Reboot Check In: January

Have we already gotten through January? What the heck is up with that, guys?

So I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a check-in on the REBOOT thing. Just in this past month, there’s been a lot going on, and I still feel like I made the right decision with taking that word for this year.

Just in January I have:

– Gotten hit with huge work stress. As some of you may recall, I changed to this day job in March of last year, and this is the first “busy season” I’ve experienced. It’s been rough. BUT…

– Been writing a lot. Every day. It’s stuff that I’m doing for my own pleasure, but it’s still word output, which makes me happy.

– Been reading. I’ve particularly been reading, “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman. It’s beautiful and painful and magical, which is a good combination.

– Gotten involved in a NEW PROJECT. More details to come.

I think that the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that by coming back to things that are really important to me and that I’m really passionate about, and not just in a ‘oh yeah, I guess that could be good for me’ way…I just feel generally better. My productivity has sky-rocketed. I feel in control.

And that’s big for me, as a writer, and as a creative person.

So we’ll just have to see what the rest of the year holds, huh?

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5 Things I Learned from Chuck Palahniuk’s Book Event

In May, a friend and I went to see Chuck Palahniuk read from his new book Make Something Up. I arrived with a pen and notebook, ready to take notes from one of the masters of modern fiction.

Then, I was given a bag. In it was a beach ball and some glow sticks. I was told to write down my name on the ball, blow it up, and put the glow sticks inside. Adult note: have you had to blow up anything bigger than a balloon since you were a kid? What the heck, man.

I continued to expect a standard book event. I just figured this would be some sort of intellectual experiment. No problem. Moving on.

Then, Chuck showed up wearing a red silk bathrobe. When he started his talk, he said that he figured out he was the only one who got the memo about bedroom attire. Insert secret envy of how much more comfortable he was than me.

He continued on to say that if anyone in the audience wasn’t paying attention or was looking at that their phones while he was reading, he was “going to throw candy at their fucking heads.” He then proceeded to take out several Halloween-size bags of fun-size candies and hurled them through the auditorium. And I’m just going to tell you now that there are few things as terrifying as having the mind behind Fight Club chucking Reese’s cups at your cranium.

One of those other few terrifying things, however, was said literary mastermind explaining that the beach balls were going to be used to create a sort of real-life, human-scale lottery machine in which all the balls would be thrown into the center (where I was sitting) and a random one would be picked for prizes. He would play music (mostly 80s and some Abba as I recall) and we just had to…keep them going. In the dark.

This occurred at least 4 times during the night.

I never found that pen again.

So the five things I learned about readings?

1. Create an atmosphere of excitement and fun. People will be engaged not only with you but with each other.

2. Bring prizes. Guests will kill for them. It will be awesome.

3. Have something to break up reading pieces. You can be the best writer in the world, but after a while, words become words become words. Sound loses meaning. Have an event to wake people up and get their minds moving again.

4. Wear what you want. The more memorable, the better.

5. Defy expectation. With candy.

5 Things You Can Buy for Less than $15 to Help You Relax

If you are a fan of bohemian.on.rye, you know I love lists of 5 things. 5 things that one can do, 5 things that are awesome, 5 things I learned from some book/movie/etc. So this is my debut “5 things” post for all you lovelies.

1. Kinetic Sand

It’s not just for kids. The soft texture of this substance is extremely soothing to play with. I keep some on hand for when I am feeling especially anxious.

2. Bath bombs from Lush

Sex Bomb

So this one can be a bit of a slippery slope, because once you try pretty much anything from Lush, you’re going to be hooked. These extremely fragrant, fun balls will make your bath not only smell and feel great, but they look awesome.

3. Try Next Issue

https://i1.wp.com/imgs.zinio.com/magimages/500299025/2015/416338244_370.jpg

I recently discovered this service, and I am hooked. Because I love buying magazines, but once I read them, I tend to keep giant stacks. For $10 a month, you can peruse a sizable catalog of monthly magazines and download new ones as they come out. Now when I’m feeling a bit too frazzled to get into a book, I’ll find a new magazine and flip through it on my tablet or smart phone.

4. A skein of yarn and some knitting needles

I learned how to knit on Saturday, and I can’t stop. It’s such a mindless activity that can give me a place to focus unwanted energy.

5. A video game on Steam

I love video games. I’m not a hardcore gamer, but I know what I like, and when I’m in a tense state of mind, nothing helps me blow off steam (har har) more than a few puzzle games. One of the great things about Steam is there is something for everyone (Sonic? Dragon’s Lair? Super Meatboy?) and there are frequent sales. You can pick up great games for pennies on the dollar at the right times.

What splurges do you allow yourself when you need to chill?

#30Lists – Day 6-8

Played catch-up a bit here. The themes here were Books I Would Like to Read (or, as I title it, Why I Am Bad at Reading), Inside Jokes, and Trends Making a Comeback (that I approve of).

To explain Day 6 because I am horribly insecure — I have not read all of the HP books. At that time in my life, they got kind of bowled over by life, school, college, etc. And LotR — the reason I haven’t actually read it is because that was, in my childhood, like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. My dad would tell me the stories of those three books, so I was never drawn to read them from start to finish, if that makes sense. The other books are The Pigeon Needs a Bath, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and On Writing (also started but never finished).

Untitled

Books!

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I can hear a voice in my head scoffing, but I’m going to ask this anyway: have you ever been in the process of reading a book (or two) for so long that once you’re done, you just feel…lost?

That is my problem currently.

I finally finished both “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” and “Water for Elephants.” Following up either of those will be difficult, I imagine, because they were both absolutely amazing.

So, dear readers, what is on your nightstand right now? Or in your purse? Or in your hands? What are you reading that I should be reading?