A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's been a week of taking it a little easy, sorting out a few things, and largely recuperating.

Now it's back to the freelance grind, with Magical JxR, vol. 4.

Look for a Criterion Confessions tribute to Richard Widmark today, as well. I actually have no DVDs on my review pile at the moment, a rare occurrence, so I am watching stuff just for fun! I rented my first iTunes movie last night. A lot of people had told me how good Once was, and I admit to being skeptical. It's a sweet movie, completely lacking in pretension, unafraid to just be what it is. The emotions and the music were both very credible. Worth a look if you've been maintaining a healthy cynicism the way I was.

Current Soundtrack: The Who, Encore Series 07-31-2002 NYC

Current Mood: discontent

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


An update on the publishing schedule of Love the Way You Love volume 6. It appears we overstayed our extensions at Diamond, and Oni Press had no choice but to cancel the old solicitation and put it on their schedule for June. Given that we are wrapping the book now, this is a pub date we'll hit without fail.

Or I create some headlines that can be ripped from to make a new Law & Order episode.

The Oni solicitation is here. They are showing the wrong cover. The cover will look more like this roughed-up version here:

Love The Way You Love #6

By Jamie S. Rich & Marc Ellerby

Old flames are snuffed, situations misinterpreted, and brothers reunited as Jamie S. Rich and Marc Ellerby’s rock ‘n’ roll romance wraps up its first set. Maria is back in Tristan’s life but is she an invited guest or an unwelcome intruder? Does Tristan even know for sure?

In stores: 6/11/2008


Current Soundtrack: The Long Blondes, Couples

Current Mood: crappy

What a day! Spent bout ten hours reading BP & MJ from cover to cover. I must say, I like it. Despite some structural and thematic similarities to novel #2, I really don't know where a lot of it came from. It is its own beast.

Of course, instead of ten hours, this Godard clip sums the whole thing up in a much more manageable ten minutes:

HINT: The old man is me, talking to myself as a young Anna Karina.

Current Soundtrack: Echo & the Bunnymen, Siberia

Current Mood: loving me for me

Monday, March 24, 2008


As promised, my writing list for BP & MJ, the tracks that helped get me in the mood.

1. Garbage - "You Look So Fine"
2. The Housemartins - "Johannesburg"
3. The Starlight Mints - "Valerie Flames"
4. Rihanna - "Question Existing"*
5. Spice Girls - "Too Much"
6. Echo & the Bunnymen - "Everything Kills You"
7. Amy Winehouse - "Love is a Losing Game (Original Demo)"
8. Rihanna - "Good Girl Gone Bad"
9. Camera Obscura - "I Love How You Love Me"
10. Emilie Simon - "Flowers"
11. Simon & Garfunkel - "America"
12. Simon & Garfunkel - "Kathy's Song"**
13. Bernard Butler - "Everyone I Know is Falling Apart"
14. Pulp - "Like a Friend"
15. Candie Payne - "No Other"
16. Bob Dylan - "Death is Not the End"
17. St. Famous - "We are All Broken"
18. The Paris Sisters - "I Love How You Love Me"
19. Spice Girls - "Viva Forever"
20. Garbage - "You Look So Fine (Fun Lovin' Criminals Mix)"
21. Lavender Diamond - "Oh No"***

* I love that title. It's like, the question exists and you question existence both.
** Yes, this makes just about every mix of mine, doesn't it?
*** This was added at the very end. Almost like typing "The End."

Divine from that what you will. I think you might notice some thematic parallels, if not musical ones, in the list for This World and Body. Fair indicators of where things are going for me.

Current Soundtrack: shuffle-up on Prince, Charlie Parker, Kylie Minogue, George Michael

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Before anyone who bought Princess at Midnight e-mails to tell me that "troubleshoot" is one word, save it, I know. Yes, I do like the irony of having a mistake in my proofreading credit, and would have loved it even more if it was "proof reading," but since no one shows me the credits page, I can't take the blame or responsibility.

Some may recall that I once freelance edited Powers, possibly the book with the worst spelling in all of comics. When I received the credits page for my first issue, Brian Bendis had me credited as "editting by." I told him if it wasn't fixed, he owed me a widescreen TV. Sadly, I still have an old picture-tube model. Some things you can only dream of going wrong.


* The Hammer, a lightweight boxing comedy with Adam Carolla.

* Married Life, a melodrama set in the 1950s that has great style, performances, and ideas, but might have gone too heavy on the restraint.


* Bonnie & Clyde: Ultimate Collector's Edition, a rad boxed set giving the red carpet treatement to a violent classic.

* Dangerous Crossing, an appealing 1950s thriller playing on the The Lady Vanishes formula, but this time with Jeanne Crain on a boat.

* The Ice Storm - Criterion Collection, Ang Lee's chilly portrait of 1970s suburbia with Kevin Kline, Christina Ricci, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few members of the amazing cast. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

* The Inner Life of Martin Frost, wherein novelist Paul Auster tries to create a Wings of Desire for muses, but lacks the inspiration to go all the way with it. Still, Irene Jacob is in it.

* James Ellroy's Feast of Death, a killer documentary about the murders that obsess one of our finest crime novelists.

* No Country for Old Men, wherein I tell you why you're stupid if you say you didn't like the ending.

* Pride of the Yankees - Collector's Edition, the quintessential sports biography, with Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig.

* Walk the Line: Extended Cut, revisiting the Johnny Cash story with 17 more minutes and a bunch of bonus features.

* Wristcutters: A Love Story, a quirky romantic comedy where the quirks are for real.


This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:

* Dazed & Confused, the Richard Linlater comedy about aimless youth in 1976.

* La Strada, wherein Fellini takes the show on the road!

Current Soundtrack: She & Him, Vol. One; Super Furry Animals, Hey Venus!

Current Mood: refreshed

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, March 20, 2008


It seems to be the day for finishing things.

Marc Ellerby took a break from posting his emo poetry and announced on his Live Journal: "As much as you guys love not having a new issue of Love The Way You Love come out, I'm pleased to announce that I have now finished drawing volume 6 and next week, Adam and myself will get our rush on and tone the fucker. Here's a page I like with lots of blah blah blah..."

Current Soundtrack: the Coral & PSB (random)

Current Mood: happy

Confessors, it is 12:41 am and just moments ago I hit save on what I believe to be the first completed draft of the brand new novel.

Final word count: approx. 84,600. If that doesn't seem like a lot, think about the fact that the body of this post is about 500 words, and an average movie review for me is maybe 700 words. Then multiply.

What was started on 8/21/07 and begun in earnest in December is now a whole thing. This past autumn I traveled everywhere with a notebook that contained four possible projects that I was developing. Two were comics proposals that are now with my agents, Baker's Mark, and they are shopping them for prospective homes. Another was the comic book project with Mike Holmes. (Mike? You out there?) Not included in the notebook was the second series of Love the Way You Love.

The third was BP & MJ. It began as a single scene. There is a part of Starting Out in the Evening where Frank Langella says he writes a story because he sees a scene with one of his characters in it, and he wants to see what happens to him or her next. This is very much how BP & MJ started. Sitting in a San Diego hotel room, I suddenly envisioned a scene, the first page of the book. I carried the words and images around with me for about a month and finally wrote it down. Four months of planning and now four months of writing and I know where the character was going.

Though, honestly, I still have to marinate on the final scene a little. And the last line. I reached the end of the actual outlined story at about 11:00 pm tonight, and realized I didn't really have a final image. I took a walk, listened to some Cutting Crew, and then came back with a clear head, sat, and let it come.

When I grow up, other writers will want to be me. Until then...?

Maryanne and I were saying that people should try to guess the title. Give it a try. If anyone hits it, I'll send you a copy of the manuscript. But I can guarantee no one will. I've only told a handful of people, so I'll know if anyone squealed. (And if I did tell you, then you can't participate; keep that gob of yours zipped!)

As a hint, for those wondering what this book is about, think that if The Everlasting is UTFO's "Roxanne, Roxanne," then BP & MJ is "The Real Roxanne." This is a response record.

Or if The Everlasting is Goodfellas, this is Casino. With the part of Robert DeNiro played by Marion Cotillard.

The novel also is supposed to have some involvement from Joëlle Jones, and there is still a chance she could read it and hate it and then I have to throw it out because there is no point in doing it if Joëlle hates it. There's no point in doing anything Joëlle hates.

Interested parties who want to publish this book and think they can afford me should contact Gretchen Stelter at Baker's Mark. Link is in the sidebar.

And Lord help me, with this out of the way, I am thinking this summer I might start the next novel, a little something I'm currently calling Jamie S. Rich's 5 1/2.

Next step, though, is sitting down and reading what I have, making sure I haven't lost my mind, and then giving it to a couple of folks so they can double-check that to be true.

Viva Forever!

Current Soundtrack: the BP & MJ playlist; I'll post that here soon, I'm too tired to type it up now

Current Mood: accomplished

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Andi Watson has a new book out tomorrow, a complete fairy tale called Princess at Midnight.

It's in the vein of his excellent Glister series, and I did my best to scrub it clean before it went to press. Read the Image solicitation here.

The post title is from Kylie Minogue. Andi loves Kylie Minogue.

Not as big of Kylie fan as Marc Ellerby, who continues to work on Love the Way You Love vol. 6, a.k.a. "The Neverending Comic" (Marc is Atreyu), in between ice cream binges.

Love the Way You Love, vol. 6, rough page 37

Marc is going to be in London this weekend at the UK Web & Mini Comix Thing. Walk by his table and shout, "Oi, Mumps, why aren't you drawing?" and then buy stuff from everyone else at the table but him. Teach the blighter a lesson.

Oh, I keed, I keed...

Current Soundtrack: Sons & Daughters, This Gift

Current Mood: awake

Monday, March 17, 2008


I did a word count this morning and discovered the novel has jumped up to 71K. How did that happen? It was only a week or two ago that I was lamenting that every time I checked, it seemed like I had gotten nowhere at all. The goal is 80-100K, so we're well in range.

Though I am still going to keep the title to myself, I will start referring to the book by its initials, BP & MJ. I'm actually in the final act, and right now it's a debate whether the race to the end will be another full one around the track or a sprint. I've had a clear idea of what I wanted the protagonist to go through and what life decision to make since the writing began in earnest, but I've always been a bit hazy on what would cause the decision. Last night, in that weird creative time between waking and sleeping, I had the realization that there was a random flashback earlier in the book that predicted the catalyst character who just showed up, a connection I had not made before.

I love that about writing, the fact that my subconscious is often several steps ahead of what I am aware of. All the way back on Cut My Hair I had discovered that my brain would plant clues for me along the way. I'd get to page 150 and realize that little aside 100 pages before was there for a reason, I just didn't know at the time that I would need it. Such it is with this flashback.

Funnily enough, that flashback was written in anger. I was mad at somebody and mad at myself for the behavior of mine that put me in the position of being hurt, and so I sat down and wrote this short anecdote that essentially parodied this particular aspect of my personality and when I was done I felt better about the whole thing. Had the person I had the conflict with and I had a longer make-up conversation, I would have noted that in reality, it was a good occurrence, I got something out of it. That's even more true now.

The only thing at question now is whether or not I stick to the original ending or let this third-act character hijack my intentions. In the writing, he's turning out to be a pretty persuasive fella, and that scares me a little bit. It means if I want the reader to have the proper reaction to my protagonist's decision, I have to make sure the argument in favor of the choice is rock solid, lest the audience revolt. Look how history has treated John Hughes for allowing Andie to reject Duckie. I don't want that to be me!

The other decision is whether to pause to read what I have or just keep going. I suppose it will be a decision that makes itself. Sometimes the writing can't be forced, and sometimes it can't be denied.

Last week was a long and lonely haul following the early news about Dave Stevens. I actually avoided blog activity to let the post about him stay up top, a moment of silence, as it were. Thanks for the folks who commented in the post and sent along their well wishes.

In the pause there, I forget to note that Madman Atomic Comics #7 went on sale. It's the silent issue. You can read a preview of it here. There's also been a good discussion of it at Mike Allred's message board.

Mike and I traded a lot of e-mails last week. He's been sending me #8 to proofread, and the issue is going to be dedicated to Dave. Mike wrote about our mutual hero, as well. In fact, we both also talked to our boy Bob Schreck, and then we all talked about talking to each other. I guess that's the way life turns at times like these.

If there is one thing that stuck with me from my own recollections about Dave, and about the drawing he gave me, it's how important it is for us to do those small things in life that can make a huge difference for the people around us. How often do we see an opportunity to lend a hand or extend a kind gesture for someone else, and how often might we let those things pass? The sad fact is, that most of the time, what is needed from us is an easy thing, something that would take very little effort or time on our part but that would work wonders for the person we did it for.

The tell-tale sign for me was that I had kept the post-it note attached to the drawing, and I had written my article and quoted it before I had even dug the art out of my files. As lovely as the drawing was, the note was what was really indicative of the enormity of the gesture. I finally understand why women get so torqued when there is no card included with a gift.

Friday night I sat down and read both of the Rocketeer books and watched the movie. It was a good time, and just the right medicine.

Current Soundtrack: shuffle bringing you the Cardigans, Ludus, Elvis Costello & the Attractions performing "Waiting for the End of the World"

Current Mood: hopeful

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


My buddy Dave Stevens died yesterday. He was 52.

Dave was battling leukemia. He had been for many years, a fact I was not aware of. This was the nature of Dave. He was private, and he lived life at his own accord. Part of me feels a guilt that I had not seen him in so long, but I also know this is the nature of some relationships. Had I run into him at any time in recent years, I know he would have been pleased to see me and pleased for the things I had done with my life. He was always one of my heroes.

When I was a teenager, Dave Stevens was my favorite artist. For those who don’t know, he created the Rocketeer, which was a comic book before it was a movie, and those wonderful comics are essentially Dave’s life’s work. He was a painstaking artist. Bill Stout often tells an anecdote about when he and Dave shared a studio, and how a piece of unfinished artwork sat on Dave’s desk for weeks. If I recall, all that needed to be done was the ink put down on one dog’s leg. Dave just wouldn’t do it, and it drove Bill crazy. He wanted to go over and just ink it himself, just to get it out of his sight. But then one day, Dave came in, sat down, picked up a brush, and the dog’s leg was complete.

This attention to detail meant we got a shockingly small amount of work from Dave over the years, but each piece was beautiful and precise. Those are two words that don’t rest easy together, but they did in Dave’s hands. His ink line was glamourous and graceful, and though there was never even a tiny speck out of place on one of his pieces, his material always felt alive. He was like Vargas crossed with Al Williamson, something very classic and yet very pulpy.

In high school, I had Dave Stevens posters on all four bedroom walls. Eclipse had released a series of them, all of his covers printed large with no logos or anything. A few of them were very risqué, because Dave liked to draw the lovely ladies. This is the man who reintroduced Bettie Page to the world, after all. I am not sure how I got away with them. I think it was the Crossfire cover with Crossfire reaching over the body of a sleeping Marilyn Monroe. My dad liked that one, and thus that single image made allt he rest okay. I also had a Rocketeer shirt where Cliff had a tied-up Bettie slung over her shoulder so that her panties bloomed for anyone who saw me coming. I was asked not to wear it to school. That was understandable.

I met Dave for the first time at my first San Diego Comic Con, before it was International, when it was just one hall in the old convention center. I was 15, so I guess it would have been 1987 or so. I showed up with a briefcase full of comics to be signed, including every Dave Stevens comic book I owned. By the end of the day, my hand was bruised from the weight of the damn thing, but I had them all signed. I remember waiting for Dave and waiting and waiting, and he was late to his table. Big surprise! Someone told him (might have been Kookie) that some weird kid was loitering and asking after him, and he ended up signing my books over a garbage can while he ate his lunch. I was a happy boy.

Years later, and I ended up at Dark Horse, which had become the Rocketeer’s home for the couple of comics that came out after the movie. I was able to meet Dave in a more official capacity at that time. I even became his editor for a short while. We did the one issue of Betty Page Comics that he compiled. It’s hard to say how much that was a book he wanted to do for the sake of it, and how much it was about getting some of the guys her admired a gig. Russ Heath drew a story in that book, and Dave had convinced me to get Russ paid before the work was done. You never do this in the freelance world, because once you take the carrot away, you have no threat to get the guy to hurry up. I had my ass handed to me when my bosses found out I had paid for art I did not have. I didn’t regret it. Hell, I should have thanked Dave for giving me a screw-you moment, because I always liked sticking it to my bosses.

We intended to work together again on a crossover with DC: Superman/Rocketeer 1938. Dave wrote an awesome pitch for it, but it never got off the runway, something that still pisses me off. It was a variety of stupid reasons that killed the book. For starters, Dave had written Superman the way he originally was, a far less powerful character. For instance, he could only jump really far, not fly. This was not allowed in the DCU at the time. Then Dave had the brilliant idea of setting it during Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast. The two characters would meet trying to clean up some of the hysteria that resulted fro the infamous radio show. It had tremendous dramatic possibilities. Beyond the usual distrust of two adventurers meeting for the first time, Superman was an honest-to-goodness alien trying to calm down anti-alien freak-outs. I loved it.

Turns out, not only did DC have one of their ridiculous Elseworlds books in the works where Superman discovers that the broadcast is not as false as Welles believed, but they had actually set out to try to license the original radio program and had been turned down, so DC legal said no one could use War of the Worlds. “But it’s an historical event!” we protested. “What next? You’re going to license World War II? The Great Depression?” Dave took it in annoyed stride. He had made a movie with Disney, he knew a little something about corporate nonsense. I’m pretty sure he knew a thing or two about sticking it to them man, as well.

It was shortly after that I went to Oni Press, and my contact with Dave dwindled to seeing him at conventions. I had been warned in the past couple of weeks that he had been really sick. He had recently left his own home and gone to be with his mother, which those who knew him took as a sign that things were getting bad. Thus, the news was only partially shocking, and there was the relief that his suffering was over. Even so, incredibly sad.

I have a wonderful little Dave Stevens treasure, though. When we were doing Betty Page, he drew a small illo of her for the inside front cover. It was an adorable little cartoon, somewhat in a Bruce Timm style. I immediately fell in love with it. It had a playful, carefree quality that you never really saw in Dave’s work. It looked like it took him no time at all to do, and yet it was still so fantastic, it suggested that his work was so labored because he wanted it to be. That was just his way.

When I returned the artwork from the book to him, I put a note on the cartoon that said, “If you ever want to sell this, please call me.” It came back to the offices shortly after with a note that read: “It was already yours, Bubba!”

Again, that was Dave Stevens.

He had a few basic phrases he used when he signed books for fans. One of them was “Happy Landings!”

Happy landings, Dave. Happy Landings.

Dave Stevens Bettie Page cartoon

Current Soundtrack: the score from The Rocketeer

Saturday, March 08, 2008


"His Time Ran Out" (also by the Beautiful South)

I was about to write a song about the fear and the doubt
But my pen ran out
It captured the emotions of a lover and a lout
But my pen ran out
So the picture wasn't painted and the story wasn't told
No one knows the author 'cause the record never sold
And I know they never will until he's bitter and he's old
And I know they never will until he's bitter and he's old
His time ran out

I was gonna share my blues with a nation full of blues
But my pen ran out
I was gonna spread the news of the way I always lose
But my pen ran out
So I'll keep an envelope with all the words I should have said
Hide it in a tiny box underneath my bed
And written on the outside will be 'open when he's dead'
And written on the outside will be 'open when he's dead'

His time ran out, his time ran out
His time ran out, his time ran out

Thursday, March 06, 2008



* CJ7, a stinky whiffle ball from Stephen Chow.

* Girls Rock!, a heartwarming and thoughtful documentary about the Girls Rock 'n' Roll Camp.

* Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, light entertainment made better by Frances McDormand and Amy Adams, but it doesn't really stick to the ribs.

* Snow Angels, a fantastic new drama from David Gordon Green, with outstanding performances from an ensemble cast that includes Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale.


* Diva Dolorosa, a collage of Italian silent cinema created as tribute to the operatic woman.

* Lions for Lambs, Robert Redford's attempt at a political thinkpiece ultimately goes awry.

* Lyrical Nitrate/The Forbidden Quest, Delpeut's found footage films don't live up to their reputation.


This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:

* My Life as a Dog, a Swedish coming-of-age story from Lasse Hallström.

And for anyone wondering what life in my head is like, this is the daily battle for supremacy that goes on in my brain.

Current Soundtrack: TV

Current Mood: frustrated

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


"I got sexy ladies all over the floor
You're talking to one of the greatest
Who did it before

Perhaps it was two nights of revelry in a row that made me a little randy, but I haven't really been behaving according to my alleged character while out on the town. Last Thursday I attended a small gathering, and last Friday I attended a large gathering, both centered around Bob Schreck visiting. This meant a gaggle of comic book folks met at a bar and took over one whole side of the room. We had a waitress, N., who had to work double-time to keep up with us, though I suspect many of the male attendees were drinking faster in order to get refills even quicker.

