I received a strange request from my boss a couple of weeks ago. An odd way to sort of showcase my encyclopedic random knowledge that I spout off whenever it seems relevant. She asked that I send out a “Fact of the Day” email to the rest of the leadership staff. My old supervisor used to send out thought for the day emails that were usually inspiring tidbits about working hard and accomplishing goals. The torch was passed to me. My boss has recently started saying, “I learn something new every time I talk to you.”
I’ve always collected bizarre pieces of knowledge and stored them away for later when they may become relevant. The particular moment in question had something to do with Red Velvet Cupcakes. I changed everyone’s world when I said that RV Cupcakes are really just red chocolate (which may be an oversimplification… oh well).
The thing is, my knowledge is referential. I absorb new knowledge quickly (unless it’s mathematical) and then quickly spit it right back out when an opportunity arises. I’m not always correct. I, too, bought into the idea that lovebugs were genetically engineered by scientists at UF. But that’s not true.
This new responsibility has me a little flustered. I started with facts that I already knew from prior reading or research. But I’m having trouble developing themes for facts that I find interesting to share with my co-workers. Do you think it’s cheating if I decided on themes and then look up things about that theme to share with everyone? I’m inclined to say no, because otherwise it appears that I’m saying I already know everything there is to know in the world and that IS NOT what I am about. This will be an interesting new thing to add to my weekly duties. But I’m up for the challenge. #thelifeofaknowitall
Disclaimer: I thought I might have written about this before. But I guess not. I can’t seem to find it if so. Either way, I’m taking a crack at it again.
When I started at USF as a Freshmen I took this Creative Writing course in Cooper Hall just behind the Subway. It smelled like baking bread all day long (which was pleasant). The professor was this truly salacious man. He would read to us the types of work that he felt were worthy pieces. We would write our small tributes to style and form and he would mark them up with red pens and encourage us to try again. He seemed to be about a million years old and his lectures were hardly ever about the practice of writing and more often devolved into strange stories of his personal history. I don’t remember his name. And I don’t consider him to be greatly influential in my writing style or voice. But I do often think of him when thinking of new projects. I met Hemingway’s six word short story in that class. I also met “Hills Like White Elephants”. It seems fitting to force a bunch of fledgling writers to learn the form of those two stories. If you’re not familiar “Hills Like White Elephants” is purely dialogue driven. There is absolutely no exposition. It’s a challenge. The six word short story grew out of Hemingway’s boast that he could tell a story in as little as six words. Those six words were:
For sale: baby shoes, never used.
I’ve tried. I cannot do this. I cannot tell a story in six words. I cannot complete a thought in six words. But, lo, the internet is filled with places where people attempt just that. Some are leagues beyond the others. Most do not seem to me to be complete stories. Many strike the melancholy that Hemingway tapped into for that short story. Rare are the ones filled with something other than sadness. But it’s not just about telling a sad story. Is it possible to tell six word stories that are romantic? happy? suspenseful? nihilistic? optimistic? See some attempts on tumblr and Reddit or just see what google throws your way.
To me the #thestruggle comes in because I’m never quite sure that I know the end of the stories I’m working on. Only one has ever been absolutely clear to me from the start. I think one would need to know the entirety of the story to be able to sum it up in just six words.
What if you had just a few more words and you had to explain an entire ideology with it?
have you ever had something you enjoyed on the internet just stop. like a favourite blogger or activity just disappear without any notice and you’re left to fill the void. inevitably something takes its place. homestarruner.com is superseded by YouTube videos and those are replaced by twitter and life goes ever on.
I recently set up a timehop account and rather than being this adorable trip down memory lane filled with old pictures I rarely see anymore it is more a melancholy reminder that I have stopped blogging. Every day there’s something from THREE years ago that I peruse and enjoy. 2011 was a big year for me in creativity. I immersed myself in the internet and the library, music, film, and literature. All to be able to deepen the well of creativity within me and churn out original content. The last two years have been big years for me professionally, but they haven’t left a ton of time for self-reflection or the creative process. (something I grew increasingly bitter over was constantly being referred to at work as “the creative one” when I felt I hadn’t really created anything in too long to count).
But here we are in the fall again. I’m feeling this itch under my skin to create. I’ve been writing a bit.There are stories in my head, NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, I have an insatiable hunger for things that inspire me. I have even discovered new creative outlets with hand-lettering and crafting. this morning I saw the last most recent post on my blog was from almost a year ago and I decided I needed to do something about that. So, I’m back. At least in a sporadic sense. Look for me.
I’m getting married in four months. I’ll need this outlet to maintain some sanity.