Someone asked what the very first draft of my writing looks like. Glad you ask. Not yet sure if the scene is set in an alleyway, motorboat, empty room, or third stone from sun. Whether it involves guns, karma, or poison. Not sure it matters.
The big bad book is finished. Oh there may be errors and emendations... with 180,000 words (750 pages) in play, there will never not be a missing ellipse or misturned font somewhere or another. But to me, le tome est finis. And yeah, after creation comes the letdown. I've got a beautiful case of the blues.
Resigned to twiddling my thumbs for a month or three, until the over stabled, off-and-on (yet always respected) agent arrives at the thriller opus, I took it upon myself to create a couple maps to guide the intrepid reader along... to go with the A Beautiful Case of the Blues (ABCOB) artwork tattoo artist 2Peng and I created during stormswept Boracay closure (pandemic training wheels?) way back in 2018.
Being somewhat over-exuberantly enthused about the text––taking inspiration from the lengthy serialists of yore, from Tolstoy to Dickens––I recently submitted the book to the online magazine Narrative, which has a prominent place for serialized longform fiction. They require such a thing, so a short summary of ABCOB was created, to wit:
"A throwback, a way forward. This book, 15 years in the making, draws together two distinct plot lines that converge around seemingly unrelated events––a love hotel murder and the kidnapping of an English teacher in Japan. Set vividly in 2007, at the cusp of the iPhone era, the multifaceted plot brings an aging detective on the verge of retirement together with a detective who is just starting on the force and facing brisk institutional headwinds.
Add to this brew a high class Latvian hostess, an American English teacher, a biochemistry researcher, the band Modal Pilaf, Bar Same Same, Club Peach, and a dozen vividly recurring characters. Set them on a Roppongi-centered course that combines elements of LeCarre, Chandler, Hammett, Doyle, Christie, Nesbo, Steinbeck, Tolstoy, and Kerouac. Give them wings to fly toward an ending that threatens the spread of a viral infection that could cause war between Japan and North Korea. Is it too vague? Purposefully so. The plot is logical, forwardly propulsive, relevant to our times, and includes enough breadcrumbs for amateur sleuths to get a kick out of trying to solve."
Whatever the merits of the summary and the book, it beats trying to ascertain whether someone is a Trump or Biden supporter, based on the contents of their refrigerator. It also helps fend off any sense of nerve-rattling loss of self control in these sanity-shredding moments before some kind of politiwhirl sea change.
To read further of A Beautiful Case of the Blues and its genesis, visit this article, in which "an upcoming novel set in Japan is announced and explained." Next up, The Annotated ABCOB." First tackled will be title provenance and whether A Beautiful Case of the Blues qualifies as an original turn of phrase.
If you listen closely to this fabric composition, you can hear where I came up with the phrase “a beautiful case of the blues” ad-lib in the studio, way back in 2018. A title that stuck in my head until it took over the manuscript formerly known as Arisugawa Park.
In which an upcoming novel set in Japan is announced and explained. Presented here the author’s note for a manuscript I am currently readying for (re)submission to agent and either trad. or self publishing.
A Beautiful Case of the Blues (ABCOB) has been ongoing, whether on high blast or extremely low heat, since 2005. The cultural landscape has changed quite a bit during that time. For that reason, a few notes seem in order.
I began the novel while residing in a Tokyo “gaijin house” much like the one described in ABCOB. This followed on the heels of four years teaching in suburban Chiba, where action also takes place. Starting off under the provisional title “The Bomb” and then “The Disappearance of Darren Loewe” and then “Testcut,” the book morphed into recognizable shape as “Arisugawa Park” when I moved back to the States.
From the start, I was after well developed characters whose stories would be fleshed out in ways that extended beyond the main plot. A specific impetus was Japanese film sensibilities, as well as popular series of the time such as 24 and the Dan Brown thrillers. While enjoying the premises of the latter, I thought there was something really formulaic and lacking––fast food narratives without a real payoff. So I aimed for depth, while staying within a genre that I have always enjoyed when it gets to the Le Carre level.
The international thriller angle took shape through the experience of earning an MA at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and completing an internship in Washington DC with the International Trade Commission. I learned enough about how superstructure systems work to write realistically about them. I left that milieu just in the nick of time, preventing a stilted and quant-heavy style of writing from infecting my fiction. Still, I had years of unlearning to do.
In terms of character development, I have made every effort to create characters who, while conforming to certain aspects of suspense and mystery genre conventions, are uniquely their own. One alone, or several in tandem, could hold up a sequel.
I have also worked to make each scene relevant within a complex, linearly unfolding, narrative that contains several puzzle elements. I rarely find a thriller or whodunnit these days that does not disappoint in the confusing, tacked-on explanations of what occurred at the end.
Because the thrust of ABCOB is not explicitly whodunnit, the pieces may fit together in a way that the reader is not expecting and thus have a more powerful cumulative effect at denouement.
While major elements of ABCOB are completely fictitious (there is no TMAT), my hope is that the reader has a sense that every element of the narrative could have unfolded in the way that it did. As far as the setting goes, I am seeking to create a vivid sense of place that those who have visited or lived in Japan will readily recognize. I want the reader to leave understanding the social and geopolitical complexities of the region a little better.
The narrative is set in 2007, which reflects the era in which the bulk of the first half was initially written. One thing that has surprised me in going back and revising the manuscript, about six years after it was last passed on by publishers, and 15 years after its inception, is how relevant many of the themes are to recent geopolitical developments.
While I was initially thinking of updating the action to 2020, I came to the conclusion that there is value in exploring that brief moment in time, just before the advent of the iPhone, when smart devices existed but had not warped our ability to process information. When you could not simply deep fake everything to death or use drones and cameras to recognize everyone everywhere. When social media and the need for 140-character solutions had not yet carved out major real estate in the public dialogue. Before pop consciousness was completely invaded by beats.
That said, the novel, as written, could not exist in any year but 2020. Stylistically, the passively structured, Japanese-influenced elements of the original manuscript have been combined with a contemporary, active, punctuated prose. (Thanks social media!) This may lend the work a multi-layered originality that I am proud to call my own.
I have also changed, but not completely altered, the nature of the main threat in the narrative from botulin toxin to reflect a heightened public awareness of biologics, coronavirus, and pandemic. This is a learning opportunity for me as well––why write if not to gain new insights?
One other aspect of ABCOB is important to me. Throughout the narrative, I am seeking to avoid the often gratuitous elements of violence and predation that we find in many contemporary narratives––even those that nominally stand against such actions. I am more interested in subtle, naturally unfolding, interplays between characters and events. That said, this book is no cozy––there are gritty elements at play and I beg the forbearance of the sensitive reader in certain sections.
With cultural appropriation a byword in today’s public-facing landscape, I can only say that I taught English in Japan for five years and many of the impressions presented are those which the country left on me. Characters in the book are of both sexes and of a variety of ages and ethnicities. Of course, being human, I am only one person. We have committees and AI algorithms of the future to write fluent, well-crafted books that encompass a totality and do not in any way engage or offend.
If you listen closely to this fabric composition, you can hear where I came up with the phrase "a beautiful case of the blues" ad-lib in the studio, way back in 2018. A title that stuck in my head until it took over the manuscript formerly known as Arisugawa Park.
This side of fabric is served up strictly for the those who have a love/hate relation with beach towns. It’s an ode to the kind of place that can be a source of incredible creation and heartless destruction. Recognizable or not, influences include 60s garage rock, Ike and Tina Turner, Sublime, Pixies, Jimi, Santa Cruz, and a 77 Nation fabric….
Swim Out came about around 2016 over a three chord jam with flute at the old Lokal bar in Bulabog. I confess I forget the guy on acoustic’s name, he worked at back beach. A couple years passed and I realized this was one of the songs that stayed with me, so we recorded it in May, 2019, with Ian Joseph and Sharif Haddadin at Strawberry Jams.
This was several months after a season of seclusion with storm, waves, and destruction during Boracay closure. It was directly after a couple months chasing waves and no longer daring to venture in the deep in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
I think it was both of these capable musicians’ first times to hear the song. Soul Diver was something that came to me in Vancouver in late 2018, waiting for the rains… it’s got a Bob Marley influence, though I’m not sure anyone would pick up on that.
The gravy is Maria’s first-take backing vocals, Novel’s keyboard, and the bass and 1960 Gibson lines I added at Room Eleven in Cebu, April, 2020.
The end result I hope is something that takes listeners to a watery place.
This side of Avocado Sun is served up strictly for those who enjoy 1970s dub reggae, say Lee "Scratch" Perry or Augustus Pablo.
