» Increasing Size & Complexity
Have you noticed? by the way, how my entries have been growing?
Both coming in 2013. Can't say I sense any slowing.
It feels, I must say, completely organic .. the growth .. in that I would prefer to say-n-exit what I need to say. But if nobody is saying what needs to be said .. then wtf?
(Which is why I am not prepared right now .. to discuss increasing psychological depth.)
These rudimentary metrics, I understand, are beyond the simple word-count of the Twentieth century novelist, but they help me compare where I was with where I seem to be heading.
Tho never size for size's sake. I mean, I could easily turn an entry like » Gatsby into a 10-page entry, if number of pages were the goal.
[ It is another discussion, entirely .. but with good hyperlink skillz, and effective use of graphics, a 21-st century writer can now convey the essential wisdom of an entire novel .. in just a chapter or two. ]
The hyperlink is the thing that makes HTML (running on the Web) such a powerful technology, as you know. And don't forget abut the inclusion of graphics, audio, and multi-media. Mui powerful.
Later, when it comes time to edit and prune dead weight, the graphics also help me to find more quickly the passage I am looking for. My graphics do not always correspond precisely to the topic at hand. Tho they are normally in the ball park. So they are still a good (quick) gross homing beacon.
So when I sit down to edit these large entries .. to try to squeeze out everything but the delicious juicy grandeur .. I need to have open at least 8 pages. The back-end for each four, and also the front-end. Others, sure. But those 8 are the starting point.
<Ignore this Intentional Moveable Type text spacer>
••• today's entry continues here below •••
And the focus of attention required by these larger entries .. reminds me of the intellectual gymnastics I recall from Calculus .. that feeling of finely tuned mental strength .. a Porsche for your mind ..
.. which comes from using your brain to a high degree .. for a period of months (2 semester's worth).
That feeling like you can explode rocks with your mind .. by focusing your attention.
Consequently, I think that I am now more hesitant to begin new entries.
Last year was the first with no entry for a single calendar-month, July 2012. Now we have two for this year.) I normally try to write at least one entry per month (.. so the site doesnt look neglected).
Some of my other large, multipage entries are » Geeks vs Gov (May 2012) = 100-KB + 800-KB (HTML + gfx). Righteousness » 70 + 700. Hitchcock (my first multipage entry) » 70 + 500. Newtown » 50 + 750. Tears » 35 + 350.
Gatsby is a big single page entry that weighs in at 35 + 450. The SYSTEM = 30 + 350. Those should probably both be split up. In a perfect world, all my entries would weight less than 250 total. 150 would be even better.
I get all my analytics from » here. These numbers therefore represent » compressed« data (seeing I have enabled gzip HTML compression). For example, right now this home page = 107-KB uncompressed, which comes in at 35 compressed. That sounds about right. 3-to-1 compression ratio for text.
So you could safely triple the HTML-text numbers posted above. The graphics is already encoded (generously) with jpeg and png, so those (gfx) do NOT compress very much more with gzip. I am pretty sure that the gzip encoder / compression is also applied to the graphics (to everything the server sends), but not 100% positive.
Basically, that would mean my biggest entries come in around 350-KB HTML/text (unc) and 1500-KB for graphics. Roughly speaking.
Google's analytics are so effective that, if I fart, an ad pops up for an air freshner.
This match clearly was meant-to-be. I mean, how can they NOT? .. be attracted to each other.
I'm sure they both feel as tho (with only the best of intentions) that this was a match made-in-heaven.
But any Geek can see how the system is begging to be exploited (.. by unsavory fucks). Such a beautiful system. [ I have a complementary story to accompany this statement, but no time to tell right now. ]
.. my web hosting provider suddenly announced that they needed to move my site/account to another server.
Sometimes when I talk to the support guys there, I throw in a question like » "Do you guys still have me on the NSA server?"
That gives them a good chuckle. }
The HTML number-value includes things such as link address, so they factor in (.. as they should for comparative purposes).
Size comes down to time. Time and passion. These guys who spent YEARS on the same book, the same story, the same subject .. you gotta really LOVE that.
What happens if you get halfway thru (a year or so later)? .. and say/decide » "This story sucks." Oops. What a commitment.
» Courage to Discuss the Unspeakable
But I must say that my own intuitive sense of things here .. does indeed find congruence with both Ernest and Sophy ..
