Now What?

When I was young, the thing I hated more than just about anything was going to bed and turning out my light at 9:00 pm. Despite the fact that I would just lie there in the dark driving myself crazy—unable to sleep, unable to shut off my brain—lights out at 9:00 was the rule in…

Yes, I Just Said, “Oh Shit!” to an Empty Room

In my previous blog post, I laughed out loud and then wrote, “Hahaha!” in the post to add “life” to it. While skimming lots of RSS feeds (because old people still use RSS feeds, don’t you know) this evening, I read one headline: “Oh yes, Fleabag’s Hot Priest is your new Tom Ripley” and immediately…

2019 Nobel Prize: My Guess

Though she’s only got bookies’ odds of 10/1, I have a feeling Olga Tokarczuk is going to nab the prize this year. I don’t even know why I think that, except that I saw her name on a list (a list that has Anne Carson’s odds at 4/1), and thought about a book of hers…

Not Wanting to Be Wanted

What a blessing to reach a point in life where you no longer desire. When you’re young, the absence of desire always seems the most horrifying possibility, the most terrifying specter beckoning you toward the future. But it’s not any of those things. It simply is not. There is no there there. There’s no void;…

Nothing To It

There’s nothing to it. You just start writing. Type out or scribble down a few words, a phrase, an image. Set a timer. Write for an hour. See how many words you can get written in that time. Look them over. Throw them away. Forget all of it. Start again. Train your brain to work…

Is It My Face?

I’ve been on a mini-vacation from work for the past five days, and for me that’s meant staying in and getting other work done—housework, writing, social media, etc. But I got a call at around 7:30 on Friday night from a friend who was at the Waffle House with her girlfriend eating dinner. She asked…

The Really Good Stuff

Catch everything out of the air into the net of your mind. Place every word in the correct order, arrange the dots and stripes of your perfect sentiment. Write all the beautiful phrases. Polish them, gaze at them in wonder. Congratulate yourself on your amazing powers of creation. Know there is nothing wasted. Marvel at…

The Book You Want to Read

“Write the book you want to read.” Is that good advice? I’m not sure. When I think about it, I know it makes sense, but as soon as I concede that, I suddenly lose my idea of what I want to read. It just flies out of my head, like all the books I knew…

How to Trick Old People

Today I’m going to teach you how to trick old people into listening to Jeff Buckley without grousing. Every day at lunch I read a little thing I throw together called On This Day in History to the assisted living residents in the retirement community where I work. I try to find things that they…

Not a Review: Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood

Usually when I use the words “Not a Review” in a post title, the post is about a movie I have actually seen. If this post is a review of anything, it’s a review of Mr. Barlow’s blog post about the movie Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, a movie I have not seen yet but most…

Music for Smalls Lighthouse: Ear Treasure

A terrible thing—maybe the worst thing ever—happened to my creative life last week, but I didn’t start feeling the repercussions of it until Sunday morning. As far as writing routines go I have nothing ironclad that I would share on social media with any amount of smugness. It’s nearly always a crapshoot when I sit…

Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

I noticed that I created a tag for my blog posts called “love,” and when I noticed it I wondered why I had done such a thing. All things considered, I mean, vis à vis love and me, it seemed a little…weird, to say the very least. So imagine my relief when I saw that…

Everything Is Everything Else

Can’t decide if I want to make a blog entry or write a Citizen Jim Story* to talk about what all I’m pondering on this dreary Saturday. Such as: the horrible weather (Tropical Storm Barry) my new keyboard the sliver of a new idea for a piece of fiction that keeps rubbing itself on the…

Recipe for Homemade Air Dry Clay

NOTE: A lot of people think you can jazz up any recipe by melting cheese into whatever you’re making. This is NOT that kind of recipe.

Full disclosure?

I’ve noticed that (usually) when people lean toward you and say in a low voice, “Full disclosure…” they never tell you anything interesting, or anything that you didn’t already either know or at least guess about them. I used the parenthetical offset with the word “usually” because every once in a while someone’s full disclosure…