Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Monthly Archives: August 2021

The Process is the Thing, Dummy

Why can’t everyone see how good my (insert art here) is? Why don’t they love it as much as me? If no one likes it, does that mean it’s bad?

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Wrong questions, wrong assumptions.

You know that thrill you get when you make something?

That’s the point. The whole point.

Rinse and repeat.

What happens after you make something is out of your hands. You might think you have some control over it, and you do to a very small extent.

But you have zero control over whether anyone likes it.

So you’re left with the joy you experienced creating it.

Isn’t that enough?

Thoughts on Writing a Novel (Part 1)

At the risk of stating the obvious: It’s not a short story. Short stories are a particular thing; a very disciplined form of fiction, some of which is inherently tied to word count. If you can’t write beyond a certain amount of words, the whole piece must be pruned to meet that requirement. This inherent limitation gives the art form a condensed punch if it’s done right.

A novel, on the other hand, has a lot more space to play with. Kind of unlimited, really. That’s both good and bad, mainly good. At least for me. But all that space creates its own kind of problem, i.e., it’s easy to go down blind alleys and veer off course. Or is it off course? You never really know until the thing is done because some blind alleys end up showing you what the thing is supposed to be in a way your conscious mind can’t.

I’m deep in the woods here, being carried along by the momentum of the story and its characters. I have no idea whether it’s going to be any good or not, but it’s a lot of fun stretching my legs in all that space.

Here’s Something to Think About

Who, or what, benefits by confusing the general population?

Let me be clear: I don’t think that part of the population is unable to think critically, but clearly they were never taught how. In the absence of critical thinking, conspiracy theories seem to stimulate the same part of the brain, albeit in a clumsy, inelegant way.

Or, let’s ask this question from a different perspective: Were online social networks designed to divide and spread misinformation to the masses, or was that an organic consequence of humans interacting with the algorithms?


The first time I met you, I thought, Well, here’s a special one.

You were clearly very smart and mature beyond your years, and I was duly impressed.

My affection for you was immediate. I recognized your gifts and looked forward to watching you grow and find yourself. I hoped, in some small way, that I could at the very least encourage you to achieve your potential. You were only 25 or 26; I was already over 60 and not easily impressed.

You were just interesting and smart – always fully present whenever I interacted with you. That alone is an exceptional gift that made you so attractive.

Today was your funeral at the age of 29, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I wept for you. It’s almost impossible to process what happened, or rather, I have to accept the fact that I’ll never know.

I miss you already and will always keep you alive in my heart. I’ll honor the memory of the young woman who showed so much promise, who delighted and never ceased to impress me.

Rest In Peace, my young friend. You are gone, but will never be forgotten.

Good News & Bad News

Ok, the good news is this: I’m halfway through my first novel, and the secondary protagonist is emerging full-blown, kind off taking over the story.

Totally unplanned, and certainly unexpected, she is now so real, I’m not quite sure what she’s going to do in any given situation – I’m just hanging on for the ride

The bad news is this: I’m running out of bandwidth, and right now, the novel takes precedence over everything else. So what was a daily blog, is now becoming more and more sporadic.

It’s going to be worth it in the end, though.

The characters are starting to dictate the story to me.