“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.”―Yann Martel





Measure and Madness is for fiction and creative nonfiction writers who want to get their stories out of their imaginations and onto the pages of a book or an ebook. Many blogs welcome only certain types of writers and writing. Not here. If you are in the process of writing a novel, short story, or memoir, this is the site for you. If you’re a writer who has not yet started writing, you’re in the right place. Writers from all sexual orientations, gender identities, racial groups, and ethnic groups are encouraged to share their experiences with the creative process or with the publishing industry. If you are a writer, or hope to become one, this is your spot.

So, please feel free to join our conversation if your stories shock readers in order to provide insight into social environments they’ve never experienced. An interesting character can live in the distant past, the present, or the distant future. An interesting character doesn’t have to have ever been alive at all. The only thing that really matters is the way you tell (write) the story. Measure and Madness is about the process of storytelling.


Before we get to the more interesting stuff, I should warn you that this site is NSFW (Not Safe for Work). It’s probably OK to visit during your lunch break—that is if you work in a sports bar, insane asylum, brothel, prison, strip club, or elsewhere in the adult entertainment industry. For most other jobs, use good judgment. My posts, guest posts, and readers’ comments are by and for writers. Occasionally, I’ll post excerpts from a novel, short story, or memoir by an emerging writer. There’s no telling what their characters will say or how explicitly they’ll say it. I’ll never censor writers who have something meaningful to contribute. But if your comments are littered with profanity, I will remove the unnecessary words if I think you’re interesting.

This site is also NSFPWA (Not Safe for People with Word Allergies). If you recoil from certain words the way Dracula backs away from a crucifix, Measure and Madness is probably not for you. Since articles and short stories in The New Yorker, and other literary magazines, cover the spectrum of colorful language, I have no problem accepting that profanity is a part of contemporary America. And if you don’t know how to use profanity effectively, I can help you learn that skill. I can also help you learn when not to use profanity. You don’t want a few unimportant words preventing you from sharing your stories and ideas.

Even though I’m OK with cuss words, I am not OK with insults directed toward individuals or groups. This blog site is not the place to rant about people who are not as perfect as you. If you have a negative opinion of something you’ve read, critique the writing; don’t attack the writer, her second cousin, her dog, or the old country her great-grandfather emigrated from a hundred years ago. There are plenty places online where you can make a hobby out of insulting people. This site is for writers and people struggling to be writers. The very nature of writing means that we will not always agree with one another. We can disagree and still treat one another decently.

Now that we know this site is for grownups and wannabe grownups, I will not accept responsibility should you suffer psychological damage. The best I can do is sincerely hope that your emotional distress gives you something to write about. Experiencing emotional distress might be the best thing that ever happened for you as an emerging writer. So take your chances. You might learn something; you might show us something we would’ve never known without you. And you might enjoy our ongoing conversation.


With madness a keyword, my blog might attract crackpots. I have nothing against crackpots; I’ve been called a crackpot more than several times. I don’t expect writers to be “ordinary.” I don’t expect writers to be any certain way. If you’re a crackpot who can share your craziness in coherent doses, this might be the site you’ve been hoping to find.

Literary snobs and academics are welcome—as long as they don’t expect us to give a shit about their credentials, and they don’t constantly bore us with quotes from Professor Mortimer J. Peabody’s Only Possible Way to Write a Story. I don’t waste my time arguing with snobs or explaining why they are more annoying than regular crackpots. Anyway, literary snobs probably won’t be interested in an ongoing discussion by writers who don’t speak academese and obey every lame writing rule.

Grammar snob itching to fight about dangling participles, comma splices, and misplaced modifiers should do yourself a favor by visiting GrammarphobiaDaily Writing Tips, or Grammar Girl. For the freelance language snobs without a Ph.D. in English or Linguistics I recommend reading Righting the Mother Tongue, by David WolmanIf those resources don’t help you, then Google HOW DO I FIND OUT THAT I DON’T KNOW AS MUCH AS I THINK I KNOW? After you have discovered that you actually do know everything possible to know, please share your limitless knowledge with the rest of us. Maybe you’ll convince us that there really is only one correct way to write a sentence. That could be useful information.

