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.

Update 4/20/17

I’ve been breaking some promises, and I’ve been keeping some too.

Many of you may have noticed the missing Tuesday and Wednesday updates. Well, guess what, I’m sick again. With what? I wish I knew. My doctor says it could be unknown seasonal allergies, could be a virus. Anyways, I spent the last few days just trying to walk around the house without collapsing.

I considered updating the blog anyways. Here’s what I concluded: I had nothing to say at the time, and I had no way of making that nothing worth reading. I still plan to write 1,250 words a week, same as I promised in the beginning. But, as I talked about here, I don’t want to waste your time. So if I’m a bit slow on the updates, know that I’m taking care of myself… and making this blog the best it can be.

And now for something completely different:

A Confession

The current political climate keeps me from posting some of my deeply held beliefs. Everyone’s so on edge and self-righteous nowadays… it’s hard to state an unpopular opinion without some measure of defensiveness. Yet I didn’t create this blog so I could not self-express. I might get some Internet backlash, but what the hey. Those SJWs could use a better class of target than the usual suspects.

Continue reading “A Confession”