I Humbly Accept Your Very Inspiring Blogger Award

One of the things about being a blogger that makes it so rewarding is stuff like this: being nominated for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. This isn’t the first time I’ve been nominated for this award, and hopefully it won’t be the last.

You can read my previous Very Inspiring Blogger Award entries from December 2012 and March 2013.

This time around, I’ve been nominated by three bloggers: Sam, Tempest Rose, and Barbie Beaton. All three are favorite bloggers of mine, and if you haven’t read them yet, you better. Like, right now. Seriously.

I’m supposed to display the award, which I will. The one that Tempest Rose flew on her entry was pretty awesome, so that’s the flag I’m going to fly on this post. I’m a sucker for a Royal typewriter, after all.

 

 

And now…the rules (and I’m going to bend the rules, so sue me)

  1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you – Done. And thank you again, Sam, Tempest Rose, and Barbie!
  2. List the rules and display the award – This is a little redundant, don’t you think…I’ll shut up now.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself – Sure, why not?
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated – I think 15 is excessive. But I will nominate bloggers who’ve been following me recently. Those of you who are new to Out Where the Buses Don’t Run have been warned.
  5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you – I believe this goes without saying.

 

Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I’m pleased to announce that Out Where the Buses Don’t Run is now being followed by more than 2,000 readers. For someone who had very modest ambitions when I started this blog, the fact that 2,000-plus people have signed on to read this blog gives me great incentive to keep this blog journey going. So I thank you all for reading and contributing. I do mean it when I say you have a lot to do with the success of this blog.
  2. I’ve developed a sudden and possibly debilitating (okay, I’m exaggerating) obsession with collecting vinyl records recently. I’ll blog more about this itch I can’t seem to stop scratching here soon, but I’ve been posting a lot about this on my Instagram feed as well.
  3. The title of this blog refers to a figure of speech that refers to one’s mental state, i.e., “his mind’s out where the buses don’t run.” It’s also the name of one of the best episodes of Miami Vice. Season Two, in fact.
  4. I recently celebrated my 12th wedding anniversary, on August 31st. But my wife and I consider September 16, 1998 to be our real anniversary; that’s the date we first started dating, and we’ve been together ever since.
  5. I was once the subject of a right-wing columnist’s rage in one of his ill-informed and rather ridiculous columns. It was another one of those “War Against Christmas” opinion pieces, and his column railed against “pagan non-believers like Gus Sanchez of Asheville.” Joke was on him, though, because he was responding to my rather sarcastic Letter to the Editor decrying the whole War on Christmas thing, wherein I signed my letter as “Gus Sanchez, Christmastime Pagan.”
  6. In my household, I’m the one who does the laundry. It’s been this way for more than a decade. I have a certain way of washing and folding, and I’m pretty fanatical about how the laundry gets done. So my wife pretty much has ceded control of this household chore over to me. Not that she’s complaining.
  7. Not that you’ve wondered, but I haven’t joined Twitter yet. I can’t decide whether it’s because I don’t need another online distraction, or whether the world doesn’t need me posting stupid shit like, “It’s occurred to me that Toto’s “Africa” is basically a prog-rock version of “Brown Sugar.” #meaningless

 

Alright, Now Go Read These People’s Blogs!

  1. Chief Writing Wolf
  2. Do Not Get Sick in the Sink, Please
  3. Coach Daddy
  4. Running in My Head
  5. Rough Ghosts
  6. On the Road to Inkrichment
  7. Not a Punk Rocker
  8. Americana Injustica
  9. Your Bipolar Girl
  10. Guy Portman’s Blog
  11. Missing Peace

(Okay, so I only nominated 11. Sue me.)

 

 

Day 1: Write Your Own Obituary (July Blog Challenge)

Day 1: Write Your Own Obituary

For the July Blog Challenge, the Day 1 challenge is Write Your Own Obituary. At first, I figured this task would be a bit daunting. Not that I would find this morbid, just daunting. How could I possibly write about myself in future tense? But I quickly got into the swing of things, and I found this to be a fun exercise.

