Go Down the Rabbit Hole: A Writer’s Manifesto

Writing for Digital Media

1. You are the work. The work is you: both an articulation of the self and a possibility for self-reflection. Be honest in creation: allow yourself to bleed into the work, but also allow it to work on you. Your work can show you things: illuminate and clarify your own thoughts, motivations, actions. If you do it right, you will find the work changing you, too.

2. Thinking is process. Laying on the floor. Sitting on park benches. Getting lost on purpose. These are all working. Learn the difference between mindless distraction and mindful wandering.

3. Go down the rabbit hole. Sometimes the work isn’t about what you think it is. Allow yourself to get lost down alleyways, to follow a train of thought around a corner. Don’t feel you need to reign yourself in. Too much focus squeezes all the possibility for revelation out of the work.

4. Fear…

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Best Worst Year: Episode 83 (Or, Heal)

Sundog Blog

You read a poor Tagalog translation of handwritten prayers on your mother’s dresser. Your cousin has mistaken aswang for multo. Even you–whose native tongue died in his mouth years ago–knows the difference. Aswang is an evil spirit. A Filipino vampire. A dog. Something wicked. Your cousin has been looking to redefine herself at college. Away from the vanilla-colored hallways and powder-burned lockers of affluent homogenization, now the pale Pinay recessive genetics have a second name and second life in the stadium-seated lecture halls of state colleges. She eats rice without utensils, wants to go to Manila, asks her ate and kuya about jeepneys and sari sari stores. Her younger brother obsesses over XBox and the Nets game on TNT. You clean rice in the kitchen–rinse by hand three times. Cold water. You feel it in your knuckles. It’s snowing only enough to be nuisance.

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Truth is I Love the Church: An Anonymous Letter

This was extremely moving to me. I am extremely touched. Whoever you are I hope Allah Almighty (God) gives you true, perfect peace. I hope you find answers, I hope you find the perfect questions to ask and I hope that God liberates you. I hope that you gain an insurmountable amount of respect so vast as cosmic nebulas that Satan will think twice or ten times before coming near you. I don’t want your struggle to feel alone. I will admit it so that you can hear it too. I am a sinner. I am flawed. I am a sinner but I want Allah Almighty to still love me and forgive me. I want that God hears both of us and embraces us with Love.

Simul Blog

A friend of Simul Blog asked us to publish this. We were glad to provide a public platform for these thoughts and concerns.

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Dear Preacher,

This is one of the hardest letters I’ve ever had to write. These are hard things for me to say, but I know that they are devastating for you to hear. I know because I’ve watched you unravel when we had this conversation face to face.

Then you asked, “So what is it that you aren’t hearing from me that you need to hear?”

I answered honestly from a place of brokenness, “I need to hear how the life of Jesus speaks into my failures. I need you to preach the gospel to me.” I sat with tear filled eyes and watched you come undone as the words left my lips. The confusion on your face. You didn’t understand. This letter is an attempt to explain myself.

I’ve sat under the…

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poem for Jack

Shawn L. Bird

This poem was sent to me by my father-in-law, following the notice about Dusty’s euthanasia today.  It’s so lovely I thought I’d share it with you.  The author, Christopher Tatchell Winter, was my husbands 2X great grandfather.  I will check, but I believe it would have been written around 1900. (Ignore the way WordPress mangled the spacing in the first stanza).

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Dear, dear little Jack, my companion & friend

Few now are my years, soon cometh the end

And I thought to have had you until I depart
But no more will I lessen the pain of my     heart

My dear little dog, so faithful & true
I never shall know another like you
Much that passes for love may be but a
cheat
But your love was constant & full & complete

No more will you meet me & run half a mile
To leap in…

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Of Being Realistic

“There is the frustrated person in your circle of people, of course, who is constantly unhappy with their state of affairs. I, no doubt, am the one in my circles. But, what I sincerely struggle against is being that other person whose soul is dead. Who sniggers at a child for dreaming big. Who passes snide remarks if a young woman takes care of herself. Who derives the greatest pleasure in a day from rejoicing in the misfortune of others and criticizing their good. There are too many of them, and I’d rather be physically dead than be that.”

Of Opinions

Dylan Moran Dylan Moran

People will kill you. Over time. They will shave out every last morsel of fun in you with little, harmless sounding phrases that people use everyday like, “be realistic”. – Dylan Moran

What is obvious about being realistic is that it is not the same as doing what is practical or possible. In fact, because we use these three words interchangeably, we’ve given practicality and possibility a bad name. The meaning of being realistic is pretty simple; only believe what is right in front of you. But, human civilization was made on thought, and thought is conceived through imagination. Imagination is, just as simply, predicated on what could be. It is raised on possibility, or possibilities. Even in situations deliberately illogical, it still looks for some sort of design, structure. If humanity was only limited on the predilection of being real, we would have missed out on…

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Stop Looking for Validation

Very brutally honest 🙂

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

ski-1A guest post from Eliana Osborn:

In fourth grade at Sand Lake Elementary School, I wrote an essay for a contest.  I won.  My prize was a month of ski lessons plus equipment rental at a resort an hour away.  I’d ride an early morning bus on Saturdays, sharing the bench seat with an older girl who’d let me listen to her Bon Jovi tape on her Walkman.  It was the only bright spot on freezing, dark Alaska winter days.

The next year I entered the same contest, confident I could refine my downhill technique.  The principal called me into her office for a chat.  I was certain I’d won again.  Instead she suggested it wasn’t really fair if I got the prize a second time.

That early boost of confidence planted the idea of success deep in my mind. I inscribed all my paperbacks with “Eliana the Great” in shaky cursive…

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an overabundance of scarcities

Sometimes, I do not wish to be  so energetic
it’s a flavour I do not think can  understandably  keep up with the  wide rooms  of the  world that prefer their camphor and marijuana and cannabis — the world that prefers its weight of gold to be a
perfect pitch of somnambulism.

I am a rockety, rocking chair that is unable to seize the day
because I am over a cliff that has transposed itself into  a  life
the pendulous cliff with its vertiginous gums and precipitous skin
has rubbed me raw as  a cold shower where water droplets become teeth — I have invested in energy, but was told to conserve for the sake of society which nimbly used bastardized fuel  but kept my own
into fossils  — I am  calcified in living and mating with boredom. ..

…now boredom is  a word that is quite crude and raw and primordial evi; lapses into tongues and calamity, into divides
into savage topographies; its nuanced with a nothingness that
has nullified the potency of seeds. It is the cocktail  of grievances
yet it is consumed at happy hours. Only a miracle embedded in consciousness can seemingly know its severance. Yet deliverance
is a scary thing for many. Once you  are exposed to the boredom disease its  syphilis  kills the joy in you.

I want to be happy
yet I am told happiness means excursions
and if all of  us hate that
told to be safe and treat the home as your favourite mauseoleum
then happiness is an energy feels unhappy to be had.▬