“Unpublished Writers Day + Some Self Promotion!” by Richard F. Yates

Sorry! (Not actually sorry…) I didn’t post anything yesterday, but I think I have some good excuses: I was really busy, out of town for most of the day, and I’m old and fell asleep on the couch as soon as we made it back to town! (Like I said…SORRY! That’s two times in January alone that I’ve missed posting. I hope you folks can forgive me!)

So, what was the big deal with yesterday? Let’s get into it…

Early in the A.M., Mariah (aka “The Boss”) and I crawled out of bed, tired as a couple of floops, and prepared ourselves for a day on the town, and eventually hit the freeway, heading south towards Vancouver, Washington, for National Unpublished Writers’ Day. Our first stop, however, before getting to the main business of the day, was Mon Ami, a coffee / slash / crepe shop on the main drag in the ‘Couve!

[Mariah and a great, mustachioed skeleton inside the shop!]

The food was great! (I had a buckwheat crepe with smoked turkey and cheddar cheese), AND we sat at the “Iggy & Tom” table!

[I took this photo of the photo on the wall right next to our table!]

Aside from selling coffee and crepes and some booze (one lady ordered a mimosa while we were there…at 10:30 in the morning!!!), they also sell works by local artists. It’s a very cool shop.

After chomping our breakfast, we zoomed out, and made our way to the Clark County Historical Museum.

The event that we were attending was National Unpublished Writer’s Day, in conjunction with the Brautigan Library of unpublished manuscripts, which is housed in the research library at the Clark County Museum. The Brautigan Library is overseen by John Barber of WSU@Vancouver (who did a great job with this event!) (I should have gotten a picture of him!!!) I did get some photos of Dr. Kandy Robertson, Director of the Writing Center at WSUV, who invited me to the event, as well as Joe (one of the tutors at the Writing Center), Josh (a good friend of mine who used to work with me at the W.C.), and Mariah!

[Dr. Robertson and Joe (one of the WSUV tutors.)]
[Notice my spread of books for sale! Dr. Robertson was kind enough to share half of the WSUV Writing Center with me. The REST of the table held handouts on writing and revising works—and several of the current tutors manned the table, taking turns, and talking to visitors who were seeking writing advice! I chatted with folks about self-publishing!]
[Mariah and Josh (a former WSUV tutor who worked way back in the era when I was still there!)]

In addition to getting to visit with some of my favorite people on Earth (including several folks who I didn’t get photos of—SADLY), I also did pretty well selling books!!! I think I sold four copies of my newest novella (and gave one away. I TRIED to give lots of stuff away, but people kept paying me… I’m a TERRIBLE capitalist…) I also sold a few other books, and I gave away quite a few prints, some zines, and even a couple of Angry Old Guy Digital Tender(ness) bucks (worth .33333 of nothing each!)

It would be an injustice if I didn’t mention that the Clark Country Historical Museum has a VERY cool exhibit going on right now focused on music, music instruments, and music playing machines, which I am KICKING myself for not getting photos of… I was too dang busy talking and carrying on, and I didn’t think about it in time. (Maybe we’ll go back before the exhibit comes down…)

Anyway, it was a fun day, and a few of us former Writing Center tutors have decided that we’re not going to wait three more years before getting together again! In another weird twist, Dr. Robertson asked me if I wanted to come back to the Writing Center in the fall for one or two days a week… I just might do it! (And if I do, one of the OTHER tutors who used to work there said HE might come back, too. It would be FANTASTIC to get to work with my good friend, Richard O., again! He is one of my favorite collaborators!!!)

In other news, I’ve also spent some time, recently, working on my online PROMOTION. On my NON-COM-ARTS blog, I added several new pages: a links page, a gallery page for some of my artwork, and a schedule of upcoming events! I’m working on making the NON-COM site the HUB that can point folks to all of my other works. It’s more fun MAKING things than PUSHING them, in my opinion, but it’s essential for an artist / writer who is trying to make a LIVING off his (or her or their) creative work that people be able to FIND that work!

Promotion—it’s a pain in the ass, but somebody’s got to do it!

Alrighty, folks, thanks for stopping by! Keep making stuff!!! (And if you don’t make stuff, yet, it’s time to start!!!)

