March 30, 2007

Hollywood Apocalypse

Brush fire erupts in Hollywood Hills

SoCal Fire

SoCal Fire



Last two books I read.


Awesome, as if James Joyce wrote the Da Vinci Code. To be honest, I like RAW more when he’s more DVC than JJ. Like in the Illuminatus Trilogy, I’ll be reading and thinking it’s the most entertaining novel ever written, then it will completely switch and go on a tangent which leaves me more lost. That’s because I’m a lightweight when it comes to experiment. Masks is more streamlined. I think RA Wilson’s going to be taken a lot more seriously as a writer at some point, maybe not as much as PK Dick, but along those lines.



I recommend this book to the skeptic in your family (like mine) who might be immediately turned off by the ravings of McKenna, Leary, or even Pinchbeck. Methodical, almost to a fault, about doing psychedelic research in a hospital/university setting. The cover speaks to the Alex Grey crowd, but the research is much more sober than that. Which makes it even more mind-blowing. Not quite as much as doing DMT (which I haven’t done. My wife has though: she saw many Buddhas.) But easier to come by than a hit of DMT.

These two books suggest I’ve turned into a deranged hippie. To further prove my nuttiness, this the is the pile of books I got from the library this week. I just cannot shed this stuff from my system, still fascinates me 5 years after I became interested in it.

The Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukov
From Elsewhere: the subculture of those who claim to be of non-earthly origins, Scott Mandelker (terrible, too credulous, the book Channeling by John Klimo is good)
Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier, Brad Steiger and Sherry Steiger
The Illuminati Papers, Robert Anton Wilson
The Nature of Personal Reality: A Seth Book, Jane Roberts (not gonna read it, saw her Oversoul 7 books, channeled novels, looks more interesting)
Magic, Mystery, and Science: The Occult in Western Civilization, Dan Burton and David Grandy
Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, Manly P. Hall
H.P. Blavatsky and the Secret Doctrine, Edited by Virginia Hanson
Belonging to the Universe, Fritjof Capra and David Steindl-Rast
Gurdjieff, Edited by Jacob Needleman and George Baker

I think it’s very cool that Oprah picked Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for her book club. Especially since I’ve got my own apocalyptic novel that I’m about to send out.

March 29, 2007

Dream's End

Watch me go toe to toe with some conspiracy theorists at Dream’s End.

March 27, 2007

Largehearted Boy

Check out my book notes for North of Sunset on Largehearted Boy—songs behind the novel. The story behind that: Susan Tomaselli on 3 AM linked to Nick Antosca’s Book Notes. I got jealous, as I usually do, and wrote up my own. Thankfully he also liked the book. To anyone coming from there, please check out the mp3s on the sidebar.

March 26, 2007

Self Help

We’ve been doing a lot of self-help around here lately. My wife had a huge hang-up about our couch, thought it was the epicenter of sloth in our house. Turns out she was right because we got a new couch and our apartment doesn’t seem so dead. Rearranged some other stuff to, got rid of some clutter, which really does do a lot for the head.

I also read the first self-help book I’ve ever read in my life, 100 pages of it at least. It was actually helpful:

feeling good

The most basic thing he hammers over and over is the problem with overgeneralization. Making absolute statements. Like the other week I was walking to pick up my daughter at preschool, as I do every day. As I crossed the crosswalk a schmuck in a convertible Porsche took a left turn right behind me so I could feel the wind, then revved his engine, speeding away, basically saying to me, “Fuck you for walking.” My first instinct is to think, Man people are materialistic, soul-raping pricks, no wonder the earth is dying. But no, not everyone is materialistic, and that guy’s probably not all bad, might be nice to his mother, might be having a bad day, there’s layers of meaning to everything and my interpretation is only based on half the story. Even if, as a writer, I need to believe my fictions to be true—still wrong, an overgeneralization.

Sounds incredibly simplistic, but overgeneralization is something I fall into. It’s not just psychobabble, it’s an actual useful bit of psychiatry. My main problem is crazed criticism of other people, a projection of self-hatred—none of which is accurate. So the book did some good.

More self-help. A couple of weeks ago there was an author night for graduates of my high school. People in the last 25 years who’ve published a book. I haven’t seen a lot of them in 15 years. Never been to a class reunion. Click that link to see where I’m coming from. I was worried that everyone, and I, would regress to high school years. Stupid of me, people are adults. The reading went over very well. People liked it—a section of NoS in which a paparazzi photographer talks about how much he hated high school:

Hollywood was like high school all over again. A place where the pretty and comfortable persevered, and the ugly watched. There was a certain youthful pride that existed in Hollywood, a center-of-the-world, sun-drenched, almost chosen, pride. Just like teenagers who thought nothing could hurt them. The main difference between Hollywood and high school was that in Hollywood they didn’t just think they were in the center of the world, they were in the center of the world.

High school’s defined me in a number of ways, and a number of ways it shouldn’t anymore. It was like 10 years of therapy in a night.

Then today I received a letter that my agent is not sending out my novel anymore. Believe it or not, I’m sort of relieved. It’s no longer a crutch, a reason to think “Life will be better when…” I can be more active, writing and otherwise. I could also be a lot more active if I got a $500,000 book deal. Life is complicated.

March 23, 2007

Revolutionary Road

They’ve cast Revolutionary Road, favorite novel, the reason I wanted to write, along with Richard Yates' Eleven Kinds of Loneliness. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as Frank and April Wheeler. Neither really makes sense, but then maybe no one would. DiCaprio’s too boyish, Kate Winslet made two very horrible movies last year, The Holiday and Little Children, and she’s not blonde enough. I’d go with Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, part of Maugham’s Painted Veil, which was all right. No, I wouldn’t. Impossible to cast. Also fairly unnecessary as a movie. So much is in the prose, not the plot—people building up hope and having that hope unfulfilled, basically the plot behind every Yates story. It’ll still be interesting though, especially considering they were in Titanic together, about people being trapped together. Spoiler: this time she dies.

Weird that this novel that I read privately like a Bible, in that old Vintage paperback, which probably wasn’t read by a lot of people, is now going to be read by a huge number of people. The movie will probably win Oscars, weirder still. 20 years after he died. Yates is poised to become the next Fitzgerald, which is exactly what he wanted.

March 22, 2007


After the post yesterday saying I didn’t need fiction anymore, I spent last night reading Robert Anton Wilson’s Masks of the Illuminati. So either I’m full of shit or once I write something I don’t need to believe it anymore.

Speaking of fiction, the new Scarecrow is out. They promised a review of NoS, not there. Good reading though.

Speaking of UFOs, France opens UFO files.

And here’s a way to go to Mars, via Posthuman Blues.

March 21, 2007


I almost feel like I want to start blogging regularly again. In between writing about rakeback and affiliate marketing and everything else I have to write for paying work. So long as I work on my novel, I feel like I’ve earned the right to write here. Been artistically schizophrenic again, back to book after a music obsession. Always know it’s there, the ability to record songs better than I have in the past, despite what fuckheads have written.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not entirely interested in reading fiction anymore. Daniel Pinchbeck said something similar recently:

When I was in my twenties, literature was my ruling passion, and my heroes were writers like Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Virginia Woolf and Henry Miller. I longed to emulate the passionate intensity of their prose, and the “negative capability” which infused their characters with recognizable life. When I passed through the crucible of my own transformational process, I lost interest in novels and discovered a new pantheon of intellectual heroes. These days, I find the same level of electrical engagement that I used to find in novels in the works of thinkers whose central theme is the evolution and possible extension of human consciousness. This varied group is made up of mystics, physicists, philosophers, cosmologists and paleontologists — the roster includes Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung, Edward Edinger, Jean Gebser, Teilhard de Chardin, F David Peat, Sri Aurobindo and Gerald Heard.

Reading and debating fiction seems like a peacetime activity, an absolute luxury. I don’t like Jonathan Lethem much either (see the link), and for the same reasons, but man there are worse things. Not to mention worse writers. We’re in the middle of a slow war—the environment is crashing and we’re the enemy. These are pretty desperate times so reading fiction seems less important to me than reading non-fiction about the mixture of science and spirituality—most of the stuff I read. Stuff that’s actually fundamentally usable. Back in the abduction, UFO, new physics, DMT research, etc. saddle again. I sometimes feel unfaithful if I’m not reading fiction. There’s just so much I haven’t read. But it’s really not as fun or enlightening to me right now. I’ve finally admitted it.

That said, I’ve got three novels waiting for me that I’m looking forward to. Anti-Christ: A Satirical End of Days by Matthew Moses, want to read that for the title alone, Fires by Nick Antosca, and The Greatest Show on Earth by Daniel Scott Buck. And I have no interest in writing anything but fiction because it’s what I know how to do. And I still have the feeling that fiction can have a different impact on people than a non-fiction polemic about how we need to change our ways.

The Beverly Hills library has become the ultimate place to write. It now has a coffee house attached to it. Still strange to be writing in Beverly Hills:

Library’s nice though.

So, I’m probably back here. I like writing like this. There’s stuff that I think about that purely has its place on a blog.


I love watching Hollywood implode.

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