Archive for November, 2010

So our bathroom is being remodeled, and the time has finally come to paint. Being the obsessive compulsive that I can be (it once took me eight hours to mow a lawn, let alone four years to write a book), I’ve promptly taken over for our contractor, not trusting him to those perfectly symmetrical lines of color that I’ve come to love. As soon as I gave him the good news, the first thing he asked (after hugging me) was what color we were going to use. I told him brown (coffee bean), to which he promptly replied, in his thick Brooklyn accent:

“Brown? You kiddin me? Really? Brown? It’s going to make the room feel tiny, mo. Really? Brown?”

It gets better. Our (usually) supportive landlord’s response:

“No, I don’t mind. You going to paint it white before you leave?”

Where’s the trust? The vision? The support? No where! And you know what? I can’t blame them. Were they recently inspired by a trip to IKEA like Jen and I were? No. Where they (and are they ever) able to see outside of whites and creams? Nope. And could I have given the contractor advice on how to have done his job better? Hell no. But wait…what does that have to do with anything?

Some most people have opinions on things they really aren’t qualified to judge. A Northern New Jersey police officer and an unlicensed contractor should defer to a designer (best bud), retailer (wifey), and, well, me, but that didn’t stop them from speaking their mind, or from being wrong (it looks great!). Not convinced? Consider this anecdote:

When I was eight years old, I was actively drawing and writing stories. Dubious of my parents’ opinions regarding my work, I cooked up an experiment. After tracing an image of the comic book hero, Wolverine, I showed them the finished product, and after claiming to have made him up all on my own, asked if they thought he’d make for a cool superhero…

They didn’t like him.

So whether you’re writing a book, or pursuing a dream that no one seems to understand, do yourself a favor and learn to filter the constructive criticism from the bad. Just imagine where we’d be today if Marvel had consulted with my parents…

That’s right. Summers without Superhero movies!

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I don’t know about where you live, but here in New Jersey we have the ubiquitous no left turn signal that seems to turn up wherever I really need to make a left turn. Once in the very bluest of moons the sign will be justified, but most of the time it seems to be posted for no other reason than to piss me off. Fortunately, like most rules in life, I regard them more like strong pieces of advice than anything else.

I strongly encourage you not to make that illegal left turn, but if you’d like to do the sensible thing anyway, then by all means, go for it.

This is what e-publishing is to me: a giant literary illegal left turn. I’m going to take flak for making it, and there’s a good chance that I could die (if not by car crash, then by starvation…somebody buy my book!), but dammit, if I make it out alive, I not only get to stick it to THE MAN, but I get to enjoy that special thrill of living life on the wild side!

So watch out! Because I think I see a yellow light about to turn red!

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