The wonders of personal essays

Today was without a doubt, and beyond compare, one of the most productive days off I’ve had in a while. Exciting apartment maintenance stuff was handled bright and early. I mowed the lawn for the first time this year, which was taxing and horrible but necessary. There was a strong aroma of wild onions all around my yard, however, and it proved to be surprisingly enjoyable. By extension, the lawn mowing became that much more pleasant. After that, and without showering first (not a point of pride for me), I deposited my tax return and used a small portion of it to treat myself. The rest, of course, is planned out for responsible, adult things, but I wanted to have a little fun with some of it. A copy of Majora’s Mask for the 3DS, an Ultron bobblehead, and a copy of Lumberjanes later, I achieved that much.

Funny enough, all of those things are relevant to today’s topic. Continue reading

The conundrum of writing as a gift

Update: Special thanks to my mouse for bouncing around and giving me some interesting typos in the title/URL. Wheatley needs to stop being so damned uncooperative.

Better known as “the post that almost didn’t happen tonight because I’m feeling lazy, but I’m now trapped on the couch by two snoozing kittens and felt some weird sense of obligation”. Much too long of a title, really, so I went with my alternate choice.

I mentioned in last night’s post I’m making something I’m pretty sure is really awesome for two really great people who are now engaged. It was an idea I had actually plotted specifically for them, though it’s one that can be modified relatively easily and so on. The real conundrum, however, and probably something relating directly to my tendency to second-guess myself is as follows: is giving the gift of a written work, refined and dolled up especially well for the occasion, a really thoughtful gift or just a selfish flaunting of the author’s writing? I’m having trouble with words already, so this can only go downhill from here.

On one hand, when I write for people it’s like I’m giving the recipient a piece of my soul (joke’s on those people, as I obviously don’t have a soul). I use tremendous amounts of care in every aspect of the creative process, tailoring my work specifically for the person who will be getting it as a gift. I’d say it’s a very intimate, personal experience, but I honestly can’t think of a way to make writing a story for someone sound creepier than calling it anything involving the word intimate. I promise that’s the last time I’ll use that word in this post. Probably.

However, I can’t help but wonder if people who receive such gifts consider them as some sort of crappy writing exercise? A thoughtless, lazy throw-away instead of a purchased bauble. Something of that nature. I realize that, in most cases at least, people probably don’t think that way and it’s all in my head.

Fellow writers, how do you all feel about giving writing (short stories, essays, etc.) as a gift? Do you folks worry about what the people you’re gifting your writing to think of it?

Go check out this blog.

I couldn’t think of anything particularly witty to put for a title, and I’m not sorry.

Tonight, while meandering around the internet like I always do (because I am the most productive person alive, of course), I happened upon a new-ish WordPress blog simply titled frozenpeasblog. It wasn’t the title that caught my eye, however, so much as the little post snippet that was available. There are only two posts so far, both of which personal essays, and they left me wanting more. There’s a very David Sedaris quality to the humor, which should be a strong enough selling point to at least merit checking out the link above (which, by the way, is http://frozenpeasblog.wordpress.com/ in case any of you are too lazy to go back a couple sentences).

Also, the blog references Edinboro and so I’m obligated, by that alone, to share this link.

Go share some WordPress love, give frozenpeasblog a follow, and enjoy some high quality writing. Share it with your friends, because it’s great stuff and deserves to be seen. Or, if you’re the sort who likes to live life on the contrary side, don’t you dare click that link and enjoy the essays posted therein.