I hate end-of-year lists. I didn’t even know it was 2014 for half of the year, and I can’t remember what I wrote, read, bought, or otherwise did. I published two books, and worked on two others, but you probably already know that.
I fell down a brief Jack Kevorkian k-hole the other day, probably because I spent too much time at the airport. I really want a copy of his jazz album. It always fascinates me when someone famous for one thing has a side-passion in something completely different.
This isn’t a good example, but I always found it interesting how prior to his career in blowing shit up, Ted Kazczynski was a math prodigy, and published several academic papers, mostly about boundary functions.
Both Kevorkian and Kazczynski went to University of Michigan. (Not at the same time.)
I went to the same school as Jim Jones, Meg Cabot, and Joe Buck. (Jones was obviously before my time. Cabot lived in my dorm, I think, but I never knew her. I refuse to discuss Joe Buck.)
I went to Wisconsin for the holiday. I got sick. It did not snow. I’m still sick.
I guess a new year’s resolution, even though I hate them, is to not get sick anymore. This would probably involve jogging or something, and maybe not eating at Taco Bell four times a week.
A k-hole I plan to fall down, when I get off the DayQuil/NyQuil roller coaster, is Oulipo, and Raymond Queneau’s movement on constrained writing. He did this thing called A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems, which is like a paper version of those random headline generators, but from 1961. I don’t know any French, and I have no idea what I’m talking about, but it’s a good rabbit hole to fall down, maybe.
I have some fascination with constrained writing only because I wrote a ton of stuff just like Atmospheres, and then after the audio book and having to re-read it a dozen times, got really sick of that kind of writing, and thought I needed to write another book where the prose was much more simple. I don’t know what rules I would follow, other than to make it less manic, and maybe stop drinking Red Bull.
I was futzing with this app called Hemingway, which calculates the grade level of your writing and points out passive voice and stuff that’s hard to read. Most of the stuff I wrote in Atmospheres is way above the 12th grade level. I think I should just write books of lists at the 3rd grade level.
Not to be confused with The Hemingwrite, which is a hipster digital typewriter for about $400, and a kickstarter, which means you probably won’t get it until 2027.
I am about 4 for 17 on kickstarters, and just got in the mail this stupid pet camera I must have ordered in like 2011. It showed up right after we got back from vacation, so it’s sort of useless.
In 13 minutes, I get to take another dose of DayQuil. I’m pretty happy about that.
Other vague resolutions that aren’t are the usual: write more, ignore the news, lose weight, hail satan, etc. You?