Archive for May, 2013

A month ago, I quit my job at a corporate coffee shop and made this video.

Now I’m writing full-time and connecting with family and observing turtles at the park and mostly enjoying the silence. And looking for a new job–soon. All in good time.

Hope you’re well, friends! If you have a job, I hope you like it. If you don’t–hope you like it.

I’ve also dug up a series of journals I kept when I was 8 and 9.

10/28/93: “I like to read a hole lout. Somtimes I wish I had the biggest librery in the world. Then I could read evry single book in there! One day I counted my books and I have one hundred or somthing of them! On day I want to write my own book. It would be fun! Because–I like reading! Any book is good for me!”

It’s true. I like reading. I like writing. It’s fun!


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why i do this shit

scrapfiction story for my honey

scrapfiction story for my honey

I think I write different things for different reasons.

As far as I can tell, I write fiction because when I write it, it feels like I’m using 100% of myself, and at the same time, I’m able to forget myself. It reminds me of working in my mom’s field—clearing silted-in corrugates with a shovel. Walking along the little ditches one by one, scooping out sand that’s blocking the water. Meanwhile, I notice my mind become alert to things. The feeling is: alone in the sun, muscles warm, bright water on black dirt. Fiction is clarity, sanity. For me, it’s not therapy, though it feels good to do. It’s not self-expression, though of course all writing is expressing things. I don’t know. It’s just, I get pictures in my head. I get people in there, and they’re often talking to each other. And I like being alone a lot. It makes sense to write fiction. I’ve always done it.

Some writing, however, requires a different, though not entirely separate, set of reasons. For my website, scrapfiction, I take story requests and write responses within a one-hour deadline. Lately, I’ve been writing scrapfiction stories on the street for tips, and the deadline is even shorter—twenty minutes. It’s like turning a roving spotlight loose in your brain and seeing what lights up. The “stories” usually come out like poems or fairy tales, and some are better than others. I wrote a story about a giant picking up lifetimes from the plains as she walked, and I liked that one. I also had fun writing a story called “Purple-Orange” for an eight-year-old named Dalvay.

The main difference is: these stories are about connection—particularly the ones I write in-person, on a page, and give to someone who bothered to approach me for a story and then came back for it. (Also, the stories are usually written in the shape of the person’s head, which I drew as he was standing there thinking of what he wanted me to write about.)

The stories I write in my little office on my own aren’t really about connecting with an audience. These stories start to tell themselves to me no matter what, and I could either write them down or not, and I prefer to write them down and see what’s going to happen. It’s nice, also, to sit down and write a long, quiet thing, and be pulled along by it. And not care if anyone ever sees it.

I don’t know why people tend to question writers who don’t write to share, insisting, “Why make something if you don’t intend to show it to somebody?” There isn’t one type of writer. There isn’t one reason for doing work. Any one reason isn’t more noble or legitimate than another. I mostly write without feeling compelled share it, but I doubt that makes me, say, any more secure than the next writer. It’s just—that’s not the reason.

When I do put something out there (to advance my “career” and hopefully scrape together some kind of living), I care a great deal about what happens to it. And of course I hope people will like it. But back when I was writing it, I wasn’t thinking about those things. I was thinking about it.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong about my reasons. It’s possible I have no idea why I do this shit. But I think it’s more important just to do it. I need about half a reason. 

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