Sort of on Track (But not Really)

Been working on my novel again for the past few days, and I actually feel pretty good about it. I thought it was just going to be mind numbingly bad, but it’s only mind numbingly bad in parts. Like 60% awesome, 40% terrible… now if I can change those terrible sections to just mediocre, well, then I might have something.

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Work Last Night

While I didn’t do any actual writing, I did manage to open up lots of files last night. Impressed?

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Back to Work

I really need to get back to work on the novel. I haven’t written since my dad died, and I think I’ve used that as a cop out. It is hard though because my book does deal with fathers and sons, and the loss of his father and a search for a replacement father figure… and it was written entirely before my dad passed away. So, going back to it has been miserable because I really don’t want to talk about it, let alone write about it. And what’s more, I’m terrified how people will react to it, like I’m trying to say something about my own dad, which I’m not at all, but I kind of am (if that makes any sort of sense) and that’s what’s killing me. It’s depressing to finish it, and it’s even more depressing to scrap it.

I only have about a hundred pages to go. The end should be in sight, but I’m just not seeing it yet. I have vague ideas, but nothing concrete.

The are a couple of other road blocks, too. First, Wolf Gnards is too successful! I’ve become far too popular in Bill Murray circles. So, I end up sitting down and cranking out a Wolf Gnards article because it’s easy with almost instant gratification. Because no one cares about my regular writing (except of course for close friends and loved ones, and as we all know, they’re opinions do not count). Which then puts a motivational hinge on getting published, discovered, or recognized in any meaningful way. Nonsense, of course, because then I have to get published to write, but I have to write to get published. I just have to do it for me… and if not for fame or fortune just to get this god damn thing off my back.

The other reason is because my novel is not a work of genius. It’s mostly fine with a few bright spots. Can I be ok with this? Can I be ok with not being heralded? I’m starting to think maybe. I started reading Mysteries of the Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon, and that book isn’t good at all. It’s most redeeming quality is that it’s not bad. And Chabon’s done all right for himself… and he got better. Maybe, no one will hold a mediocre novel against me. While, possessing the qualities of not bad does not make a novel good, I could live with that. I could live with “thoroughly mediocre” and “ambitiously average.” I think I could do that, too. I can dare be average.

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Barker Note

“You’ve got to have appeal as well as power in your voice. You must convince the swine that you have something for them.”

Attributed to FDR for a pig calling contest in the Schrodinger’s Cat.

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Black Warrior Review Rejection

Here’s my rejection from the Black Warrior Review:

As you can see, there’s something missing. They forgot to put the rejection letter in. I don’t know if it’s a disappoint not to see the rejection slip or a relief. I’m going to go with relief.

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Pen Name Obession

I think I’m really obsessed with having a good pen name. I went from J. Douglas Musashi to Dr. Nard von Wolfenstein to Wolfram G. Nards III (Wolfie to my friends) to whatever’s next. But I’m not satisfied with any of them. J. Douglas Musashi was originally supposed to be J. Douglas Steranko, a tribute to legendary Nick Fury artist Jim Steranko. J. stood for Jersey (where am from) and Douglas was for Douglas Adams. J.D., or course, also being an illusion to J.D. Salinger. And naturally all of that came together to make one horrible nom de plume. At the last second I got cold feet, or maybe bound feet might be a better metaphor because I wanted to keep an Asian last name.

When it came down to it I wanted to keep my ethnicity, but shedding my ethnicity was actually the driving force behind wanting a pseudonym to being with. One of my many theories on why I have yet to be published by any major publication is because of my Asian sounding last night. I’m not saying editors are racist, just that they expect ancient Chinese secrets, and when I don’t deliver on those ancient Chinese secrets, they become a little let down. If you’ve read The New Yorker for instance, you’ll find it plastered with stories by foreign born writers or set in exotic locals. The main reason, I see for this, isn’t the quality of the stories, but an excuse to use italic fonts for foreign words. Italics are special. Of course, editors could also be ducking my work because it’s terrible, but I’m not quite ready to accept that (although, acceptance is vastly approaching).

My newest pen name is BAM (the BA stands Bad Attitude), but I don’t think this is going to stick. Douglas Adams, one of namesakes, had a theory in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency that is pretty interesting. The theory goes as follows, all great best sellers have one thing in common: their surname is twice as long as their first name or vice versa. It doesn’t matter what’s sandwiched between the cover, as long as it has a visually compelling name slapped on it, it will sell.

Check it out:


J. K.




BAM might not go the distance. And I’m also a little too egotistical to try publishing my serious work under anything but my given name. If I happen to become famous (slim as this may be), I want it damn well to by the name on my license. I mean how else am I going to pick up girls in bars?

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Comic Book Printing

Haven’t started doing anything with the comic besides open the files, stare at them blankly, then close them.

I’m currently trying to decide where to get these bad boys printed. I should figure this out before I actually do anything, so I don’t have formatting issues. I’ve narrowed it down to www.lulu.com and www.KA-BLAM.com. Both of these digital publishers make it pretty easy, I just have to upload files, they do everything, and send me the copies. Definitely beats Kinkos.

Ka-Blam is a little cheaper and they offer glossy comic book covers. But their website is so crappy looking, it makes me nervous for some reason. My grandpappy used to say, “Never trust a man with a crappy website” (and no jokes about not trusting me). And Ka-Blam makes you put in a big ugly add for themselves to make it only make it only marginally cheaper.

Lulu is a little more professional looking and has lots more options… however, all their bells and whistles make them more expensive. At the end of the day, all I really care about is price.

Either way, I’ll end up with something that actually looks like a comic book. Not something stapled together by a insane person (that being me), or a a 3rd grade book report.

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Five Points Rejection

I really like this rejection letter. Mostly because of the little bear insignia holding a lamps. I never heard of Five Points before I submitted my story, but now I really want to get in! I’m about bears. And I’m all about lamps. If you know anything about me, that’s what you know.

On the a side note, I’m starting to think the problem could be the title. “Tesseract Fuckfest,” just doesn’t seem to be drawing in the editors.

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