I really love this beat poet Taylor Mali. He is funny, insightful and stresses the power of education. Check out this little quip about proofreading.


This is a very interesting article on CNN about a WWII vet that kept a journal while a prisoner in Nazi controlled camps. Basically his journal details that crimes against himself and his fellow veterans that Nazis committed and God hopes are punished for. I have to believe that it would be very hard to read that journal without bursting into tears because you can feel the pain that he had to endure. It is so real and vivid in life that one could not help but be overwhelmed by it. That is one of the powers of writing, to move people. It helps us to relate to other people and I know that even if you are the most cold hearted person in the world that something like that will still move you and bring you to tears. There is no person that can stand up against that.

I was looking through a collection of historical prints recently because I need to finally furnish the walls of my apartment, and I love looking at the old World War I and II propaganda posters because they are so blatant. There is no suggestive nature to them, they are “do this!” and “do that!” the theory being that it is war time and we must act as one people to solve the crisis. Maybe at the time of WWII this would have been ok, but the act of not thinking now is dangerous as we seem to fight wars every other year now. Anyways, I don’t want to get too political, I just recommend checking out the posters to see what it used to be like dealing with the war complex.

Army wants you!! print
Army wants you!! by lc_wpa
Browse the posters At zazzle
See more Military Branches Posters
WWII Posters print
WWII Posters by Rainbowrising
Browse other vintage posters At Zazzle.com
Browse other World War II Posters

This is awesome. I love John Cleese. I believe this was written during the Bush era and is for sure worth a re-post even thought it is a few years old.

A Message from John Cleese To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

– You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ize will be replaced by the suffix ise. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up ‘vocabulary.’) Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of -ize.

– You will relearn your original national anthem: ‘God Save the Queen.’ July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

– You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

– All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

– You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

– Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

– You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

– You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

Thank you for your co-operation.

The Arbuckle Syndrome

November 14, 2008

So who do you think is the most depressing cartoon character in the world? I think there is no comparison to John Arbuckle. The man lives at home with a cat and a dog, cannot manage a single date and has issues with communication since he really only interacts with his postman and animals. There is nothing more depressing than the lack of human communication and that is why he must be deep in a pit of despair. When I see the cartoon Garfield (I recommend checking out Garfield Minus Garfield), I just worry that one day Garfield may find John stuffing his head in the oven that he uses to cook so many of those lasagnas for his cat.

Michael Crichton

November 11, 2008

Michael Crichton was a prolific author of many great novels that entertained in the word and even translated well to entertain on the stage. He commonly took many themes from his experience in science and medicine and blended them into intense action packed plots that would delve deeply into the human condition. I really enjoyed reading his works because there was great passion behind the writing for things other than characters and scenery. Michael will be survived by his writing and will be missed, thank you for your work sir.

Obama’s Speech

November 8, 2008

For a man that gave so many inspirational words to millions of people on the campaign trail it seems like it would be hard to top that with his acceptance speech, and Mr. Obama didn’t. Instead of trying to give a speech more like his “Yes We Can,” speech he instead gave a speech more fitting of his new office. His speech was more about unity, bringing the country together behind his presidency under an even tempered measure of politics and law making. That is what was so impressive about what Obama said, he refused to continue to define himself by what others say about him, but instead took on the burden of his new role and became the even tempered president that this country so desperately needs. See below for the two speeches to see what I mean. The yes we can speech is passionate and about change, the acceptance speech is even, tempered and about unity.

Yes We Can

Acceptance Speech

There is just such growth between these two speeches shows the strength that good writing can bring to any orator and his pulpit.

Writing A Great Character

November 5, 2008

For a science fiction author, having strong characters helps to center a story that doesn’t have a lot of reality to go on. When the reader is feeling a bit lost in the world that is mostly fantasy, you need to have strong and interesting characters to make sure that a reader stays grounded and that they are understood. That is why I love this article (http://io9.com/5065556/secrets-of-great-characters-according-to-6-science-fiction-authors) that has some great writing tips on creating compelling characters. My favorite tip is below:

Figure out what they love, and what they fear. Try to find what drives your characters, including what they want and need, Bear urges. And understand what traumatizes them. “I tell people I like to know what they’d want on their tombstone: that seems to give me a really good handle on who they are.”

Great Opening Lines

November 1, 2008

The opening line of a novel is something that sets the tone, pace and mood for the reader. It is a powerful statement that gives direction and purpose to the rest of the book. That is why the hook must be thought about so intensely and for so long that most writers end up writing their opening statements last only when they know the mood and direction they have taken the novel in. If you need example just see below to what Ralph Ellis does with the opening lines in The Invisible Man

“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, everything and anything except me.”

Truly powerful stuff. To see some more great opening line check out this article. Nothing will inspire you to want to read/write/enjoy books more than reading some of these powerful statements.