"Ballers." Why does it suck? I'm not sure. Maybe it's the writing. Maybe it's the casting. Maybe it's that The Rock doesn't seem sure how to be anything other than a cartoon. Force him to act like a worried money manager for athletes, stick him in too tight suit pants, make him talk finance, and he gets lost in translation. The biggest problem "Ballers" has isn't ballers. It has plenty of those. A crew of athletes in the various stages of their wound up careers: climbing, struggling, out of it. The biggest problem is that there isn't anything counterintuitive about it. It's all a series of grand cliches. The great hub upon which "The Sopranos" spun was that it was about a mobster who was seeing a shrink. What the fuck is up with that? it made you wonder. Watching "Ballers" is like watching the dramatic version of "Hard Knocks," and, shit, we've seen that already. The closest thing to something interesting is Rob Corddry, who's a fucking freak -- but even then they've got him on too tight of a leash -- and Omar Miller's inhabituation of what happens to players after the NFL. Maybe the problem is that while all the active ball players on the show, the ones whose lives we follow as the plot meanders about confusedly, are black men, and, unless I missed something, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, not a single one of the show's executive producers is a black man. But, hey, it's Hollywood, and I guess that's how they play ball.
Buy THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
I got back to blogging at Forbes, and my god what a horrendous first month. I managed to bang out five posts in the couple weeks I had access, and the traffic was horrendous. Quelle embarrassment! And look at this girl -- she's killing it! Git 'em, LRO.
I don't know what the problem is. Possible theories:
I took a year off, so now the traffic sucks for my new stuff.
I'm a bad person and am being karmically punished.
I fell back into writing for others, when I should be writing for myself.
Probably, it's this last. Nothing worse than words with no heart. July, I will crush you.
Buy THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
Recently, I've been trying to decorate my home office. So far, that means cool artwork, fun pops of color, and the resultant effect of looking like someone stumbled into a half set up booth at a flea market. Over the years, I guess I spent so much time appreciatively admiring others' interior design that I somehow confused the ability to recognize it with the ability to do it. I can't do it. Or maybe I have to give it a chance. Either way, I did buy these bold orange Bisley filing cabinets from The Container Store which are awesome and way better than having papers all over the floor.
Buy THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
I spent a long time reading this very sad piece, "Five Hostages."
"According to several freed hostages, Kayla was not tortured or sexually abused. Didier François, the French journalist, sometimes heard Kayla asking her jailers for fruit or sanitary napkins. The male hostages wondered who she was. At one point, they heard a guard say that she was Muslim, and Kayla corrected him. The guard was impressed. 'She’s stronger than you,' the guard told another prisoner. 'She doesn’t pretend.'"
Well, drug tattoos, that is. I spent way too much time searching Instagram for drug tattoos to create what I think is actually a pretty cool post for my Forbes blog, which should've been titled: "Instagram Your Drug Tattoo And Everyone Will Heart You." Or what have you. Do you know how goddamn hard it is to get good results for #cracktattoo? You're looking for someone who's posted a shot of their crack-inspired tattoo, and you end up looking at people's ass cracks with tattoos in them or on them. Also: #coketattoo. You think it is easy, but it is not. Do you know how many idiots have Coke the soda tattooed on them? Way too many. Also: People, get more XTC tattoos. Or at least let me know what hashtag to search so I can find them. There was also this insanely interesting one that had to do with like heroin and a pregnant woman combined in a tattoo -- or something??? -- and I saw it once, but I couldn't find it again. What I think ended up being the most interesting part were the sobriety tattoos. They were powerful, and I like how they had a function: to remind their owners not to go down the road again. Kudos. Oh, one more thing: Where the hell are all the flakka tattoos? Man. All I got was Waka Flocka Flame.
The other night I watched "Nightingale," an HBO movie starring David Oyelowo as a guy going nuts. Something terrible happens, and you watch as the main character's mind unspools. The best things: Oyelowo's disturbing, nuanced, terrifying performance, the gorgeously dated interiors, the brilliant writing. The worst things: well, there aren't really any, unless you don't like watching people unhinge. One of the most intriguing and rare things about "Nightingale" is that it forces you to follow in the footsteps and faux rational thinking of a deeply unreliable narrator. No one else makes an appearance in the movie, so, as a viewer, you are left with two choices: go it alone or trust the nutbird. And because Oyelowo's articulation of the man going mad is so careful, you find yourself wanting to believe: in him, in something, in resolution. There isn't really any -- not anything that's good anyway. Still, the reason to watch it is that it provides a considered alternative to the hysteria our culture inhabits every time someone unhinged does something insane. We want to declare: That person is Other. In fact, the most disturbing thing about someone who goes off the rails is how much we see of ourselves in them, which, of course, indicates how close we are to doing the same thing -- or, you know, something like it. In the end, the movie's clever use of technology -- an iPhone, a laptop camera -- reminds us that nowadays, craziness isn't just for loners. It's a show for us all, one that we can't get enough of watching.
The other day I got my contributor's copies of the latest issue of Clackamas Literary Review, which features a new short story I wrote, "The Urologist." Thanks, Trevor Dodge! You can buy a copy of it on Amazon here. I was delightful to be featured along pals of mine: Lydia Netzer, who wrote the widely-acclaimed Shine Shine Shine and contributed a wonderfully weird short story called "Suicide Doors," which is about a woman who tries to write erotic fiction and keeps getting distracted by life, and Kevin Sampsell, who wrote A Common Pornography, published my very own You're a Bad Man, Aren't You?, and contributed a series of fantastical collages. In any case, I hope you'll pick up a copy. Here's an excerpt from my story:
"Sometimes, at dinner parties, someone would ask her why she had married the husband, and she would say, 'If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, my husband will hunt other humans for us to eat.' Invariably, the person would laugh, thinking she was joking, and she would laugh, too, playing along. She wasn't kidding. The husband was a killer."
Now that I'm back at Forbes, I'm trying to post a fair amount, but on Friday, I sort of choked. I'd written a post about a python pizza, and a post about porn on HBO, and then it was Friday, and I got stuck. I spent way too much time overthinking it: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Then on Sunday, I realized I needed to post anything, which actually prompted me to write the post that I originally wanted to write, which was about a work of art made of crack vials.
Be fucking specific
One thing that's sort of a challenge when you write about vice is that you can write about a lot of shit. You can write about: heroin, cam girls, internet gambling, a line of wine named for dead criminals, a gun show, pruno, DeLoreans, and all kind of other things. I spent too much time casting too wide of a net in the form of Google News, which sucks. When I wrote about things successfully, I realized, they tended to be about the intersection of two things: vice and something of particular interest to me. So, for example, I'm not that interested in pizza, but I am interested in Florida, so an Everglades pizza made sense. Be as stupidly specific as a PhD candidate in your endeavors. Niche your brain.
Write something, anything
I think one problem was that I was focusing too much on what people would maybe want to read. This is an old bad habit that comes from having jobs that required heavy traffic-getting writing, and it can ruin you the way love can get ruined for an old whore. Also, Forbes has a somewhat different way of paying bloggers for traffic nowadays -- because that is how it works there -- and so far it's been ... well, I'll give it a positive slant by saying I'm sure I'll figure it out. But it's different. In any case, post what you love, and fuck everyone else. After all, most people are dumb.
Do shit, dumbshit
I wrote a nice post on my Forbes blog a couple years ago: "A Girl and a .22." It was fun to do and fun to write. I went to a firearms superstore with a big range and shot some guns. If you don't have to be a churn-and-burn blogger, why would you act like one? Use blogging as excuse to go live a more interesting life. For me, that's meant going to porn shows, and gun shows, and drinking expensive Bloody Marys. Find what you love, and then fuck the hell out of it. I'll be going on another adventure later this week that should be interesting. Stay tuned.
Yesterday I wrote on my Forbes blog about the news that David Simon has a "porn drama" in development with HBO, but I sort of left out the broader point I was trying to make, which is that it is very difficult, and I'm sure HBO knows this, to make a TV show or a movie about the adult film industry. Obviously, PTA did it deftly with "Boogie Nights," but you'll be hard-pressed to come up with other examples. And that's because it's very difficult to depict the pornography within the porn industry without turning your project into, well, pornography. Whether people are simulating sex or having sex in front of the camera, it has a hard time looking like anything other than that: people fucking. This is why people are always saying, "Someone should make a really great art porn movie," but it hasn't been done, because it's difficult to do. (The lone exception, IMO, is "The Operation," shot in infrared.) For porn, there is no gap between what it is and what it appears to be. Of course, the obvious way to dodge this quandary is to focus on something other than screwing: the storyline, the period in time, the characters. And that's where you see success. Sex, in the broadest sense, works best as background noise. For example, think of "The Sopranos" scenes that take place at Bada Bing! It's less naked chicks prancing around and more B-roll; it's scenery. But what happens when the scenery becomes the star? That's where things get tricky. As a journalist, I try to avoid doing what I call "going in through the front door"; that would be something like dealing with publicists. Instead, it's generally better to go through the side door. (Historically, when writing about the porn industry -- take, for example, "They Shoot Porn Stars, Don't They?" -- I avoid the big production companies and seek out the mid-range entities because it is there that the truth resides, not in a meeting facilitated by a PR lackey.) In any case, to bring sex alive before the cameras as something other than what I'd be inclined to call straight up fucking, you must enter through the side door. Clayton Cubitt's "Hysterical Literature" comes to mind. (Not porn, obviously, but an exploration of sexuality that renders sex into something else altogether: desire?) In any case, I'm always optimistic that it can be done, and HBO, or Showtime, or Netflix is really the place to do it. Advertisers have really killed the effective distribution of thoughtful considerations of the porn business, and yet the outliers offer hope. Personally, I'd rather see something other than some tee-hee bullshit created by some chick from "Sex and the City" and something more knowledgeable than whatever gritty grind Simon will perhaps create. The thing to remember, as PTA did, is that it's always about heart. After all, porn isn't about fucking at all. It's about love, and intimacy, and how difficult it is for us human beings to navigate their slippery terrains.
For three years, I blogged at Forbes. (You can visit my blog here.) Initially, the blog was called Pink Slipped, and I started it because I'd gotten downsized from my last job. For a while, I wrote about freelancing, and getting gigs, and making money. Eventually, I decided I wanted to pick a more rigorous beat, and I renamed the blog Sin Inc and started covering vice. By early 2014, though, I decided I'd done enough and left. Not long after, I started to miss it. I missed the beat, the adventures, the trips to gun shows and porn conventions. So, last week, when I was in New York, I ended up talking to an editor there, and now I'm back. Thanks for allowing me to return, Forbes. When I started blogging for Forbes in 2011, I believe there were no more than a couple hundred contributors (which is the Forbes moniker for bloggers), and I believe there are now something like 1,500. The pay model has been tweaked, and what you can do and upload has grown more sophisticated. I like writing for Forbes for a few different reasons: the autonomy, the brand, the fact that it makes me stretch a bit to think about how things work. At Forbes, you're compensated by how much traffic you bring to your blog, and there are some new challenges in that regard. Hopefully, I'll meet them. I'll be covering a swath of things that I like to think of as aspirational sin. That'll include sex, guns, drugs, drinking, gambling, and weirdly over-the-top decadent food items. My first post is on a pizza that I ate: it was topped with python, alligator, and frog legs. It was quite a feast. So, would you pay $45 for this pizza?
I saw this in a vintage store today. What the hell is it? A phone? Speakers? An alien life force?
After I went to the journalism program at Yale, I spent a couple days in NYC. It was an amazing time. I ate at The Breslin, which I Ioved. I sat at the bar upstairs and enjoyed a Brooklyn Bramble cocktail (I tried the Pickled Gibson, but it was too weird for me), the market salad with tahini dressing (tasty!), and the duck and sausage (delicious). Thanks to Matt for being a cool bartender. I stayed at the Algonquin, which, oh my god, I loved so much. Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle! Dark wood! A cat named Matilda working the front desk! A copy of the New Yorker in every room! I will definitely return. On my first full day there, I went to see the Alexander Calder show at Dominique Levy. Everything was white, white, white there, and you had to wear booties to not scuff up the floor. The Calders were mostly small-sized, and there was a very dear set of miniature sculptures that fit into a cigar box, a gift for his wife. The rooms in which the pieces were shown were designed by Santiago Calatrava. After that, I saw the Richard Prince show at Gagosian. The show featured cheesy pulp books that were coupled with the original artworks that had been commissioned for them. It was a little odd, and somewhat amusing. Of course, the infamous appropriated shot of an underage Brooke Shields in the nude was included. As usual, Prince underwhelmed. After that, I went to the Met. This show required a warning, and I loved the China fashion exhibit. There were some amazing Tom Fords and a lot of glorious Galliano, but I wished there were more McQueens. Don't miss the weird, watery floating box on the roof garden. The next day, I had to check out the new Whitney Museum. So glad I did. It is super cool. It's like a stack of fantastic shoe boxes, or art-filled jewel boxes, and the views that frame the art make you feel agog. The all-floors show is America Is Hard to See. The top floors with older works were crowded and less impressive, but the lower floors with newer works were just spectacular. Oh, and I walked the High Line, too.
A couple months ago, I saw an ad for Thread at Yale on Romenesko. It's basically a new three-day writing conference at Yale, although it describes itself as "a gathering of professional journalists and storytellers that does not care whether you work in print, radio, podcasting, or some form we haven’t even thought of yet." It's a hybrid event: there are lectures, Q&A's at bars, and workshops. The cost: around $2K if you choose to stay at the Yale dorms. So, I applied and was accepted. This was the inaugural Thread at Yale, and here's how, for me, it went, the pros and the cons.
The main reason I went is because Yale. I mean, you know, it sounds fancy. I went to the University of California at Berkeley, which is not the Yale of anything. True to form, Yale didn't disappoint. I had imagined it as "where the one-percent go to school," and a lot of it looked like a church dedicated to elitism. And I mean that as a compliment. Yale is like Berkeley, but with way less communists and, as far as I know, no one going to class naked.
The speakers were super cool
The second reason I went: the impressive mentors lineup. The most famous mentor there would be Steven Brill, founder of CourtTV and Important Person in Media. He's also behind the Yale Journalism Initiative, and Thread is an "offshoot" of that. He was the second speaker on the first day. I wanted to like him, and I even hit him up about his mysterious media project with Jill Abramson, but for some reason he reminded me of Roy Cohn. He spent a lot of time sneering at most topics that were raised, which was sort of unfun. Suffice to say, Steven Brill is not my spirit animal. By contrast, Glynn Washington was the first person who spoke on the first morning, and he was endearing -- example: "Stories are magic." There were two evening events at bars, one featuring Emily Bazelon and the other featuring Gillian Laub. They were OK, but there was a bucket of beer being handed around, and Laub said "I" so many times it made me want to stick my head in the bucket. The second morning, we heard Steve Brodner speak, and he was hilarious and smart and irreverent, although I had to go take a call (journalism related!) in the middle of it, so I missed part of it. After Brodner, Catherine Burns, who's the artistic director of The Moth spoke, and she got way upstaged by the guy she brought with her, Matthew Dicks, who did a Moth story live about the day he died (and came back to life, obviously) that made me have feels, which was good if you want to have feels. (Seriously, it was great. It made me want to cry.) The last morning, we heard from John Branch, who was the most amazing of all the speakers, and who talked a lot about "Snow Fall," which was intoxicating and made you want to work for the NYT. That shit was inspiring. The last speaker on the last day was Ann Fadiman, who I thought was a bit meh, but she told a highly hilarious story about Tina Brown, and who doesn't like a good Tina Brown story?
I loved my mentor
Other mentors weren't there to lecture; they were there to lead the workshops we did in the afternoons. Reportedly, there were 72 attendees, and we were put in six groups of twelve, and we spent three hours every afternoon for three days with the same group workshopping whatever individual project we were working on in our real lives. The workshop mentors were: Mark Oppenheimer, Sarah Stillman, Jake Halpern, Graeme Wood, Roya Hakakian, and Linda Gradstein. My mentor was Sarah Stillman, who writes for The New Yorker, and is a deeply awesome person. She ended up being my I'm So Glad I Went. (Read her "The Invisible Army" if you haven't.) I heard one of the mentors (not mine) was not good at time management, and some of that group's participants were disappointed by the consequences of that.
The biggest issue was ...
I felt like a good-sized chunk of the attendees were a disappointing lot. Some attendees were great. I met some really awesome people, and I hope I made some friends, and there were some young people there that I learned from and who were awesome. But the group of attendees was about -- I don't know, like, 80% women? And that's just never a good thing. I wondered why this was the case with several people. Why so man ladies? Somebody thought it's because Thread used the word "storytelling" a lot in describing itself, and that sounded like some lady shit. Another person thought that it's because men don't think they need mentors, and women don't mind asking for help. At one point, some chick was knitting in the back of the room during a lecture, and it made me want to grab the needles and stab out my eyes. I guess because Yale and because High Caliber Mentors, I thought this would be a group of brilliant, hostile, drunken, ambitious male and female journalists who would be violently dissecting each other's work, drinking too much, and engaging in non-stop witty repartee. Instead, it felt more like a support group for women who wanted to tell their stories, but were like, oh, gee, I don't know, I need validation and permission, and there was way too much hand-holding, and getting along, and nurturing. Nurturing is to vom. I would not go back for this reason. I don't need a support group. I need a friendly flogging. But, hey, that's me. Knit on, sister, or whatever. (There were a lot of inexperienced people among the attendees. Or at least it seemed like it. I would have liked more experienced people. More rigor. More cranky veterans from the field. At one point, I looked around and wondered where they were, these working journalists who are fearless and don't need permission for anything, and then I realized they were out there doing stories and being cranky in the field. They were not at this event. I suppose this is what happens when the barrier to entry is money, not talent. C'est la thread.)
A bit of the bait and switch
I felt like because there was so much stressing of multimedia in Thread's description of itself on its website, that I would really learn a lot about multimedia. I did not. Sure, there were people from NPR and people from The Moth and photographers and a political cartoonist as speakers, but I wanted to learn more about how "Snow Fall" gets made, and how I can make a "Snow Fall," and what are the tools available to me, and how do I integrate words and these tech tricks, and there was none of that other than Branch. That made me feel baited and switched. So that was disappointing. Fix that for next time, Thread at Yale.
But what about those dorms
I stayed in the Yale dorms. Maybe the architecture was Brutalist, and the room looked like a Chinese prison. But, whatever. The twin bed did the job. I had a roommate. We each had our own bedroom. I mean, it was a dorm room, for fuck's sake. (If I had to go again and wanted to be fancy, I would stay at The Study.)
For fuck's sake, what did you eat and drink already
Ordinary is a super cool bar in New Haven. Recommend. Mory's is fucking bizarre. Probably the most WASPy place I've ever been in, and I don't get why you keep doing your Yale chants. For sure the only time George H. W. Bush and I have been in the same club. We ate breakfast (included!) in some Yale cafeteria with a giant moose head on the wall.
Someone at the start of the conference, a leader, indicated we were not to quote with attribution what was said at the conference. At least, that's what I and others understood him to say. (Here's me not doing that: It was Mark Oppenheimer who said it.) Are you fucking kidding me? Tell writers what they can't write. That's how you start off your writing gathering. Sign me out. Thank you for not successfully censoring me.
Here's the thing
Am I glad I went? Yes. I learned a lot in the margins. In the spaces between events, and in the random connections with cool people, and in the time I spent walking around and feeling like, you know, I'm a writer, and I'm good at this, and this is great. I happened to embark on another journalism project with a great publication at the same time, so I'm really excited about that. I took one road there, and being there kind of led me down another, and while I believe in Janet Malcolm wholeheartedly ("Every journalist who is not too stupid or full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible"), and I wish people who choose to tell stories would spend less time pretending their committing some valiant act and more time admitting they're parasites upon the human race, I felt invigorated by the fact that I was, at least, you know, thinking about these things, and grappling with these things, and not sitting at a fucking computer staring at some screen waiting for me to put something on it. At one point during the event, as part of The Moth presentation, we watched an excerpt from this story, the late Mike DeStefano talking about his wife, who was dying of AIDS. At one point, he says, "You know, and we're junkies. You know, we were junkies. We were different. We were fucking freaks. People crossed the street when they saw me, you know? And her. She was a prostitute. She was a fucking drug addict." Great stories are not about $2K conferences at Yale, offering each other nurturing support, and vague stories about some love affair you have had with a narrative that goes nowhere. It's about peeling back your skin and exposing yourself, going deep and revealing the unseen, being out in the field and forgetting about what everyone else's doing as the story unspools before you. Don't be safe. Be brave. Stop asking for permission. Do the stories. The hard ones. Easy is bullshit.