.. that this thing, if it is even addressed at all, must be addressed carefully and respectfully.
The first problem I see .. is that it can sound like so much nonsense. Notice Hemingway's chatter about butterflies and hawk's wings.
"Say what, Ernest? What are you talking about, man? Speak english, please. Hanging around all those Frenchmen must have done something to you. What are you trying to say, dude?"
Then there is also the thing .. beyond Sophy's "one-on-one" thing .. where the writer could sound pretentious. I try to avoid this pitfall by imagining a » one on one. Using the hushed tones of intimacy.
» Curious Childhood Chutzpah
Speaking of which .. there was a time .. I don't remember how old I was. Maybe 3rd grade .. certainly no more than 4th.
And we were going somewhere, but I had a little time before we were leaving. So I pulled out one of those big Time-Life books that mom subscribed to. A book on birds. And I opened it to the first page.
And I read the first paragraph, which was very short. Only 4 or 5 sentences. And it felt like something in me automatically started to rearrange the words .. to see if there was a better way .. to say the same thing.
For 5 or 10 minutes. This was ALL that I did. I read no other paragraphs, tho I did appreciate the photos.
At the end of which I concluded that this paragraph was written as good as possible. =)
And after I shut the book and mom called, I had the thought .. that it seemed like a strange thing ..
.. for a boy so young .. to critique the writer of this text (.. in a way) ..
.. who almost certainly had gone to college .. and likely majored in something that involved word-crafting. A professional writer, most obviously he was.
But there was a 'knowing' that came with that experience .. that I have this 'asset' (to use a good capitalistic word). And once in a while I even find people who concur with my childhood intuition.
It felt like I had a 'strength' in that area. I have ALWAYS felt that way .. ever since that day. Like there was nobody in the entire world that could tell me jack-shit about writing. [ « That is not the best way to say it, but you catch my drift. ]
» Writing is the Process of Creating Something Out of Nothing
But actually here, when I said » writing, I really meant » editing, which is surprisingly different from writing (creating, imagination).
After that playful insinuation in the sixth grade (.. which I am going to tell you about next) .. nobody has accused me of plagiarism.
Sure, they have accused me of many things .. much worse. But never of copying another writer.
Because I could see back there in the sixth grade, that <paraphrase>
"Dude, you are going to have to write stuff that no one else is writing.
That is the only way you can keep them from accusing you of copying another writer."
In other words (talking to my myself) » "You're gonna have to get off the porch .. and you're gonna have to find shit that nobody else is finding."
And people who like things to look a certain way .. they don't much fancy the notion when everything is not in it's 'proper' place.
So I could see back-then, in sixth grade, that I would need to write about things that nobody else did. A degree of originality lends special consideration to an argument, no?
If you say "thus-n-so" .. and thus-n-so happens .. then you neednt much further validation. No?
Particularly if your 'thus-n-so' involves lightning-bolts and swarms-of-locusts.
.. before we get to see who was most accurate .. and who was most eerily accurate.
» It Will Take You 50 Years to Understand
» "Dudes! It will take you 50 years to figure out what I'm saying."
And sure 'nuf, come 1880, Stendhal's writings experienced a resurgence of interest.
If you ask me, that prophetic declaration alone earns Stendhal entrée into the writer's Book of Ages.
Today you will find Stendhal's title listed there as one of the 100 Best Books of All Time .. In Any Language. (Ever.)
How can that be?
And the average writer can probably do without the ass whuppings. (Feel me?) So they are not reluctant to lower the bar. To where I have set my bar. My gold standard.
» The Connection
And that is » connecting with an audience in such a way that they ALL feel like what you have written has been written JUST FOR THEM. Even tho they know it's not (.. not written just for them).
So it seems that a 'personalizer' comes along with the words. And they speak to you in such a personal way .. that you feel like this book/story/song/poem was written just for you.
There seems to be a mystical element at work here, no? Tho shared experiences between author and reader can definitely help enhance the connection.
.. of Joan Baez saying about Dylan and his art (songs) something like »
» Not everybody 'got' Dylan. But for those people who DID .. [ Okay. Here is the exact quote, tho I am unable to locate the video: ]
"There are no veils, curtains, doors, walls, anything, between what pours out of Bob's hand onto the page and what is somehow available to the core of people who are believers in him. Some people would say, you know, 'not interested,' but if you're interested, he goes way, way deep."
