No Respect

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Photo Credit: rodney.com

If anyone tells you that writing is easy they’re either lying to you, they have a ghostwriter, or they’re doing in it wrong. Most folks assume that writing is easy, what they don’t realize is that writing a ‘real’ poem, short story,  play or a novel is way more difficult than writing a cleverly facetious one liner on Facebook, Twitter or a fortune cookie (incidentally; does anyone know if they’re hiring?) No? Okey Dokey.

Writing requires a lot of work which often comes waltzing in with a great deal of self-doubt, insecurity, writer’s block, sleepless nights and a bunch of other maladies. Chief among them are the little to no recognition, and or remuneration, i. e you will fucking starve. One of the worse parts of writing though (aside from the editing stage) is when you have to defend your craft, when you have to defend the thing that you love to do the most which is writing. Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, who seems to be a Twitter trendsetter, because she once shook the literary Twitterverse when she twitted about sexism in the publishing industry (Bravo!)  She sent another little ripple, the other day, when she created the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter.

As expected writers from all corners of the literary landscape came out of the wood works posting some cringe worthy encounters. Here are a few of those gems. Enjoy.

“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  When I retire I’m going to write a book too.” John Fox.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  Can I be in your next book?” Sure. In fact YOU are my next book. I’m going to use your skin for the pages.” Mel Salisbury.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  You’re pretty good; you should try writing something serious.” Gail Simone.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  I could be a writer too; I have all these ideas but no free time.” Kate Leth.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  I’m going to piss all over your car. For being a writer.” Wint.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  So… is the main character you?” Eric Smith.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  What’s your backup career plan? I hear your industry is dying.” Lily Bailey.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  I better be careful or you’ll put me in your book. No you’re not that interesting.” Ally Carter.

“#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  That sounds like so much fun; I wish I could just sit around and write all day.” Kat Kinsman.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  Oh you’re a writer? My aunt’s friend’s gardener’s plumber is a writer. You should ask them for some advice.” Daniel Dalton.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  This is OK for a first draft. This is a first draft, right?” Fake Dispatch.

 “#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter  It’s pretty impressive that you spend so much time on something that has so little chance of success.” Callie Valentine.

 I’ve gotten a few jabs myself. These are the stand outs.

“You must have money!”

“Self-published, so you’re not really published then?”

“You wrote this all by yourself?”

“How thick is your… book?”

“I don’t read ‘self- published’ stuff.”

“You should write romance, that’s what sells.”

“You should write YA, that’s where the money’s at.”

Brutal I know. Writers are the literary Rodney Dangerfield—no respect I tell ya, no respect at all. Aah, why dwell on it when you have a book to write? Onward.

Nose To The Grindstone

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Image Credit: OpenClipart-vectors/pixabay.com

BAM! Just like that 41,017 words so far. Desperados is the name of my new project, it started out as a short story ooh, about two or three years ago. I always felt that I had a lot more to say about the fictional character in the form of Honduran migrant Julio Roman—they’ll be outlaws a-plenty.

The story begins with a tattered Julio inside of a stash house in Arizona, where he ended up after being handed- over to a couple of sadistic lunatics who work for a cartel. Along his ride into the U. S. he meets a plethora of sociopaths and all sorts of other colorful characters, all reaching for a piece of the American (dream) pie. It’s going to be a thrill ride to read because it’s been a thrill ride to write. The research has been interesting, and enlightening. Needless to say I’ve learn a lot and hopefully so will the reader.

I don’t write every day—I really, really wish I did (what writer doesn’t right?), but life has a way of getting in the way, of yanking me out of my half-life as a writer.  I must admit though that starting this blog has helped a bunch, because it’s forcing me write more. Speaking of which (get ready to be happy) I’m going to start a new segment slash page call True Crime, in which I’ll dribble my condense take on a particular real life criminal, crime or criminals. I’ll try to anchor the segments on characters, I’ll try to keep things light by peppering the pieces with my world famous witty repartee (can’t guaranteed success on that one simply because we’ll be talking about some real shit and I don’t wish to come across as trivializing matters.) I’m compiling some stories at the moment so— keep an eye out for it.

