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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Given the traffic that my Fluff Girls song generates every month, one could easily forget that I write books. But music is incredibly important to me, and I feel that more than wanting to write, I simply want to make things.
Some of these things aren't very beautiful.
So, be warned and go headlong into the mad sounds of Jim Pascoe. Here are the songs I have on the site for you to listen to.
- The Fluff Girls (Somehow, I feel that this is what I will ultimately be remembered for. This is a live version with the band Atomic Crowd. Even with the numerous mistakes, it remains a crowning achievement.)
- The Fluff Girls, drunken Iraq version (really this has nothing to do with Iraq. My good friend Josh Cooper came over to the Pascoe studios, and after many drinks we revved up Pro Tools and banged this out in one take.)
- Phil (Who knows what I was thinking? I can tell you that the "tune" is clearly Zappa-inspired, and that the title comes from a quote Neil Gaiman said to me. Why he thought my name was Phil is an even greater mystery.)
- Tone Garden (This song was actually on a compilation CD called M2.)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Yes, this is me live at a Karaoke bar. I've slaughtered this song many, many time, but I have to say, THIS is the most epic performance ever. Epic. Be warned.)
And now the posts:
- Now Playing
- DJ set List (I'm not a DJ, but I did have the chance to spin and mix some of my favorite records live. Here's the list of songs.)
- DJ Shadow/Radiohead remix! (this has nothing to do with me, except that I like it. And it was shut down by the record label, so I put it up here for free.)
- 2004 List
- Early 2005 List
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
I have considered making this site a collection of tips for writers, but that alone wouldn't allow me to revel in my true passion of making stuff up. I have at times, though, thrown out an aphorism or anecdote about the craft of writing, my inspirations, and my techniques.
- First Tip
- Acts of Creation
- Truth vs. Fiction (a constant refrain of mine)
- The General and the Paint (a great story about where I got it)
- Writing Tool (lots of good software info)
- How I Write (must do more of these!)
- Murakami Inspiration
- Return to the First Diner
- Another Diner Tale
- Floater Words (my second-favorite post, and one that will hopefully reveal itself as a roadmap for a future project)
I have also attempted, on rare occasions, to document my dreams. Let's hope for more, but for now...
- Dream Deprived
Monday, July 25, 2005
In an effort to welcome new readers, thanks to that great LAist.com interview -- and to bite on a common blogging trend -- I'm putting together a site index this week.
Then this weekend, I'll talk about my soon-to-be-release Kim Possible book. Really.
The Early Years
- Bang Bang (important mostly because this scene will show up in many of my future writings)
- The Finger (not surprisingly, lots of people search for the phrase "Fuck you, MTV." Here's one reason why.)
- Curn (I haven't used this word recently or often enough)
- The Pen (believe it)
- Backgammon! (seriously, believe it)
- Riddles (I still owe this poor anonymous reader some Buffy riddles)
Indeed, it is the saga of my losing the deleted key on my laptop.
- The Beginning
- The End
And finally for today, a round-up of the posts surrounding the freelance job that lead to my winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology.
- First Mention (Marvel at how cagey I am about not talking about my super-secret job)
- Focus Test
- Nomination (this was the first nomination for JETIX)
- Good News/Bad News
- Three More Nominations (Hope rises for the East Coast NATAS awards)
- The Statue Comes Home (includes a link to me and the Lady)
If you're wondering what this Jim Pascoe thing is all about, this interview is a great place to start.
Thanks to the lovely and talented A. Crew for doing a wonderful interview with me for LAist.com.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Thanks, Ross Richie.
That's what I get for hanging around the Boom! Studios booth for too much of the show.
And for the record, I wasn't drinking (yet) ... I was a ... ZOMBIE!
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Talk about good timing. Just as I was heading out the door to drive to San Diego for Comic-Con this weekend, the UPS guy shows up. He's got a box of books. But not just any books.
Badical Battles. My new Kim Possible book from Disney Press.
I'm pretty happy about it. Gives me something to show off at the show, rather than say "it comes out next month ... really it does." (It does, really.)
More about this book when I get back from SD.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I really am trying to bring this week's political discussion around to words and writing ... really! I was totally going to bite my friend Chad's style and do a similar thing with the Karl Rove story headlines that he did with some Terri Schiavo headlines.
Of course, he beat me to it. Which is only fair (and balanced?). Please check out the five headlines he assembled and see if you can find the liberal bias. You'll have to look hard with that glaring conservative Fox News headline blinding you.
My J-school wife tells me all the time about how "objective reporting" is merely presenting both sides of the story. Does that mean both sides of the story before the jump? Both sides in the headline? Both sides equally represented in sidebars and pull quotes? She will most likely have an answer -- or at least a better argument about this that I can have.
Does a paper or new organization serve its readers better by giving them the news they want to hear? Does a president do a better job by following what the people of America tell him they want.
Where are the leaders in this country?
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Of course there's no new news regarding Rove. And I wonder the extent to which Scott McClellan will actually answer these many questions -- some concerning his very ability and integrity -- once "the ongoing investigation" has concluded.
But -- if this is possible -- putting aside politics for a moment (after all, this is not a political Web site; it's a writer's Web site), can we just admire the tenacity of the reporters in the press briefing room? Sure, you can blast them as "the liberal media" or whatever, but damn ... it must be like playing football all season and yesterday and today is the Super Bowl. My favorite exchange today:
MR. McCLELLAN: John, you can keep jumping in, but I'm going to try to keep going to other people in this room, as well. And we can have constructive dialogue here, I think, but that's not the way to do it.
Q It's not my job to have a constructive dialogue, Scott. Sorry.
read it all here.
Monday, July 11, 2005
With the exception of my occasional lapses into ruling Iraq, I don't often go into politics or political discussions around here. Most of the time, I leave that to folks who are much better at those kinds of arguments. Sure, I could say plenty about how I feel that Bush is not a good president -- more importantly, a good leader -- but again, you've either already heard it, or could read about it better elsewhere.
Until this weekend.
When I heard that Karl Rove was possibly the source of the CIA leak (something that apparently was conjectured previously that I was unaware of), I was flabbergasted. THE Karl Rove. The "architect" of the Bush re-election victory. Possibly guilty of high treason -- a funny term considering that the Karl Rove himself just described the liberal approach to national security as being weak and possibly even treasonous. Let's keep that in mind: a "liberal approach" is possibly treasonous. In other words, a dissenting opinion to the ones of those in charge is possibly treasonous.
John Rogers has a good bit of frothing at the mouth over this insanity.
Then to have it come out, from Rove's own lawyer, that he was in fact the source. I expect heads to roll. I expect the media to explode.
This morning, it wasn't even the top headline.
I'm beside myself with anger and confusion that this is where we've come to. My only solace today was in reading the amazing battering of the White House Press Secretary. Read the transcript in its gory, glorious detail.
What's funny is that when I write about being the elected Prime Minister of Iraq -- now, don't be shocked, people -- I'm joking. Somehow the same amount of levity doesn't seem to apply when the speaker is the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and the subject is the naming of an undercover CIA agent, done apparently out of political retaliation.
Actually, that's not funny at all. Not in the very least bit.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I stumbled across a site this morning called Language is a Virus. There are tons of tools and suggestions meant to inspire creativity for writers.
While there are the standard references to the dadaists and surrealists, and an overabundance of techniques from the beat era, I find it odd that there are almost no references to my favorite experimental literary group, OULIPO. Although, a number of OULIPO exercises are mentioned in other contexts.
I could write and write about each and every link on this site, but what I'm most intrigued by is Jeff Noon's concept of Cobralingus. His theory is that, in the same way that experimental electronic music is sent through filters and sound gates to affect and often destroy the sound waves, a piece of writing could go through similar "filter gates" to produce a new kind of writing.
I'm not sure I'm buying it.
But I'm certainly not discounting it either. I'm fascinated by the concept of "sampling" other people's writing. This isn't as easy as it may seem. DJs and producers sample to take a single layer (a drum beat, a vocal melody line) and repeat it, combine it, and make a multi-layered track.
This is what is missing for me: you can only read one word at a time; i.e., writing is inherently a single-track operation. Sure, a sentence can act like a bounding bass line, but the moment it switches to melody, the bass line turns off. I can think of experiments in which a text is triple spaces so that single words can be placed (sampled) nearby other words, so that they are not so much READ as they are SEEN. It's sorta like forcing an allusion, or corrupting an allusion. If these "floater words" were paced in a certain way, they could form a kind of beat -- your eyes would wander from the main text in such a way as to stop you (even for a split second) enough for your reading to feel a rhythm. If these "floater words," when taken together, formed a loose narrative, then perhaps a simultaneous narrative could be constructed.
Words in the main text could be colored to force or alter meanings, and create double meanings.
Hmmm. I'll get right on this.
Friday, July 01, 2005
First I'm asked by a new waiter at the coffee shop, "Doesn't all that coffee keep you up all night?"
I opted out of the easy response -- "That's why I'm drinking it." But still I settled with, "I'm going to be up all night anyway."
Things turned philosophical. "Is it work or is it fun?" he asked, pointing at my laptop.
I cringed at the though of another easy response -- "It's both!" But again, I opted for the more informative, "It's work."
Questions filled my head. Some kind of guilt started to well up, and I began thinking of justifications to my answer. Should I tell him that I was getting paid for what I was working on? Should I mention that I'm a professional writer, that I've written other things that have been published, things that have won awards? What was he really asking?
Then I realized that his question wasn't really "Is it work?" it was "Do you HAVE to do that, or do you WANT to do that?"
I believe in the work ethic. But I do not believe in work justification.
If tomorrow night's waiter asks me the same thing, I will reply in the same way; although, I'll know I'm lying.
It's not work. It's not fun. I am making something. And somehow the act of creation doesn't seem to fall into either one of those categories.
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