Some words (and something else)

Frank talk. The world is awash with wordsmiths churning received wit and wisdom… and words. Inspirational quotes are ten a penny online, a dime a dozen on any digital platform. These words rarely speak to me – especially those sanitised samplings of speeches, books etc, wrapped up with some kind of serene image for a slice of social media or so-called ‘inspirational content’.

Yet, somehow. A disproportionately cynical downturn since the (disproportionately crappy) US election has led me to this pull-out quote from Susan Sontag – complete with sophisticated, understated (yet definitely ‘treated’) image. (Click on the image if you have time to savour the full blog post by Brain Pickings). Otherwise, this sample says it all…


Those few words make for a good mantra, for writers, for anyone. There are so many maxims and meanings and moments, and Sontag herself notes (in writing about storytelling) that she’d just as likely select some other words, some other moment…

Needless to say, no sooner had these perky phrases fallen out of my mouth than I thought of some more recipes for writer’s virtue.

For instance: “Be serious.” By which I meant: Never be cynical. And which doesn’t preclude being funny.

My apologies to Sontag for my cynicism. She’s reminded me to stay serious. And to be funny.

Her words work for me.

There’s nothing I’d add.


Something else

Keep challenging your assumptions, experimenting, adapting…

In that vein, below is a playlist of 9 short video clips. Each clip runs under one minute, most hover around 30 seconds long or less. The clips sum up just over a week’s worth of cobbling together short promo clips made on the fly. As always, feedback welcome.

These are creative snippets made, using only a mobile phone, in support of my satirical ebook that became my response to the 2016 US Presidential campaign (pre-election). A political parody of presidential proportions… (“80 pages” according to Amazon).

And though these clips may not appear to fit Sontag’s call to arms, they are another way that I’m currently, differently, avidly, loving words, agonizing over sentences, and paying attention to the world.




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