Archive for writing

A WordPress “Why-Not?” (To Alice)

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Books & Writing, I Heart My Love-Tribe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by alphabetfiend

I have written this letter in response to a recent conversation between Alphabetfiend (OK, myself) and Alice (a most beloved Cream Scene Carnival reader and new friend.) I have chosen to post it here because it was way too long for the comment box and also because I gave voice to some of the things about wordpress that have surprised and impressed me. Why not say them and let the words fall where they may. Consider this the wordy equivalent to blowing the fuzzy afro of a dandelion. It’s for Alice but hey, maybe it’s for you too?

If so, let me catch you up!

A*Fiend:

Do you have a wordpress, Alice? You should! Your writing, your sense of delish, it’d be AWESOME!

Alice:

Oh my! I am swooning from your compliment, because I admire your work so much.

And no, I am not on WordPress, I will leave that up to you , and the other talented writers out there, for now.

I am still an eager student of the writerly craft;so thank you for your encouragement.

Here is a quote, describing how you make us all feel…..

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader–not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L.Doctorow

Peace, Alice

OK, finally, after a long delay due to birthdays, babies & strep throat is my (pushy?) reply which hopefully makes sense considering it was written at 4am while drowsy & jacked up on cold meds.

Dearest Darling Alice —

If you’re interested in doing one of your own, you are certainly more than capable of kicking blogosphere butt. Maybe it doesn’t interest you and I totally get that. It can be a time-consuming and emotional process. Maybe it’s not for you but NOT because you’re not “ready” writing-wise.

I only came to wordpress because I’d started goofing off with this stupid myspace blog, putting time and effort into it. So the Robot urged me to move my efforts to wordpress — because it was “more prestigious” and “hooked up with google and other search engines” and “intended for blogging” therefore more user-friendly and more likely to build a real readership. I was actually getting some readers on myspace which was very cool but nothing close to what came my way on wordpress. The coolest part of wordpress for me, and what I so did not expect, was how easy it was to create something that was really pleasing to me aesthetically. I still pull it up sometimes and marvel at how “real” it looks, like something I’d run across on the web and totally dig y’know looks-wise. I never expected to have something so… nice & pretty & cool & circusy etc, something so like the little me-magazine of my dreams. The writing I could wrap my mind around but I assumed that a low-tech Luddite like myself would never be able to make the writing and the aesthetics match up. I honestly had no idea that wordpress would be so freaking easy to figure out and play with. I’m in love with that part of it and that once seemed so beyond my grasp.

As a reader, I’m sure you’ve figured out that wordpress users are as different as snowflakes. One of my favorite blogs never ever uses pictures or video and he’s still using the stupid winding road header that came with the theme. For him, it’s all about the psychological exploration and the journey his mind/heart is on. It’s just text and he never sullys his space with pop culture etc. I love it and have read every single post. I appreciate his approach very much (tho I’d love to hack into his account and change that generic header! hee hee) Then there’s other blogs that are just pretty pictures or cool stuff with only two or three sentences of text. Some are emotional & confessional while others are just odd or goofy or funny. Another blog that I follow is the packaging from vintage sewing patterns combined with brief musings. There’s a lot of difference too in the frequency of posts or even the perfectionism (grammar, typos etc.) Not everyone (barely anyone) is trying to “do it all” like I am, with big long-winded essays on every possible thing from tv to spirituality. My little mash-up is fairly unusual and no doubt alienates a lot of readers. In fact, all of the many books I’ve read on the subject of blogging strongly advise against such a broad and wavering approach. Suggesting instead that the writer pick one theme/idea and do that one thing really well with a fierce and thorough examination of the subject be it music, babies, sex or “creepy things in jars.” Those are the kinds of blogs that have seen commercial or critical success. I truly believe those books are 100% right. I’m completely convinced of the good sense in that. But it doesn’t change things for me or for Cream Scene Carnival cause I wanna do what I wanna do and so that self-indulgence must serve as the unifying theme for Cream Scene. 

Basically, anything goes and anything is possible.

I have no dog in this fight. Hell, I could be greedy and keep you all to myself, all witchy gingerbread-house style. *Guffaw* It’s really not my intention to pressure you into it cause what’s the point in that? I guess I just wanted to say that your writing and your ideas, your curiosity and generosity, are well-suited to a unique wordpress project of your own creation. What might that be? I dunno! But my mind marvels at the possibilities. Do it, don’t do it, doesn’t matter to me either way. I only know that you could do it but have no idea whether you should do it. I just want to say A) Hell yea you’re writing — and you’re mojo — is on par with anything anything on wordpress and B) If, like me, the whole idea of doing it to your satisfaction seems intimidating or impossible then I must bear witness to how surprisingly easy it is. As easy as signing up! If I can do it, so can you. Of that I am absolutely certain. So don’t let that influence you. Cause honestly if the Robot hadn’t pushed me into it and if it wasn’t so immediately satisfying and easy, I definitely would not be here. I was just too daunted by the process and my own perfectionism.

