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Apr. 26th, 2009

"RPM" by TheaterWorks and contact Gonzo


It has been sometime since  I made an entry.

It has been really busy at school and I am handling a couple of persona issues that I wish I have an answer to - but the way things are, some questions have no answers.

In any case, I was invited to an avant garde performance "RPM" held at Mohammed Sultan Road 72-13. Su Li, a good friend of mine happened to be the stage manager of the performance and got me complimentary tickets to the show.

I wish I have had more time to tell you more about "RPM", which in summary, is a about the very moment of collision between woman and motorcycle. The idea of collision is both mental and philosophical with plenty of allusion of SEX. Let's just say that the play was a little hard to understand, even for me, and it has all the familiar imprints of Dr. Robin Loon, a professor of drama at NUS. Dr. Loon is talented, but also excessively turgid.

The picture above was taken with contact Gonzo - a special dance/martial arts group from Japan specially invited to take part in the performance. They are minor celebrities in Japan, and it was such an honor to be pictured with them.


Mar. 3rd, 2009

Writing While Working Can Be Hard

 I remember reading in an article a while back written by a self-styled author saying that writers who quit their full time job to get into writing have pretty much made the worst decision of their lives. The reason, the author gave was that writers who give up their jobs in name of writing do so only to realize afterwards, find themselves jobless, poor, hungry, taxes to pay and worst of all, unsuccessful at writing. Those writers who hold on to their day jobs however, do have to do the all-too-familiar, work hard in the day and work even harder in the night routine. Tedious and unattractive as it may sound, the writer has relatively much less to worry about and knows fully well that while he is working on his writing, he is able to feed himself and pay taxes. Even if writing doesn't pan out, hey, there's still a job to return to.

While I am definitely with the author on how retaining a day job while writing is crucial, I cannot help but to wonder WHICH job was he referring to? My job, is not only back breaking during the day, but I am faced with countless papers to mark at night. And when I get home, despite my iron will, I find myself surfing the Internet leisurely, watching TV series and reading writings online. I have little time left to write my book or my stories. I do try, especially when a competition is nearing. But, I get so terribly exhausted that I wish that I have more time to hone my art and write some really good stuff rather than get myself continually distracted about work matters, which, like all good apparitions, never go away.

At some point, I am starting to toy with the idea of writing full time. But that is plain foolishness. I know, more importantly than anything, I need to establish myself as a writer - and that will mean that I will need to get some of my stories published as soon as possible. Which, will of course demand time. Which is why I am headed to Bintan, Indonesia for a writing retreat. That's right. A writing retreat.

I will, ultimately take time out to WRITE my blog, which is the simplest form of writing I can produce in a short space of time. And I do hope I have plenty more to say when I return from my writing retreat.

PS: By the by, I was REJECTED by McSweeney's for the FIFTH time. They say they wanted "conceptual humor" that I was obviously, not good at writing.


Feb. 11th, 2009

I Closed SKOOKUM! Down

It has been sometime since this entry on my blog and there is really no other reason for this other than the fact that I have been really busy at work. I told myself that I would not allow myself to become one of those emotionless, thoughtless and fun-less working drones so commonly found in the Public Service. I would never forgive myself for that. All my training in the Arts and my philosophy is geared towards being a complete being with the propensity to see the multiple layers of life that is veiled by Capitalism and the Lies we tell ourselves. It is just that I am placed in charge of so many things because people believe that I can take charge of so many things - that caused me to get a little lost in work. I keep hearing people say "I'm really busy", truth is, who isn't? But the one question is, are you busy purposefully? At the moment, I can say yes, though I feel there are other areas I would rather be busy in.

I have finally made the decision to close my webmanga SKOOKUM! that I kept running for about four years. I stopped updating the site two years ago, initially because I was busy with school, eventually, I lost the motivation to update it. For despite my hard work, I am just not getting any readers. So, I gave up. It was not easy for me to do it. After all, it was my first FAILED attempt to break into the webmanga world, and there is no shortage of talent out there - that i can understand. What I can't understand is how some poorly drawn webcomic are able to get more readers than me. This will be one mystery I can never make out. 

I am however, not going to let SKOOKUM! disappear. As I speak, I have already finished compiling the pages into a book. The book is now sold on Blurb.com. I have ordered two copies for myself and I intend to give the other copy to someone special. I don't expect anyone to want to buy SKOOKUM! It is really more for myself, a memento for myself, for the three years of hard work that I put in.

If there is any regret, it is the regret for letting my five readers down. The five readers from Britain have ALWAYS been supportive of my work, and they were pretty pissed when they realized that I was closing SKOOKUM! down, yet, as I said, it is just something that isn't feasible. That is not to say that I would never get into the whole webmanga thing again. I would, but this time, I would hope that I would be able to produce something more visually stunning and get a good deal of readers.

For now, I just wanna focus on my writing.

Jan. 25th, 2009

Prosek and Vicky.Cristina.Barcelona Saved Me...

 I was mildly depressed since yesterday. A couple of unpleasant moments at work as well as some recent artistic failures got me thinking about the purpose of doing what I was doing. Not to mention that I have made a severe mistake that will definitely cost me when I return to work on Wednesday.

I figured it was about time to open my bottle of Prosek. I bought the bottle of Prosek when I was in Croatia last June. Prosek, also known as dried grape wine is a dessert wine found exclusively in Croatia. I wanted to open it when my book gets published, but I was feeling really down and I figured that it was time to open it - I am really in need of some bottled happiness.

Drinking Prosek and rolling the taste in my mouth really brought me back to the time I spent in Croatia - taking in sights of the 400 year old city, and the really friendly Croats and the wonderful housemates I had. Amazing what memories can do. I found myself laughing, after straight two days of utter gloominess.

To top off, I drank Prosek while watching Woody Allen's Vicky.Cristina.Barcelona. It is just about the most beautiful movie I have watched and not to mention the artistic angst and existence which serves as the nucleus of the movie. I don't know if I can feel happier than what I am feeling right now. 

This is just amazing. Prosek + Vicky.Cristina.Barcelona = makes life worth living

Jan. 24th, 2009

Creative Writing Workshop at Anderson JC

 Together with Alex, we have conducted our first Creative Writing Workshop to 21 students. I must admit that I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be -  I suppose I was wrong to even think that I would not be nervous. Conducting a workshop is totally different from teaching General Paper. In fact, it is not teaching at all. I do not stand in front of a class and present a lesson and explain to them how everything that I mention in class would bear some consequence in their "A" Level examinations at the end of the year. It is NOT a class in Literature either, even though we are examining a piece of writing. We are not really interested in the literary virtue in the writing or how the writing fits itself into greater canon of writing.

We are simply interested in writing and how GOOD writing can be achieved.

Shockingly, there were more boys than girls - completely atypical of a Creative Writing Class.

I used Donald Barthelme's "The School" to start the workshop. I wanted to use Barthelme's story to illustrate how one can transform a pedestrian and even mundane topic into something completely wild, absurd and even amazing piece of writing. Not to mention that the story is so incredibly short that every word lends itself into the the greater web of meaning that can only be resolved by the reader's own interpretation. 

We even got to see two students' work. I must say I am no less impressed by the kind of ideas they came up with. Some were really very good and they were good at using symbolism to carry their story forward. What it did for me was that it really allowed me to gain a little peak and the creative powers locked inside the heads of some really talented youths we have in our college. I was also relieved that we manage to get this talent out of them before it ultimately gets crushed by the firm hand of pragmatism which had caused the death of far too many dreams.

