At last 2011 is coming to a close. I’ve definitely had better years as a freelance writer of erotica. Many of the magazines I was writing for in 2010 at this time closed down in early 2011. I lost a tremendous amount of regular income.
Still, I persevered. I figured it out last night from my daily records–I wrote, revised, and polished approximately 362,600 words–or the equivalent of SIX 60,000 word books. Or if you consider a full-length book 80,000 words, I wrote the equivalent of four and a half books. No wonder I feel discombobulated sometimes! That’s a lot of porn under the bridge. And this was an off-year assignment-wise for the reason I just stated above. The year before, when there were more magazines to write for, I wrote somewhere between 750,000 and 1,000,000 words (my records were not as meticulous last year, so I’m not exactly sure–I was too busy cranking out horny stories, girl copy, website prose, research articles and product reviews). That’s the kind of production pulp writers used to achieve back in the 1930s and 1940s…on the low end of the pulp spectrum! I’ve heard of pulp writers who did 3,000,000 words in a year (although unlike myself, they could only do that by mostly not revising or polishing). Anyway, I was a writing demon in 2010; I did as much as I could, maybe because I sensed or feared many magazines wouldn’t last. That kind of work opportunity isn’t available anymore in magazines.
So now 2011, when the sex mag business really took a hit, is coming to a close. And I sense it’s going to end noisily. I live in midtown Manhattan on the edge of Times Square, and the throngs are already blowing their little horns on the streets and whooping it up, and it’s not even 8:00 yet. You have more than four hours left to go, folks!
Yesterday I took a walk through Times Square and on the fringes of the nabe with my camera in hand. It was sunny and not too cold, and I enjoyed mingling in the crowds. When I have something to do, like making pictures, Times Square is interesting. When I’m just walking through the hordes of people, it’s annoying and stressful.
Here are some of the sights I came upon. As you’ll note, I enjoy contrasting tiny people with big billboards:
42nd Street Near 8th Avenue
42nd and Broadway
Around 45th and Broadway
Looking south from 44-45th and Broadway
In 1888, Eugene O'Neil was born on the spot where I took this picture
The ziggurat-like Paramount Building at 44th and 7th Avenue, where Frank Sinatra wowed the bobbysoxers.
Looking east from between 45th and 46th on Broadway
Later, in the evening, I went out to dinner with my camera along, and walking through the area once known as “Hell’s Kitchen” I came upon this striking sign. Two versions:
51st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues
A touch of the old Times Square & Hell's Kitchen, but timeless in its blunt force
I can’t decide what I want to do tonight. I made no plans, and money is tight, but perhaps on New Year’s Eve I could allow myself the pleasure of a lapdance or two. I have coupons to get into the strip clubs for no admission (that little ole clever carnal consumer, me). But do I want to fight my way through the crowds? I was also tempted to call friends, but I felt like being alone and maybe watching a movie and having a beer in pleasant solitude, despite the racket of the New Year’s crowds on the street. And then maybe, an hour or two before midnight, trying to work my way over to a tittie bar.
I’ve been very frugal this year, and sometimes I think I take it too far. Maybe it’s not good for a pornographer’s mental health NOT to check in with the floozies at least once a month…
Well, whether I go out or not, at least I can travel to sleazy destinations in my memory, stuffed full of the sensations of lapdances, strippers, hookers, dominatrixes, and peep show girls from my past…or through a screen capture like this one of Broadway and 52nd Street almost forty-six years ago, courtesy of the 1966 James Garner movie Mister Buddwing, a suspense thriller about an amnesia victim wandering through the raunchy old New York so many of us miss.
52nd and Broadway on the edge of Times Square, 1966
But you know something? If I walk around on the streets, I can find the film-noirish visual energy still in Hell’s Kitchen without time-traveling through memory or movies…
Click on the pic to enjoy its full intensity! This is 52nd Street and 9th Avenue, looking east toward Worldwide Plaza.
Let’s hope for a better year in 2012 for all of us who need it and want it! And thank you all for reading my blog and checking out my bizarre ebooks.