“Franklin tried a divide-and-conquer approach. He drew up a list of virtues and wrote a brief goal…”
Otherwise known as the opportunity cost?
I would just like to say thank you for the talk you gave to the Singapore Nanyang Girls’ group in ’11. I was in the group at the time and had stopped writing because of a rejection from a writers’ camp. After your encouragement to write + the encouragement from friends, I reapplied and got in last year, and since then have received much encouragement from mentors and friends. Looking back, it had a lot to do with your talk then, so thank you so much!
Congratulations on making it into the writers’ camp, and kudos for being tenacious enough to reapply. It’s a gift to hear that I was able to play some part in supporting your writing. Oh— and it sounds like you’ve got some great friends!
Write on, Anonymous. Write on.
“To the young writers, I would merely say, “Try to develop actual work habits, and even though you…”
- John Updike’s Advice to Young Writers: ‘Reserve an Hour a Day’ | Open Culture
- Hicok, Odyssey
“I’d argue that, whether you like it or not, hashtags are absolutely essential to accurately relate…”
Ah, the fluidity of language and contemporary punctuation. #grammarswoon
Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview With Genevieve Bell – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic
"We’ve been in a decade of dematerialization, all the markers of identity. You and I, when we were younger, knew how to talk about ourselves, to ourselves and others, through physical stuff—music, the books on our shelves, photos. We’ve gone through a period where a lot of that content is dematerialized. It became virtual. You could send people playlists, but it’s not the same as having someone go through your record collection. It had a different sort of intimacy.
"And it doesn’t surprise me that after 10 years of early-adoptive dematerialization, all the identity work and now the seduction of physical objects has come back in full force. Now it’s kind of a pendulum: we move between the virtual and the real a great deal. And we have historically—that’s hardly a new thing. I suspect that part of what we’re seeing with the Etsy maker and that whole spectrum is a kind of need for physical things because so much has become digital, and in fact, what’s being manifested in some of these places is really a reprise of physical stuff. Physicality has kind of come back."
“I had to learn to think, feel and see in a totally new fashion, in an uneducated way, in my own way,…”
- Henry Miller— Reflections on Ŵriting
Mother of George Official Trailer 1 (2013) - Drama Movie HD (by Film Festivals and Indie Films)
Wow. What a feast for the eyes. Looking forward to seeing this, and how it delivers beyond visuals.
Of course, you do as best as you can to believe in every young poet you work with.
I’ve lost track of the number of schools I’ve visited, the number of projects I’ve facilitated, the number of poems I’ve offered feedback on, but each one of them has been cause for celebration, no matter whether the poem, poet or project offered up a private, local or openly public achievement.
That said, I’m hosting an extra special celebration in my heart today for Warsan Shire, the first ever Young Poet Laureate for London. Nearly 10 years ago, she was the girl in her mid-teens who wandered into a workshop I was running in Wembley, a stunning writer even then. And over the years she’s continued on from strength to strength…
Warsan Shire, salute.
Yep. Autumn looks like it’s going to be good to us, as far as new music is concerned. First up, the release of Machinedrum's Vapor City. The web developer/designer in me really is really intrigued by the metaphor of sonic cartography used to power the new site. Somewhat reminiscent of older instalments of GTA (and a few other free-roaming console games) in which you had to reach a milestone in the main storyline before a new part of the city would be unlocked. More than that, I love the idea of sound as place. Looking forward to seeing how (whether?) that's going to be developed further…
Vapor City is available via iTunes, Amazon and Ninja Tunes. Enjoy.
Miscellany turned 6 today!
Wow. 6 years of Tumblr. Do I qualify for an OG award?
Not so sure about the playlist itself, but the description? That resonates…
"I wrote half of Brewster looking out at it, as I’m looking out at it now: the house across the street has a flag nailed vertically to the wall under the porch which I just stuck directly into the novel. But the physical place is just a trellis, and a flimsy one at that; it’s what your imagination hangs on it that matters. I wrote the second half of the novel in a shack in the woods, but by that point Brewster – less the actual place than a feeling, a time – was fully alive in my head. I find that until I’ve got that voice, that feeling – of loneliness, say, or regret, or love – that brings a place alive, I don’t have anything at all.
