Tag: craft

The “writing” part of Writing.

The Tar-Baby Problem

ONCE UPON A TIME, BEFORE minorities realized they were being patronized by pop-cultural stereotypes, there was a literary MacGuffin known as a “tar-baby.” This item featured highly in the Joel Chandler Harris story “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar-Baby,” where one…

First Graf: Goldfinger

IF YOU HAVE NEVER READ the original James Bond stories by Ian Fleming, you don’t know James Bond. You also don’t know sweeping prose that zips along like a rocket; lush description with a reporter’s eye for detail; fourth-wall breaking…

Pithyism #888

INTELLIGENT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ART’S ROLE in shaping cultures and individuals have to recognize the difference between censorship (an external restraint based on fear and loathing) and self-control (an internal restraint arising from the artist’s desire to communicate).

NextWave SF: “Retropunk”

FIRST CAME CYBERPUNK. THEN STEAMPUNK. And by 2021, … RETROPUNK. Shiny robots. Gleaming atom-powered spaceships. Martian canal races. Alien arcologies in the jungles of Venus. Male pronouns. All the glory of a big exploitable universe sans angst or post-apocalypse modernism.…

Dorothy Parker Nailed It

(From the should-be-better-known blog Letters of Note, here’s a desperate telegram dispatched by a wall-stuck author to her (apparently, or at least in Ms. Parker’s mind) neck-breathing editor. Between this and the previous post my own writer’s block should be…

Words Mean Stuff

A SHORT LIST OF WORDS which, through overuse, have been consigned to the meaning-deficient self-parody heap: Blatant Flagrant Offen(sive/ded) Rabid Sexist Racist Controversy Security Freedom Democracy Republican Terrorism Diva (There are others, but these are what I found in this…

Harlan’s Secret

“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in…