: stink bomb vs. bupkis :


I’ve wrestled with this forever and still can’t decide which is the more distasteful option: publishing a half-assed piece or none at all. Those are my choices and I don’t know which one is harder to live with. I want a third choice.

Well, maybe it’s all relative, depending on how half-assed. If the piece is the usual yattering nonsense, meh, I can deal with that. But if it’s a stinking, steaming pile of lousy, the alternative, that’s regrettable. And a shade worse than none at all.

The problem is you can’t tell the difference; you can only trust your instincts and I don’t. My intuition is on the blink. It’s never really worked right and constantly plays tricks with my mind. See, by the time I’ve finished writing and revising, I’m a little in love with the thing — misshapen and unlovely though it may be — I’ve lost all perspective.

Writing is a crapshoot, that much I know. Sometimes it’s the little piffling ideas that burst into life like fireworks, while big, exciting ones crumple into dust, fizzling and wheezing. It’s impossible to predict their course; every idea is perfect at first blush. They’re like kids that way, filled with possibility and destiny until you start messing around with them. Guiding them, nurturing them, screwing them up.

They can turn ugly in a flash or blossom into breathtaking loveliness. Either way, they’re yours and you have to love them, it’s in the rulebook. But it’s not always easy — ideas are harsh, demanding creatures. You sacrifice for them, protect them, mold them, love them, and then they punch you in the heart. Thoughtless ingrates, that’s what they are, but welcome nonetheless.

Seems like a lot trouble and effort to invest in what might be a nonstarter, doesn’t it? But that’s what we do. We write. Come Hell or high water or misguided idea. We scribble on.

So here’s to the stink bombs. May they live long and prosper.


copyright © 2015 publikworks

12 responses to “: stink bomb vs. bupkis :”

  1. You have never posted a stink bomb. I know what I am talking about. Right now my house stinks to high heave because He-Who decided to sacrifice a bag of popcorn to the microwave last night and we still can’t see in here for the black smoke. Your writing never stinks and I always look forward to what you have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And right now my windows are wide open — I’m working on a freelance piece. It’s not going well.

      PS. See? I meant to back space, but pressed ‘reply’ instead. I swear, I’m hazardous to computers and the English language. Thanks for the kind words, though, I will cling them like a lifeline.

      PPS. Dollars to donuts, your house smells better than mine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No. Seriously. We may have to go to the insurance company about smoke damage. How embarrassing is that? I’m still gagging on it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good Lord! What kind of microwave do you have? The Incineratix?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve given up. I can’t get the smell out. I will have to move..

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I could send you one of my first drafts, their stench is overpowering. At least it would be a different odor. Every bit as unpleasant, but different.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I had just such an experience recently while trying to write a comic version of a stress-echocardiogram I had a couple years ago. Once I completed it, I realized it was, as you say, a “steaming pile of lousy”. I would have set fire to it but it was a word document on my computer. The situation was REALLY funny but did not translate at all well in written form. Here’s to stink bombs… may they be few and far between. Keep writing and don’t worry about your perspective. You do humor very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks.

      I know what you mean about not transitioning well. Oh, how I know. But that’s the only way to learn, right? And I will one day. I know I will :o)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Half-assed every time … never stopped DH Lawrence!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or James Patterson. So apparently there’s a market for half-assed. That’s encouraging, isn’t it?


      1. Sure is. I’m with Alan Ginsberg – ‘first thought, best thought’ – and Thomas Hardy thought you should write carelessly. Too much rewriting can lead to blandsville ….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re a scholarly man.

          I’m with you on Ginsburg, but heavy, frequent rewriting is my only hope. I tend to forget people aren’t mind readers.

          Liked by 1 person

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