English 1B, Wednesday 4/08/20

-Update on how you’re doing.  What have you been writing?

-What is this teaching you, this being kept in place…. What shelter is it providing for your writing, your ideas?

-What did you write about Lawson, in your typed response?

-Lawson thoughts….  I’m dying to hear where you are feeling her intentions, and why she writes the way she does?

-How does she use the idea and reality of family differently than Sedaris?

-Lawson sells herself, her charm and style as a writer, but how?  What exactly is her pitch?

-Post passages from her book that taught you something about her, what she wants, or maybe what she wants for us as readers?

BREAK

-How are you using your journal?

-Any new writing habits that you want to share?  Anything you can teach us about writing habits, and the practice and maintenance of that writing habit?

-Reading your own work… what’s that like?

-What do you want to talk about?  What do you want to write about?  ………  What would Jenny Lawson do?

-Back to your writing…..  How have you developed since the semester’s inception?

Homework:  FINISH JENNY LAWSON – TYPE AND SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR YOUR NEXT ESSAY…. LAWSON, SEDARIS, OR BOTH??  Who is/are…. (I’LL EXPLAIN)

208 Comments Add yours

  1. Ashlynemclean says:

    Hello Classmates-
    Doing well here. Just focusing on the good and enjoying the things we have around us. Wow, today’s weather way beautiful. My kids and I spent nearly the entire day outside. I look forward to more good weather and making our porch my new favorite place to read and write.This shelter in place order has really taught me to just be. I am great at being busy, so my anxiety got a little crazy when we first had to be home. Sure, there are still challenges as a parent, but all in all this time has given me the gift of slowing down. I have been writing a lot this week for me, which is great for my work for the this class, but has been so nice because I haven’t been doing it because I am supposed to. It has given me a great amount of time for reflection on things in my life I have been through and goals I have for myself as a person, a mother and a wife. Usually the hustle and bustle of normal life doesn’t grant me this luxury.

    In my typed response I wrote that I found Lawson incredibly relatable. I am sure many have said this. It is not that I can really relate to her experiences or to her as a writer (I am still trying to figure out what kind of writer I am), but mostly that I can relate to her saying everything she is thinking no matter how random. I can totally relate to the way she talks about Victor rolling his eyes when she says something crazy or irrational. I can relate to the warning she gets before attending his work functions and to the way she is unable to be socially “normal.” I have been her in this way.. I guess I am her in this way. I actually had my husband read the book with me and before we could talk about it, he called her my long lost personality twin. I couldn’t tell if it was a compliment or a diss either.

    I think in Lawson’s book she makes it pretty apparent that writing is a major form of therapy for her. She keeps talking about knowing she “had a book in her.” To me this says that she has always had a lot to say and needed to get it out. I like that she has her problems, but doesn’t make them the focal point of what she is trying to share. Her anxiety, eating disorder, arthritis, pregnancy issues, ect are just a supporting role.

    When she talks about her family, though the stories are outrageous, you can tell that they are her rock in life. She gives you quite a few glimpses of being grateful for the way she grew up and the way she was parented. I think though she makes jokes about her sister, her parents and her husband, they are truly what center her and give her peace among her chaotic thoughts. She makes fun of them with love. With Sedaris I feel he makes fun of his family or tells stories about them with a little more anger or resentment. They both allude to not measuring up in their family Jenny however, never talks about not measuring up in her family, just socially compared to her sister.

    What is Lawsons pitch? I think it’s to just tell your story exactly how you want it to be told. Because of all the ways she gives the finger to her editors notes, I think this book tells readers that if you have something to say then say it..say ALL of it and trust your gut. Be honest, be truthful and just write it down.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Great thoughts here. And I agree with you about Lawson…. How much anger vs. love is in her writing, would you say?

      Like

      1. Ashlynemclean says:

        I think there is a lot more love for the things she’s endured than anger. Don’t get me wrong, she has a right to be angry and no one would really blame her if she still was goth.. but I think instead of dwelling on the sad, crazy, painful, weird; she celebrates her life in spite of those things. I don’t get a ton of anger in her writing. I more get love and acceptance in the form of humor.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashlynemclean says:

    After Break:
    I am using my journal as sort of a dual purpose right now. I use to to write about my schedule and my goals for the days and weeks. I also am using it to tell stories about things I have experienced and want to get on paper. I have been writing a lot about when my kids were born (both crazy stories). I am writing it all down because soon enough it’ll be too late for me to remember everything that was going through my head a that time. Becoming a parent is so life changing (I bet parents in this class can relate), so writing it down helps me remember what things were like when it all changed.When I read my own work it’s a little bit like I am talking to me. I honestly convey my emotions so much better via writing than just saying them out loud, so it has been a good lesson for me to write things out if I have something important to say or something I need to address. It helps me weed out all the drama and keep things to the point.

    I also have noticed with my writing that I tend to use humor to make up for times I am unhappy or feeling emotional. Writing things out helps me not use humor as a crutch for not sharing, but as a way to share things all the way.

    I think Jenny Lawson would be proud that I am putting pen to paper. She has actually really given me the push I needed to write about some of my life experiences. Again, I think that is because we are very similar (brain wise).

    I am grateful for her book. She unleashed a sort of freedom and passion in me that I have been trying very hard to find when it comes to writing. Reading comes naturally to me. I have always been a reader. Writing, not so much. I have struggled to just let go and DO IT. Her way of sharing stories as well as putting her inner voice in things, gave me the push I really needed to not just write for class, but to write for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yoselyn Ayon says:

    I have been doing good as I am still working from home. I have been writing about having my niece over for her spring break. It has been interesting to handle her being here, but she doesn’t bother me as much. My mom is taking care of her mostly, which I’m glad. I enjoy being home and can see myself missing this work style once it is over and I have to go back to the office. I can still focus on my writing without a problem and even more, so I believe. I catched up on reading Jenny Lawson’s book and for my response I wrote about the similarities her and Sedaris have. I also wrote about what a smooth transition it was from reading Sedaris to her memoir. I look forward to finishing the book this weekend. I think Lawson’s writing is genuine and I feel her honesty connects the readers to her. I like the fact that the editor didn’t edit some scripts out like she thought would happen. It again makes it more real, more human. I think Lawson wants us as readers to not be bored and to really be engaged in the reading. One way she does this is by straight up saying that she made the chapters shorter because nobody wants long chapters especially if the book was assigned to you. She wants to reader to know that she is writing truthfully, and I think she does this by providing pictures as proof.
    BREAK
    I am still working on my writing habits because I haven’t kept a journal maybe since I was 6. This class has made me write more, especially now that we cannot meet in person. I look forward to reading my classmates responses on how to make writing in a journal a habit. Some of the ideas I have are to set an alarm each day and when that alarm goes off, do my daily journal entry. In that way, I can start to build the habit without forgetting. Reading my own writing is something that I have been doing for a long time and I feel very comfortable with my writing style, however I am not used to other people reading my work.
    One of the developments I have had since the semester’s inception is really engaging in the reading and questioning as I go further in the book. Questioning why the author is writing the way that they are and how it might be important to the overall story. I guess I try to be more present and not having my mind wander. I have also tried to do this during our class time by not using my phone and paying attention to my classmates. The books that we have read so far have made me realize how free writing can be, and still be considered “good”. Unlike traditional writing formats where we are to follow certain guidelines or else it is “wrong”. I think this is where my writing can and will improve.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Any passages that really stood out to you, got your attention?

