I’m usually saying something in my posts. For a change, I’m saying nothing. But even that is filled with a whole lot of everything.
FACT: My November promotion of Dusk and Summer for National Pancreatic Cancer Research Month didn’t go exactly as I had planned. Why so, you ask? Well, I didn’t sell a million copies. To be fair, I’m lucky if a handful sold. And let me tell you, I am tremendously appreciative of that handful. But writers are a greedy lot. We’re always looking for more than what we get. We won’t admit it. Well, I think I kinda just did. My goal in November was to raise awareness of this cruel disease. And, of course, to honor the memory of my father. If you’ve taken the time to read my November posts, then I’m confident you’ll find I did both brilliantly. Hey, I’m not cocky – I’m passionate. I stripped my soul bare writing that book, and if but one person has been altered by it, if but one person has found hope & inspiration within its pages, and if but one person thought about Dusk and Summer and its meaning long after the book had been put down, well, sure, maybe I didn’t sell a million copies last month…but that knowledge will make me a millionaire.
A quick fyi: proceeds are donated to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research anytime you purchase Dusk and Summer, but the final tally specifically for November should be in soon.
SELF-OBSERVATION: I more or less exist in the shadows in way of my writing. I’ve yet to decide whether this is good or bad. I do not call attention upon myself. But as a writer, you essentially must in some form. It’s such a double-edged sword. Honestly, I don’t enjoy the so-called “spotlight.” I’m not going to slam sales page links to my books down your throat. I’m not going to whore myself with never-ending posts to the likes of “I just got a five-star review for blah-blah-blah,” or “I’m ranked 1,358 in Kindle books.” I don’t need to put myself out on the corner and doubt I ever will. Just not my style. “Gaddangit, now just hold on!” you’re screaming at your poor computer screen now (or for you bigger bullies, your smartphone), “I see your rootin’ tootin’ blog posts all over the place, you two-faced sonofabiscuit!” Well right you are, irate reader of mine, and that is because I’m whoring me, not some meaningless stat. For those just now acquainted with my blog & for those who’ve followed me awhile, chew on this: I’m a horror writer, and I haven’t posted one damn horror story yet on my blog. Not even an excerpt from a horror story. Okay sure, when I first started “twittering” and “facebooking” I put up some dumb posts like “Just finished my second draft of “The Curious Love of Mr. Tweedleton.” Really? Like you gave a damn, right? Like that allowed you a good sleep that night. I was still learning the ropes, ya know? Forgive this naive, silly little man.
So maybe I should ask you, dear reader – for fuck’s sake why have you stuck with me? Well I’ll tell you why:
SELF-OBSERVATION NUMERO TWO-OH: …cause I’m different, and my blog is real. Okay, so I’m getting ready to whore me again (look, you don’t have to kiss me & I promise you won’t have to spoon me come the morn, so let’s all work through this, hmm?). I published my first blog post on September 30, 2010, I believe, and let me tell you, I had no freakin’ clue what I was doing. I had no clue what I was going to say. Most of the time I still don’t. I mean, who the hell am I, anyway? But it goes like this – I write the way I talk, and I want you to see me & my bald head sitting right smack next to you whilst you read (I won’t stare, promise). Listen, you won’t care if I’ve sent a short story to market. You won’t care if I’m zombified with writer’s block, & you won’t care if I’m lucky to get two hours a day to write. But you will care if I suck you into my life by the snap of my fingers, if I share you me and not my foolish stats, and you will care once you realize that I care.
SELF-OBSERVATION NUMERO THREE-OH: This blog is ultimately for my daughter, a sort of road map for her one day, a means in which to follow the old man’s path. I want to be something for her, not some Jersey boy with secret stories from a waste management past; not the current owner of a house cleaning business, and not someone who feels so dreadfully unaccomplished right now. I want to be a somebody for her, so she understands, borrowing shamelessly from John Mayer, that I was always bigger than my body. I need to accomplish a dream so she can dream grander and accomplish greater. I pray my Athena will one day be proud of me. And I hope I’m a someone for her always.
A VERY NICE RECOGNITION: I was recently presented the Versatile Blogger Award, nominated by T.K. Millin. All kidding aside, I truly don’t like the proverbial spotlight, but I guess I’m going to step up on stage a moment. T.K., thank you for bestowing me with this. You’re a special writer, a special person & have an amazing cat in Efi Loo. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my posts about my father’s battle against pancreatic cancer. Now, I think you all should become regulars at T.K.’s blog please: http://tkmillin.blogspot.com/ Now, upon receiving the Versatile Blogger Award, you must reveal seven facts about yourself…damn you, T.K., you’re killing me. Alright, drum roll please http://home.fmh.utl.pt/~al07833/musica/DKIT09FX.WAV
1. I used to kiss my pillow when I was little, thinking it was good practice to eventually smooch a girl. Needless to say, I’m now a master at pillow-talk ba-da-dum
2. I believed I was Spider-Man. I still do. Excuse me…spider sense is tingling…
3. I love oaky, chewy Cabernets, Johnnie Walker Black, Turbo Dog and Purple Haze beers from Abita Brewery down in Louisiana.
4. 16 tattoos and I’m hoping to get my 17th by the end of winter
5. The one horror movie that scared the absolute crap out of my ass? Blackula. Yes, Blackula…the black avenger…Dracula‘s soul brother. Here’s the trailer (don’t blame me if you shit your pants, too; I warned you) Blackula
6. Soppressata, a nice cheese, some good Italian bread, & a bottle of wine. Have that out for me, my friends, & I am not leaving your home. For the benefit of my non Paisan friends, a quick education on what soppressata is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soppressata
7. I look at my New Orleans Saints 2009 Super Bowl Champions banner every day and smile.
A VERY NICE RECOGNITION PART TWO: Okay, this is getting crazy. I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award from Lucinda Rose. As explained by Lucinda, this award is given out to bloggers currently under 200 followers and who deserve more recognition and encouragement. Lucinda, poor girl, stumbled upon my blog, & I’d like to think I actually made a good impression. But seriously, from the bottom of my heart, Lucinda, thank you for your kindness & taking time out of your busy day as an English teacher to read my words. I encourage you all to camp out and occupy Lucinda‘s blog please: http://rosereads.com/ You’ll discover that Lucinda is a gifted woman with an enormous heart, wonderfully passionate about her priorities in life, & who wears a mean pair of glasses.
Now I’m supposed to pass these awesome awards to some unsuspecting victims, & I will do so in my next blog, but of course I’m going to screw the whole thing up & only nominate each award to one person (as opposed to 15 for the Versatile and 5 for the Liebster). Come on now, have you ever seen pictures of my mug? You think I follow rules? I just wish to really hone in on two deserving bloggers, that’s all (and ultimately that will make my decisions even harder!)
THE DAY THE SUN STOPPED SHINING BLOG TOUR 2011: Starting December 21 and running through December 31, various authors – and their readers – will host a blog tour with an apocalyptic theme. Fellow author & friend Johanna Pitcairn kindly invited me into the group & I obliged, momentarily dispelling a brain fart as I realized holy bejesus, I’m much to busy with my own projects to partake in this! And another brain fart realizing holy bejesus, I’ve never been part of a blog tour! What do I say? Whatever will I wear? Well, woe is me, just pipe it down & do it, which, of course, I am. I’ll be doing it by the seat of my pants, but that’s the way I enjoy my writing anyhoo’s. So coming soon, I’ll be featuring links to the authors participating. Hop around – everyone will be offering something different, like giveaways, puppies, etc. I can’t tell you what I’m giving away yet. If I did I’d have to kill you, and then you would miss THIS: I mentioned in Self-Observation that I haven’t posted one damn horror story yet on my blog. (reasoning: I cannot post what I put out to market.) But that all changes with THE DAY THE SUN STOPPED SHINING BLOG TOUR. I conjured a little something just for the tour, & I’m looking forward to your take on it. And no, it’s not a puppy. Or a new bike. Yeesh.
