Raymond Chandler cut his typing paper in half. He’d type until he made a bad word choice or botched a bit of dialogue, then he’d rip the sheet out of his typewriter and start again. Eventually he’d have a half page of fiction he could stand. Then he’d move forward—very, very slowly—to the next half-page of his novel.
A free-fall, motorcycle, hang-glider,
Hung on the line like a poison spider
Win a eulogy from William Greider,
Car crash, ptomaine, disposable lighter,
A bus plunge, avalanche, a vinegar cider
Free-fall, motorcycle, hang-glider.
I need someone whose mind falls like a chopper on a block; to whom the pitch of absurdity is sublime, and a shoe-string adorable.
One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion. A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.
Quoting yourself has come to be known in our industry as ‘laying down orange koans’ because the result is rarely desirable, and everyone in proximity is left with the feeling that we are indirectly financing the inconvenience.
A wise man checks the spelling in his work before he publishes, particularly if it might be re-blogged.
Charles Dickens, speaking to a group of street urchins
I wish I had known about this quote earlier today…
Songs for life’s lost lovers
bitter sweet their healing
Their prayers prayed under covers
need not kneeling
God’s one miracle
moves in circles
All My Life – Echo and the Bunnymen
(This lyric is consistently one of my favorites. I aspire to write something like this someday.)
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.
As Harry Potter was the only other thing I was passionate about, the doctors gave consent for me to leave the hospital and collect the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, from the local book shop. I was so ecstatic to have the book and excited to begin reading it, but there was never any hint of your imminent arrival and the way you would change my life so drastically. Luna, you instantly captivated me. I didn’t know why but there was something about you with your upside-down magazine, straggly blonde hair, and the honest, abashed way you stared at people without blinking that fascinated and perplexed me at once. You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. Throughout the book, I found myself waiting for your brief appearances and wanting to know more about you and why you were the way you were. You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect. But it was a different kind of perfect to the perfectly thin, smiling magazine girls I simultaneously idolised and reviled. It was the way you carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognised this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself.