May 11, 2006


Justus Ballard, my labelmate on Cloverfield Press, started himself a blogspot blog. He links to a blog by someone who read both our stories, who’s also Reader of Depressing Books roommate. He writes:

The ones I got are "Gentleman Reptile" by Henry Baum and "The Cubist Infant" by Justus Ballard. I read each twice; both are very good. "Reptile" is the simpler story, about a man who finds out that his daughter has been appearing in internet pornography, then must reconcile his disgust with his own consumption of pornography and supercharged sexual appetite. Up until the end it's a decent story, but the closing paragraphs made me rethink it (although the final sentence is unnecessary, or maybe just too blunt), and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it, and it became a lot better than just decent.

And then a commenter goes and says, "I’m not sold on 'Gentleman Reptile.'" I can live with it.

Anyone sick of me posting interviews and reviews? I’m not, but it’s been quiet around here. It’s cool to be interviewed but I get the feeling that has more to do with flattering the ego than helping to sell the book. How do people sell books? I still don’t know. But maybe I shouldn't say that. Still, good things are happening and it has yet to fully play out.

Last night I had another apocalypse dream. I used to have them a lot more, around three years ago, explosions and planes dropping from the sky. I think I need to lighten up.


Voix said...

Reviews and interviews are great, but people who read blogs are looking for more personal stories, too.

Why should I, random blogger and reader of books, be interested in you, Mister Henry Baum, random blogger writer of books? What stories can you tell me about your writing that will get me excited about buying what you've written?

Just a suggestion. People read blogs for the person behind it. You and your writing career are interesting to me. Book reviews are good, too, but not something I want to read every day.

And I showed off the book you sent me around work -- my colleagues were all, "Wow! A Writer Sent You His Book?"

And I was like all, "Hey! I'm gonna have a book to send people, too!" So you're on the list as soon as I 1) finish writing the damn thing and 2) find a publisher for it.

Empty Drum said...

Most people are only interested in posting comments as a way of talking about themselves. So if they're not posting in response to your reviews, it doesn't necessarily mean they're not reading, just that (unless the reader has read the book you're reviewing and has a strong opinion on it) book reviews don't provide the impetus to self-presentation that the average reader is looking for.

Justus Ballard said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about myself; specifically, I'd like to talk about how much I enjoy reading about myself.

That's not completely true--I like reading about myself, but I don't necessarily like reading what other people write. It's more, I suppose, that I enjoy reading my name. If there's some words before and after my name, that's also satisfying, but it's pretty much the name that does it for me.

Empty Drum said...

An Ode to Justus

By Steven @

Archipelago minefield Justus
Macrobiotic Justus flume
Racing the reading form Justus
In a backlight Justus postered room.

Empty Drum said...


Line 4, word 3 should read "blacklight"

Voix said...

Hey, that was awesome! Can I have one too?

I totally have to agree that people like writing about themselves in comments. Guilty as charged.

As if a whole blog talking about myself wasn't enough, I have to go to other people's blogs, too.


I'm more of a narcissist than I thought. Someone tell Oprah.

Empty Drum said...

'chèle's game

By Steven @

I miss my shell, said miss michèle,
and often think about it.
It just does not feel right to jump
into the drink without it.

And although I feel quite naked
I can find some solace, dear
Admiring my reflection
in someone else's mirror

Voix said...


{claps hands with glee}

That was delightful. Thank you so much. Merci beaucoup. Gracias.


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