Category Archives: Writing Life

links and asides about writing craft, writer’s lives, creative processes and publishing + discourse about literature

Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

[Audio transcript from an updated/location undisclosed recording / Pasted, uncorrected]

Completely unrelated snapshot

Some of the projects I want to make over the next little while:

I want to write a collection of short stories that is just all wacky times, immediately leading up to or following quitting jobs.

Specifically, there is leaving Star Sand Beach Club very quickly and going to Palau and Yap, going directly to the airport and disappearing rather than going to the beach club (in retrospect, seems like the best job ever but for reasons, it just wasn’t.

There is the ATG drug testing, going to Belize incident.

There is the SS Neptune, leaving-to-be-a-schoolteacher-and-getting-karmically-bitten-in-the ass idea.

There is the leaving Kinko’s with a fax at six in the morning and going off to make a film story. That is a pretty good one.

There is the Wirthlin Group phone survey job that was such a nightmare and getting fired from that for not asking personal enough questions, then crashing the office party two days later and mooning the boss in front of everyone and pulling out while the cops pulled in the other way. That was a really good one.

There is Sharpey’s, but I didn’t quit that one, Well I quit but you know with noticing on good terms planning to go back to university of Utah which in retrospect was a colossal mistake. That one was a nice job. The stories aren’t as funny but they’re nice. Although, there was that good incident of getting my car crashed into and taking the insurance claim – this station is called Joyce Collinwood now – taking the insurance settlement money and parting with it and pulling out the dent with a coat hanger.

There is also the Pizza Beast and Pizza Feast incident, that one is a little harder of a story to tell.

There is also the real estate weekly route that me and brothers and I have, where all the papers went into the side yard to make a giant paper of file of pulpy wetness and that was pretty good.

There was also Bob’s story working for that jackass in White Rock that sits by the sea, going in there and me having to play some bodyguard for him. All we wanted was try to get his paycheck. That one wasn’t too bad although not great either, I suppose.

Then there was the job of delivering fliers for the travel company around the campuses in Utah. That one is not bad.

While at University of Utah, geez, I had three jobs there for awhile. “Cinema in your face”, that was a good one, where I delivered the newspapers and fliers to every bar in Salt Lake City – bars, bookshops, coffee shops, etc.

Then I worked for Bing Christensen Land Surveyor. We’d drive up in the hills in a jeep and stand out there in the middle of nowhere until he radios me and tells me that he got the shot and then I stumble down somewhere else.

Teaching WordPerfect classes while sleeping in my van. Well, not simultaneously. During that period, I lived in my van and I also taught the occasional WordPerfect 4.2 or 5.1 or something for DOS classes. But those jobs sort of faded away more than exploded.

Then of course the other really big one I should tell is the story of the job in Japan with the mushroom farm and leaving that day on Mike’s bike and that I have taken up in the trunk of the K car and running away from that horrible job up in the hills with the old ladies.

So if I could bust out ten stories of a thousand or two thousand words each, where it’s really just talking about quitting a job and going someplace rapidly, I think that would be beauty.

Continue reading Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice

I bought Kevin Kelly’s massive Asia photo book series through a crowd-funding-dealio >> [intro at his website] arrived recently and it’s massive, colossal, dense, fascinating, (literally) heavy series – 3 volumes packed in a slip case, plus I got a signed artist proof )carefully flattening now).

Kevin Kelly promo for Vanishing Asia series

Such an interesting layout as (for example) there is a whole page spread of nothing but doors, and another nothing but spires, and another of nothing but women’s faces and so on. Such attention to detail with maps in flyleaf and all sorts of maximalist nuance.

(I took photos of “unboxing“ but heaven help me if I remember where they all are… Drowning in data, but it’s all so wonderful)

[Update: Found the snapshots, here we go!]

You can still get one for yourself, not *cheap* but very worth it as this is an Asia which is very different (coming from a guy – me – who has rambled alot of these places):

Today my 50-year passion project goes on sale on Amazon. The 1,000-page Vanishing Asia is a bargain at $270 with free shipping. Ask anyone who has seen it. You’ll enjoy the long trip.

https://amzn.to/3sVRMgz (no affiliate code)
Continue reading Item: Kevin Kelly’s (massive) Vanishing Asia photo book + bonus advice

Jack Kerouac 100: memo and mixed media artifact round-up

Jack Kerouac 100 Centenary
Mixed Media Artifact Round-up

Memo, March 11, 2022: *Happy* 100 birthday Jack Kerouac. Died in 1969, just before I was born ~ i’ve stumbled as a lonesome traveler on the road with your books stuffed in dharma bum rucksack for decades with dreams, visions, blues & haiku. Somehow, almost accidentally, lived longer than you *&* I’m (trying to be) a great dad – you still always win at the prose though.

Did you know in those last years that half a century later we would all know and still care, possibly even more? Maybe you did.

