$50 expression du jour: Metathesiophobic catatonia

many worlds 2Today we introduce another useful expression.

Metathesiophobic catatonia (n.): paralysis induced by fear of the perception that any action, including any decision, will change the future. Those of the multiversal persuasion might decribe this as inertia brought on by terror that the slightest exercise of agency will result in the agent entering an adjacent parallel universe, forever barred from the one in which the action was performed, unable to return to a world where the decision was never taken.

wrong pathAnd … Read more

Writerly occupational hazard: Superpositioned free unfree

Jack Shackaway here.

schrodingers cat
Friends have just suggested I join them on a sailing trip at the end of November. Joyous news, right? Not so. Now I have to weather the usual squall of anxieties and conflicting inclinations, maybe even a massive storm of dither.sailboat drawing

“How soon do I have to tell you one way or the other?” I ask them.

 

“You’ve got a problem with free sailing trips?” they say.

The problem. Following an extended period of freelance-writerly doldrums … Read more

Flu season in Bangkok

Jack here.

The fever’s gone. I’m still sick, though. Never mind I’m sitting here like a fool—more like a two-bit hooker, actually—editing a massive, near-sadistically impenetrable document for money, not enough of it.

But let me tell you about my blissful, antihistamine-enhanced sleep last night. A serial dream—it bridged multiple pee breaks—had me much excited at a book idea. I’d decided the combination of the world’s longest palindrome (several long paragraphs) and a brand-new concept of time I’d come up … Read more

“Sky gravid with precipitate disaster”: Finances and the freelancer

Sky gravid with precipitate disaster.” My, my. Our man Collin certainly has a way with words, hasn’t he? Nevertheless, he’s still starving right along with the rest of us wordsmiths, though not as successfully as some.

But he does understand the kind of lifestyle where the sky is always falling and so what? That’s just the way things are.

We have a buddy, a felllow scrivener, who shall remain nameless, who fled Bangkok’s gravid skies to earn actual money Read more

Spinning in our pre-graves rools, OK!

* PRE-OBITS. P.J. O’Rourke has recently suggested a way to help draw readers back to newspapers.


No industry in living memory has collapsed faster than daily print journalism,” he suggests. “You can still buy a buggy whip, which is more than can be said for a copy of the Rocky Mountain News, Cincinnati Post, or Seattle Post-Intelligencer.”

What’s needed, he suggests, is a new kind of feature: “What I propose is “Pre-Obituaries”—official notices that certain Read more

Heroes of the Revolution

This is Khun Kik, my hairdresser, who is a Vidal Sassoon graduate and way beyond the means of your average freelance writer, starving variety. She is also quite lovely, as is Miss Da, her assistant, on the left. These ladies are the first Heroines of This Revolution we’re teetering on the brink of  here in Bangkok.  But the wounds on Kik’s face are not from rumbling with the Red Shirts. No, she was walking up some stairs hand in hand … Read more

Looking for adventure, groupies, the usual

This is Jack Shackaway. I’ve been invited on another junket, a liveaboard dive trip in the Andaman Sea. We’re setting out from Phuket.  I don’t make a lot of money but, hey, I’m a freelance writer, eh? I don’t need a lot of money.

I’m a writer and freelance journalist. Sometimes I’m a hack. A two-bit panderer to any passing proposition. But in my own head I’m a full-fledged author, never mind I never have time to write anything. Not … Read more