Nothing To It

There’s nothing to it. You just start writing. Type out or scribble down a few words, a phrase, an image. Set a timer. Write for an hour. See how many words you can get written in that time. Look them over. Throw them away. Forget all of it. Start again. Train your brain to work for an hour. Add fifteen minutes to that hour. Try 90 minutes, two hours. Just keep building on that. Don’t stop writing. Keep going. Tell yourself that every second of the time you’re working: “No one is ever going to read this.” And see how […] Read More

The Really Good Stuff

Catch everything out of the air into the net of your mind. Place every word in the correct order, arrange the dots and stripes of your perfect sentiment. Write all the beautiful phrases. Polish them, gaze at them in wonder. Congratulate yourself on your amazing powers of creation. Know there is nothing wasted. Marvel at the sureness of your footing. When you’re sure you’ve never written anything more perfect, trash it. Get rid of it. Make it leave. Don’t tell it goodbye, don’t linger in the doorway after you send it all away. Then grab your net and start gathering […] Read More

The Book You Want to Read

“Write the book you want to read.” Is that good advice? I’m not sure. When I think about it, I know it makes sense, but as soon as I concede that, I suddenly lose my idea of what I want to read. It just flies out of my head, like all the books I knew I wanted to look for once I step inside a bookstore, or the way album titles used to leave me when I finally made it to Camelot Music in the Middletown Mall throughout the 80s. What are the books I have loved most in the […] Read More

Not a Review: Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood

Usually when I use the words “Not a Review” in a post title, the post is about a movie I have actually seen. If this post is a review of anything, it’s a review of Mr. Barlow’s blog post about the movie Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, a movie I have not seen yet but most likely will see now that I’ve read Mr. Barlow’s blog post about it. (I feel I owe this blog post to him since I’m pretty sure he wrote a post about the film simply because I asked him to, He didn’t half-ass it, either, the […] Read More

Music for Smalls Lighthouse: Ear Treasure

A terrible thing—maybe the worst thing ever—happened to my creative life last week, but I didn’t start feeling the repercussions of it until Sunday morning. As far as writing routines go I have nothing ironclad that I would share on social media with any amount of smugness. It’s nearly always a crapshoot when I sit down at my desk. For years I stood by my assertion that silence maintained the best vibe for my writing sessions. My reasoning changed over the years: “Listening to music distracts me from achieving creative flow” gradually turned into “Writing distracts me too much from […] Read More

Full disclosure?

I’ve noticed that (usually) when people lean toward you and say in a low voice, “Full disclosure…” they never tell you anything interesting, or anything that you didn’t already either know or at least guess about them. I used the parenthetical offset with the word “usually” because every once in a while someone’s full disclosure is really, really full of shocking items that I would never have guessed and don’t even want to know about. I’m here to say: never fear this with me. If I say to you, “Full disclosure,” you won’t give a flying fuck about anything I […] Read More

No Insurance Against Happy Accidents

The day almost ended without my posting on The Blog. And let me tell you, it was not because I’ve been sitting around eating chocolate truffles, watching college football, and reading movie magazines. No. I’ve been up since 6:30 working on building my publishing/media empire. Adding pages to my website. Creating more promotional materials for all the books and stories I’ve written throughout my adulthood that I cannot even give away at this juncture. I really don’t know why I keep flogging this dead fish. Please stop asking me. Anyway. Last evening I was watching some animated shorts based on […] Read More

The Bloomsbury Memories Post

It’s a long story that doesn’t bear repeating here on my blog, but I dug out an old, OOOLLLLD piece of writing last week because I think I finally found the perfect person to share it with. So I took this collection of paper pages and retyped the whole thing into a Word document. As I explained to the person who might appreciate it more than anyone else in my past or current life, this piece of writing is so old that I sent it to the New Yorker magazine via snail mail and received my rejection via snail mail […] Read More

Like a Little Girl

Remember that time I got to meet Senator Robert Byrd (before he went off the deep end into senility and helped put Alito on the Supreme Court) at the dedication of that jail in Gilmer County, WV? And remember when Senator John D. Rockefeller IV sought me out in a reporters’ line-up so he could tell me that he liked an article I had written in the local paper about a broadband project spearheaded by some super-geeks at Carnegie Mellon University? Neither one of those things was as exciting as logging in to my Twitter account and seeing that @jackpendarvis […] Read More