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Saturday, April 05, 2003
[ 365 IDEAS... TO KEEP ME WRITING ]

In the Decembur 2002 ishue of "Writer's Digest" magazeen, it had the artikul, "365 Ideas to Keep You Writing Every Day."

It was a calundar of dayly affirmashuns and ideas to (quote) "ensure inspiration every day of the week."

So, I thunk to myself, "I can do dat. It'll deafinitely make me a bettor writer. And mebbe it'll help me with my speling, and, grammur, two."

Like the artikul sed, "Your greatest work may only be a day away."

I hope so. Hear ar sum entrys so far...

JANUARY 7 - THE NEXT TIME YOU SKIP A WRITING SESSION, WRITE FIVE REASONS FOR DOING SO...

(Sorry, I skipped this day's exercise. I have no excuse, much less five.)
-

FEBRUARY 6 - YOU DECIDE TO PUT A LETTER IN A BOTTLE AND THROW IT INTO THE OCEAN, HOPING SOMEONE WILL READ IT. WHAT DOES THE LETTER SAY?

"Return to Sender"
-

FEBRUARY 10 - TAKE ONE OF YOUR POEMS AND TRANSLATE IT INTO A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. YOU CAN USE AN ONLINE TRANSLATOR LIKE BABELFISH AT http://babelfish.altavista.com

(Original English Version)

Hunk Of Burning Love

she moaned
she screamed
with my every thrust and parry

she damned god
she invoked the devil
as I knelt before her altar

"I'm burning up," she cried,

"I'm on fire!"

And here I was,
not one marshmallow to roast in sight

(English to French)

Hunk De l'Amour Brûlant

elle a gémi
elle a crié
avec ma chaque poussée et parry

elle a damné un dieu
elle a appelé le diable
comme je me suis mis à genoux avant son autel

"je brûle vers le haut," elle ai pleuré,

"je suis sur le feu!"

Et ici j'étais,
non une guimauve à rôtir en vue

From the French back into English, Babelfish translated it as:

Hunk Of the Extreme Love

she groaned
she shouted
with my each push and parry

she damned a god
she called the devil
as I put myself at knees before her furnace bridge

"I burn upwards," she cried,

"I am on fire!"

And here I was,
not a marsh mallow to be roasted in sight

(English to Japanese)

[Note to ALL: The Japanese text version of the poem was typed in here, but blogger converted all the Japanese letters into question marks once posted. Shame on you, blogger.com, for not having "universal text recognition" parameters! And here I had planned on writing my web log in Japanese exclusively from now on. Scratch that idea.]

When I translated it from Japanese back to English via Babelfish, my poem read as:

Hunk of very hot love

As for her
as for her who is my all
guess pressure which shouted and the parry

As for her as for her who severely criticizes God
as I who execute demon
kneel before her altar, as I kneel before her altar,

"There is as for me a fire! "

And there was I here,
one marshmallow which should burn with vision, is not

(Well... that's pretty darn close. But it loses something in the translation, I think.)
-

FEBRUARY 12 - WRITE A STORY FROM A CHILD'S POINT OF VIEW...

"Life and Death Bedtime Story"

One night, a father was telling his little girl a bedtime story.

He began, "Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a beautiful place. Everything he ever wanted, or could ever want, was there. He was never hungry, nor thirsty. He had fun every day and never got tired. All his family and friends lived there with him. He was surrounded by love. The boy was very happy every day, for he knew he lived in paradise.

One day, the boy woke up in a strange city. He had a big lump on his head, and it hurt very much. The city was noisy and quite dirty, and the boy couldn't remember how he had gotten there. Nor could he remember the beautiful place he had come from, because he had lost his memory. So, he walked around the city, looking for love. But mostly, all he could find was fear and anger. This made him very sad.

Sometimes, he felt lonely, but every once in a while he'd see something good and beautiful. When that happened, for a short time, the boy would remember the beautiful place he had come from. When he remembered, he was not lonely, because he knew that one day he'd find his way back home."

When the father finished the story, his little girl asked, "Did the boy ever get back home?"

He answered, "Yes, dear, but it was many years later."

She then asked, "Daddy, who was the child?"

"We all are, sweetheart. Every last one of us."
-

MARCH 12 - PRACTICE THE WONDER OF SMALL THINGS. WRITE ABOUT THE HIGHER VALUE OF SOMETHING ORDINARY, SUCH AS AN OLD SHOE OR YOUR GRANDFATHER'S WOODEN TOOLBOX.

I like wearing my old shoe. It is as comfortable as... well, an old shoe. Hence my reason for liking it.

When I go to bed at night, I carefully remove my old shoe. I keep it in a safe place. Usually, I store it in my grandfather's wooden toolbox.

