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Boost Your Creativity With Emotional Problems & Mental Illness

Before you consider an MFA or a fellowship, take a second look at a time-honored alternative–mental illness. Not all mental illnesses inspire their sufferers, and not all mental patients make good art, but some disorders do have a strong correlation with creativity, and emotional turbulence is often what drives someone to make art in the… Read more »

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Required Reading — Get Fewer Rejections, With Nathaniel Towere

Check out The Juggling Writer’s tips for smarter submissions, a must read for anyone hoping to find a home for their short stories.    4. I stopped trying to conquer lit mags. I used to send story after story to the same lit mag, responding to each rejection with another piece ripe for rejection. In most… Read more »

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Cheap-Ass Fountain Pens

So much more than a graduation gift or banker’s front pocket accessory, the fountain pen is still the best way to write longhand. A fountain pen will tighten up your penmanship and loosen your grip, saving you from writer’s cramp.  Contrary to the marketing hype of a few high end brands, most fountain pens are… Read more »

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Switch to a Typewriter

I’m what you might call a born-again luddite. There was a time when I believed that I owed my writing life to modern technology. I learned to type on Windows 95 with Mario Teaches Typing, I used right-clicking as my thesaurus, and I penned my first short story on a first-generation Macbook. I once was… Read more »

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“I’m always home, I’m uncool.”

I’ll let the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman take it from here in that immortal scene from Almost Famous.  The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

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The Myth of Sisyphus (feat. Donkey Kong)

8-bit Philosophy is the web series you wish you had in college. The series summarizes the major works of western philosophy using 8-bit, Super Mario Brothers style, animation.  Plato: Camus + Donkey Kong : Heideger + River City Ransom:

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Reading Everything with Sarah Palin

In a now infamous interview, vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin was asked which newspapers she reads. Her answer: most of them.  The hero of Woody Allen’s Zelig suffers a lifelong identity crisis that begins when he lies about having read Moby Dick.  David Foster Wallace once asked a student, “have you read Anna Karenina?” To which the… Read more »

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Mass Reproduction in Dafen, China

Not that kind of reproduction.. Dafen Village, a suburb of Shenzhen, China, produces 60% of the world’s oil paintings. Thousands of painters, mostly struggling art school grads, toil long hours on an assembly line to reproduce well-known masterpieces.  Photographer Susetta Bozzi has been documenting Dafen Village for some time. “I haven’t seen anything really artistic,” she told Wired. “They’re more like factory… Read more »

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How Many Conrads did you Write Today?

Author, Will Self measures his work in ‘Conrads,’ a unit equal to to Joseph Conrad’s daily word count. One Conrad is 800 words. Self elaborated in the Telegraph: “I write a first draft fairly rapidly,” he says. “I write in Conrads. Conrad wrote 800 words a day, on which he could support a butler, two maids,… Read more »