Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Ying Tong Song - The Goons

now for something insane, silly and very irreverent. What can I say? It's the goons. The masters of silly--before Monty Python even. if you're a dreadfully serious person sitting in your office doing frightfully important things you may not like this. or you might. particularly if you open your doors and put the sound up too loud...

Monday, September 17, 2007

inspiration and plumber's block

"I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." — Peter De Vries, quote in The Writer, June 1994.

Reminds me of something else someone said: that writing is magical but it isn't magic. I love this because it gets rid of the preciousness and the idea that you must feel inspired to write. Writing only requires sitting down in front of the computer (or piece of paper) and showing up. Whether you feel like it, or not.

It also keeps you with a correct perspective — and reminds you you have a job to do — just as a plumber has a job to do. Nine to five. Five days a week. And the best thing about that? Well, as Phillip Pullman points out, no one's ever heard of a thing called plumber's block, have they?

Peter De Vries (1910–93), by the way, was the one who came up with such clever stuff as, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be" and "Deep down, he's shallow," and was, according to Kingsley Amis, "the funniest serious writer to be found on either side of the Atlantic."

"But," Amazon tells me, "De Vries's life and work was informed as much by sorrow as by wit."

His classics are Slouching Towards Kalamazoo and The Blood of the Lamb. First published in 1982 and 1965 respectively.

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