The Skatter-Thoughted Word-Nerd’s Top Picks For Newcomers.
"To sit among all those unknown things before a puzzle like that is hopeless. That way lies monomania. Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all."~H.G.Wells, The Time Machine.
I love this. Don't you love this? The thrill of picking! Like perfectly dislodging a dried hunk of snot from a heretofore wheezy nose. No, that's not the right metaphor... That'd be calling my Prose friends (which is to say the very best friends in the universe) a bunch of boogers, wouldn't it...
Wait a minute. Picking? I hate picking! I can't even choose a favorite song... and this is way worse. After all, songs aren't going to get overly quashed feelings if you inadvertently omit them from your haphazard collection of precious discoveries are they?... or if you mention them for that matter. Drat, I hadn't considered that; it could go either way couldn't it? I wouldn't want to sully anyone's reputation by association... Dash it all! Feed me to a startled flamingo! I'm not cut out for this...
Still... Even though there are far too many paragons of intellectually intimidating extravagance here to choose from, I suppose that at a certain point of querulous disquietude about the arbitrary connotations of excessive admiration, one has to simply get over oneself and state which of the gaudy lovelies actually clung to the mind-finger with the most perseverance, mustn't one? So, without further ado (and with sincere apologies to anyone contused, distressed, offended or otherwise revolted by my metaphorical ineptitude) here are a few selected scribes (out of many who shall yet remain unmentioned as a matter of intergalactic security) who have repeatedly dared to impress me over the years:
Front and foremost I must draw your unbridled attention to EugenPetrascu. Any dynamic explorer daring to swim too close to the depths of this mystical epitome of prurient pragmatism will discover a singularly startling plethora of timeless knowledge and artistic intensity. His candor will shock you, his style will immerse you, and his rapier wit will leave you speechlessly swooning in a peculiarly calming combination of utter dismay and sheer joy. It gets better; Recently, I have it on good authority that he's completed the amatory task of writing his very first novella in the English language, of which he's posted a small segment here on theProse.com, which is a must-see for lovers of innovative literature if ever there was one.
Secondly, for all you tenderfoots, greenhorns, neophytes, fledglings, abecedarians and anyone else wet behind the ears on this magnificent platform (and endowed with enough intrepid curiosity to follow me across the enchanted abyss into a brave new world of unknown belletristic enthusiasm and innumerable scholarly dangers,) my best advice would be to acquaint yourself with the inner machinations of one batmaninwuhan, without whose melange-spiced brilliance, telluric heroism and quick-tentacled humor I may not have survived the astral vortex of apocalyptic jejunity which so recently threatened to engulf my jovial pleonasm forevermore. So if you have the unfathomable good fortune to stumble across him during your Prose wanderings, please, observe, reflect, revere, take tea...(one lump or two?) Then, once you've discovered the answer to life, the universe and everything, ask him what the question is. For if any philosopher-king here among us knows how to ask the greatest questions, surely it is he.
Nextly I'd like you to stop by TWs dashingly provocative abode (beware of the medieval weaponry being forged there! Wordsmithy to the core that one...) and take in a liberal dose of sophisticated wit and flawlessly impenetrable moral fortitude, followed by a fantastically titillating shot of tenaciously trollish sagacity the likes of which would baffle even the most erudite of scholarly wizards. There are no adequate words to describe the depths of my affection for this gorgeous creature of the realm. The voraciously antagonistic duels which have transpired between us (perhaps more aptly referred to as lover's quarrels on my end) have been indispensable in concocting the quirky therapy-lounge vibe which has become a very fondly-anticipated aspect of the prose-village for me.
...And it is a village isn't it? (Ooo! Can I claim the prestigious title of village idiot?! I promise I won't let you down. Well, 'leastways I'll mean not to...)
I've often thought that if ever I were to wander uninvited into an artsy dinner party (you know the kind; one of those fancy wine and cheese dos you hear tell about in spheres of suave intellectualism) the four people I'd want most to see there are dctezcan; the quick-witted angel of merciful devotion, to take us under her all-encompassing wing of acceptance, bring us to the verge of tears and tranquility then make us chuckle heartily for the spontaneous joy of living, Uschibear to pose philosophical stumpers and relate to us matters of obscure knowledge and sovereign importance, BonnieBoo to interject an ingenious remark every now and then betwixt falling in love with the fireplace, until startled out of her reverie when called upon to spin a ripping yarn, which she would undertake with out reservation. The fourth participant would be rlove327 (even if he refuses to appreciate Ben Hur. After all, nobody's perfect.) to host the festivities with expert enthusiasm and entertain us all with bizarrely unimaginable wine and cheese pairings and impress us with old CD collections of the sort which would be dusty or scratched in other residences; here maintained like-new with pride. Then when the evening inevitably devolves from reputable gathering to swinging shindig, in stroll even more of my favorite deep-thinkers: Heartprints would be there in the corner befriending a wandering wolf spider and contemplating the morality of decadence, while JulienSorel would be absorbed by a self-inflicted ratiocination on the finer points of cheese coagulation and it's theoretical impact on the historical innovation of libraries. Speaking of history, ValiantRaptor47 would make a miraculous reappearance in the Prose forum to discuss the most fascinating new discovery he's unearthed in the world of historical observation and link it all together in a mysterious science fiction story. CEH4255 would be subsequently and sensibly be despairing on the current state of affairs, hearing the sounds of silence in the back of his mind while unbeknownstly exuding a secret optimism which seeps in to prop up all his fellow freethinkers when they least expect it. And AndyBetz would be there also, returned from his covert operation into the depths of humanity's disdain, making everybody uneasy with his keen scrutiny, shrewd observations and inconvenient truths.
