In search of Hurricane Kate: Announcing upcoming changes to ‘Quills and Typewriters’

Over the last few months, I’ve learned two things about myself:

  1. I anger-cise, meaning that the more frustrated I get with the world, the more yoga classes I attend and miles I run.
  2. I’m most competitive with people I like.

Last week I spent two days at an off-site work meeting. On the second day, they changed everyone’s seating at random. Everyone’s except mine, that is, and that seemed eerily symbolic of my life right now.

Many of my close friends are weathering hurricanes of change — moving away, starting new jobs, getting married, interning abroad, doing combinations of the above — while I’m merely catching the breeze and some light rain showers off their storms.

There’s no reason I should be looking for my personal Hurricane Kate right now. I still enjoy my job; I just re-signed my apartment lease; I’m writing for fun again. But because I’m competitive with my friends, the fact so many of their lives are shifting means I feel like mine should, too. And that’s why this is a perfect time to announce the project I’ve been contemplating over the last three months…

…Even if it’s ridiculously incremental in comparison.

Starting July 1, Quills and Typewriters is going to be brand new. Not only will the site look completely different, but so will the content. Most of the old posts will be archived away, and my new entries will be creative writing vignettes; sneak peeks into bigger projects I’m working on; shout-outs to literature, music, art, film, TV and creators that are currently on my “Write-spiration” list; and whatever else I feel like posting.

There might even be a few close-to-professional photos of me in the “About me” page. Remember all that anger-cising I do to handle social, political and personal turmoil? I feel and look fabulous.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 7.37.58 PM
Unlike this Instagram post I published back in March, these photos might actually include my face.

Here’s the real kicker: With this new focus, I’m going to post more often. It’s less daunting to promise an entry each week when it can be an excerpt from the book I’ve been writing or a 200-word snippet about how amazing I find one of the paragraphs in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (just kidding: every paragraph in that novel is amazing).

Anyone who follows Quills and Typewriters probably noticed the silence since my Inauguration Day post, which was the most political thing I had ever published on this page. The fact is that everything is political now — it has to be when devils fill the White House and doormats fill the Capitol — and that includes everyone’s blog. Take it from my literal and figurative experience: When you’re screaming “No Trump! No KKK! No fascist U.S.A.!” at a Green Day concert, eventually you stop hearing yourself in the din, so you might as well be yelling gibberish.

That’s exactly how I started to feel after drafting post after unpublished post over the last three months. There are far more people writing about politics and social change, and they’re doing it better and faster than I ever could, so I rather listen to them than try (and fail) to drown them out.

That realization got me thinking about the purpose of this blog, which started as a college class assignment and lasted through a magazine editing capstone, graduation, unemployment, first job and birth of a corporate career. If anyone’s surprised at that longevity, it’s me and probably my parents, who can tell you about the partially filled journals still in a box under their basement stairs. Those each lasted six weeks at most. This blog lasted six years.

Just as my life changed over that time, though, so has the content. I went from the obligatory weekly posting about beat reporting at the Columbia Missourian to self-enforced monthly entries on whatever I was feeling or thinking, such as critiquing Dove ad campaigns and imagining three years of Academy Awards ceremonies through Leonardo DiCaprio’s eyes.

Quills and Typewriters has been a diatribe diary where I’ve gotten to lecture and analyze, and hopefully not turn too many people off the way I think and write. But over the last few months, I’ve realized that as an aspiring fiction writer I need a place where I can soapbox and beat-box — a site where I write about things I care about while simultaneously developing the underlying rhythm to what I hope becomes a successful creative career.

So how about that: There’s a hurricane brewing in my life after all, even if it’s the result of some cloud-seeding and far less drastic than moving, marrying or making a career change. There’s a lot of work to be done before July 1, but I’m excited to tug on my Hunters and start dancing in the rain.

See you on the other side of the storm, friends.

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