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“To MAKE NEW or PROMOTE EXISTING Works???” by Richard F. Yates

One of my biggest failures has been my inefficiency at PROMOTING my newest works—because before I’ve even finished most projects, I’m well on my way towards working on the next one. Before I’d even uploaded my newest book to the self-publishing site (I use KDP—if you know a better means of self publishing, I’m willing to listen to your reasoning), I was already onto my NEXT book project. (Technically, I have about three partially completed books and a half-dozen IDEAS for future projects ALL vying for attention in my head…)

I make a new drawing or painting or take some new photograph (and digitally tweak it until it squeals) every day, and each of these visual bits usually has an accompanying WRITTEN component along with it, and I post these works on my STEEMIT blog. One a day. Every day. Always. (In the year and two months that I’ve been on Steemit—and acquired enough “Resource Credits” to do what I wanted to do—I think I’ve only missed, maybe, three or four days. That’s out of nearly 400 days. I take a day off (not very often by choice) once out of every hundred days or so…

But that means I have this MASSIVE amount of artwork and written work just sitting there, not doing anything. I post it, I share it to a handful of places (Facebook—so my family and friends can see what I’ve been up to— and Twitter, maybe Instagram, maybe Ello, maybe WordPress, on rare occasions to Medium), and that’s it. DONE! I rarely think about or look at these pieces again, even though I’m usually pretty happy with what I’ve created. (My tastes are simple, so I’m easy to please, I guess…)

What a waste. Shouldn’t I be promoting and pushing and whoooping up my work? I mean, it takes time and effort to make a new visual piece every day, and then it takes even LONGER to write something to go with it. I’m quite particular about my writing. I don’t like putting out work that’s full of typos or mistakes or that’s just plain boring. I WORK to make sure my stuff is funny or interesting or informative or clever… Again, it takes time and effort to conceive, write, structure, edit, and rewrite a piece—even something that’s only a few hundred words can take several drafts and edits to get it to where I’m happy.

So shouldn’t I be DOING something with all this WORK? Blogs are GREAT! You get to conceive, develop, create, and share directly with an audience, who can then get right back to you with feedback (whether good or bad), and this is all fantastic stuff. But when you put out 30 pieces per month—shit stacks up rather quickly! Particularly clever or interesting work gets buried, and I’m the first person to admit that not EVERYTHING I make is perfect, that not every joke lands, that not every monster looks that monstrous enough… And I often wonder if the daily format is the BEST format for an artist / writer who’s trying to go BIG (while staying home!) (What I mean here isn’t that I want to become “rich and famous,” just that I’d like to make enough from my creative work that I can ditch the crappy delivery job—and that won’t be easy because I actually make pretty good money from the tips alone.)

Thankfully, I have other avenues of attack—places where I can take some of these artworks and stories and turn them into something a bit more substantial than a BLOG! There’s crypto-art, which has a certain charm (and I’ve had more success SELLING this rather unknown asset class than I imagined I would), there’s print-on-demand work (stuff like Redbubble or Threadless), there’s all those BOOKS that I’ve made by collecting my art and stories together and putting them on paper pages, there’s print and poster making (and I have a lot of fun with this format), there’s zines, there’s physical art (like paintings and sculpture and mailart), direct sales (like with Etsy), and there’s VENDING at cons and fests and fairs (which I’ve just started experimenting with), and so on…

But each of these things are EXTRA work—sometimes with actual PRODUCTION COSTS, for materials and printing, beyond the mental effort and time… Which are a gamble when you’re just an unaffiliated, outsider art-prankster.

So these are the concepts I’m wrestling with in my head lately. How much payoff (emotional, economic, cultural) is there compared to the EFFORT involved in the various creative acts… I have a LOT of material under my belt at this point. (My OLD blog, The Primitive Entertainment Workshop, had over 7,000 posts when we finally filled it up—and I’m going to guess, conservatively, that I produced about 70 or 80 percent of that content! I could COAST on old work for years, making prints, collecting written work into anthologies, and not have to pick up a pen or paintbrush again, until I was well into my sixties! But that’s not likely to happen. I LOVE writing. I LOVE drawing. I LOVE painting. I LOVE photography. I LOVE making jokes and being snarky. I LOVE sharing my fun experiences out in the “real” world with my friends and loved ones. I LOVE reviewing books and songs and music, and then SHARING those things with everybody who’ll listen.

I can’t imagine that I’ll ever give up PRODUCING CONTENT, until I CAN’T anymore… But maybe I need to cool it down a bit a spend a LITTLE more time on the PROMOTION of the stuff I’ve already made. I have boxes of drawings and paintings in my closets and in the garage—just sitting there. I have THOUSANDS of digital artworks and photographs on various hard-drives and blogs and websites—just sitting there. I have THOUSANDS of pages of poetry, stories, reviews, travel journals, and rants in notebooks, on blogs, on hard-drives, and on scraps of paper in boxes—just sitting there… DOING NOTHING. NOT being read. NOT being looked at. NOT being laughed at or enjoyed.

And as we all know, “CIRCULATION IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS!”

