So I put together another book. You can find it here, if you’re interested. I’ll be honest with you, though: it’s only a collection of short stories that I’ve already posted here. I changed a little bit—tightened things up on a couple of stories and invested some more time into proofreading—but other than that, it’s just some of the stuff you can already see around here for free.
I had hoped to get a couple of brand-new short stories written and included, so that you’d have a reason to buy the book, but I didn’t have time. See, it’s kind of becoming tradition for me to put a book out each year so I’ll have something to get my friend/father figure Rob for Christmas. He’s the kind of guy that if he wants something, he’ll buy it. So if you see something you think he’d like, he more than likely either has it already, or he probably wouldn’t like it. I’m not saying it’s impossible to find him something, I’m just saying that it’s easier to collect a bunch of your previously written short stories, throw them into a book, and give him that.
Maybe you’re wondering why I’m just now getting around to telling you about this. After all, if I had this thing compiled before Christmas, why didn’t I let you all know and try to cash in during the holiday season? The thing is, last year I threw together a Portly Boy book, thinking it’d be a perfect gift for Rob. He was quite the fan for a while, going so far as to print out the pages so that he wouldn’t have to sit at his computer to read. So I figured I’d put the book together and then have a gift for him that he couldn’t possibly have.
I made the mistake of writing about it here before giving him his copy, though, and as it worked out, he had already ordered himself several copies, and received them before I got the copy I had ordered for him. So this year, I made sure to keep it under wraps, intending to give him his book for Christmas and then write to let you all know about it as soon as I got back.
Here’s the thing though—his copy got hung up in Dallas, and just made it to Canadian (where Rob lives) yesterday. I ordered it a week and a half before Christmas, it just now ended up where it was supposed to. What’s odd, though, is that I ordered the first version, then realized a mistake in the setup, changed it, and ordered a second version that I could use to proof. I figured that this way, Rob would end up with a totally unique gift—even if he showed support by ordering a book or two (he bought twenty of the Portly Boy books, supporting my ass off), his present would still be the only one of its kind. Special, right?
Anyway, I already got the copy of the second version, and my princess went through and proof-read it for me. At first, this seemed like an incredibly grand idea—I generally read through my stuff three or four times before posting it, and I still end up with several typographical errors and accidental word omissions. I think it’s because I know what’s supposed to be there, so even if a word is spelled wrong, or if it’s missing, my brain just tells me things are fine. I figured my princess would be able to catch mistakes much easier.
There was a problem I didn’t factor in, though: she doesn’t read the crazy shit I write on this site. She doesn’t like the stories I tell—she’s more of a happy-ending type girl. I’m in the shower, and I hear a knock on the door. “Yeah?”
She opens the door. “Is there something you want to tell me?”
“All these stories, they’re about people being miserable, or about them cheating.”
What followed was a very lengthy conversation about how what I write is fiction, about how it’s rarely anchored to the real world at all, and about there was no need for her to forcibly remove my testicles due to marital strayings.
In an email to my sister the next day, I mentioned this. She responded, “I can't seem to separate you from your stories either, so perhaps you should just take the book away now, for her own good. (And yours, 'cause eventually she'll probably beat on you a little bit if there's a bunch of cheating stories.)”
And of course, there’s always cheating. If you’re a pretty constant reader, you might have noticed that last year, almost all of my short stories dealt with failed or failing relationships. I was working on this book, see? And it was going to be called Failed Relationships. Not really the kind of thing you want your wife to read through, if she doesn’t have much experience reading your stuff.
She made it through, though, and after getting over the fact that almost all my characters are real bastards, she even enjoyed some of the stories.
Anyway, that’s the news about that. It’s called Not Quite Hate, it’s 218 pages, 15 stories, and it’ll run you 12 bucks, plus shipping.