February 22, 2014

The Diagram Prize and musings on brain aeration ...

The contenders for the latest Diagram Prize have been announced and are sure to generate a lot of chuckles.  Here is a link to the 2014 contenders with a couple of scatological titles as per usual.

This had me wondering about all the other weird and wonderful titles out there.

There's a Facebook page devoted to some of them. 
A huge selection on Abebooks.
And Amazon of course has its recommendations. 
Goodreads has others, but many of them are just plain offensive rather than witty.

My personal favourites? Just too many, but I particularly like those titles from really old books that seem bizarre to us today but were never intended to be when they were written, particularly old medical or domestic advice books.

And as a writer looking for more productive hours in the day, how can I go past Write While you Sleep currently a bargain at only 1 cent on Amazon when it has this enticing blurb from the publisher. 
Gives practical advice on breaking writer's block, making the most productive use of writing time, improving one's fiction and nonfiction, and selling one's work
In her book, Ross cites poet upon poet - Voltaire, Swinburne, Dante, Goethe, Milton, Blake - who literally dreamed up deathless verse. And it's not just writers who have had profound insights with their eyes closed, their mouths open slightly, and a thin line of drool tracing patterns on the pillow. Ross mentions such scientists as chemist Fridrich Kekule of benzene fame and physicist Niels Bohr.
She suggests harnessing your own dream power with meditation exercises like this one- First, aerate your brain a la Dr. Jean [no idea who this is]. Next, See yourself making coffee. You fill the pot with water, measure the amount of coffee you need, put it in the filter, and put the pot on the stove.... Silently repeat ten times: 'My article/story/book is like the coffee. All the necessary ingredients are simmering in my subconscious mind....' If you do the exercise at bedtime, drop off to sleep."
Curious, I always equated with coffee with not-sleeping ... I wonder if the brain aeration would work just as well with visualising cleaning out the kitty litter tray instead.

Perhaps a better title to qualify for the Diagram Prize might have been How to Write While you Sleep and How Drooling Open Mouths and Coffee can Aerate your Brain and Make you a Deathless Scientist or Poet

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