Alex Crumb

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Every Day Is Exactly The Same (May 15)

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 15, 2020 9:30:06 PM

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Even after six, no, maybe seven thousand years, no science, modern or ancient, can yet explain why the same day kept occurring. Over and over, it was the same day. Everyone immediately understood what was happening. You’d wake up. You’d fix breakfast, or brush your teeth, or roll off your futon, and the day would begin. Calendars always read the same date: May 15. The Earth would spin, and the sun would shine where it could, and then it’d set. You’d finish your day and no matter where you lay down your head, or what you did, you’d end up back in the same place at the day’s beginning.

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How Are You Coping?

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Apr 23, 2020 10:19:18 AM

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I wrote a piece on this site a few weeks ago discussing what precisely someone should NOT feel pressure to do during this pandemic. Specifically, whatever you think you OUGHT to do, do literally anything else. This remains a time of troubling introspection, both on an individual and global scale. Did you think you'd do your best work when your brain both cannot tell what tomorrow will bring AND the dread of tomorrow being identical to today?

Hence my advice. Now, I've broken my own rules, as if to prove a point that any intentional thing I try to make while in isolation, alone, with my dog, and possibly suffering from a strain of Coronavirus (not sick enough to get tested, painful enough breathing to know I'm not healthy), will not be GOOD. Or maybe it will, when I look back? They don't have a name for the color of the tint in those glasses yet, but they won't name it after a flower, I can fucking guarantee.

What trash have I made? Well, I'll show you.

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Literally Anything Else

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Mar 31, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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Literally anything else. So is the purity of form raised, without forethought, hesitation, meaning, or purpose. Things without needs. Things from a former WHAT, never missed, brought to a persistent now, never extending, indifferent of extended dimensionality, never becoming. The form without intent or need to travel. It is only the separation from the empty. The first thoughts are bothered by SOMEthings and the interior shape remains informed by the rain on the tin. Meditation, when successful, shrugs off a need for information. Then there can be black and white; ALLthing and NOthing. And all sandwiched between. The mission is an uninformed language. While structured, because this is no live performance, leave that to the tune-makers, this is a dancing conversation with one’s sleeping self. Sleepwalk with your eyes open. Interlink objects from characters without intent, informed by language and time you cannot fight.

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I Ate The Same Three Meals, Every Day, For A Year

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Mar 10, 2020 8:30:00 AM

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Today, I celebrate eating the same three meals, every day, for roughly the length of a year. Some precise part of my brain wishes I knew the exact date I began. That's a telling preview of what awaits us further down in this bizarre story.

Listen, a grieving mind and body does some stuff that might appear strange upon first glance. It's a matter of self-preservation. It's a need to keep my whole meat-stack from collapsing into a lopsided, catatonic blob on the floor for the world to step over, around, or through. Just, street-mush. I needed to be in control of something when it seemed the heat-death of the universe was the only certainty in not only my life, but in all existence.

Then again, most people aren't the closing act on a list of eulogizers at age 32. Anecdotal research tells us only 0.2% of people dying these days die in their 30s. Think on that, as I recall the experience exacto-carving some stuff across my pinkest parts with a tenacity usually reserved for a teenager defacing a bathroom stall at a hardcore club. But, hey, that's a story for another time, and today's lesson is about my continued need for food to live. Otherwise I would die, and then where would we be?

Now that we have a morsel of context, maybe I should explain.

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It Was A Bad Idea Letting Me Get Good At Something

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Mar 5, 2020 9:30:00 AM

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We were all born stupid.

That one's for the humans in the audience, but to the universe itself, I present a less cryptic critique. Letting me get good at something was a bad idea. You fucked that up. Now I'm gonna bully you into submission. I'm gonna dominate you. I'm gonna eat your lunch and you're gonna find the slots in this hallway locker provide plenty of oxygen.

You shouldn't have let me get good at anything. You shouldn't have taken the boot off my neck. I am the product of the Baby Boomer generation's pod-grown scrub-science. If I'm the endgame of their legacy-defining ladder-climbing, man, I understand why the current-olds would rather people not shine a Bollywood-silver spotlight on their trophy case's malformed shape. I was born stupid, and it only took me the better part of a lifetime to get good at living with myself.

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My Dog Knows All The Sounds I Make

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Mar 3, 2020 9:30:00 AM

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My dog knows all the sounds I make.

