Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Three months! You must have done something in that time. No? Oh well.

MHaha. I'm a blogging cliche, it seems. I think the key to this is not to attempt enormously long pieces every time. Writing being my livelihood (stop chuckling at the back), it can be hard to muster up enthusiasm for something that may never yield tangible returns.

But everyone loves link posts. Don't they?

So, here are two things that have great relevance to what I'm doing at the moment in my spare time (seriously, stop laughing).

'One time a guy handed me a picture of himself and he said. “Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.” Every picture of you is when you were younger.'

- Mitch Hedberg

(A good friend put me on to that late comic genius some time ago. Please go and watch this now).

Michael Chabon wrote a great piece recently for the New York Review of Books. I'm not sure about the legalities of pasting whole articles, so here's the link

And here's a taster:

Most great stories of adventure, from The Hobbit to Seven Pillars of Wisdom, come furnished with a map. That's because every story of adventure is in part the story of a landscape, of the interrelationship between human beings (or Hobbits, as the case may be) and topography. Every adventure story is conceivable only with reference to the particular set of geographical features that in each case sets the course, literally, of the tale. But I think there is another, deeper reason for the reliable presence of maps in the pages, or on the endpapers, of an adventure story, whether that story is imaginatively or factually true. We have this idea of armchair traveling, of the reader who seeks in the pages of a ripping yarn or a memoir of polar exploration the kind of heroism and danger, in unknown, half-legendary lands, that he or she could never hope to find in life.

This is a mistaken notion, in my view. People read stories of adventure—and write them—because they have themselves been adventurers. Childhood is, or has been, or ought to be, the great original adventure, a tale of privation, courage, constant vigilance, danger, and sometimes calamity. For the most part the young adventurer sets forth equipped only with the fragmentary map—marked here there be tygers and mean kid with air rifle—that he or she has been able to construct out of a patchwork of personal misfortune, bedtime reading, and the accumulated local lore of the neighborhood children.

My understanding is that it's part of a larger nonfiction work, out in October. If you enjoyed it, I'd recommend, ooh, everything he's ever written. But maybe Maps And Legends is a good place to start. (Actually start wherever you like. Stand up for yourself, why don't you)

And finally, I have not been unaware of the trend for images in blog posts. Never shall it be said that this writer is loath to dive into this new fad. Observe:

(thank you, As She Was)

Finally finally. A nice bit of scabrous political comedy never hurt anyone. Click the picture to order your copy. Feel free to order me one and all:

Right. That's enough to be getting on with. Maybe I'll keep this up for a while. In which case, there'll have to be a post detailing how awful Wes Anderson's adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox looks (and sounds). But not right now. I'm still too upset.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a freelance writer/journalist/researcher/editor. I write about education and ideas I've had for the Irish Times. I also research, write and edit for writers, publications and websites. Here I put things that tend not to fit anywhere else. Enjoy.

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