SHUTTING MY BIG FUCKING MOUTH NOW: Well, I think that’s about it. I hope you’ve looked forward to my blog & that you’ll especially enjoy it in the coming months. There will be my spin on Mr. Mom posts, of course, & some posts that will continue catching you off guard. There’ll be poems & songs. There might be some videos in the works (sssh, dearie, that’s hush-hush for now). Hell, I might just write some short stories especially for my blog as well. Above all, I hope you will continue finding inspiration in my work & views. But I have to warn you…lately I’ve had the feeling that I’ve been a little too nice. A little too cutsie. Something inside me has been clawing. Wanting to be free.
Mr. Mom? Yes, I will always be Mr. Mom.
But I am a horror author, after all. 😉
22 thoughts on “Something, nothing, everything”
Joe, I hope you remember the notes we sent back and forth regarding Dusk and Summer. I would still like to think our Dads found each other and are enjoying a Scotch and talking…I appreciate what you do, and the fact that this blog is for your daughter makes it even better. Happy Holidays to you and your family. I’m glad to know you’re still the same guy I knew all those years ago.
Hi Colleen, of course I do! Geez, there’s no such thing as last call for our dad’s anymore…and they never have to worry about getting a cab home 😉 Thank you for the kind words. Happy holidays to you & your family as well. Yeah, I haven’t changed much. And if & when I make it big, you’ll never know the difference 🙂
Loved this. Made me smile and thankful that I am not the only one in this big ol’ world feeling the exact same way.
Hi Samantha! So glad you did – & here I was all the while thinking I was the only square peg in this big round world of ours ;P I hope you’ll go back into my past posts & enjoy my future ones
Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.
Love writing? We would love for you to join us!
Thank you! I’ll def check it out!
You are so not a horrible Author!!!
I enjoyed this post. I would have bought all million of the copies of your book if I had the money, because of the cause, and it is probably a good read, I love your blog!
Aww thank you Zolemia! I’m having a contest soon so myabe you just might get yourself a few signed copies 😉
Loved this blog post. for one thing, I found some more blogs to follow, and for another, I churchled, guffawed, cacled, and genraly smiled and enjoyed being me awhile.
Hey Charles, well let me tell you that’s a damn good thing to do! And I’m thrilled I served as sort of a bridge for you! Happy travels my friend!!
Great blog post, Joseph, and well deserved Versatile Blogger Award! I really enjoyed the facts you posted about yourself (hey, I am also enticed by a great wine, rich cheese, Blacula, tattoos, and the great company of horror writers), but what I really wanted to tell you is that what comes through in your writings and your blog is authenticity – the real, genuine, writer (and horror writer) that you are – that voice rings true for readers, which is why, I think, we are drawn to particular authors. Keep the stories coming!
Thanks, Hope, I appreciate that. It’s so important for me to “talk” to people through my blog.
Love this and your book.
What a great tribute to your dad. I’m not sure if you remember this, but I lost my mom to Pancreatic Cancer on May 17, 2007. I miss her with all my heart and soul. God has blessed me with 2 beautiful younger sisters, a wonderful husband, two amazing grownup boys and many other family members and friend’s. However, no one can take the place of our parents. I miss both my mom and dad every single day.
Thank you for bringing more awareness to this unforgiving dreadful disease and to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Merry Christmas to you and your family,
Hi Donna, of course I remember you telling me about your mom. I hope my book gives you a glimmer of hope – that moments & people transcend what you can conceive as possible. You’ll see your parents again one day. Of that, I have no doubt.
Thank you for reaching out to me. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.
Merry Christmas to your family
A good writer doesn’t need self-promotion, it just happens because people like your style. You’re a GREAT writer, so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen quickly. You’ll be at the place when you’re supposed to be at the place, and you’ll be where you’ll supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. The TAO belief of the Universe. 🙂 Sorry about your father, never easy to lose someone you love.
Thanks you so much, Connie! And I appreciate the TAO quote you passed along; it will serve me well. Thank you for visiting my neck of the woods. I’ve joined your blog. Hopefully this will not be the last time our paths cross 🙂
Morning Joseph!! Not sure what to tackle first LOL! K..nice to meet you here too..your blog rocks! I love that you write the way you speak..cause well..I do too! I love that you are real and offer yourself up here as who you are! For your Dad..I am sorry hon, I lost my Mom to cancer too! I will look for the book! Well, I will be picking them all up..but that one first!
As for pimping yourself..ya gotta do a bit of that if ya wanna sell work. But I totally understand the discomfort with that. There is nothing that annoys me more than having an artist I know spam twitter with 50 items she has on Etsy. I do too..but seriously you sell your work by offering up who you are there..not what you do so much. If folks like you, they look to see more about you..your work. In the process you meet amazing folks..like you:) So go ahead and whore a bit and we will pimp you! That sounded horrid LOL!
Pillow kissing..giggle too funny! I love these memes. One of the seven/awards changed the way I blogged. I started blogging to pimp my artwork..so to speak. But it ended up being more about my life really with the art as part of it! I love that! I loved your seven!!
As for being the man who your daughter can look up to and love..am thinkin’ you have that pegged hon! With kids..it is all about the love! Sounds like you adore her..and really that is all they need! Love!
So I have a novel here..but there was much to respond to..and I love the blog! I am a jaded blog reader LOL! Have a great Wed. and will see you on the tweets! Wonderful post!
Sarah, I don’t even knowwhat to say to all that! lol First, obviously thank you for taking the time to read my last post. I appreciate that you appreciate the way I write; I hope that if you met & “heard” me, you wouldn’t know the difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kindess (bowing). It truly is humbling.
So honored to have you aboard!! 🙂
Congrats on the awards, my friend. I also received the Versatile Blogger Award and chose (as you did, I just saw) to only pass it to one person. By the way, I read it as “up to 15.” So I chose one. It seemed like you either do one or all the way up to 15, or you will always hurt people’s feelings. Even at 15 all you can say is, “I ran out of recipients,” and you still may have people wondering why you didn’t choose them. Sheesh.
Anyway, glad I caught this post. And agree with Sarah. Where to start? Love the practicing the smooching on your pillow. Relate to wanting to do all of this for loved ones. For me, it’s my wife first, to show her she made the right choice in this gamble on a writer-husband. But my toddler daughter is right up there, as well.
Envious of your 16 tattoos. Only three, but big plans for whenever I have the money. And apparently I have some research to do (never seen “Blackula,” and this Irishman doesn’t know what soppressata is… but it all sounds good)
Paul D. Dail
http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog
Hi Paul! I agree; if you do name 15 recipients, I think that someone you network with extensively may secretly have their feelings hurt. And it shouldn’t be a popularity contest, either.
Haha!! I figured I may land some grief about kissing my pillow (although said pillow didn’t seem to mind), but that’s all the zaniness I’m willing to indulge…for now! Yes, tattoos…once you start it’s hard to stop. Money is always a huge deciding factor, for in the world of ink you do get what you pay for.
“Blackula” is a campy horror classic. Seeing it now it’s hard to believe I shit my drawers back then; but “Dracula’s soul brother” caused me to sleep with my sheets drawn to my neck for years afterward. Damn bastard!
Soppressata…you’re missing out, my friend. If ever you should venture into NJ or to visit NY, ring me up. I shall take you to a fine Italian deli & open your eyes & tase buds to many wonders!
And as always, thank you for reading my blog. Your support is always much appreciated!
Believe me, if I’m ever in the neighborhood, I will certainly look you up. Would be great to meet you in person. Until then, I’ll have to find a good authentic Italian around here somewhere (not an easy task in small-town Southern Utah. It may just have to be one of those things I’ll be anxiously looking forward to).
And Blackula will be on the list.
Hope you have a good rest of the week and Christmas (if I may be so bold as to presume that is your thing 🙂 )
Paul D. Dail
http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog
Thank you Paul. And yes, Christmas is my thing lol A merry one to you & yours as well.