“A Love Letter to Wifi”

Written 18 July 2018.

I’m working on writing a poem every day. This is day one of this streak.

Why do I not have wifi?

I’m trying to waste the time

before I am forced to leave

for work, important but un-fun.

Come back, please, wifi,

don’t leave me alone,

I need you to function,

without you life drones.

Improving Productivity

First, this is simply what I am trying to increase my productivity and get more done, specifically for my writing.

Between working two jobs, writing for Over the Invisible Wall, and keeping this blog posting every day, I feel really busy. At the same time, I don’t think I’m spending enough time writing or generally working on my creative projects. A lot of my free time is whiled away on the internet, especially Discord. Chatting with my friends is great, but I want to direct more of my time to good use.

Recently, I was late for work for the second time in almost a year. I forgot when I worked and left home when I was supposed to be signed in. I have my schedule in my phone with calendar alerts so I can’t forget. But I still forgot. So I bought a large journal from Walmart for about $5 and I’ve been writing down when I work the current day, when I work tomorrow, and a to-do list. Anything I don’t finish goes to the next day’s list.

I also started getting up an hour and a half earlier every day. I was staying up late and getting up at about 10 am. I decided to change that so I’d have more time before I left for work to write or get other things done. Now I’m getting up closer to 8:30 and I hope to change that to 8 once I adjust better.

Even with this, I still feel unsatisfied with my creative output, but I’m only just establishing a habit of it. I’m forcing myself to write a poem every day. Some of them have been unsatisfactory because I didn’t have an idea for a poem but I wrote one anyway. At some point it will be better and I’ll get ideas when I go to write because I’m programming myself to be that way.

I’ve only just started, but I think this, making a list, checking things off, getting up earlier, etc. will help me be more productive and finish more in shorter amounts of time.

My Trip to Millstadt

Last week I used my day off to take a trip to Millstadt, IL. If you didn’t know, I’m writing for the Millstadt News magazine once a month. This month I was researching the old drug store. The problem: I couldn’t find the information I needed online. So I drove about forty minutes one way to go to the Millstadt Library and interview two of the pharmacy’s former owner’s children.

I learned a few things:

  1. Know ahead of time if a certain library has the necessary resources available by calling them or looking it up online. I wasted a good deal of my day sitting in the Millstadt Library, unable to get any further in my research. A different library had the old newspapers I wanted to look at, but I didn’t have time to go there.
  2. Plan for an interview by having questions you think you want to ask. Some of these may not need asking during the interview, depending on what you learn and what you already know about who you’re interviewing or the topic you’re trying to learn about. Going into my interview, I had questions based on misinformation because my research didn’t give me a clear picture of things. This is okay. Ask new questions that you think of based on what you learn.
  3. Be sure to ask if you can record the interview so you can double check details and will not miss anything. I forgot to ask about recording my interview. I know I lost some interesting details that were shared because I was in the middle of writing down the previous thought.

It was a good trip, worthwhile overall. For the amount of time I spent, though, I would have liked it to be a bit more productive. If I take writing-related trips in the future, to Millstadt or elsewhere, I will be better prepared as best I can. As this was my first, I went in rather blind.

Deleted Drafts “The Etaloniy Story” 3

Five years ago I began writing a story about a girl named Etaloniy Whitlock. The result was quite the disaster of a story. Because it is rather long, I have split what I have of her story into three parts. Part one went up two weeks ago and part two went up last Wednesday.

5: MOM TO THE “RESCUE”!

After assessing the situation, she walked right up to the police officer pinning Clamal to the building. I stand there in complete shock, with my mouth open as I watch her. I force myself to move closer so I can hear her.

“…So you can’t let me take custody over her unless her mother doesn’t show up within twelve hours?”

“Lady, I told you — as soon as her mother shows up, you can transfer responsibility for the offense over to yourself.”

“What happens if any other family members come and admit the family relation?”

What was she trying to do?! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“Mom! Mom, can we go to the mall?” I hurry over before she can ask any more questions.

“No, we can’t. If you like you can find an outfit in one of the shops here in the square.”

“Please! Please! I told you — they don’t have the new shirt that I want!” I have to get her away from this police officer!

“FIne, you can go to the mall, but you have to pay with your own money.”

As I walk away I say some things in a language my teacher at school said is called English.

~~~~~

I go home after spending fifteen minutes at the mall, not actually having wanted to go when I remember my cake!

I don’t expect to find the piece I had first cut for myself — Bran probably ate that one. I’ll cut a new piece, eat it, and go back to the square to make sure Mom didn’t get arrested.

~~~~~

After rushing to the square, I look over and see Mom — chained on the police rack next to Preana! I facepalm myself, but resist the urge to go over to her, not wanting to get arrested myself.

6: JAILBREAK!

I call our home with my cell and quickly fill in Bran on what’s happened. I say it in a language I made up several years ago that only my siblings and I know. He knew my message was important as soon as I started using it.

