A desire for endless creativity meets a finite capacity for ideas

Or, more accurately, “the point where I want to keep creating fresh content forever but can’t do so without some level of planning ahead”. You get the idea. This is totally a post complaining about One Hundred Days of Fiction 2.0, the ill-planned idea that I had when I realized my blogging was falling by the wayside as I continued to try writing every day, but it also has more valid points to it. Promise. It’s not just a glorified rant (though it definitely is also a glorified rant, just so we’re entirely clear on that point).

Ask any creative person when they get their ideas. The answer, barring a particularly nasty creative block, will likely be some variation of “all of the time”. There’s no off switch on that stuff, people. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in a day to always tackle every idea and so things get put on backburners, where they are left to either wait impatiently or gradually wither, die, and find themselves recycled in the great mess of other ideas.

There’s a lot to be said about maintaining consistent, good writing habits (or, really, consistent good habits). Writing a little every day, for instance, is a good thing. Forcing a structure to it for the sake of making sure writing happens? Probably not ideal for everyone. On the plus side, when I take the actual one-month hiatus from blogging that follows this, I’ll appreciate it that much more. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ll be on a strict fiction-and-editorial diet for a bit. That should surprise no one.

I’m starting to feel sick, which is unacceptable, so I’m calling it a night here before I get too much more into writing this post. I refuse to not feel well for my vacation.

And so my vacation countdown begins

Yes, I know I sort of started said countdown already, but the official marker of “I’m almost on vacation” is really that I have one workweek between me and freedom. It’s not even a vacation about the destination so much as it is just not being at work for a week (and a few extra days), as I have reached a level of fried that is typically reserved for batter-smothered Oreo cookies and overheated hard drives. Sadly, I’m really proud of that joke because it came to me naturally despite my brain being all liquefied and so on. I’m constantly somewhere between high-strung and ready to pass out, which probably isn’t particularly healthy.

Thinking forward to vacation and bypassing this upcoming week, however, has also created something of a conundrum. In the same way many people yearn for the next weekend, I’m wishing away much of next week (including the drive to Pittsburgh next Thursday, which is further complicated by the Carnegie on and off ramps being closed on the Parkway; thanks for that, PennDOT) for the sake of next week, which could be excellent or terrible. It’s still just potential. I mean, I know seeing my family for the first time since Christmas will be fantastic and all, but there’s no guarantee the other bits of my vacation will have been worth this wishful bit of time traveling. That’s one whole week of time, complete with possible and probable good experiences, that I’m attempting to will out of existence. That, too, is probably not very healthy. There’s a lot to be said on the way many people live for two days of the week and exist the other five in hopes of making it to those two previously mentioned ones. On a related note, I’m beyond ready for my next tattoo…so that’s probably a strong indication that an addiction is a-brewin’.

Defending my wishes to bypass next week, and all of the hideous responsibilities it threatens, are the following: Jason, my brother-paladin, and Chrisy, my New Yorker sister who has accomplished far more than I ever will, are going to be home when I am. I will also get a chance to see my grandma, possibly my father, and some other relatives, so that, too, is wonderful. There will be much reading and writing in the later hours of downtime. At some point, I need to make stuffed french toast because cooking for people is loads of fun. I can’t, therefore, be completely damned for looking forward to these wonderful times, even if the bulk of my actual vacation will be spent cleaning up my apartment because there’s still shit in boxes from the move.

Ultimately, I’m going to get through the bad parts of this upcoming week by reminding myself of how much fun I’ll have with my family (and thinking about the impending Comedy = Tragedy + Time tattoo). I also vow to enjoy the good next week brings, no matter how limited it may be. Makes for a bit of a win-win situation until I’m on vacation, I think.

 

The great vacation book catch-up

I made a delicious dinner of pulled pork sandwiches, but now I’m ready to hibernate and I couldn’t think of a topic for tonight. I glanced up from my laptop screen for only a moment and discovered, duh, I have the answer right in front of me. I’m referring to the well-stocked, largely-neglected bookshelves in my living room.

My habit of buying new books before I finish reading all of the ones I have isn’t exactly a secret. It’s actually the opposite, given how often I’ve mentioned it on multiple occasions. However, I have a vacation coming up soon. Once I survive–no, dominate–these next six days of work I will have at least a little time to sit back, relax, and get some reading done. I plan on getting back to working on stories and my novel, too, so that’s rather important, but this is more about reading. I’ve got three books I’d like to finish before returning to work, and so here they are (and why I’m reading them out of my options) in no particular order. Continue reading

Another open letter to Mike Pence

Dear Mike,

Can I call you Mike, or are you more of a Michael? Doesn’t matter, now that I think about it. The important part is that I can see you, sir, are a visionary who is acting on behalf of the greater good of the people. Yes, indeed. While everyone else on the Internet is crying about how you most assuredly created a hostile, bigot-infested paradise where the state of Indiana once existed, I can’t help but say you deserve a pat on the back and maybe dessert before dinner. It’s important to put strong, personal beliefs before the overall financial, social, and cultural well-being of a state, and your actions really tell the world “I’m ready to take one step forward, followed immediately by a long road trip, a short flight, and a rocket trip to the moon backwards.” Don’t let those naysayers and whiners get you down, even if you happen to bear a striking physical resemblance to Lord Voldemort.

