Archive for November, 2011

STORY – Weird Weather

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Woke up to some more weird weather today. Hot and sticky in the morning, thundershowers by mid-day, some ice in the evening.

We looked up from the balcony of our third floor apartment.
“What’s it going to do next?”
She held my hand. We kept looking up.
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
“I don’t think it’s going to get better.”

I put a sweater on; she took her sweater off.
“What’s the forecast for tomorrow?”
“More what?”
“More of the same.”
“Same what?’
“They don’t know. Anything the sky thinks of.”

We looked down and saw some children with a mother pass by.
“Don’t envy them. The kids.”
“The future is not what it once was.”
We looked at each other.
“Used to be able to depend on the future.”
“And now it is the least dependable thing going.”
It began to rain. Hard, cold rain with some chunks of ice hidden in-between the drops; she began to get little welts on her skin, sort of mini-burns.
“Ouch,” she said over and over.
“Burr,” I said again and again.

We went inside.
“The weather’s broken. I’m going to put something on my burns.”
She left to go to the medicine cabinet.
I said, “I’m going to put a second sweater on.”
“What? Speak up. There’s this frying sound in my ear.”
“I’m cold.” I brushed the ice from my hair.
“Turn on the television!” she yelled. “See what they are saying.”
I did.
“What does it say?”
I listened.
“Forecast is constant.”
“What’s that?”
Expect anything, they reported.
I didn’t want to tell her this news for a moment. Let her live in hope for a few seconds more.

5/5 – Rejection: Victor Gollancz Ltd. Publishers

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


Victor Gollancz Ltd, UK Publishers, once wrote in rejecting my novel Self-Portrait of Someone Else: “I was very struck by it; it’s an extraordinarily powerful piece of work.”

Here’s the actual letter:

The letter in pdf:
Victor Gollancz Ltd. rejection letter in pdf

I can take the pain. Here’s a one-minute video to prove it: CLICK HERE TO WATCH


This is the fifth (and last) in a video series of this great, good book getting its backside kicked. Onward to indie publishing.

Here’s the previous video I did on this theme….

Story – A Couple of Doors Down

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

A couple of doors down the street, there’s a guy who’s dead. He was that way for a while, dead, but nobody knew. He hardly showed his face before that. He was around but not around. The background on him was that he had been an architect, moderate to OK successful in his time, who had retired some long while back. Since then he had just stuck to himself and his four walls. Four walls in a high four story house.

He went urban hermit and eccentric. Besides not showing up on the street much, it was noted he did not throw stuff away, no trash, no nothing. He burnt his waste in mini-bonfires in his smallish back yard. The most nearby of neighbors got a whiff of it, week after week and went and rang his bell to complain, but he was now pretty much entrenched and hole up and he didn’t come to the door. So the local city authorities fielded the incoming complaints, eventually showing up with their slow power to settle issues and rang the bell of the front door. No one came to the door. They insisted, as only those in authority can. Finally, the door did get open after they yelled they were the police through the letter slot. A scrawny aging man stood before them, in un-ironed, somewhat stained clothes and he took the heat silently, only quietly saying that his burning of trash would not be repeated.

The fires ceased, but still no trash appeared in the street to be hauled away on appointed, weekly days. Unknown to all, he began keeping his crap and the trash in his five-room cellar and left it there. Various vermin began to call it home.

Some rumored that he had family, a couple of daughters somewhere, but he had chased them away with some letters he had written, the severe content of which kept him isolated from family ties. Which was what he seemed to want.

Very occasionally he was spotted going out to get some food locally. He dragged it behind him on a little board with two creaky wheels he pulled with a cord. Some neighbors, the same ones who would “smell something” coming from the house once in a while, said hello, and the architect nodded at first, then gave up even that after a time.

He went his way and everyone else did too.

What types of buildings his architectural mind had been responsible for in the past were unknown, but evidently he had been semi-successful, enough to buy a big roomy house and slum his last years away.

Until he hadn’t been seen around for a while and people began to smell something. Curious questions were traded between neighbors.

“When was the last time you’ve seen him?”

Same answer came back after a pause for thought, like trying to remember if you had ever seen a ghost.

“Not for a while.”

Once more, the authorities were called, ones with different responsibilities. Ones that came to knock and knock again. Then reinforcement authorities showed up, cop-types who could break the lock on the front door and walk in. They stepped in the house then stepped back out.

The stench was wicked, and the first two things these authorities saw were three piles of papers reaching up to a tall man’s nose, and a couple of startled rats skedaddling away.

The authorities gathered some breath in their lungs and went in. The whole place, every wall, every floor, every nook, every cranny, had stuff, had trash, had piles, had junk, had material, had empty food containers, had mounds of dust, had broken objects, had all this and more, everywhichwhere. They could only move through the whole house sideways, sucking in their stomachs, taking tiny ladylike steps between and around piles of things and piles of stuff.