Turns out that 17 of the 21 students liked the workshop and voted for a REGULAR Creative Writing Workshop to be conducted. Is there anything more moving than students coming up to you and telling you that they want to be inspired? That they want to create and they would like you to give them a clue of the creative direction? Sure, my work so far has been meaningful. But, I think it was at that point that I saw even more enriching meaning - not just to nurture workers for the nation's assembly line, but to nurture talent who will contribute to the infantile literary arts scene in this tiny city state.

Jan. 10th, 2009

I Will Be Conducting My First Creative Writing Workshop But...

 This is officially my first post for the New Year. I have been back at school and this would be my second time taking a graduating class. Notice how I am not immediately cheering. Having taken a graduating class last year, it was pretty much a grueling process. Not just for the students, as it is their future at stake but for the teachers too, who will ultimately feel that they have some part to play in the results of their students. I am glad to say that I have done everything I could for them and I hope it has turned out well. 

The heat is on in school this year as my school will be undergoing the quart-annual Evaluation process - basically it's another TEDIOUS process to determine who's the best. Everything in Singapore is about getting validated by someone else, just because we suffer from endless bouts of low self-esteem. Anyway, regardless of my apparent unhappiness, it is something that must be done and I am willing to see the process through and forget about it like the whole fucking thing never happened. 

Among the heap of crap thrown around me, I am glad that I managed to chance upon a gem. I was approached by one of the teachers to conduct a Creative Writing Workshop in my school to 13 students. Although, I should admit at this point, that I have been looking forward to the day when I get to conduct my own writing workshop, I just never thought I would be able to do so in my school. The best part of it was that I was going to conduct the workshop with a new American colleague, Alexandra Zobel. She majored in English Literature in California and she told me that Creative Writing is something very very close to her heart and she was looking forward to conduct it. I asked her if she wrote anything and she told me she wrote a couple of stories and is currently working on a novel. 

Well, it turns out that it wasn't just a couple of stories. We were asked by the same teacher who approached us about the workshop to write a short bio about our writing experiences and man, I took a look at her bio and she has published WAY MORE stories than I did. Other than the eWordNews and Singapore Treasures, I haven't really haven't published much. At the moment, I really feel inadequate compared to the list of achievements Alex has achieved. And she is so modest about it to the extent that it seems to negate everything that I have been writing so far. In fact, I don't think I qualify anything much of a writer when placed next to her. 

Still, I look forward to conducting the workshop with her. Even if I come across as having way less credentials than her, I take comfort in the fact that I will definitely learn so much more along the way.

Dec. 31st, 2008

Life is too Hard. Just Read.

 My friends and I were having our eve before the New Year's Eve dinner at Carnivore last night. Carnivore as its name suggests is Brazilian restaurant that serves a Meat buffet. These guy go from table to table carrying large skewers of meat and at your request cuts a generous slice of freshly roasted meat onto your plate.

Franklin told me that there was such a thing as a Meat Hangover and that if  I were to eat too much meat, I would suffer from a terrible headache the next day. Simply because too much meat is toxic for the body. The only way to stop the meat hangover is to have some greens at the salad bar. Not to mention that too much meat makes your semen taste bad too. A note for those who likes making their girlfriends swallow. 

Anyway, it took us no more than two hours to get totally sick with the meat. But for what is worth, they served up the best tasting meat I have tasted for a really long time! Beef, Chicken, Mutton and Fish. I think I can stay off meat for at least four days....

We were supposed to finish off our decadent night with some alcohol, but everyone turns out to be too sick with meat to do any drinking and dancing. So we headed home. Edson and I headed to the McCafe for tea as he felt really sick having all that meat in his stomach. Edson is currently doing his Masters in English, something that I will want to do two years from now, though I constantly worry if I still have the intellectual capacity to come up with a kick-ass thesis for my dissertation. Next year's going to Edson's final semester before he completes his Master's. 

We talked pretty late in the night, exchanging literary theories and perspectives. Very few people even know what Literary theory is. And the thing is this, the world is vast and the amount of knowledge that it contains is even vaster. I can never understand people who would want to shut themselves off knowledge and be content with what they know thinking that the entire world can be explained by their tiny world view.

