Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Writer's Paradise

In honor of all writers, here's a parody of Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise I wrote called Writer's Paradise.

Or maybe it's a parody of Weird Al's Amish Paradise, which itself is a parody of Gangsta's Paradise.

Either way, it's a parody.

P.S. - Being a lawyer, I actually went and did legal research to make sure it was OK to do a parody. Turns out parody enjoys a great deal of legal protection. Thank you, 2 Live Crew!

I actually thought about making a video of myself performing this, wearing a hoodie and whatnot, but trust me, I've done the world a HUGE favor by not doing so. Who knows. Maybe if this blog post gets 100,000 hits or something.

P.S. If anyone wants to perform this, feel free -- all I ask is that you give me credit for the lyrics.

________________________________________
As I click through the Twitter and the blog-o-sphere
I put down my iPhone but there's nobody else here
'Cause I've been Tweetin' and bloggin' so long
That my wife texted me and said that she was gone
But I ain't never read a blogger that didn't deserve it
Me, be treated like a spammer, no, sir, uh-uh

Better watch how you query, and you better not rush
Or you and your book might be lying in slush
I really hate to edit, but I gotta cut
As the word count grew, I saw the purple prose, dude
I'm the kinda writer MFA students wanna be like;
Eating Cheetos late at night,
Sunburned by my Mac's light;

Drinking a large coffee, living in the Writer's Paradise
E-mailing my book to me, living in the Writer's Paradise
Psyched about new mail, living in the Writer's Paradise
Sad face when I see it's from me, living in the Writer's Paradise

I got the dialogue, I got the backstory,
I got lotsa online friends, I'm going for the glory,
So I wanna be on the couch watching television
Too much House Hunters keep me from revision
I'm a deluded writer with book signings on my mind
Got red pen in my hand and red veins in my eyes,

I'm a desperate author, weekly blogger
And my Internet is down, so I jack my neighbor's FIOS,
Form rejection ain't nothing but an e-mail away,
Submitting to a small pub, what should my letter say?
I've written three books, but will I make it to number four?
The way my laptop is grinding I don't know.

I wear thick glasses, I'm so blind you see,
The typos we write, right there on screen...

Drinking a large coffee, living in the Writer's Paradise
Emailing my book to me, living in the Writer's Paradise
Getting psyched about new mail, living in the Writer's Paradise
Sad face when I see it's from me, living in the Writer's Paradise

E-books and the print books, print books and the E-books
Plot points, index cards and opening hooks,
Everybody's writing, but half of them self-pubbing
I read Pub Lunch, but I don't know what's selling,

They say I got to learn, all those agent blogs to teach me,
If their guidelines all conflicting, how can they reach me?
I guess they can't; I guess they won't,
They form reject; that's why I gotta keep the day job, muse!

Drinking a large coffee, living in the Writer's Paradise
Emailing my book to me, living in the Writer's Paradise
Getting psyched about new mail, living in the Writer's Paradise
Sad face when I see it's from me, living in the Writer's Paradise

I wear thick glasses, I'm so blind you see,
the typos we write, right there on screen...
I've got thick glasses, I'm so blind you see,
The typos we write, right there on screen...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why it Sort of Doesn't Matter Who's President. Sort of.

I paid very little attention to the 2000 Presidential election. I did not stay up late watching election returns, and I did not really care which candidate won. To be honest, it’s entirely possible I voted for George Bush. Looking back, I’m sort of glad that Virginia was safely a red state back then, meaning that the Electoral College system saved me from myself.

I was 27 years old, at the dawn of my career as an attorney, with no idea of what kind of lawyer I was going to become. I was in my longest long-term relationship (not that there had been that many, but this one seemed like it was going to last, and it has). I had this vague dream of someday becoming a novelist. I’d gotten a couple short stories published.

Several weeks later, George Bush was declared the winner, and we all know how that went. I voted for John Kerry in 2004, but you could see a Bush re-election coming from a mile away.

Against a terrible backdrop of 9/11 and two wars, the truth is that a lot of stuff happened to me during those eight Bush years, a lot of good stuff that far outweighed my disgust with what Georgie-Porgy was doing at the controls, and some bad stuff that I'd rather not go through again but made me wiser.

I ran a triathlon. Got down on one knee and proposed marriage. I wrote my first manuscript. Shattered my right arm and wrist playing softball. I got married. Went to Hawaii. I couldn’t find a literary agent. We bought our first house. I wrote my second manuscript. I still couldn’t find an agent. We had a kid and fell in love with him. Quit writing completely. Had a complete career meltdown. I wrote another book. I tried several different areas of law. Some jobs were good. Some were not so good. We learned how to host a big family Thanksgiving. We had another kid and fell in love with her.

A few months after our daughter was born, Barack Obama swept into the White House.

More stuff happened to us since then, although, admittedly, at a slower pace than during Bush’s presidency. We sold House #1. Bought House #2, regretted it almost immediately. I had some success writing. Found an agent. Sold House #2. Bought House #3. Found a lawyering job I liked (this took a long time). Still working on becoming a better writer, better dad, better husband, better cook.

And so on.

Look, I sincerely hope that Barack Obama hangs on for a second term. I’m no fan of Mitt Romney, and I am astonished that he’s made up all this ground in three weeks after floundering for SIX YEARS as a candidate. But whatever. If he wins, he wins. I hate that the right-wing extremists and wingnuts and birthers and racists and homophobes will feel validated if they boot Obama to the curb. That said, if Obama wins, we’ll still know they’re out there, and we’re still going to hear from them. And I truly hope that if Romney wins, we get the moderate version we saw at the first debate.

Yes, things will happen in this country. Some things will be good. Some things will suck. Decisions I vehemently disagree with will be made, and those decisions will hurt people. But I’m guessing not many people look back on their life and say, “things would’ve been so much better for me if Mr. X had been President.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “the arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Despite the wingnuts, we live in a better, more just society today than we ever have before, largely due to the work of many, many people who were never President and would never want to be President. The economy, well, it’s going to do what it’s going to do. It’s always been that way, and it will always be that way. A hundred Harvard-trained economists probably have a hundred different theories about how to grow the economy, and yet we go through recessions and booms, and no one can seem to agree on how either begin or end. You think Mitt Romney alone has the silver bullet? Or President Obama?

Perhaps I'm being naive. Perhaps I'm just steeling myself for President Obama snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

On the other hand, maybe I'm not being naive at all. I’ve got a life to live. I’ve got dreams to chase, kids to be stupid with, and a wife to make laugh. There are chicken wings to be eaten, trips to be taken, beers to be tasted, and music to be heard.

So come November 6, sure, let’s all vote. Have your voice heard. And then let’s get back to our lives. (And thankfully, I can stop looking at poll numbers).