Desperados will be my first novel. The idea came to me while reminiscing about what happened to me- oh, I’ll say a good twenty- odd years ago, when I got bamboozled by a cousin of mine into working crop fields in the state of Georgia (long-ass, boring story, only good thing about it was the lovely Georgia peach I met down there. Hey Nicole! Holla for a dolla) I ended up a bracero picking onions, cucumbers and tobacco leaves. I remember those leaves being toxic as fuck, those things were a nightmare, plus you had to ‘be on the lookout for rattlesnakes.’ While a field the size of a football stadium waited to be picked, at temperatures reaching 95 degrees (this at 9 in the morning). Fun times.

Anyway imagine that, my first novel. I’m nervous as fuck about it. But I’m also thrilled at the prospect. I still have a long way to go, 41,071 words are only the first draft and I’m hoping to hit the 50,000+ words mark, or somewhere around that neighborhood (making it a short novel) I’ll post updates on here whenever possible, but as far as I’m concern it’s in the bag baby. It’s been a tough process but I’m loving it. I just hope folks dig it. As a writer is the only thing you can hope for.

Okay that’s it. Pen to paper, nose to the grindstone. Smell ya later!

On Social Media+Short Review

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Image Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

I’m always late to the party. It took me a long time to join Facebook (I hardly understand it, but I post on it whenever I remember the thing— I’m trying.) Twitter was the first social network I was glad to join; I still kind-a like it, mostly because, it feels like I’m shouting into a vacuum, a vacuum with an echo. The same thing applies to G+ , I tried ‘engaging’ other writers and followers—like you’re supposed to—but I haven’t been very successful at it, I’m probably doing something wrong or maybe I’m just boring as a lead lollipop, who the fuck knows certainly not me. A lot of these places are starting to feel like déjà vu because they remind me of a High School popularity contest, or the good old—hey! Look at me! I’m cool, smart, pay attention to me! I hate that shit. But apparently that’s what a writer has to do nowadays; jump through hoops buddy- boy if you wish to make a dent.

It’s a brave new world I guess, I’m no big fan of the whole process but I’m trying.

Reading around the web I got to learn about GoodReads.com as a place for book lovers and writers, Yoo-hoo! I thought this is my kinda place. Well not so fast there cowboy, because as I kept reading I came to learned that it’s also a place where writers get their asses handed to them by other writers and especially by the most important people to a writer, yep that’s right: readers—well shit, I thought, who the fuck wants or need that? But of course after much pondering and after getting in touch with my sadistic side I decided to take the plunge, and join I did (If somebody decides to rip me a new one on there I’ll try to give zero fucks about it, been on it since September 2014, nothing bad so far) yet, it wasn’t until about two months ago that I finally got myself some friends on there, even got myself five followers—yeah baby. I’m on my way to popularity. Winning at life I say (kick me, please.)

I still find GoodReads somewhat intimidating, and of course the place it’s a fucking maze to navigate properly but I decided to post on it reviews of books that I really like and or enjoy, with that in mind, I’m re-posting here a short review of a book I read recently by the musician Nick Cave. I’ve never heard of the guy before, never heard any of his music (I’ve long past being hip, and ‘in the know’ when it comes to music.) as a matter of fact the only reason I got interested in the book was because of the blurb and the cover, I mean; look at it.

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                                                      I guess it says a lot about me huh?

Look, I like book covers which are irreverent, shocking or anti-PC. A combination of all three is the perfect trifecta, but hey, two out of three ain’t bad right? Anyway, I guess the public or somebody must have found the original book cover offensive because the only cover you’ll likely to find for the book seems to be the one with the bunny costume on it. (What the hell is going on with folks these days? Everyone gets easily offended, it’s like suddenly everyone’s become a frail little flower—wua, wua, wua, you hurt my feelings. Grow up already will ya?  Geesh,) sorry for the grumpy old man routine folks—it saddens me really, and it grinds my gears (mostly the later) bellow is the yawn inducing book cover.

