Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John is a Versatile Blogger Once More

Marianne Su has become the most recent person to grant me The Versatile Blogger Award. This is still one of the most flattering things that happens to the Bathroom Monologues, since versatility is one of the things in prose that I value the most. Marianne also decided that her “seven admissions” would be seven wishes. For this edition of John Wiswell: Versatile Blogger, I’m following her variation. Time to rub the lamp.

1. I wish to write and edit faster. Right now at least eight of my professional friends are cursing me because they think I’m some paragon of productivity, but there wasn't a day writing my novel that I didn’t think this was taking me too long. This desire will never abate.

2. Neither will my wish to be able to simultaneously read and write at high volumes abate. At present I am a wretchedly close-minded writer, obsessing over my own manuscript for most of the waking hours of the day, and so am unable to enjoy almost anything with a cover while in such throes. This is an awful habit for a novelist. We need to consume lots of prose to keep our minds nimble and our attentions acute to what’s going on in the market.

3. I wish some of my readers would buy me stuff off my wish list linked to the right. Eh? No? Nobody? Yeah, that's probably fair.

4. I often wish I liked everything that was popular. Life would just be easier, and society significantly easier, if I could just enjoy the works of William Shakespeare, The Beatles, Radiohead, Watchmen, Mark Wahlberg, Rockstar Games, cell phones, and all the other overblown nonsense my fellow primates seem to gorge their life-hours upon. There’s an honest relief when I consume something hugely popular and find I actually like it, and it's not the relief of a satisfying work. At these times I feel like I've made a little in-road with my culture. And I do like some very popular works and artists (I adore Pixar, worship at the altar of Stephen King, and was as hooked on Lost as anybody); just not enough of them to feel like I'm doing it right.

5. Like every time I get the power of wishes, I wish to be able to solve all my problems with blunt, unthinking violence. I would gladly trade any intelligence I had for Hulk powers (not that Hulk’s powers ever solve his problems).

6. An equally neurotic and equally frequent wish is to be able to suffer for others. My syndrome has made me very accustomed to pain and strife, and often I see friends not handling their physical problems and earnestly desire that I could take it for them. It’s a sort of whipping-boy effect. Now, if I was smart I’d just wish to get rid of their suffering, but I traded my intelligence for Hulk powers in the previous wish.

7. This one is another everyday wish: that my works entertain people the way great writers entertained me when I needed them most. There were very dark nights in my bedridden teens when getting to the next page of a Mark Twain or Michael Crichton novel was as close as I got to the will to live. This is the sort of goal I think a person can work towards, and strive and struggle to be worthy of, but isn’t something you can actually achieve. The author wishes it. The reader achieves it.

Thanks to Marianne, and here's to another year of posting daily for everyone's amusement.


  1. Congratulations! I must say I think its deserved, despite your feelings on the subject I'd join the seven folk envious of your productivity.

    Looking forward to another year of your stuff.

  2. The Wis is nothing if not a versatile writer and, yes, blogger. Congrats my friend!

  3. What a fabulous list, John. I am shocked that we both read Michael Crichton novels in high school. Is it possible we've enjoyed the same novel at some point in our lives?

    Of course it doesn't really matter because you included The Beatles in #4 so we can no longer be friends.

  4. So I'm not the only one who finds it hard to write and read. I'm getting better but for a long time, I couldn't read and then put it down to write a bit. I force myself cause I feel it helps mix it up and it's good for my writing. But it's a long road...

  5. ah oh versatile one... quite enjoyed your wishes. congrats again! peace...

  6. Ah well deserved, your versatility is well known and appreciated. Loved your wish list and was very touched by your no.6 wish.

    I look forward as always to reading your entertaining and versatile posts.

    Congratulations ¸.✶*¨`*¸.•*´*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.


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