Saturday, April 28, 2012
I am about to enter the world of self-publishing. I came very close today to publishing 17 Stories Of Love And Crime on Amazon's Kindle, only to find that it's not quite as quick and easy as it sounds if you live in Australia. It was a good day of learning though, and I think the stories will be up during next week. For all the frustration the internet provides, I am still amazed by its seeming magic. It will be fun to put writing/marketing skills to the test. I don't expect to make much money from this little project, I just want it to be fun and will be chuffed if a few strangers buy my book. It will be a good practice run for The Book Of Grumpy. I expect that to make me a bill-io-naire, and I will demand the finest wines known to humanity, and I will want them here, and I will want them now!
The shot above is the one I have chosen for 17 Stories Of Love And Crime (there are actually 19 stories... you get two freebies). It's a photo of Ann reflected in an artwork in a gallery in Prague in 2010.
Oh and I've just updated the cover shot by adding words to the image, something I had no idea how to do an hour ago. Not a bad job for a chump like me. Still, as I was working out how to do it I asked a friend, The Design Assassin, for advice. She has kindly offered to do it for me, so expect a better quality update soon.
Still, not bad.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Thing is, he doesn't always appear on the comedy festival program and you can't book tickets to his shows through the usual outlets. Contact has to be made. You need to follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook to find out where and when he'll be to sell you tickets in person. At the transaction he takes your photo, and then between the time of the ticket sale and the show, he does a bit of internet snooping on many of his audience members. Intriguing stuff. There is the potential for mass public humiliation, of course; who can remember every little comment or picture they have posted on Facebook or their blog? I have seen some inane shit posted in my time, but I didn't think I'd have anything to worry about because most of my inane shit is like this column; intentionally inane shit.
“Ah. I see what you mean. And hey... this Venn Diagram thing... that could be a great addition to the show. You mind if I borrow that?”
Monday, April 23, 2012
The big questions, they keep me awake at night.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
I have no idea what is going on in either of our heads at that point in time, but we are clearly very focused on whatever it is we are focused on.
And here is a recent conversation between The DreadedOne and me:
Me: "I'm going to put music on, so unless you want to use your phone it will be my iPod, and I know how much you don't like my music."
The Dreaded One: "I do like it."
Me: "But there will be Nick Cave and Tom Waits and Rowland Howard, and I know how much you don't like them."
The Dreaded One: "I do like them."
Me: "But I will sing along to them, and I know how much you hate my singing."
The Dreaded One: "I don't hate your singing."
Me: "But you don't like my singing."
The Dreaded One: "I do like your singing."
Me: "Yeah...but you don't like my singing a lot...
The Dreaded One gives me The Look.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Grumpy is freelance writer Lee Bemrose (firstname.lastname@example.org). He likes being in his bubble.
I quite admire those people who always manage to say the right thing at the right time. Small, random compliments can really work some magic. I see peoples faces light up as a friend tells another friend how well they are looking, or how they like a piece of jewellery or they way they are wearing their hair today. I'm no stranger to these little compliments due primarily to the fact that I have some kick-arse clothes. I love my clothes, and I have an uncanny, sub-conscious knack for buying clothes that coordinate perfectly with all my other clothes and accessories. The Dreaded One finds this hilarious. It's like I can't buy stuff that clashes. If I had been born in the rugged wild west, it's a dead certainty that I'd be a dandy. If I was a superhero, I'd be Captain Coordinated. I'd look fabulous. All I'd have to do is walk into the room and the baddies would drop dead with envy because I'm just so impeccably dressed. I've been asked if I'm gay on many an occasion, simply because I'm such a stylish mofo. Given that I am rampantly heterosexual, do I take offence at this? On the contrary, I take it as a compliment. Water of a duck's back. The Dreaded One also finds the are you gay thing hilarious because, well, she knows how absurd the idea is. Queer eye for the straight guy? Pu-lease.
Erm... so anyway. Thing is with dressing well enough to get these compliments, you have to go for a look that isn't like everyone else. Sure, you can look stylish and like everyone else, but Grumpy's Secret To True Sartorial Excellence is to be individual. Avoid brand names. Avoid all the designers labels. Designer labels are for chumps. Don't shop at chain-stores. Look for the unusual. Looking sensationally stylish is like being funny; whatever you do, don't go for the obvious. And always remember...
Sorry. Getting a bit carried away again. What the hell was I getting at? Oh yeah... so I've got some pretty cool clothes and I sometimes get complimented on them. And it's nice. I have an AD 2013 jacket (this is a label worth checking out because no one in Australia knows about it and they make drop-dead cool stuff) that routinely has me stopped in the street with strangers saying “Oh my God that jacket is awesome!” And I shrug and say, “I know!” And then they usually ask if I'm gay.
Thing is, I admire people who compliment other people. It shows that they are being aware and it's just a bloody nice thing to do. It just doesn't seem to be in my natural make up to think to compliment other people. It's the bubble thing; I'm usually in a bubble, thinking about, I don't know – being a dandy in the wild west or something.
So I decided to make an effort and start complimenting people. As well as being a well-dressed mofo I was going to start being a really nice mofo.
At a trendy bar where everyone (except The Dreaded One and myself) looked fashionably identical, I was introduced to one of The Dreaded One's friend, and I really, genuinely admired her look. It indicated true confidence and true individualism. I was about to pay my first unprompted compliment.
“You know – it's really refreshing to meet someone who clearly doesn't care about their appearance.”
It was as though the world stopped.
“What do you mean?” The Dreaded One's friend asked.
The Dreaded One was looking at me with a familiar expression; don't say anything else, she was telling me with her eyebrows.
“I just mean,” I explained, “take your hair for instance. It's just so... bleh, and you're cool with that. I really admire... why has absolutely everyone in the bar stopped talking?”
I retreated back into my bubble. It's much safer in there.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
I've just read Nam Le's Hiroshima. I'm not sure I got it and feel I have to read it again. I think it is cleverer than I am. Probably not a good idea to be reading something as tragic and poetic at 6.30am on the tram on the way to work.
And yet it got in there. I remember the sample from Single Gun Theory's Metaphysical... "The day was clear, when we dropped that bomb." I've been in London and Berlin and Paris, and sometimes you think it was a bright sunny day like today when tanks rolled in and evil was being done. It does your head in.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Big days. Clear days. Fucked up shit.
9/11 was a big day too. Atrocious shit. The worst of humanity. The photograph above is being discussed again. The article I read yesterday morning is here. I don't like the tone of the article at all. The writer comes across as a novice. We know that the Twin Towers destruction was murderous and unacceptable; there is no need to keep driving that point home in your clumsy way.
But because I had just read Nam Le's story Hiroshima, I thought I'd do some background reading, and oh man. We really should not let 9/11 eclipse the enormity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The only times weapons of mass destruction have been unleashed have been by the USA. No warning to the innocent civillians they were about to murder. Hundreds of thousands of them. Dropping these bombs on innocent civillians as the Russians turned on Japan and within such a short time of Japan's wartime surrender anyway.
And the Americans... their big dilemma was after these two weapons of mass murder, do we drop the next few as they roll off the production line or save them up and throw handfuls at them?
Seriously, after such disgusting mass murder they were ready to drop more nuclear bombs on unsuspecting civillians.
But the tone of the story above... it would have you believe that the 9/11 mass murder was the worst mass murder in the history of mankind. Sorry, it was not. Not by a long way.
So as the anniversary of 9/11 comes along - and an awful moment it was in our history - maybe do a little reading. Think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Friday, April 06, 2012
I'm doing the occasional music/arts feature again and I do still enjoy it. I even had to interview electro Jam Xpress the other day and although not at all into their music or the scene where you'll hear their music played, I enjoyed the struggle of coming up with relaxed, intelligent questions that received relaxed, intelligent answers. With Jam XpressI did feel I had stepped through a hole in time and was back at my 3D World editor desk because researching music acts and DJs I didn't know about was something I did all the time... and the tone of promotional copy hasn't changed a bit in all that time. Everything is "a dancefloor stormer" and the artists have been "tearing it up across the country" etc etc. So cheesy.
But it's fun, especially when my editor is on my wavelength and lets me inject silly into the stories. It's like writing for my editor back at Drum who loved my stuff because she never knew where I was going to come from with a story. Ones like this. Fun stuff. And my current editor is pretty much the same.
If I could make a living from doing this stuff (and my Grumpy column), I would do it.
Long weekend now. The Dreaded One is champing at the bit to party today, we are partying tomorrow night (pirate party - woo!), that it's a long weekend means any form of recovery party is going to take place, and the Jam Xpress story and a Grumpy column are due on Tusday. And there may be another, unexpected writing project underway. Hmm. My Hunter S. Thompson style of partying does get me into trouble sometimes. Must be strong.
Meanwhile, have just opened a bottle of white. Cheers.
Oh and amusement... had this conversation with The Dreaded One Last night:
Me: You know before you said it's not always all about me?
Dreaded One: Yeah.
Me: What fantasy world are you living in?