Also, the obit is a sneak peak into another work-in-progress.

I wrote this obit in the style the New York Times would employ. Enjoy!

 

Cult author Gus Sanchez, whose satirical novels often skewered everything from corporations to politics to book publishing trends, died in his sleep after a lengthy battle with ennui and his own self-importance. It was said that much like the Velvet Underground, many people didn’t read Mr. Sanchez’s novels, but those who did read his novels were later inspired to become novelists of their own. In later interviews, Mr. Sanchez was said to be delighted that he was able to inspire a new generation of novelists to embrace satire, even if, as he said in a now-infamous Playboy interview, “a lot of those kids who cribbed my style never bothered to buy my work, since all they ever did was go on Pirate Bay and steal my books. The little thieves. I should sue every one of them for royalties!”

Born in New York City in 1971 to a degenerate gambler and Marxist-quoting heiress, Mr. Sanchez was a bright student who excelled in creative writing and being teased mercilessly. His first published short story, about an exploding hamster, appearing in his elementary school’s yearbook, resulting in the first time a yearbook was ever banned after publication by the New York City Board of Education; the story, entitled, “And the Horse You Rode In On,” contained graphic depictions of playground violence and sadism. The use of childhood games as a metaphor for adult aggression would be a recurring theme in Mr. Sanchez’s later works.

After fumbling through high school and college, and through much of adulthood, making abortive attempts at creative writing, Mr. Sanchez completed his first novel, “The World’s Greatest Superhero,” in 2014. While not a commercial success, it did find a small cult following, enough for him to begin a lifelong love affair with Pappy Van Winkle’s, a rather expensive blend of bourbon.

His most successful novel, “…aka ‘Zombies vs. Dinosaurs!’” was nominated for a National Book Award, but lost out again to yet another PowerPoint presentation from Jennifer Egan. In his novel “…aka “Zombies vs. Dinosaurs!” a failed writer who teaches creative writing at a community college suddenly becomes an overnight sensation when he posts a series of short stories written as a satirical retort to what he felt was the poor fan fiction his students continued to pass off as their own fiction. As he continues to post more and more satirical content, in which he envisages a dystopian future in which humans must fend off zombies while also evading dinosaurs who were accidentally brought into the future through a time portal, a bidding war between publishing giants suddenly erupts. For the failed writer, who once imagined himself as the bastard heir to the likes of Pynchon and Vonnegut, suddenly finding fame by writing unimaginably bad fiction, was bittersweet. So he does what any good writer would have done: he bites the hand that feeds him.

For Mr. Sanchez, the success of “…aka ‘Zombies vs. Dinosaurs!’” was also bittersweet. It brought him the success he craved, but it also brought unwelcome accusations of selling out, of which he dealt with in his usual succinct manner.

“They can all suck the hairs out of my shit-crusted ass!” he bellowed once during a speaking engagement, and then passed out after one too many shots of Pappy Van Winkle.

In his later years, Mr. Sanchez continued to write, as well as lecture throughout various college campuses. His lectures were often times unplanned affairs, degenerating into, depending on his mood, stand-up comedy, full-throated rants on the state of the book publishing industry, impromptu burlesque theatre, or cheery sing-alongs. He also took to the social media platforms of the time to engage in various public spats and feuds with several authors, many of whom he’d befriended on the blog site WordPress; apparently, his insecurities about his own writing led him to lash out at writers whom he’d admired

Mr. Sanchez was survived, and we do mean survived, by his wife Jaime, his daughter Sophia, several grandchildren, and way too many pets. Per his request, the hundreds of thousands of pages of manuscripts left behind were to be burned immediately, never to see the light of day.

 

 

(For another take on the Write Your Own Obituary, check out Jcc Keith’s take; she’s written a dandy of a self-obit.)