On Blogorrhea (And Its Opposite)

ALTHOUGH I STILL CAN’T SIT for very long, I am happy to report that the end of my seven-year writer’s block came last July (albeit with the death of a close friend). But I will know that it’s really ended when I can start cranking out fiction again.

Fiction doesn’t come easily for me. I am professionally, hands-on trained as a news and features writer. That sort of writing is like assembling a Tinkertoy structure out of fact-pieces and putting them in the proper places. But fiction-writing is like pulling a thick rope out of a dark void and seeing what’s attached.

The fictions I really want to start writing again concern our ol’ pal Prosatio Silban, reluctant holyman turned traveling cook.

Pithyism #10k

ANY PHILOSOPHY THAT BEGINS “IF only people would –” deserves to die on the starting line.

5 Thoughts: Confessions of a Vicarious Eater

1. “WHAT DID YOU EAT?” THIS question works its way into every conversation I have or had with someone (online and off) relating to culinary experiences.

2. There’s a reason for this: I am obsessed with matters gastronomical. Not in a bad way; perhaps “obsessed” is the wrong word. “Deeply fascinated” would be a better descriptor. I simply enjoy cooking, eating, discussing, and reading about food in all its wonderful forms — especially if they’re unfamiliar to me.

3. I come by it honestly. When I was a kid, whenever we’d go to a restaurant and see something unfamiliar on the menu, my dad would say “Bring us two orders of whatever that is.”

Words to Bring Back: “Adduce”

– Definition: v.t. To present for proof or consideration, as an example; cite; allege.

– Used in a sentence: Rod Serling could have saved himself a couple of seconds per episode if he had only prefaced his Twilight Zone introductions with, “Adduced.”

– Why: It sounds just enough like “deduce” to trip up poseurs who attempt to use it without first checking their definition-sets. Plus, in this age of plastic facts we could always use more synonyms for “allege.”

First Graf(s): The Fellowship of the Ring

IF YOU HAVE ONLY SEEN the movie version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you are missing out on an extraordinary literary work.

Granted, it takes a while to get into — a criticism also (and often) leveled against authors Steven King, Herman Melville and other exposition-happy types. But you’ll be surprised by the richness of the prose, the wealth of Middle-Earth’s detail, and the extensive background material. It truly reads like an historical travelogue filled with interesting sights and people. (And you’ll also encounter some significant differences from the movies, chief among which being that Aragorn is not a wimp.)

Why I Love: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

IT’S THE EPISODE-BY-EPISODE CONTINUITY. It’s the attention to detail (even in the direction). It’s the character development. (It’s also the characters.) It’s the insiders-feeling treatment of religious faith. It’s the strong female roles (mostly). It’s the sometimes-complicated political schemes. It’s the merry departure from physics (spaceships don’t swoop and dive, dudes!). It’s the treatment of alien cultures as complex, internally consistent organisms. It’s the realistic chemistry between O’Brien and his wife Keiko. (It’s also the making-fun of the lack of chemistry between Worf and Dax.) It’s watching Nog grow from a juvenile delinquent to an essential and important member of Starfleet.

365 Names of God: “King Alpha”

KING ALPHA From the 1970 song “Rivers of Babylon” by The Melodians comes this Rastafarian take on Psalms 19 and 137 (but mostly 137). Although the group may intend King Alpha to refer to the Ethiopian king and Rasta hero Haile Selassie, I respectfully suggest that this Name also makes a good in-general moniker for G?d: “Alpha” is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, reflecting the “G?d is One” theme of the Shema; “King” can be a metaphor for the Sovereign Constructor or (Constructing Principle) of the Universe. Put ’em both together and they spell t-h-e-o-l-o-g-y.