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                                                                            Yawn

Okay enough bitching and whining, here’s my review of:

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave.

Bunny Munro is a bastard, a tragic figure, a modern age Lothario with sexual addiction tendencies accentuated by his predisposition for dreaming and daydreaming about the private parts of Avril Lavigne and Kylie Minogue, a man with a gift of the gab which incidentally makes him a successful beauty product salesman, and of course gets him in trouble along the way especially with the staff of the many fast food restaurants he visits.

I enjoyed the fact that a bunch of what goes on in the novel we read through the eyes of his nine year old son Bunny Junior who loves his encyclopedia as much as he loves his dad. When a writer goes on and on describing every little minutia of the scene, I tend to skip it, as I like to use my imagination to fill in the gaps, plus I find that shit boring as balls, not saying that Mr. Cave did that here a lot but in the instances in which he did, the writing was so good that I didn’t mind it that much. The novel is a breezy read a fact which I found a bit surprising since the adventure takes place in England and I thought he was going to use a lot of regional dialect.

Kafka meets Benny Hill, go read it.

Thank you, come again.

All For One

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Photo Credit: yeniguel/ pixabay.com

Once upon a time I was Porthos, the third Musketeer. The toughest of them all, the one with the crappiest name in literary history (I personally think that Ignatius Jacques Reilly takes the cake—Ignatius Geesh), anyway… I’m the one and only proud owner of the droopy mustachio who still manages to hold the undivided attention of the ladies of The Court, and they are plenty of nubile wonders this beautiful night. These lasses feed me all kinds of stinky cheeses, grapes, and grilled meats; while the Wine flows like the river Seine. Is that Constance Bonacieux?—I’d hit that, regardless of the consequences with D’Artagnan an indiscretion like that would bring upon me. She is fine as the best of wines.

Then I see her, she sees me. There’s a slow waltz—I can’t recall which one, we dance. Her long blond hair flowing to the rhythm of the string quartet. We kiss and it feels like I’m being kissed for the first time in my life. She tastes like the ripest of strawberries and smells of Patchouli.

Sir Lancelot shows up with his posse. That toothless Brit bastard trying to cramp my style. I whisked her away from the crowd, from the riff-raff, from the rapacious Brits; to the terrace I take her, where our only companions are the sound of crickets and a super moon.

Her name is Genevieve de Gasparin, and she tells me that she’s from the North; I tell her that I like the North as much—if not—more than the South, she smiles shyly, I give her a long wet kiss, then Sir Lancelot; that bangers and mash eating bastard found us. He waltzes in with Milady by his side, who seems to be enjoying the powder keg of a situation in which we find ourselves. Sir Lancelot produces his sword telling me that we have unfinished business. But as luck would have it, a gaggle of Genevieve’s nubile friends rush in saying that we should hit the dance floor.

They all left me there alone with that super moon; like a puppy without a home, eventually I follow the crowd inside. The lights are flickering like I’ve never seen them before, the bombastic sound of Sir Mix A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ flows from the ginormous speakers. Unbelievably all the dames in The Court begin to disrobe, to shake their collective booties, but then I wake up—Damn! I supposed I had that coming. Serves me right for going to bed right after eating a Three Musketeers Chocolate Bar.

Okay so, the preceding narrative was just me making shit up. My question is dear reader: Do you ever have lucid dreams? The type where smells, sounds and touch are as palpable as the screen before you? If so, do you remember them, can you recall them in vivid detail? If you can do those things I envy you, you should consider yourself lucky as for me, I’m just gonna turn this off and hit the hay, hopefully I’ll run into Genevieve de Gasparin, she sounds lovely don’t you think? No chocolat for me though.

