Archive for the ‘creative musings’ Category

Here’s a tip. Leave them the fuck alone. I live by myself, because to cohabit with someone would involve handing them a list of rules that would alert them to the fact that they were about to sleep in a house with a lunatic. It would include:

1. Don’t talk to me when I’m reading (and don’t ask me what’s so funny, either. It’s probably only funny to me.)

2. Don’t talk to me if I have a pen and notebook in hand.

3. Don’t talk to me  at the computer, even if I’m not typing and especially when I am.

4. Don’t read my magazines (see previous post.)

5. Don’t try and tidy up after me. I never put things ‘away’ because to me, something belongs where it was last used. If I read books on the couch then there should be books on the couch, because obviously, that’s where they get used!

6. If the house runs out of coffee and/or tea, there may be blood spilled.

7. Bathtub time is sacred, and may well last as long as the tank contains hot water. Find a Dunkin Donuts if you need to pee.

8. There are 8 teacups on the desk because today, I drank 8 cups of tea. That’s my intake problem, not yours.

9. Wear headphones, and preferably, a viewing hood, if you’re going to watch TV. If I’m reading, you can still do whatever the fuck you want, but if you’re watching TV, so is everyone else, and just because I tolerate Don Draper and his gigantic schlong does not mean I want to share your viewing habits.

10. Read all my work and praise it. That’s what all of Hemingway’s wives were for, and I’m not saying it worked out for them or him, but it may be the only way to soothe the lunatic after you’ve done any of the offending items 1-9.

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They do. Travel writing in general is annoying, and I don’t just mean the useless-but-I-go-nowhere-without-it Lonely Planet guidebooks. There’s a great quote by a British author who’s name temporarily eludes me – something to the effect of travel being mostly comprised of delay and waiting in line. It’s true. Travel is getting buggered and lost and itchy with a million fears and diseases, but we write about it as if it’s covered in shiny happy goop.

I’ve written blogs before, and yes, some of them were travel blogs. That goop is fine for showing off Thailand pictures to your mom’s best friend, but it’s the literary equivalent of romantic comedies: tidy, sanitized, unrealistic, and boring as fuck.  I feel this way about a lot of Berlin-based expat blogs. They think everything is great; they make small jokes about the bureaucratic struggles of living abroad; they do have good coffee shop recommendations. But I find they meld; the humor is mild and inoffensive and unremarkable. (Maybe I just find most people to be this way, and the poor blogs are only a reflection.)

Where was I going with this? Oh, right, this blog. Well, this blog probably won’t be much better. I have a strong internal censor and a pretty thick brain to mouth filter from a lifetime of learned polite behavior, but I’m trying to be more raw and honest and scratchy.

This blog is less about writing in Berlin than it is about writing without a filter. I say ‘uncensored’, but I do not mean hedonistic party animal debauchery tales. A lot of writing life is solitary; a lot of writers don’t like talking to strangers even when we do make it out of the house. We’re bookworms, shy, better at character development than building real-live relationships. We’re inward and cranky and seem to celebrate our dependence on caffeine.

But we also narrate constantly. We think a lot but most of the time, those thoughts get filed away in “not suitable for public consumption”. Blogs are a great catch-all for useless crap of the mind, but it’s like singing: you sing in an empty room before you perform for an audience.