The Annotated Rumored to Exist, Hardcover edition

So I wanted a hardcover of Rumored to Exist, because I’m funny about that, so I made one.  Check it:

It’s a hardcover edition of the annotated version that I originally released in 2004.  In fact, it’s the exact text from the 2004 version.  I would have preferred to go over it again, starting with the 2011 re-release and add back in the annotations and do something else with the book blah blah blah but I don’t have time.

Differences in this edition:

  • Hardcover, with a slip jacket.
  • The paper quality is slightly better than standard POD.  It’s more of a cream color.
  • The cover is an alternate of the original cover.  Same location, but taken during a snow storm.
  • The back cover is a bunch of my notes on legal pads and post-its, along with the post card sent from the Astrodome by Larry Falli.
  • A ten-page introduction explaining the history of the book (up to 2004).
  • A facts and figures section.
  • A Q&A about the book.
  • The 2002 first edition text (possibly with some minor changes) in a different layout.
  • 547 footnotes explaining parts of the text.  This isn’t some DFW/Nabokov “the footnotes are another work of literature” thing; it’s just straight-up reference material.
  • No UPC or ISBN.  Only for sale at Lulu.  No digital edition.

I don’t expect anyone to buy this – I just did it so I could have a nice hardcover on the shelf.  If you do buy it, expect a great delay from lulu.  It took them two weeks to send mine.  But I think it’s worth the $20 – it’s very nice to see it with the glossy slipcover and everything.

OK, back to work on the next one.


Rumored to Exist, haiku edition

I totally forgot about this.  A long time ago, I found this program that would scan a text file and generate haiku from it.  I don’t know exactly how it worked; I guess it would find syllable counts of 5-7-5 in the text.  So of course, I fed Rumored to Exist into it.  It looks like it was a copy of the text from shortly before it was published, and not the final draft. Some of these are uncannily funny.  It’s like doing some Burroughs cut-up shit – some of it is hopelessly random, but some of it fits together far too perfectly.

Here’s the best of the output from it.  Maybe I should put this all in Helvetica and dump it into a pocket book.

I could feel the hair
on my head falling out, my
muscles atrophying.

CIA was outside
in a van, or his phone was
ready to give out.

I couldn’t even
email her and ask if she
was the same person.

He couldn’t bring a
gun into a federal
building anyway.

and Latin American
languages blended.

I thought it would be
in Ohio, it turns out
it was in Japan.

Klan was headquartered
less than an hour from the
governor’s mansion.

Nick told me about
a version of MovieLine
that worked for pornos.

Skee-Ball tickets and
a Hubert Selby, Jr.
tattoo on my cock.

I drilled her right there
on the tile. Within a month,
it became mundane.

I was so bored I
masturbated to the JC
Penny catalog.

Doctor McCarthy
will see you now,” the nurse yelled
across the concourse.

RM: No, you dumb fuck,
I said it was like some bitch
puking on your dick.

That’s been my breakfast
every morning for the
last decade, still is.

Carve your name in my
brain if you think it will stop
the fucking nightmares.

I wish it was a
computer, but even my
computer was dead.

They brainwash kids with
angel dust, impregnated
in blue star tattoos.

I should invest my
money in whether or not
I should take a piss.

X-ray comparisons
between the Dark Lord of the
Sith and John Merrick.

Bread, bread… Ghostbusters
caught the holy ghost in one
of those ecto-traps.

I finished the loaf
of bread, and drank a gallon
of flat Perrier.

Marco said. “Not the
film, but a perfect view of
the event itself.

I found myself in
the men’s room of the DNA Lounge
in San Francisco.

God would have to send
back Ahnold to the manger
to try to stop it.

They could even let
the good guys win and it might
be entertaining.

It would make a good
recordable MiniDisc
commercial, really.

And I had hours
to find Nick and get back on
a plane for New York.

Jed cracked open a
cold one while Elrod, well, cracked
open a cold one.

With my extensive
studies in vomit, I can
spot fake puke at yards.

Tito, reading from
a copy of USA
Decay. “Fuck!” I said.

It didn’t feel like
skin-to-skin contact like the
package claimed either.

I could grind them down
and make counterfeit paper
pulp in my bathtub.

Never give money
to strangers, unless you know
just how strange they are.

It’s like that Cheech and
Chong movie where they had a
truck made out of dope.

I shove the clipboard
up his ass. Okay, so I
have issues with UPS.

But I won’t pay those
bastards at Time-Warner
for their mind control.

I liked the Behind
the Music on Ice-T though.
He’s pretty funny.

I need you to go
thirty clicks up the river
and catch this frisbee.

I dropped a fiver
on the counter for my drink,
and ran for the door.

The human body
is engineered to fail in
an emergency.

I raped the cancer
surgery reward with a
Dremel moto-tool.

Leisure Suit Larry
with a vibrating pager
attached to your wong.

And you couldn’t sleep
on the beach and bum tourists’
change at this resort.

I never went to
class, so I’d have a lot of
trouble finding them.

Outside, sirens were
going off everywhere, the
riot underway.

Peter Criss threw his
drumsticks to the screaming fans
in the coach section.

Plus when I wore it
all day, I lost five to ten
pounds in sweat. Nitrous…

Pure oxygen rushed
through the nosepiece, and
I inhaled deeply.

The Gremlin didn’t
have AC, or even a
functional vent fan.

I could pick up my
paycheck, and I didn’t have
a dime to my name.

Tito finally
bitch-slapped him and told him
to shut the fuck up.

John Voight would play the
chief, and utter the “I’m too
old for this shit” line.

With some napkins and
a straw that’ll work in the
ambulance, of course.

I’d break em in half
on the first stroke.” “Dude, I think
you’re fucked up,” Nick said.

Shooting Six People
in the Fucking Face with a
Bulldog Revolver.

I checked out all of
those religious books and drenched
them in human blood.

I asked about this,
he said it kept the CIA
from reading his mind.

Weren’t you born in
like ’61?” “Dude, I was there, but
not during the war.

IQ test last night, so
I know I’m not stupid, but
it could be the drugs.

Santa Claus shapes in
a piece of plywood with a
table saw sans guards.

I’m gonna fuck him,
and break that god damned gimp arm
in half with my cock.

I pour gasoline
all over myself and light
myself on fire.

I pushed him, and watched
him fall to his death. Then I
went to 7-Eleven.

Man, and that’s why I
kept setting off the metal
detectors. It worked.

Her only piece of
photo ID was a postcard
of Niagara Falls.

I can’t just write “THIS
IS MONEY” on a piece of
paper and spend it.

I figured they had
to use potent stuff to keep
out the cockroaches.

I got the second
one, and found the first, she could
have it. She’s gone too.



Rancid sandwiches, alternate realities

I guess I’ve officially re-started the edits on Rumored to Exist. I spent some of last night hacking at the text, trying to turn some of the “one-hit” stories into longer pieces. There are all of these parts with a single plot element, and they somewhat fall flat. It’s cool to work through these in edits and get some more length and depth in there. I think after (if) I finish an edit like that, and add the 55 fragments that are missing, the manuscript will be about 100,000 words long.

I just had to buy another lunch because the sandwich I made was rancid. I hate packing my lunch, but I hate buying lunch downstairs or down the street. Spending $3 on a tiny pasta salad or a half of a sandwich isn’t worth it. I’m almost used to eating the same stuff every day when I bring my lunch. Sort of like how David Lynch ate lunch at the same place for 17 years in a row or whatever.

I’m reading a Phillip K Dick book (I don’t remember the title) that takes place in 1960 in an alternate universe where the Japanese and Germans won World War two and divided up America between themselves. It’s not perfect prose – I’ve liked PKD for his ideas and stories, but never for his flowing use of the English language. Anyway, it’s an eerie and strange idea, and it reminds me a lot of an American version of 1984 in a way. Everyone thinks 1984 was such a high-tech story (the people who don’t read it), but it was really about the low tech situation. I should re-read 1984 right after this, it’s been a while. I bought a new copy at a garage sale about a year ago – it looks like it was originally from a school library. My old version was falling apart – I bought it 5 years ago for a class, and got a few reads out of it.

Orwell’s awesome, even outside of 1984 and Animal Farm. I’ve read Down and Out… many times in recent years. It’s a great book to read when you’re poor and out of money – one of my favorite college reads.

It looks like none of the CDs I ordered from cdconnection will make it – they’re all out of stock. I went CD shopping last night, and bought 2 Tori Amos singles and 2 albums by Tony MacAlpine, this mid-80s guitar hero type. I thought he dropped off the face of the earth, but here he is


Rumored line edit

I finished my first line edit of Rumored last night – it took about 13 days, not all of them productive. The next step will be to enter all of my changes into the computer – I edit on paper with red pen and then integrate everything into the original in emacs. It takes longer, but I like working in bed with a clipboard. More intimate… plus I’m lazy and like to lay down and write.

