Football to My Advantage

(Monte Dutton photo)

(Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, December 31, 2015, 1:04 p.m.

On Wednesday, I realized that football has dulled me. Games were going on all day. I glanced at the TV from time to time, just to check the score or to determine why the announcers were yelling.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

I stayed up till nearly two, not watching a game but reading a novel while Wisconsin and Southern California were bumping into each other like tectonic plates.

I didn’t think it possible for football to lose me. I’m pretty sure it was temporary. The college semifinals are coming up. The school where it was once a foregone conclusion that I would go (but didn’t), Clemson, is playing Oklahoma (seen the Sooners twice, in Boulder and Dallas), and then Michigan State (I have a cap and a sweatshirt, the cap because a friend went there and the sweatshirt because it was cheap and hanging in a truck stop) against Alabama (watched them clobber Clemson twice as a kid, but the Tide lost in overtime to Arkansas a decade or more back). The most recent time I saw the Tigers live was in a bowl game. The Belk Bowl game. South Florida won.

Much has changed.

I prefer live crowds like this one. (Monte Dutton photo)

I prefer live crowds like this one. (Monte Dutton photo)

On Wednesday, however, my boredom was functional. With bands playing, announcers yelling and way too much under review, I finished off a short story and sketched an illustration. I wrote another blog designed to be entertaining even to those who don’t follow Laurens County sports, not that many of them read it. I worked on what is going to be novel number five, Cowboys Come Home, and, then, as night fell, Kindle Publishing sent me its edits for the next publicly available creation, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, a tale of corruption, crime, politics, sex, drugs, good, evil, and corruption.

To paraphrase Blazing Saddles:

You listed corruption twice.

I like corruption.

Peering through a portal. (Monte Dutton)

Peering through a portal. (Monte Dutton)

I’m a little non-plussed at Houston and Florida State right now, which is why I’m writing this. Before the game started, I was editing the Forgive Us Our Trespasses manuscript. The quicker I can get through it, (1.) the sooner it will be published, and, (2.) the more mistakes will slip through.

My course must be both moderate and meticulous. Somehow. It’s impossible to be moderately meticulous, and that’s why writing is such a fine art.

Thus far, I’m pleased with the editing efforts from the Amazon/Kindle folks. This morning I decided I would wade through all the edits: approving, rejecting (none so far), and, changing in slightly different manners. Then I’m going back to the beginning to read it carefully with more of an editorial frame of mind, adding a paragraph here and there, and pondering all the options I’ve already pondered several times before the manuscript was submitted.

I think I may start paying attention to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at about the end of the third quarter — ooh, Houston just went up, 14-3 — just to emerge from my combat fatigue in time for Clemson-Oklahoma.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve got to marshal my resources. It’s time to spread the word. This next novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, is the best one yet because I’m gradually getting better at writing them. As a general rule, readers like my novels. I just need more readers. It’s a big pie out there — egg custard, I imagine — and the slices keep getting smaller. If you’re of a mind to help, whether by emailing, retweeting, sharing, reviewing, direct messaging, texting, or mentioning it to the English professor who’s pumping his own gas at the same time you are, by all means, do so. Left to my own devices, I’m a whiz at everything that doesn’t make money. I’m not greedy. That’s obvious because I’m a writer.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

By the way, Happy New Year. And check out my other page, www.wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, every now and again. And join my Facebook group for loyal readers of my books, Similarly Crazy, or become my close personal friend through monte.dutton. I’m on Twitter @montedutton, slightly more irreverent @wastedpilgrim, and slightly more literary @hmdutton. Instagram? Why, Tug50, of course.

I ask a lot for a person from South Carolina.

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

Crazy of Natural Causes has only been out since late summer. It’ll only set you back $3.49. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes

My first novel, The Audacity of Dope (Kindle version $2.99), is about a songwriter who gets on a plane a free-thinking stoner and gets off it a free-thinking national hero. Complications ensue. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=0G1646HCQ562QP6C7JCP

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The Intangibles (Kindle edition $4.99) is set in the 1960s, with an integrated high school football team at the epicenter of the local civil-rights volcano. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=0RG9JJ51G715SBNV9BZH

 

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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