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How Should the Insert in a Moleskine Read?

November 21, 2011

Hemmingway and Van Gogh enjoyed our cramped and miserably tiny pages and you can too. It’s the most expensive notebook you will ever buy.

You’re creative enough to recognize the importance of a brand, but not smart enough to realize that each page contains only enough room to partially develop a thought.

Good luck using the bottom of the page as your hand curls into a palsied knot and you hope like hell you’ll be able to read it later.

Moleskine.

What Happens when You Get in Front of the Computer After a Few Beers?

November 19, 2011

MultiView fiction is a byproduct of reality. The product is created by sending at least three writers into the field. They all recount the experience, at least in part, as accurately and honestly as they can. The best result is created from the most disparate situations. When the result must be without writing, as long as the story is told, that is fine.

Then, another person stitches these experiences together. The audience may never know the ID of any of the main speakers. It’s a discursive action produced by a multi voice.

For me, the city isn’t consistent enough, and all the speakers ought to be able to claim their voices in the narrative.

I guess if they are not distinctive enough, then that’s their fault  And it adds to the intrigue of the city.

I wish men weren’t so sexy to me. It’s going to be this way for me, and I do not believe that I will evolve around it. I think that the key to the survival of the human race is homosexuality. We must cease to reproduce. We must look to the earth to sustain us as we decrease, fingers crossed that some of us may survive. If we continue to follow the paradigm, we will continue to be lost.

Am I manifesting or manefesto-ing or neither?

I hate Warhol. I think the only truth he reveals is in a completely coquettish way — not exactly respectable, and most certainly not his own ideas. Art by committee when the committee gets no credit. Thank goodness he never actually affected anything or he might have been dangerous in his banality and the promise of his vouyerism. Or is that now the reality we are presented with as truth? Like I said, I hate Warhole.

But this isn’t the stuff of grant applications. What you want to hear is somethign new. I can try to give it to you, but I’m afraid all I have is my desire to make something new. To devise a way besides fiction — to have people speaking on a situation in their real voices.

#1 The rules and ideas fly away like birds.

What is a Pitch?

August 11, 2011

Photo by celyn_cruz. Click to go.

Yes, that’s right. Pitch with a P. P as in piss. P as in pastry.

Apparently, there are people out there who aspire to be writers that really have no fucking clue about this.

According to About.com, a pitch is describing the story and then telling the editor why you’re the best person to write the story. It also mentions that this should be done succinctly.

The key here is knowing what the word succinctly means. If you don’t know, look it up right now. Suss-inked. That’s how you say it.

I love working as a Matador Nights editor. I get a lot of freedom in my work. Last week, I posted that I was looking for writers with some general guidelines. I’m excited to say that there have been plenty of inquiries, some fine pitches, and already 2 approved pieces, fully formed, ready to go.

Then there are the wankers out there who want to interface extensively and never get around to producing anything. I am now convinced that these people aren’t writers. If they were, they would just fucking write something. I don’t know what they’re on about, but it’s not producing work.

Here’s a hint. If I have to write you more than twice, and if my suggestions for what you do (as the editor) go ignored more than once without some compelling idea as to why what I’ve proposed is somehow not even worth addressing, I will have to put the hurt on you. And to illustrate what I mean by “put the hurt on,” I will reproduce here, with some redactions, an email I felt compelled to send to a “writer” today.

The email is a response to a back and forth in which I had probably written more than 800 words, provided the writer with a golden tagline for a strong piece, and asked for a POV.

Instead, the guy flings back the same soup of vague ideas he gave me in the first email. If anything, it was even more vague and wet-noodley than the original one and informed me that his POV was as a 25 year old guy.

Here is the answer to who is a writer and who is not a writer.

A writer will rise to the occasion. If an editor asks a writer for something, barring some total meltdown or in situations where the writer has a strong vision and is asking direction for something well underway (if only mentally), or if the editor is a total lame-o with uninteresting ideas — barring possibilities along these lines — if the writer wants to work and is asked for something by an editor, that writer will generally simply produce the required work.

