Tag Archives: blogging

The first rule.

Blogging should be like Fight Club, where the first rule is you don’t talk about it.

But I’ll go ahead and talk about it, mostly to say that you should never believe me when I say I’m going to blog a lot.

Oh, I had good intentions.


You know what they say about good intentions. (Image: Shutterstock)

But life got in the way. I’ll spare you the details of how a long-standing health mystery was finally diagnosed and instead dispense only the good news that I appear to have found a nifty job of the 40-hour-per-week variety, so that has taken much of my time. It has been a bit of an adjustment, too, being that I was used to hitting the hay whenever I felt like it and now I’m on a schedule.

I’ve also rediscovered the joys of being out among the living, namely a series of respiratory bugs the likes of which I have not had in 7 or 8 years. I’m recovering from one right now.

Only 180 left.

Only 180 cough drops left. I hope I make it.


I still have plans to write a trashy novel under a pseudonym, slap it up on Amazon, and travel the world on the proceeds. It could happen! I might only get as far as Baltimore, but it could definitely happen.

I’m not sure what it will be about, but this much I know: I shan’t debase myself far enough to write monster erotica. A few years ago, there was much ado about the Virginia housewife who made $30,000 a month writing Yeti porn, and I’ve since learned that if you pick a beastie, any beastie, someone, somewhere, has written a series of “erotic” novels about it: minotaurs, centaurs, mermen, cyclops, kraken, gargoyles, leprechauns (that one might be about an ex of mine), orcs, dinosaurs, even aliens posing as jungle tentacle plants.

Just, no.

It does get me thinking, however. Clearly there’s an audience for that stuff. Someone reads it. Someone pays to read it. Maybe not much, three bucks max, but they spend real money on it, so it has some value beyond curiosity. People even review it and give it five stars. How hard can it be?

Except, see, I know myself. I know that once I start writing, I’ll get hung up on setting, character development, symbolism, and plot. I’ll want it to work, with no inconsistencies, no gaps, no place where a reader can say, “Wait, how did this character know that?” or “No, that couldn’t be possible because two chapters ago that character was somewhere else.” Then before you know it I’ll be writing a novel I’d want my name on that just happened to have a few sexy scenes. I’d be all literary and stuff, and it would take a year of research, three years of writing, another year of editing, and another year or two of overcoming crippling self-doubt before I even consider publishing it.

Even worse, people would know what I was doing throughout the process because such self-torture does not go without notice or discussion. They’d ask me how it’s going because they would want to read it, and then of course I’d never finish it because I’d hate to disappoint anyone—and that defeats the purpose entirely.

So maybe the first rule of writing trash should be the same as the first rule of blogging, which should be the same as the first rule of Fight Club.

Don’t talk about it.

Far-flung friends.

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?

–Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Last year was my Year of Letting Go, in which I slowly but surely let go of friendships and work relationships that were bringing more stress and negativity into my life than joy or mutual support, or that had simply run their course. It’s not always easy to let go or fade out, but time and energy that you devote to relationships that aren’t working are time and energy you could be devoting to relationships that will. In some ways, the heart is like a hard drive: It has only so much space, and you need to watch out for resource hogs.

While looking for a suitable quote to post with a photo of the Kahlil Gibran Memorial on my Instagram, I came upon the snippet above, and it got me thinking of how I let a few local friendships go in favor of friendships with people who live far away. Part of this is because a few friends in distant places have had access to my personal, private online journal for many years (some going back to 2003), and vice versa. We’ve been with each other through births, deaths, marriages, divorces, remarriages, trauma, illness, healing, job loss, moves, natural disasters, you name it. I’ve met many of them in person, spoken to quite a few of them on the phone, and have had visits and taken trips with several of them. Getting to know each other was effortless, and we get along so well because we had something solid in common from the start—values, life experiences, politics, how we see the world and handle what life throws at us, etc. Hey, if you don’t take a shine to what you read in someone’s journal, there’s no sense in sticking around and forging a rapport.

This is one reason why I pretty much never post photos of myself on the Internet or social media. I prefer to have a meeting of the minds because that’s what’s most important to me in any friendship I form, and for better or worse, pictures lead to presumptions. I’d rather not introduce a prejudice if I don’t have to. Then there are the guys who see a photo of a woman and decide to say something inappropriate. Yeah, no thanks.

Part of the Kahlil Gibran Memorial in Washington, D.C. He would not approve of lewd comments.

