Positivity…you and me…oh yeah! That’s just a little pop song I wrote for us today. Apparently meditating for 5 minutes a day can make you happier, and keeping a gratitude journal can retrain your mind to focus on the good things in life instead of the bad things, like the fact that EVERY MORNING THIS WEEK I have been woken up from a text from my arch-nemesis, CHASE BANK, informing me that my bank account has been overdrawn. This is what happens when DUKE ENERGY (another nemesis) refuses to process your debit card payments in a timely fashion. Anyway, I’ll start that whole meditating and gratitude journal thing this summer when I’m not so busy “writing a paper” and “grading” that I can barely spend a lazy afternoon watching old Marilyn Monroe films. What am I digging today, besides the new Selena Gomez single, “Come and Get It”? I thought you’d never ask.
1. Flash fiction.
Flash fiction is so ridiculously rewarding to write I can’t even deal with it. Basically you just write about 5-25 nice sentences, slap on a fancy title, and email it to all your friends and family, who are spiritually obligated to respond, “This is great!”
2. My Rihanna + Nirvana playlist
Best idea I’ve ever had.
3. My cohort.
I love you guys & gals. See you at the Pulitzers.
4. Lists of names.
Sometimes I have a hard time choosing names for my characters, because every name comes with so much baggage (I can’t use a name if I know a real person with that name: unless it’s something really neutral, like John…OH WAIT I HAVE A BROTHER NAMED JOHN.). So, like lots of writers, I spent a significant amount of time scrolling through baby-name websites and shutting down pop-ups that say things like MOMS! CLICK HERE FOR BREAST-FEEDING TRICKS! And sometimes I get a little emotional scrolling through the names. They’re just such a beautiful representation of our human history, you know? Hildegarde. Hippolyta. Helen. Every name has such a crazy story behind it. She who frees the horses. Sometimes it just feel amazing to be alive in a world where so many other people lived, walked, touched, ate, loved, and were named and named and named. Not that I would ever, and I mean NOT THAT I WOULD EVER name a character “Hildegarde.” Not tryna be Wagner 2.0 over here.
5. Jalapeño-brown-sugar simple syrup.
THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER MADE. PAIR IT WITH WHISKEY NOW.
6. Writing while lying down.
Get in bed, put your computer on your stomach, and type lazily. This is the perfect type of writing position for working on multiple things at the same time, verrrry slowly. You’ll feel like a consumptive Victorian lady in the best possible sense.
7. “The Misfits”
Beautiful movie about American freedom and American heartbreak, described so well by Joyce Carol Oates:
The characters resembled broken-down actors. Famous faces yet not themselves. You looked at Gay Langland and thought Wasn’t he once Clark Gable? . . . You looked at the battered rodeo performer Perce Howland and thought My God! He used to be Montgomery Clift. These are people you knew when you were a kid. . . . Hey: do you know me? These were ordinary Americans of the 50’s yet mysterious to you because you knew them long ago when the world was mysterious and even your own face, contemplated in a mirror, in for instance the cigarette vending machine of that bus station or in the water-specked mirror above a lavatory sink, was a mystery never to be solved.
8. Entry fees.
JUST KIDDING I HATE THEM SO MUCH. World, why do you only want people who work in finance to succeed? WHY DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT US?
9. Dreaming about a new computer.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my tiny little Netbook so much. It’s been with me through thousands of commutes and millions of coffee shops. It’s helped me write GENIUS stories, SCINTILLATING screenplays, RADICAL articles, SUBVERSIVE papers, ERRATIC emails, IRONIC Tweets, DELUSIONAL song lyrics, and a million blog posts. But…it’s so slow…and the screen is so tiny. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I just want Alexsander Petrovsky’s XXXTREME 3-screened computer system. And then I will rejoice.