Archive for literary fiction

Nightmares, Roadside Tragedy and Other Vampiric Ick

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Psyche & Sexuality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2010 by alphabetfiend

As a day, this one has taken an odd toll.

I awoke from a nightmare in which my little brother (a sweet affable fellow who is nothing but adoring, loving, forgiving and kind… to everyone, but to big sister certainly) was horribly vicious to me. I was writing a play in the dream and it was going well, very. I had that feverish creative energy-influx that happens when I’m working, and happens with giddy intensity when the work is going well. The play was about a young pre-pube boy and — this being a dream, a good dream at first — the play was pure lovely genius.

(I’ve had a YA novel about a young boy stewing in the far back of my mind, in real life, although it is developing so far back that it feels almost dream-like. The book has a steampunk theme which adds to the dreamy quality. I write literary fiction, not YA or sci-fi genre fiction so this project, if published, would be published under a pen-name.)

As I was dreaming, I assumed that the play must be referencing this project’s viability. Writing in dreams and buzzing/thrilling over the work is, for me, akin to sex dreams, only better because I prefer that writerly jangle to any other feeling in the world. So this was a damn good dream until suddenly the goodness and the writing were shattered by this familial attack which took me not just away from the writing but away from all semblance of security and comfort, leaving me homeless. The love my brother has for me in real life was completely non-existent and he terrorized me with relentless cruelty. I was especially stunned by this because things were going so well with the writing and how could he do this to me when I was peaking creatively??

(Of course those in the know will recognize that this has nothing at all to do with my brother and everything to do with the events of the past year; my best friend would snort at that “last year” part and point out that these issues go much farther back.) My brother has been a loyal ally in this mess and definitely didn’t deserve to be portrayed this way by my subconscious.

In fact when I called him, crying, he teased “You crazy dreamer!”

“I dreamt you didn’t love me, ” I sniffed.

“Not true, “ he said. “I do love you. I love you dearly.”

Normally, after a nightmare, I like to go back to sleep and re-work it in my favor like a good little lucid dreamer, but Mr. and Mrs. Robot had surprised me with a shiny new fridge for the Mississippi love shack and it was due to be delivered this morning. Yes, poor me, nobody loves me, everybody hates me, mize I go eat worms. Here I am, lavished with love, spoiled rotten like a summer peach, and yet sobbing into my pillow over imaginary unkind acts. Yet, I couldn’t shake my woe as I emptied out the old fridge in preparation for the new fridge’s arrival. Nothing helped to alleve my ill-temper, not the Bot’s sweet buss or the nuzzling of the baby wookie; not the loving assurances of my brother or the new “icebox” as Mrs. Robot says in her southern way. Not even my baby niece screaming “DIA! DIA!” as she runs to me for hugs & sugars. (She has just started to include the “i” rather than calling me “Da.”)

Then my big niecey shows up (little niecy’s too-young mama, I call them Thing 1 and Thing 2.) We’re gushing over the baby’s cuteness and plotting an art project for tomorrow, when Thing 1’s boyfriend comes in and says, “It’s good y’all got held up yesterday or you’da been on the road when that semi crossed the median.”  Why? Were there fatalities? Robot Boy hands me the paper and there on the front page is the familiar sad image from the day before. Up until that moment I’d held out hope — foolish hope — that everything had been okay.

Yesterday, we were just about to walk out the door for a much anticipated errand into town, the 9th of July being the expiration of our rip-off cell phone contract. Our family was now free to move to ATT and join the iphone madness. Thing 1 had been waiting for this day for weeks, warning the lazier members of the family (Robo and myself) that she wanted to be there at 9 am on the dot and would not tolerate our usual night-owl excuses or late-starts. I was so worried I’d over-sleep, I ended up with insomnia but hey I was there with bells on, no delays. But then Uncle Robot suggests to Thing 1 that she call around and make sure the iphones are in stock, offering to drive to the coast if needed. A short while later, having learned that there wasn’t an iphone to be had in all of MS or LA, we’re off to cancel our old service and place an order for future iphones. We looked like a clown car, packed in like sardines. Thing 1 and I shared the tiny backseat with Thing 2’s carseat. Slowing to a crawl on a normally breezy stretch of highway, we knew it couldn’t be good. The debris on the side of the road — including a wheelchair, lonely and eerie on the sunlit asphalt — made us squirm.