Of course here at my “creative life archive“ I have loads of videos, podcast, riffs, snap etc. about old Ti Jean, but rather than posting invisible links for further digging,

I’ll leave it to your exploration (you know how to search). Daveostory dot com and invite you (those *thirthy/fortyish* or under &/or otherwise unaware) to ask me questions as I’m working on some projects to turn “the youth“ onto the erstwhile beat generation.

Im no biographer (goodness knows they are possibly *too many* of those) but I am an enthusiast and dareisay have “lived beat“ much of my life {all that hitchhikin, all that railroadin, all that coming back to… } & have the scars, stories and notebooks as evidence.

Curiosity encouraged and welcomed.

Jack Kerouac 100 Centenary
Mixed Media Artifact Round-up

Artifacts, riffs, essays, interviews, etc – specifically about, or generally close to – Jack Kerouac’s 100th birthday. {Obviously not complete so kindly let me know if something to add}

One preview from Brian Land:

And speaking of love between Beat brothers, after the post-show groove-down ended, my German compadre Thomas Kauertz had lined up a video-chat with fellow Canadian Beat Dave Olson who’s now living in Japan following in the Gary Snyder tradition, and unlike back in the Beat-old-days, we were able to talk live on screen in that real Star Trek world we find ourselves — and let’s never forget how frickin wild this all is.  Within seconds, we’ve got Dave on the screen in our hands, 14 hours into tomorrow on the other side of the world, as we share live the visual buzz back-and-forth in real time.  Beat that!

Dave’s built a crazy directional sign post in his front yard for all wandering Japanese to stop and wonder about.  He only puts cool locations on it, and the next day he sent a picture of his next addition . . .

via Brian Land:Kerouac’s 100th birthday celebration in Lowell

Aside: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60

I keep thinking about this poet, he was a dashing Canadian “award winning” (though I’m not sure what those words mean anymore) poet, roughly my generation, he died, I know nothing about him.

Steven Heighton received the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry for The Waking Comes Late. (Mark Raynes Roberts)

There were some articles on CBC and then he is just gone. As a poet, he reached the “pinnacle of success” which can be expected without going into the *cough cough* pop-culture mainstream and then you “achieve” this, feted with awards which only other poets in that circle know about, you get an article and then you are just dead.

The Kingston, Ont., writer published six books of poetry, debuting in 1989 with the provocatively titled Stalin’s Carnival. It promptly won the Gerald Lampert Award for best first collection and set him up as a new and exciting voice in Canadian poetry.

“Steven Heighton introduced a new basis into Canadian poetry: an approach to traditional formal rigour that was entirely original and personal,” said poet A.F. Moritz when Stalin’s Carnival was reissued in 2013.

“It became the seed of what in the new Canadian poetry is most truly experimental and restlessly seeking.”

CBC Books · Posted: Apr 20, 2022 

I’ve made a note to acquire his books although I’m not sure what that does anymore. I can’t participate in his story (goodness knows, I mostly read books by dead people) but what’s to be expected for the life of a poet size just writing poems and then just dying rather young and undramatic. So we go on.

He does seem rather interesting… yet completely in a world i don’t know.

“Some of the poems in this book are translations of other poets. I call these translations ‘approximations,'” said Heighton in a 2017 interview with CBC Books.

Source: Steven Heighton, Governor General’s Literary Award-winning poet, dead at 60 | CBC Books

Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

Spontaneous riffs and readings from world rambling renegade letter writer with a new master’s thesis, Jason Emde who, as it goes from his home in Gifu also makes a podcast called “writers read their early sh!t”. 

oh Hi, let’s try on hats and listen to records

From the Kura barn studio, Dave meanders about Japan geography and “things not done” and hat selections for Kyoto before reading Jason’s letter to Molly, then rambles on about similarities in geography, points of view, adventures whilst recounting how he came across Jason’s work stretching over a decade or more (and including naval officer Bob), oh then 2 freeverse poems (after Gary Snyder) with Jason’s streams about “usual days” in Gifu and Vernon.

Beat Sushi with Jason Emde at daveostory (art by Ichiro Stanley)

Plus name checks for James Joyce’s Ulysses, Christopher Trottier, Marshall McLuhan, Ken Babbs, Ken Bole, music bits from Bachman Turner Overdrive Live at Budokon, John K Samson (of The Weakerthans etc), hooray for ampersands and em-dashes! Also Amsterdam, London, Vancouver, Bali and most points in between, except Africa, haven’t gone there. 

Continue reading Curiously Punctuated (and Ready) ~ Beat Sushi with Jason Emde

By Post: Jack tribute CDx2 & Bob’s Distortion LPx7

Recently by post:

Jack Kerouac “kicks joy darkness” double CD. All songs/spiels about/dedicated to Jack by various artists. ¥401 delivered.

An assortment of “popular music artists“ with songs inspired by, and about, Jack… Will give you a better rundown later.

And, Bob Mould seven (!) Vinyl box set… You may know him from Hüsker Dü and/or Sugar or his various solo/ Trio/DJ projects – from Minneapolis to San Francisco to Berlin.

