Posts Tagged ‘oblique strategies’

Homework: Write down 10 things on separate scraps of paper. Mix them up. Write down definitions for those 10 things on separate scraps of paper. Mix them up. Take a random thing and random definition and write them down as one line. Do this until you’ve defined everything. Write it out as a poem. Sample lines are given below as an example.

Jealousy is the man who tends wildlife.
A house is a feeling of togetherness.
Death is a container kept at a constant low temperature.
A car is a long stick with bristles.
Harmony is the pre-ordained road of life.
A rainbow is a pain inside the head.
Grief is the gathering of waterdrops in the sky.
A book is the large grandiose home of royalty.
Comfort is overindulgence in food and wealth.
A barge is a dwelling in which to live a simple life.
Love is the fruit Eve was forbidden to eat.
Happiness is that which gives pleasure to the beholder.
A headache is a place where people live.
Fear is something you attach to the floor to stop doors from opening.
A car is violence of the human heart.
Destiny is an implement for digging.
Pain is a set of teeth with four legs attached to it.
Happiness is the movement of your life.
A feeling is a violent game that men play.
An Army General is a meal ticket.
Honey is a time-filled space.
Life is a mistake.
Greed is Joy.
An aeroplane is misery.
Anger is care-free elation.
A boat is a means of transport for some and prestige for others.
Misery travels on water.
Tension is a furry animal.
Love is a spectrum of colours in the sky caused by rain being a prism and breaking the light.


“trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go. And don’t worry too much about security. You will eventually have a deep security when you begin to do what you want.” — Natalie Goldberg

Compost everything.

Random inputs.


Ideas as they come to you.



Overheard conversations.

What people say.

Things you see.

Requests for work.



The defining thing of being human is that we make a story of everything — no other animal does this.

If you find a Dolphin Dostoevsky, you needn’t worry about anything ever again.

We want our lives to have meaning, to make a good story, to have a narrative arc.

We lead richer inner-lives of fantasy yet external-life is mundane.

The change that you want won’t be found in your pockets.

What do you choose to record?

If there’s one thing I hate about blogging, then there’s probably a bunch of other things too. My main bugbear is the continual need for new content. Blogs are hungry beasts. Much of what gets written is ephemeral and has a short shelf, no matter how much time you spent on it. With that in mind, I planned a series of ‘best of graffiti living’ posts with curated links to evergreen content from the archives on particular themes. Then I read my blog and realised that most of it was shit.

A novelist I knew once told me that in order to write she has to outsmart her Evil Pixie. I suspect that she’s a genius, and I’ve been telling this story ever since.