      Like

      1. lizzybeth707 says:

        I like that you share and brought up the “traditional writing” thing. I hate that now, I enjoy writing even though when I read it I feel as I’m all over the place, I truly enjoy free writing. So much more enjoyable.

        Like

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Great!! Keep writing, and reading. When you write, be free. You can always polish and edit later.

        Like

  4. peacheymaddie says:

    Hey everyone, I hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe. This is a crazy time and it is hard to be inside all day. I feel crazy and I know that every day that passes I feel worse. I am getting sadder and sadder and I feel riddled with anxiety constantly. I have been doing my best to stay happy and active. I facetime my friends as often as possible and I hang out with my family. I have challenged myself to write every day in my journal and doing a creative art piece to show how I am feeling. It feels good to have an expressive outlet to vent into and to get emotions out. Being stuck inside is giving me gratitude and an understanding of how lucky I am despite the horrible circumstances. I am lucky enough to have a roof over my head and to have food, and family. I am struggling with mental health, but I am safe and that is more important to me right now.
    In my typed response about Lawson, I talked about how relatable she is and how she is truly herself. She is not afraid to tell her story despite her weird family and events that happen. I feel like her writing is unique to her. Lawson is able to laugh at herself, make fun of herself while appreciating everything in her life whether it is good or bad. For Lawson family is everything and she showcases that throughout her writing. She is so obsessed with being near her family and she surprisingly yearns for her kids to have a similar childhood to her. She may write about her strange family stories, but they are all written with love and adoration. On the contrary, Sedaris has a love-hate with his family. He always thought he was not good enough for his dad and lacked a connection. Lawson’s father is the opposite. He loves his daughters and lives to make his family happy. Sedaris is more on the dark side and makes what happens in his life sad or things to get upset over, Lawson embraces what happens to her and does not get negative.

    Like

  5. Olivia peachey says:

    Good evening!
    I am doing pretty good this week! Same as last week at least. I feel like it is getting a little bit easier and a little bit harder to adjust to this lifestyle, but I’m getting through it anyways! It is hard to make healthy and productive choices, but I’m trying to look at every day as a new day!
    Being kept in place is teaching me to take time for myself, and to read more and think more about myself. I have more time for writing, and I enjoy keeping a daily journal. I have been writing a lot about my days and my feelings about being physically isolated.
    In my typed response about Lawson I wrote about how she writes for her audience more than writing for herself. I also wrote about her putting on a show with her words, meaning she is trying to appeal to her readers. She also speaks directly to her throughout the entire book by breaking the fourth wall and referencing the person reading. She also has an entire intro to her book where she is speaking to her readers, complete with several footnotes to explain herself, which she continues to do throughout the book. I would say that Sedaris is more of a writer, and Lawson is more of a storyteller. She writes with the purpose of engaging her audience and making everyone laugh and cringe at her almost horrific childhood and adult life. I loved her book a lot!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Hi Olivia!! Tell us more about your love of her book!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Olivia peachey says:

        I loved the way she told her stories. She seemed very excited to tell her readers about her life, especially because she knows that a good amount of people, probably even the majority of people do not have at least a childhood similar to hers. I loved her fearlessness of sharing her crazy family with the world, while not hating her parents (mostly her dad) for raising her with dead animals galore but expressing her love for her weird family and laughing at herself and making her readers laugh with her in the process. I found a lot of her stories to be gruesome, and if I was her I would be scarred for life! But she seemed to turn out okay! And I appreciated her dark humor, this book would’ve been very different if it was not so funny!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Yeah,,,, Her writing gives us this feeling or sense for sure. And, makes us look at our own days and relationships! But, is her family really CRAZY?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ashlynemclean says:

        Hi Olivia-
        I think it is interesting how we can get two different things from the same book. I feel that her writing is for herself which is what makes it great for an audience. She throws the rules out the window and just says what she wants. I notice this being therapeutic for her. She is a very entertaining writer though!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Olivia peachey says:

        Crazy was not the best word choice! I don’t think they’re insane or anything. I meant crazy as more like wild or odd, at least compared to some of the seemingly more normal families I know. I didn’t mean like mental or insane!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. mikemadigan says:

        Ha ha…. not challenging you at all, friend!! Just trying to play with words, and the denotation and connotation of crazy. Honestly, I do think she’s crazy, but to her empowerment. Like Kerouac says, one of the mad ones!!! Cheers, Olivia…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Her family was a bit crazy. Her dad put his fingers up a dead squirrels butt in a cracker box! A major WTF?!?!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. mikemadigan says:

        Crazy, or part of the recipe??

        Like

      8. Mikey, that is f’ing crazy! It’s a recipe for his kids to have anxiety issues as adults! Lawson is a great example. HA!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. peacheymaddie says:

    My journal is being used as an escape. I escae my room that I am in every day and I use it to just let everything out. I always have had a journal or diary and in the past few years, I left that behind. It is nice to get back into writing and expressing myself. When I write, I let everything out and I do not think about whether my writing is good or not. A journal is a journal and it does not have to be perfect. I also find that doodling or drawing or making collages is a way to express feelings as well. My writing has changed the way I think. I used to look at writing as something that had to be structured, now I just let everything out. I am not worried about the technicalities. I am excited to keep expanding my reading and writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mikemadigan says:

    How does Lawson use the topic of family? Is it all funny, or is some of it rather critical?

    Like

    1. peacheymaddie says:

      Lawson adores her family and it is very evident in her writing. She often is questioning the sanity of her father and the decisions he makes. Like when he brings dead animals into their house. She starts critical, but it oftentimes makes a full circle as she relates it with humor. Same with her sister. When her sister is the mascot at school, Lawson is critical of her for choosing to be a mascot, but while she is dealing with that, she gets her arm stuck inside of a cow. So overall, Lawson may seem critical, but the critical part is what allows her to later see the humor and connect it to a bigger life lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ashlynemclean says:

        I totally agree. I get the sense throughout the entire book that her family is her rock. Though she tells funny stories, she always seems very grateful for the roles they’ve played in her life.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. shantiadams says:

    Hi everyone, I have been doing good during this time. I started a new show(The good doctor) and have been occupying myself with that, drawing, and thinking about what I want to focus on when I try and write some songs.. we will see how it goes! Ive also been using this time to keep my fitness up and find new hobbies. Even though the situation is unfortunate, I am enjoying it and making the best out of it. It has given me a chance to spend more time with my family and get closer to them and spend time with each other before I leave for college. Its also giving me an opportunity to focus on my goals and work on the small tasks to get me to my bigger goals. This situation is unfortunate, but at the same time I do appreciate it and am just trying to make the best out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ashley Bell says:

    Hello everyone! I hope everybody is healthy and staying safe during these scary times. Being sheltered in place has been more difficult than I imagined it would be and trying to find things to keep myself busy has been a challenge. Speaking of challenges, I recently tried writing in my journal today about how I”m feeling during this time and it’s been very helpful to write it all down and sorta let everything out about what I was holding up inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow. This is this first week of working 4-10’s. I love working that shift, however, I DO NOT like starting at 4am in the morning. I’ve had to leave my kids home by themselves so I can work, which makes me uncomfortable, but they are doing great. I am so lucky with great kids and they know I am doing my best.
    I have totally started a blog! Kinda. I have an intro at least. I plan on writing my first entry by this weekend to get it moving along.
    Patience and kindness. That’s what the shelter in place has taught me. People are scared so we need to be a little extra patient and kind. Hope everyone is holding out OK!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Waiting for that first post!!!! How’s the reading of Lawson?

