What I learned this week, and a prompt:
- The advice given others can be quite useful when repackaged and delivered back.
- Flow is only possible with focus. Focus is necessary.
- Gyms are great. Go figure.
- There are days when everything sounds like a good idea, then there are days when everything promised needs delivered on and half of it no longer seems like a good idea.
- Running is far more pleasant in chilly temperatures.
- Deep-fried cookie dough exists, and it really should not exist.
- Sweater dresses are not very flattering in general, but they look good on a hanger.
- Black and white photos can make anyone look cool, even when said person forgot to tuck in her shirt (see me reading at Viva Tacoland with my shirt half hanging out).
- Everything seems simpler on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.
- Magical thinking exists for good reason.
- Interviews are damn fun.
- The elderly couple who workout in jeans are more motivation than the iron men and women of the fitness club.
- Dyslexia can be a real PITA, but it’s not something to dwell on.
- The guy who works at the coffee shop and doesn’t drink coffee should keep that fact to himself.
- Writing is hard but worth it.
As I work on the next author interview, I want to offer a simple prompt:
Find something you’ve kept for a long time, a memento or even just a strange accessory you refuse to throw away, a broken bracelet or a belt that you’ve tied around a stuffed animal’s belly… whatever. Pick something in your home that you’ve had for more than a few years. Describe it in detail. Now think about why you still have this thing – what value does it hold? Exaggerate this, give the object to a character and write about why s/he has it for 20 minutes. Nonstop. This is November, people! Go!
Or not… (there’s a smart in smart ass, right?) New piece at Carbon Culture Review
With an extra hour to write and reflect, I figured I’d make a blog list. It’s my new thing. Here’s what I learned/remembered this week:
- Saying, “Thanks, that what I intended” in a super low voice is the best way to receive a compliment
- 5Ks are much easier if a dog is pulling you along
- Buying cheap candy means being stuck with cheap candy
- Getting your short story collection nominated for the Pen/Faulkner is like eating warm bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla
- It’s always good to have an extra pair of shoes in the car
- To Do lists are only helpful when they’re realistic; otherwise, they are a source of anxiety
- Putting all recurring characters in a single story is awkwardly delicious
- NaNoWriMo could be any month
- If the conversation is awkward, walking away abruptly is a natural end
- Pot pie can’t be dressed up
- The right frame can be tough to find
- People are almost never who they seem
- Ice and heat, in the right combination, can cure most minor ailments
- Handstands after thirty are an exercise in fearlessness – but they shouldn’t be rushed
Writing prompt: Write the opening to the next great novel. Just the opening, a mere paragraph. Make that paragraph the best paragraph you’ve ever written. The next day, read that paragraph and continue to write. 20 minutes minimum. See what happens.