I watched "Big Eyes." I didn't care much for it. I like some of Tim Burton -- the scissors kid is my favorite -- but this one just bit. First of all, I don't care much for the real paintings: these wide-eyed waif things. And while Christoph Waltz is a pleasure to enjoy as a monster in "Inglourious Basterds," in this role he just grates. Amy Adams is the put upon artist/wife, but here again I prefer her better as a tough-talking bartender in "The Fighter." What's glorious and great and fantastic in the movie is everything behind these two quarrelers: the mid-century modern houses, and the alarming Burton color choices, and the surrealist eyeballs of ladies at the supermarket. The rest is a mess. If you want to watch a couple fight for two hours, this is your movie. I guess I would've had more sympathy had I liked the artworks, but, you know, I don't.
When I decided to self-publish THE TUMOR, my new short story about a guy who wants to kill his wife and her tumor, I chose Gumroad as my payment platform because a) my friend Clayton Cubitt recommended it, b) it's super easy, c) it looks great. And, as of yesterday, you can pay with PayPal on Gumroad purchases. This is the perfect option if you like using PayPal and/or felt unsure about using Gumroad for the first time. So cool of Gumroad to do this!
As far as updates on this experiment in selling fiction online, thanks to my great readers, it's been a rousing success! My goal was to sell 100 copies, and last weekend I reached my goal. Because Gumroad offers the option of using Pay What You Want pricing, which enables customers to pay what they want for whatever product they're buying, my sales are $609 on 102 copies. So that's an average sale price of about $6. Not too shabby, and way more than I ever would've made selling that story to most literary magazines.
Currently, I'm at work on my next story that I'll be selling the same way. It's about a man, a female robot, and a brave new world in which everyone's a little cyborgian. I hope you'll keep an eye out for it.
If you haven't tried selling your work online, I highly recommend it. THE TUMOR project has had a profound impact on me in a couple of ways:
- It enabled me to move on and get over it. For some reason, self-publishing this piece that was based on my real experiences having cancer (I was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in late 2011 and am now cancer-free) enabled me to move on from being Ms. Cancerpants and get on with being a regular human being. For years after my treatment, I had terrible anxiety and suffered a certain degree of professional and emotional paralysis. Making a real tumor into THE TUMOR proved cathartic. If stories are children you put up for adoption, I put a malignant mass on the market and people seem to have enjoyed it. Since, I've felt happier, freer, and more determined than I have in a long time.
- It empowered me to stop being a victim. I've been a freelancer for 17 years. That means the majority of your work life is spent trying to get people to give you permission to do what you want to do. This sucks and is awful. It means your success and self-worth depend on the whims and taste of a cast of editors, publishers, and advertisers that usually have agendas focused on the bottom line and not on producing great work. It's convenient, though, isn't it? To let everyone else decide who you are. God knows how difficult it would be if you had to decide who you are. Self-publishing, with its soup-to-nuts nature, forces you to own everything: the way it reads, the way it looks, the way it sells. If it bombs, you've got no one to blame but yourself. And if it succeeds, that's all you. When you self-publish, you get to decided who you are. In other words, I highly recommend it.
There's a lot of this in the south end of Florida: Confederate flags and anti-Obama bumper stickers, red trucks and patriotism, hunting and swamp life living. After a while, it becomes part of the scene. The Confederate soldier descendent hawking redneckabilia at the flea market. The house painter who bleeds red, politically-speaking, that is. The stories about the time a wild hog killed a dog. Maybe they're clinging to the past, or maybe they're hoping for some kind of other future. They're wary-eyed and weary of the current United States. If you could let them secede, they probably would. Meanwhile, technology is racing past them, transforming everyone else into someone else. I'm not sure if they're close-minded or just afraid.
Check out THE TUMOR! "This is one of the weirdest, smartest, most disturbing things you will read this year."
When I self-published THE TUMOR -- my awesome, terrifying, twisted, weird, cool new short story about a man who wants to kill his wife and the tumor that stands between them -- my goal was to sell 100 copies.
Thanks to your fantastic taste, I'm almost there! To date, I've sold 98 copies.
If I sell two more copies today, I'll have reached my goal and will feel better about myself, and you will feel better about yourself, and the world will keep spinning, and the universe will be pleased, and we all want that, don't we?
Buy it here!
(It's been called a "masterpiece of short fiction.")