Tag Archives: Writing

The Unpublished Works

Everyone likes seeing their name in print.

Well, unless of course it’s trash tabloid-ism or an arrest warrant… But I’m not talking just-printed-on-paper but I mean a by-line of one sort or another. I can say that from experience as I’ve gotten that kick — seeing “John Fontana” linked to letters-to-the-editor, or being sourced/interviewed by USA Today, being quoted in The Hockey News, The New York Times Slap Shot blog and la-de-da.

But I can also say that wasn’t where I intended to go with writing when I started out as a kid.  My intention wasn’t to be a face-in-the-crowd (though no matter what you write or publish, you are another face in the crowd of literature) in the newspaper.  Not another source for magazines and what not.  Not a weblogger.  I planned on doing things creatively and having my own book.  Or books — plural.  Take your pick.

But that never happened.  See, when i was a teen I got away from story writing so much and was writing poetry most of the time…  a habit that’s followed me into adulthood.  Lyrical verse more-so than deep observations and perspectives…  Well, yeah they are perspectives but they are my perspectives.   Sometimes just pop, sometimes inspired by events or people or feelings  in my life.

Over the years, I’ve had some of them available to the masses through the web…  Certainly you can find a couple of them on this site and probably elsewhere on the web…  But they’ve never really been published in the sense of print.  Never published in the sense of being out there for any traditional form of mass consumption.  I haven’t bothered to take the time with sending out poems to magazines who have niches all of their own (and aren’t available unless you pay for a subscription or pay for a copy — while you’re not getting paid for your contribution).

I ought to put together a manuscript and do something with it.  But I’m hesistant.

Catherine Durkin Robinson, local blogger and Creative Loafing contributor, has written two book manuscripts.  Her first one is being published, chapter-by-chapter, on a blogspot site.  The other, a more recent work based on her life as a teacher in Hillsborough County, is being sent around to literary agents in hopes someone will pick up the work and mass-market it.  Sadly, that has not been the case and the rejections have been comical at best.

Their loss.  I’ve read the book and it’s not only a good read, it’s provocative and controversial enough to be read widely by those fearing school-district scandals.

I also have another friend, in the Pacific Northwest this time, who went out and self-published her first novel.  The book, Steel Goddesses, is currently available on Amazon.com for purchase.  It takes a lot of courage to go out on a limb like that and self-publish any work…  But it sort of cuts out the middle-man of having to appease literary agents who tell you what a proper market for your writing is-or-isn’t and tells you to change your work to fit that niche.  At least that’s what I’ve seen with rejections served up to Catherine.

So the idea I am kicking around is actually putting together a manuscript of poetry I’ve written over the past decade and self-publishing it.   I realize that poetry is not exactly a hot seller and not going to lead me to riches…  It’d cost me more to publish than the commissions I’d get in the long run from doing it…  But it does what I have long sought to do — take the writings jammed in Mead notebooks that I’ve carried around since High School and take some of those verses and show them to the masses.  Will people connect?  I have doubts.  Will strangers read what I’ve  written?  Even more doubts…  But it’s mine, and it’d be out there.  My claim.  My piece of literature.

My book.

It’s a thought, at least.

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Filed under Books, interweb, Personal, Poetry, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay, The Stonegauge, Writing

The Write Stuff

For a couple of years I had my writing online on various extensions of this domain name. Basically it was one short story and about a hundred poems that I had decided to put online.

Being the busy bee that I am and having other things to do online, I decided instead of keeping the site up and running, I took it down. All while saving the files.

Well, in a limited case I’m putting a definitive writing section back online. You can access it directly and you can also access it from the above menu by clicking WRITING.

Oh, and for the moment you can jump to the poems directly on the sidebar here on der Stonegauge’s main site. Some were never part of my collection on the old writings site and some were.

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Filed under Personal, Poetry, The Stonegauge, Writing

Everyone loves getting mail

Not one of my better poems, was written in a bit of a rush the other night when I had this thought on my mind… Inspired in part by The Lake House


I want to write you this letter
I want to spend time in thought and
Trying to figure out what I’d say to you
It’s great when you get a letter in the mail

And I’m thinking about writing a letter
It’s been a few weeks since we talked and
Right now you’re on my mind
Whether you like that idea or not

So it’s been a few weeks since we talked
The last time we did, we fought and
I let you walk all over me,
While you had good reason to be pissed

Yet I was all apologies
All in all is all we are
You never offered me the same
For you getting all angry and acting lame
I’d better not write you this letter after all

Why I better not write this letter
Because you just don’t respect me and
You got me tied around your little finger
And just twist and twist me tighter than a knot

Knots can be so cruel
They can be like feeling locked inside
Yeah, feelings can be knots too
Cinching tighter and restraining things

So I’m writing you this letter
I’m just a piece of twine twisted around
Your pinkie is red from this yarn
That we’ve both been spinning for ages

And it’s great getting letters in the mail
Last one I sent you was years ago
And I tap-tapity-tapped it up on my keyboard
My handwriting is a horror unto itself

The horror of my day
Realizing I still have feelings for you
And you’ve pretty clearly moved stage left
The lights are bright on Broadway
“The Producers” is better watched with an audience

And I don’t know if you care
Getting a letter in the mail from me
Letters in the mail are great but even better
When you don’t expect them
I’m the king of “don’t-expect’em”

And my wrist is getting
Writing out this yarned ramble
Ramble – what we know so well
What we loved, what we lived, what we did for hours

And I watched this movie
And it got me thinking that i ought to
Write you a letter
You could care less about the addressee
Your residence wasn’t hard to find

So I’m closing this letter off
Hoping to put things to rest even though it’s
Special to get a letter in the mail
And I want to share special with you again

All in all is all we are
Kurt Cobain is formally dead and
You can’t respect someone who kisses your ass
It just doesn’t work

So I watched this movie tonight
I wanted to write you a letter
I wanted to write you this letter
It’s great getting something in the mail

© John Fontana

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Filed under Personal, Poetry

Continued end chorus?

I talked about For Better or For Worse’s swan song last year year and there seems to be more wrapping-ups going on if that’s the case:

  • Grampa Jim had a stroke this week in the strips. You could see something dreadful was coming when Elly was on her way to visit him.
  • Becky seems to have made a sort of peace with April, and though April still resents the snide sentiment, I still think it may lead her to soemthing with hitting it big with music. April also showed her love of animals this summer — Vet School anyone?
  • Elly sold Liliputs like she was foreshadowing last year. Her and John have both made “final arrangements” over the past few months as well as looking at smaller houses
  • Michael is writing a book in his “spare” time.
  • …and while Elizabeth is in love with a cop from the North, it looks like she is going to end up with her High School sweetheart, Anthony, in the end

Elizabeth is really the only character that doesn’t seem to be set up for something big. Maybe nothing will come for Michael, April, Elly and John (though I am pretty sure about Grampa Jim taking a dirt nap soon) but of all the Pattersons — Elizabeth is going no where. Living at home again, love life in flux…

Man, how can I be wrapped up with a comic strip like this…?

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I can't impress upon you how true this is…

The title of Northwest Leftists post is “The Most important book for Progressives”… He’s talking about Crashing the Gate and I must stress how true those words are.

If you read political books to be outraged instead of informed — trash like Michael Moore or Al Franken and their self-obsorbed writings — this book can and should replace that type of reading in your bookcase. While Crashing shows you reasons to be outraged at both the left and the right, it keys you in how things must change and how you must be part of the political process too.

It’s the Red versus the Blue.
The Old versus the New.

It shows you what’s wrong with the Democrats and how we can go about fixing it.

Please, if you’re a Democrat — this is required reading material.

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Filed under Books, Politics

Writing re-assurance

I haven’t tried this in a long time – the last story I published in part on this blog was never competed (“Peter’s Problem” just rambles on and on) and never got any opinions on pieces fo the story I DID publish.

At any rate, I told people about this story in an earlier entry… There is no title to it as it stands right now and it’s just a few hundred words… Let me know what you think if you think anything about it… Just click on more to view it.

Continue reading

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Light My Fire — no, put it out. Please.

It’s been a while since I decided to read any non-ficiton. Usually it’s biographical works on icons of the Entertainment industry (ie: Beatles or the Doors). Keeping with that trend, I decided to pick up Ray Manzarek’s Light My Fire, it’s a Doors autobiography I’ve been meanign to read for some time.

And yet, as I’m still in the early areas of the book, I’m trying to understand why I thought it was a must read? Probably because of all the positive reviews of the book when it originally was released. Can’t be bad at all then, can it?

From a writing standpoint, it can be all that bad. And worse. Though Manzarek has a unique perspective on his tail…. He’s not a writer.

