The drawings are done using a simple android pre-installed phone application. The number of colors is limited and the colors can’t be mixed: red, yellow, orange, blue, green, purple, black, and grey. White can be achieved by leaving an area blank or using the eraser. Some variation in color and shading can be achieved using the gallery editor. The cartoons are drawn using fingers and thumbs and a disc stylus touch screen device pen. The font sizes are limited to four dots, each about twice as big as another beginning with a small dot like a period. See more drawings and cartoons on the Comics page. Also on Instagram.
You awake to find yourself in a room the size of a postcard. There is a photo of a pier, people out walking, a boardwalk, a sunny day, blue sky. A bit of a breeze apparently, the women holding their hats, summer dresses flapping, legs akimbo like listing masts, offshore sand flurries. In the distance, atop a shoreline cliff, an ivory tower climbs into the sky like a long slender neck. At the top of the tower, a balcony necklace affords rich views of the ocean, a woman in a blue dress at the wrought iron rail studying a sailboat, a small dinghy, its jib open and full of the onshore breeze, coming in.
Fear of falling. Pub of the gods. Bubblebath.
Most of the gods are afraid of windows, because they fear falling. I met up with the god Tchotchke at Pog’s Place. Vetteboy said he wanted to transfer some risk, and when I asked him how much, he said he wanted it all back. The Pub of the Gods is where we conduct our defenestrations in the Seattle area. There is no coming back from your deicide, I told Tchotchke. He said he understood. I gave him his bar of soap, the traditional send off gift (gods may bathe, but they don’t wash). He wanted out. He said he was looking forward to being fully human. The corporate gig as keeper of the thingamajigs had not been a good fit. I asked him what his plans were and he shrugged his shoulders and he said simply he did not know. He was going to spend his bar of soap on a long bubblebath. A quietness had settled over his face. His shoulders lowered, his chest fell, and I could see he was breathing differently, from his stomach. He handed me the keys to his candy apple red Corvette. We finished our pints and got up and walked to the window, and I pushed him out, and he fell into the Sound.
“Defenestration of the god Tchotchke”
is episode 10 of
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads
Vetteboy. The god Tchotchke. Big Pharma sales. In the evening when the sun goes down.
I might have known Vetteboy was a god by the way he could not hold his temper. I spent the day at the Seattle Library researching contemporary minor gods. You have to know where to look. And he was a corporate god. That also made sense and helped explain the candy apple red Corvette with the id vanity plate. Tchotchke was involved with Big Pharma sales. But he hated his job, so there was still some hope. What did he do, exactly? He was a sales cadet specializing in promotional payoffs. He was, quiet literally, a little head. He designed, had made, and distributed gewgaws to the winners of global corporate sales campaigns. He was in charge of baubles. He was a whim-wham man. It wasn’t a bad job, though, really. He got to travel and enjoy exotic settings, even if artificially created and catered for the rich tourist and corporate convention goer, and he had an impressive expense account. It seemed though that Tchotchke had always wanted something else. He thought as a god he deserved something better than keeper of the knickknacks. He did not understand the nature of godhood. He did not get along well with humans. He didn’t get the symbiotic relationship. As Sylvie put it, what good is a god who can’t sit still in the evening and watch the sun go down?
is episode 9 of
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads
Choice. Happy and peaceful. Love. Blurb.
We can’t choose to be happy, but we can choose to be peaceful. We can’t choose to be loved, but we can choose to love. We don’t need sacrifice, but we are able to choose altruistic behavior. Life is not a blurb. Just so, the gods are not mobsters, nor do they emerge ever as a rabble or a swarm. Gods sometimes work together, as Sylvie and I do, but most remain independent, and of these, many are often rapscallions, attempting to escape the grace of the father or mother. Grace is not always a party calling, grace being what one needs, not necessarily what one wants. We can’t choose to be gods, and we can’t ignore them if we don’t know where they hang out. We enjoy the gods at our own risk.
