Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Counting of Words

Stephen King has written that he usually writes 2,000 words a day. He has a routine. He writes in the morning. In the afternoon, he reads.

I am unable to maintain a writing routine.

The most I ever wrote was 4 or 5,000 words in one sitting.

It took me three years to finish a sonnet.

I often write 200 words of fiction and feel rather satisfied.

20,000 words of non-fiction and 20,000 words of fiction are not at all the same.

One might take me four months, the other might take me four years.

I have not found E.B. White’s quote that, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper,” to be true in my life.

Sometimes, with my fiction, like with Edge Play X, for example, which is my work most akin to standard fiction, I have pushed through on certain chapters or paragraphs. The technique is different for a standard work of fiction.

For my literary fiction, I wait. I cannot manufacture it. I wait for it to arrive. It makes the back of my neck tingle. I feel light-headed when it comes. Certainly this is one of the reasons my literary fiction is unsuccessful. It is not writing. It is a personal spiritual experience. Doesn’t that sound cheesy. I don’t know how else to describe it. Feel the spirit working through you, the guru says.

It isn’t spiritual. It’s psychological. It’s all these imprints in the subconscious coming forward. It is a representation of unspoken beliefs about society and people and how we love one another. My brother was a schizophrenic and I am a writer.

Afflictions like that tend to run in families.

It wakes me up at night sometimes when it comes.

How long now have I been working on this latest book? Not even 20,000 words long. So close now. Why do I not feel a need to publish my works of literary fiction? I wrote them for myself. It isn’t selfish, it’s cathartic, like popping a boil.

Ha. New writing quote. Writing is like slicing open a boil.

The best writing I have ever read was often smeared with bodily fluids.

I can’t be the only woman who has had sexual fantasies involving Dostoyevsky. Never about Nabokov. 

Fiction word count this week: 0.

Tagged , , ,

Is Ghost Adventures Fake?

You might be familiar with a show on The Travel Channel called Ghost Adventures. In this reality-show, three men go to different locations and try to catch evidence of otherworldly apparitions.

The show is hosted by Zak Bagans and he is accompanied by two other investigators.

So, is the evidence that they find faked? Honestly, I have no idea. I certainly have no evidence that they are intentionally faking any of their evidence. There are, however, certain factors that seem to suggest that some of their claims might be exaggerated. Before I am attacked by hordes of perfumed fans and bludgeoned to death with flat irons and blinded with hairspray, let me add that I am not going to say that the men are necessarily doing this intentionally. 

First off, let me say that I am a fan of the show and have been watching it since the first season. I once told my father as we were watching a rerun of the show, “You know, half of why I watch this show is that I think the host is cute.”

And it’s true. I used to date (aka hook up with) a guy who looked quite a lot like the host. He might have even been hotter, actually. Certainly my incredible charm and amazing personality is what drew him to me. Or, it might have been all the beer. Unfortunately, in his case, there was an inverse relationship between his hotness and his intelligence, but alas, whenever I watch the show, I am reminded of an exciting time of my life.

Based on the twitter followers of Mr. Bagans, this phenomenon is experienced by other females, as the tweets they send him very often resemble what one might expect to hear from teenage girls as they look at a fanzine. 

Fortunately, attractiveness is not always indirectly proportional to intelligence. Mr. Bagans seems to be reasonably smart and is certainly funny and charming, and these factors make him a good host for the show.

So, the show is entertaining. It has an attractive host, uses music in a suspenseful way, and every show, you are guaranteed that they will find something interesting and spooky.

And that’s the rub. It is simply highly unlikely that they would find evidence of a  haunting every single time.

It isn’t that I don’t believe in spirits. I used to live in a house that was haunted and personally witnessed (in the company of others) unexplained phenomenon like loud footsteps, lights turning on and off, and things moving of their own volition. I’ve seen two apparitions and there were some strange occurrences that a few of us witnessed after my brother’s death. I’m not saying that these things are fake.

I’m just saying that it is highly unlikely that these men would find evidence each and every time they go to a location. They do occasionally try to “debunk” noises or shadows, but one never begins watching Ghost Adventures thinking that this time the group isn’t going to find something. 

Why the hell am I writing this? Certainly it is the Febreeze I sprayed on the carpet just a few minutes ago.

I digress.

When I lived in a haunted house, sometimes there would be a lot of activity. Others times there would be nothing. It appears, from experience, that just as a watched pot never boils, a hunted ghost never appears. 

The Ghost Adventures crew would certainly have a good motivation for faking their evidence as they have each found a lucrative career and fame from hunting ghosts. It would be helpful to have a skeptic on their crew who was independent of their team, but I know that this will never happen. Still, the show is entertaining, it is what it is, and it wouldn’t be fair to call the men fakes.

They may, however, be experiencing a psychological phenomenon coined Orr’s law. It says, “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.” This shows up again and again in Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising, a fucking awesome book, but again I digress.

The point is that if these guys are going into the situation thinking that the place is haunted and thinking that they will find something, they will find something. Is it legitimate? Are they really finding something? Is there, in fact, anything to be found or is it all just a psychological phenomenon that springs from the human fear of death. Who the hell knows. Or, as the Dali Lama said when I saw him speak in 1999, “Sometimes you just have to say fuck it.”

He might have said “forget it.” It’s hard to tell with his accent.

Time to huff some more Febreeze. 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,