Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Further reading: Dinos Chapman disagrees about the artist and insanity bit.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Noah Cicero and I Are Going To Fight.*

I get no love while Noah Cicero’s blog Get Published or Die Trying gets all the nods. Just because he wrote a book (which is supposedly really great) and the blog is hilarious, doesn’t mean he should get all the props while I, a lowly blogging nobody with no connections and no outside links, continues to link away unnoticed. I mean really, I’ve got to get finished with that novel** (maybe I’ll change setting to Ohio while I’m at it).

I’ve decided to challenge Noah to a
Word Fight, although it may seem to some that I’ve already lost I refuse to admit defeat.

Read his
interview or not.

*This Post should also be titled “Jealousy is Overrated”

**If I spent less time being jealous of Mr. Cicero and devoted my energy to writing my book, I’d probably be done by now.

Writer’s Favorites

Forty Three of the Guardians guest writers pick their favorite books of the year. Writers include Chuck Palanuik, Zadie Smith and John Baniville. Via Moorish Girl

Back to Normal Blogging?

It seems that I’ve fallen off my usually sporadic horse, with Thanksgiving putting me three ours out of my regular time zone, and the food induced comatose causing less desire to write than usual. The best part of the weekend was getting out of New York for a while. As any New Yorker will tell you, the best part of living in the mercurial city is going away and then remembering why you live in such a self obsessed, money crazed place anyway.

Getting away always reminds me that there are people in the world who are...normal. At least more normal than anyone I’ve met here. There are women who weigh more than a hundred and twenty pounds (and aren’t on a constant diet), men who don’t wear women’s jeans, and places where hipsters don’t exist. Basically a place where my appearance did not necessarily define my intelligence or social status. I missed it so much I wanted to cry; came back, waited twenty minutes in an angry crowd at the airport for my bag with three girls carrying pocket sized dogs, and instantly wanted to leave again. It’s like that.

I’ll get back on the horse. I’m sure the media world has provided me with enough lube to get those blogging wheels turning again. Hopefully all of you were too full of turkey to notice anyway.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pre-Holiday Tidbits

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bks 4 U**

A mobile phone service for students offers classic literature plot points condensed to txt messaging

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

5SistrsWntngHsbnds.NwMenInTwn-Bingly&Darcy Fit&Loadd. BigSisJaneFals4B,2ndSisLizH8sDCozHesProud. SlimySoljrWikamSysDHsShadyPast. TrnsOutHesActulyARlyNysGuy&RlyFancysLiz. SheDecydsSheLyksHim.Evry1GtsMaryd.

Translation: Five sisters wanting husbands. There are two new men in town—Bingley and Darcy. They are handsome and wealthy. Big sister Jane falls for Bingley but second sister Elizabeth hates Darcy because he’s proud. Slimy soldier Wickham says that Darcy has a shady past. It turns out that he's actually a really nice guy and really fancies Elizabeth. She decides that she likes him. Everyone gets married.

Via The Book Standard and Independent

** Definite signs that I'm getting older: I couldn't understand it without the translation either.

Craigslist Founder Starts Online Publication

Craig Newman to launch an online publication. Apparently people have lost faith in newspapers.

Change is in the Air (or maybe that’s just rain)

I’ve changed my blog, which is obvious if you’re looking at this. I’m still working on a way to include a little mini review or a link to such review on the sidebar (also to get the images to line up properly). It’s coming together quite well and would be better if only I knew how to do things like upload pictures and change the size. It’s amazing that I can be so awesomely un-tech savvy and still manage to have a fully functional blog. This is not the first change I’ve made on a cold miserable Tuesday. This seems to be a growing monthly trend. Maybe by next month I’ll have those categories.

There has also been a blast from the past (excuse the cliché but the weather is fogging my already wine clouded brain) that caught me quite off guard and induced a short frenzy which ended with friends, wine and enough cigarettes to make my entire apartment smell like a Jersey bar. Although honestly, all the things I thought I would say, the questions I wanted answers to, should such an occasion arise don’t seem to matter much anymore. I couldn’t imagine that I would ever stop feeling the way I did then, hurt and confused, but eventually life goes on and I realized that I was the only one ever really standing still in the first place. I still only ever have amicable things say.

