A new project: nanonovels

Ladies and gentlemen, get all the information about my latest writing project, the nanonovel, at their new page on Drawing Coffee. I posted the first nanonovel today on my Twitter (which you can read the to right of this post, in the sidebar beneath my photo), as well as a link to the appropriate comments page. Read! Discuss!

I’m trying to decide how often to post these nanonovels; what are your thoughts? Twice a week? Three days a week?

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The dark(ly humorous) side of origami

I posted some new writing up at Drawing Coffee. Go check it out, it’s called “The Art of Forgetting: Making an Origami Lotus”.

More Drawing Coffee revisions

Spent this evening revising the Legal, Opinions, and Creative pages at Drawing Coffee.

In other news, didn’t have to wear my ankle brace today at work and didn’t have to take any NSAIDs, despite biking 50 minutes at the gym tonight. Also playing Song Summoner on my iPod while biking was pretty sweet.

Redesigning Drawing Coffee

More from me later this week, but in the meantime, check out what I’ve been working on. I redesigned the Drawing Coffee site, and I’m working on revising the pages so they are both more informational and more professional–so far, only the “about” page is done, but I think it’s much better than what I had before. And for those of you into punishing yourselves, expect to see a bunch of my academic essays posted to DC in the near future.

A fusion of life and work

Woke up at a normal person time of morning, showered, and dashed off to the Springfield farmers’ market downtown. Much as I would have enjoyed hazelnut shortbread cookies, sweet focaccia (focaccia with powdered sugar and preserves/jam), or a massive cinnamon roll, I abstained. It was worth it to be out in the humidity just to smell the baskets of strawberries for sale. I sat in Andiamo to do some work, which meant e-mailing some people while listening to the rest of Morning Edition and deciding what I will need to do over the course of the year to get tech-savvy and marketable. I contacted someone from the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals today about possible learning opportunities for grant writing skills, though I am still somewhat unsure how I feel about it.

Got my haircut on Monday but decided today after giving it a chance that my bangs are not quite right; trying to see if I can get that fixed before the weekend.

Figured since I was already out and it was sunny and hot  and we weren’t going to get wiped off the face of the planet by torrential rain like the last two days, I would wash my car (though the rain at least had the courtesy to take care of the squirrel piss my car had been subjected to just prior to my neck getting pissed on as well). The pay-and-spray (ha) I go to usually is right down the street from an oil change place, so I took care of that too and felt pretty accomplished by the time I got home. Later on, it rained harder than it has the rest of the week and hailed on my car. At least I didn’t plant my wildflower seeds today–maybe Friday, since there is still a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms here tomorrow and that has meant guaranteed monsoons the last three days.

Lunch, tons of rain and flooding all over town, late getting to the gym. Lifted tons of weights today since my ankle pain came back with a vengeance shortly after lunch. Ibuprofen seems not to have any effect, so I’m sitting here with a back-size ice pack strapped to my leg while I write.

Also, I lucked into a part-time on-and-off job for the next few months. Jackie called me while I was on my way to get my oil changed and mentioned that she and her daughter are leaving to visit another of her daughters in California for a few weeks (which I knew, but I guess I didn’t put two and two together), so the flower shop where her daughter works would need a part-time assistant during that time. I’m supposed to be at the shop at 10am tomorrow for some on-the-job training.

Business stuff–I plan to start taking a lot more photos as writing starters. I’m also probably going to start asking a lot more questions of anyone reading about what kind of content you’d be interested in seeing from me. I know a lot of you take your own photos, also, and I would love to work some writing out for things you’ve photographed. If you’re comfortable sharing your pictures with me, I’d love to generate writing for them (particularly because I won’t know anything about them, where they are, why you took them–that is the whole point. Don’t tell me anything about them), and I will post them to Drawing Coffee as they are completed with full credit/reference to you as the photographer in whatever format you choose. If you would like to discuss this further/send me your damn photos already, I can be reached at chelsea dot fiddyment at gmail dot com. Quick note: I’d prefer they are not posed (or naked) photos of you, especially if I know you pretty well. Maybe someday I will write a story about all you lovelies, but for now, it’s just too distracting. Places/stuff/unknown (clothed; don’t violate their privacy!) people preferred.

Final question: if your favorite writer had a Twitter, what kinds of things would you want to read from them? Would you care? Why or why not? Talk amongst yourselves.

Bullet points

Quick entry before internet curfew.

Hurt my ankle running. Tried working out on a cross-trainer for thirty minutes Monday, which didn’t make things worse but also didn’t make them any better. Bought a couple of braces (including an athletic one that I wore today while doing weights) and I’m trying to take it easy for at least the next week. No cardio. Ice once a day, though I may move that up to twice.

Caffeine withdrawal week going pretty well so far. Staying away from coffee; had some iced tea on Tuesday to help with my headache.

Eyes are feeling much better after feeling as though they were going to shrivel up inside my skull last weekend.

Graduation weekend in Urbana was a good time that I’m glad I stuck around for.

New layout here on What the Fidd, plus I’m working on a new one for Drawing Coffee. DC is kind of a mess right now, but you’re welcome to check it out while I work on it. Copyright pages were added to both blogs, and I’m thinking about business strategies as I read the Atlantic’s article on Google saving the news.

I’ve overstayed my internet welcome! More tomorrow.

