author, mystic, kook

keeping an eye on the abyss
so you don't have to


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NEW LGBTQ+ Serial Fiction from Mr. Troy Ford

Two friends on different but parallel paths, from private school through college and their raging twenties, until the abrupt, mysterious end of their friendship. Told through reminiscences, journal excerpts, letters, and short stories, Lamb is a snapshot in episodes of young men coming of age after the decimation of AIDS—a new, sometimes shiny, sometimes dark afterparty of gay awakening.

a novel by Troy Ford

Jimmy Traywick—pretty, barfly, talented painter—loses his job, his apartment, his boyfriend, and his gallery in a single disastrous month. As he leaves San Francisco to start over in a Bay Area backwater, a charismatic stranger well-connected in the New York art world appears to rescue his painting ambitions. Meanwhile, disappointed by boozy hookups, he muses over throupling up with a Daddy/boy couple, or a safe romance with a sweet but ambiguous coworker.

Jimmy’s new patron soon delivers bleak feedback from an NYC art dealer: his style is too unsophisticated. Determined to salvage the opportunity, he enlists his lovers as models in a bid to make his work fresh and relevant.

Even as secrets unravel and his relationships spin out of control, Jimmy's new painting series secures his participation in a group show. But just when love, success and sobriety are finally within reach, past mistakes engulf him in a twisted intersection of hopelessness, rage, and greed.

A "gritty and exciting story" with "sharp [-] terrific [-] delicious" characterisation - a "laconic voice that perfectly matches the mileu."

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unspeakable nothings  

CHANGE MY MIND: Tomato Soup, Vincent Van Gogh, and You

The fire is already started, you just can't feel the heat - yet

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Four Minute Read

Experiments are never a failure if we learn from them

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It Was a Snark and Swarmy Flipe

How *NOT* to write the first line of your novel

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After Roe v. Wade

The FIGHT of our lives

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AFTER YEARS STRUGGLING to write in the FANTASY genre, TROY FORD realized all the drama, strangeness, MAGIC, and elemental forces you could possibly want already happen every morning from the moment we open our eyes, and subsequently switched to LGBTQ+ LITERARY FICTION.

TROY FORD categorically DENIES that he prefers the company of almost any common DANDELION over most people.
TROY FORD is not exactly an INTROVERT, but if he were, he would be in a near perpetual state of EXASPERATION in this JINGLE JANGLE world.

TROY FORD has been a bagger, a babysitter, a gardener, a burger flipper, a fry guy, a shopkeeper, a concessionaire, a greenskeeper, a hashslinger, a caterer, a bookseller, a librarian, a stock broker, an interior designer, and most recently, an émigré, houseHUSBAND, & dog DADDY.

Here are some other keywords and tags you might see POP up from time to time:

los angeles ADOPTED he/him NEURODIVERGENT reading 
SAUDI ARABIA boarding school UC BERKELEY rhetoric QUEER 
SAN FRANCISCO oakland SPAIN sitges
SOBER meditation

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh became the model for my writing aspirations around age 10, down to the notebook and the spying - in my case, from behind bushes and up in a tree, making observations and taking notes about unsuspecting passersby.  One of my great regrets is that I don't still have those early notebooks, though I did begin keeping a journal in high school and have kept one faithfully ever since.

I chose a pen name for my first creative writing class in fifth grade: Xavier Gadfry.

Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien - Little, Big John Crowley - The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame - Brave New World Aldous Huxley - 1984 George Orwell - The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood - To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee - The God of Ecstasy Arthur Evans - The Ladies Doris Grumbach - Less Andrew Sean Greer - The House of Life Mario Praz - Green Thoughts Eleanor Perényi - Death in Venice Thomas Mann - O Caledonia Elspeth Barker

Virginia Woolf
John Fante
Roberto Bolaño
Roald Dahl
Edward Gorey

(Yes, I do have rather antique taste in books.)
I got serious about reading at about the age of 9, when one summer vacation I decided to read every book in the library, in order (an early clue that something was a bit off with me.) I got about half way through the first shelf, and was hooked.

Young reader favorites:

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet Eleanor Cameron - The Westing Game Ellen Raskin - The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler E. L. Konigsburg - The Egypt Game Zilpha Keatley Snyder  - Call It Courage Armstrong Sperry - Encyclopedia Brown Donald J. Sobol - The Great Brain John Dennis Fitzgerald - The Great Gilly Hopkins Katherine Paterson - Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
A limerick based on the The Mad Scientists' Club circa 4th Grade.

"The Monster of Strawberry Lake"

The monster of Strawberry Lake
Looks very much like a drake.
He eats people whole,
But first cooks them in coal;
That's only because he can't bake.
"Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist."
- Jane Smiley, author of A Thousand Acres

My best advice to an aspiring writer is to buy, borrow or steal every book of writing advice you can get your hands on and read them over and over. Every single one* is going to have some little idea, piece of advice, trick, or way of framing the process that will help you get better.

And the only other thing every successful writer says:

Keep writing! Failure only happens when you give up.

*Except for The Art of Fiction by John Gardner (it's terrible.)

I can't imagine a more difficult, challenging, or interesting vocation than creating a story, a narrative world, out of literally no tangible thing, just a thought, an idea.

Yes, people do this in science and all sorts of fields, but rarely does the rank and file, the average person, have the opportunity to enact this great generative process, this creation.

Art, writing, is a frontier we may never exhaust, and it is readily available to anyone, anywhere, with little to no equipment or capital required. It's endlessly fascinating, and yes, magical.
Keep a journal, nothing fancy required.
Good advice for life and for writing.

"Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."

"And when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

- Friedrich Nietzsche