Archive for the ‘Cleveland’ Category

I’m naive, I admit it

March 28, 2010

One of my goals has always been to be published. By a major publishing company. With an editor. And, most importantly, a nice advance that could (maybe) pay my bills for a bit. I also always sorta expect a publishing house to be helpful in pushing me (or any author) in the right direction regarding publicity of said work.

Then I read this blog by Mitzi Szereto.

Then I read this page by Jim Cox at the Midwest Book Review.

Then I talked to a couple of other friends of mine who are knee (well, shoulder) deep in MFA Master/PhD programs.

And I discovered how horribly naive I really am about the whole publishing mess. Any hope that a publisher would help a writer succeed appears blind and destined for failure. Want to do readings? Book’em yourself. Want to get reviewers to read the thing? Send them copies.

Unfortunately, if you’re like me (and you’re probably not, so you’re fine), you don’t really interact well with people. Or maybe you are like me which means that, like me, you have some work to do. for the first time, networking is taking on a clear importance and meaning.  Friends (or at least people who want to remain acquaintances and who may later ask you for a favor) are essential.

But how do you make friends, especially in a world where you are literally a tiny fish in a MASSIVE sea? I come from a small ass town in SE Michigan. I have lately moved to Cleveland.  Not exactly the center of the universe or, especially, the literary universe (Though Dan Chaon lives about 10 minutes away, and I guess Harvey Pekar lives somewhere in this town, so there’s some people whose names are at least noticeable on bookshelves). Given such a situation, it’s easy to look around and wonder how the hell you’re supposed to meet/greet/schmooze anyone.

Well, first, send stuff out. Obvious answer. People like you enough to publish you, on their dime, that’s a great first step in fostering allegiances to call on when needed. Second, use the web. Search for blogs and websites related to your interests/writings/etc. And comment. Say stuff. It’s easy, even if you do look like a naive nit (such as I on Mitzi’s blog). And just know that it’s going to happen. Don’t be an ass. Just be you (unless you are an ass then try to be something less you).

As I crawl, drag, stagger towards finishing the (first) re-write of my first novel I have considered hurling into the world, I’ve started taking these steps. And credit goes to people like Mitzi Szerato and Jim Cox for erecting islands of illumination in the publishing darkness. Eventually, I hope to provide something similar. Until then, I’ll keep plugging away and trying to be a bit less naive.

And I’ll try to shake more hands.

cleveland sucks and I’m fairly certain I don’t care for people as a general rule

May 17, 2009

We made our trip to cleveland this weekend and it was an unmitigated disaster. We didn’t get to see half of the apartments because the rep. who was supposed to show us around stood us up, another rented the room out and didn’t have any others to show us, and the other showed us one room in our price range and one that wasn’t in our price range.

We got lost trying to find our way home because I was told that she had already gotten all of the mapquest crap that we needed except a map on how to get the hell out of this place and, oh yeah, there were a ton of fucking people. Which I’m not a big fan of.

Apparently when I later make comments about the next two years being a waste of my life this sorta betrays my dislike for Cleveland and pretty much every thing currently associated with it and has a tendency to upset my girlfriend. Which, in turn, makes my life more needlessly drama filled and annoying.

All I really want, I think, now, at this point, is to be left alone by the vast majority of society. Surface connections online are great, some family stuff is fine but, beyond that, fuck it.  This isn’t even saying that everyone is horrible or some such blather. I just don’t deal well with people and I don’t care much for change. My dream is to have a nice big fucking house in the middle of the country with a lot of land around it and few neighbors. 

on top of that, while having sex saturday night, I had a bizarre vision of a car accident on, I think, I480 (?) heading in/out of cleveland.  This was one of the most bizarre experiences I have ever had as I felt as if I was literally somewhere/somewhen else and seeing something that I had never witnessed before but was strangely meant to see. Honestly, it has kind of upset me. I also haven’t told anyone about it but I’m willing to blog it. I guess I still suffer from a certain degree of false perception of anonymity.  But I guess I can officially say I had a vision and it hasn’t improved my opinion of the move to cleveland.

lost in cleveland and abandoned by real estate

May 16, 2009

My g/f and I went to cleveland today to view apartments. We were only looking in one area and had six lined up for the day. Around noon, while driving in to Cleveland, we got a call from one of the agents showing us an apartment today to tell us that the apartment was rented but he could show us some others. He would call us back when he found something in the area and price range we were looking for.

The first place we stopped at was nice. First they showed us an apartment that was about a hundred dollars out of our price range but it was nice. Then they showed us a second apartment that was within our price range. It was less nice, with smaller closets, but still quite livable. We thanked them and promised to stay in touch.

Then we waited around for the agent who had called us earlier to call back. They never did, but that was fine, too, as it gave us time to sit down and get something to eat. It was a little diner, loud but good. I think the waiter was worried I was going to stiff him a tip because I didn’t put a tip on the bill. I left a five on the table when I left and, looknig back, I hope he got it. I wondered if a busboy wouldn’t simply pocket it. I don’t know.

At three we had an appointment to see three more apartments, including one which was the clear front runner from what we had seen on the internet when we did our first scouting around the area. We found where the offices were and went up and knocked on the door but no one was around. We were a bit early so we waited. Then we waited some more. The people never showed.

So we had driven 3 hours to look at 6 apartments and ended up looking at just one in our price range while getting a chance to just walk around the area a bit. My g/f was dejected a bit from this. I just wanted to come home. And I couldn’t help but notice that, while driving around, I kept seeing all of these little red signs that said “Snow Street” on them. I know cleveland gets a lot of snow, sitting on the lip of Lake Erie and all, but this was sort of the first hammer blow sinking that nail in. They get a lot of snow.

Needless to say I am a bit apprehensive about all of this. She keeps reminding me that it won’t be long. A year and a half, really, but it is closer to two years. It’s a long time, really, when put up against the shortness of our lives. Two years can represent a fairly significant chunk of it.

In the end, I’m just not sure about any of this. I want to be sure and supportive but the whole endeavor has me digging my heels in and saying, “Wait.”