Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm still kind of busy

As this blog purports to occasionally have something or other to do with writing, and because inexcusably his death has hitherto gone unmentioned here; today, instead of my hopeless nonsense, why not go read something Mr Kurt Vonnegut had to say on the subject:

How to Write With Style.


In fact, the man had many wise things to say* (apart from that thing about semi-colons), and not just on writing. But the one I always remember was actually something his uncle told him to say:


My uncle Alex Vonnegut, a Harvard-educated life insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania Street, taught me something very important. He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to
notice it.

He was talking about the simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery, or fishing and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door.


Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: "If this isn't nice, what is?”

Timequake, 1997

Yep, I know, I'm a terrible cynic, so what am I doing quoting something like that? Well, precisely because I am a terrible cynic - I'd be a much better one, if it wasn't for that passage. And if that isn't nice, I don't know what is.



R.I.P. KURT VONNEGUT

So it goes.



*on this occasion, after a short burst of rural angst from some old episode of The Archers.

10 comments:

Taiga the Fox said...

Thanks for posting this... I wondered what to say, but seems like you said everything already.

So it goes.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Yep, so it goes.

I should have written that after the R.I.P. bit.

miss-cellany said...

I'm happy that you can't be a really really good cynic :)

Other wise the wet-suited paddlers would not have been quite so funny...

Taiga the Fox said...

>>I should have written that after the R.I.P. bit.<<

And I see you did :)
Are you trying to shoot white and cream ponies on the beach or are you otherwise kind of busy?

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Still busy doing things I should have done ages ago, unfortunately (when I'm not staring vacantly in to (cyber)space). So the ponies are safe for...

Oh, right, the other kind of shooting...

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Ah, those paddlers were great... :)

[tries to resist deeply cynical and pretentious urge to whitter on about their baffling wet-suited antics being somehow emblematic of the absurdity of all human endeavour, ever, or some such thing - fails, sort of]

noirebane said...

Happy May Day, you old cynic, look at Flickr.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

>>Happy May Day<<

It is now :)

Fi said...

wet-suited paddlers? shooting innocent white and cream ponies? I've got some catching up to do.

and that uncle's some clever!

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Hi, Fi.

Erm, how to explain...

The wet-suited paddlers were exactly that, really. I was at Gylly Beach with Frea, Andy, and Oz, when these two middle-aged blokes came through the cafe in ill-fitting wetsuits, followed by a couple of friends. We then spent about 20 mins in hysterics (you probably had to be there) watching them do little more than paddle and run away from waves. Why they bothered to wear wetsuits we have no idea.

As for shooting innocent ponies; that would be strictly in the photographic sense. Kind of an e-mail overspill there - the short version is: Taiga has a particular liking for white and cream ponies, and I just got a new camera.

Haven't seen any ponies, though. Not since about closing time a good few months ago when one was being led down Falmouth high street. That was more of horse, though. So I'm not really sure why I mentioned it. Probably just as part of my ongoing attempt to forget that I have lots of work to do. Evidently it's not working.

And nor am I.

[Sighs] Oh, well, back to it, I suppose...