SIGHTS

The Thousand Faces of Old Man Winter

Two Wednesdays ago, the sun was shining, the air was crisp and there was not a trace of snow to be found anywhere. I would wake up to this on Thursday morning…

Welcome to Canada.

Later that evening after my post-work toke, our new friend Old Man Winter said hello to me from a tree, through two new heads he had just grown. One of them looked like Krusty the Klown in profile, and the other was either Quetzalcoatl or one of those giant heads on Easter Island. After photographically immortalizing them, I noticed the big heads had attendants. A small army of smaller faces peering at me from the new snow…

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

TASTE

Eight Simple Rules

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote down a list of guidelines he personally abided by when writing short stories. I’m trying to keep them in mind with the NaNoWriMo yarn, even though the finished product will presumably be a novel rather than a short story. Brevity is a particular quality in fiction-writing I’m striving to improve upon.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

TASTE

Gonna NaNoWriMo For Semi-Real

After a summer of getting my Zen on, my Spidey-sense is telling me I’m inspired enough to start writing something again. November’s the best month there is by far to get started with that, what with so many aspiring romanciers composing at the same time and all. Don’t know if I’ll make it to fifty thousand words before month’s end, but at least I’ll have a gas trying.