Well, we’re in the thick of it now. The holidays are here. The fog of Christmas jingles and chained lights is omnipresent. Having children has made me appreciate Christmas more, and my parents for having dealt with the stress of the season. It is not easy.
- Right before Thanksgiving I was invited back to my old high school Irondale to speak to a few mythology classes about writing and monsters. I had not been back there for 15 years. It was a little surreal. The students were great. I spoke to one class before lunch, and one after. The one beforehand was super interested, talkative, and fans of monsters. The second was certainly suffering from a food coma and were a bit quieter. Talking to high school students was a bit more intimidating, because I could tell that the strains of their social environment was causing some shyness. I remember those days.
- I have to dedicate multiple musings to this experience. One must be about my own perspective about high school, which I think is shared by many people. I was never my own self in high school, I was completely ruled by the social norms of popularity and fitting-in. I forced myself to play football, weight lift, and dress normally. I befriended people I had nothing in common with; therefore, I became their emotional punching bag. I was bullied by people I thought liked me. I never pursued my interests like gaming, writing, and literature. It wasn’t until my senior year that I met a friend who shared my interests.
- Last thoughts on high school. I thought going back there would be a wash of memories and nostalgia, but it really wasn’t. Sure, I had a few of those moments, walking down the same pale highways with quiet bricks and emblems of maroon knights hanging from the ceilings. Overall though, seeing how much time had passed made me realize how far away and powerless this portion of my life had become. It was over. I went and talked to my old drawing teacher who I got to know very well. He didn’t remember me. It was hilarious. It made me more aware of memory vs time.
- I was fortunate to be one of the many great authors at Utepils Brewery this past weekend. It was a great experience selling books and watching people enjoy the brewery, which was super nice. The Greenland Diaries continues to sell. I’ve sort of accepted that as my project of the now and I’m giving it all my energy. It is always amazing at these events to see how people are pursuing their dreams. Being part of this group of creative people is always an honor.
- This week on Craft Corner I wanted to talk about outlining your reading. Having done the two lectures with the high school students, I realized you have to kind of discover for yourself what kind of public speaker you are through experience. For me, I need to have a bare outline to keep me on track, but not too much detail or else it sounds too formulaic. I had to learn this the hard way. The only way to get good at public speaking is to do it, just like anything else in life. I’ve got a reading coming up in December, so I’m sure you’ll see a bunch more notes about this scenario. You sort of fixate on it.
- It is crazy that high school students no longer use paper or pens, but Chromebooks. When I did my writing prompt with them, they needed writing utensils because they never bring them along. Times change.
- Thanksgiving was great. Ate way too much. Passed out. Holidays are brutal.
- It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the show Baskets. Louis CK is a producer on it, and he has been rightfully banished from the entertainment world for being disgusting. Whatever happens, the highlight is still Louie Anderson’s perfect recreation of a Minnesota mom. Honestly, some of the lines he speaks are right out of my mom’s mouth.
- I hope everyone is having a safe holiday season. Take care of yourselves.