I’m reading Vonnegut’s Palm Sunday. It’s a collection of essays, speeches, letters etc. he’d written by that point in his career. It came out in 1980 or 1981. I don’t pay much attention anymore to when a book came out. I don’t care. If it’s good, it’ll be good. If it sucks, it sucks. Publication dates don’t mean much. I once heard Tarantino say that the first weekend of a movie’s release has jackshit to do with the eventual mark that movie will make. I can see that. All this mojo online about getting your book out, finding out the latest trends blah, blah, blah.

Kurt Vonnegut means a lot to me for two reasons. When my Dad left in 1980 or so a few odds & ends from his life remained in his wake. Army stuff, a few pictures and this one book Mom always claimed belonged to him. It was Cat’s Cradle. I use Italics instead of the Strunk & White demanded underline because I don’t know how to underline things on this blog site.
I’m not computer illiterate, just computer apathetic.

So, one of the few material items left of my joyous, nuclear family years was a book by a chronically depressed chain-smoking atheistic socialist with a degree in chemistry and a penchant for odd characters in ghastly situation.

I read the book once when I was in high school and couldn’t understand a damn thing I read. Ice-9? WTF? But I kept it around. Years later I reread it once I had met Craig Schwartz and began to understand that books could actually be interesting, not just homework assignments or pop fiction summaries of the latest movie. Then I loved it. I still love Kurt Vonnegut’s writing.

The other reason is because he is a “literary illiterate” like me. I’ve never made a systemic study of literature, nor do I read much modern pop lit. I sort of float through the used book stores and thrift shops of my area looking for a snazzy cover or an author who wrote a blurb for Vonnegut, Thompson, Robbins, Irving, or Miller. Then I open it up. If it has pictures I buy it instantly. If not, I’ll brood about it like a bull studying a virgin fighter. Henry Miller said Write Honestly, even if poorly and to flush the Classics. So be it.
When I find a book I love, like Cat’s Cradle, I read it. Then later I’ll check out some “Wikipedia” type page that discusses the story. Usually, the shit I got out of the book isn’t even listed as a freaking theme? Something in the water does not compute, does not compute?

My point was to try to answer a question someone asked me on a different blog about writer’s block.
I don’t believe in it. Period. Whenever I run low on the writing mojo I don’t blame some mythical psychological block developed only for the lost-ass bastards who write for public consumption. Nope. I blame ME for not writing. Writer’s block is a fancy-schmancy term for Fear and Laziness. I get scared that what I think is a good idea will suck to someone else. So I don’t write it. Everyone cares what others think. Anyone tells you different is either a lying rat turd or a teenager. The other reason is laziness. It is easier to think of a plot, think of a character etc. than it is to sit down and write it out. Simple as that.
So what do I do when I don’t feel like writing or can’t write?
I write.
Then delete.
Then I write.
Then delete.
Then I write, again.

Writing is like bungy jumping: the ride down is great, as long as you come back up. Let the city burn while you type, damn the torpedoes, smack the cat, beat your meat, smell your coffee, drink your wine, love your kids, cuss your car, whatever it takes to get your ass back in the driver’s seat of your writing ambitions. Don’t worry if you aren’t making the “symbolic literary statement of your time”.
Writing every day will make you feel more like a writer. The more like a writer you feel, the more you will want to write.

One of the deceptions of our current athletics/academics industrial complex is that Action follows Motivation. It doesn’t. Action does not follow Motivation. Motivation follows Action. I don’t get all these writing prompts people use. They are fun little distractions but for me, there’s more to be discovered by sitting quietly, alone, watching the leaves sway in the breeze. Just WRITE. The words will come out when you start writing.

Until then, you’re just playing with a cat’s cradle.

beep.

It’s America. We don’t spell Football F-U-T-B-O-L. I know the whole world loves the sport. If the whole world jumped off a damn cliff would you join in? A guy asked me the other day, “You watching the World Cup?” Um, dude. I wear 300+ pounds and drink Irish Whiskey out of a Bears cup…you think I’m watching Pedro and M’butu kick a ball around while the fans beat the hell out of each other?

beep.

They are taking some of the spilled oil and recycling it into refined oil for commercial use. Does this make it a recycled product and therefore environmentally sound?

beep.

Never quit.

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