New Writing, 2015

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Hello, nobody. Just thought I would post links to what are likely my only two publications this year. They are both short stories, damn good ones that I’m damn proud of, I might add.

  1. “Knockout Kings,” Night Train – link to Amazon, the only place you can buy the print issue (and thus read the story).
  2. “Our Story in Ten Photographs,” WhiskeyPaper – link to the story’s place on the WhiskeyPaper website.

I appreciate any time spent on reading either of these stories. Thank you.


Not that anyone is asking, or reading or visiting this page at all, but I’ll just come out and say it plain and straight: I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time since 2009, the only other time I’ve attempted it.

This was not premeditated; I simply woke up on Nov. 1 with a 30-day novel in my head and said, Why the hell not? I had been getting away from writing, granted I was focused on learning my new job, but still, I could feel the energy fading, and maybe this is an extreme reaction to it, or maybe it’s just what I need. At any rate, I have a fun premise that’s been in my head for a while, and just the perfect thing for NaNoWriMo.

My novel is a roman noir retelling of Three Little Pigs, set in Eastern Washington state.

(The characters are human, in this draft.)

I do have thoughts on the process and popularity of NaNoWriMo as it relates to commercializing such an important art form as novel writing, but for me this whole thing is about making writing fun again. I had been grinding hard at the page for months, suffering over all the cliched frustrations of a writer with writer’s block, and I was not enjoying the other aspects of my life that have nothing to do with writing. The spirit of NaNoWriMo is to write without abandon, without permitting the self critic to throw you off or kill your momentum or send you spiraling into the eye of doubt. In other words: to have fun with it.

My total word count through last night (11/9): 16,860.

See my NaNoWriMo profile page here.

Wish me luck! (Or curse me and declare me a hack, whatever suits you.)

Nietzsche on Reading and Writing

[Note: the beneath excerpt, a complete segment from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, more or less encapsulates my approach to writing, or, really, the approach to writing and reading to which I aspire.]

On Reading and Writing

Of all that is written I love only what a man has written with his blood. Write with blood, and you will experience that blood is spirit.

It is not easily possible to understand the blood of another: I hate reading idlers. Whoever knows the reader will henceforth do nothing for the reader. Another century of readers–and the spirit itself will stink.

That everyone may learn to read, in the long run corrupts not only writing but also thinking. Once the spirit was God, then he became man, and now even he becomes rabble.

Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart. In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks–and those who are addressed, tall and lofty. The air thin and pure, danger near, and the spirit full of gay sarcasm: these go well together. I want to have goblins around me, for I am courageous. Courage that puts ghosts to flight creates goblins for itself: courage wants to laugh.

I no longer feel as you do: this cloud which I see beneath me, this blackness and gravity at which I laugh–this is your thundercloud.

You look up when you feel the need for elevation. And I look down because I am elevated. Who among you can laugh and be elevated at the same time? Whoever climbs the highest mountains laughs at all tragic plays and tragic seriousness.

Brave, unconcerned, mocking, violent–thus wisdom wants us: she is a woman and loves only a warrior.

You say to me, “Life is hard to bear.” But why would you have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening? Life is hard to bear; but do not act so tenderly! We are all of us fair beasts of burden, male and female asses. What do we have in common with the rosebud, which trembles because a drop of dew lies on it?

True, we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

And to me too, as I am well disposed toward life, butterflies and soap bubbles and whatever among men is of their kind seem to know most about happiness. Seeing these light, foolish, delicate, mobile little souls flutter–that seduces Zarathustra to tears and songs.

I would believe only in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity–through him all things fall.

Not by wrath does one kill but by laughter. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity!

I have learned to walk: ever since, I let myself run. I have learned to fly: ever since, I do not want to be pushed before moving along.

Now I am light, now I fly, now I see myself beneath myself, now a god dances through me.

Thus spoke Zarathustra.

Terrible at Hellos

Hello, welcome to my new website, The Writings of M.J. Robinson.

(I hate this introductory posts, both writing them and reading them.)

Ideally, the blog portion of this website won’t serve much more purpose than announcing the publications of other, more significant writings of mine.

(I currently have six stories and one short play submitted to about 45 markets.)

It’s not out of the question, however, that I will blog from time to time. My main priorities in life at this moment pertain to expanding my cultural horizons, as far as what I read, what I watch, and how I spend my time interacting with the real world. I might care to comment on some of these experiences, after I’ve completed my daily allotted time for my creative projects, of course.

(I’m starting to write a play, and have three short story drafts to edit once enough time has passed since their original drafting, and enough progress is made on the new play.)

TMI alert: Last night (July 12) my car broke down just two miles from my home. I let my AAA membership lapse this year for, of all things, budgetary reasons, so $102 later, a very kind and humorous tow truck driver dropped my girlfriend, my car and I in front of the triplex in which we live. It’s been that kind of summer for me. I lost my job at a major regional theatre in June, spent almost a week in Los Angeles visiting my best friends and now have a serious bug to move there, but alas, my life for now is in Seattle. I don’t know when I’ll get my car fixed, as I have less than $200 in my bank account, and have to save most of my forthcoming unemployment for rent.

(Did I mention I hate introductory blog posts? Yeah, I still do.)

This will wrap things up: If you’ve read this far, you know you’re dealing with an optimist, someone who is dedicated to the craft of writing and the myriad other aspects that drive the life of an artist. I work hard; I study hard, and if you’ll bear with me for a few months here, maybe this website won’t be as fucking boring and pointless as I believed it would be before I said screw it and made one anyway.

(I’m sorry this post was so bloggy and introductory. The next one will probably be about Bergman or Beckett or something so keep your eyes peeled if those gentlemen or anyone else interests you.)