Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good On Paper Guy

So you meet this guy online and after reading his profile and checking out his pictures, you decide to give him the time of day. You email a little, talk on the phone and he texts you clever little snippets until you finally relent and agree to go on a date with him. It starts really well, he picks an appropriately nice restaurant, not too fancy but not el cheapo either. The conversation is relatively smooth and you take turns telling each other about yourselves. He tells a few funny, self deprecating stories and you start to warm up to this guy. You try to remember if you picked up your apartment before you left and whether you have on granny panties or your black lacy knickers. Just when you're thinking about what he's going to look like naked underneath you he starts telling you a hundred random things about himself. He recounts for you a few more yarns about his life but they are getting positively protracted, languishingly long. He then starts going on about a bunch of awards he's received. It's then you start thinking that maybe it's best not to put out on the first date. Right about the time he starts talking about cats, you're sure this guy is never going to see you naked. You wish you could tell him what he needs to do to cross the finish line, what he's doing wrong, when exactly he lost you. Instead, you do the hug and pat at the end of the night and spend the next two weeks avoiding his calls.

Irregularly Periodic Ruminations is the Good on Paper Guy. Jim is not a bad guy, he's not a total snoozefest, he's just never going to get past second base with you, and that's if you're feeling generous. Right out of the gate, Jim informs us that he's a writer of speculative fiction. Science fiction and the other 'fantasy based' genres have never been Miss Missives cup of tea. Much of what I have read tends to be unnecessarily verbose, fixated on too much detail, not enough narrative. Such is the case with Irregular Periodic Ruminations.

Jim goes through words like this guy goes through lube. Seriously Jim, you are one wordy fuck. The second major issue is that in an attempt to stay connected with his community, he writes when he has nothing to say. There are far too many posts that feel churned out. This dilutes some really good work because the gems are buried in a shit pile of memes and rounds and other things that are the antithesis of real writing. What Jim does an expert job of is networking. Between communities, Twitter, blogs he follows, blogs that follow him, Jim manages to rake in the comments on even the most mundane posts. It's a party over there and everyone's invited.

Again, the difficult thing for me here is do I review the handful of very well-written, thoughtful posts, the well-timed, funny material or do I review the blog on the overall melange of it's content? When Jim is good, he is very good. This is heartfelt and raw, and a perfect example that less is more.

This is a sliver of hilarity buried in too many words and paragraphs:

There was another thing that bothered the crap out of me about the church music. They did those songs. The ones where they pick a psalm, throw some organ in the background, and slap some arbitrary notes to the words. Seriously? It sounds like someone is reading the newspaper to song. It's stupid. Stop butchering the last movement of Beethoven's 9th like that. It's criminal. God should make you weep nothing but grapefruit juice for perpetrating that on us.
Jim, you need to edit. And then edit some more. Then put the material away, go have a cup of coffee and a biscotti and come back to it and edit some more. Additionally, posts are replete with usage, spelling, and grammatical errors. Miss Missives gets positively snitty when people misuse words like course and coarse.

You don't have to forsake your friends, but if you want your writing to be the focus and not your social networking, you need to get tabs. Use those tabs to house the blogroll, awards, and the rest of the ticky tacky badgetry that is cluttering your three column monstrosity.

Overall, there's a great deal of crap here with a few shiny gems buried deep within. You have plenty of readers but if you want to be better, you need to edit your work and write when you have something to say.

There are a couple of posts that get a shiny gold star.





However, 75% of what I read gets a giant flaming finger.








Since neither is entirely representative, I'm going to award you a sort of hybrid if you will, and we all know you loves your awards.

30 comments:

  1. God should make you weep nothing but grapefruit juice for perpetrating that on us..

    Bwahahahahahhha.

    But, yeah. This guy needs to edit big time. Also, I'll never quite understand why people advertise random-ass blog awards...

    Bang on, MM

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  2. Yeah, I thought that little 'church music' blurb was fucking stellar as well. Jim has a future. I don't know if it should involve blogging, but he has a future in something.

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  3. I like this guy, but man...EDIT. FUCKING EDIT. Do you realize how much the Ask bloggers edit? I mean, like I occasionally go back to weeks ago and still want to tinker with words.

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  4. And for the record, I know that Key edits, too. There's no way he wrote that latest post on fucking Canadians without some word tinkering.

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  5. Oh Miss M, I just love you and your awesome reviews.