In other words, for those people who 'got' Dylan (like me) .. he spoke to you on a very intimate level. Like he was speaking directly to your heart ..
.. thoughts and ideas and feelings that you always had, but that had never occurred to your consciousness .. until he said it.
Does that not seem like he is alienated from his creative source?
» Hammer and Chisel Time, Combing Out the Knots
That outlines my feel for WRITING .. while EDITING is working with something that has already been created .. until it looks the way you want it to look. Until it says (precisely) what you want it to say .. in the just the way that you want to say it.
[ I am having a déjà vu right now .. regarding those last two sentences. So I hope I have not already said this before. =) ]
.. my inner critic would be saying » "So what? You think you're hotshit cuz you found base camp?
You think you're the first Swinging Dick to find it? Cuz you're not.
You're not even number one thousand. So sleep tight tonight. Because we leave at daybreak."
The inner critic makes for a marvelous contrast with my inner writer. Yin and yang. Perfect, complete opposites.
"Go fuck yourself."
"No, please .. you first. I insist." ]
My dad got up at 4:30 every Sunday morning (hours before daybreak) for 4 years .. and took me around in his pick-up truck ..
When we were teenagers, dad would take all the neighborhood kids to the scary movies at the local theater.
They loved that. Couldnt get enough of it. Afterwards » pizza at Luigi's.
I told my friends after arriving here » "You know those days that were so nice that we would skip school?
.. because you might not get another day like that for months? Every day here is like that." ]
Mom told me that she married my dad, "Because he was smart." And smart he was. He had the genes mom wanted.
Not so much educated, as intelligent. Mom was the big reader. The library queen.
Even today, I am not sure I understand how such a young boy can use his rudimentary editing skills to challenge those of a trained professional .. but back then I definitely couldnt understand it.
Yet there you have it. It is what it is. An organic experience. I wasnt trying to prove anything to anybody. Nobody even knew .. until today.
» "Where did you get this?"
And as I grew, I began to experiment with this 'thing'. Such as with my 6th grade book report, which I did on The Godfather, by Mario Puzo ..
.. a book which rather shocked this sixth grader (.. such as the guy waking to find a bloody horse head in his bed).
I remember working especially hard on the first, introductory paragraph .. to make it say exactly what I wanted to say.
It took a surprisingly long time .. for such a little paragraph. But I was determined. Almost possessed.
I redoubled my efforts when I felt frustrated. That initial paragraph seemed to resist my efforts. I KNEW that I could kick its ass (.. eventually) .. but it became clear that my 'gift' was no magic wand.
It took work. Real work. Somewhat exhausting work. Much more effort than I wanted to dedicate to that book report. But that was the first time I ever saw the gift in action.
On due day, our English teacher (Ms. D, who had previously been a nun, but had since returned to secular life) read a selection of these book reports in class .. seated up at her desk.
This was actually cool, cuz she was very Italian .. and she pronounced the name of the Godfather » Corleone .. like a real Italian. She 'rolled' the r and used four syllables instead of the three I had used myself » cor-lee-OWN vs cor-lay-OH-nay.
» Horse Head in the Bed
And she did this cool thing with the R rolling into the L. Sounded very authentic, if you ask me. Her way sounded much more like he really would put a horse's head in your bed .. on the pillow beside you.
[ Speaking of horse heads, here is a restaurant for you to check out if you find yourself in Lancaster, PA. Not easy to find, because it's off an alley. A local girl took me there once. Very cool find. "Where are you taking me? Down this dark alley."
Puzo's novel covers multiple generations. It messed with my mind when he went BACK in time. Back to the future .. which filled in all the missing parts .. that you didnt even know were missing.
Up until that point I did not know you could do that. I thought all writing had to be chronological. Puzo was a rule-breaker who made time-travel look easy.
Very cool .. especially for a 6th grader. I learned that I like it when a talented guide takes me to places that I didnt even know existed.
That little insight forms a significant portion of my writing direction .. cuz I say, "I have been to places myself that I didnt even know existed." ]
But everything was done anonymously with our teacher reading these book reports. I liked that nobody knew who wrote the report she was reading .. until, that is, she got to mine.
She read the first paragraph I had written. Then, without any hesitation, she looked up over her glasses .. right at me (sitting way in the back) and said, "Where did you get this?" Her eyes locked on me like laser beams.
