Reading, Writing and Lauren Flax

March 11, 2010 · 4 comments

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

-Benjamin Franklin

I’m not exactly sure where I am as far as this quote goes, but I suppose that’s ok.  As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been doing things worth writing about.  I’m still riding high on the sense of accomplishment from climbing those four mountains last Saturday.  I’ve climbed 25 mountains this winter and have 2 left to go.  Of the 27 I set out to climb this winter, those four from Saturday were the ones I was most trepidatious about.  Not scared; just not particularly looking forward to them.

The part of my brain that likes to beat me up has been trying to figure out how I didn’t really “do it all the way” – how there must be some way that I cut corners or copped out and somehow didn’t really climb those mountains.  But there’s a canister at the summit of each of those mountains with my name and 3/6/10 next to it written in the logbook within.  I really wish my iPhone’s charger hadn’t crapped out and that I have the gps data for the whole trip.  But what the hell, I’ve climbed plenty of mountains besides those well before I even had the capability of recording the trip.  A map and a compass, dear reader:  that’s all I had to go by when navigating from peak to peak.  Well, there were some tracks in the snow for the portion along the river and between the last two mountains, but she-yit, that was about it.

The last two mountains should be relatively easy.  I’m looking forward to a break afterward, though.  My left leg is bone-sore below the knee.  It feels mostly like it’s a tendon thing, but it goes deeper too.  No worries, though:  I could climb those last two mountains on crutches if I had to.  Of course, I’d rather not.

I’m trying to figure out what’s next.  I was considering joining the local rock climbing gym, but I think I’ll save that for next winter.  Right now, it looks like it might be backpacking.  Oh, I’ll still be peakbagging, but instead of only doing day trips and returning home to a nice hot shower and a warm bed, I’ll be returning to my tent or lean-to for some ramen or other cardboardish fare.  I’m starting to research backpacks, tents and other gear.

Probably the Adirondacks.  Even with camping out, the five-hour drive is still a bit daunting.  We’ll see.

I have no idea if I’ve been writing anything worth reading lately.  I kind of don’t think so.  Most of my blog posts have been pretty sporadic and unfocused.  Too many ‘general update’ style posts for my tastes, but hell, it’s what I’ve been writing.  I kind of miss working on things for Weekly Writing Assignment, but whatever.  I belong to a couple of writing groups on LinkedIn, and one of them does a monthly writing contest.  I should probably just get my ass in gear and write something for one of those.

I keep up with a lot of blogs.  I’m sure you’re familiar with The Naked Redhead at this point, but there are plenty of other blogs I read on a regular basis as well.  At this point, I’m not even sure how many RSS feeds are coming into my Outlook at work.  Trust me, though, it’s A LOT.  I keep up with corporate governance and investor relations stuff for work, as well as other regulatory and finance industry blogs, and I read a lot of stuff for fun too.  As Matt Vallerini has said “Ted’s on Mashable HARD.”

One of my favorites now (and for a while before now) is Lauren Flax’s blog.  I don’t know that I can recommend it highly enough.  Lauren’s a yoga instructor in Baltimore and she just got accepted to a writing program at Johns Hopkins.  She’s pretty effin prolific, and it’s all pretty good stuff.  I enjoy her fiction as well as her thoughts/general update posts.  I often find myself comparing my writing to hers and falling short, but we’ve relatively divergent styles and subject matters, so a comparison probably isn’t the best of ideas.

Lauren practices the art of writing.  In every sense of the word ‘art’.  I can’t really describe it any better than that.  She has fully-formed and well-worked pieces, as well as fragments and bits that may never see the potter’s wheel again.  By contrast, writing for me has very much been a craft of late:  website copywriting and lots of editing non-creative pieces at work.  I used to just highlight things and add a note like “unclear” or something and tell the person to rewrite the sentence/paragraph, but of late I’ve been doing the rewriting myself.  There’s really no use in criticism without a suggestion as to how to improve something.  I really enjoy editing. . . which makes me think that I should probably finish plugging my edits into Franco’s novel and send them off to her (at this point, it’s been just over a year since she sent me her last draft).  Frig.

I’ve been meaning to give a shout out to Lauren’s blog for a while now, but couldn’t really find the words.  Hell, I still don’t have them; I don’t think the one’s I’ve written so far suffice, either.  “Check it out” is all I can really say; you won’t be disappointed.  Lauren does things worth writing when she’s not writing things worth reading.

I’m still enamored with her story Stanley that earned her a finalist spot at Weekly Writing Assignment back in August.  I can’t find the link to the story on her blog, so you’ll have to make do with the one to WWA.  I still think of it and wonder every time I’m scratching Laila Jo behind the ears.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

The Naked Redhead March 11, 2010 at 10:31

Here’s the problem…I cannot, for the life of me, find a feed link to her blog. Any help?

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niceguyted March 11, 2010 at 12:50

Prob should have included it in the first place: http://www.laurenflax.net/feed

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The Naked Redhead March 11, 2010 at 10:32

Also, thanks for yet another shout out. :)

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Lauren Flax March 11, 2010 at 12:33

Oh, Ted, thank you. Sometimes the right words come along at just the right time. This made my week.

(And don’t be so humble, just keep writing. :) )

Naked Redhead, if you’re using google reader, just look up laurenflax.net and it should come up. There is a fairly well known DJ Lauren Flax out there, so sometimes my stuff gets buried.

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