Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A “hunger to build”

Adam Frankel, a junior speechwriter for the Kerry campaign, lists the top ten political lessons he learned (of the idealistic kind). There’s nothing exactly new here, but they’re worth reading because some of them get forgotten. For instance: “Anger is not enough.” And how about: “There’s a big difference between mudslinging and drawing a contrast.”

Of course the most important lesson for me was: “The world is run by 20-somethings.” Well, I’ve still got a few years!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ways to crawl to a halt (#1)

First in an occasional series of GN features.

How to Write Slowly:
  1. Develop an exaggerated notion of the importance of what you are writing. Agonize over its every nuance, especially while you are not actually looking at it.

  2. Remember that it is very important to write at a propitious time. Feeling tired? Feeling blue? Best save it for morning. Got errands to run? Didn’t sleep well? You’ll do better in the evening.

  3. Ambiance is also important. Everyone knows that only certain environments are conducive to expression. (You did know that, right?)

  4. Blog instead. Better yet, think about the fact that you haven’t blogged lately. Worry about whether you should have set up a blog in the first place (see also point 1).

  5. Consider passing on the whole thing. After all, it’s not going well at all.

  6. Other suggestions?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

O deer

Dear Pennsylvania deer,

Many apologies to you. But it wasn't my fault ...

Sincerely yours,