Saturday, April 27, 2013

Women Talk About Men Without Pants



The following is a post I wrote for a place I sometimes write a little of the funny for ... but in this case they decided the penis-funny was a bit too cockified for the likes of them. Not everyone is into the dirty talk. Myself, I think it's all about consent. But for now, I present this dated, naughty, cockified post that should have run a week ago and didn't. Take a great big bite, and enjoy:

Men, De-briefed
By Susie Moloney

            There’s always an  abundance of cock and bull in the media, but the last few weeks have proven that size must matter, because there’s suddenly been a tonne of it.
            It’s been a month of cock ups. And cocks down, truth be told, starting with the landmark study which found that women prefer larger penises during sex.
            “I never would have guessed,” said no one.
            This month, the poor, benighted dick is suddenly a cousin you haven’t seen in five years: now you can’t take your eyes off it, you’re staring, and it’s weird, uncomfortable, and kind of hot.
            The dick news that really got to me, however, was the small ‘b’ brouhaha over Jon Hamm’s other Hamm getting in the way on the set of Mad Men.
            Holy firestorm, Batdick.
            It secretly delighted us, even as it enlightened us, disturbed us, and revealed that we are female chauvinist pigs. Okay, me. It did that for me. I’m sure the rest of womankind spent the last two weeks doing their taxes, reading Tenth of December and calling into Science Friday.
            Me, I was getting secretly delighted on at least two levels, only one of which I feel I can discuss. 
            The headline news was: Actor Jon Hamm has a big penis. A Hammer, if you will. A Yowlitzer. A Skin Grenade. A Big Mac. A Moby Dick. A Phallupalooza. A Really Big Lebowski.
            Yup, that was in the news. Granted, it was outlets such as The NY Daily News and The Telegraph UK, but the HuffPo also carried the story, as did the Daily Beast and about 2,479 blogs. The classier, more legitimate outlets were more subtle, writing breathlessly outraged pieces about Hamm’s alleged breathlessly outraged reaction to people writing about the size of his dick. At the centre of those stories, however, was still the central story that Jon Hamm has a rather conspicuous member.
            An honest-to-goodness Ankle Spanker.

            I snickered along with the rest of the internet, feeling maybe a little bad, maybe a little shamed, when I thought about it at all, which was never in those first few days of these photos being released. It wasn’t until Hamm got testy in Rolling Stone about the attention that I realized--I was one of them.
            Maybe you were too.
            The actor who plays one of the most cavalier swordsmen out there was being--and feeling--exploited. And it was awful.
            “It’s called privates for a reason,” he was quoted as saying.              
            I quickly deactivated my new blog www.longdongdraper.wordpress.com and tossed about three hours worth of dick jokes into the trash—except for the few I couldn’t part with, and those are mostly up top in this article, except for that one you just read, the mash up of “Don Draper,” and “Long Dong Silver,” both very worthwhile people, I’m sure, who do not deserve to be treated as parts.

            It’s surprising what we don’t know about ourselves. I for one am disgusted—and glad—to know that I’m a part of the problem. Glad, because now I can be part of the solution. No longer will I be the one who would suggest that if Jon Hamm didn’t want us to look at his man bits, he shouldn’t have worn such tight pants. Or, if he didn’t want us to look at him there he should have worn a longer shirt. Or, if he really didn’t want us to look then perhaps he shouldn’t have gone strutting around in public. I feel a little baited. But enlightened nonetheless.
            I think it’s time we started a dialogue about what men need to feel safe and respected. It’s very confusing to be told on one hand that they all want to think they’re “big,” and then on the other hand, we can’t talk about size.
            No one has yet written the concise and moving What We Talk About When We Talk About Dick (I will!) nor has the Cock Monologues been making the rounds of local theatre houses. Yet. Because it should be. Someone will need to write it. It could be illustrated. Any boy in grade seven can do it.
            What really needs to happen is that we have to stop talking about poor Jon Hamm’s Grand Slam Breakfast Ham and remember that this man is an artist. He’s not a plaything. He’s not an object. He’s not Christina Hendricks’ boobs, or Beyonce’s ass.
            Let’s just grow up.
            FYI, a similar search for Norman Reedus turned up this.
            Oh yeah. And Margaret Thatcher died. Busy week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Must Haves For a Good Witchy Life, Hubba, Hubba, Hubby

My Darlings ... for the next three weeks, I will be posting nice little spells for you to use to improve your life all in honour of the US release on March 27, 2012 (and Canadian paperback, April 10) of my beautiful new novel THE THIRTEEN.