Well, the state troopers are filming it, says the Robot gravely. So there were fatalities.”

I desperately hoped that he was mistaken.

That was just after 9 am. We went on to have a great day of family togetherness:  jumping on the iphone bandwagon, sharing a nice lunch at Olive Garden of all places. Thing 1 was thrilled. Thing 2 was adorable. Mrs. Robot was proud to be out and about with her children. The Robot and I were just digging on the cozy vibes —  glad to be in town, making our loved ones happy. It was after 2pm as we headed home, so we were shocked to see the accident still there on the other side of the highway. Only now, that side of the road was closed off, as they laboriously lured a canary yellow rig with trailer still attached out of the brushy woods.

The road had been closed for so long that people were out of their cars and milling about on the hot tar. SUVs with impatient drivers spun their wheels in the swampy muck of the median; stuck like sitting ducks, now in need of their own tow trucks, awaiting police citations.

A hush fell over our happy car.

Thing 1 tucked her chin into her chest and resisted the urge to suck her thumb (a hard habit to break.)

My heart broke at the sight of that wheelchair, knowing with certainty that this was indeed the same accident and not just some new nothing.

It wasn’t nothing, it was SOMETHING and, for that family that lost 4 members in the blink of an eye, it was an ENORMOUS SOMETHING.

They were from our same po-dunk town (a town that can barely afford to lose four citizens.) They were a family heading into “town.” There were too many of them crammed into too small a vehicle. We were 5 (4 and 1/2?) and they were 4. We were in Thing 1’s itty-bitty KIA, they were in a pick-up (wheelchair loaded into the bed of the truck?) Myself and Thing 1, we weren’t wearing seatbelts. Same thing with three of them. One was Mrs. Robot’s age, another was my age. They were on the same stretch of road that we would’ve been on if not for Uncle Robot wanting to give his niece immediate ipod satisfaction. It could easily have been us — mowed down on a Friday morning, after the front tire blew out on an 18-wheeler, causing the driver to lose control and shoot across the median into oncoming traffic. Or we could have been the woman behind the pick-up who wasn’t hurt, except that she had to watch the whole thing happen which surely shaved a good ten years off her life.

Damn if that doesn’t put it all into perspective.

My heart breaks for that family, for that woman who witnessed the accident and even for the truck driver who escaped with minor injuries. I’m from a trucking family; my Dad ran a trucking company and his Daddy before him and his Daddy before him. I know that a driver never gets over this kind of thing. I know he faces his own rueful suffering.

Up until this morning, ignorance was bliss. I could still believe that they survived the accident. I’m fully aware of how quickly everything changed for them, and for the surviving members of their family. It’s not meaningful because it could’ve been us, but it’s that proximity — having seen the real-life version of that grainy newspaper photo — that makes it all the more real.

It sits sticky and heavy in my gut, like black tar and roadside gravel.

This dreary afternoon, done with chores and family socializing, having sat crying over the newspaper, I retreated to bed. I pulled my laptop onto my belly for more research on my recent obsession with William Blake’s painting “The Ghost of a Flea.” How icky could that be right? Yea. I ended up reading this spooky, creepy stuff about vampiric entities and mind parasites. Sonofabitch. I’m done with this damn day. Except it’s a Saturday and I have to write the Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel. The song I’d planned on is far too cheery. (Devo? No.) So don’t be surprised if this Sunday is more of a silent be grateful for what you have cause it could gone in a flash kinda Sunday.

