I haven’t had anything published in about a year and a half or maybe two years. I’d made this site, originally, to be a vehicle to promote my stuff, but then I didn’t get anything published for a long time, which just made this whole site look like another weak vanity project. More words pretending to be important. I never like that stuff. I could’ve just kept a journal.
But I kept going here and there because I’m just too stubborn. I wanted the record in public.
Well it seems to be going good again now, the wait prevailing. My book LAZARUS & THE DESERT MURDERS will be published sometime soon through DLG. It’s a sprawling Western – a neo-Western I guess the term would be. I was heavily into BLOOD MERIDIAN at the time and this story just came pouring out. It’s also to do with my allergy Flonase drug addiction (the stuff can fuck you up and I did enough of it to land in the hospital with a killer nosebleed). I didn’t intend that – I just wanted to do a grizzled, gnarly neo-Western. But reading it back after the insane flurry of the original draft, it’s about as blunt as anything ever was. It doesn’t really make sense to describe it like that, but I think people will enjoy it. I feel like a real fucking creative again. There was a period of time there where I felt pretty out in the weeds and disconnected from it all.
My other story CAREER MAN will be coming out with them too soon. That one is from the same period as this book and I was doing some really good work then. I’ve been asked a few times now to add more words. I don’t know how much more I can add without diluting the core of this story. But then again I do find new inspiration and it’s easy to write this story. It’s a part of me now.
I’ve got some other works in progress that I don’t know where they’re going. One of them I’m trying to make a long piece, a BONNIE & CLYDE-esque crime epic. I’m not sure if it’s good yet. I just sort of keep hacking away at it. This has been a challenge and I may have bit off more than I could chew, but that’s the exciting part of doing art. Reading Hemingway and Flannery O’Connor always gets me in a mood to write, shows me how it’s really done. There’s a certain finesse to it where it becomes more than just words. I really value that.
I’ve been reading Bob Odenkirk’s COMEDY, COMEDY, COMEDY, DRAMA memoir for the past few days. Really just devouring this thing. I have good memories already of reading it at the hotel bar of this wedding I was just at. Odenkirk writes a lot about how he’s a comedy snob and something of an elitist. I don’t think those are bad qualities so long as you’re not being a dick to anybody else. He talks about how he wants comedy to be challenging and different and weird – a pure original vision. He compares his outlook for sketch to how Bill Hicks was with stand-up. I think I got the same outlook too. If I’ll get anywhere remains to be seen, but I dig the impulse to want something great out of art.
He talks about taking risks and having specific goals in mind, even niche ones, for a piece of work. Refreshing compared to the comedy “gurus” online whose advice boils down to “make sure your stuff appeals to the widest mainstream audience or else it sucks.” And there’s a genuine love for the craft in here. It’s not comedy as a hedge against some culture war. There’s a lot of discourse about “woke” comedy now that I can’t identify with. It’s a very narrow view. “Punching up, punching down, that’s too woke, you’re not woke enough.” Very narrow thing really. I just like the spirit of creation. I like how jokes can take on infinite forms. Chimera things you can’t define, but which have the possibility to be the best thing you’ve heard all week, to open up those brain chemicals that make you laugh. That’s the stuff of life! Worrying about anti-woke stuff or doing everything through a lens of angry reactionary stuff seems such a sad way to live.
But then again comedy’s always going to be dancing and parrying with the ills and foibles of the world. I guess it’s inescapable that these things happen.
I don’t have any comedy bookings right now. I hope it changes, but I did need the break. I’m coming down from a long winded run of traveling for some other stuff. There was a wedding for a friend of mine. I hadn’t done a wedding in so damn long, but there was something really contagious about the happiness of it all. If you care about somebody that much and it’s mutual, you better celebrate the shit out of it. I feel like that’s all we can do is just find ways to enjoy life. It’s a form of rebellion. Maybe I’ll write more about all of this later.