Posts Tagged ‘ writers ’

Reporters And Other Artists, Remember:

2010.12.01
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“IN THE ABSENCE OF NUANCE, it just becomes noise.” –Ann, commenting on a newspaper article which lacked some rather essential facts

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Pithyism #11

2010.11.30
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TO WRITE WITH TRUTH AND heart, one must be able to see; and sometimes, to not look away.

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Tools: Spacejock Software

2010.11.12
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THIS POST IS BEING WRITTEN in yEdit, one of Simon Haynes‘ many fine Spacejock Software products. He doesn’t know I’m writing it, and until I stumbled across his website I didn’t know he was a famous Australian science-fiction author with a taste for helping others get started in the field.

But as he offers some really neato tools for writing — yEdit, a text editor which lets you set a word-count target and track it as you type; Sonar, which manages story submissions; yTimer, like yEdit but in minutes instead of words; and the novel-assisting yWriter — as well as some sound advice (well, it helped me anyway). Check his site for additional tools and links to what looks like one hell of a terrific space-opera self-parody.

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O Hamlet! O Holden!

2010.11.07
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ONE OF THE SPARE JOYS of bohemian pretention is, and perhaps always has been, writing sad poems in the rain, letting each misty drop efface and blur the tortured scribble; pearls of moisture like the very angels’ tears weeping for the world’s slow sadness, pooling and puddling to rinse and run again.

Try doing THAT on an iPhone.

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A Great Line I’ll Have To Work In Somewhere

2010.10.23
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“IT WAS AT THIS POINT in the narrative when those skilled in the nuances of the oral tradition began chuckling with anticipation.”

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How The World Works

2010.10.21
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“WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU MISS a deadline?” asked the high-school student shadowing me in my capacity as newspaper reporter.

“You don’t,” I replied.

“No, I know,” he said. “But what happens if you do?”

I just looked at him. “You don’t,” I repeated. “You just don’t.”

And sometimes, life really is that simple.

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Jack Horkheimer, A”H

2010.08.24
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HIS CRACKLY EXHORTATION TO “KEEEP Looking Up!” now residing in the ears and cassettes of those who loved his weekly five minute-PBS-slice of observational astronomy, Jack Horkheimer, AKA “The Star Hustler,” passed through the luminiferous aether this morning on the way to consult Mr. Sagan about young DeGrasse-Tyson. Mr. H will be missed as much for inspiring stargazers to look out into time as for inspiring nerds to keep it real, old-school (e.g., Demosthenes or Galileo):

Recognized by his TV sign-off “Keep Looking Up”, Horkheimer revealed that although he intends to be stargazing well into the third millennium, nevertheless he has already erected his own tombstone with the following epitaph:

“Keep Looking Up was my life’s admonition,
I can do little else in my present position.”

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Pithyism #104

2010.08.03
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WHEN COMPUTERS SUPERSEDED TYPEWRITERS, SPELLCHECK superseded the dread of whole-page retyping — and encouraged laziness.

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Advice to (Young) Writers

2010.07.27
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SEEK IMMORTALITY THROUGH YOUR WRITING — not your writhing.

(Adapted from a quip by Ann.)

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5 Thoughts: Why (and How) We Write

2010.07.15
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HANGING BY OUR COMPUTER IS a sheet of paper I look to for inspiration. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it depresses me, but always it gets me back on the horse. It’s called “Why (and How) We Write.” If you too find it useful, please hang it by your computer.

1. Do it for the buzz.
– Stephen King

2. Finish what you start. Keep submitting until it sells.
— Robert Heinlein

3. a) Fanaticize yourself
b) Fanaticize something greater than yourself
c) “Sheer delight in what you are doing.”
– Robert Anton Wilson

4. a) Arrange events in linear order
b) Now arrange them in narrative order.
c) Write the story.
d) Revise the story.
e) FINALISE.
– H. P. Lovecraft

5. “Most of the characteristics which make for success in writing are precisely those which we are all taught to repress … the firm belief that you are an important person, that you are a lot smarter than most people, and that your ideas are so damned important that everybody should listen to you.”
– Robert Anton Wilson, reprise

Wit Dealers

TERSE WORDSMITHS, ATTEND: WEIRD TALES, that neo-venerable publication whose pages were graced by the first fruits of H.P. Lovecraft and Tennessee Williams, is currently accepting submissions for One Minute Weird Tales, which they describe as “sharp little micro-stories of 20 to 150 words, presented in a quick sequence of brief one-screen chunks.” (See more at http://weirdtales.net/wordpress/contact/submission-guidelines/; AC, RS and DH, ferstehen?)

