Resistance is Futile

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This is the counter across from the counter where I get a quart of “Fields of Greens” – kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, and carrot juice. Thanks.

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Organize me in Uncategories

When an artist tries to make an album full of songs of different genres, it very rarely works for me. Only a few extremely talented musicians can pull off a crossover of any kind, much less 10 crossovers on one album. So why do I want writers to mix genres and blend styles? And why do I keep posting anything I feel like posting on here? Shouldn’t they stick to what they do best? And shouldn’t I be targeting a specific audience?

If I’m consigned to stay within the lines and only drive in one lane for the rest of my life, my boredom might blind me into snoring through the light.

“Some people like the flash. Some people like the hash. But I love art. And I make it out of trash.”

“Some people like the money. Some people like the honey. But I love art. Some people like the flash. Some people like the hash. But I love art. And I make it out of trash. Some say it has no class.” -Isaiah Zagar, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Mystery Science Masterpiece Theatre – Review of This Brilliant Darkness


This Brilliant Darkness by Red Tash

The way the author weaves fantasy, humor, science fiction, and mystery is, for lack of a better word, brilliant. I read the entire thing with admiration/envy, taking notes and thinking ‘THIS is how you write a novel.’ The religious themes and sexual undertones combine to make an intellectually stimulating joyride. It reminded me of Lorrie Moore (sarcastic, clever) meets Dan Brown (can’t put it down, fast paced), but much more poetic. There were layers upon layers of symbols and ideas, but even if you only skimmed the surface, it was a highly entertaining read.

I particularly enjoyed the one-line poems/pop culture nods throughout the chapter titles, ranging from the Pixies, to Harry Potter, to the Hindenburg disaster. I also loved how realistically the characters were portrayed; the dialogue felt like I was hanging out with my friends, goofy, relaxed, and straight forward (My friends are smart and hilarious; YMMV). The best parts of TBD were the touches of modern life scattered throughout the story. Remember when Scream blew the horror world away by actually using technology in a realistic way? Well here’s blogging and online forums and long distance cyber friendships, honestly depicting the way we live in the 21st century.

There’s some heavy Biblical symbolism, but it never felt overtly Christian. There’s also a lot of parallels to science fiction, but I wouldn’t call it sci-fi, either. I’m an atheist, but I was a little touched by the subtle way in which the author plants these seeds of faith and doubt simultaneously. Science and Magic and Jesus, together? Absurd! But perfect, if you think about it.

My biggest criticism is that I don’t think the cover does it justice (but does any cover, ever, really?). TBD is a modern, intelligent, thrilling masterpiece. I can’t wait to see what else Tash does.

Sam I am what I yam

I recently read a blog post by a non-reader who admitted he didn’t like reading and then gave several reasons why. After I read it, I didn’t feel at all defensive, but sympathetic instead. I often have trouble reading and sometimes it takes me 10 reads before I comprehend a single page. I also often just don’t care about what I’m reading, regardless of how well it’s written or how riveting others find it. Different strokes, of course.

At the end of the post, I felt challenged. And apparently, so did everyone else who read it, because they proceeded to give the author a list of books he should try. Even I tried to defend reading, by suggesting that it was writers’ fault for not making their work interesting enough (I don’t have ADD; they’re all just really boring). After several more attempts by commenters, I began to feel like I was reading Green Eggs and Ham (I do not like them by Orwell. I do not like books, can’t you tell?).

So I got to thinking about my own taste as a reader. Most of the time I do find it difficult to get into a book/story, but I don’t think that makes me a non-reader, because there are (albeit, rare) other times when I love them. The real question here is: what does this mean for my future as a writer? Can you imagine a producer who hates most music or a painter who hates most visions? Eek! This could be a really bad sign.

But here’s the thing: I write the way I like to read. Sure, maybe not everyone likes to read the same stuff I do, but if I can entertain my disinterested self, then maybe there’s a shot I can entertain someone else. Basically what I’m saying is that I’m a hard sell, so if I’m selling it, it better be damn good. This brings me back to challenged. When I begin writing, I assume that the reader doesn’t care, and it’s my job to make them. Maybe that’s demonstrative of the downfall of our society, or maybe it just means I’d rather be interesting than right. Either way, I yam what I yam and I like what I like.

Interview

Ellis Jackson interviewed me on his blog. I wanted to come off as level-headed and realistic. Overall, I think I nailed it:

“I assumed my book would change literature and revive mass interest in poetry. It would be the first eBook of contemporary poetry to go viral. Critics would argue about its place in the “Best New” and “Worst Ever” lists, but everyone would agree that it was a huge step for modern poetry.”