Hey, everyone, this is my final blog post as an intern for WriteByNight. As such, I’d like to underscore a very important aspect of writing for me: philosophy. I’ve always felt, to be a truly capable and enduring writer, you must have some philosophy going that informs you about your work, your relation to it, and the point of it all. It’s not always some prosaic, I-am-god-and-everything-I-do-
Writing is hard to quantify, after all, especially in the face of the 1+1=2 world we live in. read more
If I had my way, I’d love to have a writing sanctuary that is comprised of a mountain, a bit of ocean (or sea), some nice trees, a chirp or two from the birds, a glass of soothing tea, and maybe even something strange like a BB gun to shoot at local flora (not fauna!) when the occasional I’m-bored-and-don’t-feel-like-trying-to-strangle-words-out phase strikes. Such a sanctuary would provide me with a multitude of stimuli to keep me ever inspired. There’s something about the fresh air, but even more so, about the idea of having a place to get away. read more
Hey, writing this at 2 a.m. and still feeling a bit buzzed. I work a service job, so I often get off late into the evenings and morning. Then I have to ride my bike home, and boy is Austin still humid as hell even in the midnight hour. But then when I do get home, I have school work, or intern work, or work of several other varieties that involve watching television or reading or doing the endless internet mind blast of nothing for hours on end. It’s enough to make a writer go autobiographical. So, yes I’m writing this at 2 a.m., but I have to admit, I feel the buzz of still being up, of communicating with you guys and the moon and those wolves out there still howling while suburbia sleeps the good night. Some such stuff like that, really.
I do have to also admit: I love writing at the end of the day, when everything is done, calm, finished, over, blah-ed into blah-mission. read more
Hey, guys. I recently attended my American Lit post-1865 class where we studied Jack Kerouac and his opinions on writing. Oddly enough, the student who did the research told us Mr. K wasn’t considered a great literary figure. He was relegated more towards the realm of inspiring (or insipid, take your pick) literature aimed at or appealing to late teens/early twenties wandering types. The presenter brought up the fact that at that age in a person’s life (and mostly male persons), they’re more likely to read On the Road and be affected by it. It seems the youth need their lost time, which I believe is true.
Burnished blandishment. Red go gold, the volcano denies the void. Suddenly, too, he sees the last blinking lights go down, and the nova, shrinking into a flare from so far, so far. The borders are barren, but so it goes. The portal in the center is the center of the universe, in micro, all time and event bursting in circles, so that it is barely contained by the gold heart of the larger bit of everything. Kandinsky does his miracle, and it’s the smaller spots dotting the black that truly ask what musical chaos birthed its being, that ask how important to burn a hot or cold existence. So it goes, pink in rose, that all folly we may have earned is erased by the grace of our extant humility.
Hey, guys, welcome back to this humble blog. What just happened was a bit of earnest ekphrasis based on Wasily Kandinsky’s “Pink in Rose.” Ekprhasis is the verbal description of a visual work of art (real or not!). read more
I suppose what I’m trying to get at through this obtuse repetition is: what appeals to you in your craft, how do you keep it fresh and stray away from those silly-yet-easy clichés? What poetic lyricism, novelistic dialogue, film style descriptions, or other techniques do you guys employ? I can recall a particular professor in school who couldn’t wait to drop the hammer on me whenever I used a trite, redundant, overused and excessively corny line in my papers. Of course, I was writing about the canonization of literary so-and-sos from 1882 – not the most compelling subject – so I think the guy was trying to get blood from a stone, but c’est la vie.
Anyhow, what I’m getting at is, what exactly makes you tick as a writer, what conventions have you reinforced or reneged to get at the heart of your art? read more
Hey, WriteByNighters (and others)! We’ve got a brand new Meetup project coming your way in the next two weeks, and we’re very excited about it. We’re calling it WriteByNight’s Craft Consortium. It’s our attempt to connect further with you fellow writers on a subject very near and dear to us all: writing.
Every two weeks, we’ll host a meetup at a particular location and discuss tips and thoughts on the nature of writing. read more
I recently watched Hugo (and not in 3D, bummertown), and found myself taken in by its love of old film. There was magic there, working throughout the actors and their conflicts and resolutions. The ending was a bit Hollywood-everybody-happy-
Okay, ramble aside, the point is the film left me with a good feeling. It was that type of feeling one gets by recognizing a well-made, well-told story. read more
The very act of writing – of creation – is to ossify a moment in time. This moment, however, transcends that time once the audience becomes involved in its being. This act can be as simple as opening the front cover of a book, placing eyes on a painting or sculpture, or strumming a chord on a lute. The main thing is, the audience brings the work back to life. This phenomenon factors into play, into relaxation and stress relief, creativity, and basically being a human being. Where this becomes even more interesting, however, is in the connection between creator and audience, and how, in a sense, this act is rudimentary time travel.
The concept boils down to a very interesting metaphysical aspect especially when blogging and other forms of instantaneous communication are possible. read more
What to read, oh what to read? It seems a perennial question, even though I’m sure each of us writers out there has one billion plus books piled up on well-meaning shelves, mocking us, begging us to read them, deploring us to give them a shot. Even so, sometimes it seems like one billion plus books is not enough. In times like that, I like to turn to a few stalwart online reading lists online for inspiration about what exactly the hell to read. Here are a few: read more
Hey, guys. A while ago, I was wandering around UT Campus area, waiting for whatever, and I stumbled into the CVS looking for a new notepad to fill with poetry about selfish bus drivers and crude drawings of odd faces. The notepad selection was horrible, however. I couldn’t find one decent, non-lined bunch of paper bound together to save my life.
I did decide, however, to pick up a short order ticket book, normally used by waiters and waitresses named Doug and Alice. Something about the book leapt out at me, inspiring me to fill its cells and spaces with words and drawings. read more
By Christopher Savage
Hey, guys, just to start: where’s the strangest place you’ve ever written? It’s always been a pleasure of mine to bring the old laptop around to tiny, out-of-the-way places, parks, or plazas, and try to get inspired by the sheer randomness of whatever’s around. You can get really great found poems this way (but found poems by way of dumpster doors, lost dog collars in a meadow, floating shoes passing beneath a bridge, etc.). The idea is to get out of the familiar, shock the system, give it something new to spark some passion and inspiration. And who even needs the damned laptop? Just a pad of paper–do it Impressionistic style–and away you go. read more
One of the greatest pleasures, I believe, an artist receives is a feeling of inspiration via another person’s work. Be it a silent film featuring robots and proletariats, a painting that plays with color for sound, or a book featuring precepts of reincarnation, works of art that truly touch fellow creative types can leave their marks in good ways. As writers, it is essential to absorb/experience as much alternate media as possible. read more