O my little Goths and Visigoths! I write to you tonight with words of Exhortation, Caution, and Lamentations. I shall speak to you with a Metaphor, for you are all writers of a Poetic Turn of Mind.
Writing a significant work of Fiction, I believe, is like summiting a mountain: a Queen of Mountains, like Everest. You climb, and climb, in bitter Snow, fighting your own Exhaustion, following your Sherpas, uncertain whether the Visions you see are real or Hallucinations caused by Oxygen-deprivation, and making critical Decisions when your Vital Forces are at their lowest ebb.
Fear not, I might say, were I . . . → Read More: An Exhortation: Three Agents and the Mountain
People been asking me what kind of biscuits did Ma make. HA HA! All kinds! No one makes them like Ma did, but if you’re a lazy old writer and want to cook instead of write, well, who am I to tell you that’s a dumb idea, and you’ll never make them as good as Ma.
Here ya go, from Ma’s old recipe books, straight from her hand.
Ma Boggins’s Coffee and Cranberry Biscuits
Two glasses of fancy flour
Four little spoons of baking dust
Three little spoons of sugar dust
Half a little spoon of . . . → Read More: Ma Boggins’s Special Biscuits
Boggins here. That’s right, the janitor. Things have been dark around here the last few days. Not literally. The agents are all half-blind mole people and this directorate rivals the sun for light on most days.
No, the darkness here comes from a most unfortunate virus spreading all around these fancy hallways. Everyone is miserable with a sickness to the stomach, and weeping rashes. HEE HEE HEE. From the chickens!
They always laughed at old Boggins, and his raw chicken leg breakfast, every day since I was a little rascal with new teeth in my . . . → Read More: Training Exercise #26: The Chicken Cure
O my little Ant-Eaters!
Today I read this Interview with Miss Elizabeth Gilbert, an Authoress. I was particularly Struck by this Passage wherein she paraphrases Mr. Werner Herzog: “It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist… stop whining and get back to work.”
Upon reading those Words, I leaped from my Bed in the Infirmary. The Surgeons and their beastly Nurses cried for me to Return to their Tender Care, but I could Tarry no Longer. No matter the cost to Myself, no matter the Cost to my Health, it was Time for me to get . . . → Read More: An Exhortation: Stop Whining and Get Back To Work
You lovely, lovely writers!
Your exercise for today is very simple: take the weekend off. Yes, the whole weekend! You’ve worked so hard, accomplished so much: and now it is time to rest.
Since finishing my epic poem about President Polk, I’ve become painfully aware of the need to recuperate and regenerate my creative energies. I naively thought that I could just plunge right in to my next project, but instead I found myself simply playing solitaire today! No matter what I tried, I could not bring myself to start work on my exciting new project.
Finally, I realized I’d forgotten to rest! . . . → Read More: Training Exercise #25: Rejuvenation
O what a glorious, glorious day this is! After hours of feverish effort this afternoon, I’ve completed my epic poem about President James K. Polk! I’m weary and exhilarated and terribly, terribly proud. O, yes, it’s a first draft, and the metre sags in spots, and I might well have glossed over some of my research (or did President Polk really have a pet pterodactyl??), but I can fix all that later. For now, it is enough to rejoice in completion!
My friends, I am not ashamed to tell you that I wept as I wrote the stanzas about President Polk’s death . . . → Read More: Training Exercise #24: Celebration!
Beautiful, beautiful writers! I’ve had the most astonishing week. Let me tell you all about it!
After spending several blissful hours with my Muse and my epic poem about President Polk, I decided to repeat Training Exercise #23 several times, for I am a firm believer in training exercises. I sought out the virile embrace of the Beastmaster, and did my best to improve my skills.
I felt as if I was making terrific progress! Everything was going swimmingly — when the door crashed open. It was Ethelie, and she was Very Unhappy. Oh, bother, just thinking about it makes me Capitalize . . . → Read More: An Exhortation: On Finding Your Voice
Hello again, beauties!
I hope you enjoyed your pie yesterday; I certainly did. I had a delicious slice of chocolate meringue pie, myself, and afterwards, spent almost an hour on my epic poem about President Polk. Wonderful!
As I completed the stanza about President Polk overseeing the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument (such a tragedy, that he never lived to see it thrusting mightily against the sky!), however, my thoughts strayed to the Beastmaster. Though he is himself nearly as bestial as the creatures for whom he cares, should he not also have pie? Indeed he should! So I hurried off to his . . . → Read More: Training Exercise #23: Permission to Be Very Bad
Agent Rocket came to the Directorate today, weeping soulfully. She was having a terrible day, and needed extra motivation. “Those horrid VerbHounds are slavering in their pen! Write, or they will feast upon your flesh,” I said, in accordance with Directorate Directive 2.5.11.
But Agent Rocket only wept harder. I tried all the other Beasts at my disposal, working my way down the Checklist, but to no avail. She just wept and wept (and what a ghastly mess she was, too, with her red eyes and runny nose and tear-spotted frock!), no matter how hard I threatened her.
I sighed. “Perhaps I should . . . → Read More: Training Exercise #22: Have Some Pie
Oh, what a gorgeous job Ethelie has done, getting this site set up for all you angels! Such wonderful, brilliant writers you are, too! I’m just thrilled to be here.
Ethelie is still in the Infirmary, recovering from her “accident” and from laudanum-related “exhaustion.” She has asked me to take the reigns in her absence. (She also requested laudanum! In retrospect, I am not sure it was wise to slip some in to her, but the old dear seemed so happy. Oh, bother!)
But enough about Ethelie! You want to know about me! I’m Lida, international star of stage and screen, performing . . . → Read More: Introducing Lida: A Gentle Exhortation