Archive | November 2013

Why Write? Ask Joan Didion.

Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem essay On Keeping a Notebook

Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook,” from “Slouching Toward Bethlehem.”

Why write? Here’s some inspiration from one of my favorite essayists. So much wisdom to unpack, lines that you get, yet have to get to again and again. Particularly inspiring if you’re working to finish your NaNoWriMo novel this month and have, oh, 15,000 words to go. *Smiley face of joyful anxiety here*



Timothy Tiernan running the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon

That’s me in the white shirt, the fanny pack, the giant iPod thingy on my arm, the body in mid-air. I ran the 2010 LA Marathon and finished around the time I’d planned. I’m actually pretty proud of that, especially the last 1/5 of a mile in which my fingers felt tingly and no amount of Van Halen’s “Right Now” (I love you, 1992) could keep me in the moment.

Since then, I haven’t done a marathon. I got sciatica in 2011 and have been hesitant about running such distances (but I will). Plus, I’m lazy like a mofo.

And on that marathon note, it’s National Novel Writing Month in November, as I’m sure plenty of you have heard. And plenty of you probably don’t want to read another post about it. And that’s fair. You’re too busy and I’m reasonably self-reflective about my narcissism. And there are better pieces about this wonderful movement, like this one.

So I’ll spare you and end this post with praise:

Here’s to 50,000 words in a month. Here’s to giving my inner editor a month’s vacation. Here’s to not looking back until December. Here’s to respecting the moment’s conception and not thinking about reception. Here’s to the community of NaNoWriMo people that has inspired me. Here’s to my friend who woke me up at 9:30 a.m. this past Sunday to join the writers group in Pasadena. Here’s to awesome nonprofit community work and human spirit. Here’s to tonight’s quota. Here’s to being single so I don’t feel guilty about hitting my quota. Here’s to all of you trying to bridge our big and little worlds with words. Here’s to goals, which open doors of meaning to a very strange life. Thanks.

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

This photographer is a poet whose stories move within the still image.

j thomas photography

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

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