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< |||| > 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

(See Also: Robert Anton Wilson / HP Lovecraft / Writing / 5 Thoughts / Text As Life)

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Posts That Never Were

2010.07.01
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THE IMMEDIACY OF BLOGGING CREATES, for the blogger, a whole new way of looking at the world. It’s not much different from the world of any writer in terms of the compulsion to record, comment on and embroider every living moment; blogging just makes it easier and less private.

Privacy in today’s age of Instant Personal Broadcasting[1] (blogs, vlogs, YouTube, reality TV, chat, texting, Facebook and definitely MySpace) means something different than it did when the cautionary “1984″ loomed in our future, before we collectively became Big Brother for both fun and profit. The aware writer — i.e., aware that his writing is for other people to read — will thus exercise privacy as a form of active self-discretion; despite that he can now tell his readers any thing at any time, he doesn’t want to overdo it and collects a quick pile of unshared observation. Here are a few of mine, at least for now:

Taste Test: Breakfast Cereals — One of my favorite snacks is a bowl of cereal, but as I get older I find myself less enamoured of sweet snacks. Why can’t They make something better, like a less sweet Corn Pop with pecans?

My God Has Balls — Although a staunch brother of my sisters in the struggle, I can’t help but notice that the degenderization of “God,” necessitated for those who confuse Hebrew’s gendered pronouns with sexism, has clunked up the liturgy and made it harder for many to feel less self-conscious about praying — and diluted the Warrior Spirit inherent and necessary to any disciplined spiritual approach.

Elena Kagan Is Hot — If a man can’t see the inherent beauty in every woman, he’s not really a man. (Of course, he might also be gay, but then the point would be that if he can’t see the inherent beauty in every man he’s not really looking. Or so I imagine; I don’t think men have any inherent beauty.) This would also spell the difference between women and girls, and how the latter limit and make the former look as bad as boys do for men.

Tawdry Tidbits From The World Of Small Town Politics — Shame on you. (Besides, the town’s small enough that everyone knows them already.)

I Just Submitted A Story To _______ — Puh-LEASE. Believe me, I’ll post enough when they’re published; if my rejection : acceptance ratio is like anyone else’s, posting each of my many, many subs will make me look (and, inevitably, feel) like a loser. (Besides, the New Yorker frowns on such things.)

Cute Things The Cat Did — There are some things which I simply cannot do. One is ask someone a question without an intimidating bulldog machinegun style. Another is to be less intense. A third is to write anything profound about our little woojums. (Ann can, though — she’s even got a whole category for it.)

Vicious Deconstruction of Modern Writers In An Obvious Bid For Attention — I sort of did that to Douglas Rushkoff’s uninformed and whiny Nothing Sacred, but then felt so bad the next day that I had to apologize. Not only is such behavior rude and transparent, it may prevent me from cadging a beer from the inhabitants of the lofty realm I pretend to despise.

Great Quotes from Star Trek, Star Wars or Whatever I’m Reading Now — Those who know, know; those who don’t, don’t care.

EFT and the Death of Retail Banter — How can we talk weather with the checker if we have to keep pushing all these damn buttons? And would I feel the same if I still worked at the bookstore?

That should do for now. If you can think of anything else I shouldn’t write about, I’ll be right here … waiting.

[1] Phrase copyright 2010, Neal Ross Attinson. Ka-CHING.

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5thoughts: James Joyce

2010.06.16
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James Joyce

Fig. 1: James Joyce

IN HONOR OF BLOOMSDAY 2010, five thoughts on the man who made it possible:

1. James Joyce is yet another proof that one man’s mind can be bigger than his skull. (If not, generational banks of Joyce scholars would have quit writing about him long ago.)

2.) Until Finnegan’s Wake, no Irishman had ever beat the Jews for mind-stretching eloquence. (Since the Talmud, the best we’ve done is Groucho Marx and Yehuda Amichai.)

3.) Come to think of it, FW and the Talmud do make two nice bookends for the Western literary tradition: what the Talmud does to Aristotle, Joyce does to Webster. (Said comeuppances piercingly beautiful to see.)

4.) If a man can spend a quarter of his life writing his Perfect Book, there’s hope for the rest of us.

5.) But only if we can manage not to be humbled by such wit-wraps as “Nations have their ego, just like individuals,” “History is a nightmare from which I am trying to wake,” or “Men are governed by lines of intellect – women: by curves of emotion.” Or: “Agenbite of inwit.” Or even:

O

tell me all about

Anna Livia! I want to hear all

about Anna Livia. Well, you know Anna Livia? Yes, of course, we all know Anna Livia. Tell me all. Tell me now.

(O, now, what’s the use? Another Guinness pour my muse, poor favor, purring kittenkilkenny of katzenjammers … [tape ends])

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