Enjoy, and of course, it's all in the name of Entertainment ... or is it?


The Use of Everyday Materials
In Common Spells

From the Big Book of Spells Ladies of Haven Wood

Today’s spell is From the section entitled Ambition and Material Success

Oh the men in our lives. Handsome, kind, successful, pliable. They can be the perfect addition to your perfectly appointed home, your perfectly manicured yard, your perfectly toned, creamed, scented, sculpted body.

Because we look good for our age. Also any age. Isn’t that right girls?

When your man first comes on the scene, he’s perfect just the way he is. He just needs a little nudging, a little tweaking, a little encouragement. Very time-consuming. Just start here, and it will move a little faster. It’s like technology. You want the version to keep getting better. Who wants yesterday’s gadget?

For this you will need a photo of your charming, lovely family, sans said man. (If you don’t know what sans means, be sure to look up “Paris, Italy, Spain and finding the Ladies Room,” to make the words trip off your pretty pink tongue.)

Hubby eats, does he not?

Spell for An Ambitious Partner

Also known as: Mama Wants a Much Bigger House.

You will need:

·      Bergamot
·      A nice liver—the most loyal creature in the animal kingdom is the lowly dog. But most liver will do.
·      Onion, sherry, pepper, rosemary—whatever you can find to cover the taste.
·      Food processor, or if you’re a Neanderthal, a blender.
·      Your good china
·      A very good wine, save the cheap stuff for the block party, darling—and you won’t fool me.
·      Family photo, and a tiny copy of same—remember, very important, sans hubby. Can’t have it be all about him.

We’re all comfortable in the kitchen. Cook the tiny liver with the sherry and bergamot. Be sparing with the bergamot, as it is not very healthy in large doses and no hubby defeats the whole purpose, doesn’t it? Chop remaining ingredients, add it to the food processor—I love my food processor. Absolutely essential on Bridge night. Also into the food processor, the last item, the tiny, paper photo of his loving family.

Set it to HIGH and blend the shit out of it.

Serve the resulting pate with tiny, tiny crackers, candlelight, good wine and soft, kind words. As he eats … you can say:

Oh my darling how you provide for us. You provide for us so well. (insert a small nudge, such as): How is the Penderson Account? You’re a star.

Frame the family photo and be sure to put it on his desk. His side of the bed. His desk in the den.

You won’t see him for awhile, with all those long hours, so be sure to text him once in awhile, so he know you’re thinking of him.

Love how you provide for us, my darling. C u l8r xox










Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Must Haves for a Good Witchy Life

My Darlings ... for the next three weeks, I will be posting nice little spells for you to use to improve your life all in honour of the US release on March 27, 2012 (and Canadian paperback, April 10) of my beautiful new novel THE THIRTEEN.

Enjoy, and of course, it's all in the name of Entertainment ... or is it?






The Use of Everyday Materials
In Common Spells

From the Big Book of Spells Ladies of Haven Wood

Today’s spell is From the section entitled Health and Beauty

Was it Scarlett O’Hara’s mother who said, “You can always tell a lady by her hands …?” This is just as true now as it was after the Civil War.

The Ladies of Haven Wood have a certain standard of beauty that must be kept high. We pride ourselves on always looking perfectly put together, whatever our fashion sense. (For instance, no one has ever prevented Glory from wearing florals, in spite of the fact that they DO NOT flatter her figure).

That said, well-tended fingernails are an essential.

They should be long. And sharp.

Spell for Long Nails

Also known as: Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty.

You will need:

·      A few hairs from a cat—your own is best, and keep your mind out of the gutter; we are ladies.

·      A yellow candle—made from tarrow is best, but unless you’re making those yourself, and who has the time? Find a reasonable substitute.

·      Photo of an irritation—the person in front of you on the cell phone, speaking unfashionably loudly, for instance, or a vid cap from a car commercial.

·      A droplet of blood—best not your own, but someone who needs a good … blooding.

This is a ladie’s room spell. Take your treasures into your personal freshening room, preferably in a glass bowl. I use a Pyrex, the 4-qt, clear glass with the lid. It’s fabulous! I got it at Lakewood Mall before it had its … situation. I bet use it every other day for bread, cakes, little fires—I swear, Pyrex is the new cauldron!

The Spell

In your lady’s quarters, dim the lights. Photo of the irritation goes on the bottom of the bowl, image upright. Drop each ingredient on to the photo separately, imaging how deep your nails to could sink into the flesh of the irritation, how quiet they would become (after screaming).

Light your candle. Allow 10 drops of wax to hit your lovely mixture at the bottom of the (fireproof) bowl, one for each, lovely, fingernail.

As each bit of wax hits its mark, sing-song, happily:

“Ten little fingers, each so sweet/nails that kill, so very neat”

When this is complete, set fire to the photo, and all will burn. Watch the flames and while it all turns to ash, think CAT.

Remember to smile. It confuses people.

Oh look at my nails … rowr. And I don’t mean “Meow.”





Monday, April 25, 2011

Scrappy's New York Stories


Cute as he is, my dog’s not that easy to love.

He’s bitey, for one thing, and that puts people off. Also, he can’t play fetch or run for the ball; he doesn’t roll over or high five or get the paper or sing with the piano. He’s got all four legs. Sometimes his anal glands get impacted. He’s not fancy or sought-after for breeding. He’s dirty five minutes after a bath. The MennoKnight says he smells. He eats everything, and then throws it up. He jumps on people and his nails are long but he doesn’t like anyone touching his feet, so they get neglected out of self-preservation because he’s bitey, and there we are, closing the circle.

Also, he has terrible owners. They spoil him, feed him from the table and carry him down the stairs (he can’t climb down on his own, although he’s pretty good at going up, which puts us in a terrible spot sometimes, with a barky, crying dog at the top of some stairs, somewhere).
But there’s a reason for this badness. You see, Scrappy is blind.

Awwww.

And New York makes me love my dog more. Bless its smelly little heart.

The other day it was brutal outside, rain, wind, miserable. Canada-level weather, something I have sadly and enthusiastically become unused to. No matter what the weather, however, I still had to take Scrappy out for his crappy.

It’s after nine in the morning, but from the sky it looks more like Armageddon o’clock, so I get the Wellies on, the umbrella out. I find a baggie and put the lead on the (stupid goddamn) dog so we can go out in the (stupid goddamn) rainy New York morning.

So there we go, into the rain and while I’m thinking that the highlight of this experience will be scooping up my dog’s poo into a baggie, we get to the corner and see the crossing guard.

“Hi Scrappy! How are you today?” She leans over and gives his head a scratch. We chat for a second, how’s my tooth, what do I think of the weather, when’s Michael coming back and when Scrappy walks face first into the corner trash bin, thoughtfully provided by the city of New York.

“Awwwww,” she says.

Then it’s around the corner. We see the terrier-who-wears-the-Mets-jersey and her daddy and we exchange a couple of head scratches (for the dogs) and bitch about the weather (for the humans) and then go our separate ways.

We see Rusty and Sam, and Sam’s mom whose name always gets lost in the excitement Rusty feels when he sees Scrappy. It might actually be “Patty."

We let the dogs grapple and we chat. When’s Michael coming home seems to be the question of the day. I’m just saying ‘next week,’ when a beagle puppy and his owner, get caught up in the dog mob, and Scrappy, in his enthusiasm for the new smell, walks right into the new dog. Bam!

“Awww,” everyone says together.

“Scrappy’s blind,” I say, by was of explanation. We all look at Scrappy, and repeat, “Awww.”

“How old is he?” Beagle daddy says.

I say he’s only 4.

Awwwwww.

