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無賴騎駿馬肆意翔遊天際

高手傳授榮登作者身份心法

爬格子是個很有趣的工作,雖然可能要到好幾百個只出得一個九巴刀的明星作家。可是人因夢想而偉大,偶爾做做夢也不無不可。關於做夢,周星馳也說了一句頗為經典的台詞——人無夢想與條鹹魚無異。所以在做着文藝夢的時候,很多人不多不少會突然間多出了很多習慣。前陣子看到了一篇文章,裡面寫說文字工作者有好幾個不同的小習慣。雖然文章看完了是整個覺得撰文者假借探討之名,行諷刺之實,但無可否認的是自己冷眼旁觀也中了好幾箭。

首先先看第一樣

1. You take a pen and paper with you everywhere, sometimes even into bed with you, just in case you have an idea at three in the morning that absolutely must be remembered. That idea never usually ends up good, but like everything you say when you’re stoned, it sounded very good at the time.

你筆不離身,甚至抱之入眠,皆因考慮到半夜三點需要把點子記下來。雖然當下覺得是絕世好橋,可是下場通常跟在呼大麻到茫了的時候說的東西一樣不了了之。

中!雖然不至於抱着筆睡覺,但是倒是偶爾會半夜三更爬起來拿出集哏簿寫點什麼。不過畢竟不是什麼專業的文字寫手,所以無論好壞通常都會發到這個網誌就是。其實也是因為這樣,才發現如果不再勤力點發文的話,就會追不上進度。不過先此聲明,本人不吸毒,所以萬惡的稀土廠擺脫快點滾出去(是說重點劃錯了嗎?)。

2. You really, really want to buy a typewriter, even though you never expect to actually use it. You just want a typewriter because you’re one of the 10 people in the world who still finds them romantic and sexy. All of those people are writers.

雖然自覺不會用上,但你渴望擁有一部打字機。你想要打字機的理由,是因為全世界包括你在內的十個人覺得它很浪漫和性感。哪些人全都是作者。

我玩過打字機,這一項個人無感。拜託,現在什麼時代了還打字機。雖然我熟識touch-typing,但是QWERTY這源自打字機的鍵盤佈局並不是最高效率的。加上現在電腦的鍵盤那麼舒服,尤其是我手上這部Macbook,誰還想要笨重的打字機?如果真的覺得買部打字機可以躋身作家之流,請快點乘坐時光機回到二十一世紀的今天好嗎?另外,打字機打起字來費力就算了,這零件多多的機器好像還有一堆有的沒的維護工作,咪搞我。

3. When you date someone and they say that they majored in “English” or “Poetry,” you’re instantly excited but then exceedingly nervous. Why? Because you’ll eventually be expected to read some of their poetry — something they really love and don’t show to a lot of people — and have an opinion on this much guarded poem. You can’t deal with this kind of pressure. This has gone badly before.

當你的約會對象說自己是主修英文或詩詞系時,你會馬上興奮起來之餘也感到極度的緊張。為何?因為若干日後,你會在期望之下閱讀其中一些他們很愛但不輕易示人的私藏詩詞,並提出看法。你之前搞砸了的陰影,使得你無法承受如此壓力。

無感,身邊也有個朋友是中文系的,甚至都念到碩士班了。是很敬佩沒錯,但沒有到文中所說的這種膜拜的程度。

4. You buy a lot of books you never, ever end up reading — just out of the thought that you might find time to read it someday. I took my copy of Don DeLillo’s Underworld with me on a trip to Paris once — just in case I suddenly felt the urge to read a challenging 900-page opus by my favorite writer. When that book later got stolen out of by bag, I actually cried. It was like losing something I never knew I had. (Side note: I even have a copy of Americana in French, and my French isn’t even very good. Someday.)

