July 29, 2005


Been reading my dad’s new novel and my daughter’s out of daycare so I haven’t had a chance to blog. Also dealing with some other stuff. It’s been a weird week, that’s all I’m gonna say.

July 25, 2005

Tim Griffith

This is amusing. I am listed as a fansite at Tom Cruise Land.com

"I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But if being a fan means applauding shallowness, being out-of-touch with the real world, looking pretty for money, being unaware of the hearts that are broken across the globe, well then, sir, I am your number one fan." Ray Tompkins

July 23, 2005


Interesting discussion going on at Reader of Depressing Books, a new link on the sidebar--though it makes me feel inadequate in the same way as Richard Yates’ biography. I don’t write the kind of stuff that would be talked about in that way. Nice to see people who believe in the God of writing.

At that blog, I discovered another amusing one, The Man Who Couldn’t Blog, which makes me feel stupid about every time I’ve started a blog entry, "I don’t feel like blogging lately…"

Also, I got an email from Skip Williamson, underground cartoonist. It looked like spam when I got it. It was just a link and nothing else, but the site looks good: Skip Williamson.

July 21, 2005


Fuckin A, I got my turntable belt in the mail today. I’ve got hundreds of new records to listen to. Wow, The Who’s "Who Are You?" is a bad record. I haven’t heard it since I was nine years old. LPs sound so much better, so much more depth and warmth. I don’t think I’ll become an LP snob again. I used to collect records for the sake of collecting them. But I’m glad to have access to cheap music.

I loved the Who when I was a kid. There are a lot of pictures of me with a "Kids are All Right" T-shirt. The first concert I begged to go see was The Who, "It’s Hard" tour. My dad picked me up in the middle of a school day and took me and a friend to see them at the L.A. Coliseum, with the Clash. I remember being disappointed that they didn’t smash their instruments. My very first concert was the Rolling Stones, "Tattoo You" tour, with my family. Saw my dad smoke pot with his stoner friend. Prince opened up--I think it was after "Controversy" came out, nobody knew about him--and people starting throwing shit at him. Some guy came out and called the crowd a bunch of "assholes." People cheered. I was eight years old, it was cool. Also saw David Bowie with Madness and the Go-Gos. Haven’t been to a rock show, even in a bar, for a while now. I realized recently that it’s been four years since I’ve played the drums. Anyone need a drummer? Only thing is, I don’t own a drumset.

…I feel like I should be writing something else here, something more worldly, about Rove or the Supreme Court or something else but nothing’s coming to mind. Been following it, at least. In related news, the Mets have won four in a row. They’re going to win the wild card.

July 20, 2005


There’s an interesting final post by Mad Max Perkins on his blog Book Angst. He says his narcissism was getting in the way of his honesty on the blog and his productivity. He was checking his Google ranking obsessively. I can relate because I still check my site meter like a psychopath. I use this place to vault myself up. It’s just fun to see what search terms brought people here. Another hit is very soothing to my bruisable ego, even if I basically get the same amount of hits every day. There’s got to be an antidote for it. Maybe if I wasn’t stuck in front of a computer all day, I’d get over the illness. But there’s no antidote for that on the horizon either. As a writer who hasn’t been as successful as he hoped, actually seeing the readers come by is dangerously fulfilling. Ambition can make you unhappy, like drugs.

By the way, is this thing on? Haven’t been getting a lot of comments lately. My insane narcissism needs an audience. If I was smart, I’d get rid of the Sitemeter and turn off the comments, or maybe quit blogging entirely. Actually, it’s been kind of liberating thinking that my only audience is my reflection.

July 19, 2005


Today, while I work, I am listening to:

Duke Ellington, "Money Jungle," w/ Charlie Mingus, Max Roach

Wayne Shorter, "The Soothsayer"

Schubert, String Quintet, played by the Alban Berg Quartet (w/ someone else)

Beethoven, "Grosse Fuge," also played by the Alban Berg Quartet. They are my favorite quartet. They make everything sound modern. The first piece of classical music that spoke to me was a Dvorak piano quintet, opus something, played by the A.B. Quartet. I got it out of the 42nd St. library in New York City. I put it on, along with John Coltrane’s 1963 "Coltrane" (there’s another one from the 50s), when I want to hear something seminal to me.

When I lived in Paris, my friend, a trained classical pianist, turned me onto classical and jazz and such. Before that, I told him that I would "never" get into classical music. He’s a hyper-masculine, energetic, Neal Cassady type, a mentor. He smoked a lot of hash, we drank wine and played backgammon, talked about books. Walked around the city high on a French pharmaceutical downer called Palfium that he got from a woman with one leg named Babette. Now he’s translating my novel into French.

I am a high-brow motherfucker.

(via the ego)

July 18, 2005

Turn for the Worse

Turn for the worse. Of course. I made the mistake of going through my novel when I was in a bad mood. The novel’s about fairly ugly people, so it seemed to me like the novel itself is ugly. Don’t know if it’s my mood or what. Don’t know if I should even write this. It is my hope that a couple of people who come to this blog might actually buy the book so I shouldn’t tear down the thing. It’s just as likely that I’ll be excited by the novel in another five minutes.

The first three characters in the book are pretty misogynistic--each chapter is told from another character’s point of view. Put together with last story I posted, it might seem like that’s all I write about. It has been a theme in my recent writing. I’m afraid that people will make the mistake of thinking that a story that is about a misogynist is misogynistic in itself.

It’s ironic because if I hate anybody, it’s men. Men do the damage to other people. Women, by and large, do the damage and degradation to themselves. I write about misogyny as a way of exhibiting dumb, male abuse. I just don’t think other people always see it that way. That’s my fear at least. Maybe this is me thinking about PC critics before it’s even done. Honestly, I’ll be lucky to get any reviews, let alone passionate attacks about the book’s misogyny.


