Monthly Archives: August 2014

Writing Tip: Shoe Commercials Are Sometimes Right

Just do it.

Excuses really are boring.

Put your head down and try to get it done and see what happens.

Cathedral of Learning Google Glass Video!

Just published. Check it out!

Monday 8/25/14: What Am I Doing?

mondaydoing08252014Watching: The Leftovers – So far, I’ve only watched the pilot, and I’m at least intrigued enough to keep going some more. Although this cult has been dubbed The Most Boring Cult in the World. And they follow around Some of the Most Boring People in the World. But, like I said, I’m going to keep watching a bit. It could all end up being the Misadventures of the Interesting People and an Interesting Cult!

Loving: Baseball – I went out and played softball on Saturday. I had so much fun, you guys. I felt like a kid again. It brought back a lot of old memories of playing baseball with my Dad, and it honestly made me miss doing sports. How do adults even do sports?

Reading: How to Be Interesting by Jessica Hagy – This topic is very important to me! Can you imagine how awful I would be if I were boring? I’d be the worst.

Hearing: Sparks by Imogen Heap – I have been a diehard IH fan since I graduated in 2007. A friend of mine gave me the soundtrack to the Last Kiss with Zach Braff, and I was hooked. This album is a great continuation of the style from Ellipse, but with some awesome electronic sound to it. Favorite track: The Listening Chair.

Doing: Poetry – No matter how serious I am about poetry, there’s a part of my brain that just imagines Dot from Animaniacs in the Dot’s Poetry Corner skits. But no, listen, I’m getting in the mode for this event on September 14 in Pittsburgh. City of Asylum will be hosting their fifth annual all day outdoor reading, “I Don’t Know What I’d Do, If I Couldn’t Speak My Mind” and I’ll be actually reading stuff. You should keep an eye out on my Facebook page and click that Like button so you can find out the deets. To get ready, I am dedicating my writing work for the next few weeks to poetry. Cool, right? I hope so.

It’s Monday. What are you doing?

Finder’s Fridays: Chris Pratt is Perfect

This week has been not really fun or awesome in the news. It’s like, every time I look, there’s something really horrible happening. And I’ve been depressed anyway, so it hasn’t helped.

Then I found this on Tumblr. Chris Pratt – true to his word from a prior interview – went to visit a children’s hospital in LA dressed like Starlord.

Guys. I am legit crying here. Not just the Internet-y ‘this is making me take on all the feels’ but like…I have tears streaming down my freaking face. So, here, go look at this on the Time site.

Chris Pratt visits the Lego Kid at LA Children's Hospital

Fifteen Minute Fiction: Night Riders

You know the drill. Tonight’s prompt: Write about stealing time. And yes, it’s the character from last week. Because I can.

“What took you so long to respond?”

My fingers hover over the numbers on my cell phone. It’s awful. It’s so old that I still have to hit a number 2-3 times to get the letter I need. I have to be slow and deliberate with each sentence I write. “You know I’m not around until around six or so.” This time of year, anyway.

“Yeah, that’s right, you have that awful job, or whatever.”

I nibble on my lip a bit and look around. I know she’s in Canada but I feel like she’ll be able to tell I’m lying. That I’m always, always, always lying to her. “Haha. Yup. But it pays the bills so there’s that.”

“What are you up to for the rest of the night?”

I get comfortable in my seat on the bus. I just barely made it in time to board. I’m going to ride to the middle of nowhere, get out, find somewhere else to go and get checked in before dawn. If I have to find another ditch or, worse, dig a hole to get into, I’m going to lose my mind. “Just hanging out. Maybe watch some House re-runs.”

“I love that show. I can’t believe it ended.”

“It was about time.” Somebody boards with a dog in a little carrier. It looks at me and goes ballistic. The old woman shushes it and looks at me like I must have made it freak out, like it’s my fault. I drop my eyebrows and give her a nasty glare. It’s only when she disappears to the back that the piercing yips fade out, like the last dots of an ellipses.

“Want to watch it together?”

My throat tightens. I straighten up in my seat, feel very conscious of the fact that I was not expecting this. I try to relax. “Aw, baby. You and I don’t have the same channels. US, remember?”

“Oh yeah. I forget sometimes.”

If I had a pulse, it would be drumming. I let the brief panic pass. “I wish I was there.” It’s true. I do. But I think about what it would be like, all the explaining, all the words and restrictions. I try to imagine what I would be like, if it were the other way around. Having this strange girl who you knew once show up at your door, and she’s at once everything you knew about her and yet nothing at all.

“Me too. I wish you could come visit.”

I consider the logistics of getting a passport. Could you do that at night? Could I just do it online? I could still use my name, right? Maybe, but nothing else. I think about walking up the river from New York to Canada. Taking paths through the wilderness. But where could I bed down during the day? I don’t like the idea of ground so cold you can’t dig through it. I’m uncomfortable now. I try not to let that show. “Maybe sometime. When I have the money.”

“I could send you some.”

“Honey, I don’t want your money.”

“If it meant I could have you here with me, I would pay anything.”

I feel guilty. I feel deceitful. I feel…I feel…I feel…

I stare at the phone for too long. It buzzes again. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

What does that even mean, now?

As the bus pulls away, I’m grateful for poor reception, for shorter texts and longer waits. I hope she’ll get over me. I hope she doesn’t think about it too much, because all I have is time to think and it’s no good.

Finder Friday: 5 Things Worth Reading

It’s Friday. Aren’t you glad? I know I am. This has not been a great week in the news. I’d like to say things can only get better, but saying that sort of thing out loud never ends well. Or typing it.

Here are a few things I found this week that you might want to check out:

1. Robin Williams and Why Funny People Kill Themselves — Sorry this one isn’t particularly cheery. Definitely not the normal Cracked.com fare. Thoughtful and well-written and so very, very true.

2. How Not to Write Your First Novel — Lev Grossman’s honest, poignant look back at his early twenties. I feel that any person who mocks millenials for their quarterlife crisis should give this a read. Every generation goes through this. This one just happens to have Instagram.

3. 10 Simple Ways to Become a Better Writer — Don’t let the simple title fool you. This one is a treat. I like 4, 6 and 10 the most.

4. How to Put on Your Face by Anna Akana — Again, not what you’re expecting. Believe me. Is that the theme for this week? Or just coincidence?

5. Notes from Austin Kleon’s Tumblr Office Hours — Read this. All. Of. This. Now. Please.
Did you know I actually already shared this in my weekly newsletter, “How to Have a Day Job”? You can hear about that sort of awesome stuff and more tips on maintaining your writer’s/painter’s/sketcher’s/whatever’s spirit by signing up right here!