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  • Kurt Brindley 2:04 pm on March 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Heidegger, Kierkegaard, literature, Nietzsche, , , Sartre, , The Stranger, ,   

    The Absurdity That Isn’t 

    An Existential Moment
     

    I’m not a philosopher despite the fact that it is my belief that everyone with a thinking brain, and especially those without, is one, whether it be as a witting one or not.

    No, I’m not a Philosopher, despite my occasional philosophizing about philosophical stuff, in the same regard that I’m not a Poet, despite the fact that I occasionally write poetic-like stuff.

    Philosophy as a studied discipline is way too confounding for my confounded brain.

    However, practicing a philosophy as a means for navigating life comes as natural to me as the act of breathing or as the desire to include unnecessary descriptive and expounding words, especially those oh so delightful words of the adverbial persuasion, into as much of my writing as possible.

    For instance, I have no idea how many times other than a lot that I’ve attempted to read and understand such profound Philosophers as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and Heidegger and Sartre and Camus and, regardless how many times it’s been, without fail and after only a few pages I have to put their books down in angry frustration and embarrassment from my inability to read the words that they have carefully and thoughtfully written for me with any sustained comprehension. It is maddening to me that, while I can read and understand just about any individual sentence of theirs, when moving on to a succeeding sentence, of which I can also read and understand, I invariably lose comprehension of the sentence which had just preceded it and which only seconds before I had understood.

    If hell is other people, then a deeper hell is other people other than the people I can understand…

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    • xmatman 1:22 pm on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Uhm… Yep. :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • howard johnson 6:47 pm on March 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great post. Well said, sir.
      I’m glad that some one else feels that it is possible to know the words, even the grammar of a sentence or two and have no idea of what the author has said. You mention Heidegger, in my experience, he’s one other worst, on a par with Derrida. You can’t even get a what they mean, second or third hand as their commentators are as obtuse.
      It is frustrating and self demeaning to try to read what you’ve heard is great wisdom and come away feeling more ignorant. But don’t blame yourself!
      First of all, the people you mentioned didn’t write in English, so you are getting a translation, someone else’s words who might not understand what was written any better than you or I. Second, these guys use short hand, ordinary words as hints of concepts they all have spent years studying, and jargon, those secret passwords that distinguish members of the club. They wrote for other professional philosophizers not for folks like us.
      But every once and a while, when you are reading this stuff while simultaneously translating their words into yours to try to make sense of even a bit of it, there comes a “now, it all makes sense” moment that clarifies—though hardly solves—the absurd futility of “it all.”It’s over quickly, but there remains a taste of insight that keeps you trying to read above your pay grade. For me, anyway.
      Thanks for the like.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 4:02 pm on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , literature, PEN America, , Second Amendment,   

    KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS 

    trump-gif-2

    You know, in the past, regardless the president in power, it has always pretty much been a constant whine from all the many millions of gun lovers toting their many more millions of guns that their Second Amendment rights are under constant attack by a relentless blizzard of liberal, commie-shaped snowflakes… so their steady stream of bawling blather has always been received by me as nothing more than unintellig-ent/ible, self-flagellating noise.

    But now, with our First Amendment rights under a for real attack by Trump and his pack of stooges, it pains me to have to assume that those same Second Amendment Peters who were constantly crying Wolf about losing their rights are now happily standing by, armed and ready, to support and even help facilitate our Wolf-in-Chief achieve his vicious autocratic goals.

    Unbelievable.

    Seriously.

    I never could have believed, and still can’t, that we in the United States of America would ever have to be seriously concerned about seriously losing our First Amendment rights…

    But, alas, here we are so very seriously concerned.

    So concerned, in fact, that PEN America felt the need to publish an article entitled DEFENDING FREE EXPRESSION: A TOOLKIT FOR WRITERS AND READERS.

    If you aren’t familiar with the freedom-defending organization, this is what PEN America is about:

    PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

    ★ ★ ★

    Here are some “bullet” points from the toolkit for our intellectual self-defense:

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  • Kurt Brindley 11:59 am on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , grunge rock, John Feffer, journalists, literature, , , , Trumpian,   

    “Post-apocalyptic fiction has been moved to our current affairs section” 

    I wish I were smart enough to be able to claim this post’s eye/brain-catching headline as my own. But, alas, I cannot because I got it from this read-worthy #longread of an article written by John Feffer, a journalist and author who, with his read-worthy article, attempts to (in subtle sublimity) — and in my view does — make the case of why we should purchase his new near-future dystopian novel which spookily mirrors the current dystopic, Trumpian events of today, and who, Feffer, got it, the headline, from a friend on facebook in the form of a viral photo of a sign in front of bookstore in Boston.

    A whole lotta fortuitous and fast-moving mechanics behind that headline up there, wouldn’t you agree?

    To paraphrase/abuse a popular insurance company commercial from several years past that was trying to get us to fork over the beans for their coverage so we would be covered/prepared for any disastrous potentiality…

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  • Kurt Brindley 11:01 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Colson Whitehead, literary authors, literature, National Book Award, , The Underground Railroad, ,   

    Meet our 2016 National Book Award Winner 

    COLSON WHITEHEAD: USA TODAY “2016 AUTHOR OF THE YEAR”

    Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music… COLSONWHITEHEAD.COM

    2016 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER

    IMAGE COURTESY OF DOUBLEDAY

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  • Kurt Brindley 10:35 am on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Dave Astor, , , , , literature, , , wit,   

    From Author Dave Astor: Guest Literature Post by Donald Trump! 

    I was considering writing a satire post (i.e., FAKE Post!) with its premise being our so-called president writing it as a Guest Author.

    As I was getting set to channel Trump for the writing, I got cold fingers, so to speak, from the damage the channeling might do to my so-called brain; so, I backed slowly away from the keyboard, thought about it for a minute, then made the decision to search around to see if anyone had already done something similar.

    I’m happy to have lost my courage to allow my brain to think as a non-reading Trump would and I am awe at the courage author Dave Astor possesses and the risks he was willing to take to share his brain and blog with him, for his sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy this reblogged post of his.

    If you’re a reader of such things as “books” that are written with more than 140 words and that may contain troubling brain hurdles such as nuance and non-linear plot and plotless constructs, then you must check out Mr. Astor’s witty and wise blog.

    ★★★

    Like

    Dave Astor on Literature

    This blog will be different today, because Donald Trump demanded to write a guest piece. I told him he doesn’t read literature or know much about it, but he insisted. Anyway, things will go back to normal next week, but until then…herrrrrre’s the illegitimate president:

    The Donald (me) doesn’t read novels, but I do read the backs of cereal boxes. Lots of back story, ya know?

    Actually, I know a yuge amount about fiction. Not the literary kind — the “alternative facts” kind.

    I can’t deal with The Wings of the Dove. Why didn’t Henry James write The Wings of the War Hawk? Sad.

    The Red Badge of Courage? Stephen Crane — what a loser. Believe me, I showed more courage getting Vietnam War deferments for alleged bone spurs in my heels, even though I played a ton of sports at the time with no problem. They…

    View original post 795 more words

     
  • Kurt Brindley 3:54 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , anti-war novels, , , , , , literature, , Slaughterhouse-Five, , , ,   

    The Happily Disgruntled Writer Contemplates All That A Donald J. Trump Presidency May Inspire… 

    THE HAPPILY DISGRUNTLED WRITER

    CLICK THOUGHT BUBBLE TO ENLARGE

     
    • cindy knoke 4:13 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am a Vonnegut disciple from way back. The parallels today with Slaughterhouse Five are undeniable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 6:01 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        It’s scary. Reagan’s Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger wrote a paper entitled The Paradox of Peace with a premise that when there is a threat, a country will mobilize and build up its military to defend against it, which eventually eliminates the threat, which brings rise to draw dawn the military, which invites new threats, and on and on. Sustained peace inevitably encourages war.

        Seems like there is also similar phenomenon which might be called The Paradox of Tolerance as is evidenced by the pattern of our past few presidencies…

        Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 2:48 pm on January 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: child psychology, , elements of fiction, escapism, , , literature, points of view, , , , , ,   

    So there I was just minding my own business… 

    You know, making every honest effort not to think about #youknowwho by revisiting a favorite book of mine (and which is listed as one of my Writing Resources) so as to give my brain a break from of all of #youknowwhose juvenile behavior, which includes but by no means whatsoever is limited to his recent flurry of tweets, in one of which he engages in childish, bullying name-calling and effectively proves he has no interest in governing effectively by labeling the Senate Minority Leader and the rest his Democratic party as “clowns”…

    However and unfortunately, I am presently trapped in a surreal and inescapable alternate reality where, similar to the brokenhearted lover who is painfully reminded by each song on the radio of the love he has lost, everything I chance upon seems to remind me of #youknowwho regardless how hard I try to ignore his ignorance.

    I guess in this sad metaphor, I would be the brokenhearted lover and my love lost would be the ideals, honor, and integrity of my country.

    Anyway…

    So I’m flipping through this favorite book of mine called POINTS OF VIEW: An Anthology of of Short Stories and I’m really digging it because its been so long since I’ve read it and I’m rediscovering such cool points from it as…

    The differences in a spectrum are differences of degree: to go from violet to red you keep increasing the wavelength. In our spectrum [of how the short stories in the collection are arranged] you keep increasing the distance between the speaker and the listener, and between the speaker and his subject. Thus the central concept is the trinity of first, second, and third persons–I, you, and he.”

    Pretty cool, right?

    Right. And the best part about it is I’m completely not thinking about #youknowwho because of how cool and completely engrossing the read is.

    So after reading the preface, I flip to the back real quick to see what pearls of wisdom can be gleaned there within its Afterword…

    And everything is going along just nicely and with much intrigue…

    The techniques of fiction imitate everyday recording and reporting. …[Interior and dramatic monologue] purport to be actual discourse going on “now”–somebody thinking, somebody speaking. The reader is privileged to tune in on a stream of thought or speech.

    More cool stuff, right?

    Right. And even more cool stuff follows with a discussion of how the techniques of fiction purport to mirror other aspects of reality, such as letters, diaries, autobiographies, etc., and we are told that it is up to us, the reader, to determine “what the differences are between these fictional forms and their real-life counterparts.”

    Yeah… more awesomeness.

    But then it happens…

    Cue obnoxious sucking sound followed by a loud startling pop, signalling my return from literary bliss to my real-life alternate reality consumed completely by #youknowwho where it is hard for me to distinguish what is real and what is fiction…

    So arrayed, narrative techniques tend to recapitulate the course followed by the child (my emphasis) in developing his powers of speech, and to some extent the course we follow in processing a subject through stages of discourse. When I talk to myself about myself I am all three “persons,” as in the case of interior monologue. This is the first discourse of the child, who does not distinguish between speaking to himself and speaking to another, talking about himself and talking about things outside himself.

    My surreal alternate-reality of now had me at “child.”

    I mean, after reading that and then the following quotation block, how can you not think of #youknowwho?

    According to the great psychologist of child development, Jean Piaget, who has called this discourse “egocentric speech” (emphasis again mine), the very young child thinks aloud, talks to the air…his talk is an accompaniment to whatever he is doing at the moment.

    I mean, c’mon…

    #whysodummurica

     

     
    • http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com 3:00 pm on January 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      When one is trapped in that narcissistic stage, we can call it “Trumpeting” or “Trumpetitis.” Unfortunately, the person never moves on. Sometimes we even call it “insanity.”

      Liked by 3 people

    • donnamarie 3:25 pm on January 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nail on the head, Kurt!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bonnie Follett 3:34 pm on January 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I know exactly what you mean about wanting to put your brain in more constructive places and ignoring #youknowwho but my favorite tweet of the week was discussed at the link attached below, about poor ratings for The New Apprentice w/Arnold. I posted it on FB with a note to #youknowwho supporters that this is where their Prez-Elects head was at – but garnered not even one like or comment… Sigh! Link: https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/trump-slams-schwarzenegger-apprentice-ratings-134339669.html?.tsrc=fauxdal
      And Joe Biden’s response with a smile was inspired: “Grow Up Donald… (pause) Grow Up, You’re President now.” Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Kelley 6:14 pm on January 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Amen and amen! The man is not only developmentally stunted, he’s mentally unbalanced. Can’t someone remove him from office if he’s nuts? Thanks for a great post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robert Mitchell 5:26 am on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You are one of reasons why the 45 minutes I spend on the Web each morning while having my coffee are worthwhile! So what you are tapping into in this post is the idea of Logos — the ancient Greek concept, usually translated as “word” — which is that consciousness is a sacred conversation between humanity and the Gods. When we lowly humans engage in sincere, empathic and truthful discourse we are like Hermes, the messenger between gods and mortals. Isn’t that what it feels like when you’re having a great dialogue with someone, or reading a great book? You are, for all practical purposes, in heaven! No wonder the author of John 1:1 imported this old idea into his gospel by calling Christ the Logos! Thanks for a great post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:39 am on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Dude, you always bring the most interesting and unique insight into the discussion. The Stoic philosophy was essentially inspired into existence by the concept of Logos as being equivalent to God/Nature. Everything relates.