I’m on a roll, because it looks like Scrappy might start growling at the beagle. “He has a little bit of sight,” I say, and we all look down at Scrappy, happily, deeply smelling the other dog’s butt. Or so he thinks. He’s actually smelling the dog’s leg.

“Awwwwwwww.”

Then there is the inevitable question, “Isn’t there anything you can do?”

When we first got Scrappy, a rescued-dog, I took him to the vet to get a check up. He looked okay to me, but it’s in a the pamphlet, how you should take him to the vet, so I did.

“He’s got scribolocoubulomisticexpealidocious,” the vet said. Well, that wasn’t the exact diagnosis, but it was a long word, and it did sound very expensive. “It’s unfortunately congenital. It’s not uncommon with shih tzus.”

My reaction, of course, was to cluck sympathetically. That’s the only thing you can do at the vet’s, cluck sympathetically. To say what’s really on your mind – that being, how much will it cost and do I have to look in his poo, is to seem cruel and evil.

So: Cluck, cluck.

The vet, satisfied with my non-evilness, said, “We have a dog ophthalmologist who flies in once a month from Alberta. I can set up an appointment for Scrappy. The doctor will be here in a week. How’s your next Wednesday?”

Pthssst! I spit milk out my nose. Milk I wasn’t even drinking. Dog ophthalmologist?! By this time the vet had gone to his book and was looking at dates.

Wednesday. I started to cluck, but I couldn’t quite make it all the way through. A dog eye doctor. An eye doctor for dogs.

“Um,” I said. Better like this, or better like this? How did they point which way the E was facing? How did they read the bottom line?Seriously? DOG ophthalmologist?

What kind of a neighbourhood did you grow up in, where Dog Ophthalmologist was a real career choice, as opposed to a comical one like Beaver Inspector?

What kind of a limo-riding, foie gras-eating, tiara-wearing life were you living as a child that you came to your parents at 16 and had this conversation:

“Mumsy? I don’t know what to be when I grow up. I’m trying to choose between Money Haver and Dog Ophthalmologist. What do you think?”

I can only hope that most Mumsys got in touch with their inner sensibilist and said, "Oh please."

So, we could have gone the dog ophthalmologist route, but we chose not to. We chose to let nature be nature and congenital be congenital, mostly because it was free and as a working writer somewhat between bestsellers, it was the option, along with the sympathetic cluck, that seemed best for us.

Which is why we love the people of New York, particularly of the borough of Queens, because when they ask me if there is anything I can do, I tell the congenital-dog, tiara-wearing story.

And they say,“Well yeah, for sure, it’s a dawg right?”

Perspective. Sometimes, like bad directions, you can only get it on the street.

They always pet him and cluck sympathetically and tell him how cute he is. And when he walks into the garbage bin, everyone always says the same thing.

“Awwwwww.”

I ♥ NY.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If you don't know, I -- like so many jet-setters -- have been splitting my time between Winnipeg and New York City. Lately the whirlwind travel has started to damage my internal systems and honestly, my doctor, my bartender and my boyfriend are all suggesting that I start thinking about settling somewhere quiet.

So we're looking for an apartment in New York. This is first in a series.

If you want deeper insight into this situation, please watch the following, in reverse:



New York, New York, Part 1

Penn Station is teeming. There are so many people, it's like Grand Central Station. I make this joke every time I'm there, and I always have to wait for the laugh. I'm still waiting. The MennoKnight doesn't even roll his eyes this time.

Maybe it's the heat. We get in line at a taxi stand that is four miles long. A man behind me is talking loudly into his cell about demolition. There's a toddler in a stroller chewing on a dog toy. At least I think it's a dog toy since it's a piece of rubber bacon. At least I think it's rubber.

The elderly lady in front of me is telling her husband that she's sorry she brought so many bags but she didn't know what shoes to bring. I sympathize. The city smells like cigars and popcorn.
It's 88 degrees in September, a wet, soggy heat that comes up from the pavement, from the buildings all around us, and from above.

I love this place.

It took us five long frantic days to find short-term lodging for the ten days that we'll be apartment hunting. We tried Roomarama, airbnb, and Craigslist. I used the bed bug theory to explain the dearth of accommodations. The MennoKnight said I was paranoid, right up until the last couple of days when we were a train ride away from a box in Central Park.

