Sunday, April 20, 2008

Action words

It is generally accepted that any proper story should include a bit of fighting or general action-doing. Problematically neither I nor many other writers seem very good at action-doing. It might have something to do with our tendency to hide alone in dark places and write for hours on end scribble-typing away. I think movies did it. When we think action we think movies and images. When we write with movies in our heads we end up with stage directions instead of a good fight.

To that end I made a list of all the words that turn up in action scenes so far as I know. It helps...somehow.

C: Cut, claw, clench, close, circle, crash, crunch, clink, catch
D: Duck, dance, dodge, draw, dive
F: Flinch, fall, face, flail.
G: Grab, growl, grate
J: Jump, jab, jar
L: Leap
M: move
P: Pull, pick up, punch
R: Run, rise, race
S: Side-step, skip, spring, spatter, shoot, smash, stab, slap, slam, swing, slump,
stumble, strike, struggle, scream, spin, spar


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not THAT sort of fantasy

It’s great being a fantasy writer. How can magic and adventure ever be boring? Fantasy writers can probably produce some of the dullest stuff on the planet, but it cannot be boring to write. If it is, you are doing it wrong. If you are a hermit like any good writer ought to be you will not have encountered the horror of being a fantasy writer. Sadly most cannot afford that and the problem with being a fantasy writer the possibility of accidently mentioning it in –gasp- public!

Now, if everyone did as they ought and read fantasy it would not be a problem. Sadly, the world tends not to be as it ought. Most people do not read fantasy; Most people do not seem to read much of anything at all aside from magazines and newspapers and those books on the best seller’s lists. (I know, insulting people is bad, but they make more money on those books then I ever will, therefore I may insult them if I like.)

Most people I’ve talked to do not even know what writing fantasy even means. It happens to everyone:

Stranger/Friend: “What are you doing?”

You: “Oh, just a little writing.

Stranger/Friend: “For school.”

You: “Nah, part of a novel.

Stranger/Friend: “A novel. Can I read it? What is it about?”

You: “Oh, it’s fantasy.”

Stranger/Friend: *blank look*

“…I see.”

And thus the nice interested person never speaks to you again. It is good way to get rid of unwanted company but nothing else.

I thought the peculiar looks and confusion meant a dislike of daring heroes going on quests. I assumed it had something to do with the deeply rooted hatred of elves. It turns out only writers know that hatred. I don’t often write about daring heroes because they are far too sarcastic to make obliging characters, but I could deal with people thinking I did. After a few questions I figured it out. People don’t assume fantasy means daring heroes, they assume it means sex. (Disclaimer: I do not write about sex. I do not hate people who do. I do not plan to stage riots against them. I’m just not the sort of person who writes about sex or romance, it gets in the way of my plotlines.)

Therefore, my recommendation to those of our daring number planning to admit that they write fantasy: don’t say you write fantasy. Tell people what you write about. Tell them that you write about elves, or questing heroes, or insane hell-bent necromancers planning to summon the dark forces to aid him in the stopping Gnomish Liberation Front. Tell them about what you write, not the genre. Genre matters. Genre makes every difference in the world sometimes but they don’t know that.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blog closed - unclosed

Yep. No more blog. Don't seem to be updating, so no point in pretending I am. Bye now.

I'm back.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Writing about nothing about writing

The danger of being a writer is that as writers we are supposed to write about the world, and if we become completely involved in writing then writing becomes our world. At that point we are writing about writing, which means we are writing about nothing because there is at no point a proper subject matter. At this point we build our subject matter, and it looks rather silly because it has no grounding in anywhere but our own heads. We take it apart and try to figure out what went wrong. Once it is taken apart we find we have no glue and therefore we are left without any subject matter at all.

Therefore we buy black hats and wander about at cafes talking of how we cannot speak. Happily this gives us subject matter and so we hurry off to write about our experience. We send it off and everyone loves it because they are having exactly the same problem, so they write the same thing. At this point we aren't writing about art, but writing about writing about art...or something down the line.

Now to be serious: Draw the line at some point. If you are to write you must love more then writing. Do not quit your day job, become a mathemetician, go for very long walks, or work in the garden. There is no harm in loving writing and if you do not you ought not to write. But I love writing too and I say that those who see it as the singular aim of life do it great harm.

Of course they say that us fantasy writers are foolish and dishonest fools, so I suppose I cannot do much good here. If I'm writing about writing does that mean I'm writing about nothing right now?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Gutenberg Project

Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, invented eBooks in 1971and continues to inspire the creation of eBooks and related technologies today. -

I love the Gutenberg project and it deserves all the attention and support we can give it. Therefore, attention. Any book with an expired copyright falls into the knowledge commons, and anything in the commons is candidate for this collection.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Drawing lines and Artistotle

Since I ought to be writing a paper on Aristotle right this is a most fitting topic. His writing on ethics discusses Eudaemonia (how to life well as a human being). I am discussing how to write well as a fantasy author. I should point out that I am not discussing either how to sell your writing.

Steve Thorn's comment on my previous article reminded me that I tend to sound like an extremist at times. I am very much for the history and precedent of things, so much so that a book can be spoiled for me is I think they have written about elves in the 'wrong' way. Still not sure what the 'right' way is, but according to my tastes it isn't that.

< utterly meaningless)----------------------------------------(completely unoriginal >

The best place to be, for life or writing or both, is somewhere in the middle. I tend to balance in a rather more peculiar way. Half of the things I write would be utterly meaningless without the other half which happen to be completely unoriginal. I'm not really sure that is the proper way to go about it though.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Werewolves, vampires, and orginal content

Now the obvious flaw of inclination is that people are often inclined to write fanfiction. I shall not here condemn fanfiction, I admit that I am not in favour of it but there are good arguments for its creation and its existence does not do us harm.

The trouble here is who is choosing to write. Inspiration is a wonderful and powerful thing but that does not make it useful. It is amazing what power stories can have over us and if all we desire is an emotional reaction to a particular story then fanfiction is acceptable. If we desire to be writers then it is a different matter. There is a drive for originality and no one who wishes to be a writer can allow themselves to fall completely under the power of anothers stories.

So we must not fall under the power of other writers, we must write stories that are our own. This falls into the originality debate. I like tradition and I like structure and I have a great affection for literary allusion. Therefore we can say that we do not need complete freedom from influence (which leads to scary things like postmodern toilet art) but instead we need to draw upon pure sources.

Clearly another writer, one writing in our generation cannot be a pure source, it is impossible to tell what is lasting and what is transeunt. So, to be specific, what is fantasy? It is stories that draw on other times and ideas, that permit things which cannot exist within a basic scientific understanding. It is not breaking new ground but reiterating old. Such, at least, is my view of fantasy. Therefore the appropriate source material is that of old things. Ancient culture, ancient mythology, and old folk and fairytales, along with general history and the various understandings of the world make up the material with which fantasy can play. Therefore to avoid the trap of influence we look to the past, and isn't that why we write fantasy to begin with?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Derisive originality

Despite my hatred of word murderers I still have a tendency to play with meanings, often to my own detriment. Derisive originality is one such toy.

Originality, as the creation of a new or primary thing, cannot be called bad. It is, by necessity of our situation if nothing else, inherently good.

That said, 'originality' is a damaging ideal and one that I find more reason to hate then to love. I sometimes enjoy using 'originality' in a derisive manner, to refer to something that is sub-standard or unworthy of my consideration. I did not realise see anything amiss in this tendency until I used it outside of the writerly context and found myself an object of ridicule. Or, to be more precise, I was accused of being a communist. My opinions of communism are varied but that is not the issue at stake. The point highlighted the negative aspects of both communism and my apparent view. Conformity. Conformity, of course, is a very bad and nasty thing, especially when created at gunpoint.

Oddly enough this was precisely my point. Originality, innovation, this is conformity. It is not conformity in its denotative value, but in application. It also seems strange that we would become original at gunpoint, considering this is not a communist state and no one is holding the gun. But such is the case. We, we as writers and we as students and we as human beings, are told repeatedly that we must be new and different and shiny. And if we are not? Then we are not good enough, and we are not living up to the standards of society, and we are in general degenerate.

When I call someone 'original' in a snide and derisive manner I am saying that instead of doing what they wanted to do they allowed this invisible gun to control their actions. Such people do not follow their natural inclinations and abilities. Instead they listen to that incessant whispering which tells them over and over what is acceptable.

I shall speak as a writer because that is what I know. It is not acceptable to write about elves. It is not acceptable to discuss idealism. It is not acceptable to have heroes, and it is even less acceptable to have villains. Such things are clich├ęs. Over done. Dead (because you shot them?). You must go somewhere else, you cannot stay here. Do not write of fairyland; make up your own world instead. Do not write about elves; make up an alien race instead.

True, writing of elves is not new. True, it is difficult to do it well. That does not matter. What matters is that I want to write about elves and I do not care if I am shot in the dead because I do not believe that they gun even exists. I mean, an invisible talking gun? Come now, be rational.

If you are truly desire to create that world, to create those people in every loving detail, to make them your own, heart and soul, then that is originality. That is how I feel about elves, though I do not create them. If it is, however, not the desire to explore a strange land breathing under purple but merely the compulsion to be original then you are dishonest. If you are not dishonest, if originality is the only thing that you love and live for, then you are truly a sorry creature. Those who pursue art for arts sake I respect: those are called artists. Those who pursue originality for its own sake well deserve my contempt because they deny themselves.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

How words die

I took a course last year on the history of western thought. My professors told me many things that stuck in my mind. One was that evil is dead, according to both Nietzsche and Derrida, and the other is that we live in an age of profound skepticism.

At the time I was surprised. I wondered what the average person would say if they were told that we are profoundly skeptical. I’m still quite sure they haven’t noticed.

As a writer I am rather disturbed by the death of words. It is like finding the grave of a friend you never knew was dead.

Take morality. The Greeks, particularly the sophists, began to doubt the existence of morality. Those who lost the reality of it sought to convince others of it. It died for some that that death was spread to others until all were infected by it, then it was cut away to allow for new growth.

The trouble is that morality can die for some without dying for others. Why should reality be destroyed completely just because in one man it is dead? Why should reason be killed completely just because it is dead for me. Is it even dead for me? Yes. If I can question it it is dead. I said that dissecting an idea kills it, but it seems that the ideas are already dead when they are dissected.

Unless...unless we are like Aristotle, digging up the bulbs to look at them because they die every spring. Maybe reason will return when it is warmer and we are closer to the sun. Not for me, but for others. We are rational and we are a-rational. I must accept that I am part of the latter.


There is, of course, no excuse for inactivity. My only defense can be that I did not only give up blogging for some other activity, but in fact gave up all creative activities. I was supposed to edit my novel, I was supposed to finish a story, I was supposed to paint. I did none of these. I did write, but not by choice. So I make my inexcusable excuse and say that I have been concentrating on my studies.

I did, however, write a study-relevant poem:

Oh, Justice, creature good and noble!
You who love the littlest creature
who protects the old, the young, the weak,
the dreamers, the workers, the else.

Oh, Justice, I invoke thee
(in the vocative!)
creature good and noble,
come smell your way to us
return to us, for we love you
you are our teacher, our protector
you are good and you are kind.

Oh, Justice, blindfish, mole,
protect the children of the words,
the children of democracy,
the old, the young, the dreamers and farmers,
we, together, call thee forth.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Art and my doomedness

I have long been aware (I have only pursued writing for seven years, may I say long ow?) that fantasy is not a serious thing, that romanticism is a silly and trivial pursuit and that no honest and hardworking individual will partake in such things. I find this a troublesome and belittling idea but sadly any attempt to break free of it materialises in a verbal attack on some other form.

My original solution to this problem was to declare that what I did was not art. I did not know what it was, but concluded that it existed (like myself) solely to make people who encountered it happy. The trouble is that existing solely to amuse others is a rather draining activity, and being the caring creator that I am I did not particularly wish it upon what I created. After a thought I did not wish it on myself either. But that is not the problem, the problem is far simplier, it is that in rebelling against the idea of the artist. I tend to characterize artists in a rather unfair light, as a reactionaries and who desires more to make some important and relevant point then to tell a story. The trouble is in claiming not to be an artist I AM reactionary.

The second trouble I have with the idea of fantasy as silly and irreverant it that the recommended opposite is in itself an idea. The honest and hardworking artist may exist, but they are partaking in that ideal. Is it so strange to write in a manner which allows us to give those ideas flesh and form in every way we can?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Balancing reality

I used to roleplay. (The forum-based variety, which is the equivalent to communal story-telling. No unpleasant connotations intended.) When I roleplayed I was always worried about Mary-Sues, about being believable and being proper and making 'real' characters. To tell the truth those characters were rather dull. I roleplayed fantasy, and it just did not work.

Then I did NaNoWriMo. I am tired of psychology. I refuse ever to worry about whether my character is a Mary-Sue again. I let my characters be what they need to be, whether that is depressed, naive, or idealistically heroic.

Some time ago, probably reading those essays I found by Ursula Le Guin, I encountered the idea that fantasy is NOT reality. Odd idea, eh? I thought so too.

There was also something about seeing a characters as pieces of each other, using Lord of the Rings as an example. There was an interpretation as Frodo, Sam, and Golum making one complete character. Only one interpretation of course, but it is an interesting one to consider. This is a critical interpretation, but it can be used by writers as well. I remember reading about how George Lucas cast is characters as a group rather then individuals, and we all know how that turned out.

Elves! Elves are a better example. Elves are perfect. If an authors tells me otherwise I will throw their books across the room. But the perfect sorts of Elves are balanced by darker or more mischievous counterparts - trolls, goblins, and the like.

Making characters realistic and believable is important, but in doing so the characters should not be compromised. Some characters just need to be heroes, and sometimes you need a bit of purity and perfection.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Beauty and the mundane

There are many beautiful things in The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (965). The first is the spring at dawn, the second is the summer night:

“In spring it is the dawn that is most beautiful. As the light creeps over the hills, their outlines are dyed a faint red wisps of purplish cloud trail over them.

In summer the nights. Not only when the moon shines, but on dark nights too, as the fireflies flit to and fro, and even when it rains, how beautiful it is!"

Nine hundred and eighty four years later there was no double meaning. In Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1949), the trees are beautiful but only in themselves:
"I was driving along, you understand? And I was fine. I was een observing the scenery. You can imagine, me looking at the scenery, on the road every week of my life. But it's so beautiful up there, Linda, the trees are so thick, and the sun is warm. I opened the windshield and just let the warm air bathe over me.”

Sei Shonagon speaks of beauty, but she also sees it. Partly it is in translation, everything is ethereal when it comes from a language so different from our own, but there is something else. What she writes captures something. I suppose what Arthur Miller writes also captures something, but it is something deeply relevant and meaningful, not something beautiful.

I have read some incredibly beautiful things on the internet, in loves that seem mundane. These are the particular moments of being, the things that raise above the mundane and become something else. Beauty does exist in the material, mundane world. But when it appears that world ceases to be as such

There is beauty in the mundane. (Mundane adj. In weakened sense: ordinary, commonplace. Hence: prosaic, dull, humdrum; lacking interest or excitement.) But there is nothing mundane about beauty.

In fact, there is nothing mundane about mundane:

mundane egg n. (in Indian and other cosmogonies) a primordial egg from which the world was hatched.

Anima Mundi n. The soul of the world; a power or spirit supposed to be diffused throughout the material universe, organizing and giving form to the whole and to all its parts, and regularizing the motions and alterations of the parts. [I say it's gravity]

I think I understand why this word holds people so.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Common sense and science

I like to read the bill-boards in front of schools, churches, and so one. It was evening and I was on the bus, reading Utopia. I ran into an interesting idea, though I do not remember what it was, and stopped reading to look at the sign on the church, "faith is believing what common-sense tells you not to believe." I laughed.

In philosophy we discussed qualia, those qualitative experiences within ones mind which cannot be applied to or described by science. We also learned about the self. Both the self and the qualia which serve it are unscientific things. They are common-sense things. Taken a little further such believes lead us to dualism. Dualism is the belief that our selves and our personal experiences relate to something else, another portion of existence apart from the material world. Another step and we have religion.

On the other side is the belief that ourselves are simply constant conjunction and that everything we feel will be 'properly' explaind in future science.

For me, therefore, the sign told me to ignore the deep-rooted commonsense belief in self and accept the harsh but realistic views of science. Silly sign.

Prologues in fantasy

Since I have bashed all 'non-genre' areas of writing I feel like I ought to move on to the genres.

We shall start at the beginning...actually, no. We shall start about five hundred years before the beginning in material so very dull it would put a history major (being one, I know) to sleep.

Once the Gods came, five of two and two of four.

The Gods made the world (out of rice) and a prophecy.

The prophecy said that one would rise to save the world
though it had not fallen yet.

The Gods fought a had a war, and the Gods died,
The Gods fought, and fought, and fought,
and it was harsh, and dark, and sort of sad.

Or maybe the Gods did not die and we
just thought they did because of all the dust.

A man arose, and he was very, very bad.
He did many bad things, and some sad.
He owned a cat, a cape, and an army.
The army worshipped him because they had
no brains. It was harsh, and dark, and sad.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

postmodernism impression comic

I do think that postmodernism is more then just denial of structure. (It's also denial of meaning!) Derrida aside, I find people who think misspelling things is funny to be a tad bit crude (sort of like a comic made on paint, however, they should not belittle the inability to spell, as it is such a traumatizing ailment!). But really, what have the words ever done to you?

My postmoder(ism?) impression

Lost in translation translated my modernism impression from English through five languages and then into English again. I don't think I have postmoderism down; I don't even know if it exists. I assume as a reaction to the modernist view my last post would be the postmodern one, this is just gibberish. But fun gibberish.

They are selected by these mornings. The luminous ones of the non-equal and external coffee. The way that the same light is not the same external part... [Sounds like what I'm studying in philosophy right now!] that the form gives. Did I forget that it introduces milk? Cheap milk is not milk at all. [Very true.] I cannot drink milk.

It is the soy oil (or possibly a coffee launderer.) those that the doctor said to take. To make the examination is really the end. [Don't have a bloody clue where this came from.] I am in my car -- in the God of the traffic, in the aversion of the traffic. And of me it drinks East Coffee with no launderer. Great beginning to the day, is it pageantry of the right? [not even sure anymore...]

I spilled my coffee in the external world of the traverse box. [ahem, car.] Traffic is of the damned! But I am an expert at arriving. Who is the same old man and the same old work? It is same old people and the same old office of the man. [The old man?] God, what an aversion I have to work. It is so similar.... But really, my coffee was terrible. It is normally correct, but today? Terrible. I have an East Kaffegenerator. [ I just can't delete this one. I really want to know why coffee is associated with east though.] It was great, every day, when I would eat a great cup of the coffee. But now? This does not work very well. I must possibly clean above it.

Since I used a computer program to base my changes on I have entered a grey area of ownership. I edited the output, and changed it outright in places, but if the program or the programmer has ownership then that would be just the same as picking up a book and changing it a little. Is it the percentage of the change that makes it mine? The program just did what it was told, where as I provided the original and the final copy. Joint ownership maybe?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My modernism impression

So I got up this morning. It wasn't even light out...Not even light out and I'm making my coffee. And I forget to put milk in it, right? Well, not really milk. I can't drink milk. Soy supplement (or maybe its just coffee whitener) the doctor said to take it. That isn't really the point. So I'm in my car, in the traffic – god I hate the traffic – and I've got this coffee with no milk--whitener! Great start to the day, right?

So anyway, I got to work okay, well, not really okay. Damned traffic. But I get there and it's just the same old job y'know? The same old people; same old desk. God, I hate my job. It's so...similar. But really, my coffee was awful today. Usually it's okay, but today it was awful. I have this coffee maker, the one they advertise. It was great, every day I'd have a great cup of coffee. But now? It doesn't work so well. Maybe I need to clean it.

Coming up next, post modernism! Or maybe I should do an impression on impression of postmodernism and just spell everything wrong. I suddenly occurs to me how overdone this is.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fantasy is genre

Another world is not a box, some strange land under and alien sky is not a box. It is a land, and it is strange, and it is vast and sweeping and irredeemable. And I am doomed.

I do not want to learn how to write fantasy. That was not my plan. I wrote, and it was fantasy. Maybe all those books I read influenced the choice, or maybe it is the natural way for one like me. That is what I thought at least. It is still true, but what the hell is fantasy? A little niche drilled into the wall, a premise already given at the beginning so you are stuck there and you cannot escape ever.

I love it, I love it dearly and I cannot imagine how a thing could really matter to me if it were not fantasy. It is such an honest sort of writing, everything is there and tangible. It is such an earnest sort of writing, there is no sophistry or judgement, only the keen desire to lead the reader off into some unknown place. That does not seem so bad.

But we use a set of tools and symbols to create and the ones I hold are of more then character and plot. I have such a variety of clothes and mechanisms, little things that flavour fantasy. How can I cast off these clothes? I thought I had, I thought I had done away with it. I thought I had the tools and symbols at my command, I thought I could do what I liked. I don't like this.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Villains and personality

Villains should have personality. This is what they tell us. Do not forget to make them realistic or to give them reason and motivation, elsewise, they will not be a real person.

What? Real people? I write fantasy! Mine should not be real, mine should be pretty little bits of paper with things like greed and courage written on them. I'll use red for one and green for the other and white in case I need some purity. If I make my characters realistic then how am I writing a fantasy? Guess I'm not. My goal is to create characters that are wonderful, vibrant, and tangible, henceforth, my villains must also be real. I guess I lose the fantasy there. (I can always make up for it elsewhere.)

Why must they be real? Because that is the underlying structure of it. (I've seen this before, but never in a way that made it click. Maybe I can manage.) There is a way of looking at things called magical thinking. Magical thinking is especially suited for fairytales and by that right we may, with only mild damage, apply it to all fantasy.

Fantasy is very physical. The character is sad; it rains. The character is angry; the world falls into chaos. The character is torn; a villain appears for them to fight. This is all well and good, but it means that the entire story must be taken. The reader will fall in love with the story instead of the characters. This is acceptable.

The problem occurs when writing a longer piece. We wish our characters to face others, but we also wish them to face themselves. How can they do both? The others represent them and henceforth cannot do anything but be a part of the hero. Henceforth we must allow the hero to internalize his inner conflict and face an enemy who is not a reflection of themselves but instead a complete and self-sustaining entity.

This is not to say that the villain cannot at times act as a piece of the hero, or the hero a piece of the villain, just that when the characters are maintaining vibrant and tangible personalities they will be separate. If you do not desire an external foe, and your character is complex and interesting enough that you wish to work through them for the plotline, then the villain need no more then a cloak and the worst traits of the hero.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What did the fourth wall ever do to them?

Wikipedia on the fourth wall: "...the imaginary invisible wall at the front of the stage in a proscenium theater, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play."

I found the fourth wall last year, and I found it amusing, then wondered why people were so against it. I did not experiment, however, I heard the little voice whisper behind my left ear 'they say you can't, I say we can!'

Yep, I love to disagree. I looked at it a little more though, and the more I saw it the less I was impressed. Why break the fourth wall? Humour maybe, but it stopped being amusing before anyone wrote a word, or at least after the first ten pieces written in such an abusing form. I get it: literature these days is all about pain and violence and hurting poor innocent barriers. Ooh, I can translate that: “M > ((P^V)^B)” Brilliant. But I do not necessarily agree with literature being a necessarily damaging experience. It harms certain legal rights of the readers...or something.

We had a lecture on Aristotle today, the teacher explained that plot was the most important element. We must remember that in Greek tragedy the characters were mythological and henceforth already well known.

Poor boy in the class put up his hand, he asked “what about character driven stories?” Someone had to. I suppose, even though it was obvious. And true,too: the teacher was discussing Aristotle in the present instead of looking at his views from a historical perspective.

I love Aristotle, I do, but it has been more then two thousand years and we still read this as the One True Way. I suppose it is frightening if we don't have anything to model from or disagree with. It is far worse when one of us breaks. Say I want to write a tragedy that takes place in more then one day, instead of saying 'pluralism is good, I'm writing in this way' I will behave like a little child breaking the rules of my parents.

It is the same with the fourth wall. Maybe it ought to be broken, sometimes it is good or useful, but it is childish. It isn't a mature writer taking a variation on the proper way, it is a little child who leaves their bed unmade.

And so is this, I believe more inflammatory then intelligent. Pathos for broken walls I suppose.