你買了很多當下覺得會找到有一天空閒時刻會閱讀的書,卻也沒有。在旅遊巴黎的時候,想說或許突然想要閱讀一本富挑戰性、九百來頁出自我最愛的作家之大作,而帶了本Don DeLillo的《Underworld》。當它當它從背包裡失竊時我真的哭了。這感覺很像是失去了一件我不知道曾經擁有過的什麼(旁註:我甚至還有一本法文版的《Americana》,儘管我法文真的不靈光。總有一天的。)。

我很膚淺,我記得在旅途中看完過的書,似乎只有Antoine de Saint-Exupéry的《小王子》(不過看的是中古中譯本)。能擺到書櫥裡的書我都盡量把它們看完,畢竟買了不看真的很折墮。之前因為種種原因少看了書,這陣子開始慢慢追回進度了。可是前幾天又手滑,結果快爆炸的書櫥又多了幾本書。

5. You will use almost anything as a bookmark or a writing pad in a jam — like receipts, money, bank slips, old envelopes, newspapers, unopened mail or death threats from your bank. You can’t throw out anything in your apartment without checking to see if it has writing on it first. That bag of popcorn could be important.

在非常緊急時期你會抓起幾乎任何物事,例如收據、錢、銀行便箋、舊信封、報紙、未拆封信件或者銀行捎來的死亡恐嚇書,來作為書籤或便條紙。在還沒檢查是否有任何筆蹟前,你無法從居住的公寓裡丟棄任何東西。那包爆谷可能是很重要的。

書籤我認了,很多時候我的書籤就是隨手拈來的收據。是說收據這東西似乎是很容易在生活裡出現的東西,我書櫥裡大概很多書都可以挖到一張出來吧。記錄東西就不然了,一來自己通常身邊都會有本記事簿。就算出門在外沒帶出去,手機總會有吧。是說銀行的死亡恐嚇都出來了,原文作者是要有多誇張?

6. When you hear the words “I’m on deadline,” you immediately burst into action, a Pavlovian response to a) always having something due and b) always being behind on it. You’re certain that if they were able to make your procrastination into an energy source, it will solve our nation’s fuel crisis. Or at least make gas cheaper.

當你聽到“我在趕截止日期”這幾個字的時候,你會產生對 a) 常常有還未完成的事情 和 b) 常常落後進度 的制約反應而立即付諸行動。如果他們能夠把你對事情的耽擱化為能源,你肯定這將解決國家的燃料危機,或至少使汽油變得更便宜。

這段要看很久才看得出所以然來,所以是說容易分心導致正事的耽擱麼?那麼我中到整支箭直刺要害。沒辦法,誰叫我總是有一堆有的沒的的瑣事?

7. Most people get tattoos of trees or pigeons or misspelled odes to their exes. You get tattoos of your favorite lines from Faulkner or Pablo Neruda’s face. Full disclosure: I currently have two poetry tattoos and I’m planning to get some lines from W.H. Auden, when I can figure out the placement. One day, I’m going to be the Guy Pearce in Memento of dead white dude verses.

多數人會弄樹木、白鴿或寫給前度然後拼錯的歌詞刺青。你則是刺了筆自Faulkner,你最愛的一些辭句或Pablo Neruda的臉。自我剖白:我已經有了兩個詩詞刺青但是正在打算在想好部位後再刺些W.H. Auden的一些辭句。總有一天,我會渾身刺滿白人的詩詞(筆按:dead white dudes含貶義),成為Memento(筆按:一部電影)裡Guy Pearce那樣的人。

對最後一段不甚瞭解,但翻查了萬能的搜尋引擎才發現Guy Pearce是刺青男。所以應該解為這個人熱愛詩詞刺青的程度,是要跟Pearce看齊。不過個人對這段無感,刺青少惹我。

8. You have more books than you have friends, by a large margin. You’re a little concerned that one day, you might become a hoarder. (Fact: I own two copies of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. One is a backup, just in case I happen to lose the other one. Insurance, my friend.)

