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'As Good as My Word'
A Dialogue With a Fellow Writer: Dateline 10/28-11/7/21
© 2021 James LaFond
The following is by text, to which I shall respond here in writing, and post the article for January 2022, if I find a way to get back online, as my ability to use computers seems to go down every month. I'm not far from just writing on a flashdrive with the cheapest notepad available and mailing the files to Lynn.
[Typos are mine]
“Good evening Mister James. Hope you are well. My correspondence has fallen by the wayside due to no good reason. In view of the current situation and you publicized correspondence with Mr. Franklin I wanted to reiterate my offer of available housing if you need it for as long as you want it. I ca pick you up at any Amtrak station in the Midwest that you say.
“Earlier in the year, I had hoped to offer you better accomodations, but the advantage of my abandoned house in the countryside has certain advantages, besides the excellent well water and fairly good wifi. I've been preparing for this situation for most of my life.
“In any event, I hope and trust you can find better lodgings through winter. But as long as I have a roof and food to offer, just give me some notice and a location to pick you up and you will find me as good as my word.
Well, that is a humbling offer. PB, has previously offered to lodge me and noted that he was interested in doing some recording work. We had a log conversation in July 2020 while I sat and drank rum on my Landlady's porch. PB has written three books, I think, having worked his way through college to be a writer and discovered that writing no longer pays at all, unless you are a zombie propagandist or a niche entertainer or self-help guru. And, in such cases, most of the writer's activity will be limited to writing promotional material for his few books.
So, PB just kept doing his dangerous job and spent some energy promoting my work—far more than I have spent.
Sir, I would have taken you up on your offer but I have grown so fatigued with train travel. Days on end behind a mask is even more trying and prevents me from writing on the train as my screen glasses fog up. Basically, every time I move by train, I lose 3-5 days of writing. That is a short novel. I've been avoiding picking up more stops and have failed to make some stops, in order to continue writing. This has been made worse by being stricken with severe eye seizures this past spring and summer.
However, on the very day you texted me, as I was arriving in Portland on the train, a man in California offered to drive me across country to Baltimore on April 1. He happens to go through Saint Louis, MO. So, tentatively, expect me to be dropped off sometime late on April 3rd in that shithole of renown. A roadhouse bar near the eastbound interstate would be good, if you could recommend one. I will keep you updated and could stay for two weeks. Then I will have to get a train to Chicongo so I can continue back to Harm City to play Mom in rummy and try not to frighten my grandchildren like some hobgoblin out of the mountains.
[All I texted back was “sure” and “thanks”, I think.]
“There is nothing like the west and hope you find it invigorating and inspiring these coming months. If you feel comfortable with sending me your current or future address or just a post office box I'd like to send you some of my books and others.”
[I sent the address by text where I had just arrived letting him know that my host, an avid reader and Bukowski fan would also be interested in his work.]
PB, I have been struggling with my backpack and ditching more and more clothing and survival gear, travel with no food and fast on the train and cannot haul any books. My hernias are getting worse and it is hard for me to get a mile on foot with this 50-lb ruck sack. So I will have to leave these books in Portland, and finish reading them when I come back through town.
I have checked with my host in Utah, and he has informed me that there is very much work in your trade in the High Desert of Utah and Wyoming, and that this work is expanding.
“Good evening, sir,
“My brain overloads when contemplating your body of work. I was hoping to cut some interview with you about each individual work of fiction you've done.”
“I'd also like to do some audio recordings of your work. World even be interested in renting a studio and producing or narrating audio content. I love your street work and other boxing stuff ECT. But my impression is you want to focus on the fiction. Just off the top of my head. Hope your time in Oregon is great and everything is going well.
Hey, when I'm with some people I coach, some people I do odd jobs and others I play cards and drink beer. When I stay with Incognegro, we record, and he has still hardly put anything out. I know that most of the stuff I have recorded and will record will simply be lost. But then I realize that the more I do the more chances that a few things might slip through the cracks of the delusion into tomorrow.
So, when I am at your place, I only require about 4 hours a day to write, anymore blows up my eye. My only limitation on recording is can I speak without puking. That will depend on my eye.
I have no interest in me recording anything I have written. I hate my voice and I stumble over anything I read, even my own stuff, out loud. I can say with confidence that I will never read anything for recording. If you would like to record something I have written that is fine by me.
I will sit for an interview about anything I have written.
I would be willing to do some survival instructionals.
I favor my fiction because it is the only thing I ever wanted to write. The history is a bi-product of fiction research which I resent and the self-help writing was just a way to learn how to write the stories echoing in my sped head.
My Fiction Completed to date, in roughly the order written, keeping in mind that I rarely remember the titles of short stories I wrote...