Four floors of this. At the top, the street hermit aka retired architect was discovered. Unfortunately, the rats, which had had a population explosion over the months, maybe years, had been picnicking off his body for a while. Mostly the soft, moist places, face, groin. He had ended as rat snacks.

The authorities called in other authorities. Body packing authorities. Later, rat-killers came to clear out the riffraff. Everyone in the neighborhood were informed to lock their doors, closed their chimneys and windows, shut everything up because the rats would probably be abandoning that particular ship shortly. Food supply gone and chemicals sprayed, rats move on.

The house stands empty and crumbling as the city decides what to do with it. The door is and has been rotting through. The windows are impenetrable with dust. It’s inert, empty, just full of a single mysterious ex-life of sketchy details.

The neighborhood’s been pretty ordinary for a while now. Except for the homeless lady with the scabs on her legs who stands at different locations on the street depending on the time of day, smoking half a cigarette and keeping to herself and her three bulging plastic bags, sometimes vomiting through the grates in the street or yelling at the stones of passive buildings. Everyone on the block is pretending not to pay much attention to her now.

Matches – Scandic

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I went to this Brussels restaurant. I indulged therein. Leaving, I pocketed their matchbox. This 2:01 minute video tells the wondrous story. Of adventure and true, vivid gourmet deluxe.

It is one in an ongoing series that perhaps has no end.

Now, to view this most excellent, enlightening video, CLICK HERE.

Thanks for reading & seeing. – Vincent

An interview with Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Recently the Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook published a short interview with me, having mailed their standard questions. I don’t do many interviews, but here is what appeared.

Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook

An interview with Vincent Eaton.

Tell us about yourself.
I write. Fiction, humor, exaggerated memoir, kid’s stuff as well as flash fiction. Make videos. Act and direct plays (some of which have won international awards), and been in movies, TV, ads. Am a voice over professional. A publisher of books. Was born & raised in Southern California, and while in high school was a surfer, had a station wagon for my surfboard and a cheerleader for a girlfriend, broke a swim record on the swim team. I now live in Brussels. Some have asked, What went wrong?

What is your latest published work?
“The Boy in the Sandwich,” which gets described as “A story for readers of all ages, from 8 and up, up, up!” (exclamation thrown in for free, and the link: It’s about a boy who is about to eat his peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich and a blue spider pushes up the top slice of bread and tells him there’s a party going on inside with a lot of other grape jelly spiders, so “don’t chomp, don’t chew!” He gets dragged into the sandwich where lots of blue spiders have their party hats on, but then his brother chops and chews the sandwich and swallows him, later he almost gets eaten by a Bath Monster, invaded by little men while in his bed, and taken away in his dreams. Books has some illustrations, too.

Where did you get your ideas from?
Imagine them. I imagine some writers follow the news, others eavesdrop, lots make lists, a few steal. I daydream. Letting the imagination grow, fester, bloom, be a constant. It takes years, decades, of training, or letting go. Till you get to where you can dream up ideas rather than “get” them. It’s what cannot be taught at schools or writing courses. Imagining in your own voice. The most important artistic trait is letting go in order to let in.

What are you working on?
A number of books. After being published by Viking Penguin, N.Y., I found, because my interests take me from psychological thrillers to purely artistic novels to kids’ book to satires on self-help (plus my theater work), I did not fit into a niche, and was, in the limiting language of the market, “not saleable.” So I’m a sidelined indie making his way in a narrowed world. Presently, after the “The Boy in the Sandwich,” I’ll be launching an early work of mine that takes place in the 1970s in Southern California called “The Nice Guy” about a radical reaction to domesticity. After that, before Christmas 2011, a story collection, “Intimate Dialogues.” There’s other books impatiently in line shouting, “Me next!” for 2012.

Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring authors?
You learn to walk by walking. You learn how to think by thinking. You learn about love by loving. Same goes for writing. There are no short cuts.

Do you have a crazy story about an aspect of writing life, perhaps from a school visit or event?
I once had a tapeworm. It was an impressive personal experience. Invited to dinners, I would sometimes share some of the details of this experience with my dining companions. I usually got groans of laughter. I embellished the story during other dinners. I then performed it at a Café Theater, and then later at some storytelling festivals. I was asked to write it up. It was published online, and then a guy wanted to do a podcast of it. And it has taken on a life of its own, all arising, initially, from some dinner conversation.
Read it:
Hear it:

Is there anything else you’d like to add, such as a web site or blog?
Here’s everything:
Facebook Fan Page hidden people:
Twitter: @VincentEaton

Thanks Vincent,

Simon Rose