The news of the earthquake was a relief because it meant that for once, the room wasn’t shaking for just me.
The pale, flour-white sun hangs by a wire over the still waters of the evening bay. In a warm state of gray and ivory, half silhouetted by an overcast 6pm sky, I refuse to believe it is the same sun I’d seen before. The same sun that baked my skin at the beach, when it was young and glared over the ocean. It’s not the same one in the pictures sent from my vacationing relatives in Tahiti. Big, red, heat-heavy, hanging in the background, staying perfectly still and lighting the clouds just right. Posing until the picture was taken, alongside my fat, pale white cousins. So picture perfect, that it could be a postcard. Actually, it was a postcard. The people who I consider to be wading in the shallow end of the family’s gene pool thought their chubby smiles in paradise looked so perfect, that they had the picture made into a postcard, just to send to me in heather gray-skied New Jersey.
This sun in front of me now isn’t the same sun as in those Corona commercials. This sun, homely and lukewarm, has much more character. This is the kind of skyscene you could sit down to have tea with. Have a polite conversation with. A bit more reserved than the “HEY GUYS I’M THE SUN. WANNA HANG OUT, PLAY VOLLEYBALL?” type of light that gets all the airtime and brochure covers. The sun today would be more likely to sit across from me in a cafe, cross its legs and say “Hey. So, it’s not really warm enough to go outside. Kinda overcast. What are you going to do?”
“Well,” I’d say and pause for a moment. This kind of weather calls for a slight stint of self examination. “I think I’m going to write.” Then I’d take a sip of my coffee, in this metaphorical cafe with this personified sun. But since that scene is hypothetical and this weather is weighing my eyes down, I reach for my real coffee and take a sip instead as I drive home along the bay. The coffee is warm. It’s some rare Guatemalan blend with an oak wood color. I let it linger in my mouth to see if I can taste any hint of the South American sun. Then I realize I couldn’t find Guatemala on a map if I had to, and that it’s probably in Central America. But South American sun sounds better so I swallow and pretend to taste the warmth. I look back into the pale, blue-gray eyes of the sky over the bay and wonder what coffee grown under this sun would taste like. Probably more like tea.
My fingertips struggle to write the words. Swimming, pushing, struggling through latex gloves filled with thickening rubber cement, dried out from weeks of typing on a desk, penless. My mind feels frosted over from a long winter, chilly with spreadsheets and tags, emails and formalities, and barely a single ray of sun-kissed creativity has broken through the bleak white winter ceiling. But inspiration calls to me from the same colorlessness of the white page and a whisper of a thought: Just Write.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and I just saw the new “Just Write” full-screen update to WordPress. This post was half inspired by the update, and half by the heat of June warming my fingers up. Another Just Writepost inspired by today’s gray Sunday evening coming soon.
On this week’s very much late Weekly Web Wrap-up, we go back to last weeks posts which for one reason or another all centered around grammar, writing, and other word-related gems. So many of my friends liked the term “grammargasm” to describe these posts that I had to put it in the title; give the people what they want, as they say.
Yep. It did used to have another title. A wordy, slightly generic title (see, it was so generic, you don’t even remember what it was called) which slightly misrepresented this blog’s content, and made me feel like every post had to be about writing and only writing. So, now that it’s officially been re-imagined as Presto Writes, I’m going to post and write about a wider range of topics. Social media, music, writing, culture (web culture mostly), blogging, etc.
This video will make you very self conscious about how you speak, unless you have very firm footing with your grammar. Also, I want this man as an add-on in Microsoft Office instead of that little paper clip.
OMG kids these days and their crazy texting slang. It is good that new, relevant words are being added to the dictionary, but I like don’t encourage kids (namely my 15 year old brother) to get into the habit of abbreviating everything. Although, I did witness my friend ROFL once. True story.
Oh, Merriam-Webster, you make me miss my OED subscription I had during college!
Inspiring, true, and very well stated. Watch and digest.
Music, memes, HTML5, and social media mayhem this week on the Weekly Web Wrap-up. But before we get into all that, let’s start out nice and easy with a minimalistic site around a simple idea:
For those like me who like a good rainy day, there’s RainyMood.com. The site plays a high quality 30 minute loop of rain and a little thunder, and that’s it. Clean layout, options to share, simple, and no umbrella required.
The band Arcade Fire and the folks at Google have whipped up what many are calling the first example of what HTML5 can really do. I just call it awesome. Type in the address of where you grew up, and Google maps incorporates your childhood right into the video in a surprisingly smooth way. A very cool experiment, but make sure you run the site in Google Chrome to make sure it works properly.
Fictionaut is a new social network for writers and readers of short fiction. Which just so happens to be my cup of tea. The site is still closed to the public, but I managed to snag 1 of 100 invites from Mashable (thanks Mashable!). I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten to really explore the site as much as I’d like to yet. But this being a writing blog, expect a full review of the site after I wonder around it thoroughly.
So, this week we’ve seen music, we’ve seen social networks, and now we see a new music social network from Apple. As a new part of iTunes 10, Ping lives right along your music library and purchases and allows you to share what your listening to, as well as follow your friends and favorite artists (or so Apple says). Does it do all that? Not really. You can’t actually share what your listening to, searching for your friends is hit or miss (along with the ability to add Facebook friends being removed), and the number of artists you can follow is still only around 12, as far as I can see. Most people using the feature are echoing the same disappointed buzz, but we’ll give it more than a few days before we shoot it down. I think the feature has a lot of potential, and I can only hope it ends up functioning as smoothly as Rdio.com, only without the subscription fee.
Last but not least, a brief infographic-style guide to internet memes. A great initial explanation to someone unfamiliar with the term, but a bit basic for you seasoned interweb junkies (protip: get your un-ending meme fix at KnowYourMeme.com). My favorite meme of the moment: Inception memes.
And speaking of Inception…
Joseph Gordon-Levitt who recently starred in Inception also has what he calls a “fully professional, open, collaborative production company.” I call it awesome, and a great thing for a big time actor to be doing.