Monday, February 21, 2011

…I have a new poem, "The Gift" up at The Camel Saloon and a "Housefire Interview, Pt.1," "Housefire Interview, Pt. 2" up at Riley Michael Campbell's pet project, Housefire. They're all also here under "Words in Print."
Riley's intervew was exhausting but fun. He's a very clever fellow. I've never met anyone's whose mind works in such a way as that.

…This morning I wrote a story in ten minutes about a woman who goes blind. She has a bad man in her life, this woman, and being sightless makes her see her situation more clearly.
It might behoove us all to be blind for a few days. I'm certain we would view the world differently, that we would come away wiser, better listeners.

…Speaking of seeing, I went to "Barney's Version" yesterday. It stars Paul Giamatti and Rosamund Pike. Rosamund is striking--so poised, classy, beautiful and subtle. Paul is more hideous than normal, and naturally he's fantastic. You should go see this movie. It will rip your heart out with a pair of rusty pliers. Your heart will be sore for a few days, yet you'll be glad it is.

…I also saw the Justin Bieber movie. I did. And I liked it. Quite a bit. You would like it, too. Oh, yes you would. It's a rags-to-riches documentary. Even the biggest haters in the world would walk out admitting the film was good.

…On the treadmill this morning I listened to Drake. He's come a long way from DeGrassi. I love him. I especially love how honest he is and the track where he talks about how rotten he is because she's busy having sex rather than calling his grandmother who just got moved into a nursing home. After Drake, I listened to Matthew Sweet's album girlfriend. That boy can shred a guitar. "Girlfriend," makes me jump around and swing my arms a lot.

…I saw this quote on someone's wall post and liked it: "I will tell you something about stories. They aren't just entertainment. They are all we have to fight off illness and death. You don’t have anything if you don't have stories." Leslie Marmon Silko

…For you writer folk out there, he's some advice from Mr. Vonnegut…
Kurt Vonnegut's 8 rules for writing a short story
From Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things--reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them--in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.


  1. I LOVE the guidelines! Such great advice!

  2. me, too, tawnysha. it's like a master class boiled down to its essence.