It's Pokemon Day

You hadn't heard?

If I didn’t have a seven-year-old I would not have known what to make of this adornment of my classroom whiteboard on Thursday.

It’s pretty good, right? The seven-year-old tells me that the human Ash is being cuddled here by Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Pidgey. There may be a fifth one in there, but it’s hard to say. As you surely know, this was drawn in honor of Pokemon Day. On February 27, day 25 years ago, the first Pokemon were introduced. Who knew, other than a few hundred million people spanning parts of three generations?

I was only vaguely aware of Pokemon as a cultural phenomenon until last year, when a friend gave the kid a spare dozen cards got him hooked. The cards are now all over the house. We don’t have the video games, and we had no plans to watch Post Malone headline the Pokemon Day Virtual Concert, so we observed the sacred day by playing four straight rounds of the overly-complicated Trading Card Game. If you would like a play-by-play of my four straight losses, reply to this email and the seven-year-old will record a voice memo in which he details each turn at length.

What does this have to do with anything?

Not much! It’s just that see if your brain isn’t a little mushy after spending two hours waiting to “evolve” Larvesta into Volcarona. I guess we put it in the ever-expanding bucket of Things I Never Thought I’d be Doing.

This project I’m starting is another TINTIBD (acronym needs work). In my “career” as a writer, I’ve functioned best with a deadline and an audience to produce stuff for.

Possibly because I started as a writer in newspapers, my muscle for writing with some longer-term outcome in remains … underdeveloped at best.

Even as I type this I cringe at the Extremely Successful Journalists — hi, folks — in this audience who might scoff at my preciousness. But the fact remains that I’ve been working on a book project for more years than I care to admit; too often, it’s easier to put aside than to face head on.

I heard a podcaster say this week that his projects are these “unfinished pyramids” he has to walk around: one project here, a project there, and another one over yonder. The thing that I really responded to though, was his addendum: “My family has to walk around me walking around these pyramids.” (Cut to spouse nodding in bitter recognition).

“I think writing in general is something you have to continually talk yourself into or remind yourself why it’s so important.” — Lindsay Hunter

It was yet another podcaster who made me want to start this venture. On the “I’m a Writer, But…” podcast, authors Lindsay Hunter and Alex Higley talk with other writers about the ins and outs of getting stuff done, or not.

In the first episode, Hunter, outlining the reason they started their podcast, said “I think writing in general is something you continually have to talk yourself into, or remind yourself why it’s so important.”

If you’re a writer who has other gigs (not you, aforementioned high-powered journalists), and struggles with making time or giving yourself permission, the “I’m a Writer, But…” podcast does what the best literature can do — makes you feel less alone.

So, that’s one part of this project: talking myself into writing because I have an audience and a deadline. (It won’t be writing about not writing, I promise: part of the gig is to entertain). I really appreciate that you’re here.

Let’s finish some pyramids.

Ted Cruz Corner

The most responded-to section of my “Coming Soon” post was the hilarious Ted Cruz hearsay. More than one of you demanded “more Cruz content!” Well, my college roommate, Jack, (hi, Jack; visit his Hellbent Brewing Company if you’re in Seattle), has a cousin who debated Cruz in high school. Watch this space!