Posts

Featured Post

Hello Funny People, A Brief Introduction

Image
If you're reading this, potential reader, you're likely asking questions. One such question may be who is this guy and why should I care what he says about anything? Allow me the privilege of satisfying your curiosity.

In this blog (since it is my blog), I reserve the right to talk about anything and everything that interests me, even though my opinions are only worth two cents (hence the blog's name, ha-ha).

Still, let me get into a little more detail about myself just so you'll have some idea of what to expect from this blog and its author.

Basically, I'm a writer, and I've decided to start this blog for the same reason I write everything: for myself. If you find any of the stuff I have to say or any of the subjects I write about interesting, feel free to read it.

Like most people, I have diverse interests. A few of them include music, books, movies, stand-up comedy, the latest show I'm binge-watching online, and, go figure, the process of writing. Also, …

The Letter That Saved My Life

I wrote a piece several months ago on my affection for letter writing and why I believe it to be superior to forms of digital text communication. (It’s all in the human touch). Years ago, when I was still a college student, this habit actually ended up coming in handy. I’ve mentioned several times that I was an English Major (do me a favor and hold the jokes—I’ve heard them all). More specifically, I was an English Major in the American University system and model. That means that, even as I was working towards my pragmatically useless degree, I was nonetheless receiving a Liberal Arts Education.

It’s this element of American University Education that’s often the target of criticism by those who think higher education—unless for a trade like welding—is a waste of time and money. The central idea underpinning the Liberal Arts Education is the concept of “well-roundedness”. On this model, students learn a little bit about every subject before they move on to intensive study of their ar…

Jeremy Brett: My Favorite Holmes

Image
Recently, one of my favorite films from 2009 has returned to Netflix: the Robert Downy Jr./Jude Law film Sherlock Holmes. Though its an original film, developed using bits and pieces from the canon of 60 stories Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote, it's a well-done film with an excellent cast and a compelling original story that does what the Holmes stories do best: reveal the truth behind the fakery of crime. It also does much to make Holmes, for a modern audience, what he was for the Victorian public who first read the stories as Conan Doyle wrote them. 
To the Victorians, and Londoners in particular, Holmes was a super-heroic man of action. In our Era of the Superhero movie, such a character fits right in. He was the equivalent of a character like Batman (minus the tragic backstory), a man endowed, not with magical superpowers, but with a unique intellect, instincts, and skill set, perfectly developed for one purpose: the eradication of crime. 
Yet, as much as I enjoy the 2009 film, a…

Why the Novel Persists (And Will Continue to Do So For a Good Long While)

Image
For as long as I can remember, there have always been these highbrow literary authors proclaiming one thing: THE NOVEL IS DEAD. Apparently, this subject has been quite a popular topic of complaint for longer than my brief existence since it has its own Wikipedia Page. The most recent iteration of this proclamation, of course, came from noted journalist and "high-brow" author Will Self (you can, if you want, read his complaint here).

The main argument for present beliefs in this idea, the death of the novel and literature in general, as of right now is the number of distractions now available that keep people from reading. You recognize some of the supposed culprits:

TV.
The Internet.
Social Media.
Streaming Services.
Computers.
Smart Phones.
Tablets.
etc.

Yet, here we are, nearly two decades into the 21st Century, and people still read. Yes, funding for libraries has been cut. Yes, the STEM programs and vocational work are being pushed more than the Humanities and the Arts. B…

Stephen King's Misery

Image
There's an old piece of writing advice that's been repeated so often, I can't even possibly attribute it to one author. That piece of advice is this: when writing fiction, don't make your main character a writer.
This is of course understandable. Why?--because unless you live a Hemingway-esque lifestyle, full of travel and adventure, the life of a writer is actually quite boring. What we do is dull work in the eyes of "normal" people. We sit at a table, with a computer or notebook in front of us, and we string words together. Watching an antique collect dust is more compelling. 
On a more practical level, there's another reason writers shouldn't write stories about writers. Eventually, within the story, the author will have to provide example of their fictional writer's efforts. What that mandates is that the writer in question has to do double the work. They have to writer theirstory and also write their fictional writer's stories too. (Thoug…

My Favorite Writing Tips

Image
I haven't done a piece on writing recently, so I figured it was time to end the trend.

One thing every young writer that I've known has in common is that, for about the first five to ten years of the writing lives, they spend a good deal amount of time trying to figure out how to do this very odd job. Not only that, they suffer frequently from "Freud Syndrome," that feeling that, even though you fully believe in the identity you've settled on for yourself, you're missing that x-factor that makes you the real thing. This comes out of the enormous amount of self-doubt and fear that, in those earliest writing days, you're doing something wrong. Why is this? Because writing, to quote Anne Rice, "is the most individual of all the arts."

The closest thing to a writing apprenticeship we have is all the years we work on our craft before we publish our first pieces of work professionally. And that period can be anywhere from 7-20 years. Everyone works at…

Jimmy Carr's The Best of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits

Image
To most of America, Jimmy Carr has only been a comic blip on their radar since about 2015 when his first Netflix Special Funny Business went live, or after he participated in the Comedy Central Roast of  Rob Lowe in 2016. I, however, (being something of a comedy aficionado), have been a fan of his for a while now. My enjoyment of his comedy began when I watched a version of this video on YouTube:


You have to be a real comedy fan to appreciate this montage. One of the biggest things comedians have to contend with while on stage is hecklers, audience members who, perhaps due to being wasted or offended by something the comic's said, try to screw with the comedian while they're performing. The only way to get such people to shut up is, essentially, to publicly humiliate them. Carr is a master of this (as you can see), but the reason he's so good at it is, perhaps, due to his own brand of humor.

Carr is what's commonly called a "One-Liner Comic," a rarity in toda…

Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway

Image
If you've been reading my musings here for a while, you might well have spotted that I'm a big fan of Fantasy fiction.

Personally, I think its the genre best suited for reading because it takes full advantage of the internalized process of reading and writing. Because all the action goes on inside the minds of both reader and writer, it fully utilizes the possibilities of the imagination.

Anyone who reads a load of fantasy knows, of course, that there are a number of different types of fantasy, such as Epic (or High), Heroic, Contemporary, Urban, Fairytale Retellings, Revisionist, and Portal (among others). I could go on about what makes each of them unique, but that's for a different piece. Briefly though, each of these subgenres of fantasy possess different characteristics, or tropes, that allows them to stand out beside one another.

In recent years, there's seemed to have been this great spur in the fantasy writing community to do two things: subvert/modernize the t…