Archive for August, 2014

Personal essay (and personal plumbing issue)



Funny how a caved in bathroom ceiling will make a man think about his current situation.

So inspired, I dedicated part of the afternoon and this evening, after my landlord came to begin remedying the problem, to continuing a personal essay on the whole phenomenon. Normally, I don’t at all believe in journaling or writing personal essays, because my life is boring, but life has changed for me so much in such a relatively short time that I’m afraid if I don’t start cataloging some of it, I myself may not remember.

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Long September excerpt: purchased (stolen?) eyes

That was why! Yes. She’d stepped in because she was sick of pretending she couldn’t hear, and that Priestly didn’t know he was being heard. That was really the worst insult of all, the pretense of impunity, insularity, whatever you wanted to call it. It was easy to ignore bullshit like “I told you not to talk to him” or “Where were you last night?” or “Look at me when I’m talking to you” when it was at school and there was a ten minute passing period, but this was retail: At least talking out of your ass
occasionally had consequences here.

It came out of Nyssa’s mouth in a way that seemed totally unbidden. The words hadn’t originated in her head, but somewhere around her stomach, and they came out deep and sharp. Like her brother, Nyssa could bark, too.

“Hey. Asshole.”

Nyssa is the hardest character for me to write. Read more…

Saint of Amaranth – On the virtue of writing shorter (and more)

For a few years now I have had the grand idea for a flashy novel of high Victorian fiction that occurs in a twisty world of magic and gaslights. This is not remotely original, but I want to write it anyway, because I am really not that great a novelist, you see.

I don’t believe that just because a genre may employ lots of tropes and conventions that they must every one of them be defied for the resulting work to be original and fun. And I sort of really like Dracula by Bram Stoker, the original incarnation, and there is part of me that likes Vanity Fair and even Tess of the D’Ubervilles, so I guess there really never was any hope for me. I began to bang out a plot outline in a long, long summary of the book. This was essentially because I was more enthusiastic about the idea than I was about actually writing the thing, which I planned to write in florid, overwrought 19th-century prose, you see.

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Long September Excerpt – the wild one

Eddie didn’t realize it himself, but the entire interior of the trailer, while neat and orderly, looked like somebody’s childhood room – close and personal and piercingly revealing of the mind or minds responsible for it. There were trophies from school achievements, movie posters Nyssa and Eddie had stolen from the store or which had been thrown out. There were band posters, childhood drawings, one or two knickknacks Nyssa had found in the road and couldn’t bear to part with and so nailed to the wood-paneled wall: A mix CD she’d never  played, a beaten up old baseball cap she had washed, a discarded U-lock for a bike.

There were no family heirlooms or photographs of any kind.

I once told a friend who read through my progress that Ian is who I was as a kid and Eddie is who I wish I had been.

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The notebook


I was so freakishly miserable in my last line of employment that I was seriously having health problems. It was right around the weeklong headache that I thought to myself:

“Okay. Time to get out any way you possibly can.”

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Novel excerpt: Long September

 Summer lingered still, and though it was grey out, the boy knew he would have no need of a jacket. In two days there would be school, and this was the last solitude he would have before then. It meant the buses and the taunts, fumbling about in the locker room to undress and get into his too-short uniform as quickly as possible while avoiding the gazes of those boys who had hit maturity faster than he had – you must not look – and wondering why why why everybody and the world seemed to have it in for him…

I’ve been writing Long September in some form or another since I was 17.


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Ken here.

I have, for a while now, been trying to convince myself that I should take my personal writing endeavors seriously, and I think I’ve finally rounded a corner on it.

Following a rough time in a reporting job, I fled the country for a while, where I tried to get hired as an English teacher and ended up doing a whole bunch of freelance writing instead. One area I still have not broken into has been fiction, and I’ve decided that rather than sit around and stress about how good anything I’ve written is (for it is as good as I can make it, isn’t it?) I’m going to just start making some of it available here and hope that others want to pay me a little bit for it.

So, welcome! I blather about myself in the About Me section. Check out the stories I have made available for view in the Fiction section, and see the copious amount of journalistic writing I am willing to admit to having authored in the Nonfiction section.

Have you had a chance to let Ken Reads Erotica inside of you? Because you absolutely shouldn’t.

Hope we see more of each other.