The next step will be to go through and rewrite each and every paragraph. Maybe 10% or 20% will stay, but the rest will be chopped up and redone from scratch. That’s a bit extreme, but there will be changes. Too much of the book talks about me – I need to obfuscate it. It’ll be a lot of work, but fun.



Almost forgot today. I was busy editing Rumored with my little clipboard and my little red pen.

There was an earthquake today, just after noon. It was a 4.9, out in the Puget Sound close to Bremerton. It freaked me out, being on the top floor of a 10 story building that’s all glass and electronics. This thing is built like a tank, but it still shook and waved around like part of some Disney ride or something. No damage, maybe some people’s pictures fell off the walls. Still, it was a little weird. This is earthquake 2 since I moved here, 3 really but I missed one because I was in San Francisco. It’s really like number 200-some since I moved here, but you need a seismograph to catch all of the other ones.

I’m thinking more about writing and future projects and stuff. Nothing I can talk about, but I do want to keep going in the same direction as I am with Rumored. I’m hoping to do a lot of writing over the summer, after I finish the edits. We’ll see.

It’s been a year since I started my current job. Nothing too eventful about that. I don’t like talking about my job too much in these journals. Just know that I have a job, and I work it, and I’ve been there a year.

All of a sudden, the sun is out like gangbusters. Maybe it’s time to go home and play.



I’ve been thinking more about this whole self-publishing thing. Printing copies of Rumored and selling them wouldn’t be much of a paradigm shift over when I printed copies of Xenocide and sold them from my apartment. It would cost about a jillion times more – actually, it wouldn’t cost that much more, since Xenocide 5 had a color cover and was photocopied 50 issues at a time, it cost about $2 per copy. To print 1000 books with a softcover and a square binding would cost somewhere around $2-$5 depending on pages, shipping, etc etc etc. So it’s more money initially, but not more money per capita.

The main thing about selling books vs. selling the death metal zine was that there was a whole underground network to sell the zine. There are a lot of dedicated fans of extreme metal music, and they are all pen pals and write each other and send everyone’s fliers for zines, demos, CDS, shirts, etc to each other. And there are many zines who will trade ad space for nothing or sell you a back cover ad for only a few bucks. With Xenocide, I just printed the zines, printed a bunch of fliers, and pretty much waited for the checks to come rolling in. I wish there was such a fanatic group of book buyers out there. With this project, I’ll really have to scrape to find small bookshops that are willing to pick up books on consignment. That’s the real pain in the ass. My only relief is that if I do sell Rumored and just sell copy by copy in all of these mom and pop stores, I will have a good database compiled by the time I try to do the second book.

The editing of Rumored is going okay. I broke down a task list of what I want to accomplish over the next month or two. The first task, which is underway, is just a line-by-line read of the whole thing, to fix the obvious and remove the idiotic. As of last night, I am 1/3 through that. Then it goes to a harder edit, where I completely scrutinize each little piece and spend a lot of time finely molding each word. Then I make a pass where I arrange things (the current order is arbitrary) and cut things that I don’t like. Through these three steps, I might add more stuff as I’m going. If I feel like 100% new writing, I will do that.

And now that I’m thinking of the followup to Rumored, I wonder if this book should be all of the freak-out stuff, with more of the personal stuff in another book. I thought about writing a book that’s just 10 or 20 long, personal narratives – each like a 10,000 word short story or something. It would still have some experimental aspect of it – sort of like that Hubert Selby Jr. book where it was a bunch of short stories and each guy had the same name but otherwise they were radically different. I love that kind of thing. But I am thinking about the next book and how it will happen. Mostly, I just want to produce another great vehicle that people will love and that I can finish fast. I don’t want to do this Summer Rain meets War and Peace 12000 page monologue with nothing grabbing in it, just for the sake of remembering my past. I’d love to do that stuff someday, but I guess it’s something you belt out later in your career. I mean, Kiss spent a few years belting out these kick-ass stadium-destroying power albums before they started doing the weird experimental shit and the solo albums. You can’t hit off right away with a novel that’s about a bath towel or something. I want to start out with a roar and then work my way to a gentle glow. But who knows, I change my mind every 10 seconds with this shit…