Archives for posts with tag: words about words

I’m doing it again. I’m committed to writing every day, but I’ve got so many fun things to do throughout the day that… well, here I am, 20 minutes before it’s not today anymore in wordpressland and I still haven’t written.

It doesn’t help that my computer is buried behind a few boxes of junk right now. I’ve been doing late spring cleaning and pulled all of my “storage” out of my brother’s room next door. I sorted a lot of it but when I finally hit the deadline (he was meant to get a new roommate) I put what was left of it in my room — right in front of my computer desk.

I’m not a hoarder. If I had disappeared last week and someone else cleaned up my messes, I could understand them believing I was, though. But really, I don’t have any compulsion to keep every scrap. I have no problem throwing things away. But I *do* have a problem with setting things down to deal with them later. And I have a (wonderful!) “problem” with always finding interesting ways to spend my time. I’m hardly home to even see the mess that I always mean to get around to dealing with.

Anyway, this week I plowed through at least half of the mess and I’ve come up with a cunning plan for the rest. My first real chain (in the Jerry Seinfeld sense. See June 1st’s post or search for “don’t break the chain”) will be to clean at home. Maybe “give or throw away at least 5 things” or “put 10 things back where they belong or find a place for them” or “spend at least 15 minutes making your home more homely.”

I’ll let you know how it goes.


I have always been a reader. I mean, I really can’t remember a time when I didn’t read all the time. Lately, describing to friends what I mean when I say that I was unschooled, I’ll often say that instead of going to school I grew up in the library.

I find that good writing makes it look like fun to write and I’ve always thought that I’d like to write more than I do… which is why I’m participating in this blogathon. Mind you, I don’t feel guilty about the writing I don’t do. Thomas Lynch (undertaker, essayist, poet. Read him if you haven’t yet!) says that he writes because he doesn’t drink or play golf. I don’t drink or play golf, but I do play the piano and bass and poker and Go, and I garden, and I get most of my ideas out in conversation.

And yet, writing looks like so much fun! I read a lot, and I’ve always had a particular fondness for books about writing. Partly because I’m fascinated by a peek backstage, so to speak, of any craft — how do you do what you do? How do you make it look so easy? — and partly because I’ve always figured that some day I’ll write more myself and I’d do well to pay attention to what others have to say about the process.

Today, Amanda Chambers’ post reminded me of something Ray Bradbury said somewhere about ideas. He’d worried when he was younger that he would one day run out of ideas, that some day his well would run dry, but eventually he realized he’d been using the wrong metaphor. That actually, ideas come from something like a rain barrel. Unless you take the dipper and make more space in the barrel, there won’t be room for any new ideas the next time it rains. And (in Bradbury’s experience) there will always be more rain.

Alright, I need to go get ready to play some music so I have to be done writing for today. Next week, instead of spending all my mornings moving furniture and taking snapshots of kids’ costumes I’ll be stationed at a computer. I hope that means we get more thoughtful writing from me — more dipping from my own rain barrel.

Welcome to 2013, dear readers! Yeah, yeah, it’s June and this is my first post. I’ve been meaning to write you for *ages* to let you know what I’ve been up to, but I’ve been busy either moping my way through the winter or, you know, doing stuff. I’ve received some nice feedback on the little bit I’ve posted and I’m inspired to get back in the habit of writing consistently.

This is not a gardening blog. Nor is it a travel blog.  I’m excited about both of those things, but I’m also interested in… well, just about everything!

Here are some of the things I might write about. If something catches your fancy, let me know and I’ll be sure to write about it:

  • Unschooling: I was unschooled and would like to unschool my children if I’m ever lucky enough to have any. I have never attended any classes that I didn’t choose myself. I turned out alright and consider it a gift — one that I wish everyone had.
  • Science! I tutor my friends’ kids in science. I struggle to find ways to connect these guys with knowledge that I love in a way that’s consistent with my unschool and anarchist principles. It’s a fun challenge.
  • Life in community. For the last 9 years, I’ve lived in a large (3-400 member) intentional community. Think commune, except that this commune is also a church.
  • Music! I play a lot of music. I play upright bass and piano in a band called Ami Moss and The Unfortunate. I also compose music on the piano and 6 months ago I started an orchestra called the Chicago Cacophony Orchestra. I’ve also begun teaching piano to a few of my friends.
  • Gardening/food justice. I’d like a more personal relationship with the things I put in my mouth. Think about it: our food is made out of dirt and sunshine. I want to see it for myself!
  • Games. I love to play an ancient board game called Go (or baduk in Korean, weiqi in Chinese) and I’ve put a lot of thought into my poker game.
  • How we learn, what people are capable of. I think that people are simultaneously not as smart as we think we are… and in other ways, we’re capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for.
  • Poetry. If you look through my history, you’ll see that I’ve posted a fair bit of poetry I like. I’ve always meant to make audioboos or youtube videos of me reading some of my favorites. Would you listen if I do? I also plan to post some stuff I’ve written recently (double dactyls about people I know) and write more.
  • The Carnival de Resistance. This is a travelling arts and resistance festival we’re going to put on in two towns in Virginia this coming September.
  • Storytelling. I adore reading aloud to people and also telling stories from memory. My main work in the carnival de resistance will be live storytelling, so I’m scrambling to learn more than ever about that.

I could keep going, but I have plans with someone… 20 minutes ago. Let me know what you think and I’ll write more about it tomorrow.

Yours eventually,


P.S.  Here’s some Tom Waitsy goodness just for you: