Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Mailbag, the pep talk

In an unfortunate turn of events, the mailbag was raided this week. A data-chomping bug wreaked havoc on my inbox, and before I knew what was happening, most of my mail had been destroyed. When I noticed the calamity-in-process, I did what any practitioner of the electronic postal arts would do, I got into my computer 1990s movie Hackers-style, and chased down the little bug. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, if that move reference missed you, don’t feel’s not you, it’s me. I’m shaking my head in shame, but I digress. I got in there and tugged at the last measly piece of email while it was still clenched in the little pest’s chompers. It was a mighty struggle, not because the little guy was extremely strong, but because an email is a hard thing to get a hold of. It’s a struggle to pull on something so tiny and nebulose. But in the end, I got it. It was shredded to pieces and hard to read, but I pieced it together and successfully saved your...Monday Mailbag!!!

It appears there was a lot more to this question, but I only got the very last little bit. The rest was chewed to bits before I squashed the problem.

It’s hard to make it as a writer today. Do you ever get discouraged?
Pat, Defeated TN

Pat all too often I go off on people’s names after receiving their email, but I’m not gonna do that to you. Yes, I am. Sorry, that was an out and out lie. I wasn’t even thinking of not talking, or writing, about your name...Pat. This is awesome. I know someone is reading The Boo Hag in Tennessee, but that’s all I know. Is she wearing a silky dress? Is he just coming in from a manly hunting trip? I don’t know!!! That’s the beauty of you Pat; you’re very mysterious. Okay, enough about your name...right, like there could ever be enough said about Pat, but let’s move on.

It is hard to make it as a writer. We are in agreement, mon frere. Did you know that frere means brother? It does. I just looked it up. I thought it was important to know what I was writing. I’m sorry, Pat, if you’re not a frere. My bad.

Okay, so do I get discouraged? Hmm, good question. I think it best to really get to the heart of the question before moving forward. To do that, we’re going to need to break down the word discouraged to simplificate the question a little more fully. If there’s one thing I’m known for, it’s finding the simplificaceousness of all things.

Discouraged, let us borrow you for one moment, you’ll be up and at ‘em in no time. So, we break up discouraged into its root words, naturally. We start with di. Di is a single of the more commonly pluralized noun dice. Some people will say the word is spelled die. I don’t like those people. No, I like them, but I just don’t like the way their brains work. Anyway, we have our word di, and voila, we’re on the path to understanding.

Next we take scouraged. Of course scouraged is just a bastardization of the word scourged. Where did the bastardization take place? Probably in West Virginia, as these things often do. The dictionary gives several definitions of the word scourged, but I’m confident, Pat, that the one you’re referring to, is to be whipped.

And, we’re ready to discuss. Do I ever get whipped with di? Interesting. I imagine you mean with a di embedded in the whipping tip. Ha, the whipping tip, that sounds funny. No, Pat, I do not get di-scouraged. I have yet to write anything so passionate to whip people up into a frenzy to a point where they would want to inflict bodily harm on me. Get it “whip people into a frenzy.” I must say, I’m pretty much LingOL right now.

Anyway, Pat, that was kind of an odd question. Did you really think I was gonna say yes to that?

Before wrapping this up, however, I’d like to discuss your statement. It is hard to make it as a writer. And there are times when I feel a little bit, to borrow from a little town in Tennessee, defeated. Like the odds are against me. It’s hard to sell books when your buried in 300,000th place on amazon’s bestseller list. It’s not exactly easy when somebody tells you they didn’t love your story. It is less than fun when the bestseller you are in your head is confronted with the worstseller you are in reality. But, when it gets tough, I remember that I chose this for myself. I remember how great it is when somebody loves my writing and let’s me know. I remember that one copy sold is more than no copies sold. And I remember what my boy Jacob in Lost, incidentally the best tv show ever, said. Anything that happens before is progress. All this is progress, and the struggle will make the end worth it all the more.

Pat...rick? ricia? This, my confusingly-named friend is your Monday Mailbag!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where have you been lately, Mr. Morgan?

In the interest of good documentation, I thought I would share where I've been the last few days. For the first time, The Boo Hag has been a part of a few blogs. I had a review at book lovers paradise first, and that was followed by a fun interview at twimom101bookblog and a scary guest post at pretty in fiction. Check out the good ol' links down there. 100% fun guaranteed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

All’s fair in love and mailbag

Mailbag has evolved. You’d think it would take more than four weeks, right? But who am I to stop progress? It turns out the mailbag isn’t just for reading and writing questions anymore. It’s for reading and writing. Don’t get me wrong. I just mean there’s more to it these days. When you achieve a certain level of celebrity, people count on you. You become a lighthouse in the seas of life. A source of advice for the world-weary traveler. Have I achieved that status? Am I one that people can trust to solve their problems? Their moral issues? The more mundane questions of their lives? The simple answer can be summed up like this: no. But a more complicated answer would be this: yes. Maybe that wasn’t more complicated, but it felt like it was. It has more letters. More letter.

