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Gary A. Braunbeck's Signal Flares from Cedar Hill

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Today -- in fact, less than half an hour ago, I delivered A Cracked and Broken Path to Jason Sizemore at Apex. I am a bit tuckered, so to quote The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra: I sleep now.

I thought you good folks might like knowing this.

When I come up for air tomorrow, I'll be -- at long last -- finishing a novella that my dear friend Stephen Clark at Tasmaniac has been waiting on since the dinosaurs ruled the Earth: Clipper Girls .

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to use my LJ to talk about the process of writing Path , concentrating on how it almost wasn't the book I wanted it to be. It will be either fascinating or fatuous, depending on your interest and patience.

You stand warned.

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Long story condensed to Readers' Digest length:

For numerous reasons that would only spoil your day should they be listed here, my on-going fight against my clinical depression went into full-tilt-bozo retreat about 5 years ago, and it's only now that I'm managing to amass forces for a new assault against it. Still not there yet, but you can't have everything.

Point is, I lost a lot of time, a good bit of writing, several friends, and damn near all my self-esteem to this. Working on catching up and regaining some measure of worth and dignity in my own eyes.

The one constant when trying to explain this to the people in my life was the someone inevitably would go the Tom Cruise route and say something like, "Just get over it," or "You need to buck up," or some-such happy horseshit. It still amazes me how many folks think that genuine, clinical depression is just a matter of having "... the blues ..."

If you or someone you care about struggles against some form of mental illness on an hourly, day-to-day basis, please copy the image here and share it in as many places as you'd like. (If you clock twice on the image, you'll get a bigger, sharper version. I'm learning how to use this scanner again.)



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This is a copy & paste from an announcement I made over on Facebook; some of the remarks are FB-specific, but the majority of the post is, methinks, universally applicable -- insomuch as that phrase has any significance on-line:


Please Note That I Am POLITELY Asking The Following (There Have Been numerous Instances Of This In The past Couple Of Weeks):

1) If you are a writer to whom I have suggested submitting a piece of your work to certain publisher, please DO NOT tell said publisher that I did so *unless you have my specific and direct permission to do so* -- as in :"Tell (insert editor's name here) that I told you to submit this to him/her."

I have worked for over 35 years to amass what little clout I have with certain editors and publishers, and when someone decides without asking that it's all right for them to borrow on that clout without my permission, it reflects badly on me, and I receive borderline nasty grams from said editors and publishers. So, to recapitulate: PLEASE DO NOT TELL THEM I TOLD YOU TO SUBMIT UNLESS YOU HAVE MY DIRECT PERMISSION TO DO SO.

2) If you are a writer *for* whom I have submitted a piece of work to an editor or publisher (and this happens rarely, just so you know), PLEASE DO NOT MAKE A PUBLIC INQUIRY ABOUT THE STATUS OF YOUR WORK HERE ON THIS MESSAGE BOARD; please do so via e-mail or private message. Whenever someone does this, I get a half-dozen e-mails from writers I don't know and whose work I've never read asking me to do the same for them. I am no one's go-between. If I have done this for you, it's because I believed enough in your work not only to suggest said publisher, but to act *initially* as the one who makes your introduction.

3) If you wish to make an announcement about an upcoming book release/signing/appearance/what-have-you, be it for yourself or on behalf of someone else, and you wish for that information to be shared here on my FB page, PLEASE DO NOT JUST POST THE INFORMATION AND THE LINK WITHOUT ASKING ME FIRST. It's just rude. This page -- and that for my fan club -- are not your personal billboard signs. If you think that the event you want to publicize would get a larger response were it to be mentioned here, then please ask me via e-mail or private message. If you do not, said announcement will be immediately deleted.

I hesitated to bring up any of this, but each of these things has happened numerous times over the past few weeks, and I find it *irksome.* (Google it)

I consider my 2 FB pages to be a sort-of virtual "home" and -- to quote a great line from MAN OF La MANCHA, "In my home there will be courtesy."

I show it to you; please respond in the same manner.
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For those of you who missed director Earl Newton's lovely short film One of Those Faces (based on my short story "Rami Temporalis") it's now on my Facebook page so, please, go, view, enjoy:

http://www.facebook.com/gary.braunbeck

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Getting ready to leave for Mo*Con in the morning or I'd offer a much more detailed review of this film -- that will have to wait until early next week.

I feel oddly fortunate that, in my lifetime (that is, films produced during my lifetime), I have seen maybe -- maybe -- 4 or 5 American films that qualify as genuine, no-holds-barred, subversive social satire: Cold Turkey; The Hospital; Network; Bamboozled ... there might be one or two at most that I've missed there ... but imagine my surprise and joy to discover an new American film that I can happily add to this list: Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America .

Understand: it ain't a perfect film, but as a filmmaker Goldthwait has been threatening to pull a masterpiece on us for several years and this is, in my opinion, it. There is an inherit righteous anger in the film's premise, just as there is an inherent hypocrisy at the core of its story, but Goldthwait ingeniously manages to strike a disquieting narrative balance by exercising a keen sense of irony, and putting the wight of it all on the solid shoulders of Joel Murray (the 4th brother in the Murray clan, and the least-known of the bunch), who offers a brilliantly-shaded performance that is not only compelling in its own right, but deserves to be studied on repeated viewings.

That's about all I have time for right now. I'll write up a full review the first part of next week.

If you can imagine crossing Network with Death Wish and sprinkling in some of the knee-jerk fascism of the early Dirty harry films, then you'll have some idea what this brilliant, flawed, exhilarating, irritating, and challenging film is like.
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