Kahlil Gibran wouldn’t post lewd comments. Be like Kahlil Gibran.

But anyway, finding that quote made me think of my faraway friends who know me better than some who lived in a 5-mile radius of me, and better than anyone in my own family ever did. That’s the wonder of the Internet. It has its risks and its flaws, but it enables you to find your people if you use it right. I firmly believe you get two families: The one you’re born with and the one you craft for yourself by filling your sphere with people you love simply because they are who they are, and who love you in return simply because you are you. Distance, like DNA, is a matter of chance.

So here’s to my blog buddies and my fellow MySpace survivors from back in the day, and here’s to my more recent acquaintances and all the possibilities. Now if someone would just invent a teleporter, we could raise a glass.

P.S. Speaking of the Internet, for the love of all that is holy, it’s Kahlil, not “Khalil.”

Holidailies 2016!

Okay, so Horrordailies didn’t work out so well for me. I feel guilt. I feel shame. I hang my head low and sigh.


But Holidailies? It’s on.

And already I’m stealing an idea from a fellow blogger, Mary of the Red Nose, and doing a general introduction with 10 things about me, glorious me! (“Mary of the Red Nose.” Sounds saintly, heh!)

1. I’m a writer. A freelance journalist to be exact. Health, because basically I didn’t do so well in biochemistry in high school so med school was out.

2. I have a bird. Look at this sweet face.

Inigo the Nanner King

Inigo the Nanner King

Do not let him fool you. He can be a little devil.

Handsome little devil, eh?

Handsome, if soggy, little devil, eh?

Don’t mind the watermark. That’s his Instagram handle.

3. I’m a vegetarian. I guess technically you could call me a lacto-ovo-pescatarian, but I’m doing my best to work dairy and eggs out of my diet and seafood is generally my “going out” food if none of the meat-free options on the menu look appealing. Even then, I try to keep the environment in mind. I don’t keep milk, eggs, butter, or mayonnaise in my fridge, and I recently bought some vegan “cheese,” which is kind of bland, and Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie, which tastes nothing like the original ice cream and requires me to reframe it as its own thing instead of as a substitute. It’s not bad. It’s just not uber-chocolatey. I’ve given up on trying to find an alternative to milk, as every one I’ve tried made me gag, so I just don’t have cereal anymore.

4. I’m an atheist. This, with 12 years of Catholic school behind me. Oops. Once upon a time I was a Unitarian-Universalist, having converted away from Catholicism, but I don’t claim a religion anymore.

5. Oh, as long as we’re getting all of “those” things out of the way, I do HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, but not Cross-Fit, so I’m not too obnoxious, I hope. Hey, I’ve seen the memes.


6. I’m ambiverted, but if push comes to shove I will claim introversion and the Myers-Briggs indicator of INTJ. Some call this type The Architect. Others call it The Mastermind. In terms of characters with the INTJ personality, I tend to identify with Jean-Luc Picard and not Dexter Morgan. Usually. (There’s actually a dearth of female INTJ characters. The most famous one is Clarice Starling. Hannibal Lecter is an INTJ, too.)

Now there's two sides of the same coin. (Image: Orion Pictures)

Now there’s two sides of the same coin. (Image: Orion Pictures)

7. My favorite color is purple. Just saying.

8. I’m straight, but could not possibly care less what anyone else is. Well, unless I’m interested in dating a guy. Then it kind of matters which way he swings.

9. I’m originally from Long Island but consider the D.C. area home, namely the Virginia side of the river. I toy with the idea of moving to the Maryland side, but I’m a Virginian in mindset in many ways. I kid people that I’m the next best thing to a socialist, but there are moderate, or even somewhat conservative, things about the Commonwealth that appeal to me, things that just scream “VIRGINIA,” as in, we don’t do parole. Also, up to 70% of Internet traffic flows through northern Virginia. Be nice to us, especially you there, in Silicon Valley. Also, Shenandoah National Park. You need to see Skyline Drive to believe it. And peanuts. And the Virginia Reel. And Thomas Jefferson. Did I mention Thomas Jefferson? Hamilton can suck a peanut, that authoritarian cur.

10. I have a crush on France and Finland. If you put me in France or a French-speaking area for a few months, a lot of my French would come back to me, and I could get by. If you put me in Finland for a few months I would still only be able to order a beer and insult people, maybe even at the same time. Have you ever taken a good look at Finnish?

A famous Polandball comic, as seen on Reddit.

A famous Polandball comic, as seen on Reddit.