You may not know this but …

1)  … No one gives a shit how much you hate Nickleback – including Nickleback.  Do what I do, listen to what you like and don’t proselytize against bands you don’t like you annoying little sack of shit. I tell my music snob kid that I like songs that happen to be by bands. I can like “Clocks” and not obligated to like/fan/defend Coldplay. Few enough people care what you like – even fewer care what you don’t like.

2) You may not know this but …. James Joyce wrote sometimes impenetrable prose and had an eye patch. Thus he is cooler than you by far. The fact that I abandoned Ulysses about 200 pages in and never got anywhere with Finnegan’s Wake (page count doesn’t matter in Finnegan’s) says more about me than it does about him.

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“‘Tis as human a little story as paper could well carry” – the only line in Finnegan’s Wake I can read. But hey! Cool eye-patch!

3) You may not know this but … if you are going to go to Calgary’s Comic Con dressed as Poison Ivy wearing a skin tight leotard please wear a thong under. Seriously – I saw one Poison Ivy there with very visible lines that I think may have been bicycle shorts or … her little brother’s boxer briefs. (I also saw five spider-men all together. If I’d had the presence of mind to snap a pic I would have captioned it “No one’s getting laid today!” but it was really crowded and I was still thinking of how this note would go in regards to Ivy.)

4) You may not know this but … We’re going on 15 years since there’s been a repeat Stanley Cup Champ (Detroit in ’97 and ’98) and the playoff grind is the single biggest reason. Take a look at the finalists year to year and you’ll see gaunt, haggard, bearded men that look not so much like hockey players as they do the survivors of Stalingrad. In this era it’s hard to repeat.

5) You may not know this but … men do not really think other good looking men are gay. We just say that because in the arms race that is the male mating process we have a rapid-fire and thoughtless responses sharpened to a dull edge by our inherent inferiority complexes. Women are way better at handling this sort of thing. Notice how women don’t automatically think other good looking women are lesbians?

They think they’re bitches.

6) You may not know this but … bruises, scrapes, bloody noses, and burst veins in your eyeballs are not the true test of effort in the gym/powerlifting. It takes time to get too fat and jack up your blood pressure and psych yourself up to do stupid shit. Passing out while deadlifting is pretty hardcore but not the most hardcore. I can actually teach you how to do that but I’d rather teach you this: The most hardcore thing you can do is booger on the mirror while squatting. Seriously – if you have enough weight on the bar it’ll crush you a little in the descent and force you to exhale. Because you’ll be trying to hold your breath all that air comes out your nose and voila – some little hunk of god knows what stored in your sinuses (or even your soul!) will pop out at 800m/sec (high powered rifle speed) and linger on the mirror as a reminder of your effort.

You can’t fake that. You can’t even do it deliberately – it’s not like blowing your nose. It just has to … happen.

I know a guy who pulls a curtain over the mirror while squatting – because you can’t use a mirror in a competition he wants to be able to “feel” depth. He’s a hell of a squatter I bet that curtain is greener than a hanky in the Foley family. (See below)

I’m going to digress now and discuss farting in the gym. Definitely not hardcore. In fact: Kind of lame.  I don’t care if you refer to your squats as “pant-shitters” or to the depth of same as “picking up quarters” – it’s not hardcore because it’s a statistically proven fact Yoga out-farts lifting 3-to-1. Yoga is not all that hardcore. So if you are going to treat the gym to the atomized residuals of your 7-11 Breakfast Burrito I’d suggest doing it while walking around the gym. This is called “crop-dusting” and is equally unfair to everyone in the gym but at the same time it’s hard to pin it on a single perpetrator. It’s egalitarian and … you have plausible deniability! Don’t do it in the squat rack – or indeed another fixed piece of equipment. That is wrong. And we don’t do wrong. we crop dust.

7) … You may not know this but … skepticism that runs only one way is not skepticism at all. Absolutely you are being lied to. You choose what lies you believe.

8) … You may not know this but … retail gas prices are calculated according to the following formula:

(       )

… hey wait. What formula? Holy shit! No one knows how retail gas prices are calculated! Praise the Lord, pass the astroglide and try to think of something else.

9) You may not know this but … there were 13 kids in the Foley Family and not more than a year apart between any of them. Lots of “Catholic Twins” as they say. Thus the “Foley Family Hanky” analogy above.

