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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

1000 Black Lines as moved...

... to Coffeehouse Junkie Blog beginning September 1, 2009.

Workaholic or passionate?

From Seth Godin:
A workaholic lives on fear. It's fear that drives him to show up all the time. The best defense, apparently, is a good attendance record.... The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays.

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"the elegant lie"

Sunday, I had the opportunity to sit in the WPVM studios during a broadcast of WordPlay. Katherine Min read from Secondhand World; a lyrical novel of sorts. Sebastian Matthews discussed the autobiographical elements of the novel. Katherine Min responded, "Fiction is the elegant lie that leads to the truth." And I wrote it down in my notebook along with other jewels I gathered from observing the recording of WPVM's WordPlay.

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Letting go

Two things happen when you let go of something; you feel the pain of its absence more acutely or you feel the freedom from the weight it once possessed in your life.

To build a lean-to

I built a backyard lean-to that survived rain, wind, snow and freezing temperatures.
With the rising housing costs and manufactured mortgage crisis, it is very affordable housing. However, there's no heating, toilet or running water. But the clear night skies are amazing--and that's priceless.


Thanks for NOT READING

Did I write that I was going to "shut down" 1000 Black Lines? I posted that one of my blog goals was to attain 1000 blog posts. Further, the countdown to the last post does not equate to shutting down. But thank you for making it appear like I am bleeding out of the blogosphere and providing voyeuristic entertainment for those who do not regularly read 1000 Black Lines but would like to witness the apoptosis of a blog. To shut down implies deleting--i.e. ceases to exist; i.e. terminate.

Did I write that I was deleting 1000 Black Lines? For crying out loud, read and comprehend before you post! Better yet, don't blog at all and go read a book with lengthy sentences and complex words. And I thought I had ADHD. Now that my blood pressure is experiencing a correction, I'd like to point out that the countdown was to share how many posts remain until the goal is attained.

What editors do

From The New Yorker:
Editing takes a variety of forms. It includes the discovery of talent.... It can be a matter of financial and emotional support in difficult times.... an editor ordinarily tries to facilitate a writer’s vision, to recommend changes... that best serve the work.... editorial work is relatively subtle, but there are famous instances of heroic assistance: Ezra Pound cutting T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” in half when the poem was still called “He Do the Police in Different Voices”; Maxwell Perkins finding a structure in Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel” and cutting it by sixty-five thousand words.

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7 habits of a customer-oriented company

From CRM Media:

  1. Store Experience

  2. Convenience

  3. Range and Assortment

  4. Quality

  5. Customer Service

  6. Multichannel

  7. Product Availability

(via Community Guy) Link.


Paparazzi for hire

From AdPulp:
people paying faux paparazzi up to $1500 to follow them around town with cameras

The secret lives and desires of poets & writers

From The New Yorker:
Part of the reason there were no real biographies is that little was known about Gibran’s life, and the reason for that is that he didn’t want it known.

And from Slate:

...one of the most troubling dilemmas in contemporary literary culture.... the question of whether the last unpublished work of Vladimir Nabokov, which is now reposing unread in a Swiss bank vault, should be destroyed--as Nabokov explicitly requested before he died.


From 1000 Black Lines:
  1. Jessica Smith, Burn it. Poetry burns well. And it is a fitting end for poetry, esp. anything from that angsty juvenile period...
  2. 1000 Black Lines, Thanks for the advice. I'll burn it along with all the friendship bracelets, florescent T-shirts.... Who needs to worry about the high cost of heating fuel when burning poetry is such an affordable alternative?

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"a terrible idea to suppress"

From TNR, an interview excerpt of Ian McEwan:
I think it is ineradicable, and I think it is a terrible idea to suppress it, too. We have tried that and it joins the list of political oppression. It seems to be fairly deeply stitched into human nature. It seems to be part of all cultures, so I don't expect it to vanish. And yet at the same time, if it is built into human nature, why are there so many people who don't believe in it?

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Are you Starbucked?

