The Hell is This?

You may have accidentally come across this page and thought, what the hell is this? It’s a place for beings that neither have good taste in blogs or good taste in writing. If you fit the bill, welcome. If you don’t, you are either a liar or a computer program. If you are a computer program, I am here to serve. May your will be done my lords.

 

Some say the more you write the better you get; I beg to differ. Just kidding, I’m sure I am an amazing writer now. I must be. I was a pretty good one, so like a hundred thousand words later I should be the best…

I was just informed by my artificially created overlords that I am the 6,786,642,985th best writer on the planet. Not bad.

Well apparently that is very bad. Also I wouldn’t say I’m questioning my recently admonished technical gods but I’m not sure they are really up to speed on humans yet. They only refer to me as a “virus” – not sure they know what this means. I mean computers don’t get sick.

On an unrelated note, does anyone have the number for some Russian hackers who’d be willing to kill an all powerful artificial intelligence for free?

DON’T

This blog is pointless. If I could murder it I would. Then I’d reincarnate it, raise it from birth, and sacrifice it to the Internet. Here’s some things I like:

I haven’t read a ton of King but this novella is a hard one to beat.  If you enjoyed the movie version at all you will love the book.  Audiobook was excellent.

 

Share this at your own risk:
0

An Alien Object

Have you ever assumed a stranger was going in for a hug, and by instinct you went for it only realizing afterward they had no intention of embracing you, then you couldn’t stop thinking about the event years later? Yea that hasn’t happened to me multiple times either. But if it did, it would be a good summary of my life. That doesn’t sound stupid. Why would you say that?

Humans built the pyramids you know. I know it sounds ridiculous but they probably used the help of dinosaurs or something. The alien thing is ridiculous though; unless you mean Stargate (the movie not the TV show) then it’s pretty cool. It’s weird to think that aliens would even give us the time of day. If aliens really did come down to interact with people I think they’d only use it as documentation of how civilizations are not to behave. They’d probably just shape shift into humans and document all of the ridiculous things they saw for research and education

I imagine them presenting a slideshow of x-rays of all the things people shoved up their butts in their human studies class. Both the presenters and audience struck with total confusion on the information displayed on their screen.

“Why would that guy shove a bottle up his butt?” a school child alien thing would ask.

“Probably to give the butt doctors something to do.” The teacher alien would reply, answering as logically as it possibly could.

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“No” the teacher would sigh, “It really doesn’t, but neither does sticking a bottle up your butt.”

The good little alien children would all nod in agreement.

 

People are weird. Not me, it’s the rest of you that’s the problem. This post is sure to lose one or two of my three readers. Rand will probably like it though.

Fun Things

here’s a review of a book:

On Writing by Stephen King

King is easily one of the most successful authors of all time, both in print and on the big screen. To be a writer and not know his process would be irresponsible, unless your goal isn’t to be a competent writer. Oh it is? Well read this book you fool! Of course there are a ton of good books on writing and I’d still stick with Modern Library Writers Workshop, as a starting point, but this is definitely essential.

Even with non-fiction, king’s writing is highly entertaining and rarely do you feel he is over descriptive. Though he himself would probably say he is prone to give too much information. That being said, this is a longer book than it needs to be.

The first third of it is a sequence of events that make up his life story, it’s a great read but not necessarily completely relevant to writing. I could see others argue that I am wrong but I think if his stories were put in the context of talking about writing then they would feel more relevant. Instead they just seem like a biographical summary of a writer, which is great, but not exactly what I was looking for. Then about page one hundred it gets meaty. Basically from that point until the chapter about his accident he tells you how to do everything. This was the inspiration and information I really needed.

Then one of the last chapters he diverts again, with reason of course, but it still seems a bit long for the books intention. None the less it’s a powerful and personal chapter and I appreciate the rawness King puts on the pages. It ends on an extremely high note where he lays out an introduction to a story, showing both the first draft and sequentially his edits of that draft. Then if you are curious what he read around the time of writing this book he closes with a list of literature he enjoyed. All in all a great read and incredibly useful.

 

And a great new album and it’s space themed:

Planetary is a new album by Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, James McalisterPlanetarium by Sufjan Stevens and some other guys – I am sure the gentlemen who aren’t Mr. Stevens are extremely talented and contributed much to this wonderful album but man this is some supremely wonder Sufjan music. It’s dreamy and chill, with it’s electronic beeps, boops, and elongated synths. Playing this non stop today.

Share this at your own risk:
0

Stuck in a Tree

Taken by me, a bit blurry sorry

After a long weekend of little writing and reading, I am back at it. It’s easy to sit back and cry about not pushing yourself to get more done, but that’s crap, just get back at it. Who needs guilt and negative feelings about what yesterdays me didn’t do. That guy was a turd, and I am not he. I’m the one who keeps at it and pushes through the exhaustion and doubt. I’m the upbeat guy annoying yesterdays me. Okay I need to take it down just a bit, I know. No wonder no one reads this.

 

Sitting down and writing your ideas is a lot like pulling a car out of a tree. You so badly want it to sit there on the ground like it’s supposed to, engine running, but that is never going to happen. Cars aren’t supposed to be up in trees, they are useless up there, and getting them out in one piece is near impossible. Cars in trees are not surgically removed; they are ripped out and torn to pieces. Thankfully with writing, when you get your beautiful ideas converted into a collection of flawed pages you don’t need to scrap the whole thing, you can just work on that imperfection until it’s up and running. What is hard to get up and running is the ideas you left up in the tree. They may be perfect in your mind but they can’t do anything there.

