I was lucky enough to do some travelling. I went down to Pensacola for five days by car through the middle of the United States. Wow. That is a ton of driving. When I would sleep at night I would dream about merging into the left lane and back to the right. All my readers who are lucky enough to live next to the ocean, I tip my nonexistent hat to you. The sounds of the waves are a godlike muse for me. The reflection of the sun might as well be some sort of beam to a creative nirvana. I feel like Jeff Bridges character from the Big Lebowski. I’m like in total harmony, man.
- The road trip was like driving through a new world every single day. Some details were always the same. The sky was always crushing the soil out of the earth. The night was covered in stars, like a kid’s bedroom after a trip to a museum gift shop. It was nice for me at this moment to go on this trip, because I needed some new imagery in my mind for my writing. After hours of green, yellow, and brown fields, and the lurking springtime of farmland USA, I could sense the natural world ready to make fireworks. This is an empowering feeling for me. It made me excited to go home and work even harder at my blog, books, and everything else. Writing and the natural world will always be symbiotic.
- I have a big reading coming up at North Hennepin Community College on Thursday, March 23rd from 10 – 11 am. There is a picture of me up on a poster before I had my twin sons up around campus. How I look now is completely different, which is funny. Parenting twins is not for the faint of heart, and my physical appearance has shouldered the stress. I’m hoping I can start taking care of myself as they get older, but who knows. Most days it is hard for me to tell if I’m using the babies for an excuse to be unhealthy, or if the busyness is doing it. Regardless, I’m so lucky to have them. I love them dearly. They’re everything I dreamed about, but I barely remember the last two years of my life. I’ve heard after age two they get a bit easier.
- On vacation I was sort of cut-off from media, which was kind of nice by the way. I was unable to watch Netflix, or broadcast television really. We had cable at the condo I stayed at, but things were always in flux, wild, or crazy with the four kids, so it wasn’t like I could concentrate on the TV for more than a few minutes. Even though I’m on the low end when it comes to media and distribution, I still like to watch all the new television shows and movies because they give me a sense of where modern storytelling is going. I like to think of them as research. Many of these storytellers are working at the pinnacle of their specific style. They’re restricted by studios and budgets, but they also have a room of writers working for them. These creators are susceptible to the same sociological forces as me from our socioeconomic status. This will be reflected in their stories, and I want to know how.
- One thing writing this blog has taught me, is how if you have a major weakness like impatience, which I most certainly do, you can turn this into an asset with modern technology. Often, I hear negative assessments of social media and our Wi-Fi lifestyle. Our short attention spans are killing us. Due to all this technology and convenience, we’re losing the hardened, gargoyle-like discipline of previous generations. I’m happy to have this rigidity dissolving off me like an outer shell of some evil alien from a 90’s SNES shooter. The reason I blog so much is not only to get my writing out there and to help people with free content, but it is also immediate and rewarding. I can post four, five, or even seven times a week. My impatience is suited to this technology, which is the same reason why planes, trains, and automobiles were invented.
- I’ve been wanting to make sure I talk about craft and writing during one of my musings, so I think I’ll dedicate one spot to it each week. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do have some knowledge I think is helpful about writing. Whether you apply the lessons and values of the classes to your writing is one thing, but studying the habits and tendencies of other writers sheds some light on your own processes. Literature classes for me were always helpful. They created equations for my storytelling that I think didn’t even exist. Creative writing taught me how to create the figures needed to calculate, and literature showed me the result. Even if you take one class on writing at a community center, you’d be surprised how a little education about metaphor can affect your plot devices. If there were anything true about writers, it is that we’re very observant and susceptible to critical thought.
Mindless self-promotion: It is that time of the week again where I mindlessly promote my deals in a great effort to make a living off my writing. Currently, I have four books on sale for a buck on the Kindle: Beware the Ills, The Greenland Diaries, Seven Monster, and DOL 39. I’ve been publishing a lot of great fiction for free on here, which you can read anytime you want. Also, I’ve updated my Patreon rewards. You can even suggest story ideas as part of becoming a patron. Give it a look. If you like these stories on this blog, my books, and my messages, Patreon is the best way to support me. Have a great week.