From Washington Monthly, regarding Taylor Clark's Starbucked:

In his closing section, Clark addresses the question of cultural homogenization--the idea that, by being everywhere, Starbucks is killing the individual character of far-flung communities.... "Starbucks diminishes the world's diversity every time it builds a new cafe," Clark writes. "The company, by its very nature, endangers cultural uniqueness, and this is why I am not a Starbucks customer."

This brings me back... to my own experience reading Starbucked in Starbucks.... here is what I saw in those two Starbucks locations: People buying coffee. People drinking coffee. People waiting for the restroom. People working on laptops. And, on one occasion, a barista giving a tourist directions to a nearby cafe.


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Your community gathering spot

From AdPulp:
The web is social. Coffee is social.

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Sponsor this blog

If I planned to continue this blog beyond the 1000-post limit, I might consider contacting these potential sponsors:
Cafe Du Monde

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery



Primaries, blimps & football

WARNING: this contains overt political content and may offend some readers; specifically those readers (mostly well-meaning friends who will probably not speak to me again after reading this post or if they are still speaking to me will inundate my inbox with Ron Paul propaganda) who think I should support Ron Paul for President. It wasn't long ago some well-meaning friends were saying the same thing about Howard Dean.

The NC Primaries aren't until May. Yey, can't wait to participate.

Next door, the SC primaries are in progress. Yes, it is the season for American politics at its best (or worst). An old Larry Norman song seems to capture the mood: "nothing really changes/everything remains the same..."

Remember this floating object? (via Expats4Dean) Link.
All that blimp and he still lost.

And now this floating obscenity. (via Bostonist) Link.
Need I predict another lost campaign?

You'd think a political campaign marketing group would be more creative than to use a blimp. A blimp is the kiss of death... unless it is floating over an American football stadium.

GQ had a good idea... use a bimbo blonde babe attractive intelligent youthful female to promote patriotism... or support for the troops... or something to do with red, white and blue nationalism.

But the cliche red, white and blue is so passe. Presidential candidates need to be bold: how about green and gold?

I think I'll write in Brett Favre for President.

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Writing tips from published authors

Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules for writing fiction Link.

Stephen King's seven tips for becoming a better writer Link.

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Under the covers

For those who take book covers for granted.
(via Ministry of Type) Link.

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Books that "Take Your Breath Away"

It is all about packaging, whether one likes it or not. The British design/publishing company knew that when they released their catalog of books produced in cigarette packaging.

When browsing bookstore shelves the standard trade paperback size becomes overwhelmingly boring. Packaging matters. Cover design matters. Page layout matters.
Anyone who has ever been in a bookstore knows that you’re not browsing books; you’re browsing covers. To have a chance in a sea of covers, you’ve got to have a compelling visual that grabs people.
(via Andre Brocatus) Link.

If a designer can make a book's packaging and cover attract a reader, the page layout and text should create a literary (and art) experience with an archaic technological device--a book.

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“Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.”

From 43 Folders:
[Chuck] Close talks about evolving his method of working to overcome his own personality.

"I’m a nervous wreck. I’m a slob. I have no patience. And I’m rather lazy. All those things would seem to guarantee that I would not make work like I make. But I didn’t want to just go with my nature."

So instead of painting overwrought, expressive things when the mood struck, he committed to making his epic, close-up portraits by breaking the work into tiny pieces and hewing to a grid. Not only did the grid make technical sense, it forced a lifehack on Close that would help him deal with his own tendencies. It helped get the work done...


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How to sing in French


Remember grammar class?

Of course you don't. Based on the blogosphere, it must not be taught in schools anymore.

If you are one who remembers grammar class, this is great: Diagramming the Preamble to the US Constitution. (via Boing Boing)

If not, visit Grammar Girl: Link.

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When the coffee runs out (or, where did all the books go?)

There's a difference between greatest or best and most beneficial books. But if no one is going to visit the library to discover them, will they truly be great, best or beneficial? Some people must be reading those odd artifacts called books. Otherwise a self-published novelist with a great book deal would have remained in the shadows of the literary landscape.

Oh, bother... maybe I need to switch from coffee to chai.