      Like

      1. I am almost done! It was pretty good! Still not as good as Sedaris. However, I really enjoyed her writing style and her play with the strike through font and footnotes. I enjoyed her sense of humor and really just an accepting of how things just are. Lawson seeing the humor in everything is refreshing and a good wake up call, especially right now. I love her positive yet funny vibes.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Positive and analytical, as well!! And there’s an intoxicating quality from her prose that, like Sedaris’, makes us relax and not be so tense and stressed. She shows us that there’s value and education in everything. Just my opinion…

        Like

      3. That’s so funny! Because even though she is funny and positive, her ACTUAL writing style is so anxious and hard to read for me! I compare her style more to Thompson to be honest. All over the place. Goes off on a tangent when trying to write something and half the time I ask myself WTF did I just read?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mikemadigan says:

        Like that she has your attention!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ashley Bell says:

      I have been working 4am shifts as well! It’s been great working so early in the morning because then I have the remainder of the day to enjoy with family.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That is true! I am not a morning person, so it has been an adjustment. But definitely nice to have a lot of the day left. We have done lots of family walks!!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. shantiadams says:

      I agree! Her writing is so free, real, and great when you need to relax and have a laugh. She makes you look at life the other way around sometimes and just wants you to know that things do happen but how you react to it can make it better or worse for yourself and even other people.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Skyler T Herring' says:

        I totally agree with you, but with me, I also find it almost refreshing her writing style like before going into it I didn’t know what to expect but the whole way through it kept me hooked.

        Liked by 2 people

    4. lizzybeth707 says:

      I shared with Mike how this wiring has freed the “crazy” in me!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Crazy is not crazy… it’s honest composition.

        Like

  11. jacob heintz says:

    In my typed response I said that Lawson’s maybe unconventional childhood coupled with her anxiety would have had a much worse effect than it did, or is doing, had she never developed her sense of humour. I think though, that she suggests that humour should not only be used as just a coping mechanism, but also as a way to thrive in whatever place in life you find yourself in. It’s also a way to kind of “regulate” relationships, in that if everyone in the relationship has the ability to laugh at themselves, it creates a better environment for everyone involved, in her case it was her family members and Victor,etc.

    She writes the way she does because I think she really does want to help the reader in whatever way she can. She uses self-deprecation a lot, she purposefully justifies her mistakes sarcastically , and generally just tries to be funny in whatever way she is able. I really think that most of that is for the reader’s benefit, even if, at the very least, all it does is make the reader think more highly of themselves.

    I think to Lawson, being somewhat unable to talk to most people at all (according to her), family is a little more of an important part of her life than maybe it is to Sedaris, who as far as I know, can talk to people just fine. Her family is held together nicely, however oddly, whereas Sedaris’ seemed to me like it was a bit more unattached.

    I think Lawson’s “pitch”, at least to me, was her convincing the reader that there was a very real possibility that her life was a little bit less glorious than theirs, and that maybe they’ll be able to stand on their moral high-horse while reading about her life. She was trying to tell people that there is beauty, or at the least, dark-humor (which to me, and maybe to her, is beautiful) in the bad parts of life. Or not I’m not sure.

    To me the “If You See My Liver…” chapter was a great example of this. I can’t believe honestly that she was writing jokes on the same page that she was explaining how her first three children had died before they were born. Even for me that was a little much haha

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Wonderful! Great thoughts and sequence of sentences here, Jacob. How would you categorize her, as an author? For example, for the next essay, “Jenny Lawson is…..”.

      Like

      1. jacob heintz says:

        I would say that Jenny Lawson is kind of in the business of indirectly helping people. For that reason I’ll say that she is an unconventional “self-help” author, and writes more for the reader, than for herself. She also is almost always funny, on purpose and accidentally throughout her life (which is the focus of the majority of her writing), so maybe a comedy writer at the same time.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I thought the same about her story about her miscarriages! I guess people get through trauma in different ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. shantiadams says:

    Lawson:
    I have been gathering ideas and thoughts about her as I read. She’s similar to Sedaris but also different at the same time and I just enjoy reading her story.

    When I read her I feel inside of her mind. She makes me feel the situation and where she is coming from. Her descriptions, and how she is able to laugh and make fun of herself is great. I have also quickly realized that she says exactly what she is thinking and I tied it back to a couple books ago when we read Fear and Loathing in LV. In that book we were constantly changing locations and in Lawsons book I feel like we are constantly changing topics but not to the point where I get lost. This just shows that she writes exactly what she is thinking but can keep me hooked at the same time. I don’t find myself having to reread because I was so confused at what just happened. She word vomits but keeps it organized and real.

    Like

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Passages that connect with you, on a personal and interactive level?

      Like

      1. shantiadams says:

        Yes

        On page 15 she says ” Did you notice how I skipped right to having a husband even though this paragraph is supposed to be about my childhood.” I didn’t relate to the actual situation itself but I could relate to how she skipped around within her story because I tend to find myself doing the same thing. I rush to get everything on the paper before I forget my train of thought and tend to skip over major parts. But I guess that is writing, I have to get everything on the paper that I am thinking of in that moment and then go back and fill in the blanks.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        That IS writing. Why does anything have to be linear, especially with writing, I always ask myself!!

        Like

      3. peacheymaddie says:

        oh there are several…

        first: “A friend is someone who knows where all your bodies are buried. Because they’re the ones who helped you put them there.”
        And sometimes, if you’re really lucky, they help you dig them back up.”

        second: “I can finally see that all the terrible parts of my life, the embarrassing parts, the incidents I wanted to pretend never happened, and the things that make me “weird” and “different,” were actually the most important parts of my life. They were the parts that made me ME.”

        third:“Dear Victor: Wow. That … really got out of hand. I’m sending this cat in as a peace offering. I forgive you for all the stuff you wrote on the walls about my sister, and I’m going to just ignore all the stuff you wrote about my “giant ass” (turn cat over for rest) because I love you and you need me. Who else loves you enough to send you notes written on cats? Nobody, that’s who. Also, I stapled a picture of us from our wedding day to the cat’s left leg. Don’t we look happy? We can be that way again. Just stop leaving wet towels on the floor. That’s all I ask. I’m low-maintenance that way. Also, this cat needs to go on a diet. I shouldn’t be able to write this much on a cat and still have room left over.”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mikemadigan says:

        Awesome. These are great! Colleagues, what are your reactions and notes on these passages if any?

