Chapter Two is available at
Meanwhile, Ariel ponders the universe.
Chapter Two is available at
Meanwhile, Ariel ponders the universe.
Nicole passes through my colocasia garden, leaving in her hateful wake twisted metal and laying waste to a perfectly good and colorful collection of foulards.
This is what Nicole thinks of pineapples (la vieille folle).
Nicole hates bananas and I hate Nicole.
Aside from having a distaste for bananas, Nicole does not care for papaya.
Nicole, this may be what your hair looks like in the morn, but this contagion is an outrage?
Your black heart has blackened my pear tree’s once green leaves.
Was this necessary?
You couldn’t burn the figs up like the leaves? For shame.
The Inca peanut vine was too lush for your taste?
I’ve set up another wp blog.
It’s going to be a little more interactive. I also plan on posting chapters from a book I’m working on. It’s a mystery novel and I will need some feedback. If you work for the New York Times, please stay for a while.
(Meanwhile I await hurricane Nicole Kidman…)
Since Ariel is the closest thing I have in my photo library to a penguin (if you read the article you’ll know what I’m talking about), she will do nicely.
Complaints may be directed to the Internet Watchdog Foundation, a cyber-etiquette organization whose primary purpose is to protect the public from gratuitous colors and improperly-sized fonts. Ask for Raoul, stationed in Manila. Though he may not be sympathetic to your cause, he’s always willing to show someone a good time.
The secret to becoming a bestselling author is to find the right niche. Luckily, I will be helping you with this simple though tiresome task.
You should know, however, that talent is almost always overrated and, in the case of niche hunting, completely unnecessary–if not downright harmful. Broadly speaking, if one were to consider vocations other than writing, such as playing the rosewood fife or wrestling naked with white tigers, one might acknowledge the need certain brave individuals might have to be endowed with a modicum of talent. Even an execrable instrument such as the lyre requires a willing and able and modestly talented conduit. The jaw harp, or Jew’s harp as it is sometimes called, may be cited as an exception, as it requires neither skill nor great dexterity for a walking zombie to wheedle a sound from its ill-construed frame, and the random sounds it emits could easily have been produced by an unconscious, syphilitic drunkard lying supine on the beer-splattered floor of some funky tavern.
After having excited your attention, I shall return to the subject in hand. In order to become an obnoxiously rich author, you must choose a category which has little or no competition. This way it will be easier to get top ranking in that niche.
This is a top-down process. First choose the broadest category first and then keep refining it. Stop if your hair loss exceeds 150 strands per day.
This is an example of the selection process for the novel I’m writing:
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > LGBT > Pelagic Birds > Penguins > Macaroni Penguins
The child category is “Macaroni Penguin” because no sub-categories exist beyond that point. This is called a flightless point in the industry.
With this ironclad strategy, my book, “Who’s Killing the Penguins of Lesbos,” the nail-biting story of Sappho– an amateur detective and unapologetic flame-crested penguin who, while vacationing on a sun-flecked Greek isle, discovers herself and, alas, a homicidal maniac in a hockey mask slaughtering penguins–will have a decent chance of being # 1.
Please support my work by selling all your worldly goods and making a meaningful investment in the arts.
See you at the top of the charts,
Since I am lazy by nature, I have failed to complete this scrappy story.
You, on the other hand, being even lazier, have fittingly only one word to contribute. Make it good. (An example of democratic writing.)
I’d like to buy a new car, but as a general rule I find car salesmen insincere, so I’m hesitating. You may say that I’m overly sensitive, and you may be right. But insincerity isn’t my only worry. Car salesmen are completely transparent about the personal benefits a sale can make to their hollow lives. In fact, if they were to stand by a window and you happened to be looking across the street at some poor petrified sod, with a grimy hand clutching a paper bag, waiting to cross an enraged street, mad with traffic, you would see him without obstruction.
But what if the salesman’s son is, let’s say, unhappy at work? I mean, it shouldn’t be a distraction, but what if I keep hearing about Simon’s problems. I’d get queasy. And after some banter about Simon’s awkward performance in an off-Broadway production of Hello Dolly , he says, “Standard or automatic,” hoping to take my mind off Simon’s problem with drugs.
“Automatic,” I say, in a reassuring voice.
“Here’s a cute little number,” he says, placing his palm on the hood of a Chevrolet Trax. “It’s available in Crack (a yellowish white), Hash (a handsome brown) and Weed (an unconvincing green).”
“I’ll take it in Hash,” I say hesitatingly, looking at the gigantic creases in his forehead, which are, it now strikes me, like trenches from some pointless war.
The salesman makes a tight fist and delivers a horrifying blow to the passenger-side window. The glass absorbs the shock, but the car is terrified. Owing to this show of brutality, I understand where Simon got his violent temper, and why Nadia, his girlfriend, who works in a sweatshop, has to call the police whenever Simon comes home drunk or can be seen dancing on the rusted steps of the fire escape while in a parlous delirium.
“It’s only available in Weed,” says the salesman, favoring his swollen paw.
The magnitude of my shame is bested by the immensity of the salesman’s natural gift for [FILL IN THE BLANK].
Like a majorette and her baton, a mountain man, living in a remote, montane, thatch-roofed hut, often seen chewing cud, keeps a shotgun at his side. Apart from this being a brilliant literary conceit, it introduces, more or less painfully, the subject of long unkempt beards, touching ever–so-slightly upon the dark penumbra of guns and horrific violence.
Are you with me so far? Good. Let the narrative continue.
I sallied forth with my manservant Sancho Panza, past windmills and other distractions, to the nearest drugstore, whereupon I came to understand (and you should have seen the rictus of disappointment on Panza’s mouth ) that my favorite brand of disposable razors—Gillette, if you must know—was not to be found, and was directed by Elsa, a neurotic cryptologist who was apparently having trouble finding work in her chosen field, to try the Occam brand since it was, in her words, “as good as a mischievous cipher.”
That’s when my campaign of firebombing various drugstores began in earnest. This was indeed the simplest solution and consequently the most effective way to make a point (everyone is doing it these days.) Incidentally the Occam razors were not all that bad after all, but it’s was the principle of the thing.
Now, a few words about the Rio Olympics. As a biblical scholar, I’d like to share some of my research with you. Most of you will know that Moses came down from the mount with a bunch of tablets purchased at a high altitude garage sale. Then, when taking the stationary home (they offered him a plastic bag, but environmentally conscious Moses refused), he tripped, a notable contretemps, on a coax cable (fiber-optic cables did not yet exist) and hurt his patella. But my research, using the latest spectroscopic analysis, demonstrates that there were eleven commandments—not the oft-quoted ten. The last commandment was: Thou shall not take selfies–you can always look like a fool later. Olympians, diplomats, please take notice.