As an eager student of writing as a craft (that rocks btw, people don’t necessarily view writing as a craft anymore or appreciate it as art) there is something to be said for playing around with words on a regular basis and blogging can be a place for that. One of many! Perhaps not the right one for you. You’re a purist and a perfectionist. I get that. I love that. Just don’t let that hold you back. (Sez the pot to the kettle, “Yer black!”) I support you whatever you decide. If you do it, I’ll read it and link to it. If not, I’ll be glad to be greedy and keep yer pretty words all to myself. My Alice. *Smirk.Shrug.Grin*

Lastly, I must thank you HUGELY for supporting me in my own endeavors, for reading Cream Scene and for commenting. Every time I see an Alice comment on the dash I get giddy and gooey. Thank you especially for that E.L. Doctorow quote. To say you feel that way about my work… wow, that’s enormously kind and it is fuel for the soul in terms of forging ahead and fighting the literary plague of self-doubt. 

I feel honored to have attracted you into this here rabbit hole.

I just ADORE you. Thank you, thank you, a million thank yous.

I look forward to more Alice-ness. Alice-ness is a wondrous and goof-blessed thing. Damn! Is it ever!

All my love,

Dia VanGunten aka “The Alphabetfiend.”

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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.

The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Art Lover, Books & Writing, Cinema & Filmmaking, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Funny Fellas, I Heart My Love-Tribe, In Celebration of the Absurd, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2010 by alphabetfiend

“I’m one of the few who voted for Obama because he was a friend of Bill Ayers.” -JW    

I too am one of those few.    

 

     

My freaky filmmaker friend, Tim, and I recently started a two-person book club. We dubbed it “The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club,” after a surreal conversation we had in highschool in which Tim asked me, out of nowhere, “What would you do if you woke up and Mrs. Butterworth was at your bedside? She’d have to be on yer pillow cause she’s rather short.”    

I’ve always had a soft spot for the absurd and so I have a soft spot for Tim.    

“I didn’t have to worry about fitting in with a crowd I didn’t want to hang out with in the first place.” -JW    

 

Both fans of John Waters, we chose his new book “Role Models” as our first MBBC selection. “Role Models” — the latest of several memoirs by the filmmaker, writer and professional outcast — focuses on people who have inspired or influenced Waters. The book begins with >surprise!surprise!< Johnny Mathis then moves on to reformed Manson Girl Leslie Van Houten; later comes Commes des Garcons designer/deconstructionist Rei Kawakubo who crashes into various hillbilly heroes from Baltimore such as Ester the barmaid and Lady Zorro the lesbian stripper.    

    

“Nothing is more impotent than un unread library”   

John Waters writes about reading the way a junky waxes poetic over crack.  

I’ve just finished the chapter “Book Worm.” Love love! Waters is a notorious and obsessive bibliophile, owning nearly 9000 volumes of wordy goodness.I can’t wait until he writes a whole book like that chapter, where he’ll delve into one weirdo tome after another. That would be a fantastic book! Waters has smart, obscure taste in literature and continually surprises me with his thoughtful insights.    

The chapter on Little Richard is next. I can’t wait.    

I saw Little Richard not too long ago. It was a free show, just a few blocks from my house, in the U of TX quad, so we meandered over.    

   

I’ve seen many old greats and I’ve learned not to expect too much. I saw Hasil Adkins at The Continental Club, paid a penny too, he played maybe two longs and left the stage. I’ve seen Ramblin’ Jack where he’s talked all night tellin’ one great story after another but there was one raspy time where he sang a song, coughed, sang another song, coughed and took a bow. I think it was James Chance that left the stage in a hissy fit like he waz Fred Alan Wolf at a physics conference. (Wolf’s hissy fit worked out well for me. I chased him out and we chatted all afternoon. He set up his laptop in the shadows of a patio umbrella and semi-patiently explained to me his theory of the thalmus gland as rudimentary time machine. I Heart Fred Allan Wolf!)    

Little Richard did not disappoint.      

Little Richard glittered like an LSD rockstar. The old man rocker took that place down to the ground. Holy hell! I fuckin’ cried. Yep. I wept as Little Richard sent spasming waves of energy through a crowd of cheap, clueless college students.  Seeing Little Richard that soft summer evening was a spiritual thing. I had my own Little Richard religious experience.      

