The Post Office

I’ve always liked the post office, and now I do even more: http://www.esquire.com/features/post-office-business-trouble-0213

I am the Greatest! Say it With Me.

Chris Jones’ column in the latest ESPN magazine was all about athletes who like to proclaim that they’re the best.

Jones argues that that kind of wishful thinking is necessary. “You have to believe it,” in the words of Ivan Nova, the NY Yankees pitcher. Otherwise, you get bogged down in a world of stats that prove you’re not the best, and then how do you get up there and convince yourself your curve ball is tricky enough to get out the league’s leaders (who just might be the Orioles this year? What!)

I think you can make the same strong argument about writers. You have to believe you’re the best. My favorite, famously self-promoting writer was George Bernard Shaw, whose advice to a young writer was this (paraphrased from my memory): “Go on writing, my boy. One day the producer at the theater will go to his assistant and ask ‘have we anything from Shaw this morning?’ and the assistant will answer, ‘no, sir.’ and the producer will say ‘well, then we’ll have to start on the crap.’ And that’s your chance, my boy.”

Writers are constantly rejected, but think about this: we never face the brutal statistical onslaught that modern sports subjects players too. If these players can ignore their ERAs and slugging percentages and still keep that crazy faith in their own greatness, we can too.

Vegetarianism: Getting at the Meat of the Book.

I posted this originally at my other blog, BmoreinUtah.com, but since it’s a book review of sorts I thought I’d re-post here.

Anyone that’s been intrigued by our recent mission might want to check out Vegetarianism, by Colin Spencer. It’s a comprehensive history of the non-meat diet.

I really enjoyed his discussion of our early evolution, though the book bogged down as he described every historical religious sect and their dietary quirks. It’s a long, thick book, but it would be worth picking up just to read the introduction, the chapter introductions, and some of the good bits, like about the Renaissance.

I differ with Spencer on certain points, and unless you’ve already read a lot about the nutritional value of vegetables, his calling it the most healthy diet will not be well-enough explained for most stubborn meat eaters.

What I enjoyed most is his very even-handed approach. He notes that vegetarians have always claimed their diet makes them more peaceful and less barbaric, but that the recent example of Hitler has done away with that idea. He also points out when vegetarians (and others) of the past were malnourishing themselves through misunderstandings. Both of these facts made me trust him more as a writer.

The bold personalities that rebelled against society to become vegetarians throughout the ages were great characters, and I understand he’s got a shorter book focusing on them, which might be worth picking up for fun.

The Return of the Shirt!

Years back I used to produce my own T-shirts as self promotion. Though fun, the project eventually died because it turns out you need stuff to promote first. I turned off the self-promotion and focused on the writing, but ever since I’ve had the nagging urge to provide my fellow readers with better apparel options.

Luckily, I met Mark, an illustrator and T-shirt creator who had dreams of starting another T-shirt company. Together, our ideas have become reality. Introducing Dust Jacket Clothing. Rather than bother with self promotion, these shirts are designed to celebrate great books in a very stylish way. No need to be a frumpy book nerd any more.

OK, “shirts” is a bit misleading at this point, as we have only one design. More are coming, though, and that one design is so splendid we’re pretty confident you should check out the site anyway. Enjoy!

A Newly Wealthy Word of the Day

It’s been a long, long time since I posted a word of the day. Perhaps that’s because I haven’t been posting as much here (instead spending my time here). However, I should have one or two posts on things various and interesting and exciting coming up, so here’s a bit of vocabulary to warm you up:

Parvenu: from the French, it means one that has recently or suddenly risen to a position of wealth or power and does not yet have the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it.

Great word, no? Without a true or equally evocative synonym (though the also French nouveau riche comes to mind). I think the recent lottery lunacy gives us a perfect example of what a parvenu would be. Certainly this lady doesn’t seem to have much in the way of dignity or manners.

Fortune Cookie

My fortune cookie last night had this to say to me:

“Writing is a craft not an art”

Well, don’t you know a lot about writing, you cheap Chinese food give away.

Where have I been all your life?

Judging by the lack of posts here lately the title of my dear blog may seem a bit inaccurate, but I promise you it is not so.

Literature continues. Check out my favorite books, listed to the right. Quite a few are recent. As for me, recently I have been busy with that distraction they call life. I’m writing much more frequently at BmoreInUtah.com, mostly about my move to the wild west and how my fiancee and I are becoming more in this strange land than we ever were before. You should read it; it’s funny and it has pictures. I have never stopped writing fiction, however.

For the past three or four years I’ve been working on various large projects. A couple have proved akin to the Titanic, and have been carried by their weight to the bottom of the sea where they wait for James Cameron to revive them.

Some of the other pieces, however, are coming along nicely and in the next year or two I will be seeking representation for them or publishing electronically, depending on the project.

Keep reading and I’ll keep writing.

Quick Question:

How is it that all kids everywhere play the “floor is lava” game?

What primal source inspires all children to leap around the house and toss islands of pillows into the center of the floor in order that they can transport themselves without touching the obviously molten floorboards beneath? Where did we all get this idea?

I still like yelling “O” in the middle of the Star Spangled Banner

I finally realized why exactly I dislike this new trend of singing America the Beautiful at ball parks.

First: it lowers the significance of, and in some way disrespects, our national anthem to stand up and take our hats off for another song.

Secondly: no other country in the world needs to pause their sporting events to sing a song to make themselves feel better about their country. It’s embarrassing.

Scooped

I came up with this idea myself for a science fiction story I was working on, except I didn’t have any of the functional details. I just assumed it would work somehow. Turns out it can! Amazing.