to Fiction or Not to Fiction?

The Daily Post asks – which do I prefer, fiction or non-fiction? I’ve been reading much more non-fiction lately than its counterpart, but an admission of habit doesn’t consummate an endorsement. Instead of my undergraduate idols like Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Twain, Calvino and Delillo, now my reading pile is full of business and political biographies, philosophy, psychology, and software development manuals. What gives? I can’t explain the transition, other than hinting that I don’t get paid to read novels, whereas skills or ideas I pick up from non-fiction have a chance of application in my working life. It’s a cheap premise, and I shudder to think I’ve unwittingly given up on the textured experiences of reading make-believe for the slim chance that I might find better financial rewards elsewhere. Reading non-fiction doesn’t also conclude I’ve disowned creativity – the best works of non-fiction can expose an unbelievable universe just as well as Tolkien can. Fiction …

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the Fictionalizations of ‘the Google’

I had a colleague a few years ago who joked about how his aging parents always referred to Google, the search engine, as “the Google,” as if the internet giant had become an entity of such massive, generic proportion that it deserved its own “the..”, like “the city,” or “the ocean,” or “the internet.” The Google. Popular culture has been producing fictionalized narratives about what life at Google might be like, to complement the hordes of reportage documenting the reality of the company. For an account of how it came to be, and an outsider’s view of the founders, Ken Auletta’s non-fiction book “Googled” tells a fascinating story. But the real story of Google is about the people who work there, and what they are trying to accomplish. There are plenty of imaginary guesses as to what that’s like – in ‘The Internship,’ actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn actually …

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NaNoWriMo 2013 – Plane Anthem

Today National Novel Writing Month begins. For the past few months (or years) I’ve flirted with the idea of writing a novel, and made tiny bits of progress. I have collected a scattered and diverse bunch of snippets, thoughts, conversations, ideas, and observations, and somehow intend to craft them into a novel-length work of fiction. I’ll try to update a few times this month with blog posts about how my experiment is going, and hope to find some feedback from other writers online who are participating in NaNoWriMo this November. My working title is “Plane Anthem,” and here’s a few paragraphs from the chapter that I pinched the title from: ….. Jerome is sitting at his desk and he texts me.  I read the message as I sit on the bus – “can’t do 5 today come cheese” He’s not desiring cheese but his phone probably autocorrected ‘call Chase’ into ‘come …

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