The thing was .. it really did sound like a professionally-written paragraph .. especially with the cool ethnic accent she thru in for good measure.
For a moment, while she was reading, it sounded as if someone else had written it .. and I thought, "That's good. Very good."
Her query was definitely a backhanded compliment, but I still felt funny .. for some reason. Curiously shy about it. Exposed, even.
Notice how I polished/combed/perfected the first paragraph only. I still maintain that technique to this day.
That first paragraph was so exhausting (at the time) and time-consuming .. that I could/would never write the whole report like that.
These days I normally 'make-smooth' and easy-to-read the first 25 to 33 percent .. depending on the novelty of the topic. After that, "You're on your own, dawg." I figure they know what they (readers) are getting into.
» The Effervescent Dogbrother Welcome
He is a vegetarian, so I stock up on noodles & such.
Because once a man feels at home he can .. get down to business.
In other words, I try to roll out the red carpet for my readers .. without making a fuss. I definitely get off the porch far more in the second half of an entry.
As an example, I have gone back and re-read the the first page of Hitchcock .. and find that very well written. An oil-slicked slope. It is sometimes a trip .. to go back and read old stuff. Seems like some other dude wrote it. But that's another story.
» Biggest Compliment » "Revelatory"
The girl who commented on my writing, had worked as a writer herself for a decade. Nothing major, but paid to write and only write. She told me that she had read "about twenty" of my entries/posts (personal, not technical) ..
.. (and yes, I did feel somewhat naked when she said this) .. she looked me in the eye and said (regarding the more 'revelatory' entries) » "I could never do that."
.. especially when he lived here in Hollywood (.. mere walking distance from the famous sign).
In other words » he bares his soul .. so bravely .. that (for me) it is truly awe-inspiring.
[ The girl who said the word 'revelatory' also asked me to will my notebooks to her. ]
.. I mean, before you can even *think* about being honest with another human being .. you first have to be honest with yourself.
I have since discussed with the Dog the 'revelatory' comment made by the girl .. and yes, he knows what she is talking about, and the Dog's comment was that ..
.. he had come to point where he needed to come to grips with himself .. or he was a dead man .. he was at a point where he thought he would die .. if he couldnt resolve things which needed resolving for him to live/survive.
[ I knew the Dog back when. Many of my best stories involve the Dog.
Like the time his florescent-white Irish ass fell asleep in the hot Hawaiian sun .. for four hours ..
.. in August, when 30 minutes had singed me, after we returned from a few months at sea (on a submarine).
For many years he had a scar of a hand-print on his belly. A party favor. "Dog, show her the hand-print."
"I still get checked for skin cancer every six months," he said recently.
In the Navy, if you get sunburnt so badly that you can't do your job, they charge you with something like "abusing government property" ..
.. so he did his job. Which is another story entirely. Dont get me started. ]
Which I found interesting. Because I can certainly see for myself, how sometimes, there are things which you simply WILL NOT DO .. unless you HAVE TO. Unless death is the only other option.
.. where it is surprisingly dark, even in broad daylight. Heavy curtains. Painted windows. Vampires love it.
Later we would check out the House of Blues .. with a cool, backdoor entrance. Yeah, the one there on Sunset.
"This is my friend," the Dog says to the doorman, without stopping (without even breaking stride). "He's from Connecticut."
» A Nod of Respect Comes From Being With the Dog
I got a dabble of eye contact and a respectful nod as we passed.
Before it got too loud (which it did, quickly), and while I was wondering how the Dog knew that guy .. he called out over his shoulder, "He's from Yonkers."
"Three East Coast boys chillin' out West," I thought to myself.
.. and perhaps I could have saved him some political pain-n-suffering. But some people need to learn things the hard way, it seems. ]
"I come here a lot," the Dog added, scoping the House in scan mode.
"I like getting in the back door like this," I said, as the volume came up to levels loud enough to let me know that they took their music seriously at the House of Blues. Only meaningful comments were worth the shouting.
The Dog sometimes asks me questions about the ship we were both on ..
.. a submarine, nuclear powered, you know .. the "boat," we called it ..
"Port and starboard," he once said, ".. which side is associated with odd numbers and which side is associated with even?"
Other times we would just hang out and smoke cigars with graduate Film school students at the USC School of Cinema. (The Dog got his Masters from USC, so he knows the campus. Heck, he knows the whole city.)
