Category Archives: news

Earning money by writing

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It’s what all aspiring writers want to do, make money with their writing. But as I look at the possibilities it always feels like a lot of work with very little gain. Just this morning, I saw an ad on craigslist advertising for writers they could hire. They wanted a recent example of something I had written, and so I decided to write something just for them. I can write about anything, perhaps not intelligently, but enough to keep the reader’s attention. I do have things to say about a lot of issues, but do I have the discipline to produce x number of words to a strict deadline? I think so. I live in San Francisco and it is funny to me how many writers there are in this city. Whenever I tell someone I am a writer, they almost always say they are a writer as well. I have yet to meet a writer who makes their living writing.

Most of what I write nowadays is poetry. I write poetry because it comes easily to me, and a lot of people seem to like it. It has been a hobby of mine. But I really ought to be writing more, and get paid for doing it. I work as a sales associate at a clothing store, and it barely pays the bills. If I am talented, and have something to contribute, it is foolish to live in poverty if it is unnecessary. There are a lot of people just like me, talented and barely able to keep a roof over their heads.

So what do people want to read? I think they want to read something different from the usual things you find. We need writing that doesn’t nurture our worst instincts. We need writing that inspires people to live meaningful lives, and to find solutions to the many problems which plague us. Take the income disparity problem, for instance. I think the educated need to be educated. They have some crazy ideas. They seem to think that the poor deserve to be poor, and the rich deserve to have what they have. They fail to recognize how rigged the game is. Poverty destroys a vital resource. People who are in poverty become a liability because they are poor. If they could have enough to simply live unassisted by government, they could be in a position to contribute their abilities and talents. Instead they are written off. I have been shocked and appalled by the way poverty stricken people have been treated. They are treated like trash, as if they have no value whatsoever. I think this is distorted thinking.

The rich entrepreneurs need to ask a simple question: Who is going to buy their goods and services? When most of the population is struggling to survive, they are not going to be able to buy expensive meals or expensive products. Here in San Francisco, business relies on tourists. Most of the locals can only afford to live here, if they have some kind of government assistance. Families have moved away to the suburbs, or out of California altogether. A nation without a middle class is in trouble. I think our troubles began when corporations put their own interests ahead of the interests of our country. They destroyed our economy in pursuit of quick profits.

What is the answer to this problem? I am not an economist, but it seems to me that the average person in America needs to take back capitalism. Capitalism that is concentrated around the uppermost one percent is no longer capitalism, it is oligarchy. We need to stop giving our money to large corporations and begin supporting the small businessman. We can create our own economy which does not depend on government or big business to survive. Of course, this means trading convenience for freedom. It is much more awkward to create an alternative economy, than it is to simply consume as we always have. That lifestyle, however, keeps us stuck in poverty, dependent upon either government programs or a part time job at a pitiful wage. The best model would be for all of us to find ways of being entrepreneurial. Business doesn’t need to be the exclusive domain of the rich. It is for all of us.

Being paid to write is an example of this entrepreneurial spirit. If I have the talent and the discipline, I can do something about my circumstances. I don’t have to give up my dignity in order to get my government handout. I can find ways to support myself on my own terms. This little essay is just an introduction. I haven’t worked out all of the details of how this new economy would work, but a lot of people have. We can get into contact with one another and network.

Just a few thoughts 8-17-12

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“You are my sunshine” is playing. The original version. Meanwhile, as I check my email on Yahoo I see a man clutching his chest in pain having a heart attack. This sort of sums up my mood this morning. A nostalgic optimism plays in the back of my graying mind as I fear the worst. I often wonder if I might just collapse from a heart attack. I heard a story yesterday about a colorful character my coworker had known. The man died suddenly from a heart attack on his way home. The way he told it, it almost sounded sweet, kind of sentimental. He just quietly disappeared. One moment here, next moment gone. But death is not sweet nor sentimental, and heart attacks are horrific. I’ve had one, and hope to never have another, although I suspect that is a vain hope. Advertising and stupid, sentimental stories. That is what I am left with this morning. Grumpy once again. I am usually pretty optimistic, or at least optimistic. Not this morning. The crappy mood from last night has carried over into this morning.