"Saint Richard" by Vicki Berndt

So far the Mrs. Butterworth Book Club mostly consists of gushing to one another on facebook about just how fucking great Role Models is and how much we love John Waters as a way of life, posting killer quotes as our status updates and generally annoying the rest of our facebook friends.    

Screw those less-enlightened folks whose only knowledge of John Waters is “he has something to do with that fat drag queen who ate dog shit in some movie that no one’s ever seen.” If that.     

Makes me wanna scream, “Divine ate the dog shit! The film was Pink Flamingos! John Waters was the director! Fuckface!”    

I’d throw in that fuckface at the end, just for extra measure, like the cherry on top of the sundae or the pretty that flatters please.    

No, I kid. Really. So what if they’re morons who wanna wait (who CAN wait) until Role Models comes out in paperback. Whaddo I care? I don’t, cause I kid, but it is funny how things have changed and yet stayed the same. Tim and I hung with different crowds in highschool. We might never have spoken if our inner freaks hadn’t had such magnetic pull and now, all grown up, I have so much more to say to Tim than to the gorgeous girls I once hung with (who are now smiling mothers posting owen mills portraits all over their facebook pages, with not one free moment to read and if they read they certainly wouldn’t read Waters’ odes to Manson girls, trannie derelicts or Johnny Mathis.)     

   

The Mrs. Butterworth Book Club has only two members but that’s more out of necessity than design, being that no one else has expressed an iota of interest.    

That’s fine with us, right, Tim? All the more dog shit for us!    

Today I went to type out a few sentences on Tim’s fb page and try as I might it wouldn’t post. Old school friends were im-ing me and I was losing patience in fine Luddite fashion. The pups were barking to announce guests and the Robot was calling from the other room. Frazzled, I copied my note to Tim and stuck it into my open wordpress window under quick-post for safekeeping….which has me thinking….hmmm. I was gonna review the book for y’all anyway so why not post my thoughts here and then send the links to Tim? Maybe some of you are reading Role Models too and wanna pipe in? Maybe Tim and I can convince you to read Role Models? Even if you’re not reading the book, please join the discussion and tell us about some of your own role models, heroes & muses. What about an infuriatingly brilliant nemesis…anyone got one of those? (I sure do. Don’t I, Sugarbear?) 

Waters sez "Read this"

If you’d like to join our very informal Mrs. Butterworth Book Club, we’d be glad to take on new members with a taste for the odd in literature and in life. We’re keepin’ it simple. See!  Here’s my fb note to Tim:    

Hey Tim! Checkin’ in to the Mrs. Buttersworth Book Club… am just about to start the Little Richard chapter on p.183, had a houseguest for a couple weeks and fell behind.    

All that stuff about the Manson’s O-MY! I never knew they’d sneak into houses and move the furniture. So trickster, I love it, but stabbing someone 16 times? Nah, not for me.    

All the Baltimore stuff in the bar chapter was a riot. I have some these “artsy hillbilly” friends from Baltimore and they tell the craziest stories ever. Plus I loved The Wire and Homicide, both set in Baltimore. Homicide was brilliantly cast by Pat Moran, whom Waters mentions repeatedly as “My friend, Pat Moran”.    

That stuff about lunatic mothers and the craziness those kids grew up with? I found all that to be just waaaay too familiar. Great reading tho. Great writing!    

 Finally, while I consider myself to be a big reader, life-long, I must confess to not having read even one of his five recommendations. Have you? Guess we know what we’ll read next in the MBBC, huh? Which one do you suggest? The pervy kid or the deluded ladies? Or pages and pages of dialogue? I’m up for any and all!    

I’m not a huge fanatic as far as his films go but as a man, as a mind, John Waters is thrilling.    

He’s also a hell of a writer and a real storyteller.    

This book has been a treat. I’m loving it. I’m devouring it.     

“Tennessee Williams wasn’t a gay cliché, so I had the confidence to try to not be one myself. Gay was not enough. It was a good start however.”    

 ** The Saint Richard painting is by Water’s soul-sista Vicki Berndt whom we’ve featured before on Cream Scene Carnival. Role Models is available at amazon and so is the Waters pick: In Youth is Pleasure by Denton Welch, with a forward by William Burroughs.    

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?

The Gift of Time (or I Shoulda Been the Queen of Sheba)

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Books & Writing, I Heart Friends, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Steampunk, Mythos, punk rock, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, Spirituality & Religion, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by alphabetfiend

 I’ve never been one to contain my birthday celebrations to just my one official day (Yes, that’s right, I’m her.  As if you didn’t know that already. Stop feigning horror and surprise.)  

