13 Things Homebodies Say And What They Actually Mean

LJB_3rd:

On a more personal note, this:

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. (After being asked, “What are your plans today?”) “Nothing.”

Contrary to popular belief, “nothing” can actually mean something. Technically the homebody could’ve said “I do have plans” because doing absolutely nothing was in fact their itinerary. Lounging around lazily? Yeah, I penned that in my schedule weeks ago, and I’m currently knee deep in nothing, aka unavailable.

2. “…                                  …”

^^That’s complete silence, which is usually the response you get when you text or call a homebody with some kind of invitation that they don’t want to officially decline.

3. “Hey what’s up? Sorry, I was sleeping when you text/called me!”

This is the lie that follows the complete silence mentioned in the previous point. You’ll get this several hours after your initial attempt at contact, when the homebody…

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URI Setback: Discovered Fossils Actually Living Tenured Faculty

LJB_3rd:

It’s Jurassic Park all over again…or something like that.

Originally posted on LOL RI:

University of Rhode Island Professor of Literature Dr. Julia Philmont expresses outrage that she and her tenured colleagues were confused with fossilized ancient remains.

University of Rhode Island Professor of Cultural Studies Dr. Julia Philmont expresses outrage that she and her tenured colleagues were confused with ancient, fossilized remains.

KINGSTON, R.I.– The University of Rhode Island (URI) suffered a major setback Wednesday, after what appeared to be an unprecedented discovery of ancient human remains turned out to be the withered bodies of the institution’s living, breathing tenured faculty members.

According to the university’s public relations office, the confusion began after URI’s provost urged tenured faculty to remain current in their respective fields, so as to make the institution more nationally competitive. However, due to loss of hearing and the onset senility common among tenured faculty, many professors misinterpreted the suggestion as a literal one.

The result: dozens of aging, lifetime academics bestrew themselves horizontally in the many fields comprising the idyllic South County campus.

Due to the decaying, fragile states of many long-serving professors, research teams in the Archeology Department misinterpreted their interdepartmental colleagues with the preserved bones of…

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BREAKING: Rhode Islanders Cure ALS with Roster of Iced-Downed Nobodies

LJB_3rd:

Medical advances straight from the Ocean State.

Originally posted on LOL RI:

Dr. Saul Epstein addresses reporters in Washington, exclusively crediting Rhode Islanders Ice Bucket Challenge participants for curing ALS.

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Move over, Bill Gates and Britney Spears. Thanks to the efforts of countless no-name Rhode Islanders dumping buckets of ice water over their heads on social media, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced Tuesday a cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Background

In recent months, the social media hashtag #ALSicebucketchallenge has seen a wave of high profile celebrities dumping buckets of ice water on their heads, in an effort to raise awareness for those suffering with ALS. Participants are publicly nominated by a friend to take the challenge. Once nominated, a participant has 24 hours to either complete the challenge themselves or donate 100 dollars to an organization doing legitimate, tangible work to actually end the disease.

Since its onslaught of popularity, a wave of everyday people have taken up the ice bucket challenge, including a roster…

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Why You Shouldn’t Tip (At All)

LJB_3rd:

An interesting look at societal norms and bucking the system.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Recently, a four year old blog post has been getting a lot of attention on social media. Sometime in 2009, a man named Bhagwad Jal Park posted an excoriation on tipping entitled, Five Reasons I Won’t Tip If You’re A Waiter. The responses to the original post were mostly negative, and the article is being shared on Facebook as an example of how shitty people can be.

What disturbs me isn’t that some people don’t tip, it’s the fact that to even criticize tipping is immediately met with such vitriol and hatred that one has to question why we’re so systematically inclined to agree with service industry employees. Doesn’t it alarm anyone that we don’t even question the act of tipping? Doesn’t it bother anyone that no one has taken a step back and looked at the other side of the conversation? Isn’t anyone concerned with…

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Making things difficult…

LJB_3rd:

Got writer’s block? Pull your head from the sand and read what Ty has to say, it may change your whole perspective.

Originally posted on FutureSpiderScribe:

Writing is not a simple task but people like to think of it as one. As an example, we will use my mother (because what is the true purpose of a blog, other than to vent about one’s personal life?), who actually has convinced herself that in order for me to get a writing gig I simply need to sit down and write. Just like that, sit down, pump something out (she doesn’t know what — she hardly knows I write comic review and op-eds and couldn’t care less about them anyway), and submit it for money. 