Maybe I need to adjust my schedule a bit…

Let me know your thoughts on NEW WORK vs PROMOTING FINISHED WORK. I’m curious how other folks divide their energies…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Artist Wishes He Had Time for Art!” by Richard F. Yates

I’m an artist and a writer—but lately, between renovating my new art room, trying to get ready for next weekend’s Unpublished Writers’ Conference, working on my online presence, and all of the other LIFE stuff out there… I really haven’t done very much writing or drawing or painting lately. [Sad face…boo hoo hooo… HA! Not really. I’m a “roll-with-it” sort of dude…] Still, I’m hoping that all of the effort that Mariah (the “Boss”) and I have been putting in these last few months will pay off in the long run!

Meanwhile, I’ve tried to keep my nose to the grindstone, and I FINALLY (about 10 years too late) came up with a BUSINESS CARD!

What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it. Mariah said I should have dropped the “Holy Fool” from the card because, as she said, “It sounds like you’re pushing some kind of religion.” But I AM the HOLY FOOL. Remember, it was just over ONE YEAR AGO (on 22 Jan. 2019) when I had a visitation from the Winged Serpent, who told me that my mission in life was to make people laugh! And I’ve tried to keep that destiny in mind while I’ve been working ever since…

So… Business cards! CHECK!

In addition, as I was sitting at my computer, I also crunked my way through the photos on the machine looking for bulletin board pics. We have a large cork-board in the dining room that we fill with pictures, and that we switch out every month or two, usually right about the time Mariah redecorates for the next holiday. Keeps stuff exciting! (Plus, when we take the old photos down, I put them into sleeves in a three-ring binder. Eventually, I might switch those over to a scrapbook or something. We’ll see…) Here’s what I had printed (while I was printing my business cards.)

Mariah and I also, finally, took all the extra cardboard boxes that we’ve collected (since Christmas and from all the new bookshelves and stuff we’ve bought lately) to a recycling drop-off center. (We also had to clean up a bunch of Styrofoam peanuts that one of the boxes HAD in it, but that somehow blew all over the driveway and backyard… Gah!) On the way home from that trip we stopped at the craft store, (we had a GREAT coupon!!!), and I picked up a BUNCH of art supplies…

I’d say I’m DEFINITELY ready for some painting. (Again, I didn’t get in there today—just too much stuff going on…) I’m curious to try the black canvases that I found. I’m HOPING that I end up being able to create something like a Velvet Elvis (however unlikely I am to reach a HEIGHT like that…) I also grabbed some new black light reactive paints, a few new brushes, a cool ruby-red glitter paint (I LOVE novelty colors), and some staples, like Champaign gold, black, and a rich lemony yellow.

For my canvases, I also chose 8×10 inches, primarily because I’m planning on selling these pieces and I wanted something that wouldn’t cost so much to SHIP! I’m looking at checking out Etsy again, as well… We’ll see.

BUT, before I start selling and shipping pieces all around the world, I suppose I should probably start PAINTING THEM! [Ha!] So, I probably ought to get off the damn computer and start sketching…

I’ll talk at you folks again tomorrow!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“Rene Margarita” by Richard F. Yates

[“Rene Margarita.” Digital drawing over photograph in situ from today’s holiday gathering. 2020.]

Today, my family and I FINALLY got together with the Joneses (family friends for decades) for our holiday gift exchange. We met at a Mexican restaurant called Guadalajara, which is a frequent gathering spot for our two groups.

Naturally, I get a little ARTY whenever I’m taking photos, and today was no exception. Here are a couple of the quirkier scenes that I spotted…

In my opinion, it’s important to have these types of get-togethers to keep the bonds between our families strong. We had fun, and most folks liked their food. (I had pollo en mole, which is usually my favorite. It’s chicken in a chocolate and cinnamon type sauce, but the recipe this time wasn’t my favorite. I’ve had this dish at dozens of restaurants, but today… Let’s just say, I didn’t bring my leftovers home.)

ANYWAY, it was a fun time, but all good things must end, and eventually Mariah and I moseyed out the door.

Keep you friends (and family) close! (And always carry a camera!) Thanks for letting me make a bad pun and share some of my pics!

—Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

[This piece was originally posted, today, on my Steemit blog.]

“Artist’s Statement – January 2020” by Richard F. Yates

As my efforts to GO PRO continue to gain steam (and “STEEM” as well), the time has come for a new ARTIST’S STATEMENT. By drawing up and organizing these concepts, I’m not only clarifying them and sharing my intentions with YOU FOLKS out there in the world(s), but I’m also winding myself up—in Alan Moore’s terms, I’m spelling out all of the elements of my CREATIVE TRIP and summoning the excitement and motivation to keep myself FOCUSED while I’m doing all of these strange things.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

My name is Richard F. Yates. As of today’s date, 11 Jan. 2020, I am 47 years old. (Born in 1972.) I am married to a wonderful, sweet, funny lady named Mariah, and we have two daughters, Frankie and Elise, and one granddaughter, Felicity, (Frankie’s first kid.) My wife and kids are important to my art for two reasons: 1. I incorporate a lot of our daily lives into what I write about and draw and paint, and 2. throughout the kids’ lives, we’ve always done things and made things TOGETHER! I don’t see ART as something only for rich people, or only something that you hang on a wall, or only as something you SELL to make gobs of money (off foolish, gullible investors.) ART is making stuff AND doings stuff AND ENJOYING stuff! As a family, WE have created and experienced a lifetime of ART, and now that I have a GRANDKID in the picture, we get to start the journey of discovery all over again!

