playing for keeps

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Archive for the ‘Maximum Rocknroll’ Category

When to split

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on April 11, 2018

I’m working on a new column for Maximum Rocknroll about changing politics from one extreme to another; between one end of the Left or the Right, and between the Left and the Right. I’ve got my examples but I still need to explain the whys and wherefores. I’d intended the piece to cover both examples of individuals changing their politics and of social contexts that enhance or inhibit such political crossovers. Things are running long however and I’m committed to keeping all my columns to 1,500 words or under. So I might have to make this part one.

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Writing Weekend

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 18, 2018

SATURDAY:

We concluded our six week Finishing School group last Wednesday and I’m solo this weekend reworking the long short story/short novelette (~11,150 words). Working title “The Death of David Pickett,” it’s a prequel set in the same universe as my novel 1% Free. I’ve sent it to a couple of readers for first impressions. But I have some revisions already in mind since I declared it complete to wrap up my Finishing School participation. So it’s minimal social media and maximal writing for the next few days at least.

I’ll also be researching editors who do scifi, short fiction, developmental editing, and line editing as the next step. My copyeditor and illustrator will eventually be commissioned for the project, and the whole process will take months before I have a digital “book” I intend to give away for free. The giveaway will be to promote the novel, but it’ll require a coordinated blitz using email and social media, and maybe a multimedia pdf/ebook for maximum effect. I’m thinking July or August.

SUNDAY:

There are a couple of classic writer’s block memes. One is of the writer staring at a blank page or computer screen in frustration while the other is of that same frustrated writer surrounded by piles of crumpled pages while pulling out his or her hair. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block, or from an inability to write when I wanted. For those who do I suggest Pat Schneider’s Amherst Writers and Artists method. It’s a little too hippie-dippie for me, but the non-judgmental workshop style of AWA seems to work for a lot of people.

I had more and more problems writing when I was a raging alcoholic prior to 2010, and for the nine months or so after I stopped drinking when I was clinically depressed. Before I stopped I was also somewhat depressed, and increasingly I skipped writing my monthly columns for Maximum Rocknroll. I didn’t even bother sitting at my computer pretending to write because I had essentially lost interest. In doing CBT-based therapy for my depression after 2010, I promised myself to write my column every month no matter what. And I’ve lived up to that promise.

There’s a big difference between writer’s block and depression. For writer’s block there are appealing writing programs. For depression there are appropriate therapies. The key to any solution is a proper diagnosis of the problem.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, Maximum Rocknroll, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Working on MRR columns

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 14, 2018

Happiness is an open, warm library.

I have my column back from my copyeditor. There are issues with grammar and punctuation which I’m working on now, but nothing problematic about content. Of course, copyeditors are not tasked with editing content, and rightfully so. I already sent the rough to my friend Comrade Motopu for comments and criticisms regarding the column’s subject matter, which is a defense of the ultraleft. He’s good with it. Once I correct my copyeditor’s issues, I’m good to go.

I’ve also got my first line for the next column: “Sometimes a globalist is just a globalist.” It’s a paraphrase of that famous quote attributed, it seems wrongly, to Sigmund Freud that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” With all the talk about globalists being “bad” I thought I’d make it clear that capitalism is a global system run by a capitalist ruling class. It’s open and above board, with its plans openly published in places like the Wall Street Journal. Of course there are conspiracies within capitalism, but capitalism and its ruling class is not itself a conspiracy. Therefore I take issue with conspiracy theorists who contend that a secret cabal of Masons/Illuminati/international bankers/lizard aliens are actually running the world and that globalist is their code for Jews.

Fuck anti-semitism.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, blog, blogger, blogging, Maximum Rocknroll, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breakthrough

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on March 8, 2018

My writing starts with an idea. From there it’s either an excited rollercoaster rush to a satisfying conclusion or a slow slog of trial and error teeth pulling that often goes unfinished. Two months ago I promised a friend I’d do a column in defense of the ultraleft. I’ve been plugging away on the subject ever since, doggedly working on approaches until I had three separate attempts in three separate files. Last night I had a conceptual breakthrough about how to knit all three fragments into a single whole, and this morning I woke up at 6am to write. Now, except for some amplification and clarification, the column is essentially done. Of course, it’s not done yet. There’s lots of rewriting and editing on my part before it goes to my copyeditor, and then to MRR. But it’s finished.

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The writing, the writing!

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 24, 2018

Laptop in open fire on a black background

I’ve sent my next column to Maximum Rocknroll’s columns coordinator. I do try to get them in before deadline so as not to stress my fellow shitworkers who are also under their own production deadlines. Plus, I consider it a sign of being disciplined as a writer.

Since the subject of counterculture is a perennial one for me, I’ve aggregated all my previous column fragments and notes on the theme of counterculture in one place. Then I spent 2 hours this morning writing the start of my next column related to counterculture.