Moving on…Saw "World of the Worlds." Sucked bad. I feel like I’m going to be accused of being an anti-Hollywood, anti-Cruise contrarian, but I was bored. It’s not like I hate all Hollywood movies. I loved "Independence Day." I thought it was a masterpiece of crap. WOTW seemed to be trying to put its foot in two doors--some 9-11 type realism mixed in with over-dramatic Hollywood pandering. Everything’s done for slow, dramatic effect, and I’m thinking, "The fucking ground is cracking beneath you! Why the fuck aren’t you running?!" Why in the hell are you racing to get on a boat? Because something going 20 miles an hour will save you? These things make me less afraid, not more afraid. And there’s super-hero Tom Cruise who is always one step ahead of everyone else, and the only unheroic decision he has to make--choosing between his son and daughter--is made for him. All this bugged me. Oddly enough, everyone else in the movie besides Tom Cruise’s family is faceless and impersonal. It’s like the movie itself is a creepy, destructive machine like the Tripods. It seems ridiculous for me to be attacking this movie for its lack of realism. I was worried that the movie was going to be too close to 9-11 and then I was annoyed that it was too close to an action movie. I cannot be pleased.

(WOTW link via The Presurfer)

July 15, 2005


Damn, it’s been a good week at Ash Tree. Posted a link to a story and now Ian of RetroBabe wrote a post about a couple of my songs. Thanks, Ian. Go check out RetroBabe. "Apartment" and "Be My Wife," interesting choice. Though maybe it's because those are the first two.

Also, a woman recently wrote me and asked if she could post my story about Sew the stray dog at her dog site. It’s at Bark Park Arizona. She changed "shitty little apartment" to "little apartment." Damn censors! I don’t blame her.

July 14, 2005

My Cherry

Identity Theory has posted my story "My Cherry" about a misogynist on his honeymoon. I haven’t read it on the site, but it feels great to have it up there. Thanks to Identity Theory.

My wife and I never went on a honeymoon. The story is based on a trip I took with an ex-girlfriend a few years before I met my wife. She was an art student in Philadelphia and we took a trip to Atlantic City one weekend. She won several hundred dollars and I kept losing. It was sort of demoralizing. I took that feeling and exaggerated the hell out of it, which is what I like to do.

Don’t tell my wife but I took a day off on Tuesday to work on my novel. Don’t worry, S, I’m at the beginning of a pay period so I earned the day. So that’s what it feels like to be a full-time writer. I set aside the music I wanted to listen to and plugged in my changes all day. It was like a vacation. My job is creative somewhat, but more on the surface. My mind opened up in a much different way. Even the music sounded better. The novel’s almost there.

I know this blog is the "Journal of a writer," but I don’t like writing so much about the writing process. Seems presumptuous, maybe. But it’s what I’ve been thinking about, mostly. Soon I’ll write about something else. Until then, check out the story.

July 13, 2005


Writing toys, games, & gizmoz to inspire your creativity!

(via Dr. Menlo)

July 12, 2005


Man, I just don’t feel like blogging these days. Now that I’m working heavily on my novel, I don’t have the desire to write here, that part of my brain is being satisfied. There’s an interesting article (via Beatrice) by a writer who says he fears that writing a blog can affect fiction writing--like in therapy, all your problems, observations, etc. will go "out the mouth" rather than onto paper. Depends on the writer, I guess. For me it’s been extremely positive, but I’m more in the place of trying to resurrect my writing career through the blog. In that respect it’s worked. I’ve actually written and published more fiction since I started the blog. And it's not like blog writing is useless and fiction writing is all that matters. Writing is writing.

Been reading the Daily Kos for the first time since the election. I’ve stayed away from politics. The London bombing brought me back. I needed to read some other voices. This thing with Rove seems like a fantasy from Nov. 3, 2004.

In musical news, I got a turntable from my dad which he hasn’t used for years. The belt was slack and melted and needs to be replaced but I’m gonna be back listening to LPs: stuff my brother and I bought in high school like Roger Waters’ "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking," bad Return to Forever records, and Sly Stone disco remixes. I’ll be obsessing about finding cheap obscure records in no time.

July 6, 2005



That’s where I work now that I’ve got a new desk. Very tired lately. Not much to say here. I work 9:30-4:00 until Olivia comes home from daycare. Spend time with her until she goes to sleep at 7:30/8 and then work on the novel for 2 or 3 hours from there. Tiring.

Losing my mind somewhat. I got very bad when I wrote the first draft of the novel--writing a book about people who are firmly detached from reality. My wife was pregnant at the time which was turning my life upside down. I was a weirdo. It’s not as bad for the rewrite--more like a contact high.

The book’s progressing smoothly. Almost done reading through the book once. I thought I’d show my mom’s credits as well, don’t want to leave her out. Here’s her IMDB page. It might explain why I write a lot about Hollywood.

July 1, 2005


While I’m posting stuff my dad wrote, he also wrote these movies:


At one point when I was a kid, I hung around with Jodi Foster. I have an autographed picture of her. She calls me a "Turquey." I have also peed in Robbie Robertson’s (The Band) bed. Man, my Hollywood kid credentials are intact.

Also, my dad wrote a precursor to "A Nightmare on Elm Street." He actually ended up working with Wes Craven on a TV show called "Nightmare CafĂ©." My mom once had a meeting with Quentin Tarantino. He said, excitedly, "Your husband wrote ‘The Sender’? I’ve made my own copy using the TV edit." A true film freak. It’s an obscure horror movie:

The Sender

Click on the posters for a synopsis.

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