Impressions from a Sunday Train

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

The middle aged man with the grey-brown hair lifts the bud from his left ear and listens as the train’s conductor mumbles something he thinks is important.

A smile brims to the lips of the man across from me watching his phone.

The Asian man sleeps next to me with his arms crossed.

I look at the Greek letters K A P sewn into a young man’s hoodie. A renegade string has come undone from the orange trim that surrounds the blue letters. Its presence is menacing and free.

The woman’s pinky and ring fingers curl as her middle finger curls as she points to the things on her phone.

The older man standing in front of me gestures with his left hand. It is worn, hairy, slightly tanned. His wedding band glimmers.

The young man next to me, brown hair and blue eyes, sees without seeing.

Everyone’s running shoes are new: marathon day.

• A young child hides behind his uncle in the train seat.

A woman looks out with large brown eyes to the sky.

Saturday Inspiration

“Writing is a very hard thing to do because it covers so long a space of time, and if you get discouraged it is not a bad sign but a good one. If you think you are not doing it well, you are thinking the way real novelists do. I never knew one who did not feel greatly discouraged at times, and some get desperate, and I have always found that to be a good symptom.”

— Maxwell Perkins

Nuff said.

Impressions of an Andersonville Dive Bar

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

The dark blue light bathing the vintage cash register. Continue reading “Impressions of an Andersonville Dive Bar”

Saturday Inspiration

“I’ve never known a writer who didn’t feel ill at ease in the world. We all feel unhoused in some sense, that’s part of why we write. We feel we don’t fit in; that this world is not our world; that though we may move in it, we’re not of it. You don’t need to write a novel if you feel home in the world.”

— Andrea Barrett

This is a quote that is more sobering than inspiring; though, for me, it is inspiring but in a different way.

We are weirdos, and we should love that. Art is created from the very well spring of this weirdness and also our constant dance of acceptance and solace that writers takes part in the world with every time they create.

This enlivens me, this quote. It means. It only that what I am feeling is normal but also that my work is important. Writers need to get distance to write, and sometimes, that distance is their lives.

Embrace your weirdness!

Create and complete.

Impressions on a Saturday night

Throughout the week, through all the stress and the busyness, I take a moment out of the day to write down some details about the environment around me. I’ll be posting them here every Monday.

The phosphorescent shimmer of the rescued African rosewood bar top at Jerry’s Continue reading “Impressions on a Saturday night”

Saturday Inspiration

“The things that made you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.” — James Victore

I first heard this quote from the wonderful podcast “Conversations with Tom” from the episode with Chase Jarvis. Continue reading “Saturday Inspiration”

Adjacents: Comments on class inspired by the film ‘Parasite’

 

True art leaves an impression on you that can last for hours. ‘Parasite’ will last me for a longer time than that.  Continue reading “Adjacents: Comments on class inspired by the film ‘Parasite’”

My Writing Ritual Playlist

In order to create what you love, you need to be your very best mentally, physically, and emotionally. You need to eat the right foods, get exercise, and get at least seven to eight of hours a sleep a night. That’s a given. The old stories of writers living off of whiskey, cigarettes, and two minutes sleep are as long dead as the writers themselves no matter how powerful the works were that they left behind. We need to take care of the engine in order to run the train.

Our habits help this process. Get yourself into the right frame of mind, and you not only get your conscious mind in the right groove but more importantly you get your unconscious mind running good as well, which is the wellspring of your creativity and ideas.

I made a playlist for my routine. Songs evoke our emotions and our memory. That’s why there are such things as happy and sad songs. This means they are perfect triggers. Once you create a habit with a song, play it and your mind will begin to do the work to for you. Also, a playlist is great because it’s portable. No more will you be shackled to an outside environment. Click the play button and you can write anywhere you want.

This is my playlist:

The specifics are not important. You should craft the playlist to your own tastes, but remember to craft it to the purpose it serves. Have a fun track to remind you that this is a type of play, creating worlds from words. Make it childish, like my track one. Have a prep track where you’re still milling around online, like my track two. You can write with any music you like, but I would recommend something without lyrics (your unconscious mind speaks in poetry; listen to it). Then have a cool down track. Then a journaling track. Whatever you want. Be creative and fun! And finally, at the end, have a happy track again to remind you that you did a good job.

Do this often enough and it may even help you through a dry spell, the dreaded writer’s block. Either way, play your playlist through thick and thin, and it’ll supply you with the right motivation.

Here’s a break down of my tracks and their purpose:

Happy to be alive and doing what I love track:

Track 1. Little Plastic Castle by Ani Difranco

Getting ready to write track:

Track 2. Echo by Joe Satriani

Freewriting track:

Track 3. Versperae Solennes De Confessore, K 339- Laudate Dominum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Writing track:

Track 4. Red Noise by Sound Dreamer

Release track:

Track 5. Venus Movement by Gustav Holst

Reflection and Journaling of Kudos and Progress Made track:

Track 6. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica

Writing Mojo track:

Track 7. Advice from Stephen King

Happy to be alive and doing what I love track:

Track 8. That’s Some Dream by Good Old War

••

Create and complete, Wolf pack! 🐺

P.s. check out this awesome podcast episode of Conversations with Tom featuring Chase Jarvis HERE! It’s a great episode about creativity.