        Always appreciate your presence, kindness, and wisdom here, brother.

        Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Robert Mitchell 10:49 am on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks much, and you’re welcome! I did now know that about Stoicism. My crystal ball sees some wikipedia action in my future, or perhaps some time with my trusty Britannica circa 1919. Wisdom never goes out of style.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 4:43 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , literature, , , , , The Angel of the Odd,   

    Fake News is so Poe-thetic 

    I read an Edgar Allan Poe story today entitled The Angel of the Odd.

    It’s a fun, fast, Kafka-meets-Twain, easy to forget kind of read.

    But what is most memorable to me about the story is that it is entirely set up around the protagonists drunken dismay over what we would call the “fake news” of the day…

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    • Katie Marie 8:42 am on January 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Fake news is a real problem, although it is made worse by people not checking things out for themselves. Any piece of news can be twisted to fit a narrative, we all need to be a bit more careful and a bit more sceptical about what we hear and read with regards to news. Also lol re your Fox comment XD

      Like

  • Kurt Brindley 4:29 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , American Authors, , House of Seven Gables, literature, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem,   

    Ain’t That America… 

    Reporting live from Salem, Massachusetts

    #hawthorne
    #peace


     
  • Kurt Brindley 12:34 pm on May 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , literature, , , , , , , , ,   

    Writer’s Block Is Only In Your Mind… 

    And That’s The Problem.
     


     

    #amwriting
    #not

     
     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 1:08 pm on March 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Holy Land, , , literature, Luck o' the Irish, , , , William Butler Yeats,   

    I Am Of Ireland by William Butler Yeats 

    #happystpatricksday
     

    ‘I am of Ireland,
    And the Holy Land of Ireland,
    And time runs on,’ cried she.
    ‘Come out of charity,
    Come dance with me in Ireland.’

    One man, one man alone
    In that outlandish gear,
    One solitary man
    Of all that rambled there
    Had turned his stately head.
    That is a long way off,
    And time runs on,’ he said,
    ‘And the night grows rough.’

    ‘I am of Ireland,
    And the Holy Land of Ireland,
    And time runs on,’ cried she.
    ‘Come out of charity
    And dance with me in Ireland.’

    ‘The fiddlers are all thumbs,
    Or the fiddle-string accursed,
    The drums and the kettledrums
    And the trumpets all are burst,
    And the trombone,’ cried he,
    ‘The trumpet and trombone,’
    And cocked a malicious eye,
    ‘But time runs on, runs on.’

    I am of Ireland,
    And the Holy Land of Ireland,
    And time runs on,’ cried she.
    “Come out of charity
    And dance with me in Ireland.’

     

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?

     
     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 10:46 am on March 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Brutus, , Julius Caesar, literature, loyalty, , , , The Ides of March, , ,   

    I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon… 

    #bewaretheidesofmarch

     

    HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?

     
     

     
    • kaptonok 7:03 am on March 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      How quickly the crowd are swayed.
      This reminds me of Donald Trump a man who knows how to convince.
      It is curious how we behave in large gatherings something happens to our apparent sanity and we go with the crowd.
      It is the great fear of leaders who know huge gatherings of protesters can lead to loss of control.
      The media is vital if you wish to stay.in the driving seat with all its advantages as we know from the recent Turkish silencing of the press.
      This play is all about manipulation in the power game but as always fate also has a part to play.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 11:21 am on March 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Fantastic observation, kaptonok. The dangers of demagoguery have held true throughout the ages.

        Like

        • kaptonok 12:43 pm on March 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          Many writers and bloggers have pointed this out and its not the observation that makes Shakespeare famous its just the unique way he puts it.
          The later absolute conceit of Caesar reminds me of Trump and other self-styled king-pins.
          ‘I am as constant as the northern star’
          Thanks for repying

          Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 4:52 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , literature, , , , ,   

    Write What You Know, You Know… 

    They say, Write what you know…

    And in response I say, Okay…

    So when I began in earnest to write stuff for people to read way back in the early Nineties – what a great decade that was – about all I knew about life outside of my personal life which I didn’t and still don’t have the guts yet to truly explore, was all pretty much navy-related.

    Hence, the stories I wrote at the time were all pretty much, well… navy-related.

    And therein lies the primary challenge I have when it comes to convincing and conniving folks who look a lot like you to read my writing… and now, to support a film based upon my writing: that even though the stories may be navy-related, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are stories just about the navy.

    Some of you, many of you, are probably new to this site so understandably there may be a few things about me that you just aren’t aware of:

    Like, even though my undergraduate degree is in English – which probably explains my nerd obsession with arranging and amalgamating morphemes into new and creative and interesting ways for you to read stuff, my graduate degree is in a completely unrelated field (well, maybe it’s a little related) of Human Relations – which probably explains my obsession with trying to understand why it is you think and behave the crazy and unpredictable way you do.

    To satisfy my morpheme amalgamating obsession, I began to write; to satisfy my relating-to-humans obsession, I took a few years off from my primary career field in the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) while in the navy, to become a certified Equal Opportunity Advisor, where I spent much of my time providing counseling and training in diversity management.

    And it is this relating to humans-related stuff that I would like to think is what my stories, while even though they may be set in a navy-related world, are all really about…

    Like, as explored in my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, how do our perceptions and stereotypes influence our decisions when confronted with situations like homophobia and harassment and abuse?

     

    Or, as explored in the short story and soon to be short film LEAVE, what was the environment really like for that courageous female sailor who took that first assignment to a warship with an all-male crew?

     

    While these stories are set on navy ships during the Nineties, it is my belief their underlying themes and messages are relevant even, and especially, today.

