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Showing posts from January, 2007

International House of Dissappointment

I'm not sure why, but the missus and I have been craving IHOD something fierce for, I dunno, MONTHS. Like a bad addiction to pure uncut Columbian White that eats at your nerves and breaks down your arteries until one day you find yourself selling a few quarts of plasma to some backalley surgeon named Vinnie for another sweet sweet taste of that forbidden nee--, what was I saying? Oh yeah, pancakes! Flapjakes! Hotcakes! The poor man's crepe! The attractive and socially acceptable way to eat batter soaked in tree sap for breakfast! It's all that darn marketing, and perhaps, the fact that the restaurant has the word "Pancakes" in the title, but we really figured we were in for something special. I dunno, maybe a surly cook from the Midwest with his special batter recipe passed down through generations (all the way back to the Civil War where it was used as axle grease, a poor substitute for laudanam, and sometimes actually used to feed the fighting men). He'd be

Book Review : Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

In an effort to add more content to my blog -- besides the usually whinging and whining of a wannabe novelist -- I've decided to add book reviews. Now, I'm not one of those people who read disgustingly fast. Depending on the book, I can read at a speed approximating that of a slo motion turtle on heroin doing the moonwalk on a glacier (Atlas Shrugged) or with the voracious appetite of a 15 year old virgin reading through the instructions of a condom package (Enders Game). Now Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a beast of a book. 1000 pages or something like that, written by an English professor. I think. A professor of something anyways. The sort of profession that loves foot notes and addendums, and boy howdy, does it show. Summary Two magicians in Victorian Era England. Norrel teaches Strange stuff. War happens. Strange helps out. Norrel tries to wrest power from Strange. Some creepy guy with thistledown hair whisks various people to a dreary place to dance and stuff. S

Welcome To the Fiery-- Friendly Skies

Welcome to the Friendly Skies! We'll be cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet. Please just sit back and enjoy the flight. Your flight attendants will be by shortly to close the window shieldson the left hand side of the plane. No need to worry yourself. There is nothing of interest on that side. It's just a routine procedure. Not an effort to stop widespread panic in the plane at all. Did I say panic? There is no need to. Just look striaght ahead. Or to the right of the plane. The right of the plane has many non-exploding engi-- beautiful views.

Wrong Genre?

Ah, that's a question that all writers ask themselves. Or writers of obscure genres that no one reads anymore. Sometimes a reader (meaning work or family friend) reads my stuff, and says, "but it's nothing like your msn convos/blog posts/odd etchings into the bathroom wall that I find so enlightening/humourous/pathetically amusing." Which is true. I mean, the genre I'm currently writing in (I'm not sure I could write in any other) is called comic fantasy, or humourous fantasy, and it had it's heyday in the 80's. It still is enormously strong in the UK (as in, almost Harry Potterish strong), but it's dominated by one and one writer, Terry Pratchett. It's not very widely read except apparently by the English, between their musings on their latent and declining naval powers and that charming period that they had the entire world at their feet. All while eating crumpets and scones, of course. So the sorts of people who I would hope would find my st

Email Post : Superbowl

Sure, I glean my emails for anything witty I may have intentionally or not intentionally written. What of it? The blogosphere ('ew' word of the year) is a hungry, hungry place. Like hungry hungry hippo except without the carcinogenic but oh so colourful plastic beasties and the great 80's design aesthetic. So, without further adieu, is my email to my critiquing group regarding moving the group meeting on Sunday because of the Superbowl. Edited of course, for clarity: And whatever this organized sport that you all seem to know so much about, I call fraud! SuperBowl? Is that like one of the rejected members of the Justice League? Along with the entire Fighting Fork Four and the Sporks for Great Justice? Honestly, if you guys want to meet earlier, no need to make up sporting events. Wait, are you accusing me of not knowing my sports!? I know my sports! Oh, I so do. Sports.. and teams.. and .. you know, digging down deep, just trying to score one more for the gipper. Because, i

Thought of the Day #2 : All Natural

I heard one of the most ridiculous things on the bus a few days ago. Someone was talking about the cleanup of Stanley Park. The other person replied "Some people think we should leave it the way it is, it's natural." Let me tell you something, natural sucks. Not that synthetic is that much better. Carcinogenic, ulcer enhancing, May Cause Stroke and Mild Blindness, easily flammable, Can Unintentionally and Spontaneously Collapse, ozone depleting, Now Made With 30% less Dinosaur Biomass. Synethetic products have a ton of undesireable traits. But it's much worse, in my opinion, to give the ethical stamp of "Oh look at me going back to the ways of the oft-malignbed and nearly wiped out indigenious people of [insert tribe du jour here] by following the natural rhythms of the land and buying this product made by this small company right in the rainforests (which had just been bought out by a mulitnational corporatijon that has more accountants than a Las Vegas bookie

First Rejection Letter

Mmmmm, rejection. Got my very very first agent rejection a few days ago. It was pretty cool, actually, as he detailed what he didn't like about it (which apparently, is the sub-genre).That's the next best thing to an agent taking you on, as 90% of time it's form letters. Which, thinking about it, this might very well have been. Meaning this agent gets a bevy of humourous fantasy novels involving dancing pandas. Damnable saturated markets! I know in my head that I'm going to getting alot more of these rejection letters. But, you know, it still sucks. In some ways, it's the only objective assessment of one's work. The willingingess of someone to stake part of their income on you. Because the fact of the matter is, no one you know... or probably no one you know, is willing to say "Guess what, this sucks. Hard. Like, enough to pressure wash the Empire State building." Which is also a nature of the craft. Doubly so if you are attempting to write things that

Chapter 1

So for those of you who read this blog, and are interested in my first novel, here is Chapter 1. It's titled "The Panda Is Mightier Than the Sword". I put the text in the first comment.

Writing Really Really Poorly

'Winners' of the worst first lines competition. Here's the thing. I've written PLENTY of lines like that in my writing. And not all of them are caught in editing. Oh despair! I'm pretty sure all those 'winners' didn't intend to write poor sentences. But you just get too close to the writing. Like a myopic member of the bomb squad, you know you are working with something terribly dangerous, but you just can't see it, no matter how much you want to. No matter how strong your preference for "not being blown to small, vulture digestible chunks" is, those clunky sentences aren't going to reveal themselves. And, if you've been reading this blog at all, you know I'm the master of clunky sentences. For me, it's a matter of attention span. Why write a single sentence to mean one idea, when you can write one sentence with twenty eight parenthetical statements, a footnote, 3 endnotes, an aside and maybe an idea or twelve? I blame

One Weather, Two Outlooks

My wife has a decidedly Norman Rockwellian outlook on life. I mean, all things being equal, that's not the worst outlook to have on life. It allows one to enjoy musicals, , and Santa Parades. Not that I, cynical and sarcastic wannabe hipster elite that I am, would EVER enjoy those things. Why, I've never even heard of cuteoverload. How dare you accuse me of such things. Ok, maybe a little bit. But invariably, I have the more gritty and sarcastic outlook on life. Where she sees the glass half full, I see it as a breeding ground for some mouth-borne illness seeing as it has clearly been drunk from. Where she sees the magic of street chistmas lights, I see hundreds of lights being powered to illuminate trees that we blissfully ignore 11 months of the year. Where she sees puppies, I see witty itty bitty cutey puppies! Er, maybe not that example. But you get the idea. Maybe this is a male-female dynamic. Maybe I'm just naturally cyncial about anything that