        Like

      5. I really love how Lawson points out her flaws and embraces them. We are in a society where perfection is shoved down our throats but doesn’t leave any room for individuality. Embrace. That. Shit.
        . “. . . and you should accept who you are, flaws and all, because if you try to be someone you aren’t, then eventually some turkey is going to shit all over your well-crafted façade. . .”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Amy Bell says:

      Great observation! I think of her non linear approach as a representation if what reflection on the past is like. When I remember things in the past I often flip back and forth through the timeline. Our brains cannot be perfect linear streams of information when we look back and retell. New detail and connections come up. We analyze and change our perspective on the past just through the act if remembering. We also forget. She definitely does keep it organized and real because the audiences brain are able to connect with the way her brain works when thinking back and telling a real story of the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Agreed. A linear approach would not work in a narration of her life.

        Like

  13. Amy Bell says:

    Right now I am just about the same in my own life, just trying to figure things out without stressing myself to much. Being here in my shelter is helping me come up with ideas in my writing and my thoughts about how important community is between us humans and thinking a lot about compassion and understanding of other people. I wrote about how Lawson uses her childhood perspective and her adult retrospective to construct her humor and talk about how her experiences have made her into the person she is, especially coming to the conclusion in her adolescence that she was allowed to be herself and have her own interests and distinct family, personality, and life experiences. What I noticed is a little different from Sedaris is that she saw her family, especially her father as someone who made her childhood different from others, alienating her from the norm and making her feel different and strange, but as she learned, grew, and struggled, figured out that she was distinct and had her won charm and style. Sedaris seemed a bit more distant from his father and tried to win some affection and attention. Lawson’s relationship feels more warm and trying even with its often failures to connect. Her pitch is to tell a story about the common struggles of growing up and finding who you are with the added benefits and detriments of a childhood that often deprived and disgusted, but also showed love, gave perspective, and guided her along a road to adulthood. ( Even though said road was quite bumpy)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Like the idea of “common struggles”, and finding who you are…. Could be a writing direction, something for a paper.

      Like

      1. Amy Bell says:

        Yes, I wrote a bit about how just about everybody has a struggle while growing, and I should write more about how the things that influence you during the struggle can affect how you turn out when you finally overcome it.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. mikemadigan says:

    There is obvious comedy in her pages, but do you think there is also an intentional play with language, and form? And, how does this affect her identity to a reader (the reading experience)?

    Like

    1. I think she is hilarious. She is sarcastic. She is witty. She finds humor in everything above all else. All of it is absolutely intentional. I think she has her own kind of writing style. I get the impression that it’s intentional NOT to fit into a category or a neat little box? (If that makes sense) I don’t think she really cares what others think or she would not have written her book. It feels to me she is just trying to be relate able to the majority of people. A lot of us “normal” people had weird/crazy/unusual upbringings? Is she giving her readers permission to accept their differences?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        I’ve always been opposed to containment, the box as you say… that’s why she connects with me so potently as a reader.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely! My favorite line in the book is when she said “Except that the one thing I can’t escape from is the very thing I want to run away from . . . me”. That made me REALLY relate to her. Her unorthodox writing style have inspired me. It’s nice to have someone I can relate to with their quirky thoughts and life

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Quirky, and inviting… magnetic!!!

        Like

  15. Ashley Bell says:

    In my response paper, I wrote about how Jenny Lawson has completely stolen the show with her over the top hilarious stories and her phenomenal ability to write about these twisted life experiences but in a more comedic view. Her unique writing style is unlike anything I’ve ever read, similar to David Sedaris she writes about her rather interesting life experiences in a more humorous twist but her excessive use of profanity sets her apart from the rest. Even the titles of the chapters such as “Jenkins, you motherfucker”, included profanity which alone would make me laugh before I even started reading the chapter. She could have named this chapter something simple like, “My pet turkey” but instead this loud statement hooks the reader early on and makes for the start of a great story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      You know, I don’t even recognize it as profanity. I just see it as an ingredient in her recipe…

      Like

    2. Amy Bell says:

      Her humor just comes naturally to her and also defines parts of her personality. Another person could still be hilarious if they had a story titled “My pet turkey”, and if so, they would definitely have the potential to create a similarly hilarious story, it would just be different type of humor and personality. It just goes to show that humor cannot be quantified or compared or equalized. It can really only be represented of expression and personality. Humor is often very personal, even when the subject matter is not even that personal; because the way it is delivered, spoken, and who it’s from are all important factors in the humor. There’s no way to put it on a scale, and I believe that is what makes humor so powerful!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes!! Not only goes to show it, but speaks in that language.. it’s what makes the story a story.

        Like

    3. Kiely Rowe says:

      Hey Ashley,
      I totally agree with you that she STOLE THE SHOW!!!! I loved the chapter “Jenkins, you motherfucker” as well. It was perfectly executed. I think of her as an author who isn’t afraid to say anything. Nothing is off limits with her!
      -Kiely

      Liked by 1 person

  16. mikemadigan says:

    Something for tonight’s page….. The value of comedy in writing CANNOT be measured or quantified.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Skyler T Herring' says:

    Hello everyone I hope all of you have been well. personally other than working 5 days a week and being physically tired, I am doing pretty good and the last few days I’ve been reading Lawson’s book and it’s been helping me get along and keep the day lighter. I’ve written several times this week mostly just self ranting about things that do not really matter other to me so it helps to just be able to vent into my journal. I feel like the being kept in place hasn’t done much to help me with writing as of yet just has made me lose motivation but I keep writing anyway cause that’s the only way to improve. I wrote a great many things about Lawson and how much I loved her writing style and the whole vibe she gives to the book in general. also touched on how this book was in a small way therapy for me and kind of helped me get to writing more than to what I was doing, and when I write I don’t look at it, likes its crap anymore…well yes, some of it is crap but it is MY crap and it becomes a part of who you are. though I don’t make myself feel bad for when I make the crap is the whole difference before I would get discouraged to write if I felt like it wasn’t perfect or good enough but due to lawsons book it help me to enjoy actually writing now so that’s nice. I feel like lawsons intentions are to make for everyone to know it’s ok to be different and weird because she is too and she writes the way she does to reach out to the misfits in life mainly, I mean she can relate to a lot of people of course but she knows what it feels like to be bullied and outcasted so she knows how to reach a hand to her audience to show its ok. she wants people to know its more normal to be different then it is to just be regular normal. I am also a little confused about the family question cause they both clearly love their family Sedaris and Lawson but of course, they both show it differently due to the fact they each were raised so differently and in different parts it is hard to compare for me personally on that question. she writes with open arms and tries to connect to peoples humor even if it cost herself in the process, like her social standing that is like when she embarrassed herself at a dinner party it’s hard to hate someone who puts all their flaws out there proudly. though it also can help people be more comfortable and open up themselves if someone does it first and Lawson is that person in life and in the book it feels like. though I could be totally wrong this is just how I felt.

