Monday, August 7

The garage sale went well. The surgery comes up next week, and has been described as routine, though I have to take it under a general, which I hate . . . The Celebrex ain't workin' so much. There may be narcotics in my short-term future after all.

And in response to AzrofD, regarding TRAITOR and my style:

I don't think of myself as even HAVING a style.

I take every story as its own thing, and throw as much of my poor battered brain at each particular wall as I can make stick. In other words, I write balls-out for glory, and never think about whether something I'm putting down is "my style." I think about whether what I'm putting down is the STORY's style: if it suits the feel I'm trying to create.

This, I should add (to paraphrase Steve Stone) for all you Young Writers out there, is roughly how the great EB White recommended all writers should go about "their style." In his seminal book on elegant writing (which he co-authored with the legendary William Strunk), THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, White recommended that a writer should aim for clarity above all else, and should never even THINK about His or Her Own Style, as your true style is an expression of your true self: it arises with no conscious thought on your part, because it is what you are.

Everything else is affectation.

" . . . brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness its limbs and outward flourishes . . ."

Oh, and Jenn?

You're wrong. You don't want to seee her angry. At anyone.

Trust me on this.

And kiss the boyo for the LOCKE LAMORA aut'd edition, in case I can't deliver said kiss myself. I'm still hoping -- given good progress with the knee and moving into the new house -- that I and the Fabulous Robyn might be able to make it to the wedding . . .


Azrof D said...

What an awesome response. As always, I am amazed at your enthusiasm to respond to what your guests and readers ask.

Thank you for what you have given your community of readers Matt.

Anonymous said...


I'll trust you. :) She sounds like my mother when she gets mad. As long as she's not mad at me the critters and I all take off for the farthest corner of possibility to get away from her wrath. At least that's what i used to do.

As for the wedding. We would love to see you, even if you're just relaxing with your foot on a chair. :)

If not, we'll have to make a trip out Chicago way later this year.

And I'll kiss the boyo, but only chaste kisses delivered from you through me :P


Elio Fucile said...

Hi Matthew,

After listening to the two interviews you did on the web radio show Star Wars en Direct I picked up a copy of Shatterpoint and the ROTS novelization. I've only read a half dozen or so other Star wars novels but the two of yours I read were excellent. So far your novels were those that gave the most insight into the characters. I'm going to pick up Traitor next.

I saw that you're taking anti-depressants and you will be undergoing surgery. I'm not to clear on why your taking it, not sure if it's for pain or as an anti-depressant. I was on Paxil for five years and the withdrawal nearly cost me my job and my marriage. When I got off that crap I was so full of rage that I
lashed out at anyone who looked at me for too long. That was the most dreadful summer of my life.

I swore to myself that never again would I go back on anti-depressants. However, the anxiety and depression were more present than ever. I was never a big believer in “alternative mediciens” but after speaking with my youngest sister. I was reminded by her that our mother had gone into remission from lymphoma when the doctors said she would kick the bucket in a matter of months. My mama decided it wasn't her time yet and she looked at alternative medicien and she lived sic years longer tha what the doctors said she would. So I decided to look at “alternative” means of dealing with my anxieties and depression.

I had my colon removed many years ago because of Ulcerative Colitis and in reading I found out that the gut has a lot to do with our moods. So I changed my diet completely and started taking probiotics and our supplements. The supplement that has helped the most with my depression is an amino acid called DL Phenylalanine. I also added exercise to my weekly routine. I have been keeping my anxiety and depression under control. I'm enjoying playing with my son and old hobbies again (photography and writing). Oh and I also lost 70lbs in the process.

I noticed that you are also intune with what the republicans are doing to mess up your country. I would suggest you take the time and go to Google Video and do a search for

Loose Change - 2nd Edition and Martial Law 9/11: Rise of the Police State (Alex Jones) . The first debunks the myth that 911 wasa terrorist attack. Well actually, it was a terroist attack but not the terroists most people think. Martial Law 9/11 gives you what's behind the 9-11 attack.

Matthew, you're an intelligent man so I'll pay you the complement of being blunt, be very careful of the meds you take, most of them are poisons, and always second guess your doctors.

Now you maybe wondering who the fuck I am why the fuck did I spend all this time writing this to you. My name is Elio. The reason why I wrote is because your books entertained me and touched me. Yes, I was touched by two Star Wars novels. I maybe a geek, but I'm a happy geek. It's my believe that when someone does something good for me i have to return that good to them or to others. Cheesy i know but hey I'm happy thinking this way.