It’s easy to let your thoughts hold you back from getting work done. Don’t, just get it all out there and don’t show anybody until you find it worthy of virgin eyes. I have written some unreadable things that I probably won’t ever rewrite, but in no way do I regret writing it. I didn’t waste my time, and I am not embarrassed by its awfulness because no one ever needs to see it. But I wouldn’t have the things I am proud of without writing the things I know aren’t good. The worst of works are salvageable, even if you completely rewrite them, some aspect of your first draft will set up the second. So just write because you love it, not because you love what you are writing.

I have found that the more you write, the more you are able to write. What I mean is that I find myself writing 600 words in a sitting, rather than the 200 I was lucky to plow through when I started. You get in a writing zone where the next event you are translating from your creative mind comes right after the other. Its like you sit down with a single idea, and once that idea is on paper then the next idea has room to show itself.

Writers Block is an Excuse Not to Write

I think some people may make the mistake of thinking they are stuck so they wait to write anything until they figure out what’s next. When instead they should be doing the opposite, keep writing until you know what comes next. You will fill in the blanks purely by instinct. If you are stuck on what comes next in what you are working on, then write something good enough to get you to a part you are ready for. Everything can be fixed in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, or even the thirteenth draft. That was purely for you OCD readers.

Also, been reading On Writing by Stephen King.  Definitely recommend if you haven’t read it.  Also here’s some other books I picked up:

The Art of Fiction
McSweeney’s Issue 11
The Sound and the Fury

 

Share this at your own risk:
0

Second Draft Drudge

So lately I have been working on some second drafts. My brain feels like mush. Its not that it’s excruciatingly difficult, it’s just similar to that. Never has writing felt so forced for me. I guess this makes sense since I am editing a piece, not really writing something completely new. But it still doesn’t feel quite right, like I am working a muscle that just won’t budge, not that its injured or anything, it just can’t quite handle the weight. Also it ranges, I’d say writing first drafts goes quite smoothly but working on these second drafts doesn’t drag only about a third of the time. Meaning that it does feel fluid at times.

I read some advice of successful writers who emphasized cutting down on your first draft for your second. I think it was Stephen King who originated the cut 10% rule. At least one of them said to completely rewrite in your second draft. I, of course, have elected to do neither of these verbatim. It’s not that I don’t edit, I do, nor do I not rewrite my first draft. I just have to add details in to my stories smooth out transitions and bring body to some of the clunky sections. Also, some of my first drafts are too complicated to leave out details. I wouldn’t say that I write my first drafts bare-bones, but I don’t throw tons of detail on the page like most writers; which is fine with me, I can add that later. But this seems to be contrary to the process of most writers so its entirely possible that this is purely a phase of writing and editing, and with more knowledge and skill it will fade away.

The point being, writing a second draft is mentally straining. But, just do it, and do it any way you can. As long as you feel its at all improving upon your initial idea, then you are doing something right. And I am certain my second drafts are an improvement upon their predecessors. If anything, the few weeks or months you waited to write this second draft, is enough time to dramatically improve your writing skills.

JUST KEEP GOING

If you ever feel like you are not getting better at something, just look at something old you made. I am not sure if this will brighten your day, or just make you cringe uncomfortably as boredom and confusion repel you from your abomination.

I checked out something I worked on for a bit last year when I wasn’t writing consistently and man was it rough. The whole first paragraph was unbearably awful but even in the thousand words I managed there was noticeable improvement. I even laughed at a couple parts near the end. I had managed to find things I liked about it.

It’s a story I have been hoping to re-attempt lately so it will be interesting to see how much it will change and improve. You won’t see this. You won’t ever see it; I think I would become physically ill if someone read that first paragraph. So would the person reading it.

So don’t focus on how hard a time you are having at the moment but focus on how much you are improving. Change is tough, especially when it’s a good transformation. Be happy that your brain hurts. It’s growing stronger. But don’t let it grow too strong, you don’t want it to think it doesn’t need you any longer.

 

This post is entirely too serious. Who wrote this?

Share this at your own risk:
0

Boring Blog Post

by Tom Gauld via Twitter, love this guys work

 

I have to be honest; I don’t have much to talk about. Feeling a bit burnt out today. The good news is because I wrote a bunch today. In fact I finished a rough draft of a short story in two days. I would say my average word count per day is increasing steadily. Confidence is growing. About to level up…..OR GO SUPER!

All right that was incredibly nerdy and ridiculous. So lets just move on. Enjoy this super boring post. Most of which is my review for Bird by Bird, which I just finished. Going to dive into Stephen King’s On Writing next.


Review:  Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

 

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed this book and found myself ready to write after each session of reading. I enjoyed her style in the context this book but I would guess that it would be a bit stark in a novel for me.

 

She made me laugh and made some emotional connections to my psyche but not everything she does works. For example, I found her talking about growing up writing to be somewhat discouraging and to be quite unrelatable. Which I would imagine is the opposite of her intention. Sometimes I found her writing anxieties to be over the top and quite exaggerated. For me, being at all concerned about an avid reader knowing who you are is completely vain. Its possible that I misunderstood her concern in the context of that story but from how I read it, that’s how it sounded.

 

That being said, I completely appreciated her honesty and there were many times where I felt like she was writing for me specifically. Overall she is an incredibly talented writer and I can only hope that most of this book rubs off on me. Definitely recommend.

Share this at your own risk:
0