Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Tonight I wrote a poem.

When I was done, I read it over and thought it looked like a puddle of vomit in the toilet.

Unlike a puddle of vomit, I've saved it.

Like a puddle of vomit, I don't think I'll show it to anyone.

I mention this only because I'm still writing which is better than not writing at all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Buffalo Sauce

I go through strange food cravings. Not the kind of craving that a pregnant lady has, 'I have to have this right now or a small nation will suffer!' or the kind of craving you might have after work, 'gee, Mexican food sounds great tonight.' My cravings are much more constant and low-grade, but consuming in that it may be the only kind of good that sounds good to me.

When I was in London, twice I had tomato cravings. Both of them lasted six weeks. I ate fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce on Italian food, roasted tomatoes, tomato soup, tomato paste. If it can be made from a tomato, I probably put it in my cakehole. The Beautiful Competition was extremely tolerant of these cravings despite their nonsensical nature.

I've gone through others, but much less pronounced. Red meat. White sauce. Different kinds of cheeses. But these haven't lasted nearly as long.

Since I've come back to America, I've craved Buffalo sauce.

That's not entirely true. I didn't crave it the moment I landed. In some small town in Oregon, while the Beautiful Competition and I were driving back from Oklahoma, we ended up in a Denny's at 11 at night (the only thing open) and the Buffalo Fingers sounded good, so I ordered some. The waitress brought extra Buffalo sauce on the side, in which I dipped my fingers (the food, not my attached fingers.)

And.. bam.

Ever since then, I'm craving Buffalo sauce. This is definitely the 'strange craving' category. I've imagined a world - this world - where I could buy a 50 gallon drum of Buffalo sauce, the kind you'd only find in a school cafeteria or a fallout shelter. And take it home. And just start drinking it. Despite the fact that I'm well aware that this would be a Very Bad Idea.

I'm typing this up in an airport on the way out of town for a business trip. I just had some Buffalo wings. They were nothing more to me than a Buffalo sauce delivery system. There was a nice paste of sauce on the bottom of the plate when I was done. I wondered whether I could just suck it up through a straw and drink it. (In case you're wondering, propriety won out and I didn't attempt it. To my fellow Sea-Tac travellers: you're welcome.)

I cannot explain this craving. But right now, if I could eat Buffalo sauce for three meals a day, I probably would.

Om nom nom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

On Time

Back to the Future had it wrong.

Time is linear. If time travel were possible, it would only happen within the context of a single timeline, which is to say that anything 'changed' in the past would actually just be part of the same timeline, which is to say that it wouldn't change at all.

You can't actually go back in time to kill your grandfather before your father was born.

However you could go back in time to arrange to buy stock in a company that did really well, and have the money all delivered on the same day. Say, like, several billion dollars. Preferably by dump truck for maximum dramatic effect.

Then you could use your money to devote your life to building the same time machine that you used to give yourself money in the first place.

In fact, I would very much like to do this.

No dump trucks have arrived at my house today.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

From Genocidal Madman to Serial Killer

There's a piece of wisdom among writers: Kill Your Darlings. I first encountered this adage in Stephen King's brilliant On Writing, and it's one of the best pieces of advice anyone's ever given me about writing. Sometimes writers become too attached to things they really like and just won't give them up. Sometimes, those darlings just aren't as good as we think and they need to be smothered in their sleep.

You might have noticed this blog isn't updated nearly as regularly as it used to be. In 2004, I made more than 600 updates. In 2008, I made 80. Last year, I made 11. And although I started on a personal project, I haven't written anything of consequence in the last couple of years either, darlings or otherwise.

It's not that I've been killing the occasional darling, it's that I've been engineering an active campaign of genocide against my creativity.

Of course I didn't see it that way, but the net result is the same. Stagnation. Devotion of my energy to things inconsequential. And an appalling slip in grammatical correctness that I'd love to chalk up to me being artistic in this post but cannot.

There's a lot of (re)new going on in my life right now. A major component of that for me is writing and tapping back into the thing I love the most, and one of the things I love about myself the most. It means going back in and finding some darlings and not just putting them against a wall and shooting them before they find themselves on the page. That's hardly fair is it?

A colleague of mine once told me that tomorrow is always too late. This is true, and this is why today I'm going to stop this horrible campaign of destruction against my darlings and instead go back to simply killing them on an as-needed basis, rather than the extermination of the entire darling race.

You can also expect more updates here.

One of the things I've felt this blog has lacked in the past is a certain degree of focus. I can't simply make it 'general' because I'm just not that interesting. I can't make it specific because it's already been my Puppet Show for so long that turning it into Jason's Subversive Puppet Show and Scotch Tasting Notes doesn't seem like it would work. So instead I will focus on what it says in the description: a writer re-igniting his love for the craft. I'm not sure what that will look like exactly but I hope it'll be interesting enough.

2010's the future. I may not have my flying cars yet or worlds to explore except Europa but I can at least say that there is the here and now and that my creativity has been on hold long enough.

2010. Now. Today. Because tomorrow is always too late.