Month: January 2014

Y (a poem)

They think us strange,
we who don’t venture
into sunlight.
Scientists, Creators, Genius
bred in studios and labs–
strong-minded products
of a well-constructed mess,
we set ourselves apart
from yesterday’s beliefs.
We do not mold.
We do not bend.
We resist,
labeled stubborn
by the older generation,
self-styled mentors, our judges.
We question authority,
push out to sea,
bricks in that wall of defense,
seeking a seed of self-awareness
inherent in each of us.
Some might have died,
ripped open at the seam,
now broken, scarred.
We do not cry.
Our generation stinks
of death—
a sapling withered,
corroded by chosen elements,
leaving a stench
of lust, gluttony, dishonor,
rancid blend of blood like ours
and everything we’re not.
Mistakes clot in the vein.
We do not mourn
but smell the rot.
We do not mourn:
We live.


Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling as Image Macros

This is an excellent list of writing rules. Perfect for a writer of any kind.



Back in 2011, then Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats (now freelancing) tweeted 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar. Coats learned the ‘guidelines’ from senior colleagues on how to create appealing stories, tweeting the nuggets of wisdom over a 6 week period.

Last week, artist and User Experience Director at Visceral Games (a subsidiary of Electronic Arts), Dino Ignacio, created a series of image macros of the 22 rules and posted them to Imgur and Reddit.

Below you will find the list of image macros along with a text summary of Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling at the end of the post. Enjoy!

[Sources: Emma Coats, Dino Ignacio, The Pixar Touch]



pixar's 22 rules of storytelling as image macros (2)

Written by Emma Coats | @lawnrocket
Image Macro by Dino Ignacio | @DinoIgnacio



pixar's 22 rules of storytelling as image macros (3)

Written by Emma Coats | @lawnrocket
Image Macro by Dino Ignacio | @DinoIgnacio



pixar's 22 rules of storytelling as image macros (4)


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Rule #1: Cats are assholes.

I came home early this evening to watch Supernatural and drink wine.

Supernatural, cat, and wine=the perfect evening

Pictured: My planned evening.

Yes, I drink wine out of my TARDIS mug. Anyway, when I got back, one of my cats was missing. Not the one in the above picture: My other roommate found her roaming and stuck her back in my bedroom while I was gone. No, this one was my oldest, my most difficult cat: Milla.

Red cushion

Pictured: Not Milla

Milla normally sleeps under the covers, under the bed, or on one of the red cushions I keep on my feet to keep my toes warm. Only instead of being in any of those perfectly good places, she was upstairs, in one of the two bedrooms that are always open.

My cats never roam the house. Correction: They roamed the house when my roommates were gone for winter break, but now that my roommates are back, it’s not good to let them roam.

Now, it doesn’t seem very polite to search your roommate’s bedroom. Neither does it seem polite to let your cat nest in your roommate’s bedroom. So I went to my first-floor roommate – they all know one another pretty well – and she volunteered to help me find Milla.

And we did. In the boxspring of the only other housemate who has a cat. A cat who doesn’t like other cats.

And my cat, my Milla…trying to get her to do anything is like pulling teeth.

Bloody sink and TARDIS mug

Pictured: My actual evening.

I knew I should have left her alone. She would come down eventually, the way she did before my roommates returned. But now my first-floor roommate was involved, and the two of us ended up in second-floor roommate’s room, sprawled on the floor, trying to wrench a cat from a boxspring.

Pictured: Cat Haven from Hell

I didn’t take pictures because it seemed unseemly to take photos of your roommate’s bedroom. On a side note: I have no connection with my roommates, we speak very rarely, and we have nothing in common, but tonight I rolled around on the floor with first-floor roommate while wearing nothing but a tank, a robe, and last night’s pajama bottoms. On a more positive side note: Milla finally returned, after I cursed her for hissing and (possibly) for breaking second-floor roommate’s wine glass, and each of my five roommates is so friendly and “chill” that she doesn’t mind the rest of us wallowing in their bedroom floor. She doesn’t even mind the broken wine glass. I’m not very social and it’s impossible for me to hold a conversation with these girls unless I’m drunk or talking about cats (the only thing I have in common with any one of them), so I call that a win.

Nature As I Taste It

I bottle nature,
its colors, chaos,
patterns, scents,
moments kept alive
by the strange machine inside me—
I release them,
a ribbon of words,
segmented stream
with sinkholes, flumes.
Light and thought
undulate with the current.
Ideas cascade
down the page
in a language not nature’s,
bring life to slate,
sapling to wasteland,
channeled chaos,
explosion of words
I sculpt to portray not a thing,
but a taste.

These are a couple of poems I’ve pulled from an old document on my computer. No use letting them gather dust! 

Never Take Yes For an Answer

Mr. Holloway has given me a lot to think about. I hope you get as much from this as I did.

dan holloway

Never take yes for an answer. Yes comes with conditions. Yes stakes ownership. Yes is the devil whispering “you can have everything I show you” while it cups one hand gently to your ear and with the other draws a veil over the most beautiful, untrammelled, unimagined parts of the landscape. Yes is the sweet hit of heroine that shrinks your horizons to the size of your eyeballs.

Whether I have achieved a lot, or a little, or something in between, is a question to which there will never be a simple answer. It’s the same for you. And that’s because it’s not a single question. Against what are you measuring yourself? For every different answer, there is a correspondingly different question about your success. But only one of them actually matters.

What do you want from your writing?

You think you know. Good. Now take a pause, and a…

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Writing a good story…

Writing while drinking wine from a Tardis mug.

I regret nothing.

Writing a good story involves setting yourself aside. At least, for me it does. Maybe that’s why so many writers drink. It’s tough playing Frankenstein and giving life to so many different personalities in your head. Combine that with the art of crafting a story with a definite ending and throw in some discouraging remarks from an asshole professor and you’ve got a masterpiece. The asshole professor at least made me realize that I couldn’t write a good story without at least trying to access some emotions.

One of the challenges I face is not writing the same story over and over. That’s a trap that some writers can fall into when they only read one type of story, or when they don’t read anything at all. In my case, it comes from lack of imagination. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m not convinced I’m as creative as I seem. I think I just like making things happen to people. On paper, at least. I couldn’t do it in real life. Not the things I write about. That kind of thing results in legal disputes.