I told Edson that the cell phone is the metaphor for modern society - everyone peers into their cell phone screens, dazzled by the multiple colors and capability mistakes that to be representative of the world. Wrong. What these people do not realize is that a screen of any kind creates a perimeter in which vision is then naturally limited to. People gratify themselves by taking part in the delusion that everything that they need to know is in the screen. This belief makes them naturally myopic, narrow and shallow - which is pretty much what most of everyone is like anyway. Save for the few visionaries who is ABLE to see beyond the perimeters. 

We were also concerned about the economic outlook next year and how we are more or less shielded from it as we are in the education industry. People do not need a new Prada bag, but they need to be educated. It was then Edson said his magic words "Life is too hard. Just Read."

I was telling him how he can easily sell that tagline to any library in Singapore and how they would buy it off his hands. Unfortunately though, reading is not gratifying enough for most people They need instant pleasure. They need to get HIGH. I mean, I need to get high too, which explains the collection of alcohol in my home, but that doesn't mean I do not read. Reading is brain food. But not reading we are letting our brains die even faster than it already is on a daily basis. Why are people so terribly nice to their skins, their hair, their stomach but not to their brains???

Life is too hard. Just Read.

Dec. 30th, 2008

My Humor Piece was Rejected by McSweeneys. Again.

 This is the THIRD time my humor piece was rejected by McSweeney's Internet Tendency. And this time, they did not even telling me what went wrong with my piece. Was it too offensive? Was it poorly written? Was there a lack of form? Nothing. And to top it off, Christopher Monk, the editor of McSweeney's paid me a token compliment saying that he might regret it someday. Yeah right. 

I suppose I am NEVER going to published on McSweeney's.

But you know what they say. Getting turned down is pretty much a like a day's work in the life of the Writer. I took comfort in reading the Writer's Almanac for today, the day where McSweeney's rejected my humor piece is also the SAME day James Joyce got his autobiographical essay rejected from a publisher in 1961. The autobiographical essay later became one of the most established works of the English Literary Canon, The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. I know I am trying to gain some vicarious comfort from the Writers' Almanac, but it really, really sucks to get rejected THREE times by the same publishing house in a single year.

In any case, I have the FULL piece attached on this entry below. If you think it sucks, PLEASE tell me. I need to hear it. Your harsh comments will let me see the error of my ways and perhaps get a fresh shot at McSweeney's.

Why You* Should Get An M.M.A (Masters of Marginalized-Minority Arts) in Creative Writing


Disclaimer:'YOU' here refers to a highly selective group of 'YOU's.


So you have just obtained your first college degree. And despite the good advice from all the good people in your life, including your gay lover, doting parents, aging teachers, sacerdotal pastor and even the omnipotent God himself, you chose to get your B.A. in English. Naturally, you have no idea what is next for you or what you are even good for. But who can blame you? Spending four years to learn how to read books is not the kind of thing Burger King is looking out for to operate one of its industrial cookers. You would incidentally have better luck in getting a B.A. in Lard.


            If only you knew what you now know, which of course violates your notion of common sense but sits comfortably with the Uncertainty Principle, where ∆x∆y ≥ h/2π; do you not wish you have majored in Physics now? Still, recognition of a mistake is half the battle won. The right course of action now is to consider advancing yourself by taking up a Graduate degree, and not just any graduate degree, but a degree that is specialized, in high demand and would not make your four years spent on English look like a complete waste of the country's resources.