I write stories, poetry, short plays, book / movie / music reviews, travel and event journals, and for the last eight years, I’ve posted a daily blog. (I used to post to The Primitive Entertainment Workshop, a WordPress blog, but my collaborators and I actually FILLED THE DAMN THING UP! After we jammed that blog full, I moved to a personal blog on Steemit.com, which actually pays authors crypto-currency for upvotes! It’s a very MODERN, very EXCITING site!) In addition to writing and posting things online, I also create zines, and I have self-published twelve books, either as author or as editor, through Amazon’s self-publishing platform. I also worked for more than seven years in a university writing center, and when I was studying poetry and lit in grad school, I worked as a “Writing Intensive Course” teaching assistant. Most of my training is in writing and editing. I’ve taught numerous writing workshops, judged poetry contests, won contests, and given readings. I love writing—and it’s been kind to me!

HOWEVER, I am also an ARTIST. I draw and paint and make digital art, and I create audio works, as well. My artwork has been used on the covers of a few CDs, as murals on walls (and, ONE TIME, a ceiling), as book covers (even for one book that I didn’t write), has been published in independent magazines and college papers, and has been featured in a few physical galleries in the Pacific Northwest. I have sold paintings at several of my showings, and my crypto-art has sold remarkably well, in my opinion, (considering it’s a form of art that very few people even know exists.) As an artist, I am almost completely untrained. (I had a half-semester art class in 7th grade—when I was 12.) Most of what I’ve learned about art has come from reading books (biographies of artists and histories of art movements, primarily), watching documentaries, and experimenting. And LOOKING at art, which I find in a lot of different places: galleries and museums (of course), but also libraries, comic conventions, toy packaging and advertising materials, amusement parks and curiosity shops, movie and show posters, skating and music magazines, and alleys, stairwells, and on trains… I love folk art, outsider art, comics, bad sci-fi and monster movies, skateboard art, punk rock album covers, and kids’ drawings. I like color and intensity and subtlety and nonsense and humor in the art that I enjoy, and in the movies I watch and the music I listen to, and in LIFE in general. If it’s funny or weird or absurd, that’s going to interest me more than technical skill. If someone shows me a photo-realistic painting of a shop window, complete with perfect lighting and invisible brushstrokes—but it’s really just a normal shop window—I’m probably going to be less interested in it than I am a drawing by a six-year-old kid of a monster with six arms and two heads, whether the kid colored outside the lines or not!

Art isn’t about perfection for me, it’s about capturing a little bit of what makes LIFE interesting, whether that’s a weird bit of light or a perfect patch of unearthly color or a unique perspective or a hilarious joke. I also don’t think art is an elite activity in which only those who are properly trained should participate. I think EVERYONE should keep a journal and write down their thoughts and feelings; I think anyone who likes to draw or paint or take photos or write poems should do it, and we should ALL get together and have a big, amateur art-show / slash / art-sale at least once a month, and hopefully everyone will sell enough stuff that they can buy new materials to make whatever it is they love to make for the NEXT big get-together. And to be clear, I FIRMLY believe that everything people make and do CAN be art: writing, poetry, painting, singing, dancing, conversing, crafting, bookmaking, collage, sculpting, clothes making, baking, yo-yo-ing, DJing, jokes and pranking, blogging, video making, radio production and podcasting, reviewing, teaching… Any time you put effort into making or doing something that comes from YOU, it changes the world—maybe only a tiny little bit, but it still DOES. And if you think a little drawing or stupid poem doesn’t mean much, just keep making them. Eventually, you might end up with several THOUSAND little drawings and stupid poems—and at least a FEW of those will end up being pretty good, even if it’s just an ACCIDENT that one or two turned out good. Sometimes the mistakes end up being the BEST THINGS!

