A reader commented the other blog that ‘they are looking forward to my next book‘. That was nice. Much appreciated. But I could use a little help in that regard, if you don’t mind.
I am getting close to churning out another three hundred pages of gibberish (actually, it requires about 1000 pages so that Sal can cut and slash, lacerate and trash, reject and rewrite it down to 300). But close is the operative word. I haven’t started yet. I am having directional problems. My literary GPS is out of whack.
What to write about?
“Never mind, honey, don’t sweat it. You might be just a one-hit bit of mediocrity, anyway. Maybe you should take up cooking?” Sal is losing her motivation in the kitchen and it is amazing how many times she suggests I turn my hand to the culinary arts rather than worry about the literary ones. Support like that is hard to find.
“No. I think this is something I have to do. My fan base has needs. And I need to fill ’em. And, right now, the fan base is really quite small – in the dozens, if not less – and so the task is made so much easier by that. If I write for Dwayne, Sid, John and DC, I should be good for the other dozen or so anonymice (my pluralization of anonymouses)”.
“Well, whatever you do, do not write about OTG. I don’t think I can handle it.”
“OK. Fine. But waddya got? Ya want me to do a mystery involving murders committed at bookclubs? Quilting during the apocalypse? Pregnant orphaned lepers living in culverts in Bangladesh fighting back at sexist factory owners?” (Chick-lit is full of that kind of stuff).
“You don’t know enough about quilting. So, no! Not that.”
“OK. That leaves culverts, lepers, the apocalypse and Calcutta. Is that what you are suggesting?”
“Well, I kinda like an apocalypse in Mexico plot where we are trapped in a resort in Puerto Vallarta with our dogs and have to scramble our way back home. Has to be a comedy, of course. Make one of the dogs pregnant if you want.”
“One of the dogs? Shouldn’t the pregnant one be a given? And I am not so sure that an escaping elderly couple in Mexico with dogs during the apocalypse is the best foundation for humour. You thinkin’ zombies, too?”
“No. Of course not. Now you are just being silly.”
“Right. Of course. I am just being silly. But I am also being sincere. I really do not know what to write about next. I really think I am onto something with this ‘Old people OTG-thing. I think it resonates. I think I should do OTGll – The geriatric years.”
“Well, I am not keen on reading more about your ineptness and accidents. It’s bad enough living with it. Have you considered writing a cook book?”
It is clear I have to seek outside advice from people sane and grounded. Do any of you know someone?
Dave you are the resident ironist so be true to your calling. Ya gota write about what you know and it’s not how to be a curmudgeon although curmudgeon is a persona you aspire to be. For the record curmudgeons do not say sweetie pie and go all doe eyed. You are closer in some ways to the Raincoast Chronicles than you are to The Whole Earth Catalogue. Some guys might go all gaga about the details of a gudgeon pin but one surmises some readers not so much. Your locale must be ripe with stories worth repeating. The discussions around the community building bees are colourful but have been on the shelf for awhile. The bag lady kayaker, Ming the technological wireless support worker…really the list goes on. The raw material is all around you.
So, you are saying, “Stick with OTG.”?
You don’t wanna hear about 101 famous street fights or how to pick up chicks? You don’t want a First Nations murder mystery involving Hell’s Angels and a gay lawyer? You want ducks and doofuses?
How about a gay First Nations Hell”s Angel that IS a lawyer……it gives “pro bono” a whole new meaning.
You are bad.
No need to stick to OTG just write about stuff you feel. I like Ravens but you nay not feel them the raven thiefs. Just do not got all proforma.
Well, all that is fine but not unlike turning to an artist (a REAL one) and saying, “please make me some art.”
The first thing they need is constraints. “Like, out of rock? Or a painting? Or do you prefer fabric art or how do you feel about scrapbooking as art?”
A blank cheque is one the harder things to fill out and so it is with ‘write a book’. I kinda need to know if OTG is my only genre or can I wing it? Can I write poetic? Dabble Harlequin? Or maybe easy east-end thuggery? Sal says, “Do not, fer Gawd’s sake, wing it. I will delete it all like I just did with your first go ’round this morning. No more of that crap! And I am not 100% supportive of more OTG either. I am NOT climbing anything, that’s fer sure.”
‘Course Sal is not the final word….I get to write the final word. But I still have to live with my editor/publisher so it’s a factor.
Write your passion. OTG is great and I really like it. I like the irony and the insights into human frailties. I like the observations on the passing scene. I like your directness and you willingness to disagree various opinions. Your writing is strongest when the topic is factual and semiautobiological. When you care about what you are writing it is very strong. The narrative type is what you mostly have written. Could you write about the downtown east side…God yes. Could you write a novel sure. I’m convinced that if the topic interests you it will interest the reader. Are you a poet then write some.
