From the fertile mind of Jayson
Oh, come on.
Now it's like people are just looking for ways
to bust me. But if anyone's interested, I'll cut the price on the $57 piece of yarn to $54, and, just because I know you out there in blogland care, throw in a signed copy of my book for free (a $75 value!)
. Unlike those hot blonde publicists, the women I bump into nowadays sure know how to shoot me down
(scroll down). And Stephen told me that book signings were a great place to pick up chicks.
Oh, well. Maybe I've been looking for love in all the wrong places, to coin a phrase I just made up myself. But Jack Kelley
just invited me to one of his Bible study group circles, so maybe my luck will change.
, my book sales are now skyrocketing
into the four-digit range! Color me Badd.
Apparently, those sales figures don't even include Wal-Mart. Which means I'm sure I've sold tons more books than that. After all, I'm sure Wal-Mart had no problem giving up shelf space usually devoted to Nascar magazines, religious polemics, and Bill O'Reiley books to make room for my nuanced masterwork. When you're good, you're good.
If I didn't know better, I'd think this guy is making fun of me
Stephen, baby, why haven't you returned my calls?
In the past week, I've sold 422 copies of my book?
(second item). That'll buy a lot of Cheez Doodles.
Now this is just silly
. I've admitted to a few honest mistakes here and there, but since when is transposing a second-person account of an event for which you served as a source into a first-person account of an event in which you served as the central character
considered plagarism? To quote a song lyric I just wrote for a new spoken-word CD of my own poetry, if that's wrong, I don't want to be right.
On the plus side, all this attention of late has had a few perks (aside from the blond publicists, that is). I got an advance copy of the Steven Glass movie
on DVD. I didn't quite see what the fuss was about, but it was great to see the guy who played the fruity housekeeper in The Birdcage
getting work again.
Publicity tastes good.
wasn't so bad. I especially liked the recurrent slow-mo images of the Times building, and the dramatic camera pans over the back copies of the newspaper with my byline. Classy!
Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to bring up the moose with all of Katie's persistent questions and clumsy attempts to prod me into apologizing -- I mean, who does she think she is, a respected journalist or something? Talk about a stick in the mud. Luckily, I met up with Stone Phillips and Matt Lauer after the interview and revisited a couple of my old Midtown haunts. After a few Harvey Wallbangers, Stone had the entire crowd at Siberia screaming when he pulled one of his eyeballs out of its socket to show everyone the blinking red diode behind it. Who knew he was a robot?
Anyway, good times, good times. Speaking of the Paper of Record, though, who knew that they would be planning on saying this
about my book? I mean, you all have seen the excerpts here, right from the source, so judge for yourself whether I'm a "serial liar." That just sounds so tacky.
, I have to get ready for my big interview with Katie Couric
this evening. Ought to be fun, even though the folks from the network told me to leave the Kermit the Frog puppet at home. In the meantime, I'll leave you all with one final installment from my carefully written and researched book. It'll probably hurt sales to give away the ending, but I think you all will be moved after seeing the uplifting and ultimately life-affirming way in which I wrapped things up:
"I won't think of it now," she said again, aloud, trying to push her misery to the back of her mind, trying to find some bulwark against the rising tide of pain. "I'll--why, I'll go home to Tara tomorrow," and her spirits lifted faintly.
She had gone back to Tara once in fear and defeat and she had emerged from its sheltering walls strong and armed for victory. What she had done once, somehow--please God, she could do again! How, she did not know. She did not want to think of that now. All she wanted was a breathing space in which to hurt, a quiet place to lick her wounds, a haven in which to plan her campaign. She thought of Tara and it was as if a gentle cool hand were stealing over her heart. She could see the white house gleaming welcome to her through the reddening autumn leaves, feel the quiet hush of the country twilight coming down over her like a benediction, feel the dews falling on the acres of green bushes starred with fleecy white, see the raw color of the red earth and the dismal dark beauty of the pines on the rolling hills.
With the spirit of her people who would not know defeat, even when it stared them in the face, she raised her chin. She could get Rhett back. She knew she could. There had never been a man she couldn't get, once she set her mind upon him.
"I'll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I'll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day."
You may notice some subtle metaphors there. Also, the genders of certain people have been changed to protect their identity. Otherwise, it is as it was, as I've heard another popular reviewer say of late.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER EXCERPT
. Since I didn't get a threatening letter from myself for running yesterday's world-exclusive excerpt from my new book, I think I'll share another chapter this morning. Here, I describe returning home after a soul-crushing day of work at the Paper of Record. Not that I'm bragging or anything, but please note the cleverly literary way in which I convey the oppressive nature of my job and the decimated state of my soul through the physical surroundings:
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.
Hey, if anyone's lived in Brooklyn, they can relate. And for some strange reason, my apartment building really did
have posters of Punch hanging on every landing.
A WORLD EXCLUSIVE
. While my publisher keeps making noises about suing my former employer
for running unembargoed excerpts from my book, I could care less. That's why, exclusively here on my blog, I'm going to share the opening passages. I'm a little nervous, since this is the first time anyone has actually seen this in its entirety, but here goes:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.
I had a hard time explaining to my editors what 18th century France and England had to do with my coke-induced dotterings at the Paper of Record, but that's what we professional writers call "setting the scene." Tune in tomorrow for another thrilling excerpt.
WOW, IT'S STRANGE TO BE WRITING HERE AGAIN.
Apologies for the lack of updates over the past few months, but I've been putting all my creative energy into getting my book out. Speaking of which, here's the cover:
I was afraid it might be too subtle, but the editors promised me that it worked. Personally, I was hoping to use a picture Zuza took of me the night I ran around the newsroom wearing a Persian head wrap, a Kermit the Frog puppet and a giant fake fur coat
. I'm afraid people will miss the subtle message of the flames and the toned-down text on the cover, but such is the biz.
Anyway, for those of you who have been wondering whatever became of me, I've been living on the air in Cincinnati... Cincinnati, WKRP. Whoops -- sometimes when you turn the ole' embellishment tap on, it's hard to turn it off. It's been cathartic to get everything out on paper, especially without those hard-asses on the Times' slot desk asking all those nit-pickey questions. But it hasn't been easy. My own journalism school rejected what I thought was a generous scholarship offer (maybe I'll have better luck setting up a poetry scholarship
). My old paper broke a publishing embargo
-- and I thought they were all ethical and stuff now. And worst of all, somewhere between W. 43rd St., Brooklyn, and Centreville, I managed to lose my good-luck moose