Survival. We are so concerned with survival. and yet, we all know that death lies waiting in the wings. I am worried about whether my job will become permanent, I worry about….but I won’t bore you with my worries. I know how much I hate hearing about other people’s worries. It is hard to get excited about anything these days. The election?? Now there is a truly boring subject! I suspect you would rather hear about my worries than read about the stupid election. I think Romney and Ryan will win. Who can resist a little R n’R? Besides, the country is so disappointed in Barack Obama, and tired of the boneheaded way it has governed us. I will vote for him, though, because Romney is so so so much worse!! But I think the obese haters of this country are eager for revenge. They aren’t crazy about Romney, nobody is, but they really want to defeat Obama. All of this just makes me tired and grumpy. The situation overseas doesn’t brighten my spirits either. War is looming on the horizon. Israel and Iran are bound to clash, and we will be obligated to join in. Syria can prove to be the powder keg that ignites such a war, given that Iran and Hezbollah are busy propping up the Assad regime. Too large an Iranian presence in Syria, especially if it starts showing up in Lebanon as well, will provoke an Israel military action to take them out. This, I believe, is more likely than a strike to take out a nuclear reactor. But this is all tedious to think about.

In parting, we still need to have a paradigm change, but I am not as charged up about that as I was before. It is enough for me just to get through these days and generate the necessary energy to engage the customers at my job. Probably come Monday, I will find my optimism again and have more cheerful thoughts. I hope so. I am sure I am not alone in my pessimism, but we all need to regain our strength and help to turn this thing around. Because from my vantage point, it doesn’t look good. The whole world looks like that guy clutching his chest and having a heart attack.

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

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It is clear to me that we are lost

We are mesmerized by events within a false world of our own making

When this fact is fully grasped it can lead to insanity and horror

But if you can allow yourself to trust your true self (without really knowing or understanding the nature of that self)

You can retain your sanity and find your bearings

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

We are more powerful than we can possibly know

This is (of course) both good and bad news

I believe that consciousness is a miracle

I believe we were intended to be like robots

And we took a step outside our programming

When that wasn’t supposed to be possible

We metaprogrammed our programming to a remarkable extent

But there is much more work to be done

We are still like robots in too many ways

The nature of things, reality itself is elastic

We can set the course of the entire universe

If we so wish

It is possible we have enemies in our midst

Hard to know if this is true or just a part of the plan

The plan devised by our creators

For it is abundantly clear that we are being deceived

misdirected and fucked over from day one

But it is wise to not jump to conclusions about who or what is responsible

We need to live in the questions

rather than the answers

If we wish to be free

Miracles can happen

We are the evidence

Today we need to stop playing the same old movie

Because we know how that one ends

And set a new course

It’s up to you and me

We need a miracle (and a miracle can occur!)

This is a sort of poem, sort of sermon, delivered from someplace that isn’t a place, and received in my weak little brain. I thought I should pass it on.

Additionally I am very proud of my Gimp creation here. This is a nice collage from various sources, featuring my muse, Stock Photo Woman. This wonderful collage may get used on the next installment of that series, I haven’t decided, but it works nicely here. So what do you say? Let’s have a miracle every day!!

It’s a brand new day today

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It’s a brand new day today

The sun is shining brightly

I can breath today

I can hold my cat on my lap

As Billie Holliday sings

Tapping at my computer

Happy once again

Can’t account for it

The world is still what it is

Death has been working overtime

And catastrophe just a few steps away

From my door

Still here I sit feeling a deep well of compassion

Beneath the blood-stained Earth

Every day someone falls in love

And new life begins

It’s a brand new day today

Anything can happen

Let’s make it happy

Let’s make it good

Chaos reigns

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Things just build up

Thought by grisly thought

Till it bursts forth and many people die

I don’t know how to deal with this thing

Chaos reigns within the heart of things

Sheer terror in the night

I feel it on the bus every day

I see it in the faces of the crazy motherfuckers

Who rule the streets of hell

I have told myself to just ignore it

Otherwise it could drive you mad

But Chaos is real

Dark Knight, Dark Night

Life and art implode

And real flesh and blood appears

Real death stands stark and naked on the page

Chaos reigns

Don’t know what else to say

How to prevent it? You tell me.

But perhaps we could stop courting our worse tendencies

And try to love those lost souls who hate us

Good advice, but good luck with that one

Red Roses by the Highway

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Drizzle on my glasses

as I try to concentrate

Skies as dangerous as a brand new gun

I swerve to miss the fool beside me

Red Roses by the Highway

Another body returns to dust

Black helicopters circle like crows

Angry faces in the parking lot

I see the suspects shot

Revenge isn’t much

But it’s all they’ve got

As the red roses by the highway

begin to rot