Taking the 30-minute writing challenge

The Writer’s Circle [sic] on Facebook (I know, it should be “The Writers Circle” because it’s a circle of writers and not a circle that belongs to the writer—see the AP Style Manual, which covers “farmers markets” and “teachers lounges” in the same manner.) put out this 30-day writing challenge.

Being that I have two full-time jobs, I crunched this 30-day challenge into a 30-minute challenge that actually took me 46 minutes, from 9:41 p.m. to 10:27 p.m.

Sure, the list is a little blasé but it pulled me out of the fried brain funk I was in after spending the day writing a 3,000-word article on the audit results of some jerkwater township which cannot seem to follow basic governmental protocol. Gah!

30-Day (Minute) Writing Challenge

  1. Five problems with social media – Bragging, misinformation, hatred, competitive suffering, false sense of accomplishment.
  2. Earliest memory – Eating a bologna sandwich and corn chips while watching “I Love Lucy” on a small black and white television in the kitchen of my parents’ trailer house in Bay City, Michigan, after morning Kindergarten. Circa 1981
  3. First love/First kiss – First love was a brunette girl named Robin when I was 7. We used to play with her “Strawberry Shortcake” action figures on the sidewalk in front of her house. They smelled amazing. The dolls, not the sidewalk. First kiss when I was 16. She ended up humping most of my friends but not me. That sucked.
  4. 10 interesting facts about yourself – Not sure how interesting they are:
  • Master egg cook
  • Fart more than any other human
  • Obsessed with mustard
  • Eat more mustard than any other human
  • Once made lunch for local celebrity Al Kessel of the Kessel grocery store chain
  • Never been beaten in pinochle—not the card game—also known as “Mercy”
  • Paralyzing fear of bees and bears and FOX radio host John Gibson’s hair (Is Gibson still on FOX?)
  • Was told by high school teacher (’92) I had delusions of grandeur—has haunted me ever since
  • Have Social Security number tattoo—don’t ask
  • On first date with who is now the wife, I knocked out my best friend


  1. A place you would live but have never visited – New York
  2. Someone who fascinates you and why – John Waters. He broke free of the expectations of upper middle-class conservatism to make sleazy, strange, beautiful movies about the marginalized and the freaks and the real-live characters of this world. Waters strikes me as smart, funny, courageous and creative—fascinating. He’s a BFF of mine even though he doesn’t know it.
  3. What tattoos you have and if they have meaning – Tattoo of last name across lower throat because my little brother got his done. Several tribal pieces that don’t mean anything. A naked lady silhouette because I like naked ladies. Several others that have no meaning. I got the WCW professional wrestler Bill Goldberg’s tattoo because he was a favorite wrestler of mine and I didn’t know what else to get for my first tattoo. There are others that require too much explaining.
  4. A book you love and one you don’t – Love “Fahrenheit 451.” It’s just a great book. Loathed “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” It was condescending and stupid … and did I mention stupid?
  5. Your feelings on ageism – Ageism is real, it sucks, and we’re all guilty of it at various points in our lives.
  6. A fruit you dislike and why – I shun the mango. It tastes like Pine Sol smells.
  7. Your current relationship – Married 25 years … My god, has it been that long?
  8. Two words/phrases that make you laugh – “Bootsfahrt” and Flugzeug.” They, respectively, mean “Boat trip” and “Airplane” in German. They always make me laugh.
  9. Your commute – I work from home and never leave the house. But traffic occasionally backs up at the bathroom door.
  10. Your life in seven years – My ashes will fertilize a tree.
  11. Three pet peeves – Grammar Nazis, Hipster haters, public grievers
  12. Bullet your entire day – Kiss my fat white ass.
  13. A quote you try to live by – “Try not to be a cunt.” —Jim Jeffries and others
  14. Your favorite color and why – I don’t have a favorite color because I’m not a fucking child.
  15. Five fears that you have – Death, President Palin, Taco Bell bankruptcy, tuna noodle casserole, cherry bourbon drought
  16. Put your music player on shuffle and write the first three songs that play and what your initial thought is – Vinyl doesn’t shuffle but I believe CSNY’s album So Far is on the turntable at the moment.
  17. Your zodiac/horoscope and whether you think it fits you – Aquarius. It’s all bullshit.
  18. Your morning routine – Work, coffee, work, eat, work, repeat.
  19. A family member you dislike – Squeaky Fromme from the Manson Family. What kind of a goddamn hippie name is “Squeaky?”
  20. Something you miss – Feeling bored.
  21. Four weird (qualify weird) traits you have – Rinse drinking glasses three times each. Always pile potato chips atop sandwich instead of on plate. Progressively more cowardly. Delusions of grandeur.
  22. Things you’d say to an ex – An “ex” what? Probably I’d say, “Get off my lawn!”
  23. What you wore today – Yoga pants and Detroit Lions T-shirt. (Same as yesterday)
  24. The word/phrase you use constantly – “This was no boating accident.” (Daughter pointed out recently that I say it all the time. Could be getting a cup of coffee, could be working on the newspaper, could be cleaning up dog shit—it’s really a multi-use phrase.)
  25. The night of your 21st birthday – Got wasted. Put hole in living room floor with my right knee. Ate three-quarters pepperoni pizza. Upchucked two-thirds of pepperoni pizza. I’d solve for pi but I’m terrible at math.
  26. One thing you’re excited for – Fresh coffee in the morning.

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