The sick part is… she’s sort of right. I’m not saying you just sit yourself down at a desk, meditate for a moment, and then your eyelids flash open as your muse possesses you, your pupils gone and your aura glowing about you as your fingers fly across the keys, tapping and rapping…

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Shop Talk: Idea Farming

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Ideas don’t grow on trees, but wouldn’t it be something if they did? A world where great ideas sprouted every spring, just waiting for motivated writers to come pluck ingenuity from the Idea Tree. For a writer, it’d be the greatest harvest ever. And yet, every October, we’d all be rushing to the Idea Tree, hoping to gather up some sort of bounty to make up for our procrastination, only to leave empty-handed and stepping on rotten ideas that fell from the tree long ago.

Aside from the Idea Tree, where do they come from? A silly question, no doubt. The truth of the matter is rather simple: anywhere. The above paragraph is an example of such an idea farm–literally and figuratively. Ideas growing on a tree is absurd, but the fiction of such a notion isn’t half bad. It’s the all important what if moment. When thinking about even the most trivial of topics or cliche phrases, just imagine what life would be like if that crazy thing were actually real. Raining cats and dogs? Dangerous. Stock market crash? I hope no one was hurt.

Of course, practicing this isn’t a recipe for instant success, though. Keeping an open ear–and mind–when listening to people speak, or watching a movie, can spark the what if idea. In fact, I was watching the incomparable George Carlin on Netflix before writing this post, and he does a bit about dead people and address books. He made a joke about deleting people from the contacts list of a phone after they die. As usual, Carlin was funny and on point about the situation, but what dawned on me was how messed up it would be if you could delete a person on your contact list and cause them to die. I thought, What would that be like? And there it is, a new idea for a short story.

Anyway, generating ideas is easier than we think, but it still takes some mental effort to get there. Good ideas don’t just fall out of the sky, and they certainly don’t grow on trees–but imagine if they did.


Paris Hilton’s Vagina

Destruction

 

Killer whales aren’t whales.

They’re actually dolphins.

All dolphins are whales.

 

Wiki teaches this.

Google will tell you this, too.

And it’s true, I swear.

 

How can I be sure?

Paris Hilton’s Vagina.

Just ask Chicago.

 

Please, check for yourself.

Pull it up on your smartphone,

surely there’s an app.

 

See, a few years back,

Paris’ cooter grew teeth

and ate a small town.

 

It’s a true story.

Happened ‘bout twenty years back,

Circa ninety-four.

 

Other things I know?

Moths aren’t attracted to light–

it confuses them.

 

They use the moon’s glow

to guid their navigation.

Our lights throw them off.

 

But back to the point.

Much like the moth, you’re confused,

as well you should be.

 

Thank Wiki for that

and for all you think you know.

Thank Google as well.

 

Keep Paris in mind.

If it’s on the internet,

it must be true, right?

 

‘Cause just think: some day,

you, too, could terrorize a

small midwestern town.


Shop Talk: Is Writing Storytelling?

Type-writer-in-the-beginning

Whether I’m writing fiction, a class essay, or an article for publication, I find the first draft to be the most difficult. Not because I’m far from finishing, but because I don’t yet know the story I’m about to tell.  Sure, I can add words, construct a narrative, edit a line here and there, but until it’s done, I don’t know the story. But that’s when the fun begins. When I’m done, and have finally heard the story for the first time, I get to revisit it from the beginning and finish molding it into what it needs to be–not what I imagined it to be. These two concepts are not necessarily one in the same, and for good reason. Let me explain.

Sitting in as many creative fiction seminars, writers workshops, and college writing courses as I have, I’ve heard a lot of silly shit about the creative process. “You can’t have a crazy protagonist.” “I don’t understand the metaphor, so it’s wrong.” “Women don’t have regular OBGYN exams.” If you’ve taken an undergrad course in creative writing, you know I am not exaggerating. But one “crazy” bit of advice I’ve heard in nearly every setting, has been to listen to your characters, because they’ll tell you who they are and what they want. Sounded absolutely whackadoo the first time I heard this pearl of wisdom. The notion that a fictional being–who exists solely within my mind and has never seen the light of day–could possibly have thoughts and motivations without my knowledge was preposterous. It sounded like a writer’s lazy excuse for not being able to execute a character properly. Besides, my character was well planned and given purpose; his future predicated by my whim and fancy alone. How could he possibly whisper me and start making demands? I controlled the key strokes. I was the boss. I was all powerful. Yet, when I told him to do as I commanded, he refused. Turns out he wasn’t as big a fan of me as I was.

