hankrules2011

A polymath rambling about virtually anything

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

TODAY: 65 Halloween quotes that are sure to send chills down your spine

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 11, 2022

On Monday, August 8, 2022 — just three days ago — the TODAY Show had a themed party atmosphere for its show: a holiday celebration of Halloween. Aside from the minor confusion of this show preceding the holiday by over two months, I was all in because it’s always been one of my favorite holidays, like it is for so many others. I watched some of it. It felt like they went big and most of the studio time was spent with a lifestyle expert showing us what we apparently “need” for the best Halloween party and yes it was food-centric and yes everything looked festive and delicious but also, yes, I’d probably suffer horribly at my age if I were to eat half of that! Hey, I thought you got past that “after eating so much Halloween candy that you were sick for a week” kid’s problem as you got older.

Anyway I inadvertently found something very cool I certainly wasn’t expecting and thought I’d share it because not only is it fun and exciting, but it very oddly coincides with some research I’ve been doing on several of my old, rare out-of-print books, and particularly the one that has always remained in highest demand for the highest market prices and which has often been nearly impossible for people to locate. (It’s also one of my more ripped off books that Pirates sell illegally. This book’s original retail price was $7 in 1999 when published. A couple of months ago I found a pirate site allegedly “out of physical” copies, but happily offering a PDF for download at the starting price of $100. Which doesn’t come close to the highest prices I’ve seen for this book.

A Pirate site openly making PDF versions of the rare SC Holstad book SHADOWS BEFORE THE MAIMING available for $100/download! For a book that originally retailed for $7 and for which I get nothing. Because it’s ILLEGAL!

In any event, I ran across a fun article that was part of that overall Halloween themed-show on Monday and I found something unexpected. This article is titled “65 Halloween Quotes That Are Sure To Send Chills Down Your Spine” and it’s on the TODAY website.

TODAY: 65 Halloween quotes that are sure to send chills down your spine
TODAY: 65 Halloween quotes that are sure to send chills down your spine

I’ve actually had a lot of quotes of my own appear around for many years, mostly taken from my books, sometimes from somewhere else. I’m used to these kinds of lists and while I don’t get much out of the inspirational ones, I do like many of the theme ones because they’re usually a lot more fun and I know (or know of) more of the authors being quoted. The writer stayed with the holiday spirit theme of the show and made some good suggestions about using these in some fun ways like including them as Instagram captions and she made a point also that it was a diverse mix — funny, scary, goofy, clever — and the “famous figures” being quoted were coming from books, movies and songs rather than the standard isolated book. So, fun!

[Interjection. I later found this referenced on other websites with some stating they were all taken from movies — not true — and that some of these other sites were labeling or viewing them as the 65 BEST Halloween quotes. Impressive. I’d normally just expect some of the usual — King, Poe, etc. Which is cool, because I’m a horror fan.]

I started rapidly perusing the list because it was about 2 AM and I was tired. Thought I’d take a quick glance and maybe look in more detail the next day. I was happy to find the mix of the quotes was even more diverse than I expected. So not only King, Poe, Shelley, etc., but the author was right in the other sources because I found some I hadn’t anticipated. One that should have been easily guessed was “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Others were quotes from “Monster Mash,” “Beetlejuice,” the theme song from “Ghostbusters,” and two especially seemed so cool that I couldn’t decide which was best so maybe you readers could weigh in and help: Linus, saying practically anything out of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or the iconic Vincent Price with his spooky part in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It’s a tough one…

Now, jumping to authors and their books there are some great quotes from Poe, King, Shakespeare, Bradbury, Grafton, HP Lovecraft and Anne Rice (of course). But something niggled at my mind while I was scanning the list so I ran down it again, all 65. And then a third time because I couldn’t place it, but there was something… And then, BAM, there it was! I was surprised to see the 13th quote was an excerpt from Shadows Before The Maiming by Scott C. Holstad, published in 1999, fittingly by Gothic Press in Baton Rouge, LA. Um, that would be me. I’ve actually kind of done some big stuff before, like national syndicated radio and tv in very large markets like L.A., and I’ve been published with hundreds of “actual” stars, but I hadn’t known about this, wasn’t expecting it, so it was a nice surprise.

(Incidentally, I’ve been working on creating and expanding a list of some of the “famous” writers with whom I’ve been published. My “Famous” Writers webpage lists over 300 poets, novelists, essayists, artists, actors, musicians with some real legends. Many US Poet Laureates, a Nobel winner, many Pulitzer winners, horror and sci fi writers, other authors and some big names like King, Gwendolyn Brooks, Seamus Heaney, William Burroughs, Bukowski, Rice and many more. Check it out.)

A couple of final things on my end. If interested, you can find a few reviews of Shadows on my Scott Reviewed page. You can also find it in the ISFDB database, Google Books and many other places. It did very well as a “horror poetry” book, something I hadn’t planned to write nor known I’d written until it starting appearing in Best New Horror-type books and annuals, etc. Its Goodreads description includes a small article about my experience writing a “horror poetry” book without intending to or knowing it. It’s been out of print for years, is considered by many sellers and readers to be a collector’s item and I was lucky enough to run across a long buried box in my basement with some new, never-opened copies of some of my books I thought I’d never see again, so I’ve made some available on this site, though most extras will go to special collections libraries. They’re on my MINT SIGNED RARE HOLSTAD BOOKS FOR SALE page.

I thought it’d be fun to mention this article and its list, and it might be fun for some of you to read that list of 65 Halloween quotes for yourselves. I also wanted to give a thank you to the author of the piece, Sarah Lemire, as well as to TODAY. The final piece of this story is that the topic, and Ms. Lemire’s article, has been so well received that other groups have picked it up and published it on their websites, including YahooLatest Movs and Flipboard. Since then I’ve seen more sites “review” (gently and delightedly) this piece as well, so good fun.

Oh, and my quote? One of the 65? Well, you really should go to the article to see for yourself. You’ll find Scott Holstad, “Shadows Before the Maiming” in the 13 spot below Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub and HP Lovecraft and above Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, Lovecraft and more. Though I’m quite sure it’s not in that spot due to merit. It’s up to the graphic designers, no doubt. My quote is merely a tiny clause from a very long, somewhat notorious poem that’s frankly more fitting for a brutal holiday — ya know, horror. The ending is rather vicious so I’m glad that didn’t stop the writer from using this rather whimsical small part of the poem because at the risk of sounding a bit narcissistic, I think my little quote fits in very nicely with the others. Cheers!

Posted in Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Times, They Are a Changing

Posted by Scott Holstad on August 2, 2022

The times, they are a changing. The physical transformations that FIVE (5) DECADES of writing have forced upon Scott C. Holstad. 1988 – 2021.

A slideshow of the path my career and journey as a writer has taken me over a FIVE DECADE span (which is really hard to believe).

