Sunday, December 02, 2012

My Name in Digital Lights - Pub'd Agin (Truth v. Illuision, When James Frey Was and Was Not a Douchebag, and The Little Story That, For Some Time, Couldn't)

Go here to read my story "Thieves" published by the Jet Fuel Review folk.  It's a story based on real events, which people seem to prefer to fiction, suggesting that our society is too hung up on experience over imagination. I find this silly.  The pubic seems convinced that actual events are somehow of greater importance than a good yarn, and when they find out that so-called real life stories, memoirs, and non-fiction is sprinkled liberally with bullshit, they get all in a tizzy.

Case in point: that James Frey debacle.  The guy did one thing wrong: after realizing that he was getting accolades and recognition for a very exaggerated (and poorly written) story, he parlayed that into a series of speaking gigs that saw him telling actual crackheads and recovering junkies that they could kick their habit, just like him.  Now point me to the free buffet and show me where to cash this check.

That was douchebag behavior, indeed.  But the whole passing off a piece of fiction as a memoir... that's fine.  I really can't believe that anyone actually believes that non-fiction is, well, not fiction.  I mean, one look at the opening pages of A Million Little Pieces will tell a savvy reader (one who can actually read critically) that the thing is bullshit.  But again, I like bullshit when it's entertaining (as opposed to sermonizing macho texts about drug addiction). 

Anyway... it's my second story to be pub'd, which is nice.  I liked it a lot when I wrote it, but people seem to hate it.  It got shot down more times than an extra in a John Wayne film.  I'm not fishing for compliments, just realizing that my favorite work is not always what the people want, and that my least favorite pieces, the dashed off junk, the workshop-exercise poems, the sloppy, quick pieces about cooking dinner for my wife, seem to register highest.  Go figure.