Posts Tagged ‘Rants’

1. At least the computer works.Pencil

2. You should find time for the things you love.

3. You can always reset your password.

4. If you wait around to be motivated then you never will be. You motivate yourself. Motivation does not usually magically descend upon you.

5. You can write about anything. What you are thinking, something that happened, something you know, or even something you don’t know. There is always something to write about.

6. Writing is one of the best outlets for questions. If it sounds a little incoherent, just call it art and pretend everyone else is too shallow to understand it.

7. Sit down, stop finding distractions, and quick making excuses.

8. Writing can be like a vacation.

9. You should write tomorrow. And today. Because you can only write while in the present, so do it now.

10. If you are writing for other people you will rarely be satisfied with the actually writing. Write for yourself and write often, eventually you will write something you are satisfied with. And then you will write even more.


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1. I switched to a Mac, hate the new word processing software, and therefore writing anything on my computer (but generally love the actual computer).

2. I’ve have been extremely busy. There are at least five other things I should have already done and should be doing now.

3. I couldn’t remember my password.

4. I lost my motivation.

5. I don’t know what to write. Inspiration may come in short spurts, and usually when I am far away from my computer. By the time I sit down, I can’t remember what I was going to write.

6. I have been questioning many things in my life and have had a hard time keeping my train of thought coherent.

7. I could have ADD.

8. Everybody needs a vacation.

9. I’ll write tomorrow.

10. Nobody cares if I’m writing or not.

Leave a comment: why don’t you post anything?

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Black holes in time

BlackHoleToo often we think about what we did yesterday and we just can’t remember. Or last week. Or last month. Or last year.

I might remember I was at work yesterday, but whatever I did there is largely lost into the depths of completed and finished projects.

I love finding some item  or note from long ago that brings back a thought that would have been lost to me otherwise. I love going through old pictures or the trunk of useless objects and certificate I’ve acquired over the years. I’ve kept small toys, poems and stories I wrote, drawings, awards, and so many miscellaneous items that I am always discovering something forgotten.

Recently, I came across a journal that I kept for a writing class when I was about ten. I think that class may have inspired me more than perhaps any other writing class that I’ve taken. And that inspiration has stuck and grown over time. Reading through it made me think of so many different things: the ways I’ve changed and matured in a decade, the similarities… the arrogance of youth.

You think you know everything when you are ten.

I remember loving the teacher, Mrs. Curtis. She was patient and gave us broad categories, and knew how to give us a task but leave room for plenty of creativity. We were supposed to write about what we did each day, describing actual events and things we observed. My observations were full of childishly sincere thoughts. My journal is covered in her notes, encouraging me and chiding me for not doing something right.

More than once I wrote a poem instead of an entry. She would call me a little poet and scold me for not writing an actual journal entry. She taught me to read and write poems, and I loved finding words that rhymed and forming phrases. I loved using the words to make amusing and nonsensical verses and limerick.

That love of words has matured too, and translated into a love of pleasing prose more than those little rhyming ditties.

No more than some paper in a folder, that journal is a record of so many lost thoughts. When you think about there are only some events that we remember, with those filed away until something recalls them to mind, like a key that unlocks a cabinet. Like my little journal. That note, picture, smell, or place can bring back memories that have been long lost in time.

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Word-a-DayMy calendar thinks I am an idiot. It thinks I need a definition for Sweden.

You would have to be a relative of the 2007 Miss South Carolina Teen USA for this to be truly useful. You would probably also call it “the Sweden.”

I’ll be the first to admit I could not give a one paragraph summary of Sweden’s history dating back to the Neolithic times, like my calendar did. However, that seems a bit superfluous to me, as long as we are talking about practical knowledge.

I gave up learning subjects that are generally irrelevant to my life after I finished algebra in college. I’d rather know about the current affairs of Swedish politics.

This definition was accompanied by a tiny picture depMiss South Carolinaicting Sweden as adjacent to Norway and Finland, as if no one knows. Really, I have no need for this little picture explaining Sweden’s whereabouts.

I’d have a picture of the calendar for you like my normal word-of-the-day posts, but ironically I’ve lost my little map of Sweden.

Luckily for me I actually have real maps, unlike some “U.S. Americans.”

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Cake coupleDoes it seem like everyday that someone is popping up in your Facebook news feed with a wedding photo album, a tidal wave of congratulations from all the informed friends, or a new last name? This has been a frequent pattern I have observed in my news feed that is, honestly, a bit disturbing to me.