Praise aside, I can’t help but feel you should take things a few steps further. Continue to be the governor Indiana needs, but not necessarily the one that it wants. First and foremost, businesses should also ban rainbows, high fashion, and anything else associated with, well, less savory culture. These images can easily be replaced with far tamer ones, such as depictions of the sinners of the world being washed away by the Great Flood or perhaps the majesty of Revelation. Nothing quite goes with a trip to the barber shop like images of Jesus descending from Heaven and replacing all of those pesky non-believers’ blood with rivers of fire and snake venom.

The numbers six and thirteen, as well as any permutations, spellings, and similarities to said numbers should no longer be acknowledged, as they are symbolic of the devil. The letter B should no longer be capitalized, as it is a clever means by which to conceal an unlucky number 13. For better help in eliminating unlucky numbers, it may be wise to consult your nearest hotel chain as they have long-since removed all thirteenth floors from their establishments to prevent such mishaps as ghost infestations, spontaneous elevator failures, and other wacky hijinks.

Similarly, all goats should be made to wear costumes resembling other, far less Satanic animals. Goats that do not comply with this should be immediately incinerated, and their remains scattered along the Ohio border. This will prevent any possibility of the Dark Lord rising up, possessing his iconic beast, and wreaking havoc upon local business establishments while also encouraging creative family fun in the form of decorating the family goat. Based on my limited time passing through the great state of Indiana, I can only assume most every family has a family goat. I didn’t see any indication to the contrary, after all, which seems to be the same logic that fuels your decision in passing the religious freedom bill. Black cats and other possible witch familiars should also be sent away, as should their owners. A good, old-fashioned witch burning would be ideal, but those are generally frowned upon by the federal government and so you’ll probably have to make a few concessions there.

I know it must be very stressful for you, Mike, to see all of the businesses and big-name celebrities who are slinging hurtful names like “bigot” and “backwards-thinking fuckstick” at you, especially since those sentiments have no basis in reality. Besides, what do those people know? I mean the ones who help funnel revenue and tourism into the great state of Indiana, of course. Who needs them and their money? Plenty of other people will travel to Indiana for such great memories as using a turnpike restroom on the way to a vacation in some other state, or perhaps getting into a major traffic accident in one of the dozens of construction areas along the many wonderful highways. They’ll, at they very least, spend money at tolls, and if you really want to make use of those tourists in place of the ones who just don’t quite see things your way you could set up exit tolls. Make people regret leaving Indiana in the same way many people already regret living there.

My advice, in closing, to you is this: nobody doesn’t know what’s best for the well-being of Indiana quite the way you do, so to Hell with anyone who disagrees with you; I mean that literally, of course, as they will no doubt spend eternity in a sea of fire and regret. Should their shouting of bigotry and discrimination prove too loud, you can always turn to your favorite book in the Bible, tear a few pages out, stuff them in your ears, and go back to the important things like figuring out just how God managed to play such a great practical joke on all of those scientists who insist the Earth is a day older than six thousand years.

Warm regards from Pennsylvania (where a similar visionary to yourself only recently did wonders for our higher education system),

Phil

A return to making it a great week

I’ll not mince words: this week has been pretty Hellish in terms of stress, but I can’t really say much regarding that because a lot of it is my usual introspective bullshit mixed with my capacity for building vast ranges of mountains out of a single molehill.

The good news: I managed to take a nap earlier, and it was glorious…and it gave me time to think things over after waking up, which is that precious time when I have clarity but not so much stress. Good times. Granted, that’s also the window I’m most likely to fall back to sleep in, but now I’m just over-complicating things.

A while back, I posted about my District Leader and his end-of-conference-call mantra of “Go out there and make it a great week”. It’s easy to lose sight of that as a goal, and so I think I need to make it a point to sit down every Sunday (which, really, isn’t so much the end of the weekend so much as the start of a new, potentially promising or terrible week) and put together a list of things that I’m going to try doing to make it a great week. These aren’t goals that must be accomplished, but possible steps towards furthering myself and my week in a positive way. They could be as simple as writing down five things I’m happy about with myself at that particular time to larger changes such as, say, cleaning up the house or whatever. The rewards are built into the actions, making this even better.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have two more posts to write before I go to bed tonight because I’m a self-destructive jackass.