The world is crazier than most people know. But I know. I was a clinical social worker for forty years. I am a witness. I retired from social work to write about the sad, the mad, and the savage; with whom I have spent most of my life. I have decided to translate these stories into fiction, because, as a co-worker once said, "You couldn't make this sh*t up. No one would believe you."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is There Anything to Look 
Forward To, After 65?

So I had this down moment. Sitting by myself (first mistake) on a winter evening by the fire....should have been blissful, right? Well sure....unless you're a NEUROTIC DRAMA QUEEN who can find the cloud around every silver lining.

So in a few minutes, I start wondering what the future holds (second mistake). A few minutes after that, I start wondering what I have to look forward to (third mistake). I start to think I'm too old to have a future. (Alert! Idiot walking!)

Fortunately, I had totally bored myself within 8 minutes and had returned to my more normal ground mood: enjoy the warm fire, delight in my antique recliner with the sheepskin to sink into, realize my cat is purring, and have a drink. 

But truth be told, my momentary descent did yield a positive reflection:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Editor Ate Me

Ha ha ha, the joke's on me. I thought the Marketing Monster was gonna get me. Then I met the Editing Monster.

I got my edited manuscript back the other day, along with instructions designed by a Demon-In-Training on what to do with the comments. I can see why I paid 2 cents a line. There's at least one comment on every single one of the lines in one hundred and ninety eight pages.

Am I laughing yet? Trooper that I am, I started editing the edits. After three hours, I had completed twenty out of one hundred and ninety eight pages. No matter that I was watching Boston (home sweet home) get its a** kicked by New York/Jersey (barf! puke! retch!) in the playoffs, I'm sure I wasn't distracted. I'm also sure the Editing Monster was eating my soul.

I will have to:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On Selling Ice to Eskimos, or... .....I'm Gonna Sell My Panties To Themselves

The writer's nightmare: MARKETING.

Oh yeah, baby, those marketing monsters are gonna get ya. Because you're a writer, not a sales genius, and they know it. They will invade your sleep, wrack your comatose body with snores and farts and sleep apnea; they will invade your waking thoughts, whispering, "Failure, suck-ah, failure...and it's all your fault." They will rip your poor heart, making it sing a dirge when it has better things to do.

You see, marketing is the name of the game for new writers who are not internationally known criminals. I'm just a writer with a novel...HAH!...who cares? The marketers say, "I got a guy that cut his wife's head off and ate it" or "I got a male prostitute who describes giving (X celebrity) a blow job in 94 screamingly detailed pages" or "I got a cult of smelly weirdos who build bombs and eat Republican children" get the point. Either a book arrives already marketed by the sensationalism that spawned it....or you're just plain scr*wed..

So, what about the writers who just write? Where would Shakespeare fit in today? Romeo and Juliet? "What kinda pansies you writing about kid?" Hamlet? ("What a pussy!") Richard III? ("Oh for Christ's sake, do whatcha have to do, ok?") The Merchant of Venice ("Well, he was just a Jew, so what?")

What would Bill have to do to sell a play nowadays? I shudder to think. But to sell my book, I will have to do everything from forcing reviewers at gunpoint to praise me, to printing the first page on the soles of my shoes and walking across America. (Wanna read more? Go to http//

But you know what?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Think I'm Jealous...or Maybe It's Just Tight Pants

I just got an email from my day job that a very distinguished physician will be giving a lecture on campus, and will also be signing copies of his book, The Emperor of All Maladies. Naturally I rushed to find out about the book. As follows:

  • it's a screaming success
  • and was just copyrighted last year
  • and has gotten rave reviews in the New Yorker, O the Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post among others
  • was named one of the "ten best books of the year" by The New York Times
  • and was written by a doctor
  • a doctor?
  • a d-o-c-t-o-r??
  • is God joking or what?
Yes, the doctor is prestigious. But this is a book about cancer, man. Try to find a more depressing subject, I dare you. Just try. So, the way the publishing world works is: a doctor, who can't even write a legible prescription, gets an other-worldly book deal from a major publisher (Scribner) and the book is featured f*cking EVERYWHERE and the rich get richer. If I pitched a book about cancer to a publisher, I would be told, "Forget it, kid, who the hell wants to read a book about cancer?"

I conclude:

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Everyone is Thinking But No One Wants to Talk About

No, not sex. Everyone talks about that.

I was talking about aging, especially for women. Women in their fifties and sixties are torn between feeling young, looking old and thinking they should accept that situation and not bitch. Talking points:

1. If women don't bitch, they will blow up.
2. Why shouldn't we bitch about feeling young and looking old? What a bummer!

One of the online chat groups I check in with had a guilt ridden post from a soon to be middle aged woman who found herself at work suddenly paired with a young bombshell. With many apologies and gut wrenching self doubt, she complained of feeling old and unattractive. Well, folks, I have to tell you I have never seen so many responses to anything since Keith Olbermann's suspension.

Lessons learned: