(When my wordy ass is your TL;dr it might be time to get an editor. – Eric)
And in a lot of different ways.
I write TV shows, movies, novels, short stories, essays, blogs, poetry – shh, don’t tell anyone; it’ll ruin all that cred I just built up by saying I write blogs – and pretty much everything else it’s not illegal for me to write. (Because when your bank says, “Stop writing checks to Cash for five million dollars because you do not have five million dollars Cash, you insane person,” apparently that’s like some law you’re supposed to follow.)
(Isn’t this the year of Glorious Mistakes? Why don’t you give it a try and see how it goes?)
A lot of this writing I get paid for, which some writers will say is “really nice,” or that they’re “very fortunate” – but me, I will flat-out tell you to your face that getting paid to write is fucking bugnuts orgasm dream-glittery awesomecakes, and though I have been fortunate in some respects, I have also written and produced my chair-flattened ass off through sleepless nights and skipped vacations and mental breakdowns so fuck that “fortunate” shit, I earned it.
But I also write stuff I don’t get paid for, like the obscene amount of time I spend crafting witty 140-character bons mots for Twitter (in my head: Parker incarnate; once posted: the idiot keyboard-punchings of an inbred Sasquatch) (punched by a Sasquatch is exactly what it feels like). Still, I enjoy Twitter immensely, not only for its writing opportunities – you have to be funny, fast, and succinct – something I, more of a long-form gal, always need practice with – but also because the people you follow on Twitter – the very real, human people you come to know through daily check-ins, week after week, sometimes years – they become more than avatars, updates, words. After a while they become friends.
@saalon*, however, is like one of those tropical parasitic worms you don’t even realize you’ve picked up until it’s too late and it’s feeding off your liver and you’re in the hospital with jaundice hooked up to a bunch of machines and death seems a mercy.
(This…this is the nicest thing you’ve ever said about me, Mere. I need a moment.)
Yes, we’ve formed a merry little hate club within our shared circles on Twitter, @saalon and I – my acting the part of Murderous Badass de Sade, and him the Brechtian Cowardly Lion. I insult him the same way I insult my brothers – which is to say, profanely, violently, demeaningly – only without any actual affection attached because… eggh. I tolerate his persistent intrusion into my life because I occasionally find him useful, and this one time when I was depressed he sent me cupcakes that were bigger than my head.
And I found that useful. (You didn’t get diabetes, so I didn’t.)
@saalon is also extremely organized (my wife just laughed herself into unconsciousness) and knows how to do things – things adults know how to do, like running my website, making travel plans, setting up schedules and deadlines, and somehow forcing my computer to stop doing that weird rrrrrclick sound – from 3,000 miles away in Pittsburgh. None of these things I could do on my own. Well, I mean, I guess I could learn to do them but I’m very lethargic and if he wants to be all Hey Gee I’m Competent Guy (this is making me feel great about keeping this website up), hell, be my guest…
One thing @saalon also is, is a writer, same as me.
He published a book called Broken Magic last year, and this year he decided to go to the Toronto Word On The Street Festival — which is this gigantic fucking book fair that over 200,000 people attend every year — to promote and sell it. When he told me he was doing that, I thought it was a cool, brave idea (wait, what?) – real indie Amanda Palmer TED Talk Art Of Asking proactivity – though I made sure to tell him he’d never sell a single copy and his failure would no doubt disappoint his wife for the last time causing her to leave him after which he’d inevitably die alone in an apartment redolent of cat urine (oh, that’s better). Like you do.
But then, since he knew I’d been mulling a short story collection for a while, and one of my paying gigs was almost over, he asked if I wanted to publish the collection and come up to Toronto to share the excruciating experience of two people with mood disorders trapped in a tiny booth all day facing down the Canadian Literary Horde.
And I was all, “Hell YEAH I wanna do that!”
And he was like, “Yeah?”
And I was like, “HELL yeah! But do you still have to go?”
(And now I’m like, “How drunk was I and why didn’t that much alcohol kill me?”)
SO COME SEE US IN TORONTO,
WORD ON THE STREET
We’ll be selling brand-smackin’ new books!
BROKEN MAGIC by Eric Sipple
THE BLOOD ROOM by Mere Smith
(and my newly-published collection!)
COWFACE AND OTHER HILARIOUS STORIES ABOUT DEATH
WE WILL INSULT EACH OTHER ALL DAY!
WE WILL SIGN YOUR BODY PARTS IF THEY ARE CLEAN!
@saalon WILL SING “SWEET HOME ALABAMA”
TO ALL NATIVE CANADIANS!
(NOW WAIT JUST ONE GODDAMN MINUTE)
I, personally, would love to see any and all members of the Twitter Asylum, as well as all readers, potential readers, TV geeks, their families, friends, general practitioners, their general practitioners’ general practitioners, AFP fans, gravediggers, pirates, and kaiju!
Join us in Toronto!
(Please! You can’t leave me alone in that booth with her! That’s too much pain to bear!)