“Get someone else to read your story to you. Many say read your work out loud and this does help but I believe you still hear in your head what you wanted to write. When someone else reads it you stop hearing what you wanted to say and hear exactly what you’ve written.”—Paul McVeigh (via austinkleon)
“When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.” Because nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult. I once went to a party and met a very beautiful woman whose job was to help celebrities wear Harry Winston jewelry. I could tell that she was disappointed to be introduced to this rumpled giant in an off-brand shirt, but when I told her that her job sounded difficult to me she brightened and spoke for 30 straight minutes about sapphires and Jessica Simpson. She kept touching me as she talked. I forgave her for that. I didn’t reveal a single detail about myself, including my name. Eventually someone pulled me back into the party. The celebrity jewelry coordinator smiled and grabbed my hand and said, “I like you!” She seemed so relieved to have unburdened herself. I counted it as a great accomplishment. Maybe a hundred times since I’ve said, “wow, that sounds hard” to a stranger, always to great effect. I stay home with my kids and have no life left to me, so take this party trick, my gift to you.”—Paul Ford, “How to Be Polite” (via austinkleon)
“I can sympathize with Ken Kesey who once said that he stopped writing because he was tired of being a seismograph—an instrument that measures rumblings from a great distance. He said he wanted to be a lightning rod.”—Tom Wolfe (via theparisreview)
E. M. Forster speaks of his major characters sometimes taking over and dictating the course of his novels. Has this ever been a problem for you, or are you in complete command?
My knowledge of Mr. Forster’s works is limited to one novel, which I dislike; and anyway, it was not he who fathered that trite little whimsy about characters getting out of hand; it is as old as the quills, although of course one sympathizes with his people if they try to wriggle out of that trip to India or wherever he takes them. My characters are galley slaves.
Bakke Hill Black Lager is a Schwarzbier brewed by Fish Brewing Co. out of Olympia, WA. This beer is extremely smooth and rich but at the same time very mild. Subtle notes of chocolate and coffee from start to finish, this would be a great beer to introduce someone who is afraid of “dark” beers…