All of these photos representing 1988 – 2021 appeared in books of mine, publications I had material in, articles or reviews written about me, profile shots accompanying me in various locations I or my work have appeared. These are not necessarily exhaustive, but represent an interesting time of physical changes to correspond with what time and age has produced to the present. They’re not all flattering (if any are), but represent a fairly wide spectrum. Cheers!

  • Scott Holstad in Washington DC late 1980s-HelterSkelter-1991
  • Scott Holstad, Phoenix alleyway, 2 weeks after living homeless in his car while the Bush 41 recession was about to hit.
  • Scott C. Holstad standing in some desert brush outside the Phoenix city limits. Photo taken in 1991, appeared on the cover of the 1992 book, Dancing With The Lights Out.
  • Scott C Holstad in a 1992 photo taken outside the city in the South Phoenix area. Its only use in publication was inside his 1993 book, Junction City.
  • A professional photo of Scott C. Holstad taken in 1994 on the Sunset Strip & appearing on the back of his 1995 book, Places, which was nominated for a Pulitzer.
  • A professional headshot of author Scott C. Holstad, used for an article on Holstad published in a 1996 issue of Higher Ground.
  • Scott Holstad on the Hollywood party circuit, 1996.
  • Scott C. Holstad immersed in the Beverly Hills party circuit, 1997. I *think* I was at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
  • A rather mysterious photo of Scott C. Holstad in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
  • Scott Holstad in Santa Monica in 2001 to meet an editor & an old author friend to "talk shop."
  • A 2003 photo of Scott Holstad taken in Greenville SC. Later used in a 2005 issue of My Favorite Bullet.
  • A professional photo of Scott C Holstad taken in Knoxville TN during 2003 photo shoots for his 2004 book, Cells. Used in articles published on Holstad in a variety of publications.
  • Scott C. Holstad on the party circuit circa 2008, slumming it with some NYC superstars.
  • A photo of Scott Holstad taken sometime around 2011 in the home of some friends he was visiting.
  • Scott C. Holstad & Chris Duncan, Poetry & Fiction editors for Ray's Road Review, in Atlanta, 2012.
  • A 2017 picture of Scott C. Holstad looking unusually presentable. Taken on Maryland's Eastern Shore, it has been used for both his consulting business & as a pic for his author profiles on Goodreads, Amazon, the Authors Guild & more.
  • A very unusual late 2021 photo of Scott Holstad looking like an old 1960s hippie burnout reject. It appeared on Medium & other places.
  • Scott C Holstad's most frightening picture, taken during 2021 & somehow appearing throughout Quotes.net & other similar websites.

If you enjoyed that slideshow, or perhaps suffered through it, here are a few more random pics and a plug to let you know that I’ve been working all year on a webpage on this site called Hankrules2011: A History-by-Pics. It has its own tab on the menu at the top of this website. It’s ever-growing as I come across more things and it’s got a TON of pics ranging from book and magazine covers, art-poetry collaborations, letters, articles, books autographed to me, screenshots of pirates ripping me off and selling my stuff brazenly, library archives, encyclopedia articles, fan mail, catalog and directory entries, stuff in German, Chinese, Finnish, and a lot more, and you’ll find combinations of tiles and stacked galleries, other slide shows, collages and more. Feel free to look at it because there’s always more showing up there.


One of my "grammar nazi" shirts. Used to be funny but now people don't seem to have a sense of humor.
One of my “grammar nazi” shirts. Used to be funny but now people don’t seem to have a sense of humor.
Gerald Locklin's The Firebird Poems - Autographed and continually used as letters to me
Gerald Locklin’s The Firebird Poems – Autographed and continually used as letters to me
Scott C. Holstad, official Amazon Author page
Scott C. Holstad, official Amazon Author page
Minnesota Review Vol 39 1992 with Scott C. Holstad's "Phoenix" published within
Minnesota Review Vol 39 1992 with Scott C. Holstad’s “Phoenix” published within

Flipside 84, 1993. Rodney on the Roq with Paul & Linda McCartney & the poem "nothing" by Scott C. Holstad
Flipside 84, 1993. Rodney on the Roq with Paul & Linda McCartney &; the poem “nothing” by Scott C. Holstad

Scott C. Holstad 1992-93 correspondence in Folder 248 of the Diane Di Prima Papers collection at UNC's Special Collections Library
Scott C. Holstad 1992-93 correspondence in Folder 248 of the Diane Di Prima Papers collection at UNC’s Special Collections Library


Posted in Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Scott C. Holstad’s TOP Subject Rankings in Open Library

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 19, 2022

Open Library is overseen and operated by the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/), the self-described “Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine.” It’s an online “Library” that loans many items out and makes others they claim have been donated to them for free distribution available to readers and users. Wikipedia states it claims to have over 20 Million records in its database, so it’s not a small operation. I have an author’s listing/profile there which was created by an Anonymous User on April 29, 2008 for reasons unknown and over 20 years before I ever heard of Open Library, let alone found I had a listing there.

My Open Library Listing: https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL2928969A/Scott_C._Holstad

Scott C. Holstad’s Open Library Author Listing

I honestly have some mixed feelings about the practice, this business model, because while they’re likely the most “credible” of such sites, like all of them they can be subject to abuse, usually unintentional, but during the pandemic, the Authors Guild (I am a 30-year professional member) lost it because it claimed the Internet Archive violated copyright laws, authors rights, basic promises they’d made to adhere to professional and ethical standards by the site’s decision to forgo the limitations they set for themselves, which is to “loan” only the literal number of copies they allegedly have for any given work – as a legitimate library does – but throwing that out the door and for the “good of the world,” I guess, making everything available to anyone with little to no limitations, which I disagree with as does the Authors Guild.

The Internet Archive has three of my books they’ve made available to all without my permission, with no thanks or acknowledgement, but there are serious Pirates out there making a killing illegally selling tons of my stuff all over the world and you have to pick your fights, so I’d rather go after thieves essentially stealing from me than a digital library that may take some liberties one doesn’t like but which isn’t anything like the Pirates.

For those interested, here is the Authors Guild stance on the Internet Archive, which they’re so ticked off about. It isn’t on their webpage of “Where We Stand” statements on issues like copyright, free speech, piracy, etc., but on their main homepage with its own special place. You can find it here: Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library is ILLEGAL. Here’s Why.


In any event, that’s not the topic of this post, but merely an introduction to Open Library if you don’t know it. You can find out more on their website or — as always — through Wikipedia. When I stumbled across my listing there a few years ago, they had probably about eight of my books listed. If you’ve seen my Goodreads or WorldCat profiles, you’ll know that’s a pretty small number compared to what I actually have. And since both of them — and every other catalog, index, etc., out there listing my books — are also way off, the only bibliography close to accurate is the one you’ll find here on my site. However, while some 30-40+ can be found here, as my Goodreads profile states no one really knows (including me) the actual total number of books I’ve edited or published over my career so estimates are higher. Thus eight on OL was a bit slim. It’s now up to about a dozen, and I’m really not very worried about it was I’ve been out of sight for awhile, I never was Stephen King-popular and I’ve got bigger things to concern myself with. That said, I sometimes take a peak at these various profiles just to see if there’s anything different so I went to my Open Library page a couple of months ago and realized — and I must admit a search engine query result for something else turned up a topic I never would have thought of which is why I pursued this — that apparently what I had listed in their database included tags or subjects for each of them and you actually can find lists of the top authors — in terms of quantity — for the most publications per any listed topic. Which I thought was kind of cool. Especially since this one search result informed me I was a top author for an OL topic that I’d never known about.

The common ranking is worded as the “Most Prolific Author” among authors who have written books that have whatever the subject is associated with that book. Obviously this doesn’t take into account authors who aren’t in the library or who are lacking all of their works (which would include me, Stephen King, etc.), who if subjects/tags were appropriate but don’t appear, it’s not recorded in the library’s database. Thus someone who may have only written six books on a subject with many books written by other authors may end up first because these authors may have written only a few or been credited with such. I know this is the case because I myself am listed high in areas where people more famous and successful than me should belong. So these rankings apply to Open Library ONLY. That being said, as of a couple of years ago, Open Library offered over 1.5 million books and has only grown since, so it’s still a nice statistic to have.

Well after I discovered this, I decided to waste a couple of hours trying to find if I was listed as a “Most Prolific Author” with other topics and if so, how many and which ones. And I came up with some surprising results which I am now going to share here despite any embarrassment I should feel but don’t.

Aside from any topics where I’m listed as first (accurate or not – recall this only relates to Open Library’s own database) with some topics, I weeded out official government historical census records, etc., because there may be hundreds for a topic while an actual “author” might truly be the top AUTHOR, which is the case for me with the subject of the city of Phoenix, as an example. So ready to find yourselves surprised? In no particular order…


  1. Long Beach CA. (Place)
  2. Psychological Horror. Genre (Subject)
  3. Los Angeles Poetry. (Place)
    • Scott C. Holstad is ranked #1 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of Los Angeles Poetry. Out of 179 books listed on this subject, I am attributed with seven (7) and several others are tied for 2nd with three each, including Suzanne Lummis and Charles Harper Webb, both of whom I know, particularly Webb.
  4. Phoenix. (Place)
    • Scott C. Holstad is ranked #1 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of Phoenix. Out of 316 books listed, the top three ranked are companies – seed and nursery companies – so I am the top ranked actual “Author” with five (5) books relating to Phoenix – with two people tied for #2 behind me with four books each.
  5. Dark Humor. (Subject)
  6. Confessional Poetry. Genre (Subject)
  7. Beat. Genre (Subject)
  8. Surreal. (Subject)
  9. Hate. (Subject)
  10. Social Activism. (Subject)
  11. Addiction. (Subject)
  12. Slasher Porn. Genre (Subject)
  13. Beat Poetry. Genre (Subject)
  14. Terror. (Subject)
    1. Scott C. Holstad is tied ranked #1 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of the Terror. I am tied with Stephen King and HP Lovecraft and you can’t do much better than that!
      1. https://openlibrary.org/subjects/terror
  15. Horror Poetry. Genre (Subject)
    • Scott C. Holstad is ranked #1 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of the Horror Poetry. (There are many, many authors all tied for 2nd place with only one listed book each while I am alone in 1st with four (4) listed books.)


I basically stopped with 15 Number Ones. Pretty diverse list, eh? A few odd topics? Some of the authors I’m in front of here — wacky! Of course we all know that if their entire catalogs were represented here, I wouldn’t even appear on most of those lists. There are actually a few additional topics where I am not currently ranked Number One, but I’m second or close so I’m listing a few here, but not all as that would simply be too many. I’m listing these due to personal interest and no other reason.


  1. Burbank. (Place)
  2. 1990s. (Time)
  3. Sanity (Subject)
    • Scott C. Holstad is ranked #2 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of the Sanity. I am behind the author ranked #1 by only one listed book. That author is Stephen King.
  4. Police Brutality. (Subject)
  5. Insanity. (Subject)
    • Scott C. Holstad is tied ranked #4 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of Insanity. Out of 1,019 books listed I am tied with several other authors at (four) 4 books, behind two authors with seven books each tying them for #1: William A White (American psychologist who died in 1937) and Richard von Kraft-Ebing (European psychologist who died in 1902).
  6. Violence. (Subject)
    • Scott C. Holstad is tied ranked #5 as the Most Prolific Author on the Subject of Violence. Out of 9,183 books listed, I am attributed with eight (8) and am tied at the #5 position, but not with an author, rather with an organization called Human Rights Watch. The #1 writer is Rene Girard with 15 titles. (I had to look this author up. He’s a dead [2015] and he was a historian and philosopher [What? But he’s FRENCH!] not a novelist or other form of creative writer.)
    • BTW, there are five authors listed ahead of me, but one of them tied for #4 with nine books is labeled “United States” and the titles seem to be historical documents produced by the U.S. government, so there are actually only four “authors” in front of me. Like #1 Rene Girard, Wilhelm Heitmeyer is not a creative writer, but a German social scientist of some sort, as his books deal with violence research, school shootings, etc. Additionally, the #3 author, Ted Robert Gurr, is also a researcher of some sort with titles like “Violence in America,” “Peace and Conflict,” etc. Finally the #2 author in the Violence category is a deceased researcher named Marvin E Wolfgang, who wrote many works on topics based in criminal homicide, criminal violence, criminal behavior, etc.
      • Thus, I guess the “good,” NO, “Awesome” news is that even though I’m ranked #5 in the subject of Violence, I’m actually the sickest bastard of all the writers as the four in front of me are all researchers while my books containing Violence as a subject or topic are all creative works, though many DO address the topic from a social critical, moral outrage perspective. That said, just as many are sick horror, “slasher porn” type pieces that border on infamous to some while a couple have been compared to American Psycho of all things. So I guess I could argue that in terms of creative writing, eliminating science or research for this particular topic, I’m a kind of #1 in Violence too, in a slightly sick, psychotic way. Whoa!!!

Finally, as I indicated, there actually are other subjects in which I am currently ranked #1 but I’m not going to focus on those or even really include them other then to note some I know exist. The reason these “don’t count” at this point is due to the fact that the only reason I have the top ranking is either I’m the only one with any books in that category or there may be one or two others, but we’re all tied with one each in a few cases. In other words, technically #1, but not really…

A list of some in no particular order. As above, oddly diverse.

  • Glendale CA
  • Knoxville TN
  • Bar Stories
  • Phoenix AZ
  • Coffeeshop
  • Tits
  • Knoxville TN USA
  • Long Beach CA USA
  • Bravado
  • Big Tits
  • Misogamy
  • Populist Poetry
  • Self-Loathing
  • The Beautiful People
  • Dystopian Futures
  • Crude
  • Bukowski
  • Moral Outrage
  • Social Dysfunction
  • Breakdown
  • Psychotropics
  • Regrets
  • Government Criticism
  • Koreatown-Los Angeles County CA
  • Fantasy Death
  • Crude Humor
  • Theater of Absurd
  • Disturbing
  • Raunchy
  • Social Outrage
  • American – Psychological Horror
  • Bleak
  • Long Beach Poetry

Just a last note. If any of you found this post interesting and are curious about the books or why I’m apparently such a freak, you can find more out on this site (and elsewhere like Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.). For a brief list of many/most of my books, anthologies, etc., you can look here (all of these links I’ll put should be accessible by the tabs at the top of my homepage). The webpage also includes over a dozen Identifiers, which you’ll find on my Wikidata page with even more if interested.

For more details on my books but much more such as research (some found on Google Scholar and Academia.edu), citations, resources, references, readings, libraries, and more, my ever growing Scott C. Holstad: Selection Publications page is the place to go (while starting to border on overkill, admittedly).

If you’re curious what others have said about some of the books and other writings of mine, you can find reviews and excerpts of reviews of all sorts dating back to 1990 on my Scott Reviewed page.

And in case you don’t know my work or can’t find my books, well there are reasons. The foremost reason is for the most part, my books are out of print. Including ones that were successful and/or that have remained in demand for years. Nuts, huh? Some did go through several printings and one or two were republished, but essentially, they’ve largely disappeared. You can find a couple for sale online, usually used and it depends on where and when you look. Some you’ll never find, some you might but they’ve always been in demand and may be priced fairly high, certainly compared to their original retail list price. (And some are cheap.) In case you’re interested, I actually have gone some years, mainly because of some large moves, without ANY copies of my books or anything else! This has driven me nuts. But after much searching, earlier this year I found copies of many of them, as well as some hundreds of magazines that published me, although hundreds more remain missing. The point is, I found extra copies of, I think, 8 of my books, including 3 that have never been sold online and my 2 most popular, rare collector’s items. Additionally my 2 best selling books, and a few others. Some of these have been ripped off for years by various Pirates who’ve sold them illegally and it’s really ticked me off. Most are in digital formats, and none of these were ever in that format; all were hard copy. I recently saw a copy of one of my most “infamous” and valuable books — Shadows Before the Maiming — which I’ve found used on occasion for over $275 being sold by a Pirate side in PDF format for $125! Crazy! There are even sites out there that CHARGE people to write custom book reviews about THAT book (and some of my others), which is nuts! Who would pay for that? I’m not a damned household name. Well, anyway the point is I decided to make a few available for sale — the few others are going to special collections libraries. I tried to price them competitively with the market and actually marked them down as much as possible but a couple may still seem a tad pricey. But if anyone is interested in getting one, bear in mind that as opposed to the used, beat up print copies one may find at a bookstore or on eBay or any of the illegal digital versions, these are original “new” hard copy books in Mint condition, never used, read, handled or out of their respective boxes straight from the publishers (and with some, I only have a few copies). Not only are they legal and authentic, but I’ll autograph each and if asked, custom autograph it as well for free, for what that’s worth. And since I don’t have a store nor do I plan to, this isn’t an eCommerce site but I was able to put up a simple page that allows one to purchase any of the 8 listed via PayPal or a credit card, the caveat being I had to add on a $5 fee to cover shipping, fees, etc., since I have no means of doing so otherwise. You can find this on my newest webpage: MINT, Signed Books For Sale. There’s a Contact form at the bottom of that page if anyone has questions and I guess that’s it for now. I’ve been working hard on a total overhaul of this website for months now and I hope to do a different post sometime soon letting you know about some other things one can find here. For instance, I’ve put together a page of actual famous writers I’ve been published with over the years and at this point, the list is over 200 and while some won’t be known by many, others are actual household names and some aren’t even famous as authors necessarily, but they’re damned famous (some infamous too) and it’s been interesting to see them join the list with me and others. Enough for now. I hope this post was interesting. I was fun to discover all of this and to put this together. Til the next time…

Scott


Posted in Poetry, Publishing, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

An Announcement Regarding Some Of My Books

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 23, 2022

This is one of what I expect will be several announcements of some cool or groovy or awesome or for some maybe a ho hum (hopefully not too many of the latter!) piece of news/info regarding my writing career, my authorship, the status of some of my old, out of print books, and some other things I’ve been busy as hell working on since last summer. I hope someone will appreciate some of the info I’ll be putting out.

If you look at most any of my profiles that have to do with writing, whether it be info on this site, or perhaps my Poets & Writers Directory listing or my Authors Guild profile or even my Goodreads Author profile among many you could find, you’d find a couple of things that might stand out. 1) This actually is no surprising, but it’s been disappointing. Virtually every books I’ve written that was published has been out of print for awhile, some far, far too long despite some going into three and four press runs. Because of this, what little supply various retailers or booksellers had slowly dwindled to nothing and since then some books have been relatively easy to find used but most have been very difficult and some literally totally impossible. All but one of my books were $10 or less (Cells was $20 or $25, but it was a huge book). So I’ve kept my eyes open for the past decade just looking occasionally at what was out there, what the list prices were, what was in demand, etc. Those of you who have visited this site may have noticed a tab for a page I have at the top of the homepage titled “My Books — Crazy Prices” and some of them WERE crazy! I think that was back in 2011 and you can look at some screenshots for yourself but one example was two new copies of Cells, being sold by third party vendors on Amazon for $100 and $170 respectively! Nuts. One place was offering to rent students a copy of The Napalmed Soul for $65 per semester. (I’m updating that webpage with new, current screenshots of what’s out there now.) I’ve moved a lot over the course of my life, close to 35 times. During all of those moves, I had to get rid of stuff, dump stuff, I lost stuff and some movers were nice enough to lose or trash a ton of my stuff, the last group from two years ago succeeding in losing over half of the magazines, newspapers, etc., that I was ever published in — I’m talking tons of boxes with hundreds or more of contributor copies. To top it off, they lost EVERY damn copy of all but one of my own books! And not only were they out of print, but some of the early, distant publishers were very small presses and were long gone themselves, and as I mentioned, over half of my books were/are literally impossible to find on the market anywhere, any time, so I’ve been screwed out of any copies of my own books with one exception. Which has really ticked me off. I wanted a copy or two of each for my own library, and frankly I wouldn’t have minded a few more to get back into the stores or on the marketplace somehow since several have remained in demand for so unbelievably long. And I’ve gone years without seeing any.

