People are losing their apartments to landlords looking to make a quick buck on naive college students and hipsters because newspapers and magazines have decided to call #somerville ‘hip’.  It’s always been pretty great here, now it’s overpopulated with ridiculousness.  We have so many amazing things like urban agriculture, a few really great cafes and restaurants, and our local government is awesome.  Maybe leave us alone, so that gentrification doesn’t kill this city? Thanks.

Small Men “who knew their manhood lay in their guns”. Not much has changed. #NRA

"…everything belonged to the men who had the guns. Little men, some of them, big men too, each one of whom he could snap like a twig if he wanted to. Men who knew that their manhood lay in their guns and were not even embarrassed by the knowledge that without fox would laugh at them. And these "men" who made even vixen laugh could, if you let them, stop you from hearing doves or loving moonlight. So you protected yourself and loved small."

Toni Morrison, Beloved.

"On the desolate beach that is the lot of the contemporary book reader, the footprints of one companion can still be found. They belong to the writer, who needs the reader not just to pay her or his wages but also to give meaning to their words. As John Cheever put it: “I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss — you can’t do it alone.”"

Here’s the conundrum:  Let Amazon publish everything (even all the shitty books, of which there are many) or let Big Publishing be more selective and only publish the best. 

It may be my age (I’ll be 38 in February), but I remember a time when you worked you ass off to be the best or at least in top 25% of the best.  Why is there anything wrong with that? Martin Scorsese didn’t just spring from a the flower of his mother’s loins, a genius.  He worked and studied and honed his craft.  Virginia Wolfe spent countless years studying the world and her mind, in a room of her own, before it drove her mad, in order to write a sentence, or a paragraph, or volume.  Walt Whitman was persecuted and ridiculed.  Toni Morrison wrote about suffering on the wings of poetry.  Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Nin, Tolstoy — geniuses, wordsmiths, professionals.  Many of the above even self-published: Whitman, Nin, Wolfe, but they didn’t do it until they were ready.  They didn’t just throw a pile of schlock filled paragraphs with really bad formatting, grammatical, and structural mistakes (I’m talking at you E.L. James) out into the world to make a quick buck. 

Words used to be used to teach, love, bring light to the darkness surrounding us/blinding us (slavery, immigration, abuse, mental illness, politics), to educate us, and yes, to entertain us.  Now the publishing machine is equivalent to a well-oiled laundering operation. 

The longer we allow junk in, the more junk we will become (you are what you eat).  Let’s bring back competition.  Harvard allows in 20% more students than they used.  There is no need to drop our standards in the book world, just because the people have grown ignorant.  Screw the ‘platform’.  Screw Facebook.  Sit down, monkeys, and work at your craft.  Stop half-assing everything and spend a few precious moments away from social media to give a damn about the power of art. 

Let the Publishing companies be choosy.  It’s their fucking right.  And they were right, by the way.  And if they choose you, feel good.  Feel elated that you were the top of the crop.  You worked hard to get there.  Be proud.  Have pride.

(Also know that the occasional ‘memoir’ from Snooki is going to pop up, but the sales from that book, gave you your bonus, editing, and marketing budget.  Deal with it.  Snooki made you money and now YOU make you money.)

Please stop publishing crap.


Mel Robertson, a now patient, diligent, and learned writer who previously chose to self-publish a piece of crap before it was ready to go out into the world. 

Happy Sunday, ya’ll


I love all of these books—what a great round-up!  I never thought of myself as a fan of sci-fi, but clearly I am.

What I love about his man is that his good deeds, his gentle humility, his compassion, and his soft and kind sense of humor are making him into a celebrity.  The same can’t be said for those we usually hold up high (Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, Snooki, The Kardashians, et all). 

I hope this means that the world is changing again, moving away from plastic communication and community (the internet), our out of control consumption/consumerism, poverty, sickness, fucked up political system, and in general our hatred for one another. 

Let’s make more folks like the Pope into celebrities.  We’ve gotten into a place where celebrity is what changes our minds/lives, so let’s at least make it good, use it for something worthwhile.

(Mel exits stage left after hopping down from her soap box)

No more car accidents today, okay Mom? Let’s just settle in for a warm writing session and maybe I’ll take a nap? Good? Good. #fetch #fetchhappens #sofetch #frogdog #batdog #frenchie #frenchbulldog #frenchies #squishyface #squishyfacecrew #fetchcrew #fancy_frenchies #french #lovedog #dogs #dogsofinstagram #dogsofig #dogwalkers #dogwalker #petsitter #pack #packforlife #mydog #myfrenchie #mypet #ilovemydog #igdogs #instadogs #instafrenchie #instalove #instafetch

I came upon what I thought was a great note left for me in the snow reminding me that I am a #WINNER, but upon closer inspection realized that someone was actually just leaving a gentle reminder that we are in the midst of #WINTER. You know, just in case we didn’t get #mothernature’s memo yesterday.

To do. Among other things. #books #writersdesk #thesunllcomeouttomorrow (hopefully) #hedwig

Sleepy bunny all snuggled up while mom, @melwritesbooks works on her book. ;) What #blizzard? #fetch #fetchcrew #fetchhappens #sofetch #somerville #somervillema #frogdog #frenchie #frenchbulldog #frenchiesofig #frenchiesofinstagram #dogs #dogwalkers #dogsofinstagram #petsitters #pack #packforlife #squishyface #squishyfacecrew #mydog #mypet #myfrenchie #icy #igdogs #instadogs #ilovemydog #instafrenchie

Somebunny loves the snow! #fetch #fetchcrew #fetchhappens #sofetch #somerville #somervillema #frogdog #frenchie #frenchbulldog #frenchiesofig #frenchiesofinstagram #snowdog #snow #snowy #snowday #squishyface #squishyfacecrew #dogs #dogwalkers #dogsofinstagram #petsitters #pack #packforlife #mydog #mypet #myfrenchie #icy #igdogs #instadogs #ilovemydog #instafrenchie

#winterwonderland #somerville #somervillema #617 #rosebud

“The biggest thing I would say to my younger self were to have a time machine and go backward is: You have to have absolute humility about what you’re doing. You have to somehow know that you are capable of enormous idiocies and mistakes and yet not lose your self-confidence in what you’re doing. It’s a difficult line to walk because I know that writer’s block comes almost always from self-doubt. At the same time you have to know that this is a life-long learning process and you’re going to find yourself every 10 years looking back on what you wrote 10 years ago and feeling appalled by it. And that’s good; it means you’re learning and growing.”

Dean Koontz, and other writers, on how to write your first book – a fine addition to famous writers’ advice on writing.  (via explore-blog)

maria is speaking straight to me today

(via amandapalmer)

(via amandapalmer)