Reading Kurt Vonnegut

I’ve been taking James Altucher’s advice to read and write daily.  Mornings are best for me. I’ve always enjoyed these activities but told myself that my most productive time should be spent working on work, not superfluous personal activities. But the more I partake in my self-designated reading and writing, the better my days seems to flow.  Maybe it’s placebo, but does it matter either way?

I introduced myself to Kurt Vonnegut, starting with Slaughterhouse Five and now onto Cat’s Cradle. My previous introduction was one-sided and included Rodney Dangerfield as our intermediary.

What I like about Vonnegut:

  • Stream of conciousness reading. 
  • How he weaves the commonplace world into the stories – a character referenced The Brothers Karamov in Slaughterhouse Five and Dr. Breed’s assistant simply replies in a conversation – “A penny saved is a penny earned.” (from Cat’s Cradle).
  • Writing in short bites.  I think of it as antithetical to Ayn Rand.

Having failed to read fiction more frequently throughout my life, the flavor of the day influences my own writing.  When I read Orhan Panchuk, my writing thoughts turned introspectively and psychological.  Now that I’m reading Vonnegut, I’m back to a shorter, matter-of-fact approach (though others may differ).

So that’s it. Also, I went for a morning run for the first time in a while, inspired by my resistent-to-trolling roommate.  Last week, he saw me stretching after I returned to the house from the office.  We got talking about cycling.  He indulged me as I lightly told him about my craving for endurance races.  When I saw him last night, he had ridden in the morning and told me how it completely changed his perspective on the entire day.  When I awoke this morning tired with a headache, it was the signal I needed to get my ass out on the road.  A quick 3 miles at 6:00am really resets the mind.  And that’s why I’m at Starbucks reading Kurt Vonnegut and talking to you.


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