October 27, 2014 § 2 Comments
Some recently read works and pieces you may enjoy:
- “The Crying Man” by Nick Arvin (Ploughshares, Fall 2014) — In this short story, a man cries uncontrollably everywhere — at work, while traveling, at home — over the impending end of his marriage.
- Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch (2014) — A book-length poem on Hirsch’s son’s untimely death of a drug overdose in New York City during Hurricane Irene. Heartfelt, painful, and painted in grief.
- “How to Write a Sentence” by James Thomas (The New Yorker, October 24, 2014) — A satiric spin on how to right good so you’re sentences are well constructing.
- “Social Media Isn’t Free” by Allison Williams (“Nonfiction” blog, Brevity Magazine, October 27, 2014) — As someone who is just beginning to orbit the Twittersphere, I’m trying to determine how best to use my time to promote the writers, artists, organizations, ideas, and projects I love, even when my work isn’t noticed by the same people and places I Twitter about. Williams’s essay is a fantastic read for those writers who do their best to support the literary magazines and publishers they love but also could use a little love back, even if it’s just to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
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Today I discovered that there is a book called Sometimes You Barf. I thought all the poop, snot, and gas tomes on the children’s picture-book market had covered this topic, but it appears it’s been overlooked until now.
I foresee a series and recommend someone write any or all:
- Sometimes You Inhale a Snoutful of Chlorine at the Water Park
- Sometimes You Can’t Trust Your Friend Carl
- Sometimes You Pass Out
- Sometimes You Smell Like Garlic and Old Sweat Socks
- Sometimes You Sizzle the Tips of Your Fingers to a Crisp with Firecrackers
- Sometimes You Go to a Foreign Country and You Inadvertently Eat a Tapeworm
- Sometimes You Slice off a Friend’s Ear When Using Saws for Swordplay
- Sometimes You are on a Plane and Think the Aircraft is Crashing When Really It’s Only Turbulence, So Just Calm Down Already
- Sometimes You Think It’s Okay to Pet a Cat
- Sometimes Your Appendix Bursts
February 20, 2014 § 9 Comments
Next week’s work trip? Cancelled.
Fun project at work? Assigned to me.
Two pounds of carrots? Peeled.
My run? Pain-free (fingers crossed it’s not a fluke).
Concert? Cancelled. But what did I get to do instead? Watch the men’s ski cross finals. And what happened to the mustache? He crashed in the semi-finals.
And the snow? Mesmerizing.
February 14, 2014 § 3 Comments
January 26, 2014 § 3 Comments
Happy Australia Day from a magical region 9,000 miles northeast of (and 120 degrees colder than) the land of Oz.
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I didn’t eat any Vegemite today, but I did get a temporary tattoo.
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With Australia weighing happily on my mind this afternoon, I pulled out stacks of old photos from my excursions Down Under to visit my dear friend Kristen in 2000 and 2004.
These were the days before digital cameras (at least the days before I owned one). Although the quality is marginal, these images bring back heartwarming memories — one visit prior to starting grad school, the other upon graduation; one visit to meet the new boyfriend, the next after their marriage; carefree days spent with my fearless pal who moved to the other side of the world just because she wanted to.
Kristen and her husband and two children live here now, but I still want to jet to the continent that brought me as close to Antarctica as I’m likely to get. Next time I’ll visit Queensland and Ayers Rock. And I’ll head straight back to Tasmania, one of my favorite places on earth. I’ll rent another cottage along the Tasman Sea, write ridiculous stories, gaze at the sunrise, run past the sheep grazing along the shore, and befriend curious, sleepy marsupials.
January 24, 2014 § 2 Comments
Minnesota has been granted a short reprieve from the bitter temperatures enveloping the state all winter, and many are out tonight embracing the falling snow.
On nights like this, everything is lit up and incredibly peaceful, the sky an eerie gray-white. It brings back memories of my childhood and the unbridled joy of a winter storm, which brought with it snowball fights, snowmen, forts, outdoor hockey, and the occasional snow day.
The cold returns in earnest tomorrow morning with temperatures dipping lower and lower as each day fades into the next.
So if you live in these parts or in an area where snow is falling, step outside and savor this opportunity to be blanketed in white. Run or ice skate or slide down hills with your kids or just stand still, staring up into the sky.
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Snowy nights = pretty lights:
January 9, 2014 § 5 Comments
I had a lovely dream last night. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was a recurring dream, one I’ve had for nearly two decades. Although the people involved, the venue, the clothes, etc., change each time, the theme and sad, anxiety-filled ending does not.
But last night the finale was different. It ended happily for the first time ever. It wasn’t a premonition — I’m not sure I believe in those — but today I definitely feel more buoyant and hopeful, like my subconscious is signaling that the course of my life is changing.
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Five highlights from a typical January Thursday:
- The temperatures are rising, and nearly every stranger’s mood — postal workers, dog walkers, waiters, customer service workers — seems brighter.
- My tires are constantly low in these frigid temperatures, and finding air pumps that work is nearly impossible during a cold snap. But I brought my car to a local garage today where the mechanics are always friendly and fill up the air for free. It takes them only about one minute, but I appreciate it so much.
- Dinner and conversation with a good friend.
- Homemade chocolate-chip cookies made late last night.
- This tree, heavy with rotten, baseball-sized apples after weeks of wind, snow, and cold:
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I want these for Presidents’ Day or Mardi Gras or Valentine’s Day or the first day of spring: