Many of my writer friends are gearing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I am all for anything that gets writers to write. NaNo isn’t for us diamond polishers. It just makes us feel bad about our paltry word output. So, I’ll cheer on everyone churning words.
However, I’ve also seen this meme floating across my feed in the past few days
I know it is meant to prompt one to write about a topic every day for the month, but I’m 21 days behind. So, here’s 10 days of writing challenge in one blog post. We’ll see how the next 9 days go.
- Five problems with social media: Keyboard warriors who are only brave online and wouldn’t dare utter in person what they post on the web. Invasiveness. It seems as if things don’t actually exist if there isn’t a selfie posted. It is destroying grammar, spelling, and communication. OMG, HMU, SMH, HRU, and on and on. It is insidious. The social media sites are out to make money. Watch what they’re pushing to you as content. It isn’t just you and your friends catching up on life. It is you, your friends, and a bzillion dollar corporation trying to make a buck off you. It is addictive by design. I know I’m guilty of rushing to FB to see if anything happened in the ten minutes I was away.
- Your earliest memory: I intend this post to be in jest and lighthearted. This part won’t be. I crawled out of bed in my footy pajamas because I heard my mother crying. The light in the hall was on so I was brave enough to peek out. My father was sitting on the hallway floor with his back against the closet door. He was drinking from a bottle of clear liquor and talking on the phone. My baby sister was crying in her room. The sounds of my mother came from behind the closet door. With all the indignation a four year old can muster, I hit my father. He hit me back, with the phone, repeatedly.
- Your first love and first kiss: My first kiss was a girl at a 7th grade dance. I was en fuego that night. The first girl I said, “I love you” to was Carol, a girlfriend in college. She wore rubber O ring bracelets and bows in her hair like Madonna (it was 1984), and she could dance like you’ve never seen. She was also kind, funny, and smart. She still is.
- Ten interesting facts about yourself: Ummmm, I’m actually 6’4″, but I slouch. Let’s see…I’ve spent at least a week in 49 states, I was a state champion wrestler, I wrote and sold a novel, I’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail, I streaked through a Vegas casino, I am color blind and can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I suffer from severe depression but still think I’m the funniest person I know, I make the best chili in the world (seriously. I won awards…from the voices in my head), and I can make a noise with my mouth that I’ve never met anyone else who can do it.
- A place you would live but have never visited: I have lived all over this country and moved sight unseen on more than one occasion. I would live in New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, Spain, or Argentina, and I haven’t been to any of them.
- Someone who fascinates you and why: This is a long list. Annie Dillard because she is, in my opinion, our best living writer. Craig Childs because he is also a great writer, an adventurer, and my mancrush. The Pope because he might change a 2,000 year narrative in his lifetime…and he got a late start. The list goes on, but I will choose my BSW. She is smarter than I, a jumbled seeming contradiction of views that all make sense when you listen to her, the kindest person I’ve known, my best friend, and the love of my life.
- Tattoos you have and their meaning: I have several. The first was my ex-wife’s name above the Chinese symbol for love. I need to get that one removed. Until I do, I just tell people the symbol is “bitch.” Two of my kids names wrap my ankle. My family name, Leo, is Chinese. (I know I don’t look it.) I have our family name on my shoulder. And I have the Appalachian Trail logo on my leg…because hiking it altered the course of my life.
- A book you love and one you didn’t: I love books. They are spilling from shelves, nooks, and horizontal surfaces throughout my home. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick one….I’d smile and make you squeeze the trigger ( a little suicidal humor! Lighten up!) I’d probably pick the Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey. It isn’t the best written, but it awakened in seventeen year old me an understanding of the fragility of the world and the need to do our part. As for books I don’t like, there are many more of those. I’m a writer with an MFA in fiction. I’m particular and snobbish. I can open any page of The DaVinci Code and use it as a lesson for how to write shitty.
- Your feelings on ageism: Old people suck! Oh wait, I’m 50 now. Old people rule and young people suck! I’m opposed to most “isms.”
- A fruit you dislike and why: I may be wrong here, but I believe artichokes are a fruit. In which case, I pick them. There is an epic amount of work pulling off the leaves, scraping them on your teeth for a modicum of taste, and then you finally get to the delicious heart…and it is two bites at best. Pomegranates piss me off in the same manner. Way too much work to get the deliciousness.
Maybe we’ll keep going tomorrow.