A week of observations: P4

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!

A week of observations: P3

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.

A week of observations: P2

It was another long but rewarding week, and here are a few things I learned (digression: making lists is my new thing – I’ve been making all kinds of lists lately, and they’ve been bringing me great joy. Lists are highly recommended. If we get a Yelp for random things the way we’re getting a Yelp for people, I would give Lists 5 stars). That said, my week of lessons in a list:
  • Starbucks is fast food (and expensive fast food at that, but the new drive-thrus are freaky cool)
  • I can’t do it all; it’s okay to turn down work
  • Emu oil can cure almost anything
  • Strange is okay
  • Freelancing work may not pick up for years, but when it picks up, it picks up fast
  • Travel is necessary for artists
  • It’s good to practice what I prescribe
  • Not everyone has to “get” everyone else… let it be
  • Sleep is necessary for sanity
  • Complaining doesn’t help anything
  • There’s a National Coffee Day and I am its newest self-appointed ambassador
  • Opportunities come in groups
  • Sometime you need to tell people to shut up, even if you don’t know them (but only if they’re being horribly inappropriate)
  • Investing a little time in organizational efforts reduces a lot of paper shuffling time later
  • I am a sugar addict (it’s bad – I need help)
  • Having more than one full-length manuscript complete when submitting work is a very comforting feeling (good vibes are welcome)
  • Making lists keeps me on track
Writing prompt: Try writing a list poem. It can turn the way of flash, or not. I like the idea of writing a list of things in a junk drawer, as outlined on Poetry Soup. But this can be a mere catalyst. 

A week of observations

  • If you’re allergic to avocados, you’re allergic to guacamole
  • You don’t have to do ALL the Zumba/yoga/HIT moves
  • You keep saying you’re going to be more consistent with this blog, just a reminder
  • Dog park people are almost always nice
  • Good teachers are rare and valuable, and the world needs to start respecting them
  • The internet just might be an actual black hole
  • If you don’t plan to stay long at the party, bring cookies instead of wine
  • Be patient when trying to catch fast spiders
  • When you work six jobs, you’ll occasionally forget which one you’re supposed to be doing
  • The second person perspective is perfectly okay when referring to self in lists
  • When you have talented friends, they will forever release new and exciting work. Here are two friends’ works that you can’t wait to read:
  •  These writers’ words are why you do what you do:

Taken at the Guadalupe Home (graduates of Gemini Ink’s 2015 WIC Writing Workshops reading their poems)

Writing prompt: Write your own week in a list. Pick one item and write a story about it. Maybe pick a few.

After the Gazebo by Jen Knox



Fox Chase Review

after_the_gazeboPaperback: 185 pages

Publisher: Rain Mountain Press; First edition (May 31, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1495106128

ISBN-13: 978-1495106125

Review by g emil reutter


There are many sides to life, Jen Knox, an observer, brings to our attention the stories of people we may not normally see. There is the lady on the bus who speaks to everyone on her way to visit her recovering daughter, not sure if the clean and drug free daughter will be there or the other daughter. Her nervousness results in speaking to people on the bus. She gets to know the regulars, speaks to new folks if they like it or not. She brings gifts to those she gets to know on the regular route of this bus. The character knows people who takes buses don’t have cars. The tension builds in the story, as in all stories in this collection, with an unpredictable…

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Van Gogh’s Ear – Volume 9 [Kindle Edition] Tina Faye Ayres (Editor)


Van Gogh's Ear - Volume 9 (The Original Van Gogh's Ear) [Kindle Edition] Tina Faye Ayres (Editor) Van Gogh’s Ear – Volume 9 (The Original Van Gogh’s Ear) [Kindle Edition]
Tina Faye Ayres (Editor)

Book Description

 January 15, 2015
Founded by Ian Ayres, Van Gogh’s Ear: Best World Poetry, Prose & Art is an annual anthology series devoted to publishing powerful works by major voices and innovative new talents from around the globe. The goal of Van Gogh’s Ear is to make each volume a real eye-opener that stirs people’s emotions and ignites their imaginations. Experimental work is warmly embraced. Taboos extremely encouraged. In this volume you will find:POETRY BY : Joel Allegretti, Frances Ayres, Ian Ayres, Lytton Bell, Brenton Booth, Tim J. Brennan, Boots Bryant, Helene Cardona, Dane Cervine, Miles Chaney, Sue Clennell, Virginie Colline, Cassandra allett, Olivier Deprez & Miles O’Shea, Lisa Dordal, John Fitzgerald, A Flick of the Grail – Mark Fleury, Karen Foster, Howie Good, Tyler Knott Gregson, Mary Ann…

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