"But in fact, to tell you the truth, I myself have not yet made up mind whether or not to publish it at all. For the tastes of mortals are so various, the temperaments of some are so bitter, their minds so ungrateful, their judgments so preposterous that a person would do far better to follow his own bent and lead a merry life than to wear himself out trying to publish something useful or entertaining for an audience so finicky and ungrateful. Most people know nothing about learning and many despise it.
Sometimes I get messages on the same day from someone telling me that my work delighted them, while another person was driven into a rage by it’s deficiencies.
It’s impossible to make a thing that everyone will enjoy. In the end, I’ve decided to work to my own delight and satisfaction, and to hold myself to a standard that I decide on. If you are struggling with releasing something into the world because you know that people might not like it, understand that you are not alone.
It’s interesting to see that More struggled with this, but in the end decided to go forward anyway. I suppose, in the end, he decided that Haters were going to Hate, and he might as well tell them about Utopia while they did it.
my heart, smashed meat stuffed into a garbage disposal.
There’s no pawn shop for my grief and
having a dead baby is expensive. Maybe I can sell the
now hidden under boxes in the basement.
Invited to a wedding I bought a maternity cocktail
dress. It would have fit at eight months but it was
-by J.R. Blackwell
Inspired by a short story by Ernest Hemingway
Groomsmen with Lightsabers at Ridley Creek State Park
Photo by J.R. Blackwell
I’ve noticed a trend among writers. The more books a writer has written and the more acclaim they have gained, the shorter their bio.
A young writer named Abigal Writerpants with her first book, Cupcake Angels, might have a bio like this:
Abigal Writerpants has been an aspiring novelist since she was eight years old. She was published in SoandSo Quarterly, Skunktales Magazine, and Hippbity Bippity Tales. Her short story, Robots in the Vineyard, was nominated for a We Just Found Out About You award in 2011. She graduated from Little Tiny University where she studied with Professor ImpressivePants. She resides in A Town, with her two cats, Rosencats and DarthCat. She is currently working on a sequel to Cupcake Angels. Connect with her online at A WEBSITE.
But when Abigal Writerpants has written 23 novels, won a Hugo, and had one of her books made into a movie, her bio looks more like this:
Abigal Writerpants is an award winning novelist of over twenty novels including the acclaimed Cupcake Angels series. She resides in a town.
If writers could live to 300 years old, I wonder if their bios would start to look like this:
Abigal Writerpants is a novelist.
Seriously. You should already know who I am.
Abigal Writerpants writes books.
Just google her.
Chef Surrell flipped the knife in her hand. “I’ll kill you,” she said, “These people are mine, and I am well within my rights by the ancient laws of-”
The man waved his hand and caught Thomas’s eye. “I’m just saying,” he said, grinning, “Accidents happen.”
The words stung Thomas like a snake bite, and he held his breath. Then he looked down and watched himself slice open his hand like he was carving beef, the knife sliding into the flesh of his palm and down, crossing his wrist and into the meat of his arm. He looked over at Chef Surrell to see her turn to him, her fangs in her mouth.
Then everything went into slow motion, the man leaving the room, Surrell running towards him, and then the shock, as he looked down again and saw the blood pulsing from the deep cut in his flesh. The blood that had welled up from the cut was dark, nearly black, pooling red as it reached his fingertips. He dropped his knife, which was slippery with his own blood.
It’s FALL everybody. Which means it’s time to talk about Pumpkin. But you know what? Cook yourself a pumpkin, you know that gourd is going to give you some stringy mess.
How about you move on and meet your new best vine veg, the BLUE HUBBARD SQUASH.
Is it big? Yeah. It’s big. Is it’s inner meat smooth when you cook it? Hells yes. Does it taste like your beloved pumpkin?
You bet your gourd-lovin’ ass it does.
BUT IT’S TOO BIG? HOW WILL I DEAL WITH IT?
Hush, little bird. Hush.
For I have conquered the Blue Hubbard Squash.
I know that all of you are just waiting on pins and needles to find out how. I WILL TELL YOU. Keep your pantaloons on.
Now, as EVERYONE knows, (because who doesn’t track squash varieties) the Blue Hubbard squash is a GIANT in the squash world. It’s blue, and huge. It’s sort of like The Hulk, except it is blue, and a squash. And it doesn’t smash you, you smash it.
Generally, the accepted way to deal with it is to put the goddamned squash in a plastic bag and then drop that mofo on the pavement. Maybe from your second story window. SURE THE NEIGHBORS WILL STARE. Just yell: “SQUASH SEASON!!” at em.
Sawing at it isn’t advised because while it’s not quite like a rock, it’s close enough that:
You+Knife*+Hubbard Squash = Emergency Room.
After you drop it from your second story window or whatever, you are supposed to saw it up and roast it.
I was like: F-That. I have roasted big squashes before, and I know they get all tender and gorgeous if you just stuff them in the freakin’ oven and roast them them in their goddamned skins. It is also the recourse of the lazy, a group whose newsletter I receive.
So I put the oven to 350 (the 55 miles per hour of the cooking world) and just shoved the hubbard in there on a cooking sheet. Okay, so I poked a couple fork holes in it before I shoved it in there, but let’s be fair, I just enjoy poking things with a fork.
After you do that? WALK AWAY. Not out of the house, but maybe like, the room next to the kitchen? Watch your favorite internet porn. Let 20 minutes go by and then remember that maybe you should set a timer or whatever. Go back to the kitchen, decide it’s been twenty minutes. Set the timer for an hour.
After an hour, poke it with a fork? Does it give? NO? TELL IT TO GET BAKED. Set the timer for 30 more minutes. Find things to reblog on the blog that you keep for your lover alone, that is mostly full of pictures of robots and wolverine. Yes, it IS awesome.
When the alarm goes off, take the Hubbard out of the oven, where it had turned green. Because of SCIENCE, I assume.
Anyway, then I had to do the hardest part, which was NOT FUCKING WITH IT while it cooled. But I am a Green Lantern, so I (mostly) let it alone. WILLPOWER.
Then, when it cooled, I just like, opened it with a butterknife. (To lazy to saw at things) Inside it was all juicy and soft. I scooped out the seeds and THREW THEM AWAY BECAUSE I’M WASTEFUL, and then I just used a plastic spoon to scoop out the meat (not really meat) and then I blended it up in my blender till it was smooth.
After that, I made a holiday squash soup (an onion and apple died so that I could do this) and a pumpkin Latte.
The latte had neither pumpkin, nor latte. So it’s a liar. It’s actually a squash coffee. But I’m sure that sounds terrible, so just think pumpkin latte. Mind over latte.