Organic roots, the twist being no drum machines, just jamming with Jahpoy at the helm (on chopsticks, I think it was), Nils on drums and me on bongos. Add some foundational Kaloy del Puerto bass on the second song “Up From Bottom" and some spicy Novel Ruiz keyboard licks and the brew is complete. Oh yes and an exuberant singer I stumbled across, Maria, on vocals.
I Walk the Beach
Up From the Bottom
Kaloy + Nils' Ball of Wax
The original tracks were recorded in September, 2018, at Strawberry Jams. This came just after experiencing five months of Boracay closure. Basically a me, myself, and I story (see the Chasing Sun video) that proved a pretty good dress rehearsal for epic pandemic.. Imagine you are walking the length of an empty, stormy beach that has been stripped of people. Every day…
In April, 2020, I added some guitar ('60 Gibson, hello) and bass, plus Maria's vocals and Novel's keys at Room Eleven in Cebu. This century's 4:20 dub delivered at a time (silver linings syndrome) when it is truly necessary for the ecosystem to refresh.
As much as this is a true tragedy, meltdown expected, the earth has gained a little healing time while we figure out how to reset the system away from fossil fuels, overwhelming pollution, and speculative habitat destruction. Let’s make Earth Day our birthday (see Don’t You Leave Me, Wonder Woman).
As with the other Avocado Sun sides, served up with toast, the polished initial track peters out into the rough stuff. Bear with it. The fly-on-the-wall outtakes are always the most interesting, wise man say.
For fabric sleuths, I leave it to you to find the song in this earlier playlist that relates to the composition at hand:
Don't You Leave Me (Wonder Woman) was created impromptu at the midnight tail of a marathon September, 2018, Strawberry Jams session in Quezon City that generated the Avocado Sun side "All Fall Down.”
It was the first session I can remember where everything came together and we were were truly in a flow where everyone was firing on all cylinders.
Herding cats, the usual experience when working with musicians who are asked to extend beyond the norm, gave way to each musician actively working to come up with interesting sounds on the spot. I think it had to do with Ian and Nils having been with me on two previous sessions in close succession, working with musicians who didn’t quite get it.
My work in arranging sessions often about being a disruptor, to generate something new. But this time the other musicians were ahead of the curve. It was also a moment of flux, personally and politically.
One session member was facing his own personal identity crisis, which only became clear afterward. I had personally spent five months on Boracay during closure, which was a pretty good dress rehearsal for a pandemic lockdown. Minus the unifying health mission of fighting a disease.
As for the music? With Ian Joseph leading the charge on guitar and Nils Sens on drums, songs go from solidly executed to pretty rough in a matter of minutes. That is the nature of ad lib material and what some would see as a detriment I see as a strength.
I don’t get bored listening to Dylan, Marley, Hendrix, or a number of jazz musicians 50 years later because of that off-the-cuff, lightning in a bottle quality. If you get the zeitgeist right, a lot of technical failings are forgiven. Wonder Woman has a lot of soul and something of early Motown at its roots, if I was to categorize.
Most important to me, the lyrics are extemporaneous, part of the fabric concept when the vibe is right. Some would say anyone can do that. But I don’t understand myself how I came up with a narrative on the spot that has a beginning and an end, within what seems to me very good musical construct.
All I can say is that when you immerse in something in the moment, and the other musicians choose to join you, there is often the possibility of magic occurring.
There was one set piece of lyric I worked with within the first song:
the improvise of all nations.
Meditations, don't need no medications
sun salutations and all that jazz.
Ball of wax we live on,
ball of wax we given,
and if we give a heart attack
to the earth it's not forgiven.
The Uptown song takes a kernel from Jim Morrison and probably transforms it into something original enough to be considered new. Considering that’s how the Lizard King transmuted the blues on the original, and the noncommercial nature of fabric, I’ll claim authorship. Those who want to debate can listen to The Changeling, or better yet the Aquarius rehearsals, and decide for themselves.
As part of a quick return to the studio (at Room Eleven in Cebu) in March, 2020, before COVID-19 lockdown, I added bass and guitar parts, as well as a couple first take backing vocals from a local amateur singer.
Working with a 1960 Gibson the studio was particularly revelatory and if you hear that old blues guitar sound in the tracks, that’s what holding a piece of history in your hands does.
Incidentally, a rough, no-dub version of Don’t You Leave Me and Uptown are already up on YouTube. The initial sections of the All Fall Down sessions are currently being reimagined and will be released in a month or two as an Avocado Sun side, on toast.
