Oh John Carroll

Category: writing (page 1 of 5)

The Blunder Weeks: Leap 1

Leap 1: Changing Opinions

The first month after your President’s inauguration is a special time when you will observe him tweeting rapidly and will begin to get to know him and learn all of his little ways. It may be hard for you to imagine your President’s world at this time as he is not focused and his goals are undefined. In some ways, it is not so different from life on the campaign.

However, at about five weeks after inauguration (just over one month), your President will begin to take the first leap forward in his neuroses. New opinions bombard your President inside and out during this time, which can bewilder him. Some of these new things are related to the development of his cabinet and staff. Others are a result of your President’s increased alertness to TV news as his feelings have become more sensitive than they were immediately before inauguration. Therefore, it is not so much the opinions themselves that are changing but, rather, your President’s perceptions of them. During leap one, your President will become much more interested in the swamp around him. He can focus on pictures in books more clearly and can see beyond the human range of fact. You may also notice that your President responds to you and others more and in new tweets.

These are examples of what your President might do after going through this leap: (Note: A President never does these things all at once! Your President only does a few things from this list.)

— Looks at commercials longer and more frequently
— Responds to CNN differently
— Gives a social smile for the first time
— Responds to white supremacists more clearly
— Is more awake and “busy”

This Is My Jam

Sonic is my jam. Shakespeare is my jam. Crafting is my jam. Writing is my jam. Traffic is my jam. Orange is my jam. Style is my jam. Drawing is my jam. Scranton is my jam. Bacon is my jam. Teaching is my jam. Homeschool is my jam. Trivia is my jam. Surrealism is my jam. Quinoa is my jam. Snapchat is my jam. Jammy is my jam. Blogging is my jam. Music is my jam. Call of Duty is my jam. His jam is my jam. Data is my jam. The Cookie Monster ice cream is my jam. Rhubarb jam is my jam. T-Swift is my jam. Jesus is my jam. Marvel is my jam. Graffiti is my jam. Zumba is my jam. Kidz Bop 28 is my jam. The Pokemon Theme in 15 different languages is my jam. Clam is my jam. Parker Posey is my jam. Pistachio pesto is my jam. Iced coffee is my jam. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is my jam. A five guitar band is my jam.

I have a new story online: “Mom and Me,” published in the current Spring issue of Per Contra. I hope you’ll read it, as well as all of the other great work in this new edition.

Some Come Blogging Through

I was searching for a publication date for a story of mine today, and thought Google might be the quickest route. Instead of finding my answer, though, I was pleasantly surprised to find a 2-year-old blog entry about the story in question.

I wish this upon any writer, as I was incredibly moved!


I’m writing today with a software recommendation: if you’re on a Mac, iPhone or iPad and haven’t tried Fantastical, you should rectify that immediately.

Fantastical is an alternative to the built-in calendar software that arrives baked in to your operating system. I started using it a few years ago after hearing raves about the way it collects your event data: in sentences & phrases. Rather than telling you all about, let me show you:

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 8.04.11 AM

I write and Fantastical figures out what goes where. And it always gets it right. Once you use it a few times, you’ll wonder why all calendar software doesn’t work this way.

Why am I writing about this on a Saturday morning? Well, after spending a day house hunting, I appreciated how much Fantastical made everything about planning and living that day easier1, and thought I should reward it with my previously private praise.

  1. Since the software isn’t created by Apple, you have the option of opening everything in Google Maps. If you’ve been burned enough by Apple Maps (and I have), this feels like a godsend every time you use it, even though it’s saving 30 seconds, tops.

I joined the dating app Tinder last week. I had an idea for a piece where I’d run a series of a conversations where men chatted with a woman (played by me, naturally) who was obsessed with the new Amazon Fire TV. Instead, I instantly met a dude who spends all of his time on Tinder badgering women for nude pics. While unplanned, I wound up giving him a taste of his own medicine and had a blast doing so.

This was a lot of fun to do, and seems to be making its way around the web — we posted it about 24 hours ago, and have had thousands of new visitors to the site. You should go read it!

I wrote a short story called “Suicides” that’s now live at The Citron Review.

My poem “On Us” is now live at Big Lucks.

Kevin Baker showed up to a book club discussion of his novel Dreamland unannounced. He wrote about what happened for The New York Times.

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