A Hankie-Head Hullo

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:06 pm

Davey, have you heard the Nardwuar interview of Harlan?

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:29 pm

No, I haven't! Or any others, for that matter. Perhaps there's a link or something...?

One of the main reasons I insinuated myself onto this board is to explore the openly shared and broadly examined boundary between the man and his writing, the better to understand my own boundary issues in that respect ('boundary' is not really the word I want, but I'm blearily sleep-deprived at the moment). Until recently, HE's variously celebrated foibles never really grabbed me; the world is FULL of interesting people. I'd say All the Lies... kind of piqued my interest, though; one of those inexplicable resonances. There's a gap between my writing talent (I'm good -- maybe not great, but definitely good) and its consistently successful expression, and reading and rereading his work over thirty-some years, I've formed the strong impression that despite the fact that I Don't Know Him, He Don't Know Me, he understands that gap, that circuit wanting completion, and has confronted it and bridged it, whether adroitly or clumsily, enough times to render the exercise as simple and straightforward as breathing -- even if the breathing is the labored gasping at the top of twenty flights of steps. I imagine that's true of pretty much any veteran working writer, of course, but for some reason it really jumps out at me from HE's work. I wish he'd devote his autumn years to teaching (I know, I know...). I'd take out a third mortgage to take that class.

I'm even able to narrow my issue down now that I've been sitting here thinking about it in this exalted context: I'm GOOD with words; I can make 'em DANCE. Wurdz be mah BITCHIZ, yo. But the formation of the story -- the plot, the shape of it, the Thing I Want To Say -- it eludes me, it slips out of my grasp like wet ice. In trying to finding the balance between form and execution, I've really grown to dig Harlan's mastery. There's a lot of his stuff I don't even like -- stories I've finished that tasted like brussels sprouts stewed in boiling Plochman's Yellow Mustard and raspberry jam, if you will -- but I invariably respect the skill with which it's rendered.

So yeah, I'm interested in this interview you mention, and any other illuminating sources to which you and People Like You might point me.

Even if you only mention it because he makes funny noises in it. Funny noises are important too.
aaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! My nipples!

-Bob Goldthwait

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:13 am

Hey, all of these token mentions of SUBMARINE, and no one invites me to the party? Fine bunch of friends I have.

David wrote:"having recorded most of the soundtrack TWICE"

WTF

But Davey (hi), if Harlan isn't a teacher already, I don't know who is. He's also putting out advice to writers every few years or so, most recently in VOICES OF VISION by Jayme Lynn Blaschke. Do you have his essay on character building from THOSE WHO CAN? His "Tell-Tale Tics and Tremors" from THE SFWA GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING? If you need a teacher, you need to walk towards the teacher, he ain't coming to us. :-) I've also seen him answer a specific writing question or two in the Pavilion.

Jan

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:48 pm

Ah. I guess I've formed the possibly mistaken impression that he's had quite enough of playing Guru on the Mountaintop to clamoring hordes of aspiring wannabes.

At any rate, I wasn't proposing to hassle him directly, but rather to osmose from him and y'all, while hassling others directly, on a more local level. This is Iowa City, mayng, home of the overrated-but-still-laudable Iowa Writers' Workshop; you can't spit on a dozen working writers around here without hitting a decent one absolutely slopping over with helpful advice, and depending on which bar you're in, you can trip on a shoelace and spill a single beer on a dozen working writers any night of the week.

I love this town.
aaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! My nipples!



-Bob Goldthwait

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:31 am

(from the pavilion)
DTS <none>
- Friday, January 19 2007 6:27:10
Musical instruments and Harlan J. Ellison
Dave C (aka, spacklepants which I DON'T want to speculate upon given the nature of Castro's recent post): I once witnessed Harlan playing the "musical fruit" (true story), other than that, I'm pretty he's never been able to play anything other than a vocal chord or two.

--DTS




Rather that clutter the pavilion with a reply...
"Spackle" and "Pants" are just two words I find inherently funny (nothing to do with excitement outracing undressing speed). "Pickles" just cracks me up too, and...well shit, there are lots; I should make a list.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:08 pm

Jan wrote:Hey, all of these token mentions of SUBMARINE, and no one invites me to the party? Fine bunch of friends I have.

David wrote:"having recorded most of the soundtrack TWICE"

WTF


Once in a U.S. Army base cinema in Hanau, Germany, on an Uher reel-to-reel I smuggled into the theater, circa 1970; a second time off network television in about 1974.



Jan wrote:But Davey (hi), if Harlan isn't a teacher already, I don't know who is. He's also putting out advice to writers every few years or so, most recently in VOICES OF VISION by Jayme Lynn Blaschke. Do you have his essay on character building from THOSE WHO CAN? His "Tell-Tale Tics and Tremors" from THE SFWA GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING? If you need a teacher, you need to walk towards the teacher, he ain't coming to us. :-) I've also seen him answer a specific writing question or two in the Pavilion.


Harlan also wrote a "writers' advice" column for several issues of Pulphouse magazine in the early 1990s. I have copies of several of them; just haven't had time to read 'em yet. I see there are several more copies for sale on eBay right now.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:46 am

You are not Morning People are you.

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Postby Moderator » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:42 am

Well, yes. As a matter of fact....
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:39 am

Yep, I am. Always have been. Although I've been staying up later as well.

Today I've been up nearly four hours already.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:46 am

Six hours, if you're counting strictly from the Central Time this board apparently assigns to posts.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:50 pm

Wull yeah, but you two are the cool guys....

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Postby Moderator » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:10 pm

Or, as we like to phrase it "the coffee addicts".

(Speaking strictly for myself.)

Funny thing is, my wife had a gig last night making my usual early morning rise that much more difficult. I'm kind of trapped (as I assume Loftus is) between the Corporate Hours and the Artists' Hours.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Davey C
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Postby Davey C » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:43 pm

Me, I'm on the Kid Hours. Max is six, and that's when he gets up. So, consequently, do I.

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Postby Moderator » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:38 pm

Or, as we like to phrase it "the coffee addicts".

(Speaking strictly for myself.)

Funny thing is, my wife had a gig last night making my usual early morning rise that much more difficult. I'm kind of trapped (as I assume Loftus is) between the Corporate Hours and the Artists' Hours.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:08 am

Barber wrote:Or, as we like to phrase it "the coffee addicts".

(Speaking strictly for myself.)


I would certainly hope you do.

I drink coffee every day. Except when I don't and casually choose chai or some other tea.

I'm not a coffee addict. It's rare that I feel any effect from it whatsoever.



Barber wrote:Funny thing is, my wife had a gig last night making my usual early morning rise that much more difficult. I'm kind of trapped (as I assume Loftus is) between the Corporate Hours and the Artists' Hours.


I'm not so much "trapped" as perpetually swinging. Right now I'm doing a show that stars children ages 8 to 12, and attracts a largely similar audience, so it starts and ends early -- I'm walking home by 9:30 p.m. But I'm so wired from the experience anyway (sans coffee) that I go to bed long after midnight on weekends (it's after 2 a.m. right now) and have to kind of force myself to go to bed by midnight on weeknights so I can get up to go to work in the morning. Or rather, get up at 6 a.m. on some mornings to do some free-lance work BEFORE I go to my day job.

But I'm not stressed or harried at all, in comparison to the days when I JUST had a day job that I hated.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus


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