*************************************

Author’s Addendum: having thought of the perfect song — “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” — I managed to do the Punk Rock Gospel. I featured the versions by Reverend Gary Davis (who did it originally) and the ever-brilliant Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. For a fine musical post-script to this shitty Saturday see Sunday’s Death don’t have No Mercy (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel.)

**************************************

Out of respect for the family, I have decided not to mention the names of the deceased. This writing was about the witnessing. This is not my loss, these aren’t my loved ones, and those aren’t my names to drop. They were our towns folk however. I didn’t know them but Mrs. Robot did; she says the family ran (runs?) a dance school for kids. Our hearts go out to their family. We ache for the monumental loss that no one family should have to bear. I hate that this has happened and I’m so very sorry for everyone involved. These photos are not mine, they were taken by Channel 4 wwltv, where more details are available.

A Slow-Mo Wednesday on WordPress

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, Friendship, I Heart Friends, I Heart Funny Fellas, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by alphabetfiend

It was a slow, rainy day in Mississippi, which I craved after the chaotic heat of the last few weeks. The Robot asked if I wanted to drink beer on Magazine Street and I said no no no. No Nola today, not for me.

I was too exhausted from blowing the blooms offa roses like they waz fuzzy dandelions. I was too zapped from biting my tongue while my best friend talked crazy talk, just nodding my head when she said he waz her soulmate. I was over-wrought from bawling my eyes out on the porch steps cause crazy makes no fuckin’ sense but there’s no way to say it so there’s nothing to do but cry. I figgered she’d get there herself and she did.

She sez “Oh, the blooms off, it’s flat-out gone. Someone came along and blew it off, sent petals flying everywhere, and it was YOU!” And little trickster me, why I’ve never been prouder, even though her realization had her packing up a whole week early. After she pulled out, I crawled into bed and CRASHED. I slept for 12 hours, woke up, ate breakfast and then went back to sleep for another 4 hours. Now I’m curled up with the canine trinity and happy as hell to be here and not on Magazine Street.

On the plus side, I won’t be getting in trouble for my big mouth (again) because she does not read this. She reads everything I’ve ever written but not this. The very mention of wordpress or Cream Scene Carnival or bliggety-blog-blabla is enough to have her rolling her eyes as she stubs out her cig with ragged impatience. I said I was in an introspective writerly place and her face lit up, “Fiction?”  When I said no, her face fell like an avalanche. I’m so lucky, I know, to have someone champion my work. For 18 years, she’s been my biggest fan, but she hates this and hasn’t hesitated to say so. Why? Hmmm. She thinks it’s below me, that it’s a waste of my precious time, that it will lead nowhere (or rather, it won’t lead to her being able to see me on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble and therefore, it’s going nowhere.) She thinks some asshole will stumble on my writing, either here or elsewhere on wordpress where I’ve posted the first 20 chapters of a novel in first draft (Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense) and that they will steal my stuff and use it to get where I should be going. I’d write it off as total paranoia but she’s been right about assholes before. She’s got a nose for assholes (this week not withstanding.)

I should be ecstatic that someone cares enough to obsessively worry like my friend does… and I am. Sorta. It’s odd being griped at for not writing when writing is all I’m doing these days. She feels I’ve got a gift for fiction and that fiction is where I belong. Fiction is my first love, my true love, but even at 10 yrs old I knew I wanted to master other forms of writing. I always expected to write everything from poetry to free-lance magazine columns/articles, from love letters to graffiti…. Cream Scene Carnival is representative of that creative mish-mash. Maybe if she took a real look at CSS she’d see “ME” in it and chill, but probably not. Like her, the word “blog” makes me bristle. Something about it seems not quite right… not quite “write.” I don’t really consider CSS a blog so much as a digital zine. If I “made it” as a blogger but not as a writer, I’d be devastated and then dead from all the I told you so’s. Which is not to say that I don’t think real quality writing is happening within the blog-o-sphere. Maybe it’s just about linguistics and literary pretension.

Still, I’m proud to be a Cream Scene carnie these days and grateful for all the support I’ve gotten from the people I’ve met through wordpress. I’m energized by the back and forth, the intimacy, and the immediacy of being able to knock something out and put it up to be read right that minute. I love how I never know what’s gonna make an impact and so I’m always surprised. I totally dig my dash — all the searches, the pathways people took to get to me, and sometimes to get back to me which is even better. It’s starting to happen where everyday someone is searching for “Cream Scene Carnival” in particular or else “Dia VanGunten writer/circus freak” or “TV sex carnival Dia Van” or some other variation on either my name, the site name or a specific post title. That never used to happen and now that it has, I’m paying close attention. 

I once got 900 hits in just one day for a post about Amy Poehler and Will Arnett’s first born. I’m a fan of both and so I was watching SNL and then on the late-late news, they said that Poehler had gone straight to the hospital from her final night on SNL, which had just aired. I giddily typed it up, never expecting the onslaught of views. It was timely, because it was late on a Saturday night/early on a Sunday morn and I was up anyway trying to get the punk rock gospel up for my “congregation” of misfit mystics. I ended up being one of the first to report it, even before Hollywood gossip sites, so I was top o’ google and still get hits for that post 2 years later. I’ve slaved over other posts — masterpieces in comparison, well thought-out, finely-crafted writing wise and typo-free — but they’ve been viewed by one very reliable reader and I always know it’s him cause he hops over from his own wordpress dash. I don’t mind either way. Really, to be honest, I write for myself first and then for that RELIABLE ONE… it’s all gravy after that. Lately, it’s looking like I have a reliable few and that’s cool too. Very.

In regard to my expectations for myself or the expectations that others have for me (see more of the above) — it’s those specific searches that most thrill me. It’s one thing to get lottsa hits as one person after another stumbles upon you because you’ve done a good job of staying current and guessing on that next big thing or even inventing that next big thing (in the case of one of my notorious top posts.) But it’s another thing entirely to be searched out, either because they’ve read you before and they dug it, or because they’ve heard from someone whose taste they trust that there’s something kinda freaky-deeky goin’ on over at “Cream Scene Carnival” and so they take the time to google and then to read. You end up with readers both ways but with the latter, you can see it happening and that’s a blast.

     
Lusty Luddite Looking to Seduce Lonely S 21 More stats
Home page 9 More stats
True Blood Theme Song: “Bad Things” by J 7 More stats
Peggy Hill in Flint’s Palin Porn: hot XX 4 More stats
Hot Mummy Love is Some Sexy Ass Gentle 2 More stats
Showtime’s Californication Makes My Brai 2 More stats
Tina Fey as Palin: “Not Afraid to get Ma 2 More stats
Baby Jesus Butt Plug (A real thing!) *Ad 2 More stats
About the Ringleader 2 More stats
Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What? 2 More stats
Swimming Pool Mermaid 2 More stats
Elvin Bishop’s “Fishin'” (Sunday AM Punk 1 More stats
My Sexual Custody 1 More stats
Peggy Hill to Star in Palin Porn? 1

A slow day in Mississippi, a slow day on wordpress, 58 views in all. I  love the goofy google poems that randomly rearrange everyday…. it’s like a window into meaning and culture. Here at wordpress we have these magical spaceship dashboards that give us a glimpse into the minds of human beings. What are people loving, laughing at, lusting after? What are they wondering about or wishing for?

I did a post a while back about the word “Diva” and how it’s been co-opted by obnoxious women with sparkly fingernails and I posted a clip of Sarah Silverman singing, “If you call yourself a diva, it better be for reals, and not just some sad pathetic kind of front…You’re probably not a diva, you’re a cunt.” She’d performed it in NYC for a storytelling thang which I’d listened to on pod-cast but no one had heard it outside of this small audience and no one cared a whip about my post. Until last Wednesday, when she must’ve played it on some late night talk show or something cause suddenly the cunt-diva searches came rolling in.