I hope the surgery fixes the problem with your knee.

Thank you very much for two great books. I will be purchasing other soon.


MWS said...

Thanks, Elio.

Rest assured that I am a fervent exerciser, when my knee permits. My antidepressants are for relief of my migraine/fm syndrome, and work reasonably well. And I do take probiotics -- one called BioBeads, from Natrol, because it's the only brand that doesn't contain yeast, to which I am allergic.

I appreciate the advice, and the compliments. I'll take a look at the web site you recommend, though I'll warn you in advance that I have very little patience for conspiracy theories in general, and 911 conspiracy theories in particular (it's recently passed "The Grassy Knoll" and "Cleopatra Was Black" as my Least Tolerated Bunk).

Elio Fucile said...

Hi Again Matthew,

I was never into conspiracy theories myself until someone pointed out the Loose Change video. The fellow that put that together really has his shit together.

I'd be very curious to know what you think of it after you view it. The other I recommend Martial Law you may find a little far-fetched however he does raise some very interesting points.

Gotta get back to work now.


Jim said...

I've only seen Loose Change 3, which was certainly well put together...still not sure where I stand on that.

Love your comments about style, MWS. I write from time to time. I often get comments on my stuff that says it's nothing like other stuff that I've done before. I think it comes down to style: I just don't have any, haha. I write how I feel I'll best get my story across.

Chris said...

Good to see a few blog posts Matt! Hope the house move goes well, surgery gets done, and that you manage to squeeze in Scott and Jen's wedding at the end of the month!

I notice that no-one has asked, so maybe I shouldn't, but how exactly did you bust that knee up?!?

The guy I was meant to be finding a (two bed!) apartment with this summer bust his knee in his first American Football game of the season this year. Messy business, he was off his feet for eight weeks, crutches for five, and is limping still. He's going to need surgery.

He'd still fight a kraken, though.

Shawn Scarber said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, Matt. Hope everything goes well.

MWS said...

Nothing heroic, Romantic or even dramatic. Happened at work, ducking under a bar.

Probably the result of degenerative joint disease, but it's impossible to say until something goes wrong with my OTHER knee . . .

As far as Loose Change goes, well --

It just doesn't pass the bullshit test.

First: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

They should call back when they actually have their hands on some of the evidence they claim the government is concealing.

Second: I find it difficult to believe that the same government that could seamlessly orchestrate a vast conspiracy such as the filmmakers claim occurred, would have stepped on its own dick quite so hard in Iraq. Shit, they couldn't even manage to conceal that Pat Tillman was killed by his own unit, or that Jessicca Lynch was just an unlucky truck driver who was actually rescued, treated and essentially released by her Iraqi doctors, rather than a daring Special Forces operation . . .

I mean, if they could control 9/11 information so precisely, this other shit should be child's play.

MWS said...

Hey Scarber! -- you snuck in while I was writing.

Drop by Frameshift, man; I'd like to hear about Clarion West, and I'm sure the monkeys miss flinging shit your way.

Ben said...

Anyone know if this blog has an RSS feed? I used to get it, but lost the address.

Amy said...

I feel like a twit for having my first post to you be about medecine, but just a warning about Celebrex, I was taking it for a while (rotater cuff injury, hurt like a bitch from hell) and I noticed that my heart was racing, fortunately I didn't take them too long so no damage done, but if you feel like you're suddenly short of breath and your chest feels odd, I'd hold off on those meds until a doc says something about them one way or the other.

Enough of that "health" crap, I want to talk about your books! The first book I read of yours was "Heroe's Die", which one of my friends had bought and was passed around to everyone we knew. Loved it so much that I bought my own copy (well, we also wound up wearing the old copy apart, so a new one was necessary). After reading that I decided to scrounge up every book of yours that I could lay my greedy hands on, and haven't been dissapointed with any of them. I am mildy ticked off that you made me like Mace Windu so much only in time for him to die, though. ;) Loved Barra in the "Heart of Bronze" series, and that's saying a lot, since for some reason I tend to loathe most female leads (have to admit that I did a happy dance at Pallas Ril's death in the Caine books...) and I can't wait for the next Caine book...Ok yeah I can wait, since I have no say in when it comes out, and I'd much rather you take your time and get the sucker done right than rush it and be pissed at the results.

Sorry about the rablings, just really excited about your stuff.

Chris said...

Ducking under the bar for a drink worth busting your knee for, I hope! (perhaps one of the smokey whiskeys that Gabe Mesa poured down my throat in NYC - damn they were good...)