The point is I haven’t had ANY of my own books for many years and I’ve wanted some for god’s sake! So a couple of months ago when I couldn’t sleep one night I was puttering around in the basement and found a biggish box labeled Places, opened it up to discover quite a few copies of that book. Yay! However, for whatever reason, despite being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and some very good reviews and press, that book really hasn’t retained the value that some others have, so I was elated when a week later, I found a small white box behind some curtains against a basement wall that was labeled Shadows and I thought surely I’m not that lucky. But I was! Barely a fraction of the number of copies I’d found the week before, but still more than 20 and not only did a few major libraries’ Special Collections want a copy, but that book has been far more successful than I ever anticipated and is one of my most ripped off and pirated books (that is a different ticked off story) and its value has remained much higher than the original retail list price and at times has gone up to crazy figures. And I have screenshots, including ones of various pirate sites and IP thief sites, but I came across one a couple of weeks ago illegally selling a PDF copy for $100! For a $7 book! All of these criminals have been selling my stuff for years, but more and more the past few years, and I’ve not gotten a dime for it. In fact, I discovered last year they’re even selling my published scholarship for students to buy and use as their own and some of my papers do big business! Shocking. I never knew, I’m not very important, who’s heard of me, I never got a penny for those peer-reviewed publications and these assholes are making a killing because I’ve seen what some are charging. The worst of it is, academics don’t make a dime from publishing original research, at least not in the social sciences. You’re lucky if you get a contributor’s copy because I didn’t for at least a third of the journals that published my work. (Yes, I’m on Google Scholar, which isn’t remotely accurate about my work and citations. You can find me here if interested.) Anyway, what I found inspired me to start opening boxes I could both reach and maybe could physically handle — something embarrassing and difficult to admit as I was always strong but no longer am. So recently I found a small box within a larger box within an unopened wardrobe box and I was elated to find it had copies of all but a couple of my books! With some, there were just one or two copies, but with a few others, there were dozens! THUS, the point of all of this is those books of mine that I have sufficient surplus, after I donate 2-3 copies to some Special Collections libraries, will be the object of my focus as I attempt to find out how to get some out onto the marketplace, both ones that have been in massive demand and maybe some that never were listed for sale (predating Amazon — god!) in the first place, so I’m not sure if I can get them carried again by Amazon and other similar stores — I have an official Amazon Author page which has seen titles sadly decline from 9 to 7 to 5 to 3, etc. I approached Amazon about carrying some digital or tactile copies once more and they asserted they would only deal with the publisher when it came to that, and/or whomever holds the copyright rights. Which is me. And I had had no interaction or even knowledge of this one particular publisher in years, so I tried to look him up in New Orleans and found that he’d died a few years ago and there no longer was any company. Which got me worried. I started looking for the publishers and companies of most of the books I was interested in and found virtually none were either still alive or findable and most of the companies were long gone. I don’t know if Amazon will accept that and I intend to consult the Authors Guild legal department for advice, In the meantime, I see no reason why I can’t announce now my intended goal of making some available for sale here on this site, Yay! Of course I must figure out a way to accomplish that. I have a PayPal account and had a business account for some years for one or two businesses I owned before retiring. I also had a Stripe account. I suspect PayPal would be accommodating, but it’d be the logistics of simply setting it up here, provided they give me a go. Until then, I’ve figured out a possible way of making this feasible and workable until making it more obvious and official looking. I know how to do this from when I was a merchant previously, as well as a consumer. You can make a PayPal payment by sending it, provided you have a PayPal account, to the email address associated with the seller’s PayPal account (me) and unless things have changed over the past couple of years, it was that easy. There are other options too, but that’d be the first I’d explore. If anyone has any suggestions, recommendations, ideas, etc., I’d be grateful for any comments to help get this accomplished. I have no planned date or time for my next announcement, but it won’t be one involving sales. It should be pretty cool and I think many of you will dig it. Thanks and have a good one! — Scott

PS: some cover shots of some of the little books I may be trying to make available to the public…

My book Places (Sterling House Press, 1995), Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.


Grungy Ass Swaying (1993). A collaboration with Paula Weinman that I regret enormously. Raunchy and naturally representing me in the Library of Congress!

Distant Visions, Again and Again (1994). Probably known as my only “tranquil” book, the reviewers generally liked it while noting I apparently was taking a break between raunchiness and violence. Hah!

Shadows Before the Maiming (Gothic Press, 1999). One of 5 books I had published in 1999, I didn’t have any major expectations for this one. I found myself surprised to be reviewed, labeled, listed, indexed, cataloged, etc., as a Horror writer and this evidently was a book of Horror poetry. So much so that it was listed in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror for 2000 (Carol & Graf), as well as both the book and myself reviewed and listed in magazines, books, on websites, etc., and despite that appearing in 1999, it continues to this day and that book has remained in high demand and is viewed as a collector’s item that’s typically very hard to find.


How about some screenshots of pirate sites of groups ripping me off, making some of these books available illegally with me naturally not getting a dime, nor having even known of it until I started looking last summer. Nice gig if you can get it, I suppose…

For your amusement.


This tricky outfit looks virtually identical to the plausibly legit Open Library where one checks out a book at a time, as with a real library. This outfit is clearly trying to emulate the real thing while drawing people in to swindle them and the authors. I have an older screenshot with their insignia at the top looking identical, but it read “Digital” Library rather than the actual Open Library they’re now screwing. One of the many ways you can tell it’s a pirate site is — most do this and it’s clever — after listing title, author, ISBN, publication info, etc. — they, and most others, then try to confuse any bots or web crawlers that might spot them for what they actually are by filling the text of their webpages with garbage containing keywords — title — but in relation to what someone would literally expect, usually scientific or agricultural and as a result, they get passed over due to their “educational” content. It’s always a game of catch up with criminals.

A link for an illegal copy of my popular Never-Ending Cigarettes. Notice the textual gibberish.

Notice the identity of the seller in the cute little URL. I’ve spent MONTHS trying to access that site and it’s like it knows I’m the damn author or something because it’s blocked me every time no matter what browser, what device, what IP. Until finally … the next screenshot.

Note the standard pirate tactic, or one of them. Totally accurate book info, including even IDs from WorldCat, etc., and available in 5 different digital formats, but look at the content below and once again, biology — cells. Way to beat the good bots. This is an educational site, obviously. Many of them load the keyword, usually the title, into the gibberish 2-3 times per sentence which I would think should be a red flag to a properly coded bots, but I guess their AI isn’t as advanced as one would think…

And now for the amazing SHADOWS


This one really gets me. No physical copy of course because no one has any (except me now!). But a PDF version and for $100??? I never made that for the whole damn press run! ASSHOLE! THIEF! And just flat out brazen about it. Grrr…

The next and final one is hard for me to comprehend as a service because I can’t imagine them having any customers — for me. It’s a company called Dataresearchers and I guess they’re legit, maybe, and they don’t appear to be ripping me off at all. They not selling anything by me as far as I’ve seen. What they ARE selling are custom writing services to students for outrageous amounts of money and the two ads I’m about to show in a collage so it’s one graphic just blows my mind because I don’t have any idea at all who in the hell would pay anything for these services. I’m not that big or important or even known! Check it out…

Yes, you are not hallucinating. On the left, they’ll charge a handy fee to write a custom BOOK REVIEW (???) on my Shadows Before the Maiming? I actually AM being taught in some universities and am in some textbooks, but I can assure you it’s not for “horror poetry.” Rather, original literary criticism on authors like Yeats and Jane Smiley among others. A book review? As crazy as that is, even crazier is the service advertised on the right. They will write a “custom essay” INCLUDING a graduate thesis or freaking doctoral dissertation on me — Scott C. Holstad! For ungodly amounts of money. Frankly, it’s nearly a compliment, to be honest. But also to be honest, I think if I ever found out that anyone anywhere were actually doing their dissertation on me for any reason, I’d probably have a heart attack on the spot from the shock! There’s a greater chance of me flying to Mars on my own with no vehicle, oxygen, anything than someone getting their doctorate on me.