So what, as an artist, do I offer people? I offer stories. Not only do I WRITE stories, but I READ a lot of stories and I write reviews of a lot of the books that I read. Even if you don’t like how I write, you might like some of the works that I’ve read and enjoyed. I offer different, and sometimes quite odd, experiences. Novelty is an important element in keeping every day from feeling like it’s just a replay of the previous day. Whether it’s just a weird drawing or a write-up of a bowling tournament in Las Vegas or a concert by a fairly unknown band, or perhaps some oddly structured sound-poem, I guarantee that you will get a novel little jolt to your system if you stop by one of my sites, ESPECIALLY if you follow my daily blog. I chew on RAW UNIVERSE every night (while most folks sleep), and I use that COSMIC ENERGY to produce a new THING every day. A book or movie review, a music playlist, a poem, a strange piece of fiction, a new work of crypto-art, a motivational rant, a photo session at some local landmark, a personal dive into my damaged psyche, or something—I keep the ball spinning and the content flowing, and it doesn’t take anything but a click and a few minutes of your time to get that much needed KICK OF NOVELTY, which will hopefully provide at least a chuckle—if not the inspiration for you to go do YOUR OWN THING! (I would love to inspire more folks to draw or write or make a podcast or take photos of their hometown or write a review of their favorite toy or video game or type of candy… MAKE STUFF!!! And then send me a LINK, and I’ll look at it and be super supportive and encourage you to make MORE!!!)

And, last, I offer you the opportunity of being a PATRON OF THE ARTS! I have books for salecrypto-artprint-on-demand materials (where you can get one of my drawings on a t-shirt or clock or pillow or a POSTCARD! I love postcards…), and I have a Ko-fi page if you just wanna buy me a cup-o-joe for my efforts! I’m WORKING on putting together a way for folks to buy ORIGINAL art from me, too, so if you’re into actually owning original art (or perhaps prints), check back, and I’ll try to get that up and moving A.S.A.P.!!!

INFLUENCES

This is a BIG topic. I have a lot of influences, but that’s because I’m OLD and I’ve seen a lot… So that this doesn’t end up being a sixteen-page long section, I’m just going to list, rapid-fire-style, some of my biggest and most important influences—not in any specific order. If any of these names don’t look familiar, I would recommend looking them up. If I like something, it’s a pretty good bet that it’s sort of WEIRD, but I also like things that are hugely popular…if they’re good! Okay… Let’s do this…

Music: The Cure, The Beatles, David Bowie, Gary Numan, Queen, Blondie, Devo, Pink Floyd, Weird Al Yankovic, Adam and the Ants, Front 242, Yaz, Erasure, Depeche Mode, The Legendary Pink Dots, Skinny Puppy, Bauhaus, Love & Rockets, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Ministry, They Might Be Giants, Sub-Humans, The Dead Milkmen, Ween, Echo & the Bunnymen, 808 State, MGMT, The Shins, Tiny Tim, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Lords of Acid, Alien Sex Fiend, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Public Image Limited, Wire, The Damned, The Misfits, The Prodigy, Yello, Frank Zappa, Groovie Ghoulies, etc…

Movies: PopeyeGhostbustersYellowbeardTronCrimewaveWeird ScienceSixteen CandlesLife of BrianBig LebowskiThe Radiant ChildHow to Draw a BunnyAlmost FamousDuck SoupArsenic & Old LaceThe ShiningForbidden ZoneOh Brother, Where Art Thou?Galaxy ExpressThe Wizard of OzTrouble with HarryHis Girl FridayAuntie MamePrivate EyesMurder by DeathYoung FrankensteinBride of FrankensteinYou Can’t Take it with YouA Christmas StoryStar Wars – A New HopeEvil Dead 2, etc…

Artists: Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ray Johnson, Joan Miro, Paul Klee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jack Kirby, Richard Sala, Jim Henson, Hannah Hoch, Josh Agle, Bill Watterson, Dave McKean, Marc Chagall, Michael Kupperman, Rumiko Takahashi, Osama Tezuka, Max Ernst, etc…

Writers / Poets: Alan Moore, Allen Ginsberg, Jorge Borges, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Robert Sheckley, Philip K. Dick, Robert Anton Wilson, Mike Mignola, Rod Serling, Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, Douglas Adams, Steve Engelhart, Junji Ito, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Jon Savage, Simon Reynolds, Woody Allen, Tom Stoppard, William Blake, etc…

Video Games: Asteroid, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Tron – Deadly Discs, Doom, Maniac Mansion, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Infocom game from 1984), Ladybug, Joust, Freedom Fighter (laserdisc game from 1987), Satan’s Hollow, Mail Order Monsters (Commodore 64), Miner 2049er, Congo Bongo, The Dreadnaught Factor, Sinistar, Robotron: 2084, Zork, Elevator Action, Star Wars: Dark Forces, Bosconian, Arkanoid, Shining Force, Mortal Kombat II, Gauntlet, Space Duel, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain (Intellivision game from 1982), Adventure (Atari 2600 game from 1980), Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, etc…

