Every time I write one of these blogs here I always think about one of Vonnegut’s rules to writing. That is to never waste your reader’s time. So, with that said -full disclosure- I’ve drank a bottle of Syrah tonight. And I don’t know if this rule would have applied if Vonnegut really understood blogging. I’m not saying that blogging is a waste of time, but… so now I’m so off track.
I spent a couple hours on this painting of Orwell and Nietzsche and Godzilla today. I have little idea how to finish this painting but this is good because I have been keeping up with my decision to paint and write every day for the rest of my life. I do take a few days off here and there, but for the most part I’ve stuck to it. I also love working on these projects. I finished my Adam West Batman yesterday and will start my Bill Nye portrait tomorrow, but the whole while I’ve been working on this bigger painting. I’ll stick a picture of it in progress here:
It’s a bad photo, but the piece means something to me. The first quote is from Orwell. I have it tattooed to my right forearm. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” The second quote on the bottom is from Fredrick, “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster.” The third quote will bridge the gap between the two. The message really has something to do with the fact that we send our best and bravest to fight our wars and then we’re all surprised they come back all fucked up.
No one will buy this piece, but this is fine. I love it when no one buys my paintings or my books, because then all my walls and bookshelves are filled with my favorite artist and writer.
Us artistic types are crazy.
So this is my writing part of the night. I did write two chapters to my novel. Who knows if what I wrote will stay two chapters. I tend to edit with a maul instead of a scalpel these days. And to make sure I’ve done some writing I’ve decided to update this blog. This blog will start coming more often so if you’ve hit that button that sends them into your email every time I write it will be happening more and more. You have been warned. I’m going to record the book tour with blogs and videos. It is going to be awesome. I’m taking my 18 year old daughter along with me across the country just because I think it will be a good experience for her.
On that trip, J to the H to the C, I’m judging these two writing contests and I get to be this guest speaker. This is a funny thing. I’m still getting turned down from contests I’ve entered just like the one I’m judging. It makes you realize how completely subjective this writing biz is, man. Why am I any more qualified to judge than anyone writing? Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool as hell, and I believe when I teach college writing courses I’m really helping my students, but I still get a half a dozen rejection letters every month, hell, sometimes every week. So I have all these fiction stories and essays I’m supposed to judge, then I have to make a whole weekend visit and justify my choices. I’m just saying that I know calling yourself a writer is a mental illness in some small way. It is similar to the guy on the public transit you give a buck to every Tuesday who thinks he’s Caesar, except with us there comes a time where, apparently, you have to believe your own hype.
I’ll write about how it goes.
I’ll write about that and the readings around Portland I have planned. I have a few coming up very soon: the PSU thing and then right after the AWP reading in Seattle. I may have a few before then. I’m always forgetting. I have to check my Facebook event page. Sad but true. Then I’m reading with some good friends in early March, then the Burnt Tongue peeps who I am especially grateful to read with. Look them up. You’d see why. I can’t wait. I’ll post photos too. Here’s the photo my publisher picked for my author pic. I’m so intense, man. Watch out!!