Finding your voice – art vs. craft

“If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader.”
–John Steinbeck

A good friend sent me a mail:

“I’d like to see you write about how writing effects how you read, or watch movies, even listen to music. I find creating music effects how I do those things.”

Ask and ye shall receive!  Sometimes.

As I find myself trying to learn how to write, the most interesting concept is the notion of “voice” and “style”.  I’ve often wondered how I’m perceived in the eyes of other people I care about… do they see me completely differently than I see myself?  Similarly, I wonder what I would think of my own writing were I to stumble upon it, knowing nothing about the author.  Who do I sound like?  Are my characters believable?  Does my story feel “true”?

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Why 30 for 30 makes the TV Hall of Fame

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”
— Muhammad Ali

Living in Ireland for 5 years, and now Germany, I don’t watch much TV.  Over the past ten years, the only TV I watch is after the third or fourth person says, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen X yet, you have to see it! (Where X = The Wire, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Breaking Bad).

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The Lost Internet Years – Always See Everything

It is said that what is called the Spirit of an Age is something to which one cannot return. That this spirit gradually dissipates is due to the world’s coming to an end. In the same way, a single year does not have just spring or summer. A single day, too, is the same. For this reason, although one would like to change today’s world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation.
–Ghost Dog
It’s been getting a bit heavy here in this blog, so I thought I would try something other than a depressing, serious, and introspective post.  Something that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is my relatively unique relationship to computers and the Internet. As I said in my last post, I belong to a relatively small group of people that are just old enough to remember life before the Internet, but also had a computer for as long as they can remember.  I was only 5 when my Dad brought home our first PC in 1982, and after a few years building up my patience on the Bulletin Boards (I remember waiting hours to view a single GIF image — one line at a time would appear on the screen), we began dialing up to Prodigy starting sometime in 1988 or 89.  So at age 11 I started using this baby version of what would eventually become the Internet as we know it today. Continue reading

The Bee’s Knees: The Internet and Daniel Johnston

“Why are we underground right now, sir?
Why can’t we be out in the open?
Why aren’t we in a square right now?
Why aren’t we talking to people,
letting them know Item 9 exists?
Get it out. Shout off the rooftops:
‘This is great! This is the bee’s knees, Item 9!'”
–Pineapple Express

There seems to be a theme developing here — me professing my love for various things.  First it was America, then street art (although the latter is more of an infatuation).  Today’s post will talk about a deeper love that trumps both of these.

Did you ever wish you were born in another time or another place?  Like a lot of other guys, I always thought I might fit better in ancient times when I could be a gladiator or one of the 300.  I probably would have been ripped to shreds by a lion after tearing my ACL on the arena dirt, but you never know.  But then I spend a Wednesday night with my old lady Internet, and I remember how good it is to be born in 1977 — just old enough to have life without the Internet, but young enough to watch it grow.  And no, I wasn’t watching porn.

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