An exploration of my inner creative life with examples of my most definite misunderstanding of what the fuck creative means

I've been privileged to have some great conversations with my wicked creative friends lately. They're writing music and comedy sketches and books. They're planning videos and paintings. They're developing new projects before they're even done with the old ones. Some projects are products. Some are learning-by-doing just for fun. Some are quite shit but you didn't hear that from me.

I'd like to show you some ideas for projects I've had which I've thought about a lot. Each has a detailed calendar and Trello board with stages of production and budgets and space to document my feelings. I'm looking forward to sharing them with my friends because I'm sure it'll draw us closer together as artists. I really want to earn their respect.

  • An illustrated chapbook with a line-by-line accounting of emails I'll read 13 times to make sure I've actively interpreted every word in the worst possible way. The goal is to fully understand that the person hates me, I hate me, I couldn't possibly be more of an arrogant nuisance, and that they're never going to talk to me again. If good art comes from suffering you've got to be a great artist to be able interpret "I really appreciate your help!" as a personal attack on your character.  
  • Taking photos of small collections of mundane things I find around the house to highlight how modern consumerism is going to destroy humanity. I'll be using my phone, a $270 Samsung Galaxy filled with frightening minerals no person should go near, and my unsteady hands will add an arty blur to the photo no filter can rival. I'll post these to Instagram (please turn on notifications; good art is, after all, jarring) with bot attention-grabbing hashtags like #getfollowershere and #giveaway and #freeiPad and #KimK. Please heart each picture because the stats could get me a brand-sponsored post gig and who doesn't like free stuff? 
  • Reading a book I've had on my shelf for 10 years but never read. I'm going to video-record me reading thoughtfully and silently in a 2 hour performance piece I'm going to use for grant applications. I'll use the grant to upgrade my video editing software, I think. The one that comes with Windows really isn't that good. 
  • How many times can I move this empty cardboard box around the room before I figure out that I can just recycle the damn thing: an experience in existential angst in time and space.

As you can see, I'm really going to have my hands full for some time. Apologies if you don't hear from me for a while. If you do need to contact me, please leave a comment on one of my Instagram photos because any traffic there will help me move up in the algorithm.


An Average Friday

Friday is my day off. Thursday, too. Thursday I relax a bit, maybe go on a mini adventure or something. Friday I do all the stuff that I don't want to or can't do all the other days.

I went to the post office to check the box. I received two books from England. I got some new pencils from New York, and a thank you note from a lady in Ohio. I'd donated to her charity walk. I'd forgotten I'd done that.

I got a new bathroom faucet today. It's pretty shiny. It doesn't drip like the old one did. Some plumbers came by to install it. I don't know how to do things like that.

I went to the credit union to get some cash. The teller tried to get me to come to the member appreciation day event on Saturday. I'm not doing that.

I went to the market. I complimented a guy on his t-shirt that read "Do me a favor... and stop talking."

I chatted with MK, Cate, Tabitha, and Alex. I heard from Christopher, Jack, Allie, Mike, Rhi, Ziba, and Satan. I had a conversation with Daniel. He gave me an idea for a little project. Another one.

I listened to some music, watched a video or two, and just had a think. I made some soup.

I'm working tomorrow. I might try to listen to the whole of Blackstar. I haven't so far. It's quite heavy.


Jesus Was Mentioned as Casually as Cornichons

A few Sundays ago I sat in The Bowery in Camden Town at a round table with Christopher and Conor and a man named Tom who has the broadest shoulders I've ever seen on a person. He also has tall hair, a penchant for grandpa sweaters and blingy rings, and a way with words that'd captivate you for hours.

Tom's a comedian and he told us a humorous anecdote that seemed totally realistic until Jesus (yes, The Jesus) somehow made an actual appearance, like he was just one of the guys. Tom briefly stepped away after he'd finished and we'd laughed. Christopher, who's known Tom for some time, leaned over to me and whispered "I have no idea if any of that was true."


Overnight Inventory

by Dorothy Parker

Four be the things I am wiser to know: Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I'd been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die: Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

Nothing like an upcoming birthday to get you thinking about what came before, what's happening now, and what's coming next.


In Which I Wander Lost in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

With my backpack on and wheelie suitcase in tow, I got off the coach in Earl's Court and promptly walked in the wrong direction... twice... adding an hour and forty-five minutes to a fifteen minute walk to the hotel. There've never been so many steps on my FitBit.

I headed East and then North along the majour roads, past tiny pubs with tiny dark windows and large modern office buildings with large even darker windows. I walked past people and dogs and bins. 
I'd wander back through the side-streets... lanes and courts and ways... past row after row of white buildings with steep stairs and courtyards so small they seemed to be designed exclusively so estate agents could say there was a courtyard. 

I had a lot of time to think.
I'm still thinking. 

Don't worry.
I found the hotel.


In Which I Go to Cambridge & am Pretty Vague About the Experience

A month ago today I was on a train speeding my way from Cambridge to Liverpool by way of London. I'd arrived in England two days before and was only running on one meal, about 7 hours of good sleep, a significant dose of euphoria, and probably some residual Bacardi. I'd been consensually hugged by more people than I can count, happy-cried at least twice, and already given up trying to figure out how to pay for things with coins. I'd perched in a rear pew of a stone and glass chapel and declared everything good. I'd been embraced by the sun, and held an angel's face in my hands. There was music and singing and familiarity and newness. By the time I sat down on the return train after less than 24 hours in Cambridge, I knew that something was different.

to be continued, maybe...


Things that happened today, plus some things that happened last month, and the month before

Hello here are some things that happened today and before today.

I worked today half at home and half in the office. Inefficient. Did you know I work the weekends? It's true.

I watched this video and this video, and this one in particular three times.

For dinner I made a salad with leafy romaine and pecans and chicken and muenster cheese. I forgot I have scallions or I would’ve put scallions on.

original artwork by CAB
I mentally composed a reasoned response to anyone who steps to me and suggests my choices of late might indicate I’m having a midlife crisis. I haven’t shaken my long-held habit of having an explanation at the ready for any possible situation or criticism.

Last month I began the process of volunteering for a small literary press and blog. Things are progressing at a pace with which I’m comfortable, that being about 3 weeks between email volleys and no sign of responsibilities yet.   

I went to the post office. I received a letter from Katie, a card from MK, So Sad Today by Melissa Broder, and an Etsy order of a zipper pouch with an obnoxiously stereotypical British motif.

I procrastinated going to sleep way past my bedtime (by writing this) because I’m unhappy about what's on the calendar for tomorrow.

In January I booked a trip to England and I leave in about a week. I’m traveling light (i.e. no computer) so watch Instagram for updates and maybe here for anecdotes when I get back.