The book comes off much like a personal journal would, I guess… Reporting the mundane as well as the gripping, life-altering events of Ray’s life… But Manzarek loses focus and direction on any given topic quite easily. At one moment he’s about to discuss finding a live performance of the Blues in the south side o fChicago, and the next moment he’s rambling about attire he wore to graduation from the 8th grade…. One moment he’s about to get into his first exposure to Beat poetry, the next he’s laying the smackdown on facism and intimidation of the California Highway Patrol. He goes off on the broadest tangents and does not focus on the event that inspires the tangent thought.

Another instance of Ray veering wildly is a recounting of Jim Morrison’s UCLA film school student film… While trying to detail Jim’s non-linear movie that Rya found “poetic”, he begins recounting Oliver Stone’s version of the student film that he made as part of his feature film on the Doors. Ray goes off on Oliver for makign an innocent film into something with anti-semitism and Nazi inneundo. He attacks Stone (as he has since the film came out in the early 1990’s) and lets the UCLA film school experience vanish from the story.

It almost comes off like a conversation — one that varies wildly as those who partake in the conversation ramble on into the night. Yet, having to read this conversation is painful… Especially with gramatical errors of repeated run-on sentences, short sentences that woudl be better combined, repetition of adjectives, etc….

Ray’s book, while from the heart, has nothing on John Densemore’s Riders on the Storm autobiography.,

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Filed under Books

"Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods?"

So Deep Throat has been revealed. An enigma of Americana politics has been answered.

The reason I am writing about this at all is some anger I have from the likes of the media and their interview candidates after Mark Felt admitted to being Deep Throat. Unethical twits G. Gordon Liddy and Robert Novak, along with serial-asshole Pat Buchanan, were the guys interviewed on air with regards to what they thought of Felt being Deep Throat.

Liddy has no credibility to state what he thinks of Felt – and by his answers on CNN and on MSNBC, you can see he would have prefered everything kept “in house.” Liddy complains that the evidence should have been taken to a federal grand jury – and in the age of conspiracies and cover ups, everything would have discretely been swept under the rug and Liddy never would have served time for his lawbreaking.

Novak has no credibility to make claims that Felt was a traitor or unethical for what he did. Novak himself is a criminal that has not been arrested as of yet for revealing the identity of a CIA agent. If you compared Felt to Novak specifically – these two operated on opposite ends of the political spectrum in what they did. While Novak was used as a tool of the political powers-that-be to get back at their enemies (Joseph Wilson), Felt was protecting the government from itself (and the powers-that-be) by revealing any information at all to Bob Woodward and letting it become public. One man is the epitome of public corruption and the other is the epitome of public service. That’s not trying to make a saint out of Mark Felt and everything he has ever done for the FBI or the government, I don’t know the man enough to make that assessment, but that is heralding him for blowing a whistle on dirty shenanigans that were ongoing in the government and letting the public know.

And Buchanan? Ok, well — Pat is Pat and Pat has always been an asshole of grandoise proportions in one way or another.

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Filed under Personal, Politics

Mad props, yo

It always makes me feel a little better when I get a compliment on something I have written… Especially when it’s coming form a higher up who is established in the writing community in some way, shape or form.

That’s why I’m beaming over some of the praise I’ve gotten from James Mirtle on his blog, directed at a post I made on Boltsmag. James is a hockey journalist and if I ever get ANY recognition from the guy for what I write, I’m usually happy.

Speaking of writing, I had a letter published in the St. Petersburg TImes today — titled “Going Down the Wrong Road.” First time in a while one of my opinions is good enough to print.

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Filed under Personal, Writing

Totally lost

Right now I am down. I’m down about several things but lets go with first things first, secodn thing ssecond and all that jazz…

I’m taking a break from the Stonegauge for I don’t know how long or even if The Stonegauge will be back up in the future. I’m just goign to stop with the site because…. Well, lets be frank and honest – you could care. By you I mean by everyone who is out there.

I know that really sounds pessamistic but that’s how it feels right now. I’m not writing much on here lately for oen reason or another and what I do write is too self-absorbed to really have any worth. I know I write something that not only gians people’s attention but also interests readers over at Boltsmag. I can’t say the same here at Stonegauge.

Who cares about my opinions? I express them on forums and in the Newspaper and they haven’t brought out change. I’ve shared my writing and my day to day dealings and it’s not as if many are reading this right now.

I’ll probably end up posting shit elsewhere just because it’ll be more private or because it’s not a target for spam (or hasn’t turned to shit because WordPress 1.5 sucks).

Bah 🙁 I’m down.


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