"Tell them we're Canadian. Everyone knows how clean and polite Canadians are," I said.
We finally find a place on Craigslist and jump into the abyss, which in this case is someone's bedroom on the Upper East Side with a good address and no view.

I didn't actually catch our hostess's complicated name, but no matter. We get up to the apartment and she had a bit of a surprise for us. A 13 month old baby who she says is very quiet. 'Cause babies are.

I like kids. But this makes it a little hard to imagine stumbling home at 3 am after one of those New York kind of nights, but that's okay too, my liver could use the rest, and dagnabbit, we're here to find an apartment. And I have a meeting with my agent in two hours. Time is of the essence. It's all about time right now. Strike while the recession is hot. It's all about the Now.

So I meet my girlfriend in SoHo to do a little shopping.

SoHo is teeming. I'm waiting on the corner for her, and I think I see the guy who is Samantha's boyfriend in the Sex and the City movie, the first one. Even if it isn't, I don't care, I just realize that he completes me. There's no time to follow him, since my friend shows up even as the crowd eats him alive.

My girlfriend shows up with her boyfriend, the TV Writer. He looks David Duchovny. She Could Be a Guess Model. I realize we could get a seriously good table if we went for lunch. So we do.
TV Writer and CBGM and I go to this little hippy cafe in NoHo, which is SoHo's chubby sister. It reminds me a little of home except that the huge bowl of fruit I order, with melon, apple, grapes, three kinds of berries, toasted almonds and yellow currants on a cloud of wet muesli that tastes like pudding -- with coffee --comes to about six bucks when we get the check.

You gotta love a free market.

We shop too long. And I'm late for my agent meeting. But so is he. I blame the trains, he blames the phone.

You gotta love New York time.

Agent meeting is exciting and fast-paced, just the way he talks. I drink too much coffee, but the bathroom at The B ____ is beautiful and very Mad Men, so I don't mind. Walking back to reality from the restroom I pretend I'm Joan and let everything swing a little as I move.

Agent says blah blah blah and pays for everything. Just the way I like it. I head back to the UES because we have choices to make. Places to see. We have to get this pony expressing.

We have needs, and options. We've ruled out the places we can't afford: anything in Manhattan except for Washington Heights and Harlem. We've ruled out Brooklyn because the MennoKnight has a weird anti-Brooklyn thing that I can't figure out. To me Brooklyn looks just like Canada. Also nothing further than Jackson Heights.

It's pretty much narrowed down to Queens. Or maybe Queens.

When our short term rental is up in the UES, we shift ourselves over to Astoria, which is our old neighbourhood. Now we're going to start looking in earnest! Right after we go immediately back into the city to meet our favourite friends, G & D for dinner on the Upper West Side.

I love G & D, not only because they have a dog, but also because they have introduced me to my new great passion: Judaism. After having spent a significant amount of time with the lovely and talented G & D they have convinced me that I was probably of the faith in either another life, or maybe even this one, historically. At any rate, even if I'm not actually a Jew, I'm certainly "Jew-ish."

(That joke never gets old.)

G & D are living the NY dream. Jobs in the city, a house in the country, no kids at home, and a dog named Abby. After dinner we walk back to their apartment for a dog fix and then we go up top, for wine on the rooftop terrace, overlooking the Hudson with a view of the Jersey side.
When I can't peel my eyes away, The MennoKnight says he's not living in Jersey and I should stop staring.

I make a roofie joke. 'Cause we're on the roof.

From the roof of G & D's apartment, you can see at least dozen water towers on the tops of the other buildings. New York is a city of water towers. The MennoKnight explains that after a big fire at the turn of the century, the city made the tanks mandatory.

There's something quaint and old world about them, something very human. During the blackout in 2003, most of those buildings had water for as long as there was some in the tower. Gravity is unimpeachable.

I don't know why, but the water towers in the dark make me a little sad, whether because they are such an obvious last hold out for an analog world, or because I think you can see one from my grandma's balcony at home, I don't know.

