Graduating Ass of 2017: A No Shame Theatre Retrospective (Part 1)


I’ve brought my skits, my energy, my laughter, my ambitions, and my tears, to No Shame Theatre in the past 6 years. But there’s one thing I never did. Maybe you can help me with it.

Help… a lot of my life revolves around that word. I’ve given plenty of it, and I’ve taken plenty more. Funnily enough, my No Shame story begins in 2010, a year before I even stepped foot in Iowa. I belonged to the La Grange Hometown Teen Players, LGHTP for short. It was a local acting troupe— small, scrappy, and a good way for me to have people to call friends. After its founder left, LGHTP fell into the hands of whatever parent or actor that could manage us. In the spring of 2010, when I lost my health, my school year, and all the other people I called friends, I still had LGHTP.

Until the current leader announced that LGHTP would be disbanded. A year before I graduated high school, and right before I could be the star actor of the troupe.

Continue reading “Graduating Ass of 2017: A No Shame Theatre Retrospective (Part 1)”

A New World Lies Ahead


You may have noticed a slow-down of updates here on Word Salad Spinner. There’s a simple reason for that. It’s also the reason why I’m skipping over today’s Short Story Saturday.

By the time you read this, I will have graduated from the University of Iowa, with a degree in English and Creative Writing.

After today, I will experience the first time, in my life, without school on the horizon. The future is entirely up to me.

There’s a piece of life advice that has been on my mind this past week, though I can’t recall where it’s from. It goes, paraphrased, like this: only take on hardship for your own benefit, never for the benefit of others.

Most of my life, I made decisions based on what others wanted for me. I was agreeable for them. I did certain activities for them. I believed pre-selected ideas for them. And those ideas and behaviors did improve my life, in many categories.

But now? I can see freedom, in the air, and I wonder why I didn’t see it all around me. It has always been there, for all my life. A life flying through that open air… that is a life I want.

I am grateful for the friends and family I have. They helped me through tough times, and are, in general, wonderful. But I have a skill that they cannot hope to learn. I know, better than anyone, what it’s like being me. I will take responsibility for my future, and I will let it be my own.

The chaotic blog updates will continue for as long as they need to. My time to “grow up” has ended. The freedom to live awaits. This is only a goodbye for those that wish it. Thank you to everyone who supported me on this journey. But now? I think I’ll start with a long sail, a dance over the wind, out onto that eternal sky…





















(oh yeah, I have to get a job soon)


This Was Made For Me… And No One Else

What’s it like when you can’t share the things you love?
In some cases, it means more for you!
During my tenure as a No Shame Theatre showrunner, I saw a board member’s brother attend a show. He enjoyed our performances, and we had fun hanging out with him afterwards. He never returned. I asked the board member why his sibling never came back. The board member told me that his brother, despite liking the show, felt he couldn’t recommend No Shame to anyone he knew.

Continue reading “This Was Made For Me… And No One Else”

Why Reading Is Like Weightlifting (or: why I love graphic novels)

I mentioned on April 1st that I was reading Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov. I finished the book today. Mind you, the book only has 300 pages, and I started a good deal before April.
If you want to know what I thought about Pale Fire, you can find my review on my Instagram. Yes, the review consists of one picture. To find out what I thought, use your interpretative skills.
I like creating critiques of books through visual shorthand. It’s a weird hobby, but the practice helps me abstract my reaction to literature, record what I read each year, and create a type of analysis never seen before. It’s also in danger of ruining my reading hobby.

Continue reading “Why Reading Is Like Weightlifting (or: why I love graphic novels)”

The English Language Is Smarter Than You… And It’s Sexier Too

When your writing evolves, it doesn’t evolve with an announcement.


You’ll notice that, out of my stories on this blog, none of them are romances. Only a few of these stories contain romantic elements. There are a couple of reasons for this. Most of those reasons are excuses. Here’s the real reason: I don’t have much of a love life. Maybe someday soon, but right now (and for the past 5 years) I’m too focused on writing to give myself time for that.

Continue reading “The English Language Is Smarter Than You… And It’s Sexier Too”


Jennifer Garam wrote a great essay titled How To Keep Writing When No One Gives A Shit. All authors should read it (after reading my essays, of course 😊 ). I kept thinking about that article while writing the first draft of Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar.

Which is, certainly, a stupid connection to make. Of course people care about this project, even if the ChapterBuzz page doesn’t always reflect that. At any rate, I’ll reserve my “this is stupid and no one likes it” thoughts for the second draft. And if I ever had any doubts about who liked my stuff, then a blog post published yesterday helped erase them.

Continue reading “Shoutout”