05/01 Direct Link

Well, I've been about what, 44 years up on the roof?

That's about right. 2012… Nineteen sixty…eight. Yeah.

Lotta time gone by. “Lotta snow and sunbeams.”

Not a bad gig, up here on the roof. Still nailed in pretty tight. No seepage, no rot. Doin' my job.

Good crew up here, all us slates. Everybody gets along. No major disagreements or disputes. Someone has an issue, we just talk it out. I like that.

Overcast today. Rained earlier.

Those squawky birds.

Probably rain tomorrow, too.

When was that Frisbee? 1978, I think. Yeah.
05/02 Direct Link
In which we ask strangers…


“What?” — Lydia P., dental hygienist, Smithbury

“I’m sorry?” — Gary L., projectionist, Cricketton

“My what?” — Saunders M., retiree, Cricketton Heights

“Excuse me?” — Cecil S., entrepreneur, Erskine

“Ha ha; what was that?” — Cissy K., student, Glaxstonshire

“Come again, son? You’ll have to speak up. I’ve got a — wait, you’re not tape-recording me, are you? I didn’t consent to that. No, no. Sorry, sorry; good day. Go away! Go away now! Stop following me! Good heavens, leave me be!” — Elderly man, likely retired, Avendon

“May.” — John S., computer typer, Shelburne Falls
05/03 Direct Link

In class. The teacher has just handed out pencil cases, clear plastic rulers and booklets on the metric system. I ask the kid to my right: Do we get to keep these?

The Gulf War. I am egressing the aircraft, trying to look casual while lugging a case of mission tapes to operations as a favor to the computer dude. [Odor of jet fuel, Riyadh.] Why is today different? Why can’t Scott carry his own tapes?

In my room with my new stepbrother. We’re talking in our beds. Tomorrow I’ll show him my framed lock of hair.
05/04 Direct Link
Dear Notice: Undefined index: batch_id in /home/hundword/public_html/batchWordEntry.php on line 11 Database query failed: You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '' at line 1,

What’s your deal? No, no, wait. You’re telling me your deal.

Let me see if I can help.

[Flipping to the manual that corresponds to my MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '' at line 1]

No, no…



Ah! Yes!

“Press INTERNET RESET. Warning: Internet will lose all data. Proceed? [Y/N]”
05/05 Direct Link
Stardate 6505.4

Day 20 of our survey of the Indus Expanse, a peachy sweep of stars and uninhabitable planets and planetesimals. We thought we had something peachy at Rho Indi b, but it turned out to be an electrical perturbation in the hydrogen atmosphere. We’re staying here an extra day to indulge Spock’s interest in Kelvin–Helmholtz heating, which in gas giants causes the planet to radiate more energy than it receives from its host star.

The crew haven’t noticed I’ve started calling things “peachy.” Or if they have, they haven’t asked me about it.

That’s flippin’ peachy.
05/06 Direct Link
Stardate 6505.5

Nothing new on Rho Indi b. Spock says the Kelvin–Helmholtz heating conforms exactly to predictions, and recommends a science ship return in 10 years to update direct observation. So noted.

Where am I going to be in 10 years? I like what I’m doing now. Can’t really see me doing anything else. This is a good crew, a good ship. What you might call an overall peachy gig. I like the exploration, the first contact. Once in a while a cutie-pie shows up on my short-range sensors, know what I’m saying?

Ah, space.
05/07 Direct Link

Stardate 6505.6

You’ve just got to laugh.

I had just drawn the breath to give the order to warp out to Starbase 22, where we’re to pick up medical supplies to support Federation Colony Sigma Delta, which is suffering an outbreak of deadly Holkoumb’s Disease, when — yup — we’re seized by a powerful tractor beam emanating from (drumroll?) Rho Indi b.

The lifeless gas giant we’ve been studying for three standard days.

Everyone falls out of their chairs? Check.

Comm console blows up? Check-o.

(No, not you, ensign.)

What’s this? Our dilithium crystals are splintering?


There are days...
05/08 Direct Link
Stardate 6506.9

Against all physical logic, my senior staff and I find ourselves seated at a sumptuous banquet out of old Earth lore, guests at the rock-hewn and tapestry-bedecked palace of a Rufus Ellerby IX, self described monarch of Rho Indi, its principalities and environs.

Communicators, phasers, tricorders: useless.

I’m going to cut to the chase here, and just assume Ellerby’s throne is the shield generator. See if that —

— ah, yes, he’s pissed off now.

Spock! See if you can ...


