Best Of

On Everything and Nothing & Reading and Not Writing

On dealing with information overload and the Twitter stream:

Sometimes I envision my Twitter feed as rushing water: my presence is a dam, and each tweet is debris making its way downstream. It’s now a challenge to let information simply flow — to let tweets swim by without me seeing or interacting with them.

One Landscape Does Not Fit All

On the process of finding a plot of land for our tiny house on wheels:

And after this process, I realize that perfect is not what I seek. Thinking about Walker’s essay, our location mixes elements of both flat and mountainous landscapes, which I love. Yes, I’m an introvert, and I might prefer this or that. But the places we inhabit both reflect and shape us. It’s natural to seek these variations in the landscapes we call our own, which ultimately give us the space to grow.

That Thing I Wrote That Wasn’t True: On Facts, Memoir & John D’Agata

On essayist John D’Agata and handling facts while writing memoir:

But something happens as time passes — as I drift further from a memory, as a fact is dislodged from the place it had once made sense. I begin to play with a fact: I pluck it out, examine it, and let it stand on its own. It is vulnerable: the context that hugged it is stripped away.

26 Hours: The Magical State of Writing

On writing when the universe allows, even — or especially — at five in the morning:

I’ve come downstairs to my sofa, to my laptop. Always glowing, always waiting — rarely touched in quiet, intimate hours like these, when I’m up and automatic, when the day hasn’t seeped in, when the outside world hasn’t grabbed hold of me. I don’t know how long this lapse will last, so I’ll just type until I stop.

Fragments on Time: Found Poetry in My Dashboard

On using abandoned and forgotten drafts in my blog’s dashboard:

sifting through my Camera Roll

thousands of images not posted online

I hunt through my library

see the outtakes

and rejects of my days

The First Comedown

On coming home from my first rave in 1997 and reflecting on the role of technology in the dance underground:

It was a world in which we truly played with technology — where the field was level, and where everyone, no matter who they were or where they were from, had access to it. I came back to this place each weekend, as if returning to a womb to be reborn as an upgraded being — to interact in a frictionless realm where we allowed machines to manipulate our bodies like yo-yos, and where we responded to their maternal calls.

Notes on Home, Life, and Love

On wondering what “home” is, even after settling into my very own physical space:

Yes, I have my own place now. But between these walls, the space feels empty—and the air is stagnant—despite the sofas, the dishes, the lamps, and the pieces of art from around the world.

 

Something is missing.

Online Mourning and the Unexpected Refuge of Facebook

On remembering a dear friend and navigating Facebook, two weeks after his death:

Alone, I sobbed. Yet I sobbed with Facebook open — his life revealed and exposed in bits on my screen, his friends spilling tears on his profile. I sobbed at home, by myself, but also with everyone else.

 

I had never given in to the community of Facebook until that moment. For the first time, its communal space had comforted me.

On Writing (and Evolving) Online

On contemplating where, online, my writing lives:

A writer who publishes on various platforms on the web is like an animal peeing in different places. I’m simply marking my territory — expanding the Cheri Lucas Rowlands brand far and wide.

This Is Not a “Travel Blog” (But It Is a Travel Blog)

On thinking about physical places — cities, countries — as blank canvases for the mind:

Stay in the moment. Get to the point. Describe what’s in front of you. I once read a comment from a professional travel editor about a post I wrote for a press trip on a cruise to the Caribbean that said if I’m writing about X, write about X. Don’t write about Y or Z.

That’s when I realized I wasn’t that kind of travel writer.