Writing Excuses

Over the weekend a friend directed me to the Writing Excuses series of podcasts. This is a series where authors (and writing teachers, from what I’ve gathered so far) talk about the writing process and how to improve it or even get started. I’ve listened to a few random episodes so far and have been enjoying them.

The episode format is pretty simple: about 15 minutes of ad-hoc discussion, a book of the week recommendation (with a note about free trial membership of Audible.com, the sponsor), and a writing prompt or homework assignment. The podcasts are short enough that I’ve been listening to them on my commute to work. They’re also quite good and have planted a bunch of seeds in my head about writing, plotting, etc.

But it’s all pretty pointless if the podcasts don’t actually lead to writing. So, that’s what I’m thinking of doing with this blog, writing up the “homework” assignments as posts. Fingers crossed, here’s hoping we’ll see some more random writing pop up here in the near future. The exercises will be “below the fold”, so to speak, so hopefully it won’t clutter things too much.

But on that note, I’m still trying to decide what this blog is going to be about, so expect to see a bit of churn. Mostly with content, but also with the look. Dunno if I’m really sold on the current theme, but haven’t had the time or the inclination to hack it into something better.

Last call

He sits at the bar. He takes a seat at the edge, the spot where the two sides of the bar’s high top come together, fellow patrons on the left and right.

“What are you having?”

“Got three IPAs, don’t you?”

The bartender looks down at the menu in front of the man. It lists half a dozen, but the man doesn’t seem to be aware of it.

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“What happened then?”

“Then? When then?”

“After your client exited the elevator.”

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“Hey, did I tell you about this girl from Tacoma?”

“No. What were you doing in Tacoma?”


We looked at each-other for a moment, unsure who was more drunk.

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Apocalypse Now 2

Cinerama organized yet another one of their impressive 70mm Film Festivals. This year the films include “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “The Sound of Music”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Interstellar”, “Aliens”, “Patton”. (Full listing is at the previous link.)

Two films that I’ve had a chance to watch were “Apocalypse Now” and “The Master”. The latter is a film about a charismatic founder of a cult and I’ll be puzzling over it for months to come, but seeds planted by “Apocalypse Now” have already borne fruit.

It was something like fifteen years since I’ve seen “Apocalypse Now”, way back in 2000 or so. I didn’t understand it at the time and promptly forgot about the movie. Sure, I’d “seen it”, it’s a classic, who hasn’t? But I couldn’t give you much more than the elevator pitch for the film. Didn’t really pay attention, not to the important stuff.

This time, I actually paid attention.


Marlon Brando as Col. Kurtz

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From the ashes

The old blog was a weight on my shoulders. I realized that it was preventing me from going forward. The person who wrote it was no longer here. Writing under that same name, with that legacy behind me, would be like stepping into someone else’s (online) life.

So instead I decide to take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.