I couldn't remember if you were tending bar in the evening or bouncing. Was hoping for a story along the lines of:

...well, y'all know how the biggest crime lord in Chicago and his gang wandered into the place, demanding free entry, and I was all "edge towards my 'king fistmotherbitches!" Took 'em all out, but had to break my own knee to make it look like self-defence when the cops arrived...

Shevchyk said...

It's good to see that you're making headway towards the mend, Matt.

Is knee-surgery something that takes a while from which to recover? (No casts? Anything of that sort?)

Much congratulations on the house. Space enough in the backyard for your dog?

MWS said...

Aye and aye.

Nice fenced back yard. And no cast, but three months or so of rehab before I can even squat or take a knee . . .

On the other hand, before arthroscopic surgery, it'd have been six months, and I'd probably walk with a limp for the rest of my life.

On balance, I'm okay with it.

Elio said...

In an earlier post you mentioned that you suffer from migraine & fm. If by "fm" you mean Fibro Myalgia then may I suggest you google Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN). It's a drug taken in very low doses that increases the levels of endorphins which are the bopdy's natural pain killers. I know of one woman personally that I suggested LDN to and she has been a lot better.

Loose Change: I don't want to start an argument but i'd be really curious to know why it doesn't pass the "bullshit" test.

I would like you to try and refute three things.

1. Why did Norad or the US Airforce not send jets to intercept. Keep in mind that when Payne Stewart's plane deviated from its course withinm 10 to 15 min jets were scrambled to intercept him, which is regular procedure. 9-11 saw four huge airlines go off course for roughly 40 minutes and the air force and Norad sat on their hands.

2. Why did building 7 collapse when it was only grazed by any kind of debris. This leads me to my third point.

3. Explain how buildings that were built to withstand the crash of multiple airliners came crashing down. Other high rises around to world have burned for over 20 hours and not collapse but on 9-11 two of the worlds largest buildings came crashing down in what to everyone watching with a half a brain looks like a controlled demolition.

Is reality to scary to deal with? I'm not trying to be insulting but I do have a friend that comes right out and says, "I don't want to look past what is said about 9-11 past what I see on CNN because I sleep better at night." I truly do not want to start an argument, I'm too sick and to tired for that, but I really need to understand how an intelligent person such as yourself can call what was presented in Loose Change "bullshit".

Shevchyk said...

Completely out of curiosity:

The plane that hit the Pentagon - did the impact result in a complete deterioration of the plane?

Shevchyk said...

A bloody limp for the rest of yer life?

Sweet Bloody Jad.

I have trouble conceiving of there being a chink in your armour, as I'd thought training at the Degerberg school left you in a nigh-Terminator -like state of physical robustness.

Shitty timing though.

Elio said...

Hi Shevchyk,

That's the "offical word" the plane disintegrated after hitting the pentagon. That would be the first time in history that there would be no wreckage left.

MWS said...

Elio --

It's not a question of "not being able to handle the truth." It's a question of not being bamboozled by speculation and cherry-picked "facts" unsupported by direct evidence.

Have you read the 9/11 Commission Report?

It's worth your time.

Elio said...

No I haven't read the report. You make of the building coming down as if they were intentionally demolished? Just that boogles the mind. One building I would understand but three?

I'm just trying to make sense of it.

Ryan said...

Best of luck with your surgery and recovery, Matt. Given your love of martial arts, I know this must be grinding you.

As far as Loose Change goes, here's a massive online argument about JUST THIS VERY THING so we don't need to rehash it out here! Although if you really want to, you can:

It's an argument between James Grant and Nick Mamatas (and the occasional other commentor).

I tend to think it's easier to think of the government as some sort of shadowy cabal of ultimate evil. Makes things nice and simple. Gives you people to hate.

But really: Try not to assign to malice what can be as easily assigned to stupidity.

Elio said...

Good link Ryan. I'm not trying to find people to hate I just want to understand. When I think of 9-11 it makes me very anxious. I use to let my anxiety turn into hate which is easy, but being older and wiser I understand it and in turn deal with it without turning to hate.

Got off early from work to go take some photos with mine new toy.


MWS said...

And there's this site, which I haven't had the chance to personally vet thoroughly, but seems to be worth checking out:

The truth is all that matters (well, to me, anyway . . .)

Ben said...

Do yourself a favor and read NIST's Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center. They should have another report on the smaller building in a few months too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Stover!
What's this I hear about yor knee?
Good grief, man! Hope all is going well.
I am heading back to work in about a week after having a summer off. Have read lots of good books.
Take care of yourself and keep us posted.