The Eye of the Whirlwind 

August 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

When the cyclone hits, it’s a hundred miles per hour of whirling chaos. It roars you deaf, batters you with airborne buses, and shreds you with sharp slivers of siding. But if you make it to the eye of the thing, you have a moment of calm before it snatches you up again.

I feel like I’ve been spinning in the whirlwind for about a month now. My dad is sick and that, on top of the thousand natural shocks, has knocked everything shitward. I spend most days reminding myself to breath. My lower lip spasms. My heart rate thunders like the hooves of a thoroughbred. « Read the rest of this entry »


Before Coffee: How to Tell a Great Story

August 24, 2016 § 2 Comments

I came across an article this morning with the terrible title “A Writer’s Guide to Hacking the Reader’s Brain in 5 Steps.” Because everything has to be about hacking these days. “Hacking Your Diet with Oreos and Bacon Fat,” or “Hacking Your Cerebral Cortex to Never Need Sleep (Without Becoming a Murdering Hobo),” et cetera ad nauseum.

A better title for the article above is “How to Tell a Great Story,” or maybe “5 Steps to Bringing a Story to Life.” Or maybe those are just as terrible.

Regardless, the article is very good. You can skip the first half of it if you’re in a rush and just start at this bit: « Read the rest of this entry »

Before Coffee: 21st Century Neanderthal

August 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

The World Wide Web turns 25 today. Which means I was 24 when it opened its virtual doors to the public in 1991. (It actually took a few more years for it to become truly public, i.e., used by more than a few dozen CERN folk, but the news calls it for today so who am I to argue.)

I’d been using the Internet for at least five years at that point. Message boards, email. I set up and was the admin for the movie discussion board on Tri-State Online, a local message board hosted by the University of Cincinnati. « Read the rest of this entry »

Low Millions

August 16, 2016 § 1 Comment

The best thing about my ancient iPod? It’s sedimentary. Layers of favorite music, played until I burned out on them, lay forgotten under the songs and albums and musicians that came later.

Tonight I dug down to 2004 and found Low Millions again. They put out one album, Ex-Girlfriends, and then disappeared. Which is surprising, given how good they were. A couple of their songs made the charts—which is not a reliable barometer, I know, but still.

Of course, I tunneled right to the sexiest song on their album. Which is saying something, since there’s something sensual about several songs on the album. I mean, it’s called Ex-Girlfriends, after all. « Read the rest of this entry »

Before Coffee: Dear Parents

August 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

I wasn’t going to write one of these today, because I’m sleep deprived and adorable baby animals are talking their shit. (No, I didn’t just have a stroke; that sentence will make sense if you click the link, I promise.)

But then I saw this on Facebook, and it plucked the catgut strung over the thumpy thing in my chest: « Read the rest of this entry »

Anno Coffee: That Feeling When

August 14, 2016 § Leave a comment

That feeling when you write something so great that you surprise yourself.

That feeling when you agree to share the thing you wrote with a group, and on the day your stomach hurts and you feel like you’ll vomit and you consider using illness as an excuse not to show up.

That feeling when you share the thing and everybody enjoys it, and you drive home with a huge grin and a feeling like you’re floating.

That feeling when you sit down to write and your heart starts pounding and your arms go numb, and you know you’re alone and no other writer has ever felt this way but you. « Read the rest of this entry »

Before Coffee: Ghost Architecture

August 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

It’s already humid and on its way to hot when I open the garage door. I’m up an hour earlier than usual because I have to run an errand for my parents.

Most days, I judge how late I’m running by whether I’m in the car in time to hear the 8:00 news update on WGUC, our local classical music station. Today, I’m in the car an hour and twenty minutes before that.

I do the thing for my folks, which takes me through my old neighborhood. I’ve beaten the sunrise, and now I get to watch it set the clouds afire. It’s pretty, but it would look prettier from bed, with my eyes closed and brain churning out some REMs. « Read the rest of this entry »

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