“I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them.”
What I do is, I keep a list of phrases in my notebook I want to make and then when I have a minute or I’m burned out, I make one.
Sometimes they’re phrases we say a lot around the house. (This one is stolen from one of my favorite movies, Withnail and I. I say this in mock outrage a lot to my kids.)
Sometimes they’re more abstract. (I took the Target tape off a package.)
Sometimes it’s a phrase I can’t stand. (“Don’t get me wrong.”)
Sometimes my wife suggests one like “They can’t all be winners.”
Sometimes I notice a phrase everybody starts saying.
I like to do conversational shortcuts and the passive-aggressive phrases you hear a lot in the South and the Midwest.
These pieces are very different than my other work, so it’s not exactly clear to me what I should do with them. Not sure they’re right for a book, but maybe I can work my way up to a dozen or so and make a notecard set or a series of posters out of them.
That’s the thing about new work, it’s not really your job to judge it, you just keep the channel open and let the stuff come…