March 14th, 2009


Things that rock, part one.

I am safely at Jon and Merav's place in Jersey City, where Jon and Aaron are playing LAN Party with me on the kitchen table, preparatory to my handing them my thumb drive, saying 'I trust you,' and walking away to have quiet hysterics in another room. Hopefully, this means they'll be able to recover my data, and I won't have to cry on the plane.

Also, I have a brand new thumb drive from the Best Buy near where I met Diana for lunch on Wednesday. It is soothingly bright orange, and glows when inserted in the computer. Everything should glow when inserted in the computer. It's like a law or something.

They've discovered nineteen new species in Australia (mostly in Western Australia). These range from a spider-eating wasp to some truly horrific-looking new species of spider, as well as an eyeless crustacean thing and something they call a 'pseudoscorpion' due to its lack of a deadly stinger. This proves once again that Australia is awesome.

My visit to the New Jersey Pine Barrens was totally awesome, although I didn't spot the Jersey Devil. (There's always the possibility that he spotted me...) I also didn't spot any deer ticks, so I'm going to call this trip an overall win.

My mother is picking me up at the airport tomorrow, which should be...interesting, considering that she's never been to SFO before, and never tried to collect anyone from the International Arrivals Terminal of any airport. New experiences are good things for everybody, right? I certainly hope that's right, or there's a possibility that I'm never going to be seen again.

My duties have all been discharged; my visit to New York has gone stunningly well; and now we must rinse.

Thoughts on Writing #25: Bibliophile Heroin.

Hello, and welcome to the twenty-fifth essay in my ongoing series of essays on the art and craft of writing. This particular essay is something of a milestone, because it means that we are now officially halfway through the original set of fifty thoughts on writing. Given that I didn't exactly set out to write a set of fifty essays -- it was an accident, I swear -- the fact that I've finished half of the damn things is a bit unnerving. Anyway, these essays will eventually touch on as many aspects of the art of writing as I can think of, and may occasionally seem to be self-contradictory. Writing is like that.

Here's our thought for the day:

Thoughts on Writing #25: Bibliophile Heroin.

That's a bit of a brick to the head, isn't it? It probably makes a bit more sense in context -- at least I hope it makes a bit more sense in context, or this week's essay is going to be a lot like Seanan Does Hunter S. Thompson. Here's today's expanded topic:

If you're going to be a writer, you'll be a writer, because if you're going to be a writer, you'll write. This is not a glamorous profession. This is not something people do because they want to be rich and famous and sleep with Hollywood stars. This is something people do because, at the end of the day, they can't not do it. People decide to be writers for a lot of reasons. People continue to be writers because they can't figure out how the hell to quit. Writing is bibliophile heroin, and we're all addicts over here.

What I find a bit interesting about today's thought is that it's the first thought where I've actually had someone argue with me. Not in a bad way, just in a way that made me stop and go 'huh.' Paul -- who frequently plays guitar for me, and is one of the most tolerant, reasonable men I know -- said that I don't get to claim that writing isn't a glamorous profession, because everyone thinks of writing as glamorous. The children of writers are second only to the children of firemen and policemen when it comes to looking cool on Career Day. Teenagers dream of growing up to write. Some of us even manage it. We don't get paparazzi and cereal endorsements, but we're seen as glamorous all the same.

That disconnect between vision and reality is a lot of why this thought exists. Ready to ponder? Fantastic. Let's begin.

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