A writer will not parry and mince words and spread them on top of a slice of dry toast and then eat them. A writer will not pretend that the editor is somehow obtuse and can’t figure out what the writer is really talking about because the writer will fucking write it down and write it in a way that can be understood. A writer will not look at their potential piece as a fully formed gestating being on its way, DNA coded up and down, something existent and simply unborn at the moment. The writer unravels that shit and lays it down. It’s like braiding or weaving, or cleaning; work. The writer will generally work and not beg for answers when a close enough read of the first email would already have answered all the questions. A writer would know that was insulting to the editor’s intelligence.

Perhaps you think I’m on some kind of high horse. Maybe you think I should replace the P in the name of this piece with a B. Maybe you’re with me or maybe I lost you in the first paragraph. I know not all writers are the same, but one way to identify us is that we generally write things other than emails.

Yours,

Kate

What’s a Chemotherapy Session in a Buenos Aires Public Hospital Like?

August 10, 2011

Rick receives chemotherapy at Hospital Oncologico Maria Curie. Photo: Kate Sedgwick.

Yesterday, I went to the hospital with my friend Rick. Rick is an American living in Buenos Aires, receiving treatment through the public hospital system. Yesterday, I went with him while he got chemotherapy.

Below is an excerpt from an entry I wrote for his blog:

Rick and I can always talk, even when it seems like there really couldn’t be that much to say. Today, topics include but are not limited to hysterical transgender politics in the LGBT movement, a guy I encounter regularly who seems to adjust his crotch every time he sees me and what this could mean, the hot young guy showing off to his friends on the chin-up bar outside the hospital that caught Rick’s eye, the possibility that Rick’s tumor might have shrunken and if the physical sensations in his rectum or absence thereof are credible evidence of such a thing, Rick’s mom and her question about whether he used his mouth or his ass when he had sex, and her proclamation at a certain point after she’d accepted his homosexuality, “I hope you’re getting some!” We also discuss a possible timeline for the surgery he’ll get if everything goes as well as it can. If the treatment is successful, the tumor will have shrunk and they will remove it after this course of chemo. I worry that I’ll be in the Galapagos on a press trip. We’ll have to wait and see, but I don’t like the idea of not being able to visit him in the hospital.

To read the rest of this entry, read Rick’s stellar writing about the situation, to donate to Rick’s cancer related expenses, or to see photos from the life of an expat in the public healthcare system of Buenos Aires, go to RickHasCancer.com.

What Happens When You Decide to Add Me to Your Mafia Family?

July 17, 2011

Unfollow.

Part Ten: Why Did You Decide to Move to Argentina?

June 11, 2011

I just can’t face this story in a linear way anymore. The dread of trying to put it all in order paralyzes me. So many things happened, many of them were mortifying at the time. All I can do is bounce from one to another, try to put them out plainly, but the time escapes me. There is no sense of chronology.

It is cold and dry. Out on the quad in front of the Humanities Building, I shiver in my leather jacket. On the back, in pink, are painted the words, “Are you hung up?” My ass is on the cold ledge of concrete everyone uses as a bench, absorbing the iciness through my jeans. I smoke cigarette after cigarette before my psychology class.

Across from me on the mirror of the ledge I’m sitting on, facing me, are three kids. They’re laughing. I hear some words when they raise their voices. “…crazy bitch…in front of everyone…”

One of the other guys laughs. They are skinny, unshaven, look like hackey sackers with pointy elbows, their adolescence still in full swing, their voices not quite over cracking. They move closer together and talk conspiratorially and my heart beats faster. I stare fixedly at them as they burst into laugher, leaning away from each other to spare their ears.

“I can fucking hear what you’re saying. I know you’re fucking making fun of me!” I yell it across the quad at them, near tears.

“Hey,” says one guy, loudly but his voice full of tenderness, “we weren’t talking about you. I swear.”

Even from this distance, I can feel his sincerity and how wrong I was, and even though before I was so acutely humiliated I felt I had no choice but to defend myself, now I feel remorseful, brutish and crazy. I say, “OK. OK.” I hang my head and silently hate myself. Fucking idiot. Mother fucking crazy mother fucking idiot. I drop my cigarette on the ground, swing my backpack over my shoulder and pull the heavy door to the building open and go in to class. The heat is a wall I walk into.

