The Weekly Commonplace (3/4/17)


“In silence we fell, while missiles tore across the sky and ships burst asunder all around us. Decoys and defenders, Earth and Belt alike, they all flared and shattered and died the same, the shrapnel of their destruction rattling against my hull. But we, gliding dark and mute without even a breath of thrust, slipped through fire and flame without notice.” (David D. Levine, “Damage” in The Long List Anthology Volume 2Kindle Locations 298-300)

“The slow, pompous tones of the scholar; the convoluted official language he knew by heart— the only excuses the state would make to him, couched in the over-formality of memorials and edicts.” (Aliette de Bodard, “Three Cups of Grief, By Starlight” in The Long List Anthology Volume 2, Kindle Locations 1427-1428)

“And yet.. and yet, the station has heft. It has meaning— that of a painting half-done; of a poem stopped mid-verse— of a spear-thrust stopped a handspan before it penetrates the heart. It begs— demands— to be finished.” (de Bodard, Kindle Locations 1695-1696)


“The leaves are not falling. Not yet. They are changing, growing, accepting a new role. When they do fall, I shall rake them. I will scrape this sidewalk until the cast-off many-colored robes are mounded high. Then I will heave them into my yard, I will watch my sweatered children discover and rediscover the joy of playing in death, the joy of jumping, laughing, sneezing, and rolling in the remnants of anothery ear, the joy of being buried and resurrected, of climbing in and out of a grave.” (N.D. Wilson, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl, 170)

“Grandpa Marty heard the letter many times. He asked to keep it with him. He had it beside him when he slipped into his coma—a sleep that only grew deeper until finally, even his thoughts stopped and the strings that wove soul to body, long tattered, frayed to a finish.” (Wilson, 175)

“Artists threaten authority by exposing lies and inspiring passion for change. This is why when tyrants seize power, their firing squads aim at the heart of the writer” (Robert McKee, Story, 130)

“For although an artist may, in his private life, lie to others, even to himself, when he creates he tells the truth; and in a world of lies and liars, an honest work of art is always an act of social responsibility.” (McKee, 131)

“All artists can lay hands on the raw material of their art—except the writer. For at the nucleus of a story is a ‘substance,’ like the energy swirling in an atom, that’s never directly seen, heard, or touched, yet we know it and feel it.” (McKee, 135)

(Image courtesy of Simson Petrol and


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