18 January 2017
Working on my personal budget for February and it’s nice to have the $113.00 from Mr. Skin/Naked News to factor in and my cancellation of the Internet in my apartment (I use my laptop in the Wi-Fi Room in the lobby of my apartment building now) and the cancellation of my long-distance calling phone service which I never used anyway won’t factor into my budget until the next billing cycle which will be the Verizon bill I get for March, but still it is really something to look forward to and add to that, that yesterday I got by snail mail my Pennsylvania Property Tax or Rent Rebate Program 2016 application form and the year 2017 will be a relatively prosperous year for this low-income baby boomer who is a full-time professional blogger because for the last several years I’ve qualified for a rent rebate of $500.00 which is deposited electronically in my checking account the first day of July which is why I’m thinking of re-opening Submissions around July for 30 days so that the fees I pay my contributors will come out of my rent rebate and not my monthly budget…
What I would really like to do is to re-open Submissions year round and to publish a contributor every month again like I use to but I don’t want to squander my newly won though limited prosperity so if I do re-open Submissions year round and go back to publishing a contributor every month I will definitely reduce the fee I pay for a story since right now I pay $30.00 for each story with the problem being how much should I pay for a story ($25.00, $20.00?) because I don’t want to go too low but the important thing for me to keep in mind is that the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette must not only pay for itself it must also show a profit like any other healthy business and now when I say a profit I mean something like $500.00 a year more than I invest in The Gazette and right now with no fees for contributors I invest $145 in The Gazette every year.
Domain Name $15.00
Back Up $20.00
I guess when I say I dream of being a successful full-time professional blogger I also mean I dream of being a successful entrepreneur and right now The Gazette is projected to operate in the black this year with no contributors so re-opening Submissions especially if I re-open Submissions year round demands careful consideration on my part as an online editor/publisher…
I continue to read the novel Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac and I am struck by how avant-garde the writing style is even now and considering the novel was published in 1965 that’s really saying something, but even though reading Kerouac and being exposed to his “spontaneous” writing style has liberated me and has allowed me to scribble freely in my notebook (which I later transcribe to this blog) without premeditation of subject matter I find his “spontaneous” writing sometimes leaves too much room for misinterpretation and I have been too much influenced by writers like Raymond Caver and Hemingway and John O’Hara not to try to make my writing as clear as possible because even though my writing is spontaneous now thanks to Kerouac I also place a premium on clarity and the precision of written language so you can say that I’m trying to achieve an internal monologue made up of a stream of impressions, insights, memories and concrete sense details passed between blogger and reader to create a prose where the reader is 50% of the creative process…
You’ve liberated my style
Now what do I do?
The main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is about a twenty-minute walk from my apartment building and when I walked into the library this afternoon I could smell the good smells coming from the area on the right just beyond the entrance where large cookies (one is the classic black and white cookie), other pastries, hot and cold drinks, specialty sandwiches and the largest brownies I’ve ever seen in my life are sold with the area filled with young women some with babies in strollers or on their shoulders and others who looked like high school and college students both male and female at tables reading and drinking what may have been cups of coffee or hot chocolate and two middle-age people at the two computers in that area and just people of all backgrounds and ages talking or studying or reading books at other tables and it was less like being in the library and more like being in a family friendly popular cafe and as I continued walking toward the stacks I looked to my left and there was an area filled with chairs facing a small movie screen which was the same area I saw musicians perform an acoustic set in for an appreciative audience a couple of months ago and as I continued to stroll toward the stacks I passed through tables with other people of mostly traditional undergraduate age and high school age who sat studying, copying by hand from books into notebooks and working on their laptops and this one young woman at a table by herself must have been taking a break because several books were spread in front of her along with a large notebook and from her shoulder bag on the table she had pulled out two long knitting needles and cloth and she was knitting something and had slipped off her shoes to reveal bright red socks…
I take a bus back to my apartment building and in the lobby I check to see if I have any mail and there is no mail and I can see through the window of the Wi-Fi Room and then through the window of the super’s office the super at her desk and we wave to each other and I pick up one of the cardboard ads stacked neatly in three piles on the low table in the lobby and the ad I pick up has three coupons on it for the grand opening of an Arby’s a few blocks away and two of the coupons are buy one get one free sandwich coupons and one of the coupons is a get one free sandwich coupon with no purchase necessary which I already got one free sandwich and I wanted to try to get another free sandwich. I found out about the free coupons from the super when I was in the Wi-Fi Room working when she came into worked one morning and she brought in two of the ads for me and now she comes out of her office and stands just outside the doorway of the Wi-Fi Room with her hands in the pockets of her blue jeans and her red and white checkered shirt makes me think of the checkered shirts Jack Kerouac favored but of course the super is a woman in her 40s who wears glasses and her strawberry blonde hair down to her shoulders whose bubbly voice sounds much younger than the voice of a woman in her 40s.
“What’s going on?”she says.
“Not much. I just came back from the library. I thought I’d try to get another sandwich. I still have another coupon left that you gave me.”
“You got a sandwich yesterday?”
“Well it’s free you may as well. Which one did you get?”
“The stacked Italian. It was pretty good and it doesn’t say just one to a customer.”
“No it’s one per transaction.”
“So I’ll try to get another one tomorrow.”
“I mean it’s free so you may as well.” She laughs in that much younger woman’s voice. “Have a nice day.”
“See you. You too.”
She’s married with a grown daughter. I like her.
This is Guy Hogan reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. The Gazette features the videos of Naked News. Scan down the sidebar to Categories and the Naked News link is at the very top. All photos used in this blog post were sampled from Egotastic All Stars.