The long short story/prequel to my novel has reached 11,100 words as a rough draft. Time to let it rest. I’ll come back to it in a week, go through it one more time, and then send it off to a handful of people I know and trust to read the manuscript. I need them to point out flaws and problems in the plot, characters, narrative, setting, themes, and ideas before doing yet another rewrite. After that, it’s find an editor versed in science fiction, hire my copyeditor for a short job, and commission yet another cover graphic from my favorite illustrator.

Posted in "What's Left?" by "Lefty" Hooligan, 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, G.A. Matiasz, Maximum Rocknroll | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reinvigorating This Blog

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on February 22, 2018

I’m ensconced in my favorite office-away-from-my-home-office at The Octopus Literary Salon. It’s the day after my Mechanics’ Institute Indie Publishers Working Group where I learned a lot about positive and negative strategies for self marketing/self promotion. First, blogging is still a thing, and so I’m going to get regular about posting to my blog Playing for Keeps. Second, display advertising deals offered by Kirkus Reviews and others are a bad deal and ineffective in generating sales let alone self promotion. Third, I should seriously consider doing my 10,000 word prequel to my novel as a taste of the novel proper and should be giving it away for free. Lots to think about.

I’ve just submitted my next MRR column to my copy editor, but in doing so I’ve depleted the column reserve I keep as a cushion dangerously low. So this weekend, I’m working on columns. The one about defending the left of the Left is going slowly. Instead I’ve got one about comparing countercultures, from beatnik and hippie to punk. I’m only covering those countercultures I have a working knowledge of, but I hope to draw some conclusions that can be universally applied.

Posted in 1% Free, blog, blogger, blogging, counterculture, hippie, life, Maximum Rocknroll, punk, self-publishing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Factsheet Five and Maximum Rocknroll

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 3, 2016

FactsheetFiveCover
“G.A. Matiasz has created a charged, political, and very readable novel in End Time, jump-cutting P.O.V. from character to character, pulling the reader into the plot as each character, quick as a Polaroid, develops into a fascinating persona.”

Factsheet Five

MRR

“This is not a happy vision of ourselves and the world we maintain. But it is an honest and compelling one. End Time. Notes On The Apocalypse is excellent speculative fiction. Full of heart and horror. Get it. Read it.”

Pickles McGurckMaximum Rock’n’Roll

End Time: Notes on the Apocalypse can be purchased for download from Smashwords.

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New Year: Reviving This Blog

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on January 1, 2015

Yes, New Years resolutions! I do them, starting with resolving to revive this blog. Most recently, I stopped in September of last year because I was deep into finishing my second novel. More about that in a future post, for now I’m committing to posting at least once a week to this, my personal blog.

The idea here is not to get more hits or followers, but to write more. My other blog, my political blog, more or less takes care of itself since I made the commitment to write, and then to post, my monthly Maximum Rocknroll columns there. And my novel rewrite, which is going on its second year, is close to being done. The manuscript will go to the editor I hired for a final line-by-line edit at the end of January. So that leaves this blog, and my writing in general.

I write for personal pleasure, therapy, and expression. I’ve written since I was 12 years old and, except for a period of heavy-duty depression, I continue to write as often as I can. I hope to write until I die.
writing

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, life, Maximum Rocknroll, politics, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

DIY

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on January 3, 2014

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

Maximum Rocknroll, the magazine I write for, used to publish “Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life” as a kind of Whole Earth Punk Rock Booking Catalog. Then it went online, then it died, and now its back. I can’t vouch for its quality, but here it is.
BYOB
Also, a local Bay Area booking resource is now in play, called “Burn Down The Bay.” Again, I can’t vouch for its quality, but it is available online. Enjoy.
bdthebay

Posted in Book Your Own Fuckin' Life, Burn Down The Bay, DIY, Do It Yourself, life, Maximum Rocknroll, punk, punk rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Procrastination and motivation

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on January 2, 2014

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.

I am fond of procrastination, not because I never get anything done, but because I use the last minute to motivate myself to get things done. I have a keen sense of how long and how much effort a task requires to accomplish, so that I can fuck off until the last minute, enjoying my free time, but always knowing exactly when to get down to work. I rarely, if ever, fail to get things done within the allotted time, even at the last minute.
GAM_garden2
Today, I did something simple. I cleaned up the dead tomato plant and removed the anti-raccoon caging from around the barrel planters in our backyard. A quick and easy and long overdue task.
GAM_garden1
I do like keeping up our backyard, not nearly as much as I enjoy harvesting heirloom tomatoes or outwitting the neighborhood raccoons, but because its a serene, secluded, meditative spot in which to hang out. Below is a circle of iron birds we array on the lower deck, a bit of lawn art that has fooled local birds into descending for a gander.
GAM_garden3
My habitual procrastination has transformed into unalloyed motivation over the past year or so, in part thanks to the influence of health problems that have given me a taste of my own mortality. I’ve started rewriting my 15+ year old novel, I’ve restarted my two blogs, and I’m churning out my Maximum Rocknroll columns as quickly as I can manage. Procrastination is an excellent motivation, but I’m really appreciating motivation for its own sake. As Isaac Asimov once said when asked what he would do if he only had six months to live: “Type faster.”
615

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