Egads, the things I’ve seen this week, precious readers! There is not enough space on the internet to accommodate my story, but I will try to meet the challenge.
So you see, America is “big in Japan.” Behold. I believe this image speaks for itself.
In anticipation of my impending trip to the mist-shrouded island nation of Japan (as you know, mist-shrouded locales are my preference), I was engaging in some routine research on the interweb site net when I came across a truly peculiar thing – a bar/restaurant stocked to the gills with live penguins. And no, the establishment is not occupying the frosty summit of Mount Fuji, nor is it a new fusion venture conceived of by Iron Chef Morimoto. Far from it. In fact, I’m not sure who runs the place. All I can tell at the moment is that the temperature inside the restaurant hovers at room temperature (!). How uncomfortable for our flightless friends. In solidarity, I’ve written a paean to the penguin:
My favorite beast
Besides myself, is surely
my friend the penguin.
Are you from or have you traveled to the mist-shrouded island nation of Japan? Share your tips and cultural suggestions with me @City_Sasquatch or at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would just like to point out that some of the more reputable journalistic establishments of the present day have faced the facts. Of course, you have already guessed that I am referring to the Huffington Post and New York Daily News, both of which have noted the presence of a quite large, shaggy, white-haired biped (of the sort who might really benefit from a manicure and some Warby Parker experimentation, but let me stay on topic here) wandering the slopes of a ski resort in the Spanish Pyrenees.
See here – “Hey, Even A Yeti Needs To Pee.”
I’m sorry to say, they do. But sasquatches do not. At least not regularly. I haven’t been to a restroom since the California gold rush. And that is not a euphemism.
Let me direct your attention to Sunset Primary School’s Sasquatch Reading Award List for 2015. My thanks go out to the administrators of this Pacific Northwest school for their support. Though I have not written any of the honorable volumes on this list (my tell-all memoir is forthcoming, Lorin Stein, tweet me), my name in the headline does seem to imply that my existence was integral to its compilation, and, indeed, to all reading that goes on in the great state of Washington.
Some highlights from Sunset Primary School’s esteemed list include The Sasquatch Escape, Star Wars: Jedi Academy, and My Brother’s A Big, Fat Liar.
Of course I will be taking part in this year’s Sasquatch Survival Reading Challenge. Don’t think I won’t. I expect to breeze through this competition, as everyone knows that third graders eyeballs are significantly smaller than mine, and therefore less capable. Let the contest begin!
Oh, how I adore a good list. It’s why I insist on papering my ghostwriter’s walls – where I currently reside on a temporary permanent basis on his futon – with index cards consisting of my favorite lists. For example, a highlight from a to-do list: 1) Groom self. 2) Parade self about. 3) Repeat.
Stay tuned this week for a link to my current favorite list from The Awl. Hint – it’s about literary journals and espionage. <giddy squeal>
A wonderfully conversational story by David Gates in the Fall 2014 issue of The Paris Review has me thinking about the many manifestations of effective dialogue in fiction. Gates’ piece, “Locals,” is written in the voice of a general contractor living in a small “hill town” in Western Massachusetts. The vocabulary and cadences of speech are a strength of the story. For example, here is Johnny, one of the narrator’s employees, ordering food at a bar (Johnny has been flirting with a female server, who is suddenly replaced by a less amiable woman):
“‘What happened to your friend?’ Johnny said.
‘She went on break. What can I get you?’
‘Cheeseburger well,’ I said. ‘With fries? And a cup of clam chowder.'”
Heed the idiosyncratic words of the narrator. He inflects a statement as though it were a question. I have heard this described in various circles as ‘uptalking,’ a speech pattern that imbues the simplest declarations with a charming indecision.
As a working (ahem) writer, I must take a page from David Gates and attempt to write more realistic dialogue. This becomes all the more important, now that my memoir, Beautiful On The Outside, enters its 32nd (self-imposed) revision. I’m sure my hypothetical editor (Lorin Stein, cough cough) will appreciate it when all is said and done.
Ah, how this article brings me back to my (slightly) younger days, when Edison’s phonograph was just released. I used to sit outside the windows of my human neighbors, silent and still, not daring to breathe, in the hopes that I could capture strains of the melodies wafting gently into the pine-scented air.
That’s my cousin Earl. The blurry shape. Yeah, that’s him. See the resemblance?
I frequently peruse a lovely online meta-journal called The Review Review. While eating bark salad. During Finding Bigfoot commercial breaks. As I self-groom. And so on. The Review Review’s (@ critiques of art journals are indispensable for literati of both the homo sapiens and monsterly varieties. I’m still stroking my cheek whiskers over Susan Pohlman’s recent )publishing tip, in which she recommends travel as an antidote to writer’s block and mental defeatism (“I’m too beautiful to succeed in this city,” etc). She declares:
To develop as writers and human beings we must leave our safe havens and challenge ourselves by heading into the world and experiencing diverse cultures and landscapes firsthand.
Too, true! And so I submit to you, precious reader, my list of travel destinations to spark your own creative genius. Visit one of these magnificent places the next time you’ve got the traveling itch:
And there you have it.
Do you have any others you would like to add? Email them to me at email@example.com or tweet them to me @City_Sasquatch
A bit homesick today. I used to love burying my snout in the loam on a crisp winter night. The feel of sleet and icy rain on my pelt. The spongy taste of hemlock bark on my tongue. Ah! those were the days.
But one cannot look back without looking forward as well. Every morning in the city brings with it new sights and scents. For example, today I awoke to the unmistakable odor of human sweat, which seems to permeate every nook and cranny of this wondrous place. On the corner I discovered a little bowlegged fellow manning a fruit stand. When I requested three bushels of his finest bananas, the scoundrel took off and went sprinting down the middle of 14th Street.
What strange beasts men are. I must learn their ways…
It's hard being a teenager, especially when you're 30
from Morgan Bradham
Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.
Critique Collective is your source for information and interviews about emerging and established contemporary artists.
In grateful memory of Joshua Paul 'JP' Smith; a truer friend I shall not find.