Six Tips On Writing From John Steinbeck

Via Brain Picking. Sourced from The Fall 1975 Issue of The Paris Review.

  1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
  2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
  3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
  4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
  5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
  6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

Great tips.

[Read more...]

Threadless Holiday Gift Guide 2011

It’s that time of the year again! You know, the time of the year when you go out and buy a lot of cool stuff for your friends and family for Christmas! But who said you have to “go out” and leave the comforts of your own home to get cool stuff. Stay home, sip on some hot cocoa while listening to holiday music, and do all of your holiday shopping online at Threadless! This is 2011, after all. Mall shopping is like, so passé.

Not sure what to buy from Threadless? I know, I know, they’ve got tons of amazing stuff – but what should you spend your hard earned cash on? That’s were I come in to help. The friendly peeps over at Threadless asked me to put together a list of my favorite Threadless items. And of course I said hell yeah! Now, you don’t have an excuse to not pick something up from this Chicago based purveyeur of goodness.

If you stumbled on this blog via Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere then welcome! Please feel free to peruse the site and if you like what you see then I’d recommend adding Co-Tee TV as a friend on Facebook so that you can stay up-to-date on future posts!

T-Shirts! This is Threaless’ bread and butter. If anything, pick up a Threadless tee and relish the comfy fit. I’ve picked three of my favorites for you: Stereotype Cereal by Dina Prasetyawan, Retold with Unicorns by Branko Ricov and Jonah Block, and Optimust by Phil Jones. Price: $18.

It doesn’t get all that chilly in Hawaii. Ah yes, HAWAII! But whem it does, I love to wear hoodies and Threadless has got some awesome hoodies! They’ve got the zip kind and the non-zip kind – you choose! If you feel like exposing your inner Michael Cera then pick up a Threadless hoodie! My two picks are Traditional Greeting by Paulo Bruno and The Pen is Mightier than the Sword by Clarice Crawford. Price: $29.

Over the last year, Threadless has released some real drool worthy accessories, including backpacks, totes, water bottles, and laptop/iPad cases. You’ve got something for every geek, nerd, foodie, artist, hippie and almost any other kind of person that you can think of. And although there are tons to choose from, these are my favorites.

I Be Au Sm is one of my all-time favorite Threadless designs. And now, they’v got it in Backpack form. Love it! Price: $59.

I’ve got a thing for good typography. And so I was drawn to Budi Satria Kwan’s ampersand themed Peace and Love. Price: $15.

Threadless Stuff on Thermos Stuff = double rainbow cool. Yes! When these first came out I rushed to Target to pick my favorite up. Which was my favorite you ask? Well, of course it was the iconic Funkalicious by Christopher Golebiowski. Price: $15.

Another iconic design that made it onto a Threadless accessory is the Tom Burns design, The Communist Party! It’s Christmas, let’s party! But first, if we’re going to party hard then we need to protect our precious iPhones! Why not do it in Threadless style? Price: $19.

If you’re buying an iPhone case for a fellow tehnogeek, then you may also want to consider picking up a laptop or iPad case. Why do boring black when you can do Threadless fun? These cases will have you covered! I suggest Liquid Shot and Sugar Skull. Price: $39-$54.

Finally, for those of you looking to pick up a grab bag gift or some stocking stuffers, consider these fancy little Threadless Dooodle Packs! They’re perfect for your doodle needs. Price: $9.

Co-Tee TV Episode 61: Johnny Cupcakes and The Suitcase Tour

In this episode of Co-Tee TV I wear Robocopper by Olly Moss and review a box of goodies sent to me from Johnny Cupcakes, a clothing brand started in 2001 by Massachusetts native, Johnny Earle. Earlier this month, Johnny Cupcakes embarked on a nationwide adventure that he dubbed The Suitcase Tour.

For Johnny, this is him going back to his roots. When he first started Johnny Cupcakes, he would sell goods stuffed in an old suitcase from the trunk of car. He would stuff that suitcase full with Johnny Cupcakes tees and he’d bring it along to whatever city his band was playing in at the time. That was how Johnny Cupcakes started and now with this tour, Johnny Cupcakes has come full circle.

You can also watch this episode on Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, blip.tv and download and sync all episodes to your iPod or iPhone by subscribing for free to Co-Tee TV in the iTunes Store.

Co-Tee TV Facebook Fan Page

Coty’s Thoughts:

I received a couple of products from Johnny Cupcakes, including his Make Cupcakes Not War sticker, Camo Print Pencil, Camo Print Notebook, and Crossbones Wallet. The stickers and the pencil were your standard branded items and are some of the cheaper products in the Johnny Cupcakes shop. On a budget? Buy a Johnny Cupcakes branded pencil, pin or sticker.

The composition book was not as sturdy as those classic composition books from grade school with the thick front and back covers. Instead, this one was a bit more flexible due to the covers not being as thick. The inside back cover of the book comes with the standard “things you should know” facts like you’d find in any composition book. The inside of the front cover has a cute outline of the Johnny Cupcakes logo that you encouraged to sketch inside of.

The most exciting part of the package was the purple leather crossbones wallet. The wallet comes packaged in a little brown sack, with black lettering and a red drawstring. The wallet is very thin and is made up of a total of four pockets. The main center pocket is perfect for a few bills. On one side of the wallet there are two pockets for your plastic cards and on the opposite side you’ll find a pocket with a clear window, presumably for identification.

Pricing: Purple Crossbones Wallet ($24.99), Camo Print Notebook ($5.99), Make Cupcakes Not War Sticker ($2.99), Camo Print Pencil (0.99¢).

Johnny Cupcakes Box

Johnny Cupcakes Composition Book

Johnny Cupcakes Goodies

Johnny Cupcakes Stickers

Johnny Cupcakes Pencil

Johnny Cupcakes Leather Wallet

Johnny Cupcakes Leather Wallet

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour 2010

Also mentioned in this episode:

Robocopper by Olly Moss

Apple iPad

Johnny Cupcakes Back To Basics Tour

If you want to send me a product to review, please feel free to do so. You can find my information in the contact menu above. Thanks!


Cute microbes on sale