Last night
D listened like a girl, while my friend wrote about starfish, which is really all you can ask for. (I’m currently taking applications for girls applying to date D. Please apply here).

Monday, November 21, 2005

If Poetry Makes Nothing Happen

Such a beautiful article by George Szirtes that I want to post the whole thing in its entirety.
1. Poets are ordinary people with a special love and distrust of language.

2. Poetry is not a pretty way of saying something straight, but the straightest way of saying something complex.

It is in fact vital to love and distrust language. It is absolutely vital to tell truths that catch something of the complex polyphonic music of what happens. Someone has got to do it. It is poetry's unique task to say exactly what it means by singing it and dancing it, by carving some crystalline pattern on the thin, cold surface of language, thereby keeping language audible and usable. That is its straightness. That is its legislation.
Unfortunately you’ll have to read the whole thing for itself. It’s a beautifully written piece about the use of poetry, as well as the nature of the poet.

Books are Fashion Statements…

…just like pets, religions and children.

NYO reports that Books Are the New Black.
Yes, this season it’s all about faking it—i.e., carrying around the “It” book but not actually bothering to read it. Improving-your-image-by-deluding-others-into-thinking-you’re-reading-something-meaningful is the new black. It’s the literary equivalent of the Live 8 concerts, where you don’t have to actually do anything (e.g., read the book or give to the poor)—you just have to appear to care.
First of all, Duh!!! It’s like the whole world is just stumbling onto the fact that anyone would carry around a piece of literature to make them look intelligent. Or fake reading it. Or read it just to say they read it.

If your life was a movie...

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.

But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Via Black Market Kidneys

Excuse the Hiatus

I was too busy writing last week to keep it up. I actually felt like I was getting somewhere until, well I stopped getting anywhere. It’s an old link but one of my favorites to revisit when I get distracted from working.

But I’ll try to do better this week

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reading Old Love Letters

I’ve read old letters from someone I used to inexplicably care deeply for, not so much romantic, and I’ve felt re-inspired in my writing.

Glancing back into an old life, especially one in which I wrote long love letters, winding messages of love and obsession because I was too young to know any better. But writing, always writing because I was so overflowing with so many feelings that I had no where else to put it. Living on a day to day base. Trying to maintain a healthy relationship, and cultivate friendships. Struggling to survive in New York. These have all become preoccupations for me, feelings are pushed aside or dealt with in an explosive manner. I used to write for days for hours for ever, until my words finally started to soothe whatever was aching. Everything could only be understood through the exhausted process of writing. I reached almost every important conclusion in my life through writing, documented every milestone, wrote drunken rambling poems that at the time seemed like small works of brilliance. At twenty-two I’ve got over ten journals filled with my life, my stories, my poetry, my aspirations, my failures, and my loves.

The point is that I have let these moments slip away undocumented. I’ve gone through life this past year in a fog, unable to understand my mounting depression. My inability to deal, or to figure things out on my own and my sudden dependency on other people. I’ve always talked a lot, but I’ve always written more than I’ve talked, this past year it seems I’ve talked and talked, but haven’t written anything.

Those letters remind me who I am and who I’ve aspired to be. They remind me what someone saw in my words and how it inspired them.

My own personal love letter to him and the memory of him in my life will be to continue writing.

totsuzen no deai e no kokoro kara no yorokobi to
"itsushika owaru kamoshirenai..." sonna kankaku ni obiete
soshite hitomi o mitsumeteta
nanimo wakarazu ni

The joy from my heart at our sudden meeting says
"Maybe it'll be over before I know it..." those forebodings scare me
And then I was gazing into your eyes
Without understanding anything

dore dake no omoide mo yume no you na maboroshi de
itsumademo kawaru koto no nai tojikomerareta kimi ga iru
ima mo hitomi o mitsumeteta
nanimo kawarazu ni

They're not forever changing, so how many phantoms,
Like memories and dreams, could you file away
And now I gazed into your eyes
Without changing anything
From: Gackt - Emu For My Dear

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Cutie Bunch Friendly Pak.

It’s Happy Sunshine Story Time. Another hilarious story for your viewing pleasure. Via Cruel Site of The Day

The Truth About Bad Writing.

I try to avoid celebrity gossip (with the exception of that bit about Alan Cummings).