Sarcasm aside, writers always have something interesting to say about writing. And if you are not yet a writer, please feel free to eavesdrop on storytellers chit-chatting about their craft. Your feedback as a non-writers is welcome. After all, the most important people to writers are non-writers—they’re called readers. I hope Measure and Madness helps us all become better writers and get more readers.

Wishing you a happy and purposeful life,




11 Responses to FOR WRITERS

  1. Daria September 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    This is one of the most enjoyable to read blogs I’ve seen in a long time! I’m looking forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing your gift of language and insight.

    • Drunkespeare September 11, 2014 at 2:18 am #

      Thankxczs for being the first person to comment on my blog! When you’re the millionth commenter, you’ll win a trip to Europe. All you’ll have to pay is air fare, hotel, and meals. So, keep leaving comments :}
      Wishing you the best,

  2. mark September 12, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    I am a blocked writer and budding crackpot. I did enjoy reading the blog. I will return for more information about how to get my writing started.

    • Drunkespeare September 13, 2014 at 3:06 am #

      Thankxczs for your comments. If you think you’re a crackpot, you’re probably not one. That is, unless you’re smoking an excessive amount of pot and are hooked on crack. Kidding aside, writing can be intimidating. We have to learn how to deal with the fear of failing and for some writers the fear of succeeding. Don’t worry about getting started. You’re a writer and at some point you’ll start writing, because that’s what writers do.

      Your early drafts are for your eyes only, and don’t worry about how the writing would look to someone else. Some writers have no idea of what they are going to write about until they’ve found a story and characters, and something resembling a plot, after scribbling two or three drafts. Anyway, unlike with sculpture or oil painting, if you don’t like the progress of your draft you can always start over.

      So, write a few pages today, write a few pages tomorrow, and keep writing until you find what you want to write about. The worst that can happen is that you’ll know what you do not want to write about. You’ll be OK. Stay in touch.

      Wishing good writing.


  3. Dominic October 6, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    Hi drunkenspeare came across your blog site via another forum. I enjoyed you writing and commentary. look forward to more posts.

    • Drunkespeare October 7, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      Thankxczs for stopping by. I’m a little behind with getting all my static content written, but I’ll have another post early next week. One of my next two posts will have more information about dialogue; the other will be about voice and style. The voice/style post might be in two parts. So, please stop by now and then to see if I’ve posted something that interests you.

      Wishing you the best.


  4. Larry November 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Enjoyed reading the blog and appreciated the recognition of the value of “readers.”

  5. Sharon December 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    this is another test to be deleted

  6. Genie December 7, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

    Is the name Drunkespeare a nod to Shakespeare and to the common, and perhaps correct, belief that most writers drink, and as you allude, they drink to excess? Enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more. Especially on establishing setting.

    • Drunkespeare December 8, 2015 at 12:32 am #

      Hope all is going great with you. Are you going by Genie these days?

      The pseudonym “Drunkespeare” is not original. What name is original? Hell, my name Lamont is not original, since my mother like the radio character The Shadow, whose name was Lamont Cranston. Anyway, the late Donald Newlove called himself Drunkespeare in his memoir “Those Drinking Days: myself and other writers.” Good read if it is still in print. At least I liked the drunkalogue part; the part about the famous alcoholic writers was just so-so.

      No, I do not believe all or even most writers—good or bad ones—have addiction problems. Just that I could identify with Newlove’s desire to write when he was deep in his addiction and then getting into recovery and realizing how much work writing actually is. I needed to call myself something and I doubt that Donald Newlove cares, since he’s dead. And he probably heard the name somewhere before he got inspired to call his drunk self Drunkespeare. Drunkespeare just means that the alcohol and drugs are telling you that you’re the greatest who’s ever done anything, except that you’ve never done anything great. A legend in your own mind.

      Stop by soon. I’ve gotten some things out of the way and will start posting as soon as I edit what I did last year. My writing really looks messy when I’ve been away from it for a while. The passage of time, revision, and editing are often necessary for un-messying your writing.

  7. Genie December 7, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Just navigated to your bio and learned the origin of the pseudonym Drunkespeare.
    I appreciate your candor.

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