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Posts tagged: writing

Irony, Art and Writing

Irony, Art and Writing

At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and…

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Dearest Students,

This is my own composition notebook homework assignment in progress. Professor Chewbacca reflects on the crayon experience. I’ve inked it and now I’m coloring it in

I like to figure out problems in my composition notebook using drawing and slow writing and non-photo blue pencil to help me with certain problems that defy being approached head on. I’ve found there is something to moving ones hand in a certain way — like a coloring way— while filling in a space and half thinking and half not-thinking about this something you are trying to figure out that invites possible answers to present themselves..


Professor Chewbacca

Always, Lynda Barry.

The trouble with Twitter isn’t that it’s full of inanity and self-promoting jerks. The trouble is that it’s a solution to a problem that shouldn’t be solved. Eighty percent of the battle of writing involves keeping yourself in that cave: waiting out the loneliness and opacity and emptiness and frustration and bad sentences and dead ends and despair until the damn thing resolves into words. That kind of patience, a steady turning away from everything but the mind and the topic at hand, can only be accomplished by cultivating the habit of attention and a tolerance for solitude.
How Twitter Hijacked My Mind – fantastic meditation by New York Magazine book critic Kathryn Schulz; bonus points for the Bukowski reference.  (via explore-blog)
At The Gutter: Strong Female Character


Comics Editor Carol shares why the phrase “strong female character” bothers her a bit and then shares some of her favorite female characters.

A little while ago, a friend told me that I was a “strong woman.” It was a compliment and I took it as one. Part of me knows what he means, that I keep trying, that I pick myself up as best I can after things go to hell, that I try to keep moving. But part of me chafes at it, because I hear “strong female character” so much when people are talking about stories, whether comics, fiction, film, games or tv.  And it’s starting to become a meaningless sound to me.

At The Gutter: It Stared Out Being A Book That Obeyed The Laws Of Physics: An Interview With Samit Basu


Guest Star Beth Watkins interviews Samit Basu about his new book, Turbulence: writing, superheroes, Not Explaining India and villain lairs:

Author Samit Basu’s first American release, Turbulence, is the story of a few regular people who arrive in Delhi on a flight from London…with superpowers. Talk about baggage. Not just the standard flying, invisible, very very fast kinds of superpowers, either: each one of them gets what they most want in life. Basu doesn’t bother with the unlucky folks who wound up with new iPhones or a Prada wardrobe and instead rollicks through the adventures of the more incredible ones: an aspiring actress effortlessly bewitches everyone, a stressed working mom can split herself into multiple bodies, and the protagonist, Aman Sen, once under-noticed, now controls all the networks in the world. It’s not the most traditional distribution of skills in a superhero team, but this is India in the 21st century. Chaos and clamor are the (dis)order of the day—villainous destruction and heroic derring-do hardly make a splash. Aman and his new team mean well, but how can they actually go about saving the world in an always-on, hyperlinked, complicated modern society?

After rave reviews for Turbulence in its Indian and UK releases—from names like Mike Carey and Wired, no less–I ordered a copy from India. And despite me knowing approximately half a percent as much about Indian literature or speculative fiction as I do about Indian cinema, Samit agreed to let me interview him about it anyway.
Originally from Calcutta, India, Samit is also the author of a bestselling fantasy trilogy, Gameworld (The Simoqin Prophecies, The Manticore’s Secret, and The Unwaba Revelations); a YA adventure, Terror on the Titanic; comics, including a zombie invasion of Delhi; films; and many other things, which you can explore on his website.

Manic Pixie Dream Girls, Writing and Doctor Who“Writing about Doctor Whothis week got me thinking about sexism in storytelling, and how we rely on…View Post

Manic Pixie Dream Girls, Writing and Doctor Who

“Writing about Doctor Whothis week got me thinking about sexism in storytelling, and how we rely on…

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ShenanigansRecent shenanigans The Cultural Gutter has been involved in: The lost Drive-In Mob Movie S.P.E.C.T.…View Post


Recent shenanigans The Cultural Gutter has been involved in: The lost Drive-In Mob Movie S.P.E.C.T.…

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At The Gutter: Whinge-A-Palooza

It’s time for Romance Editor Chris’ annual complaints about trends in Romance!

What, it’s June already? I’m sure a I had a whole year here a minute ago. In any case, summer means humidity, allergies, and a sad lack of home AC. This year, it also means  squirrels in the roof (don’t ask. No, really).

And that means it’s time for my annual bitch column. This month I’ll kvetch about the things that really bug me about the Romance Genre.  As usual, I’ll be general rather than specific; there’s no need to single out any one particular book when there are so many bad examples to choose from.