Then we see a photographer taking salacious photos on another roof top and we're all momentarily distracted from nostalgia and home. I make the brown-chickie brown-cow joke.
We have a lot of apartment hunting to do the next day, so we leave G & D fully intending to head back and get some sleep.

Except NY is kind of small and everyone seems to be in town this weekend.

We go over to The W___ B___ for a couple night caps. We meet the TV Writer and CBGM there. When they arrive, we realize that CBGM and I are wearing the same pants -- bought in SoHo that day. We think this is hysterically funny. That might be the libations. She looks a little better in hers, but I wear mine with a certain elan that cannot be ignored. We think the word 'elan' is hysterically funny.

Later we're joined by an old friend from Winnipeg. He's in town for a few days and the five of us toast Canada. The bartender tells us a Canadian joke.

"How do you get a bunch of drunk Canadians out of your pool?" he asks. "Say, 'can you guys get out of the pool, please?" We know this joke but we give it to him anyway and laugh. We hope for free pour. It doesn't happen.

The W___ B___ was established in 1978 and has a lot of dark wood and glossy surfaces. It's a good looking place and right across the street from a theatre that did one of the MennoKnight's plays. It's stately and impressive.

By 1:30 the bathroom smells like urine and I see for the first time that the tp dispenser is broken, there's a long veiny crack in the wall over the facilities. Plus the auto-tap is demonic and comes on when I come out of the bathroom and then again when I'm drying my hands. Wash them again, it seems to say. Wash your hands you dirty, dirty girl. I assume the bathroom is haunted.

Time to move on. Big day coming up. Apartments don't rent themselves. So therefore we must head over to Mc___ 's in Hell's Kitchen for a nightcap.

We meet some theatre friends of the MennoKnight's, the Ingenue and the Dancing Guy. The Ingenue has been on two CSIs. Dancing Guy played a lead in the MennoKnight's last hit, a big deal and they're all very theatre-emotional about it. I try to fit in without hugging. Lots of Off Broadway-level wise-cracking ensues. My face hurts from laughing.

Then suddenly, it's after 3 am. We walk while we decide whether to cab it or take the train. We take the train.

The subway is teeming. This surprises me. What really surprises me is how many people are still playing their A-game, with nice hair, fresh make up. I feel wrinkled and soiled, and terribly, happily contented.

We don't have to sneak in past a baby, and this makes me happy, too.

Big day tomorrow. Apartment hunting. I fall asleep thinking that this will be my city soon. That my son, my dog and all the shoes I had to leave behind, will be here and I'll call this home.

Queens, where Archie Bunker lived.
I like Queens. I love New York.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Catskill Mountains, sing this song, do-da, do-da!


I've been in the beautiful Catskill Mountains in New York State for twelve days now. I've watched the leaves go from green to yellow and now they're turning orange and red. It's stunning here, and I've seen it from the land and the water, on foot, by car, train and canoe. This has to be my country fix, since we're heading to NYC in a week and will be there for another two weeks before I head home to the city and batten down for a few months without traveling at all.

It's calming and serene and zen and mystic and mythic and windy and rainy sunny cold warm hot wet and hippylicious, not quite what I expected. It was more like visiting a foreign country and finding out it's just your grandma's house, than going away. Well, my grandma's house, anyway. I'm rested and relieved, slightly hung over. I'm also suddenly, remarkably, surprisingly, enlightened.

It turns out that the Catskills is the perfect place for an epiphany, so I figured, what the hell, I'll just go and ahead and have one.

Webster's defines epiphany as, "a perception of reality by means of a sudden, intuitive realization." Like say for your whole life, you just hated turnips but couldn't really say why, and then one day it occurred to you that turnips taste like feet. You would go, "Aha!" which is the word that comes after an epiphany.

I guess it's the fresh air. Or the long stretches of time without a siren in the background. Or the HUGE ground hog that lives in the shed behind the house. Seriously, this thing is HUGE. Like a Buick. They call him Cazzo, which is A VERY BAD WORD in Italian. DON'T SAY THIS WORD TO AN ITALIAN.