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On Thomas Ligotti’s Book, Death Poems

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 7, 2022

Death PoemsDeath Poems by Thomas Ligotti
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m disappointed because I had been told I would love this book, I guess because I’ve had some “horror poetry” books published over the years. Mebbe so, but I’ve had far more books of poetry in other forms published. It’s simple, and I kind of feel this largely applies to this author’s entire canon — I like the themes, tone, morbid world view (much of which I tend to share), but that doesn’t make this guy a good writer and for god’s sake, I doubt anything could save this train wreck of so-called poems that don’t suck because they are formal or because they’re confessional or populist or postmodern or experimental or anything. He’s just a really bad poet! And honestly there’s no shame in that. It’s irritated the shit out of me to see and hear more and more people over the past couple of decades excitedly telling everyone they write poetry. At this point in time, EVERYONE thinks they’re a poet, and damn good at that. Trouble is that’s bullshit and always has been! Just because you throw together a few lines, maybe even self-publish a small volume of verse, doesn’t make you a fucking poet! I cringe every time I have to go to a wedding or funeral cause I know I’ll hear the worst kind of crap written by sincere, well meaning people. And they’ll get applause. From an audience that doesn’t realize the stuff they grew up reading and studying 50 years ago is so obsolete and a part of the distant past, they don’t realize they’re both showing themselves to be amateurs and a bit ignorant. Not that one has to be on the cutting edge. Many mainstream poets I can’t stand are still GOOD at their craft. Many populist poets, spurned by the Academy, like Bukowski, despite the image he fostered, knew how to write a poem and good ones. He knew the literary and poetic “rules” AND he knew how and when to bend or break them and pull it off effortlessly. Here’s a very famous American writer nearly everyone in the world has heard of and who has millions of fans (including me). Could tell a mean story, had real talent and influence. Most people can name more than one of his novels. But how many people know the titles of Jack Kerouac’s books of poetry? Right, no one. And I have them all. The fact is, no matter how famous or successful a writer he was, he was by god one of the absolute worst published poets of the past century! Wretched shit! Just cause you think you know poetry or you put lines down or a couple of people make flattering comments doesn’t mean you’re a real poet and certainly doesn’t mean you’re GOOD (using Kerouac as an example). People object and argue It’s subjective, and there is a bit of truth to that, but that’s not limited to poetry. That’s the argument made and the difference between the hard sciences and the soft or social sciences. You could make a legitimate argument that not only are poetry and literature subjective, but so are philosophy, religion, the arts, social studies, etc. But that’s why some general guidelines exist in each of these areas. That’s why you will study Hegel, Sartre, and Schopenhauer in philosophy but if you innocently (and ignorantly) ask virtually any philosopher or philosophy professor why we don’t study Ayn Rand, you typically get one of two reactions: side splitting laughter lasting uncomfortably too long or a hostile lecture about what a lightweight dittobrain brain she was, a “faux” intellectual whose “school” of philosophy she created is viewed as little different from how L Ron Hubbard is generally viewed. And they’re right about her. And just to prove I don’t have an anti-Rand bias, I was devastated when I found that one of my favorite writers and philosophers, a damn Nobel winner, ALSO typically isn’t included in Philosophy syllabi or viewed as a “real” philosopher — Camus! And I’ve long thought he was one of the three greatest existential philosophers in history, a view not shared by the “pros.” See, there are guidelines that can be employed that AREN’T necessarily in black and white, thus allowing a Donald Hall and Mark Strand to co-exist with Bukowski and Ferlinghetti as “legit” poets — even if that doesn’t always sit well with them. So Ligotti? I’ve gone on too long now and am tired, but it doesn’t matter if your language is formal, informal, experimental, etc. It still has to flow, to “sound” good on the page. If formal, what fits into the rules of rhyme, meter, stanzas, etc., must sound as natural as possible, must flow, not draw attention to itself and detract from the overall poem because it feels and seems forced. And while it’s harder to argue for rule adherence in free verse, just that one topic still applies. The language should actually seem and sound MORE natural, normal, flow comfortably, even in the case of surrealists or LANGUAGE poets. Because they know what they’re doing, what rules they’re intentionally breaking and why they MAY be successful at it. Ligotti’s poetry is made up of lines, words choices, a stilted dictation and lack of flow; it distracts from any point or message he may or may not be attempting to convey. It’s amateurish, buffoonish. It sounds like someone’s illiterate grandpa might. Fans may protest and argue “That’s the point, you dolt! He’s TRYING to make people uncomfortable with his poetry and his writing style, word choices, grammar usages, etc., are all part of that. How stupid are you?” (Meaning me.) Well, a rebuttal that’s I think many would agree with is been there, done that. It’s not remotely original but is definitely legitimate. I’ve done that myself with a number of poems and short stories when I was experimenting with postmodern metafiction. But while legit, just because someone may attempt to do that doesn’t mean they succeed or are any good. Which is the case here. I’ll end by throwing out a few names of authors who did exactly that, but SUCCESSFULLY, and are well known and loved by many (though still rarely in academia). One considered one of the best was William Burroughs, starting with his infamous Naked Lunch and most of his work thereafter. He and a partner are credited with popularizing and honing the “cut up method” to create almost meaningless text but still text one could get something out of. Ironically he was not the first, as Tristan Tzara and the Dadaist movement actually created and generated that technique. In the horror genre, there are fiction writers and the occasional poet who venture there (and also not “straight” horror, but more like dark surrealism that can incorporate horror elements). In no particular order, some who come to mind might include Anthony Burgess, who was SO linguistically experimental in his shock novel A Clockwork Orange that he had to spend an ungodly amount of time inventing a new damn language to fit the characters and the book (complete with glossary at back). Obviously Vonnegut, but some more current writers in the field who may occasionally succeed where Ligotti does not might include Boston, Crawford, Wayne AS, and most obvious of all, the late Harlan Ellison. I’m not saying this author has to be or become them. But he’d be well advised to do what most serious, professional writers do, and that’s study and analyze them to see where and how he/one can grow and improve, with your own voice intact ultimately. But until Ligotti shows evidence he’s done that, or from little I know of him, even gives a shit, I’ll continue to feel generous in giving 2 stars to this book and he’ll forever be relegated to the barely knowns, the wannabes, the amateurs who some think know what they are doing when such writers really don’t. Not recommended.

