Dick-lit Tracy – Here Goes Nuthin’

I was sitting in my office late one night, staring at the pile of bills stacked up on my desk, wondering if I’d ever see another payday.

In walked a tall blonde in a short skirt.

“Mr. Snyder?” she said. “I need help.” Her lipstick was red. Her eyes were blue. Her voice was like maple syrup dripping down the side of a stack of flapjacks.

“It’s my husband,” she said. “I think he’s a vampire.”

A vampire? I can do vampires. I’m a write-aholic. I can write anything—for money.

There are four things I intend to do on this blog:  1) review books I like. In addition to being a write-aholic, I’m a read-aholic. 2) discuss the writing process. I’ve been writing professionally for more than 40 years, and I’ve written just about everything—fiction, nonfiction, technical stuff, instruction manuals, guidebooks, silly stuff, you name it. 3) Connect with other writers. Isn’t that what writing’s about? Making connections? And 4) Sell books, mine as well as others’. Technically, I don’t have a bookstore or a shopping cart, so if you click on a “get it” link, it’ll take you somewhere where you can make a purchase, in most cases, Amazon. Amazon sends me a few cents for every book they sell through my click-throughs, but if you have a problem with a purchase, take it up with Amazon as I have no relation to them other than providing convenient links that will take you to the books in their online store.

My goal is to publish fifty book reviews per year, starting right now, basically one review per week, every Monday. I review novels I consider “on the edge.” A lot of these are books that many readers haven’t read because a) they saw the movie; b) the book was trashed by reputable critics as sexist, senseless, politically incorrect, or otherwise worthless; c) the book has never been widely available; d) the book is classified in some genre that is read only by fans of that genre; e) the book came out so many years ago, why would anyone want to read it?; or f) I just think my take on a book is unique. As a general policy, I don’t review books I don’t like. A lot of the books I review would loosely fall into the category of dick-lit, i.e., novels that might appeal more to men than to women. I like many of the classic chauvinist pig writers–Norman Mailer, Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, etc., plus a lot of the more modern ones, like Chad Kultgen. Not that these authors set out to write for men only, nor do I believe these books would appeal to men only. Then again, I am a guy and I like these books, so I’m biased. In between Mondays, I’ll publish some of my short stories and my thoughts on writing professionally and otherwise.

My Mom will be 90 soon and she’ll never read this blog. She has no computer access and her eyes aren’t so good anymore. But she used to be a reader and she inspired me to read as a child and always encouraged my writing. If you know her, please don’t tell her about this blog or she’ll go out of her way to read it and this really isn’t her type of subject matter. Back when she was reading The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop, I was reading Crazy Cock by Henry Miller. When she was reading The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, I was reading Savage Night by Jim Thompson. Get the picture? (And if you are my Mom reading this because someone told you about it:  Hey, Mom, I’m trying hard to keep it clean. Really. I think your prayers are helping!)

As a matter of politics, I’d categorize myself a liberaltarian (not a typo). I’m opposed to the govt restricting anyone’s voluntary activities that don’t violate others’ rights.  I believe the govt should legalize just about everything and otherwise stay out of our hair. But I, for one, want the govt to administer health care. The US medical/pharmaceutical/health insurance cartel is scary. I don’t believe corporations are people, but then, I find it hard to believe most people are people. I’m in favor of labor unions, though I’m personally allergic to labor.

Oh yes, and I like to ramble. When writing stuff all day (and you’re lucky I don’t post everything I write), I don’t try all that hard to discipline myself on subject matter. This is a fiction blog. If I get into cynical political or religious rants, bear in mind that I consider both politics and religion to be primarily based on fiction. I often lose track of what I’m talking about. Too many drugs in the 60s. And 70s. 80s, 90s… (My drug of choice at this point in my life is Tums.) Anyway, I’m back now. We’re talking about books, writing, my credentials. If I start rambling again, it’s not the drugs. It’s Alzheimer’s. Call my doctor. Tell him I need drugs.

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