How to Navigate This Blog...

This blog will contain my writing assignments, as well as journaling about my thoughts on writing and reading. How can you find what you want to read? Here's a list of the labels (actual label words I use are in bold font) I will be using and what they refer to. Labels can be found at the end of each post itself.


Fiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Fiction Writing Exercises From Today’s Best Writers”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Point Of View; Character Development; Dialogue; Plot and Pacing; Setting and Description; Craft; Revision

Nonfiction Assignment: refers to assignments from the book “Now Write! Nonfiction”
 Subcategories (refers to the section of the book): Get Writing; Truth in Nonfiction; Memories and Inspiration; Characterization; Place; Voice, Dialogue, and Sound; Craft; Revision

Personal Writing: refers to writing that I’ve done simply for my own pleasure, not an assignment
 Subcategories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry


Journal Entry
Reading: to my thoughts on something I’m currently reading.
Writing: my thoughts on writing in general.
Writing Assignment: my thoughts on writing assignments from either of the books. I may be stuck or trying to explain or work out something I’m writing in these entries.
General: pretty much anything else.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Assignment: Three Things That Stopped Me in My Tracks - Part 4 of 4

In the last part of this assignment, I'm supposed to look back at the previous 3 seemingly unrelated posts and find some thread connecting them.  Then I'm supposed to write a couple paragraphs on how and why they are connected.

The attack of the glitter fairy, conspiracy of the Chicago train system to thwart my poster delivery and Illinois Blizzquake 2010 may seem like completely random events in the life of one individual... me.  The fact that they are all part of the web of my life is the main thread that connects them, however there are other, more subtle strands as well.

Each of these events could have sent any individual into a state of utter annoyance.  Can you imagine having to clean up all of that glitter?  What about sitting in your car, wasting gas as a train decides to stop directly across your path when you're in a hurry?  And imagine being forced to endure the grumblings of mother nature and being woken up at 4am to do so!  I don't get frustrated by small hiccups like this in life though.  These are the moments in which I shine.  I love the opportunity to turn a tale of my own misfortune into sarcastic and witty entertainment for others.  This is an incredibly important part of who I am and one of the reasons I've obtained the nickname "Smartass".  Many people would consider a nickname like that an insult.  They try hard to be what society wants, live a polite existence, and never offend others.  I just want to have fun and I want those around me to have fun too.  I try not to hurt others when I'm attempting to inject humor into a situation, but past that point, I really don't care at all what people think of me.  If some people are offended, there are likely many more who are amused.  So the first strands of the web created by these three events are humor and the notion of being yourself.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--and it's all small stuff (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Series)Although annoying, these three events are not very big in the grand scheme of life.  No one died or was even hurt by any of them... with the possible exception of a few sore backs of Illinois residents who had to shovel up all that snow.  This brings to mind the book, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff".  In life many people like to make a big deal out of the small stuff.   It makes them somehow feel important and gives their lives a deeper meaning.  These are the drama queens who will tell you their terrifying tale of how everything in their life has gone wrong one day and be raving about life on cloud nine the next.  The fact is, real life is not based on the National Inquirer or the hottest soap opera.  We spend the majority of our time in the grey area between the ultimately exciting and the terribly devastating and that's ok.  There's nothing wrong with being boring and finding humor in the completely mundane.  People seem to be looking for something to catapult them to levels of greatness and acclaim in search of happiness, when they should be striving to find it in the simple pleasure of daily existence.  The next strands of the web of these events now becomes finding enjoyment and humor in the small stuff of life.

Finally, these events all occured within a 3 block radius.  There's a saying in real estate that location is everything.  That may be true when looking for a house, but not in finding fulfilment in your life.  You don't have to travel to Haiti and help earthquake victims there in order to live a meaningful existence... although it would be a very humanitarian thing to do.  The fact is that opportunities for growth and life understanding occur right in your neighborhood every day.  You simply need to open your eyes and find them.  We each live a completely unique experience on this earth.  We may share someone else's experiences some of the time, but the majority of the time we are on our own.  You get to choose what you bring into your life, what knowledge you gain from it and what you choose to share with others.  Many people complain about things happening to them, but it's much more productive to decide to be proactive and bring the experiences into your life that will facilitate your own growth.  This brings us to the last strand of the web I will be addressing.  Sometimes you have to make the difficult decision to let worn out relationships die out, use outside-the-box thinking to solve potential problems before they occur and look for opportunities that are already in your life instead of always looking for another person to provide them for you.

So what's the spider that creates this web?  The interconnectedness of life and these three seemingly unrelated tales leads me to believe that I am the spider.  I like to use real life events to weave a beautiful web with which I can help others realize things about living a better life that they might not have otherwise seen.  If you only look at the spider or one of the strands you miss the beauty of the whole web.


  1. Great post ... Please keep writing ... Thanks for sharing....

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