Inhuman Swill : Page 44
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Do not touch the art!

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So here at the WorkSpace, I've been writing a passage about a nanogoop-based painting that can fix itself if the image gets damaged. Here in the real world, there are some paintings with thick, ridged lines of textured paint on display in the hallway, and as I was walking to the kitchen for a glass of water just now I was tempted to grab one of the ridges and snap it off—like my protagonist had just done to his painting in my story. This is why I shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard. Or maybe near art.

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How the professionals do it

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Some questions for you other full-time writers out there. What are your work habits? How long a day do you write? Do you keep regular hours? Where do you work? How do you keep yourself going? What do you do when you get stuck?

I guess I'm not managing the transition well very yet, and I'm looking for some pointers.

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I found myself applauding Timothy Egan's guest column "Typing Without a Clue" from Saturday's New York Times. Not that I, as the author of a "riveting memoir" unsold "after 10 years of toil," feel any bitterness on the topic:

The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?

I didn’t think so. And I don’t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censor’s gate....

With a résumé full of failure, he now thinks he can join the profession of Mark Twain, George Orwell and Joan Didion....

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I busted a gut watching Marc Shaiman's short revue "Prop 8: The Musical." Among the many celebrity cameos herein, my favorite is Jack Black's, who may be my favorite Jesus since Graham Chapman didn't play him.

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Roscoe Orman

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Hey, that was Gordon from Sesame Street on S5E4 of The Wire!

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Apostate

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This may be heresy, but I just don't feel as much compulsion to blog now that it's my own time I'm stealing as I did when it was my employers'.

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They call him Bruce?

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Friday night we headed over to the Landmark Theater at the Century Centre for a late-night showing of the Bruce Campbell–directed Bruce Campbell flick My Name Is Bruce. My review is over at SciFi.com.

If you have any scintilla of interest in the Campbell oeuvre, you should see this flick. Campbell is currently on a promotional tour, and you can check here to see if he's coming to your town (or, um, if he's already been and you missed it). His live, faux-hostile Q&A sessions after the movie are possibly more entertaining than the movie itself, and should not be missed.

We were lucky enough that Campbell's Burn Notice costar Jeffrey Donovan, who is in town appearing in Don't Dress for Dinner at the Royal George Theater, joined the Q&A here as a surprise guest. Laura, who is a big fan, just about lost her mind. Campbell and Donovan together were as funny and profane as fuck. My 13-year-old son, in town with us for Thanksgiving, was beside himself, and actually held his own with Campbell in an exchange about the movie Congo.

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The Flame

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We had a fine, fine time at the SFWA mill-and-swill last night, saw tons of great people. But what we appreciated most about the evening was that when we got back to our hotel—not even drunk!—and found that room service wasn't answering its phone even though it will still supposed to be operating, we just walked around the corner to one of those all-night Greek diners and ordered a couple of gyro platters. Midnight dining in midtown, man. It really hit the spot.

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Bridge and tunnel

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We're back. Not five minutes on the street, as we're walking down Ninth Avenue, a guy leans out a car window and asks, "Do you know where the Latin Quarter is?"

So I put on my best wiseguy and say, "Yeah, it's in fuckin' New Orleans."

I know, it doesn't make any sense, what I said, but we're fucking back.

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"Retrogression" progression

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Retrogression progression
I'm not one to announce my daily word count, but I will say that progress is beginning to be made. Today it was made at a Starbucks on Greenview after I got my B12 shot at the doctor's office. Yes, it turns out I have quite a B12 deficiency, which might explain the tingling I sometimes feel in my back and legs, not to mention my frequent fatigue and general lack of energy. I think it's too early to chalk today's productivity up to the vitamin boost, though.

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