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This Darn Bio Thingy

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This little bio on myself is giving me difficulties. My mother and my aunt have now informed me that they were both confused when I said I wasn't eccentric. I thought it was obvious sarcasm, but obviously I was wrong. I will try to fix this darn thing.


Here is what we are starting with.

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Jeffrey Alexander Martin: He has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, climbed a mountain, swam through a group of freshwater jellyfish while scuba diving, rafted whitewater, wrestled alligators, ran with bulls, jumped horses, bruised his ribs doing winter luge, vomited blood in Africa, received a black eye and a bloody nose in a tomato fight, has the weirdest resume ever, and has four major spinal deformities. He's just a simple guy with a simple life from Michigan, USA. No one has ever called him eccentric a single time in his entire life. He is oddly transparent at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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The only rules are that it has to be 100 words or less and it has to b…

Commas, Ellipses, Interstitials, and the Making of a Great Sentence

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Writing styles are like ice cream, you either like them or you don't. But, there is an art and a craft to learning how to make ice cream, and the same goes for writing style.


This was posted in one of my writing groups a couple of months ago.

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Dennis
If one person says to another, “Do you have any idea, how beautiful you are?” then what does the comma signify?

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Now, Dennis doesn't give us the context, just a sentence and an odd question. By itself, I don't like this sentence. Maybe you do, that's okay, remember that ice cream flavor preference is personal and so is writing style. Taste in all of its forms is personal. Alas, I think that the comma breaks the sentence up in an odd way. You could, of course, read it that way. "Do you have any idea (short pause) how beautiful you are?" It makes sense, I just don't like the flow. I use commas a lot, and I use them in slightly unusual ways. That's because that's how I talk, I t…

A Story in Four Words

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In a writing group a few months ago someone made a flash fiction challenge: Write a story in four words. That's a hard challenge, but I think I came up with a good one. I reveal it to you now.


There is a unique skill and a unique talent involved in this unique challenge. It's called closure. Scott McCloud talks about it in his excellent book Understanding Comics. It's about the space in between. In the case of comics it's about the space in between the panels, in between the drawings, where we imagine what's needed to connect them. In prose and poetry there is also closure, it's about what happens in between what you say (not to mention before and after).

In such a short piece of flash fiction there has to be a lot of closure. The writer must rely on the reader to fill in a lot of the space. Are you ready for my four word story? Here it is.

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She sighed, walked away.

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You can see what I mean. What happened right before this? What was sh…

The Lie of Showing Versus Telling

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Writing groups can have aggressive stances on their views. This is one.


Someone had asked about some sort of writing advice. It was something like not being able to do only showing and not telling. I responded. Then this Heather person responded. She's a normal type of online attacker that's not a very deep thinker. It isn't a great conversation, but it does show some interesting things.

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Jeff(1) - When reading books you'll find that most writing advice is primarily bull.

Heather(1) - Show don't tell isn't though.

Jeff(2) - It is. When you read authors you'll notice that some of the greats do a lot of telling.

Jeff(3) - That's why people like Ursula K. Le Guin say that show don't tell is bull.

Heather(2) - No, it isn't. More of the greats show and advocate for it. Cite your source about Ursula Le Guin and feel free to name these greats who primarily tell.

Heather(3) - Btw I've read all of her books. She does plenty of showing. P…

A Few Writing Ideas I've Been Pondering

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I'm always generating ideas for writing. Often, I make a note of them. Here are, a few...


Pro-Global Warming. Other than temporary trouble along the coasts for some people for a little while, overall global warm would be good for humans. It would open up large land areas that are currently not useful. Global cooling is the really scary thing. It would also be good for vegetation. I haven't heard anyone else make this argument before. I thought it out from first principles. Can long-term weather patterns, climate, stay the same or does it have to change? Change. Would it be worse if it was warmer or colder? Colder. What would be bad if it was warmer? The coasts would rise. What would be better if it was warmer? More useable land area, more water, more vegetation.

The Moral Case for Meat Consumption. The more that I've learned, a lot through experience, about diet the more it seems to me that societies are healthier the more meat and fermented foods that they eat. Mikaila Pe…

A Flash of Horror - Part 4 of 4

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Today we shall finish both the bio and the story.


First, let's finish with the bio because it should be a bit easier. It might be cool to use this alligator wrestling picture for the bio, but I'm going to go with this Game of Thrones throne picture still.


I also need to take a look at the writing of the bio again. I want to incorporate alligator wrestling in there, but it was already at exactly 100 words, which is the limit. So, something will need to be cut.

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Jeffrey Alexander Martin: He has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, climbed a mountain, swam through a group of freshwater jellyfish while scuba diving, rafted whitewater, peddled a bike over a mountain range, ran with bulls, jumped horses, bruised his ribs doing winter ice luge, vomited blood in Africa, received a black eye and a bloody nose in a tomato fight, and has four major spinal deformities. He's just a simple guy with a simple life from Michigan, USA. No one has ever called him eccentric a…

Patrick Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, and the Speed of Writing - Part 1 of ?

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Every time you see George R. R. Martin mentioned there is a long list of people complaining about how slowly he is writing the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It annoys me, so I'm going to do some comparing.


First of all, we have to figure out what we're doing, and then how we're doing it. I'm going to mostly use arbookfind.com for book lengths, and readinglength.com if I need to. I think good metrics would be words per day and years per book.

I imagine that Mark Twain's short story The Death Wafer (or Death Disk) is going to be our slowest rate, because it's a very short story and it took him 12 years to write. But it was worth it, it's good stuff. Let's look at Twain first, then we'll dive into epic fantasy.

I did a simple word count of the story and came up with 3,358 words. That's 0.77 words per day (I rounded up), and one short story per 12 years. I think that's going to be our slowest rate no matter what else we look at.

I'm also go…