04
Feb
08

The Improbable, Writing and Playing with House Money

The improbable happened during this past Super Bowl with a decided underdog winning over the perfect team. But it wasn’t as improbable as you might think and no, I am not a big Giants fan. Basically, the Patriots were playing for destiny but the Giants were playing with house money. That is players playing with house money are not constrained by expectations. They are unexpectedly ahead so what the hell, why not keep pressing the envelope by continuing to play? In sports there is an end to a season but in Vegas they build empires counting on that singular human behavior and realize most players, i.e. gamblers, play until they lose.

So what does this have to do with writing? Writing should be of a similar bent. How often do we hear that reality is often stranger than fiction? As writers, do we as a community play it safe when we write because we are constrained by the parameters and norms of society? The greatest writers are not constrained by the norms of society or the media because they listen to their own inner voice. They are playing with house money because they have nothing to lose and at some point in their careers they came to that realization and found it liberating. That’s both the goal and the struggle for any author; to learn how to play with house money. By the way if you think sports has nothing to do with writing you never read “A Fan’s Notes” by Frederick Exley, 1972. Highly recommended.

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7 Responses to “The Improbable, Writing and Playing with House Money”


  1. May 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    youre explanations are lame

  2. May 1, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I surmise you are a Patriot’s fan, so how does that chant go? Oh yes, 18-1!

  3. November 2, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Although I am — to borrow a bit of “substance abuse” parlance — a “recovering” football fan, I still value Exley.

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  6. June 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    2,4-Dinitrophenol (kurz: DNP) ist ein gelber kristalliner Feststoff mit phenolartigem Geruch.
    Die Struktur besteht aus einem Benzolring mit einer Hydroxygruppe (–OH) und zwei Nitrogruppen (–NO2) als Substituenten. Es
    gehört zur Stoffgruppe der Dinitrophenole, einer Gruppe von sechs
    Konstitutionsisomeren. Es fand schon 1919 seine erste Anwendung.
    Damals wurde es in Frankreich zur Herstellung von Munition verwendet.
    40 % DNP und 60 % TNT ergaben eine explosive Mischung für Artilleriegranaten.
    Bevor die Toxizität von DNP erkannt wurde, fand es in den 1930er-Jahren große Verwendung als Mittel gegen Fettleibigkeit.

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  7. July 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

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    Sarah and Richard must fight their way off the island in this final installment of the podcast.
  • Your Hands are Stained with Blood.
    As death and chaos overtakes the island, Sarah and Richard try to escape Reggie.
  • An Unlikely Ally
    Reggie begins a reign of terror on the island that will leave nobody, including the Ebu, safe from his murderous schemes. Reggie's only challenge will be a visit from the biggest murderer in human history.
  • The Capture
    Sarah and Richard must make their escape after witnessing Reggie's brutal capture of the Ebu.
  • The Guardian Meets the Lab Rat
    Bill is presuaded by Reggie to meet with Karl.
  • The Guardian
    Karl's fever starts to takes a toll on his sanity as his efforts to contact the Ebu becomes a religious quest for him
  • New Friends
    Sarah's relationships with both Richard and Flo take a surprising turn.
  • Christian Soldier
    Reggies discovers the island of the Ebu and begins his assault but not before Karl makes his move.
  • The Cost of Weakness
    A senseless act of violence challenges Sarah and her tenuous relationships with the inhabitants of the island.
  • Weakness
    Sarah is stricken by a life threatening illness that triggers a strange personal odyssey for her.
  • The Princess Meets Flo
    While observing the troop, Sarah forms a friendship with one of the Ebu that she names Flo.
  • By the Sea
    Sarah makes a risky first contact with the Ebu.
  • 14. The Wait - Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot
    -In this episode: Sarah and Richard wait for the Ebu at a small pond.
  • Discovery
    Sarah and Richard begin their exploration of the island in search of the Ebu.
  • Resolve
    After losing everything to the pirates, Sarah and Richard face their own personal failure and decide whether or not they should return to the states.
  • Pirates of the Flores Sea
    As they begin to set out for Sarah's island, Sarah's and Richard's boat is boarded by dangerous high-sea pirates.
  • All Work and No Play
    Before leaving for Sarah's mysterious island Sarah and Richard head out for a night on the town in Flores.
  • The Boss
    Sarah and Richard put their expedition together and travel to Flores Island in search of the Ebu Gogo.
  • Higher Calling
    Unbeknownst to Reggie and Bill, Karl, the head lab assistant at GenTech, is busily sabotaging the pharmaceutical giant's controversial stem cell research.
  • Corporate Citizen
    Ruthless elements within a large pharmaceutical company make their own plans for the Ebu.

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