*Segments in quotation marks are excerpts”.
If you’ve never tried writing I highly recommend it. It’s weird and wonderful, creative and personal. It’s tremendous-right up until the moment that a stranger tells you that the story you have poured your heart into is” good but….
“But I feel someone else might be better equipped to represent it”. “But I’m afraid that I can’t think of any editors to put this in front of.” “But I’m not sure what the market is for a book like this.” The first couple times you just focus on the part where they said it was good, but then you realize that that’s a very kind way of saying that they’re not sure my book would make them money. At first I found that aggravating, but then that’s absurd isn’t it? In a world where publishers have to compete with Youtube and whatever Kimye has going on in their dreadfully public lives, they have no choice but to swing for the fences when it comes to what they publish, and agents likewise need focus on the books that they know they can sell. I can sympathize with that, and quite frankly, I wrote a weird little book. Time is money, so why should they spend theirs trying to figure out if they can sell my novel? And then it occurred to me to find out for myself.
So that’s what this post is for. I’ve spent the last two months trying to find a literary agent, and while I understand that a lot of people spend a great deal more time than that looking for the right person to represent them, I myself am leaning in another direction. While I have no hard feelings towards literary agents, I have recently sought out publishing houses that allow you to submit without the backing of an agent. My current favorite is “Impulse Publishers,” both because I sincerely feel as though my novel would fit in nicely there, and because its home to the same sort of books that I myself read (and because they’re smart, handsome/beautiful/any other adjecitves that would make them like me enough to publish my novel, people). However, I see very little reason to submit to them at this point, unless I myself can determine that this is indeed a novel that people would want to read. My goal (absurd as it may be) is to receive ten thousand positive responses to this post. And what is a positive response? Anything that signifies that this is a novel that you would be willing to buy. Like my post, leave a comment, share it with your friends. If the idea strikes you kindly, please do everything that you can to help me spread the word. It could potentially help me out a great deal. So what’s going to happen now is I am going to tell you about the novel. If you like it you can give me a helping hand. If you don’t, well I don’t know. You can tell all your friends about the douchebag you met on the internet I guess. Anyway, here it is.
“I find myself awakening in my own skin, righteous with self discovery, now fully ready and eager for the end…..until at the last moment I am saved by own metaphorical webbing, and in an instant my life comes flooding back down upon me all at once like a damn breaking. Spiderman takes off his mask, and he is Peter Parker. I stop convulsing on the floor just long enough to be Tyler Metz, dog whisper and murderer”.
The novel that I wrote is titled Something Decent. It is a first person narrative told from the perspective of twenty four year old slacker stoner Tyler Metz, who sits on his couch one slow Friday morning with a joint in one hand, and a cigarette in the other, his eyes glued to what are apparently a particularly good batch of cartoons. It’s a typical day in the life of an unemployed man child, though not for long. As Tyler sits smoking alone on his couch, from seemingly out of nowhere his dog walks into the room on its hind legs transforming slightly with every step until he stands before Tyler looking almost human. This dog, who up until that point he had known as Peter speaks to him, his words growing ever more haunting with each passing sentence. Tyler is at first able to keep his cool, trying to participate in his own mental break down to the best of his abilities (as psychosis so rarely lends itself to such rare circumstances) but as “Peter” confronts Tyler with his dark past (“And I know that you killed your uncle because he fucked you.”), he is no longer able to keep his cool, and in a fit of righteous rage he shoves the animal to the ground and stabs it in the heart killing it quickly.
And that is how the book begins. Before he can fully process what has happened Tyler is forced to defend himself from the lingering spirit of the murderer that had possessed his dog. He does so with the help of a suicidal spirit guide named Zeke, a drug dealing psychic named Funky, and a man named Joseph Hoffman, asshole, Satanist, and Catholic priest, (not necessarily in that order). But that’s not all that there is to the novel.
“I have never encountered a more dehumanizing experience than walking around like a shell, living the life of a person that I barely recognized. That was what my life had become. I was in the middle of a long plummet, with no net, and no hope of finding one.”
Yes, it’s a silly little story about a boy that’s being pursued by his former pet (turned walking talking asshole) but truthfully it is more than that, at least to me anyway. There are demons, and ghosts and drug dealers, and yes there are plenty of jokes (this is not one of those talking dog books that takes itself too seriously) but to me it’s more than that. It’s a story written for those that have walked the streets wearing a smile that is not their own, wondering why no one else could understand that they were suffering. It’s a story for people who have contemplated the nuances of life and death, and perhaps decided that the latter was simpler. It is my own personal attempt to navigate through the dark terrain of living, dying, and the vague in between. If you read this and you understand the feeling, and would like to walk through the journey with me (in an outlet that is softened by stoners and talking dogs) then let me know here. Like my post, share it with your friends on twitter and facebook, and shoot me a comment letting me know what you think. And you know what? If you think I’m full of shit you can say that too. It’s a whole lot better than hearing “It’s good, but….”.
“Life is what you make it, and I have made mine twice. There is what you see, and what you don’t: each iteration is just as real as the next, if you want it to be. The only question now is who do you want me to be? Perhaps it’s my wounded poetic soul crying out, but I would love to share, I would love to say everything, because then I can be alive. Then, the person that I am can exist beyond the dimensions of my skull. Maybe I’ll be just as fucked up as ever or maybe I won’t but–Oh. You aren’t listening. That’s ok, I understand, no one likes a sad clown.”
Follow me on Twitter @DewmontPaul for updates on what is happening with Something Decent.
Maybe. Maybe I will do short story saturdays. As any writer worth their salt can say, I have stacks upon stacks of unread undesirable short stories written from the perspective of a fifteen year old boy desperate for attention. While I on occasion will attempt to break out those old stories and salvage them into somethings sell-able, the overwhelming verdict is often enough that they are beyond saving. Even old stories that I have had published in magazines often times fall far short of anything that I would want someone that knows me to see. And that is where you come in to play my fine feathered friends. You don’t know me. As far as you know I am jut the long winded wordy sometimes leather bound (See http://youtu.be/NdoKxPI7wqY ) emo loser that shouts all things “Dewmont” for the world to hear. And while that iteration of myself is scarcely better than it’s mopey fifteen year old counter part, it will seem miles better by comparison. So, for the sake of humor, I am considering integrating a weekly segment of unearthing some of my particularly horrible short stories for the world (meaning the three and a half people that read this blog) to see. And they really are dreadful my friends. We’re talking phrases like “suspicious coffee pot.” So in the coming weeks you can expect to possibly see that. Also, as I have mentioned several times throughout my blog, I am putting the finishing touches on a novel. So if I am never able to find a publisher for it, you can expect to see that released on her as well, though in segments. But that won’t be until the distant future.
So yeah. Thanks for reading,
Thinking I’m a stupid asshole? Tell me on Twitter! You can follow me @DewmontPaul . Call me stupid, call me a loser, just don’t call me late for dinner