• I'm listening to Chuck Palahniuk's Consider This. It makes me want to write, just like Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird did. It's more tactical, so it makes me think about the unfinished drafts, the first drafts, the second drafts all sitting around taunting me. I listen to it in the car to and from work, but by the time I get home from work, usually around 7 or 8pm, having been up since 6am, I'm so exhausted I can barely think or execute normal life tasks like putting my laundry in the hamper. The evening blurs into nothingness and I fall asleep on the couch or push through until after the kids go to bed, which during the summer is later than during the school year. In a fugue state I'll wrap up the most urgent task and then brush my teeth in a haze. I'll prop my iPad up next to me in the bed and fall asleep before the first 10-minute YouTube video is over.
  • I realize that the short story I wrote about 20 years ago, Micha's Story, during a time I was reading a lot of Palahniuk, actually uses a number of his suggested techniques. The easiest way to take an author's advice is to read a lot of that author while you are writing. It makes me want to return to that story and edit it some more, now with two decades' hindsight.
  • Today while I drove to work listening to Chuck's advice there was a large pickup in front of me spewing black smoke onto the highway. At first it was so far in front of me that I couldn't see what vehicle was causing the offending air situation. As I got close to my destination I spotted it. Eventually, about a mile before my exit, I passed it, the black cloud reaching a crescendo and then instantly disappearing behind me as I passed the truck.
  • It's been over 100 degrees for the better part of a week and the forecast says it is going to continue to be over 100 degrees for the next 10 days at least. The heat and the black smoke from the large white pickup, Chuck Palahniuk in my ears, the truly apocalyptic nature of modern life washed over me. Now I sit writing this, waiting for a decision-maker to show up for a budgeting meeting, listening to the printer behind me spit out pages. There is music playing in the office. It is currently playing The Talking Heads' Burning Down the House.