Me and Michael "Simon Bloom: The Gravity Keeper" Reisman are going to be doing a writing workshop this Sunday. 

We're going to be talking about how to write for a guy audience (author's note: I'm pretty sure the majority of this audience will be watching the Super Bowl) and there's gonna be plenty of high level advice and knowledge darts flying around, so be ready for that.  Also, they have some really nice scones in the attached coffee shop.  And the first person to come up and ask for a scone gets one courtesy of benjaminesch.com.  Just don't be greedy and get one of the fancy ones with fruit and sprinkles and stuff.  I'm not made of money.

Here's the details on the workshop: 

When:  Sunday, February 7th at 4 PM. 
Where:  Flintridge Bookstore in lovely La Canada/Flintridge, California. 
What:  Me and Michael Reisman talking about writing. 
Should I RSVP?  Yes, totally.  Send an email to catherineL@flintridgebooks.com. 

Now, I realize that most of you who read this blog either A) don't live in California or B) would prefer to watch football, so I'll be posting a recap of all the stuff we talk about.  But, for those of you who feel like some writerly good times on a Sunday afternoon, I will see you there.   
 
Time for a little confession.  Despite being,

A)  Born and raised in America
B) Fluent in English (author's note: and this is in spite of spending several of my formative years in Texas)
C) An English major
D) a professional writer

I still have no goddamn idea how to use a semicolon.  And I still use them all the time; like; I'll just get flustered and start throwing them into sentences; cause I think they make me look smart; and I'm in a shame spiral about not knowing proper punctuation; and; balls. 

Every time I turn in a book, I wait for my editor to call me and yell at me for having shitty punctuation, but as of yet, that hasn't happened.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe since I got a book out there, people confuse my grammatical ignorance with "artistic flair" or something.  And I'm cool with that. 

But for those of you who actually want to know how to use a semi-colon, I recommend you check out this webcomic.  It's by a dude called "The Oatmeal" and it prominently features bear fighting and party gorillas, and maybe if my teachers had tried teaching me grammar with a little more of that, I might have paid a little more attention.  

NEXT BLOG: 

In which I talk about writing word goals and such will be up super quick. 
 
Hey readers,

Okay, time to work in some writing advice again.  I know it's been a while since I've done this, and that's mainly because I feel like a huge jackass giving advice about something that routinely kicks my ass, but seeing as I'm a writer and this is my website, we're gonna give this thing a shot. 

Cool.  So, I've been writing for a living for about three years or so now, and I still haven't been able to get much of a routine together.  I know, I know, this is kinda embarrassing, and it's something I've been working on and bumming myself out about ever since I decided I wanted to be a writer. 

Now, I think there are a lot of reasons I've had trouble getting a routine nailed down.  Sometimes I tell myself it's because I'm a creative free spirit that can't be contained by a schedule, and though it sounds kinda pretty and all, it's complete bull shit.  Hemingway had a schedule.  Roald Dahl had a schedule.  And there's no way I'm more of a creative, free spirit than the dude who came up with James and the Giant Peach. 

So, what's the answer then? 

There's a possibility it's because I'm lazy, and that might be true, but I think it's something a bit deeper than that. 

My theory:  I still work like I'm in college. 

What does that mean?  When I was assigned a paper in college, I wouldn't start it early and chunk off a page a day like a responsible person.  No, I would wait until the last day, and then I would power out the entire works...usually sometime between midnight and when the coffee shops opened up again at 5 in the morning. 

Working like that was a rush, and I usually did some pretty good papers, but it built up some bad habits that I took with me when I started writing fiction. 

Instead of working a steady, sustainable pace on my books, I would usually just get all hopped up on Peets and write 20 pages in a night.  Then I would sit back and wait for my hands to stop shaking and marvel at what an awesome writer I was. 

Except I wasn't an awesome writer the next day.  Or the day after that.  Because I was too wrecked from spending all night freebasing coffee and being hunched over my laptop like a troll. 

Killing myself one night might equal twenty pages, but I was good for approximately zero pages for the next week.  So, that put my weekly page total at 20 pages. 

But, if I would have just taken a couple hours in the morning and busted out a more manageable six pages, that would give me 42 pages at the end of the week. 

So, I would have been twice as productive and with a lot less caffeine abuse besides. 

Jerry Seinfeld understood this and here's a super cool article about how he keeps himself writing and motivated every day. 

Did you read the article?  Seriously, click the link.  The rest of my blog will make a lot more sense if you do. 

For the past few weeks, I've been marking my calendar for every day I write and so far there hasn't been a break in the red X's.  My page total is climbing pretty steadily and I haven't been up at 3 AM once.  Okay, maybe once, but that was only because I had a lot of quality programming backlogged on the TIVO.

So do like Jerry Seinfeld.  Get a calendar.  Mark down some X's for days when you write and watch the pages grow.    

AND IN NON WRITING NEWS

Here's a clip from Troll 2.  Because I love you, that's why. 
 
You know, I was a little on the fence about France until I saw this. 
I found this and bunches of other neat stuff over at iwatchstuff. 
 
Hey readers,

Well, it's been another great year here at benjaminesch.com and I wanted to wish all of you guys some happy holidays and so forth.  Personally, I have spent the day playing golf and eating nachos, and I really like to think that's what Christmas is all about. 

I hope you guys have a great day, and as a special gift from all of me to all of you, here is a video of my brother doing his Charleston Heston/George Takei/George McFly impression. 

Did you watch the whole video?  Because he does an alarmingly good George Takei impression there at the end.  Brilliant. 

