Posts Tagged ‘ writers ’

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT now and read this article by Patton Oswalt about how instant access to everything has brought about the Death of the Fannish Underground. Oswalt speaks to and for those whose fannish identity was built up layer by carefully wrought layer, recalling when one person could consume an entire year’s...

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Pithyism #888

2011.07.06
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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).

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Dorothy Parker Nailed It

2011.06.30
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(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 dang near invisible.)

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Oh, How I Miss John Lennon

2011.06.26
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IT’S GOOD TO JUDGE FAVORABLY, if one bothers to judge at all, and yet I sometimes feel that if I see one more pair of hipster horn-rims, I’m going to scream so loud they’ll hear me on Mars.

Perhaps I’m judging too harshly — it may well be simply a postmodern alien ovipositor. Either way, I hope it’s not terminal. Or any more contagious than it apparently is.

Since The Metaphorager exists where time is fluid and frames are a matter of perspective in addition to holding one’s eyeball extenders, I should note that one of my ancient colleagues (will) comment(s)(ed) about the functionality issue — that they are “comfortable on my face and built like a tank so I can’t very easily destroy them.” Functionality makes great points with me, and to be fair my friend is not the sort of self-serious nerd I’m writing about, or in the case of this post, occasionally am.

No, what I’m talking about is the same compulsive nonconformity which had all us liberal-arts majors wearing John Lennon frames in the 1970s (hell, I still do) — it’s the style of the thing that I wonder about (why this? why now?), not the thing itself. Horn-rim glasses have become a sort of deconstructionist face-bullhorn, not unlike a Dobbshead or a Monty Python lyric or any other of the ten thousand signs of instant nerd recognition. In that, they’re useful — but in their prolificity they have also become something of a visual cliche.

To be honest, there are more important things in the world to bother about than other people’s choice of eyewear. (I could get back to talking about religious visions or writing, for example.) But if nothing else, I hope I’ve happily answered for some lonely soul the burning question, “Is it just me?”

(On the other hand, they look great on women. But then so does everything.)

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And Now, A “Word To Bring Back”

2011.06.20
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PERFORCE.

- Definition:1 (obsolete) by physical coercion 2 by force of circumstances.”
- Used in a sentence: “As the VCR is currently recording Deep Space Nine, we must perforce view Firefly on DVD.”
- Why: Because sometimes, “really really really” just won’t do.

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Words Mean Stuff

2011.02.08
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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 morning’s newspaper. Additions and substitutions welcome.)

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How To Make Your Blog Sound Important

2011.01.26
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1. BEGIN EVERY PARAGRAPH WITH “I.”

2. Repost the same story as other blogs within your target demographic.

3. When commenting in other blogs, slip in the phrase “as I wrote” and flash your URL.

4. Call everyone by their first name whether celebrity, criminal or politician.

5. Make gratuitous jokes equating celebrities, criminals and politicians.

6. Be snarkier.

7. Don’t write from the heart. Ever.

8. When in doubt, link to YouTube.

9. Use lots of “ironic” quotes.

10. Remember: the world won’t run without you. Remind it.

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Writer (noun)

2011.01.25
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A BREED SIMILAR TO ORDINARY humans, but responsible for much of their culture. Occasionally considered too cocky for their own good, until posthumous reevaluation shows they were right all along, the bastards. Some would call them the salvation of humanity; others wouldn’t call them a cab.

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Harlan’s Secret

2011.01.19
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“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 back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.”

– Author and critic HARLAN ELLISON, my first inspiration and longtime influence, as quoted on http://www.advicetowriters.com, a website worth visiting

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Question of Essence

2011.01.17
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DO YOU PRACTICE AN ART form, or a life form?

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Pithyism #xxiii

2011.01.14
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ONCE YOU REALIZE THAT YOU’RE not (insert your favorite author here), you can begin to make your own good things.

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Just Off The Block of My Head

2011.01.04
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IF THERE IS ANYTHING SCARIER than writer’s block, I hope I never discover it.

For me, writer’s block is more than just an inability to string together something pretty or useful. It’s like losing half or more of my personality.

Everyone sees the world differently; writers even more so. There’s a sort of constant subconscious framing of experience that we all do just to survive with some sense of perspective. To a writer, that perspective is a little closer to the surface, a touch more accessible, like a good friend who’s constantly mumbling beauty under his breath. When that friend goes away, nothing seems fun anymore. It’s worse than a bad breakup, because at least you can serenade your ex, at least until the cops show up. But the writer’s friend has no spatial location, nothing to grab onto or plead with. It must, like the court order, be merely endured.

See? If I didn’t have writer’s block, that would have been funny.

But eventually the clouds lift, or you plod through them with a shovel, mixing metaphors to beat the band until something just clicks

and the world suddenly makes sense again.

For a while.

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