NVDT #74 – Pipe Dreams


Prompt – What is one thing that you would like to learn?

Acoustic guitar. Lord knows I tried. Never could get my wrists to cooperate. Tried the Chapman stick back in the 80s but never took time to understand the geometry. Or rather transfer the geometry.

Someday I’d like to learn to write. For those of you who don’t follow along, here’s one for everyone

And someday, God knows it’s almost too late, I’ll learn to sit on my rapid, generally unwanted and unfiltered opinions for the mainstream. Last time was picture of me surrounded by professionals who know their shit and speak their minds and appreciate a straight shot. I never learned that the rest of the world doesn’t care. For those of you who don’t follow along, here’s one for everyone in this circle – https://philh52.wordpress.com/2020/12/18/nvdt-73-bullshit-headtime-backstory-and-other-dialogue-killers/

“Look, son, Imma tell ya somethin’ ’bout breakin’ an settin’ your own horse an keepin’ your mouth shut that’s gonna make your life a whole lot easier. See, most folks, they’d rather have 15 nags in the barn than a real horse.”

“Why’s that?”

“I reckon ’cause it’s a sight easier to wrangle a dude ranch than be a real fuckin’ cowboy.”

What would others like to learn?


Published by

Phil Huston


18 thoughts on “NVDT #74 – Pipe Dreams”

    1. Yes. Well enough to identify and speak different regional dialects and colloquiums. That would be the best. However, my bad Spanish got me through a little rustic bit of everything store in rural Italy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had many good, even some great guitarists give me all kinds advice. What I learned made no difference in my (lack of) progress but enhanced my understanding of musical processes that had nothing to do with notation. And that stuff is fascinating. What listeners hear and what players hear and how they get there.


  1. But it’s never to late to learn. (Physical issues aside) Sure, I don’t pick up new things as fast as I used to, but I claim that’s because my brain needs defragged.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thai is one of those things where you need all the fixin’s lined up and ready to go, like proper Chinese. Like tv chefs. Ever notice you never see them chop that shit? I think if you needed to spear fish you’d get good in a hurry. The giving a shit is on of those evolving things.


      1. How did I mentally misfile that? I actually looked in my email notices for it and couldn’t find #73, but couldn’t find it!
        You’d think I’d remember yet another example of how effortless you make recalling old texts to use as examples. I swear, I read Rice like you read Leonard and all the others you frequently hold up as examples. My recall of passages from a specific book is a fraction of what you seem to be able to wrangle…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I remember who had worthwhile strengths in certain areas. Hammett also does a group scene worth study. Faulkner and Vidal do dark social satire with darts instead of preaching or moralizing. Robert B Parker is a master of knowing when to kill a chapter and toss those last couple of superfluous lines. David Wallace Foster is a tour de force in painting all kinds of pictures. MacDonald can present a character in five words. Laura Levine is Evanovich without all the lead by the nose bullshit. For me the deal is to see what pops and ignore the bad habits. Adverbs, head time, a paragraph of character including style show, moralizing, too much information, backstory for the hell of it. Like chord progressions or voicings. Not every progression is a winner but maybe there’s some good passing chords.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I read one to see what the big whoop was all about. And several of her imitators. Se does have unique voices in dialogue, unlike her clones. But damn it’s wordy. Then so are Burke, Connelly, Childs, Balducci and that lot. Like some of the Brits. Third person head time is no more fun than first. In fact the Connelly was the only one I got all the way through and it was an old one.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Exactly. This happens a lot more than we know. All the authors’ children are now “authors.” Like some version of landed gentry. How to shut the bastard up? Give them an “author” pass.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.