In Defense Of Doing It Right The First Time | mishaburnett

To Misha Burnett:

I may not have given this impression upon our first meeting, however it is true that I am a rather shy person, all things considered. I confess that, for that reason, among others, I have not been following along. With that in mind, I should say that my surmise is that this post may be in response to comments on your second book.

First, let me here state that I found it most brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyable. I have read it once and am now reading it a second time aloud for my dear Mrs. Emeron’s enjoyment. I have given your name to several of my colleagues, directing them quite enthusiastically to buy your books. One gentleman in particular I think will greatly enjoy it; and I will, in particular, hound him when next I see him if I find he has not yet purchased it. I have helped to bring him into the 21st century this last year, so he is already well-versed in these matters and should easily be able to manage the two or three clicks necessary to do so.

As far as go the minor editing mistakes, I believe it is very true that one cannot find them all on ones own. This is a function of the way our brains work. As an author, I know what is–or rather, what should be–there; this being the case, I may not be able to “see” a missing or repeated word. But truly, there are editors who specialise in this kind of work and I hear they are quite affordable.

Although this is not my profession–no, quite the contrary; I deal daily in abstract symbols and concepts–I might have helped with these minor points, had I been one of your so named “beta-readers.” But alas I am far too shy, and therefore reticent to ask for such an honoured position.

Being, as I am, possessed of a neuro-atypical brain I do tend to see small errors others will not see; but on the other hand, I will not see such errors as are seen easily by others as well, so in any case, I would never be able to compete in the editing market as a paid editor even if it were my desire to do so.

I am no stranger to pain at my age, so I do realise how ones mood and condition may colour ones perspective and, as a result, ones comments. Even given that, certainly you are correct: Everyone writes differently; I myself use a variety of techniques whether writing sonnets or fiction. Sometimes, I write in layers and sometimes I outline. Quite often, I do none of these things, preferring to write from start to finish without pausing at all for reflection.

Since you are now a published author, I would not presume to give you advice–nor would I if the case were otherwise, as I have noticed writers invariably give other writers poor advice and would not want to contribute negatively in this way. I will here state just this one thing: Keep writing. Do not stop. No matter what anyone may suggest. Keep writing.

via In Defense Of Doing It Right The First Time | mishaburnett.


The Big Merge…

…seemed to go off without a hitch.  My final step this evening has been to remove all the post from “reflections.”  I did have to modify a few elements.  Some menu items were duplicated, as were all three blogs made to look similar.  It appears that I could very well merge all three into one.  The same effect as before could well be accomplished with one blog and three distinct categories.  I believe I more fully understand the issue of “tags” vs. “categories” and would now have little trouble using both to accomplish this.
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Intro 10: I Do Believe

i  think i enjoy writing this series more than most
more than the subject’s piquancy
i can’t get enough
of viewing
beyond friendship and aesthetics
these two things mixed in a curiously potent way

Joe Haldeman wrote…

…quite a lot of ground-breaking science fiction.   Being of a rather childish sort, I tend to like his more quirky, flashy, more “Haldemanesque” novels.   Mindbridge, and Buying Time come to mind.  His other work, though exemplary, I can take or leave.  Any old writer can crank out plain-jane, dull, boring-looking blocks of prose that look like nothing more than…  well…  boring-looking blocks of prose–indistinguishable, unless read, from any other such blocks.  To write something that looks “really cool,” so to speak… something that, dare I say “knocks your socks off” with its originality, even from a distance, before you read it; yet is not some kind of random junk of the type produced by other “avant-garde” writers attempting simply to confuse–to make the well seem deep, by obscuring its shallow bottom, so to speak… no, to write something such as I describe takes… well, actually… Joe Haldeman.

Anything else about the man, including his less imaginative–and eminently less entertaining–prose, and his strangely (for one so unique) collectivist, and anti-individualist views, holds little interest for me.

I would, of course, prefer that one of the most amazing and interesting such writers, might be a little less crazy; however, I suppose one might say it goes with the territory.  Although not always.  Refreshingly not, I am happy to so state.

Still, if Mr. Haldeman had a blog on wordpress, I’d give him a “follow,” and any number of random “likes” and an occasional comment; because, that’s what we do here.  And in all good faith.   But that…  is about all.   And though at this point he clearly doesn’t need it, he’ll not get another dime from me.

UNLESS…   he writes another of the “awesome, wicked-cool” non-boring works of which he is most capable.   Then I might not be able to help myself.  God forgive me.

Awards are a thing…

…which I eschew.  There are a number of reasons for this; however this post is not directly about these reasons.  What I find myself pondering at the moment is this:  Some awards have cash prizes associated with them.  The Nobel, I believe, has as much as a Million of some kind of dollars, pounds, roubles, yen, or pesos.  How much would have to be in the award, I wonder before my resolve would fail?  My sweetheart says, regarding me, that it would be a lot more than I think it would.

I find such things hard to visualise.  I think of the scenario wherein an armoured car falls over and $100 bills go flying all over the road.  Would I run around stuffing them in my shirt like many others would?   I always thought:  “Yes, I would.”  But at some point, I realised that I would not.  I would, however, watch the scene with morbid fascination.  I am not sure when I realised that she was right about this.  But came as a surprise when I did.

So, perhaps I should believe my wife in such matters.  Come to think of it now, we have both turned down inheritances because there were strings attached.  At the time, I thought nothing of it.  It seemed second nature to refuse such a thing.  (And trust me when I say, that both instances, we most certainly could have used the  money.  Needed it.)  We were not well off–especially not then.

I think I might falter around a million dollars.  But my wife doubts it.  Sometimes, regarding these awards, someone has no choice.  One cannot decline the nomination or the award, one can merely refuse to acknowledge the prise.   I am not at all sure what happens to the cash part of the award if one does not accept it; I am not curious enough to look it up.  In any case, a sonnet writer is not likely to earn such a prise.  And since I probably do not fit the narrative which is desired in the giving of such prises, I doubt very much if I would be a candidate for any such prise, regardless of what kind of art at whatever level of acclaim or notoriety I might earn.  Much like Mr. Borges, to which Christian Mahai refers in one of his posts.

Part 7: (14 lines by clause)

Here you will find the words themselves, presented in freeverse as simply and compactly as possible.  The order of the words is not changed; there is nothing added or removed, but punctuated in order to make it easier to follow the words–something just short of prose, perhaps.   And although the  line lengths appear problematic, it so happens that there are 14 of these lines.

I should state that the words were originally written this way, although you might have suspected that the original form was presented in part 5.  In any case, the words are easily understood now.

Just read the words.  Think about what they mean; perhaps in answer to the original prompt: