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The future is no fun: Self-publishing is the worst

Stick with me on this.

In 2001 when my first novel, "Slab Rat," was published and I was important for about eight weeks, I was asked to write three very short stories for a literary magazine. I believe the maximum amount of time I was allotted for each story was 10 minutes. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to get a sentence the way I want it, but I decided to do it. I forget what the other two stories were, but one of them stayed with me: It was about a couple who go to real estate open houses to steal medication.

Cut to early spring 2012.

Thirty painkillers (prescribed for my bad back) were stolen out of my medicine cabinet. I was certain I knew who did it: someone in my building who had access to our keys. I set a trap for him and removed the remaining painkillers and replaced them with an over-the-counter painkiller that resembled them in color and shape -- but certainly did not deliver the same relief. A week later I left my apartment for a mere 10 minutes; when I returned, sure enough, about 30 more were missing. A check of the log revealed who had signed out the keys. As Michael Corleone says to his brother in "The Godfather II": “I know it was you, Fredo.”

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