你藏書的數量大幅度超過了朋友的數目。你有點憂慮有天你會成為囤積狂。(實情:我擁有兩本Jonathan Franzen撰寫的《Freedom》。其中一本是備用與萬一遺失另一本之時。為保險,我的朋友。

如果算從小到大的藏書,第一段對了。雖然自己身處的資訊科技業有此一說——If you do not have 3 different backups for your data, it doesn’t exist(如果你的資料沒有三個不同的備份,那它如同不存在)。可是回到現實生活,不說三份悲憤,就算每本書跟他一樣一式兩份,多多書櫥都不夠放。雖然自己的書也曾經驚險出過事情,在借出去後幾乎拿不回來,但也沒有憂慮到這個地步就是。

9. There are Amazon deliveries at your door almost every day. You’re certain that at this point, they have to know you by name.

府上幾乎每天都會有來自Amazon的送貨服務。你肯定到了這個時候,他們已經記得你的名字。

我還沒讀的書已經夠多了,犯不着拼命買。不過網絡買書前幾年倒是有在考慮,原因是外國書到了本地身價翻倍。是說如果書一直賣得這麼貴,是要找誰來買?雖然現在電子書大行其道,只是本地的書店似乎還沒感受到衝擊,所以也不見價格的下調。

10. You sometimes refer to authors by their first name or a pet name you never realized you gave them, like calling Bukowski “Chuck” or “Charlie,” James Joyce “Jimmy” or Salman Rushdie “Sally.” Most people aren’t allowed to call him Sally, but it’s an in-joke between the two of you. And, yes, it still counts if he doesn’t know about it and you’ve technically never met him.

你偶爾直呼作家的名諱,或是為他們冠上了一個忘了是自己想出來的昵稱,比如說把Bukowski叫成Chuck或Charlie,或把James Joyce叫成Jimmy或把Salman Rushdie叫成Sally。大多數人不允許直呼她Sally,但這是你們雙方的親昵笑話。嗯,就算他對此一無所知,加上你們技術上來說從未曾見面但那還是算數的。

我叫過龍應台部長龍安娣,這樣算是中箭嗎?不過在暗地裡取外號不是人間常情麼?我想阿熬應該不會知道我私下叫他糟老頭,這如此親切無傷大雅的事情吧。

11. You have really weird dreams about writing or your favorite writers — like that you suddenly have a great idea for a story but then your computer eats you or that you’re best friends with Emily Dickinson — which, truth be told, is a little boring. Agoraphobes aren’t great partiers. You also dreamt that you were the manager of a Bronte sisters girl group. Charlotte was the Beyonce, Emily was the Kelly and Anne was the Michelle, the one everyone forgets about.

你有過一些關於寫作或最喜歡的作家的夢,譬如說突然有個絕妙點子但你被電腦吃掉了,又或是成了Emily Dickinson最好的朋友這種其實很無聊的夢。廣場恐懼症的人畢竟不是派對咖。你也曾經夢想成為Bronte姐妹女子團體的經紀人。Charlotte當是Beyonce,Emily就是Kelly而Anne就是那個人人都不記得的Michelle。

我做夢通常沒有多少次是記得夢境的,但大概從來沒想過自己會成為倪老知己就是。至於後面半段完全就是毫無關係的,是說作者的行文風格很合我胃口就是。

12. You’re a little too in love with alliteration, so much so that you’ve thought about giving all your children alliterative names. (Lorelai Lana Lang, I apologize in advance.) Also, you find it really sexy when someone knows what consonance and assonance is.

你對頭韻法(筆按:一種修辭手法)的那一種愛到了有在考慮用來給你的孩子取名字。(僅此先對Lorelai Lana Lang道歉)除此之外,你發現知道何謂子音韻(筆按:Consonance)和諧音(筆按:Assonance)的人非常性感。

好吧,我對文字的鑽研沒有到如此obsessed的程度。誰在管什麼頭韻子音韻諧音什麼的,換成中文,我總不能把孩子叫成賴莉莉賴里拉賴流淚賴啦啦什麼的吧?是說如果我真的到了這樣瘋狂的時候,我覺得以後孩子在學校會很難過就是。另外,約會聚會就不好再把這些有的沒的掛在嘴邊吧。如果有人在飯局裡,跟我爭辯說我用字不當我大概會發瘋就是。

13. Big vocabularies are one of your turn-ons. There’s nothing more erotic than someone with a twelve-inch brain. As long as they know how to use it.

