Featured

Update 6/18/17: What the hell am I even doing here?

So, Nick, why do you want to be a writer?
I’ve always struggled with that question. At least, I’ve struggled with putting my answer into words. That’s because, when you look deep down, I have selfish reasons to desire my name in print. I want to help my self-esteem. I want to realize personal ambition.
But those are poor excuses for why anyone should care about my writing, or why I should bother.
I’ve been researching how to build a better blog and how to improve my web outreach. A few days ago, I downloaded some podcasts hosted by entrepreneurs. I listened to the first two recordings on my list. I found them helpful, cheery, insightful, and, above all, disgusting. There’s something slimy about those online hustlers you find when you reach down and examine them. It’s like finding a rat in your toilet. These “web gurus” seem so… solipsistic. Phony. It’s like they don’t even care what they’re selling, as long as the numbers on their screens are big and black.
That disgust for the web gurus also applies to what I’ve found in myself. I sat down yesterday to write another set of Glimmer Train reviews, only to find myself struggling with one question: “Who gives a fuck?” Only one person’s answer matters in that writing question: me. It’s an answer that helped me write through much darker times than this. And, right now, I can’t justify why my writing deserves to take up space in such an overstuffed world.
Jennifer Garam, in discussing “How To Keep Writing When No One Gives A Shit,” advises that writers find a higher purpose for their art besides personal glory. Otherwise, a writer will burn out. It’s amazing I went this far without a burnout.
I might still add to this blog on occasion. I hope to continue Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar regardless. And I’ll keep sharing other good blogs I find. But until I have a concrete answer to the question on the top of this post (and, ideally, until I find a proper job to work in), I’ll be on hiatus. The Mission Statement section of Word Salad Spinner will change for the better.
Until I can provide a satisfying answer to the question “Why do you want to be a writer?” I will be on hiatus.

The Rhino is Off the Wall — Flash 365

I’m considering the creation of a flash fiction series for Word Salad Spinner, where I write a 250 word story then expound on how the story can teach you about writing. With Flash 365, I have a good model for such a story. The author captures the feeling of not connecting with people only a few years younger than you. It’s easygoing, but also engaging. A perfect model for me, perhaps?

I stand in my little brother’s dorm room, visiting. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve sat in one of my own. He is working on some school project or another. I am cooking dinner. My brother’s phone buzzes. He looks at it then yells, “Yeah, come in!” The door opens and some late teen […]

via The Rhino is Off the Wall — Flash 365

Those Who Leave Everything In God’s Hands Will Eventually See God’s Hand In Everything: A Skit in 5 Parts

elijah.gif

“Those Who Leave Everything In God’s Hands Will Eventually See God’s Hand In Everything,” Part 1

 

MAN 1, facing away from audience, holds a box at waist length. MAN 2 enters.

 

MAN 2

…dude?

 

MAN 1

Hey. I think it’s stuck.

 

MAN 2

Ah. Well, God wills it.

 

IMMEDIATE BLACKOUT

elijah.gif

Continue reading “Those Who Leave Everything In God’s Hands Will Eventually See God’s Hand In Everything: A Skit in 5 Parts”

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From A Crime Novel

I found this great crime novel parody by Tara Sparling! She has a history of writing award-winning blog humor, and I think you’ll enjoy this one in particular.

Tara Sparling writes

Why You Should Never Live With A Cop From Crime Novel

So far, we’ve had fun living with an unreliable narrator, and a chick-lit heroine. But you knew I wasn’t going to stop there, didn’t you?

Anyone who’s ever lived in shared accommodation will know that flatmates can be difficult. But what would it be like to live with the sort of crime novel cops whose innate mix of inner demons and public doggedness usually ensures them an eight-book deal?

****************

It is 7.30 am. You are about to depart for work from the bland, nondescript starter home of a cop in a crime novel. You wipe down the countertop of the dated beige kitchen, clearing the last crumbs of toast away, when you notice a crime scene photograph of a horribly mutilated woman beside the exhausted coffee machine. Trembling, you pick it up. You’re sure you’ve seen her somewhere before.

Crime Novel Cop: [sneaking up behind you] You don’t want me to tell you what…

View original post 829 more words

Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 3: PRECARIOUS

Unknown.jpeg

The middle section of stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue all deal with an unstable situation. Topics include the frailty of human mortality, the risks of a hostile environment, and the hormones of a teenage girl. Ok, that last comment was unfair. In that story’s case, it’s the plot that drove a boat into a whirlpool and took its main character with it. As opposed to the other way around.

paris
Now that I’ve hinted at the third story’s insanity, it’ll be hard to interest you in the other, basically functional pieces of fiction that come before it. Well, as I said in my last Glimmer Train roundup, we can learn from any critical and emotional response a story elicits. And the soberness of “Caretaking” and “Civil Affairs” will reveal, in comparison, how exactly “Museum of Me” snorted Cocoa Puff powder stolen from a hack screenwriter. Let’s begin!

Continue reading “Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 3: PRECARIOUS”