Are they crazy or me? You will have to excuse me, but I tend to get a little worked up when people get married before they the law allows them to drink.

Many are simply acquaintances, people I have known and not seen in ages. I may have seen something about their engagement on Facebook, but perhaps not. Those are the best. I didn’t even know you were dating that person, but congratulations to both of you anyway! A few might be engaged… and then not later.

I thank God that they are generally still the friends who are a bit older than me. I may consider suicide on the day that one of my young close friends gets married.

Somewhere around middle school or early high school, dating became the cool thing. Maybe for you it was elementary school. It seemed like everyone was doing it. Those days seem far behind, and now tying the knot seems to be catching on.

I just pray divorce never catches on as a fad.

Slowly, the people I know are all falling into the ranks of the married. I hope they know what they are doing.

If I consider marriage as a near event in my own life, it’s like inviting a panic attack. I’m too young for this.

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LycanthropyNancy Drew taught me about werewolves.

A while back, my roommate,  who aspires to be a doctor, had been telling me she was trying to get an internship in lichenology.

Being the brilliant individual that I am and only half paying attention, I was suddenly intrigued and confused.

“You’re going to study werewolves?” I asked, as I wondered what on earth she was talking about.

Now she was confused. “Werewolves? No, it’s tree fungus.”

LichensIt dawned on me that we were not talking about the same thing. I had to explain to her that I had gotten the words confused for a second, and my mind had thought “lycanthropy,” when she said “lichenology.” Which made much more sense, because she would be excited about lichens.

And I would know what lycanthropy means. It was in a Nancy Drew computer game I played as a kid. This woman thought she was turning into a werewolf and you had to solve the mystery. Naturally.

I saw this word on my calendar and just laughed. Oh, I knew the answer was A. And I was almost surprised that lichenology was not one of the options to try to trick me.

Rotary Club    Members only    Frances Brady    5/17/2009
Joyce Foundation    Policy, not practice    Frances Brady    6/3/2009
Allstate Foundation    Exclusively existing partners, teen driving and domestic violence     Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009
Grainger Foundation    Exclusively disaster relief and technical education    Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009
Motorola Fountation    Exclusively math/science education, disaster relief and technology in developing countries    Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009
Irving Harris Foundation    Exclusively children    Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009
John Deere Foundation    Prefers direct benefit for employees and neighboring communities    Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation    Exclusively conservation and artistic expression    Shannon McFarland    6/1/2009

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harborI haven’t spoken a word all day.

Some people are physically mute. Some people take a voluntary vow of silence. For me, it’s a necessity. If I continue speaking, I may not be able to speak at all later.

A few times every year, I have to go on vocal rest. I retreat into myself, and don’t speak for hours or a day at a time.

Whenever this happens, it makes me think even more. It makes me wonder. It makes me write.

I’ve been like this since I was thirteen. I used to panic, my worst fear being that one day I would wake up and never be able to speak again.

Essentially, I have “delicate” vocal chords. What might make most people hoarse for a day, will make me hoarse for a month or longer. Talking, singing, medications, illness, asthma, acid reflux, environmental influences, and other things strain my voice to the point that it becomes difficult or painful to speak.

You might know a similar feeling if you’ve ever had laryngitis.

I can’t change it, and it will never really go away. I’ve accepted it, and learned that it is a burden I can manage. It takes a great deal of discipline, control, and caution to prevent strain or heal my vocal chords. When I’m not extremely careful, it gets worse.

I’m not speaking today because my voice became hoarse after I sang in a choir a month ago, and has been slowly getting worse again.

I’m at my family’s house now. It’s much easier, because my quirky family is accustomed to the peculiar situation and supportive. My parents put up with it, and my two brothers laugh at my expressions and silent jokes. My sister and most of my good friends have learned how to interpret and understand my gestures, and make the best of an interesting situation.

It is not always fun. You feel alone. Unable communicate with everyone as normal, it can quickly make you feel isolated and desperate. But it will make you stronger in the end.

You’d be amazed at the things you learn by keeping your mouth shut. You should try it. You become a better observer, listener, and non-verbal communicator. It can bring a sense of inner peace, allowing you to hear your own inner voice and even God better. It teaches you what needs to be said, what doesn’t, and how to pick your battles. It makes you value every word from your mouth, and from others. You learn to appreciate sound, and enjoy the silence.

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