I played in a mixed slo-pitch tourney with one of the Foley’s many years ago – he showed up hung over and was good for shit. Got the whole “shits n giggles” thing backwards and, unfortunately, forwards – and then backwards again. He was on a “closed” loop as they say. But I digress.  With the Foley family tree on our minds we’d note something that looked pretty used up and say it was “more chewed up than a stick of juicy fruit in the Foley family”.

I’m not sure what role this anecdote plays in this post but fuck it – there it is.

10) … You may not know this but … monkey steals the peach! This is from one of those “Count Dante’s Fighting Academy” books you could order out of the back pages of comic books back in the day.

Laugh if you will but if old pencil-legs-in-a-ski-mask here assumed this stance you’d best cover up your peaches and run. I’m not sure how deadly he is but he’s definitely a bat shit insane serial grape fondler. The worst is you can’t even tell your friends. What are you going to say – “Holy shit guys! You’ll never believe this but I narrowly escaped having my eggs rolled on the finger tips – the strong, supple fingertips of … ahhhh never mind. I said NEVER MIND!”

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This pic makes me laugh every time.

Hey! Look at the time. Somebody beer me already

Steve

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Today in Henry Rollins Quotes

“Why do you think the old stories tell of men who set out on great journeys to impress the gods? Because trying to impress people just isn’t worth the time and effort.”H. Rollins

Henry’s right of course. I think the journey of the artist is to try and create something that lasts beyond the petty criticism or passing favor of men.

Rollins’ is actually a firm believer in deadlifting too and I do that. Not because Henry does it (we’ve both been doing it for so long it’s hard to say who’s first) but because straining against a bar loaded with weights simplifies your perspective.

I’m getting off topic here but I can’t imagine Rollins trolling any other musicians or writers websites. He’s got shit to do.

And so do we.

Sold Another Story!

Form the “good news” file: I sold another story.

Signed the contract with Big Pulp Magazine yesterday for “Shotgun Suicide” – a moving story of redemption and the power of a dream. It’ll appear in print in 2014.

I actually have another sale but the contract is pending and I’m NDA’d on it for now but I hope to be able to announce that shortly too.

Whenever I have a sale I crank up Metallica’s cover of Misfit’s “Last Caress” and do the happy dance. I imagine every has their “touchdown celebration”.

Onwards and upwards hey?

On writing: Rejection. So what?

Met with my writer’s group yesterday and as with most writer’s groups there are two things to do at every meeting: 1) Celebrate acceptances and 2) commiserate over rejection

In regards to rejection – so what? Remember – rejection isn’t a test score. If a story is rejected 9 times and then placed it’s not 1 for 10 – not 10% – it’s 100% because it’s placed.

I think we’ve all heard of J.K. Rowland’s “Harry Potter” being rejected 12 or 13 times – I believe Elmore Leonard’s record for rejections on a single story was 105 or so. On the flip side we all read things we’re pretty sure were were written in crayon or that the acceptance thereof was prompted by an envelope containing pictures of some Editor’s indiscretions in Tijuana with assurances to that self-same editor that there were copies – lots of copies – that might surface should a certain piece not see print. 

It doesn’t matter.

All you can do is to write, edit and submit.
 
As far as finding markets I hear ya. At times everyone looks like a non-fit. And then stuff you think is a great fit – doesn’t fit. 
 
I think all you can do is to try and observe a process/a system where you write the damn story and then submit it to 5 damn markets. Then write another damn story and submit that to 5 more damn markets. Or maybe have a “contest baby”  where you enter it in contests every 90 days or so and see what comes of it. The particulars don’t matter- what is important is to observe a system. Write “hot” – submit “cold”.
 
Because writing is an emotional exercise we (me anyways) tends to treat submitting as an emotional exercise – in truth submitting should be an academic/intellectual pursuit – another day at the office.
 
I’d say submit MORE and not MORE PERFECTLY – pile up the rejections – they are badges of honor – proof of effort – and then it becomes less of an emotional exercise and more of an intellectual pursuit. 
 
Also  – like a predator – always be on the hunt – have your peripheral vision open for potential markets. You hear about them in odd ways.  
 
The last laugh goes to the persistent. I have a couple more acceptances – once the contracts are in and signed/returned you can goddamn well bet I’ll post particulars here because those stories are 100% sold.

A wise man once told me to “Be original, believe in your talent, and persist”.

My name is Steve Passey and I persist! (… and occasionally use boldface type to make a point!)

Rock on.