Category Archives: Non Sequitorial

Don’t bother me

Sure, that’s me amid all that mess. It’s summer, and I’ve just finished my last summer class, and I’m just about finished with my work-in-progress–just about. So I’m needed these next few days to finish up then park myself in a spot of sand, by a lake, or under a tree and take a breather. So if you’re looking for me, you’ll find me there with a cool drink in my hand, chillin.

See you in September!

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A Midsummer Assessment

Sometimes I write stuff and no one pays attention. Okay, a LOT of times I write stuff and no one pays attention. The following post is one of those, that I wrote a few years back, but it’s reflecting exactly how I feel right now. So with a few updates (in italics) you can see easily how this writer is feeling on this mid-summer night’s eve…

Been working hot and obsessively developing  another project (actually, the same one I’ve been working on for the past two years, wound like a bitch in editing hell) the last few weeks. When I do this I so live in my head I’m apt to leave lights on or subsist on string cheese and blueberries because I can eat them with one hand. Because of that I’m giving myself a pass tonight to let my mind wander.  I have too many topics rolling around the fertile landscape of my brain to settle on one, so I’m treating you to a virtual sampler of each. Think of it as the Jones version of the Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy,” (more like a keto snax box filled with cherries, hard boiled eggs, any nuts I can find, and an everything bagel and cream cheese to blow all good intentions straight to hell) except not about chain restaurant Italian food or really anything to do with food at all. Please don’t ask me to explain…

~ Why is it harder to write in the summer when it should be easier? Okay, I”m a college professor, right? And I “theoretically” have the summer off (except for the [three] summer class[s] I’m teaching, which really is cake next to my usual load). So my brain should be my own (mostly), and I should be able to sail through what I’m working on, producing so many pages a day I’d best keep a fire extinguisher near my desk. Wrong! Phuque moi! Could it be the sun shining through my window? The fact I have no schedule? The lure of the beach? Distraction by a shiny object? Or I’m still trying to get to know my characters? Hmm…I going to have to think about that one. Where’s the string cheese? (Yuengling)

~ You can lose weight on summer fruit. (All right; I lied about the food reference) I live in the heart of the South Jersey farm belt, and you can’t drive more than a couple of miles without either passing a farm or a farm stand. This morning I happened to visit the latter, where I purchased tomatoes (early, but there’s nothing like a Jersey tomato!), cukes, blueberries (another iconic Jersey crop), cantaloupe and peaches, both yellow and white. Lately I’ve been gorging on berries and melons and cherries, instead of the usual snacky-type foods, and in the past month I’ve lost seven pounds! (gained three on summer ice cream) Of course, this may have something to do with the 1725 calories I’ve been allowing myself to eat, the half-hour of daily exercise, and the frequent swims in the ocean (haven’t visited the beach yet, but swam in a pool once. Yeah, it was only four feet deep, and I was hooked to a pool noodle, but I was out in the sun–Vitamin D, you know) BUT! I have had more than a couple Bacchanalia events and let me tell you, the Yuengling hasn’t been lonely!

~ Beer tastes better in summer. That’s all I got. Any other commentary on that topic would be redundant.

~ Socks suck in summer.  I haven’t worn a pair of socks since, oh…probably early May. I hate the fricking little cotton casings anyway–hate the way they bunch up under your instep, hate the indentations they make on your shins, hate how the heels always wear out when the rest of the sock can go for another 10,000 miles. But MOST of all I HATE folding them. (Hate! Hate! Hate! still) Just sayin’.

~ I love the sound of birdsong at dusk. The sun has set, the western sky is stained red, outside a soft breeze is blowing and you can finally shut off the A.C. and let in some fresh air. You venture out on your porch or you open your car window, or maybe you’re out for a walk and there in the bushes, the trees or on an overhead wire is a whip-poor-will or a mockingbird or who knows what kind of bird, only that their song is lovely, a tiny gratis pleasure on a soft summer night. What else can you possibly need?

(Except it’s as hot as balls out there tonight and there’s no beer in the house. Still, there’s watermelon in the  fridge and I don’t have to work tomorrow, unless you count working on the edit again, which I’m enjoying so much it’s not really like work at all. Life is good, peeps.)

Nothing witty but a cute kitty

All right, I have a cold, and my head is so stuffed it’s clogged my brain. I’m living on tea and Smith Brothers Cough Drops, so expect no words of writing wisdom from me this week. So lieu of that, here’s my cat Gracie, who never met a pair of unoccupied pants she didn’t want to sublet. Did I mention she’s exceedingly cute? I believe it goes without saying. She’s my cat, after all.

I know what I’m doing this weekend

The Book Fair will be held on Saturday, March 30th from 4:30 TO 6:30 pm at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel located at 515 US Highway 1 South Iselin, NJ 08830.

The Book Fair is open to the general public in addition to all conference attendees.

**GPS ALERT** ENTER THIS ADDRESS for directions to the hotel: 401 Gill Lane, Iselin, NJ 08830.

Brain on vaca thankyouverymuch

If you’re a college professor like me, chances are March Madness has absolutely nothing to do with basketball, but everything to do with the point you’ve reached in the semester. I’m talking about when your grading brain’s been set to high-sizzle and you’d give your next two incremental raises for a week without whiteboards, lectures, mandatory offices hours, and anything coming close to a five-to-seven page essay. I’m not even going to touch midterms. Anyway, if you made what I make you’d totally know I’d have to be losing it to suggest the above. It’s bad, I tell you. One more day of looking like the above then it’s off to someplace warm. Cancun? Ft. Lauderdale? Hell no. My bed until noon, baby oh yeah!

See ya in two!

It’s called Winter, Bro

When I went to my  1:30 class this afternoon, it was bright and sunny and about 34 degrees, a slight breeze, and just a smattering of puffy clouds low on the horizon. When I got out about an hour and a half later, it was gray with the wind picking up, a snowflake here and there appearing. Fifteen minutes later a snow squall hit with blinding force, the visibility virtually zero, the temperature dropping fourteen degrees in five minutes. Another fifteen minutes later it was all but over, and now, two hours later, with the sun setting, the thermometer is expected to drop like a rock. The forecast in my part of New Jersey is for five above. Which makes me happy as if I were in Wisconsin, that’d be a day at the beach. The temps there when you apply the windchill factor rival the Arctic. In fact, I think it was warmer in Antarctica today.

Can you think of a better time to stay inside and write? Of course not!

2018 Burned me out so much this is all you’re getting so far

I’m not kidding. 2018 was a bitch. Seriously, I’m still working on things I should have finished a long time ago, but the sheer volume of those “things” haven’t let me. So here I said, two days into 2019, and I’m still working on closing out 2018. Ah well. I’ve been told 2019 will be much better. Mainly, I think because 2018 offers such a contrast. But I’m looking forward. They say not to make New Year’s Resolutions. Make goals instead. So that’s what I’m going to do. As soon as I get two minutes to rub together. Okay–gotta go.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! and keep writing!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that Rot

Late last night I graded my last essay and sent in my final grades, a Herculean task that just about burnt my brain to a crisp. And even though I’m finished now, I kind of feel like Santa does up there, needing a stiff drink and a good long sit to recover. So I’m taking one until after the New Year, where I’ll again have to prepare for the new semester, and for two presentations I’m making, one at an MFA residency, and another at a writer’s conference. I won’t mention the interim semester class I’m teaching, or the book I’m just pages away from finishing. Well anyway, don’t we all suffer for our art?

Happy Holidays to everyone and here’s to a gleamingly prosperous New Year. It’s got to be better than the last one!