Loose and casual graphic-blogging with random thoughts and links to interesting things.
- Find a Subject You Care About
Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your hose or a love letter to the girl next door will do.
Which is hilarious, because more than half of all “artists” therefore aspire to become prostitutes. And on the other hand, some forward-thinking humanists are arguing to legalize prostitution in defense of the basic human rights prostitutes.
Prostitution will happen because there is an undying and ubiquitous demand for it, regardless of what the hypocritical orthodox conservatives claim (and, as time bears out, it is nothing more than lip-service, as their deeds betray otherwise). To stigmatize prostitution is to create shame against ourselves, a willful intellectual dishonesty that holds us back from growth from the communal to the cultural levels; to use prostitution as an insult smacks of misogyny or at least misanthropy.
So either Pressfield was a narrow-minded bigot, callously flinging imprecise language about as he widened the gap between his perception of subhumans and an elite class; or he was actually trying to elevate the concept of prostitution and make it more palatable to the masses, to break down its stigma and help us come to terms with ourselves as human animals.
Haha, the pseudo-neutrality of geopolitical citizenship can't save you. It seems increasingly like there's no way out of this without sounding like a rube or a racist so take your pick: recant or just say "Those various brown people south of us are all horrible, violent monsters."
They may not be monsters, but everyone knows they eat dogs.
...and they do it for half the price an American does it for! Why, forty years ago, a fella could make a decent living eating dogs! It was a good, patriotic, American job. Most of our finest statesmen started out in dog-eating trades: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, MLK... If I'm not mistaken, Ward Cleaver, the father on Leave it to Beaver ate dogs for a living; it was that iconic!
Yes, it used to be, the big dog-eating firms downtown had to pay an honest wage with time off at Christmas and a company picnic every Independence Day just to attract the real craftsmen, you know. Nowadays, with all these illegals coming into our country, willing to eat dogs for next to nothing, it's turned into a numbers game where quantity is more important than artistry. There's no such thing as a dog-eating apprenticeship anymore. It's a shame too. A good apprenticeship could teach a boy the sort of discipline and integrity you just can't learn from a book. The devaluation of American craftsmanship and know-how is what's going to let the Chinese take over the world and you know whose fault it is—those godless, Central American, polytheist Mexicans!
Dog-eating has gotten really expensive, what with organically raised dogs and fair wages for their handlers. It's really hard to convince a struggling lower-class family to do the responsible thing and shop for locally sourced, humanely treated dogs when they're counting pennies and have to choose between that and anti-three-month-death medicine, every three months. But those cheap dogs they're getting from Shenzhen, dogs stuffed with lead-treated dogs, that's what's giving them those bad cases of death you read about. It's a vicious cycle, but the Republicans are having none of it. Import dog lobbyists have not only dismantled dog-rendering regulation but are working to block outside media investigation, so the already-biased domestic media is increasingly unwilling to run this kind of story.
And the GOP doesn't even eat dogs! They eat people who eat dogs, but the irony is that they won't eat the lower-class families getting sick off the Chinese tainted dogs whose import they're working so hard to defend. They only eat canid-vegetarians, people subsisting off the same high-quality dogs they're working to get shut down. The blatant hypocrisy drives me blind with madness.
I’m keeping a dream journal. I think I’ve tried to long ago in the past but it didn’t take. This one came about because I’d started having really vivid dreams last February, and I could even recall them a couple days later.
It so happened that I’d purchased a pack of Moleskine large red Cahiers but had no purpose for them: they were only beautiful so I had to possess them. They sat around, pristine, in my apartment for nearly a year and then I found uses for them. One is my beer journal, wherein I record my misadventures with homebrewing, my tastes and judgment of commercial beer, and anything interesting I uncover in my studies (like a Sumatran prayer that is actually a beer recipe).
OH KIDS! You think you’re so cool with raping indigenous cultures to wear your fancy little male-only Native American headdresses to go out and get drunk, because you’re stupid hipsters who consume everything wrong, but what are you missing? You can’t even perceive it because to you, nothing is cooler than Irony 095 (prereq.).
As for me, I’m making beer. I made an English brown ale, and tonight I’m making a bourbon dubbel. As seen in the photos, I grind my own malt and have a batch of French dark oak chips steeping in Woodford Reserve (you won’t recognize the name because it’s not that shitty PBR you insist on repeating, because “get it?”, but it’s one of the three best Kentucky bourbons available). I’m in the process of steeping the hops even as I write this, and in a couple weeks I will have made, with my own hands, a better beer than anything you have spent your parents’ money on.
I hate hipsters, if that’s not clear. They are stupid and dumb, and they suck.
Also, I love making my own beer.
I’m pleased! I sold one of my decorated Cahiers tonight, and I got to reconnect with an old friend.
This is a large Moleskine Cahier, kraft cover, unlined. I covered it in a section of a 1965 National Geographic map, and on the insides I pasted pages from a Thai ghost comic book and a 1953 copy of German Through Pictures.
I’ve had writer’s block the last few days. There are all sorts of creative exercises people can recommend to get over it, and some people apply some tough love and tell you to quit dinking around with fancy-dancy little creative exercises and just sit down and write. Write anything, write crap, “write twaddle,” but write.
A very popular contemporary author said as much. He was in town for a book signing (for a while, you could not keep him out of town or abate his book signings) and he gave me grim advice. I asked him how one gets over writer’s block and he said, “Take up plumbing.” He paused and I considered the Zen-like riddle of what must have been some level of sagacity beyond my comprehension. What did he mean by plumbing? Would a change of lifestyle improve my perspective? “Or carpentry,” he added. I wondered if there was something energizing about working with your hands. “Or anything. Pick up some other profession, because writers write.”
Oh. He was bitching me out. If I couldn’t write, I couldn’t sit at the cool kids’ table.
That doesn’t help me now. My eyes are burning with dryness, I’m well abreast of world news as I scan Google News and Al Jazeera, I’m about to fix yet another drink, and nothing’s compelling me to launch into a creative exploit. I’m kinda hoping that complaining about it (on a blog nobody reads) will help me through this, but there’s no reason it should produce a miracle. But at least I wrote about it.
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
- Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
- Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
- Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
- If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
- Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
- If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
(Source: The Atlantic)