The class is set up like a small auditorium except the floor is not at an incline. The professor is an animated guy who wears pinstriped shirts and writes the main points on a transparency projector. The material is difficult — there are so many classifications for crazy people and it’s hard to keep them all separate, to differentiate between clear-cut symptoms of one condition and another, one type or another. My butt starts to warm up in the molded plastic. I fiddle with the metal spiral of my notebook on the fold-out desk. Something about these chair-desk units is like a highchair.

He is at the front of the dim room and the class is filling up with sober faced kids who listen quietly in the dimness. I don’t know if any of them heard the outburst outside and I try not to look at them, but people leaning together in conversation catch my eye and I fixate on them, try to hear what they say.

Class starts and I listen in the gloomy room to known symptoms of psychological disorders.

Would You Like to Read a Shocking, Shamelessly Entertaining Descent into the Erotic Underworld of the Third Reich?

June 9, 2011

Neither would I.

But last night at a friend’s see-you-later-Buenos-Aires party, she was giving away books. And I don’t know how she ran across this gem, but she says she never read it. Behold the trashy cover! A shiny silver SS pin, long enough to lobotomize someone with, pierces a black rose with a drop of blood dripping down.

There are sure to be some gems here. Just consider the first line of the novel:

I hate furniture and clowns.

Is it the combination our narrator objects to, or each entity individually? I guess I might have to read on and find out. Or maybe not.

I had never noticed before that the SS logo is the same as the final two letters in the KISS logo. In all the years my brother’s KISS LPs knocked around our house, I just never noticed it. Maybe I just haven’t spent enough time examining Nazi memorabilia.
But when I looked into it, I found that the German ban on Nazi imagery is so strict that KISS altered their logo for the German market. If they hadn’t, their records couldn’t be sold and their posters couldn’t be displayed.

As I held the book in my hands last night, I figured it might be good for a few laughs, that I might even cut out passages of choice text and do something with them. But I didn’t know that it was going to be educational, too.

Turns out that the author, Marc Behm, was an American who expatriated to France after serving in the US Army in WWII. That’s what Wikipedia says, anyway.

German Kiss record

The book jacket promises:

SHE’S THE WOMAN OTHER WOMEN CAN’T FORGET AND SOME MEN DON’T LIVE TO…
She is every inch a woman…and every bit a Nazi. Edmonde, beautiful and depraved, who quotes Shakespeare, then screams “Sieg Heil” and plunges into orgies of impossible savagery.

It also owns its satirical nature. I might have some Edmonde quotes for you in the near future. In the meantime, I will leave you with the novel’s final line:

“Auf Wiedersehen, you pigfuckers!”

Why Do I See Faces Everywhere?

June 5, 2011

On the way home I walked around the corner and saw a face.


I walked closer and saw that it was leaves.

Do You See What I See?

May 27, 2011

IMG_0179

A: A face in the clouds.

So the World’s Not Ending. Now What?

May 21, 2011

Some may say we’ll all be better off without the evangelicals to plague us.

Too bad those wackos are living in a dream world. They’ve all quit their jobs, gotten rid of all their belongings and quit paying their bills in order to prepare for shuffling off this mortal coil and it’s not happening.

I have a feeling some submachine guns will come out to express some fundamental disappointment.

All of you out there who have been preparing for the zombie attack, this is your moment to shine. Be on the lookout for mouth frothing rage and the soulless glaze of disappointment. These are the true harbingers of doom.

Since the end is not really nigh, there are going to be some gun-totin’ motherfuckers out there with nothing to lose and nowhere to turn but mass murder and the promise that the chaos they wreak will be the start of the true apocalypse.

Oh, and in case you want a look at the kook who predicted this, get a load of the stringy Harold Camping in all his gristly glory. He sounds like Ben Stein, but looks like Mr. Burns. What about this guy inspires confidence?

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