Archives for January 2012

(Giveaway) Y’all, I’m in a book

I wish we all lived closer together. Not in a commune-type situation, but within a fairly small radius so that when one of us has extremely good news, we could call each other up and meet at the nearest Cracker Barrel for some celebratory ham. I like ham.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing my essay, “Liner Notes,” in The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and ObscureI received an advance copy last week and flipped it open to find the most amazing collection of authors including:
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan
  • Pulitzer Prize finalist Dave Eggers
  • New York Times bestselling authors Elizabeth Gilbert, AJ Jacobs, and Gregory Maguire
  • Singer/ Songwriter Melissa Etheridge

The Moment hit booksellers two days ago. It’s already been featured on NPR and in the New York Times.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for us to get together and eat some ham, yes? We could be that gang that rolls deep. I’m not sure exactly what that means, or if I’m using it correctly, but damn, doesn’t it just sound good?

Instead of a big celebration at Cracker Barrel, I’ve giving away THREE copies of the book.

Just leave a comment under the post titled “The Moment Giveaway” on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page, and I’ll choose three people randomly next Monday.

image via

Monday Dare: Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the complete list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.

This week: Stop. Reverse.

I only made one New Year’s Resolution. I promised myself that whatever happened, I would stay out of jail. I shared this at the dinner table last night, and no one seemed very impressed. In haste, I added another resolution: I promised not to die this year.

That didn’t seem to strike reverence in anyone either, so I just gave up. Because really, if you’re going to do hard things like not be incarcerated and stay breathing for a whole fucking year and no one gives you a pat on the back, then you should just stop trying to impress the crowd.

To show up these hard-ass people I call my family, I’ve decided to add a third rule just for kicks:

Remember that I always have a choice. 

Sounds simple, yes? Sure, to normal people, this might have occurred to them somewhere between the ages of 5 and 6, but this was earth-shattering news to me when I heard it a while back.

I was stuffing my face with chocolate cake from Kentucky Fried Chicken that I got for the extraordinarily low price of only $2.99. A whole goddamn chocolate cake for $2.99, y’all! As I was helping myself to a third generous slice, I said to my friend, Kate, that this seemed wrong somehow. Wouldn’t the ingredients alone cost $2.99? Could they have replaced the premium flour with really low-grade crack cocaine that didn’t pass the drug dealer’s quality check inspection? She said simply:

You can stop now. You always have a choice.

Was this girl crazy? A whole goddamn chocolate cake for $2.99! I must eat it! I must fi…ni…sh……

Coming out of my unfortunate sugar coma, I found Kate standing next to me, about to pin a homemade sign to my shirt. She had painstakingly written it backwards so that when I looked in the mirror, I could read it with ease:

Stop being stupid. You always have a choice.

She wasn’t just talking about the cake. (Did I mention that it only cost $2.99?) I am all about bad decisions. Man who lies about having kids? Yes, I’ll date you! Move into a home with a cockroach infestation? Sure! As long as rent’s cheap! Apply for a job that requires hand-eye coordination? Fuck yeah, I don’t mind losing a limb! People who have known me for a long time accuse me of making poor choices just to punish myself. These friends may not be wrong.

This week, and every week for the rest of the year, I’ll remind myself of this one very important thing. And friends- I don’t dare give you advice, seeing as how I’m a very underdeveloped person myself, but please, please remember that you always have a choice. You aren’t bound by the decisions you’ve made in the past. And if you ever come to a crossroads and you need a listening ear, drop me a line. Whatever advice I give you, just do the exact opposite.

What’s the best advice a friend has ever given you?
Stupid decisions you’ve overcome?

P.S. We would all do well to remember this:

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first image from Beth Dobbs’ Barbie Murders series