What the hey?! Even though they have backyards for convenient placement of those unsightly beasts-on-wheels, since when did homeowners find it attractive to leave their trash/recycling/yard waste barrels out for weeks on end? [Yeah, sounds ‘get off my lawn-ish’, doesn’t it?]
Which logically leads to my concerns about fortune cookies…
The other night, I had three of them lined up for late night consumption with [product placement alert!] Yogi ginger tea. Could I enjoy them? Nope. Haunted by the following…
Is it bad juju to break and eat the cookie before reading the fortune?
Am I doomed if the cookie breaks before I even remove it from the wrapper?
Does the exact opposite fate await me if I break protocol?
Worse yet, is it bad form to eat all three cookies and then read all three fortunes?
And should I read them in the same order as the order in which I ate the cookies?
Is there a proper technique to break open the cookie?
One of my favorite pages from Austin Kleon‘s book Show Your Work ** encourages creators to become ‘documentarians of what you do’.
Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording your process as you go along has its own rewards: You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material to choose from.
2. Virginia puts life in perspective with her Roses in the Rubble.
Quote: “What does it take to stop you? There are all sorts of crutches that keep us from moving forward after our spills (splat) on the pavement of life: bruised egos and empty pockets, tears and fears, maybe sprained hearts too hurt to love anew.”
3. Shape Shifter Fitness keeps me on the culinary straight-and-narrow. Well, he tries to.
Quote [about turmeric]: “The difference it’s made in the quality of Stella’s life by adding it to her dog food has been amazing, and I’ll always be a huge proponent of its benefits for that alone.”
Okay, since Mr. Goins has not delivered the writing challenge prompt for today, allow me to step in.
But first a word from our unnamed [but still gathering data on your browsing tendencies] sponsor…
Have you noticed that the only difference between ‘donut’ and ‘don’t’ is ‘u’?
And now back to our regularly-scheduled programming…
Write about the time when you wanted to take over a class you were attending. Yes, include the parts about laying siege to the administration building. And when you planned to change your grade in the class you were failing. And the grades of anyone else who was willing to pony up for your newfound side hustle.
Speaking of side hustles, write about a side hustle you would like to try. Yes, include the start-up costs, including the condo on Maui, the Lear Jet, and your sales conferences in Aruba.
Write about the dossier you collected on your neighbors. No, not the slimy, distasteful stuff [that’s for a whole different writing challenge], but the ‘what they do that you should be doing but will never get around to doing, like painting their house during this millennium, and thus you hate them for making you look like a slothful parasite. Yeah, that kind of dossier.
Write about the stuff you immediately look at when you enter a thrift store. [Some of you might need to first fess up that you even visit them.]
Describe your ideal writing setting. Include the aromas Fresh-brewed coffee? Sea mist from nearby crashing waves? Both of those simultaneously? [Yeah! Way to dream!], the needed ambient noise, your essential writing tools [blender and recliner included].
Tell about how you will celebrate the completion of the January writing challenge. Feel free to include climbing the steps of a local civic building, turning, jogging in place, and raising your arms in victory. [Just don’t tell Sly Stallone.]
Share some predictions of the aftermath of the January writing challenge. Maybe your description of the ideal writing setting will send you on a shopping spree. Perhaps your discussion of the side hustle will lead to a few phone calls with off-shore realtors. It could be as simple as a new set of pens. [For me, it’s one of those multi-packs of Flair pens, which guarantee a result from the inspired scrawl sessions in the pitch black of 3:00 AM. I don’t care if these brainstorms are in hot pink, I just want them recorded.]
Write a tribute to your writing life cheerleaders. Detail their qualities and those special moments when they lifted you up or drilled you with a solid dose of reality or treated you to a bacon breakfast burrito to launch you on your next project. [Yes, I know, ‘bacon breakfast burrito’ is getting pretty specific, but I want you to home in on their specialness.]
Make a list of ten products or services you wished existed for writers [or for folks with other avocations, life circumstances, or community service obligations]. Come on, stretch that thinking and have fun. Seriously, don’t you think all of us writers—in the midst of an inspirational surge— need an on-call personal assistant to cook the arroz con pollo, toothbrush that annoying tile grit in the shower, and give Barkley his afternoon romp? [For me, it would be an editor of my first-draft tirades and a typist of the acres of material from my notebooks. Oh! And someone with discretion and taste to sift through that stuff once it is typed up. I haven’t yet come up with a title for that poor shlub.]
Okay, so I’ve covered for Mr. Goins. If you haven’t already started your Jan. 27 challenge, there you go!
As for me, I just finished mine. [I hate ‘smug’, don’t you?]