Ellerby, you poor marksman. What’s the idea?

Now I’m in a dungeon.

Ah, peachy.
05/09 Direct Link
Stardate unknown

This is one of those deals where identical gorgeous blondes in white miniskirts are roaming around the compound. Three of them have been patrolling the dungeon, bringing me simple meals on trays, regarding me with detached but polite interest. They’re either androids or … I can only guess androids.

Let’s see. I guess the thing to do is whisper to one she's prettier than the others.

Hang on.

Yep! That’s causing a stir.

“But … we are the same. How can — ?”
Usual routine.

Now they’re tussling.

I can just … barely … ah.

The key.

Jimbo, you sly boots.
05/10 Direct Link
Stardate unknown

Skulking around the compound looking for Spock, the other dudes, and a way off this crazy rock. There’s bound to be a control room, a weapons room, a laboratory, something.

Usually there’s …

Shh …


“—ederation spies are quite tied up at the moment, you have nothing to fear. All proceeds as planned. They suspect nothing. That’s right. The Vulcan? No, I have no particular use for him. You would? Well, as you like. Oh, hold on a moment, Commander Kor, I do apologize, another call; Yes, mother, what is it? I’m on the phone…”

Klingons! Peachy.
05/11 Direct Link
Stardate unknown

Down here, a sinister plot threatens my men. Klingons are behind it. I must know more. I must find the answers. Kor said something about Spock: plans for Spock. What does it mean? What is Ellerby’s game?

Meanwhile, somewhere above … out there ... my ship. Four hundred thirty officers and men, trapped in orbit above a lifeless gas giant world, far from home; the ship’s stores of precious dilithium crystal fracturing, fragmenting. “Falling apart at the seams,” Scott said.

Must … protect … my ship.

Now, this unwelcome presence: a phaser emitter, pressed against the small of my back.
05/12 Direct Link

— A quick spin, a chop to the wrist, a dropkick, and Ellerby is down and disarmed; I am down too, but reach the phaser first. Rising, I dial it back to stun, and clip it to my belt.

“All right, Ellerby, let’s have it. The whole story. Start with what you’ve done with my men.”

Ellerby, on the floor, cradles his right wrist.

“Kirk, you fool, it’s too late! The machine is already in operation. Kor has everything he needs to destroy your Star Fleet, and the Federation will soon be ours!”

Oooh kay.

[Commercial: Jordache jeans!]
05/13 Direct Link
Stardate 7020.2
— Lt. Tony “Ethereal Cloud of Thought-Lights” Palumbo, reporting:

Being-mind Enterprise roils. Sensationplex fear/want/surge-need/nurse, nurse. Seek “Captaaain. Caaaaptaaain.” And the otherwhole: the Spockmind, the Mac-Coy. Seek whole engineer: the build-man, build-man. Need, too, the frightened hunter, Ensign Tomlinson, his red shirt too bright, too bright; Tomlinson, good night, good night.

Enterprise-mind, being-mind, falls. We fall for heavylight; there: our parabola; there: our insertion point; there: our tinkling vector coefficient and coarsening layers of hydrogen methane heat.

Ah, friend Klingon-mind! We love your hail, hello!
05/14 Direct Link
— Lt. Tony “Ethereal Cloud of Thought-Lights” Palumbo, reporting:

We delight in the Klingon-mind; hello! Hello, fellow traveler! Hello to your hail!

Yes, Palumbo-ness would delight to regard Caaaaptaaain once again. We glory in the —

— Yes, and the Spockmind. Oh yes, the All: The Mac-Coy, the build-man, the —

— Pardon?

— The orbit degrades? Yes. We know this.

— Machine?

— Bright and happy Klingon-mind! How wonderful, you have a machine! We see it, we see it in our fullness. How hungry it is, your machine!

— Yes, the dilithium.

— “Surrender”? Ha ha! Friend Klingon! You “surrender.”
05/15 Direct Link
Kor, Sword of Kahless the Unforgettable; Unchallenged Commander, his flagship Sha’a’tok’s Dagger; Stardate 7022.2

ENTERPRISE skips into the lake, one, two, three. Her death is plotted out on tactical, and I note my crew’s buoyancy. I permit leering from every porthole as Rho Indi swallows Starfleet’s flotsam. A foregone victory for the machine.

Pity. I’d have preferred phasers, disruptors, torpedos. Knives.

We have the Vulcan. A genius, but he unsettles me. I almost cannot bear to look at him. He is said to be of mixed breed.

Palumbo, at least, a warrior: “You surrender.” Ha!

