some stuff: USE YOUR WORDS edition

I think I've found Rachel's birthday present.
I think I’ve found Rachel’s birthday present.

“Use your words” is a phrase that defines a lot of my life right now. I still say it to my almost-7-year-olds when they get overly upset and lose the ability to speak. I don’t even have to be upset for that to happen. I’m much more eloquent, understandable, articulate, and probably likable in writing than I am in person. In person the words spill out of my mouth faster than I can even put them in order, and people walk away thinking, What just happened back there? Of course I also know that self-perception is so often skewed, but I stand by the fact that I am much more comfortable in writing than I am in real life. #introvertproblems

That being said, I have 2 announcements to make:

I will be appearing in TestifyATX, a local storytelling show based on The Moth, on Thursday, January 29, 7:30 pm, at the Spiderhouse Ballroom. This will be my first foray into live storytelling, but I already think I’m in love. If you’re in town, I’d love for you to come see me! No heckling please. Be gentle with me.

Also…IT’S LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER AUDITION SEASON! Submissions for Listen to Your Mother Austin are open! Find all the details on how to submit your piece on the LTYM Austin site. If you’re not local, I highly suggest finding, submitting to, or at the very least attending one of the other 38 Listen to Your Mother shows in your area. Find all participating cities here.

some stuff

5 reasons to write down your stories. Our  fearless LTYM leader, Ann Imig, shares some nuggets of wisdom on the importance of documenting our lives:  “If you can’t remember where exactly you saw a dead body in the trunk of your buddy’s car, how are you supposed to remember the day your 8 year old yelled I. DON’T. LIKE. BEING. SOOTHED unless you document it somewhere.”

Beyond Your Blog podcast 22: Listen to Your Mother and Other Opportunities for Bloggers to Share Their Stories Aloud. LTYM producers Alexandra Rosas and Carisa Miller share tips on putting yourself out there and the exhilaration of performing on stage, along with some tips on submitting to a Listen to Your Mother show.

I love love love David Sedaris. Reading him makes me evaluate my own life and stories, and in turn makes me a better writer. I have two gems from him to share.

What we did at the beach. From The New Yorker: David read this when he was here in Austin, which was a real treat, since it hadn’t been published yet. Getting to hear an unpublished piece is like getting to preview your favorite band’s latest album, live, in front of your own eyes. “One afternoon, we scattered my mother’s ashes in the surf behind the house. Afterward, standing on the shore with the empty bag in my hands, I noticed a trawler creeping across the horizon. It was after shrimp, or some kind of fish, and hovering over it, like flies around a garbage pail, were dozens of screaming seabirds. It made me think of my mother, and how we’d follow her even to the bathroom. ‘Can’t I have five minutes?’ she’d plead from behind the locked door as we jiggled the handle, relating something terribly important about tights, or a substitute teacher, or a dream one of us had had about a talking glove.”

A little morality tale from David Sedaris. I love this not only for the little 2 minute story he tells in the video (which is illustrated!), but also for the highlights from the rest of the interview, where David shares tidbits on his influences, his work ethic, and why he insists on spending so much time with his readers at events and book signings. “People always come and they’ll say, ‘This must be exhausting.’ And I think, what would possibly make you think that? It’s people standing in line to say how much they love you. It’s, like, all I ever dreamed of.”

State of the Blog Address. On the Art of Simple, Tsh examines the current state of the blogging world (i.e. comment sections are dying a slow, terrible death), and how she plans to handle it, which in turn may help other bloggers figure out how they want to approach their own blogs and social media in the coming year.

From John Greene’s tumblr: “…the only thing that will matter a lick in the end is how we treated each other and whether we took care of each other—the times we were (and were not) kind and careful.”

Did you know this about Closing Time?

Finally, I know this has nothing to do with using your words, but Animal Thug Life is damn funny.

‘Til next time!

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  1. David Sedaris is a joy and a genius.
    Congratulations on TestifyATX, I hope they’re filming it so I can catch it on YouTube! Good luck!

  2. Congratulations on your live story telling adventure. I am ashamed to admit I have not yet read David Sedaris. So much to little time.

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