Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandfathered In

(from a collection of shots of odd/aged "handicap" signs I've taken over the years)
In writing an essay for an upcoming call from Creative Non-Fiction journal, I have been going through my grandfather's writings on his trips to Australia. I have these because I have nearly all of our family files - all the letters, all the paperwork. No bills, I hope, still up there, but at least three generations' worth of photos and other family ephemera. My grandfather - he was the only one I ever met, as the other one died before I was born - visited Australia annually over the course of a few years, for about a month at a time, with often side trips to Fiji or Tahiti or New Zealand. I always wanted to go with him, but never did. In writing this essay, I am addressing a question I never really asked myself. Why?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Topics from my Marquette University students

Each week I cull new writing topics from the writing that they share aloud.

We also make a bunch up ourselves, freely. They have endless options, in other words.
I wanted to share their wisdom and inquiries with a larger audience. So here you go! Just try a few of these on for size next time you write...

2000 miles from my front door
When I freak out...
Swore we would never speak of it
From my dad's insane need to...
My favorite things I own
Unfortunate parallel parking
My ridiculous inability to...
Plenty of science
Some people show intelligence in other ways
Don't forget...
Why we put ourselves through stress and pressure
Does society know what's best for...
I saw it before plenty of times, but...
Knees weak
When I feel/felt most alive...
Noise and silence
Maybe we're/I'm not good enough
The billions of other people who have stood in this very spot
When God somehow seems realer than ever
Taking a job/life way too seriously
Being our/yourself all the time
The only things to take seriously are death, true love and illness (or find your own three)
Social acceptability
I hate...
When I live by the walls society puts up...
Maybe I talk too much
100 shades of red
I'm a hungry sophomore in college
Something I wrote in Elementary school or day care
I'm not an asshole, I'm just...
What I don't like is...
It's nobody's fault
I didn't mean to get...
My God
Obey obey obey
Artsy stuff
How does art fit in to life/career/family?
Not certain enough
The words employers/parents/teachers love to hear

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Critic Cycle

Sometimes there's actually too much for me to blog about.

Sometimes? Often. I could post here everyday if I had the time - if I prioritized it.

But lately there's a spinning theme that all interrelates:
The critic.
Valuing writing/our voices.
Doing what we value, or not doing it, because of or despite the critic...
(Rinse, repeat)