I‘VE JUST FINISHED On Writing. It’s been years since I’ve read one of your books, and I enjoyed this one enough that I’ll be reading another soon.
We have some things in common. Like you, I started a satirical magazine in high school. Mine was better received by staff than yours, owing I suspect to the principle that satire is a mirror in which we see the reflection of all faces but our own. I stopped writing satire for this reason, which from your perspective will appear as an irony. The point is that satire will either provoke your targets or it won’t, and whatever the outcome you’ll wonder if the buck was worth the bang, or lack of it.
DECEMBER 1st has arrived, and here at the ranch that means it’s time to light the advent candle!
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A WISE MAN once said that a cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant, active mind. And the reason the wise man said this is that people kept coming into his office and saying Oh my god—LOOK AT YOUR DESK! And frankly, I’d had just about enough of that.
Now I would like to update this irrefutable truism to read as follows:
Any mess that I make, anywhere, is a certain indication of how amazing and full of vitality I am.
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TODAY ON MY WALK I saw not one, but four dogs wearing boots. That’s when I started doing something I do a lot, which I call logicalling.
Obviously the dogs did not ask for boots, or pick them out, or put them on. For thousands of years, dogs have been doing fine without sweaters and boots and dog-house air conditioning, an actual thing, and they’d still be doing fine if it weren’t for people with too much spare money.
Why, all-of-a-sudden, in the year 2014, do dogs need winter boots?
SO THE OTHER DAY, just for fun, I Googled “google autofill is not working.” Then I got thinking, what would you do if Google autofill was not working and you wanted to find out why, but you couldn’t remember the term “Google autofill” and needed Google to auto-fill it in for you so you could get your answer?
That’s when I stumbled on the greatest idea of all time.
TODAY I MET my book about residential schools — called … um … Residential Schools — for the first time. For that reason alone it was a good day, and I wasn’t even sure if I’d be up for it, since I spent a good part of yesterday in bed with a fever, dreaming about the apocalypse. Or at least I think it was the apocalypse. It could have just been about the publishing industry. Haha! Ever funny that one.
MY FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD son probably wouldn’t approve of me mentioning him in print, so it’s a good thing this is about my friend Wally’s fourteen-year-old son. To those of you who think I am making up Wally and his son, I have two words: plausible deniability. That’s something I learned from a former American President who may or may not have been from Arkansas—it all depends upon what the meaning of the word Arkansas is. Or I’ll just say I was in the bathroom during that meeting, and I don’t remember anything, which I also learned from a former US President whose son was also a former US President.
Letters, oh I get letters. But mooostly I get SPAM. Lots of thousands of hundreds of lots of spam. So, you know, when life hands you a blog folder choc-full-o’ lemons, what do you do? You make artisan organic gluten-free Lemon Spamade! Cos that’s the ri-dic-u-lous kind of society that we’ve become! (Kidding.)
K!—time for the spam questions, peoples.
I‘VE BEEN AT WORDPRESS for fifty-one months now, and I’ve posted 550 entries. Just for the heck of it, I’ve spent several weeks studying the data I’ve collected from the WordPress “dashboard” as well as from other sources. I drilled down into the data, as you kids like to say, until I hit oil. Now I’m rich, so screw you. This will be my last entry.
WHEN I BEGAN writing, only the Pentagon had Internet. The rest of us used pens and typewriters, as well as paper, which came in both liquid and solid form. You’d write out your essay, story or article, make a few changes, and then type out the manuscript, editing as you went. In some cases, you would do an additional edit, by producing a second typescript. This is what we veterans called writing. What else would you call it?
I WAS ASKED the other day who I imagined my ideal reader to be. “Well,” I answered – “I hadn’t really thought about that.” Not exactly a stellar reply, I know. Of course I had a half-formed, all-wispy-like inkling of my readers. Tween girls, not on the list. Marxist-Leninists? Not so much. The Nobel Literature Prize Review Board and the editors of Vanity Fair? Hell yes … one day. Well, now I’m curious – just who is my IDEAL reader?