Tag Archives: knights

Cyrano: Meta-blog? No, I Thank You.


Whilst at repose considering the lore of the Digital Age (e.g. all these webpages featuring content about how you should blog, what you should say, what not to say, how no one should ever start a writing blog, how I should pay money to attend classes about blogging, etc.), a reading from my AP class came to mind—Cyrano’s “No, I Thank You” speech.

It is, in a nutshell, everything Rostand, who I love (no homo) and deeply respect as an artist for providing me with what is perhaps my favorite play, had to say about writing. What follows is my vain attempt to apply his genius to our modern context:

Cyrano: Be like the creeper and blog about gimmicky, topical dreck to gain popularity without original thought? No, I thank you. Refuse to write about exactly what’s on my mind for fear of what my critics will say? No, I thank you. Choose but one focus, without any deviation, and build my subscribers based upon a single idea instead enabling my readers to grasp my true personality? No, I thank you. Concern myself only with the number of hits in my “stats” window rather than finding an appropriate audience to hear what I have to say? No, I thank you. Assume, like the meta-blogger, that the majority of readers are too ignorant (and with a tool like the Internet in front of them!) to understand my musings and so strip the dressings of my words down to a rude varnish? No, I thank you. PAY FOR TRAFFIC TO MY BLOG? ‘Tis sheer vanity! No, I thank you! No, I thank you! No, I thank you!

The best thing about being a teacher is that the kids can inspire you. One of my students was reading Cyrano de Bergerac last Tuesday, and it resonated within me for nigh a week.

Please, those of you that have writing blogs, continue to write about writing if you so desire. I, at least, will come check out what you have to say when my time permits. It’s inspiring to me that in this postmodern carnival of economy and despair that so many people out there are still dreaming and creating. And having romantics (in the true, quixotic sense of the word) like me around is good for you because you want to build up a readership that will stick by you.

We knights are loyal.

For those of you bloggers out there who feel pigeon-holed or ready to abandon the effort, branch out at bit. I’ve noticed that Mike, for example (http://mikesfilmtalk.com/) doesn’t just talk film; he also posts enticing recipes that as a wannabe vegan I can’t wait to try. After I go to the store today, he’s going to wonder if I’m stalking him.

Or, for a non-wordpress example, how about The Oatmeal (http://theoatmeal.com/), who writes about whatever the hell he wants and almost always leaves me in stitches. He’s building a museum for Tesla with blog donations, exposing the lack of research in major U.S. publications, and creating snarky grammar posters I would love to use in my English classes but can’t for fear of being fired. Let’s not forget (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/). What happened, Allie? We miss your antics “alot”.

For my part, I’m going to write about zombies, publishing, family shenanigans, my part in Zharmae’s upcoming anthology, video games, Science Fiction and Fantasy, education, the fluffy ball of stupid that is my dog, and whatever else comes to mind. I’m going to use archaic language when it suits my mood. When I’m teaching Chaucer, I’m going to make sublime rhymes on your dime both by accident and design. I’ll also overanalyze topics of all kinds, with words both coarse and fine, and you can laugh at the tunnel visions and revisions of a man out of time. (Please try to laugh at least half as much as Eliot’s ghost is at my wrenched rhyme disaster above.)

I also want to make my little pocket of Cyberspace a nexus of collaboration. Please leave a comment regarding how I can help you branch out, whether it’s posting a link or visiting your site and writing a review. I might not have that many subscribers yet, but every little bit helps.

For you haters, the “unsubscribe” button is located to right. A little higher. There you go. Good.

For you dreamers, the “subscribe” button is located in about the same area. Just a little lower… Ah, that felt so nice I wish you’d do it twice. Heh. What a vice.

More importantly, leave a comment. My narrator’s maxim in Manifesto is, “The written word preserves us.” I firmly believe it.


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Photo Magic! (feat. Disney-Star Wars Mr. Gram)

Upon noticing that my blog had been Freshly Pressed, the following conversation ensued regarding my “simplistic” layout:

Me: Wow, everybody else has slick images, cool emoticons, the works… pikeknight would have stood out more if we staged some kind of picture.

Em: We still can. You’re only ten positions down from the top… make that 11!

Me: Then forsooth we must make haste! What if we had an image of the knight forcing the agent to read his story?

Em: Like a reading at sword point? I could be the agent. I look professional in my glasses.

Me: (nodding) Yes, yes. I could use you in several images. You could be like a model for the blog.

Em: (does a double take) Are you serious?

Me: (shrugs) Hey, I’m over the fact that you’re hot and guys are going to look at you…

Em: (laughing) So it’s okay if I model if it benefits you?

Me: Hey, nothing wrong with showing you off a bit…right? Em? Em!

(By this point Em is already half dressed in  her would-be literary agent getup and putting on lipstick that was a favor from a bachelorette party six years ago and is contained in a rather circumspectly shaped case…)

Em: (puckers her lips, then looks up) What?

Me: Yeah, you’re real offended!

Em: Are you going to get your armor on?

Me: If I wear the armor and hold you up with a broadsword, who’s going to take the picture?

Em: Good point. Maybe it should just be the broadsword, and me holding up a white flag. Wait, isn’t that a crumpled up copy of Manifesto laying on the closet floor?

Me: Indubitably. The house is a disaster. Where are we going to stage this?

(Cue 30 minutes of vacuuming, rearranging furniture, unplugging computers that are essentially paperweights, and rummaging through books.)

Me: First time we’ve done this in awhile!

Em: Do you still have Lori Perkins’ agent guide? You know, the one you had to special order because it’s basically out of print?

Me: Yeah, and No Plot! No Problem! probably belongs on an agent’s desk as well!

(More staging ensues…)

Em: It’s too dark in here! You’ll have to open the blinds!

Me: (opens the blinds to find the yard in ruins and Hime the Chow-Chow smiling mockingly through the glass) Holy dogs–t! Have you seen our yard lately?

Em: It’s cool. I’ll just superimpose a New York skyline in the background when we’re done. Sans the flood damage, of course.

Me: Too soon, Em!

(We complete the staging, but a new problem arises…)

Me: Hey, babe… I can’t snap this photo on my iPhone and hold the sword at the same time… (tries bracing it on the footboard and nearly takes off Em’s favorite nose) Hmm…

Em: Seems like we need another person after all.

Me: Hold on. (calling across the house) Aurie! Aurie, come here! Mommy and Daddy need your help with something!

Aurie: (skips in, stops, and looks at us like we’re insane) Hey, I’m just eight. Am I supposed to understand what’s going on here?

Me: (handing Aurie the broadsword like a true candidate for father of the year) Here, honey. Point this at your mother’s chest…

Aurie: (seizes the blade a bit too enthusiastically) Okay!

Me: But be careful honey… (angling the point higher) Here, more like this…

Em: (gulps) Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have scolded her this morning…

Aurie: Mwahahahaha…

Me: Everybody say cheese! S—t, Mr. Gram’s in the picture! Do it again!

20 excruciating minutes later…

Em: (edits the WordPress feed to include the image) There you go, babe.

Me: How did you do that?

Em: I’m magic…

And I agree. Any woman who’ll risk being stabbed by a medieval weapon (look how frickin’ close that was!) to help promote her man is more than magic. Thanks to Em, my girls, and everyone who’s stopped by, pikeknight is about to hit 1,000 views in its first week.

So if it’s okay with you, I think I’ll stick around and besiege the blogging community for awhile.

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Filed under Family, My Writing, Publishing, Rants, Science Fiction