You, the writer, are a razor slicing down through words to the tender page, leaving a gaping wound that is your story.
Your blade can be dull and the cut you produce nothing but a bruise: bloated writing, wandering plot, pointless details, backstory, telling.
Or your blade can be keen yielding a deep slice exposing muscle and bone: a gasp of breath from your readers eager to turn the page, endure the scars.
To get from blunt to sharp takes years. Eventually, one’s mind molds anew. Altered neural pathways of writer’s thought form and one’s blade begins to shine. Upon these mental trails there grows the ability to write purified story — the raw essence of what must be said to covey the theme of a tale. Scales of rust flake away leaving only what must be written, not what can be.
This is the challenge. Whet your stone and stroke your skills. If persistent any writer’s blade can be honed.
I sense a recent change in my understanding of how to write well. I’m embolden to strike out clever words and turns of phrase, details that I found entertaining when written but realized added nothing. Trust the reader to tease the story from fewer select words. A novel is tens of thousands strung together, unburden readers by giving them only what’s necessary.
What else is there? Really?
Epicurus — that devil-dog from 300BCE — would have stepped back from such a statement. He would have shaken his head like a dog, olive oil and bits of sardine flying, his wang hanging out of his toga and said with authority — let’s party!
Sex: If you’re not driven by your hormones to procreate — then why are you even here? (Even it no progeny could ever come of your libidinous acts.)
Food: There are so many flavors, textures, and culinary sensations that obesity should be a badge of honor, not a shroud of shame. Oh, and Al-Ko-Hall – straight up!
Rush: The need for speed, death defying feats, an adrenaline high and risk — it’s all about the risk baby.
Chill: You need time, we all need time to pontificate. Sit back, puff a doobie, gaze at the sunset, the stars, or each other and just contemplate all of it — or none of it.
The cafeteria hushed as Jacob strolled through the double doors. He glared at the cheer-table occupants, rolled his tongue across his teeth and made for the corner of the room. His back smoldered from stares of contempt. With a tilted chin he let his backpack fall and hit the table, trays rattled.
Bethany cursed, “Watch it. You ruin my clothes again and I’ll text the whole school about what you really did last night.”
Jacob ignored her and pulled a black case from his pack, laid it on the table and flipped the clasp. From within he lifted a silver figurine. It clicked as he set it down. “What I really did? And how would you know?” The senior boy spun the statuette with a flip of his fingers. As it twirled the glare from the overhead lights reflected like glitter off the polished surface. It wobbled and stopped. The slender hand of a shimmering gypsy maiden pointed at Bethany. Jacob stowed the figurine and said, “Looks like you’re next.”
Bethany leveled a look. “Ha. Instead of playing with toys maybe you should figure out what to tell her.” She lifted a painted nail toward the doors.
Principal Dewar, twill-skirted, bobbed, dark hair, clip-walked up to Jacob, murmurs from the pubescent jury followed as a wave. “Bring your sack,” she said. “You’ll need it to empty your locker.”
Resolute, the boy trailed the woman. He couldn’t help but watch her ass jiggle beneath the Ma’cion couture. That night visions of the principal’s sharp cheekbones and penetrating eyes had him wondering if the woman’s thighs rubbed together as she walked.
I don’t often share such articles, but this one sticks out as critically important. It regards the KT moment, the end-of-days for Dino the Dinosaur. And what you’ll find is that it appears that a paleontologist has found evidence of the exact moment of the Chicxulub asteroid impact.
— The KT event continues to attract the interest of scientists in no small part because the ashen print it left on the planet is an existential reminder. “We wouldn’t be here talking on the phone if that meteorite hadn’t fallen,”
— The Tanis site, in short, did not span the first day of the impact: it probably recorded the first hour or so.
In as few words possible describe your day. Don’t mistreat it. Don’t embellish. Extract its essence and stream it into our minds.
Our world spun its circular return. I blinked and woke up here, barely moved. Is this today or tomorrow? The rain would know. Soon drops will drown the dry tracks of my children’s tears. Or are they my own?
Food and drink slurped as sustenance, its colorful countenance belying its eventual fate, ooze of an odiferous sort — like the stink of diesel, or the burning of tires along the highway.
I went, I wavered beneath florescent lights. I found the keys and tapped them murderously. To no avail — they remarked en masse that my words together failed to shift the opinions on all office topics lovingly pinned to the break-room wall.
The sun arced without my permission. When I dared look at its progress, glares from cubemates bent my neck back to my flickering screen. A screen that aches for silken sheets and glistening bodies but must suffice with sheets of tables and dull characters spelling out quarterlies and bottom lines.
My day is done. The dollar slotted, the handle pulled, the rollers flashed cherries and jokers and spades, it twirled and slowed, the last wheel clicked empty. I jangle my change, a few dollars more it seems.
Why haven’t you returned my emails? You don’t text me, nor twitter. What’s up?
Google will never delete your account. It will continue to accumulate email long after you die. Consider all the accounts you will leave gathering correspondence years after your fingers have ceased to digitally transmit. The Archive of the Dead. Talk about a Dead Letter Queue.
Think of all the millions of accounts that, right now, continue to collect their penis enlargement, their Nigerian prince, their Russian wife emails. And consider all the languishing friends and ancient lovers seeking to reconnect. The forgotten business associates, the friends of friends who read your book, saw your paintings, wondered about your clever children — their communiques swallowed by the pit of an abandoned account.
I’m slumbering here, terra-incognita, considering your inquires as I softly chuckle at the thought of sharing your subterranean abode. Why the urgency? Do you sense the closing of doors? The drawing of curtains? Will our letters find each other in the Ether-space once you surrender your daily toils? Or will the silicon memory that embodies our digital personas petrify, become crystal quartz again as the eons enfold us?
My son and I went to see this movie — during the day — and we had the entire theater to ourselves. I went in knowing absolutely nothing about the story or the history of this film. It was a great way to see it.
We both loved it.
My son didn’t know about the concept of the Uncanny Valley so later I explained it to him. Alita’s character exposes this theme but it’s nuanced — the feeling wavers all throughout the movie. And I think that’s appropriate. The girl is NOT human. She is Other. And it shows. Yet she emits such expression, such engaging behavior that you can’t help but be attracted to her — despite her otherness.
I highly recommend this film.