My form of procrastination is a random language generator.
It makes little paragraphs like this:
- None of the nude cheese lets everything speak of her tryout. Some fiercely stunning pauses speak of her. She says, medium-size. He replies, collecting operatives. They say, mad.
- I yearn for an oval, parental, and crimson layer. Azure housemothers can gladly take her overcast border. She says, corned. He replies, confusing those heretics. They say, confused.
- They grin at something. Those customers have these discerning outlooks. She says, blorpy. He replies, rubbing the stuff. They say, nervous.
I even made one for dirty language:
Feel free to use those sentences in your own writing projects.
I am a little obsessed with it. I strive to make it better and better. I want the output to be as natural-sounding as possible. It is satisfying when it spits out realistic-sounding sentences. It’s extremely satisfying when the grammar is correct. I spent hours getting the plurals of the nouns to match the verbs. I spent forever deciding whether or not a sentence needs an adjective, an adverb, or a prepositional phrase.
It will never produce a novel. If I spend half as much energy on my novel as I do on this thing, I’d be done by now. Yet, I am fascinated by the process of creating machine-generated sentences. I am drawn to it. Occasionally, from an unexpected and surprising turn of phrase, I get inspiration.
I find myself getting lost in sites like this, imagining how I would emulate such rules in my own language generator: http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/adjectives/order-of-adjectives/
What’s your form of procrastination?
I am an avid writer but not an avid reader. I spend much of my evenings and weekends (when not at work) posting to blogs or working on my novel. I’ve read that to be a good writer you should read, read, read. I have lots of books on Kindle and in paper format but I have a habit of starting them and not finishing them. I’m the queen of half-finished books.
Some of the half-finished books on my Kindle or nightstand:
- The Scarpetta Factor by Patrica Kornwell
- Geek Love By Katherine Dunn (I read it so long ago that I consider this a fresh read)
- Until I find You by John Irving
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir by Nick Flynn
- Finding Hanna by John R Kess
- By Reason of Insanity by Randy Singer
- The Judas Goat by Robert Parker
- Finders Keepers by Stephen King
I do spend lots of time reading blogs and web articles. I would say that almost counts except that it’s a reflection of my short attention span. Anything longer than 5000 words and it’s TL;DR (too long, didn’t read).
I used to speed through books. Umberto Eco. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Thomas Hardy. Chaucer. When I moved to poetry I lost my tolerance for long novels. William Carlos Williams ruined me for reading novels.
Maybe I haven’t found the right novels to capture my interest. Many years ago (almost twenty-five years ago!) my favorite novel was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I read it so long ago that it feels as though I’m reading it for the first time. The last book I really loved and read all the way through in recent history was Stiff by Mary Roach, but even that was a few years back. I read a few others by Mary Roach. Packing for Mars was quite good.
Since then my reading has atrophied. I might read a chapter before forgetting about a book. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an easy read or a denser, higher quality read. Stephen King is easy reading and I still can’t get past the first few chapters before neglecting it.
Does anyone else have this problem? Do you even consider it a problem? Are you an avid reader? Tell me what books you like best.