1. I’ve discovered a new radio station I love. KVOD 88.1 FM is a classical music radio station that is run much like NPR—intelligently and with impeccable taste and class with donations from listeners (“like you.”) The little bit of advertising on it is about itself. The talk is about classical music and just that… no nonsense about the DJ’s trashy lifestyle or anything of the sort that makes you feel trashy for even having that station on your radio dial. These DJ’s actually KNOW classical music and talk about technical stuff pertaining to the music they’re introducing. They also have news that matters that doesn’t sound parasitic, but rather well-prepared and of good quality. Good stuff, so do give it a try if ever you get tired of the total crap on the radio.
2. Maybe we need to go back to typewriters and paper so that only the good stuff stands out. It’s too easy for crap to survive nowadays.
I recently read an interview with Stephen King in one of those magazines that come with Sunday’s newspaper. The interview was to celebrate 35 years since the publication of “Carrie,” his first best seller. In the interview, King said that if it weren’t for his wife finding the beginnings of this book in the trash, it would’ve never seen the light of day. The significance of this story is in a detail that King mentioned about how authors did things “back in those days.” He said that “Carrie” began with just four pages of single-spaced prose; back when typewriters were more common fixtures in homes than computers, hence, books were significantly shorter before computers with word processors were the norm (imagine having to rewrite, or more accurately, retype, multiple pages in their entirety, just to fix one sentence or paragraph edit.) Just like the concept that a little competition is healthy, a little fear of having to retype pages of prose can make a writer think twice about what they put down.
On another humbling and somewhat sobering note for the modern-day writer: J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his Lord of the Rings trilogy during World War II in the midst of a paper shortage. He is just one of many authors who had an abundance of words and ideas worth putting down, but a shortage of paper. Today, we have an abundance of paper and a shortage of words and ideas worth putting down. Think about that the next time you've got writer's block and a computer screen with abundant space for your work staring back at you.