            While writing critical papers is a rigorous and torturous routine, it is one that has no market value, not to mention incomprehensible to a good ninety-percent of the country's population. Most people would therefore be in agreement that profitable writing of any kind must be able to strike a cord with the reading masses. When you are able to get people to relate to your writing,  it becomes marketable, and marketability then translates into financial independence, a notion an English major might be sorely unfamiliar with, but is never too late to want to pick up. That being said, the business of writing books for the reading public is a tough business. The publishing world is getting increasingly crowded with real writers and writers really good at pretending to be real writers. In America alone, more than 275,000 new titles published in a single year. How do you know for sure that if you become an author yourself, you stand to have a chance to get published? While there is always room for yet another teen pop-fiction about how disgustingly privileged and well-endowed girls with infinitesimally low self-esteem, finding themselves cryptically in love with vampires, werewolves and llamas, you know as an English major you cannot be writing books of this genre as years spent reading classics have deprived you of any fundamental human experience and girls. So clearly, you need another direction and another goal.


A recent demographic survey from a highly reliable source revealed that minority writing is the new Fantasy. Centuries of wisdom and the latest revelation that of the presence of a minority population in America sparked off unprecedented interest in this highly invisible and preferably ignored group of people who claimed to have their own unique experience of the American Dream, or at least what is left of the Dream after the Federal Bailout of 2008. With these exciting advances in the area of marginalized minority, a Masters of Marginalized-Minority Arts in Creative Writing will put you at the forefront of new and socially relevant disciple that will give you the necessary life experience of a truly disadvantaged minority to produce influential works that will forever alter the way people view minorities.


            Housed in the newly refurbished Frank Chin Institute of Marginalized-Minority, the program is intensive and extensive. Students of the MMA will spend two years specializing in the art of writing revolutionary novels and self-help books that will bring to light potentially heart-breaking issues faced by the marginalized minorities like seeing decreasingly less of themselves and increasingly more of others. Students will also get to go on immersion programs that include a home-stay period with actual marginalized minorities. The holder of the MMA is an empowered individual equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge to thrust pertinent minority issues into the unsuspecting faces of the majority. While no one will actually do anything to alleviate the problems of the marginalized minority, everyone adores reading about them and indulge in communal commiseration – think of the immeasurable good you will soon be doing.


            Classes are highly selective and small, very much like how minorities are a minority in the country. Admission to the faculty is dependent on several criteria. Some of which are listed below,


i)               Must be minority. Qualifications for being a minority need not necessarily be statistical, but is fairly well-indicated by yellow, brown and copper skin. White applicants need not apply.

ii)             Must complete GRE. An unfortunately nonnegotiable university policy.

iii)            TOEFL is optional. Inability to write or speak English well enhances the marginalized minority experience and is a much-prized trait.

iv)            A statement on your minority experience. Written statements on how you are stereotyped in films or at fast food restaurants are stringently encouraged.



While the faculty welcomes illegal immigrant minorities to apply, the faculty is not responsible for any deportment that may result. The faculty in fact encourages deportment. Deportment is a fundamental experience of a minority that is not well explored or developed. Applicants who are successfully deported stand at an enormous advantage of producing works of a truly marginalized nature. Deported applicants can still complete their MMA by completing their required courses online.


Successful applicants will be notified by mail, and upon receiving their acceptance letter they are required to show up in their ethnic minority costumes for their admission interview. T-Shirt and jeans are emblematic of the mainstream majority and should be avoided at any cost by a potential holder of the MMA who celebrates the importance of marginalization.


As a minor faculty holding classes for minorities, absolutely no funding and scholarship will be offered to all successful applicants.


The Faculty of Marginalized-Minority Arts in Creative Writing looks forward to receiving you.



Alènn  Sjørn Yang Bârrala-Cruz


Dec. 25th, 2008

A Swedish Christmas Dinner 2008

 Su and Christian were gracious to invite us (Alwyn and I) over to their Condominium located at Tanjong Rhu for a special Swedish Christmas Dinner. In all honesty. I have no idea what a Swedish Christmas dinner is going to be of any difference to that a typical Christmas dinner. I just have had a gut feeling that Turkey won't be on the menu.

When I reached Aljunied MRT station, it was unfortunately pouring. While I was upset by the prospect of arriving at the dinner drenched, I sought comfort that it was at least cool. In America or Europe and Sweden for that matter, snow usually follows rain. But in Singapore, rain is as much as you get. And one would think that Singaporeans would have gotten the hang of it by now... 

I recognized Cedric, Alwyn's friend from France who was invited to dinner since Sharmini could not make it. Her loss... Alwyn was really thoughtful to have Cedric over at Su and Christian's for dinner. I mean Cedric is like pretty much alone in Singapore and not to mention that this would be his FIRST Christmas spent out of Paris. He told me that he actually forgot that it was Christmas already. When he was in Paris, all the "signs" of Christmas would be present - the rapid drop in temperature, the snow, the decorations about his home and how Paris would be transformed. In Singapore, he saw none of those. He couldn't tell Christmas Eve in Singapore apart from any other day in Singapore. I thought that was a pretty interesting comment. I apologize for the apparent cultural sterility of Singapore, and I have to agree with Cedric on this part. No matter how hard the Singapore Tourism tried to convince the world otherwise, "Christmas in the Tropics" is as bad an idea as any other. NO ONE spends Christmas in the Tropics...

Alwyn finally arrived and I made a terrible mistake by leading us to the bus stop across the overhead bridge when we should have taken the bus service that was located right in front of the station. My mistake cost us a full half an hour. Thankfully though, like most European dinners, the dinner did not start on time.  The other couple who was invited to dinner were even later than us. In any case, dinner wasn't quite ready and we were served Stollen and ginger bread. I realized there isn't a Christmas tree in the house and I presumed that the Swedish has chosen not to partake in the Saturnalian ritual.

The other couple, also known as Jason and Su Lin arrived about 15 minutes after we did and like us, they came armed with Wine. Christian told us that wine was unnecessary as he has prepared some truly potent Swedish shots known as Schnapps that will literally decimate any remnant of sobriety left in our heads. I knew I was not going anywhere till I am drunk. Not a bad thing. 

We began the dinner with a Swedish celebratory drink known as Glögg - a mixture of Glögg and Vodka boiled together and mixed with Almond and raisins when served. 

Swedish Christmas Dinner comprises mainly of fish, as in the case of most Scandanavian countries, fish is a staple. There were Salmon, Herring, fish roe and of course, Swedish Meatballs. When I asked Su where she managed to get all the Swedish condiments from she replied "Ikea". Of course, how could I forget that Ikea is a all-Swedish Corporation. The dinner was great particularly the Herring, thinly sliced and preserved in ginger and herbs. As we worked through dinner, we engaged, liberally, the assistance of alcohol. First we had red wine, followed by a round of Schnapps. There are total of 12 tiny bottles, each bottle enough to fill a shot glass and it must be drank in single toss. I was told by Christian that each of the 12 bottles in a pack contains different composition that are made up of different herbs and ingredients. Some were great tasting but some were completely revolting. Bäska was one of the worst tasting Schnapps and it must be drunk by any Swedish male who have reached 23 years of age. The consumption of Bäska is like a rite of passage to Adulthood. I later learnt the secret behind Bäska's revolting taste. It was Wormwood. The same plant used to make Absinthe, the world's most potent alcoholic drink, containing over 70% alcohol. Absinthe was declared a poison a few decades back, but careful distillation and an increasing desire for the modern generation to get 'high' brought Absinthe back. Christian was generous to give me a bottle of Bäska to keep. 

Post-dinner conversation consist of all the amazing things that we have done in the past year. Su and I were the only ones at the table who are in the Creative Arts. And she added that she has no regrets being in the Creative Art Major. Unlike her, I did wish I majored something scientific or at least management. I guess, I wouldn't feel that bad if I have had something published this year. But it was not to be despite my best efforts to get published this year. Maybe next year's Christmas would turn out better. But the highlight of the night was sharing the places that we have been to and the people we have met. 

