The Muse wears black leather

Back before New Year’s, I posted a couple of blogs that meant to ease writers into the process of writing, rather than only talking about writing. I was subsequently sidetracked by the need to outline some flaws in the Scheme of Things, but now I’m back into this solipsistic writing workshop. But all we’ve discussed so far is only part of the story. Now I’m going to talk about The Muse Effect.

“Wherever do you find the discipline?” they ask. … Read more

Story: A conversation with the page

I wanted to be a writer from the time I was a kid—the notion just smacked of romance and freedom. It also had the advantage of annoying my father, who wanted me to be an engineer. But I was 40 years old before I wrote anything for publication.

Twenty years before that, having just spent a couple of years working underground in an Ontario nickel mine, and having more money than I’d ever seen in one pile before, I … Read more

Writerly occupational hazard: Premature thought

Today I present two gnomic items of writerly advice. Subsequent posts will expand upon them.

These are aimed first of all at myself, who knows better but, it seems, keeps forgetting. In fact, in drafting this second of a series of futuristic novels, the sequel to Syn, I’ve been committing these most basic of errors.

 

1. Don’t think. Write.

2. Don’t wait till you know what your story is before you start writing it.

3. Try to be … Read more

Recipe for a 10-stone story: Souffles as boat anchors

“Good writers have two things in common: they prefer to be understood rather than admired; and they do not write for knowing and over-acute readers.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

1. Expanding on Nietzsche’s insight

The writerly impulse to be admired rather than understood is generally associated with certain stylistic horrors.

Right away, seeking the admiration of “knowing and over-acute readers,” the unwitting writer  serves up long and complex sentences like a tangle of  spaghetti. The more clauses the better, eh? And … Read more

Writerly occupational hazards: Emotional opportunism & spiritual callousing

Two years after his death, Michael Jackson is back in the news, with his former doctor defending himself against charges of involuntary manslaughter. I’m not sure what emotions this case is arousing in the general public, but it has caused me to revisit my first reaction to the so-called King of Pop’s untimely passing.

“A long time after painting [his first wife] Camille on her deathbed, Monet confessed to his friend Georges Clemenceau about the pain or shock he felt

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Grundnorm of writing style


Dorothy Parker’s opinion of the most widely recognized writing style manual in the English language:

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

But those who nevertheless persevere and do become writers should understand this: One cardinal principle underlies all other rules of style, … Read more

Not just another bargirl book

She Kept the Bar Between Them: Stories from Thailand

by Steve Rosse

BangkokBooks (2011)

www.bangkokbooks.com

info@bangkokbooks.com

Long-time Phuket resident (now living back in the States) and frequent contributor to a variety of Thailand publications in years past, Steve Rosse has recently added an e-book collection of new stories to his credits.

These disturbing, often blackly comic tales issue from a darker side of human nature. Some of the stories chronicle encounters with bargirls, and some of these verge on the … Read more

*Bangkok Noir* – Official launch Thursday 17 March 2011

Come meet the authors (seven of them, at least).

Bangkok Noir

(press release)

Book launch, open to the public

8pm: FCCT (Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand)


Maneeya Building, Penthouse Floor; enter the building from the Chidlom BTS Station, southwest exit.


Official book launch

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT)

8.00pm, 17 March 2011

Book signing

Kinokuniya, Siam Paragon Branch

3.00pm–6.00pm, 2 April 2011

For more information, please visit  www.bangkoknoir.info.Read more

Submarine garrets for starving writers

Writers look for budget accommodation  (Bangkok, 2027)

Here are some things that didn’t fit on the graph in my “Things fall apart redux” post.

The price of fish in Villa Supermarket is soaring, the Gulf of Thailand is getting fished out, China is behaving more aggressively as the superpower-in-waiting, I’ve lost my mother’s copy of Ben’s secret recipe for Montreal smoked meat and I now learn Ben’s deli closed two years ago. It’s as likely I’ll get to … Read more

Graphically engaging: The sequel

Has anyone else noticed what’s happening with skirts and short-shorts around Bangkok? (Or are writers just unusually perceptive?) Are there such things as benign epidemics?

Haikus are so much easier to write than novels. Of course the commercial prospects, including their chances on the Big Screen, are even more uncertain. Whatever. Here’s what I’m going to call a mixed-media haiku.

A spiritual (to be sung with full chorus)

God is there in the hemlines

Ascending, praise be,

Heavenwards. Oh, Lord.

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