On the Journey from Being a writer to Becoming a Writer

Recidivist visitors (recidivisitors?) to this web blog know that I aspire to be a Writer with a capital Dubya. As I sit here in a branch of the Austin Public Library, for a group writing gathering of the Writers League of Texas, I am reminded that I already am at least a writer. I keep a journal that sometimes sits for weeks without an entry. I compose emails and texts. This blog, entries into websites like the one that got me a very lightly used bicycle helmet quite cheap. There’s the occasional greeting card, to do lists, and today I reworked my resume. At times there’s even a missive, epistle, screed or rant. I think about making the shift from a hobbyist, diarist, listmaker, blogger, etc. to become a paid author. However, it is a large step from writer to Writer.

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Commerce and Creativity: The Struggle is Real

Arriving home, I caught a new article on Wired, “Jack Conte, Patreon, and the Plight of the Creative Class.” Earlier this year, I heard Jack’s talk at South by Southwest, a sort of origin story cum sales pitch. Many of us would love to get paid for blogging, and I’d love to get paid for editing and publishing my book in progress. Yet the struggle between having to work a job and pay the bills is one that’s been going on for a long time. Ever since the first caveperson started drawing on the walls instead of hunting, I would imagine. How to be creative in whatever your endeavor(s) may be keep a roof over your head and food on the table is an ongoing issue. Spoiler alert: I won’t solve it here today. But maybe you’ll relate to some of my thoughts and have some comments.

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Bike Curious? Here’s the Perfect Pedal for a Slow Sunday Cycle in Austin

Years ago, I was pedaling past the World War II era airplane hanger at Austin’s former Robert Mueller airport, which I recall flying into right over where I lived. (Not the recent special investigator.) Now, Mueller is the one-word name (like Bono, Prince, or Sting) for the new urban, high-density (and high-cost) neighborhood that now sits on the former airport. Back then, somehow I’d been able to rent a room in pretty new row house owned by a nice gentleman from Ethiopia. That’s another story.

I biked but not much. On that night, I found the ride quite by accident and joined in. It was fun and easy, but soon I went on my way and didn’t go back. Skip ahead many years in time to a couple of weeks ago, and I ran into a fellow rider at the grocery store, Jason. He reminded me about the ride, and since I was on a bike and curious about Bike Curious, I showed up. Needing a recovery ride from Saturday’s hot and tiring 45-mile Mamma Jamma training ride, I went again a second time. Lemme tell ya’ all about it.

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Nothing Lasts… “Forever Bicycles” Sculpture Departs Austin, Texas

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist of the Excessivist movement who is a very, very big deal in the art world. Huge, you might even say. For the last five years, Austin, Texas has been proud home of his incredible piece of 1,254 gleaming steel bicycles called “Forever Bicycles.” I went down to bid it farewell before it was dissassembled. Where it goes, only he knows. Here are some of my photos and information about this amazeballs installation.

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Austin Bike News Roundup for May 4, 2019

May is Bike Month around the US and world, and theoretically there are more things happening than usual. Yet, every month is bicycle-centric for me and thousands of bike riders in Austin, so it’s not that noticeable. But here are a few of the great events going on in case you’re in town and want to get involved. If not in Austin, check out your local bike group, shop or government transportation office to see if they have anything going. Or, start your own event!

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Moontower Comedy Festival Day 4: S/He Who Laughs, Lasts

The festival ended Saturday, and I made the most of it, even though I had to work my second volunteer shift. The house manager, Katy, texted in advance to remind me to show up. The venue was the familiar North Door, which hosts the One Page Salon I attend most months. After biking downtown. I met up with Katy and the other volunteers, and we went over who was going to do what to get the guests inside and how to help do crowd control. My job was to roam around to keep folks get to their seats, point out if anyone heckled or took video, point to the bathrooms, and just help as needed. Katy and stage manager Cara were both super nice and fun to work with. But that’s all secondary to the main point: I saw some great comedy and had a fun time, and had a few brushes with celebrity, too. Did you hear the one about a dude who went to a comedy festival?

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South by Southwest (SXSW) 2019 Days 5 & 6 = Walking. Weird. Wonderful.

After two more days of seeing films and comedy at South by Southwest, and walking well over 10,000 steps per day as a volunteer and then participant, I’m even more exhausted than last week.  But it’s Wednesday, so that means it’s time to tell y’all (who actually are reading this blog) what’s the big deal about SXSW. In addition to telling, I’ll do some showing. Continue reading