Ted Kacynski, who sent a number of letter bombs through the mail to individuals he believed were harming the environment through technology, hubris, and greed, was arrested shortly after two major newspapers in the United States, the Washington Post and the New York Times, agreed to publish his ten-thousand-word manifesto in their pages. Kacynski, in hi brief career, killed three individuals and maimed a few more with his bombs. He is now serving what is described as several life sentences at a maximum-security federal penitentiary.
     Recently, some of his personal items were auctioned off by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the proceeds of which would go to the victims’ families, who had no intention of ever forgiving Ted Kacynski. It must be said that Ted Kacynski did not ask for their forgiveness.
     Some of the items offered were the notorious hooded sweatshirt he often wore, a number of tools, including a wrench, and two Smith Corona portable typewriters, one of which he had used to type the manifesto. the FBI would not verify the authenticityof the other typewriter. In other words, they could not unquestionably state that Kacynski had written anything of note upon it. Nevertheless, the winning bid for this other Smith Corona was well over eleven thousand dollars.


Orwell’s Rules for Good Writing

  • Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print
  • Never use a long word where a short one will do
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent
  • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous

How To Write a Novel : Alexander Chee on writing by hand, keeping a side journal, and “the monogamy of the idea”.

Alexander Chee provided some of the greatest advice ever in this interview for the new Moleskine Journal. There are several brilliant pieces of advice contained in this short piece which I will likely be reviewing this month. One of my favorites is to keep a journal for the novel–it is in the section on taking your novel for a date, which I will cover later, but the idea of a daily blog or journal about your novel is very solid. Alexander even provides some specific advice on how to do this:

  • Write an entry when you finish for the day
  • Complain
  • Ask Questions
  • Note files or sources that you need
  • Blog with the most recent on the top 
I will be using the Dime Novel edition of Field Notes Brand for this–mostly, because it is unlined & unruled and Alexander has another piece of advice I will get to later that one should “keep it messy”.

Practical Applications

  1. Hardware Store List
  2. Union Dues Owed
  3. Hard Hat Design Sketches
  4. Job Site Nicknames
  5. Paint Color Formulas
  6. Lava vs Gojo Arguments
  7. Welding Invitations
  8. Cranes Climbed
  9. Grading Calculations
  10. Objects to Bulldoze
  11. Load-Bearing Locations
  12. Hardware Store List (2nd trip)
  13. Hip Angles
  14. Roofers Eavesdropped Upon
  15. Good Caulk Jokes
  16. Riveting Stories
  17. Forming Plans
  18. Leaks to Fix
  19. Bricks to Juice
  20. Orders to Sawdust
  21. Surveyor’s Recommendations
  22. F-150 Milage/Maintenance
  23. Hardware Store List (3rd Trip)
  24. Joists Jostled
  25. Building Codes to Circumvent
  26. Bids Calculated
  27. Zoning Board Friendlies
  28. Overtime Tracking
  29. Boots, Ranked
  30. Earth to Move