    Just recently Congress has authorized women to serve in all combat-related duties, not just some of them like back in the Nineties.

    Right now there are courageous, pioneering females all throughout the US military – and throughout society in general – who are opening doors that have previously always been closed to them, and setting off on a course that clears the way for many more courageous females to forever follow.

    So, yeah, we writers have always been told to Write what you know…

    Just as you readers have always been told to Never judge a book by its cover…

    Especially mine.
     

    Open Books Open Minds…

    http://www.facebook.com/leavethemovie

     
     

     
    • Illian Rain 5:50 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That is one intriguing career path my friend! And I mean it–you have a really interesting trajectory. :)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 10:43 am on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        And by “path” you mean the uncertain course through my dark, overgrown forest of uncertainty and apprehension that I have been and am blindly traveling on, right? :)

        Thanks so much, my friend. Your kindness and encouragement is very much appreciated.

        Liked by 2 people

    • PepeLeDog 5:54 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      But what if you know nothing?

      Liked by 1 person

    • eeblack525 8:48 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It makes me feel a lot better to know that I’m not the only one at the cross roads of decision making. I remember my professor telling me “Write what I know.” I didn’t want to. I wanted to be different but eventually, I found a unique way to spin the predictable into nicely woven piece of literature, which I hope to release.

      Thanks for this post and good luck with the film.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kurt Brindley 10:47 am on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, eeblack525. Thank you for the kind well wishes. We’ll need all the good luck we can muster. :)

        Like

    • Don Massenzio 8:55 am on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
      Great post on writing what you know. In the case of some presidential candidates, the book might be blank. Enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • C. J. Hartwell 9:58 am on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I very much enjoyed Leave — left a comment on Amazon too, which I’ve only did once before. (I need to do it more, I know.)
      I see how your HR connection influenced your writing, and no doubt played a role in how much I liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • restoredpeople 8:37 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I was at a writers conference this week and the teacher said – you can write about what you don’t know- just research it. I found that interesting since it was different from what I have heard to write about what you know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:00 pm on February 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yeah, sure, RP. We are free to write that which compels us to write. While I believe it is sound advice for new writers, I was using the old saw of a saying of “write what you know” mostly as a device to make the point about “not judging a book by its cover” as I try to convince folks to see beyond my writing as being just navy stories. So we should write what we know, what we don’t know, but mostly we should write what’s interesting. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 10:00 am on February 8, 2016 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , literature, , , , ,   

    An Introduction to Author MB Bissett 

    In my last post “Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle,” I invited you all to share a link to a book that you’ve reviewed that provides some insight, via your writing, as to how you apply your critical thinking strategy towards the books you read.

    I’m so happy that MB BLISSETT was kind/brave enough to take me up on the offer; for, not only did he introduce me to THE FEVER by Meg Abbott with his interesting and insightful review of her work, he introduced me to a new eclectic world of creativity and intellect that can be found all throughout his website.

    After reading his review that I introduce here, I strongly urge you to then head straight to his About page as it is most interesting and entertaining – I read it and I feel a strong kinship with his outlook toward writing and his literary taste.

    Comments are closed here so that you can share your thoughts directly with MB at his website.

    Liked by 1 person

    MB Blissett

    the-fever

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs posits that when base needs are met, then your desires become more refined. Which usually means that your fears probably work on the same level. If you’re not risking death every single time that you give birth, then you’re worried that they will live to be healthy adults and when they’re healthy adolescents, you’re worried about any number of factors. Within the haunted house of parenthood and adolescence, Megan Abbott knows where the ghosts live and shows them to you.

    The Fever ably captures the beauty and passion, the terror, the contradictory desire for freedom and privacy, the secrets that women keep from themselves and one another. She uses social media and how it intertwines and defines the worlds of young people subtly and effectively. In the iconography of the modern world, the online video is the sermon, the blowing of the whistle or in this…

    View original post 184 more words

     
  • Kurt Brindley 1:46 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , college, , , literature, night school, , , , verisimilitude, worldviews,   

    Hey Reader, What’s Your Angle? 

    Probably the most influential and impactive course I took during my college years (and for me, “college years” do not mean four coming-out-years of raucous partying and occasional studying, it means thirteen long and tedious years of night school, transferring to this college or that college depending on where the military assigned me, and all of which were completely dependent upon the sacrifice and commitment from my lovely and loving wife) was a Literary Theory and Schools of Criticism (or something to that effect) course while attending Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, Virginia, oh so long ago.

    It was this course, taught by an instructor mild in manner but powerful in purpose and ability whose name I sadly cannot remember, in which I was instructed and inspired to become an active reader — a reader who brings to a book not just a desire to be entertained, but desires to seek within the work deeper and hidden meanings, as well as to impose upon the work a personal agenda.

    I quickly learned that being an active reader by itself takes more than a little bit of effort; but being an active reader with an angle, so to speak, is an exhaustive work out.

    No really… thinking burns significant calories, my friend. Ergo, the harder you think, the more calories you burn, ergo once more… the more exhaustive – and rewarding – workout you have. Don’t believe me ask the Google God.

    Anyway…

    If you aren’t aware, I happen to be an excessively white, less-than-excessively (nowadays, anyway) WASPy kind of dude who was socialized as a youth in and by an excessively white and WASPy home, church, school, television, books, etc. kind of way. And one thing about us white, WASPy dudes — and if you are not a white, WASPy dude you probably understand this much better than we ever will — is that we have a very strong tendency to see the world through rose-colored glasses.

    I mean, come on, the industrialized world we now live in pretty much has grown out of the minds of past and present white, WASPy dudes so why wouldn’t all the rest of us white, WASPy dudes think all life is just grand and peachy keen, right?

    Anyway… we can have a much longer discussion about the pros and cons of white, WASPy worldviews later, but the point about it here is, when it came to being an active reader with an agenda, well, I just didn’t have one to inherently apply to the literature I was reading, since most of the literature I was reading came from the minds of those with worldviews similar to mine.

    Can you dig?

    Which is why the book the course was based upon was so important to the success of the class, and why, even today, it continues to be so important to me.

