The Pencil Today:

You’ve Been Spared

Sheesh. This is one of those days wherein I could hardly wait to finish brewing my pot of coffee and dash out to the garage to clack out a brilliant post for this communications colossus. The words were pouring out of me. I was generating more snark than a convention of gossip columnists at an open bar. I was on, baby.

About an hour and half after I started banging at this keyboard, I sat back to read the sheer poetry that had emanated from it. The resultant literature, I was sure, would make Erato and Shakespeare hang their heads in shame. God, I said to myself, I’m good.


The Glum Muse Wishes She Were As Good As Me

And then I read the post and said, Meh. Turns out the topic upon which I’d pontificated merited no more than a smart-assed, throw-away line or two, not a full fledged Daily Hot Air post.

So, I hit delete.

This, my non-writing friends, is the mark of a writer: The ability to toss her or his junk where it belongs.

I recall a day early on in my career of letters when I’d sooner sever a digit than trash even two of my masterful, long-sweated-over words. Now, after having spewed out millions of words both for pay and for love, I can easily heave a thousand words into the trash bin.

And, trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

Black Comedy Archives

Speaking of masterful, long-sweated-over words, I’ve gotten a bunch of feedback from readers asking me about back episodes of my serial e-novel, “Black Comedy.” The intelligentsia here in Bloomington, and around the globe for that matter, know that I’ve been running my story of the Dudek family from Chicago’s Galewood neighborhood in the late 1960s and early ’70s every Monday and Thursday for some time now.


Joey’s Got A Gun

If my count is correct — and it occasionally is — I’ll run Episode 19 tomorrow. As you know, I did a little format juggling around here starting in February and reaching into the early part of this month. I began running “Black Comedy” when The Electron Pencil was a magazine for that ten-or-so-week period. My daily hit numbers went to hell and those who did remain with me expressed confusion about navigating the site, so I decided a couple of weeks ago to trash the whole experiment and go back to the good old simple WordPress blog format that has served me so well for years.

The only problem is, I switched web hosts at the same time and now I can’t access the archived posts from the magazine format. So, of late, anybody who happened to fall into the story mid-stream and wanted to go back to the beginning was going to be frustrated. No more.

I’m in the process of creating a new back-episode archive. It’s fairly easy for you to access, so follow me here:

  • 1) Go to the top of The Electron Pencil home page

  • 2) Click the Black Comedy button


  • 3) A new page will come up, listing as many old episodes, in order, as I’ve had the chance to re-post


  • 4) After the title of each episode, you’ll see the read-it-now link

  • 5) Pick whichever episode you need to read and click the link

  • 6) Voila.

The only thing easier would be if I were to come to your house and read the episodes aloud in your living room.

If you (and I) are lucky, I just might post another back-episode or two today. And be sure to come here tomorrow for the next thrilling chapter of “Black Comedy.”

2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Lee Chapman says:

    Yeah! Electron Pencil is back! I’m not sure where it went or why—I’m just glad I kept checking until it returned.

  2. dave paglis, illiterate, racist homophobe and now, dumpster diver says:

    Mike I would like to read something you wrote you thought wasn’t good enough for publication. I picked up my copy of Winner Take All Politics today and will start it soon. Prepare for verbal combat sir.

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