Ragged But Right

Because the internet keeps the things I used to leave on trains.

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  1. We had an American cousin staying with us last night.  She’s pre-med and a member of  [redacted] sorority at [redacted] California college so she spent dinner telling us all about Greek Life.  ”I could tell you some weird shit” she said, conspiratorially.  She wore a lot of sportswear.  I really enjoyed it!  Though I also kept trying to shoehorn Feminism in there, slightly annoyingly, I suspect.  Aaanyway,after this girl’s semester abroad, in which her mind was kind of blown by Life That Was Not Greek, she made a conscious decision never to say anything bad about her body in her sorority.  Apparently this is an outrageous act of political anarchy, akin to literally setting off a bomb in the girl’s bathroom.  She reported the following conversation:

    Sorority Sister: OMG, I’m so fat, it’s obscene.  Ugh, look at me, so gross.

    American Cousin:  I don’t think I look fat, I think I look great.

    Sorority Sister: I’m obsessed with you. 

     
     
  2. I think the thing I love the most

    is that Broad City took the implied ‘Morgan fucks her brother’ joke to the bridge. But that is among many, many things.  A little piece of magic, is that TV show.  Are you watching it already?  Watch it already! 

     
     
  3. University Life

    I went to a talk today at UCL - it’s rare that I get to do something like that anymore - and it was literally about Arrested Development.  It was really good, in that under-attented, strip-lighting way.  My fella does one next week about Twin Peaks, so he was checking out the format.  I am just a mad fan of AR, so I ligged along.

    It reminded me of something I loved about being in Ithaca; that sweet juxtaposition of the life of the University and my working life in publishing.  When I first got to Ithaca I was so up myself about Cornell; pfff, all those people doing science on books, when books actually live in the real world! I thought. I won’t be going up the hill to any of that

    But life in a college town has a way of showing you that the college has a lot to offer, even if you don’t go there.  Perhaps it’s slightly a lack of anything much else. It started with the open lectures of the 19th century reading group, followed by the sort of Anne Carson performance/lecture that could never have flown in the real world, and suddenly I was getting it.  Universities allow us to investigate the world without commerce.  They allow us to investigate commerce!  There’s such value in that.  I miss being reminded of it on a weekly basis.  

     
     
  4. slaughterhouse90210:

“It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company.”  ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

ERMAHGERD BROAD CITY SH90210 THIS IS IT. 

    slaughterhouse90210:

    “It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company.”
    ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

    ERMAHGERD BROAD CITY SH90210 THIS IS IT. 

     
     
  5. No wait, the best email I have gotten so far today is one from my Ithaca friend telling me that she is having a baby at the same time as me, and that she has finished a draft of a novel about a GIRL LOGGER for me to read I mean, Other Women, they are the motherfucking best thing. 

     
     
  6. "There will be stories of great colleagues and research anxiety and plans on taking beta blockers before a presentation at a conference, failed dating with at paediatrician (epic!), views on season 3 of Girls, Game of Thrones and of course the decline and fall of the Swedish state (and the world for that matter)."
    — Messages from Swedish friends are the best. 
     
     
  7. odinsbitch:

therealladyhawkins:

politicsprose:

Hilary Mantel’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction
1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
3 Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.
4 If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.
5 Be aware that anything that appears before “Chapter One” may be skipped. Don’t put your vital clue there.
6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?
7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.
8 Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.
9 If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.
10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.

Hilary Mantel is my new Writing Hero, it must be said. Read something of hers, and just marvel at what a freaking MASTER she is.

^^^^^^ YES.
"Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change" is my new Holy Grail.

    odinsbitch:

    therealladyhawkins:

    politicsprose:

    Hilary Mantel’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

    1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.

    2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.

    3 Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.

    4 If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.

    5 Be aware that anything that appears before “Chapter One” may be skipped. Don’t put your vital clue there.

    6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?

    7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.

    8 Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.

    9 If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.

    10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.

    Hilary Mantel is my new Writing Hero, it must be said. Read something of hers, and just marvel at what a freaking MASTER she is.

    ^^^^^^ YES.

    "Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change" is my new Holy Grail.

     
     
  8. 3,000 words in one day baby! 3,000, fuck-knows-if-they’re-any-good, keep-thrashing-through-the-awkward-parts words! And a tuna sandwich.

     
     
  9. It’s one of those days in the office: everyone wants donuts but the place that sells them is so far away that by the time you rouse yourself to go buy them the cafe has sold out, so you buy cookies instead, knowing that no-one wants them, and trudge back, catching a glimpse of yourself in a shop window and thinking ugh, bloated, ashen, greasy, terrible hat.

    Portobello Road is still lovely in the sunny mornings, curving colourfully away against the blue sky towards the market stalls setting up for the day, but January is settling on me like a heavy blanket; like sadness.  This time last year we went to New Orleans, flying out of Ithaca in a fluttering panic, returning so happy.  Now, I have to remember.  Work out, do something nice for someone else, make something, don’t be a dick about winter.  

     
     
  10. thethirdseasongirl:

    Feel the fanfiction…

    BUT FIRST, THIS, THE WAY HE DOES HIS HAIR, THE KISS. As Naomi Alderman says, that episode was Gatiss’s fanfic about people’s fanfic about his fanfic, so I am superduper happy also, it slashed ITSELF.