With this side, I recommend starting with Avocado Sun (Side A) Coronavirus Admire Us. The music flows in a concept direction, keeping in mind that its a 45 minute investment in fabric sounds.
The nearness of nature to us all, despite the distance we try to put.
The planting of human superstructure in virgin soil with not one moment of consideration of the underlying ecosystem that has nurtured humans over a millennium. You cannot sterile nature out. When animal hosts for viruses and creepy crawlies at microbial levels disappear, when the easy routes to propagation disappear through ecosystem loss or mass slaughter, they will find a way to survive. Attach to a new host, say the dominant large mammal on the planet.
Wreak havoc with populations, civilizations, until a new stasis is found. That is the imperative of whatever balance has to sort itself out. Until antiquated things like centers do not hold and whole new planets must be found to infect.
Corpus habitus, de puncta contactus.
I was in Guimaras a few years back, on the isolated side. Walking the beach, very few signs of civilization in sight, a few fishing boats and huts. A couple resorts of the rustic variety and beach homes created by those with the wheels and means. Examining the exposed rocks volcanic rocks at low tide, full of intricate jags and edges, I noticed the imprints of mussels. Every single mussel had been pried off available rocks. There was not one mussel left and this was far from a city. Nature’s larder stripped bare is one sign that a symbiotic relationship has been lost. It is a short step from constant need and hunger to cities that grow seemingly without plan, ecosystems lost in a blip.
I can only imagine remote caves in the mountains where people find communities of bats to disrupt and destroy as more money percolates to the hands of those who can afford exotics for their supposed health benefits. What was reserved for truly dire situations, a relative with a serious illness, becomes a daily preventative. Bats in the soup… a relic of Great Leap Forward privations, now a symbol of status in the daily hot pot diner of life.
Cebu, Philippines 3/15/20
I believe that Covid 19 is a wake up call that we cannot build a shared global order on the tenets of unsustainable exploitation of resources and a trade carrot that will lead to exponentially greater resource stresses (biodiversity depletion, carbon footprint, yada yada). A pause to look around and consider whether the system of incentives built into the current system is the right one.
A couple weeks after the recording session, a premier of the first installment of the interrupted, yet unexpurgated, fabric - Avocado Sun sessions. An album three years in the making--relevant enough to our socially distanced hiatus from biz as usual that, unlike Lady Gaga, it will not be withheld.
Coronavirus Admire Us -
Recorded in a single hour, one layer on top off another (think looping, but in a studio, one track at a time) Coronavirus Admire Us combines my work on wood flute, percussion, '60 Gibson, and bass, with keyboard maestro and medical frontliner Novel Ruiz' wizardry on a Roland (you can find his work on earlier fabric songs such as Something Ain't Right) The song runs east to west, and back again, and explores threads of transmission, failure, hope, breath, and denial. If anyone thinks the the title is flippant, it's more an homage to the old Thelonious Monk song titles. Plus, think about the meaning... a virus is not a foreign object, it is a mirror.
We Too -
Knowing that studio Room Eleven was closing up shop for quarantine, I wanted to get at least a rough version of this little tune that had been running in my head the last six months down. The result is a very first take We Too, in which Novel Ruiz capably takes three unique patterns and stitches them together. Although I hope to rerecord this proper, it is always interesting to have that fly-on-the-wall glimpse at the original process of creation.
There are five other "sides" of Avocado Sun to be served up on a nice piece of burnt toast over the next couple months, as bandwidth allows. They basically follow the same pattern of starting with a fairly well worked out song and ending with an interesting original WIP that could use some more progress.
Incidentally, the recording method used for Coronavirus Admire Us is similar to the first ever fabric studio composition, way back in 2015, when (fresh from Malasimbo epiphany) I played a few flutes at Alchemy, testing out the mikes, and created Lost Upward - the first track on Chasing Sun. After my mother commented that the song was too dense, I went back and brought sounds in and out and had my first crash course in arranging. Now that approach is pretty much second nature. For example CAU involved one hour in the studio and about 12 of arranging and EQ work on LogicPro.
Listening back to Chasing Sun (below) I think what wonderful times, before the dark clouds of fake news and proto-fascism came snaking around and enchained us to our differences.
Rusted out license plate meet jaw harp from the mountains of Mindanao. Weathered metal meet weathered wood. Make a sound. A death rattle or maybe the only kind of life that can persist in scarce times.
