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Norman Rockwell, I Love You.

28 Aug

Just professing my love. It’s what I do.

Read about him, won’t you?

A few of my favorites:








19 Aug

Have I professed my love for the artwork of Josh Agle, aka Shag? (He took the last two letters from his first and last name and Shag was born. Neat, huh?) He creates these funky, swinging sixties pieces that easily transform you to another time and place. Check out a few below and check out more!





insert page number.

29 Jul

Most writers have weird rituals and habits. Some won’t discuss a story, not even a little bit, until it’s finished. Some do the exact opposite. Mark Twain apparently wrote lying down. Vladimir Nabokov wrote his stories on 3×5 index cards, clipped them, and stored them in slim boxes. My true love, Mr. Billy Collins, only writes with a fine tip, Black Sharpie pen. Eons ago, I had a beloved, treasured Scripto pen that I called Blackie, which I used to write my stories with (when I used to write in longhand). And, yes, I cried when the ink ran out of Blackie. Anyway, most, if not all, writers have a thing they do.

What thing do I do? When I’m into a story, when I’m falling in love with it, thinking about it, weaving the tale and working on my character studies…I insert page numbers.

Prior to inserting page numbers, the story is a blank canvas to me, a rough piece of clay that I’m working with. But then comes this moment, this feeling, when I know it’s time to make it official. Weird, indescribable, dizzying, my ritual. It means that I’m ready for the progression, to see it through, to work with it until the final page.

That’s happening now with a story that I’m working on. I just inserted page numbers minutes ago…

Onwards! Onwards!

Oh, before I leave, in honor of that thing we all do:

Who’s the Hero? Who? Who?

5 Aug

I frequently have this thought during my commute to work on the Metro. It flashes in my mind from time to time, especially when the Metro car lurches forward like some insane, evil roller coaster ride and I keep myself from eliciting a tiny scream (I’ve learned to gasp internally). If anything were to happen–if someone next to me decided to lose their mind, or something infinitely more dramatic and worse–who would save me? Who would pull me away from the drama (I have the slowest, worst reflexes) or push me behind them as they take on Mr. Or Mrs. Or Ms. Suddenly Decided to Lose Their Mind?

Ok, so I’m no damsel. I don’t need to be saved, per se. But in a situation like that, I do wonder from where or whom the heroism will come. Or whether I’ll be the hero? But to be plain and honest, it helps when I see a tall, strapping guy in the corner or a woman in camouflage. Anyway…

I’ve been at my latest job for a little over a year now and I’m still learning. The learning curve in this place is nothing short of mind-blowing. No complaints, really; learning new things has never been a problem in principle for me. But when it comes to execution, yikes and watch out. Some things can be executed easily with training. For other things, it’s back to the 6th grade and my inability to write a cursive “R.” (I still struggle. Still!) In other words, it’s not easy (and my colleague training me, usually a nice person, has the tendency to turn into my exasperated 6th grade teacher, who was always seconds from wringing my little neck). I say all the latter because I actually accomplished a fairly complex task today! First try! Lesson learned: take copious notes. All the naysayers that giggled at my inability to calm down on the generous note-taking are probably lost in confusion somewhere, wondering what that one, short, brief sentence actually means. Viva numerous bullets!

Day 2 of Intention to Begin Novel: I’m still planning on getting started. First up, some handy notes on plot, character, those necessary details that need to be documented.

This weekend: the museum! I’m going to the National Gallery of Art and will come back bearing photos.

Viva numerous bullets!



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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