Three-Minute Fiction and little bits of writing

Some of you may remember that I entered round four of NPR’s Three-Minute Fiction competition a while back. The piece I submitted didn’t get anywhere, and when I read the winning piece today, I can understand why. If it’s not too bold a statement, I might venture to say that my entry was like a proto-version of the winner…the elements of success are there, but the winning author is clearly someone who has much more finely honed writing skills than I do. Good for a first try, I’d say. You can read the winning piece here, and check out some of the honorable mentions and runners-up, too.

That said, with the contest judging finished, I’ve decided to post my two pieces to Drawing Coffee. You can check out “A Portrait” (my personal runner-up) and “Until I Looked” (the horse I bet on) over there. Enjoy my first two creative pieces posted to DC in I think over two years. Enjoy.

Almond M&M’s

Spent the afternoon working on my latest Drawing Coffee Original, which you can check out here. This week, I’m covering the debate over National Day of Prayer.

Will be hitting the gym later, and I don’t know what’s on the agenda after that. I finished reading Stardust earlier this week and will continue on with Dune, although after a short break I think I’m ready to get back to Snow.

Remember when Weezer was good? Maladroit. Wow.

I spent much of last week running errands that needed doing (in addition to getting out  my first Drawing Coffee Original!)—everything from getting the defroster inspected in my car to getting my teeth cleaned.

I feel kind of suspended in a large Pyrex dish of Jell-O recently. The last month has been one big illusion, as if I was on winter break like most other people I know and now I should be back at school (spring semester classes at U of I began today). I’m not returning to my job, my relationships, my columnist position, my classes, my whole routine and lifestyle. I’m just kind of suspended at the moment while everything under my feet continues to move.

In other news, the MLK Day weekend was enjoyable. Suraj had Monday off from work, so I drove down to St. Louis to hang with him. I left Springfield in the early afternoon to meet another friend at the art museum and catch up post-break. My Google Maps directions sucked (as per usual; I typically do not trust these things, but I forgot to talk to someone in advance/scope out my atlas to get a better idea–plus I have not always been the best with maps in my brief  lifetime), but I managed to get there without too much trouble. I was disappointed that the recent Japanese screens exhibit had already closed (Jan. 3), but we at least got to wander through the “period rooms” and check out Mother and Father Worked Hard So I Can Play before heading out to get coffee. Kayak’s is on Skinker, headed sort of towards Wash U. It’s not the world’s greatest coffee shop (I haven’t yet had a chance to think about the origins of the coffee they serve and it is kind of chain-y), but my latte tasted pretty good, I didn’t get a parking ticket for letting my jerk-off one-hour-only parking meter expire, and their loaded baked potato soup made for a tasty snack to tide me over until dinner with Suraj and his family.

While at Kayak’s, I also picked up the  most recent edition of the Riverfront Times (similar to Springfield’s independent news publication, the Illinois Times, but bigger and with kinky ads in the back) and a postcard ad for the third annual St. Louis Naughti Gras, an erotic art and music event. If you are 18+ and in the St. Louis area February 5 and 6, consider checking it out.

I lost track of time and stop-started through St. Louis rush hour traffic to dinner with Suraj and his family since his parents were getting ready to leave for Hawai’i the next morning. We had intended on seeing Sherlock Holmes with his brother, but ended up staying home because Suraj was tired. Instead, we had a mutual friend over for some Savage Lovecast, Settlers of Catan, and wine (Georges DuBoeuf’s 2009 Beaujolais NouveauBogle’s 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel, and a 2003 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz that was definitely not what we should have ended the night with because the flavor was kind of whoa).

Saturday was tasty homemade breakfast (oatmeal and eggs) before undertaking our mission to find Suraj some bookshelves for his condo. We went to Marshalls first so I could look for some running tights (which I found!), and I was lucky enough to also find a perfume I have been looking for for some time. We met up with a friend of Suraj’s who was in town from Chicago for a baby shower and out shopping as well. We ended up finding some great shelves on clearance at World Market off Watson Road, carted them home, and then set out for sushi at the Wasabi in Clayton before hitting up some FroYo (a St. Louis version of CocoMero) and heading for Suraj’s brother’s apartment for his roommate’s birthday party. We stayed there for a while, then met up with a mutual friend from our UIS days to visit some bars, talk, and dance.

Sunday involved us searching for shelf supports for the new bookshelves (partially successful), Barnes & Noble (I can’t decide whether to blow most of my gift card on a comprehensive vegetarian cookbook or on lots of other literary books), making garlic and roasted veggie ravioli, playing video games and enjoying some Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Doc Superiore. Monday was lunch at Pi (the best pizza of your life) and then to the Galleria for Lushcapades (they have a great $25 combo pack right now, so if you want a lot of things for a great price and have been thinking about trying out Lush’s stuff, do it). I headed home and haven’t done a whole lot since.

Bedtime is rapidly approaching, and I need to get a lot done tomorrow. I also just remembered I need to wash out my french press. An update about writing, professor hang-outs, Urbana, and a new column all on the way. In the meantime, listen through a bunch of archived Savage Lovecasts (like I am doing—this is like my webcomics obsession playing out on a podcast level). And if my saying webcomics piqued your interest, read/buy this beautiful work. And finally, if you want to read/listen to something depressing, Laredo, TX  lost its last bookstore.

First Drawing Coffee Original–my first strictly-online column!

Just wanted to take a sec to direct you to the first ever Drawing Coffee Original, the first of many regular and brand new pieces of online content. If you liked my opinions stuff, this is right up your alley.

“My new hot button: why My New Pink Button pisses me off”

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