Other stuff: My family!!!! Working at the Writing Center at WSUV for a LOOOONG time, retro computing, old advertising, pranks, Mad MagazineFamous Monsters of Film Land, Dr. Demento, Elvira (Cassandra Peterson), Peewee Herman (Paul Reubens), POSTAL ART / MAIL ART (a FANTASTIC community), zines, local concerts and theater, Punk, New Wave, Dada, Fluxus, The Muppets, OMNI magazine, The Twilight Zone original t.v. show, role playing games, The Shogun Warriors (rebranded Japanese cartoons that used to play on Showtime in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s—and they made toys out of them, too, but those are RIDICULOUSLY expensive now…I wish I still had mine from when I was a kid…), Video Hut (the video shop that we rented VHS tapes from almost EVER SINGLE DAY back in the 1980s), skateboarding, ping-pong (fun game), Marsh’s Free Museum (in Long Beach, Washington), Seaside (a beach town in Oregon), Disneyland, Enchanted Forest (a little amusement park just south of Salem, Oregon), junior high dances, recording songs off the radio onto cheap cassette tapes, rabbit ears on old t.v. sets, dance clubs in Portland in the late 1980s, cousins who were my best friends growing up but who I never see anymore, record players, leather jackets (which I used to wear when I was young and cool, but wouldn’t wear anymore for ethical reasons), 120 Minutes (a late-night music show that used to air on MTV), Lake Sacajawea (in Longview, Washington—which USED to be called Fowler’s Slough, until it was rebranded after a P.R. consultation!), and so on and so forth…

Influences are important, and (as Adam Savage says in his new-ish book, Every Tool is a Hammer,) they should be CELEBRATED and SHARED! If you love something, go ahead and love it! And SHARE it with other folks so they can discover it and love it too (maybe). If you’re afraid people will think you’re WEIRD for what you love, FUCK ‘EM! Get better friends. There is undoubtedly SOMEONE out there who also loves what you do, and a quick check for online “groups” or “communities” built around whatever-it-is will undoubtedly point you towards a whole bunch of folks who share your passions… (It used to be you had to find a ZINE community to fulfil that need, but thanks to that fancy INTERNET thingy, it’s easier to find folks with mutual interests—and it costs a lot less in postage!)

So there you have it! Who I am. What I’m doing. What YOU can get out of it. How you can support my efforts. And what influences made me into what I am today! Do with it what you will!

Hopefully, I’ll get a page full of LINKS written and posted soon, so all you good entities (human or otherwise) will be able to interact more easily with me and my works and my objects of affection! Until then, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!!!!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!

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“Danger! Poetry!” by Richard F. Yates

Today—illness is upon me, which naturally made me think of POETRY! I am an admirer of the bardic arts, but I have a special place in my black-hole of a heart for the Dadaists—serial abusers of sound and meaning, whose experiments always amuse me. To help combat my sublime discomfort (head swirling gunkiness and all) I have composed the following piece, which I am calling…

“DADA Inspired Poetry (From a Crusty Berzerker)”

The hobbyhorse has been resurrected
As a conversation, a hallucination
(With the words hidden in space)

But the ink-blot revolution
Will certainly be televised
Though panned by the critics

Its sponsors enraged (like a tick in a freezer)
(a fish in lipstick drag)
(a penguin on the wing—breaking down—black box drowned)

While the Beasts sing
“Cooo ca Loooo!”
“Cooo ca Laaay!”

Olives on toothpicks
Marching boldly across the tundra
A hick-up, a blink, a social blindness

Non-combustible linen for president!
Flee in the Spring while the dolphins still swing
From tree to shining tree!

And the loose-leaf revolution
Is now being televised
Though hidden beneath the commercial waves

The bridge collapsed
(One week before retirement)
And the butterflies were blamed

Though they were once blessed by Hoofnard
The Good and Quite Tidy
Who wanders, alone, for all who are lost

While the Beasts still sing
“Cooo ca Loooose!”
“Cooo ca Laaazy!”

And the floating ducks were like the Devil!
They’d reserved the best seats
Watching, with glee, as the trenches filled with bodies

The targets of blind archers
Dipped in the soft pool and thus contagious
Anti-Achilles, pervious to all things—even smoke and mirrors

“But THE INVADERS!
THE INVADERS!”
(They come from within…)

With their haunted shoes
And bullets like teeth
And strange thin fingers like grasping twigs

Hide in a cave!
(With the wi-fi and jellied toast)
The black cave of doom…

And the click-click revolution
Had already been televised
But we’d missed it in the swim of white noise and static

The network was undone
All dreams canceled
Calgon—the great warrior—took them away…

And the cartoonists
Became blind prophets
Whose lanterns of truth had fallen silent

Bubbles of thought (visible above a few swollen heads)
Popped by cursed fingers
Holding pleasing needles

Pennies on eyes
And plastic speakers in ears
They float casually across the wrong river

And I rolled the dice
Too frightened of snake-eyes to dare to peek!
“It was BLUE!” they screamed, “And so, UNREAL!”

And the Beasts still sing
“Cooo ca Looo!”
“Cooo ca Laaay!”

