The Bones are Strong

Last night I finished a personal essay. One thousand one hundred and ninety eight words, as it stands.  I had to drink a lot of whiskey.

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I almost didn’t write it, but I was kindly bullied by a Twitter friend. She gave me a deadline. She encouraged me. She put me on the spot.

Like Lizzy Bennet, I never avoid challenges. I laugh in the face of danger. Until I cry.  Continue reading

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New Tricks

The thing about social media, about using it, is that people can respond to each other. That’s the whole point. But sometimes I forget that I’m speaking to other people and instead pretend I’m speaking to myself. I send statuses and tweets into the ether expecting nothing. For sure, this makes me feel better if no one “Likes” or “Favorites” or “Hearts” something I say or post. But also, it freaks me out when people actually do respond.

Last night I tweeted:

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Nandini responded. Continue reading

If You Read this and Wonder WTF

The thing about most autobiographical nonfiction is that the narrator is rarely alone. There are always other people and because nonfiction is, in theory, based on reality, those other people exist. And so when I wrote “Eve” it was hard for not me to wonder if my ex-boyfriend would every see it or wonder how he would feel about it. The truth is if I think too hard about who or what I’m writing about I probably wouldn’t write it.

But anyways, I’m excited to have this piece published at Nailed magazine and I’m excited that the first thing I published of nonfiction is so damn bold.

NaNoWriMo: Help Wanted

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Help me fight the dreaded blank screen

I need your help with NaNoWriMo this year. In case you didn’t know (because you’re not a nerdy writer) NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which is in November. It’s a time for celebrating one of the most beloved forms of writing in America and also a time of self-flagellation. Because hidden behind the guise of frivolity is the dark underbelly of NaNoWriMo where some crazy writers attempt to write at least 1,000 words a day, with the hopes that at the end of the month they’ll have enough material for a novel. I’ve always thought that seemed damn near impossible and I laughed and pointed at my friends who attempted the month-long challenge. Meanwhile, for several years during and after graduate school I dubbed November WriPoEvDay or Write a Poem Every Day and took a crack at my own personal torture. April is actually National Poetry Month, but I think poems are better suited to the long nights of November. I did some soul searching and I came to the conclusion that I have no desire to write a novel but I also contain within me the equal lack of desire to write poems. Instead I’d like to write small bits of nonfiction — 150 words per day. And this is where you come in. Continue reading

Letting the Dream Die

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There were maybe five full minutes in my MFA studies, when I imagined myself as a full-time writer. We, all of us writers and poets, spend some time with that day dream. But for some of us the possibility of that lifestyle (because it is a lifestyle) is quickly interrupted by real life: the bills, the debt, the lack of time, the lack of discipline, and the desire for real-life relationships. Whatever the reasons are, many of us will never be those people (icons, martyrs, saints) with coffee mugs and oak desks watching the sun rise as they craft sentences. And of those folks, even fewer will be able to earn a living. The odds are ever not in our favor. My graduate mentor, Chris Howell, offered a solution to this problem of writing versus living called the Muffin Man. Basically, you found a job that only required you to work really early or really late, a job that paid the bills (barely) but didn’t require much mental strain or consume your every waking minute, so you could dedicate that free time to your writing. He never offered any advice on how to maintain relationships with your partners or family or how to be sociable, probably because he wasn’t one to speak about something he wasn’t an expert at himself.

Continue reading

The Way Station

Photo by Stephen Scahfer
Photo by Stephen Scahfer

1. We live in a Motel 6 in Ventura, California, which is a little over an hour north of Los Angeles.
2. The building sits on the edge of Ventura and the neighboring town of Oxnard.
3. Across the street is a gym. This seemed like kismet, especially when a day after my brother left, there was a special which waived the joining fee.
4. The Ventura Community Park has a 1.25. mile track that my brother and I discovered one day by accident. We ran, him way a head of me, every other day while he was here. Now I run alone (limp, walk/shuffle). Continue reading