Time goes on

I saw a bunch of people I haven’t seen in years the other day, and it made me think about how you never know which time is going to be the last time you see someone. Say hi to your friends more often, you’ll thank your self in the future.


Thanks for existence, universe!

I’m thankful to exist, to be able to experience pleasure and thought and excitement and wonder, and even to experience sadness and longing and melancholy–because these are all things, all flavors of the world that mix together to make the meal of life.

I’m thankful I can write without pain, and think without pain, and am grateful for every minute that I can.

I’m thankful I was born in such a place and raised in such a way that I turned out as me.

I’m thankful to live in a society with free access to information, and in a time where anyone can learn anything they want if they work at it hard enough.

I’m thankful that I’ve got imagination, intuition and improvisation skills.

I’m thankful for my wife and cat and family and friends!

The world goes on

People you haven’t seen for a dozen years are doing interesting, exciting, boring, frustrating, amazing, awful things. They are making friends, having epiphanies, worrying over tough decisions, and maybe you pop into their head now and then, maybe more or less than they pop into your head.

The strange and huge world of other people’s lives is an endless thing that we can never know or comprehend except the edges, like how you can just barely grasp how huge the universe is if you tilt your mind at just the right angle.

We live in tiny bubbles of experience floating in a sea of other such bubbles, all connected and overlapping, but also isolated. Your world of people is different than mine or anyone’s. Your ecosystem of memories functions differently. You could step two feet and enter another persons world that is completely different from yours–different thoughts, different opinions, different jokes, different interpretations of events, different memories…

All it takes to cross bubbles, is a hello and a conversation…

Old music

Been listening to some old songs I haven’t heard in a while and it’s strange how much music draws you back into the past. What you were doing when listening to the music the first time, with supreme clarity sometimes, can come flooding right back with just a few notes…

How to avoid looking back?

I never used to look back, to wonder or care about how I could have done things differently. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but I’ve started having those thoughts more often.

I started listening to a new book recently, ‘Replay’, about a man who dies, and wakes up 25 years in the past, in his own 18 year old body, but with all his memories of the next decades intact.

I read a similar story, a couple years ago, ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’, but this one, ‘Replay’, was written about 20 years earlier. And, Harry August annoyed me so much that I hope this one can make better use of such a cool concept.

Listening to it has been making me think about my life at 18, and all the missed opportunities, all the wasted energy and unused potential.

These are useless thoughts though, and can lead nowhere but depression. Forward is the only direction we can ever go, so it is the direction we should look.

When I look at the stories I wrote in the past, I don’t wish I’d written them better or different. I just write new ones now. That’s the way to be, in life and in work.

It sure is hard sometimes, though, to avoid the trap of nostalgia and the dreams of the past.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This is the first experience I can remember of being really impacted by a short story. I read it in high-school, at 15 or 16 years old, and have remembered it ever since.

The story tells of a man about to be executed by hanging, from the aforementioned bridge. When he is pushed off, however, the rope breaks and he falls into the water and swims to safety. After running through a seemingly endless forest, hearing voices and hallucinating, he comes home to his wife–but before he can embrace her is struck on the neck from behind and gone in a flash of light.

It is revealed at the end that the whole escape was imagined in the seconds during his fall, before his neck was broken.

This may sound a common theme for stories, but this one was written in 1890, and so I’m sure has influenced many a writer over the past century!

This story was the first one I can remember that made me question reality, and wonder about death and the brain and our perceptions. I still think of it every now and then to this day. Click the link at the start of this post and read it if you haven’t!

Always make the best move possible

When I was a kid we had a chess set, and the little booklet that came with it had a list of tips. I only remember one of them, the first one: “Always play the best move possible.” We always thought that was hilarious, because, of course you want to play the best move, you just don’t always know what it is. But now thinking back on it I wonder if it had a different meaning. Maybe some people, seeing a good move, would hold on to it, save it for later, and the booklet was trying to say ‘no, just play it when you see it!’

I think people do the same thing when writing, I know I did. You get a great idea, one you love, one that inspires you and fuels your passion to write. And then hold on to it, waiting for the right time, waiting till you’re better, or any other number of reasons to not use it.

Well, I say, ‘always use the best idea possible!’ You’ve had a million ideas before and you’ll have a million more, ideas are infinite in your wonderful brain!

Use all your ideas as you get them. Because, like anything, if that idea sits there too long it will go stale. You’re always going to find something newer and more interesting to write, so you need to write the idea you have while it is still exciting to you, instead of saving it for later.