    One Passage that I felt a lot of weight with was in the very end of Lawson’s bonus chapter and I feel like she wanted us to learn from it
    “I’ve met people from all walks of life… cubicle workers, executives, stay-at-home parents, celebrities, people who make nipples for a living… but I’ve learned how very much alike we are. we all have one thing in common. We’re not assholes. Also, we have great taste in books and were willing to buy, borrow, or steal this one. And that makes you part of our tribe.
    Welcome home”(363).

    With this passage, I know its a little long but it clearly portrays Lawson’s intention of wanting to include everyone and the love she has for everyone and that’s why I think so many people feel comfortable when they read her writing. trying to make people relate and connect in so many different ways you wouldn’t realize it.

    I’ve been using my journal when I can it has been more after reading Lawson’s book but should still be more. though I’ve been using it kind of for random rants to myself and then ill write about what I need to do what I didn’t do and the occasional short story if a cute idea pops in my head. no new writing habits for me to share sadly let alone I need to do more so ill be looking for other people writing habits tonight and see if I can incorporate any other ideas into my life to help me out. reading my own work now is better but weird, to say the least since I don’t look at all the negatives in my writing anymore, of course, I try to learn from them but it doesn’t hinder me from continuing as much anymore. this year with both my English classes kind of helped me develop my personal style of writing and taught me there is more to the structure and robot ways of highschool writing but wiring can be beautiful and unique. that’s a major lesson I’ve learned from this semester of English. so yeah this year has been a good year for me and writing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Awesome response here!! Lots from which to build for future writings. And, to get to know yourself better as a writer. Cheers.

      Like

    2. jacob heintz says:

      I agree that it is more difficult to hate someone who puts their flaws out in the open for everyone to see. I would even argue that Lawson does that twice usually. Once in her real life, then again in her writing. I definitely think that she has a good way of inspiring people to think of themselves a little bit more highly.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Emily Nightingale says:

    I’ve been writing a lot more during this break. I began keeping a notebook near my bed and I have found myself reaching for it more and more every day. As I have gotten further into Lawson’s book, I’m finding less and less in common with her and Sedaris. I feel that Lawson is almost impatient in the way she writes. She has an edge that I did not see in Sedaris’ writing. I really appreciate her honestly in her writing and I love how she makes me feel like I’m right next to her. When I read Sedaris’ book, I felt like a friend of his and his writing seemed casual. I feel a little bit more authority coming from Lawson. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel that she is speeding through her stories and her sidetones. So far, I really enjoy what I am reading and she makes me excited to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      What about her writing and story is so enjoyable for you? Describe your reading experience..

      Like

      1. Emily Nightingale says:

        I can’t quite come up with the words to describe her writing style. I think I’m enjoying this book so much because I want to be like Lawson. She radiates confidence and she seems powerful. I want to be able to write like her and I want people to be interested in what I have to say just like I am interested in Lawson. I have bene listening to this book while I walk my dog everyday and I think another factor in my enjoyment of this book is the fresh air. I appreciate being outside and I think that fresh air is making this book better than it already is.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        Keep writing and you will!!

        Like

  19. shantiadams says:

    Lawson intentions of her writing are to connect with other people, cope, and let people look at situations differently and to also let people know that if its out of your control then you mine as well try and make the best out of it. She does it to relax people and give them a laugh, but also uses it as an opportunity to also share her story and her outlook on things that have happened to her which makes the readers step back and think, wow, she’s so positive and real which makes you feel like its okay to have flaws and go through hard times because it is simply just life:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Agreed. She teaches readers that your life is YOUR life, and to make the best of it. And like Sedaris, I think she wants us to do what she did — WRITE.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Cope! What an awesome word that didn’t even come to mind. But that is so true!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Alicia Sealund says:

    Hi fellow classmates hope everyone is doing well. Things have been rough lately both with being laid off as I’m sure many of you have been too, and in the process of moving 😬 Oh well, things could be both worse and better lol atleast I have my health. Oh man now I feel like I’m starting to sound alot like Lawson rambling on and on to myself and my readers at the same time. Love her for all that inner dialogue, I think she may be my long lost sister.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Hey there, Alicia! Welcome!!! What stories spoke most to you, and why?

      Like

    2. It’s good to ramble! Makes you feel better. Get it all out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Agreed. And, “rambling” is not rambling. It’s FREEwriting. The only way to get it out!!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page…..Sometimes “profanity” is just an ingredient in the character’s recipe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      I defiantly agree on that and when profanity is used right you can convey so many different strong emotions or set up a type of character for your story with profanity, people make it out to always be taboo and never to touch or use vulgar language, but we need it sometimes when other words cant help us say what we need sometimes the good ol profanity should come in handy. we are only human!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes. Sometimes it can get annoying, not with Lawson but with other people that we’ve met in life. For her, it adds to the credibility and the paragraphed magnetism… it’s HER, and her writing… her voice and universe.

        Like

      2. Kiely Rowe says:

        Skyler-
        I agree with you; we need profanity! Its real life. Everyday we hear profane words or see racy commercials or what-not, This element in her writing shows her humanness (for lack of a better term). Anyways totally agree with you here and hope you are doing well!
        -Kiely

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Amy Bell says:

      The recipe must be to create and represent what is expressed and what happened with honesty and realness. And let’s be honest, it’s pretty clear: a significant amount of things that happen in life and need to be expressed are worthy of profanity, such as this classic: a nice, big, “FUCK!!!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes. And, those significant moments tell us about our family members, our significant others and those tough times we experience and their value. Remember, the main character MUST hurt.

        Like

  22. mikemadigan says:

    Talk to me, YALL!!!!!!

    Like

    1. Lawson is refreshing. Something different. Not the same mundane writers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes… she has so much life in her writing, writing about her life. Very unique and oddly sophisticated, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Avery MacNab says:

    Hey Class! I’m doing okay today. This past week has been kind of hard. I have a friend in the hospital(not with covid) and it’s been hard on everyone. But now, thank goodness, things are finally looking up and she should be home by this weekend:) So this past week was filled with a lot of waiting, which I hated. Waiting for news, doctors, texts, etc. Much like the time we are living through now. We are waiting. We take things day by day not knowing what tomorrow’s future may look like. And sometimes it’s a little painful. But right in this moment, I’m feeling totally fine for some reason. Still focusing on the good! Also been listening to Christmas music. And thinking about the holidays. That is what we call controlling what we can when things feel out of control!

    In my Lawson reflection I elaborated on the word mellow. I decided that the mellow I get in her writing comes purely from her honestly. And I would even say that her mellowness is contagious with readers. The aggressive vulnerability she has with the people in her life plus us readers, I would argue creates a lot of trust. We know she is being honest, and are at peace with her and her story. Therefore, we are mellow! We read her sometimes traumatic story with sympathy and calmness.

