We made it.
I have no clue how, but we reached a milestone yesterday, as the G and T Show played host to the 100th “Ask Dayton” question. It’s nice that they did that, what with this whole thing being their fuckin’ idea in the first place. As we’ve discussed on numerous occasions over the two and a half years we’ve been doing this, I never expected this gag to go more than a handful of questions. I figured the novelty would wear off and the bit would fade into obscurity.
What the hell do I know?
Anyway, hosts Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull (along with Mike Medeiros, who is the energy field that surrounds and penetrates the show, binding the show together), invited me into their storied realm on Sunday so that I might read aloud my response to the 100th “Ask Dayton” query. What did they serve me this week?
The 100th Ask Dayton question (if it’s picked). Wow. Pretty awesome milestone. I thought you’d tell them to knock it off after about five of these.
Anyway, you have been asked many questions about writing, but here’s something I don’t think you have ever been asked here. Nick and Terry were talking a few episodes ago about Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey being, well, bad books, and it got me thinking: What book are you ashamed to have read? Also, can you give us a topic that you refuse to write about?
Thanks so much, and congratulations. I think.
Finally. We reach the 100 mark.
Fuck. Me. Stupid.
No, I don’t mean that in the recreational sense. What I’m saying is that my neurons are now to the point of misfiring at such regular intervals that I’m often incapable of speaking or even thinking in complete sentences. According to the universal translator, that bit of fractured ruminating is actually supposed to have read, “Holy fuck. I can’t fucking believe I’ve done a hundred of these fucking things. What the fuck was I thinking? Fuck me in the face with a blowtorch. I’m so fucking stupid.” Say it with me: “One. Hundred.” Talk about your ass-loads of wasted time, right?
Moving on, let’s take a look at your first question: “What book are you ashamed to have read?”
Anything by Keith DeCandido.
Okay, not really, of course. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been ashamed of any book I’ve read, because that would imply that I give the slightest bit of a diarrhetic taco shit so far as what other people think of my reading choices. A casual study of my home library should be enough to dissuade any such notions. I read what I want to read, and fuck what anybody else thinks.
On the other hand, I’ve definitely regretted some of my reading choices over the years, mostly in regards to the utter waste of time I spend reading a particular book, along with the oxygen I consumed while doing so. That’s time I could’ve spent reading something else, or smacking myself in the balls with a shovel. You know, something less painful than enduring the rare, truly horrific book that crosses my path. That sort of thing doesn’t happen that often, though, as I’m pretty particular about what I choose to read, and if a book’s not doing it for me after a couple of chapters, I usually just drop it in a box for donation to Goodwill and move on to something else.
(My mother says the same thing about every Star Trek book I’ve ever written.)
You’re probably noting by this point that I haven’t offered up any actual titles that fall into this category. Well, don’t look for any. I tend not to post bad book reviews. Come to think of it, I don’t do that for good reviews, either, unless it’s a friend’s book and I’m being a biased dick pimping out their stuff to whoever will listen. I’m getting too old to be wasting time ranting and raving about shit I don’t like. That’s why I always laugh and shake my at the people who continue to bitch about some movie they hated from five years ago. Shut the fuck up, already. Use that energy for something productive….like smacking yourself in the balls with a shovel.
Now, to answer your second question, “Also, can you give us a topic that you refuse to write about,” I don’t think there’s anything I’d call “off limits.” Sure, there are topics I don’t particularly like writing about, or about which I don’t consider myself informed to a point that I feel comfortable writing or speaking at length.
(I know what you’re thinking: “Dayton! You’d be perfect on Fox News or CNN! You should have your own talk radio show!”)
Still, given sufficient time to do the proper research and pondering in order to render my own opinion rather than spouting off someone else’s prepared infonuggets or talking points, I can’t see there being any topic about which I’d refuse to write. So far as fiction goes, I don’t think there are any genres I’d rule out there, either. I’ve done a variety of things already, and I’m willing to try just about anything at least once. Part of being a writer is a willingness to move outside your comfort zones, after all. I might even write my own really awful bondage porn novel one day, make a few million bucks from the horny soccer mom demographic, and retire.
Hell, it’d be the first thing I’ve written that my wife might actually want to read.
So, there we have it, sports fans: “Ask Dayton #100.” I still can’t believe this gag has lasted as long as it has, and it’s been a truly bizarre yet fun journey to this point.
“If you had it to do over,” I can hear someone shouting from the peanut gallery, “would you have said yes?”
Probably, but I’d sure as fuck ask for a shit ton more money.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #145 on June 1st, 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 G and 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 having me along all this time. It’s been quite the ride.