We stagger out of the party a little better for wear, imbued with a warm sense of accomplishment for ever having been introduced to such grand souls.
Onwards on the tour you'll no doubt run across the all-knowing prophet of rhyme and reason, our very own quintessential bard; the man, the myth, the legend; my well-tempered homeboy fudo, who can usually be found humbly synthesizing masterpieces right smack bang in the middle of the local town square - but read fast kids, they don't last! (We've joked about it a lot but I'm officially dubbing the act of posting-then-deleting an astoundingly good piece of writing in quick succession "pulling a fudo" from now on..) Seriously though, if you're reading, thank you from the bottom of my cardiac tubes. You really do make this place shine so much brighter. See you later, Space Cowboy...
Finder doesn't go in much for these kinds of popularity contests; she prefers to find and be found by way of earnest hard-earned merit, so I will judge her here by her own high standards. It is in that spirit of discerning excellence which I must profess to adore her candid style; from exultant joy to bitter anguish, she has found and lived the gamut and arisen from the ashes to tell us starkly of her findings. But beyond her unparalleled prowess in finding, she is also truly an artist worthy of being found, by every reading novice who here seek honest insight into humanity's multi-shaded happenings.
This post is already getting preternaturally lengthy and I haven't even mentioned a fraction of my favorite prosers. I guess that's what you get for accepting a hair-brained lunatic such as myself for village idiot and guide in this futile endeavor of feebly incompetent introduction. I'm not doing them justice; all these fine souls. That's how this place is to me though; I get fleetingly obsessed with people then lose them in the throng and am happy to see them, as a prime example; tooldtocare wrote a three-volume sci-fi novella series ages ago which I didn't even get around to reading until last week. You should check that out now though. great stuff. No hope trying to bring any sort of structure of favoritism to this thing anymore, if there was he'd be up there near the top.
...Back in the olden times, when Prose was less a bustling metropolis and more a hastily scrawled scribble on a pirate's left butt-cheek (when I first got here that is) after I was welcomed by the fabled gatekeeper Sandflea68 (perhaps you've heard tell of the mysterious poetess; It is rumored that she still stops by from time to time..) then greeted by the resident wise-man of comedic relief; the infinitely amiable JimLamb, I was constantly agog with the fun of it all; struck not only by the attitude of good will and camaraderie embedded in the ethereally delectable soil here, but also by the timeless culture of philosophy and art which floods around the atmosphere like an extended age of enlightenment; by the poets, philosophers, artists, entertainers and tortured geniuses who emerged here miraculously like travelers to the promise land.
The first of these early paradigms who I remember becoming overzealously obsessed with is JD4. He doesn't post much these days (not to mention he's been guilty of pulling a fudo from time to time) but what he still has up is definitely worth a good hard perusal and no mistake. I'm at a bit of a loss for how to describe him.. It's like if the Williams (Blake and Shakespeare that is) melded into one celestial entity then had a brain child who grew a quick wit in the mad haze of modernity then cast his gaze back on a mystical battlefield of fervor and fantasy while simultaneously being voluntarily drowned in the dregs of Bulgakov's afternoon coffee and enjoying a smoke proudly bummed from Orwell's tweed coat pocket. ... okay maybe I should just refrain from attempting to describe the indescribable and let you see for yourself. He was a man... taken for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.
Among my similarly antiquated acquaintances there a few more who still stick out to me after all this time: RamonElCamino, whose uniquely abstract flair and fascinating turns of phraseology are fit to make the very heavens blaspheme with pride. Doesn't miss a beat that one, nor an opportunity for inserting an obscure pop-culture reference. Yiiip yiip yip yip, ahuh, ahuh...
Then there's voiceinthewind, a quietly astute songwriter, satirist, chess-whiz and explorer of the human condition who (though I've known him from the sidelines for many years) has recently become one of my favorite human beings of all time.
There are so many others of course. Characters of recurring esteem who I will kick myself for not mentioning earlier.
Huckleberry_Hoo for example, who ought to have been one of the very first mentioned! Though I'm quite sure he wouldn't go in for such highfalutin words of praise about his own honorable self without a darn toot'n refute or two. But don't let his earthly facade fool you; underneath all that southern charm resides a sly dog of literary genius, capable of transporting a reader directly into a vividly-told tale (tall or otherwise.)
And cripes, I almost forgot to mention Harry_Situation! also one of my earliest acquaintances here, responsible for writing highly entertaining and informative reviews, keeping us updated on cryptozoology reports and paleontology facts, for which many of us, myself included, look forward to with bated breath.
I can't believe I got this far down without mentioning Danceinsilence. I think he's done more than anyone else in recent years to introduce an air of community to this fine establishment. He was the instigator and organizer of our greatest collaboration novels, not to mention introduction interviews which helped us get to know our fellow travelers. I know he's officially left the site since the switch, but I've been seeing him making surreptitious appearances here and there, so I can only hope he's caught the incurable Prose addiction which blesses the lot of us dithering old-timers who can't ever seem to let this go in spite of our repugnance for change.
And with that, I give up this long-winded failure of a tour, and leave you to discover the rest of the timeless treasures and kindred spirits who inhabit this magical realm of literature enthusiasts for yourself.
So long, happy reading, and good luck traversing the chaos!
Written complaints for being omitted and/or (more likely) too egregiously or fervently mentioned shall be duly considered in the comment section and replied to with groveling apologies in proper accordance with the sniveling nature of the writer of this unforgivably abstruse presentation (though no edits shall be made, as the great Prose overlords forbid it.)