Thursday, January 7, 2010

Kreativ Blawgging

Just yesterday, Neil Fulwood, of The Agitation of the Mind nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger Award, which, I must say, is awfully decent of him. This came totally out of the blue, and in addition to being flattering, it also gives me an excuse to put off my 100 Favorite Film list for another day or so (I'm not done, so that's good). There are, you see, stipulations for accepting this reward. Please to see below:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

(Thank you, Neil!)

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.


4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 Kreative Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Okay, seven things about myself that people might find interesting. Eek. Well, okay.

1. I have written two novels. Neither has been published, and neither has even been subitted to a publisher. One of them, a horror novel I wrote in high school, does not deserve such treatment, but the other one is not a total failure. It's a Western called Wake the Chinaman (the title is adapted from a line in Rio Bravo), and the basic plot -- bandits rob a bank, shed blood, are pursued by a posse -- could not be more basic, but as I went along I found myself branching out into subplots and character histories that I'd never intended when I began, and some of that stuff does, I believe, give the book some life. I even experimented a little, not with language, but with digressive chapters, such as one that advances character (and maybe even plot, though I can't remember) by following a green-glass bottle that is passed from one character to another. No, the chapter is not told from the bottle's point of view, but it serves as the connective tissue. Also, I'm very proud of the climactic shoot-out. However, the good stuff, or the stuff I think is good, doesn't really get going until the second half of a manuscript that is over 900 pages long. Yeah, I know, but shut up. The point is, re-writing the thing in order to try and get it up to snuff is a task so daunting that I don't even like thinking about it.

2. Once, I woke up from an Ambien-induced sleep, and experienced genuine madness. This is true. I was in the hospital for something that required painkillers, and those painkillers were, quite simply, wonderful. But after a while, I realized I was requesting painkillers that I didn't actually need, so I thought it wise to stop that. The night I did stop, I couldn't sleep, so the next night they gave me an Ambien, and in the middle of the night I woke up, because the TV was on, a nurse had just entered, and left, the room, and so on. So what I did was, I got out of bed, and, in my mind, I was doing...something. Something that I believed would benefit the Carter Family, which in my mind was a singing group. And which is, indeed, a singing group, but I remember differentiating, in my psychotic state, between that one, and the one I was trying to help. And the thing I was doing to help them was remove the IV from my arm. It was actually right in my wrist, in that big vein under your palm, and I took that sucker right out, all the while wearing a big, fogged-out grin (or so I remember). Shortly afterwards, I snapped out of it, and noticed blood on the floor and on my hands, and I stood there dumbstruck, thinking, "I'm crazy. I'm a crazy person." Thankfully, and through dumb luck, I did a pretty clean job of removing the IV, and all the nurses had to do was put me back to bed and tell me to chill the fuck out. But I still remember walking out of my room, to the nurses' station, holding my hands out in front of me, and saying something to the effect of "I don't know what just happened." I don't think I knew what caused this until the next morning.

3. I once witnessed a near-fatal drowning. My wife and I were at the beach with some friends, and one of those friends and myself were standing near the edge of the surf, looking out on the ocean. It was a bit of a windy, turbulent day, and there weren't many swimmers out, but there was a cluster of them about fifty to a hundred yards in front of us. Both my friend and I heard some shouting over the sound of the waves, and it pricked in my mind early that they might be calling for help, but I couldn't tell. At about the same time, my friend, some other on-lookers who were near us, and myself all clued in that that was what they were calling for, and the other on-lookers already had their phones out. The short version is that this young girl started to drown, a group of guys went out to save her, and then they got caught in the same riptide. The emergency folks who got there were facing the same riptide, but fortunately a couple of surfers happened by, and the cops told them to get out there with their boards, which both surfers instantly did, and they, along with some EMTs, helped haul everybody back in. The young girl was still unconscious when I, and my group, finally left, but we did see on the news that, eventually, she was okay.

4. I once witnessed a near-fatal car accident. My wife and I were travelling home from visiting relatives, and I had to use the little girls' room, so she was pulling off the freeway, onto an exit, so I could hit the loo. On the off-ramp, my wife spotted a car coming up fast in her rearview mirror, and just as I was about to say, "Oh, he's probably...", this car came flashing past us at, literally, about 100 mph. Up ahead, we saw him go through the guard rail, at the turn, like it was cooked spaghetti. Then we saw him hit a tree on the other side, and the car hopped up in the air, flipped over, and came down on its roof. We saw stuff flying from the car that I was convinced were corpses, until we stopped and saw that it was just clothes -- there were packed suitcases in the trunk. The driver, meanwhile, eyes as big as saucepans, was dragging himself from the wreckage. His shirt was torn, there was a cut on his chest, and he was clearly out of it mentally -- either from shock, booze, drugs, or some combination of the three -- but otherwise he appeared to be fine (the car was dead as shit, though). As with the drowning, other people had pulled out their phones and were dealing with the situation before we got there, so my wife and I just went on our way. Those packed bags and wild eyes have always made me wonder where that guy was going, if he was running from someone. It wasn't the cops, because they would have been right behind him. So who?

5. I have a phobia about driving, and therefore I do not drive.

6. My wife and I were married in Vegas, on the observation deck of the Stratosphere. Not that interesting, maybe, but we liked it.

