Literary uphemisms for masturbation

1. Blurbing yourself

2. Burying the lede

3. Challenging Alexander Pushkin to a one-handed duel

4. Coaxing Salinger to come out and play

5. Coming up with a gripping plot twist

6. Conjugating the verb

7. Cooking up a big oily batch of Victory Gin

8. Dangling your participles

9. Deconstructing The Fountainhead

10. Dipping your madeleine into Proust’s tea

11. Finishing the first draft by hand

12. Freelancing for the glossies

13. Getting just a little too into pictures of Dorian Gray

14. Giving it a first pass

15. Giving the protagonist some internal conflict

16. Giving your narrative a Faustian theme

17. Having a strong opinion in your writing workshop about the power of symbolism

18. A Heartbreaking Wank of Staggering Spunkage

19. Hiding Rushdie from the Muslim assassins

20. Hunting for treasure in Injun Joe’s cave

21. Interrogating JT LeRoy and his five accomplices

22. Jack Kerou-whacking

23. Joining the Beat Generation

24. Launching a ship to the holy city of Byzantium

25. Listening to Portnoy complain

26. Looking for clues with Tintin and Snowy

27. Mangling the English translation

28. Mixing your metaphors

29. Much A-Goo About Nothing

30. Oliver’s Twist

31. Palahniukin

32. Paying extra for the hardcover

33. Paying the bills with a hack novelization

34. Paying yourself in contributor copies

35. Picking the pull-quotes

36. Pinning Garp with a Half Nelson

37. Polishing Nick Hornby’s head

38. Pottering your Chamber of Secrets

39. Print-on-demand

40. Proofreading the galleys

41. Putting out Polyphemus’ one good eye

42. Putting the “wad” back into “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow”

43. Querying the editor

44. Rattling your stick inside a swill bucket

45. Reading poetry aloud

46. Recouping losses incurred by the Publishers Group West bankruptcy

47. Saying yes, yes, oh god yeeeeees to Ulysses

48. Shooting at Joan Burroughs with your flesh musket

49. Shooting your own author’s photo

50. Signing the first edition

51. Skimming the Cliff Notes

52. Slapstick (or: ’93Lonesome No More ’94)

53. Spanking the Monkey (sometimes known as “Spanking Arthur Waley’s translation of Journey to the West “)

54. Splitting infinitives

55. Stocking the remainder table

56. Tap-tap-tapping at your chamber door (only this and nothing more)

57. The other lonely impulse of delight

58. Touring Rosings with Mr. Collins

59. Transforming Gregor Samsa into a monstrous vermin

60. Using the passive voice

61. Varnishing your Booker Prize



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