But hey, this is a book.

Nicole Richie’s new book The Truth About Diamonds is about a young girl named Chloe Parker who is adopted by a famous rock star and enters the world of clubbing, drugging, and media attention.

I would like to call it like it is, a celebrity autobiography** for someone who hasn’t achieved anything yet. Outside of her rehab stint, I can’t possible imagine what she has to fill 240 pages. A result of the over exposed famous-because-they’re-rich phenomenon sweeping across the nation, these people (Hilton, Laguna Beach gang, etc.) are publishing books, making records, getting roles in movies and yet never actually produce anything worth consuming beyond their names. If Richie had never become famous her book would be ridiculed by publishers, it’s juvenile, the writing is bad and it’s only relevant if you are a die hard celebrity obsessed fan (and I mean beyond the US readers) or thirteen.

I’ve read the
excerpt. It makes me a little sad inside.* Richie is quoted stating after the reading, "I almost felt like I didn't deserve it." I’m almost a hundred percent sure she doesn’t, maybe that'll change, but not with this book.

*I’m saying this despite the fact that I prefer Richie to Hilton in almost every endeavor.

**This "novel" also features a life size (meaning it can fit in your pocket) picture of Richie on the cover

Friday, November 11, 2005

"They’re Made Out of Meat"

"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
Continue the Terry Bisson story here. It’s a masterpiece. Most brilliant fucking thing I’ve read all year. Thanks Annie via Newton’s Blog.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Did Salinger write Lolita?

Ed Parks examines the correlation between Nabokov’s Lolita and Salingers “A Perfect Day for Bananafish."

Check out more from the Voice Literary Supplement.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alan "Cumming all over"*

*Unrelated (to anything)

Actor Alan Cumming has his own fragrance, complete with cologne, body wash, and soap. With names like “Cumming All Over” and “Cumming in a Bar” who could resist?**

Q. Manly, Moist and Malleable-What could be better?

A. Bigger.
Certainly you will notice the size of our new members. These 8” inch additions will grab your attention while in the shower and give you endless waves of pleasure as you (or someone else!) clean, smooth and hydrate your body parts.
(Via Cruel Site of the Day)

**I’m crazy in love with the sometimes-androgynous-boy-toy-bisexual actor. That’s why this deserves my post.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More on that Crazy Village Voice Business

Earlier I went into how I felt about the Voice merger with New Times. I guess my indifference to the matter was based more off the idea that the underground prevails and has prevailed in its many forms. The Voice is an icon, a symbol of alternative press and the movement that started it, but many former writers and loyal readers declare the paper isn’t what it once was; it is no longer a paper for writers. It leaves one to wonder about the relevance of the Voice, New Times merger. I respect the vehemence with which some people greet the merger and I understand it, and have been reading about the matter over and over again in the past coming weeks along with everyone else.

Former Voice writer Mark Jacobson
writes about the new owner Mike Lacey, his apparent enthusiasm and his goals to revitalize the paper. It’s an interesting piece, Lacey comes off as a surprisingly (even to Jacobson) likeable owner, described as the most Blue Collar owner in the history of the paper.
Word of bad morale at the Voice, however, brought Lacey up short. Although no slouch with the downsize scythe himself (mass-firing tales are legend in the New Times canon), Lacey shook his head at stories of layoffs. You don’t get rid of good people just to save money. They’re too hard to find. You don’t discourage them. You want a lively newsroom, some action. Sturm. Drang. That place seemed dead.

He couldn’t seem to get over David Schneiderman, his new partner, referring to himself as a numbers guy. He liked Schneiderman and had learned not to underestimate him. But a numbers guy . . . Sounds like death. I can’t even balance my checkbook. It’s so sick the way most of the business runs. The top editors don’t edit. Never touch a piece of copy. What do they do all day, think beautiful thoughts? The way we do it, the editors have to write too. They should never forget how hard it is, the fucking agony of it. I make myself write and report. It kills me, but I do it.
He went on to speak about the changes that came along with editor Donald Forst.
It was clear from the start that Don Forst’s paper was to be a wholly different animal. One of the first acts in the Forst era was the firing of Jules Feiffer, universally regarded as the paper?s most visible and beloved symbol. It wasn’t just that they canned Jules, says one Voicer who, like almost everyone else, preferred to remain nameless. ?It was well known that they thought he was making too much money, if you can call $75,000 too much for Jules Feiffer. They’d been after Karen Durbin, the last editor, to get rid of him. But what really blew people’s minds was when Forst said there wasn’t going to be any shit about it, none of that letters-from-the-outraged-staff stuff that has always gone on at the Voice. The staff tried to buy an ad to complain, but the ad department said they wouldn’t run it. That’s when we knew we’d entered a period of malign neglect at the Village Voice.
He also talks about the harassment suit against Donald Forst’s by writer Richard Goldstien. Definitely worth checking out at The Smoking Gun.

There. That’s enough blogging for the day. My office just exploded over little tool boxes. I’m exhausted.


State of Emergency: Readings Against Torture, Arbitrary Detention & Extraordinary Rendition

When: Tuesday, November 8
Where: Cooper Union's Great Hall: Third Ave. & East 7th St., NYC
What Time: 7 p.m.

Edward Albee, Paul Auster, Sandra Cisneros, Don DeLillo, Dave Eggers, Martín Espada, Philip Gourevitch, Jessica Hagedorn, Heidi Julavits, Nicole Krauss, Rick Moody, Walter Mosley, Grace Paley, Emma Reverter, Salman Rushdie, Martha Southgate, and Colson Whitehead.

PEN American Center presents its second State of Emergency event, a special evening of readings in opposition to current United States policies on the treatment of detainees in this country and abroad. A stellar group of writers will come together to read and bring national attention to abusive government policies including torture, arbitrary detention, and extraordinary rendition.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is by general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Donations will be accepted for the PEN Writers' Fund to help writers, translators, editors, and agents affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Agony and the Ecstasy

It’s a weird feeling, this novel writing in a month. While I’m constantly excited about my meager word count (1,876), I seem to be dying from just one day strain. I would hit a five minute stride and really think I was on a roll. I’ve decided to filch this idea and stick my characters in a time loop in order to meet my next 3124 word goal to catch up.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Internal Editor and Tripping the Light Fantastic Toe

So this is me returning from a weekend long hiatus on my already delinquent blogging. I would attribute it to Halloween but mostly it was just laziness all through the weekend. Except for Monday and Tuesday.

I dressed, I danced, I conquered.

Tuesday being the day that I was too hung over to move without concentrating. It is also the first day of
National Novel Writing Month which means that I am, along with 48,926 other people across the globe, attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. (It doesn’t seem to take into account that thanksgiving I will be spending four days in Seattle probably with no computer so I’m really down to 26 days)

In light of that if my already negligent posts are more even more negligent forgive me. Timing is everything and if you’re lacking, like me then you’ll just push right through with me and hope for the bests.

There are many things this novel has made me realize about myself, such as I have the attention span of a five year old. I can’t concentrate on any one thing for more than fifteen minutes at a time, so my writing is sprinkled with T.V. breaks, magazine breaks, food breaks, staring-at-my-toenails breaks, what’s-that-smell breaks, and whatever else
people do to waste time when they’re trying to work. I also have the problem of a mean “internal editor” as the lingo goes. Meaning I can’t go a line without stopping to question the way I’ve said what I’ve said or wondering if that’s the direction I want to go in or if it’s any good. One of the NaNoWriMo writers had this to say:
Internal editors? Oh yes. I know those little reptiles, sniggering at every word, writing each other rude notes, reminding me of serious, wonderful, fabulous books by really good writers that are SO much better than mine and why don't I take up picture book colouring instead. I'm prepared for them.

When I hear that first nasty little snicker - the one that makes me doubt myself and cross out / delete the last word / paragraph / page / chapter - I shall put her (because my IE's are usually female) in a windowless, soundproof locked room and keep the key on my desk.
I really feel I could take some advice from this guy. The internal editor is really fear. Fear of being a bad writer, fear of not saying things appropriately, and the only way to battle this guy will be brave on through and be okay with the fact that everything I write won’t be my best. No one is good all the time, and I imagine even the best writers have some things that will never see the light of day. What’s more important is to not let yourself be stifled and paralyzed by fear, give it my all and hope for the best.

Current word count: 882