Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15: Publisher Has Failed, Labor in Obscurity, Place of Pain

"I don't think Trout has ever been out of the country," Rosewater went on.  "My God--he writes about Earthlings all the time, and they're all Americans.  Practically nobody on Earth is an American."

"Where does he live?" Valencia asked.

"Nobody knows," Rosewater replied.  "I'm the only person who ever heard of him, as far as I an tell.  No two books have the same publisher, and every time I write him in care of a publisher, the letter comes back because the publisher has failed."

He changed the subject now, congratulated Valencia on her engagement ring.

"Thank you," she said, and held it out so Rosewater could get a close look.  "Billy got that diamond in the war."

"That's the attractive thing about war," said Rosewater.  "Absolutely everybody gets a little something."

So, Kilgore Trout is sort of the Thomas Pynchon or J. D. Salinger of the Slaughterhouse universe, except that Trout really isn't a good writer.  As stated earlier, he has good ideas, but his prose sucks, according to Rosewater.  Maybe that's why all of his publishers fail.

All writers labor in obscurity.  Even Stephen King was living in a trailer when he sold Carrie to a publisher.  Obscurity is a writer's natural habitat.  Not by choice.  I know that if I had the choice between anonymity and fame as a poet/writer, I would choose fame.  The main goal of writing is to communicate.  Connect with people, on some level.

I think that's why I started this blog.  I wanted to somehow know that I had some kind of audience, no matter how big or small.  When I send these posts out into the Internet ether, I wait to see how many views they get.  I sort of gauge the success of a post on that number.

Recently, my page views have dropped off.  I don't know why.  It seems to coincide with the start of summer.  Warm weather means low page views.  People don't want to spend the free time in June, July, and August surfing blogs, I guess.  I don't blame them.  After I'm done typing this post, I plan to go outside, sit on my front steps, and read a good book.

That doesn't mean that I wouldn't kill for a million views.  I would.  Figuratively, of course.  I don't want to be Kilgore Trout.  I want to be Stephen King or J. D. Salinger or Dr. Seuss.  Any writer who says otherwise is a liar. Writers are needy people.  They want to be loved.

Perhaps that's why so many writers are damaged people.  Alcoholic.  Bipolar.  Abused.  Depressed.  Addicted.  I think that most good writing comes from a place of pain.  I know that I'm attracted to poems and books that feel like open wounds.  There's something very honest in work like that.  It helps me through difficult times.  Makes me feel less alone.

Saint Marty is thankful tonight for good writing.

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