生僻字最容易挑起你的性慾。沒什麼比擁有12寸腦袋的人更性感的。只要他們使用得當。

這段是開黃腔吧,我選擇不解釋~本來是還在找什麼是十二寸的頭腦,一度找到資料還以為是說一個underground hip hop團體什麼的。結果再看看最後那句,才想說應該是我想太多。

14. You’re a little too obsessed with post-it notes and stationery and have a favorite pen. An alarming amount of your budget goes out every month to writing supplies, books and coffee — but mostly coffee. Fact: If I gave up drinking coffee, I’d probably be a millionaire. Is it sad that I choose my love of java over my love of money? No. Not expecting any fiscal reward proves you’re a writer.

你癡迷於便條紙和文具,也有一枝最愛的筆。你每月的預算有一筆驚人的部份花在了文書用具、書本和咖啡上,但大多都在咖啡上。實情:如果我放棄喝咖啡的話,那我大概就成了個百萬富翁。取咖啡豆捨棄對錢財的熱愛很遺憾嗎?非也。不奢望財務上的回報就是你身為作者的鐵證。

算是中一半,雖然現在電子記事大行其道,雖然身為IT族,但我還是比較喜歡超級low tech的紙筆筆記本。最愛的筆是沒有,但是我買筆倒是有個指定的牌子的。至於咖啡本人是不太喝的,不知道為何幾乎每次喝咖啡後會感到不適。看到這裡諸位咖啡愛好者大概要跳起來說bullshit了,可是事實上確是如此。

15. When you were in school, lots of your other friends were majoring in things that you could make actual careers out of — like Online Gambling, Extortion, Funneling Money to the Caymans and whatever else they’re learning at business school these days. You majored in something that your friends universally raised an eyebrow at or didn’t know you could major in, like Occult Studies, Obscure Pre-Ice Age Russian Novelists, Teaching Underwater Basket Weaving Studies as a Second Language or Advanced Poverty. You now have a very fancy, expensive piece of paper that means you learned a lot of crap you forgot later.

當你還在學的時候,身邊很多朋友都在主修一些比如說網絡博弈、勒索、為金融巨鱷輸送金錢等這類在現今商學院雪萊的科系,以便日後能依之闖出事業。你則主修了一些比如說神秘學系、晦澀的冰原前世紀俄國詩人研究、水底織籃為第二語言教學系或者高級赤貧學,這些全世界朋友感到訝異或者完全不知道有這些科系的學科。現在你有了一張昂貴的說明你曾經學了很多以後會忘掉的廢事的紙箋。

高級赤貧學?水底織籃為第二語言教學系是什麼?是說如果外星人入侵,我們若要溝通就下水織籃?哦,從你的藤枝綿密程度,看得出你現在很飢餓……然後話還沒說完就被吃掉了。不過說起來這些有的沒有的科系,在馬來西亞這片實際為上的國度大概都沒有吧。不過如果有,大概也不會出現每年上演的族裔衝突吧?

16. Your dream job is to one day have a career that affords you to be in your pajamas all day or do all of your work from bed — like Marcel Proust or Heidi Fleiss. Some people want a career where they have to look professional all day. You want to look like crap, eat Cheetos, watch Revenge and pour your heart out into your computer. But who doesn’t want that, really?

有個讓你一整天都穿着睡衣,或在床上完成所有工作的事業是你夢寐以求的東西,如同Marcel Proust或Heidi Fleiss一般。有些人想要個看起來總是扮相很專業的事業。你想要的是看起來像個廢物,吃奇多(筆按:一種零嘴)看《復仇》(筆按:一部連續劇)和對電腦傾訴心事。但誰不想呢,是嗎?