He promised to hurry over to help me get them away from the police.

~~~~~

They showed up thirty minutes (thirty minutes!!) later and asked me in Fintalarkan if I had a plan.

I said I did, but wasn’t sure if it’d work.

“What’s it?”

“Well…”

“Out with it!”

“We get arrested and then pick the locks to escape. Or we can go home, get the rubies that belong to use cause they’re on our property, and after selling them, pay the fees to get Preana, Mom, and Clamal released from jail tomorrow.”

“…Tomorrow! Why not today!” Bran asked.

“Cause on a case like this, meaning one involving Rubies, they’re tried, or taken to court, before put in jail. We have to wait till tomorrow after they’ve had their appearance in court.”

“Oh… Why does it work that way?” Bran hadn’t been to school long enough to figure that out on his own, it seems, even in third grade.

“Because of Wheenman… The monster hates when his precious rubies are tampered with…”

“Oh… I guess let’s go home, then…”

We go home quickly and when we get there revert back to the native language of M’lenkaa, Lenkaan.

When we get there after a long walk, we’re not quite sure what to do… It’s almost dinner time and only Clamal and Mom know how to actually cook… Then I think about the frozen meals that only require being put in the oven at around 350 degrees or 400 degrees.

“I got it! Frozen pizza!”

Life Is What You Make It

I frequently think about my life, what I want to accomplish, what I’ve done so far, and how long I have to do everything I dream of. This will be a series featuring things I’ve written about such things, both poetry and prose.

Ponderings and Purpose

9 January 2018

It’s enough for them to assert

that this, too, shall pass,

that nothing here will ever last

And saying so is absurd.

For how could something finite

outlast that which is eternal?

But that for me wasn’t the

question but the answer.

For how can anything we’ve

ever done outlast a world

that’s just begun

after we’ve left it, gone,

all traces erased,

all paths equal, the same.

A life lived —

regrets and mistakes aplenty,

sure, it’s the same for ev’ryone.

There’s no reason to waste time

pining after a time

that may not come to fruition,

that may be entirely fiction.

We can’t know for certain

but we all love certainty,

so we create it.

Our assertions are flawless,

arguments misguided.

We’re all trying to make sense

of this life we’re all

so lucky to be living

on this wet rock in a

deep vast space

with other rocks and balls of gas

co-existing along with us.

Why are we here?

we wonder,

How are we here?

we ponder.

Sometimes you have to let

all that go, all those

big questions for philosophy

and live in the moment

because this life is the only one

we know for sure we’ve got

and wasting it, letting it rot,

we should be ashamed.

We should live life to the fullest,

not in the sentiment of YOLO —

which justifies stupidity

but for a focus and drive

to make the most

of what we’ve got

because in too short a time

it will be gone.

The Coffee Explorations: Papa Nicholas House Roast

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

I also wrote about Starbucks Sumatra.

When I opened the bag of coffee grounds, a pleasant coffee aroma hit my nose. I hoped that this would be a sure sign of enjoying the taste as well. I was not disappointed. I initially chose this coffee at Walmart because it had a one dollar off coupon attached to it with no clue whether it was a good choice. Now I think it was.

Two scoops of coffee grounds steeped in a “four cup” French press in boiling water for seven minutes. After I filtered out the grounds, I poured both cups into my large Harry Potter mug emblazoned with the crest of Slytherin. Yesterday I found the second cup of coffee poured to be a bit thin, and this might be a way to combat that.

I smelled the black coffee; it had a rich smell similar to the grounds. I tend to dislike black coffee because of its bitterness, so I declined to sip it black. I stirred in raw sugar and then heavy whipping cream. Sipped it. It was hot and smooth and delicious.

Without the coupon, it was $5.48 plus tax. I would buy it again, with or without a dollar off. I’ll probably try more of their roasts in the future.

I give Papa Nicholas House Roast an 8/10 for price and an 8/10 for taste.

The Coffee Explorations: Starbucks Sumatra

This is perhaps an unusual post for a mostly creative-content blog. I recently bought a French press and haven’t the slightest idea what kind of coffee I like because we only had an espresso maker at my house before. It might be interesting later for me to look back and see what I thought about various coffees while I was drinking them for the first time. For those of you who also love coffee, you might enjoy this post as well.

When I opened the cabinet with the tea and coffee this morning, I discovered that while I had bought coffee on Friday, my dad had bought coffee as well. Since we had a little of the Fresh Thyme Sumatra left and he had bought Starbucks Sumatra, I decided to make my mixed cup entirely Sumatra.

I used one scoop of Fresh Thyme Sumatra coffee grounds and one scoop of Starbucks Sumatra grounds. When I opened the Starbucks bag, it had a noticeably over-roasted smell to it, especially compared to the Fresh Thyme. The grounds were also a slightly darker color.

Once the coffee was ready, I used heavy whipping cream and raw cane sugar as is my preference. I also have dry hazelnut creamer but I wanted to get a better idea of how this coffee tasted before using it.

Just like it smells, it tastes a bit over-roasted, not a lot, but the Fresh Thyme Sumatra is definitely better. I probably will not be drinking it again after today. Unless I run out of the coffee I bought, which I’ll review tomorrow when I make it.

I give Starbucks Sumatra a 5/10.

If I try it alone I’ll update the review according to how it tastes without Fresh Thyme Sumatra too.