She knows what they mean, little *skrks* and *lomps* and *clanks* communicating where I am and where I'll be next. Hanging out is her only objective. And playing objective-1A. And the best places to hang out and play are in a room with a human. While she cannot speak, she remains intelligent, confident, and conscientious.

In truth, I cannot speak, either, not at least in a human-on-dog conversational manner. Lucky me, she knows all the sounds I make. 

I must not make many sounds. She must be quite confident in herself.

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Something Must Be Done About The Size Of My Brain

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jan 31, 2020 1:20:12 PM

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I recently reconsidered my brain's ever-expanding size during one of my routine visits to the Shriekboxthat's the industry term The Team of Doctors used for when I jam a pair of clean gym socks into my mouth and convulse to existentialism's shrill power chords.

Upon this occasion, we are faced with a tragicomedic conundrum.

Small question: is my brain too big?

Tinier answer: have you ever actually seen your brain, man?

The point stands firm. I may simply have a brain too big for mankind's polite, powerful, modern, cow-fucking civilization. My brain was chainsaw-sculpted from a perfect 74-ft cube of glacial ice. Once The Team of Doctors got in there, and the lingering petrol fumes faded, Broadway-ready floodlights revealed there wasn't just ice up in that bitch. There were unpolished black diamonds. There were neglected laundry piles. There were pockets of love. There were decades of accidental nihilism. There were even spheroids of blank space. Just, like, gobs of extra-dimensional antimatter.

Even still, something must be done! There's so much. There's too much. There's a world of things that need doing, and thoughts that need tending, and it's just too much.

Something must be done about the size of my brain.

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The Cowardice of Bad Writing

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jan 22, 2020 8:00:00 PM

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No non-sociopathic person sets out to be an impostor. We wade into those waters. The sensation rises around your waist, weighty, until you adapt to the gravitational restraint. Or, you find shallower shores and immediately recognize you'd subjected yourself to a lie, now free from the tide's pull.

We assume a life of cowardice because we're too inured with the comforting weight of waist-deep denial. That denial is the repetitious voice, tick-prickling the soft skin behind your ear, chanting: "You're not good at this, you never were, and you're too frightened to fucking change."

That voice is talking about the comfort in skills we've never learned. Or never improved. Or never tested. Or believed it wasn't a skill at all, that it's just like the air you're breathing right now. It's just oxygen. It's just chemicals. It just goes along with living.

That voice is talking about our willingness to maintain comfy cowardice in ignorance, and while this gradual slide into impostorhood bears wide applications, we'll be addressing the cowardice of bad writing as an example of this sensation.

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Plot Twists Are Stupid

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jan 5, 2020 12:00:00 PM

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Story twists are memorable. They're a shock. Audiences are settled, comfortable, and aware of a narrative's established rules, be they near to our reality (you can't jump a skateboard over a gorge!) or representing a heightened reality (some people see ghosts everywhere!).

Then, a twist. Existing rules are suddenly broken. Fast math forces an audience to re-contextualize what they've understood thus far. All at once. Immediately. As the story continues around them.

But can a story dependent upon a twist endure beyond that moment of shocking re-contextualization? Can it endure repeat engagements?

Plenty of marvelous stories unfold with additional elegance upon a second or third experience. Repeat audiences notice obvious clues. They spot clever setups, invisible the first time. When the twist now approaches, it's clear as day. Perhaps they even feel dread? The odorous tragedy is pungent from miles off and we watch through cracked fingers as the Shakespearean hammer comes down, as we know it must, and always will.

If the story's desired effect of tragic dread is only achieved on Experiences No. 2-Infinity, why does the plot twist need to be hidden from sight during Experience No. 1?

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This Had Better Be Good

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 15, 2019 3:24:52 PM

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When do we know a prize is earned? When can we recognize what life gives, and if it's good, and if it's correct? Often, I wake from sleep at night, and my brain sweats with grandmaster strain.

Half-remembered songs. Miniature dreams folded like wrinkled currency into flighty fantasies and harrowing dooms. And I wonder—what is all this? There's got to a purpose here, in all this waking suffering.

The cruel shift-manager using his enemies for ottomans makes the spoken purpose clear—it's preparation. It's rehearsal. It's my gray computer testing scenarios. There, I can grow flush with the imagined nightmares and still live to wonder further, unharmed in the act.

But as my deadly mind pulls on a nine-foot needle to stitch up some hypothetical horrors, I also imagine hope. Good things. The horrors come easy. Those monsters are death on two legs. To consider hope, though, is another question—can life correctly give us something good?

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