The Green Study “Worst Job I Ever Had” Contest

It’s Monday and the perfect day to announce The Green Study “Worst Job I Ever Had” contest. After writing my post yesterday regarding various jobs and exchanging comments with readers about their jobs, I thought this might be a nice way to kill off some winter blahs (mine, to be specific). Please note that if I publish your post and it results in you being fired from your current job, I accept no liability. Blog responsibly. Guidelines: Write a previously unpublished blog post (with title) 200-700 words long about the worst job… Read More

Turkey Wrangling and Other Curiosities

On the way to the grocery store last week, a police van stopped in front of me at a busy intersection and put on its lights. I reflexively wondered what I had done. The officer got out and walked back towards my car. I panicked – did I put my current registration in the glove box? He stopped and with a comical, defeated expression on his face, gestured for me to go around his vehicle. I passed by slowly, wondering what was going on. On the other side of the officer’s van,… Read More

What to Leave In, What to Leave Out

I love editing. There is something about cutting unnecessary words and reordering sentences that gives me pleasure. It’s an art form to make things simpler, cleaner and more lyrical. Of late I’ve needed to apply those same skills to my life, especially when I find myself drowning in too much information or too many nuisance tasks. What gets left in? What gets deleted? What gets rewritten to make more sense? This week, I re-read a favorite writing resource, On Writing Well by William Zinsser. He advocates clean, expressive writing. I’ve been doing… Read More

When You Start to Sound Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher

As a parent, I often tire of the sound of my own voice. My daughter would pipe up with “me, too!”, but her voice is muffled under the duct tape. Parents spend literally hours saying “Don’t eat that! Pick up your dirty dishes! Do your homework! What are you wearing? What is that blue stuff on the side of your face?” I fall silent when, in my head, I hear Charlie Brown’s teacher. The same thing happens with writing and blogging. I’ve reached a point where, when I review a post I’ve… Read More

Starting from Where You’re At

As people in the Northeast are trying to dig themselves out from under piles of snow, I’m doing some metaphorical digging out of my own. After going through the worst winter ever in terms of colds and flu, I must rally myself into a consistent workout program, bring better focus to my writing, wrap up some loose ends with the job and return to the solid sense of purpose I had for a brief few moments in the fall. The challenge is to not romanticize where I once was. I get tripped… Read More

Head Full of Snot: Writing from Where I’m At

I’m in a bit of a dark place this week. My head is throbbing with a sinus infection. I have a sore throat and my eyes are watering. Every fiber of my being wants to write, needs to write. But I know what that means. It means that what I write will most likely be morose and grim and possibly a little creepy. It’s days like these, when I’m tempted to throw myself, prostrate across my bed and call it a day. All winter long, I’ve barely recovered from one illness before… Read More

Crossing into the Abyss

For the last year I’ve had this idea in my head to have a fiction writing blog. I love this blog and all the readers I’ve met and I like the casual, personal tone of things. It is my intent to continue writing from The Green Study, but I long to try my hand at fiction. After spewing out a novel during National Novel Writing Month, I have quickly run out of excuses. Last month I heard an interview with Margaret Atwood on NPR regarding her upcoming serialized novel. The idea of… Read More

My Year in Blogging: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

My return from a week-long blogging hiatus is filled with gratitude, so I’m going to jump the gun and celebrate this blog’s loose anniversary. Just as a warning, no matter how many times I’ve re-written this post, I sound like a self-congratulatory asshole. Apologies in advance. I started blogging a little less than a year ago. I was tentative, not sure what my plan was, only knowing that I needed to do something that would make me write out loud. I was very nervous, but I kept writing. Then a few “likes”… Read More

Longing for the Wind

We’ve had our first serious snowfall of the winter. I love the cold and the snow and shoveling our driveway, in a silence of the other world, where people sleep deeply and the outside sounds are muffled. I cannot hear the cars and trucks on the highway. There are no children crying, no machines running, no dogs barking – no sound but the occasional clump of snow falling off the trees. I am alone, in the presence of nature and it fills me with an indefinable longing. This week I’ve been thinking… Read More

Antisocial Media: #BiteMe and the “Forget This” Button

Over the last few months, as I’ve worked on a transition plan for a career in where-I-landed to one in writing, I’ve wrestled with the idea of social media. Here’s what I figured out: It is clutter that needs to be cleared from my mental landscape. I’m a technically savvy person. To a point. There must be tremendous gain in order for me to be motivated to untangle the snarl of tech apps and social media on offer out there. If it doesn’t make my life better, whether it be personal development,… Read More