Monday, August 25, 2014

A Writing Prompt and Playing Around with Tumblr

by Roz Chast-- a goddess
via The New Yorker

I've been playing around with Tumblr, inspired by my friend Vesuvius, and wanting a place that I could curate stuff that I like and am inspired by without resorting to Facebook or even Pinterest, which both give me agita. There's a simplicity to Tumblr, I think, and I love the way it looks. Here's my Tumblr address: a moon, worn as if it had been a shell. Check it out and let me know what you think. I have no idea of what I'm doing there, but I imagine I'll keep it simple and just post periodically.

I saw this on Paris Review's Tumblr today and thought it an excellent writing prompt:

“You have to write the way you see things. I tell people, Make a list of ten things you hate and tear them down in a short story or poem. Make a list of ten things you love and celebrate them. When I wrote Fahrenheit 451 I hated book burners and I loved libraries. So there you are.” 
Ray Bradbury 

So what are ten things you hate? I'll start, and tomorrow we'll do ten things I love:

  1. Designer labels on children's clothes
  2. Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christianity
  3. Violent television and movies
  4. When people cut down trees
  5. Peas
  6. Electronic music
  7. Sexism
  8. Being called "Mommy" or "Mom" by people in the medical profession
  9. Hashtags
  10. Aggressive BMW drivers


  1. I need to write. I want to write. Why am I not writing? Why am I not letting myself?
    Okay. That's off point sort of. Sorry.
    Here's what I hate: a stopped up toilet. Right now I hate that with all my heart. Also Evangelical Christians and any religion that calls itself the "real one." My inability to do what things I need to do. Crowds. Intolerance. Hateful people. Abuse of children. (All kinds.) Anything to do with doctors or hospitals. Anxiety and fear.

  2. Terrible drivers, cutting into an avocado and finding rotten spots, Everyday Math, and, apparently, long lists and deep thinking.

    That said, I love this exercise more than my half-assed (though cheery!) list would indicate.

  3. Drivers who don't follow highway etiquette, drivers who don't wave when you let them in, gratuitous rape scenes, articles that make really blatantly false conclusions, gratuitous gorey violence in otherwise awesome shows or books, people who believe in eugenics but would never call it that, when my writing makes me sound like an asshole, non-wheelchair accessible medical buildings, realizing that the last apple/piece of bread/bit of meat in the fridge is mouldy, and when the credit card machine is broken in the Tim Horton's drive through.

  4. I hate that I limp thanks to a stupid IT band injury that I ignored to too long until it roped in my hip and my knee. i hate stairs (see first item). i hate cranky know- it-all-ness in boy children (specifically my own boy child) and i hate when people withdraw their speech because of a disagreement, freezing you out with silence (my god, where did my son learn this?!). i think if you're fighting you need to put up your dukes and get in the ring and say your piece until you both wear each other out or love each other out, whichever comes first. the details are unbloggable for reasons of privacy, but my boy is kind of not talking to me, and while i feel i am in the right, it still sucks. sigh. you? i love you.

  5. 1. Being single at 48. 2. Having middle-aged plantar fasciitis 3. end of summer. 4. writing that involves people expressing their superiority over others. 5. insomnia. 6. unfairness. 7. my inability to accept that things are unfair. 8. intellectual arrogance 9. the crap everywhere including in my own being that makes the crap even crappier. 10. the reasonable idea that there probably isn't a god.
    I look forward to the ten things I love. This will include my art therapist and meatloaf.

  6. Right On! My number 1 complaint is 13 year old dice players who fart on their dice for good luck. (Dice we all have to play with!)

  7. 1. Mustard
    2. Intolerance
    3. People talkin down to me -or anyone- but specially me
    4 earthquakes
    5 children suffering in any way
    6 people who are more worried about animals than #5

  8. Continued
    (And I love animals)
    7. Internet trolls
    8 insomnia
    9 sexism, ageism, racism etc that is so ingrained that folks don't even realize it's there
    10. Losing my daughter

    Obviously not in any particular order.

  9. 1. People who think they know what's best for everyone else
    2. People who think they or their group are better than others or THEIR group
    3. Meaty, fatty food
    4. Any kind of organ meats or offal
    5. F**king internet passwords that I can never remember
    6. Paper junk mail (WHY??)
    7. Danielle Steele
    8. Watching football (oh my god, this should be #1)
    9. Fishing
    10. Boxing (WHY??)

  10. Interesting lists, all of them. Here are 10 things I find frustrating:
    1. People who drive below the speed limit in the fast lane.
    2. People who talk on cell phones while they're in line at the grocery store - or Costco.
    3. Paper towel dispensers that dispense either a bunch of towels or shreds of towels - and tear up your knuckles.
    4. Movie theaters that try to be a restaurant, too.
    5. Parents who allow their children to run around in public places like restaurants and dept. stores.
    6. Parking spaces for "New Parents." They're young . . . let them walk.
    7. Men who talk so loudly in restaurants that everyone else has to shout to be heard.
    8. People who play music in their cars with the bass turned up so that I feel it in my body.
    9. Trainee cashiers in the express lane.
    10. Ambiguous traffic signs.

  11. (The hate list was easier for me :-/)

    when people say "boy books"
    when people don't use their turn signal
    going to Ingles, the awful grocery store here
    the male gaze
    the lack of representation of women in Hollywood
    those frogs with the holes in their backs (don't look it up)

    As I type this, our neighbors are having their tree torn down.

  12. Humidity, religious zealots, crooked politicians, corporate greed, sexism, anti-simetism, ableism, aggressive drivers, black flies, burnt pizza.



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