I was writing something for a particular publication yesterday and noticed WordPress, or at least that particular incarnation of WordPress (I am assuming some people pay for this service, how novel!), features a handy button that, when clicked, takes you to a “no distraction writing” mode. How neat would it be if it were that easy? If, with the click of a button, all distractions, both internal and external, melted away? I’ve been writing for some time — often for fun (for 25 years), sometimes for profit (for 11), and try as I might, I still haven’t found a way to halt the noise. Of hungry cats, of chat windows, of breaking news, of my own internal monologue. That last one is, naturally, the loudest, most distracting noise of all. ANYWAY, I only have a WordPress tab open right now, and I’m in full screen, so let’s see if I can’t focus for just a few minutes while the rest of the world lets me be. (The cats remain hungry, even though Midna has full access to her food and Garrus weighs roughly a billion pounds. The thing they tell you about cats and you ignore is that they’re ungrateful jerks a lot of the time.)
There has been a lot going on within the past year for me creatively. I’ve written quite a bit for a few different outlets, and Nerdist is what I’ve carved out the most time and energy for. I’ve always dreamed of writing about pop culture for an outlet where the editors understood and embraced my style. I’ve been able to do this a few places on the Internet, but none so consistently as Nerdist, and I’m genuinely proud of what I’ve done for them. (It’s also important to note that I wrote about MST3K and Face/Off for VICE — some more destiny fulfillment there.) I also launched a podcast called the California Diarists, a short-run series on the weirdest and best Baby-Sitters Club spinoff. It’s certainly a friends-and-family show right now and I think it’ll remain that way, but it’s been a ton of fun for me to revisit the books I loved so much a couple decades ago with my very enthusiastic friends along for the ride. I co-produced a horror story with my most frequent creative collaborator and, in the least egotistical way possible, loved how it turned out. And I was encouraged to, and finally started, a novel. Then I abandoned that one and began pursuing another idea. The word count of that one is hovering around 3,440 as of this morning. Baby steps. Plus, I have a tight-knit (citation needed) D&D group I’m leading whenever we’re all able to meet, and it brings me such joy to invest time in something that’s purely for fun. I am by no means a joyless person–after all, Joy is my middle name–but carving out time to generate stats for robotic fish and brainstorming what The New Yorker would be called in the Underdark (The New Darker) brings me more joy than I ever imagined it would.
I’m looking over this post and some of it reads as a back pat. That’s not my intent. (Also, who asked you? GOSH.) I wanted to document, for you, Dear Reader, and for myself, the fact that I’ve done stuff lately, stuff I’m happy with and stuff I’m continuing to pursue and stuff I hope sticks around for a while.
(Also, I accidentally woke up at 9:30 on a Saturday so I had to find a way to fill the time somehow, and I already finished Paperbacks from Hell and didn’t bring home my other library book yet because it was too heavy. It’s a whole thing. Actually, while examining my ankle this past Monday, a doctor told me I was incredibly strong. And he was half right. I could power a small village with my legs if said village relied on leg power as an energy source. But my upper body strength is close to nonexistent. Please don’t tell this doctor. I want him to believe in my strength for the rest of his life.)
Oh, and speaking of sticking around for a while, The Toast is going in the Library of Congress, so my list of ways to tell you’re in a Stephen King novel will be preserved for the masses. You’re welcome.
Good morning and goodbye.