SOUNDS

Frank Zappa Gave Great Quote

A picture I took a while back with an old-timey digital camera, of a street tribute to one of the great philosophers of the late twentieth century. Who just happened to play a mean guitar and would compose some of the most mind-blowingly complex music ever committed to vinyl.


Incidentally, this is the only known object in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood that doesn’t smack of white bread culture.

The man’s been dead for almost three full decades, yet these words still resonate today. Perhaps even more so than they did when he first said them. I see their toxic fruits strewn everywhere (like piles of antivaxxer horseshit and that ridiculous QAnonsense), and realize everything Zappa ever said about the so-called Religious Right (or as I like to call them, Vanilla ISIS) has been spot on. Their sermons and rallies just look like this to me…

Before it became common knowledge that televangelists are evil clowns who obtain their nourishment by drinking childhood fears, Zappa instinctively knew it to be true.

FEELS

A Pair of New Year’s (Writing) Resolutions

I have so far made three attempts to compose a work of fiction. Four, if you count that one I worked on for a couple of weeks in 2013 and then quickly abandoned. All of them were set either on another planet or in some kind of alternate reality, and I didn’t finish any of them. This particular genre is evidently a lot more difficult to write in than most people realize. It helps to adhere to a few guidelines of some type or another.

In addition to Kurt Vonnegut’s ever-useful eight rules of short story writing which I elaborated on earlier, I’d like to add two other rules of my own that I’m presently applying to my fourth (fifth?) literary attempt. The more practical writing experience I get, the more I realize how important these guidelines are. Especially in the speculative fiction genres, where the temptation is always there to go nuts with the worldbuilding.

  1. Do not edit as you write.
  2. Do not exceed 100,000 words on the first draft.
A scene like this, for instance, should not be vividly described in loving detail in prose fiction, unless it’s somehow relevant to the overall plot.

SOUNDS

The Year I Went (Wacky) Granola

I would drink more booze on a typical Friday night in 2011 than I drank throughout the entire year of 2021. Progress! I’ll toke to that.