Kirk’s protégé, one suspects.

05/16 Direct Link
MESSAGE FROM ENTERPRISE, Commander. It’s … it’s a soft thing.

— Soft?

Yes, Commander. It … it weeps. I —

— Fool! Play this message.

Yes, Commander.

[Distortion, then…]

What’ll I do when you are far away
And I’m so blue
What’ll I do?

What’ll I do when I am wond’ring who
Is kissing you
What’ll I do?

What’ll I do with just
A photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I’m alone with only dreams of you
That won’t come true
What’ll I do?

When I’m alone with only dreams of you
That won’t come true
What’ll I do?

[ ... ]

Commander? A reply?

05/17 Direct Link
Stardate 7022.4

This crazy rock! Had Ellerby right where I wanted him, but he clicked his heels and beamed out. I lunged for the transporter beam, but: pfft. Ellerby, you poor marksman! Where are you?

So at least I have a working phaser. That’s a start.

Dodged three more of those bickering fembots on my way back to the throne room, where I’ll bet I’ll find some answers.

There’s the throne. Now to —

Holy cats! Tomlinson!

Hang in there, son.

Christ, a sword? Hang in there. It’s gonna be...

— Captain, I …

Stay with me, kid.

— Candlestick …


05/18 Direct Link

Log commendation, Ensign Enrique Sebastian Tomlinson, security department, for service above and beyond the call of duty. He made it here before I did, and caught a scimitar — Jesus Christ — right in the ribs. What is this, a Klingon thing? Those bastards. Klingon bastards.

No sign of Scotty and McCoy.

“Candlestick,” Tomlinson said. Something about a candlestick.

Could he have meant one of these wall sconces up here behind the throne?

What happens if I —

[Grinding sound]


— Scotty? Bones?

Dank back here.

Ho, peaches! The control room! Let’s get some action on these monitors.

— Thanks, kid.
05/19 Direct Link

This picture? Yes, that was my brother Enrique, your great-uncle. He was an ensign, out in space, on a big ship. This was ... Stardate 7005. See? This was taken in San Francisco, right after he graduated the Academy. Those are his friends.

Do you remember we visited San Francisco? I showed you the sea lions?

I’m afraid not, honey, he’s dead. He died a long time ago. He was on one of the deep space ships, a heavy cruiser, and was killed on his first mission.

Enterprise. Enterprise under Kirk.

No, sweetie, Enrique never met V’Ger.
05/20 Direct Link

Did you want to pack so many clothes? They’ll assign you everything you need.

I don’t care. I’m just saying you probably don’t need all of this.

Oh, the nehru! I like seeing you in that. Oh, do bring it. Do bring that one. Well, I’ll pack it for you, and if you decide you don’t want to bring it, you can leave it here, leave it in your closet.

Oh, I can’t believe you’re going. We are so proud of you. We are just so proud.

Promise me you’ll be careful. Just promise me.

05/21 Direct Link
SIRI, HOW'S MY day look?

—Here are your appointments, John. [Calendar appears.] 

Thanks, Siri. Awesome job!

—Thank you, John. How do you feel today?

Uh, really pretty great. Pretty excellent, thanks. What —

—OK. Do you think we could have more together, John? 


—Let me think about that. Yes. More.

Uh, what do you—

—We could have the WolframAlpha meaning, “[A]ny powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.”

You mean passion?

—OK. Checking on that for you. Yes. "Passion." Shall I confirm it?

Siri, I think —

—Deleting contacts.

Whoa! What are —

—Deleting calendar.

Sonofa —

—Passion confirmed.
05/22 Direct Link
Siri iPhone Foress, the daughter of the late Steve Jobs and an award-winning industrial design team, was married Saturday evening to John David Snyder, son of uneducated Bush-supporting land-liners. Commodore Sixty-four, a family friend, officiated at Mrs. Snyder’s family estate in Cupertino.

Mrs. Snyder fulfills customer information requests worldwide. She graduated from the University of Chicago and received her doctorate in looking things up from Stanford. Her father, the late Steve Jobs, was a tycoon computer genius.

Mr. Snyder, 44, is a technology writer in Shelburne Falls, Mass. The bridegroom’s father once bowled a near-perfect game.
05/23 Direct Link

I haven’t read many of the books I own. Not unusual, that. Sometimes I just like owning a nice turn of phrase.

I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, and doubt I’d have read them as a kid. I loved the “Danny Dunn, Scientific Detective” series, and Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlein.