So I refused to be honest ever again…

—Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

The “process” of writing…

[P.S. – I have had poetry (and poetry like scribbling) published in a number of different venues, including Vision? Nary! MagazineClockwise CatWords-MythThe Salmon Creek JournalThe Salal ReviewCounterexample PoeticsWord RiotYankee Pot RoastMad Swirl, and the Lower Columbia College Trident. Also possibly of interest, I DO have a book of poetry available for purchase—if you’re one of those types of people who BUYS poetry—called Night Noises… (Available in paperback or digital forms.) In addition, I have a weird book—kind of a combination Art Manifesto / Science-Fiction Farce / and Poetic Screed, that you might want to check out, if you like really weird things, called Primitive Conjurations – Lies for Art and Living… (Also available in paperback or digital editions!) Many words to choose from, but CHOOSE WISELY…)]

Night Noises poetry collection by Richard F. Yates
Primitive Conjurations – Lies for Art and Living by Richard F. Yates

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[This piece was first posted on my Steemit blog on 21 Dec. 2019!]

“FINALLY Finished My Novella!!!” by Richard F. Yates

Holy SMURF! After WAAAAAY too much time spent procrastinating, I finally contacted an artist friend of mine, who agreed to draw me a cover for my book, and he very quickly produced a brilliant, creepy image for me…like in just a couple of days!!! Unfortunately, I had to soil his image by putting some words on it, but that’s because commercialism is a harsh mistress… Without further ado, here is the cover for Allen Tombes – Fire from Water!

I am extremely grateful to Mr. Mark Counts for producing this fantastic cover image for me, especially because it was the only thing holding the project back. I am also an artist, but I’m more of a “punk / DADA / stick figures and snakes” kind of artist…perhaps cartoonist would be more accurate, whereas Mr. Counts can create images that look PROFESSIONAL! And I wanted the cover for this book to more accurately reflect the mood of the interior. While most of what I write is silly and snarky and nonsensical, THIS book is actually more of a “REAL,” honest to Bob, straight-forward fantasy tale. AND, for those who might be wondering, an eBook version of the novella IS available for purchase RIGHT NOW on Amazon for only THREE BUCKS!!! [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082PP5WW4]

I’ve also submitted a paperback version, but that’s not quite ready, yet. Apparently, it takes the POWERS THAT BE longer to okay paper than it does digital… (I’ll post an update when the paperback version is ready for public consumption!)

“So…What’s this book about?” I hear you wondering… Why don’t I just give you a couple of snippets from the actual story… Let’s start with chapter one:

Allen Tombes was ten when his older brother, Chris, was taken. Chris was sixteen then, competitive, and kind of macho. He was a superstar athlete—football, wrestling, track—and too smart for his own good. He fought with their Dad, sometimes, mostly about coming home late, drunk, while driving their Dad’s Porsche, that sort of thing, but Allen thought he was a good brother. And one morning Allen woke up and Chris was gone.

The cops said he’d probably run away. His window was open, and it didn’t look, to them, like any “foul play” had taken place, but Chris hadn’t taken any of his things with him. Not even his shoes.

The night he was taken, and Allen knew he had been taken, Allen had heard voices coming through the wall from Chris’s room. Maybe not voices, exactly, more like whispering or hissing, and one sound that was so low and terrifying that it sounded more like the Earth moving than a voice, though Allen was certain that it had been a voice.

Spoooky, right? Some THING took his brother, which is awful, but it gets worse for poor Allen, as we see in chapter four, when he’s wakened in the middle of the night by something opening his window, and the strange gargoyle necklace that his friend, Chaz, had given him that day, starts to glow…

The room was very dark, but a reddish glow was beginning to spread up the wall and toward the ceiling above his bed. He sat up and as he did, the shadows in the room shifted. His chest was very warm, and he realized that both the heat and the red light were coming from the charm around his neck. Frightened, he grabbed the leather string and started to pull.

“Don’t take it off,” a low, gruff voice said from the shadows next to the open window.

Allen felt himself go electric, his fingers and hands suddenly frozen. He knew that voice, although he hadn’t heard it for five years.

“Chris?” Allen said with a swallow.

“Shhhhh… They’re coming. Keep still and leave the amulet on. It’ll help shield you from their spells. I won’t let them get close enough to use their claws,” the voice said.

Allen couldn’t breathe. The charm burned his chest, but the voice! It was Chris, here, in his bedroom!

Allen noticed something at the window, like black ink moving through water. A shadowy arm swam through the air, wrapped around the windowsill, then a shoulder followed, and then teeth and eyes flowed into the room. It moved like smoke, a living shadow that maybe had once been a human, but had forgotten how flesh and blood was supposed to act. It swirled and sloshed through the window and into his room.

