We needn’t contort every word, twisting bad to mean good, and sick to mean amazing. This is just obfuscation and lunacy.
I thought, not for the first time today, that I need a little sand and sun. It’s been too long since I went parasailing, upside down, while watching dolphins play ping-pong with a shark. Or since I floated, laughing, unable to sink, in the warm salty water near Miami, smooth as glass and clear enough to see my toes squishing in the sand. And as I re-read the question, I thought, How can I not write a descriptive paragraph about the beach? But what came out, like a tiny hermit crab from a tiny painted shell, wanted to be poetry, not paragraphs.
I am resisting the urge to “metablog” as my friend Dave M once put it. Blogging about blogging. Writing about writing (or writers). Neither of those things are very interesting to anyone but bloggers and writers. It’s like all the backstage action at a theater: fun for the theater geeks, but not so much for the audience.
Gerald, the lawn gnome, had grown tired of being “cute.” He had looked it up, one night, in a dictionary Elizabeth had carelessly left lying on the front stoop. It did not mean handsome, or manly, or noble. No, “cute” was something whimsical and trivial and Gerald had been in a foul mood ever since he’d learned the […]
What was that hackneyed advice someone always trotted out, eager to prove they knew nothing at all about the process of writing? Ahh, yes: “Write what you know.”
Ah, that Little Mermaid – what did she know? They say the sand is always more appealing on the other side of the water’s surface. I lay back on the little wind-surfer board and let my fingers trail in the water. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze; I was just drifting with the […]
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is the last car we have available.” The agent shook his head at the monitor and shrugged. It was a small, older car, and no one had a key to the trunk, it seemed. The family ahead of me would never get all their bags into it, clearly, and they […]
One of the challenges of a blog challenge, blogfest, or writing prompt is to write about something that doesn’t immediately inspire you. This should be easy for someone who spent the largest part of their career, to date, as a technical writer, but that part of my career is in the past, and some part […]
If the mere idea of death makes you queasy, just skip this post. There’s really nothing morbid about the National Museum of Funeral History, but I know people who shudder at the thought and refuse to go explore it, despite death being a natural, inevitable part of life. Before I tell you about that, then, […]
Since shuttering my Facebook accounts, including WhatsApp and Instagram, I have had time to explore alternatives. I’ve tried out Viber and Signal, but the only Messenger replacement I’m really enjoying – while trying to recruit more users to make it more fun and interesting – is Telegram. In terms of privacy and security, it’s much […]
Meditation There are natural nothing-thinkers in the world; I’m not one of them. The directive to “make your mind a blank” tends to have the opposite effect on me, like, “don’t think of pink elephants sipping Cosmos on the moon.” I try to think of nothing, but it’s a half-hearted effort. At best, I just […]
Most of the images on this blog are mine. The few that I did not take, myself, are used with permission, licensed under creative commons, or public domain images. But I prefer to use my own, and as digital cameras and camera phones improve in quality and usability, they also produce much larger files that […]
It’s SUMMER! It’s a LINK PARTY! Remember summer scavenger hunts, running through the streets with a list of things to bring back from the neighbors? Only kids can get by with that sort of thing, I think! It was fun while it lasted, but just try asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar, a […]
She’s the kind of hero we hope and pray we never need and don’t like to think about needing while traveling in a tin can with wings, 35,000 feet above the planet. But to anyone who doubts that a woman has what it takes to fly a fighter jet or a commercial airliner, or who […]
No Time to Waffle I’m convinced that nothing good happens in the wee hours of the morning, and it’s not proper to leave the house before coffee’s brewed and in the cup. But it’s not that simple: In those early morning hours, sleepy cities start to stir; babies are born; darkness gives way to dawn, […]
Face facts: some are ruled by hope and some by fear. All are mortal, even you. Yes, even you, Comrade, with your hundred smiling Facebook faces. Each keystroke, rat-a-tat-tat, fires gunshots Branding terror, while jaded papparazzi Offer bounties for another shot, a One-time deal, exceptional, American Killings as natural as apple pies. Mitchell Allen is […]
Why on Earth in April? The poet T.S. Eliot famously declared: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. The cruelest thing about it was expecting restless high schoolers, too fresh-faced to have experienced life, death, and all the memories between, […]
Listening to people argue that there is no way they were manipulated by some foreign power’s social media propaganda machine is both amusing and disheartening. I can understand deep denial and the impulse to say, “Hey, even though I shared 79 posts from a known Russian bot, no way was my vote influenced by it!” […]
It’s an addiction. Back in the 1980s, early 1990s, I posited the idea of “online addiction” and got nothing but funny looks. Now, the inclusion of “Internet Addiction Disorder” is studied and its inclusion in the DSM is seriously considered (though as of this writing, it is not a defined psychiatric disorder – you can […]
Spring has sprung with a vengeance – flinging us from 40ºF to 84ºF in the blink of an eye. I have stare-downs from the kitchen table with the garden gnome. Is it just me, or has he moved since I last mentioned him here? I’m pretty sure he does that just to freak me out. […]
These are the books I’ve read or bought since I wrote “Curing the Reading Drought.” The cookbooks, Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use it, and The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann will require a bit of creative adaptation; they have, in fact, inspired me to begin work, with […]