    And that is one of her charms. Her ability to be honest and vulnerable with us. It takes resilience, confidence, and strength to write about the stuff she does, in the honest tone that she does. She has no filter whatsoever. And on top of this, she’s hilarious! She makes fun of a lot of controversial topics (much like Sedaris) in a self-deprecating and wonderfully inappropriate way. If you aren’t sold yet, you aren’t human…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      The mellow in her writing is one of the writing style’s strengths!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ashley Bell says:

      I love your choice of words that you used to describe Lawson, mellow. As I was writing my own response I was struggling to find a word that best captures Jenny’s writing style and her mellowness is indeed very much contagious! Great job! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Avery MacNab says:

      Refreshing is a really good word for this book. Maybe a good essay title too…

      Liked by 2 people

    4. shantiadams says:

      I didn’t even think of the word mellow as her writing style but I really like that and completely agree. Describes her writing well for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        How do you define “mellow”?

        Like

  24. peacheymaddie says:

    Is anyone else planning on reading another one of her books? I have a couple of them saved in my cart on amazon! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      YES!! I do. Believe it or not, this is the only book of hers I’ve read. I follow her blog, though.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. peacheymaddie says:

        oh, that is such a good idea, I need to find her blog lol, I need more of her humor these days! and more stories of Victor!!!!!!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Skyler T Herring' says:

        I’ve never really looked into an author before but after finishing her book I started to look into her a little more and did start to follow her blog myself. she is an amazing human being!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Avery MacNab says:

      I didn’t even think about that. I’m definitely down

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Olivia peachey says:

      haha maddie and I both love Victor!! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Great character!

        Liked by 2 people

    4. Ashley Bell says:

      Yes! I have been looking into one of her books called “Furiously Happy” and the front page alone makes me want to read it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amy Bell says:

        Yeah, it reminds me of my mental image of the squirrel that her dad put his hand up like a meat-puppet.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. peacheymaddie says:

        I have that one saved! and you are right, the cover is SO intriguing! I am excited to read it eventually!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        I love your love of reading!!

        Like

  25. Kiely Rowe says:

    Hey Everyone!
    I am doing pretty good. Times are a little stressful since no one in my house is working due to the quarantine. I have been writing in my journal about how I’m feeling and what is going on in my life. I have also been writing to do lists/ routines which helps me stay organized. This shelter in place has made me realize that I need to work on communicating kindly and effectively even when I am frustrated. I have been doing a lot of painting in/for my art class. I really like painting and it gives me something to do during the days. My writing is mainly focused on daily activities but I would like to write about different things I just don’t know what.

    In my typed response I wrote a lot about her transparency with us as readers. I appreciate her for giving us all the gruesome details of her life. I think her intentions are to show us all that it is okay not to be perfect. She uses her story to show people that it is okay to be different. Its okay to have crazy family. She writes so conversationally to show us all that she is our friend.

    Lawson seems to have a very strong bond with her family. For example she gets to visit her grandparents as a kid, her dad is always trying to bring the kids into his life with different cool things. Whereas Sedaris doesn’t seem to have as close a bond with his family.

    Lawson doesn’t have a pitch. She is a catch. She writes so effortlessly that she doesn’t have to pitch herself to us, her writing does that on its own.

    “You should accept who you are, flaws and all, because if you try ti be someone you aren’t, then eventually some turkey s going to shit all over your well-crafted facade, so you might as well save yourself the effort and enjoy your zombie books”
    This passage stuck out to me because it is Lawson’s way of telling us to be ourselves.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Examples?? How is she most like you?? Why would you say that someone absolutely HAS TO read this book?

      Like

      1. Kiely Rowe says:

        Someone HAS TO read this book because it is hilarious. Lawson is a total crack up! Her writing give us all something to relate to because she just writes about her life and what has happened to her, even the taboo things that other people/ writers may be too scared to write about. But these taboo things are things that have happened to other people too and when Jenny writes about them she kind of normalizes these things which lets other people know “its okay”.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. mikemadigan says:

    WHAT, is Jenny Lawson? Who is she? The WHAT can be the WHO, and the WHO can be the WHAT. Just a thought…..

    Like

    1. shantiadams says:

      Lawson is herself and has her own story, like everyone else but she doesn’t try and act like everyone else she is who she wants to be and doesn’t care what people think, which I really admire.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kiely Rowe says:

        Yes Shanti I TOTALLY agree with you here. Lawson just tells her story and isn’t afraid of what ANYONE thinks. She is authentic to herself at all times

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Skyler T Herring' says:

    the way you described Lawson in your second paragraph I wholeheartedly agree with. the whole time she never felt like a strange to me just a casual friend chit-chatting away.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hey, Y’all! it’s really nice to be back on here with this group of individuals. These past few weeks have been crazy boring. The amount of school work piling up on me is distressing but what can you do? I’ve found a deep love for sleeping when I should be working and working when I should be sleeping. This whole pandemic is teaching me to not take the liberty I have for granted. I am incredibly privileged to have a home to isolate myself from and food in my fridge. I still mope around bored out of my mind trying to find a worthwhile distraction. This looooong break has offered me a chance to finish projects and focus more on painting.

    My typed reaction made me realize that I don’t appreciate Lawson’s humor as much as I did with Sedaris. She demonstrates her deep love for her father and family members through the many ridiculous things they have done in a critical way. While Sedaris lightens concerning family situations with the satirical and dismissive approach. Lawson’s reality is more quirky and light than concerning.

    Lawson is a no filter type individual. Zero f—-s given! She says what she thinks and with little to no care about other’s opinions. She just needs to get her words out there. This book is her own way of self-assessing her life She encourages to look at the comical side of things.
    —–
    “You should just accept who you are, flaws and all, because if you try to be someone you aren’t, then eventually some turkey is going to shit all over your well-crafted facade, so you might as well save yourself the effort and enjoy your zombie books.” was a quote I wrote down on my journal!! this quote is very applicable.

    I have taken up, once again, keeping my dreams and memories in a separate journal. I started this about a year ago and stopped due to my lack of motivation but I am back on track and GOD!! The dreams I have…they are like a long neverending poorly written action movie full of random memories. I write first thing in the morning and before bed. It helps me keep track of my days and thought that crossed my mind that day. I recommend!!

    Reading my work is kind of an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes when I write I completely space out and just let my fingers do their own thing and when I snap back into reality and read my work it’s always very guilt-filled and sorrowful. I’m trying to change that

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Talk to us more about your reading experience with Lawson!!

      Like

      1. I enjoyed the book but i quicky grew weary of her sense of humor. Some dialogue came off as vapid and self-absorbed. I think becoming familiar with her blog and her writing style would have definitely made the reading process far more smooth. The chatty paragraphs made it easy to get lost. She is no Sedaris, but that does not make her life or issues any less valid. She is still a human being with a message for an audience.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mikemadigan says:

        I agree.. Mr. Sedaris is a bit more polished, or “professional”. BUT… Lawson doesn’t have the same concerns for delivery, or self, that Sedaris does, in my opinion.

