Phil Cobb, Author

Fun, Follies and Loss of Innocence in Novel Land

Remember being a teenager?

When I got my first job — in a restaurant — I had trouble remembering simple instructions.

I even threatened the restaurant’s profitability.

All that on my first day. My newsletter will tell you all about it.

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Mobile folks: Click the info icon (3 bars) that’s up above, then scroll down to Newsletter.

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I was interviewed . . .

. . . by Peter Wright on his YouTube Yak-King channel about my humorous path to becoming a writer.

Just click the link to go to it.

Yak-King channel

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I’ll tell you a story

What is it?

It’s a Dog Adventure.

For adults.

What’s it about?

Basically, a dog decides to be a hero, but he messes up relationships, creates angry enemies and panics the U.S. government.

To find out more, click Novel.

Also, this isn’t the first time I’ve written a novel.

What happened that first time?

Plenty.

Even my relatives turned against me.

It became a comedy of errors.

I’ve got a whole series about the mess.

Start with I Get Run Off the Ranch.

Anything else you got into?

You bet.

When I was a kid,  I tried to help the school’s scariest bully.

There’s lots more on my website.

Have fun.

How I write in the shower

Note pad in shower

Yes, I know, the handwriting in the photo isn’t the best, but that’s because I wrote these notes for my book while standing up in the shower.

Why would I do that?

Well, haven’t you ever had a great thought strike you when you’re all wet?

And then you’ve forgotten that brilliant idea by the time you got out?

Me, too.

In fact, I’ve had too many ideas for my writing go down the drain, so this is the solution I found — waterproof paper.

It absolutely works!

What’s that, you ask?

Nope, the pencil lead does not smear at all.

P.S. My handwriting has gotten better.

Now I can read it.

Let’s kill all adverbs . . . or not

Zombie-like people chasing man

Adverb happily played his part in sentences until we turned on him

Once upon a time, there was a happy place called WordLand, where the various parts of speech would leave their village to frolic in Keyboard Meadow, joyously helping fiction authors tell their stories.

That is, they were happy until Great King Stephen rode up on his mighty steed — On Scribbling — and thrust his lance at the throng, pointing in turn at Verb, Noun, Adjective, Pronoun, Preposition, Conjunction and Interjection.

“What is wrong with you? Why do you form yourselves into sentences with that despicable wretch, the abomination of good StoryTelling?”

Continue reading

Me and Billy the Kid

Writer with a retro typewriter

Yippee ki-yay! I was going to run down this Wild West story and ride it to the big time

As mentioned in I Become a Crawling Thing, for a while I used to be what’s called a freelancer.

Basically, you’re a journalistic tumbleweed. You roll around trying to find an editor to hire you for an assignment at whatever pitiful pay you can get.

Scrounging for dollars back in the day, I rolled into a chamber of commerce office with a big tip for the magazine editor. One of my relatives had other relatives who claimed that one of their kinfolk actually knew Billy the Kid, the legendary western gunslinger.

Continue reading

I try to help a bully

1959 elementary classroom

This wasn’t my classroom, but it takes me back to that day

 Do you ever wonder about somebody from back in your school days . . .  and how they turned out?

I do.

Probably the one I’ve wondered about the most is Bub. A bully.

Why?

Because of what somebody said about him.

Continue reading

A spy gets me in from the cold

Boss yelling at an employee

The copy desk chief was really excited about my ability to edit news stories

If you remember from I’m Tagged as a Misfit, I needed money but I was striking out in finding a job.

In my interviews, I showed up overdressed, got pegged as a troublemaker, and channeled the Cheshire Cat.

Afterward, I sat at home lamenting the year I spent writing The Not-So-Great American Novel only to follow it with Western schlock that got whipped out of town by a New York City publisher.

Great. No book. No job. No money.

Continue reading

I’m tagged as a misfit

Unnerved man at desk

When my year of novel writing flopped, I forced myself to enter the work force

If you tuned in to my prior post — A Flying Saucer Lands on Me — you know that my lifetime goal was to stay in my cheap apartment writing in my underwear.

To continue that wonderful lifestyle, I was counting on a quickie Western book to lasso me out of a deepening financial hole.

But when I tossed my manuscript over the transom of a New York publishing company, they heaved it back like a sack of mealy flour.

There was no more pretending to be a starving writer when the fiction might come true.

Continue reading

A flying saucer lands on me

Man staring up at a landing UFO

How did my Old West saga turn into a space opera?

My previous post — I Give Birth to a Baby — told how I came up with a desperate ploy to get cash from a publisher so I could keep writing full-time.

I settled on churning out a western because I knew all about the Old West from watching cowboy shows on television.

Thanks to blessed inspiration and being kicked in the ass by desperation, I had the manuscript ready to go in a month.

Continue reading

I give birth to a baby

Writer deep in thought

A desperate time calls for a desperate solution

If you read A Sharp Poke in the Eye, you know that I wound up in a sorry state after struggling to write great literature.

The $1,800 bankroll I had been living on for one year was collapsing like a bad lung.

This is when you are faced with two awful impending realities: eviction  . . . or . . . getting a real job.

What would you do? Apply for a job?

Uh, not me.

Continue reading

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