I’m shameless so I’ll go whole hog and admit that I usually try to get myself a birthday gift (yes, I try to be this self adoring and it’s harder than you’d think! I challenge you to it. Stay posted for details.)  

These gifts aren’t about momentary id. They’re about honoring the passage of time… like a little salute to the universe or a thank-you note to the big bang. This life thing is alright. Thumbs up on that one. Havin’ fun. Wish you were here.   

  

I try to pick something for myself that honors where I’ve been and heralds where I’m going, hokey as that sounds. I try to keep the trickster in mind and transform when transformation is called for… this is how I cheat death. My stint as trickster’s apprentice has taught me that much.   

This attitude is not effortless on my part, though many see it that way. Others are 100% on to me. My senior year in college, my honors advisor called me into his office to tell me that my perfectionism would surely be the death of me — and it was unneccessary to boot. My jaw dropped. What perfectionism?  He chuckled at my incredulous reflection all agog in the shiny surface of his desk. He motioned at that shiny, stunned me as if to say, There. See. So I challenged with what I saw as irrefutable logic: “I’m no perfectionist! Why I’m forever falling short and fucking up.” And then he was howling, at first with laughter and then with fury, because he was right and he knew it. He hadn’t used the word “death” lightly.  

I later ranted to my friend Thom, stamping my foot like a child as if to punctuate my imperfection. Dr. Hoch’s a dick, y’know, cause he don’t know, y’know, cause like I’m no perfectionist. I’mnotI’mnotI’mnotnotnot.   

Thom smiled knowingly, “Oh, please. Your ‘fuck-ups’ are other peoples’ ‘crowning glories’.” Then he hedged,  

Honey, c’mon, really? Letting up a little? Not the worst idea ever. Is there any thing left to prove at this point? To who? Profs love you. When class lets out they go and sit in your seat, grinding their asses into the warm wood, moaning oh yes I’m touching her ass through magical osmosis.”  

Thom never passes up a chance to use the word “ass” or to ease my worries either so I put the issue away, for that day. But damn if it hasn’t reared its ugly head again. And again. And again. I still don’t think of myself as a perfectionist so much as a chronic self-saboteur. Even then I wonder if its all some secret fate the trickster has in store. Maybe I fuck-up to save myself from the tyranny of perfection or maybe I’m the tyrant.    

These two sides of my personality are forever waging war within me. Typical Gemini!   

One side sees my birthday as a defeat and a deadline: Oh! Woe! I was supposed to have been The Queen of Sheba by now!   

That bitch is no fucking fun at all.  

The other side sez “And just for that shit, yer ass ain’t never gonna be the Queen of Sheba. I’ll make damn shit sure of it.”  

And that cunt is the reason I’m not the Queen of Sheba.  

She’s also the one you wanna party with. Unless of course you’d rather not be man-handled by a bouncer when your date — saucy mouth, double d’s clad in a punk rock tee, rhinestone tiara — refuses to respect the fucker’s a-THOR-i-tye. But hey she’s good in bed so you go with it.  

  

Birthdays are ALL ABOUT THE PARTY so the perfectionist is a rock, a rock wrapped — like a gift! — in the paper of the fox trickster fuck-up. Rockpaperscissors. Paper beats rock. I win! I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream. The 9-year-old in me that expected the 36-year old to be a famous writer by now — jeesh, what have you been doing with your life you loser — must wear a conical party hat. She must bow her head to the fuck-up as the fuck-up schools her on the pleasures and sorrows of adulthood. Sex, weed, HBO, Austin, punk rock,  falling in love, this sci-fi invention called the inter-net, disgracing yourself regularly, getting lost and then found. Oh, such sweet distractions from perfectionist abstractions. Yes, that’s right youngin’, the inter in internet does stand for inter-galactic. Doesn’t it? Or not. Don’t get me lyin’!  Best grown up fuck up pleasure of all? Not having to know motherfucking everything.  

The fuck-up snaps the elastic under the perfectionist’s chin which causes her party hat to go askew. She lets it stay that way. For that alone she deserves a gift. I try to pick out something nice but clever. A talisman of sorts. Something that sez to Time, “Bring it on, bitch. I’m not askerd of you!”  

"Siamese Dream" by Studio Thirty Four

I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give myself but this year I’m at a loss. Sure I’d love that steampunk motorcycle (It’s a beaut! You’ll see it when I post the “Happy Birthday, Steampunk Seductress” page. Soon, my sweets.) But I’m not $70,000 dollars worth of worth it!  There’s more affordable options — Ringleader’s mustache necklace or clownie vest??? I’m getting a new tattoo (my sweet clownie Miss Van) and I just started back on Cream Scene Carnival so…. I dunno. I’m in no hurry to choose. I’m happy to be writing again and that’s enough for me. For now. I’ll still choose something concrete cause I’m a hedonist alive in a physical world and I fuckin’ love cool shit.  

I don’t think the universe objects to the affection I lavish on myself. If anything, the gods appreciate my gusto. How else do you explain the fact that aside from the gifts I give myself I also get birthday gifts from the universe. I do! It’s true! Every year, through some strange turn of events, a gift arrives from no where sent by no one. I was halfway through this post today when the Robot came in with a box from Amazon and began to dig through it furtively, setting mysterious treats aside for his masculine half-assed wrapping treatment. I watch as he peers at the receipt with a perplexed expression, “Did you use D’s gift certificate to get Visions from the Mechanism: The Industrial Surrealism of Jeffery Scott ??” I shake my head and his brow furrows, “No?” I shake my head again. He holds the book up, as if the sight of it will jog my memory. “You didn’t order this? No? Cause I sure as fuck didn’t.”  

I begin to clap my hands with giddy anticipation, squealing “Oh! It must be my gift from the universe! Gimmee!” and he tosses it with a shrug cause he didn’t know the universe gave gifts but turns out it does. He’s seen it enough times now to know it’s true. Thank you to The Thrones! I love it! It’s the perfect gift considering my steampunky desires of late.

Stem Sell part II by Jeffery Scott (30 pages into my new book!)

I pour over the book, licking my lips as I turn the slick pages, page after dark page of mad maxxian sexbot steampunkery. I’m so enchanted by Scott’s mechanistic vision that I don’t notice my Robot as he unwraps a just-arrived CD (The Flaming Lips doing Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.) He pops it in and presses play, hiking the volume. I’m so absorbed in my book that I think nothing of it until Stardeath and White Dwarfs come on strong and “Time” fills the room with it ticking, graying melancholy:  

 Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.  

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.  

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.  

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.   

With the smug swish of a fox tail, the trickster’s sly smile crosses my face . I hafta laugh at my own gemini duplicity — one side, snide, saying “Not enough, more more” and the other side saying, “Oh, thank you! So much! Much much.” One twin pushes, the other twin pinches.  

Titled "I Love you Anyway" or "The Girl Makes Peace With Herself"

We are slutty siamese twins with totally different taste in men. One sister went black and swore she’d never go back but, alas, she shares a vagina with her twin (and she’s got a yen for geeky white men.) Hey, homegirl, at least she’s not a lesbian!  

To my perfectionist side, I give this — the Flaming Lips version of Floyd’s “Time” with Stardeath and White Dwarfs ringing in 2010 at a New Years eve show in the FL’s hometown of Oklahoma City. I wish I had seen this show live!!! This video is shot beautifully by professionals who had total access. Less tha 5000 people have viewed it.  

“Sweet, ” sez Sister Fuck-up, “Let’s watch this sucker like its (black) boy on (black) boy porn. Oh, hell ya! Now pass the hash pipe.”  

The Siamese Twin art above is available on Etsy. “Siamese Dream” is by Studio Thirty Four  and “I Love You Anyway or The Girl Makes Piece with Herself” is by rowenamurillo

The Axe-Throwing Phase of Our Friendship

Posted in Friendship, I Heart Friends, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, punk rock, Spirituality & Religion with tags , , , , , , , on June 6, 2010 by alphabetfiend

A GammaGamma Post-script: So..my dearling, did you see that Gogol Bordello cover album art?

It initially evokes two intersecting arrows but then the eye decides on crossed axe handles.

  

A thought like a gurgle and pop: We’ve moved past the whizzing arrows phase of our friendship.

Now we’ll enter into the hurling & hacking of  shaman tomahawks, of elven axes. Axes with the disreputable heft of carnie roust-a-bouts. Axes with the honed glimmer of gypsy seers… suave & swarthy… with impressive mustaches, upon which, fairy acrobats do aerial tricks.

They are weighty these axes but when wielded there’s a familiar folkloric flex. Flux.

One question? Will we develop an axe-trading act, taking rambunctious turns at nearly missing the others head?

(If so, if I lose an ear, I’m going to gift it to Van Gogh. Dramatically laid out in an oyster shell casket. Like a tiny fetus.)

Or will we just set off and hack — at the black — like psychopaths?

I’m in, either way.

Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense (Chapter 2, DRAFT)

Posted in Pure Sweet Chocolate Sense with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Chapter Two has moved to its own wordpress home

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

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