I have a couple posts about the amazing mofo comic Mike O’Connell of Million Dollar Strong and the hits are paltry but I fully expect to open my laptop someday and see it lit up & blinking like a white tinsel christmas tree.

I find it’s fun to anticipate the future obsessions of others and to be privy to their proclivities at present.

steampunk 22
tina fey 2
creme scene carnival 4
i wanna do bad things to you true blood 2
xxx carnival 2
janeane garofalo sexy 1
king of the porn peggy 1
bride frankenstein tattoo 1
hank hill porn 1
larry flint palin 1
tina fey’s wedgie 1
hot sexy mummies 1
peggy hill porn 1
true blood do bad things to you 1
camille rose garcia 1
true blood theme song 1
i dont know what you’ve done to me but i 1
californication 1
elvin bishop fishin 1
but i know this much is true; i wanna do 1
tumescent cock

I must say that I’m feelin’ pretty damn cheeky over the hilariously absurd collection of searches that show up on my dash. I’ve never written about Tina Fey’s wedgie and yet there it is, no nonsense white cotton panties all up in Fey’s yummy bizness. Mmmm. And “Janeane Garofalo sexy”??? Oh hell yea! Lately steampunks can’t get enough of the Lusty Luddite while the rumor I started about Peggy Hill starring in Flint’s Palin porn is finally beginning to slow down. The very talented artist Camille Rose Garcia is another sexy bitch that I’m proud to see on my dash. I’ve never written about a Bride of Frankenstein tattoo although I’m all inked up and was once the bride for Halloween. Funny story:

The following day was a Saturday and I was certain that people would still be celebrating so the Robot and I kept our wigs on as “Frank & Bride on their Honeymoon.” I wore a sheer ghosty nightie with black lace & garters showing through with marabou feather boudoir slippers. I also carried a little pink suitcase. But the Bot was the best with a green tee and green tights under his boxers and a BIG GREEN DILDO sticking outta his boxers like a franken’ woody. AWESOME! I was wrong, no one else was dressed up, but we did get in to see the band for free.

Perhaps, hearing about the giant green monster hard-on, it’s no surprise to you that I am especially proud of the “Tumescent Cock” search as well as “XXX Carnival.” I am certain that those Brits looking for “Hot Sexy Mummies” (that’s MILFs to you Yanks) are beyond disappointed to find actual bandage-bound mummies who’ve been lucky enough to find Everlasting Love. One of the coolest things that has happened lately is that people have started reading the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel which is my little 10 minute church for other godless heathens like myself who might still want to touch base with something beautiful on a Sunday. If church were more like the punk rock gospel, I’d probably go. No one ever read the punk rock gospel before, at least not on purpose, but I loved it and the RELIABLE ONE loved it so I kept doing it and now I see that folks are looking for it which pleases me to no end cause I’m that much closer to starting my own cult and getting fire-bombed by the government. We gots to have goals in life, right?

I love you, my sweet faceless kinksters, thanks for reading. Sorry for my hinky mood tonight — I’m zonked and I’m crabby, it’s rainy and the Bot’s drunk on Magazine Street, my best friend sneers at Cream Scene Carnival and that frustrates the shit outta me cause she hasn’t met all of you and so she doesn’t see what’s in it for me. I adore y’all, I do. Keep comin’ around. I’m here, I’m not goin’ no where, I swear!

Good night, my freaks, may you have sweet or wet dreams, whichever you prefer.

**P.S.** In ode to the deep south, there are two chickens in this rainy post — do you see the second one?

Cash Cab Hearts Kurt Vonnegut

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Dork Alert, TV with tags , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I was watching Cash Cab yesterday and was touched when, after a question about the author Kurt Vonnegut, Ben Bailey (host & cabbie) turned to the camera with a thumbs up.

We miss you, Kurt.