Includes one which is a 12 inch disc but runs at 45 RPM and has three songs on one side and blank on the other, plus a booklet of credits, lyrics, annotations and a blurb by J Mascis. Really a fantastically crafted box, that even “wishes“ when you pull one of their records out.

Has been on my list but a bit *too expensive* for this hippie poet until it showed up for ¥5000 ish / $47 usd +/-, delivered.

There is also an earlier career box set as well as various Hüsker Dü compilations but as I say, “one revolution at a time”.

Community & Correspondence ~ Beat Sushi for Dan in Mass & Jack Kerouac 100

Thanks to Dan for the package of friendship, ephemera, artifacts and goodness

Taking a break from chainsaw noise cutting down bamboo, DaveO rambles on about the importance of community and correspondence (yes spelled incorrectly) – especially while in a rough patch with a chronic and complex illness #MECFS – and shares a remarkable package sent by Kerouac enthusiast Dan Bacon in Massachusetts including: scrapboook, artifacts, ephemera and memorabilia from Lowell, Jack Kerouac’s 100th birthday, and other events including the impending Town and the City music festival which inspires playing of lovely blue Tanya Donelly and Parkington Sisters vinyl record. 

Also shows new-ish Cascadia passport and meanders about Gary Snyder in Japan years ago and his recent convos with poet Wang Pang ++ love of maps, letters, stories, and how we’re all part of the erstwhile Beat tradition if we are living intentionally, respecting others’ voices and creating goodness. 

Happy to be your fan, fondly etc. from Giggling Piglet Studio in a historic Kura storehouse in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan.

Book: Jack Kerouac, On the Road, original sc/roll in Japanese 日本語

For cover collectors and other curious folks, here is the “original sc/roll“ edition of OtR in 日本語Japanese.

{As displayed under my “postbox postcard haiku“ painting at Rural Caprine (goat) Farm & Market in Okayama & watched over by Jerry Garcia.}

Books (recent): Kerr, Whiting, Fitz, Gaiman, + usual Kerouac et al

4 pack of old, new, new to me / Japan, America, Jazz

4 books by post from Infinity Book’s ∞, Tokyo. Alex Kerr, author of two of these, it’s going to be an event later this month… Yes, I’m planning on leaving the house in subsequent months. Started into Dogs and Demons and it’s really exposing colossal buzz kill of modern Japan… {I have to be careful about what I process because I’ve chosen to live here forever, and certainly know that everywhere has its faults but have to take honesty and reality in small doses}.

The F Scott Fitzgerald is a beauty little edition as well. And so many of my friends freaking love (&/or in one case are pals with) Neil Gaiman so getting on board. Thanks Kat C for encouragement.

“Spy book” – I am already suspicious (is it strange to get to know somewhat embarrassed to be sharing this?) and Japan from the long timer

2 more books arrived, not my usual type maybe but, i enjoy Robert Whiting’s nostalgic-without-being-sentimental gazes at Japan and want to support his diligence + i like “spy craft” but without cheese and violence so curious if former agent’s nom de plume is logistically accurate and, if it’s about “running as in managing agents in the field” rather than an “agent running rogue in the field” as the former is much more interesting to me. (Am i a snob to say I’m *almost embarrassed* to show this?) No answer required.

Jack, Neal, Allen – all in one mighty tome

Also in the bedside stack: Reading first editions in bed. After all, books are for reading as well as collecting, sharing (and sometimes accidentally using it as a place to set coffee #NotRecommended). Nice to see a book by Jack Kerouac about Neal Cassady (Cody Pomeroy) with forward by Allen Ginsberg – quite a trifecta.

on hand, side of bed for respites and dreams

Notebook poetry scribbles, new keys & records (in the kura studio)

In bed sick a lot these last weeks/months #MECFS, which means I scribbled a lot in my bedside notebooks while in the fog.

Mostly will be filed in my “old man punk” dossier meeting semi-lyrical, probably angsty, likely too revealing bits & scraps of shiny foolish gold… which may eventually become songs or otherwise.

So anyhow, came out to the barn studio today just to bring/move some stuff around and try and get my brain and body moving a wee and set-up a device ideal for transcribing.

(thanks to Neal Cropper for keys & Rebecca & John Bollwitt for Yukon notebook)

And, listened to Television “Marquee Moon” = vinyl perfection

Also got the soundtrack to Wes Anderson’s “the French Dispatch“ along with another record by “top top” a.k.a. Jarvis Cocker which goes along with the movies vibes (i guess), also a poster in the pack (signed).

annnd a non/fictional magazine, seen here with a copy of the inspiration source The New Yorker and another French culture magazine (in English).

Somehow it makes me think of the Borges quote “the original is unfaithful to the translation“.

As it goes, while I’ve collected artifacts about the movie, I still haven’t had a chance to see it here in Japan (Yes I can get it from dodgy sources but waiting for proper Japanese subtitles so I can enjoy with my family).