S is for Swearing Students

Dear Students,

Let's talk for a moment about Facebook and social media. Do you remember when I was your teacher, or your SGA Advisor, or your boss? And do you remember that conversation we had at the beginning of the school year or semester about how I will be an amazing reference for you so long as I see you being respectful of me, the college, and the people around you? And do you remember me saying that swearing, while a valid mode of self-expression, shows a lack in creativity and is frankly a rude thing to do around people that you expect to speak well of you? Because I do.

And here's the thing - that carries over into this wonderful place we call the Internet. And while I understand that you may find something to be "So f*cking funny!!!!!!!!zomg!!" wouldn't it be a better use of your college education to say that something is "So frightfully funny" or that you appreciated the juxtaposition of the cat's glower against the ridiculous clown wig? And rather than telling the internet that the school you plan to call your Alma Mater should go screw itself (which, in and of itself is a statement that defies physics and logic...), wouldn't it be a better use of breath to attempt to find/ask for resources to solve the problem you are having?

Because here's the thing. I don't meant to be a Puritan or a killjoy, but this stuff will follow you - and me! - around! Employers are looking at FB profiles (even asking for passwords). As a reference, I am putting my reputation out there to stand for you and say, "this is a quality person." And I don't really want my reputation to be associated with someone who can't think of anything better to say than a string of curse words.

So for some of you, just know that unless you start to clean up your online presence, the next time you ask me for a reference I just might have to tell you, "F*ck no."



R is for Ringer

I suppose I should admit it. Ringer has become my Work in Progress (or WIP in the writer-blogger world...). I started Ringer on the very first day of the month-long writing project I did with my friend Victor in Jan-Feb.

(The bit I wrote that day is here - go ahead. Read it. I will wait. Done? Good.)

I have no idea where the idea came from and no idea where it is going, really. I do know I've written 6,000 words and have thoroughly enjoyed the process. I think about the story often and have felt neglectful in the weeks that I did not make time to add to it.

They say that the first step is to admit that you have a problem. So there you have it. I admit it. It appears that I have started writing a book. ...Now what?


Q is for Questions

Something people have told me for a long time is that they appreciate coming to me for advice. And I mean.. Wow, I've been asked some interesting things. But it's something that I love. I really appreciate that people trust me enough and value my opinion such that they'd ask my advice for things.

So far as the pushing myself to write differently thing goes, something I've considered is writing an advice column. So tell me, if I were to start writing segments where you could ask me questions or advice, would you be interested in reading it?

I promise I won't be mean like this :)


P is for Perspective

Returning to visit a place that was once home is tricky. On the one hand, you have an insider's perspective due to previous intimate knowledge of the people and places. On the other hand, having not been around for awhile you also are an outsider and can no longer understand the entire story due to temporal and physical distance. Also, having stepped out of the story of that place, it is no longer your role to try to impact events, merely to note the changes in both that place and your self and to learn from it.

I have made a habit of returning to places I have lived as a "final accounting" (in the words of Maisie Dobbs). I go partly to make sure the people and projects I have cared about are doing OK, but also to make sure I really allow myself to be OK with being apart from them. That is turning out to be a bit more difficult with this visit to Miami than it was with other places.

This was the first time I have returned to find my people and projects suffering and I am having to cope with the knowledge that there is not much I can do to fix it.

I am by nature a creator, a do'er, a fixer. There were lots of jokes during my visit about me staying to fix things, and part of me truly wished I could. But my home, my life, my family, are in Colorado now and I know this is where I need to be. There were things about Miami that were unhealthy for me. Those things will have to be folded up and put away, with care, so I can learn, grow, and recover from them.

I know I had to leave in order to be successful and happy. But the relationships I have with people are also part of what allows me to be well and I will fold up the love and connections I have with people and keep those close to my heart.

Thank you for the wonderful and intense visit.


O is for my Orchid

This is my orchid. She survived the trip from Miami and is quite beautiful. That is all :)


N is The Night Circus

We are drawn to magic. In stories, movies and dreams it awakens in us a sense of wonder. Imagine a circus open only at night, curated by two magicians locked in competition with one another. Their creations strive to be the most fantastic, beautiful, farcical or strange and always mysterious things visitors have ever seen.

Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus had me captivated. Her descriptions are just vivid enough to picture what she wants you to see and even smell, but vague enough to allow your imagination to fill in finer details. Filling in those details allows the reader to almost feel as if they too could be a reveur, if they could only find the Circus of Dreams.

Magical, beautiful, uplifting and heartbreaking, The Night Circus will have you spellbound from the first to last page.