Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Someone write these books, please! Part 1 of 4

A few years ago, I realized that my lifelong dream to be a novelist was a mistake. In the 1960’s I wanted to be Ernest Hemingway – famous, alcoholic, free, traveling the world, and then to die a tragic death by my own hand. All I had succeeded in becoming was an alcoholic. My reach for tragedy and never risen above pathetic. By 1976, I’d become what is commonly referred to as a “recovering” alcoholic. I still thought I wanted to be a novelist.

But a few years ago, after writing 3.75 terrible novels, in the middle of the last one, it struck me that I hated writing novels. They were way too long for someone like me with the attention span of a puppy on speed. I like writing poems and short trivial nonsense like this. But novels became work when, on page 230, you had to go back and find out what color the hero’s hair was on page 15 and whether he had already met the heroine’s mother and whether she was short or tall on page 134.

When movies are shot they have continuity people to do that. There is a world of difference between wanting to be a novelist and wanting to write novels. I wanted the first; I hated the second.

So I focused on poems and journal entries, now commonly referred to as poems and blogs. Besides, by then I was established in a career in another field I loved, managing addiction treatment centers. So I didn’t have to worry about whether something would sell.

Since then I have had only one problem. I had three great ideas for science fiction books. I didn’t want to write them, but I couldn’t shake them. So, for the next three days, I’m going to lay out the story lines for these three science fiction books. I promise not to sue anyone who writes them, claiming they were my idea. I just want to read them.

I apologize to folks who come here to see Bagman and find book synopses instead. I’ll try to make them interesting. If nothing else, I will be able to get the stories out of my head so they will stop bugging me.

I promise Bagman and Butler will return next week. I won’t be able to hold them off much longer than that.

BAGMAN: “You better believe you won’t be able to hold me off, you boring old bat!”

BUTLER: “Leave him alone and let him do his thing!”

BAGMAN: “Easy for you to say! You like boring stuff like this! At least I hope he’ll post some unrelated photos so people won’t stop reading. Specially if they’re of women.”


  1. Well, Mark. I can identify because this week I decided to write about the Texas Revolution in 4 parts and Friday will have an excerpt about the Revolution from the newsletter of a Texas Senator. Can't get much more boring than that. I didn't warn anyone ... I just took off. But this week half over and I'll return to junk stuff next week. I'll happily read your synopses even though I'll miss Bagman & Butler.

  2. Bring it on!

    I can handle it....

    I think.

    How about pictures of men?

  3. Every posting is a gem in its own way...

  4. forgetting the facts about the character is my problem. that and not planning how the story will go. that and getting bored on page two and going to play x-box.
    i think it's a great idea!

  5. It may be different, but I still keep reading! Take care, friend.

  6. Ready..... reading glasses on....