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Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Writing Links!

Yes, kids, you too can have a children's book smash hit.


Obligatory DFW link: Movie posters from the films of James O. Incandenza.

Roald Dahl was a douchebag. But, damn! Those stories. Those stories.

The Millions has another classic, this time about short stories.

And I'd be a jerk if I didn't link to Mr. Canavan's latest project. Here it is, he can explain it better than I can.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mergers and Acquisitions

Not so many acquisitions these past few weeks, my friends. But there are some definite mergers that are kicking my ass.

The Weepies - This cute little musical duo has been kicking around my WMP for about two years. Their song "Keep It There" has been a staple of my "Writing" mix for the entire writing of this novel-in-progress. But recently I decided to look a little bit more into their oeuvre and I found that they are the greatest thing ever!!! Their album Say I Am You is basically the sound that I was trying to achieve for about three of the last five years of my musical career. Absolutely beautiful and brilliant in a "Yesterday" kind of way. It's like that tune you wake up humming and don't know where you heard it from. It's from the middle of you. That pace that will always be eleven years old, no matter how many times the dagger gets stabbed in.

The Tree of Life - If you are familiar with Terrence Malick's work and have already decided you don't like his films then stay far far away from this one. This is the most "Malick" he's ever been, but I can't even begin to explain how beautiful this movie is. He sets out to make a movie about no less than the entire scale of life in this universe and...well, he actually succeeds. Brad Pitt is devastating. The cinematography is devastating. This won't win Best Picture because the Academy is a lifeless zombie addicted to cheese whiz but in a perfect world this movie would be the only one nominated. Four days later I'm still thinking about this*. Four days from now, I probably still will be.

Queen - Yes, that Queen. They are so over-the-top amazing that my face becomes an elongated banana grin every time I hear the classic opener "I'm just a poor boy..." I don't even care that Adam Levine and co. butchered the Royal catalog on NBC's early-summer "smash" The Voice, this music is so much a part of me that sometimes I just wanna put on my spandex body suit and grab a hairbrush and chase after some fat-bottomed girls. Cuz, you know, they make the world go round.

X-Men: First Class - Best one yet. Simply put. In fact, it'd be the best comic book movie ever made if it wasn't for that pesky Brit Christoper Nolan. For an interesting take on the film that in no way takes away from its filmic awesomeness, go here.

*For those of you who go to see it, there is about a forty-five second sequence in which the beginnings of Sean Penn's character's life are shown, which basically summed up the last two years of my life. I cried. I really did. It was so perfect and beautiful. If you have kids you'll know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Apocalypse Watch

This was a great day for bizarro news from around this great nation of ours. American exceptionalism is alive and strong on this, the tenth day of June in the year of Our Lord two thousand and eleven, my friends. here's a small collection of greatest hits from two papers of record.
The question reads: The stock market swoons, but are we in for an all-out pass-out?

Infrastructure? We don't need no stinkin' infrastructure. Detroit opts for air-conditioning au-naturel.

Arizona on fire...again. I'm sure it's all because of illegal immigrantion.

A large pack of dogs is killing livestock in Washington...yes you read that right.

Chicago is preparing for more "flash mobs," and not the cuddly kind that dance on YouTube.

But don't worry, everyone, Texas is here to save the day. That is, as long as you pay no attention to the accounting tricks behind the balanced budget.

On a related note, my little garden is doing wonderful. I have beans a growing. I have broccoli a sprouting. And home gardening has become such a thing* that it even now has corporate sponsorship. Who knew Triscuits were made on small farms in backyards all across American suburbia? Strange times we live in, folks.

*Seriously though, just about every adult I know with one or more kids is growing at least one vegetable in their backyard. I thought I was a weirdo when I started this until I started talking to everyone else. I think this is a legitimate "thing" now. Is it because of the economy? A general unease with the future of this country? A desire for something real amongst all the lies? All three for me. I dunno about everyone else.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Year of the Novel: The Great Disappearo!

Yup, I know, I know. I'm well aware that I now have the uncomfortable habit of disappearing off the face of the planet and then reappearing in a fit of blog posts weeks later. The reason for this is simple: I can't blog at work. That means I have to blog at home, but the problem is that I can't actually justify spending good writing time blogging when I'm 60% done with a novel that I've spent over a year on already. So, I guess what I'm saying is, get used to the new normal, people.

On the novel front, I am now officially working on the longest piece of continuous fiction I've ever written in my life. Last I checked it's around 112K words or something like that. I am very proud of myself for continuing my writing routine as best I could even after starting the new job, but lately I've encountered a fearsome and unexpected beast: I'm a little burnt out. I think I worked so hard during my 8-day hiatus that now that I'm back into a normal routine of working 9+ hours and writing when I find time, I'm finding it difficult to muster the energy to do so. But it's more troubling than that, really. Because it's not that I don't know where to go with the story, it's that I don't actually feel much like writing. That's the sort of writer's block they don't talk about. It's a little frightening, actually.