Strange People Approached Me on the Streets of Chicago

On my long, tiring, as-of-yet-fruitless search for steady employment, I submitted a writing sample to Cult of Americana. They’re a website that chronicles the amusing tales in ordinary American life. I think this submission was too morose to make their cut, but I still like how it turned out!

The Ramblers of Chicago

Nick Edinger

 

Loss of innocence has nothing to do with ignorance.

For two summers, I worked as a Ticket Sales Agent for a double decker bus company. I spent each workday selling guided tours of Chicago, shouting sales offers over the din of downtown traffic, calculating new ways to fend off boredom. It was a nice job, provided you applied sunscreen.

My mission as Ticket Sales Agent involved reaching out to pedestrians. Occasionally, pedestrians reached out to me. Of the many bizarre people I met in Chicago, here are three that changed my worldview in minutes.

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The New Mission of Word Salad Spinner

So, Nick, why do you want to be a writer?

I’ll admit, I forgot the answer for a while. That’s what’s weird about me. I find something I like, and then I kill it. Be it reading or swimming or theater, I take my passions and encode them in rigid formulas and mounting to-do lists. Then, when you take away the to-do lists in my life, it’s like you took my personality with them.

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When Words Fail to Come — Live to Write – Write to Live

I went through a similar experience last Saturday. Though I decided to re-evaluate where I am, it’s nice to have some strategies to pick yourself up again. Also: I need a dog.

Be sure to check out the rest of Deborah Lee Luskin’s work!

What to do when words fail to come? It happens sometimes. Yesterday morning, in fact. I had a post due on Living In Place, and I didn’t have anything to say. Worse, my brain was foggy, possibly due to the antihistamine I succumbed to the night before. Or maybe it’s my broken sleep cycle. I’ve […]

via When Words Fail to Come — Live to Write – Write to Live

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

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“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

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

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.

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?

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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…

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