After it happened the first time, all those crazies I’d encountered over the years gained a sliver of credibility. And in my epiphany of what I thought to be an excuse for poor performance, I saw the truth for what it was: Writing is not storytelling.

Ugh, another grandiose statement–I know. But I swear it’s true. Writing, in the immediate sense, anyway, is not storytelling–it’s story creating. It’s not until the story is created that we can tell the story (This guy likes pointing out the obvious, what a pretentious douche bag–you’re right, I’m a bit cuntish). The story we have in mind isn’t necessarily the story we wind up with, though, is it? Sure, it resembles the basic original outline; the protagonist is loosely based on the initial concept; the conflict is more dynamic once pen was put to paper. However, when we sit down to read the final final FINAL copy.doc, it’s not what we imagined when we started. Because the idea of the story isn’t the story itself. Through writing, though, we craft the narrative and give the characters room to blossom and follow their own paths. We listen to our character; discuss with our protagonist how he would act in a given situation. And once that asshole is done being so damn belligerent (and right) about everything, we take his advice when we tell his journey and allow him to make his own decisions. Once he’s allowed to make the necessary decisions, we can follow the repercussions to their logical conclusions. Once we’ve done that, we’re ready to stop writing, and start storytelling.

The rest of the process is a matter of touching up the mistakes we’ve made along the way. Catching those naughty grammatical errors, tense shifts, and incongruities, and taking them over our knee. Most importantly, though, we’ve now created a story we can tell.

The way I see it, the first time we write something, we’re telling ourselves the story for the first time. Once we’ve discovered what’s happened, then we can spice it up, slap some polish on it, and drive it home for the reader.

There is an allure to writing and storytelling. They are inherently human, and are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom–yet they’re what bind us as a species. If you ask me, there is nothing more beautiful than that.


New Fiction Update

Earlier this week, I promised myself I would post some fiction today. But an early morning trip to the local emergency room forced me to rewrite my Friday plans. Turns out it’s nothing serious, but I won’t be able to follow through on my promise just yet. After I get some rest, the new fiction piece will be posted. On the plus side, this experience has left me with more grist for the mill. I’ll catch you all soon enough.


Breaking: Facebook & Procrastination Yield Productivity.

Procrastination image

Earlier today, I read the short story “Hair” by the late Joan Aiken, on my way through The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: 2012. Admittedly, I decided to stay in bed and read, instead of come up with material for this blog. Like it reads in the About section of this site, world-class procrastinator. Anyway, I’ve been picking away at this anthology for the past few weeks, and I’m noticing a disturbing trend: disappointment.

It’s not that “Hair” is a bad short story. In fact, I rather liked its imagery, and some of the language is quite beautiful. The story is also quite short; it could even be considered flash fiction. The problem, though, lies in the choices of short stories. I haven’t come across anything I would consider dark, fantastical, or horrific. Certainly not the year’s best, by any means. But it’s made me think about what I’m not reading in this collection. If I’m reading dark fantasy and horror, I want to experience dark fantasy and horror.

Tired of being led on, I did what most people do when they’re, well, when they’re awake, really. I visited Facebook–I know, I know, I’m ashamed to admit it. Scrolling through the trash (read: home page), I zipped by director Kevin Smith’s recent activity. As I scrolled, I recalled what he said years ago about making movies. How when he started out, he wanted to make movies for himself and his friends, so they could watch the movies that appealed to them. Whoa. Why not just write what I’m not seeing in this anthology?

Everything came together in that moment. I figured I could start banging away at some dark fantasy and horror short stories. Better yet, I can even use it as fodder for my site. Hot damn, I’m solving all sorts of problems.

As of now, I’m thinking of releasing some regularly scheduled flash fiction, as well as the bad poetry I’m so fond of creating. Mix in some regular blog posts, such as this gem, and I’ll be good to go. Fear not, though, faithful reader, I won’t take up all your time with writing and fiction reviews; I plan on talking leisure activities outside of the written word.

So there you have it. A true account of how Facebook increased activity–if only for a day.

 

 


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