Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blog Reboot

My Dear Readers,

I have decided to reboot "Swim Against the Grain."  New location, new name, new look.   In other words, it's a new-and-improved version of this blog, only now I'll have my trusty sidekick iggi. Or am I iggi's sidekick...?  No one will ever know.

As graduation from my MFA program creeps closer to the present, I have come to realize that this blog needs more structure, more focus, more direction.  The new blog will feature regular weekly columns including book reviews, tips and news, a weekly writing challenge and more.

Thank you to all my readers for following my adventures and misadventures thus far.  "Swim Against the Grain" will continue to exist on the web, but starting today I will be posting exclusively at the new location.  Please join me at the new site: iggi & gabi.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Ordinary Genius

All writers should read this book, regardless of whether they like poetry.  For a long time I hated poetry, but now I have come to realize that it's not poetry that bothers me, per se, it's bad poetry.  This book is the reason I have fallen back in love with poetry... or at least with the good kind.

This book has given me the courage to try writing a little poetry of my own.  OK, so most of the time, the poems morph into prose, but that's beside the point.  What this book has done is open my eyes to the gracefulness of language, the beauty of gesture.  I have fallen in love with language all over again.

iggi says....

Sunday, April 4, 2010


iggi stands for inner gabi gone insane.

She's the part of me who comes up with all the stories and makes me write them, often at imaginary-gunpoint.  Whenever my mouth gets me into trouble, it's usually because iggi's out of control.  She's the one who decides "today I don't want to write a serious post, I want to write a story about vicious bunnies."  iggi doesn't *do* serious.  Funny and silly... definitely.  Even loopy sometimes.  But not serious.

iggi is a curious creature, one of many moods and temperaments.  Since her writerly inspiration is often tied to her moods, I've come up with a handy-dandy guide.  The iggi-meter at right will let you know which iggi is around today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Foolery

April 1, 1992.  Vail, Colorado.
My brother, sister and I were stuck in ski-school for the day with an instructor who was a total dope.  He had no interest in teaching us anything and instead, brought his girlfriend along on the lesson so she could cut to the front of the lift lines with the class.  Even worse, his girlfriend was one of those snow-bunnies who had no clue how to ski so our class had to wait at the lift while our skiing Casanova helped her up when she fell and guided her to the bottom of the run.

At lunch, we lost our patience.  Even though the snow bunny had decided to call it a day and go home, we were still frustrated at having lost a whole morning of good skiing.  So we decided to pull a prank.  While our love-lorn Romeo went into the lodge to get a table, we grabbed his skis and poles and buried them in a snow bank.  When he came out after lunch he went ballistic.

His precious skis!  How could someone steal his amazing-top-of-the-line-super-expensive skis?  He was even on the brink of calling the police to report them stolen.  Worse yet, since the lodge where we had lunch was at the top of the mountain, how was he going to get back down?  And his boss was seriously going to kill him for not finishing our lesson either.

In the end, we caved and gave him back his skis.  We may have lost another half hour on the slopes while he threw the hissy-fit over his skis, but it was so totally worth it.  At the very least, I don't think he ever brought his snow-bunny girlfriend on a lesson again.

In honor of April Fools, I'd like to know... what's the funniest/silliest/SO-most-worth-it prank you've ever pulled?

And in honor of it being the first day of the month: Rabbit rabbit!