You Are What You Read

The brain is a super-computer. A wonderful circuit board that manages to interpret what we call reality. And words are the only way this super-computer can be programmed. There’s no such thing as someone who doesn’t read. Of course, there are folks who don’t read books, who only read Facebook Status Updates and memes and news.

How would that influence your brain? Continue reading You Are What You Read

TMM: Writing

Words are powerful. They can create, they can destroy. They can motivate, inspire, offer a bit of comfort to those in need.

I use words in written form because they are almost set in stone.

They leave a trail behind.

It’s such a definitive action, don’t you think?

But it’s not the only reason.

I write because I think we’re all made of stories. I’d like to find out what my story is.

Continue reading TMM: Writing

How I Wrote Five Books in Five Years

Writing a book can be a long and strenuous exercise in creativity, patience, and self-confidence. And even though  all it takes is that you sit at your desk and bleed for a few hours every day, sometimes this advice proves to be as useful as a friend telling us that in order to overcome feeling nervous about someone we need to be ourselves.

I don’t want to tell you that all you’ve got to do is punch the damn keys. I want to show you that there is a better way to go about writing a book.

That sounds like a trick, I get it. But I know this works because I have done it. Continue reading How I Wrote Five Books in Five Years

[Review] A Tale of Skype and Surrogates

Six word review: This is a great damn story.

More than six words:

Steve Grogan does an unbelievable job at making us curious as to what is going to happen in this short story.

The premise is quite simple: Our main character, Andy, gets sent to Switzerland, and he uses Skype to stay in touch with his girlfriend, Jessica.

Now, the brilliant part of this story is that things get a little bit… heated. Also, the dynamic between the two of them slowly changes.

But this is not all, of course.

Continue reading [Review] A Tale of Skype and Surrogates

Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

“A word after a word after a word is power.” Margaret Atwood

There’s this thing called verbal narcissism. It’s pretty much the ability to game a wall, if it comes to that. To sell sand in the Sahara Desert.

It also means to be so in love with your own words that it could mean talking on and on about things that few people ever care about. Or it could happen that you do deliver a strong message, but you’re using so many words to do so, that it’s all distilled to the point of making people want to smack you over the head with their keyboards. Continue reading Are You In Love With Your Own Writing?

Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

From Amazon.com:

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, whose hopes and plans extended to further than a few hours.

Feeling depressed? Feeling as if life’s unfair? Hard? People are mean? Read Kolyma Tales. That should make you feel better.

Don’t believe me?

“The men were not shown the thermometer, but that wasn’t necessary since they had to work in any weather. Besides, longtime residents of Kolyma could determine the weather precisely even without a thermometer: if there was frosty fog, that meant the temperature outside was forty degrees below zero; if you exhaled easily but in a rasping fashion, it was fifty degrees below zero; if there was a rasping and it was difficult to breathe, it was sixty degrees below; after sixty degrees below zero, spit froze in mid-air. Spit had been freezing in mid-air for two weeks.”

Continue reading Book Review: Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov

(Dis)comfort

“The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.” – William Faulkner

Nothing is as beautiful as we can imagine it. Yet, there would be nothing unless we’d imagine it first.

That’s the thing… the constant aspiration towards what doesn’t exist…yet.

Frustrating, indeed.

We are who we are because we spend most of our time dreaming of becoming much, much more.

And art has the habit of showing us what is possible. Continue reading (Dis)comfort