So it was my birthday last week, and I was not feeling quite celebratory the time it came around. It was mostly because I was starting to come down with a case of "the depressions," as the kids call it these days, but partly because I was lacking in time and resources to make a decent celebration happen. I've been in a funk these last few months, partly due to my current situation, partly because it inevitably flares up from time to time. It's much better now, because time and perserverance and friends and coffee and Adventure Time have a tendency to cure such things. Besides, things aren't so bad. Yes, my job is draining and terrible, but I've finally got the first reliable bicycle I've ever owned- a kickin' (that's the only way to describe it) black Kona named Beatrice-, I'm in this great Northwestern state with loads of potential, and I'm not starving to death. I'm ahead of most of planet Earth. Things will get better.
When discussing my lack of willingness to celebrate my birthday with my pal Valerie, she suggested that I might have become a Jehovah's Witness. They don't celebrate birthdays, apparently, because it's a pagan and/or Jewish ritual.
And since I'd been binging on that most excellent show Adventure Time recently (mayhaps a post about that later), and I had recently watched my favorite episode, the Hug Wolf, I immediately came up with the idea for the following short story. Valerie suggested I write it, so I did. It's silly and ridiculous and totally unpublishable, and that's how I want it.
I tried not to be too offensive against religious people in this one, so you should be fine reading this. Unless you're a Jehovah's Witness, of course. Sorry, that can't really be helped.
One of the things I was working on recently is getting into a certain secret underground group of elite writers. This required my submitting of some of my previous work. Preferrably good work.
Well, damn, I just happened to have a previous short story- which fit the criteria exactly in length and genre- which was read and enjoyed by thousands of people across cyberspace!
But it needed to be perfect, before it was ready for submission to this elite group of covert writers, so I spent a month huddling over it with my good friend Valerie and my other good friend, Gmail chat.
That story is of course The Devil Still Has My Lawnmower.
It was a good story, according to many people, but it had a slow start. It began with two privileged white men talking about their lawn. Not exactly an attention-grabber. And not fit for submission for the aforementioned underground group of master writers.
So I slaved over it (probably not the same way those kids slaved over the chocolate that's in my coffee) nearly a year after its internet debut, and here it is. A revised The Devil Still Has My Lawnmower.
I didn't end up joining that group because apparently elite underground groups of writers don't actually want people who can do it well. But at least I have an updated story.
You are allowed to enjoy it now.
I'm not stopping you.
I don't quite get poetry. I don't know why. Until today, I had yet to meet a poem that really, truly moved me. Poetry is a tool for the truly pretentious, truly uninspired and truly lazy writers of the world to steal their way into greatness, so that people like James Franco can later act in movies about them.
Poetry, to the dark voices that live in my mind, is cheating.
Far be it from me to make the mistake of thinking that my dark little corner of the internet is being monitored regularly by, well, anyone at all, but in case I happen to be wrong about such things (stranger things have happened), here's what's been going on with the world of Giando.
Let's say that- by some fluke of time, circumstance, lack of visits to shopping centers (and thus their ubiquitous festive decorations), and the frantic, high-stress qualities of your day job- that you have managed to completely miss the fact that today is a holiday that is celebrated by one in seven human beings on Earth.
It's still technically Digital Writing Month, so I still get to exploit the #digiwrimo hashtag. Even though this technically isn't part of their fantastic little get-togethers, one of which I recently went to and broke with my unending torrents of cynicism and references to eggbeater mime lobotomies.
A few months ago I had a blog post all written up about the war between two digital bookstore distributors. It went a bit like this: There are two companies, neither of which I like particularly much, who are currently locked in a gigantic legal battle that could determine the future of digital publishing. One company sued the other; the other company sued back; and then the Department of Justice stepped in, and promply sided with the wrong one (the instigator); though in the end, both companies still have business models that weren't exactly going to improve the human condition any time soon. Thus, everybody loses, especially writers.
I don't know if Giando has ever mentioned this, but I live in Atlanta. In Georgia. I've been here for about a year now, and it's much cooler than I thought it was going to be.
When I first told people I was moving here, I was told 2 things:
1. It's really hot there (some of the people that told me this were Phoenicians).
2. You are going to get mugged and axe-raped.
I'll admit I was nervous to make the move. But I'm glad I did. Seriously... there is a festival for EVERYTHING here. Last month, there was a book festival in Decatur. And we have DragonCon, which is pretty much the nerdiest nerd's nerd fest on the planet.
Well the Novel in a Day turned out to be an unqualified success! The goal was 50,000 words, and we ended up with around 42,000. You might not say that's a success, but remember that it contains quite a few pictures, and a picture is worth a thousand of them, isn't it?
Besides, some of those words are MY words, which are about 10 times better than those normally found in the English language.
And here they are! My contribution to #digiwrimo 's Novel in a Day.