    This is the 5th Edition. My copy of the book is an old, beat up 2nd Edition

    Long story short – kind of: The book provides a survey of all the major schools of literary criticism and the coursework involved reading short stories and having to critique them by applying the various critical schools. This, of course, meant that yours truly here had to think, read, and react to the work not like a staid white, WASPy dude that I was and, much to much of the world’s dismay, still am, but as a Deconstructionist, or, gasp, a Marxist or even, deeper gasp… a Feminist!

    Needless to say, I survived the severe disruption to my cozy worldview. But I didn’t just survive it, I thrived from it. It really opened my eyes to all the many ways – good and not so good – works of literature can and are interpreted and understood by those with worldviews quite dissimilar to mine.

    I’ve come to find that life is much more thoughtful and clear and understanding once those rose-colored glasses were removed and seen as others without them see it.

    Yeah…

    So, I ask you, Dear Reader, what’s your angle?

    Are you an active reader?

    Do you bring an agenda to a body of literary work when reading it?

    My guess is most of us don’t because being an active reader is tough work.

    Even though I intend to go into a body of work with purpose, I more often than not find myself being a “casual reader,” a reader easily lured into passivity by the cozy confines of verisimilitude, until I’m wrapped up – held hostage – by the telling of a good story. And once I finally am able to break free from the stories grasp, I’ll have to go back and try once again to read critically what I had just read mindlessly.

    As Kurt Vonnegut so wisely, and often, said: So it goes…

    However, if you, Dear Reader, are an active reader with an agenda, or even if you are not, I’d like to know about it. Drop me a line in the comment section and let me know about your reading strategy, or lack thereof.

    And if you are a book reviewer with an agenda, please provide links to some of your work. I would love to read it and, perhaps, reblog it here to share with others.

    Cool?

    Write [and Read] on!

     
     

     
    • Grandtrines 1:47 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Still Another Writer's Blog.

      Liked by 2 people

    • sanseilife 1:57 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Once I find a new author I like I try to read at least 2 or 3 more novels by that author. I start with early novels. Sometimes the transformation of author’s writing is amazing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 2:03 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I wish I had that discipline. My biggest problem is that I am a slow reader to begin with so reading new authors let alone keeping up with them is hardly an option for me. I mostly read dead white dudes…

        Liked by 1 person

    • johnrsermon 2:06 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I usually try find a story in a completely different genre to the last one i read. Currently, I’m reading Giles Kristians viking novel ‘God of Vengeance’. This the 4th of his books in the Raven series. This was after a vampire story. Next I’m thinking crime or romance. It’s not much of strategy but it’s get me through my book list. Keeps things interesting. Good article as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Satin Sheet Diva 2:10 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hmmmm. I read for pleasure and to see how other writers employ the ‘art’ of word-smithing. I read poetry for tips on how to write description, I read classics to increase my writing vocabulary…there is very little I read just for the sake of reading. Does that count as having an agenda? Thanks for the thought provocation :-).

      Liked by 3 people

    • wscottling 2:59 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good ol’ TCC. I went to the Virginia Beach campus back in the 90’s, where I also learned to be an “active reader”. But it depends on what I’m reading of course. Mind candy deserves to be eaten up quickly without thinking about the wheres, whys, and hows of what the author “meant” when they wrote it. Otherwise, yeah, I can delve as deep into the text as the next person. Having grown up poor white trash, I tend more towards a Marxist bent than most, but I try to keep an open mind. ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 3:41 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Hey, a fellow TCC alumni. It appears we were matriculating at our respective campuses around the same time. It sounds as if your time there served you well… Marxist bent and all. :)

        Like

        • wscottling 9:10 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          I was a bane to my English professors. I often questioned their interpretations of the texts. Sometimes, the curtains are just blue (as the cartoon goes). I went on to get my Master’s in English… because… English! Still a bane to my professors though. Ha!

          We might have had the same instructor as several of mine commuted between campus and I took every English Lit class they offered. One was even in an accident coming from the Chesapeake campus to our class. Mr. Kunsinger I think his name was.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 11:34 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

            I was only able to take a few courses while I was stationed there – my duties got reassigned and my shore tour ended up being a tour where I would have to deploy from time to time. The last class I was enrolled in was a creative writing class with a female instructor – don’t remember her name, of course – and two other students beside me – both were female. All three were very smart, very well-read, and really into their writing. I felt way outclassed and more than a little insecure so I wasn’t too disappointed when I was told I was going to have to deploy, which forced me to have to drop the class. :)

            Like

    • MBBlissett 3:29 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have both an instinct for the books I will enjoy and also my favourites. I rate Stephen King and Gabriel Garcia Marquez as much as Dickens and Hemingway. A good book is egalitarian and to me, I’m interested in quality of story and theme. I read voraciously because it allows me to be bolder in my writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • balletandboxing 10:04 pm on February 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like a great class!!!

      If I had to define my angle it would be recovering-Christian-now-agnostic-new-age-feminist-disillusioned-white-girl-with-all-immigrant-friends :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Therese 12:41 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One reason I love reading fiction is no matter which culture the author comes from, I can always relate to at least one of the characters. I can relate to their human-ness. I’m a Dostoevsky fan, and even though I have never spoken with a Russian, I can relate to the Russian characters: laugh with them, cry with them, feel their love and anger

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 11:59 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Isn’t it wonderful how reading can turn us all into Pioneers of the Galactic, exploring the infinite bounds of the universe propelled by the turn of a single page.

        Liked by 1 person

    • itsmyhusbandandme 6:42 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting post. I’m hoping my design (as in my job) sense helps me see things differently.
      JP

      Liked by 1 person

    • Robyn Elliot 7:15 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As usual, interesting thoughts from Mr Interesting. I also like how you wrote Marxist without inducing career threatening writer’s cramp. It’s okay, really. The ‘M’ word is safe, like a great big cuddle from the social justice fairy. As opposed to a thump from Trump. Now, I was an active reader, but I guess now I like to be entertained. I know, I know, I am swimming in the shallow end, but after years of literary fiction and other reads where I observed, absorbed and cogitated, my brain insisted, nay, demanded, I dissolve the grey matter into mindless entertainment. Your work excepted, of course, Kurt!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:09 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Always so kind and encouraging, you are. Exception noted, my friend. :) Nowadays mostly when I read or watch something on a screen I (intend to) do so critically in the hopes it helps me grow as novelist/screenwriter, and/or provides me fodder for something to post here. You know, publish or perish and all that rot…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rajiv 7:21 am on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Being an active reader is tough… What do I bring? My bit of craziness, and experiences, and all the crap I read

