Hope in dark times

Just when things couldn’t get any worse, they did. But it turned out they didn’t really, and Sara’s right, I worry too much.

I’ve just come back into my office, and I heard this horrible rasping from the left wing of my iMac. My mind is going, “It’s the fan, right? It can’t be the hard drive, it can’t be the hard drive, aiyeeeee.”

Careful investigation has revealed the real problem. I had an online jazz station playing, way down … Read more

Home-grown back therapies rool!

Caption: Our adventurer, with his new office chair, just after summiting the roof of his apartment building five times in a row without oxygen.

Breaking news on the old-crockish falling-apart front: I’ve just cured a rogue back, gone bad in the prime o’ me loif and all, by giving my office chair to the guard downstairs in favor of sitting on an exercise ball at my desktop computer, alternating this with standing at my filing cabinet with a laptop on … Read more

Writerly occupational hazards: Ersatz creativity (boozing)

Inebriation is a false Muse. As seductive as they may be, chemical substitutes for true creative intoxication don’t work.

Maybe there are exceptions that prove this rule. Malcolm Lowry, e.g., did much field research for his brilliant novel Under the Volcano, which included a main protagonist who was drinking himself to death. (Lowry, unfortunately, perhaps in his quest for verisimilitude, was himself to go all the way at an early age.) Emulating his own hard-boiled detective protagonists, writer … Read more

Inspirational hobologoist aphorisms & epigrams

Insights into the hobologoist mindset.

Money corrupts.

Impecuniousness rools, OK!

 

 

 

Artists must suffer.

I have my principles.

Solipsism means never having to say you’re being corrupted by money and prizes.

I like semi-colons; commercial editors can go screw themselves.

I like [literary practice of your choice]; commercial editors can go screw themselves.

Hobologoists don’t write query letters.

Nobody ever read Antoine Blorschacterforth either.

Save the trees, save the bytes, save having to explain to critics why … Read more

Gallows humor for writers

I see I haven’t posted an item since 17 March. Excuses range from “I’ve been too busy to blog” and “I’m suffering a multi-tasking deficiency” to “I’ve sustained a fit of sanity, wherein I see no percentage in posting elaborate messages into the Void.”

Mostly, though, I’ve been in thrall to a fiction project, a series of speculative novels. The Muse, revealing herself as a dominatrix this time around, has shacked up with me big time. (I speak only figuratively, … Read more

Writerly occupational hazard: New frontiers in creative foreplay

In the old days, writers sharpened pencils, checked the mail, experimented with melismatic renditions of “I’m a Lumberjack, and I’m Okay,”  polished the piano (the rich writers, I mean) and so on. Classic avoidance behavior, right? Anything’s better than actually getting down to the hard business of writing.

Maybe not. Or at least maybe not entirely. I’m not the first to suggest that all the screwing around may well be a vital part of the creative process. … 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

Writerly occupational hazards: Addictions, spinal deficiencies, and disciplinary infinite regresses


One writer, however much tongue in cheek, has actually expressed admiration for addicts:

I admire addicts. In a world where everybody is waiting for some blind, random disaster, or some sudden disease, the addict has the comfort of knowing what will most likely wait for him down the road. He’s taken some control over his ultimate fate, and his addiction keeps the cause of death from being a total surprise.     ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Overall, though, even Palahniuk would probably concede … Read more

No iMac for me, no sirree.

I’m not going to buy the iMac. (See my earlier post 26 July: “Make yourself feel better and save $200,000 to boot“.)

I recognize the syndrome. The world is going to hell all around me, and I haven’t won any literary prizes this week. My girl don’t love me and my chickens all ran away, not to mention my cotton won’t grow (© Mad Max iMac McGinty), and I sit here singing the blues and wondering … Read more

Make yourself feel better & save $200,000 to boot

We’re afflicted, here in Bangkok, by an atmosphere of foreboding. The messy events of April-May might appear to be behind us. But this surface calm, in some ways, resembles a moonlit pool on a still night. You’d never suspect this pool is full of big sharks just waiting to erupt in a frenzy. All they need is for someone to toss them a nice chunk of something bloody. Yesterday’s bomb was the mere slice of a dorsal fin, a wee … Read more