So as you can see, there are many things in the Catskills which might be the catalyst for an epiphany. So here's sort of how it went:

The last ten years -- omfg TEN years -- have been an odd assortment of lessons and punishments, banishments and humblings and paranoia and minor and major heart break. Through this, I have produced a great deal of bad work, some very good work, and a lot of treading water work, like the FIVE television options that I have dicked around with in the last five years, a total waste of my time, but semi-lucrative and I did get to learn that I never ever ever want to create and write a television series, unless someone asks me to and then I bet I would. (That was not my epiphany).

So yes, dicked around, wasted time, blah blah ...

I had this realization not too long ago. I realized that my life had sort of come full circle from where it had started out. I realized that 25 years ago, I was a single mother, living in 600+ square feet with a kid and a dog, writing stuff. Now I'm a single mother, living in 600+ square feet with a slightly older kid and a dog -- and a cat. But there you go, a circle, and truly, I think it is a circle of something. That was my epiphany: the circle of something.

I was walking to town a couple of days ago and I passed by a little blue house that is just so hypnotically attractive and I thought, I like it because it's small, and all my houses have been small ... That started a chain of thoughts, each a new revelation.

20 years ago I decided I was going to write a novel. I did. It took a long time, but I did write it, it wasn't very good, but it WAS a whole novel, completed and that in itself was an accomplishment of some order. And it made believe that I could do it again, maybe write a better one. And I did. I wrote Bastion Falls, which was published in 1995 and did quite well for me.

Bastion Falls was a little bit better than my first book. Then I wrote another one, a few years later, A Dry Spell. And it was quite successful, selling all over the world, and making me a lot of money. It was a bit better than Bastion Falls. Then I wrote The Dwelling, which was a bit better than A Dry Spell, and what I think of as my best work ... so far.

Then I wrote The Thirteen, my novel that will be in stores next spring/summer. It's not what I think of as my best book. I've had my struggles with The Work in general in the last five years, and after my humbling experience editing The Thirteen with my talented and wonderful Random House editor, I realized that I had learned more editing that novel, than I did writing all four of them. Five if you count the very first, unpublishable novel.

I have a novel on deck. It's going to be a fun book to write, with a lot of the elements that made me want to be a writer in the first place. I got to soothing myself with this fact after engaging in a downward spiral on that long walk to town that day that I had the epiphany. I thought well, The Thirteen is okay. The new book will be a little bit better, and then the book I write after that will be a little bit better ...

And just like that: Epiphany.

My life is exactly the way it was when I started writing novels, when I had that love lust in my heart for the work of it, the pleasure of the keyboard, desk lamp, dog at the feet, cat on the lap. I'm exactly where I was, physically, spiritually and in my heart. In a kind of universal sort of hippylicious way, I am being given a second chance.

OMG it's so BLOODY OBVIOUS. It's like God is SNICKERING behind my BACK for the last YEAR and poking Buddha and going SHE'S LIKE GOING TO TRIP OVER IT and maybe they're making book on how long it's going to take me to figure it out and Mohammad and The Creator are all DUDE SHE'S LIKE BLIND and my grandma is shaking her head and putting ten bucks on September 14, in the Catskills in the late, gold light of afternoon on a road to town, going past a little tiny house. Grandma knows me best.

The important thing is, here I am, at the beginning of the best part, the journey to being the kind of write I know I am. I wrote a simple book, the next one will be a little bit better, and then the one after that will be a little bit better and I hope, I can do this right up until I die without God/Buddha/Grandma having to take me back to the beginning of anything again because let me tell you, as hippylicious as an epiphany is, the shit leading up to it sucked. Like Cazzo, Dude.

Pretty Blue House Photo by Pretty Red Holli Moncrieff

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Road of Excess ...

My one-lines (or as they say, loglines) for the new film:

"A wife discovers that her husband is having an affair with the dead girl that haunts their new house."

Or:

"A malevolent ghost seduces a woman's husband, to make him her mate ... forever."

Or:

"A wife discovers that the biggest threat to her marriage is not the swing-club they've joined, but the dead girl haunting their house."

I'm trying to work the phrase "dead sexy" in there somewhere, if just for cheese purposes.

Which one would you go see?

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