Advertising executive, cartoonist and blogger Hugh MacLeod has released his rant on creativity, How to Be Creative, in a free PDF format. The document has plenty of wisdom for the aspiring novelist, artist, or other creative type.
Yet another brilliant-sounding book, one I probably won’t get around to reading for several months: The Last Generation by Steffan Postaer. The basic idea? It’s not the end of the world, just the end of us. Humanity encounters EFS (embryo fatality syndrome), where fetuses suddenly and inexplicably turn to Jell-O. Humanity is no longer able to reproduce, and the question becomes now what do we do, which I can only assume will be tackled in a majority of the novel.
It’s one of those quirky sci-fi ideas that makes you think. I only hope the story can stand up to the weight of the idea. You can read an excerpt online, where you can also find out that author Postaer is the ad man behind the Altoid “curiously strong mint” ads. Ironically, he has three kids.
I find this exchange interesting on several levels:
Time: Faith is important to you. Have you ever prayed for Saddam?
Time: There is that challenge to pray for your enemies.
Bush: Absolutely. But you asked me a personal question, Do I pray for him? No, I haven’t. I pray for a lot of things. I pray for the safety of our troops, I pray for those whose hearts are broken because of the decisions I made, I pray for strength, I pray for wisdom. Maybe I will [pray for Saddam], now that you’ve asked the question.
(Time, September 6, 2004)
A comparison of Star Wars figures from 1979 to 1997. Now that’s what I call art.
And ripped. Apparently action figures in the 70s were slim and slender, while the 90s was a decade of ridiculously large muscles. Even C-3PO has some heft.
What’s the deal folks? Too busy? Too intimidated? Think it sounds crazy? C’mon. It doesn’t even have to be a novel (well, for the official NaNoWriMo it needs to be, but have your own little National Nonfiction Writing Month), tackle that nonfiction book you’ve been contemplating. The whole idea is to give yourself a realistic deadline you can work towards. That’s always been my problem. I always want to write a book, but with no deadline that forces me to sit down every day (or come on, once a week?) it just never happens. But you’ve still got time to join the party.
Just don’t leave me hangin’ guys.
In related enticement, NaNoWriMo has made some official t-shirts available for the event. Though I’m not too impressed with the designs. I’ll probably make my own (II’d love to see some designs from others).
And I picked up some gloves today, which will soon become miserly writing gloves. I know that sounds incredibly ridiculous, but it’s all mental. And at two pair for $1.50, they actually feel miserly.
Stupid fact of the day: It’s taken a mere 20 days for the new U2 single, “Vertigo,” to reach the top of my Top 25 Most Played Songs playlist in iTunes. It’s sitting at the coveted number one spot with 17 plays, just beating out The Get Up Kids’ “Close to Me” with 16 plays.
I choose to credit the fact that I’m incredibly addicted to U2 and the song’s inherent catchiness and playability. I’ve been known to play the song several times in a row and not get tired of it. At this rate I’ll completely loathe the song by the time How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb comes out.
quasi-confirmed interview that has yet to materialize has kept me from getting real work done this afternoon. Well, billable work. I have been reading A Generious Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren (Amazon has an understandably hard time with his ridiculously long subtitle), in between checking my computer for updates, reading random articles about the new U2 album, and noticing that everyone in my blogging circle is posting an entry about the new U2 iPod video. (me, Steve, Josh, Neal. C’mon who’s next? Tim? Andrew? Speak? Maybe Church Marketing Sucks could find a way to talk about it.)
McLaren makes an intriguing point in his chapter “Why I Am Green” (which sadly does not contain the line “It’s not easy being green”) about the family (and yes, I am getting to a real point in this entry. For the record, I’d like to blame the preposterous number of parenthetical thoughts in this entry on McLaren, who has 148 footnotes in a 300-page book, most of which are side comments and not technically footnotes. I’d hate to count how many parenthetical thoughts he has.):
“Even our family systems will need reconsideration. For example, we may realize that the nuclear family (of so much Christian focus) and “subatomic family” (i.e., the nuclear family further split by divorce) both require (and waste) more resources than the traditional family — the extended or “molecular” one. Could extended families and intentional households ever make a comeback? If they do, it will be good news for all of creation — including humans.”
See what I mean? Three parenthetical thoughts in one sentence. And this guy has a degree in English. There’s hope for us all.
But I had a point: Molecular familes.
You may have heard U2’s latest single “Vertigo” backing the latest iPod commercial, and you may have noticed the members of U2 rocking out as those signature silhouettes on colored backgrounds. You can catch an extended version of the ad from Apple. How long until someone has some desktop images from that video?
The first U2 album since 2000, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, releases on November 23, 2004.
One of my favorite things to do when I have some spare time is to wander through Barnes & Noble and look for fun books. I love book cover graphic design, and I love checking out funky books.
Tonight I stumbled across The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel in Two Semesters, which looks absurdly goofy and hilarious. The back cover included quotes from people who liked the novel, and those who didn’t (“Retro kitsch. Thoroughly sophomoric.” –Entertainment Weekly. As much as negative reviews must sting, I think I’d be perfectly happy to have Entertainment Weekly say anything about something I’ve written, especially something using the words “retro,” “kitsch,” and “sophomoric.” It could have been worse. Which is probably why those words made it to the back cover.).
At any rate I didn’t read more than a page, but I am intrigued. The book design itself was curious, with all kinds of text running off the page. The artistic design itself made me want to buy the book. Maybe next time. If it shows up in the used section.