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Friday, February 12, 2010

Required monthly DFW post

Here is collection of memories from those who knew the master best.

Word of the Day!

gimcrack [jim-krak]
A showy but useless or worthless object; a gewgaw.
Tastelessly showy; cheap; gaudy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Brief Wondrous Life of Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz, the author of the brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, fairly recently wrote a description of the nearly ten years of torture and mental anguish he went through in order to conjure The Wondrous Life from the depths of his psyche. For those of you who have attempted to write a novel* this is great therapy. Know that you are not alone. If it was easy it wouldn't make you feel so incredible or angry or sad or elated. So keep up the good work and keep on writing.

You can read the article here**.

*Or if not a novel then anything that's exceedingly difficult and time-intensive.
**Please don't ask why I was on Oprah's website.

Word of the Day!

compunction [kuhm-puhnk-shuhn]
1. Anxiety or deep unease proceeding from a sense of guilt or consciousness of causing pain.
2. A sting of conscience or a twinge of uneasiness; a qualm; a scruple.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The White Album

1967 was a mixed bag for The Beatles. On the one hand they released two wildly acclaimed albums and three gold singles, had begun dabbling in transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and were kings of the rock domain. But on the other the film Magical Mystery Tour had flopped big time, and, worst of all, in June of 1967 their Manager Brian Epstein died of an unintentional overdose.

Now, because these reviews have centered mostly on the music of The Beatles, Mr. Epstein hasn’t been mentioned at all, but I must say at this point in the discussion that The Beatles wouldn’t have ever gotten out of Liverpool if it wasn’t for the marketing and merchandising expertise of Brian Epstein. It was he who recognized their potential and put them in matching suits, and allowed them to grow out their hair, who arranged their early UK tours, who bought insane amounts of their early records to make sure they charted, who got them their test recording session with George Martin, who guided their success into, and through, the frenzy of Beatlemania. In short, Brian Epstein took a ragtag group of cover musicians and helped turn them into one of the biggest musical phenomenons of all time. So, it can not be overstated how devastating his death was to The Beatles. They lost their manager, their friend, and the guiding force behind their overwhelming success.

Word of the Day!

espy [ih-spy]
-transitive verb
To catch sight of; to perceive with the eyes; to discover, as a distant object partly concealed, or not obvious to notice; to see at a glance; to discern unexpectedly; to spy; as, to espy land; to espy a man in a crowd.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More reasons to read

As if you needed more reasons to read, here's an interesting article by our friends at CNN.

Word of the Day!

afflatus [uh-flay-tuhs]
A divine imparting of knowledge; inspiration.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Godspeed You Black Emperor: Chapter One

I have mentioned, rather cryptically, several times on this blog that I have a finished, unpublished novel sitting somewhere in the deepest confines of my computer. While I'm not too keen on discussing the reasons for the dumptrucking right now, I do think the time has come to let you, my faithful readers, take a gander at this mysterious novel.

All you need to know going in is that this novel is the first in a trilogy and that there are some dirty words and adult content.

Let me know what you think.

You can read the first chapter of the novel here.

Word of the Day!

rebarbative [ree-bar-buh-tiv]
Serving or tending to irritate or repel.