Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Today I read the best short story I have read in a 100 years: Steve Almond’s “Donkey Greedy, Donkey Gets Punched” in The Best American Short Stories, 2010.

It's about a shrink who is a compulsive and addicted gambler, a poker player. I could not believe how good it is. It has everything: internal and external conflict, writing style, mixed and complex sympathies, insight into characters and the world and human nature, rising tension, great climax.

Wow. I am always looking for good writing, and it is hard to come by. This one is a winner, at least for me. If the rest of the stories in this collection are as good, I will buy this book. And that is really rare.

More later, as I read along.

-- Roger

Copyright © 2011, Roger R. Angle  

Friday, December 23, 2011


I read in Newsweek the other day (Dec. 12, Page 54) that the so-called artist Paul McCarthy "sold three copies of White Snow Dwarf (Bashful) at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach for $950,000--each."

My God! How stupid can you get? Why would anyone make this crap? And why would anyone buy it, let alone pay nearly a million dollars for such junk?

I try not to use the word stupid when it comes to other people's creative work.

But this takes the cake. It is off the charts.

These figures are not remotely original, and originality is one of the hallmarks of anything creative. Look at the great artists, musicians and writers: Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Mozart, Bach, Goya, Georgia O'Keefe, and on and on.

Their work is original and meaningful, not derivative and meaningless.

My God. What a bunch of crap. Makes me sick.

-- Roger

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I am still trying to find motivation to do my work, my writing.

I realized something the last day or two: If I’m going to finish any of these projects, I am going to have to work at it. The stuff is not going to write itself. I’ve been waiting, and it ain’t happenin’, folks.

I hate that. I never used to work at it. I just did it, because I enjoyed it, because I had to do it, for some reason, and the work swept me away. I got lost in it.

Sometimes these days I get lost in it. But not often, not every day. The work has become work, for some reason.

I'm gonna have to put my shoulder to the wheel, my nose to the grindstone, my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard.

Damn, it has come to this. I hate that. I want it to be fun, like it used to be.

As William Faulkner said: 

“It's a shame that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day is work. He can't eat for eight hours; he can't drink for eight hours; he can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a man can do for eight hours is work.”

And this from William Butler Yeats:

"A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
For to articulate sweet sounds together
Is to work harder than all these, and yet
Be thought an idler by the noisy set
Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
The martyrs call the world."

Amen to that, brothers.  

-- Roger
Copyright © 2011, Roger R. Angle