        Like

      3. Nancy! I am team Sedaris too! Don’t get me wrong. I like Lawson, but not as much as Sedaris.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mikemadigan says:

        If I can be honest, I’m more impressed by Sedaris than Lawson. BUT, I react more consistently to Lawson.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I laughed a SHIT ton with her book. I think I appreciate Sedaris’ having maybe a more subtle? sense of humor. His one liners? Both of these authors say things that are unexpected, however Sedaris ties his stories in way better. Short and sweet. Lawson likes to ramble. I’m busy. I got stuff to do. Get to the point? Kinda my feeling I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. jacob heintz says:

      It seems like your the first person to appreciate Sedaris more than Lawson! I agree though, that Sedaris is a little bit more relentless in his writing style. He lets it all out, no matter the emotion, whereas Lawson is kind of more limited in writing tonality, I feel like. She’s definitely true to her writing self, but for all we know that could just be a bit of facade of sorts, something she crafts while she’s writing. Sedaris starts crafting before he writes, and lives his life maybe a little free-er than Lawson. He is not limited to the one lifestyle, I guess, he has many. Then again, that could just be that Sedaris was born in the city, and people typically don’t care about one-another as much as people in a smaller rural town would, like where Lawson grew up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I love your response.

        Like

  29. Karen Casas says:

    Im doing well. Last week was a hot mess and this week feels normal. Weird. I have been writing my thoughts on random things. Like I write my thoughts on movies, tick-tocks videos, short stories, and memes. I’ve realized that as an anxious person I hate writing my thoughts on scenarios or things I’ve come up with. Like at the end of a scenario im mad at my sister for something she didn’t even do. For something, I came up with in my mind. A few hours later I forget about it. This is how social isolation is going for me. I wrote about Lawson’s tone. The language she uses and how it influences the book. She talks about serious things yet they never really seem serious. It’s a way she copes with disasters that happen within her life. Lawson like Sedaris share their raw experience of life but mask it with light realistic humor.

    “You’re just going out tonight thinking about how awesome it would be to make nachos and suddenly you’re all holy s*** I have a baby. “
    This is from My Vagina is Fine Thanks for asking chapter.

    I am currently using my journal to keep my sanity. I’ve been taking notes in it and started using it as my “im listening” paper when on zoom sessions. My notes that turn to doodles. It no longer looks like an English journal. It’s my new art/thought book. Reading my own work is something that is eye-opening. Especially if im no longer in that mindset.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      The journal teaches you about YOU. You are both instructor and student.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kiely Rowe says:

      Hey Karen,
      I feel you on that on. Sometimes I just take note and doodle and write my grocery lists and write my life goals in my journal.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Nice! That IS writing. That IS a story!!

        Like

  30. Kiely Rowe says:

    Hey guys (its me back from break!)

    I am using my journal to complain about little things that make me mad so that way I can get out all of my negative thoughts on paper so I don’t have to bring down anyone else’s mood. This may seem more negative than just not saying them at all but for me I can’t keep them in so my journal is my outlet for that. A new writing habit that I have is just writing down everything that i think and then I can go back and delete weird things later… or not. I also find that the more I write the better I am getting at spelling which is funny because I used to get 10/10 on my elementary school spelling tests but now I have auto correct which doesn’t challenge me. When I read my own work I am way to critical of it. I think I am getting better at being less critical by writing something, leaving it be completely for a while and then going back and revising it after I read it a few times. As I was saying in my previous post I want to write about something other than my daily routines because I am getting bored with what I am doing during quarantine. I have developed by realizing that writing doesn’t have to be perfect. And it probably won’t be on the first try. But thats OKAY!!! Learning to be okay with things not being perfect was challenging for me. Well actually it still is challenging. But I realized that if I am so hung up over little details that I am not making any progress.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      What is Lawson’s impact and instruction toward your writing?

      Like

      1. peacheymaddie says:

        Lawson teaches me to find the humor in situations that are not typically humorous. She makes me want to write and to be more funny and relatable! It just gave me a whole new perspective on how writing can be.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mikemadigan says:

        She’s definitely giving me a comedy lesson as well!!

        Like

      3. Kiely Rowe says:

        Lawson’s writing showed me that it is okay to just write. Just write hw you feel. Write what happened. Write a conversation. Lawson’s impact o me was to just write.

        Liked by 1 person

  31. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page….. The journal teaches you about YOU. You are both instructor and student.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      I love that saying and wrote it in my journal as soon as you said it, you are you own best teacher sometimes and helps you discover things about yourself you didn’t even really realize at first.

      Like

  32. Amy Bell says:

    The passage where her dad let on Lawson and her sister to plan a fun movie date and crushed their dreams a little bit when he revealed that it would never happen because of no money and said something like, “Well it was fun when you were thought you were going, right?”
    I could almost feel the soul-crushing feeling second hand in my own inner little girl if that happened to me. And as a bonus to that detail, she decided to crack and equally second hand soul-crushing joke about telling her dad in the present that they were coming to pick him up from the nursing home and actually not coming at all. Well, it was fun when you were excited for it, huh?

    It really shows that her humor is fucked up, but it matches the fucked up nature of her experiences, so it ends up being really successful in her writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Yes. It’s almost required for her to be the writer she’s to be.

      Like

    2. Avery MacNab says:

      Yes this part made me 😦
      That’s an interesting point though. Trauma definitely affects who you are, but I never think about how it would affect your humor or your writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. jacob heintz says:

    BREAK

    I am using my journal right now to write for 10 minutes a day. I’ve been doing it as an exercise for a while now, and it’s working great. Last Semester in English1A I had to write a page a day for participation and it was way harder then, than it is now. I can write a whole page of coherent stuff in under 10 minutes now!

    Reading my own work is awful! Almost always when I look back over something in retrospect, I’m always thinking of how ridiculous it all sounds. This is good though, because when I write now, I can’t help but think back to the things that always made by mad, and just kind of disappointed when I read my old work, so I can try to avoid it in that moment.

    I usually want to talk about the most tiniest of things when I write, like stuff that would normally seem stupid too even give any thought. I know that if by some miracle I can make that something interesting at all, than I’m getting better.

    Yes, I feel I’ve developed my writing since the start this year. The daily exercises and the abundance of critical thinking essays (which are really frickin’ difficult) have both challenged me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mikemadigan says:

      Finding your style of writing, or your written way takes time. And you don’t ever have to be a wild crazy fan of your own work. It helps, but what’s truly crucial is knowing you can write and express yourself on a page. Learn more about yourself as a writer… sounds like you two are still getting acquainted!! Cheers…

      Like

    2. Olivia peachey says:

      I totally agree, writing is getting easier as I go, and I hate reading what I write too! But I write what I feel in the moment so at least it’s real lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        There you go!! I find that when writing is planned, a lot or a little, it’s not as lively.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Take a page from Lawson. Just let go. I’ve noticed when I just write and don’t think, there might be a lot of rambling, but there is good ideas and such under all of that.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Yes! Letting go is actually more of an embrace and holding on to who you truly are! Very important in writing, especially writing your own story!!