Can I tell people what to ask me? Do I have the power to get inside people’s heads and pull out only the questions I want to answer? I don’t. If I did I would be a mutant. Have you seen the X-Men? Being a mutant could turn out very badly for me. Although it may be cool. Who doesn’t want nearly indestructible metal claws at their beck and call. I do, but I digress. I am not a mutant, so I am at the mercy of the e-mailing public. No indestructible claws here, just a pledge to answer your questions. Come, curious petitioner. Sue no more in vain for response. The mailbag…THE MONDAY MAILBAG is waiting.

Something terrible happened to me today. I was driving to school with the windows down because it was so nice out. I love spring, but now I don’t know how I feel about it. Maybe winter is better because the cold keeps your windows closed. Ugh! I can hardly even write it, it’s too horrible. So, I was at the light just by the school parking lot and was alone. Sometimes when I’m alone I like to sing. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong. So, I’m wailing away to some Miley Cyrus when a car full of cute boys drives up. They were in the lane right next to me. Laughing. I don’t even know how long they were there before I saw them. I was mortified, opposite of LOL! I’m an idiot. What do I do?
Hannah, Butte MT

Opposite of LOL indeed, Hannah, from the home state of my father. Having spent time in Montana, even having passed through Butte, I feel a special connection with you. With you and the statue of that woman that overlooks the town there. That’s in Butte, right? I hope so, or I’m the idiot here.

Anyway, so you got caught rockin’ out to a few bars of Miley. Big deal. Right? Who hasn’t thrown their own impromptu party in the USA? I know I have. But I get it. It’s high school. It’s boys. It’s all that drama.

Well, listen, let’s assume you know these guys. They go to your high school, maybe you see them at a party or something. All I can say is, the next time you hang out, you will redeem yourself. I mean, your heart can’t rest til then, so you’ll be ready. I suggest you find out when the next big high school, teen, crazy party’s gonna be and you plan ahead. Go to some kind of pet store and buy a bunch of crickets or a box full of feeder mice. Then when the guys are away from their car, let go of your new friends inside. Then you get in that party and you have yourself a good time! You get those boys off your mind!

But, somehow, Hannah, I don’t think that advice suits you. You're better than that. Revenge is beneath you, and if you stoop down there, you’re just cheapening who you are. You become less you in a way. I say, when people find you unexpectedly belting out Miley Cyrus, you sing louder. Eardrum-poppingly, strain-your-vocal-chords loud. You be you. Who cares what everyone else thinks? Hannah, there’s always gonna be another embarrassment; you’re always gonna wanna hide in shame. Always gonna feel a little silly; sometimes you’ll feel downright lame. It ain’t about exacting re-venge; ain’t about projecting anger on the other guy. There’s no time! Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s no time!

There’s no time for those hurt feelings, Hannah. Bad feelings damage only you. Let it go. Sing on. Just know, whether you're in the car, your room, at school, or wherever, if you’re jammin’ to Miley, this guy’s belting it out right along with you.

Problem? Solved. This is your Monday Mail…bag!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Mailbag, paradise edition

Well look what time it is. And by time of course I mean day. The hour is actually of little significance. What’s important, however, is the fact that it’s Monday, and I will be posting a Monday Mailbag today. It will be the first time. I made a big deal about posting on Tuesday last week, only to find out that the first Mailbag ever was actually also posted on Tuesday. Whoops. Well, color me embarrassed. Anywhoodles, here it is, for the first time ever on Monday, your Monday Mailbag!

This week I dug deep. After poring for hours over scores of questions, I came up with the one. I sifted through meaningless questions, you know, meaning of life type stuff, and came away with what people really want to know.

What are you gonna do with your first million?
Leia Kaanapali, HI

Leia, did you know that I was on my way to visit you in Maui in late 2010? Of course you didn’t. I wasn’t the uber-famous author I am now. But I was. Tickets purchased and everything. I wanted to get a little piece of, in the words of Coldplay, para-para-paradise. Or in the word broken up and repeated of Coldplay I guess. But you know what? I don’t want to talk about it. Did I make it to Hawaii? I’m not gonna answer that question. Suffice it to say that talking about it feels like my heart is covered in super-adhesive band-aids that are being pulled off slowly and excruciatingly a millimeter at a time. Let’s just drop it.

So, what I am going to do with my first million. Well, Leia, you’re going to have to be a little more specific. Unfortunately, you can’t be. There just isn’t time. I’d have to write you back and then wait for your reply. It would put the whole Monday thing in serious jeopardy. So, I’m just going to assume you’re asking the obvious question. What am I going to do with my first million published words? Well, I knocked of 90k+ with The Boo Hag, so I’m well on my way. Right now I’m working on a little summer lovin’ story in the Missouri heat that may involve a witch or two. That’s gonna be another 60k at least. After that, it’s back to Lenny and the gang for another 90k or so. So, unless my math is off, I guess that covers it.

And that’s your Monday Mailbag!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday Mailbag, belated

Last week I started my first ever weekly piece on my blog: The Monday Mailbag. This
week, I skipped it. That’s right, I stuck to my recurring piece for exactly one time. I can’t
even say once in a row because, let’s be honest, one can’t really be a row.

But I’m here now. And I have a good excuse for yesterday’s epic failure. I was driving
all day to get home. All day as in left hotel at 8 am and got home at about 7:15 pm. And
I didn’t want to write a Monday Mailbag. I just didn’t, okay? But I feel like it today.
Because if I don’t do it now, the email is really gonna be piled up, and next week I’ll be
buried in a burgeoning avalanche of letters. So here it is…your Monday Mailbag! Tuesday

So, what’s this I hear about a boo hag movie?
Herbert Waterloo, IA

First of all, my man Herbert, can I just say, what a great name! I love me some Herbert.
I’m a man of concision. I don’t like names that can’t be shortened. And if not shortened,
at least changed in a fun way. You know what I mean, Herb? Bert? Herbie? You see
what I mean? And on top of the fun, I used to work with a Herb. I don’t know if he was
an actual Herbert, but I’m gonna say he was. He seemed like a Herbert in a wonderfully
ghetto-fabulous kinda way. We were dishwashers at a country club. I was sixteen, he
was pushin’ sixty. He used to regale me with stories of gunshot wounds and knife fights.
But only when he wasn’t assuring me in no uncertain terms that he could school me
unmercifully on the basketball. I’m tellin’ ya, I love me some Herb.

Anyway, the movie thing is just a rumor. For now. But I’ve heard it. It seems like
multiple times a day I’m hearing about Gary Ross. About Josh Hutcherson. And of
course about Jennifer Lawrence. Some might say the trio could make it together. That
they could really bring a book to life. I don’t know, but I would be willing to listen. I
could be convinced.

Is it a coincidence that those names are being tossed around at the same time The Boo
Hag is in the infancy of its publication? I don’t believe in coincidences. I only believe
that sometimes two or more random things happen at nearly the same time in such an
alarming fashion that it would seem like they have something to do with one another. But
coincidences? They’re just not for me.

And that’s your Monday Mailbag! Tuesday edition

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Monday Mailbag!

Since I published my book last week, the emails have been rolling in. Or, in the name of all things grammar, I feel it is my duty to say, the email has been rolling in. It’s coming fast and furious. I can hardly keep up with it. I’m sorry that I can’t get to you all; I’m trying but I’m just one man. And believe me, when you get the instant fame like I have, it’s hard to deal with right away. Since I can’t get to all the email, much to my shame and dismay, I’m gonna pick an email and random to answer. And let me tell you, I’ve been getting some crazy questions from crazy places. So, let me reach my virtual hand into my cyberhat, and here we are…question number one from the first ever David is Super Famous Monday Mailbag

Who do you think you are?
-Sophie Burlington, VT

Excellent question, Sophie in Vermont. I love Vermont in the fall. There’s nothing like a early-late-mid-evening walk in the crisp autumn air. Unwinding after a long day while winding through a veritable forest of, well, trees. It sounds lovely. I’ve never been, but that’s how I imagine it would be.

But I digress. Who do I think I am? Who do I think I am? Who do I think I am? I could go on and on. I mean, there are still four words that haven’t been emphasized, but what would that prove? Well, I mean, of course, other than the fact that English is just a smorgasbord of possibilities.

Anyways, a wise man, I think it was a kid in my elementary school. A bully really. He said to me, “Hey, jerk,” He was punching me in the face while he spoke. “Hey, I think therefore I am!” And then he kicked me while I was down. And that’s always stuck with me. I think therefore I am. Let that be a lesson to you, Sophie.

Until next time, this is your Monday Mailbag.