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Great Unexpected Literary References
Posted 26 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Unexpected Literary References
(part of my ongoing Unexpected Literary References series) When watching a rerun of the “Britney’s New Look” episode of South Park a few nights ago, I caught an allusion to the famous short story, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson (minute 16:36 in the clip here). Which makes me wonder, in what other unexpected places do literary references and allusions appear? Staying in the South Park world, there is the “A Dickens Classic” episode, which is an overt retelling of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. More recently, The episode “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs” is an extended commentary on Catcher in the Rye’s controversial reputation. But beyond those borders, below are a few I remember (having been refreshed via a few internet searches). What others are there? The Simpsons ep Treehouse of Horror V | The “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” from Stephen King’s novel, The Shining, is ‘Homerized’ to “No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy.” no beer ep Marge Be Not Proud | a shelf of video games contains one game called Canasta Master, which is a parody of the novel The Vegas Kid by Barney Vinson.… Read the rest
Artifice Magazine likes me
Posted 23 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Media
And I like you, Artifice Magazine. A bit more praise here for the Oprah Read This >> Oprah, Read This project.… Read the rest
Resurrecting the Author Career, Returning to Whisky and Words
Posted 23 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Marketing/ SEO for Authors/ Study (the world/the craft)
Disclaimer: I am far from a career author. I’ve made enough money to buy a few fifths of whisky and some diapers for my baby, so needless to say I’ve got a long way to go. The following plan reflects this outsider (re: possibly ignorant) perspective. The idealized author spends his time alone, churning out typewritten manuscripts to meet constant deadlines. He drinks. Probably smokes. He’s respected. He vacations in tropical seclusion, but still, even with the changed view, he writes. He has no day job. He is an author. Writing puts his kids through college. There is a reason this image contains a typewriter. Much like the machine itself, the idealized author is all but extinct. I think a lot of writers would like to go back to this model. Is it possible to not just retain the author career, but to make it thrive? Given the following set of assumptions, I believe it would be possible to bring back the author career: Content will continue to outweigh consumption The marketplace is spoilt by free content, and much of that content will continue to be free eBooks/eReaders will be a primary content medium within the next decade The cost to produce and distribute market-quality products will continue to fall More authors are producing more content than ever, so it’s fair to say the larger onus is on the publishers to bring back the career.… Read the rest
Results of 5,000 words for Father’s Day
Posted 20 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News/ Study (the world/the craft)
As far as meeting this goal, I failed. I did not reach 5,000 print-quality words in one day. However, I did learn something very important. I am simply not meant to write all day. I am glad that I can no longer blame my non-productivity on time constraints. In fact, I actually work better given 2-3 hour windows. As you can see by the time-line below, the day started off quite well. 10:08a (1 word) first word (The), first cup of coffee (Soy Chai Latte with an extra shot – It’s like beer: start the night with something exotic so that when you are drunk later you don’t care what brand you are drinking). 11:08a (570 words) went to the bathroom, took in a chapter of Saramago’s The Stone Raft, and gave the dog a treat. She’s been really good about not killing me, considering I am not a daily occupier of this house.… Read the rest
5,000 words for Father’s Day
Posted 20 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News
When my lovely wife asked what I wanted for Father’s Day, I replied quite simply: a day to myself. Fearing that the request may imply that my primary desire was to spend the day away from my family, I quickly explained that I wanted the day to write. I’ve been spoiled by the frantic life of parenthood, being able to blame my lack of productivity on the burdens of being a father. “Why haven’t you finished the first draft of your world-changing novel?” my non-existent editor asks. “Well you see, sir, I have this child…” But I know the days of those lies must end. I only hurt myself when I don’t get shit done. My beautiful wife has allowed me the entire day. I’ll be spending the time at her parent’s house where I can be assured just enough discomfort to keep me isolated to the page (they are out of town; I’m not saying that they make me uncomfortable, just that being in their house alone will be a bit weird and that I won’t be tempted to explore the area for ways to derail any progress).… Read the rest
Jose Saramago, my latest literary love, has died at age 87
Posted 18 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / General News
Jose Saramago, who quickly became one of my favorite authors after I read Blindness just last year, has died. But damn, he had a fine run, producing some of the most amazing novels I’ve ever read. There truly is no writing like Saramago writing. I am lucky enough, however, to still have a robust back catalog of his work to dive into. In fact, just yesterday, I started The Stone Raft, and already, just 10 pages in, I’m hooked. Even stranger is that I began work on a novella a few weeks ago, that contains some Saramago-inspired passages. Now, I suppose, I’ll be giving even more time to these sections to ensure they are worthy of their heritage.… Read the rest
Best-selling doesn’t mean best writing
Posted 17 June 2010 / By Caleb J. Ross / Study (the world/the craft)
(this is more of a rant than a cohesive post. Also not a cohesive post: an ionic neutral road sign…oh, I went there, sirs and mams) When I say that best-selling doesn’t mean best writing I understand the hipster ditch I dig. It sounds whiny and pretentious, all the more so when one realizes that nothing of mine is even close to best-selling. I’m not sure the word “best” could be put in front of any word and used to describe my work. Best tinder, maybe. Best use of paper bound by a cover bearing the name Caleb J Ross, perhaps. But someone could write my name on a phone book and it would be more “best” than my work. This ditch, though, it’s easy to dig, yet difficult to fill. But I will try. When I say that best-selling doesn’t mean best writing, I’m really attacking the concept that commercial success defines artistic success.… Read the rest
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