Video: Idle Rambling About The State Of The Third Draft Of My First Novel

Will The Mythical ‘Woke Park Slope Moms’ Like My Novel?

by Shelt Garner

Now, let me be clear — I have always been making a joke about “woke Park Slope moms” whenever I mentioned them as an audience for this novel. And, the more I think about it, the more I realize I’ve failed even if I was being serious — this novel is shaping up to be a trashy, somewhat pulpy page turner with a lot of spicy scenes and a curious premise: a part-time stripper’s obsession with owning a community newspaper.

A building in the Park Slope area of NYC.

I think if this novel is popular among “woke Park Slope moms” it will be popular for the very reason why it’s not “woke” — it has a lot of spicy scenes. The downside, of course, is that I’m a smelly CIS white male writing those spicy scenes, sometimes from a female POV.

But these are wine moms we’re talking about, so it’s at least possible that the same dynamic that made 50 Shades of Gray a big hit might be in play when it comes to this novel. I really like what I’ve come up with. This novel is colorful, different and interesting — just like me.

A lot will depend on marketing of this novel once I somehow, magically, manage to get an agent and then sell it. I really want this novel to be an old brown shoe to people who read the Stieg Larsson novel’s 20 years ago. If I can tap into that same audience, then, well, we’re cooking with gas.

It will be interesting to see what happens, of course.

‘What A Weekday’ But More Snarky & Devoted To New York City Media Is The Vision I Have For A New Podcast

By Shelt Garner

The closest approximation to the type of podcast I want to listen to every day would be much like Crooked Media’s new What A Weekday podcast that Jon Lovett hosts. But my vision for a podcast would be centered around NYC life, entertainment and media, rather than the vaguely political vision of WAW.

We need a NYC-based podcast obsessed with Julia Fox’s every twitch.

I don’t even live in NYC, but it sure would be fun to have a podcast based out of NYC that was completely obsessed with the constant power struggles at The New York Times. Or be obsessed with whatever weird thing Julia Fox is doing at any particular moment.

Maybe Crooked Media could make my dream come true?

Most of all, it would be snarky. It would have that sharp comic edge that Late Night with David Letterman had as did Spy Magazine and Gawker. That’s why the Lovett show is very close to what my vision is, it just isn’t as focused as what I think my specific vision for a NYC-centric podcast would be.

Anyway, I hope someone does something with this idea before the window of opportunity closes because AI has taken over everything and we’re all consuming media via our AVP.

‘A Snarky Morning Zoo Podcast Devoted To NYC Media’

by Shelt Garner

The thing I’ve noticed about a lot — A LOT — of podcasts is how somnambulistic they can be. It’s just two or more people talking in a very languid way that makes you want to go to sleep.

This is a really good book by Ben Smith.

So, my vision for a Gawker-like podcast (which you are free to steal!) would be something like this — you live stream a two hour podcast three times a week (if not more) then edit it down to an hour for the rest of the day for non-live listeners.

I would want the podcast to be snarky, fun and energetic. It would be a bunch of (hot?) young people talking about Emma Chamberlain, Julia Fox and the Dune 2 popcorn bucket that everyone wants to fuck. You know, the type of bullshit Gawker was ranting about in 2003-2004.

The key could be who your hosts — and guests — were. I would grab some hip, just-out-of-college neo-club kids and with great personalities and throw them together into the Thunderdome. I would try to have at least one more “conservative” person on a panel of three to mix things up. But they couldn’t be a knuckle dragging MAGA person, but someone who thinks SNL is too woke or something.

But it would have to be genuine and not forced. And that would be the hardest part of the whole thing — how to get the spark of people who had actual witty banter on the fly and who knew the zeitgeist well. In that respect, I guess you might need to find some young stand up to be one of your three?

The first guest for this podcast would need to be someone like Sarah Squirm of SNL. She would be the perfect person to establish what the podcast was going to be about.

Slow & Steady Wins The Race

by Shelt Garner

The novel is getting really, really good. It’s just taking a lot longer than I would prefer for me to get past the thrashing around in the water phase of things. But I am slowly but surely getting close to the second act.

The dream is to write a novel as successful as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Of course, I still find myself worried about how long the whole thing is going to be.

And, of course, I still need to work on some backup stories in case disaster strikes.

But, in general, not only does the novel flow really well, but there is an ebb and flow to things that I think will appeal to readers.

It does help that I’ve stopped drinking entirely. I hate being a dry drunk, but hopefully — hopefully — I will be able to focus structuring my life in a much better way.

I have to stop pissing my life and time away by daydreaming so much.

A Ping From My Successful Future

by Shelt Garner

For health reasons, I’ve decided to stop drinking full stop immediately. It seems this is example of a ping from my successful future — something is going to happen to make me a success just as I’m both too old to party with 24-year-olds AND I can’t even drink.

So, if that’s not a sign that I’m going to break out with my DJ (novel) money soon enough, I don’t know what is. I won’t be able to get wasted and go home with some smoking hot babe.

Any dating with be done sober and with women who are too old to have babies. Sigh.

It’s all very deep. I have to accept that I’m going to be 20 to 30 years too old to have the type of success I feel I should have. Any “success” I have will be that of a very late bloomer who is frantically doing everything in his power to cram in as many colorful and cool things into the twilight of his life.

It’s going to both suck and be great (if surreal.)

So, that fits the way my life has been to date so obviously it’s going to happen. Barring my becoming a Blue Revolution leader in late 2024, early 2025, even if I stick the landing with my novel, I’m not going to be published author until I’m in my mid-50s.

As such, I will have a very limited amount of time to do all the cool shit I feel I deserve to do. And, even then, it won’t be in the way I always dream it would be.


