Back in my bookselling days, I used to write poetry by reprinting out the title stickers for the back of the books, cutting out words, and sticking them together in a new order. The poetry was hard-hitting stuff, a genre born of boredom, a frustrated libido, and a chronic lack of sunlight. Sometimes my coworkers and I wrote poetry together, which resulted in killer lines such as “My fuzzy thoughts: we are in big trouble, / and quiet flows the vodka born of death / we have been caught in a box of symbolic quantum dinosaurs.”
At my first office job, I challenged one of my friends (who worked in an office across town) to a bad poetry contest. We would give each other words such as “kitten,” “rainbow,” and “pink ribbons.” After we wrote the most hackneyed poems possible (this is harder than you think, people), we wrote pretentious reviews of each other’s work.
The other day I found myself 400 words into the worst fantasy novel ever, one that cheerfully embodied the very worst cliche and sexism of the genre, just as an escape from the craft book I was editing.
How do you amuse yourself?