Word Salad Spinner Update: 5/21/2018

Here’s a quick heads-up on the site’s incoming content. I’m still not ready for whatever this blog’s official “re-launch” will be, so don’t hold your breath. But now that my job-hunting days are behind me, these incoming posts will represent an end rather than a beginning.

The FTL Story begins! I think!

At the beginning of May, I announced my long-secret project: an ambitious “FTL: Faster Than Light” story running exclusively on the Twitter-based platform Everyst. Technical difficulties delayed this start. As of writing, the first day has fully uploaded, so I assume matters will move smoothly from here. After each in-story day, I’ll discuss certain aspects of the writing process on my Twitter account, which you can follow here. Read the story by downloading the app here.

EDIT: The upload for this story continues as scheduled. However, contrary to what the team and I originally planned, a new part of the story will be added each week instead of each day. Part 2 begins on 5/27/2018.

One more Borgen Project article!

I’ll accompany this with some final thoughts about the internship.

The MyTrendingStories Saga continues!

MyTrendingStories sent me an email two weeks back. I’ve tried to publish the follow-up to my original expose since, but I’ve dug up a lot of crazy since. I plan to update everyone sometime in the next week. And speaking of sagas…

A review of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”!

My love of Star Wars takes effort to maintain after The Last Jedi. Everyone I meet IRL, friends and coworkers and family alike, love the movie. I even consider Episode VIII the third best film in the saga. It’s only online where I hear fans spew hate over Rian Johnson destroying their favorite fan theories. I feel a disconnect from the community, is what I’m saying. That’s what fuels my hype for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” That movie’s gonna be a piece of shit. Great art can survive troubled productions, but every sign I see hints at a giant embarrassment arriving on screen this Friday (though whether fans admit that at first will be interesting). If you think I’m a mark for Star Wars, you’re right… I will love every cringy, stilted, faux-fun moment this movie throws up, and I’ll be laughing all the way! Punch it, Chewie!

Update 8/29/2017: The Rest and Art in “Restart”

A month and a half ago, I outlined a new plan and purpose for this blog. I’m still excited about those prospects. Provided, of course, that I find the time to refurnish the blog after finishing my marketing research and finding a steady job. Which is part of the problem.

I established the “1,250 words a week” goal to ensure I’m always putting some work out on a regular basis. I’ve seen what happens when content creators disappear for too long and become forgotten. But I’ve also seen what happens when a content creator fills their site with low-effort, innocuous shit that no one really wants. I like what I put on this blog, and I’m thankful for every like and comment I receive. However, as of right now, it’s impossible to tell what’s really “clicking” with my audience… and until I take some time to figure out my audience, this problem will only get worse.

So, yes, another hiatus. When I get back, I hope to have a strategy for engaging with others, so I don’t have to worry about burnout again. I’ll also share relevant blog posts I enjoy after a while. I’m a little ashamed to be letting down my personal goals like this. But I’d be even more ashamed to choke up the mailboxes of my (few, but well-loved) fans with random frivolities. I’ll see you under sunnier skies.

: mark me absent :

I love Whirly Girl’s voice, and this post (or non-post) displays more of her characteristic, innocent rambling. Check her blog out if you have the chance! Her work usually brightens my mood.

the whirly girl

There will be no post today, seems I’ve misplaced my motivation. Oh, it’s around here somewhere, I just can’t lay my hands on any enthusiasm at the moment. And I really don’t have the energy to go looking for it. Hell, motivation could be anywhere, you know? It’s as slippery and elusive as ideas tend to be. One minute here, the next minute gone  — * poof *

I don’t have a note from my doctor; I wasn’t called for jury duty; I just don’t feel like doing a post, okay? I don’t feel like doing anything, frankly. I need a day to wallow in sunshine, immersed in a book. My only goal at the moment is avoiding reality.

The planet Earth, unfortunately, offers no rest for the weary at present. And I’m really, really weary. Bigly weary. So I’ll take refuge in an alternate reality; do like an…

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Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Honorable Mentions!)

I’m not done milking this concept yet! Here are some songs that are as much a part of me as the actual Best 5 and Second-Best 5. However, none of these songs represent a particular favorite musical style or artist… though you will see a few (favorite ‘x’)s here. In semi-random order…

Continue reading “Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Honorable Mentions!)”

Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Part 1)

So I took an unexpected vacation. Again. Blame serendipity, blame my own capricious nature, and blame my writer’s block. There are several excuses I could give, but who cares, I get to jump in a lake! And these next few weeks provide an opportunity to look back on what inspires my writing.


Last year, my iPod (yes, I still use one) reached the end of its capacity. I listened to each song in my collection, by artist, and rated each tune, eventually deleting the lower ranking singles. The offerings below come from artists who have 10 or more songs I love. You’ll notice a lot of similarities between songs. What can I say: I’m a scrub, and not a music guru. In any case, let’s work our way down to my favorite song of all time!

Continue reading “Word Salad Spinner’s Favorite Songs (Part 1)”

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

(Update 5/22/17) Going Down, Slow

The number one thing you learn in college is how little you actually know.

I put out a lot of good content for this blog in 2017. Even if the posts had turned out shit, at least the writing practice would’ve helped me improve my skills. The advice column alone grew to contain 35 posts. That’s not as good a bragging point as you think.

Do I believe that every single advice post on Word Salad Spinner will help you write? Yes, I do believe that. But I don’t know that. I talk a lot of game for someone who only has a modest blog and no publications to show for their English degree. As I read blogging advice online, I learn how much work lies ahead before this blog can reach its full potential.

As always, Word Salad Spinner will provide 1,250 words a week. But for a few months, at least, the topics will be more personal, more blog-like as it were. I’ll go back to a stricter schedule when I know what the hell I’m doing. You will still see updates on Trudge-Along Tuesday (where I update the progress on my novel) and Short Story Saturday (where I talk about Glimmer Train’s short stories, and how the magazine can help both me and you become better writers). I might start sharing the content of other writers and bloggers far wiser than me. Other than that? I’m gonna just be myself. You can expect to learn more about the real me in the next few weeks…

The Wheels of Writing Grind Slowly, But Everything’s Fine!

The journey to create Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar has been a strange one. I’ve finished Amal Beck’s character sheet yesterday. Today and tomorrow, I’ll work on edits to the novel itself. During the past week, I’ve thought about how to rework different parts of the story. In answer to last week’s post: I’m going with option 3.

(as a side note, I lost my current idea notepad AGAIN. I swear, my iPod Touch targets the most important notes I keep for unexpected deletion. This is the third time in the past two years where out of 30 notes, the only jottings to disappear are the most important ones.)

What I’ve learned as a writer: it’s ok if nothing goes as planned. I like my schedules, and this week looked like the first period of time in a while when I could actually keep one. Today’s missed alarms thought otherwise. Again, technology is out to get me. Or, at least, it’s trying to convince me that the only things worth doing are worth doing quickly.

Novel-writing will continue to be a rocky, bizarre process. It’s time I embraced that. I still want to create a good schedule for myself, mind… but I also want the freedom to change it when I need to. I dictate the schedule; the schedule doesn’t dictate me.  Beating myself up over today will not help me get up tomorrow. And hey, I don’t need all those idea notes anyways… I’ve got plenty to use.

I hope you don’t surrender your writing life to what you think should happen. I hope you let your beautiful, crazy experiences create a writing life all for yourself.