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)”

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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.

Continue reading “Strange People Approached Me on the Streets of Chicago”

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.

Continue reading “The New Mission of Word Salad Spinner”

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.