I wonder, what I would dream about if, I was to eat a giant burrito? Or a live octopus a la Old Boy. How about a taco, a falafel, a baleada, a pupusa—oh great now I’m hungry.

Sweet Dreams.

The Name Situation

untitledYears ago, before I got stung by the self-publishing bug, I was watching the re-run of a TV program called: Cold Case Files which was hosted by Mr. Bill Kurtis. Now, true crime scares the beans out of moi, because no matter how demented a scenario I come up with in a fictional story, it will never match what people do to each other in real life— ask any crime fiction writer—or read the news for that matter. Anyway, I’m watching this program and in the course of it, they proceed to interview a real life CSI man. If memory serves right I believe he is originally from the state of Louisiana, but at the time of the interview, they said that he was a 30 year veteran of the Arlington Police Department in Arlington Texas.

This man’s name is: Tommy LeNoir, yep you read that right. Once I manage to pick my jaw off the floor. I found myself saying to the TV are you effing kidding me? No way, this is too good to be true! No dear reader, I’m not trivializing what the man does for a living au contraire mon’ami, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing: A man with a cool name like that, in a profession such as his? Too good to be true indeed, I really liked his last name, and I figured I will keep it in mind, maybe use it for one of my many kick—ass characters. Someday.

Time—as it always does—flew by and I began to consider self- publishing some of my short stories, but there was a bit of a snag. My stories tend to lean on the violent side, and I didn’t want to scare the folks at my workplace. (My family could care less about my writing so that wasn’t a problem, although when I told my mother the abridged version of one of my stories, she gasped saying  that I shouldn’t be writing stuff that could potentially give people violent ideas) mother’s right? So sweet, you gotta love ‘em.

So here I was with a basket full of ten little nuggets ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. I was thinking maybe I should get myself a cool, hip and happening writer’s name. Guess who waltzes in to save the day? That old Cold Case Files TV show, and with it, the name of that hard working man of the Arlington Police Dept.

Because this can’t be a posting by me without shameless self-promotion that first book is call:Black Pills & Red Bullets, it’s a wild ride. Go read it, eBook is Only $0.99 Cents!

So, there you have it folks, that’s how the Nom de Plume:  Verge Le Noir came to be. If you ask me I think it fits like a glove. I know, I know it’s a bit ‘on the nose’ but come on! Believe you me, is way cooler than my real name, (Which was given to me by my beloved grandmother RIP). Here’s the small breakdown:

The name Verge is a word play on my real first name and the last name… Well now you know the rest of the story. I’m writing this post because I’ve been asked several times if in fact Verge Le Noir is my real name, or if I’m French—Sorry I’m not French. Maybe someday (and that’s big ‘old maybe) I will grow some stones and use my real name. Don’t hold your breath though, because I have become very attached to my très cool writer’s name, plus I really like the anonymity.

P.S. My roommate thinks it sounds like a stripper’s name, I guess it’s got that going for it then, huh… Au Revoir!

Long Story Short

 

FeedMeTime to dust up the old Bloggity that no one reads and, no folks I didn’t died in ditch somewhere, so don’t  nobody get their panties in a bunch or nothing on account of my absence.

You still here? Good, because the topic for today kiddies is Short Stories. Wait, come back, See, just like you it took a while for me to enjoy the short story format as most short stories out here go nowhere. Most are boring, they end abruptly making no sense to the reader and that’s okay if the writer intended it that way but for fuck’s sake why make them boring? Which is the reason why most people—myself included—tend to stay away from most of them.

Don’t get me wrong, some are wonderful, but let’s face it, most come across as an author’s pretentious mental diarrhea. Just a writer flexing his or hers ‘big-word’ muscle. It’s fucking disgusting so stop it, you imbeciles are ruining a wonderful form of storytelling.

Phew! Good to get that out of my system.

