(1) Saying crazy things like, “We’re going to re-invent creativity,” and meaning it. Not so much to the letter, but certainly in spirit. In my life, there’s always been a shadow side to my creative impulse: meanness, envy, desperation, doubt, and fear. I don’t want to pretend it’s not there. I just want to know more about it, where it comes from, how it gets in the way, what it wants from me. I’d also like a more expansive definition of creative value, and I’d like to be more conscious (and less self-conscious) of the role God/spirit/transcendence plays in what I make — in why I make what I make. Not in a hocus-pocus, burning bush, “He did this!” bumper-sticker sort of way. It’s just that I’m always writing about two things: God and love. Lots of folks would say those are the same thing. I create things because I want to inch closer to those things, that thing. This impulse is not original to me. I didn’t invent it. It’s me joining the human family, every time I sit down to write or fumble over the strings on my guitar, and it’s me joining that same expanse of love when I make things in the company of other people. When I tell them what I think I know about making things, when I make their making as important as my own. To re-invent creativity, I have to start with me, relentlessly, with finding ways to surrender to this impulse. Amen. A salaam alaikum. | (2) Speaking of God and love: this trailer (homily) from this movie (poem). (“You shall love…whether you like it or not…) | (3) Stringed instruments and their particular kind of singing. | (4) “In Accordance to Natural Law” by Bikini Kill. A particular kind of singing. | (5) Mother Sauces. (I saw them open for Bikini Kill in Tacoma back in ’93. We thought they were gonna be HUGE.) | (6) Standing jokes and other puns. (Which is the title of my next collection of stories.) | (7) Not really: it’s called Communion. (Please see #1 above, vis-a-vis God and love, etc.) It’ll be out in 2016, and, yes, I love it right now. | (8) Also writing new stories. Stories that are raw and influenced by an eclectic set of women writers (some published, some not [yet]) who are braver and more honest than I have been in my own writing. | (9) I bought another vest! On the internet! Which means I’ll soon have two (2) vests in my collection of vests! | (10) TransAtlantic by Colum McCann, who’ll rock the scarf on you, any day, any time, any outfit. | (11) Which is to (also) say: scarves. I totally lost my one scarf, though, which means my big dreams of amassing a scarf collection have taken a hit. (List of big dreams: (1) re-invent creativity (2) amass scarf collection…) But I guess they still make scarves, right? When in doubt, if you want to get me a gift, get me a scarf. Not even kidding. Even some of those crazy gauzy ones McCann wears. (You can get me a vest, too. 42R.) | (12) Lobbying for Christmas presents. On the internet. Clearly. | (13) Picking on Tom Brady. | (14) Which is to say: tilting at windmills (still, always), on the internet. | (15) Sunday morning at the grocery store. | (16) Prosciutto baked in the oven for five minutes at 425°. Super-delicate bacon. (Saw them open for Quiet Riot at the Cap Centre back in ’84…) | (17) Layering. | (18) Beloved adjuncts, recruiting them, exhorting them, even though they probably think I’m crazy. (“Re-invent creativity? What the hell is this guy talking about?”) | (19) Mm. Mmartone. | (20) How Stuart said Chewie reminds him of Will Belford, and it’s true. He is just like Will Belford. | (21) Mostly that a character I wrote has stuck around in someone’s imagination, much less someone who’s imagination I admire a great deal. That’s a cool feeling. | (22) The permeable wall between fiction and what’s real. | (23) Tomato soup with roasted poblanos and corn. And croutons. All homemade, of course. | (24) A better metaphor for the relationship between fiction and reality: musical chairs. With one chair. Best of five series. And we all know: anything can happen in a short series. | (25) American Movie. Exhortation. Cautionary tale. | (26) “The Book of Daniel.” Exhortation. Cautionary tale. | (27) Which is to say: Bill Simmons channeling his earlier days. | (28) Ice water. | (29) Mystery Train by Jim Jarmusch. (Hat tip: Jack Y– .) | (30) This time of year. Which is to say: halftime.