I'm talking about » TEN YEARS after we had lived together in Hawaii, downtown Waikiki .. with the sound of traffic all around, not unlike your typical big city, especially since the windows there were always open.
Where the two strippers lived above us (.. on Ala Wai blvd). Sandi & Bambi. They invited us to see their show .. at the Chinese Cultural Center, downtown Honolulu.
Surprisingly nice place. We had complimentary front-row seats. One of the other girls (..who didnt live in our building) even pulled the Dog up on stage .. to assist her in one of her acts. The Dog definitely has potential in the Performing Arts. =)
He dated one of the strippers for a month or two.
He had obviously become a most impressive man (.. during his time at Columbia) ..
.. who had been thru the shit and came out a remarkable human being.
.. cuz it seems that they both are familiar with the mind set » "I am going to get this thing if it kills me." ..
I am proud of the Dog because I knew where he has been, and from whence he came. And how he had been (mis)treated.
So as you can see, I was both humbled and inspired .. by this girl's comment. (Dostoevsky also does that to/for me .. tho echo'ing from another century, so not as strongly as the Dog does for me here-n-now, today.)
And this is why .. when the girl in the coffee shop (.. a former professional writer) said the word » 'revelatory' .. and said to me, "I could never do that" .. I thought to myself » "I know what you mean." =)
And yes, that's a compliment.
I called the Dog soon as I got home.
"Dawg, you'll never believe what this girl just said to me."
.. because yes, sometimes I do indeed feel prophetic.
Now yes, there *are* things .. that I have faced in as much honesty as I can muster .. but which are too intimate to share here. I could share them with the Dog. I could even share them with this girl .. but not here. Perhaps in the future. But not now.
But you have to transcend it .. before you can even consider discussing it.
And in order to transcend .. you have to GO THERE ..
.. and stare the beast in the eye. And say, "You aint shit, no more." (Touch it.)
Even if it means you get clawed (zapped).
Yes, I am waxing abstract, but it goes with the territory. If you do not know what I am talking about, then you are most fortunate.
I've always admired people who have the courage to get to know themselves .. even if it means finding out ugly stuff about themselves.
» Is it Me? (Soul-Bearing)
Along the lines of the Dog bearing his soul in such a remarkable (and encouraging) way .. I have sometimes wondered » "Is it me?"
Because it is not just the Dog. There was also the guy in the jail cell ..
.. who was telling me extraordinarily candid (from the heart) things.
And after thinking about this .. I suspect that people can sense (intuitively) when you come without prejudice or judgment ..
.. and especially when you come with compassion.
So that they naturally feel that they are safe to share .. and that they will be heard by receptive soul ..
.. and in a way, they are sharing something ______ with you. (You fill in the blank.)
I have discussed this topic with those who know me well, and they say » "It's » you. It's *definitely* you."
If it is really me .. then I feel that it (a gift?) has something to do with » compassion.
Yes. (They help you keep your head above water.) Is there an easier way to get compassion?
» Editing is Drudgery for Gertrude Stein
The beginning I use Dreamweaver to work (create initial structure). That is much easier to use than the (relatively clunky) web back-end for Moveable Type. That's why I stay with Dreamweaver long as I can .. specially makes dropping in a hyperlink very easy.
[ My inner editor-critic, for example, thinks the end of that last sentence sounds like so much nonsense. But it's true, so I left it in. ]
So, most of a large, 4-page entry is done in the clunky browser .. where you have to want it more.
» Frank Language vs Euphemistic Misunderstanding
Even the blunt language is a way to ward off the unaware .. as my way of saying, "We will be speaking rather frankly here, so you might not want to continue reading. Might not be the nepenthe you were looking for."
That is not the primary reason why I employ what most people call 'profanity'. But that it is certainly one of them.
I know people who simply do not trust people who do not know how to use the f-word correctly (.. other than their grandmother, of course).
Think » "I use the Google to pull up maps." You might not be able to put your finger on it .. but there is something there that gives you pause.
» "I'm gonna kick your ass"
After that day, when our sixth grade, ex-nun English teacher read aloud a selection of our book reports ..
.. one of the girls in our class became very friendly towards me. She was dating a guy in another class (.. tho you dont call it 'dating' in sixth grade) .. a big dude, who suddenly wanted to kick my ass .. for an assortment of fabricated reasons .. but everybody knew the real reason why.
