Saturday, December 4, 2010

How to write BS

This morning around 5 am I woke up. At this time I had nothing to do except try to get back to sleep. Of course this was a futile exercise and perhaps I should have gotten up and written the BS report I was inspired to write. At least I should have written down the idea, because as soon as I thought of it I knew it would take about 15 minutes and would probably make both of my deranged readers laugh at least once. Sadly for them, I neglected my duty, instead lying in bed for another two hours. I forgot the great idea about two minutes after I thought of it and spent the next 35 trying to remember. That said, I thought that for lack of anything better I would take you through my process of writing, it is truly amazing. To be honest, I was tempted to make up a bunch of lies about my rituals, going to such lengths as claiming to do 11 push-ups, but even for me this is to great an exaggeration. So I will stick mostly to the truth.

Sometimes, like last night I have an idea and I can sit down and write the thing fairly quickly. For example when I decided to write my horoscope, I was working on painting a bedroom. I have always thought that signs of the zodiac and horoscopes are totally bunk. It is sort of an obsession with me. What inspires me are the people (usually women) I am talking to and they think they "understand" me because of our conversation. They will then inevitably ask me what my sign is, and if I tell them they say "yep, totally." This has always bothered me because if the stupid thing were real they should be able to tell me what astrological sign I am simply based upon my behavior. Any student of the zodiac who has to ask, in my opinion needs to either study more, or give it up.

When I decided to do my horoscope the first thing I had to do was look up the astrological signs, because to be honest I always thought them so dumb I never memorized them. I was able, through the powers of the internet to find a web-based horoscope that was also extremely vague. I had planned on writing a very vague piece, because this is how the writers of horoscopes are able to hook readers. If you say enough vague things about people who are naturally interested in mumbo jumbo, you will eventually print something that "fits." Of course I lost interest in this direction right away.

I had intended to write "lucky numbers" for each sign, but after writing the first set I got lazy. Then a couple signs later I decided to write more, then I realized it was easier and funnier if all the numbers were the same. This was a real victory. I think I tried to write semi-realistic entries until about 1/3 of the way through. Then I just gave up and went crazy. Somewhere about 2/3 of the way through I grew tired. At this point I decided that it would be fine if I simply cut and pasted from the actual horoscope. I intended to change them, but then I realized that they were fine on their own. I finished quickly, found an obscenely weird picture of a fortune teller, and put that at the top of the report. Then I pushed the "publish" button and went about my business.

On this particular day I had been painting a bedroom all day. It was during this time when I became inspired to write the horoscope. So instead of working on my book project first, I jumped right into my BS, as you might have gathered it is good to strike when the iron is hot. So when I got done I still had to write 2,000 words about my trip to Japan in 2005. It was not too bad, but by the time I was finished I was pretty tired. Unfortunately as 21st century writer, I had to check up on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. Facebook was fine but a problem arose on Twitter. A young woman from Kansas was pitching a fit because I forgot her sign. I was at first apologetic because I thought I must have forgot, then I checked my blog.

The interesting thing about all technology is that it is flawed. The flaw with this program is that for some reason it does not like copy and paste very much. I have had problem taking files from other programs before, and such was the case here. The entire last 1/3 of the piece was represented by an empty screen, at least on the main page. So here I was at 11:30 at night and I needed to figure this out so some woman from Kansas would leave me alone.

At first I tried to get the copy and paste function to work. After 7 tries I realized it was to no avail. Then I rewrote the last section. When I pasted it in I thought it was fine. Unlike the first time, this time I previewed the page before uploading. I was infuriated to find that though the piece was intact, there was a large blank space in the middle of the blog. So I went back into the edit function, only to discover that I had copied and pasted the old part 5 or 6 times, so I had to erase it. Finally I was finished. I published the piece and posted it on Twitter for my Jayhawk friend. Then I finally laid down in bed. Of course by this time I needed to relax so I read for an hour and at one am, I turned out the light. And that is how BS is made. Love BS
PS-I also try to spell check, but I am always trying to find ways to "explain away" bad grammar and spelling.

1 comment:

  1. Jeez, man, learn how to ramble properly. There's an art to it and it goes hand in hand with BS.