January 30, 2014 by Ray Yanek
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the last 40 years, it’s that if I take a break from my routine–even for a day or two–I have a helluva time getting back on track. This happens with everything–from working on my novel, my body, or even this blog. The longer the break, obviously, the harder it is to get back into the rhythm and to get the mind and body loose and ready for action. It’s hard to force yourself to sit down in front of the ominous blank screen or to get on that curiously fast-moving treadmill.
With the above being true, one would think then that the best way for me to combat this tragic flaw would be to simply not fall off track.
Yeah, doesn’t quite work like that for me, and nothing seems to knock me off track more than both the end and the beginnings of my school semesters. Tack on all the snow days we’ve been getting here in Illinois and I’ve been pretty much screwed.
So as I’m working my way back into a positive schedule of writing, reading, eating (see the tag-line at the top. huh?), I thought I would take this time to share a couple of other blogs that are in the startup stages, but that I’m guaranteeing will be great places to drop by on occasions.
Before talking about those blogs though, I have made a couple of new year updates on the blog. My “About” page had been sitting out in the sun and stinking for quite awhile, so I finally shot the old one and put a new one in it’s place. Also, I added a “Reading List 2014” were I’ll simply list (with a quick comment or two) the books I’ve read this year. I’ve also included a “Free Fiction” tab, with links to various flash fiction stories I’ve posted over the last couple of years.
Take a look if you’d be so kind, and I hope you’ll enjoy.
Now on to the blogs…
The author behind Twelve Lead is, I’m extremely proud to say, Jesse Sell–an old student of mine. Jesse was one of the first to sign up for the creative writing club I started at the high school where I work, and when I first saw his scrawny, little ass with his long pony-tail, I thought I was going to be in for a long year.
As it turns out, that year (or the other couple that he was a part of the group) weren’t long enough. Not by a long shot. He became the leader of that club and he also became a good friend. I hated to see him graduate and for a long time I seriously wondered if the club would hold up with out his leadership and work ethic. It did, thankfully.
But anyway, at this point, Jesse only has two posts up and an “About” page, but give them a read and I think you’ll see his writing ability shining through. His writing is smooth and the depth of thought is incredible. I could completely relate to the fears he expounds upon in “Apprehension and Truth” and “Ground Breaking” put a lot of things in perspective for me. It was a little uncanny as the last paragraph of that post seemed to talk directly to me and addressed a lot of personal things I’ve been struggling with for a long time.
I have a feeling it might do the same for you…
So go check it out and while you’re there…harp on him. Tell him to get writing again because if we can convince him to find his fiction, I won’t have to re-introduce my foot to his scrawny little ass.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say that, like with Jesse above, I’m friends with Michelle Chalkey, the author of the 4-Layer Cake blog. She went to the high school where I teach (although, unfortunately I never had her in class), and I’m close friends with her boyfriend’s family. Even if I didn’t know her though, I would still highly recommend this blog, especially to anyone who bakes.
But there’s more too.
4-layer Cake is, like the title cleverly suggests, a blog with 4 layers. These layers include discussions on reading, writing, running and what’s better after a nice-long run? Baked goods, specifically cupcakes.
As Michelle has just recently added the focus on reading, writing, and running, 4-Layer Cake is still leaning towards cupcake and cookie recipes. You can find recipes for delectable concoctions such as Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Frosting and Blue Moon Cupcakes with Orange Cream Frosting.
Ummm, in case you fell asleep for a minute, that last link was to a recipe for Blue Moon Cupcakes— Blue Moon as in Blue Moon beer.
Listen, If beer cooked into a cupcake doesn’t make you want to go take a look at the
blog, not a damn thing will…
So, if you get a chance, give these blogs a look. Even if these people weren’t friends, I would still hustle you their way for both the writing and the content.
Oh, and if anyone does try to make the Blue Moon cupcakes, send one over my way, huh? Because you know… there’s beer, baked into a cupcake.
See you all soon.