Cause wow we really do… all of us… maybe you don’t know you’re missing Kurt Vonnegut but believe me, you are! 

kurt-vonnegut

Which is exactly why I love Cash Cab — the game show that takes place in Ben Bailey’s NYC cab, only one of the countless cabs in the city. (OK 13,000. Someone counted.) So if, like me, you are DYING to play Cash Cab you must first be lucky enough to stumble into it. O! I want it to be me — the Alphabetfiend — bumbling & mumbling some Alphabet City address. I once watched as two older gentlemen won over $4000 dollars AND got dropped of at my favorite intersection in all the world. Across the way from the St. Marks Hotel (where I often stay like the village sleaze I am) and from the little Asian bakery where I get powdery cream puffs with a touch of green tea whipped into the fresh cream. Over there by where the tasty freeze truck parks. Right beside the Astor Place subway station where I love to jump on & off the 6. Yep, they were going to Starbucks but were it me I’d head straight to that tasty freeze and get me a butterscotch dip cone. I’d lick it while looking through the windows of that great bookstore and plotting my $4000 shopping spree. I’d have to hit H&M. Oh, no fair! Why can’t I be two old men in NYC, in Bailey’s cab, about to walk away with the most money ever won on Cash Cab? Why! Why I ask you?!  I was jealous of their winnings and I was jealous of their GPS location.

The Robot Boy and I would kick butt on Cash Cab. We know almost all the answers cause the questions are always about the random sort of literary smarty pants kind of shit we care about it. Crazy questions about space & time, ancient myth, freaky cult authors, haunted ships, famous amusement parks, or how to make a bomb. In recent episodes, two different episodes,  it all came down to questions whose answers I know in my bones.

  1. What Spanish city is not to be confused with an industrial city in Ohio? The contestents said “Seville. ” I knew they were done for as I screamed “TOLEDO!!!!!”
  2. The legendery amusement park, Cedar Point, is in what state? The guy risked $900 and lost it all when he answered “Washington” but I was serene as I swooned “OHIO.”

Both of those games ended in the riders being booted from the cab and left to walk on to their destination (or hail another less-fun cab that will ask you to pay them not the other way around.) But this Midwestern honey grew up in TOLEDO OHIO so I would not have been left like a loser on the curb. I spent every summer at Cedar Point, I spent every winter dreaming of that other Toledo.

Yep, it’s meant to be… me & Cash Cab sitting in a tree… k-i-s-s-i-n-g.  Gotta love the game show that mourns the loss of Vonnegut.

cash_cab_usa

I’d love to hail that hunk. Pick me pick me! Up! Cash Cab comes on the Discovery Channel between 5/4c -7/6c pm on weekdays. That’s four episodes so take a 25 minute break and see if you can beat me on Cash Cab. By the way, I’m watching it as we speak and Bailey has just said

“Cash Cab has a vanity plate. 7N78. Can you figure out what it means?”

I’m drawing a blank! What do you think?

holy hell thank goof this nanowrimo is over!!!!!

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense with tags , , , on December 1, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I’m fried & fretful.

I’m also done. Not with Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense but with nanowrimo. Yay!!!! And now to be in the dark with my migraine!

nano_08_winner_large

Some time soon I’ll give you some actual ABC Fiend fun again. But first I must rest and then I must dress up in a pink vinyl stewerdess outfit and play “coffee tea or me?” with my patient Robot. And then…. I’ll be back.

Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense — Chapter 7 DRAFT

Posted in Books & Writing, Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 14, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Chapter 7 has moved

http://puresweetchocolatesense.wordpress.com/2008/12/08/pure-sweet-chocolate-sense-chapter-7/

Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense (chapter 6, part one, DRAFT)

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense with tags , , , , , , , on November 13, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Chapter Six has moved

http://puresweetchocolatesense.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/pure-sweet-chocolate-sense-chapter-six/

Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense — chapter 5 draft

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Chapter 5 has moved

http://puresweetchocolatesense.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/pure-sweet-chocolate-sense-chapter-five/

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