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Creative Writing: Exploring the W’s

Like any other profession, or endeavor, I have to keep my storytelling skills sharp. A baseball player will spend hours in the batting cage, a quarterback will spend eons throwing passes and memorizing plays, and welders will bind countless pieces of metal together until they are happy with their ability to weld. These practices and drills never stop. Much like them, the moment that I become complacent with my abilities to tell stories is the same day when my skills become stagnant and begin becoming irrelevant. 

As a writer, I am constantly looking to explore the reaches of my imagination, and put my creative brain center in a place where it has to operate under certain levels of duress — essentially, I am training my brain to come up with the most compelling and entertaining stories in the shortest amount of time. Like going to the batting cage, I’ll engage in writing exercises to get those parts of my brain active, functional, and ready for immediate use.

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[THANKSGIVING 2020] – I Am Grateful

When I think back on how this year has been a hot coffee enema, I am reminded of a quote from the movie Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks:

Nasa Director: …I know what the problems are, Henry. This will be the worst disaster that

 NASA has ever experienced.

Gene Kranz (played by Ed Harris): With all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour. 

This year has been wrought with turmoil, change, complications, subterfuge, just to mention a few. But has it, really? People are speaking up because their voices weren’t heard. We have challenged a system that has been in place for almost two hundred years — change and growth doesn’t occur in times of comfort and routine. Change, real beneficial change, happens in moments of discomfort and disorientation. That’s how I’m choosing to see this year and embrace it with gratitude.

For this week’s blog, I wanted to share the things I am grateful for this year:

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[STORY]: The Ballad of the Body

This past year, I threw my hat in to compete in the New York City Midnight Madness Flash Fiction contest. Authors were asked to write a very short story (under 1,000 words), that contained certain criteria. For my first year competing, I did alright. Only the top five out of every group would proceed to round three — I was number six.

Since I’ve been eliminated, I am now free to share the work I contributed. This is the entry from the first round. The criteria my group was given was:

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My Moments In History: The Death of Superman

I was at a friends’ house recently, and the topic of Billy Joel came up. I remember the first time I’d ever heard “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which was subsequently my first Billy Joel song I’d ever heard. The video was powerful — the images of flames, the family dynamic falling apart, really a masterwork of visual storytelling layered over lyrical storytelling. Billy Joel had taken all of the histories that happened in his lifetime and put it into song.

I thought that was such a cool thing to do, and I wanted to incorporate it into my blog, as a regular piece like “Ask An Author.” So, welcome to the first edition of “My Moments in History,” where I’ll be chronicling where I was when certain events in history happened.

This week’s addition: the Death of Superman.

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Ask an Author (with A.P. Miller) – Volume 6: the Wedding Bells Edition

[DISCLAIMER]: This piece is a satire, and the author is an idiot sometimes. Please don’t take any of this advice seriously — you would be better off trusting your retirement account to Bernie Madoff than listening to A.P.. Also, any similarities between any persons, or events, is purely coincidental. If you take issue with anything that’s said, maybe you should think twice about your shitty personality, and the way you treat other people. Maybe you have a guilty conscience. Asshole.

So, today should be my thirteenth wedding anniversary. I should be toasting to the thirteen years I put into keeping up my end of “till death do us part,” and I should be slipping my dog scraps without my doggymama seeing, and all would be well. Clearly, that’s not the way it’s actually happening. Instead of being bitter, I’ve decided to help other people who are going through similar issues, because I’m a giver

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