Monday, July 29, 2013

From the Mailbag

This past week I received several pieces of fan mail.  A couple actual letters, an email, and a few notes (and comments) offered up face-to-face.  Fan mail runs like this sometimes . . .

However, in the interest of time, I thought I would try to respond to a few of these fans here, so that others wouldn't feel the need to waste a postage stamp on me.  I have a feeling that many of my fans have the same ideas about my writing and so it might be helpful to just get things out in the open here.

Letter # 1You seem to have an ability to write about most anything and you even make me laugh.  How do you combine insights with humor?

Well, I'm not sure I can actually do two things at once.  When I was ten, for example, I attempted to cure a bad cold by chewing a tablet of aspergum while giving myself a suppository.  But the mixup was astounding and I ended up (sorry for the pun) with a refreshing spearmint sensation every time I took a step. Soon after, my lips went numb.

As for combining insights with humor, I'm not sure I was trying to be funny.  Perhaps you are laughing at the wrong jokes.  

Letter #2:  You have a unique voice in your poetry.  How would you describe it?

Over the years I have attempted to refine my voice by singing in the shower.  This is also where I write my poems--usually on bars of soap, or by etching words in the soap scum with my fingernails.

I also inhale helium from time to time, which gives my voice a falsetto lilt.  Using this falsetto voice, which my wife has described as Michael-Jackson-like in quality and creativity, I often recite my poetry while speaking into a rapidly rotating fan blade.  This provides an echo and confuses the hell out of my wife, as she cannot tell if I am upstairs in the bedroom or downstairs in the garage sitting on the lawnmower in my underwear.  She often comes running out of the house screaming.  But really, you've got to be here to appreciate it.

Letter # 3:  When you are travelling to other cities to do research for your writing or when you are being whined and dined by publishers, can you write any of your expenses off?

Absolutely.  Some of these expenses also include black licorice, which I eat by the pounds while I write and, of course, any shower caps that I might purchase in the hotel gift shop (if they don't come complimentary along with toilet paper and those tiny bottles of shampoo).  I also write off all expenses associated with my son, who eats upwards of ninety-seven hamburgers a day and four bags of green apples.  Any costs associated with my sex life are also a given--as my wife frequently travels with me and must--and I repeat MUST--have a full spa treatment before anything happens.  Oh, and if I still had a dog I'd write it off, too.  Canines are essential for writing dog stories, and I haven't written a single dog scoop since our pug was eaten by coyotes.  

Letter # 4:  What are you currently working on?  

Work?  Let's not get obscene.  (Not unless you want to tell my wife how to do it.)

I'm actually working on several new projects, including a book that I hope will be published on sheepskin.  I also hope to write a book about pirates so that I can, at last, use the word "swashbuckler" in a sentence.  I've always wanted an opportunity to use this word profusely, and the only way to make that happen is to write a book with lots of swordplay.  So you can see why a book on pirates is essential to my literary career.  Otherwise, I'll have to settle for writing a book about the Amish, but I'm not keen on using the word "buggy".  I have other favorite words, and "swashbuckler" is one of them.  I love to swashbuckle.  And I'd love to write a very thick, fully-illustrated book about swashbucklers.

But listen, I'm writing other stuff, too.  I'm considering an article about paint:  how it dries, how to watch it dry, how to make sure it's drying.  I'm also hoping to write an article about antique fishing lures.  This is not a joke.  I'm hoping to hook an editor with this idea.  It's the kind of article I could really sink my teeth into.  I'm writing a plug for it.  Gonna toss it out there, see if anyone bites.  But most of the editors, to date, have told me they find this subject hard to swallow. 


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