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EXITS

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 15, 2021

While I have been a professional writer for 35+ years & while I’ve been heavily published in print & later the Internet & while my work has appeared online in a number of formats & genres, I have never — to the best of my memory — personally posted any of my creative writing & certainly never any fiction. Until now. Why now? No clue. I just always liked this piece I wrote over two decades ago & a couple of editors did too, resulting in a decent paycheck that beat the hell out of poetry or academic publishing!

I’ve largely been invested in postmodern work throughout my life, whether literature, art, theory, etc., & at this particular time in my life, I was engrossed in a certain sub-genre of postmodern literature called metafiction — most likely a fad, but some good, well known authors were known for that type of work, such as Martin Amis. Additionally, it influenced other forms of writing, so many in the poetry field who write or study L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry may attribute its movement & success to metafiction’s influence. Or not.

In any event, I spent a number of years engrossed in this & related movements while also being force fed (pompous) postmodern (faddish) theorists such as Foucault, Lyotard, Barthes, Lacan, Kristeva, Jameson & of course Derrida (We can thank Derrida for deconstruction, its overuse in grad schools & misuse among the media & general population.) Postmodern LIT was different for me though, at least some of it as opposed to the nearly exclusively French theorists (I can’t being myself to use the word “philosophers,” & some were other “professionals” as well, such as Lacan, etc.). (An aside on these pompous blowhards. I thought they were morons when first exposed to them & the more I read, the more I felt this. Frauds using grandiose terminology, concocted concepts & misused if not misunderstood ventures into other areas not their own (the hard sciences?), mixing & matching, all in a seeming effort to both impress & intimidate — especially cowering grad students. Well, a couple of badass physicists seem to agree and they wrote a book called Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science & it’s awesome! Alan Sokal & Jean Bricmont go even further than I would have in trashing these idiots, in calling their bluff, in correcting their absolutely attrocious butchering of physics & the hard sciences, if not other areas, in which they prove most of these French postmodern “geniuses” have no damn clue how to spell “quantum,” let alone “math,” they’re so stupid. They laugh at them & on behalf of their colleagues in the sciences as well & call them out, making them look like fools in one spoof so unbelievably stunning & brilliant that when one reads of it early in the book & sees proof of the plain idiocy amongst the cultural faux intellectuals & then goes on to read example after example of named, specific “demi-gods” spouting BS that, in some cases, is literally rubbish, dead wrong, proof of their insipidness. For others who wonder at the spectacle of such apparent twits gaining their reputations because they truly deserve them, this book will provide the truth with humorous sarcasm while putting the majority of them in their place — which is nowhere close to where “The Academy” has placed them!)

In any event, I’ve long enjoyed, been challenged by, amused, disturbed, impressed, etc., at what so many postmodern writers have done. I’m not foolish enough to state that these are the greatest writers, this the greatest genre. I’m just saying I dig it! And the creative opportunities seem endless so that one can go anywhere from simple “rebel” nonfiction masquerading as fiction (Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit — anti-religion) to the infamous Naked Lunch & yet even far beyond that as well. Some writers I’ve especially enjoyed include Vonnegut, Kosinski, Rhys, Acker, Doctorow, Burroughs & many more. While meandering through tons of books & authors, I discovered metafiction, which seemed to be a rising movement with a lot of promise, not for everyone as you’ll see, but utilizing various plot devices one can trace directly to a number of special films over the past few decades that were not adaptations of these novels, but were clearly influenced by them. As I’ve written a lot over the years, sometimes I like to experiment in new things, new areas, not because I plan to move in that direction, but just as a challenge, just for fun. So it was that I wrote several pieces of short fiction during the mid 1990s that were based upon & maybe even designed to be metafictional & while possibly three stand out in my mind, this one is the only one I think really came close to meeting that mark. And as I said, apparently I wasn’t alone in thinking that & it remains possibly my favorite piece of fiction I wrote, certainly so in writing it. I never claim my stuff is great; I’ve always claimed to outwork & outproduce virtually anyone else, which turned out to be true for some 15+ years I believe, as do some others in a position to make that judgment. So I didn’t intend to write a “Forward” or anything at all, but to simply put the story down & let people read it. But most people I’ve met haven’t read & thus wouldn’t understand the context of a metafictional work & while it’s not necessary in order to read any, because this is not representative of what I do & have done, I reconsidered & decided to preface the piece with a some info so anyone reading it might have a clue as to why the author apparently doesn’t.


EXITS

Hi!  I am a writer, or at least I pretend to be.  I think I am, therefore I am.  Yes, I write poetry, fiction, nonfiction ‑you name it, I write it.  Of course, if I wanted to really make money, I’d be writing kiddie lit, or maybe porn. Yeah…porn, that’s it….

Anyway, my name is Steve Universe. I know, I know, I get nailed for the name all the time. Actually, since I’m the author of this story, I suppose I could go by any name.  Naming is power, you know.  That’s what they say at least.  My parents exhausted universal power in first creating me, and then in naming me.  They created for me an identity, whether I wanted one or not.

Naming.  Power.  Writing.  Power.  Naming is such a buzz phrase these days. Current hot topic, especially with the feminists.  Because it’s true power.  For instance, I am writing a story.  Even now, as we speak.  Even now, as you read this.  I will write a character into the text.  I will name him.  What?  I’m not sure yet.  But I will create him and he will owe his very existence to me.  Pretty God‑like, don’t you think?  Power. Naming. I’m a writer.  Or at least I think I am.  Well, I speak as a writer.

My author’s name, evidently, is Scott Holstad.  (Who would have picked that name?)  He claims to be a writer (but then, don’t we all?).  I mean, who the hell has ever heard of Scott Holstad?  If I’m destined to be a measly character in someone’s story, why the hell couldn’t I get Updike or Vonnegut?  Hell, even Mailer or somebody like that? Somebody known?  Someone who matters?

Well, this Holstad character seems to be the asshole who gave me my name, at least that’s what he claims.  Steve Universe.  He seems to find humor in it.  Play on words, that sort of shit.  Universal.  University.  Mr. Universe.  Universe.  I don’t call that funny.  He’d never make a living as a comic.  And Steve.  Pretty boring I’d say. Why not something a little more exotic?  God knows, most writers do seem to have somewhat boring names.  Robert, John, Walter, Steven.  Well, I’m a writer; I speak as a writer. I would name my character Fabio…yeah, that’s it.  Exotic.  Romantic.  Steve.  That’s so…universal!  I mean, I could be anybody….

Hi! I’m THE writer, or at least I pretend to be.  The Government says I am, therefore I am.  They give me these little numbers and I exist.  Truly.  I kid you not.  I know it’s amazing, and I sometimes doubt it myself, but just try dodging your taxes sometime and see if you don’t exist!

Anyway, I’m the creator of Steve Universe.  I know, I know call me a narcissist (and you won’t be the only one), but deep down we’re all ego maniacs.  It’s that God Complex.

Well, Steve’s been railing away so I have decided to just write him out of the text. That’s right, erase him.  Just write him out.  Easy as pie.

There.  I’ve done it.  Steve Universe no longer exists.  And it was easy to do, like I said.  They say we are all capable of creation and that may be true but, God –  are we ever capable of destruction!  Total annihilation, say I!

 We can erase, Reconstruct, abolish, eliminate, terminate, DESTROY, with the greatest of ease.  Oh, and we writers are so proficient at it.  Comes with the territory I guess.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about something new lately.  New, that is, for me.  I speak to you as a writer, therefore I can say this.  I’m thinking of writing myself out of the text.  That’s right, textual suicide.  Innovative, eh?  I hate to admit this, but Steve was right about one thing, at least.  I’m not the best-known writer.  Oh, I have my share of groupies and I certainly appreciate them.  They’re devoted.  But, I’m not exactly a household name either.  Not that I’m ambitious.  Not that I’m a narcissist.  I speak as a writer, remember?

Look, what better way to achieve notoriety?  Textual suicide.  I will be no more. (And I know I am now. I know I exist because I have numbers proudly given to me by my Government.)  I will be no more.  Oh, I know I won’t be around to enjoy the accolades, but what the hell?

And those saps out there always fall for the suicides.  My God, what a bloody operation!  I’ve always wanted in on the scam.  The papers, TV, TV, TV, TV, mags, papers, bloodsucking TV.  We’re the fastfoodfastentertainmentfast sexfasttloodthirstyviolent generation by God, and we’re suckers for that shit!

Give me my suicide!

Give me my constitutionally guaranteed suicide!

Oh, they’ll just eat it up.  And Steve?  Well, he’s been written out of the text, eh? Doesn’t really matter anymore, does he?  He’s Steve Universe.  Was Steve Universe. Universal.  University.  Mr. Universe.  Steve Academia.  Boring Steve.


Steve, Steve I’m so 

bereaved I can’t conceive  

Why we must leave.


Oh, but I digress.  Again.  But I speak as a writer.  I’m allowed occasional digressions.  Writers, dammit!  Never seem to get to the friggin point.  I mean, well, what is the point?  The point’s the point son.  The end’s the point.  Cause we exist you know.  I, Scott C. Holstad, who speaks to you as a writer (and as a human? maybe?), I exist you know.  This I know.  For the Government tells me so.  It gets so slow.  Sometimes gotta go.  Breakdown.  Discourse.  Breakdown.  The point?

Oh yeah, the Point.  I guess it’s the End of the stick you put your hot dog on.  Or maybe your marshmallow.  The Point…the Point.

The Point, oh yeah.  Well, to get on with my story, I think I’m going to write a new character into the text.  To be my narrator, of course.  To carry on the tradition…the tradition…the Point.

Actually, to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes I feel like I’m already being erased from the text.  It’s like someone has pushed the Pause button, but it turns into the Erase button.  I don’t know how to explain it.  I don’t know how to…communicate…it.  I don’t know….

Well, this is very strange indeed.  It feels like someone’s been tampering with me, with me, with me, with me…me — …me…me…me with…me with…me with tampering… NO! That’s Martin Amis you dolt!  We’re not going backwards in this story.  We’re being Fucking erased!

As I said, I speak to you as a writer.  And I am the creator of this mess, so I decide what’s going on.  Right?  I am going to ever so conveniently create a new character before ever so conveniently obliterating myself from this increasingly dreary story.  Textual Suicide.  Oooh, how ’bout Cyber Textual Suicide?  Yeah, they love that Cyber shit.  It’s so in.

There.  See?  I’ve created yet again.  A new category.  A new ending.  A new genre which they’ll be beating down the damn doors for.  Cyber Textual Suicide.  Only a matter of time now before it’s in the Canon.  Oh baby, they’ll be asking GRE questions about it. I’m drooling now just thinking about it!  And I owe it all to me.  Me!  Not Steve Universe. Not Scott Holstad.  I mean, Wait!  Yes, Scott Holstad.  That is me.  I think.  Wait, hold on. Let me check my ID card.  Oh yes, right here.  Scott C. Holstad.  In black and white.  Very official looking.  See, the Government says I exist.  Therefore I am.  I am the Creator of this story.  Cause the Government says I can.  I am the Creator….

And people laughed when he claimed that God was dead.  God’s not dead you fools.  I am God!  The Creator.  Yes, of this story.  And the Government says I exist so it must be so.  Right?  And if I want to obliterate myself (Wait. Here it comes…a rousing, orgasmic cry of Cyber Textual Suicide!!!), from the text of course, I can do it!  Cause I’m the Destroyer.  I mean Creator.  I mean God.  Oh, what’s the difference?

And this new character…what should we name it?

It.  What gender first of all?  Or does that matter?  We’ve all read Virginia Woolf after all.  And we did see “The Crying Game.”

Well, ok, but what color hair?  Eyes?  Teeth?  Teeth?   OK, I tried to pull one over on you.  Or is it put one?  Or does it matter?  Whatever the case, I am the writer because I am the God.

OK.  Height?  Weight?  Genitals?  Oh, no need to go Victorian on me.  Really!  Boots or balls, what’ll it be?  Come on, come on, we don’t have all day here.

You see?  Do you see why I am writing this and you’re not?  My God, you’re slower than horse shit!  And indecisive.  What a match.  Readers dammit.  What the hell do Fish and Iser know anyway?  I mean, have they ever actually tried to work with a reader?  Ain’t that easy, is it?  No sirree.

I feel decidedly better now.  Sort of.  Just thinking about what I’m about to create makes me go positively gushy from head to toe.  I’m talking thrills a minute. Because I’m the Creator.  The Government says so.  And it should…. Hold on, what’s this?  But I haven’t decided to go yet.  I’m the only person who can erase myself from the text.  Hang it all, stop that!  What is going on here?  I speak to you as a writer because i am the creator exist you know the government tells me so this i know you know i am god it’s so I’m the master of this story but everything’s getting denser is that really a word werd weird bsmck shit now i know that’s not a word dammit i need my words to create i need my language my name my power my god….

Hi!  Sorry about all that gibberish back there.  You shouldn’t really have been forced to endure it.  Feel free to register a complaint with the proper authorities if you must.  But on behalf of the author and this publication, I would like to extend a formal apology.

Those Post-Modern writers think they can get away with anything.  Pretentious fucks!  Oops, sorry.  It’s just that they get feisty and break loose every now and then.  But don’t worry.  We take care of ’em. We put ’em back where they belong.

Now. Where were we?  Oh yes.

Hi! I am the writer.  I know I am a writer and I know I am the writer because I speak to you as a writer….

XXX

Scott C. Holstad 

© 1995 Scott C. Holstad

#metafiction

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