses with an oven mitt and a borrowed hammer. Wait, did that actually happen? The last six months have been completely immersive and terrifying. Warranted doubt. Unwarranted doubt. The myopia of re-writing one sentence down to the participle for twelve straight hours. I'd come home every day disheveled and spent, and my wife would be like, "You know we're married, right?" and my first thought would be, "Can we just let it all fall apart with a tragic narrative arc that falls somewhere south of Ray Carver? Because, baby, I need the material." And then my daughter would jump on my lap and slap my face and be like, "You know I am your offspring and we share common DNA, so you should be evolutionarily invested in my well-being, right?" And I'd be like, "Can you rephrase that in a more incisive and nuanced fashion, deleting any adverbs and then perhaps working in a delicate analogy involving a cold hamburger and empty ketchup packets?" Yes, I have been a madman and a fool, but it is all done. For good or ill it will soon be on the shelf ready to be ignored, loved, crucified, dismissed, embraced, pulped, derided, savored, or remaindered. No shit, I should have gone to law school.
Becoming A Confident Artist In Nine E-Z Steps:
1. Somehow get through your twenties without giving up, while simultaneously coming to the almost-impossible-to-embrace-during-your-twenties notion that you'll have no clue what you're doing until you've got a decade of practice and perspective under your belt. 2. Feel no pressure to exhibit. You don't need to hang your beginning paintings in a cafe or publish your unfinished short story to prove something to your friends or parents. 3. Don't Be A Tool. Putting down other people's work is an ugly art form in and of itself. Be supportive. Be generous with your time and attention. Drunkenly making a "connection" with someone semi-famous at a party will help your career a lot less in the long run than being remembered ten years later as relatively human. 4. Being known as the best painter in a college painting class is utterly meaningless. 5. Never try to convince anyone of anything. 6. Move to an unexpected place, like Little Rock or Topeka. Attend free or cheap classes, found writing groups, use a church basement on Saturday mornings to hold Sculpture Salons or rehearsals for puppetry productions of Beckett and Brecht. Be the person that drives events instead of the one that complains about the lack of them. 7. Take a shit job with a company that does finish carpentry or Zen landscaping with the idea that once you've done it for a few years you will have a skill for life that will subsidize the making of art, which really just means being able to work less than twenty-eight hours a week and still afford materials plus a sunny light-filled loft. 8. Genuinely listen to advice. Don't be constrained by it. 9. Aside from those who are lucky, have famous parents, or are fortunate enough to have a patron who requires acceptable favors, almost everyone successful works their butt off. Confidence comes from the knowledge that you've allowed your work ethic to equal your obsession, and that you would have done so regardless of how you're ultimately received.
BONUS ADVICE: Save the 60k in MFA loans and backpack through Southeast Asia for a year instead.