A Writer’s Notes From the Road

Greetings from Ft. Lauderdale!

This would explain the lack of posts from me. My humblest apologies if you’ve been awaiting my latest blog with breathless anticipation…HAH!

So, Gus, we’re 2 weeks away from NaNoWriMo Time. Why are you wasting such precious time with such trivial nonsense like Fun in the Sun?

Why not, I say. Actually, my wife’s here on business, so I figure why not take advantage of some nice weather and some well-deserved alone time to outline and think about what you want to do with your next draft of your novel. So far, so good. The weather’s been very cooperative, not too blazing hot, nor too humid. All I need are some mojitos and an old Royal typewriter, and I’ll tap into my inner Hemingway. And stop eating and drinking like an asshole with an unlimited expense account.

(Actually, that’s not true, the thing about drinking like an asshole. For some reason, I haven’t been drinking much lately, and vacation-like getaways and alcohol seem to go together, for me, like “drunk” and “disorderly.” Yet Monday was the first time in more than a month that I’d had a drink. I sometimes go through these phases of subconscious sobriety; it’s not like I was even trying not to drink.

I should have done a better job earlier today, while lounging poolside; 3 mojitos later, and I’m barking loudly, “$50 for 3 fucking mojitos?” And they weren’t even that good…)

Right now, as I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the balcony of the hotel we’re staying at, overlooking the beach. It’s a bit overcast, and the wind’s whipping gently. There’s a cup of coffee (Lavazza brand Italian coffee, which is shockingly watery). Over the last 4 days, I’ve added a few more plot points and “What Ifs?”

As I’m sitting out here, the importance of having a space where to write from is becoming more and more apparent to me. I like sitting out here, and I’m lamenting the fact that I don’t have something like a porch where I can sit out and let things just happen. That space is something that will become more and more important to me. For now, this balcony will have to do.

Of course, there’s plenty of fun things to do in the sun, such as a nice 7-mile run on the boardwalk the other morning (which I did), or take a dip in the ocean (which I haven’t). But what’s been the most memorable experience for me so far? An accidental trip to a porn bookstore.

LET ME EXPLAIN!

I was looking for a bookstore around here. Yelp! informs me there’s a Barnes & Noble about 10 miles from here, and judging from the reviews, it’s a pretty dire B&N, so I pass. Yelp! recommends Bob’s Books and News, off Andrews Avenue. Several five-star reviews, and it’s an independently owned bookstore, so I figure I gotta support indie bookstores.  I’d finished re-reading American Gods, my dog-eared copy having gotten a strong workout, and I’d finished it much sooner than I thought I would; I was planning on finishing it on the plane flight home this coming Saturday night. I needed something new to read. Off to Bob’s I went.

Looks can be a bit deceptive, of course, but I made nothing out of the fact that the bookstore was smack-dab in the middle of a sketchy part of town, right next to two (2!) bail bond offices. I mean, what’s so strange about that? Nor was it strange that the windows to the bookstore were pretty dark. I open the door, and I’m greeted by…porn. Shrink-wrapped, fetish porn of all kinds. Oh, shit, what did I get myself into?

“So, what did you do today, Gus?” my wife would ask.

“Oh, I spent a couple of hours browsing porn at a porn shop.”

“That’s nice. I’m calling a divorce lawyer in the morning. Kiss your ass goodbye, asshole.”

Yeah, that would have gone just as well as I’d thought.

Apparently, I hadn’t bothered reading all the reviews on Yelp! more thoroughly. Bob’s IS a bookstore, albeit one that also sells fetish porn literature (and not the kind of vanilla Fifty Shades of Grey kind, but the kind of S&M and bondage type that requires you to come up with a safe word BEFORE you even read it), plus “regular” literature, like best-sellers, “banned” books – their collection of Satanist literature is quite impressive, if you’re inclined to lean towards that stuff, or if your name is Marilyn Manson – magazines from around the world, and, quite interestingly, a massive collection of handgun and self-defense literature, catered to the paranoid militia member in all of us. Oh, and if you’re looking for a Clifton manual for your ’74 Dodge Rambler, Bob’s will likely have it.

Yeah, I actually spent an hour in here, browsing the bookshelves. Sure, I peeked at the porn section, and I do mean “peeked,” because there were some creepy-looking old geezers there looking all glass-eyed at some BBW-themed porn. Let me clarify: the material was fine, the “gentlemen” looking at it weren’t. And I did come away with a few books, none of which were written under a pseudonym and involved a sexual submissive. At least none that I’m aware of.

(If you really must know, I did purchase the following:

Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson

Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by HP Lovecraft

And I did tell my wife about my “accidental” trip to a porn bookstore…she wasn’t amused at first, until I showed her the Yelp! page for Bob’s. Then sh thought it was funny…somewhat.)

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6 thoughts on “A Writer’s Notes From the Road

  1. If it wasn’t for ridiculous accidents, life wouldn’t be as exciting and you wouldn’t have had a hilarious blog entry. Thanks for sharing! I hope to compile an interesting travelogue entry from the notes I’ve been taking on my Philly trip… Haven’t found any porn shops yet though.

  2. I’ve always wanted to write about the people who work at porn shops… seriously… at what point in your life do you decide to fill out a job application for the clerk position at “The Greedy Beaver” or other such establishment? I must tell that story…

  3. For the amount of time I used to spend at strip clubs in my younger and dumber days – last week, to be exact… – one regret I have is not actually talking more to the countless strippers that slowly robbed me of my hard-earned money, and learning more about what motivated them to strip in front of losers like me.

    I did meet one woman at a strip club one night who told me she was in her second year of law school at NYU. I don’t know if she ever became a lawyer, but good grief, that girl had some curves on her.

    Anyway…get to telling that story.

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