 The World is huge. And living in a tiny, tiny island like Singapore does nothing but enhances the myopic world view of Singaporeans. And I feel blessed, like totally blessed to have friends who have an expansive world view who understands that there are always multiplicitous forces working in sync or out of sync with each other.

Christmas is always a time for us to reflect. There is so much in the world, so much knowledge and so much to be done. So many people we have met around the world and so many people we have yet to meet. Singapore is a crossroad, we have the opportunity to gain access to so much knowledge and experience. It is such a pity if we choose to live within its mere confines.

 Merry Christmas everyone.

  This is the view of the Singapore Flyer and the City from Su and Christian's home by the by.

Dec. 21st, 2008

Writers' Block and Block the Writers! Commentary on "Californication" and "October Road"

The New York Times on "Californication:, 

It’s the material that weighs Mr. Duchovny down as a New York novelist who feels alienated and adrift in a shallow, artificial Los Angeles — already a shopworn conceit when F. Scott Fitzgerald was living it in the 1930s. “Californication” does nothing to vary or improve on it.

It’s odd how some clichés never quite lose their hold. The blocked writer — an artist who is tragically unable to fulfill his greatness — is perhaps one of the most tiresome archetypes in modern popular culture, yet real writers keep reviving it. Here, it’s Mr. Duchovny’s character, Hank Moody. Possibly it’s the kind of wishful thinking encouraged by self-help books like “The Secret”: If enough writers create fictional blocked, middle-aged protagonists who are irresistible to beautiful women, then in real life beautiful women will find the real thing just as alluring.

The New York Times on "October Road",

Should you already hold the view that young writers are hideously self-regarding, pillaging the intimate emotional property of their closest friends and relations, then “October Road,” a drama beginning on ABC this evening, will do nothing to change your mind even though it seems intent on trying.


A while back I have written a post about writers and how hard it evidently is to break into the publishing industry. In the past two years, two notable TV series (among many others) have chosen to focus on the lives of prolific writers. I will get to the actual commentary on the TV shows in a second, but for now, the TV series attempt to answer the question of "what next" after you become something of a force in the publishing world.

For most writers despite their massive imaginative capacities can hardly imagine what is like when they become a successful and financially independent writer. Becoming a RICH writer is a DREAM for many and it is one that is terribly, terribly hard to achieve. People tend to forget that people write primarily to want to express themselves, to create a viable outlet for themselves to channel their deepest and most undistilled  feelings, thoughts and belief onto paper and share them with people who are like minded, but without the same capacity for words and expression. Strangely enough, novels that REALLY sell are novels that bear little or no semblance to real life. "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" are two fine examples proving that people don't really want to read about themselves - they want to read about others and FIND themselves written into the plot obviously about someone other than themselves.

People do not always relate to characters portrayed. They relate better to the circumstance that is described. That being said, the two shows "Californication" and "October Road" seem to me to be part of the wish fulfillment of the writers of the shows. They paint the most desirous pictures of writers to hopefully inspire writers, and also to inspire themselves, that they have always made the right choice to become writers.

No doubt, some of the lines in the two shows are beautiful, showing the writers of the shows at the top of their craft. It is the premise of both shows that is a bit of a let down. "October Road" is canceled while the fate of "Californication" is left unknown though the reviews for the show hasn't been great. So what's wrong? Is there nothing else magical about being a writer any more? The fact of the matter is that there is very little magic about writers in the first place. And I think the formula of portraying writers in a constant struggle is a far more convincing picture than a writer tortured by the glitz and glamor of his life. But the tortured writer is a trope - something this way overused and over-milked. I can see where the writers for the show are attempting to take a new direction towards, but unfortunately, self-indulgence does demand a pretty hefty price.

But I still watch them. Like the indulgent writers, I look forward to the day where I release a phenomenal best seller and step officially into the blinding lights of fame and the rich oily taste of glamor that comes with it.

Dec 22nd Update:

Looking at my entry again, I just realized that the David Duchovny looks disgustingly  gay. 


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