    Also, lovin' the shit diamond!

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  6. LB: I can't lie, I did some editing on that post. The original was too misleading.

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  7. I know damn well you edited, it is too fucking witty to not have been pondered a bit. And I mean that in the good way. Your writing keeps getting more and more readable, though it has always been compelling (for me, at least).

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  8. That shit diamond made me feel nauseous.

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  9. Thanks, LB. DPH saw the original, and it took me about fifteen minutes to switch out a few nouns and repost. I'm either on or I'm off.

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  10. I think that people underestimate how FUCKING GOOD it feels to write something with the right words in all the right places. It's like hitting that one special sweet spot...it's THAT good.

    And if it doesn't feel that good to you, why in the FUCK are you subjecting the world to it?

    I did that today on my supersecret private blog, and I can't stop reading my post, I love it so much. And it doesn't matter if anyone else loves it, because it says EXACTLY what I want it to say.

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  11. I think the dookie diamond gets "the most disgusting award" award. It looks amazingly like the pile my cute little dog left for me the other morning while making the "I can't hold it in!!!!" face - right on my yoga mat. Nice. Except hers was missing a diamond.

    Jim's post about his mama made me cry.

    LB, why you always makin' me wanna read yo' blog? (DPH, that was for your black self on this last week of Black History Month).

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  12. LB - I get that feeling too about a post here and there. There's no greater feeling than knowing you didn't say any more or any less than you should have. I think in away writing a blog is like writing a piece of music. There's melody and harmony in the words. There's a flow. I don't know if every blogger understands that. In fact, I think some bloggers think the more words, the better.

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  13. Blogging is like 'word budgeting'. You always want to get a bigger bang for your words. I think of words like money, if I don't need something, I don't spend. If a post doesn't need something, I'm not going to waste my words. Any idiot can spend. That's not a talent.

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  14. Agreed. Oftentime, fewer words: works best. Punctuation- good. Lots of it; too. Makes up for fewer words!

    Goodly.

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  15. So last night I said to Mr. Missives, do you think you can make me a picture of a steaming pile of shit with a diamond in it? He did it, funny thing was, he never asked why.

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  16. And another piece of advice, if you are going to use a meme or round as a thought starter for a post, let the post stand alone and then acknowledge the idea/fellow blogger at the end of the post in a foot note. The intros to each of the meme'd posts were unneccesary.

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  17. Rach, thanks for acknowledging my blackness and for supporting me on my Black History Month campaign.

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  18. Miss M: I'm guessing this wasn't the first time you requested a pile of shit.
    DPH: Power to the People.

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  19. Miss Missives, you said "melange." I love you now more than ever.

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  20. Ghost: power to your mother, bitch!

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  21. Um, my mom is powered by self help books.

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  22. I love that dookie diamond award. It needs to be a staple around here, because often there are a few gems among the turds.

    It also reminds me of a woman down here who used to say, "Well, if that ain't whipped cream on horse shit." Love it.

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  23. Ghost, your mother is powered by Continental.

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  24. Thanks Cal, I like melange because it sounds like food.

    Gok, did you even notice that I managed to work biscotti in seemlessly?

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  25. But of course I did. I've noticed that the reviewers must be holding a contest to see who can best work biscotti into a review. You clever little harlots, I love you all.

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  26. Can I get a side of biscotti with my shit diamond?

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  27. Warren is such a glutton for punishment. Bend over, Warren. Your biscotti with shit sauce is on its way.

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  28. Good review. The site does seem very busy with all the clutter of adverts and blogrolls etc. in the top half.

    I took a random month to look at (Oct) and not a great deal interested me I'm afraid. He appears to belong to an active community with plenty of tagging and comments so I imagine that he's not as motivated to appeal to every last person.

    He seems content doing what he's doing, so fair play.

    His piece on his mother was touching heartfelt and I respect that.

    Gwen - Good point about the flow of writing. Some shorter pieces feel like they are following an almost 'limerick' style pattern if that makes sense.

    Striking the perfect note or melody is not always a given (certainly not in my case) but it's nice when you do.

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  29. Well I guess that's what happens when you munch too long on charcoal.

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  30. I have issues.

    My stomach is lurching just glancing at the dog shit, but I can't look away from the diamond.

    I'm so shallow that I'll hold my vomit to check out a stone.

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Grow a pair.