Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Random Thoughts

Are you a man?

“A Man should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. – Robert A. Heinlein

So says Robert Heinlein...

I'm a writer. I got kudos from another writer who said, quote, "Okay dude, you can write."

Made me feel all tingly inside! ;)

So here's an article from Reuters about the worst opening sentence of a novel...

It was a long and twisting sentence...

Wed Jul 12, 8:34 AM ET

An opening sentence containing a burrito, an angel and a shovel was judged appalling enough to win the annual Bulwer-Lytton literary parody prize on Tuesday.

Retired mechanical designer Jim Guigli of California was proclaimed winner of the contest, which challenges entrants to submit their worst opening sentence of an imaginary novel.

Guigli's winning entry read: "Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean."

Guigli's powers of invention and his determination to succeed -- he submitted 60 different entries -- also won him a "dishonorable mention" in the historical fiction category.

"My motivation for entering the contest was to find a constructive outlet for my dementia," Guigli quipped.

The Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest was started in 1982 by the English Department at San Jose State University to honor the Victorian novelist who opened his 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" with what were to become the immortal words, "It was a dark and stormy night."

It began as a quiet campus affair and now attracts thousands of entries from around the world. But the grand prize winner receives only a pittance and other winners "must content themselves with becoming household names," organizers say.

The 2006 runner-up, Stuart Vasepuru from Scotland, played with one of the most famous pieces of dialogue from the Clint Eastwood movie "Dirty Harry."

"I know what you're thinking, punk," hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' -- and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' -- well do you, punk?"

I loved that scene from "Dirty Harry" almost as much as the "Make my day" scene.

This last week saw me fighting off three panic attacks. Excuse my French but I fucking hate these things. I know what comes next. They are the prelude to depression. Combine that with another bout of head rushes whenever I stand (they seem to all come together...panic attacks, depression and orthostatic hypostension syncope), and this last two weeks have just sucked.

I understand depression. Don't know if what I have is just run-of-the-mill blues due to circumstances of diagnosable clinical depression. I undestand most of it is my response to situations and circumstances. And I know it steals joy like a thief who knows when to grab the candy bar when the store clerks back is turned. Joy comes and goes fleetingly. Things which brought me a smile and made my day brighter burn out faster than before. Maybe it's because it's been one year since I crashed and burned at the USFS? Maybe it's a bit of self-loathing that, at 40, I still don't get it. Like someone said at the ADD Forums on-line, it's like we were absent that day in school, back at age 7, when all of this was explained to us.

I want to get angry at the depression. At the ennui. At the boredom. At the inanities like I used to. But lately I feel like Marvin the Robot in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". "What's the use?", Marvin is fond of saying. I know, I have a lot to be thankful for; my life, my faith, my family, my dogs. But right now, I just want to sit in the backyard and watch the grass grow; that's how much motivation I have to do anything.

Funny...I just thought about motivation. I've been procrastinating on two stories I'm writing. They are pretty much outlined in my head but I haven't put more than a couple thousand words to One is 3/4 done and needs to be overhauled. One has just started and the ideas need to be put down. And yet, I have no motivation to do any of that. Funny...I could be doing it now instead of whining on the internet.

"What's the use?" - Marvin the Robot


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