I did eventually have to throw fists in anger .. to defend myself .. but that's another story (.. about chunks of flesh torn off of my bleeding knuckles). He was big, yes, but he could not fight worth a shit.
Years later we laughed about it and became decent friends and he agreed that I smote his ass. =)
So perhaps you can see how the message that I came away from this experience was » if you use that writing thing to its full, people will want to kick your ass. Big people. They will make up bullshit excuses .. to kick your ass.
» Very Clev-vah English Composition at F&M
Downright fascinating. I shit you not. English Composition 101. Scintillating shit. How can that be?
The professor, that's how. He had even written his own book for the course, tho we did not use it very much.
And at the end of the class, the prof kept all of us waiting out in the hall for the final class meeting, to give us our grades ..
.. and one person would come out and say, "He wants to see ____ next." But I was never called .. until the very end. (I shoulda brought a book along. No, my last name does not begin with Z.)
I was the last one, and he says, "I gave you an A. You're a very clever writer. I want you in my intermediate-level composition class next semester." He said the word clever like a Bostonian » clev-vah. With a soft r.
» Wittgenstein, Money & a Professor's Young Son
He also mentioned the themes I had explored in some of my weekly essays .. and how they made him think of what Wittgenstein had said [who?] and how that related to some interesting things that his young son had recently said.
I was actually touched that he would share with me something as personal as treasures his young son had said. Because this was an older man .. who wore those cool professorial sport jackets .. the ones with the suede patches sewn over the elbows.
Back then I was more interested in the money than learning cool shit. Waay more. I was only taking classes because my brother was a dang surgeon (.. if you need an operation, I can get you a good deal) .. and I had to do something about sibling academic rivalry.
That was right before I left to go up to New York .. to work at the Indian Point nuclear plant. "I ran out of money," I told the professor. "I gotta go to work in New York."
I had saved up enough money to take off one semester from work .. but no more. (You cannot imagine how much I enjoyed my time during that semester. Heaven. Bliss. Nirvana. Paradise.)
» The Lady at Zinc Cafe (Laguna Beach)
This lady worked up in Los Angeles, reading scripts for potential production. But before that, she read novels. So she knew her shit.
The Film school girl asked her to read some of my stuff. At the time, I had ~50 pages to give her, which would equal ~100 book pages.
[ They do have great food at Zinc. Tho I also like Anastasia's for weekend brunch with a sweet-tooth. ]
She first gave me her qualifications, then said, regarding my manuscript, "I know a lot of people who work very hard at this. They would kill to have what you have. And you make it look easy."
She also pointed out some non sequiturs that I hadnt noticed, which I promptly corrected. This was all great news, of course, but this kind of stuff / environment makes me uncomfortable, so I won't even discuss it.
I really didnt want to go. Wendy said, "Dude, you can't let this lady take time out of her busy schedule to read your stuff .. and then not meet with her."
"You're right," I said. "I'll sit down with her. Tell me where & when."
» The Self-Transcendent Quest to Boldly Go Beyond
But here's my point, my take-away [ as you can likely see already ] » I have always known I could write .. since grade school. I dont need anybody to tell me I can write. I dont need anybody to stroke my ego (.. not in that area, anyway).
It is actually counterproductive, to a degree .. because, then I don't try as hard. I dont reach as far. I dont dig as deep. I wouldnt even consider going for broke. (Like those who think their shit stinketh not.) But when you got nothing to lose...
Why crash the gates of hell .. if you don't have to?
Notice how the VERY FIRST thing that the Spirit-of-God did [ after "descending like a dove" ] .. was to » lead Jesus where? To a luxury 5-star resort located on the Mediterranean coast?
No. Rather » into the wilderness. For what? To get a massage? No.
Rather » to be "tempted of/by the devil." Does that sound like fun to you? I didnt think so.
.. than say, a 40-day cruise of the Mediterranean, or even the Baltic. No?
» Internal / Hidden Architecture Made More Plain
"The cohesion of the structure does not lie in the PLOT or in the relations (the meetings) of the characters. It is an INTERNAL cohesion. Look well and you will find it."
No, I am not saying that today's entry compares with Anna Karenina (.. acclaimed by many as the greatest novel written .. in any language, ever). I am merely playing with technique. Experimenting .. and observing the outcome.
