Survival is Triumph Enough

Survival is Triumph Enough

  “Being a fiction writer is a good way to go crazy, it’s a good way to be a nervous wreck, it’s a good way to become a drunk. You continually pick at yourself, the little sores that you have. They scab over and you pick them open again. Other people not only let them scab over, they let them scar over. They leave it alone. Writers don’t do that. They can’t keep their fingers out of the sore. They’ve got to keep it bleeding. And it’s off that blood that they make their stuff.”  -Harry Crews     "You have to go to considerable trouble to live differently from the way the world wants you to live. That's what I've discovered about writing. The world doesn't want you to do a damn thing. If you wait till you got time to write a novel or time to write a story or time to read the hundred thousands of books you should have already...
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The Middle-Class Farm Boy Who Cheated Death

The Middle-Class Farm Boy Who Cheated Death

"Like all artists I want to cheat death a little and contribute something to the next generation."  -Dennis Hopper "I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City and my grandparents were wheat farmers. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way. And I have had some fun. It's not been a bad life."  -Dennis Hopper May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010...
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Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel

Not long after I moved to France, I had French friends & relatives telling me about Mont Saint Michel. "Have you been?" "Um... no, not yet," I'd say. "Oh, it is so beautiful - you really must go." After I had been in France for about a year, Olivier & I returned from a trip to Normandy. "So, did you visit Mont Saint Michel?" "Er, uh... well, no... not yet." "Next time!  Next time, you must go." People kept talking about it.  Everyone that had been there agreed on one thing: this place was fucking awesome & had to be seen.  I started to feel like such lame-ass for not having seen it yet. Eventually, upon making another visit to Normandy, I got the chance. Now, on the wee tiny island of Mont Saint Michel, as you can see behind these two stunning tourists, is a tiny, uh... mountain.  (Sorry, I'm from Colorado.  My people tend to be snobs when it comes to what constitutes an actual mountain.)  At the...
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13 French Badasses

13 French Badasses

No, that's not some sort of oxymoron.  If there's anything that I've heard too many times since I've started living in France, it's people (particularly other Americans) talking trash about cowardly French.  I've got to call bullshit on this whole "cheese-eating surrender monkey" theory. 1.  Brennus - 4th Century BCE Brennus was chieftain of one of the Gallic tribes back in the day.  In 387 BCE, Brennus led his army in an attack on Rome & entered the city in what is known as the Battle of Allia.  After the Romans had received a rather embarrassing beating, they offered 1,000 pounds of gold to Brennus if he would just stop beating the shit out of them.  Brennus accepted, but called bullshit on the Roman scale that was being used to weigh out his bribery payment.  He whacked the scale with his sword & said, "vae victus!", or "Woe to the conquered!".  Maybe he was just being difficult, but that's neither here...
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