Rocks in my Head

Sometimes there are days when I feel like I have rocks in my head.

Shake, shake, shake.

And sitting at my desk, feels futile because the ideas are difficult to come. Every word feels forced.

Rattle, rattle, rattle.

Unfortunately, these days seem to always come when I am on deadline, when I need to feel and be ON. So I type…

Tap, tap, tap.

Each labored word that comes chips away at the internal rocks turning them into pebbles. I can maneuver around pebbles.

Rocks in my Head

The Jealousy List: What I Wish I Wrote

As a writer there are always stories that you wish you wrote and topics that you uncovered. There are too many characters, events, and viewpoints to discuss, and never enough time in the day to give them all the attention that they deserve — at least for one person.

Luckily, the world is full of many talented (and brave) journalists and writers so those stories can be told. Below is a list, honestly just a sample, of some of the articles that I came across in 2015 that I wish I had written. If you have stories that you wish you penned, please let me know in the comments section.

Go Ahead, Let Yourself Go — Details 

Even though this article was written in 2007 for the now-defunct Details magazine, I just discovered it this year. It’s a wonderful commentary about what happens to men when they don’t care about their appearance any longer. Considering that I write A LOT of fitness, nutrition and weight loss articles, I love the idea about talking about being sedentary, gaining weight, and just not giving a damn.

The Stories of the Six Men Who Caught the Cubs’ Historic Home Run Balls — Yahoo Sports

Wrigley Field is the first place that I saw a baseball game and I have been a lifelong Cubs fan ever since. From the lede paragraph to the each man’s tale, this article is crafted so well to interlace the bleachers, the moment, and the man. Even if you aren’t a sports fan, this story is an entertaining read.

Unexpected Honey Study Shows Woes of Nutrition Research — New York Times 

Nutrition is such a hot-bed topic and it is a tricky one to report on. This article explains why that is: nutrition research is flawed. This no-nonsense approach explaining the why we shouldn’t believe all the nutrition headlines we read.

Read Before You Speak — Los Angeles Times

When two college students refused to read the assigned curriculum, David Ulin took to his keyboard to explain why it is important to read (and be exposed to) different viewpoints, characters, and situations that may not make you comfortable. I remember reading Black Boy by Richard Wright and The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren while in school. They were sometimes difficult to read because of their depictions of violence (Black Boy) and homosexuality (The Front Runner), but over 20 years later they are memorable. They helped me understand viewpoints that are very different than my own.

The Fight Over Plastic Bags is About a Lot More Then How You Get Your Groceries Home — New York 

Consider this: a plastic bag is manufactured to be used for 12 minutes. Millions of dollars are spent to dispose of them. These are just two of the staggering numbers reported in this article. This article is a bit New York centric but it is interesting and written with humor.

Thank you for reading and please share your Jealousy List.

The Jealousy List: What I Wish I Wrote

Blogging Fever

M. started a blog. He doesn’t want anyone to know about it and that’s fine. But I’m excited because now he gets it. He understands the compulsion to post. He understands the giddiness when stats hit a certain point. He understands the analysis of what makes people visit.

Even though I started blogging to break through the mommy-brain that my head runs on, all of the above things have crept into my consciousness whether I wanted them to or not. Before you know it, this exercise in blogging has you thinking about bigger implications. Just look at blogs that have become books or even movies. Think Julie & Julia and I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. But for me and M. our blogs are personal exercises in writing. Luckily, our blog-sphere view is now the same.

Blogging Fever

Feeding My (Writing) Spirit

Shameless promotion of Tod's latest book

Saturday I went to hear Tod Goldberg read from and discuss his latest collection of short stories, Other Resort Cities at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood. (It’s a fabulous independent bookseller. I highly recommend checking them out.)

When I can I try to go to Tod’s signings. Not because I have known him for most of my life (we went to high school and college together), but because Tod reminds me about my role as a writer. Specifically, that it is my job not just to inform but to tell stories (Duh).

Here’s the thing: I’m a health journalist and I mostly write articles that tell people to do things to improve theirs through diet and exercise. It’s easy to forget while combing through research to find tips you can use that I, too, have stories to tell.

I do enjoy seeing my old friend and listening to his stories about people who know. However, it is the way that Tod renews my writing spirit, despite his use of the F-word for emphasis.

Feeding My (Writing) Spirit