Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Calling All Famous, Strange Indians...

From the really messy desk of Paul Levine...

CALLING ALL INDIANS: Writer Mark Trainer is trying to get a short-story collection published. Here's a portion of the note he received from his agent:
“I have no confidence in being able to place a collection at this time in the world of publishing. Publishers don’t like to publish short story collections in general unless they are VERY high concept or by someone very strange or very famous or Indian. In the current climate, it is harder to publish even those. Some of the authors I represent have story collections I have not been able to talk their loyal publishers into publishing. I can’t in good conscience encourage you to send them to me. It will just make both of us feel bad. I am very sorry. If you write another novel, I will gladly read it.”
Above, Padma Lakhsmi, chef/model/actress and former wife of Famous, Strange Indian novelist Salman Rushdie. Hey, you want to see a picture of Rushdie, write your own blog.

TOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING DOING PORN: The Miami Herald reported yesterday on hard times in the Public Relations and Advertising rackets. But....that's so boring. The Los Angeles Times reported on tough times here in the San Fernando Valley making a living doing porn.

"For [Savannah] Stern, 23, the rapid decline of job opportunities in the porn business over the last year has been dramatic. She has gone from working four or five days a week to one and now has employers pressuring her to do male-female sex scenes for $700, a 30% discount from the $1,000 fee that used to be the industry standard.

"Less than two years ago, Stern earned close to $150,000 annually, sometimes turned down work and drove a Mercedes-Benz CLK 350. Now she's aggressively reaching out for jobs and making closer to $50,000 a year."

I will investigate more fully and report back on this tragic story.

YOU'LL THANK ME FOR THIS: I'm a sampler. Food, wine, automatic weapons. I sample books, too, frequently visiting authors' websites to read first chapters of their books. No more. Now, thousands of first chapters are collected in one place. It's called "Book Daily" and it's my favorite new website.

I don't shop much, so I didn't know about a store called Marshall's that apparently everyone in the world loves, if they don't want to get ripped off by Bloomingdales. On Sunday, I wandered into the Studio City Marshall's basically because it's next to my gym and I needed underwear. I discovered I have been paying DOUBLE for my boxer shorts for the last 40 years. I bought 4 pairs of socks for $6. Okay, they're "irregular." But so are my feet.

SOUTH FLORIDA AS WACKY AS EVER: Three honest-to-God headlines from yesterday's South Florida Sun Sentinel: "Woman Found Dead inside Oakland Park Taco Bell." (No cheesy jokes here, please). "Shark Jumps into Boat at Haulover Beach." "Woman Says She Was Duped into Changing Man's Diapers." I am asking Jim Born to investigate...particularly the last one.

PAUL'S PATERNITY QUIZ: The TODAY show asked, "Who fathered Michael Jacksons children?" Wild guess. Not Jermaine Jackson.

PAUL'S POLITICAL POTSHOT: Republicans are concerned that if we had national health insurance, Michael Jackson would still be waiting for his Propofol.

You're welcome,

Paul Levine


  1. Paul...isn't it wonderful that good old South Florida can provide so much fodder for writers. (It doesn't even have to be fiction! Just ask Carl Hiason) Me thinks you miss living here...

  2. Thank you for making me laugh--several times--so early in the morning. Bravo!

    All we Nakeds know that Paulie misses Florida but we only let him go back to fill the well.

  3. James O. Born8/11/2009 6:51 AM

    I'm afraid I can't investigate the South Florida incidents because I have a personal interest.

    The woman was changing my diapers.


  4. Love your format with the peppy, rapid fire of topics, punctuated with opinion!

  5. I'll be in Florida for Miami Book Fair in November to get my fill of craaziness and stone crabs and to swap lies with Jim Born.

  6. Great blog, Paulie! :-D

    Okay. What genre is the quintessential short story collection in? I may have a few connections it might be possible to access... No promises, though...

    Yeah, send in Jim!!!