我比較喜歡把工作和個人時間隔開,所以比較喜歡在辦公室工作。

17. No one will ever play you in Scrabble, Boggle, Catchphrase or Scattergories, because you always win and you’re always super competitive about it — especially when you’re drunk. You’re like the New England Patriots of party games.

沒人要跟你玩Scrabble、Boggle、Catchphrase或Scattergories(筆按:皆為一些多人進行的圖板遊戲),因為妳常贏且對之非常怕輸,尤其是你喝醉的時候。你就好像是派對遊戲裡的新英格兰爱国者(筆按:為球隊,似乎球品不太好)。

我沒有太愛board games,也真的沒太competitive,所以對此項無感。

18. You sometimes refer to your self-imposed writing schedule as “going to work” or “working” and are often known to say “I have to work from 9 to 5 tomorrow.” People usually ask where you work and you say, “From home. I’m a writer.” Of course, they always then want to know what you really do for a living and you say, “I’m a writer. I write for a living.” Then silence happens.

你偶爾把對自我施加的寫作時間稱為“去上班”或“工作”,旁人也常聽到你說:“我必須朝九晚五的工作”。當人在問在哪工作時你會說:“在家裡,我是個作者”。自然而然的,他們常會想知道你以何維生而你會說:“我是個作者,我以寫作維生”。接着就是一片靜默。

跟我無關,跳過。

19. Whenever someone breaks up with you or one of your friends does something really cartoonishly terrible, your immediate consolation is that this is going to make for a great essay. Recently someone decided to stop seeing me for no apparent reason, and my response was, “Great! I had nothing to write about this week.”

當有人要跟你分手或朋友做了些很卡通化很糟糕的事情時,你會因為知道這將會化為一篇絕妙作文而馬上感到安慰。最近有個人莫名的決定了不再和我見面,而我第一反應是:“太棒了!我這星期還沒東西可寫。”。

是說市面上永遠最不缺的是分手的相關創作,比如說歌詞小說小故事什麼的。所以這現象,是表示說每天都有人在失戀,而這些人都剛好是創作人麼?還有社交網站上,那些永遠都在轉發悽慘的愛情故事那個傢伙到底是要失戀多少次?

20. When you go on dates with people, they always ask if you’re going to write about this, and you assure them, “No, silly! Of course I’d never write about you.” You are a dirty liar. You will absolutely write about them. You’ve already started that piece in your head.

當你去約會的時候,他們常會問你是不是會把過程寫成文章,而你會保證說:“傻瓜,當然不會!我是不會寫關於你的事情的。”。你這個齷鹺的大話精。你絕對會寫他們的事的。你早就在腦海里起了個頭。

所以很多人都說,什麼人都可以,談戀愛切勿不要找作者。因為誰也不能打包票,說哪天這傢伙會不會拿交往的過程寫出來公諸於世。可是要相信我,我是絕對不會這樣做的*挺胸*。

21. People sometimes know things about you before you actually told them, like choice anecdotes or oddly personal information that you wouldn’t share on a second date. Then they tell you that they “read your blog” or “follow you on Tumblr.” And you realize that you share that kind of personal information on the internet all the time. Next time, you’re just going to tell your date you’re a serial killer.

人們有時候在你告知前就知道你的事情了,比如說一些個人軼事,或是一些你在第二次約會不會分享的莫名其妙私密資料。接着他們會說是“在你的網誌讀來的”或是有在“留意你的Tumblr”。然後你會發現原來你常在網絡傳送這種個人資料。下次,你會索性告訴你的約會對象說自己是個連環殺手。

雖然還沒遇到過這樣的事情,畢竟也不是什麼知名人士。不過看完是可以瞭解為什麼名人很難有機會談戀愛就是了,當你幾乎一切都已經攤在陽光下的時候,約會就變的沒有神秘感了。不過在約會前,也不會突然跟人家說我在網絡上有寫網誌的就是。雖然很少在這裡寫很私密的東西,但是還是會不好意思的。

22. You have a bad habit of solving your problems or conflicts by writing the person a letter, rather than just confronting them about it. In high school, my mother was in her “I want to be a romance novelist phase,” and I could tell when she and her husband were in a fight because there would be a letter on the table every morning until whatever they were going through was resolved. Some people fight, you start an epistolary novel of angry feelings.