The face blacked out. The coconut cap on the honky tonk piano. Music without much ego intruding. Could it be you?
100 years. Still locked in an embrace with magic/faulty logic. Still can't finish this book.
Taintradio meet Fabric. Appreciating the sheer diversity of jazz, I could never get behind the mask. There is no mask with real music. Only instinct not to piggyback on the livelihood and territory of others.
Boracay closuredriftwood meet Vancouver candy skulls. Melting from from mere exposure to air, cold Pacific blast.
[1/20 - As readers of Endurancewriter may have noticed, I am going through the blog backwards and revising all the old pieces before posting any new stuff. I may never get to the new stuff. In the annals of awkward endings that would take the cake, except it doesn’t matter. It never did matter. One sentence is important as the other, in any given moment of time. Particularly meaningful, as time may soon cease to exist for humans.
Global warming matters. 8.6 million pieces of micro plastic in every cubit foot of ocean water matters. The loss of hedges as a place for ecosystems to thrive in the European margin matters. The way opportunists have fracked the American West matters. The far worse situation in every other continent matters. There, I said it. Important, in this moment in time.
This piece is one I have had particular reluctance to edit because it seems to convey a confidence that what I am doing as a writer is right and should be rewarded. Maybe in my heart I believe my stuff is unique and worthy, but the marketplace has not backed that up. What is a marketplace? I think I can say that in this society, it involves rewards going to the wrong people most of the time. Most are now aware enough of how the algorithm and flattened attention span works not to dismiss this as mere Sad Sackism. Evolutionary wrong foot, race to the bottom.
I have scaled my own personal mountain, created some stuff I am proud of and feel may last. The feeling of personal accomplishment is pretty solid. I have even thought out a strategy of ensuring that any money generated goes toward a system that trumps those have expedited global warming, sown hate (and yeah, incidentally, rejected my stuff). The –– of the world, noteworthy not only for their stupidity but their minions. Denial is a hell of a drug.
Another reason why re-editing is challenging: toning down all the ego-driven statements (admitted, there were a few in the above) and burnishing the decent prose to a satisfying glow is a major chore. Yet there is some good kindling here, can’t just throw it all away.…]
In his recent article in The Stranger (February, 2015) Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One, Seattle City of Literature executive director Ryan Boudinot speaks about what makes some writers shine and others not so much. As a creative writer on the cusp [of obscurity] I have a few thoughts on his provocatively titled piece.
Boudinot begins by asserting “writers are born with talent.” I am not so sure––at some level, certainly, the brain chemistry must be there to grasp sounds and murmured intimations from mother and other influencers. However, I am a firm believer that talent isn’t innate––personal evolution as we grow is too complex, talent fixed at birth too static a construct to encompass the sheer malleability of existence.
Talent seems to me related to how much thought and effort is put into any endeavor. [This is different from “practice makes perfect” dictum––mindful no-practice can be the best training, moreover, it clears the palate.]
Maybe talent has to do with whether the palette of vocabulary and experience at hand is sufficient to convincingly capture flitting thoughts. There is an element of play to good writing, of catching oneself off guard––once a certain competency has been reached, the reins should be lax and ego never appear unless beckoned. [How does one beckon ego, which at best is barely controlled? Let stories appear in dreams and dreams appear on the page.]
Boudinot opines “if you didn't decide to take writing seriously by the time you were a teenager, you're probably not going to make it”*
This statement seems both true and obvious. The necessity of even mentioning an early love for literature as prerequisite for being a decent writer probably has to do with the phenomenon of Baby Boomers (with more time on their hands than talent) entering the creative writing/MFA sphere in droves. [This may stand as an early “OK Boomer” moment, ironic considering that Generation, Inc., now considers me fully in that greybeard category]
Familiarity with the constructs of classic literature is a given among writers worth reading, with well-worn tropes constantly deconstructed. Miles Davis knew the bop canon inside and out before he created modal jazz. Having pioneered the latter form, he was in a nice position to deconstruct further and work toward fusion. [Then cocaine happened. Sad end of many good musicians in the 1970s.]
“If you aren't a serious reader, don't expect anyone to read what you write.” Amen to that, with reservations. I think a lengthy period of serious reading is best followed by a lifetime of reading purely for fun. [Make it seem so fun that no one will pay you.]
