Archive for the 'Writing' Category

TIME TO SHOVEL OUT THE BLOGPILE…

July 24th, 2016

Taxpayers Really Do Subsidise Walmart’s Wage Bill saved 410 days ago. Why I Hate the Internet found so many readers saved 69 days ago. The Persuasion Reading List saved 69 days ago. Impossible To Ignore saved 67 days ago. Walmart milk plant gets $10.7 million tax breaks, ups job estimate saved 64 days ago. Let’s […]

WORK AS EPHEMERA…

July 24th, 2016

Oscar Wilde reportedly lamented on the insertion and deletion (or perhaps the deletion and the insertion) of a single comma that made up the entirely of his day’s work writing. To someone who is not a writer, that must sound like the height of absurdity, and they might be right, but there we are. Mark […]

ON THE NECESSITY FOR SPELLBINDERS AND POETS…

July 21st, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 7” with Joyce Cary: Religion is organized to satisfy and guide the soul—politics does the same thing for the body. Of course they overlap—this is a very rough description. But the politician is responsible for law, for physical security, and in a world of tumult, of perpetual […]

RALPH NADER KNOWS WHAT THE MEANING OF IS IS…

July 20th, 2016

Ralph Nader writes in Harvard Lawless School and You: Harvard Law School professors love to use hypotheticals in their classes. So let’s try one that they have not subjected their students to in its 200 years of storied history. What if the Law School split itself into two parts—each with different professors and students on […]

FICTION MUST BE, AFTER ALL, FICTION…

July 16th, 2016

The Paris Review: “The Art Of Fiction No. 6” with Alberto Moravia: MORAVIA: Yes. But I want it quite clearly understood: my works are not autobiographical in the usual meaning of the word. Perhaps I can put it this way: whatever is autobiographical is so in only a very indirect manner, in a very general […]

SCREW THE LIGHT, WRITERS STEP INTO THE DARK…

July 11th, 2016

Last evening I was able to spend a few precious hours with a shipmate who I hadn’t seen for some 30 years. Our conversation turned to my writing and the struggles I have telling the story I want to tell. I did my best to describe the mental state of writers as I understand the […]

THOMAS WOLFE, GENIUS AND MENTAL ILLNESS…

July 9th, 2016

Thomas Wolfe became the Tupac Shakur of his generation. During his brief lifetime—he died on my birthday in 1938 at the age of 37—he saw only eight of his 18 completed works published. The most recent of his works, O Lost: A Story Of The Buried Life (the 736-page, unabridged version of Look Howard Angel, […]

CAPTURING THE IDEAS, THAT IS THE HARD WORK..

July 5th, 2016

Writers get asked “Where do you get your ideas?” all the time. Most attempt to be gracious and imply that such a task is hard grueling work requiring years of mental exercise. Henry James was blunt, and honest.. Asked once when he found time to form the design of a new book, James rolled his […]

OK, BUT TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL…

July 1st, 2016

Words are the single most important tools in any writer’s workshop. I own a a couple dozen dictionaries, including two that are unabridged. A single word can inspire a scene, a chapter or a whole book. Here are nine words for feelings: Compunctious: feeling remorse or regret. Desiderium: an ardent desire or longing; especially: a […]

YOUR MUSE WANTS TO MAKE HER ENTRANCE…

June 28th, 2016

I need the dark, in much the same Walter Mosley does, but I have no problem seeing the advantage to this particular ritual as well. Moving from the ordinary world into the creative world does require some threshold, some transition. For the morning writing, [Toni Morrison’s ] ritual is to rise around 5:00, make coffee, […]

WHEN DOUBLE-PLUS NASTY IS SUPER GOOD…

June 27th, 2016

I like The Guardian, a lot. The paper isn’t perfect, what publication is, but the recent dustup between Ewen MacAskill and Donald Trump—covered in Donald Trump arrives in UK and hails Brexit vote as ‘great victory’ and Guardian journalists denied entry into Donald Trump UK event—illustrates what I like about the paper. MacAskill took the […]

GREATNESS IS THE EXCLUSION OF ALL ELSE…

June 20th, 2016

There is one very important lesson I’ve learned from reading hundreds of biographies in all fields: if a person is truly great, then they have zero personal life. If you know someone who is truly great and they have an exemplary personal life then either (a) that person is a very good liar, or (b) […]

JOHN SANDFORD WRITES A 404-PAGE MACGUFFIN*…

June 16th, 2016

John Sanford is on my short list of go-to writers, the writers I check monthly for new books. He has been on that list for as long as I’ve had such a list and has outlasted Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, Johnathan Kellerman, Faye Kellerman, James Patterson, Anne Rice and perhaps a dozen or so more […]

HIGH PRAISE INDEED…

May 26th, 2016

Eulogium (p. 56) Uncle Venner’s eulogium, if it appears rather too high-strained for the person and occasion, had, nevertheless, a sense in which it was both subtile and true. Modern eulogy, eulogium, Medieval Latin, from Greek eulogia praise; a commendatory oration, high praise, or writing especially in honor of one deceased . (15th century)igh From […]

MEDITATION ON KURT VONNEGUT: IX…

May 26th, 2016

The Utopian dreaming I do now had to do with encouraging cheerfulness and bravery by the formation of good gangs. — to Mark Vonnegut on 29 August 1972, p. 183Kurt Vonnegut: Letters. The best good gang that I can think of in this moment are those people Feeling The Bern. I’m unclear in my own […]

TO BE A LEADER GET IN FRONT OF THE CROWD…

May 25th, 2016

If we have some peace within ourselves, in our way of thinking, speaking and acting, we’ll be able to influence people and inspire them to go in the same direction. p. 111 From Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society by Thich Nhat Hanh There are so many ways to come at this statement: physician, heal thyself; […]

SHOULD WRITERS BE CLOCK WATCHERS…?

May 24th, 2016

At my best, when writing my first, unpublished novel, Cold Silence, I could write productively for four hours, from 8 a.m. to noon. I’m struggling these days get in three hours. Not because of any kind of block, but because of distractions: principally dogs demanding to play or just go pee. I’m working to get […]

MILESTONE PASSED: 15,000 POSTS WRITTEN…

May 12th, 2016

I wasn’t paying sufficient attention to the counters and I only noticed this morning that back on 5 May I passed another milestone at Have Coffee Will Write when I published post no. 15,000. I passed the 10,000 posts milestone back on 4 April 2010. Just sayin’, cheers…

THIS IS ONE COST OF USING WORD PROCESSORS…

May 11th, 2016

I’m old enough to have learned to write on a manual typewriter and remember the experience of retyping whole pages when I reworked a draft. Few people—possibly the better writers, I don’t know—still engage in this kind of second- or third-pass at a manuscript. The rest of us edit on the screen and only change […]

FREUD WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS STORY…

May 9th, 2016

What follows stands alone in my experience as the most odd writing ritual I have yet learned of. I suppose there are stranger rites out there, but I have my doubts. …Standing naked at his hotel-hotel room window, Wolfe found that his weariness had suddenly evaporate and that he was eager to write again. Returning […]

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