I've been meaning to sit down and work out some new stories for the book, but I'm having a hard time making a selection. That's why I had other people pick the songs in the first damn place. It's too easy for me fall into navel-gazing fuckheadery if I pick the song, because I'm only going to pick a song I like, and if I like it that means there's something that draws me to it. Pretty soon I've got a story where two sad people in the Midwest sit in a diner and look at each other and there's a bad metaphor in there somewhere because the food is cold/the check falls from the table/it's snowing.
I'm also sneaking in revisions and new ideas between listing my entire CD collection on Amazon. That's 1400+ discs, and I'm getting rid of almost everything. (Neko Case, Thin Lizzy, and Black Sabbath get to stay, along with bands I've played with, local bands, and small indie bands that nobody really gives a fuck about but I've seen them in my hometown.) I'm averaging about $4.50 a disc after Amazon's special fistfuck fees and shipping, which is more than I'd make if I sold it all as a lot to one greasy dude, minus the sanity and time I'm losing from having to bubble/paper wrap every single CD because I'm too cheap to buy bubble-mailers. Selling Bob Mould's Black Sheets of Rain last night kind of took a bit out of me. There are some things I won't miss, though.
This money will go toward a car, which relates to writing because I hope to do some touring once the book comes out. My 2000 Saturn with 173,000 miles just isn't going to cut it anymore. I've lost some exterior parts that have definitely made it a bit more aerodynamic, but I've also lost some internal parts that don't let the car shift into fourth gear. A couple weeks ago an old friend asked me if I still have the same car and the only honest answer I could give was, "Most of it." So I'm looking at a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant with 71,000 miles. The woman at the bank asked me if it was a sports car, because Mitsubishi makes her think "exotic." It makes me think "someone in their late-20s whose mother still does their laundry and of course nobody will love them--and they're not capable of full-on, trusting love anyways--so they don't need something you can put a car seat into or even have another person ride in, which is fine because then everyone will be able to see the embroidered KISS (Love Gun era) car seat cover on the passenger seat."
But yeah, I've been having trouble trying to find a song. That Alejandro Escovedo song up top is what I'm leaning toward for the next one, but I can't think of anything for it. I also considered songs by Scud Mountain Boys and The Reigning Sound, but, again, no ideas. Aside from a review of J.A. Tyler's new novel Variations of a Brother War that I'm hoping [PANK] will pick up, I haven't sat down and written an entire story/essay/poem in almost a month. I told myself I was going to take the month of April off--I wrote a book review and three full-length short stories in March--but then the book deal came in and I started to sell the CDs and I needed to finish up writing some songs for both bands I'm in, one of which will be recording an LP and an EP at the end of this month. I think I've had my month off by now, though, so it's time to get back to doing what I do least worst.
Also, I read this killer story by Justin Lawrence Daugherty over at SmokeLong called "Blood." The beginning sucked me, and I couldn't believe it got even weirder and better.
My father has a bullet lodged in his ass cheek. I was reminded of this as he leaned down to talk to Cerberus, our mutt, running his thick, car engine grease-covered, scarred hand through Cerb's russet-brown hair. It's all the blacks, he said after he'd been shot. It was a ricochet from a drive-by or something.
He was training Cerb to dogfight. To tear other dogs apart. To rip their throats out. We had a stuffed dummy for practice.
Cerb got loose and went after the dummy as if he wanted to eat it, like he had not eaten in weeks. Fluff torn from the open seams.
"Why are we training Cerb to fight?" I asked.
"Because he needs to rediscover his nature."
"What's his nature?" Cerb ripped open the dummy's head.
"This," dad said, pointing. I didn't get it. I'd seen Cerb eat his own shit once. "Like the wolf. Or, like, whatever came before the wolf, even."
If that sounds awesome to you, go read the rest.
Thrash on, killers.