I doubt you’ve heard of Olav Hauge, the Norwegian poet. Not many people know him, but he was a master of minimalism. He wrote one poem titled “Don’t Come to Me With the Entire Truth” which I have quoted (literally) hundreds of times to convey to authors how really powerful writing doesn’t “force feed” the reader but supplies just the basics. A skilled writer makes the reader think for him or herself, and if that writer does a good enough job of conveying the core idea, the reader can infer the rest without having to be told it.
You don’t need to explain an idea and then spell out how that idea can be used in one’s personal life, one’s professional life, one’s spiritual beliefs, etc. If you do a good enough job of explaining the core premise, the reader can figure out for him or herself how to apply it wherever else.
Too often authors write these awful hefty tomes where they feel they have to account for and explain everything — and the more justification and explication I see, the less I believe that the idea is strong enough to stand on its own. The result is a force-fed bland gruel of mediocrity and tedium. Supply just the essence, and let the readers’ palates interpret, experience, and savor it. Don’t give them the entire truth, let them discover it.
Here’s the poem:
Don’t Come to Me With the Entire Truth
Don’t come to me with the entire truth.
Don’t bring me the ocean if I feel thirsty,
nor heaven if I ask for light;
but bring a hint, some dew, a particle,
as birds carry only drops away from water,
and the wind a grain of salt.
Xena: Warrior Princess debuted in 1995 as a spinoff from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena’s origin is dark and unsavory, but her road to redemption was what made her so captivating. That was the selling point of the show, which was something both women and men could follow. Xena was greenlit nearly 20 years ago, but we can’t get a decent Wonder Woman greenlit today?
Robert Tapert, who co-created Xena, admitted (via Whoosh!) that his producing partner Sam Raimi wasn’t originally interested in the show. He wanted to go for something similar to Hercules, like Jason and the Argonauts. Raimi exclaimed, “You just can’t do a female superhero show. It’s not gonna work!” But Tapert stuck to his guns, and the show got made. Not only was it a success, but it became more popular than Hercules.
"We are more than a bit concerned with the Benihana egg trick called for in the script. I’ve tried it and can only get it 1 out of 4 tries, and I’ve seen Benihana chefs flub the manoeuver when they have an entire grill as target. Mads has to crack his eggs into a 8-inch diameter skillet. The props Master calls his guy. The Production Manager calls in his guy. I call my guy. On the morning of the shoot we have 8 dozen eggs and 3 Japanese chefs with their hands made up to be hand doubles.
I guess I don’t have to tell you that when Mads arrives on set, he just tosses an egg up in the air and the egg breaks on the spatula. No problem. Unbelievable. I insist it was a lucky fluke but he does it again. I accuse him of practicing when I wasn’t looking but he laughs (as if he has time to practise egg-cracking between scenes) and tells me he was a juggler in his youth.” [x]
And here we all thought we’d have a million outtakes of Mads flubbing the egg trick…
Seattle Has a Haunted Soda Machine
As about 45 percent of us know, ghosts are definitely real and casually walk among us. Some have a post-life agenda of stealing our socks or manifesting as apparitions on burned toast; others prefer to spend their time banging around abandoned children’s hospitals for Syfy Channel reality shows. But there’s one ghost who has taken an industrious approach, choosing to operate a creepy Coca-Cola machine on an innocuous corner in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Like an endless Encyclopedia Brown story, the machine has been an ongoing source of curiosity and fear from locals for decades due to its weird location, outdated appearance, and reputation for being continuously and strangely stocked by a seemingly non-existent operator. It brings to mind the famous line from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that gave entire generations of children the heebie jeebies: “Nobody ever goes in, and nobody ever comes out.”
With its sun-bleached buttons and charmingly antiquated Mountain Dew logo, the Mystery Coke Machine has been spitting out sodas on the corner of John and Broadway for upwards of 15 years, but no one seems to know exactly for how long—or who re-stocks, maintains, or collects money from the thing. It’s as though it fell out of a wormhole and landed free-standing onto this lonely corner. From the get-go, its 70s appearance evoked a sense of cheery yet ominous nostalgia, as if Matthew McConaughey’s character from Dazed and Confused would fit right in with it, leaning against its side while he’s busy winking at you. Prior to encountering it, you may not consider how unusual and even intimidating a vending machine looks standing alone on a sidewalk. It’s almost as though it’s forever waiting for something, or someone in particular, to show up.