Books Aren’t Cadavers

Two blog posts in two days. Pretty wild, huh?

Yesterday I wrote the first new post since January, about how my New Years Resolutions have more or less been dashed but that a greater goal has emerged: completing my first novel in 2014. It appears to be doable. I calculated how many words I think it will take to come up with 16 different endings to the story (it being a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style book for adults), and it’s looking like at the current rate I would only need to write about 280 words per day to complete the book by the last day of the year. But I’m hoping it doesn’t actually come down to the wire like that.

Coming up with this project, along with being on a Stephen King kick in advance of my trip to New England this summer (which will include a Stephen King tour in Bangor, Maine on this awesome van), had inspired me to think about what kind of books are worth reading and writing.

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It’s been months since my last new blog post was published on The Midnight Diner. The last one was my piece on Pet Peeves from January 31. The dirty little secret about that post, and several of the ones before before it, is that they were actually written weeks before that. I loaded up several entries at one point early on in January so that I would get a break from my commitment to writing two blog posts each week. Continue reading

Pet Peeves

I love that the phrase “pet peeves” exists.

It’s affirming to know that because that phrase exists, we are all allowed to have things that we acknowledge we just don’t like, and if we’re skilled or persuasive, we can talk about our pet peeves without necessarily alienating people by making them think we’re whiny, bitter people. We can just use the phrase “pet peeves” and then have permission to proceed on a tirade.

Personally, I don’t know if I’m among the skilled and persuasive complainers, but because I’m a blog writer I’m empowered with the authority to present you with lists. The internet loves lists, and the internet loves to vent frustrations, and you, dear reader, are a part of the internet, right? Continue reading

Favorite Podcasts, Part 2

moth_logo_cover2In the first edition of the Favorite Podcasts series, posted last week, I wrote about my picks for the top three podcasts (that I listen to).

This time, I’m going into the second tier. At times I prefer shows in this section to This American Life, Fresh Air, and Savage Love, especially when they are brand new to me and exciting. But because I haven’t listened to them as long, they haven’t made it into my personal pantheon of favorites quite yet. As I’ve learned over the years I’ve been a podcast listener, sometimes shows that have a ton of promise can unfortunately burn out quickly and disappear without a trace, or the schedule becomes irregular. Or I just have gotten my fill and lose interest.

Second Tier

Among the five selections are a couple of new favorites plus a classic staple or two. These are in order of which I discovered first to which one I started listening to most recently.  Continue reading

Favorite Podcasts, Part 1

Podcasts are a major part of my life. I devote hours each week to keeping up on the latest updates, and every couple of months I discover a new one to love and slowly go through its entire backlog of episodes.

dan savageI’ve meant to write about podcasts for some time now. Podcasts are good for subway rides, waiting for the subway, walking to the subway, walking from the subway (turns out a lot of my life revolves around taking subways), listening while working, listening while taking a bath, listening while eating breakfast, listening while taking a walk, listening while jogging (which I admittedly don’t do often enough). Pretty much any time I’m not talking to someone. And because I don’t have to drive in New York, I never have to feel guilty about popping in my earbuds in transit. Continue reading

Chicago is …

  • a hot dog salesman grimacing at the mention of ketchup
  • a man panhandling at a stop light
  • a sea of North Face jackets jogging next to Lake Michigan
  • a river dyed green
  • the third largest city that still calls itself the Second City
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Blast From The Past Part 4: Momentary Reality

In December, I posted the three-part Blast From The Past series. The first post featured a surreal flash fiction piece I wrote when I had recently moved to New York in 2011. The second post included three poems I wrote in college. Then the third went all the way back to my senior year of high school for a short story I wrote called “Pedestrian” that was based on the months I worked at a bowling alley and fantasized about escaping into a life of crime.

dream storyIt was embarrassing and hilarious to look back the naïve hack writing in the story from high school, and for today’s blog post I dug up another story I wrote in high school that I had totally forgotten about until just now. Continue reading