SS = Sunset Saga
-1. Tribes, unpublished science fiction setting sourcebook, 1992
-2. Big Water Blood Song, SS novel, 2010
-3. Ghosts of The Sunset World, SS novel, December 24, 2010
-4. The World is Our Widow, SS novel, 2011
-5. Beyond the Ember Star, SS novel, 2011
-6. Comes the Six Winter Night, SS novel, 2011
-7. Thunder-boy, SS novel, 90,000 words written in the month of September, 2011
-8. Behind the Sunset Veil, SS novel, 2011
-9. Soters Way, short novel, 2011
-10. By This Axe!, rewritten as astride the chariot of Night, short novel, 2011
-11. Buzz Bunny, short novel, 2011
-12. Organa, 2012, short novel, later anthologized in darkly and then expanded into novel
-13. This Design is Called Paisley, short novel, 2012
-14. Motherworld, and Sacrifix, anthologies with stories such as Wake from Your Dream Place and Hallowed
-15. God's Picture Maker, SS novel, 2012
Hazy on dates on middle portion
-16. Planet Buzz Kill, novel
-17. A Hoodrat Halloween, short novel
-18. Winter, rewritten as Of Ire and Ice
-19. Fruit of The Deceiver, short novel
-20. Forty Hands of Night, short novel
-21. Omnibus of 19-20 rewritten as an Arabian Terror Tale and then The Jericho Bone, novel
-22. A White Christmas, short novel
-23. Little Feet Going Nowhere, short novel
-24. Daughters of Moros, originally Five Ruthless Whores, shorts fiction anthology
-25. Fat Girl Dancing retitled Dancing on the Edge
-26. Darkly, an omnibus anthology including some Motherworld and Sacrifix material and short novels
-27. Riding the Nightmare, horror anthology, reissued as Doomfawn
-27. Skulker Jones, novel, sequel to A Hoodrat Halloween
-28. Dream Flower, a short fiction anthology
-29. Easy Chair and Other Stories
-30. Menthol Rampage, short novel, also anthologized with Buzz Bunny and Soter's Way in Rise
-31. Poet, novel
-32. Night City, released in 2018, an omnibus anthology including 28, 29 and five additional stories and the anthology material from Doomfawn anthology
-33. Hurt Stoker, novel, 2015
-34. Reverent Chandler, novel, 2015
-35. Out of Time, SS novel, 2016
-36. Malediction Song, short novel and stories, 2016
-37. Retrogenesis, novel written with Erique Watson, 2017
-38. Drink Deep of Night, novel, originally Hemavore with another author, and once titled The Song of Jeanott
-39. The Consultant, novel, 2017
-40. Thunderbird, a short novel, 2018
-41. Animal Control, a short novel appended to Thunderbird along with two other stories and stories by two friends, 2018
-42. Supplicant Song, short novel, Tribes yarn, 2018
-43. A White Christmas
-44. Confessor, short novel, Tribes yarn, 2019
-45. Seven Moons Deep, SS novel, 2019
-46. Sold, historical novel, 2019
-47. Yusef of the Dusk, novel, 2019
-48. Book of Nightmares, short stories, 2019
-49. Under an Iron Crown, short novel, 2019
-50. American Dream Boat, short novel, 2019
-51. Ghost Snatcher, short novel, 2019, finished on new year's eve
-52. Night Song of the Nords, novel, February, 2020, released also in omnibus collection with Reverent Chandler and Malediction Song as Who Writes the Songs of Night?
-53. The Last Good Cop, March, 2020
-54. Tamarno!, children's story, May, 2020
-55. Is You Sure?, juvenile story, May, 2020
Tamarno! and Is You Sure? released as Stupid Time
-56. The Filthy Few, novel, October, 2020
-57. By Gaslight, short novel, November, 2020
-58. Prentice Dolphin, short novel, December, 2020
-59. Beyond Rainbow Bridge, short novel, January 2021
-60. Cube, short novel, February, 2021
-61. Uprising, short novel, March, 2021
-62. Haft, short novel, July, 2021
-63. Last Whiteman, short novel, August, 2021
-64. Beyond the Pale, short novel, October 2021
-65. Den of the Ender, SS novel, 2012
Fiction in Progress Since:
H = Hopefully the 15 titles in progress, these 7 titles will be done by April
-1. Wonderfall, novel, since 2011 [170 pages] H
-2. WhiteSkyCanoe, SS concluding novel, since 2009 [mental outline, last two chapters written in my mind since 2012]
-3. Up Shingle Creek, Short Novel, since October 2021, [physical outline] H
-4. Tagline/Newslaw, short novel, since July 2021, [physical outline] H
-5. Of Ichor and War, short novel, since July 2021, [physical outline] H
-6. Longshank Cain, short novel, since October 2020, [physical outline] H
-7. Servants of Woodbridge Manor, children's story, since July 1 2021, [partially written] [H]
-8. Red, horror novel with Erique Watson, since 2019 [1st chapter written]
-9. Rebel Knell, prequel to Hurt Stoker, novel, since February 2021, [physical outline, front matter and appendices done]
-10. Dream Eater, short novel, since 2016, [mental outline]
-11. Bad Medicine, short novel, since 2016, [mental outline]
-12. Ditcher, short novel, since January 2021, [entirely written in my mind] H
-13. American Woman, short novel, since August 2021 [mental outline]
-14. Bound, historical novel, sequel to Sold, entirely written in my mind since 2019
-15. Freed, anthology of historical shorts stories set in Plantation America, based on runaway advertisements
2021 Writing Report
author's notebook
In Uncle Sham's Shadow
the fighting edge
the lesser angels of our nature
honor among men
the first boxers
winter of a fighting life
let the world fend for itself
the greatest lie ever sold
book of nightmares
your trojan whorse
logic of force
masculine axis
by the wine dark sea
menthol rampage
the combat space
when you're food
taboo you
broken dance
son of a lesser god
logic of steel
the gods of boxing
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