The Zen of SILVER BROWN

Quarantine and Quill

While we’re all twiddling our thumbs waiting to see the new world rising from the shambles of the old, I meditate this morning on the men and women in uniform who put their own sanity on the line every day to deal directly with all things insane. It should be pointed out that many of them keep journals. Writing things down feeds a human head the appropriate war medicine so it can poop out the bullshit and properly digest what’s truly important. Verily, it is fibre for the mind. Forgoing a regular voiding of this bullshit is the leading cause of a condition unofficially known as mental constipation, with symptoms that include frequent compulsions to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Suffice it to say, there is no room for headless chickens in the armed forces. Generals and admirals don’t always publish their memoirs, but they will oft write those memoirs regardless, because they have to.


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The Journey of SILVER BROWN

#NaNoWriMo

This website was launched on October 28 of last year. I chose that date for two reasons. The first reason being it’s my usual shtick to unleash things upon the earth either on the seventh day of a calendar month, or on a date that corresponds with a number divisible by seven. That’s just how I roll. The second reason is that I wanted to launch the site in time for November, which among other things is National Novel Writing Month. Or NaNoWriMo (nan-oh-RHYME-oh), as it’s known for short.

The gist of NaNoWriMo is to challenge people to produce a novel of at least fifty thousand words during the month of November. For the benefit of all participants, the rules don’t state that the novel has to be riveting or particularly well-written. Authoring a complete novel of that high a calibre in thirty days or less would be a Herculean undertaking for most people, unless Green Eggs and Ham counts as a novel now and I didn’t get the memo.


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The notable lack of Nobel Prize-worthy material composed during NaNoWriMo is virtually of no concern to all involved, however. It’s not so much about producing the next Hamlet as it is about getting people engaged in the craft of creative writing, so they gain a newfound appreciation for the art. Ultimately, a newfound love of literature itself – a love always stronger and more ubiquitous than we’re ordinarily accustomed to believing it is.

Like many people, I’ve read a lot of books over the years. Not all of them I loved right away. Some were confusing as all shit on the first read, only starting to make sense upon subsequent reads. Some caused a certain churning feeling in my gut with either an absurdly improbable premise or something outright inexcusable, like purple said-bookism abuse. Some books left behind a strong Whiskey Tango Foxtrot aftertaste in my conscience that persisted years after I read the last sentence. Then there are other books that are just plain horrifying. But all in all, I don’t regret reading a single book I’ve ever read. A library is a different plane of existence. A place devoid of regret.


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The Zen of SILVER BROWN

The Curse of Pooh

A strange beast, this Universe is. A.A. Milne wrote many things in his lifetime. Including plenty of books intended for adult audiences. Books he was personally proud of. To his slight chagrin, it was ultimately the Winnie-the-Pooh stories that made him famous. His son, Christopher Robin Milne, bitterly resented him for using him as the namesake and inspiration for the least interesting character in said stories. He had a bitch of a time getting laid because he never outgrew the public image his father gave him as a little boy who likes to play with dolls, and eventually had to marry his cousin. It was a resentment the younger Milne took to his own grave. Yet, it was from that cesspool of chaos and disappointment and familial strife that Winnie-the-Pooh emerged. Like a lotus flower blossoming out of a shark-infested swamp…