Wyatt/etc.

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Rrty

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
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I picked up a paperback copy of Skeleton Crew the other day. Been meaning to for a while, as I no longer have my hardcover. There are some good stories in it.

There's also a wonderful introduction. It's fun, with some great anecdotes. There's also a fascinating notes-on-the-stories section at the end.

Here're a few observations.

I love the story about King's friend Wyatt (not the person's real name). As you may recall, he said that King's short stories were economically weak, and that, after taxes and agent/manager commissions, King made only $769.50 from "Word Processor of the Gods." This offended the author, and he said he was going to send Wyatt a note informing him that he had eventually made a net of twenty-three hundred dollars once the Crew collection came out.

Here's what I wonder about that. First, does that mean one can multiply the number of stories in the collection by $2,300 and come up with what King was advanced for the book net of everything? I then further wonder if the anecdote is exactly accurate -- it would amaze me if someone knew a what a plumber in New York makes (read the intro if you don't know what I mean). I also wonder if King made good on his word in the intro and actually did send Wyatt a copy and note -- both those items would make a pretty good collectible. Have they by any chance ever come up for auction? I sort of, to be honest, wonder if this anecdote is wholly accurate, and if maybe some of it was embellished. It probably wasn't, but the way it reads, it's almost too entertaining to be true.

In the notes section, King relates how he needed $250 to pay a fine for stealing traffic cones (he had driven into some and felt they were erroneously placed in the street by the city, so he drove around and placed 150 cones in his station wagon; eventually, a police officer noticed and he apparently was arrested). King states that a story he wrote called "The Float" was accepted by an adult magazine for publication and he received a check for $250, just in time to pay the fine and avoid further jail time. He further relates that he never saw the story in print, even after checking aggressively for it. He even asked if anyone had seen it (I believe I may have even asked on the forum if King ever did receive word on this, and I think Ms. Mod may have said no, but I can't recall).

A couple things on this. Is it believable he actually collected 150 traffic cones? Was that hyperbole? I can't imagine so many cones placed in a car.

One of the reasons I am highlighting this anecdote is, just recently, I saw someone comment to an article on King that the person had read "The Raft" in a skin magazine. I'm trying to relocate the article and that comment, but I haven't been able to yet (it is some recent article on King, might have been a list-article, as in ten-best-King-X-items). I believe the person wrote "The Raft" and not "The Float," so maybe the person is mistaken, but if I recall correctly, the comment differentiated between a skin magazine and the collection.

King stated he rewrote the story since he lost the original manuscript. If it had already been published, would that have hypothetically violated any rights? Not an important issue, I was just curious on that.

I started rereading "The Mist." On the first page of the tale -- page 24 in my copy -- I notice King uses the word "sullen" twice. No big deal. In fact, correct me if I am wrong, do people seem to remember King reusing words quickly in his earlier tales? There's no way to really check on this, because you would go insane trying to remember where this may have occurred, but I remember thinking the word "apotheosis" was favored by King in the first The Dark Tower book. I'm hoping this is mostly a normal thing because I do that all the time in my own writing -- I'll use one word maybe three times in the span of five pages.

The other thing that struck me while reading the story is how King is a master of the unique metaphor, especially in his earlier writings. Using that sullen term as an example, the metaphor of the sullen quarry water on page 24 right at the beginning is great. It sounds odd and almost awkward for some reason, but it realizes that you can do that -- be oddly evocative.

Finally, is there a way to know what year my paperback was printed? I have no idea how to read all that fine print and to know exactly the difference between year printed and copyright attribution. The reason I ask is because I purchased a new copy and am surprised it is not an updated version (maybe the publisher never updated this collection?). The copy I have has skulls on the cover and a blurb about "The Mist" being a major motion picture from Dimension Films. The bibliography is also outdated.
 
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Aloysius Nell

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Apr 1, 2014
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I picked up a paperback copy of Skeleton Crew the other day. Been meaning to for a while, as I no longer have my hardcover. There are some good stories in it.



A couple things on this. Is it believable he actually collected 150 traffic cones? Was that hyperbole? I can't imagine so many cones placed in a car.

He was very drunk at the time; people do very strange things when they're drunk. I can see it very easily.

I used "very" three times, just to make you feel loved.
 
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Rrty

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Jun 4, 2007
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I used "very" three times, just to make you feel loved.

I'm not sure what this means; never heard the phrase before. People do odd things when they are drunk, true; and it is disappointing, I must admit, to be reminded that he was drunk while doing that. I was just amazed that the cone count was so high, how did he fit them inside the car? That is a lot, isn't it?
 

mal

content
Jun 23, 2007
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I'm not sure what this means; never heard the phrase before. People do odd things when they are drunk, true; and it is disappointing, I must admit, to be reminded that he was drunk while doing that. I was just amazed that the cone count was so high, how did he fit them inside the car? That is a lot, isn't it?
The cones stack inside each other.
 

Aloysius Nell

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2014
309
1,009
48
I'm not sure what this means; never heard the phrase before. People do odd things when they are drunk, true; and it is disappointing, I must admit, to be reminded that he was drunk while doing that. I was just amazed that the cone count was so high, how did he fit them inside the car? That is a lot, isn't it?
It was the 70s, and he was not rich, with kids. I'm thinking station wagon.
 

Wab

Well-Known Member
Oct 29, 2017
86
312
I love the story about King's friend Wyatt (not the person's real name). As you may recall, he said that King's short stories were economically weak, and that, after taxes and agent/manager commissions, King made only $769.50 from "Word Processor of the Gods." This offended the author, and he said he was going to send Wyatt a note informing him that he had eventually made a net of twenty-three hundred dollars once the Crew collection came out.

Here's what I wonder about that. First, does that mean one can multiply the number of stories in the collection by $2,300 and come up with what King was advanced for the book net of everything? I then further wonder if the anecdote is exactly accurate -- it would amaze me if someone knew a what a plumber in New York makes (read the intro if you don't know what I mean). I also wonder if King made good on his word in the intro and actually did send Wyatt a copy and note -- both those items would make a pretty good collectible. Have they by any chance ever come up for auction? I sort of, to be honest, wonder if this anecdote is wholly accurate, and if maybe some of it was embellished. It probably wasn't, but the way it reads, it's almost too entertaining to be true.

I wouldn't be surprised if the events didn't happen that way (if at all) but it gave SK a platform to say why he still writes short stories as he had probably been asked that same question many times.

One of the reasons I am highlighting this anecdote is, just recently, I saw someone comment to an article on King that the person had read "The Raft" in a skin magazine. I'm trying to relocate the article and that comment, but I haven't been able to yet (it is some recent article on King, might have been a list-article, as in ten-best-King-X-items). I believe the person wrote "The Raft" and not "The Float," so maybe the person is mistaken, but if I recall correctly, the comment differentiated between a skin magazine and the collection.

King stated he rewrote the story since he lost the original manuscript. If it had already been published, would that have hypothetically violated any rights? Not an important issue, I was just curious on that.

Probably not. In most short story markets, the rights revert to the author after a relatively short period of time.
 
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