Sunday, March 25, 2007

I Give You...A Squib.

It's Sunday...time for a squib.Welcome to the first installment of what I hope might become a regular feature on this blog.

I learned a new word the other day, which immediately triggered this idea. It even inspired me to create the corny little graphic you see above. If all goes according to plan, that should appear just about every Sunday, followed by something resembling a short blog entry. (it would look a little out of place on a Wednesday, for obvious reasons.)

The word came from one of those word-a-day, page-a-day calendars. And so did my first entry, incidentally, as a little trivial fact at the bottom of the page of another page-a-day calendar. I thought it was interesting enough to share.

— • — • —

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote nine books in 1939, and was paid a total of $33 for them.

I don't know if this is true or not, because I can't find anything online to support it. But...there it is, black on white, on March 25 of Uncle John's Unstoppable Bathroom Reader page-a-day calendar (which I don't keep in the bathroom, by the way. I keep it at work). Maybe he sold them, but they were never published, I dunno. He died in 1940.

Anyway...Thirty. Three. Dollars. For nine books! (and how do you write nine books in one year? that's a lot of words.) This is the author responsible for The Great Gatsby, one of the great classics of American literature. (Gatsby didn't become popular until after Fitzgerald's death, however.)

Stephen King probably tips more than thirty-three bucks when he goes to get his morning bagel and cappuccino!

Remind me again why I've got such a desire to be a writer?? Oh yeah...poverty, loneliness, despair, alcoholism, rejection, depression, insanity, a disorganized brain overcrowded with characters and ideas and plot points. Never mind. Those are all the reasons I need.

The average annual salary in Major League Baseball is about $2.9 million. That's...average! Why couldn't I have had a serviceable hanging curve ball instead of a knack for spotting a dangling participle?

"No man can be happy
without a friend,
nor be sure of his friend
till he is unhappy."
—F. Scott Fitzgerald


  1. Note to self: force all me future sons to be left-handed. Also force them to learn how to pitch. Be very, very nice to them. Then retire.

  2. I'm sure it didn't help Scotty that he married a nutbar like Zelda either.

    You're obviously a Gatsby fan, as are most, but give This Side of Paradise a look. The writing is so riveting that you won't even notice that there's absolutely no plot and nothing happens. It, along with Dandelion Wine and Red Harvest, are my once a year reads. Re-affirmation type stuff.

  3. By the way, you know who's making all the bucks on the Fitzgerald canon of books now?

    The ESTATE of F. Scott!

    This means, like, little Jimmy Fitzgerald is lounging on a beach sipping boat drinks because great great grandad was a tortured manipulator of words in the wee hours.

    Thus, THIS is why you write, so that the ESTATE of Ton-Fifty-One can get that primo room at the all-inclusive long after your dirt nap, dig?

  4. Ohhh the pressure!! How will I ever provide for future generations with the dull, lame selection of verbs I now use? I better get crackin'.

    Thanks for the book recommendation, too, Jeff. You've got my curiosity piqued by describing it as a "riveting book in which nothing happens." (I know, I know...riveting writing. That's my favorite kind.)

    Burt...left-handed. Yes, yes, left-handed. That'll get you (uhh, I mean them) a couple extra mil.

  5. Your reference to making some baseball coin immediately brought up the following dialog from Major League (only the single greatest baseball movie ever)

    As Cerrano is hitting the tree tops beyond the left field wall in spring camp...

    Lou Brown "Geeeez, this guy hits a ton. How come nobody else picked up on him?"

    Pepper Leach to BP pitcher, "All right Eddie, that's enough fastballs, throw him some breaking balls"

    Cerrano begins flailing helplessly

    Lou Brown, "Ohhhhh...."

    Vach, Maybe you're destined to be Pedro Cerrano. But that ain't all bad, you'll end up in All State commercials, 24 and have your own military special ops series.

    Best of luck!!!

  6. full of firsts. And I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever been compared to Pedro Cerrano.

    Good laugh, TheKid. If I ever make a commercial one day, I'll say I owe it all to you.

    (yikes! my Blogger upgrade stole my g's!!) :O(