Duo:

Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both.

—Oscar Wilde

I almost don’t know what to do with myself.  It is 6:21 pm; this entry is due in thirty-eight minutes.  To quote Michael J. Fox’s character, Lewis Rothschild, in the 1995 film, The American President, “I thought we were going to be rushed.”  Thirty minutes is plenty to pump out 500-1000 words.  Um…yeah.

I want use this thirty minutes to do two things.  I want to talk a bit about the main character in my stories, Simple Man and I want to chat a bit about my latest obsession.  I like to think of myself as a writing purest, so blogging (ack) is almost dirty, but I will say that free writing (I hate the word blog, so I am substituting) does have some merit.  I know that Vonnegut just rolled in his grave, but he will get over it, and so should I.  It is nice to be able to meander through my thoughts, pick out a chunk of knowledge, and give it voice.  I guess that is, knowledge meandering I mean, my point to this work, if you, dear reader, will call it that.  I get to choose what to write, how to write it and when.  For today we have simple man and 2048.

Simple Man is mostly a figment of my imagination.  He looks a lot like me when I was 24.  Young, fresh eyes, uncreased brow and his future ahead of him.  He wants to go outside and play, but in an aimless sort of way that makes believe that he is simple of thought, although he is not.  He was raised in a family, but only in the most lenient definition of the term.  His father dies very early.  His mother also dies, but later.  In the interim, she marries the a-typical alcoholic asshole.  There are adventures, but SM escapes to the Army, where he is not a grunt and his mind starts to show itself.  After multiple tours in the new Iraq, he leaves the Army and puts himself through college.  Along the way he is married and divorced, married and divorced and married again.  He works, but is always dreaming of the other side of the fence.

In many ways, I am Simple Man, but in many ways, I am not.  Simple Man is a work of my imagination.  The best and worst of it.  He dies, he lives.  He fucks and he is without.  He is, simply, whatever I want him to be.  By the way, I do know what his favorite car is: the 1969 and a half Ford Fairlane Fast back.  Canary fucking Yellow.  Ford’s famous small block 351 under the hood.  The Fairlane was not offered as a fast back in ’69, but the design for the 1970 was not produced in time, so Ford offered a limited production run of the fast back as a half year model.  I had a friend in high school with one, and the car has entranced me, I mean Simple Man, ever since.  I love  that car.

So this is where I am going to leave SM for now.  He will return, both in this work and in the stories that spill from my mental gullet.

            I know that in the beginning of this post, I said that I was going to talk about 2048, the online game that the Huffington Post proclaimed to be the next Flappy Birds.  I really wanted to spend some time on this today, but alas, I got the word count that I needed from Simple Man.  Plus, it is now 6:47, class starts in 13 minutes, and I still need to print this.  So I will save this deceptively simple and intriguing game for the next time.

           Carpe Ominum, motherfuckers.

It is like Christmas in April.

I am so excited!  After weeks of debate and months of saving, I decided on my new bow: the 2013 Bowtech Assassin; and guess what– Fed-ex is delivering it tomorrow.  Suddenly I feel sick…may have to take a day…cough…cough.

bowtech assassin sd compound bow (1)

Here is a link to the shop that put it together for me.

http://www.huntersfriend.com/2013_Bowtech_Assassin_Package/bowtech_binary_cam_compound_bow.htm

I will post a proper review of both the shop and the bow sometime in the next week or so.  Also, planning a post about a novice bow hunter internet shopping for a bow.

Unum:

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin, this time more intelligently.

—Henry Ford

I have attempted to write this sentence at least four times.  That first sentence had at least three shapes and three ideas.  Once, there was a whole paragraph accompanying that first sentence.  It is, as “they” used to say, on the cutting room floor.  The former first sentence was not a bad sentence, it was, if I may say so, at least a decent sentence.  It had no faults.  It didn’t drink or do too many drugs.  It didn’t text while it was driving and it never hit on the pretty secretary from the prologue during the Christmas party.  It wasn’t great either.  No fireman or soldier.  No hero resided on the top of this page.  Just a ho-hum kinda sentence.  As Dickens might say, he was neither the best of time or the worst of times.  The most that poor, cut sentence was going to have was a middle-class house in a blue-collar neighborhood, with a wife who is too fat, but cooks well and rubs his feet when he tired.  He was going nowhere but mediocre, and therefore, I killed him.

I know, I know…I can hear all y’all now.  Word killer…sentence slayer…grammar gunner.  Guilty, guilty, guilty.  I committed word murder in first degree so many times that I cannot remember them all.  A serial slasher am I.  Sentence me to forty years in front of the computer.  Maybe, just maybe, I would be able to write a decent first line.  The hope there then is that great first sentence would lead to a reasonably interesting first paragraph, first page and so forth.  Good analogy here.  Shit, don’t type that, figure one out…no cliché’s either…um…like a mudslide in California in an El Nino year…too long…try again…like the little acorn that grows into the mighty oak tree…SHIT…cliché from writer’s hell.  Back demon. Must give it one more try…uh…um… fuck it.  Never mind– I need to get this idea down before I lose it.

The nice thing about writing a blog (uck…I feel dirty typing that word) is that you can write about anything you want, anytime you want.  You can change topics in the middle of the page, for example you if you started to write about hard is to write the perfect opening sentence, and you really like what you have written, but find that isn’t going anywhere, and another idea hits you, you can simply shift gears.  There are some caveats though.  It has to flow.  The ideas have to connect is some way, very unlike what I did at the transition to this paragraph, forgive me, dear reader, this is my first day on the job.

There is a ton of advice on how to start blogs (there it is again).  In fact there are entire volumes published by reputable houses that demonstrate (I would assume mostly to unemployed bored and students of night classes) how to start.  Write what you know, they say.  Write from the heart.  Mostly just write.  Try to find a voice and a platform.  I am paraphrasing of course, but there are some nuggets of truth in those boundless pages.  I will cherry pick them at will, and I may, or may not tell you about it.  It will be up to the more critical of you (and students of night classes) to tell if I am using these techniques or not.

Nugget one:  Introduce yourself.  Okay, I am D. Dennis McCay (a new pseudo-pseudonym that I am creating for my writing exploits.)  I like to write, but need deadlines in order to make it happen.  I like to write very short fiction.  In my limited experience, almost everyone has a story that can be spun into a short story.  But, it takes real try and real risk to write very short stories.  I can crank out a 1500 word story in about an hour.  It won’t be any good, but it will be; however, to write flash, that take me days and weeks.  I have been going about this for almost a year, and I have produced exactly three pieces that I take a great deal of pride in.  Three.  In a year. Flash is tough.

Most of the stories I write are about the travels, travails, and triumphs (ah, got it there) of my hero: simple man.  I am not going to introduce to you SM just yet, we will save that for another posting.  While I am not SM, I can tell you that there is always an element of myself in them.  More on SM later.

Nugget two: Try to avoid using gimmicks to sell your writing.  In other words, don’t use fonts, fancy slogans, catch phrases, or pretty wall papers.  Oops.  Fucked that one up.

Nugget three:  Beats me, I didn’t want to have a two bullet list.  It doesn’t matter anyway, while I know nuggets two and three to be bullshit, one may actually be found in some floppy bound text that students of night classes read from cover to cover.  It served my purpose to present it is a fact.  So I did.

I will tell you this, dear reader, and then sign off of this installment, probably the most important thing I ever learned about writing.  You have to write to be a writer.  You have to seize the words.  Pull them from your imagination or inspiration or perspiration.  Hitch them together and make them pull for you.  Carpe Omnium, motherfuckers.