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Oct 6 / Michael

Let us speak of questionable decisions


Let’s talk about questionable decisions, shall we? I seem to be careening around the City a bit more than normal. Maybe it’s because I was away for a month; maybe it’s because I can feel the cold weather coming. Whatever the case, it raises some questions.

These are the sort of questions where the answers come trotting along right behind, like a loyal but ugly hounddog. Should I have sent that email? Probably not. Should I have had that extra drink? Not in retrospect. Should I have stopped by Melon’s on the way home? Noooooooo! (Update: Should I have posted this? Haha!)


You know what that sort of “spontaneous” decision-making is not necessarily good for: life. You know what it is good for (for me, anyway): writing. It’s like, you screw something up, your life feels a little wobbly, and then you write a thousand words, well chosen and almost all in the right order. It calms your thoughts and feeds that abstract need for accomplishment (a need that can be particularly acute after a few dicey decisions). Suddenly, you’re back on track. And you’re up to Chapter 6.

It makes me think of Morrissey wailing “I’m so sorry” over and over again in Suedehead, or Michael Stipe singing “I’m sorry” in REM’s South Central Rain, or even Ol’ Blue Eyes himself: “Regrets, I’ve had a few…” Is it a coincidence that those are among their best songs?

Note: Not a FAIL. At all. But look at Stipe’s Appolonian locks!

I’m not saying that bad decisions are necessary for good writing (though a willingness to take chances certainly is), but it does seem like they can help sometimes. Ideally, you’d pull up somewhere short of Gauguin/Bukowski/Baudelaire territory (and let me tell you, I’ve got light years to go before arriving there), but one extra drink? Out on a night I probably should’ve stayed in? As they say, twist my arm.


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  1. Aris Georgiadis / Oct 6 2009

    Melons. Melons. Hence why you were up at 5 a.m. writing chapter 6. Glad to see you’re keeping my barstool warm for me!

  2. Michael / Oct 6 2009

    No, no, that wasn’t last night. That was a week or two ago. It was already late, and I was on my way home. Just out of curiosity, I ducked my head in the window. I could’ve gotten away with it, too–if I hadn’t made eye contact with Frank!

    I’ve been there since, of course, just not quite so late. (Check back in a week!)

  3. AnneCoburnWhitmore / Oct 6 2009

    …just as long as (they?) don’t twist your arm OFF, right? 😉

    [oops, “Sor-ry”*… there I go again w/ that one. $#*!, and I’d *promised* not to…]

    * Wow, REM AND Morrissey today, huh?!
    Been there.

    I like the phrase, “your life feels a little wobbly” … solid. (;)) Nice writing.

  4. Michael / Oct 6 2009

    Twist my arm off?! Who am I, Grendel? Speaking of which, I met someone named Beowulf last night. I told him it was a cool name, and he said, “Not when I was growing up.”

  5. AnneCoburnWhitmore / Oct 6 2009

    …”Speaking of which, I met someone named Beowulf last night.” :
    You DID not! … you’re pulling my leg!

    (sorry! 😉 teeheehee.)

  6. Michael / Oct 6 2009

    Ha! That joke was *epic*!

  7. AnneCoburnWhitmore / Oct 6 2009

    Nah, it was kinda lame.

  8. Michael / Oct 6 2009

    Lame . . . epic . . . It’s a fine line hereabouts. (I feel like I should explain that I was making a pun on epic poetry, but then, any joke you have to explain is, well, lame. So, basically, I rest my case.)

  9. AnneCoburnWhitmore / Oct 6 2009

    Arrgggh, @_@ yikes! – eeks!, wait a sec: Good sir, I meant *MY* joke was kinda lame (y’know, referencing/stringing further the old Unvincible references.) 😉

    Gah – so I’m coming up pretty short here (heehee) with a cool reply, so I’ll just hobble, wobbly, off, here ;).

    [Got the epic thing! ;)]

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