“In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you’re a great writer, you must say that you are.” – Gore Vidal (1925-2012)
After driving four hours Tuesday to lead a discussion of being still while resisting social madness, and spending the night alone in the Super 8 parking lot in Storm Lake, Iowa, the 2003 Toyota Avalon returned home yesterday with all the books still in the trunk. Its driver failed at hustling Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness.
Had she read The Guardian‘s tribute to Gore Vidal following the controversial writer’s death, the Avalon would never have left Minnesota.
His quick wit and acid tongue made him a sought-after commentator; he himself once quipped: “I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.” A stint on ABC opposite William Buckley, covering the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions, degenerated into abuse, with Vidal calling Buckley a “crypto-Nazi”, Buckley suggesting that the “queer … [should] go back to his pornography”, further attacks in the magazine Esquire, and suits for libel on both sides. The same refusal to back down characterised his dispute with Norman Mailer, whose attitudes towards women had brought rebukes from Gloria Steinem and Kate Millett. Vidal entered the fray with an article suggesting there was “a logical progression” from Henry Miller to Mailer to Charles Manson. Mailer responded at a Manhattan dinner party in 1977 by throwing a glass of whiskey in Vidal’s face, head-butting him and then throwing a punch. Vidal is said to have replied: “Lost for words again, Norman?”
The Avalon’s licking the whiskey from its face before trying again!
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN 55318.
😄. Much better luck next time. Elijah’s granddad, and his book deserve much better.
It’s harder than you think possible. I got GREAT reviews. I got some TV and radio. I got book readings. I got more response by posting the book on my blog and writing about it. And that’s what The Big Pros do these days, too. I don’t do it much because I’m kind of bashful about it. I’m not much of a promoter. Many writers are not. It’s the promoters who get noticed — but not even all of them, either. There’s a magic little something that happens for some books, but not others. No reason, no logic, no meaning. It just happens … or it doesn’t.
Marilyn, Misery loves company. Maybe we can have a long distance tea party with whine! I feel like a pimp pimping myself. Not good. Is it good? Yup. Everyone who’s read it has said it is which, in itself comes as a great surprise. It’s the way I imagine it must have been for some of the wonderful girls friends I knew in highs school waited on the edge of the dance floor hoping against hope that someone would ask them to dance. Anyone! No matter how good they were at dancing, they had to wait for the guys to ask them.
Be not discouraged. The people who need it and appreciate it are reading it. For the rest, join me in my daily discovery (for years now) of totally flat-lined sales. It’s still a joy to write and share.
Mona, thanks for the encouragement of the 2003 Avalon. The writing is the joy. You just added a little gas to the tank. She had an oil change Monday and is good to go another 3,000 miles.
Always something new for this moderately read preacher. Thanks for your writing and sharing.
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I blame it on the 2003 Avalon. Next gig…I’m renting a Mercedes!