Advice to Young Writer: part III

Pen and paper, Cuneiform, Stone tablets, Typewriter?

Advice to Young Writer: part III

Cuneiform perhaps? Cuneiform, seriously? From the Latin, wedged shaped.


“Pudenda” is used more often and considered somewhat less “value-laden”, but it’s often overlooked that “pudenda” comes from “pudendum”, which means “shameful part”; many societies see the vulva as unclean and/or shameful, but there’s nothing shameful about the female genitals. “Cunt” is a native English word. It goes back to an Old Germanic stem “kunton”. It may have arose by Grimm’s law operating on the Proto-Indo-European root gen/gon = “create, become” seen in gonads, genital, gamete, genetics, gene, or the Proto-Indo-European root gwne/gune = “woman” seen in gynecology. The prefix ‘cu’ is one of the oldest word-sounds in recorded language. It is an expression quintessentially associated with femininity, and is the basis of ‘cow’ (‘female animal’), ‘queen’ (‘female monarch’), and, of course, ‘cunt’ (‘female genital’). The word’s second most significant influence is the Latin term ‘cuneus’, meaning ‘wedge’, from which comes ‘cunnus’ (‘vagina’)."

Not sure where I got the above, but below is similar.

Tail = kun in cuneiform - Origin of Alphabet
Or would that be tail = cun? The word “tail” has many meanings, but on an animal it is a flag to say, “Here is where the important stuff is.” A tail on a woman would be her vagina or her bottom. “I’m gonna get some tail,” is a fairly common phrase for “I’m going…

Seems like a fairly attractive writing form - until of course the patriarchy came along and replaced cuneiform with papyrus and the alphabet. Does the story of the Tower of Babel represent this transition? Who can say, but I’d like to think so.

The true golden age was the soft, sexy scratch of stylus upon wax, one of the advantages being you could stab the shit out of a critic. Or use a stylus to stab Cicero's tongue (sorry, Mark Antony's wife used a hairpin), or like the Roman Emperor Domitian, you could stab flies before plucking their wings out one by one.

Or even better, the aggressive hammering of chisel on stone!

I myself despise word processors and typewriters, and prefer to chisel on stone tablets: it slows down the writing process and forces me to consider each word before I set in stone.

By the way, nothing gives me more pleasure then handing in a set of 324 stone tablets to be copy-edited by my publisher: Set in stone my ass!


The Underwood Typewriter is the trunk from which all other typewriters spawn; the click clack of a Corona typewriter; who could forget that Sexy Siren, the IBM Selectric? Or the soft murmur of an Early Mac Keyboard?

What about the Lettera 32 Olivetti manual typewriter? Cormac McCarthy (C-Mac to his best friends) wrote many of his best novels upon it, then it was auctioned off for $254,500. (BTW, not a bad way to make some extra scratch).

McCarthy’s Typewriter Sells for $254,500 (Published 2009)
The little typewriter that clacked out about five million fairly renowned words over 50 years — with the able assistance of the novelist Cormac McCarthy — ended up being worth a lot more than anyone expected. The heavily weathered, light blue Lettera 32 Olivetti manual machine, below, that Mr. McCar…

Paper notebooks

At a recent auction, I  bought several Joan Didion notebooks for $9,000. Will this lead to my year of magical writing? It fucking better for that price.

At the Joan Didion Estate Sale
“Why were we here? Did we want to know if Didion had good taste?”

Pentel R.S.V.P

I eventually realized that a writer is essentially, in a way (perhaps?) a warrior, a swordsman! I unsheathe my .7 Pentel R.S.V.P:

Schwing! It is then, and only then, that the merciless butchery of grammar syntax and punctuation begins! (Disclaimer: I gather no money from Google’s affiliate program if you click the embed above).

An ode to to the Pentel R.S.V.P.

You scratch like a wildcat and roll like a bike;
You cut like a scalpel and express the prophecies of the Pythia like a knife!

If I become a famous writer, could I do a commercial for RSVP Pentel? The ‘penultimate’ writing device?

Shocked that no writer has thought of this additional revenue stream. Hats, shirts, action figures.