DOB – April 6th, 2006.
RIP – January 8th, 2007.
We called it The Bog. Any weblog you’ve seen since then that uses that term – ripped it off from us. I say “us” because, though it was my blog, it really only worked because of the interaction with my readers. An unread blog is like Johnless hooker. At the end, I was getting 1300 unique hits a day.
Ink Slinger started out as an experiment. Wait, that’s a lie. That’s the same lie all bloggers tell. I started the blog because – JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER SINGLE BLOGGER – I thought what I had to say was important, or funny, or smart.
It was none of the above.
We all have opinions, we all have points of view, and we all want people to respect and admire them, because then they’re respecting and admiring us. Or so we think. Some blogs are like BQ’s – a guy working out his shit in public. A form of therapy. Nothing wrong with that. Some blogs are full of self-indulgent bullshit – a guy (or girl) working out their shit, but completely unaware that’s what they’re doing. They are looking for validation, craving it.
Then there’s the blogs used as self-promotion. Writers (mostly) who blog because they think it helps with sales. They are lying to themselves. They blog because they think what they have to say is important, or funny, or smart. Some of these, too, are full of self-indulgent validation-needing bullshit. There’s one blog where the person claims to be just having a back and forth dialogue between his/herself and the readers. But I made the mistake of disagreeing with one of his/her opinions once, and guess what? That person no longer speaks to me. Not that we were close friends, but we did have a very nice e-relationship until I dared offer an opposing opinion publicly.
Lastly, the group blogs. “Grogs” – oh, what a clever term. I’ve been part of one of these. After Ink Slinger died, I joined one with some very nice people for a while. But in the end, it was the same thing for me personally – posting had become akin to that guy in the hotel bar, who never leaves, never stops talking. When the person he is talking to gets bored and leaves, he just sidles over to the next person and starts talking until they leave. Then he moves on to the next.
I left the hotel bar.
Now, there’s a particularly unfunny and obnoxious gentleman who is convinced I’m a self-righteous asshat condemning all bloggers the way an ex-smoker condemns those who still puff away. An asshat I may be, but self-righteous, no. If blogging is your thing, good on ya. My only point is simply: 1) don’t kid yourself about why you do it; and 2) I simply got bored with it. So, please don’t be offended, unless, of course, you’re the obnoxious guy or the no-longer-speaking-to-me person. Then be very offended, you insecure jagoff.
And that brings me to today, and this guest appearance. I’ve been asked several times over the past months to blog here or there, and have always said no. For no other reason than I have nothing to say. Nothing intelligent, as you can see if you’re still reading this.
But I love Bryon. I believe he is a genuinely decent human being, has a good soul, fights the good fight, and he is a supremely talented writer. CADAVER DOG is possibly the best crime short story I’ve read in several years.
So, you’re stuck with me for another few paragraphs, and to Bryon – I hope I haven’t done irreparable damage to your site traffic.
BQ wanted me to update folks on what’s been going in my life since the death of Ink Slinger. Well, in no particular order… I welcomed a third child into our home, sold a couple of pilots, got a few haircuts, joined a country club, went on strike, finished the novel, played some really good golf, quit the country club, went to LCC, went to LIM, went off strike, got hired to adapt a book, went back to work, realized I’m not a novelist, laughed a lot, cried some, took my son to his first NFL game, got misquoted in two newspaper stories, read some great books, read some crappy books, threw up in my mouth a little bit whenever someone mentioned race when trying to defend or rationalize Bonds or Vick or Pacman, threw up in my mouth a lot when Britney Spears was called “An American Tragedy,” caught some fish, swelled with pride every time my 4-year-old son went around singing GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER CLOTHES, decided that if THE WIRE isn’t the best drama series in the history of television, it certainly is in the top two or three, bought a car, learned the MWA anthology THE BLUE RELIGION will have an audio release, prayed the Chiefs would fire Herm Edwards and hire Bill Cower (okay, just wished), sold a watch, found out what PLBW means, realized I’d love to teach, got some Judging Amy residuals, saw a dead body, thought (again) about getting a Newfoundland, got sick, got well, hung around the inkwell, lost a lot of weight, gained a bunch of weight, was acknowledged in two bestsellers, shook my head in sadness at the pathetic Roger Clemens and the pitiable state professional sports has fallen into, discovered Megan Abbott’s work, was thankful the “Dirty Thirty” didn’t do anything to undermine the strike, fell in love with cooking again, started training at Matt Hughes’ place, outlined a screenplay, got hired to pen the remake of 70’s cult classic motion picture, got the call saying the studio was shelving the idea to remake the 70’s cult classic motion picture, decided I’m the only person on the planet who thought the girl in JUNO was simply a young Janeane Garofalo, won two tournaments at Full Tilt Poker, planned a trip to Ireland, cancelled plans for a trip to Ireland, and watched way too much professional bull riding.
Let’s take things one by one. Okay, kidding. Let’s just pick some random highlights, or lowlights as the case may be.
The haircuts. Let’s move on.
Joined a country club: This was great for my writing. A very quiet, very nice place I could sit for hours and hours, while people brought me iced tea, and just write and write. And when I needed a break, I could walk out and play nine or eighteen. Loved it.
Quit the country club: The strike arrived, and I needed to lighten the lifeboat.
Finished the novel: This one may have shocked a couple of you. Though, I typed THE END, I feel guilty saying I finished because there was so much work still needed in sections just to get it to a “rough draft” state.
Realized I’m not a novelist: I won’t spend a lot of time here, other than to say I tried it, it was really, really hard for me, and in the end, I came to the conclusion that it just isn’t in my DNA. I’ve used that phrase with a couple of friends of mine, who disagree, but one thing I have always been able to do very well is be self-critical and quite honest as to my flaws and talents. I’m a screenwriter. I’m a short story writer. I am not a novelist. This isn’t a sad thing. It is simply a reality. Like some novelists are not screenwriters – whether they’ve tried it or not, they know it’s not in their DNA.
Realized I’d love to teach: I spoke at a couple of schools in the past year and it was such a rewarding experience. Dave White knows what I’m talking about. A couple of schools around here have asked me to teach, I’ve said yes, then they ask me about my masters. Uh… I watch it every April? I may never get the op, but I’d love to, and seeing what some folks are “teaching” these days about screenwriting, well, wouldn’t it be cool if those who can, also teach?
Sold a couple of pilots: I’m writing one A&E. It’s a cop show (shocker) set in St. Louis (bigger shock). It centers on an estranged father and son, but it’s really an examination of idealism vs. pragmatism in our current society, the whole red state/blue state war, and how we got to where we are. All within a cop franchise. Yeah, I know… good luck, Guyot. The other is adaptation of Chercover’s novel that you’ve all heard way too much about already.
THE WIRE: What can you say? Though, Simon has used the show at times to make personal speeches (but hey, so did Sorkin and Kelley), there is truly nothing on the air that comes close to it. Or ever has.
Bull riding: Are you freaking kidding me? You think football players are tough? Hockey defensemen? MMA fighters? Detroit housing cops? Soccer fans? Sorry. The only guys who come close to being as tough as these cowboys are race drivers – who risk their lives every time they practice or play. You want to see real men? Watch the PBR on Versus some weekend. I wish I knew how to quit them.
Okay, that’s it. You’re up to date. Let’s all wish Becky and Bryon health, happiness, and a long life of love, family, patience and respect.