playing for keeps

the blog of g.a. matiasz

  • MY BOOKS FOR SALE:

  • Free 1% FREE excerpts

  • 1% FREE on sale now


    Copies of 1% FREE can be purchased from Barnes & Noble POD, and the ebook can be had at Barnes & Noble ebook. The physical book is $18.95 and the ebook is $4.99.

  • END TIME reprinted


    Downloads of END TIME can be purchased from SMASHWORDS.
  • Copyright

    The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 2007 - 2016 by G. A. Matiasz.
  • My Pages

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Category Cloud

  • Categories

  • Tag Cloud

  • My Social

  • Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘Maximum Rocknroll’

Writing notes

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on July 19, 2018

I purchased an ISBN for my soon-to-be-self-published free book “The Death of David Pickett.” In theory, I should have a different ISBN for every format I intend to publish TDODP in, but I can’t afford that. So instead I’ll use it for the pdf ebook version which will be the most widely distributed. In setting up and registering the ISBN, there’s a place to add a description of the TDODP project. It’s a perfect opportunity to do a little self-promotion. I just finished the description this morning.

I’m also starting a new column today. I’ve been taken aback that my wife, my friends, everybody I know is pissed that I’m not more pissed off about Trump. Just yesterday I got into an argument with an individual who is obsessed with how evil he thinks Trump is and who was livid that I didn’t share his personalized outrage. My response, in column form, will be about how in my lifetime I’ve seen this nation’s relatively liberal politics go steadily rightward and downhill to the present.

Advertisements

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

Conspiracy vs reality

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

I finished another column for MRR. I start off debunking conspiracy theories that all ultimately circle back around to blaming “the Jews” for the world’s problems as well as a secret plot for global domination. I go on to call out the real rulers of the planet–capitalists and capitalism–which is neither a secret nor a conspiracy. Now I’m back up to where I like to be, with 2 timely and 2 not-so-pressing columns in reserve, and 20 days ’til the end of the month. Enough time to write yet another column, if I decide to do so.

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

Meditations on death

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 5, 2018

I’ve written another MRR column. This one is about why I light candles for the dead, how I came to write “The Death of David Pickett,” dead rock and rollers, and meditating on death to feel more alive. Many rewrites will follow before I submit the text to my copyeditor by the middle of the month, and the manuscript to MRR’s columns coordinator at the end of the month. The column will be printed in July and on newsstands by August.

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

A writer is someone who cannot not write

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on May 12, 2018


To be is to do.—Albert Camus
To do is to be.—Jean-Paul Sartre
Do be do be do.—Frank Sinatra

So goes a version of humorous graffiti mentioned by Kurt Vonnegut in “Deadeye Dick.” As a writer, I have my own clever exchange of sayings:

A writer is someone who writes.—Pat Schneider
A writer is someone who cannot not write.—Sol Stein

Pat Schneider’s declaration is an affirmation of identity: “I am a writer.” Sol Stein’s aphorism is an affirmation of the need to write. I’ve rarely needed to affirm my identity as a writer, I’ve always just written.

I recently finished a major rewrite of a longish short story. Now I’m turning to work on my next MRR column. Last month I wrote about individual political changes, crossovers, and conversions on the Right and Left. Now I’m tackling the rise of and interplay between the New Left and the New Right using 1968 as a linchpin year. I started yesterday and, as usual, I’m attempting to write the history of the world in 1,500 words. In my remaining 500 words, I need to summarize how the New Right—in the form of the European New Right—seduced the New Left—in the form of the academic journal Telos. I have Tamir Bar-on’s brilliant book “Where Have All The Fascists Gone?” to guide me. Walk in the park, right?

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

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.

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, Maximum Rocknroll | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in blog, blogger, blogging, Maximum Rocknroll, MRR | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »