The best fiction and writing blog posts from around the ‘net, all guaranteed to make you a literary ninja. Compiled by yukio.
Joanne Jeffries and Julian Yanover – The 10 most Influential Poets in History
Jacqui Murray – 19 Ways to Describe People
Amber MV – The Aliveness of Places
Lowlife Magazine – The Private Detective – A Beginner’s Guide
Candace – Literary Dust (timely and well-written reviews)
John Hartness – The #1 Reason Your Book Gets Rejected
Ruth Harris – Create Memorable Characters: The Secret’s in the Details
Yukio Mishima – Sun and Steel
From the Charlotte Observer:
“It’s dead, Jim.”
The Winners: Mike Tuggle of Charlotte and Bill McLoughlin of Charlotte
Thanks for all your great entries. This is the first time in You Write the Caption history we’ve had a tie winner, but the judges couldn’t see anyway to avoid that this time. So congrats to great minds, Mike Tuggle and Bill McGloughlin.
What can I say? Problem is, the winner is supposed to get the original cartoon. Who will it be? Looks to me like it’s Amok Time! Let the kal-if-fee for the prize begin!
A reader sent me this:
Congrats…….on your Cartoon Caption win! But I don’t get the “It’s Dead”! R—Sent from my iPhone
If you aspire to becoming a certified Star Trek geek like me, you’ll have to learn the classic lines. In numerous scenes from the original series, a character would suffer some sort of unexpected calamity, and Kirk would shout, “What happened?” It was usually Dr. McCoy who’d examine the poor character and announce, “He’s dead, Jim!”
So in the Siers cartoon, Spock is informing Kirk of the fate of print journalism.
“There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.” – Raymond Chandler
“In transactions involving haunted real estate, the rule is not only caveat emptor but also caveat venditor.”
The looming presidential election is shaping up as a combination fiasco and tragedy of such staggering proportions, the only thing we can do is laugh. So in a desperate act of escapism, I wrote a satirical flash fiction piece entitled “Whisper Listing.” It’s featured in the latest issue of Bewildering Stories. Here’s hoping it provides a bit of comic relief to our ongoing political agony.
(In real estate, a “whisper listing” is a house for sale in a market restricted to a select group of potential buyers. Celebrities often use them to avoid publicity.)
* Be sure to check out Challenge 680 linked at the end of my story!
Alice Osborn writes: “Star Wars is more than shoot ‘em bad guys with laser guns and escaping in fast spacecraft—it’s about 4 fundamental life lessons.” Alice discusses those lessons in her latest blog post, which I highly recommend.
Almost 40 years after it blasted its way into movie theaters and popular culture, Star Wars still commands our attention. There’s good reason for that. In crafting Luke Skywalker’s grand adventure, George Lucas took Joseph Campbell’s heroic myth, added memorable characters and innovative special effects, and produced a cinematic classic that tells a timeless tale. Lucas managed to “Make it New!”
Ezra Pound’s battle cry not only inspired the Modernists who explored radical techniques to convey their ideas, but also describes the maddening challenge all artists wrestle with, to take what already exists, whether paint, bronze, or words, and shape those elements into something both meaningful and worthwhile of our attention.
Part of that challenge is to work within a living tradition and keeping “it” alive by adapting it to present-day needs and concerns. The artist’s goal is to select and rearrange timeless insights and conventions and make them into something a new generation wants to enjoy and claim as its own. Timeless messages, such as Campbell’s heroic myth, have endured over generations because they speak to the human condition, something that does not change even as the conditions in which it exists does change, sometimes dramatically. It takes artistic vision to perceive those enduring patterns and make them interesting. It also takes hard work. But when it all comes together, it’s a beautiful thing to behold. No wonder we keep going back to classics such as Star Wars.
“The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.” – John Steinbeck