Sunday, May 31, 2009

He Said What?

OK, he's free to say whatever he wants, and I understand that he's known for being kind of a run-at-the-mouth dick...but apparently ignorance plus hypocrisy equals success in the wacky world of Kanye West.

He was quoted last week as saying how he has no respect for books, doesn't read them, doesn't think anyone else should read them, and doesn't think they are worth the paper they're printed on--or something to that affect. At the same time, this pinhead has just--wait for it--written a book, and he would very much like you to buy a copy. I suggest you don't.

Pinhead. Effing twit.

In happier news, though, and I think in response to West's heroic stand against literacy, Cakewrecks has devoted an entry to books. Pretty cool stuff. Cakewrecks is geeky and goofy and for some unexplainable reason, really fun to read.
O, mighty Ra's beak, I haven't posted in like three weeks I think...nothing tragic, nothing new, just really, really busy. DayJob™ and family stuff have been keeping me on the run, but I have been writing; in fact, I re-wrote a piece (the only poem I've ever done...I re-did the whole thing with a stronger theme, and I actually really like it), have been making good progress on my full-length, and started another story-of-indeterminate-length called Cotton.

In the grand scheme of my life, if I run out of time, it's television and internets that lose my attention, but I have been trying to read everyone's blogs at least once a week. I've noticed that blogging is like diet and exercise: if it's a part of your routine, it's easy to keep up on it; but if you let it slip, damn is it hard to find that groove again. So, here I am, groovin'.
Mercedes already did a writeup, but I wanted to touch on a few of the things local Vegas author Vicki Pettersson discussed in her spiel to the Las Vegas Writer's Group a couple of weeks ago.

First of all, she was awesome. She is fresh from the kiln, from a pro-writer standpoint (her forth book is being released soon, but didn't go full-time until 2006, I think she said...previously she was a showgirl with Jubilee, which I think plays at Bally's on the strip), and from that standpoint had some great advice on writing. Not so much language or themes or trends or any of that stuff. As she pointed out, there are hundreds of books on those topics; pick one. Her advice was more practical, and can be summed up as such: if you want to be a writer, then quit whining and write.

Some of the details of her talk that were particularly useful:
  • Time is the writer's currency; don't waste it (obvious, but worth stating over and over again)
  • Story is king, but word count is pretty frickin' high up in the court
  • Write every day; she actually surpasses Stephen King on this topic, and he took a pretty aggressive stance on word counts and work habits in his On Writing tome. To this day, she writes every single day, even if it's just notes (although she has a standing goal of 2k a day).
  • Get through your first draft as fast as possible; everyone does this differently (there was a guy in the audience who said he can do 10k a day but will spend the next two weeks editing that 10k before he moves on to the next section...I, personally, would go mad). Vicki said that once she has a firm grip on the broad strokes of the story, she'll tear through a 120k draft, including blocks of notes ("they talk about something here") scattered throughout. If it makes you feel any better, when she subbed her latest book to her editor, she had her re-write the whole thing twice, to the tune of 600 pages.
  • She logs her writing. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks, and it has been a very good thing. I now keep a spreadsheet with dates (every day between now and the end of the year), word count, which projects I worked on, and journal-type comments on the story, etc. It really has helped keep my word count up--the spreadsheet doesn't lie.
  • Lastly, a point that she made that I like so much, I paraphrased it in my own sardonic way and have it at the top of my writing log: "The person who will get the book deal instead of you got up an hour before you did this morning, fucker."
Lastly, a Kanye West meme, because I read that he really hates these pictures scattered around on the internet.


Catherine J Gardner said...

WOW! Someone got up at 4:20, I'm impressed. :) Love that quote.

Aaron Polson said...

Kanye's an ass.

Word count is pretty high up there...hmmmm. I need to get cracking, then.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I could go into an entire tirade about what I think of Kanye, but I won't. I wouldn't want to foul up your blog.

I really need to make more progress in my daily word counts.

Barry Napier said...

It's a shame, really. Desite the garbage we hear on the radio, Kante is actually a bit of a musical and theatrical genius. It's a shame that the only talented person to come out of popular hip hop (Or whatever it's called these days) is an ignorant dick.

K.C. Shaw said...

Love that advice! Thanks for passing it along! I really need to start keeping track of how much I'm writing every day. It would definitely give me a kick in the pants, I suspect.

I read an excerpt from Kanye's book (I think I should put book in quotes), and it's--well, it's obvious he doesn't read, let's put it that way. It sort of didn't actually make any sense. Too bad he's a fricking moron, because I kind of like his music. Not that I'll be giving him any of my money anymore to download his stuff, that's for sure.

Natalie L. Sin said...

You know, if he wrote the book himself it might be the most unintentionally hilarious thing ever. I agree, don't buy it, but take a peek for free in book stores ; )

katey said...

He's smart. He knows there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Sound advice from the Pettersson court. I really like the write every day, work your ass off theory. I love logging progress, too. Makes me feel like I actually did something, or gives me a kick in the ass when I didn't. Ha!

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Cate: I'm on U.S. pacific, so those were actually my final thoughts before passing out last night...but I do get up about 5:30 most days (unless I'm being lazy and skip my workout)

Aaron: I thought I was doing good on my daily word counts until she came out with this friggin' 120k first draft stuff...made me ill.

Jamie: I've never given him much thought until this whole thing, although I have read some of these twitter-based memes that he hates so much (Yo Dawg...)

Barry: yeah, I love finding artists that I've never listened to, and rap is a genre I haven't explored much, but I just can't stomach financially supporting this guy after this dumbass article...I remember hearing he was in some kind of dispute with another rapper (50 cent?); I might have to just buy fitty's album.

Kate: it helps me, mostly because it makes me feel guilt.

Nat: I think I'll have to do that next time I'm at B&N, just to see how a book written by an illiterate reads. It sounds kind of like the last Tom Peters book I read--who is far from illiterate, but kind of a nutjob as far as business/self-help gurus go...basically the powerpoint presentations he travels with printed out and sold for $25.

Katey: that's my impression of his MO: it's OK if people are mad at you as long as they remember your name. Seems to be a common stunt anymore...

Anonymous said...

I talked to Vicki after the meeting, and she said that her highest word count ever was about 3,900 words. The 10k a day guy? Copy/Paste doesn't count.

Jeremy D Brooks said...

Yeah, 10k doesn't seem rational, unless you're copy/pasting, or just spewing whatever BS comes to mind (which would explain the 2 weeks of editing afterward)...Vicki was keen to his line and ribbed him pretty good about it.

I am firmly seated in the Vicki Pettersson Rocks camp...not my genre, but I may have to pick that series just to support her.