Archive for the ‘Writing’ category


In your ears

Oh look, he’s back.

It’s been a few months, for those of you who didn’t realize I was gone.

You’re probably thinking I ran out of things to say, but that’s not it. I have a few posts here that I’ve written but haven’t published. So my absence wasn’t due to a lack of ideas.

what-to-write

No, what’s been occupying my time is I’ve been planning a podcast!


The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost; the prequel

The article, The senseless, tragic rape of Charles Bukowski’s ghost by John Martin’s Black Sparrow Press tells the story (read that first if you haven’t already), but for the curious there is an interesting bit of back-story.

In the 1990s I ran an artists/writers/photography site called smog.net, and it had a Bukowski section. The primary tool on the site was a works database. A pretty comprehensive resource, and a valuable tool for anyone who was researching – or simply curious about – Bukowski’s mountain of work.


Wasp Would Sting You

I’m in the midst of a seemingly never ending task. A place I often find myself.

What makes my feeble mind encounter a ridiculous mound of sorting, scanning, building, fixing and otherwise general tedium and say, “There’s a great use of your time!”

If this stuff was really important, wouldn’t someone else have done it already?


Writing the world’s greatest novel

004I am writing a book. I’ve written a few books, but this one is different. It’s really long.

It started as a short story about being on the road in a punk band, Sonny Vincent and The Extreme, back in 1980 and 81. One day I looked at it and thought, “I wonder what it would be like if I expanded this thing to cover my entire music career?” and now here I am, 106,000 words later, trying to beat the thing into submission.


Hooray! It’s the mailman!

mailman1I’ve been considering running a month-long promotion to give away electronic versions of my books. I figure the typical person who would dig what I’m doing here might also be a book collector, so giving away the Kindle or iPad versions could spur some sales of the real things. You know, the ink on paper ones.

Offering the freebies is easy enough, but how to do it? I’m posting here, but since the blog has only recently been reanimated, readership is still pretty low. I could post on Google+, my favorite online doohickey (and I will), but what if I want to know more about the people who take me up on the offer (and be able to offer them stuff again, later)?


Meet the new blog, same as the old blog

Here we are, in a new – something.

For years I had a blog, then I got tired of writing in it and shut it down. Now look at me, I’m back. Most of the posts from the old blog are back too, like it or not.


My baby, she wrote me a letter

CarolTyping337x262Carol is working on a new book, and in an effort to make it as labor-intensive as possible, she is actually typing out the text on each finished page (hundreds of them) by hand on an old Underwood typewriter.

This makes a clack clack clacking sound throughout the house, that was probably a very familiar sound years ago, but it pretty unusual these days.


Harry Potter, I’m coming to kick your ass!

altmanbox1-274x395Way back in the olden days (January of 1995) I signed a fancy looking contract with Mother Road Publications for a book of poems and short stories. It was a long and drawn out birth (as these things usually are in the small press) but finally, in April of 1997, alternative man appeared.

It was my first book and I was pretty excited about it. When the first 5 or 10 copies came in the mail I opened one of them and smelled it. “Yeah, that smells like a real book,” I thought. Hey, you do weird things when it’s yours.


Hotter than July

Carol made a detailed post about a Miranda July reading we saw last night, but I thought I would add my two cents, because that’s just what I do.

If you’ve ever seen a reading you know that they can easily put you to sleep or make your mind wander to how you need to sweep out under the bed or check the oil on the car. It usually not the reader’s fault. Listening to someone read is just inherently dull.


Children of a lesser dog from hell

I wrote this last summer for the Charles Bukowski Gesellschaft Jahrbuch, which is the German Bukowski Society yearbook. It is presented here in lieu of actual entertainment. Thank you.

Actually I have something to complain about, but it’s just a television show, so you aren’t missing anything. I will type it up when I come out of this coma. Okay, sorry to interrupt. On with the show.


Dumb and dumber

Riding Out the Dumb SilenceWell, ain’t that a fine ride…I have in my hot little hands the final proof of the paperback version of Riding Out the Dumb Silence, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t right and tight and ready to go.

I should have a pile of them here ready to ship on July 15th, but smart shoppers pre-order! Just click here and you too can have your very own copy hot off the press.


Decades and bits of centuries

Well I’m jumping ship. Gave a week’s notice at the old job, so I’ll work this coming Friday there and the following Monday I’ll be at the new gig. A weekend is much better than the two years I had between jobs last time, so I can’t complain. Two years of unemployment has it’s positive points, but on the downside, abject poverty gets old real fast.

New job, same business – web hosting – but Windows this time, rather than the typical unix/Apache joint. For most of you that is meaningless, and for that you should consider yourself fortunate.


Scuttlebutt and innuendo

buktyperNow that the Bukowski material is all gone from smog there’s probably no one here to read this. Ah, well. Maybe you’ll all show up on the groovy new Bukowski forum and we’ll get to know each other better.

Forums are tricky business. I ran one on smog for a while – actually I tried one here a couple of times, but it never panned out. I think there were too many artists on the site and the thing never had a focus. I have learned over the years that for every few hundred visitors you have, only one will leave a comment, send an email, make a forum post, etc.


Beware the fury of a patient man

aws12tYes, it’s true — I have finally received the mythical Peace Card set, a letterpress project that started well over three years ago.

I sent off my contribution in October of 2002, and as you may have read around here somewhere, waiting turned to disbelief, frustration, anger — all of those groovy emotions that make life worth living


Shameless self-promotion or a desperate cry for love? You decide.

My elbow is finally starting to feel better. I tore the main ligament in there while working on this project.

Yes, that injury happened six months ago, and yes, until very recently it hurt every minute of every day, which is very distracting. Now it only hurts part of the day, which is progress, and I may be glimpsing the light at the end of the tunnel.