Month: August 2012

The Sally Carrol Dream

By Callie Oettinger | 7 Comments

Do you know Sally Carrol Happer? She lives in the sleepy southern summers of Tarleton, GA, bathed in golden light and “freckling shadows.” She was brought up on “memories instead of money” and raised within F. Scott Fitgerald’s mind. She rests within his “Ice Palace.” She exists in a world free of 4G ads telling us to get up to speed, of apps for all that, of gadgets and gizmos a plenty. Her story is one of the North and South, city and country, men and women, “canines and felines,” new and old, and entrepreneurs and good old boys looking…

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Something Unique To Say

By Steven Pressfield | 31 Comments

If you’re a writer or artist or entrepreneur and you sometimes think to yourself, “I have nothing unique to say,” you’re wrong and I’ll tell you why. First, that voice in your head is 100-proof Resistance. It’s bullshit. I get a lot of e-mails from the trenches and, trust me, Resistance is spamming you with the same boilerplate it uses on everyone, including me. So that’s Reason #1 not to listen to that voice. Reason #2 is a lot deeper and more subtle. When we think to ourselves, “I have nothing unique to say,” we are thinking with our surface…

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Art and Manipulation

By Shawn Coyne | 20 Comments

David Carr’s piece this past Monday about The New Yorker’s Jonah Lehrer and Time’s Fareed Zakaria, reminded me of one of my favorite movies, 1987’s Broadcast News. In the piece, Carr calls out these two writers for their recent mea culpas for fabrication and plagiarism, revelations that seem to get more frequent with less consequence. Lehrer is lying low, no doubt well sustained by the revenue from his three previous bestsellers (money he will not have to return despite its fruit from a poisonous tree quality). Plus he has the sympathy of dear friends like Malcolm Gladwell who responded when…

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The Girl from WAZE

By Steven Pressfield | 16 Comments

I’ve been traveling overseas for the past few weeks, and one of things I’ve encountered is a vehicle navigation system called WAZE. WAZE has a couple of cool features that I’d never seen before. (Forgive me if this kind of system is old-hat to you; it was blockbuster, earth-shaking news to me.) First, WAZE takes traffic into account in real time. Accidents, speed traps, construction delays; WAZE is on the case, suggesting alternative routes and automatically recalculating your ETA. It presents you with three choices of route, including the estimated time-to-destination of each. “Ah, it’s 21.6 minutes by Route A…

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Lighten The Load

By Shawn Coyne | 19 Comments

[I almost never do this, but this guest post by Markus Almond compelled me to make an exception. Mark’s zine, Brooklyn To Mars (see link below), ain’t bad either. Thanks, Mark. I’ll be back next week  — Shawn.] There was pounding on my door.  I clicked “file save” and got up from my desk to answer it.  “We’ve got an electrical fire downstairs,” my landlord said out of breath and visibly upset.  “Everything’s fine, you don’t need to evacuate but the fire department is here and they need to turn off the electricity.” “No problem,” I said. “Also, we just found…

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Thinking A Career

By Steven Pressfield | 30 Comments

Once we turn pro (and even before we do), our Muse has plans for us. Those plans are our career-in-potential. They exist, whether we choose to believe in them or not. And they’re operating upon us, influencing us like the gravitational pull of an enormous invisible star. If you’re a writer, your career-in-potential is a shelf of books. Your books. Books you’ve written. They exist now, even if you haven’t started Book #1. Just as your family exists, even if you haven’t yet met the mother of your children. It helps, I believe, to think in these terms. Seventeen years…

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Finding “Real”

By Steven Pressfield | 22 Comments

To say that a voice (or a look or a sound) is “real” in art requires quotation marks. We will never speak in our “real” voice because the very act of speaking in a compelling and interesting manner requires, first, a point of view—and every point of view implies a voice that is dictated, and thus made “true,” by the context in which that point of view is taken. Was Churchill’s voice “real?” Was Homer’s? Our “real” voice, when we’re lucky enough to find it, becomes the voice of that point of view. The more closely the voice coincides with…

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Art and Amplification

By Shawn Coyne | 28 Comments

I was at a dinner party the other night. It was a book party for a friend and it was as good as those things get. Lots of fun arguments about the state of the business, where the opportunities were, hypocrisy, stupidity, cowardice etc. Then, as these things go, someone asked if we could all switch seats. I suspect this happens because there are always a couple of people having too good a time. They’re talking loudly, laughing and making broad declarative statements. So the rest of the sad sacks at the table gang up on them and separate them…

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The “A” Story and the “B” Story

By Steven Pressfield | 12 Comments

In screenplay lingo, writers and directors refer to the “A” story and the “B” story. (There can be a “C,” “D,” and “E” story, but let’s leave those alone for the moment.) The “A” story is the dramatic core of the movie. It’s the foreground—the primary throughline that the protagonist follows. The “B” story is a supporting saga, running on a parallel (and often seemingly-unrelated) track. In The Hangover, the “A” story is the guys’ efforts to find their friend Doug. The “B” story is Stu’s (Ed Helms) struggle to break out of thrall to his shrew girlfriend back in…

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