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Why I Writeย 


People always ask me “how the writing is going.” I often visualize a manuscript of mine, unconscious in a hospital bed, hooked up to beeping machines and fancy heart monitors. 

“Good,” I reply every time, briefly describing some piece I’m working on. They say nice things about my writing – or a random Facebook post that made them laugh –  and I say thank-you, then lightly deflect. 

It’s always HOW the writing is, like it’s a third invisible arm I broke that everybody knows about but no one can actually see. I know what people mean – I ask how things are at them all the time. How’s the job, how’s work, how’re things. I just never know how to answer. Things are good, I say. The writing is good. It’s not not good. It still is. It’s not nothing. 

Such brazen confidence. 

Occasionally, someone asks me WHAT I’m writing, which is more exciting but also brings extra anxiety. Now I must choose the right example and not over-explain myself into a corner of literary death. Not enough details and the listener will ask a bunch of questions you may or may not have the answers to; too many details and the listener might end up telling you they hate the whole concept. 

No one asks WHY I write, which I think I’m going to start asking my fellow writing friends because it’s far more interesting. I write because of passion and calling and creativity and sheer will, but mostly I write because of the J. Peterman catalogue. My mom would get those catalogues in the mail with their beautiful, other-worldly stories – a whole profile on a shirt being worn at a certain kind of party in Morocco, a story about a cobbler’s hat from Ireland and the man who wore it on his bicycle trips through the country – and I wanted to be every linen tunic-wearing woman traveling the Greek Islands with her lover, Kostas. That retail haven for storytelling sold me on telling stories. And I’ve been telling them, in various forms, ever since. 

Why do you write? 

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GoT Recap, Ep 3: Five Queens A-Warring

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QUEEN OF QUEENS

 

Welcome back to my Why Didn’t I Pick ‘Bob’s Burgers’ To Recap Game of Thrones recap! This episode had lots of jokes, subtle as they were. I appreciated all the dialogue, as we had a lot to get through this week. Spoilers and Buzzfeed headlines (in bold) ahead!

The 23 Greatest TV Show Meetings Of All Time

Jon Stark lands on Dragonstone Beach for some polite diplomacy and a superfun dragon surprise. They walk to the castle by way of the beach, a cliff, the Great Wall of China, another cliff, and then to the Great Hall, where Daenerys is waiting. She comes off as young, cold, and demanding; Jon is stubborn, dismissive, and demanding. Internally, I was screaming OH MY GOD THAT’S YOUR AUNT THAT’S ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ YOUR ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ AUNT ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ but externally, I was rocking back and forth saying “Thisishappeningthisishappening.” Their verbal skirmish is interrupted by Varys with some bad news about their ships. Like, they’re all on fire or at the bottom of the ocean.

31 Cliff Confrontations That Will Make You Want Your Own Nemesis

Lord Varys does his best to snark up a cliff and intimidate Melisandre but she’s all Remember how I know more than you and have magic on my side and Varys scurries off. I can’t wait for him to confess whatever he saw in the flames as a brand-new eunuch — he’s connected to The Lord of Light, just not sure how.

9 Painful Truths Only A Theon Greyjoy Would Understand ย 

Theon gets fished out of the water by some fellow ironborn who clearly have no respect for him, which works for everyone because Theon doesn’t respect Theon, either.

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The Kind-Of Care Bearย 

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I miss not caring about stuff.

I miss the days when I didn’t know or care which Greek island my yogurt came from. I miss not thinking about how it was made, how the ingredients were sourced, how the workers who packaged it were treated. I miss not caring about how the yogurt CEO voted in the last election or how his deputy made a racist remark on Twitter in 2008. I miss not caring about what gender that CEO was, or if she was being paid the same as her male counterparts. I miss not caring about which store I was going to buy that yogurt from, preferably a store as ethical as the yogurt company, which leaves expensive health food stores and the local farmer’s market. I miss just eating something because it tasted good and not worrying about how the packaging would be recycled or if it was giving my family cancer. I miss not caring because now I care about every goddamn thing, from how organic the uniforms are at the factory to how much money a CEO donated to NAMBLA. I miss not giving a shit.