You see, N. possessed a staggering beauty, and many of the fellas were immediately smitten with her--myself included. I know enough people who work in the service industry to know that hitting on servers while they are at work is fairly lame, and when you introduce the social lubricant of alcohol, just about every jerk with a superiority complex finds his tongue has been loosened by a sudden realization that he's God's gift to women. There should probably be a notice placed on menus: "An automatic surcharge will be applied if you put the moves on our staff." Because you know these dudes aren't shelling out the proper tips after they get shot down.

I don't know what possessed me, then, to hit on N. myself. But I did.

It was the end of the night, the bills were paid, things were winding down. I had talked to her a couple of times already, so it at least wasn't coming out of nowhere, the quiet creep in the corner having one shot too many and deciding to splatter sweat and spittle all over the object of his desire. Still, to say I was hunting out of season would be an understatement. N. was gorgeous, and as I have been fond of saying of myself lately, I've got a face made for selling oatmeal.

(If you don't get it, google Wilford Brimley, the face of Quaker Oats.)

"I'm not the sort of guy who normally does this sort of thing, and I know you probably get guys hitting on you all night, so you'll have to forgive me, but I was hoping that maybe we could get together sometime out of this place and get to know one another."

Or something to that effect. I am pretty confident I'm remembering the wording of at least the first 2/3 of the line. That's the gist, more or less.

N. was very kind about this, told me that mine was one of the sweetest offers she'd ever gotten, but she wasn't single. We laughed about it, talked a little more, and I said, "Well, if your situation ever changes, keep me in mind," to which she replied, "Deal."

Now, before you start shaking your head, no, I am also not the guy who hears something like that and keeps it in his back pocket thinking, "Okay, I just have to wait," and a secret alarm goes off in my Fatcave whenever one of the women who have made similar sympathy promises suddenly becomes unattached, so that I can coincidentally pop up in the right place and say, "Hey, remember that deal we had?" I've known that dude, and can think of one very specific boy who actually believed it when he heard "I don't know why you're single. You're a great guy, and if I wasn't attached, I'd totally go out with you." Following up on such statements is like being given a free meal when you're starving, and then showing up at the Good Samaritan’s house on Thanksgiving and puking on her turkey. It's an act of charity, and you've picked the worst way to pay it back.

Regardless of the outcome, for a drunken sneak attack, I think I got through pretty well, and I certainly was sent on my way feeling all right about myself. Perhaps it was this mild flush of semi-success that caused me to take a second random stab at playing Casanova.

Walking myself home, I passed by a nightclub on the main Portland drag. As I crossed the street to the next block, I saw a trio of very drunk girls and one lone guy, and it appeared there was some kind of conversation that lead to the girls going one way and the guy going in the other. I don’t think I could have even told you at that moment what I thought was going on, but my sense of chivalry was flipped from medium to high and I decided to come to the ladies' rescue.

"Are you girls okay?" I asked. "Would you like someone to walk you to your car? I swear, I'm not a creep or anything, so you can trust me."

For whatever reason, they accepted this offer, and so there I was, walking three girls to their car. They were a classic trio: a tall, kind of gawky blonde with mid-length hair; a shorter, friendly brunette; and another blonde, long hair, this one the confident leader of the group. I had to catch my breath a little. We'll call her L. Though they were all attractive, L. was definitely the beauty of the cluster, and the type of personality I would be attracted to. It was also obvious right off the bat that she was the designated driver and was not in the state of her friends. The tall girl was way far gone, whereas the brunette was rarin' to go, insisting they should head back to the club despite our repeatedly telling her that the club did not want her back, that no one was going to be serving at this hour.

I went with the girls down to the underground parking lot where their car was, opening the doors, leading the way when I could. When we got to the car, I was prepared to make my farewell, but L. said they would give me a ride home. "I know it may not be the smartest choice," she said, looking me in the eye, holding in her hands the shoes that had been pinching her feet, "so, one last time, you're not a murderer or anything are you?"

I assured her that was most definitely not me, and we all loaded into the car.

L. was driving, obviously, and I took the passenger seat. There was talk of getting some Taco Bell, though the brunette, who sat behind me, was still hell-bent on getting more alcohol. I made some suggestions of maybe finding some all-night café to get some coffee, but L. had her plan. The tall girl sat behind her, and she was moving in and out of consciousness, slipping off the seat, and probably really just needed to pass out.