“Ocean Crag” pictured in stages. Oil on canvas, 16″ by 20.”
“Loomings” is the title given this now completed painting, shown below in various work in progress stages. The piece is 24″ x 36″ x 1&1/2″. For the first time, I used Lukas Berlin “Water Mixable Oil Colour” paints. I did not mix in any water. Though I have wall-hung the painting, the paint is still wet, but not dripping wet. It will take up to a year to completely dry, as discussed in the info. pdf linked above. I like the paints. Will experiment with mixing with water next time. The canvas stretched on wood frame was purchased used for $5 at a garage sale last summer. The black showing through, mostly around the edges, is from the original painting, which I mostly covered over, beginning with a squeegee wash of titanium white acrylic. “Loomings” is the title of Chapter One of Melville’s “Moby Dick.” An alternate title I had considered was “Sailboat with Umbrella.” But that seemed too specific. One wishes not to disambiguate one’s paintings no more than one’s poetry.
The first review of “end tatters” is in, received via cell phone text:
“Finished End Tatters; especially liked About Confusion, Bells, and To Surf, which I hope to do this morning. Milk made me very sad. Waiting for your next novel. Alma and Penina my favorites.”
To drive down, stop, and check out surf spots at the end of a beach town road is part of surfing. A second text from our first reviewer came in that evening, with a couple of pics and a note that he had made it into some waves:
Meantime, still not entirely satisfied with the “end tatters” cover (having already made several changes pre-publication), I made a post-publication cover revision. Copies sold with the blue back cover are now considered to have some increased value for collectors. New cover photos below:
Original back cover shown below:
Go here to order your copy. Write a review and send it to thecomingofthetoads @ gmail dot com, and I’ll post it to the blog.
“end tatters” is now available in paperback. I don’t intend an e-book version. As indicated on the copyright page, “Some of the End Tatters pieces previously appeared, some in different form, in these publications: Berfrois; Berfrois: the Book; Queen Mob’s Teahouse; Sultan’s Seal: The Hotel Cosmopolitan; One Imperative; and The Coming of the Toads.” The book does offer some new pieces also, though, so it collects previously published and new pieces. My primary purpose in publishing the book in paperback form is that I wanted to save, on paper, a number of pieces a bit scattered on-line, while I had some new pieces I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with. Besides that, I enjoy making books, reading books, collecting books.
Distributing and selling indie books is a different matter. Even giving them away does not at all ensure they’ll be read. Nevertheless, I’ll be giving away a few copies of “end tatters” to innocent bystanders. So be on the lookout.
With “end tatters,” I’ve attempted a kind of imprint, the somewhat clumsy, perhaps, “a Joe Linker book.” Below, we see the “CONTENTS” page:
This and That…25
Taking the Call…27
In One’s Dotage…45
And a bit more info. for this post, with some pics:
- Paperback: 105 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (January 8, 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1654268291
- ISBN-13: 978-1654268299
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
“Do you want this book published,’ he asked, ‘or just printed?” Said Angus Cameron (editor at Little, Brown) to J. D. Salinger upon learning Salinger wanted no advertising of his forthcoming “The Catcher in the Rye.” Particularly, and peculiarly, from the publisher’s viewpoint, J. D. wanted no author’s photo on the cover (Ian Hamilton, In Search of J. D. Salinger, 1988, Random House, p. 115).
How to launch a book? Advance review copies. Interviews. Author’s book tour. Live readings. Ads in trade journals. Book store displays. Billboards on Sunset Boulevard and in Times Square.
Like Salinger, though they’ve actually few if any other options, the indie writer/publisher eschews the traditional publicity stunts ahead of book store distribution for a blog post or two.
This is the second in a planned series of posts designed with the usual blog accompanied by tweet fanfare to launch, from the author of “Penina’s Letters,” a new book, titled “end tatters,” coming this week. Below, we see the front and back covers, and the back gives a brief description of what’s inside: