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Short Stories Are Not My Forte

The cool kids all seem to be aspiring writers and I’ve always wanted to be a cool kid, so I wrote a novel. 170,000+ words in the first draft. Counting them all took more than a week and left me nearly blind.

If I rip out the superfluous foul language I’m left with only four pages. Fuck!

I’ve come to believe that short stories are a talent that I am destined never to develop. This effort was an attempt to shorten another (of 188,000+ words in the first draft) by stripping out the backstory as a standalone. Why bother failing in a small way?

I’m encouraged by the fact that Amethyst, always a voracious reader and an honest critic, likes my wee scribble. It made her laugh, it made her cry, it left her speaking in salty language to a cow-orker at the public library who called this afternoon to notify her of yet another inter-library loan that arrived today. The protagonist of my story is known for his ability to corrupt practically anyone, and has claimed Amethyst as his first real-world victim. Hooya! She said that while the story is complete, no loose ends remain, the ending is very satisfying, et cetera, she hated that it ended and wanted more.

I suppose that I ought to revisit the original story so she can have her more. I dunno, though. She read in two and a half days what took me five weeks to write; it seems that she’s got leverage on me. I think I know where this is going…


Another day in a life

The more things change… the more different they become from what they used to be.

I’ve an extraordinarily good client who’s been with me for about nine years now and whose IT Director was an independent like me when we first started working together. At that time, his software was headed for obsolescence but got a few more years from the work I did for him. Then his biggest client’s biggest client demanded, do-or-die, on-demand delivery of information that could only be got via the internet — and his software had zero networking ability. It was a time of panic. They needed a hero but all they had was me, a middleware guy.

Good enough, they said, you’ll have to do. Ever’ now ‘n’ ‘en I bumble into the right place at the right time, and when I don’t I do my damnedest to convince some motherfuckers that I did. That’s how one lands gigs in our capitalist economy. Yes sir, I would be proud to represent whatever shithole I just walked into and you fuckers validate parking, am I right? So, knowing how to make middleware that’s what I did, and then everyone said I looked like shit in a cape. I said “no, bitches, it’s a fucking poncho”.

As it happened, the end client made my client an offer he couldn’t refuse and he bagged the IT Director gig, which brought me a lock-in. I know how that sounds, but in marketdroid vernacular the company gets seventy years of combined experience in the two of us, and no one’s bitching.

Well, not often anyway. Week before last one of the network service endpoints to which my middleware interfaces made a subtle change that broke the shit out of things, and last week a brand new (to us) endpoint vendor tried to make the claim that a breakage was my doing. Neither of those things reflected poorly upon me, but they shoved a vital new project to bring that new endpoint into our world aside and that caused enough acoustic disturbance that my bud the IT Director conveyed a bit of it to me, which is remarkably unusual. He’s a board hire and doesn’t report to executive management.

Being aware of that, I was a mite concerned when I got my ass from the bed to the desk around noon today (yesterday if you’re a pathetic normal) and found the dude asking at the end of a message about actual work stuff, “Also, from a long perspective, how many years do you anticipate being able to continue doing what you are doing now in the way you are doing it now?”. Being in a Peter Pan industry that’s usually a loaded question. Usually as in “you’s probly fucked, homes”. But I was only a mite concerned because I ain’t smart enough to worry about shit I can’t fix.

It made me stop and think, which is unusual because the normal course is that my subconscious mind makes the decisions and then my conscious mind rationalizes them. It’s quite unusual for my subconscious to admit to fallibility, and because of it I felt so naked and vulnerable that I knew that the only thing to do was to drink liquor and throw my clothing off just in case.

So I said that shit, mang, I don’t know anyone who’s left the industry due to age related cognitive decline so what the fuck. And he said okay, I’m a-gonna sell the shit out of our combined stuff to all of my other clients and you can be the tech dude who admins the servers I’m gonna sell ’em and you can maintain the middleware too, and I said fuckin’ A.

And then I deployed the new endpoint connector his board of directors was eager to see and it worked flawlessly, and he said fuckin’ A, and the good times are now in fact rolling. Let ’em ro-oll… When next he meets with the directors he’ll say something like I told ya not to sweat the heathen’s work, and they’ll say something like very good, Mister Beale, go forth and spread the evangel, and that will be that.

Just another day, but a fun one. It sounds good, but…

It could be that, too. Probably not, because the dude is a middle aged white guy so we’re bros by default. Also my software knows where his car and his phone are 24/7 which means I do, too, and the first rule of business is never fuck a white dude who knows where you live.

So that how my day went, and now I see a fiery ball of some kind in the sky so I’m going to bed to await the apocalypse it portents. See ya later, should we survive that fiery fucker.


Just because it’s amusing if you grok the golden child/scapegoat child dynamic of the family of narcissistic parents:

Golden Child, 2018-02-03: We’re going to need to be in touch regarding Mom’s passing…

Scapegoat, 2018-02-09: Got the flu, phone’s a no-go right now, but email’s fine.

Golden Child, 2018-03-09: I’ve got cancer now. But there are some things we need to think about.

Scapegoat, 2018-03-14: Here’s my telephone number.

Golden Child, 2018-04-05: I’ve spoken to a lawyer and am going ahead…

Oops, had to feed the cat. Where was I?

Oh yeah: the liquor store is just across the road from the playhouse and there are thousands of car crash videos on EweToob.