Flash This

Posted an entry for a flash fiction contest on LitReactor – click through for the premise, the prompt, and to add yours. Meanwhile, here’s mine:

Always A Reason

Max knew there was a reason for everything. He didn’t always see it, didn’t always believe it, but he knew there was a reason for every little thing in this world. There’s a reason the sun comes up in the morning and blinds him through the hole in the third slat of his bedroom blinds. There’s a reason he ran out of gas last week in the middle of nowhere while trying to get somewhere he’d rather not have had to go to anyway. There’s a reason for the pain he felt in his knee back in March when he was helping Meg and Tony move from the downtown loft. There’s a reason why sweet Mrs. McGill fell ill and died from cancer while anti-sweet Mrs. Thomas just kept right on living and breathing and knocking over his flowerpot with her knobby wooden cane every afternoon. There’s a reason why coffee’s bitterness is just as necessary to life as sweet tea’s icy goodness.

And there’s a reason you’re not supposed to push the big red button on the weapons console. Max looked up into his Mini Cooper’s rearview mirror, the fierce flickering hillside ripping through the night as a reminder of that, barely diminishing at 80mph. Yes, there’s always a reason…

CONTENT vs. FILLER

I posted some time ago about “content versus content” – what fills your space compared to how we feel about your space, or something like that. This post is different, yet the more I think about it we’re in the same basic brainstorm, aren’t we?

Some people are great at providing content. Whatever they write, wherever they take a photograph, whenever they speak or share what’s on their heart – these folks have something worthwhile going on and they know how to use it. Maybe you look up to some of them, or maybe you employ some of them. Maybe you are one of them, in which case you can skip down to the comments and tell me what you’re thinking.

But sometimes, there’s nothing but an empty well. Folks without content might still be overly prolific, but what they’re piping out is just filler. They might be using lots of words, might be spouting big high-falutin’ fancy sounding jargon, but in the end you learn nothing, you get nothing, and you’ve lost a part of your life that time will never get back. You know some, or maybe you are one. I’m betting that if you are one you don’t know it – but if that’s the case, you didn’t read this far and you’re adding filler to my comments right now. If you suspect you might be in this category and you’re still reading though, I’ve got one more thing.

As someone who appreciates good content, and who hopefully shares and expresses good content, or at least can show that I’m one who’s trying hard to be the former over the latter – I ask this question: Are you content? And if not – why not? It’s my experience that reveals that those who share good content are by and large more content than those who are merely living out the filler. So if you’re not happy or you’re not content…

Fill up on the good stuff. Fill up on good content. Fill up to overflowing on good writing, great photography, seriously deep movies, fun really joyful films. Stop eating the junk food of life, the filler that makes us think we’re full but really only masks the real hunger inside. And start eating the good stuff.

Those who have decent content are, generally speaking, full of good content themselves because that is what they are filling up with in this life. They are content, generally speaking, because their tastes and drives have brought them to this point. And the flipside downside is equally true: those with “just filler” are living off the crap, and the only overflow they have is of the porcelain variety in the… well, you get the picture.

never done it that way before…

This has been a good week at work. Scratch that. From last Friday to today, it’s been a wonderful week to be employed. And that’s really the crux of my conundrum tonight.

I’ve never really blogged about work before.

In the past I’ve posted photos from business trips, and I’ve talked about things that might have happened in the office, or maybe about conversations and opportunities with friends on the job. But I’ve never really blogged ABOUT WORK. Many of you know I started a new job last August 2009, that I left a good situation under my own gumption to take a position working for a friend in a new place with new challenges and new opportunities. But I’ve never really posted anything, since the beginning of my blogging life, on THIS IS MY JOB, THIS IS WHAT I DO, THIS IS WHERE I WORK.

And I want to so bad. But, in all fairness and caution, I am going to defer for the time being. I’ll write something, run it by the powers that be for editorial approval, and I’ll post soon if I’m able. Or if not – and that’s a likely and okay option in my book – then I’ll post “my story” some other way.

Why have I never done this before? Mostly, it’s because some people don’t think it’s a good thing. Companies have reputations to uphold, branding initiatives to run, and shareholders to protect. I wouldn’t want to do anything that would hurt the company first or my job second. Having written that now, though, I confess that in my current position, that line is very blurry, with more of a back and forth going on between who I am personally and who I represent professionally.

This is my encouragement for anyone and everyone: I think it’s a good idea to NOT blog or tweet or set your status on Facebook with anything that would tie you to your workplace. Err on the side of, “hmm, will this get me fired or not?” and leave it alone. That’s been my take for many years, and will continue to be the way I look at the privilege, process, release of being able to blog.

But this one time, maybe I’ll invent my own loophole. After checking with the boss, of course. It’s been a really good week.

Literally

If you were to write a book, what would it be about? For real people to read, to buy, to browse over a latte’ at Barnes & Noble? Would it be fiction? Sci-fi, mystery, tragedy? Western, teen lit, thriller? Maybe non-fic? Historical, self-help, Christian living? What would you write?

And who would read? What’s your intended audience, your target? Who would be interested in your premise? Who’d want to walk in the shoes of your characters? Who would need your advice, your expertise, your perspective on things that matter?

Just some of the questions rolling around in my head, typing out on this mostly blank entry panel.

How to Unwrap a New Moleskine

Totally and uncreatively ripped from the moleskinerie blog, who pulled from someone else, who found it somewhere else, etc:

  1. Unwrap the plastic
  2. Pull the paper sleeve from the cover
  3. Tuck the post card and stamps in the accordion pocket.
  4. Kiss the history of Moleskine pamphlet, and reflect how fortunate you are to be using a notebook favored by Hemingway and Van Gogh
  5. Open the notebook, and turn to the middle, or thereabouts
  6. Bury your nose between the pages, rooting as closely as possible to the spine.
  7. Breath deeply
  8. Repeat Step 7 until filled with a sense of well being