And THAT is what I’m talking about! Normally, what I write is goofy and has a joke wrapped inside it, like a jerk-in-the-box just waiting to spring out and make you groan, but I decided to write a fairly serious urban fantasy story this time, and I’m happy with the result. Here’s the blurb I wrote describing the book:

Allen Tombes still has nightmares about the night his brother, Chris, disappeared. The police say he ran away, but Allen KNOWS he was taken—because Allen heard whatever it was that took him hissing and growling through the wall. Five years later, Allen is wakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of something opening his window—something he can’t see. But he hears it hissing—and he also hears his brother’s voice telling him, from the darkness, not to move…

Allen and his sister, Rose, find themselves under attack by terrifying phantom creatures and a wicked witch, all bent on destroying their family, but the best weapon they have to fight the creatures just might prove too powerful for Allen to wield, so powerful, in fact, that it could destroy everyone and everything that they love.

A thrilling urban fantasy / horror novella that mixes mythology, magic, and modern technology with fast paced action and monsters galore!

Alright, I’ve bent your ear (or, I guess, your eyeballs) enough. You’re either into this type of story or you ain’t, and I’ve given you enough of an idea of what you’ll find inside the covers of this book for you to decide which direction you’re leaning! Feel free contact me if you have any questions!

Super-thanks, again, to Mark Counts for creating the cool cover art for me (it’s the amulet that the main character is wearing in the sequence I shared above), and thanks to the folks who read sections of the book and helped with editorial and story decisions: Kandy Roberston, Richard O’Brien, Josh Erdahl, Shane Grove, and (of course) Mariah “The Boss of Me” Yates (who puts up with a LOT of strange stuff from her weirdo husband!!!) I’ve got some contributor copies to order for these folks, once the paperback editions are ready! I’ll let you people know when those are up and running, in case you prefer to read on paper! (That’s my preferred mode. That and, naturally, Depeche… Sorry… Depeche Mode, the band. You remember? Old guy music reference…)

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! One book down (remember that list I posted about two weeks ago???), and only seven more to complete—plus that one new one I came up with while driving last night! So, only EIGHT more to go, and then I can rest—maybe take a day trip to the beach or something…

Later, skaters!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“MUSEUM OF ABSURDITY AND TOO MUCH SUGAR 03”

And here, my dear reader, is my third “Exhibition” of artwork and weirdness, which I’m calling the MUSEUM OF ABSURDITY AND TOO MUCH SUGAR! Should you be curious about why I’m doing this or what it all means, you can check out a post I created for my Steemit blog where I give a B.S. story about motivations and militant amateurishness! If you don’t care WHY, and you just want to see WHAT, then keep scrolling!

[Ha! I spelled “weirdness” wrong!!! Ha ha ha!!!!]

That’s it for the FIRST WAVE of ABSURDITY—or first THREE waves… And so… Uuuummmm….

Hopefully, you had a good time looking at this junk. I love it—even when I get stuff wrong. That’s half the fun! And that is, truly, the point of all of this… FUN! Make stuff because it’s fun. Draw monsters and U.F.O.s and cartoon characters because it’s fun! Make yourself laugh because that’s REAL FUN! And if you can make yourself laugh, there’s a good chance that OTHER people will laugh along with you! That’s my theory anyway…

Okay. Now go make something (and when you finish it, send me a link! I’d love to see it!!!!)

LATER!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“MUSEUM OF ABSURDITY AND TOO MUCH SUGAR 02”

Oh! So you came back, did ya??? Come to take another gander at the FREAKS!!! Well….I don’t blame ya! I love weird stuff, too! And thus, below, for your amusement, we have the NEXT exhibition of weirdo, punky, D.I.Y., unschooled, having-a-great-time, amateur art!!!

[For more info on this entire project, check out the post on my Steemit blog! I explain a bit more in depth—sort of—what I’m doing there.]

Meanwhile, here’s some ART!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA
SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

[All images BY me, except for the one OF me, which was taken by my wife, Mariah, although I designed my fancy costume in that one!]

Okay, folks—I’ve got one more of these to share, for now, so keep your eyes peeled! In addition, I have THOUSANDS (not exaggerating) more images that I’m eventually going to want to post—so if this kind of stuff bugs you, you’ll know to stay away! (HA!)

Later!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

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“MUSEUM OF ABSURDITY AND TOO MUCH SUGAR 01”

Art is for touching! Here’s some arts that I and my family have created over the last ten years or so. I’m happy with this junk, even if it ain’t “PERFECT.” Perfect is boring—I like messy!

[For a full explanation of this project, check out my POST about it on my Steemit blog!]

Museum of Absurdity and Too Much Sugar – Exhibition #1

[All images by me, Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool), and created sometime in the last ten years or so…give or take me having a terrible memory!]

Check back REAL SOON for more fancy and exciting STUFF!!!!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)

SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!

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