Stop! Stop! Too Ghetto!

DIANE: try some of my super-ghetto margarita
BRIAN: this is tequila with some juice in it

I bought a prickly pear today. Once you take out the seeds and mash the pulp, there is barely anything left, and you get a pasty dry goo that tastes like a pear. Hence the name… Not really worth it.

DIANE: would you like a grape?
BRIAN: they look moldy
DIANE: they are sugar-encrusted
BRIAN: you made Frosted Grapes?

No Plot? No Problem

This book rules!

No Plot? No Problem is a mad dash through the philosophy of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, a “contest” in which the participants write s 50,000 word novel in a single month. It happens every November.

If you finish your novel, no matter what it is like, you are a “winner!” Your prize is a new novel, which you wrote!

Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, writes about the strategies of succeeding at finishing on time, and the importance of the somewhat arbitrary deadline. The second half of the book is a week-by-week guide through the various pitfalls commonly experienced by people that week.

Even though participants in NaNoWriMo benefit immensely from the support of their fellow authors, this book will work even if you start on another month.

Also mentioned: NaNoEdMo, the National Novel Editing Month, which happens every March.


Almost Transparent Blue

Written and set in the mid 1970’s by Ryu Murakami. It follows the hedonistic and very non-glamorous existence of a group of Japanese punk junkies, constantly poor and scraping together the money from selling themselves for sex and parties to get to the next concert or score the next batch of drugs.

Everything has a smell and a texture. Lots of descriptions of mucous, other bodily fluids, rotting food.

A bit like Trainspotting, but Japanese and more 1970s

A bit like Naked Lunch, but more coherent and a lot shorter, and not surreal

A bit like Bright Lights Big City, with much less fun