"On my desk is a framed quote by Sir Philip Sidney that my daughter gave me a few years back: “Fool, said the Muse to me, look in thy heart and write.” Which I’ve tried to do, though I haven’t always liked the things I found there. My point is that while looking out, we’re looking in."
n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.
- Helene Cixous, The Book of Promethea (via stealingintolanguage)
Woody Allen recently:What people who don’t write don’t understand is that they think you make up the line consciously — but you don’t. It proceeds from your unconscious. So it’s the same surprise to you when it emerges as it is to the audience when the comic says it. I don’t think of the joke and then say it. I say it and then realize what I’ve said. And I laugh at it, because I’m hearing it for the first time myself.
Whenever I find myself in a bout of nonwriting (not writer’s block per se, but an extended period of nonwritingness), I know it’s this. Not a lack of ideas, not a lack of the right space to write, the right drink, the right order, the right methods, the proper instrument, not a deficit of time. It’s simply my conscious getting in the way. I would be better off saying things more wildly, then looking at what I’d said. Do first, think later; many things can benefit from this method — falling in love, taking your first job, speaking up for what you believe in. Write first, think later. Repeat.
And we’re back.
I’m wondering how many times I’ve said that over the past year or so. Seems to have become a cyclical pattern: an interruptive event occurs, then silence. And back again on the other side of making sense of it all with a celebratory post promising renewed investment in the rhythm of posting and reposting. Which continues until the next interruptive event. Meh. It’s life. And sometimes life gets in the way.
A quick update, then. In the past few weeks I have - travelled to Chicago to immerse myself in Brave New Voices, which if you don’t know is pretty much the largest festival of youth poetry in the world - returned to London to find that my mother’s GP had referred her for a pretty serious medical condition (which turned out to be something far less serious, which we found out after a few weeks of confusion and worry…) - dragged myself backwards through a bumpy patch in output (writing poetry)
More detail on some of those points in other posts, possibly. In the meantime, it’s back to work. But before I do, time to hail out a new app I’ve been writing with recently.
If you’re ever looking for an easy way to refute the argument that the iPad is really only any good for consuming media, count the number of text editing applications in the App Store. I’ve tried most of them. Seriously. And while I love WriteRoom, and Writings still has a spot in a folder somewhere, Editorial is the new gold standard. It’s got much of what you need as a writer in the digital age— think Dropbox, snippets and textexpander integration, global search, markdown, an in-app browser for research and so much more. Most tech-savvy writers are making lots of noise about the workflows (in short: there’s an interface that allows you to build macros that extend the functionality built into the app), but I’m even more excited about the support for DropBox versioning. I think I wrote somewhere that I’d love an iPad app that could take advantage of the fact that DropBox captures versions of documents as you work, allowing you to retrieve earlier edits of different drafts, and rendering the need to manually generate new documents for each successive revision of a document obselete. Editorial allows you to access that versioning within the app, complete with a rather handsome comparison tool that allows you to zero in on exactly what’s changed between edits. Hallelujah!
And yes, as is currently vogue, I wrote this post in Editorial. Although this isn’t an advert, and I have no affiliation with Ole Zorn or OMZ Software. Other than loving this particular app.
“Imagine, the whole field of soldiers forgetting their language, and being possessed only with what…
"Imagine, the whole field of soldiers forgetting their language, and being possessed only with what their bodies want most in the end: to dance, and to love. I wonder then, if we would see the field break into a brilliant cavorting where the branches fire upward, and those steel rods peel back the dark cowl of night. Oh, how they would all be illuminated like cathedrals, empty of language, and teeming with sound."
From ‘The Taking of Lead’, Michael Lee (via Rattle)