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Recently, I’ve made some comments of a rather incendiary and uninformed nature. I may have insinuated that crustaceoid aliens from a cold star beyond Alpha Centauri are walking among us and controlling the activities of our culture.  My comments in this direction may have been offensive to any readers who are members of this master race of brilliant scientists–not that they exist, although if they did they would most surely be benevolent and not intend the destruction of our planet. Obviously, my blog could not escape their notice, if said creatures existed, and surely I–

Phew. That was close.

Little-known fact: the crustaceoid brain, by virtue of its vastly different functioning processes, can be momentarily disabled by a rapid visual display. If the eyestalks are exposed to the colors we perceive as red, blue, green, and beige within a single second, the crustaceoid’s nervous system will temporarily overload.

Giving one enough time, say, to wrestle the protein-denaturing ray from its inhuman claws and, theoretically, turn its mind-encapsulating device back upon itself.

All that being, of course, completely fictional.

And do not worry yourself, dear reader. I have increased both the number and the voltage of my various safety precautions. My blog will not again be interrupted. And now! On to my topic for the day!

My topic for the day is CONTENT!

More specifically, varieties of content.

I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer recently. Writing blogs, drawing pictures, writing stories. By day, I blog and search for gainful employment. By night, I draw and watch movies.

But the other day, I was thinking about reading.  Kids today don’t read, mehhh, get off my lawn, etc., etc.  But upon serious thought, I realized with rather a bit of horror that it had been several months before I had read a book (that was not a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook or a college guide) cover to cover.  The closest I’d come was keeping a copy of Confederacy of Dunces close and opening it randomly to read wherever my eyes landed.

So to fix this, I went to the library.

And I got a bunch of books.

Books are awesome. They’re like the internet, except they’re not as profane, if you don’t want them to be.  They can be about any subject. They don’t crash or suffer from critical errors. They don’t give you viruses (well…not computer viruses).  They’re easier to read than a webpage.

Cast your thoughts back. What was the last book you read? How recently did you read it? Did you read all of it?

Don’t feel obligated to tell me. I’m just hoping that someone will be inspired to go buy/rent/steal/borrow a book and read it. Because a large number of people my age don’t read books.  There are people in my peer group who haven’t read The Three Musketeers or Blackwater or Devil’s Teeth or any of the other awesome books that exist in the world.  Depreciatory finger wag to you!

Reading is doubly important if you’re a “writer” like I am. Reading books like The Shock Doctrine gives you something to write about. Reading classic authors with distinctive voices–like Shakespeare, Dumas, Lovecraft, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or, yes, OSCAR WILDE–shows you HOW to write about it. Whatever “it” is.

Do you write about road trips? Wild adventures or crazy music? Read Jack Kerouac.

International intrigue? Spies, explosions, sexy sexy sexy ladies? Read some of Robert Ludlum’s works. Read a gun manual. Maybe read a Tom Clancy novel or some Hemmingway.  Find a book on world history.

Science fiction or fantasy (like me?)? Read Tolkien. Lovecraft. Aasimov.

Reading new books is for a writer what listening to new music is to a musician (but that’s another rant).

If you’re trying to sell a book (HAH!), read one of the ‘popular’ authors in your chosen area. Know your genre, even if that knowledge is based only on memes and Wikipedia pages.

All this “advice” is for beginning writers, of course. All you people who made it already, presumably (a) already know this and (b) are off working as a consultant at a police station in New York where they have a roller-coaster relationship with the best detective in in the force.

I got distracted.

But fortunately, we’re at the end of the post! And look at that, it only took us…730 words. Not bad at all.


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