7. I once met Harlan Ellison at a book-signing. He was a hero of mine at the time, and he was as gruff and funny as you might expect, although in retrospect I wonder if some of that gruffness wasn't for show. His audience expected it of him, so he had to do it. Some of it seemed forced. But he was very nice to me overall. One of the books I brought for him to sign was an original Ace Double science fiction book, with Ellison's novel The Man with Nine Lives on one side, and his collection of stories, A Touch of Infinity on the other. At the beginning of the day, Ellison said he would not personalize any of his signings, but when he opened that book he saw that the inside cover had been stamped with the name "Neil Olinoff". That was the previous owner, and Ellison asked if it was me. I said no, my name was Bill, so he crossed out "Neil" and wrote "Bill". The "Olinoff" stayed, however.

Now, to nominate. The following seven bloggers completely and honorably represent, and define, the word "kreativ". Each of these bloggers (and more, but I could only choose seven!) writes with great skill, wit, intelligence, and originality about films, and it's a pleasure to read each of them.
1. Greg at Cinema Styles
2. Dennis at SLIFR
3. Glenn at Some Came Running
4. Marilyn and Rod at Ferdy on Films
7. Arbogast at Arbogast on Film
So that's it. When I get a chance, I will leave comments at each of those blogs informing them of their newfound prestige. Meanwhile, thanks again, Neil!
UPDATE: I'm cheating, and adding an 8th kreativ blawg. This one is called The Thriller in a Manila, and it is the only bad writing blog I'm aware of. Hosted by Cliff Knoetz (known to some as the mysterious "Noumenon"), it's a very unusual site.


Arbogast said...

I have written two novels. Neither has been published, and neither has even been subitted to a publisher.

"Subitted"? Learn to spell, loser, and maybe the publishing world will take notice, haw haw.

And hey, thanks for the nomination. Awfully sweet of you - so much so that I feel somewhat guilty about humiliating you publicly. But one must do what one does best or the country's lost.

Greg said...

Thanx 4 the kreativ award for ritin' so fine. I especially appreciate you doing this knowing I'm not going to follow almost any of those rules. Seriously, I thought for a second, "Aw, he won't nominate me because I always throw the rules out the window but I WANT to be nominated, I just don't want to follow the rules," and looky here, you did nominate me. Thanks.

And I usually help the Carter Family by cutting my arms with razors. I did meet them once and they thanked me. "Cutting yourself really does help us get through the hard times Greg." Made it all worthwhile.

Arbogast said...

PS. I am totally stealing the line "Wake the Chinaman" as a euphemism for intimate moments with my wife. Actually, "intimate moments" is a euphemism, too, as Mrs. Arbogast kind of likes it rough-n-tumble.

bill r. said...

Arbogast - "Subitted"? Learn to spell, loser, and maybe the publishing world will take notice, haw haw...

How can they take notice if I don't subit anything to them? Think about THAT one for a while, Jack! Also, you're welcome, dick-ass.

Greg - And I usually help the Carter Family by cutting my arms with razors. I did meet them once and they thanked me. "Cutting yourself really does help us get through the hard times Greg." Made it all worthwhile...

Yeah, but that's the OTHER Carter Family. My Carter Family has never tried to contact me at all. To thank me, to ask how I was doing, to instruct me to plant the bombs, nothing. Bunch of fuckers.

Greg said...

Yeah, I tried to help them once by yanking a catheter out and peeing all over my hospital room. Did I get any thanks? Nothing. Nada. Last time I ever tried to help them. God, what a bunch of dick-whistles!

bill r. said...

Arbo, my wife and I call it "cleaning behind the refrigerator". Please, don't ask.

Ed Howard said...

When you win the Kreativ Blogging award, do you have to thank the Akademy?

Seriously, thanks for the nomination, Bill, I really appreciate it! Not sure when I'll get around to following up on this considering how much other stuff I have on my plate right now, but I'm really honored to be in this fine company, and to have been selected by such a great writer.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Me too, Bill.

And from just the way you wrote the drowning and the crash stories here, I'd be willing to take on Wake the Chinaman, all 900 pages. Thanks for including me amongst this prestigious and talented bunch of folks.

And the Stratosphere, huh? I like it. Did you go on the rides afterward? Getting on the one that shoots you straight up in the air over the vast expanse of Las Vegas would be a hell of a way to express one's commitment to one's new bride.

bill r. said...

Ed - Take your time. And since I didn't thank either the Akademy OR Jesus Khrist, I think you can skip it.

Dennis - And from just the way you wrote the drowning and the crash stories here, I'd be willing to take on Wake the Chinaman, all 900 pages

Don't write checks your ass can't cash! If I ever make it out California way, I might hall the box that contains the book and call you on this.

Also, no, I didn't go on the rides. I hate heights even more than I hate driving. Just looking at those rides terrifies me.

Okay, yeah, I'm a giant pussy! What of it!?

Unknown said...

Bill, I'm proud to be the eighth wheel on your juggernaut of victory.

Tony Dayoub said...

Thancs for the cudos (someone's gotta stikc that "c" somewhere), Bill.

And thancs for narrowing my pool of prospektive nominees down to nothing, fukcer!

Roderick Heath said...

I thank you for this award nomination which totally has nothing to do with my reading and praising one of Bill's books, and now that he's spilt the beans to the whole world about his literary prowess I will now accuse him of hiding his light under a bushel.

bill r. said...

Tony - You're welkome. Also, very nice inversion of the "c" and "k" in "fucker". You clever goose!

Rod - It was a novella that you read, not a whole book! I question whether anyone would make it all the way through my Western. And no, that's not why I bestowed this on you, anyway (which I know you know). I did it because I feel guilty for being angry with you for writing a better WICKER MAN review than I ever could.

Roderick Heath said...

A novel is just a novella that hasn't been edited yet.

You know I almost didn't write that The Wicker Man piece because I worried it might have been over-covered. Then I remembered one can never write too much about '70s Horror to suit the internet.