Hopefully, by the time you get to the end, you will have a sense of the internal hidden architecture I have attempted to build into today's entry.
My hope is that my internal/hidden structure will jump out at you .. or perhaps even come to you later .. and you will say, like my English professor "Very clever."
» The Girl in the Lobby of the Hotel Laguna
There are other memorable examples of readers complimenting my work that I might cite ..
.. such as the girl who read my manuscript, sitting on the couch there in the lobby of the historic Hotel Laguna.
[ I used to have regulars, who would read my work regularly. (For critical feedback.) But then I started wanting to get fresh eyeballs .. to look at my work.
I especially looked for people who were well-read, and she was well-read.
But sometimes they want more .. than just to read your stuff.
You know, if someone is going to take a few hours .. to focus for you .. you are pretty much at their mercy. No?
"You can only meet when? Where?"
That's why guy-readers can be sometimes be advantageous. Sometimes, after a long time, I would call the regulars again, and they would say thing like ..
.. "I didnt think you could make this section any better. But I can see you have."
We had walked there to the Hotel Laguna from the coffee shop across the street .. after it closed (her idea).
It was nearly 1 AM when she finally finished. (No, I did not expect her to read the whole freaking thing.) Tho I will admit she was a fast reader.
Hate to see the end approaching. The last few chapters, I suck extra slowly. Extra hard.
Is it not a very cool thing .. that we can read the EXACT words that an author writes .. even after he is dead ..
Does this not seem an almost intimate thing? Can you not totally get a sense of their very soul?
The technical stuff is a slog, especially the brand-new concepts. And it feels like you are learning so much (cool stuff) ..
.. but then you look at the back of the book and see that there is soo much more to learn. That can be a bit daunting. I admire those who can dive in head first.
My Navy nuclear training taught me that » you cant touch jack-shit 'til you know wtf you're doing.
I could tell she enjoyed it. It was clear. Tho I probably shouldnt say how I knew. But it was clear.
But I dont feel comfortable sharing any more of these experiences right now. (My ego is saying, "Oh dude, come on, just 10 more.")
» Lagunatic Culture Shock
It was the opposite end of my cultural spectrum. They did not trust me, at first, cuz I wasnt hugging trees with them.
Laguna is an old artists' community. I thought them weird and strange when I first arrived. So weird that I found them (and the things they say) highly entertaining.
I would go to parties and meet people who were into the craziest shit you've ever heard of. But little by little they win you over. "Here, try this kombucha. There. Now don't you feel better already?"
Me at a Laguna party » "So .. you're sleeping with magnets in your mattress .. the one stashed behind the couch, right? Tell me more. Sounds interesting. How many magnets? How powerful are these magnets?"
» Did She Mean to Pour that Warm Sesame Oil Down the Crack of My Butt?
.. all the way down my spine .. and even into the crack of my butt. Dude, I knew then that I was in trouble.
I remember the question passing thru my mind » "uh, did she intend to do that? .. or did she mis-pour and go a little too far?"
What are you gonna say? "Umm, excuse me, miss. But did you intend .. to pour that warm oil down the crack of my butt? Because I am pretty sure that is not a sensation I've had before."
And she says, "I'm just getting started. You will be experiencing many such sensations .. and a few I know you'll enjoy."
They really are very nice people .. tho few artists can still afford the rent. I lived in Laguna Beach for 10 years .. in a number of different places .. all with juicy stories that I may tell someday. But not today.
[ Heck, I've already taken you to the Hotel Laguna .. at midnight, no less. How scandalous do you want me to get? ]
I will say, however .. that Julie's mom, far as I can recall, is the only person that ever came right and said » "You are a writer!" (unquote)
Yes, the professor at F&M with the oval suede patches said I was a clever writer, but, to my mind, that is different from an enthusiastic » "You are a writer."
» The Twenty-First Century Underground Man
As an Underground Man living in the 21st century ..
.. to explore an array of topics ..
.. and search-out the truth in these important issues ..
.. by exploring both sides of a story .. no matter how ugly each side might seem.
But this is probably all I am comfortable discussing right now ..
.. about things we probably shouldnt be discussing in the first place, seeing that the rest of these stories wax juicy, and some exceedingly so.
So let's shift gears and I will discuss something I find far more difficult.
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