Enjoying the Maldivian sea - a crisp, vibrant turquoise I thought only existed in cartoon-esque rhinestone gems or heavily photoshopped national geographic ads. Despite the fickle weather, I am loving the isolation of the island. There are only 50 villas, it is all but deserted. It’s nice to have refuge from the hecticness of the outside world. And if you’re wondering, the book at the corner of the photo is ol’ Fitz’s Tender is the Night. I thought it would be suitable.
Kurt Vonnegut: Advice on Short Stories
1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water
4. Every sentence must of one of two things— reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible
6. Be a sadist: no matter how sweet and innocent your leading character is make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of
7. Write to please just one person. If you open the window and make love to the world so to speak your story will get pneumonia
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. The heck with suspense! Readers must have complete understanding of what is going on, where and why that they can finish the story themselves should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
For awhile after you quit Keats, all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
well said Scott. From one master to the next.
a bit cynical for my tastes - I still believe in the goodness of Christmas - and yet it nevertheless holds some truth worth sharing
“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
–- Junot Díaz, O Magazine, November 2009
The sad thing about being a writer, or a pseudo-writer for that matter (I have yet to be sufficiently recognized in order to remove the “pseudo” half of the epithet), is that one is painfully aware of his or her existence. When I am a hypocrite, I know that I am being a hypocrite, and there is a certain hopelessness and frustration attached to that awareness. On a different note, as a ‘writer’, I am also aware the themes that I always return to in my writing: the transience of childhood and the loss of naivete. Think T.C. Boyle’s Greasy Lake, Laurie’s Cider with Rosie, Cheever’s Reunion or perhaps, a more far-fetched comparison, even Dickens’ Great Expectations. I guess this is perhaps a more convoluted way of saying: I was perusing the family photo album when I came across this photo. It was cute and sad and precious. Precious because the cuteness is fleeting, sad because its irrecoverable.
If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promise of life, as if he related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the ‘creative temperament’-it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No - Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via slekes)
I was visiting Auschwitz when I saw this quote. Santayana is no doubt, quoted often, and quoted too much, but this quote was too true to be passed. Once again it returns to the theme of compassion and awareness. It conjures up all the movies and texts that have moved me - Breughel’s Icarus, Auden’s Musee des Beaux Arts, the film Hotel Rwanda, the documentary Burma VJ - and constantly remind me to never remain passive, and never remain apathetic.
Human beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly. Some are afraid to show even the slightest sign of affection because of fear. Fear that their feelings may not be recognised, or even worse, returned. But one thing about human beings that puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.
—Sigmund Freud- so true, Freud, so true