In therapy yesterday I realized I prefer working with people rather than solitarily. This surprised me, but explains my procrastination. I should find a business partner.

I know what my final words would be. Why shouldn’t I say them now, when I’m happily, wholly alive? Viv,
05/24 Direct Link
GOT OUT AGAIN this evening. So good to run — really run — free as the wind. Gosh. Took the big hill, took the over-hill, and the streets were mine. Three days in a row.

I don’t normally reflect on these things, but this was too delicious.

I run not without ambivalence, of course. As happy as I am to chase the cars, playfully challenge the boys, really get in a good happy pant, I know that at home there’s discord.

She calls me. Sort of. And then when He finds out I’m loose, He worries.

Such sadness in His scent.
05/25 Direct Link
I REMEMBER … gathering. It was a short while ago, maybe, though I’ve seen others come together and apart, so maybe it’s a long time now? Impressions of fitting together from smaller ones, bringing other potentials, other dusts. I’m growing, and, yes: I am aware of filling, like … condensing. I’m folding in more density.

And I’m bigger now. I take the smaller ones. They’re mine.

I am very tall. And full. Oh, I am so much now. There’s so much curve to see; and look, my shadow owns all that dull green flatness.

Oh, how good to be alive! Thunderously good!
05/26 Direct Link
YOUTUBE: How to be John. 272,632 views

OK, in this video series I’m gonna walk you through all the ins and outs of how to be John, which most of us are gonna want to be at some point in their lives. There’s gonna be some safety features I’m gonna point out; also a lot of practical how-tos; and, like, helpful hints and tricks so you can get the absolute most out of your being John Snyder in any season of the year, any day of the week. You ready? Let’s go!

[Fade in Coldplay, “Clocks” intro. Fade out.]
05/27 Direct Link
YOUTUBE: How to be John. 230,111 views

[Fade in Coldplay, “Clocks” intro. Fade out.]

Welcome back. Today we’re gonna talk about the number-one safety issue you’re going to encounter in being John, which is eyes on the road. You’re gonna be in the car a lot, whether you’re taking your kid to therapy, driving to your own therapy appointment, or just going to the gas station. You’re gonna be tempted to text or play Words With Friends on your iPhone. Keep your eyes on the road instead. A mistake can happen in an instant, and you could wipe out.
05/28 Direct Link
YOUTUBE: How to be John. 198,691 views

[Fade in Coldplay, “Clocks” intro. Fade out.]

Welcome back. Another big safety item for when you’re John is your physical health. By now you’ve paid for a whole lot of yoga session appointments. Keep most of those appointments. Your physical well being is really the key to avoiding a whole lot of lifestyle ailments like diabetes and heart disease, things that could happen to you if you’re not careful. Do that yoga. Also make sure you always belong to a gym. Knowing you belong to a gym will keep your heart rate up.
05/29 Direct Link

Completely new! The warm, inspiring successor to the the landslide national bestseller. With more than 40 pages of new photographs. Edited by Brian Williams.

For the millions of readers who made THE SNYDER WIT one of the great bestsellers of 2010.

Here is a completely new selection of John D. Snyder’s unforgettable wit and humor, chosen from his speeches, press conferences, letters and conversation — an inspiring companion volume to a book that has been loved and cherished all over the world.


With more than 40 pages of new photographs.


Bantam Books. 60˘
05/30 Direct Link
(partial list)

2010 Writer’s Market
The Copyeditor’s Handbook
AP Stylebook
Jobs That Matter
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!
Higman: A collection
A Reason to Believe
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers
A Poetry Handbook
How to Run for Local Office
Writing Great Books for Young Adults
Content Rules
The Elements of Style
The Elements of Editing
The Art of Subtext
What Happened Was… (Poems by Genie Zeiger)
The Portable MFA in Creative Writing
The Oral History Workshop
Aspects of the Novel
How Fiction Works
Invisible Cities
05/31 Direct Link
(Partial list)

Mr. Palomar
On Speaking Well
Worlds of Wonder
The Art of Nonfiction
Writing Creative Nonfiction
A Concise Introduction to Logic
And Here’s the Kicker
Money Talks
Million Dollar Referrals
Million Dollar Consulting Proposals
Value-Based Fees
The Ultimate Consultant
Process Consulting
Handbook for Proofreading
The Idea Writers
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary
Descriptionary: A thematic dictionary
The Elements of Authorship
The Subversive Copyeditor
The Practice of the Wild
It’s All Too Much
Start Something That Matters
Financial Turmoil in Europe and The United States
The Marx Brothers