That's me in the background by the way.  The technical term for me is "multi-talented." 

And while we're on the subject of talented people, Kevin Spacey is pretty good at impressions too. 
 
 
So, I just heard that Kirkus Reviews went out of business.  I have some conflicted feelings about this.  I mean, it’s no real secret that Kirkus didn’t really like my book.  Make that they hated my book.  A lot.  Kirkus pretty much kicked me in the balls with their review of Sophomore Undercover. 

But I’m still sad that they aren’t around anymore.  To me, Kirkus Reviews was like an alcoholic, abusive uncle.  Sure, he was going to call me a fat sissy, and backhand me if the beer I brought him was too warm, but he was still family, and godammit, I wanted him to love me.  Or at least like me…a little bit.

But that isn’t going to happen.  Because Kirkus Reviews just drank himself into a stupor on moonshine, stumbled into the well and drowned (author’s note: I’m still using the drunk uncle analogy here). 
  

So, rest in peace, Kirkus Reviews.  You were a crotch kicker without compare. 
 
Hey readers,

Okay, okay...I know it's been over two weeks since I last posted something, and I know that's the blogger equivalent of dropping a turd in the punch bowl.  So, first of all, sorry for that.  Nobody likes a turd in the punch bowl.  It makes the whole internet party a lot less fun for everybody. 

Anyway, I think benjaminesch.com can go in one of two directions at this point: 

Direction A:  I post something half ass about once every fourteen weeks. 

Direction B: I get my crap together and start delivering some wittiness. 

The lazy part of me is liking the looks of Direction A right now, but godammit, I'm still paying the fine folks at weebly.com five bucks a month for this website, and I refuse to waste that kind of investment.  I mean, I can buy a cold cut trio from Subway with that cash. 

So, lets go with Direction B for a while. 

And to celebrate my personal recommitment to blogging, here's a video of that freaky stomach mutant from Total Recall singing "In Your Eyes." 
 
Hey readers,

So, I know Halloween was a couple weeks ago, but today I came across this video of Tim Curry singing in the 1986  movie, "The Worst Witch." 

I'm not too sure on all the details, but it kinda looks like Harry Potter, except everybody's a witch and there's singing.  Oh, and they have a three minute music video in the middle of it for some reason with some of the most awesome video effects I have ever seen in my life. 

Here is the video: 

Amazing. 

Moving on: 

MORE NEWS

A big congratulations to Jay Asher for one year on the New York Times best seller list for 13 Reasons Why. 

I know you have probably read this, but if you haven't, it's a great book.  Also, he's a really nice guy and he has a neat blog

I mean, I know peer pressure is supposed to be a bad thing, but come on!  52 weeks on the New York Times best seller list?  Don't you want to be like the rest of the cool kids and read this book? 
 
Hey readers,

So, I tried to be a sparkly vampire for Halloween, but the costume didn't really come together.  All the stores were sold out of those plastic vampire fangs, and I bought some glittery body spray stuff, but it took about five coats of the stuff for any of the glitter to show up, and by that point, I had a nose bleed and my left arm was twitching, so I figured it was a good time to stop huffing body spray glitter. 

So, lacking a costume, I had to go to my old standby: dressing up like a chick.  Yeah...it was a rough Halloween this year. 

But, now that I think about it, I don't think my sparkly vampire outfit fell apart because I didn't have fangs or glitter or even one of those broody looking trench coat thingamajig.  No, what I really needed was to smell like a vampire. 

That's where Essence of Twlight comes in. 

Yep, those two chicks went and made a line of bath soaps and perfumes designed to "smell like Edward Cullen."  And they are selling like crazy.

Jesus, that is remarkable.  I know a lot of people don't like the Twilight phenomenon, but here's my take on it:

My take on it:  Good for you, Stephanie Meyer.  And if a couple of ladies want to make some bath bubbles with a hint of vampire, god bless them. 

Hell, I would love for people for people to make Dixie Nguyen smelling soap.  Or to just buy Sophomore Undercover in general.  Or, you could buy two copies: one to read, and one to rub on yourself so you get that "new book smell."  It's up to you, and that's what makes capitalism great. 

For those of you who clicked on my website because you were googling "How to smell like a vampire" or "Edward Cullen bath bubbles." 

Hi.  Welcome to the website.  So, you're into books about vampires and other scary things, are you?  Well, why don't you check out Emily Ecton.  Her books may have a bit less sparkly vampires and romantic longing than you're used to, but dammit, this woman is a talent and more people need to know about it. 

And in case anyone's wondering...

I'm totally Team Jacob.  For whatever that's worth. 
 
Hey readers,

I know that as a big internet celebrity and critically acclaimed author, my word carries a lot of weight, so when I tell you to check something out, you better believe I understand the full magnitude of my recommendation.  I like to think I haven't steered you guys wrong in the past: 

Stuff I've recommended for you guys in the past

1.  Read Dave Yoo
2.  Buy my book (author's note: I particularly like this suggestion)
3.  Listen to The Adam Carolla Podcast
4.  Dinosaucers

When I tell you that you'll like something, you can be confident that it is awesome enough to deserve the full benjaminesch.com seal of approval. 

Without further ado, allow me to present, "The Room" by Tommy Wiseau
I had been hearing rumors about this movie for months, but I finally sat down and watched it yesterday.  And holy crap was it amazing.  I don't think I've ever laughed or thought harder for 90 minutes in my entire life.

I mean, what other movies have inspired their own tribute rap songs? 

(note:  this video will be offensive for people who don't like the F word and tasty rhymes). 

 

The room is in the house, indeed.