      Liked by 1 person

    • Akki 12:17 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for following me

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sperry Hunt 1:28 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Well put, Kurt. I sometimes find myself viewing the years of wearing rose-colored glasses through that same old pair. As you say, reading, like writing, should be difficult. It’s hard to see things as they really are – most especially yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

    • C. J. Hartwell 4:54 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I took a lot of literature classes in college — part of my “I want to understand EVERYTHING” phase — so I have a hard time *not* being an active reader. Which is probably why I need to throw in a light mystery occasionally, in between my usual choices.
      I also like to re-read books for this reason — to see how they affect me now, compared to then. It’s interesting to see how my ‘angle’ may have changed, or simply how much more I now understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 6:48 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        How interesting, C.J. If you ever write about the changes in your perspective as it relates to your “angle” and the growth of your understanding I would be down – to use the vernacular of my sons – to read that.

        Like

    • tpesce2015 5:48 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The whining you hear is not a mosquito. It’s me. Critically examining everything I read sounds too haaaaarrrrrd! But seriously – some books are created to prompt critical thinking and are flaccid without the active considerations of the reader. However – there is nothing passive about being wrapped up in a ‘story’ – the wrapping up is the emotional and mental response to a good story. “I couldn’t put it down… I read until my eyes wouldn’t focus…” That sort of thing. So I humbly suggest that applying a critically active approach to some stories, rather than a lover’s relaxation into another’s embrace, is like dissecting a cat to get at the purr.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 6:43 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Oh yeah, I agree with you totally, tpesce2015. It wasn’t made clear enough in the post I guess, but I’m referring to literary theory and its application toward literature/literary fiction. I suppose there are times when one would want to break down genre fiction but for me it would be rare – kinda like trying to be critical re: whatever the latest brain drain sitcom is on tv.

        Like

    • elizabeth 1:15 am on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s too late at night for me to address your question regarding the kind of reader I am, but it’s not too late for me to tell you that I loved the whole “white, WASPy guy” stuff. I have written about a lot of “white, WASPy girl” stuff, but it’s all still on legal pads because I’m scared to post it! I am not the kind of girl anyone would expect to have even the least bit of irreverence to her. And I am CERTAINLY not the kind of girl who would EVER use profanity in anything published for the world to see. (I do, though, have an irreverent streak to me, and I have posted words that are not exactly “ladylike”…in today’s post, in fact). Oh, I really would love to share my satirical essays about life as a WASP on the East Coast (NY and New England, in particular). Though I’m scared that I’d feel like (a really pathetic example of the brilliant writer) Truman Capote after the fall out from his short story “La Cote Basque, 1965”. And that would not be good. Fun, but not good. That having been said, any thoughts on a gracious way to post things that I find to be funny (along with some of my fellow irreverent WASPs–those who have already come out as irreverent, that is)? Maybe regular WASPs have a sense of humor, too….? That would be my hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 2:39 pm on February 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Not sure how to address all this, my sister in WASPy insecurity and angst, other than to say… I feel ya. :/
        :)

        Liked by 1 person

        • elizabeth 1:40 am on February 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply

          Well, tonight, I abandoned my WASP angst and went for a Kanye Rant. It was inspired by a one line FB post by one of my friends. But when I get going….as my little tag line says…”You never know what I might come up with!”. Thanks for following, by the way. You are my first follower! And my first commenter. (How am I doing so far? I plan to get the blog going and then to make it look cool, like everyone else’s, but first I need to just sit down and write and get more than one post a month out there! And by the way, I have spent a lot of time in Virginia, myself…I love it there….)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 11:26 am on February 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

            Yeah, Kanye does tend to trigger rants, especially in WASPy-like folks.

            As long as you enjoy your blogging experience, that’s all that matters. Typically it takes years to build up a decent following; though some original bloggers have become overnight sensations – speaking of WASPs, the blog stuffwhitepeoplelike comes to mind as a quick hit. But, if you are like most of us bloggers, you’ll spend most of your time in the beginning blogging to yourself – so as long as you think it’s so far so good, you’re all good.

            I will say though that you tend to write long posts with big chunky paragraphs. In this 140 word mind limit day and age, it’s hard to get readers to read big stuff so you might want to break your writing up into 1 or 2 sentence paragraphs if possible. Long posts are okay, just add more white space to give the eyes a break.

            Other than that…

            Write on, my friend.

            Liked by 1 person

            • elizabeth 10:40 pm on February 16, 2016 Permalink

              Thanks, Kurt! You are so sweet to give me some advice. And to make me feel better about the fact that you are my sole follower. I will attempt to make it worth your while! (I wonder where I would put essays, then?? Any thoughts?) Thanks again…I’ll have a funny post within the next couple of days. Well, I hope it will be funny.

              Like

    • cinderellaeveryman 6:07 pm on February 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Cool….. may I recommend Jonathan Culler – On Deconstruction.
      [myself, I stay away from it, but this is a good read] ergo for Stanley Fish’s Is there a Text in this Class?. Wolfgang Iser – anything by him: reader reception theory. maybe this stuff is old hat to our honored host of the fiendishly delightful mind-groping, self-questing, intellect-rousing meal, but this fare is solid.
      As I said, I don’t do the post-structuralism honky-tonky, but it’s nice to see people getting totally wrapped up in it.
      try other types of reads too, though.
      old school literary criticism is super bad when handled by the right dudes.
      – libraries are not yet barricaded off. go and revel.

      Like

  • Kurt Brindley 10:56 am on January 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Gothic Literature, Gothic Poetry, literature, , , , prophets, , The Raven,   

    “The Raven” – Read by the Master of Mystery and Scare 


     

    The Raven

    by Edgar Allan Poe
    (published on this day in 1845)

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
    “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
    Only this, and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
    Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
    Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
    “‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
    Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
    This it is, and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
    “Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door;-
    Darkness there, and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”-
    Merely this, and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
    Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
    Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
    ‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
    By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
    “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
    Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
    Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door-
    Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
    With such name as “Nevermore.”

    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
    That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
    Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before-
    On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
    Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
    “Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
    Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
    Of ‘Never- nevermore’.”

    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
    Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
    Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
    What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
    To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
    But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
    She shall press, ah, nevermore!

    Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
    Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee
    Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
    Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –
    Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
    On this home by Horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
    Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!
    By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
    Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    “Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked, upstarting-
    “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
    And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted- nevermore!

    Via PoeStories.com

    [This version of the poem is from the Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner, September 25, 1849. It is generally accepted as the final version authorized by Poe. Earlier and later versions had some minor differences. Source]

     
     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 12:57 pm on January 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , literary reviews, literature, , , , , , theliteraryreader,   

    A Review of Short Verses & Other Curses by Paul Xylinides of theliteraryreader 

    I am very proud and honored to have received such a warm review from the great Paul Xylinides of the theliteraryreader (theliteraryreader.com).

    As you may be aware, Paul’s work is not unfamiliar to this site, as his THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA is reviewed here and is my favorite Indie Author read to date.

    I strongly encourage you – it’s for your own good, believe me – to visit with Paul at both his literary review site and at his author site paulxylinides.com to check out the intellectually intriguing work he does. Make sure you follow his sites so you don’t miss out in the future.

    To read my review of THE WILD HORSES OF HIROSHIMA, click here.

    To read more of Paul’s writing found on this site, enter “paul xylinides” in the search box.

    Liked by 1 person

    theliteraryreader

    Short Verses

    Review

    of

    Kurt Brindley’s

    Short Verses & Other Curses
    (Haiku, Senryū, & Other Poetic, Artistic, & Photographic Miscellany)

    by

    Paul Xylinides

    paul_picture_03

    A Warrior Poet’s Hard-Won Epiphanies

    Self-made and/or naturally insight-endowed, Kurt Brindley has the soul of a poet; further, he has the soul of a warrior poet. He makes passing reference to the martial tradition that has also been a part of his life in the poem “If I Were A Samurai:”


    I would know

    when to bow
    and when to ignore
    when to speak
    and when to be silent

    when to eat
    and when to fast
    when to think
    and when to meditate
    when to advance
    and when to hold
    when to strike
    and when to parry
    when to kill
    and when to die

    All writers — the serious and the not-so-much — inevitably find themselves in a battle, as often as not Biblical in proportions, for the human…

    View original post 545 more words

     
  • Kurt Brindley 8:23 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , comic books, , , , Literary Gods, literature, Neil Gaiman, , recording software, , The Sandman   

    Neil Gaiman Is My Co-Pilot 

    Neil GaimanOkay, I’ve never been one of those hardcore Gaiman fanboys* that you see following him with blind, whole-body, fervor on twitter but I sure do have a whole lot of respect and admiration for what he’s accomplished in his life – and mine. Beginning with The Sandman series oh so long ago, Gaiman seems unable to be unsuccessful at whatever it is he does. Googlify his name and you will find that he has won so many major awards, some of them more than once, that if my mom had seen my face screw up in shock and awe after first seeing the significantly long list she would have warned me immediately that if I keep making that face someday it’s gonna stay that way.

    Point being: the dude is pretty awesome.

    And we can add one more awesome point to his long list of awesome points: Recently I downloaded the audiobook version of his short fiction collection Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances to one of my favoritest apps, Overdrive. And of course I find that the book is read by none other than The Man himself. And of course I find that I’ll be both god and buddha damned if he also isn’t one of the best god and buddha damned “voice performers” I have ever heard. Sheesh – what a wonderful voice he has to listen to.

     

    Anyway…

    I mention all of this more than slightly awkward author/guy crush worship thing of mine only because I too am now in the audiobook recording business. For, as I have mentioned here before, I am trying (key word: trying) to record a “performance” of my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor.

    It is very hard, this recording stuff – you know, with the intimidating microphones, and the confusing software, and with the dogs constantly barking in the background…

    But the hardest part of all is coming to the realization that I don’t have the greatest of reading voices, especially since the book is narrated from the point of view of an insecure eighteen-year-old whom I would have to guess came late to the puberty game. So me trying to read in a voice that might pass as even barely authentic to the story has been both very hilarious when hearing it during playback and even more discouraging.

    So far I have managed to record an introduction to the book, as well as all the novel’s front matter whatnots that include the dedication and acknowledgment (and which have been uploaded to my app). But those I was able to read in my own voice, which may not be the most pleasant to listen to but at least I don’t have to contort my diaphragm around my voice box in order to speak with it.

    So yeah, I’m still working on finding (rediscovering?) that insecure eighteen-year-old voice of mine…

    It’s a tough gig, but I shan’t give up for I have a sure-fire strategy for voice recording accomplishment and success:

    Each time I run into a rough spot while recording I’ll simply stop, take a deep breath, look upward to the sky in humility and veneration and ask to the Literary Gods On High…

    What would Jesus Neil do?

     
    *non-gender specific

     
     

     
    • Mike Fuller Author 8:59 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Either that or sit on a sawhorse during the recording.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mike Fuller Author 9:01 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Lengthwise.

      Liked by 1 person

    • amandagrey1 9:16 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Neil Gaiman is definitely a favorite of mine, too. I’ve downloaded a few audios of his from Overdrive. Neverwhere and The Ocean at the End of the Lane…both were read by him as well. I was very surprised at this and he does have an excellent reading voice.

      Liked by 2 people

    • purpleslobinrecovery 9:22 pm on August 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Unfortunately, I don’t know who he is, so I can’t really comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • princessarchitect 1:56 am on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t Neil Gaiman the author of Stardust? I can’t comment on the audio books but might try them – sounds good. Also I have no tips on voice recording… I remember my horror at hearing my own dulcet tones recorded as a teenager (as we all do) – is that what I sound like!? I knew my radio days were over before they began! But good luck!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 8:56 am on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Ha ha… Thank you, princessarchitect. If you happen download my app, let me know how bad it sounds please. :) And yes, NG is the author of Stardust.

        Liked by 1 person

    • zarish94fatima 2:52 am on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i have to find these audios soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • M. W. Morrell 8:58 am on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The perfect anglo-american position. I’m so envious.

      Like

    • bookgirl1987 2:05 pm on September 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I adore Neil Gaiman’s reading voice! I listened to his novella “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” via OverDrive recently and really enjoyed the experience! You will find your confidence in this new endeavor!