I wish I had the other shoe. Sometimes, my left foot gets cold.
-

APRIL 2 - DO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY? TRY WRITING A HOROSCOPE FOR YOUR FRIENDS.

Here are the horoscopes I've written for my friends who've been mentioned on this web log. (Usually, in the monthly "Random Bits" column. See archives.)

ANNE (in Texas - as mentioned in my 3/13/03 "Texas Diaries" column): The opportunity to take an unexpected trip will arise. You will go to Arizona and spend some quality time with a good friend. You will have lots and lots of sex with this friend. Signs are good this friend's name is Pete.

THE ARTIST KNOWN AS JAKE MARTINEZ: Today, you will meet your soul mate. You and her will have everything in common. It will be love at first sight. You will soon marry this woman. After a brief period of wedded bliss, she will cut your heart out and serve it to you with a side order of her lies and infidelities. You will die penniless, after many years as a raging alcoholic.

"MIA THE WEB-CAM GIRL": After spending many a torturous night getting naked on the web cam for a close friend, you will finally visit him in person this evening. You'll watch the movie "Henry & June" together. This will make you incredibly horny. Turn to your friend during this time of need. Your husband will NEVER find out.

KAJ: Today, you will be run over by a truck while crossing the street. You will be critically injured, and - once in the hospital - finally die after hanging on in excruciating pain for three days. So, whatever you do, don't leave the house today.
-

APRIL 4 - WHAT IF YOU WERE A FAMOUS AUTHOR? PRETEND YOU'RE BEING INTERVIEWED BY A JOURNALIST. WRITE A TRANSCRIPT OF IT.

Q: Who are your influences?

A: I'm so glad you asked that question. I'd have to say: Richard Brautigan, Charles Bukowski, and William S. Burroughs. In other words, ANY dead writer whose last name began with "B".

Q. Some people have wondered how much of what appears on 'The World According to Pete', written as it is in a sort of "gonzo journalism" style, is the truth. Well?

A. Well, I can give you two answers there. Either one of which - or perhaps both - being true.

First, yes, I have some actual journalistic experience, so I know how to write an article AS any journalist would: One-third absolute truth, one-third exaggerated truth, and one-third beautiful lies.

The more high-falutin' answer would be: It's ALL true, on some level.

Q. I've heard you're known as the "Greatest Living Writer of the Blogosphere". Is this true?

A. Yes, yes it is. Darn tootin', pally! I've also earned the title of "Most Humble Writer."

Q. Has writing made you fabulously wealthy?

A. Let's put it this way: If you'll loan me a nickel, then I'll finally have two nickels to rub together.

But I do have a master plan: To spend countless years writing in relative obscurity, until I'm finally bitter and old enough to die. After my death, my writing will become wildly popular, and be translated into many languages, making millions of dollars for my Estate.

More or less the dream of EVERY living writer today, I suppose. I'm no different. Now, about that five cents you were going to loan me?

Q. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island with three other writers, who would they be? And whom would you eat first?

Pagan Kennedy - because she's smart, witty, and oh-so cute.

Al Franken - whose non-stop banter could prove mildly amusing and reassuring during those critical first few days.

Whitley Strieber - just for the fact he might have some "friends" who'd show up to rescue us after the humans had given up.

Who would I eat first? The obvious jokey innuendo would be for me to say, "Pagan Kennedy", but I won't cheapen the interview process by doing that. No, I'd have to say Al Franken. Not so much because he's a raging left wing liberal - although that might be reason enough right there - but because, I'd imagine, his nasally voice would really start to grate after about day three. So, yeah, I'm going to go with Franken on the cannibalism question.

Q. Some other web logs have used phrases such as "bizarre and paranoid" and "a blog about life and paranoia" to describe yours. Are you, yourself, paranoid?

A. Who wants to know? What magazine did you say you were doing this interview for? Who REALLY sent you? What kind of game are you playing here, mister? You can tell the goons who sent you that I will not talk! So if you're going to torture me, get it over with. If you plan on killing me, you might as well do it now. I won't be saying another word!
-

FUTURE EXERCISE: APRIL 19 - WHAT EVENT WOULD YOU NEVER WRITE ABOUT, AND WHY?

I'd never write about the time, during my 'drifter' years, when I was never caught for that cross-country killing spree I...

...Hey! Wait a minute! Was that a trick question?
-

[Thus ends my "365 Ideas" column to this point. If you enjoyed it, please email me so I won't think it a complete flop and waste of time. Perhaps, once a few more days - and months - have gone by, I'll post later ones. Or don't write, and watch me fall into a downward spiral of dark depression from which I may never recover. Whichever.]

posted by Pete 9:08 PM
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