The system doesn’t work; only a collective moral resolve –or a single representative of it– can truly come close to achieving absolute “justice”. Bureaucratic niceties, civil cowardice and the inability to distinguish friend from foe only get in the way of doing what’s right, even if that road leads somewhere outside the law.
Harry Callahan, an archetype of the modern vigilante hero. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dirty Harry, Batman and 24‘s Jack Bauer are all representatives of this idea. If any of these characters existed in real life, they would be criticized for their moral absolutism, their overt violation of constitutional and human rights and their inhumane treatment of criminals. However, thanks to some clever and favorable narrative, we get to cheer them as our heroes. Are they? Continue reading →
PRISON UNCENSORED is one of those blogs that exists to change your perspective, in this case of the prison system. The title of this particular post is self-explanatory, but it doesn’t make Ed Griffin’s story any less amazing. Not only do I recommend you read the post; I highly recommend you follow this blog. Enjoy this reblog.
Call him Conrad. When a man is sentenced to more than two years, the next place he goes is to an assessment centre. When Conrad got here, he told the officials he wanted to go to a high security place where he heard there was a writing program.
“But your security rating is better than that. You go to an easier prison.”
“No,” Conrad said, “I want to learn how to write.”
So one day in August, 2008 Conrad showed up in my creative writing class. The guy was amazing, one of those students that you explain a few things to and off they go. They develop their own style and glory in it. Conrad wrote about his first nation’s culture and then moved down the map to the swamps of Louisiana and wrote about swamp people in their dialect. I have no idea how he learned that dialect in…
I rarely get to read short fiction as good as this online. As I told the author, the choice of first-person perspective does not feel like an afterthought. Instead it’s used brilliantly to tell a story about mistakes and the risks we undergo to fix them, even when deep down we know we’re chasing a pipe dream. Highly recommended.
Sirens wailed as I paced up and down the alley. I promised myself I’d never come back here. Add that to the long list of promises now smattered to pieces. My heels panged against the uneven pavement as my thoughts weighed the insanity of it all. How a 4th grade math teacher ever ended up owing $50,000 to a bookie is one equation that will never add up. One ill-placed bet was all it took to lose more than I make in a year. But if I go through with this, my debt could magically disappear: It’s a gamble I couldn’t afford not to make.
Ray Bradbury (quoted before in this blog) said a writer should do a weekly short story for at least a year; it will be impossible to write fifty two bad stories in a row, and the experience will be invaluable. Ever since I opened the Bard of Steel I’ve felt the same could be said about blogging. I know I’ve improved a lot as a writer. Have you?
You aren’t the best blogger, neither am I, no one is. Even if you post 5,000 articles in two years, you can still be better, learn more and grow further. You learn by doing, by putting yourself (in this case, your article) out there. Post your blog articles immediately so you are forced to work on more to post and thus can continue growing and learning quicker.
Even more importantly, you need to be producing a lot more articles than you think. There needs to be enough ideas and stories to populate your blog without the need to schedule one a day for the next 2 months.
After all, how could you do that to your readers? How can you deprive them of valuable information, how can you make them wait for something that could change their lives, of something that somebody may need now, not 2 months…
This video went viral over the last couple of days, but it is definitely worth sharing. What is it, if not the legendary Neil Gaiman (author of Coraline, Stardust, American Gods and, of course, SANDMAN) giving one of the most wonderful speeches about what it means to be an artist. Enjoy, folks.
In case any of you are looking for a good way to get back into the groove of things, I have found a wonderful competition. Here’s a quick description from their website:
We at Cafe Three Zero are looking for original, previously unpublished short stories from aspiring writers to be published in our third e-book ‘Random‘, and have opened a competition to assist us in our search.
To enter the competition you must write a story between 3000 and 5000 words based on this short synopsis ‘A family’s life changes forever after election night’. Please be original and imaginative.
The winner’s story will be published in Cafe Three Zero’s next e-book anthology and two runners-up will have their stories published on our blog, website and any other outlets we feel appropriate. We ask for FER rights and Archival rights for 1 year.
Last night, I was presented with the opportunity of visiting one of our hottest cultural hot spots, the titular Café Literario (Literary Café in Spanish). Some good friends invited me to a free jazz piano concert, an opportunity I couldn’t … Continue reading →
I loved this article and shared it over Twitter. Now is a good a time as any to reblog it. There is nothing quite like an effective hook in writing, particularly today when the attention of readers is so valuable and so hard to obtain.
A fitting reblog after failing to make my Thursday deadline for the second time straight. LOL Keeping a blog is tough when there’s no pay and no immediate reward, but then again all writing is like that.
I don’t think I’ve ever been interested in reading anything by Haruki Murakami, recommended as he is. There seems to be always something too self-aware in his work, something too wild for the sake of appearing creative. But I might just be interested in checking out this one book. The review certainly caught my attention and changed my mind. What about you?