Ask Dayton #92 on the G and T Show: “Dirty Laundry.”

Well, well, well. Sunday. Again.

Yep, it’s the start of another week, which means Nick Minecci, Terry Lynn Shull and Mike Medeiros working to bring listeners another scintillating episode of the Sunday G and T Show. For two or so hours, they discuss Star Trek storytelling in books, comics, games, fan productions, what have you, and the conversation often is liberally peppered with all manner of detours and derailments.

Best wishes to Nick, who’s at home recovering from surgery earlier this week. I’m not even sure if he made it to the show today, but if he didn’t then here’s hoping you’re back up and running soon, dude. If you did make it, then what the hell are you thinking? Get back in bed, mister!

Despite everybody on Earth wanting a slice of me this past week, I still managed to pound out an answer to the newest “Ask Dayton” query. Given the subject matter of this week’s question, I opted to have some good-natured fun with it, and I fully expect the “targets” of this response to offer some form of “retribution” at the appropriate time. What the hell am I talking about? Well, it goes a little something like this:

Dear Dayton,

Congratulations on being a NY Times bestselling author! Well past deserved. So looking at your career this is a big deal, but I have to ask, because being a professional writer can be a rough job, what have been your biggest frustrations and disappointments, and have you ever wanted to just say, “To hell with it?”

Thank you and congratulations again.

P.S. – Wager if Nick is reading this after his surgery or he calls in sick?

Okay, I’ll admit up front that this is a very intriguing question. It brings to mind a number of different situations and memories that really are just part and parcel of being a writer. I could regale you with tragically comedic bits about royalty statements, contract gaffes, discussions and disagreements over everything from plot points to book titles to that blob of shit you read on the back of a paperback book that makes you decide to buy it or instead use that money to get yourself a 20-piece order of Chicken McNuggets and a 59,000 ounce soda.

Have I been discouraged from time to time? Certainly. Everybody feels that way about their job or some other aspect of their life on occasion. It’s human nature to wonder if something’s worth your time and energy. However, I can honestly say that the good far outweighs the bad when it comes to my writing career, and to dwell on the negatives is counterproductive. I’m also not really interested in highlighting specific examples in this public space, because that would come off as a dishonorable airing of dirty laundry, and I’m not willing to risk friendships and professional relationships by doing something so tacky.

Therefore, I’m just gonna make up some shit.

For example, there once was this editor. I don’t want to identify him here, but if you ever shout his name at a swimming pool with your eyes closed, somebody just might yell back, “Polo!” Anyway, this dude…what a self-important dick this fucking guy was. Not a day was allowed to pass in which his “knaves” were not required to pay tribute to him in some manner. Yeah, he called us knaves, which I suppose was an improvement over “little writer monkey puppets” and “no-talent money-grubbing parasites.”

Anyway, the daily processionals at his altar were so long and drawn-out and full of pomp and circumstance that they make Catholic weddings, Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the uncut director’s edition of Avatar seem like an AM radio traffic report in comparison. I actually got off pretty easy during most of these ridiculous rituals, but Kevin still has to attend twice-weekly therapy sessions to deal with some of the shit he had to go through. And as bad as that was? Late at night, when I close my eyes and listen for the demons to come out from the closet or under my bed? I can still see what horrific tortures David Mack was forced to endure, and I can still hear his desperate cries for someone…anyone…for the love of all that’s holy to just please pay the damned ransom money, or to at least send more lube and maybe some plasma.

Of course, fucking Mack deserved it.

Oh, you want to talk about David Mack? Fine, Let’s fucking talk about David Fucking Mack, but let’s get the good shit out of the way. This son of a bitch can write. I sincerely mean that. I never cease to be amazed at how he’s continually able to jam whichever hand’s not holding his drink so far up his own ass in order to pass through the event horizon of the black hole that’s a substitute for the heart you’d find in any normal human being, and from within that darkest of soul and energy-sucking realms he extracts some of the most engaging, action-packed, emotionally-charged writing I’ve ever seen a mortal commit to the printed page. Readers should relish without hesitation or guilt the genius that is David Mack, the writer.

That said? Don’t ever, ever, EVER let this mother fucker into your house without an escort, and I don’t mean the kind you can call up in Vegas when you get one of those porno business cards from some dickbag on the Strip. Bring somebody who’s able to put a Taser on this guy, or just bust a cap in his ass, because if you leave him to run amok he’ll drink all your booze, eat all your Funyuns, Skittles, and any Fruit Loops or chocolate you might leave lying around, and push up against your wife or girlfriend. Of course, the rumor on the convention circuit is that he’s hung like Ant Man, so this really falls more into the nuisance category rather than any real threat potential. If you want independent confirmation of this allegation, I’d suggest you ask Kevin.

“Wow, Dayton,” I can hear someone saying from the balcony seats, “is there anybody else you want to call out for making your life so miserable?” Well, since we’re all here, I suppose I should warn you about Kirsten Beyer. Now, like the aforementioned Mr. Mack, Ms. Beyer is also a writer with some seriously mad word-pushing skills. She pretty much single-handedly managed to breathe life and excitement into the Star Trek: Voyager novels and rescue them from the Dumpster of Misfit Books to which a lot of people figured they’d been consigned. That alone is a feat worthy of commemoration and celebration in story and song.  I also love her like a sister, but it’s with that fear-based respect you give to an older sister who threatens to rip off your balls and use them for ear rings if you tell your folks she stayed out past curfew.

Also? Don’t let her bum a cigarette off you. I don’t even smoke, and she’s into me for something like 25 or 30 cartons of coffin nails. “But, Dayton,” I can hear those cheap-seaters saying, “How does that work if you don’t smoke?”

I already told you: Balls. Ear Rings. Capisce?

Okay, okay. Perhaps I’ve said too much. In fact, don’t even read this out loud, Nick. We’ll just keep all of this between us, all right?


This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #128 on January 26th, 2014. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The Sunday G&T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.

Thanks again to Nick, Terry and Mike for making me a part of their reindeer games.

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About Dayton Ward

Freelance word pusher. Husband. Dad. Trekkie. Rush fan (the band). Tampa Bay Bucs fan. Observer/derider of human behavior. I know where my towel is.
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