Monday, February 22, 2010

When do you write?

When do you write?

Some authors need noise and chaos and tend to write in a public place, such as a coffee shop or a restaurant.

Some write at night. Some write in the evening. Some write nine-to-five for a living, only during business hours.

Me, I write in the small hours of the morning. I drag my ass out of bed at 4:30AM, take a piss off the back patio, let the dog take a piss, and then the dog and I cuddle up on the couch and write until everyone wakes up that morning.

I can't write with the television on, or with other distractions. For me, writing is a sleep-disease, from which I must fully suffer before I can write anything of worth. It's those wee-hour writings that resonate the best for me.

But, that's just me.

- Eric

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lemme sniff your crotch: A random meandering

If you could see black with shades of gray, would you say you can see? Or would you call yourself blind?

If you could hear a single note at a single tone, would you say you could hear? Or would you call yourself deaf?

That's how we smell, compared to a dog, that is.

See, a dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times more acute than a human's. For instance, if this were sight, then you'd be able to see one foot away, a dog would be able to see two miles away.

Get it? Still think you have a sense of smell? You're and idiot if you do.

A dog can smell an ounce of cocaine anywhere in your house, yet seventeen cops overlook it.

They can smell a person buried a dozen feet beneath a building when it's crawling with workers and their dead-ass noses full of snot from this season's allergies.

A dog can smell if you're pregnant, smell if you're sick, and they can even smell cancer.

Yes, a dog can smell cancer. Look it up. They do all this without an x-ray, MRI, catscan, or one day in medical school.

Two day trails through the woods, no problem. A deer can smell you from two hundred yards away. So can a bear and so can a hundred other animals. A shark can smell blood in the water, can't they.

And what can we smell with our little shnoz? Not a goddamned thing. And yet, we count sniffing as one of our senses!

Please tell me you're not still thinking you have a sense of smell!

We're such idiots. We don't have a fucking sense of smell.

Watch a dog next time you meet one. What's the first thing that dog does? He sniffs your ass! Puts his face right in your bunghole and takes a good whiff, doesn't he?

And if he sees some shit on the ground, what does the dog do? He stops and sniffs it out.

Why do they do that? Because that's how the world smells to them, that's how you smell to them. That's why a deer turns its head in the woods, why a dog runs when you fart, and why animals the world around shit to mark their territory.

You smell like shit. I smell like shit. We all smell like shit!

Believe me, that's the most odoriferous part your nasty-ass body, yes it is, yes it is.

Maybe that's why God took away our sense of smell.

So we can all walk around and act like our shit don't stink.

- Eric

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How writing is like woodworking

Yep. This here post is about how writing is like woodworking.

I haven't already posted this, have I? I know I've thought about it. If it's redundant, well, shit, you'll just have to live with it. It's important, I guess.

Now, any damned fool can write a story. That's what we all believe.

And any damned fool can build a box. That's what we all believe.

But let's address that fool, and say this to him: Can you please build me a box?

The Any Damned Fool (ADF) says, Sure, I'll build your box, and they run off and cut up some plywood, hammer it together, and hand you your box.

Can you see your box?

I can't.

The ADF (Any Damned Fool) builds the box in the same way I built that description of the ADF's box: slipshod. Nondescript. Simple and without vision or attention to function or durability or quality. ADF's box can be of any size or form, made from a long list of components.

An ADF writer would build a story the same way. See what I mean?

Now, bring in the carpenter, the woodworker, the writer and author. Let him build you the box!

Say to the woodworker: Build me a box.

The woodworker doesn't run off and start hammering! Nope. He says, How big?

I need a 3'x3' box, you say.

Is that inside storage capacity of 3'x3', or do you want the outside dimensions to be 3'x3'?

Inside storage dimensions, I guess.

How much weight do you want it to handle?

I don't know. Sturdy enough to fill with rocks, I guess.

All right. That means using strong joints, maybe even dovetailing them. That's the strongest joint, you know, a dovetail with glue. Don't even need nails or screws! Now, what about a lid?

Um, yeah, I guess a lid would be nice on my box.

All right. You want it hinged, or do you want the lift-off kind with a handle in the middle.

Dang, I don't know. A lift-off lid is fine.

What sort of handle do you want? I can buy a knob, cut a hole in the top, use a piece of wood for screw-on grip.

Just cut a hole, I guess, keep it simple.

Nothing simpler. Now what about material? MDF won't hold your 3'x3' volume of rocks. That'll burst. I'll probably need to use 3/4" plywood, maybe with an external 2'x4' frame or brackets. You don't mind an external frame on your box do you? I can make it look real pretty, like trim, or just slap on some wood.

... and so on.

Do you see the difference? Do you see the comparison between writing and woodworking, between the ADF and the professional in each field?

The difference is in the details, in the attention to what matters, and in how they approach the problem!

Like an experienced carpenter, a seasoned author will approach their story with premeditation, and take small, deliberate steps along the way, constantly going back over what they've built so far to ensure it meets either their original vision, or changing their vision based on how it's coming along so far. In the end, they have a highly polished, quality piece of work!

And there's nothing slipshod about it.

It's easy to say Any Damned Fool can write, or build a box.

But when you start cutting wood, or hammering out words, you'll find it ain't so easy, now is it.

- Eric