你有個把問題和衝突的解決都訴諸於寫信,而不是直接跟他們對峙的壞習慣。在上高中的時候,我媽正在沉浸於“我要成為一位浪漫愛情作家的階段”,而我可以從每次清晨桌子上的一封信知道她和丈夫正處於爭執中,一直到結束為止。有些人訴諸爭執,你則開始把憤怒情緒寫成一部書信題小說。

在我最不開心的那段時間,我私底下寫了一些長信給我最好的朋友。對此常常感到不好意思,畢竟對方若有事情也常常幫不上忙。另外這提醒了我一個關於非禮勿聽的故事,如果下次有機會應該會詳細寫一篇文章出來。

23. You never stop writing something after you’re done with it, which makes publishing difficult. Eventually you just put a gun to your head and say, “Screw it, I’m done with this.” (Which is how Obama must feel every day.) You’ll later come up with the perfect ending for that piece — a month after publishing it.

儘管已經完成了整部作品,但你卻還是繼續不斷地寫,使得出版的事宜變得艱難。終究一個時候你會拿槍指着自己的頭說:“去你的,我受夠了”。(這應是奧巴馬每天都有的感覺)你總會在之後想到一個完美的完結篇,不過是在出版後的一個月。

哈哈哈哈,是說我麼?(眼睛看向已經完成的長篇小說草稿)是說很多寫作人都是這樣不是?不然你看金庸查老的武俠小說這些年來重寫了多少次?雖然每次更動都會掀起軒然大波,但是他老人家總是我行我素,改一次賺一次。我還在等那一天Harry Potter系列會重新出版,然後J.K. Rowling是不是要改為撮合Ron Weasley跟Harry Potter,不然到最後Harry跟Lord Voldemort一起展開忘年戀也不錯。

24. You have certain punctuation marks you can’t stop obsessively using (anyone who has read my work knows that girl loves dashes) and others you want obliterated from the face of the earth. I’m neutral on semicolons, which can be used sparingly, but I cannot stand the sight of ellipses. I feel like they’re stabbing me in the eye.

你對一些標點符號總會無法自控的不斷使用(任何閱讀我文章的人都知道女生最愛破折號),而對另一些恨不得讓之殲滅與地球表面。我對較少使用的分號表示中立,但是無法容忍省略號在視線範圍內出現。感覺它們似乎是在捅着我的眼睛。

哈哈哈哈哈哈,標點符號是沒有,但是我發現最近常常會一直重複幾個不同的字眼。如果你有留意這篇文章,或之前幾篇,應該不難發現到。

25. You often put off major things until you’re done with this poem or this article — like showering, eating or (occasionally) breathing. One day you might turn blue in the face and die mid-article, but it’s understandable. You were on deadline.

你總是把一些重大事務如洗澡、吃飯或(偶爾)呼吸放在一邊,一直到你把這詩詞或文章寫好為止。有一天你可能會面目發青然後在文章寫到一般的時候死掉,不過這是情有可原的。你正在趕截稿時間。

廢寢忘食真的是我的強項耶,而且在我埋首忙碌的時候推我去做別的事情我會整個大翻臉。畢竟本身不是個很好的multitasker,如果把我突然間從一個任務拉出來去做別的事情,回來的時候我會突然一整個不知所措。在操作系統的設計裡面,任務的切換通常叫context switching,而我就是那個適應不良的那種。

所以文章看完了,我個人竟然中了差不多有一大半。就這樣可以晉身作者這個圈子的話,那門檻也似乎太低了點。我還是乖乖地,今晚睡高點的枕頭,然後好好發個文藝夢就好了。是說我在好奇的是,諸位看完這二十五條事情後,會有什麼感覺呢?說實在的,我還是很好奇會造訪這個網誌的人到底會是什麼樣子的人。

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