Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five Reasons Good Writers Fail | TopicTurtle

Five Reasons Good Writers Fail | TopicTurtle: "Ignoring the Story. An interesting experience or an interesting life does not automatically make for an interesting book. Stories need to be shaped, they need to make sense, they need to have a point — and writers, therefore, need to stand back and look at their ideas with a ruthless eye. You need to ask, “What’s my story really about? And why would anyone care? And what’s the best way to tell it?” And you need to come up with answers. Tom Clancy says, “The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.” The exact same thing can be said about memoir or narrative non-fiction, as well. A good idea is never enough."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's Hard to Think About Nothing

I have Nothing to Say. This is Nothing to Sneeze at. Nothing to Declare. Nothing is Original. I Know Nothing About This. Expect Nothing. Nothing was so Shocking. Nothing is Bad. Nothing to Write Home About. Nothing But The Truth. Nothing is Forever. I'm Putting Nothing off. Nothing Left to Do but Wait. Nothing But Smoke and Mirrors. I Have Nothing But Time. Nothing to Prove. Nothing is Free. It's All or Nothing for Me. I Have Nothing to Do. Nothing is Frightening. I Am Afraid of Nothing. Nothing But Hot Air. Nothing was Sent I Have Nothing Left Inside. Nothing Can Hold Me Here. Nothing is Ok. I Believe in Nothing. Nothing is Wrong. Nothing is Good. Nothing as usual Nothing is More Powerful Than This. I Want Nothing. Nothing is Easy. Double or Nothing. Nothing is Safe. Nothing But Trouble. This is Nothing Special. Nothing was Delivered. Nothing to Hide. Nothing was Found. Nothing Can Come of This. Nothing But The Facts. Nothing to Report. Nothing is Right. Nothing Can Be Taken For It. Nothing to Think About. Nothing to Feel. Nothing is Simple. Nothing Can Be Explained. Nothing was Known. Nothing Can Be Forgotten. Nothing was Decided. Nothing is Certain. Nothing was Done. Nothing is Impossible. I Have Nothing Left to Prove. Nothing Left but Questions. Nothing Can Be Taken Lightly. Nothing is Hard . Nothing to It. Nothing Can Go Wrong. Nothing was Left to Chance. Nothing is Created. Nothing was Added. Nothing was Taken. Nothing was Received Nothing to Buy. Nothing Happened. I Have Nothing Left to Give. Nothing was Ever the Same Again. Nothing Can Make Me Stay. Nothing to Love. Nothing Can Come Between Us. Nothing is Broken. Nothing to Lose. Nothing Can Keep Me Away. Nothing in Common. Nothing Can Separate Us. Nothing Can Buy Happiness. Nothing Left to Rely On. Nothing Can Bring Me Down. Nothing Matches. I Have Nothing to Wear. Nothing Matters. Nothing Special About This. Nothing Elegant. Nothing to Worry About. Nothing Works. Nothing to Win. Nothing Beats This. Nothing But Net. Nothing was Sweeter . Nothing Can Defeat Them. Nothing to Celebrate. Nothing was Lost. Nothing is Fair. Nothing is Unusual. Nothing Changes. Nothing Can Come from Nothing. Nothing Compares. Nothing is Important. Nothing Can Be Done About This. Nothing to Fear. Nothing is Permanent. Nothing is Set in Stone. Nothing was Visible. Nothing is too Big. Nothing is Random. Nothing Can Be Coincidence. Nothing is Real. Nothing was Clear. Nothing is What it Appears. Nothing is Better Than This. Nothing is 100 Percent Sure. Nothing Can Be Forever. Nothing is Worth Knowing. Nothing is Relevant. Nothing is Sacred. Nothing Really Exists. Nothing was Left. Nothing Can Stop Me. Nothing is Going My Way. Move along, Nothing to See Here. Nothing to Laugh at. It's Nothing Personal. Nothing was Heard. I Have Nothing Left to Say. Thanks For Nothing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Snatches; an essay

I often entertain myself by creating poems and prose pieces out of bits of real-life conversation I hear during mealtime in my favorite cafe. I live in a little town where the average age is near sixty or has pushed past. Sometimes the conversations are just too awful to hear or to weave into a tale or poem. I'll give you an example.

This morning, at a self-provisioned celebration over a big steak, medium-well, no blood, please, I read the papers and overheard, “I can't breathe through my nose!” The breakfast conversation segued to a mutual friend that had to have his jaw bone scraped because his screw-in tooth didn't osseointegrate after the implant. The four elders, bent over their utensils, eggs and noodles, pondered how much air they should put in their Posturepedic for a good night's sleep, and the group realization that they had ordered stir fry for breakfast. Oh my gawd.

The littlest and frailest lady remarked how she had missed a question on the driver's test because she hadn't noticed the tiny hand sticking out the window in the illustration indicating a right turn.This woman has been seen driving a three-ton SUV through town, with a pet Llapso under her chin as she maneuvered through mid-day traffic with a double latte in her good hand.

Yesterday, I ate my soup while listening to some geezer describe his eye surgery and the more graphic story about his friend that had his eye removed from the socket while they scraped the malignant cells out of the void.

I dreamed of the days that people kept their intimate conversation to themselves, and excused themselves if they belched or made wind fiercely enough to make the silverware on my table rattle.

I retrieved more of the lean meat from the bone and finished my meal – happy to be healthy and able to leave conversations if I find myself in one that begins with description of a visit to the doctor or a mattress salesman.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Post from Michael, California artist and sculptor

Michael said...

A doctor friend of my father Dr. William Wolfram used to order his dinner and then about half way through he would order the same dinner again. After dessert he would order Postum, he thought it was healthier than coffee. He was very large and died rolling around on the floor bleeding to death while his Homeopathic wife tried to give him pills.

April 3, 2009 2:34 AM

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Old Blue Chair

The Old Blue Chair

The big, old chair
smelled of dust and food and sweat.
Full of peanut shells, dog hair and
spider webs, I set it out on the curb with a FREE sign on it.

Tim, who took his own life last year,
bought it during one of his
visits to my little town. He needed a chair he could
sleep in. He was no longer able to sleep laying down.

Tim's VISITING chair came from the local
store that has a perpetual SALE sign
painted on their window
in giant, orange, gaudy script.
Overpriced, low-end furniture,
but free delivery.

I wrestled the chair from the living
room and drug it to the curb
in the rain. It was gone in three days when
the person made sure no one was watching
and took it away, soaking wet,
to its new home.

Tim and the chair
had things in common.
Both were too large and
both grew too uncomfortable
after a time.

This poem can be found on at