To be honest, I never thought I would blog, although I have to admit I've always been attracted to the word. It's like something out of Naked Lunch, isn't it? Some perverse act visited upon innocent flesh by a mugwump. "The suppurating probiscus blogged him fiendishly from behind."
As I'm sure you've gathered from my author's page, my name is Ryan Masters. Compared to the illustrious company in Red Room I'm an unknown (although I fear I may be somewhat infamous in some Monterey County circles) and I must say it's an honor to have my name on the same web page as such literary heroes as Ishmael Reed.
One of the many reasons I'm on this site is that I'm looking for an agent for my new novel. Once upon a time (around eight years ago) I actually had an agent and was talking to people at Random House about publishing my first novel, Touch Fish, Meigwaren. After six months of negotiations they told me there was a glut of expat novels on the market and none of them were selling, save Alex Garland's The Beach. So that was that.
I've written two novels since then, but never bothered to try to publish them. Why? I don't know. Confidence, I suppose. Plus, I was publishing a ton of poetry and working full-time as a journalist. I grew a great deal over those years and figured I was still maturing as a writer. Now I think I'm ready. Maybe in subsequent blogs I'll publish excerpts from the new novel and, if anyone actually reads this blog, I can get some feedback.
In the meantime, I'll post a few highlights from my years at the Monterey County Weekly- a job I miss a great deal sometimes. I left it to become executive editor of Carmel Magazine. You ever read that thing? Big glossy rag made up of luxury ads, celebrity profiles and articles about rich locals' dogs. Bad call. I sort of sold my soul for the money and the universe bit me in the ass. Or maybe my subconscious was so guilt-ridden I manifested a bunch of bad juju for myself. I'm not sure which. Does it really matter?
My father died last November 27. On his deathbed he saw the ghosts of his mother and father and they were smiling and opening their arms to him. I once smoked a drug called Salvia Divinorum and watched my body from across the room for 30 seconds. You tell me. Did my father's brain manifest images of his parents to ease the transition of death or did the souls of his parents return to ferry their son into the next world? Did my brain do the math and create the illusion of disembodiment or did I actually leave my body? I don't know either. Someone recently told me that "pain is God's megaphone". I think CS Lewis said that. As a writer, I can appreciate the metaphor, but come on...I guess it's all ontological. Anyway, I digress...
Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the last few years at the Weekly.
Hell Hole - Oct 26, 2006 / Ryan Masters
The Monterey County Jail is an overcrowded pit of violence and despair. There is no plan to fix it.
Time Travelers - Jul 06, 2006 / Ryan Masters
The bison of South Monterey County have taken a strange journey, and it’s not over yet.
Bling Bang - Apr 27, 2006 / Ryan Masters
How $107 million of West Coast rap king Suge Knight’s money got divvied up in a Monterey courtroom.
Stream of Conscience - Mar 09, 2006 / Ryan Masters
A useless dam on the Carmel River is keeping endangered steelhead from their spawning grounds.
OUTSIDE: Wild Olympian Feb 23, 2006 / Ryan Masters
A tribute to Bill Johnson, the greatest American ski racer of them all.
Home-Less in Paradise - Nov 24, 2005 / Ryan Masters
In a hilltop forest bordering a wealthy Peninsula enclave, renegades and outcasts practice bare survival.
Meth Explodes - Oct 13, 2005 / Ryan Masters
The most deadly recreational drug has become the most popular, in Monterey County and everywhere.
Inside Eden - AAN Winner (Pdf) Aug 04, 2005 / Ryan Masters
Suspending time in the Ventana Wilderness.
Hiring Kids for War - Apr 28, 2005 / Ryan Masters
Local anti-recruitment effort targets high schools.
A Shark's Tale - Apr 21, 2005 / Ryan Masters
The untold story of the biggest star to ever swim in the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
OUTSIDE: Ghost Tree Lives Mar 24, 2005 / Ryan Masters
One day on Pebble Beach’s legendary wave.
Under Water Vision - Nov 04, 2004 / Ryan Masters
Scott Campbell goes deep for his art.
Hot For Alien Trannies - AAN Winner Oct 28, 2004 / Ryan Masters
Frank N. Further et al. wow ‘em in Salinas.