The Harry Styles story

While seeking inspiration months back for a story, I stumbled upon one of the great literary destinations in all the Internet over at www.harrystylesfanfiction.com.

Due to my love of boy bands (and 1D, in particular), I decided to paint One Direction, and Harry Styles in particular, in a manner I saw fit, by way of a fictional short story.

You can either read the story on this site, or give it a read over at the fan fiction site: http://www.harrystylesfanfiction.com/Story/63948/One-Direction-to-Hell/

While you’re over at the Harry Styles fan fiction website reading the story, you should create an account (if you haven’t already, and I seriously doubt there are people without an account on harrystylesfanfiction.com), and give some feedback so all the 1D fans can see.

Advertisements

New habit

I’ve decided to change up my daily ritual. I’ve been reading snippets from this book, aptly titled Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, and it gives a brief view of many different popular writers, painters, etc. and how they worked every day. Some work by the darkness of the early day, some throughout the day, and some at night. Gertrude Stein required a half hour of writing every day of herself.

For the most part, though, most of the artists featured in the book were early birds, which may explain why all the worms have been gone by the time I’ve awoken in the past.

So I’m trying the whole early thing, and this is my first attempt. Last night, I took some melatonin tablets and, after a cigarette, laid down for sleep at 9:30. I know. Cigarettes are bad, and especially right before sleep, but hey, get off my back, Mom. I had alarms set for 5 and 5:30 and my usual alarms for work at 6 and 6:30, because I can never seem to wake up with ease.

This morning, I had my usual middle-of-the-night having to pee, so I did that, and when I returned to bed, I checked the clock, and it said 4:30. I laid down for a bit, and got back up around 4:40-4:45 and turned off all my alarms. I’m a rebel, I know. Some coffee and toast followed, and I’ve been writing since. This is day one. Let’s hope there are many more.

Habits

Oh boy! I’ve been writing a lot. And by a lot, I mean every day. After some reading on other writers, I’ve found some interesting things. First off, the best advice for writing is this, and you’ll hear it from just about any professional writer out there: write, write, and write some more.

What I’ve done, after hearing of Gertrude Stein’s habitual writing, is to just write every day. There was a great article on 99u in which the author had a 373-day streak of writing. But Stein wrote a half hour every day. That’s it. And Jamie Todd Rubin, the 99u writer, had written more on some days, but on others, he’d write just 15 minutes. The point being: write, no matter how many or how few words you write each day, if you enjoy writing, stop talking about writing and just do it.

Do I have anything that I feel like I could submit. Theoretically, yes. But the short fiction I’ve been writing lately is unpolished. I haven’t edited a darn thing, but I do have a few pieces that may actually be good. One in particular I just finished was the story of a man and his son crossing the border to the land of opportunity, except it’s not the standard idea of immigrants as we see them. The people are the same, but the border is different. The theme, and what I hope people will take from it once it’s edited and polished is to have empathy. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, which is something which is lacking in our world. There are so many ways, so many words and ideas and categories into which people are placed to dehumanize them. So many people find it easy to hate people they’ve never met because of their situation in life.

I’m near a month into my habit. I had a streak going before that, but I never kept track of it. Now, each day, I have this app on my Android phone (iPhone 6? No thanks, I can get all those features in an Android phone from last year) in which you set up daily goals you want to make a routine, and you just check off the days when you accomplished that feat. I like lists, and I like checking things off lists, which is something anyone can do to become more productive, no matter what it is you want to do.

After some more work, I’ll have plenty of things to post up here, but some of them I want to save for submission to some magazines. Maybe some day, I’ll receive a small check for my fiction. The day I’m a paid fiction writer, which is something I’ve done for a long time, but only sporadically and with little prior attention to detail, but when the day comes I get a few hundred bucks in return for such writing will be a glorious one indeed.

The spider

At work, I’ve been sending out weekly updates each Friday with new things going on around the library, important dates, etc. But, I also put something at the beginning that isn’t work related. It’s something people might get some entertainment out of, or so I hope. The last one got some good feedback around the office, so I thought I might post it here. Here it is:

A few days ago, I got in my car and started driving down the road, ready to come to work. Well, not ready to come to work, per se, but willing to do so. (I’m not a morning person; or an afternoon person, for that matter. I like the nighttime. It is the right time, after all, because they rhyme.) I was driving down the road, still yawning and rubbing my eyes, and I put my window down a few inches, hoping the unseasonably cold air will keep me from running off the road.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something at the window. Upon closer inspection, it was, in fact, a spider hanging down inside the glass and bobbing with the movement of the car like a pendulum.

I am scared of spiders. I’m okay with that. It’s only really a problem every once in a while.

Here’s how I saw the spider hanging down my window: BigspiderHere’s what it probably actually was: littlespider

My gaze was fixated on this terrible creature when I noticed I had run the car into the middle of the road. I watched the spider bob left to right. I knew I only had a limited amount of time before it would drop below the threshold of the window. I pulled the car to the side of the road. The spider swung closer to me. I just knew it was about to attack. I tensed up. The car was stopped. I inched my hand up the side of the door, just below where the spider was hanging, and hesitantly pushed the button to lower the window completely.

The spider was now dangerously close to the threshold, and if it made it and dropped into the car, I knew the result. I would have to abandon the car and run screaming into the dew-covered grass field up ahead.

I readied myself. The spider was still just hanging, twiddling its legs. I raised my right hand, slowly, mind you, because I knew any sudden movement could be my last. With a quick flick of my arm, I knocked the evil devil spawn out the window.

I breathed a sigh of relief, returned home to change my pants, and was back on my way to work. Crisis averted.

A new story

I’ve uploaded a new story. This is the first revision of a story I wrote for our former library director at work. She moved to Vermont. I know, I know. Why the hell would anyone move to Vermont? It’s a ridiculous premise for a story, but we all just have to understand there are strange people in the world. Some of them move to strange states with absolutely no memorable aspects.

At least Ohio has a lot of landmarks and history and crime. When was the last time you heard of a serial killer coming from Vermont? Never. Because Vermont is boring, and all the serial killers move to a proper state before killing a bunch of people.

At least her and her family will be able to take in some professional sports events. Oh…wait…they have no professional sports in Vermont.

They’re close to the ocean, though, right? Wrong! The whole state is landlocked.

The one good thing is there are a lot of parks to do outdoorsy stuff and whatnot. Of course, they had to turn most of the state into a park, because no one wanted to build anything there.

An old dialogue between two Vermont leaders:

Important person A: “Hey, what do we do with all this land?”

Important person B: “Let’s get some people to build some stuff here!”

Six months later:

Important person B: “No one, literally, no one, wants to build anything here.”

Important person A: “Fuck it. Let’s just make it a park.”

That’s all the history of Vermont you need to know.

Anyway, check out my story here: Rutland

Junk sales are over!

Last weekend around these parts, as well as around any part surrounding U.S. 127 for hundreds of miles, was a fantastic annual event. It was the annual “Let’s Slow Traffic, Not Look When We’re Pulling Back Into Traffic, and Run Off The Road While Rubbernecking Toward Piles Of Junk” weekend. It’s better known as the U.S. 127 yard sale, which runs from somewhere in Alabama to somewhere in Michigan.

Essentially, it’s comprised of a bunch of yards on the highway who decide they have junk they think is worth money, because everyone watches American Pickers and Pawn Stars and thinks they can find a bunch of awesome stuff that’s worth a ton of money. Well, you can’t, and you most likely didn’t this weekend.

Anyone with the foresight to plan for the 127 yard sale is smart enough to have checked completed auctions on eBay, and they know if they have anything worth buying. The people who are too stupid to check eBay are too dumb to buy anything worthwhile in the first place, so it’s a lose-lose situation if you’re shopping.

The one type of item I did buy, and they only thing I ever search for at these sales, was books. It’s the only real deal you can find. And there weren’t even many of those around.

There are also people who don’t live on 127 or anywhere near it, but they think they can capitalize on it. They put signs out on posts along the highway that say something like, “Yard Sale – 2 miles that way” with a little arrow that no one follows. I drove past a few of those types of sales, and it was just a couple people sitting around with their junk, only that junk was situated on tables. They watched as no one came, no one stopped, and no one cared. You know why? Because all the sales are on 127. People drive up and down 127, and sure, you might get a few people here and there willing to go off the beaten path to be amazed at the ridiculous prices people think their crap is worth, but few do.

Here’s a tip: if you want something for a fair price, go to eBay, and look at auction listings that have bids on them. If people are bidding, the item gets to about fair market value, maybe a little higher or lower sometimes, and it sells.

Next year, how about you celebrate the 127 yard sales by staying home and knowing that you helped not clog the roadways, you didn’t get into an accident, and there are a bunch of people paying for stupid shit they don’t need.