I’m a writer; I can float for hours on a word like “amethyst” or “broom” or the way so many words sound like what they are: “earth” so firm and basic, “air” so light, like a breath. You can’t imagine them the other way around: She plunged her hands into the rich brown air. Sometimes I think I would like to be a word - not a big important word, like “love” or “truth,” just a small ordinary word, like “orange” or “inkstain” or “so,” a word that people use so often and so unthinkingly that its specialness has all been worn away, like the roughness on a pebble in a creek bed, but that has a solid heft when you pick it up, and if you hold it to the light at just the right angle you can glimpse the spark at its core. — Katha Pollitt

DO YOUR AUNTIE DANA A FAVOR

If you write fiction that includes more than one date and your story takes place on Earth, please consult a calendar.

QUESTION

I know some writers have conversations with the fictional characters they’ve created. I’m wondering about that…

Do those characters ever get pissed off at the author for sharing such intimate details with strangers?

This is the last page of a “book” I wrote in third grade.
See the importance of education, kids?

This is the last page of a “book” I wrote in third grade.

See the importance of education, kids?

The Press: Elongated Fruit

On the late Boston Transcript, a feature writer, with a fondness for using three words where one would do, once referred to bananas as “elongated yellow fruit.” This periphrasis so fascinated Charles W. Morton, now the associate editor of the Atlantic, that he began collecting examples of “Elongated Yellow Fruit” writing. Friends on newspapers and magazines have joined in the game, send him the worst examples they can find for the Atlantic Bulletin, a chatty monthly promotion letter (circ. 5,000). Samples:

¶ In the New York Herald Tribune a beaver was almost incognito as “the furry, paddle-tailed mammal.” CJ In the New York Times, phonograph records became “the noisy disks.”

¶ The Denver Post elongated “mustache” into “under-nose hair crops.”

¶ To the Associated Press, Florida tangerines were “that zipper-skinned fruit.”

¶ In the Lincoln (Neb.) Sunday Journal-Star a cow did not give milk; “the vitamin-laden liquid” came from a “bovine milk factory.”

¶ In the Wall Street Journal, potatoes were “bog oranges.”

¶ The Boston American’s ski columnist could not decide whether to call snow “the elusive white substance” or “the heavenly tapioca.” And in Travel magazine, skiers slid down the slopes on “the beatified barrel staves.”

perfectible:

Dorothy Parker’s telegram to her editor, Pascal Covici (1945).

perfectible:

Dorothy Parker’s telegram to her editor, Pascal Covici (1945).

The The Impotence of Proofreading, by Taylor Mali

So do yourself a flavor, and follow these two Pisces of advice. 1) There is no prostitute for careful editing of your own work. No prostitute whatsoever. And 3) When it comes to proofreading, the red penis your friend.

wordboner:

Blank is a design supporting the theory that the best inspiration comes from a white, blank page. Handmade from dozen of blank pages glued together, cut out in shapes of letters and glued to another blank page. Check out other versions.
More goodness: wordboner store | blog | make your own wordboner store | twitter | facebook | coupons

wordboner:

Blank is a design supporting the theory that the best inspiration comes from a white, blank page. Handmade from dozen of blank pages glued together, cut out in shapes of letters and glued to another blank page. Check out other versions.

More goodness: wordboner store | blog | make your own wordboner store | twitter | facebook | coupons

(via wrdbnr)