As a Man, Whatever That Means

Not pictured: half a dozen more accessories or the box of cookies I got on my way to the museum.

I grew up on Power Rangers (and Animorphs — they’re interchangeable for this metaphor). It turns out that prepared me well for dealing with literature writ large. This is a vast oversimplification, but most stories, in order to be appealing but not too challenging, have a handful of simplified characters who, when combined, make up one deeply flawed, realistic personality.

Choose an ensemble cast in any show or movie. Choose one you like. Odds are, you sympathize to different degrees with EVERYONE in that show. You probably have your favorite, you probably have one that you like least, but if…


Ska is usually a comfortable mess, so it’s interesting when it gets sharpened so precisely.

But I’m bad at anything else

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I like Conan the Barbarian. And Sherlock Holmes, and I like the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and I like old science fiction, and I like comic books.

“Trash” literature, in other words. I put that in quotations because I believe (I know) it’s a bullshit descriptor. It isn’t the big L “Literary” community gets to decide which stories are good or important. It’s time decides that.

Like so many of my kind (the woeful breed of writer), I did attend a literature class or two in my time. You may have noticed, if you’ve ever had that mixed blessing, that…


You need wonder no longer what Vikings listen to when they go to the clubs of a Friday night.

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Writing is like Kung Fu: often described by people who wish they did it better.

One of the biggest battles a writer fights is with their own will. What happens, I think, is a conflict between need and weariness. Writing takes a long time, and in spite of my forever need to write, I can see the long, tiring road that starts at my fingertips and inches into the future. The sight of it is a challenge, but it’s so very, very tiring.

I think a lot of us writers like to write about writing because it’s an easy way…

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I’ve figured out why my writing sucks.

I figured it out because of Harlan Ellison and Hunter S. Thompson and the other famous curmudgeons of literature. Not because they were so great. Whether they were or not depends on you, depends on your mood, depends on a lot of things. “Goodness” is subjective.

They displayed a different quality: hutzpah. It’s a point of debate whether a bold approach improves writing. By itself, hutzpah helps very little. Bulling into a new approach, just to be different, works out as often as the gamble it is. Every now and then, someone with…


For those days — and we all have them (be honest) — when you need to feel like you star in your own video game.

or How to Defeat Writer’s Block

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Writer’s block sounds better than, “I just don’t want to!” doesn’t it? Does to me.

I have been writing since I was twelve. I used to envy people whose creative outlets had more tangible tools. A sculptor or a carpenter, or something like that, can tell when they’re doing work. Is the table getting closer to made? That’s how to tell.

For a writer, word count is SUPPOSED to serve the same purpose.

Does it, though? I’m not so sure anymore. On account of notebooks, and talking while walking, and finger painting, and research, and ranting to your loved ones…

Whatever “Always” Means

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I’ll have to get this in quick. I only have about five minutes.

That’s the crux of the matter, really. The idea of between has lost meaning. I’ve taken on the scratchy wool sweater of the writer. It’s the reason I’m always so nervous and overwarm. The shyness might have something to do with it too, but frankly I can’t escape the skin. I decided to be a writer when I was twelve, and that is always there causing guilt about not writing. I’m uncomfortable about everything that isn’t part of the project I’m on.

To a point. I mean…

Or how I came to terms with being, against all odds, competent

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This is a story about confidence.

In brief, I’m going into the business of running workshops to teach people how to write. In particular, to teach business owners how to write for their businesses, with special attention to their marketing.

I’m not making this career move on my own, for two big reasons.

Reason one…

I don’t like giving unsolicited advice, which is why I’m an unsuccessful blogger. Let that be a lesson to all of you aspiring bloggers out there: unsolicited advice is popular, or at least notorious. You want to make it as a blogger? Hand out advice like pollen…

Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore

The best part of being a mime is never having to say I’m sorry.

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