Now the reason why I love short stories is because of their brevity and in this day and age, well I don’t have to tell you that everyone is busy, busy, busy and if you’re one of them folks who has the time and patience to sit through a tome such as; oh I don’t know, let’s just say: War and Peace? Then good for you. (I personally can’t do it, it’ll bore me to death, or maybe I have  ADHD—no I don’t, or maybe I just like reading for entertainment—yeah, that’s it.) Any who, as I was saying, in the short story  I like to be taken into the writer’s world for a brief period of time , chew and savor the little nugget and go about my business, and then do it again with another short and again, etc., etc.

Master wordsmith (and all around creepy looking guy who I won’t mind meeting.) Stephen King once said—and I’m paraphrasing here folks. He said something to the effect that if you’re a writer you should write short stories because they sharpen your focus, they keep you from meandering around when the time comes to write longer fare such as a novel, and they’re a lot of fun to write!

Hence the reason why (even though nobody buys–or reads the stuff). Your humble writer here wrote another collection of short stories titled SHELL CASINGS  you can purchase an eBook for your KINDLE  NOOK  ITUNES  & KOBO  for the laughable price of $1.99 or if you prefer a Paperback you can purchase it HERE. The book was a lot of fun to write and I hope is a fun read. (Whether I succeeded or not that’s up to you the reader to decide).

BTW my first collection of ten short stories Kindle e-book is available HERE. If you prefer a Paperback edition just click HERE.

Long story short… That’s pretty much what I have to say about the subject, I’m a fan, therefore: May the short story format live on, may its powerful prose, imagery, whimsy and brevity put food and drink on a hungry writer’s table and may the masses enjoy them forever and ever– amen. Now, what are you waiting for? Go buy my shit.

Happy Summer Time!

The World’s Gone Write

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Image Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

‘Great! Another douche with a blog’  Is the look people give you when you mention that indeed you do in fact have a blog. It’s– almost– as bad as when you say that you’re a writer (but that’s gonna be a topic for another time.) Then comes the ‘enthusiastic’ what do you blog about? ‘Midget gay porn.’ I want to say in order to add some Sriracha to an already dull and awkward exchange.

Truth be told I never wanted to do the blog-thing; I have a full time job. I can barely find the time to write as it is, now I know a lot of writers will frown at that sentence, look here fools. Ever try living in New York? Yeah the fucking Landlord owns your sorry ass. Plus I don’t know if I have any great wisdom that I want to pass on. I’m so out of touch with the whole internet thing that I thought blogging was something that a bore housewife would do, or a rich, bore, and famous housewife would do.

Well, guess what? it turns out that if you’re getting yourself into the self-publishing game you NEED to have a blog. Not only because people can get a feel for your ability to string two sentences together, but also: So that you as a writer can start a mailing list.

BTW, you can join mine by clicking on SUBSCRIBE HERE at the top, or by simply CLICKING HERE I promise NO SPAM as I hate the stuff with a fiery passion—except the pink slimy stuff, that’s good salty eatin’—I will only e-mail you with news about my book releases which should be every once in a blue moon.

Back to our regularly schedule programming…where was I? Oh, yeah, blogging. See, as I’m writing this post I’m already drawing a blank, What do I post about? Do I post about grandma’s shiny-new hip replacement? nope, don’t have a grandma. What about the accidental shooting in the face of grandpa’s hunting partner? Now, see that would be a good post except it happened to Dick Cheney ages ago, and he ain’t my grandpa.

Quell Mindfuck (wordplay courtesy of Diablo Cody)

It’s great that everyone and their grand mother is doing the blogging thing, we all need dreams and at least it informs you that people are doing something creative with their lives, as supposed to just laying down and waiting to be forgotten. I say: Dream while you’re alive because they’re ain’t not dreaming when you give up the ghost. Okay, maybe there is but, there’s no one around that can verify this, now is there? So yeah. Dream on.

p.s. Don’t forget to sign-up!