Friday, September 12, 2014
In the meantime, here's a new short story. It's on transference and what it means to let go of those you look to for definition, especially when it's family. Read it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Kobo.
I'm moving this weekend, so I'll keep it short (Take my advice, and never move. Never, never!). Lots to do, but I am happy to now have a place where the pup will have a backyard. I'll post pics soon. :)
Here's a writing prompt that I came up with after a strange incident:
Write a story about a character who is doing something routine (e.g., taking a walk, taking out the trash) when a dog begins to chase him/her. The character runs off-course and continues to run until s/he is in an area of town never before explored. It could be as surreal or normal a place as you'd like, but tell the story of running into something new after running away... Go!
Enjoy your week!
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Have a beautiful weekend, all! And if you're in the states, enjoy the extra day.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
- If you have a bunch of books to sell to Half-price or another such place, take them in installments. They will give you the exact same amount for two boxes (at least around here) as they will one.
- Double-check the donation box for things you actually want to keep before handing it over. It’s really embarrassing to say, oh, actually, can I have that one dress back?
- The unpacked boxes from the last move probably don’t need to move with you because they’ll probably remain unpacked. Unload the unneeded.
- Try to get a lot done on the weekends and not continuously ask your boss to leave early during lay-off season.
- Research the best set-top boxes and streaming for Internet and cable (there’s a lot of value variance).
- If you write, still make time to write, even though you have less than half of half of the time you used to.
Monday, August 11, 2014
I returned from Nebraska after a brief but great visit with my father and step-mom, and I feel renewed. To be completely honest, I didn't feel so great before I left. I felt numb a lot of the time, going through the motions. Not depressed, not sad. Just not much of anything. I explained this to a few folks, and they said it was likely burnout. Judging from the fact that the trip helped so much, I think they were on to something. I came back to some tough news, potentially scary news, but instead of feeling panic and instead of feeling nothing, I just felt okay. Some time to write: that's the cure.
Below is a poem I wrote for and in honor of the Art Farm, a residency like no other. I recommend it to the hardest-core of hardcore writers (badasses only). Below that is some lit news and a short prompt. I wish you all a wonderful week.
Here is a prompt based on my time at the Art Farm:
Write about excess. A character whose life is over-filled with stuff is forced to live without. How does s/he change? There is a lot of potential here to use humor.
Literary news: New fiction is forthcoming in Per Contra (read the current issue for some great work!) and elsewhere. More soon...
Sunday, July 27, 2014
I am in my last week at the Art Farm residency, and it's finally a nice, cool day. We had some days so humid they seemed to squeeze you like a lemon while multiplying the already-prevalent bugs and insects that seem to dive-bomb here.
I wanted to share a writing prompt because it seems something that could cross over to other aspects of life and, more, it seems to be my first no-fail method to get something meaningful on the page. Of course it is simple:
Sit down with computer or pen and pad and cellphone. Set the alarm for 10 minutes. Open an old piece (something in-progress or old; or, if you have nothing, read a short story and pick up where the writer left off, keep going with the characters). The prompt is only this: write for the full 10 minutes. Nonstop. Set the alarm and don't allow yourself to move or stop. Then, if on a roll, reset after the alarm sounds. Simple. Works miracles.
I'm up to page 60 on the new novel, and I attribute this largely to this method because, oddly, I can feel very busy at Art Farm and get distracted. I have had work here and an odd allergic reaction to something that has given me bad hives... all these things could be excuses, but no. I wrote. And I did not make it negotiable. Here are a few more images from Nebraska...
Back to the fun stuff for now... I visited Aurora for the first time yesterday and helped an artist friend set up at the farmer's market. There seems a dynamic community here, with a strong motorcycle culture, which is great for my character Rattle (who can plan these things?!).
Other interesting new facts about Nebraska:
- There is a town called Worms, which contains a bar called Nightcrawlers and a church.
- Most of the corn around me is ethanol corn.
- It seems, everyone loves the Cornhuskers.
- North Platte has a rich history and a book about it, and I have met a lot of folks with colorful stories about it (too bad I won't get a chance to visit).
- Marilyn Monroe and butter is all over everything at LuLu's Steakhouse in Chapman, NE, where the chicken friend steak is as big as the plate and a single waitress runs the joint on a Saturday night.
- There is every type of tick known to man here.
- Raccoons should not be out in daylight.
Have a great week, and I wish you phenomenal weather where you are.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
who was planning to pick up two bison skulls that play some role in a traditional Native American sun dance, which, she says, she’s done ten years running. She invited me, but I don’t want to commit myself for so many days of my residency. That said, I was tempted and I was glad to spend a day with her to pick her brain a little. Experience is everything, and mine has been so limited in general.