So you can read my books

Monday, July 30, 2018


Ghost of Harlan Ellison here:

For a brief time, I was here; 
for a brief time, I mattered.

I am not surprised that I am still kicking around despite being dead.  

Life always managed to beat me on the head like a Hong Kong gong  ...

so why shouldn't death?

That rat, Clemens, had the gall to lure me here to Meilori's by baiting me with my own words:

“In these days of widespread illiteracy, functional illiteracy... 

anything that keeps people stupid is a felony.” 

Clemens said, 
"So write to the dreamers who visit Roland's electronic newspaper and tell them what's what."

What's what?  And to think I once respected the guy.  Never meet your heroes.

All right.  

He wants me to elucidate, to illuminate, to unravel the Gordian knot of your dreams.  

I'll point out some road marks but not all of them.  

Eternity is calling me, 
and I want to wander. 

I hear some of you moan, "I like 'having written,' but I hate writing.  It's hard work."

Well, f___ you, of course it's hard work.

Everything worthwhile is hard work.

If it weren't hard work, everybody would be doing it. 

Art isn't supposed to be easy!

You think Michelangelo didn't feel the jolts of his hammer 

against the pick slamming into the marble as he sculpted David or the Pietà?

He felt it all the way up his damn arms to his neck and back down his spinal column in spasms of a Niagara Falls of agony .

Art should always be tough. 

 It should demand foot pounds of energy for every good sentence you manage to pound out on the paper.

Nothing good comes from coasting.

 You never reach glory or self-fulfillment unless you're willing to risk everything, 

dare anything, put yourself dead on the line every time; 

and once you become strong or rich or potent or powerful 

it is your responsibility to help the weak become strong.

Which is why I am writing to you guys, shouting, 

"The road ahead is damn hard. Nobody guarantees you can make it to the end.

Nor should they.

But if you believe in yourself strong enough you can walk it.

It is up to you, and you alone, if you make it to the end."


 I don't know how you perceive 

my mission as a writer,

 but for me it is not a responsibility 
to reaffirm your concretized myths 
and provincial prejudices. 

It is not my job to lull you 

with a false sense 

of the rightness of the universe.  

This wonderful and terrible occupation 

of recreating the world in a different way, 

each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare.

 I stir the soup. 
I inconvenience you.

I make your nose run and your eyeballs water. 

 But enough of that.

I am gone, and you are not.

Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, 

Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. 

And all that we are, all that remains, 

is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.

 Remember that and write well ... and live better.


  1. A timely post... Thanks for sharing :-)

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Time to Say Goodbye

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting and being nice enough to comment. :-)

  3. Harlan Ellison was one amazing author and one kick-ass human being. I'm sending you his obit that I found last week. It's a great read by itself and offers up some behind the scenes in the life of this brilliant man.

    1. I got the obit, Thanks so much! There is a great video on him:

      It has Robin Williams and Neil Gaiman as guests and hosts. Great to watch, especially his home, THE LOST INCA TEMPLE OF MARS. You have to see it to believe it!

  4. Sage words there. No point doing any of this by half measures.

    1. Like Yoda said, "Do, or do not. There is no try.: :-)

  5. Great post. Thank you for sharing. Happy writing to you. :)

  6. "Believe in yourself strong enough..." I love that, SO much! An excellent post, as always, Roland. And so inspiring!

  7. Great post. It--especially the bit about hard work--really resonated with me.

    1. Thanks, Loni. Yes, like you and Harlan, I believe writing well is hard but worth it. :-)