      Like

    • Kurt Brindley 10:10 am on September 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Well, sure I could but what fun would that be? I do all this out – books, blogging, social media – of enjoyment (mostly); certainly not because there is a huge call for me to do it or because I am making loads of money from it. I know my post sounds whiny and self-deprecating but that’s written (mostly and hopefully) for humors sake. One thing I love most about all of this – books, blogging, etc.) is the discovery process. I dig learning new things and having to buy new toys (such as microphones and whatnot) to support what’s being discovered. But you are certainly correct in saying that, if I were to hire someone more appropriate for the task, the result would be more authentic and pleasing to the ear. :)

      Like

    • Clara Erving 5:56 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My husband and I are Neil Gaiman fans. We have “Trigger Warning” next to our bed and just bought the recently released, author-preferred text of “Neverwhere.” This post was a good read. Good luck on the audio book!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 12:27 am on August 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , literature, , P R O S O C H Ē, ,   

    Need Help Publishing Your Book? 

     
    Inspired by a love of literature in specific and “The Arts” in general, as well as our very own Indie Author Book Selection & Review (IABS&R), it is my pleasure to introduce you to a long in planning yet new venture of mine, a venture of which is in possession of the entrepreneurial name of PROSOCHĒ (pronounced pro-so-hi) as legally registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the United States of America and which is now open for business to all those of a literary nature world-wide.

    In other words, I’ve founded a Literary Consultancy gig and I cordially invite you to consider my services as an option for expanding and enhancing your authorial endeavors.

    Admittedly, in its present state the website is rather understated in looks and overstated in words, but it does embody that which I wish to convey and present to the world at this time.

    And, as in much if not most of life, it is subject to change.

    You can visit the site to learn all about it – like what in the heck does PROSOCHĒ even mean – but here are a couple key points I’d like to highlight for you right now:

    • Long term I hope for PROSOCHĒ to be a full-scale Creativity Consultancy firm, catering to all “The Arts.” But as of the moment, it employs just yours truly and I am able to offer Literary Consultancy services in the form of manuscript proofing, editing, and other such things that can be found on the website.
    • While I found that manuscript proofing and editing services can run into the thousands of dollars, I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what my services are worth at this time. I do believe I can provide some value, however, as is attested to by the testimonials found on the site, and I do believe it is worth a fee of some sort; but until I figure it all out, I am accepting as a fee whatever it is my select clientele, perhaps you, choose to pay.

    I did mention that things are subject to change, right? Well the fee structure certainly will, and I imagine soon, so please keep that in mind if considering the services.

    I also mentioned at the beginning of this post that PROSOCHĒ was partially inspired by the IABS&R. That inspiration came not so much from what has been advertised about the IABS&R here or from the reviews I have written in response to the selected texts; the inspiration came from that part of the IABS&R which you probably aren’t aware of, which is an email I send to the IABS&R authors that consist of detailed and expansive feedback of contextual, proofing, and editing recommendations based upon my close reading of the text. I believe these emails have been of more value to the authors than either the exposure they’ve received through this site or the reviews of their work I post here or elsewhere.

    So, in addition to a deep understanding of the ins and outs of the world Indie Publishing, that is the crux of what I bring to PROSOCHĒ: my ability to give a manuscript a close read and provide its author a deep and extensive critique of it.

    So, please check PROSOCHĒ out if you feel so inclined and just maybe we can work together on a project of yours.

    Now, with the advent of PROSOCHĒ, does it mean the end for the IABS&R? The answer is most certainly not. In fact, I am getting ready to kick off Volume IV as I am already in receipt of three books – you’ll be seeing the Book Reveal posts of them very soon so if you’d like your hard copy book to be entered in this volume you better send it to me pronto as my selection will be in a month or so.

    As always, there’s a lot going on, of which I am very happy and even more thankful for.

    If you have any questions about PROSOCHĒ, please let me know about them by contacting me through the site’s Contact Page.

    Thank you and, as always…

    Write On!


    PROSOCHĒ

    The Art of Attention

    Our MissionOur ServicesOur FeesOur TeamOur Free Initial ConsultationOur Blog

     
     

     
  • Kurt Brindley 8:00 pm on July 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , literature, , , , suspense novels, ,   

    DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS by G.N. Boorse: An IABS&R Volume IV Book Reveal 

    IABS&R VOLUME IV BOOK REVEAL
    Quite the haul from just one visit to my PO Box, wouldn’t you say? Makes me feel like a kid at Christmas…

    Well, we kind of kicked off the IABS&R Volume IV with this, so what do you say we go ahead and get this party started?

    We’ll start off by revealing DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS by author G.N. Boorse in this post, and then we’ll reveal the other books in the haul at a later date. I will say now, however, that the other books are by author Avril Meyler and you can get a head start as to what to expect from her by checking her site out at multidimensionalreality.wordpress.com.

    DON'T TOUCH THE GLASS package
    I was going to publish this book reveal earlier this morning and then publish a guest post by the author later this evening. However, the sons and I decided to make a quick day trip to New York City (jealous, ain’t ya) so I am publishing this from the road and I will publish the guest post tomorrow some time, Inshallah.

    DON'T TOUCH THE GLASS front cover
    Here is a front view of the novel DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS by author G.N. Boorse. It is a very eye appealing, professional-looking cover that is, quite honestly, compelling me to read it.


    Author G.N. Boorse Website

    Visit with Author G.N. Boorse at his website
    asotherswere.me


    Boorse-book-flat

    Boorse-book-spine

    DON'T TOUCH THE GLASS by Author G.N. Boorse by cover
    From the back cover of DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS:

    A record-breaking mudslide traps seventeen people behind the glass front of a superstore. Food and supplies abound, but they yearn for freedom, debating the risks of smashing the windows and breaking free. The days grind on, and Audrey Frost’s nightmares won’t seem to leave…

    Does DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS look rockin’ or what? Yes, indeed it does. The fun and excitement continues so stay tuned for tomorrow’s guest post by Author G.N. Boorse…

    And remember, we’ll leave submissions open for this volume for about a month or so, so if you want your book considered while also receiving a reveal treatment such as this, let me know soonest.

    Right on?

    Write on!
     

    Available at Amazon


     

    Author G. N. Boorse

    asotherswere.me

     
     

     
    • asotherswere 6:32 pm on July 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Haha thank you! Be sure to grab a copy ;)

      Like

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