Tag Archives: writing

anaïs nin

“Do you know what I would answer to someone who asked me for a description of myself, in a hurry? This:

?? !!

For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark–my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become and exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking–passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still…only a Woman!”

e.b. white

“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”

noël coward

“My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.”

ivan turgenev

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.”

my november

Friends, I am giving myself over to NaNoWriMo for the month of November. It may come to naught, but between that and writing comedy sketches, which, I hasten to add, are like academic-level hard, my frequency of posting will be intermittent at best for the next month or so. If I do it will very likely be whining about process or something like that. It promises to be quite dull.

I have not forgotten you, internet. I will be engaged in a war with some words, of which I am simultaneously the mistress and the bitch. A girl’s gotta be versatile in this day and age.

not my poem, not my words

Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday, A Poem by Gregory Corso

Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg in Lee Forest’s room, Hotel de Londres, Paris, December 1957. c. Harold Chapman

Writ on the Eve of My 32nd Birthday, A Poem by Gregory Corso

a slow thoughtful spontaneous poem

I am 32 years old
and finally I look my age, if not more.

Is it a good face what’s no more a boy’s face?

It seems fatter. And my hair,
it’s stopped being curly. Is my nose big?
The lips are the same.
And the eyes, ah the eyes get better all the time.
32 and no wife, no baby; no baby hurts,
but there’s lots of time.
I don’t act silly any more.
And because of it I have to hear from so-called friends:
“You’ve changed. You used to be so crazy so great.”
They are not comfortable with me when I’m serious.
Let them go to the Radio City Music Hall.
32; saw all of Europe, met millions of people;
was great for some, terrible for others.
I remember my 31st year when I cried:
“To think I may have to go another 31 years!”
I don’t feel that way this birthday.
I feel I want to be wise with white hair in a tall library
in a deep chair by a fireplace.
Another year in which I stole nothing.
8 years now and haven’t stole a thing!
I stopped stealing!
But I still lie at times,
and still am shameless yet ashamed when it comes
to asking for money.
32 years old and four hard real funny sad bad wonderful
books of poetry
—the world owes me a million dollars.
I think I had a pretty weird 32 years.
And it weren’t up to me, none of it.
No choice of two roads; if there were,
I don’t doubt I’d have chosen both.
I like to think chance had it I play the bell.
The clue, perhaps, is in my unabashed declaration:
“I’m good example there’s such a thing as called soul.”
I love poetry because it makes me love
and presents me life.
And of all the fires that die in me,
there’s one burns like the sun;
it might not make day my personal life,
my association with people,
or my behavior toward society,
but it does tell me my soul has a shadow.

the great american novel and the internet

So, here we are, internet.

Brief pause to fangirl Jonathan Franzen, because, not only is The Corrections an amazing book– one I would very quickly nominate for Great American Novel, because, OMFG– but, until I saw him on the cover of Time, I sort of did not realize that he is ADORABLE.

What interests me most, though, is as I Try To Write Non-Academic Things, is his relationship with technology. It is Luddite at best, as this snippet from an interview makes clear:

AVC: A lot of writers—if they don’t use typewriters or write longhand—claim to only use computers without an Internet connection, because the distraction is too readily available, and no work gets done.

JF: Absolutely. I have one of those nine-pound Dell laptops you can get for $389 because nobody ended up buying that model, for obvious reasons. I took the wireless card out immediately, and I plugged up the Ethernet hole with superglue. The biggest struggle was getting Hearts and Solitaire off of it. I did work on a DOS machine until about five years ago. It ran WordPerfect 5.0, which is still the best software ever written for a writer, I think. But now, obviously, I work on a Windows machine, and Windows just will not let you de-install a Solitaire program. It puts it back whenever you try to remove it.

I am going to hazard a guess here that JF’s  disabling of the internet is no doubt part of the reason why he has written Great Important American Novels, whereas I can barely make it through a 400 word blog post without falling into internet rabbit holes so deep it’s a wonder I don’t end up in Pyongyang. Actually, just to digress, have you ever seen a picture of North Korea from space? It’s pitch black, hemmed in by the lights of South Korea and China. I don’t know why, but more than the military marches, more than the terrifyingly outmoded Communist regime, that darkness frightens me more than almost anything.

And since there are no traffic lights, of course, this is how they direct the flow of vehicles in Pyongyang–

Um, okay. So back to the matter at hand, which was– I cannot afford to purchase Freedom right now. My ass is broke, and even at twenty or thirty percent off, I so cannot afford a hardback. Which brings me to my next point — not “don’t smoke crack,” although that is sound advice, too. Possibly the only sound advice ever to emanate from an Adam Sandler movie, come to think of it — why are publishing houses even bothering to release hardbacks at all?

According to the Times, Kindle downloads outpace hardcover sales 143:100, a gap which I’m sure will only increase in the future. Stephen Fry just released his new autobiography (WANT!) in electronic and print formats, but the e-version is only available for Apple devices. That seems a bit Not On, if you ask me. Also, why the hell would you want to read an entire book on an iPhone?

All this is by way of saying: Franzen: amazing. Technology: a bitch.  Erin: violently broke. If you’re done with your copy of Freedom, will you lend it to me? Stellar.

You can view Ron Charles’ hilarious video review here, since HuffPo seems to hate embed codes. Whatevs.

You can read the whole interview here.