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Jokes About Writing Just because, I want a thread devoted to writing humor. So here it is. And, without apology, in Homeric shamelessness, let me kick it off. Q. Do you know why Shakespeare wrote with a quill and not a pencil? A. He never knew which pencil to use. He even put the dilemma in a play. "2B or not 2B. That is the question..." Michael
Hi, this is a very long post, and it begins by quoting myself at length from a 2011 magazine column I wrote for Alrroya Aleqissadiya -- one of the coolest jobs ever, 30 cents a word and guaranteed ink, published weekly opposite Paul Krugman. He was easy to oppose. Let's turn the time machine back to 2011 and talk about purpose: * * * * * * * * * * Okay, flash forward 6 years. I was never a major contributor to the family bank account. My wife was the earning champion by leagues and ratios best explained with exponents and polynomial expressions. My thing was writing, which paid small sums at best. The Abu Dhabi magazine was fun, but I also had full-time salaried writing gigs, $5600 a month as recently as 2013. It was one of those awful things people do, shave every morning and wear a tie. Zero personal purpose involved, when you take a corporate writing job. I lasted four months. The meaning of purpose is first in my mind these days again, as it was in 2011. Perhaps it's never been far from first. I recently changed the main picture on my Facebook page, a little inventory of my career, most of which was independent and creative. Corporate jobs were short-lived. I had a six-month contract at Crown Communications, but that was an exception granted by a brilliant creative boss. It was a pleasure to work for Marc Wright. Hmm. I was just reminded of directing, which paid well on occasion. There ought to be a law against auteur filmmaking, marshalling others to execute a personal artistic purpose. I was saved from vanity by blundering as a young director. It always made me crazy directing. The intense privilege of being instantly obeyed by a group of capable actors and crew was a little too rich for my equilibrium, being fundamentally shy and easily embarrassed. So I became a writer and feel most natural in isolation. Now then, about purpose (as a writer). After a lot of experience and nearing the end of my useful productive days, I've started a series of short novels, entitled The Case Files of Cable & Blount, with two nice books completed, confident that I can write three or four more with the same characters. Chris and Peachy are ideal people, expressing a settled purpose, which is unchanged. In the "movie of the mind" that good writing can achieve, Chris and Peachy are a collection of beautiful pictures, finally achieving the purpose I spoke about in 2011. Whether I will be empowered to continue writing is up to an agent and a publisher, which Chris and Peachy would simply shrug at. Their beauty is not blemished by quietude or death or the poor opinion of others. They love each other, and they earned the right to love each other for better or worse, in sickness or health. You couldn't pry them apart with a crowbar. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the meaning of heterosexual romantic love. When they met in A Portrait of Valor, romantic love was involuntary and right for all time, an ideal couple, equally courageous and vulnerable, driven into each other's arms by passion for the best that life offers. In a very real sense, Chris and Peachy got lucky, because they found each other in their late 30s, fully formed and tested, single, alive to the wish for true love. I cheated a bit, making Chris heroic and Peachy brilliant, murdering Peachy's billionaire father (the butler did it) so they wouldn't have to scrape the floor for crumbs and splurge on tuna casserole once a week. I am fully acquainted with poverty, and there's no happiness in it. My characters are like Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles, fabulously rich, free to strike heavy blows against an evil opponent in my second book The Tar Pit. It's a fun series to write, whether I get to write another word or not. I'm on strike until an agent steps forward and a publisher opens her checkbook. Chris and Peachy shrug. They don't care whether I write more. Two happier people don't exist in literature. Purpose accomplished.
Fun with Ayn Rand and a Headline Generator I came across an automatic headline generator that the owner calls: Portent's Content Idea Generator If you are in the mood for a fun time-waster, give it a spin. I did. I plugged in the name, Ayn Rand, and got some cool results. I spun the tool a dozen times for this post and the results are below. But I admit. I played with it more than that. How Ayn Rand Made Me a Better Person How Did Ayn Rand Become the Best? Find Out. How to Build an Empire with Ayn Rand What Jezebel Should Write About Ayn Rand How Ayn Rand Killed Kenny Why Ayn Rand is the Key to Hillary 2016 What the World Would Be Like If Ayn Rand Didn't Exist Why Ayn Rand Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins Why Ayn Rand is Hotter than Jennifer Lawrence The Insider's Guide to Ayn Rand Why Ayn Rand is Scarier than Tyra Banks True Facts About Justin Bieber's Love of Ayn Rand Some of those headlines are quite funny. But seriously, they could be good topics for articles, even the lame ones if you tweaked them. For instance, instead of "True Facts About Justin Bieber's Love of Ayn Rand," it could be "True Facts About Paul Ryan's Love of Ayn Rand," or "True Facts About Mark Cuban's Love of Ayn Rand," or, hell, even "True Facts About My Love of Ayn Rand." Also, you could insert a freak-villain from O-Land. That would not just be the obvious freak-villain (do I really need to say the name? ), but could also be a pariah creep like Lonnie Leonard (the sex offender therapist) and others weirdos, i.e., "True Facts About Lonnie Leonard's Love of Ayn Rand" and so on. Change "love" to "hatred," "aversion," "embrace," "sudden adoption" and so on and you get other sets. You can do similar substitutions for the other headlines, including the good ones. Also, any noun can be plugged into this tool, not just Ayn Rand. My evil brain already started thinking of words like "burping" and worse. ("How Burping Made Me a Better Person") If you like Portent's Content Idea Generator, go for it and have fun. And who knows, maybe write something. Michael