Buying This Thing Will Make Me Happy

I know what you’re thinking, so don’t even say it. Buying that thing won’t make you happy, is what you’re thinking. Buying things never makes you happy, so why would you buy this thing? It won’t make you happy.

But you haven’t seen this thing.

It’s really cool. They just started making it and not many people have one yet. It does all sorts of stuff and can fit in my pocket, but it can also get bigger than that if I want it to. Plus it’s made by a company I trust to put out things that will make me happy.

(Not that I wouldn’t consider buying this thing even if it weren’t made by a familiar company—that’s how cool this thing is—but the fact that I know and trust the company makes it even better.)

It comes in both black and white, but I can also buy an affordable cover for it in a different color if I want. For example, if I buy it in black but decide I want it to be red today, I just buy the red cover and slide it on. Now it’s red—until I want it to be black again, that is. (I can do that for any other color too, not just red.)

This thing will make me happier during my commute. Whether I take the train or ride my bike, it will be there for me, and since it’s waterproof, I don’t even need to worry if it’s raining out. Making my commute stress-free will go a long way towards making me happy.

Other people will look up to me because I own this thing and use it frequently, which will make me very happy. When I’m at a party, for instance, I can wait for a moment when people start talking about how cool it looks from the latest advertisement. Then I can stroll over and take it out and start using it, pretending that I hadn’t heard their conversation, and I can look up casually and wink at them. They’re sure to be impressed. Only I haven’t decided about the wink yet, because maybe it would make it obvious that I had heard their conversation. The wink may have to be something I decide in the moment.

Some of my favorite TV and movie personalities already own this thing and they are all happy.

Buying This Thing Will Make Me Happy by River Clegg was originally published on Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, where you can read it in its entirety.

Gala Day by Nick Mulgrew

Often I get surprised at the shitty, average, bleh work that literary magazines choose to publish, but, every now and then, something gorgeous, something like Nick Mulgrew’s short story, Gala Day,  takes my breath away.

Gala Day was first published in Prufrock magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1. Prufrock is available at bookstores nationwide and can be ordered as an e-magazine. It’s a knockout publication and I suggest you subscribe! Continue reading

What Literary Agents Want To See When They Google You

If you’re an emerging writer and you’re not following Chuck Sambuchino’s blog, Guide To Literary Agents, you should start, I guess. Good old Chuck asked a bunch of agents how they use Google, and what they’re looking for when they do. Here are their responses: Continue reading

Ten Best-Selling Books Rejected by Publishers Twenty or More Times

This list didn’t make me feel any better, but here’s hoping it works for you.

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William S. Burroughs’ Class On Inspiration For Writers

William Burroughs and Mick Jagger. Photograph by Victor Bockris

The internet might be making us all weird–weirdly robotic, weirdly desensitized, and weirdly out of touch with the phyical world– but all the weirdness does come with perks. Free online courses and lectures are a golden example. Here is William S. Burroughs’ lecture on writing sources and inspiration, recorded in July 1976 at Naropa University in Boulder, CO.

Listen to Part 1

In the first half of the class William S. Burroughs discusses various sources that writers can use for inspiration, giving examples from his own work. These sources include dreams, voices (external and internal), and cut-up. Burroughs emphasizes how important it is for a writer to give up on his/her ego. and presents his sources as a means to that end. Continue reading

The Science Of Why We Kiss


“Because a kiss brings two individuals together in an exchange of sensory information by way of taste, smell, touch, and possibly even silent chemical messengers called pheromones (odorless airborne signals), it has the potential to provide all kinds of insight into another person. So even when our conscious minds may not recognize it, the act can reveal clues about a partner’s level of commitment and possibly his or her genetic suitability for producing children.”Interested in the neurochemistry, evolutionary biology, and social science behind why we kiss? “

In “Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us” Sheril Kirshenbaum explores the science that many of us never thought to wonder about.

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Jeanette Winterson’s Meditations On A Photo Of Marilyn Monroe Reading:



“It’s not some playboy combination of brains and boobs that is so perfect about this picture; it is that reading is always a private act, is intimate, is lover’s talk, is a place of whispers and sighs, unregulated and usually unobserved. We are the voyeurs, it’s true, but what we’re spying on is not a moment of body, but a moment of mind. For once, we’re not being asked to look at Marilyn, we’re being given a chance to look inside her.”

Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments



  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.