I read a really cool book recently by Austin Kleon called, Show your Work!: 10 Ways to Share your Creativity And Get Discovered.
I have to admit, at first pass it feels a bit narcissistic. To assume that you care to see my process. What I’m reading, what I’m writing, what I’ve been thinking about. Kleon said in his book “But human beings are interested in other human beings and what other human beings do.” And I know this is true. I mean, look at the number of seemingly pointless reality TV shows out there that we just can’t seem to get enough of. Why do we care? I don’t know. We just do.
So, as a novelist who cannot spit out publishable work quickly enough to keep the interest of our inherently impatient society, I’m going to give you a peek into my process. Share some of the best morsels that have fed me and influenced my work, and then show you a bit that work, out of context, raw, real.
I hope you enjoy.
FAVORITE PASSAGES I’VE READ:
- From Dry: A Memoir, by Augusten Burroughs
“I want to feel calm and at ease. Like someone who lives in Half Moon Bay, California, and makes hummus from scratch, instead I feel like I’m a contestant on some awful supermarket game show where I’ve got sixty seconds to hurl my shopping cart down the aisles, piling it with as much as possible before the buzzer goes off.”
This is the type of imagery that resonates with me. This is how I often feel.
- From Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, by Emily P. Freeman
“What part of your personality seems to fight against your own perceived ability to succeed? What might happen if you stopped bullying your personality into submission and instead began to welcome it as a kind friend?”
I’m trying to be more accepting of myself and my process. I’m trying to enjoy the process, rest in it, and not always try to be pushing to the “next big thing.” This book is helping me do that.
FAVORITE SCENE I’VE WRITTEN:
- From the sequel to All I Once Held
And since I’m thinking about television shows…Wyatt finally got me to watch The Walking Dead. We were both home with a stomach bug of some sort and nothing will help a queasy stomach like binge watching putrefied zombies gorging on various body parts or being blown to bits. It’s one of those shows that you absolutely hate and cover your eyes for the majority of, but then you just can’t seem to stop watching it. At least that’s my experience.
Anyway, we were watching episodes when a couple of the characters find themselves in a “town” of smiling people being taken care of by a charismatic, smooth talking man they affectionately called the Governor.
“He’s obviously an asshole,” Wyatt said.
“I mean, why can’t she see that he’s a total creep?”
“Be quiet. Wait until commercial.”
“She’s going to sleep with him. How can she be so stupid?”
He’s impossible to watch television with.
“She wants him to be what he says he is,” I said, giving up.
“Yeah, and I want Kentucky Fried Chicken to be good for me, but I don’t eat it.”
“It’s not the same. Think about it. She’s been through hell. Her sister’s dead, her friends are gone, she’s alone and scared and tired of it. She wants him to be her savior, so she doesn’t see the obvious signs that the writers are letting us see.”
“You mean like the heads in the glass jars and his zombiefied daughter chained in the crawl space.”
“That’s obvious. But you knew he was bad before you saw the heads, right?”
“I think so.”
“She needs him to be good. So he’ll be good until things get so bad she can’t ignore it any more.”
“No, she’s not stupid. She’s afraid. Now shut up and watch the show.”
He finally got the hint.
There’s a reason why New Heights Ministries serves sandwiches to the homeless. There’s a reason why they hang out in the Tenderloin and Haight Ashbury, and near the halfway houses. There’s a reason that their members or recruits or whatever you want to call them are primarily single moms, formerly homeless, semi-cleaned up junkies, and runaways. For it to thrive it needs the needy, the hungry, the destitute, the scared. It needs people who are desperate for structure and for someone to tell them what to do to gain the security and the happiness they long for.
For a cult to survive, they need people like me.
Favorite Image I Saw:
- The weather has been warm these past few days, February likes to tease us with spring every now and again. I found this bloom while on my walk the other day, notice the winter branch and the autumn leave below. Reminds me of how quickly time passes.