An Open Note to Maud Newton

In response to this:

Avoid the hoopla and the hate and be you. It’s almost Memorial Day Weekend and people all over the nation are freaking out. Probably some unspoken reaction to the fact that a madman is in office, the United States has been caught with its hands in the photographic cookie jar, and there appears no immediate remedy. Tough times, when you factor in the economy and the fact that more guns will be fired into other people tomorrow than any other day of the year. (Okay, that last statistic was a lie.)

But my point is this: everyone is entitled to freak out a little, including you. If that means stopping the blog for a little while, we’ll miss you, but so be it. It’s a fait accompli. We’re cool.

Writing a novel is one of the hardest things that anyone can do. But don’t stop. Keep trying. Your shit is good. Or are you convinced that there’s some nutty conspiracy here who loves you? We here at Return of the Reluctant have offered to give 24-7 cunnilingus to Kate Lee, if only she’d check out our wares. She’s declined. She doesn’t like our tongue action. But no worries. Whereas, on your end, no prob. In short, what else do we have to do to point out that you rock?

In response to (1), please stop the negativity. Your stuff is not drivel. Don’t listen to the angry folks. They’re jealous and have too much time on their hands.

In response to (2), did you know that Jonathan Lethem essentially strung together a bunch of stories for his early novel Amnesia Moon? Sounds cool what you’re doing. Part of a grand tradition. You’ve got to start somewhere. Plus, you’ve got to set goals. Glad you’re taking the bull by the horns.

In response to (3), good good and good. Do what you need to do. When it’s ready, it’s ready. Only three people have read my play so far. But you’ll eventually get to the point where it’s no longer love-hate, and it simply just is. Keep at it.

In response to (4), bloggers are fucking crazy. No one is asking anyone to offer in-depth interviews. Since we feel partially responsible, given our previous call for greater coverage, we should also point out Samuel Johnson’s grand maxim, “No one but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” We should also point out that we are blockheads. Fuck, we’d love to offer that kind of in-depth coverage, but we’re trying to pay the rent ourselves. And it sounds to me like you’re an expert in yourself. Probably more.

In response to (5), We’ve told you this several times privately, and now we’re going to tell you publicly: You don’t have to answer every email, especially ours. Human beings have limits!

In response to (6), if it’s not fun, don’t do it. Come back when you feel it’s fun.

And for all you other whipper-snappers, you leave Maud alone. Or we’ll personally subscribe you to every known mailing list pertaining to organized religion.

That is all.


  1. Amen!

    If you want drivel, steer yourself over my way! Maud is and hopefully will always be essential reading.

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