I have to agree.
Write about what you know. Has more sincerity and that comes across.
How about an “anti- politically correct’ diatribe based on your consulting experiences?
God only knows someone has to pop the PC/ consulting/ doublespeak that seems to infest every part of our daily lives…..
For example: I saw a headline in todays New York Times about how ‘We arent teaching young boys about how to be gender respectful towards women…….” and here I thought being respectful to everyone was something our parents taught us….silly me.
Im pretty sure you have some pretty good examples of pc nazi’s that use their new found mantra to “pc bully” just about anyone and everyone that disagrees with them.
Write a book that skewers every useless six sigma “black belt bully” catchphrase, every ISO9000 audit, every politically correct gagh’en spiel.
You know what Im a talkin about.
And start off every chapter with ” Forget everything you know about ….. because its crap!”
Some light reading for the truly bored……
Or an “anti-pc” rant by non other than James Kunstler
Thanks. Helpful. Not completely but still kind of liberating…..if I needed it….which I guess I do. But I still have the cutest book nazi to deal with….
The real question is: do you have enough appetite for OTG part ll?
Passion, eh? Hmmmmmm…… more and more I am frustrated with our collective stupidity and distinction as a society. A lot of truths become clearer as you get older and I am getting older if not wiser at the very least. PC is silly but perhaps on a 50/50 ratio rather than as a blanket statement. I can see the merit in not yelling nig**r in a theater, for instance. Or nazi in a synagogue. Some things should be verbotten. But that sort of thing can be done within a larger context. Is. That context OTG or a novel or what?
Dysfunction NOT distinction.
“Dysfunction in our society.”
Truer words never before spoken. I try to avoid the gender neutralizing, politically correct, brainwashed university grads that seem to infest all levels work and society these days.
Regurgitating verbatim all the politically correct half true theoretical nonsense spewed forth from their cloistered professors who have rarely, if ever, worked (or played) in the real world all around them. We have become a nation of pc weenies. Our cabinet is 50/50 male female not due to hard work or years of experience but because…it boiled down to what is(or is not) dangling between our legs………Margret Thatcher was elected to her position and she performed it far better than the 3 Prime Ministers that came before her and possibly the 3 pm after her…..And she would probably be revoted by the political goings on today.
Time will tell if promoting the “right” gender before the most qualified person who’s perfect for the job will be a political disaster for the Libs. But I think this pc “experiment” will be side tracked by Canada’s ever deepening economic morass.
( That being said, what was with all the faux cheek kisses for the newly appointed female cabinet members and the handshakes for the male members from pc Trudeau? Its 2015 !).
There are trends and social phenomena like cheek kissing and saying ‘going forward’ (like ‘end of the day’ a few years back)that are largely harmless and need not wrinkle our panties into a knot but then there are others that no amount of tolerance should be shown. That 50/50 split was INSANE. If the true intent was fairness than it should have been 51/49. If it was political represenattion/democracy, it should have been the same ratio as the nation chose. But some weirded out 50/50 ratio is purely and limited to being symbolic. That is NOT right. I do not want the country run on gestures, symbolism and tokenism. Meritocracy works. Just get the best person regardless of their gender. And how to explain the 50/50 in the face of all our cultural and other sexual diversity? What with the NEW full embrace of all things LGBGT, should we not have at least a few ‘hard-to-tells’ confusing the casual observer for MORE symbolism and tokenism? As you know, I am a big fan of Elizabeth May. When she wrote to extol the wisdom of Trudeau in appointing a 50/50 gender-based cabinet, I wrote to her and called her a sexist and a bigot and that she was showing the same gender based bias that she decried and – more notably – defied by being so good. It is wrong to think of that 50/50 move as anything but PC claptrap. .
Meritocracy: a group of deserving people whose progress is based on ability and talent rather than on class privilege or wealth. Let’s bask in one of Canada’s foundational myths which claims that the best and brightest ought to rule. Like the Horatio Alger Association of Canada that claims that dedication to the belief in hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. Meritocracy yields hard work, honesty and determination. But does it? Has Canada ever been ruled by a meritocracy? Realpolitik suggests that politics is based primarily on considerations of power and on practical and material factors, rather than explicit ideological notions or moral or ethical premises. If women form ones voting base then appoint women. Nothing to do with balance or equality at all. It’s pragmatic.
Meritocracy yields hard work , honesty and determination but the reverse is not necessarily so. A lot of hard work and talent goes unrecognized. That’s why doing the right thing is its own reward. Has to be – ‘ cause life is not fair. But neither can ‘fair’ be imposed. Too subjective. Too inaccurate. Too ‘unfair’. Legislating fairness is, in itself, unfair. Enlightenment yields as close to fair as possible. A different kind of ‘invisible hand’.
3 of the four of our candidates were women. THAT was a non-issue for our constituency. So why is gender an issue now? If all four were men, would there have been a hue and cry? Are we still riding that old chestnut?
The provincial NDP won’t nominate penis-carriers anymore. Does THAT make any sense? “Four legs,good. Two legs bad.”. Orwell: Animal Farm. Same thing.
The Democrats in the USA know that their voting base in women and act accordingly. Logically if ones base is anti-science then say as many have said there is no climate change or whatever. How can anyone be surprised if the folks who vote get the perks. Canada spends more time on the elderly than on youth. If one doesn’t earn enough to pay much in taxes how will low taxes appeal to that group? Gender is an issue because a certain gender is raising it and they voted for the Libs.
True. But it shouldn’t go unchallenged. So, when it comes up as it seems to do all the bloody time, I will protest. It is the least I can do.
The response is to vote. The grays vote and on average the government spends $21,000 more per person per year on the elderly that on youth. The base voted for lower taxes which they got but the aspect of reduced taxes hardly ever mentioned is that as taxes shrank the national debt grew by 155 billion dollars in only eight years. Not sure that politicians give any one their due other than their voting base.
That is more of an American style cynicism. We see corporations influencing and regions influencing but ‘ base’ harder and harder to define in a multi cultural, very spread out, minimally populated country. Are you ‘American?.
No. Sorry. Apologies. NOT voting. But ‘thinking’ that we have ‘bases’ from which parties can rely. In the US, there are seemingly entrenched red states and entrenched blue states. Of course we have dyed in the wool Cons, Libs and NDP’ers, too but the results are never as predictable. We are NOT so much a country that votes our ‘base’. Hell, even Alberta went NDP provincially. Quebec has swung like compass needle. I was just sayin’…that sounded like an American red/blue experience. If wrong, I apologize.
Well it seems that voting is cynical who knew.
see below….mea culpas and all that..
Thanks for that I must be drinking the koolaide. I’ve been brainwashed by the media reporting that the Conservatives held most of their voting base of about thirty percent. I blame the media for sounding ‘merican.
I would like to participate so this is a test as I’m new to WordPress commenting
You passed! Mind you, WordPress allows me to ‘edit’ but I never do. Only spammers. Let ‘er rip, Dale.
thanks for the test, my ‘nom de plume’ will be aldo, so when I get my foot in my mouth, my victim will not be able to find my address in the phone book,
I have things in common with JDC like the year of birth and the thickness thing, I also live on a high bank with 150 stairs to the water, that I built.
I discovered this blog when I was doing a search on BEE BEE 5 ton winchs, funny thing was my riggin was to pull logs off my beach back into the water, by way of a snatch block anchored to a big rock not far off shore.
Up to now I’ve not been inclined to comment on word press blog or any blog but I have some thots for JDC to consider, my ideas need editing so they’ll follow later, I sadly, do not touch type so my missives tend to be rationed.
Apparently the book that started this blog is mostly available somewhere hereabouts on line,, I can’t fathom why it is not in our big city library systems, I’ll do a work around on way or another.
I would be grateful to know if there is any way to make queries about this blog in any other way then this full frontal comment forum, some of what I need to learn about the blog vehicle I may prefer to keep private, I’m not a quick study on current social media interface or really any computer interface for that matter .
thank you for patience dr
JDC and co , presently I am avoiding the mayhem story from France and have been looking thru a book that recently was collected for my want list at Russell used books in Victoria.
IMHO this book ‘The Essentials’ 2010 by Alan Twigg should be of interest to you and most who would follow your blog.
It is 300 pages of profiles of about 200 of Twiggs selection of important authors and or literary works. All out of BC from 1860s or thereabouts to near present.
The book is out of print but if you have not seen it, consider looking out for it , library friend whatever.
Recently JDC you showed me your email address, but before I got it recorded, it vaporized , which is not an unusual event in my www experience, could you just send a hello to the address on my commenter profile, thnx dr
There are dozens listed on AB Book’s website. In fact, Russell Books has 18 copies available. Sounds like a valuable reference.
I expect JDC is overwhelmed by the response to this post and is right now pondering his literary future. Wonder if his book is in Twigg’s list? Should be.
Works for me.
Thanks, John. That’s clear. I am inclined that way but want it to NOT be more of the same. Which should be doable. Mind you, I have at least three major accidents to include and that IS kinda similar. Lacerations are us.
So the next book is gonna be a marriage counselling effort?