No one ever tells you as a child that giving a damn is exhausting (see also: caring about politics and the world). You just look up one day at the health food store (probably reading a passionate mission statement from the back of a gluten-free vegetable wash), and realize how seriously tired you are — of reading labels; of farm-fresh, grass-fed, locally-sourced, shamanically-blessed everything; of always holding space for outrage; of yogurt that can’t just be fucking yogurt.

Not caring is a privilege, but caring can feel like an extra uphill battle sometimes. I just want to buy some yogurt, not do the mental gymnastics it takes now to feel good about the yogurt I buy. I guess I miss the privilege of being ignorant or willfully blind to these issues. Where I spend my money matters and who I support in business matters — it can’t be 100% perfection all the time (best example of how we collectively fail: our cell phones) — but once I know something, I can’t un-know it. Now that these things matter to me, I will never not give a shit. I just miss the carefree days when it didn’t even occur to me to care – childhood, I think it was called.

GoT Recap, Ep 2: So Many Storms, So Many Links (Updated)

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How you doin’

Welcome back to my Why Did I Think This Was A Good Idea Game of Thrones recap! Now with moar links! This one took so long because of scheduling and also a summarizing fail: Clocking in at 2,000 words, I don’t think this is really a recap (plus I fell down so many GoT link holes). Maybe next week the entire recap will be written in Buzzfeed headlines. Spoilers ahead but more importantly, links on links on links. Go!

We open in the lair of my dreams during a storm at Dragonstone. The guys are like “You were born during a storm like this” and Daenerys Stormborn (HEY, GET IT) is all “Sorry, this place sucks.” She gets into a truthiness bitch-off with Lord Varys that would make Mama Tits proud, which ends with both of them bemused by her idle threat to burn him alive. Har har! FRIENDSHIP IS SO FUN.

Bzzzt, there’s someone at the front door and that someone is Melisandre, everyone’s favorite 300-year old sexy red witch and noted child killer. She’s all “Jon Snow!” and they’re all *gasp, who* and Missandei adds her linguistic two-snaps and they decide to make contact. I am beyond excited for Jon and Dany to meet even though I wanted them to hook up way before I knew they were related.

On to Winterfell: IT’S COLD AF but they’re decoding Tyrion’s invitation outside anyway. Does anyone ever go inside? Do they all just love extreme camping? Bring on the war talk, war talk, war talk, war.

Cersei does some doom-and-gloom Fox News fearmongering from the Iron Throne to her confused lords and nobles. Darkย horse lords from afar threaten the safety of your virginal white daughters! Lord Tarly asks – and rightfully so – what the plan is to address that whole dragons thing Daenerys has going for her. Qyburn rubs what I assume are his extremely clammy hands together and implies that he’s cooking up something. Last time he was cooking up human experiments, so hopefully this is better.

Next up at The Citadel: Jorah faces a grim greyscale diagnosis but Samwell has that twinkle in his eye. Oh god, this can’t be good. (Narrator: It was not.)

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Drunk With Flower Power

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Just heading to the grocery store

What — oh, this old thing? I practically forgot I was wearing it. Like Beyoncรฉ, I just woke up like this: hair blown out, make-up on, dressed like Mother Earth’s mother in a Tyler Perry movie. Someone at the grocery store (more on that later) asked if I’d been swarmed by bees, and I said no, bees like flowers, not 30 pounds of hot glue and polyester.

This is the story of a hat.

A few weeks back, the fox and the catbear threw a Frida Kahlo party for their magical Aunt Lalaย – who had journeyed from an exotic, faraway land called Central Florida –ย so I made Frida-inspired floral headpieces for everyone to wear. The summer party was everything one hopes for in a gathering: lovely friends, weather, rooftop deck, laughs, unibrows. Sous vide pork and sweet sangria.ย A solid group selfieย no one openly hated.

Aunt Lala kept her flowers and I took the rest home. The next day I got up, donned a large floral headband, and did the dishes in my pajamas. The absurdity of that tiny moment – the two-second pause right before thinking, ‘Well – why the fuck not?’ and then adorning myself with a crown of flowers like some kind of living Snapchat filter –ย made me grin all day until my cheek muscles hurt. Doing chores that day was fun. Out of the blue, I actually chortled, something I thought was reserved for really old British academics.

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