These days I have a nearly perfectly random approach to reading and take months to finish most books. I digest a little each day, mulling as I go. If “taking literature seriously” is a no brainer, akin to holding your breath as you jump off the deep end, not taking literature seriously is equally as important. Catching myself off-guard is the only way I know of growing. [Addendum: I will flip through nearly any book but to get me past the first few pages takes considerable authorial skill.]
Example: I just read Dashiell Hammett’s Maltese Falcon for the first time. It really blew me away––pitch perfect descriptions of San Francisco, perhaps the first truly unreliable narrator (Sam Spade) and the debut of the femme fatale. I’m now winding my way through Louis de Berniere’s The War For Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts. Pure Marquezian fable, written at a time when magical realism was all the rage. I find myself intrigued by the idea of how a story could be effectively crafted from a dog’s perspective, so will probably read Jack London’s Call of the Wild next. I am really looking forward to perusing William H. Prescott’s The History of the Conquest of Mexico, a 19th century text about Cortez and Montezuma that details tragedies and social occurrences in the places I may or may not visit along the Yucatan peninsula. The common thread linking these books is that they came to me by chance, at hostels in San Francisco, Miami Beach, and Playa del Carmen.
[Never did get to London or what turned out to be a really dry history book. But I did discover Tulum and fabric flute along the way.]
Boudinot’s greatest scorn is reserved for those MFA students who complain about not having enough time to read. He suggests that they should “do us both a favor and drop out.” I am so far out of the MFA loop that I have nothing to say about this. I do know that I was not accepted into the UC Santa Cruz creative writing program during my tender college years and wear this as a badge of pride. Even then, I realized that the best route toward really having something worthwhile to say involved experiencing life first hand. And it worked––I think I am in, by the skin of my teeth, at age 40. Young for a first-time novelist, even. If I had spent a lifetime coaching writers I considered inferior, I would probably have much the same view as Boudinot––a sheen of bitterness, an instinct to bite the hand that feeds you. [Bitter butter, better butter, buttery toffee tip top––what this slop?]
Boudinot goes on to assert “No one cares about your problems if you're a shitty writer.” This is a truism if I have ever heard one. A shitty writer by definition produces unloved writing. Other than its snarky tone, the thing I object to most in this is the implication that putting personal issues on the page and being a "shitty writer" are intrinsically linked. Admittedly, many pick up the pen as a form of therapy, but Boudinot crosses the line in saying “just because you were abused as a child does not make your inability to stick with the same verb tense for more than two sentences any more bearable. In fact, having to slog through 500 pages of your error-riddled student memoir makes me wish you had suffered more.” [I really can’t believe this line. Why am I even writing about a wanker like Boudinot?]
Yet there is an element of truth to Boudinot's contorted and offensive attempt at humor. Self-effacement and restraint get you far. In Arisugawa Park [now A Beautiful Case of the Blues], I have woven composite fabric from hundreds, probably thousands, of people I have known. I’ve got 99 problems and my own are not among them––on the page at least.
Turning to the emergent Kindle/e-book/self-publishing sphere, Boudinot asserts “You don't need my help to get published.” He talks with apparent glee about the New York publishing industry sliding into cultural irrelevance. Yet, as one online commenter astutely points out, Boudinot has apparently achieved low Amazon sales of his own (highly reviewed) volumes. Having done my homework, I will say that I do think that the literary agent is not outmoded and agree with the late PD James, who said in a 2013 BBC interview: “It is much easier now to produce a manuscript with all the modern technology. It is probably a greater advantage now, more than ever before, to have an agent between you and the publisher.” [Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the agentless, penniless, wonder of the literary world. High on his mountaintop….]
I return to wholehearted agreement with Boudinot in his final assertion that “It's important to woodshed.” His point is so well constructed that I take the liberty of quoting the entire last paragraph:
"We've been trained to turn to our phones to inform our followers of our somewhat witty observations. I think the instant validation of our apps is an enemy to producing the kind of writing that takes years to complete. That's why I advise anyone serious about writing books to spend at least a few years keeping it secret. If you're able to continue writing while embracing the assumption that no one will ever read your work, it will reward you in ways you never imagined.”
This relates to my concept of writing as an unglamorous, hidden, long-slog activity, which I have gone so far as to enshrine as a motivating principal of the EnduranceWriter blog. Now, back to the hard work of creating words and sentences composed of exactly 26 letters. [I think that was a veiled reference to the presumptive heavyweight Twitter novel of the world, Testcut.]
Viva la tortuga.
Note - visit old version of this article with original photos.