Before I go further, don't take any of these descriptions the wrong way. I am not disparaging any of these ladies, and was certainly in no condition to do so. These are just the details. On the contrary, I was finding the whole thing amusing, and I was really starting to crush on L. The God's honest truth is that when I approached them, I had no grander design than doing what I said I was going to do and walk them to the car. I didn't spot them on the sidewalk and devise a diabolical plan to take advantage of three inebriated young ladies, nor did I even suss out whether I'd be interested in any of them until we had started to converse more. Granted, I was once more hunting without a license or the proper ammo, but when you’re me, you just have to get used to such things.

We navigated our way out of downtown and headed for the Taco Bell on Burnside. It speaks well of L.’s beauty that as we drove up Burnside, a car pulled up alongside of us and got her to roll down her window so that some drunk college dude could act far less cool than he thought he was acting. What was surprising about this development, though, was how defensive and territorial I got, shouting across L. that she was taken care of and earning me a middle finger as the would-be suitor sped away.

This was just before our destination, and as usual, this particular TB was too crowded, so L. decided they would hit the one closer to where they lived. I told her where to take me from there, and as she drove, we talked about various and sundry. I don't remember how it came up that I was a writer, but it did, and we talked some about books. As we did so, the brunette kept reaching forward and playing with my hair. L. tried to stop her, but she said it was fun and I said I didn't mind.

I told L. what kind of books I wrote, and she asked, "Have you ever read The Secret?"

"The Oprah book?"

"Yeah. Everyone should read it. If you leave this car and go and read The Secret, I will immediately go down to Borders and buy every one of your books."

"No offense, but I don't see that happening. I'm listening to you, and I'm not judging you," I replied, completely sincere, "but I can tell you, I'm not the kind of person that would get into something like that."

She proceeded to tell me more about the book and why she liked it, specifically the power of positive thinking. I had to bite my lip to keep from saying that my philosophy tends to stray more toward negative thinking; expect the worst, and anything better is a pleasant surprise. Thankfully, the conversation veered its natural way before I could get in trouble, and in no time, we were at my place. I offered to run in and get one of my books for her, and she agreed. Again, this is probably the equivalent of "If I were single..." for when dealing with novelists, but I went with it anyway. From my experience, giving a girl one of my books never works as a suave move to win her heart. In fact, I feel like a douchebag when I do it, like I'm saying, "See? See how awesome I am?" It's the brainy equivalent of kissing my own pecs and offering her tickets to the gun show.

Thus, L. went home with Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, and I walked in my apartment alone, baffled by the turns of event the night had taken.

I hadn't initially any intention of writing about what had happened, because as with most of my posts that begin with the "You May Be a Lover, But You Ain't No [Blank]" title, I don't come out looking particularly great when the last bit of punctuation is put on the essay. Yet, the more I thought about it, I saw a pattern in my own approach to everything that is rather interesting.

I told N. I was not the guy who normally made a move on girls, I told L. I was not the guy that was going to do anything untoward. I also wasn't the kind of guy who would read The Secret, which may not have been the right tactic to take, I should have been more "positive" in my strategizing.

I went out of my way to make it clear I was neither Don Juan nor Joe Cretin.

All of my effort went to telling the women I met the man I was not, but it never occurred to me to stop and ask, if I am none of these things, then exactly what kind of man am I?

Current Soundtrack: Oasis doing various covers, mainly the Beatles

Current Mood: confused

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


They love us in France. Word is, Joëlle Jones is the new Jerry Lewis. Not sure what that makes me.*

Why am I saying such crazy things? Because the French edition of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her has been reviewed by a French website!

It's in French, but if you want to read an internet translation, just select this text file.

I hadn't realized that their version of the title, Douze raisons de l’aimer, translates more like "12 Reasons to Like It." Or, again, that's how Babelfish calls it out. If you have better translation powers, please leave a comment.

* In America, we're like the comics equivalent of Rilo Kiley: Every one wishes that dude whose name no one can ever remember would stay quiet and just let the talented girl sing.

Current Soundtrack: Femmes de Paris, vol. 1

Current Mood: tres jolie

Images I look at while writing the new book.

Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera, "Hurt (Chris Cox Club Mix)"

Current Mood: enthralled

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, March 01, 2008


This may be the greatest thing I've seen ever.

Steve Lieber, a king who stays the king, has been drawing characters from The Wire in the style of The Simpsons.

"When you walk through the garden, better watch your back..."

CURRENT SOUNDTRACK: NPR news update podcasts

Current Mood: geeky