14 Things To Do While Not Writing.

1.) That coffee thing.

2.) Meet on a muddy field with 21 men. Inflate a pig. Toss into the air.

3.) Dark Horizon.

Warning: this beer will double click the icon of your soul.

4.) Murmur throaty words. Like thrush, dagger, gargle, Sam Pink, titanium regrets.

5.) Master real life hunting strategies.

6.) Teach Blake Butler. Today I taught this from Blake Butler in my class. Sorry, Blake, you have just entered academia. Oh, how your heart is laughing as your mother tells Jim about the radio. You quiver, and vomit.

What did I bring up about Blake’s work?

Structure as list. Research as seed for fiction. Meta fiction. How all the coolish kids refer to writing while they write. That Blake waited four years to send me No Colony. Etc.

Blake saying, “That piece wasn’t fiction.”

BUT, once that novella comes out, you’ll have do readings, Blake. A percentage of readings always involve the university teat. You will be in rooms, in libraries or old history museums, and someone will introduce you with metaphors and long-winded glee and you will take the podium and make some joke about the introduction (“I hardly recognize that person,” etc.) and then there will be one drunk undergrad in the audience laughing and others will laugh, too, out loud guffaws during your “serious” moments, then during the funny moments of your text…nothing. You will eat cookies and punch afterward. You will drink two beers before to quell your nerves. You will sign your novella “To Timmy, hope to see you in Alabama some day–and walking!”

Most of the audience will be on low dose Ativan.

Or thinking, “I thought this Butler guy wrote about husbands returning as parrots. What gives?”

Someone will hand you a poem, sans images.


The fact is we, as artists, once had promiscuous benefactors.

Now we have universities with grants and poor accounting.

I also taught this poem (?). I feel it kicks donkey and ass.

7.) Be a Poor Loser:

8.) Write a best-seller, uh, ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE.


To the next person who dislikes me,
let me say it’s true a person needs enemies,
and I’m sure you could be a great one,
one who thinks of insults while ironing silk,
one who is never wrinkled.
I’m sure I could stick it to you,
since I’m funny and you’re not,
since I can scowl better than a barbecue grill.
Listen, Katherine tells me about her enemies.
She says they’re like sweat in a Carolina summer,
spilling down your skin when you pick up a Coke.
She says sometimes they’re more fun than eating chips.
She grins and says, Soon one will come around
for you, like my teeth rounding this apple.
The best apple I ever had was like having perfect teeth, it was like
comparing an apple to something instead of fucking eating it.
I’m guilty—I compare things to you too.
You could be a person or you could be an apple.
You could scorn me quicker than cavities.
I don’t want to place insults next to you,
I want to think of a celery stalk and say you are like it,
but not in an insulting way,
and just think about it for awhile—
You are a sliver,
you are a chessboard,
you are a trampoline, you are—
I don’t know, but I say this all to stall awhile,
I say this all with my barbecue scowl that’s now a grin.
You are outside my house about to ring.
I am standing in my bathroom brushing my teeth.
Before you touch my doorbell and before we meet,
I should feel something for you
because I still can,
and I think I can’t go anywhere and neither can you.

She is in this issue of Diagram.

I wasn’t a huge overall fan of this issue for several reasons, as in these authors:

Summer Block.

Lightsey Darst

Cecilia Pinto

I consider myself to have a very cool name. These are WAY cooler. This, I can not tolerate.

10.) Try to inject yourself, without invite, into a reading.

I emailed up Quickies and tried to beg my way onto their AWP February reading with artists I admire, like Blake and Peter Markus (mud, mud, mud, fish–wonderfully weird) and Kim Chinquee (flash fiction goddess) and Jac Jemc (I threw that in, I don’t know this person’s work).

Actually that’s a lie. I have met Jac J once. I saw her at a party, in Chicago, and I was with this girl that never eats. The girl said, “I’m hungry.” Now this is huge. She NEVER eats. So, mistaking Jac for the party hostess, I turn to her and say, “Hey. Not to intrude. But could you make this girl a sandwich?”

Jac leaves. Returns 8 minutes later with with ham, potato salad, chiffon cakes, eggnog, and cranberry punch.

Very cool.

My reading request was halfway successful.

They said, “We’ll we can’t wedge you in there. BUT, show up, and you might probably have a few moments to read.”

That sounds like a yes.

I am going to wear my life preserver, or my nacho chip costume. The life preserver is ALWAYS a hit, but we’ll see.

I would just be honored to read with these folks. And then beer. And, uh, nachos.

11.) Read Joseph Young at JMWW.

12.) Write about your own book in a folksy way to disarm people you are writing about your own book.

13.) Become a “sex writer.”

(Oh god, I just put the word sex in my blog. This should be an interesting week for “search items” on my blog stats.)

This reminds me of a story of my graduate school days. This one fiction writer was broke, so formed a persona and a new name, and started writing gay porn. It was amazing.

* One, he could even do it. Most of us wrote so horribly, no matter what subject, we couldn’t have sold anything to anyone.

* He made a lucrative business of it.

I, for one, was way impressed.

The ol’ Kilgore Trout model.

14.) Watch Caddyshack again.


10 responses to “14 Things To Do While Not Writing.

  1. that is nice, thank you sean.
    i am going to ‘tour’ for Ever, surely, at least some, i have some set up in Feb already, if you want i will come to your class or school and shit on a desk and talk about the shit

    your #2 is the best writing advice i’ve seen in a while


  2. Joseph Young’s stuff always floors me.

  3. I’m pretty sure we haven’t met. Maybe. I hope so. I don’t know what a chiffon cake is, but this post makes me sound very kind and I like that, so do leave it up.

  4. Who is the balls?

  5. You know you want to moderate me into existence. Or eXistenZ.

  6. Additionally what kind of disc golf basket do you have?

  7. If you do get yourself onstage for the AWP reading, you should probably also wear a helmet. We throw things at the readers.

  8. you need to try the bell’s hell hath no fury ale

  9. Someone wrote those posts under my name. Not me. If I could figure out a way to disappear without killing myself, I would do it in a heartbeat. Right now I don’t think killing myself is fair to my girlfriend, cats and parents.

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