Saturday Special: Espresso Martini Recovery Edition

Some days, there is simply nothing more beautiful than a cup of coffee.

Hello there, love! I ordered an espresso martini last night and didn’t realize that it had actual espresso in it, so today is off to a strange start. Then I went to a yoga class where the teacher was loopy from allergy medicine — it happens to the best of us! But it was definitely entertaining. Remind me not to take Zyrtec before teaching.

Here’s the playlist I made while I couldn’t sleep last night:

I like to plan blog posts in advance, but my favorites this week were my first ever, potentially annual fashion post and How to Give Joyfully, both of which were really fun to write and even took me by surprise.

My business cards finally came in, and I LOVE them. The flower design is by my sister, of course. I hope no one thinks I’m being too cocky with my “job description.”
My cards arrived!

Here are some of my favorite things from elsewhere on the internet this week:

I tweeted about this way back in the day, and I still want this on a t-shirt. (Oh, yeah, and I downloaded my entire Twitter archive. I’ll be scrubbing that for interesting tidbits in the days to come.)

I needed these reminders this week: Danielle Laporte’s declarations on business life.

This guy in Seattle says punk rock is bullshit. He makes some good points, but my instinct is still to disagree with him. I think punk still has some great things to offer.

My reddit book exchange match turned out to be a really cool guy. Check out his art work and follow him on Twitter.

A manga based on Sei Shonagon? Yes, please! Lauren brought this up on Twitter the other day, and I had forgotten I wanted to read it. So brilliant. Can’t wait to read it.

In general, you should read Lauren’s blog because she is fabulous.

Adrienne Rich on the function of art. I love her so much.

This guy is possibly the worst and yet the most intriguing inventor in the world. Check out some of the stuff he invented … a magnetic condom?!

My gaming group found this list of cocktails you can make with Tang. Some of them actually sound delicious. Others? Terrifying.

Gala Darling wrote a cool and in-depth article on palmistry. I’ve always found that sort of thing interesting!

This was floating around Tumblr this week: Chris is just a simple guy. I saw it on my friend Lisa’s blog, and she posts a lot of funny and inspiring things, so you should check her out.

Fascinating and humanizing — photos of porn stars without their makeup (SFW).

I think that’s it for today, folks. It’s a gorgeous day outside here in Maryland, and we’re celebrating the birthday of my lovely mother-in-law tomorrow. That means it’s time to open up the windows so the house can get some fresh air and get the place feeling nice for a Sunday brunch. Mimosas? Oh yes. There will be mimosas.


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Poetry for Your Personal Apocalypse (the poem that started it all)

Last night, I made a list of apocalyptic words and wrote what I think will be the first poem in my 2013 collection: Poetry for Your Personal Apocalypse. 

The other day, I sortof jokingly mentioned on Twitter that I want to write a collection of post-apocalyptic poetry for 2013, but the more I thought about it, the funnier and more amazing it sounded. I’m seriously thinking I want to do this. At Risk, the collection of poems and essays that I put out this year, isn’t really a coherent collection. It’s more like a sampler tray of the types of writing that I do. On the other hand, Dirty Water Coffee is a more curated collection with all the essays working toward a central theme. I’ve never really attempted to do that with poetry before, although I went through a phase in junior high where I wrote very dark little poems based on photos of fashion models wearing scary futuristic goth outfits. Anyway, this would be more intentional.

Here’s the poem that started it all. Maybe I will edit later. I dunno.

poetry for your personal apocalypse

I love the human heart
the monster heart
the alien heart
the eyes of the heart — colorless
blind to all but the shine
of the true true truth.

I love the human heart,
the thing that bubbles up,
the submarine breaching
the surfacing to view
of oceanic you
the glitter
of a thousand mirrors
shattered on the sea.

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The 100 Books Project

Old books
A major part of creativity is seeking inspiration. If you only pull your ideas from inside your own head, after a while you will run out! That’s why so many creative people live in fear of running out of ideas, and why so many people stall out creatively once their lives settle into a daily routine. Inspiration comes from branching out, learning, and trying new things.

One way that I’m seeking new inspiration in 2013 is to attempt to read 100 books. Now, I’m a comparatively slow reader, and I never quite believe people who say they read 100 or more books every year — they can’t possibly be absorbing all the information if they’re speeding through like that! But I’m setting this goal nonetheless.

My list so far includes classics, comic books, biographies, spiritual guides, poetry, and much more. Some of what I want to read relates directly to my writing projects, such as the NaNoWriMo novel that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown in 2012. Others are books I’ve always been curious about or things other people have suggested.

As we move through the year, I’ll be posting occasionally about the books I read and what I’m learning from them. If you have a book you’d like to suggest, please let me know in the comments!

Want to read along with me? Come join me on Goodreads

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what he calls love


About 2/3 through reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Memories of my Melancholy Whores, I was compelled to write about it.

It’s simply written. The sentences are short and clear. The language is vivid, warm and breathing. The old man character is despicable but also oddly loveable. He’s despicable because he’s the product of another time and place. Because he’s stupid. Because he’s never been in love and at the age of 90 fancies himself in love with a 14-year-old child. He cannot bear to see her awake because though he says he loves her, he still thinks of her as a doll. And though he hasn’t had sex with her, he sees her as an object and a symbol — of his aging and the complex beauty and tragedy in the world. He sits and stares at her, embraces her in her sleep, and reads her great works of literature. But he doesn’t want her to open her eyes and ruin the illusion he has created — not an illusion of her, for he knows about her life, her illiteracy, her day job at the shirt factory, but an illusion of himself as gentle professor, loving benefactor, grandfatherly adorer when in reality, he is a very old man who is rather sad and alone, who has paid up front for her virginity and believes this gives him some right to her soul.

Then I took a break from writing and finished reading the book.

In the end, he runs into a “former love for hire” who convinces him to go back to the girl he obviously loves (he has left her due to his own jealous rage), and this occurs to me:

Does it matter if what he calls love is not what I call love? Do I have to get political with what he’s allowed to feel? He doesn’t hurt her. He admires her. He gives everything for her and wants nothing more than to be near her and provide for her — and even though he has nothing left to give, he finds a way to make that happen. Sometimes love is simply not wanting another to suffer. That plus longing to be near her is romance. Anyway, he meets that definition even if he is unable to see her fully yet, even if he doesn’t know her voice or her opinions on anything but the radio station she sets. We don’t have to be enlightened to be in love.

When we are really lucky, love enlightens us.

There’s no telling how we get into these incredible traps, but when we love, we can let go of confused jealous rages and even humble ourselves enough to let them pass. When we feel compassion for this poor creature lying in bed beside us, it may be the first stirring of Namaste.

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being a literary hater turns out to be rather unsatisfying

I’m thinking about deleting all the book reviews from the blog. Not like deleting them into a digital black hole or anything but just … removing them.

I wrote most of those during grad school, which feels like a long time ago, now. And I wrote them with the idea in my head that to be a critic, one should be critical. That is, I thought it needed to be unkind or at least to find flaws (even in a polite academic tone), and I feel now that that’s not really the point. We’re not in a university here, and reading isn’t always about nit-picking the author’s metaphors. Furthermore, I don’t really like being mean to other writers.

I would rather write about books I really enjoyed and why than to rant about something I didn’t like or worse, to look for flaws in a perfectly nice book just so I can feel justified as a critic.

In other words, I don’t wanna be a hater.

Anyone else have opinions on that?

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