The 2024 Media Landscape

by Shelt Garner

Hmmm. If someone gave me, say, $1 million in startup media cash, how would I use it? If I had a choice, I think I would invest in it some sort of experimental media company for the Apple Vision Pro that would link it to AI generated entertainment.

But if I *had* to work with legacy media, then, I think I would setup shop in Manhattan and start a zine of some sort that was really weird and really conspicuous. I would go out of my way to all but stalk the employees of the major media outlets in the city and physically hand them copies of the zine.

I would then leverage the buzz from that to make a really popular network of podcasts that would point people to a series of blogs.

And, yet, I think I’m too stuck in about 2006.

The media landscape is kind of meh at the moment and it definitely seems as though some combination of XR and AI is where we’re going to see all the cool stuff in the next few years (months?) There’s just no space left for any sort of new media outlet with a print component.

Print is all over but the shouting, as best I can tell.

So, I dunno. It will be interesting to see what the next few years see.

I Need To Visit NYC Again

by Shelt Garner

Even though I’m old as dirt and will never be “young in NYC” I do enjoy visiting The Big Apple on occasion. In fact, what I would really like to do is visit LA as well sometime. But if I did that, I would like to have three solid scripts written and that just isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

The thing about New York City is the energy. It really sparks my creativity whenever I visit. And there remains a part of me that thinks if I ever was able to live there long term that I would be the most famous person in my borough. I’m an extreme extrovert and something of a kook.

And, yet, I also think that maybe LA would be a better place for that particular element of my personality to get me somewhere. As I’ve said before, I think if I got invited to a cocktail party in LA I would inevitably catch some producer’s attention just because I would get drunk and hold court saying some really provocative and interesting things as the night progressed.

Yes, I know that every drunk thinks they’re the funniest, most interesting person in the room when, in fact, they’re just a drunk.

I do hope to visit NYC at some point in 2024. I just hope it’s not as a domestic political refugee when the country collapses into civil war or revolution in late 2024 after the election.

Give Me A Couch & Access To The NYC Subway — I’ll Take Over The World

by Shelt Garner

We all have the random delusion that we use to keep air in our lungs. For me, it’s the idea that if you just gave me the absolute basics of living in NYC — a couch to sleep on and access to the subway — that I could actually make quite a lot out of myself.

But, of course, I’m being rather delusional to think this for a number of reasons. One is, NYC is FULL of people who are just as colorful and weird as I am. Also, I’m old — and short. And, NYC is a lot different than LA. In NYC, it’s a lot more difficult to fake-it-till-you-make it than it is in LA.

NYC has some very cold, harsh metrics when any discussion of advancing your lot in life is brought up. And it helps if you’re young and cute. At least in LA, everyone is so obsessed with making in showbiz that if you’re good as schmoozing — which I am — people will at least listen to you.

But I am a bit long in tooth, I fear — especially for LA.

What is so interesting to me is the few people I know who live in NYC act like I’m an honorary New Yorker. They keep expecting me to move to NYC even though I’m a broke ass writer at the moment. But the few times I visited NYC I loved it. I really — REALLY — want to live there.

At the moment, there are two possibly ways I might make that dream come true.

One is, I sell my first novel, it’s a break out hit and I have the funds to move to NYC on my own terms. Score! The other, darker possibility is there’s a Second American Civil War and I’m forced to flee the South because, lulz, it’s 2025 MAGA SA is out for blood and wants to murder me.

I dunno. I’ve been sleep waking through my life for way, way, way too long. And maybe it’s too late. Maybe, This Is It. I’m have a heart attack or a stroke without even having the good sense to finish my first novel.

Only time will tell.

Am I Being Delusional To Think I Could Make It In NYC? (Yes, Probably)

by Shelt Garner

I look back on my life and am sad that I didn’t have the gumption to visit NYC on a regular basis when I was in my 20s. Maybe things would have worked out differently for me. Now, as an Old, I visit NYC every once in a while and I love it. It’s really inspiring and, as an extrovert, I feed of the city’s intense energy. Whenever I go, find myself slipping into a daydream where I live in the city full time and I’m a regular bon vivant.

Me, in LA 2025?

In other words, I’m delusional.

But there’s some context. I’ve found most New Yorker’s have a lot of heart despite being very cold and distant to strangers. The city if full of characters and, being a character myself, I find myself drawn there. If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere, as the song goes. I think back to my drunken rampage when I was living in Seoul many moons ago, and a little part of me wistfully wonders if I could pull off similar success on Trantor instead of Terminus, to use an Isaac Asimov reference.

Here’s my thinking — the same dynamic that caused me to become one of the best known expats in South Korea would be at play in New York City. I’m an extreme extrovert and the more I drink, the more extroverted I become. The usual caveats about drunks thinking they’re the funniest person in the room apply, of course.

And, yet, every time I delude myself into thinking this, I realize maybe I have the wrong city in mind. There are plenty of cranks on the streets of New York City that get nowhere in life. New York City is full of larger-than-life, colorful characters who pretty much exist solely to inspire drunk writers like me.

As such, maybe LA is where I should head instead, given the opportunity. The only reason I even suggest this is I’m such a good schmoozer (especially when intoxicated) that I have a hunch that someone, somewhere with a little bit of clout might notice me if I ended up at a cocktail party. As I’ve written before, I’m known to pontificate a lot like Quentin Tarantino in the movie “Sleep With Me.”

But, of course, I’m old. I’m not as cute as I used to be, far from it.

So, I think my best bet is to just keep my head down and keep working on these six novels I’m developing and writing. And, should the opportunity come, look into writing a screenplay or three as well.