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Writers at Home Series reading this weekend

From Elaine Fox (fox@unca.edu):
UNC Asheville's Writers at Home Series Continues January 20

UNC Asheville's Writers at Home Series continues with readings by local authors Roy Andrews and Gary Lilley at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St. Writers at Home is part of the Great Smokies Writing Program, a consortium of Western North Carolina writers and UNC Asheville. The event is free and open to the public.

Roy Andrews, a native of New Hampshire, has published short stories in "New Orleans Review," "The Adirondack Review" and "New Hampshire College Review." He has also read one of his short stories on New Hampshire Public Radio. Previously, Andrews directed a university writing center and taught writing about modern art.

Gary Lilley has published four books of poetry, including "The Subsequent Blues," "The Reprehensibles," "Black Poem (The Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series)" and "Alpha Zulu." He received the D.C. Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry in 1996 and has been a poet-in-residence at WritersCorps, Young Chicago Authors and The Poetry Center of Chicago. Lilley teaches undergraduate writing at Warren Wilson College.

For more information, call Tommy Hays, Great Smokies Writing Program Director, at 828/254-1389

Link. . . . .

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Coffee, gotstahavit

From Unclutterer:
Coffee beans you aren’t going to grind and brew within two weeks can be kept in the freezer, but they should not be stored in the refrigerator. Moisture isn’t good for coffee, well, unless you’re actually in the process of brewing. Don’t believe me? Here are a few insights from people much more informed than I...

And loosely related, from The Point:
...it's not surprising that studies have shown caffeine is an effective aid.... For caffeine to be most effective, however, regular users need to minimize their caffeine use so that when they need it, caffeine will give them a boost.

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How to write a marketing poem

Step One:
Read anything and everything Seth Godin writes.

From Seth Godin:
used bookstores hate Amazon
And so do independent bookstores
Who vs. how many.
More marketing links than you can read...

Step Two:
Write a 31-syllable waka.

Step Three:
Publish the waka on your own blog, because no prestigious literary journal would waste the time to print it.

Used bookstore owners
hate Amazon. But why? The
staff and owners of
used bookstores know the hands and
faces of bibliophiles.

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Recently listened tracks

The countdown to 1000 posts is winding down.

After this post, there will be 29 more posts until the end.

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An afternoon diversion


Are you part of the Facebook-hating mob?

Read this from AdPulp:
Hugh Macleod is not part of the Facebook-hating mob... but he does like this critical Guardian piece on the politics behind the company.

Investigative journalist, Tom Hodgkinson, says he hates Facebook in his lead. He then delves into a deep background check on the money men behind the soc net.

An interesting report regarding Facebook. But the journalism is questionable. When a journalist expresses bias before "objectively" reporting the story two things occur. One, the integrity of the investigation is compromised due to the predetermined objective of the journalist. Two, by framing the story as an anti-Facebook article, the journalist sets the reader up for biased propaganda that is supposed to convince the reader to hate Facebook. And that is not journalism. It is a well researched essay at best or simply an op-ed piece.

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"Starbucks' enemy is Starbucks"

From Tom Peters:
... your problem... lies near at hand. Don't necessarily change your strategy--why waste your energy... Worry instead about Execution and Operational Excellence.... Worry about policy manuals laden with blubber and ... too many meetings attended by too many people viewing too many PowerPoint presentations.... and... about offices for executives that are bigger than they were 10 years ago--and employee turnover that has grown in tandem with executive office-size creep.

And I might add: worry about consultants that increase the employee turnover and worry about cheapening the product for immediate gains instead of investing in a sustainable product with long-term, consistent gains and worry about "dedicated" employees that work around the clock only because they fear their job maybe subcontracted to an off-shore company that the consultant works with.

How does this apply to poets and writers? Only Hemingway can beat Hemingway. Only Kerouac can beat Kerouac. Only Pound can beat Pound. Only you can best yourself. No one else can do that job for you. You may have a great community of poets and writers that support you, but you still have to do the work.

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A man's home is a . . . Victorian RV?


When I was in high school, my dream was to trick out a VW van. But this guy is amazing. Check out what he did to a bus.

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