Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pimping in Brief: Cormac McCarthy Goes to a Birthday Party

I've never really subscribed to the idea that blog entries should be about single-paragraph thoughts. It goes against my desires as a reader. When I read someone else's blog, I want something I can sit down and sip a beer through, have a cup of coffee with, see that I've got 10 minutes to kill and can fill them by diving into this text. I accept that I won't get that most of the time, but that's my ideal experience.

That's why I try to post longer entries. This isn't to say that I think of something to write and then wrack my brain finding filler to make it wind up the requisite length. I might indulge in a needless but amusing footnote for the hell of it, but it owes nothing to meeting an assigned word length. No, instead, I try not to write something unless I know it's something I can sit down to, for a while, and something others will be able to spend a little time with. If I think of something and know that it'll just be a paragraph and nothing more, I'll pass on it and hope that maybe later, down the road, another subject will come up that lets me fold that single paragraph into it.

This goes some way to explaining why I don't have as many blog entries as other people. The idea of putting a lone, short idea out there isn't in my nature. Unfortunately, my job currently demands a lot more reading of me than I expected, plus a great deal of time interacting with multiple people in text, many of whom can make writing a chore because I have to write less to advance ideas and more to stifle possible cheap and logically fallacious replies to them. Since I'm obliged to read and write all day, it's sometimes a terrible drag to do that at night, which has made the productivity of this place decline a bit.

But, because I'd rather people have something to read when they show up, rather than going days without, I'm going to make an effort to include more shorter-form posts. One thing I'd like to share is this naked salesmanship.

My friend Cory is a fantastic — and fantastically funny — writer who's recently gone back to school to get an MFA in creative writing. I explained here how he was going about it all wrong. Well, maybe I was mistaken, because he managed to come up with this piece, "Cormac McCarthy Captures All the Pretty Birthdays." An excerpt:
They rode in westward from six or eight houses from the far end of the street in the humid peak of the midday sun leading a neighborhood denizen who had no portent of what awaited him amid the crabgrass and oak trees of the community park. Balloons red like devil eyes...
If you don't go read the whole thing, you're a big dummy.