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Friday, October 24, 2014

ANGRY WRITERS OF THE APOCALYPSE

I got an email from some pretend college in Canada offering weekend courses in how to write fiction and get published.
"We're Ready When You Are."
They make it sound as if you're building a deck. 5 Easy Steps To Being A Nuisance!

The course will "Launch you toward the top tier in the highly competitive world of modern fiction." But it doesn't say where you'll land after being launched toward the top tier.

SIMPLE. STRAIGHT FORWARD. WRITE FICTION. GET PUBLISHED.

I love this IKEA style branding. It's 10 hours over 2 days of "a simple and easily understood assignment and peer-review based learning process."

PT Barnum and Ripley got rich off these rubes. Incredible they'll pay $350 each to be diapered and stroked by some loser in bad glasses and a plaid shirt.

But the really depressing part is the "Instructor."
Paid pretty much shit, a dumpy middle aged schmendrick must drag his sorry ass outa bed on a freezing Saturday morning in some obscure hick town called Parry Sound and go deal with the aspirations of a bunch of angry housewives and the one geeky guy who's got half a foot out the closet door and wants to start a fiction magazine but not pay anybody.

So here's the "instructor" - driving his shitty little leased car across the wind swept plains of some Canadian steppe, full of dread at the upcoming two days locked in a room with a load of big mouthed yentas who'll sit at the front and kibitz and openly compare him to some other asshole instructor and demand their money's worth.

While getting his drive-thru ten dollar coffee from the new Cognoscenti's outlet, he prays for a willowy little English lit major to show up and sit at the back of the class and shyly pull out a copy of his pointless novel, hoping he'll personally sign it. He'll tell her she has talent, she's not like the others. He checks his bald spot in the rearview mirror and wishes he had the money to buy Rogaine on a regular basis.

He curses himself yet again for being such a putz as to marry that fucking cow who ditched his ass after screwing some hockey player. He honks long and loud at nothing, mutters bitterly to himself. She's living downtown in HIS condo with their ingrate kid while he had to move to this whitebread buttfuck end of nowhere and beg for a job as an "Associate Instructor" at a former agricultural school after they took federal money to create an "arts based curriculum" for the hags who bought big boxes houses up here a hundred miles from town because they were too cheap and stupid to have cashed in on the red hot real estate market in the city and now he's making $175 bucks for 10 hours of HIS time to teach them how to get published.

He knows if he had any balls he'd drive to the city, find that other bitch, his so-called publisher, and beat her to death with a tire iron. His most recent novel, A Dog's Breath, won two "non-monetary" but noteworthy awards and he once again got zero attention because his grant-whore publisher couldn't give away free money, let alone sell a fucking book.

And forget having his bonehead students actually work on whatever garbage they type on their laptops, which are worth more than he makes in a month. He, a published author, will be harangued, harassed and hammer-locked into giving them The Secret to seeing their slop published - ie: shoved between the covers of some cock-eyed Print On Demand piece of dreck.

As he drives away from Cognoscenti's with his coffee and settles back into the soothing fantasy of a willowy young thing who will show up for his class and grasp his genius, he takes a sip and almost vomits onto the steering wheel. He very specifically asked for a Neo-Grande Double Naught Despresso Famagusta and they gave him fucking coffee!

In a rage, he tries to reverse but a giant SUV is already at the window and to get back in line he must exit the parking lot, drive three miles to get around the concrete divider then wait ten minutes to make a left turn back into the official drive-thru entrance and once again join the parade of waiting cars.
 
hey, Teach...