        Liked by 1 person

  34. mikemadigan says:

    What’s the strongest story from her collection, and why?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. peacheymaddie says:

      I do not have the book with me at the moment so I do not know what the chapter is called, but I really enjoyed the one when her dog died. That sounds bad, I know, but the chapter was a heavy subject and Lawsons still proves her ability to be herself and have the comedy shine through. Just so good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        So good. And, so true! And…. so brave.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think the story about her issues trying to conceive a baby was the most feeling invoking? It really pulled at your emotions because even though I never had to endure a miscarriage, I’ve had family members and friends that have and it’s heartbreaking. But she ends with the joys of having her baby. And it’s relate able because it’s the most remarkable thing i’ve ever done so I understand how she feels.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Cheers, Samone.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Skyler T Herring' says:

      I personally think the dog bite story was the strongest because it was a time she had an epiphany cause she never doubted being able to protect her daughter but she always had the looming the doubt in the back of her mind and when she realized that she would put herself in danger first to protect her daughter was such a touching moment for me when I read that. also, an honorable mention since I was torn by the two was the epilogue when Lawson explains that no matter what even all the weird and bad it what makes her well her and she wouldn’t trade it for anything and how she is happy with the life she has lived. but for a story-wise defiantly the dog bite one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Perfect, and yes… This piece shows a lot of strength and sense-of-place!

        Like

    4. Ashley Bell says:

      Weirdly enough I actually enjoyed the chapter titled “Draw me a fucking dog”. This is so far the only story that includes drugs, which i’m not a fan of what’s so ever…. but I found myself laughing the hardest over her determination to get high and over her hilarious experience being on acid. Huge change from how drugs were interpretative through the the eyes of Hunter S. Thompson. This only proves how much I respect and enjoy humor within a book.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Me as well!

        Like

  35. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page….. Be more playful when you tell your story! Not necessarily with humor, but with form… the beat of your writing. HOW you tell it..

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      after reading Lawson that’s how I’ve been trying to approach my writing and it makes it more lively and fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Awesome, Skyler. Feels good, doesn’t it?

        Like

    2. Avery MacNab says:

      I totally agree. I mean not relatable for me, but so heavy. I felt her pain the most on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. mikemadigan says:

    Nothing wrong with having multiple journals, y’all… just wanted to say that. I’ve been getting frustrated with myself for having three journals, and saying to myself, “What the fuck.. why can’t I just stick to and commit to one?” Now I’m like, you know what… I’ll have as many as I fucking want. Just wanted to share… I know, kind of Lawson of me. Maybe. Been a long day, think I’m getting cranky, moody… I think I need wine.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had none, now i have like 4 writing prompt books, a class journal, a poetry journal and a blog. #lifeisaboutabundance Also I thought wine was required? Must have missed the memo….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  37. mikemadigan says:

    Take a break, friends!!! 5-7 minutes of some much ado quietude!!! Zen……..

    Like

  38. Lawson just didn’t speak to me the same way Sedaris did. I enjoyed her humor and quaint stories but they appeared to all be a bit superficial. Maybe it’s just a me thing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mikemadigan says:

      That’s good, Nancy!

      Like

  39. mikemadigan says:

    Back from break, at least I am…. So, how are you using your journal? Anything new… techniques, rambles or rants, confessions (not that you have to share!!)….. Talk about your RELATIONSHIP to your journal. I just started re-reading the Diary of Ann Frank, and this young writer has me thinking about everything, especially being quarantined, so differently. Especially my writing, and how I see those around me… my family, and my SELF.

    Like

    1. peacheymaddie says:

      right now my journal is my friend. She is the person who I rant to, she gets all of the drama, all of the tea on my family and how I am feeling. I started a weekly collage and it feels so good. I recommend it to everyone in this class, make collages!!! They are very fun and are an easy way to express feelings without writing!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Olivia peachey says:

        you are funny. And you make very good collages I should make some

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mikemadigan says:

        It’s your space, your place and entity for you to fill. That’s great!!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Olivia peachey says:

      I am using my journal to express my emotions, especially because I have been so emotional about this whole thing! I’ve been pretty much writing a page in my journal every day, because I have a lot of time on my hands and I like writing about what I’ve been doing or how I’ve been feeling.
      The Diary of Ann Frank is such a good book! I should re-read it during this time too!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. mikemadigan says:

        You should! And I love how you use your journal. Very helpful and self-educating, and showing.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I’ve actually been using it! Like writing in it. I am lovingly dubbed the “over thinker” so I write whatever is on my mind down on paper. I’ve got some decent stuff. I also downloaded a notebook app on my phone so I can make notes while I’m lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. shantiadams says:

      I should be writing in my journal more because it does help. Ive been reflecting on me trying new things and whats going on right now. It will remind me of what went on and how I felt during this time when I go back and read what I wrote since this is a time like never before. It will remind me of when I started trying certain new things and allows me to let my feelings out whenever I need and say exactly whats on my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Using your journal in ways that help YOU, is crucial. And, of course, the more the better. One of the rare occasions where the quantity IS the quality.

        Liked by 1 person

  40. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page….. Talk to your journal. Give the pages life, give the journal a life, a name, a story, and enjoy the results and reactions. And, there WILL be results, reactions from the journal… The journal, and you, will be talking to a now and later YOU.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. mikemadigan says:

    Using your journal in ways that help YOU, is crucial. And, of course, the more the better. One of the rare occasions where the quantity IS the quality.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. mikemadigan says:

    Have you changed at all as a reader, writer, since the semester’s inception? How? And if not, why?

    Like

    1. I have definitely been reading more, which I think is important. I’ve been getting inspiration and excited about writing again. I am kind of finding my “voice” as a writer. Since it’s been a while I have kind of experimented with different writing styles to see what feels comfortable. I am slowly regaining the confidence to actually just do it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Excellent!! Keep writing, and reading, and reading and studying your own writing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Olivia peachey says:

      I am more open to different types of books that’s for sure. Before this class I pretty much just read teen romance novels. But now I appreciate and even really like more mature books written about real life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        That’s great!!

        Like

    3. shantiadams says:

      I have definitely changed the way I write. This is one of the only english classes that I have actually noticed a difference in my writing. I am not structurally writing as much and have been writing whats on my mind instead. This class is also different because we don’t just summarize and talk about what happened in the book, instead we reflect on how we feel about the writer, the writers style, and how we connect to the book, which is definitely easier to write about and more interesting because everyone has their own views and opinions so you get a chance to read something different every time. I also feel more free and real in my writing and Mikey has been the only teacher that looks at other peoples point of view and expands on peoples ideas, instead of being a teacher that only believes that their answer and opinion is correct.

      Like

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Thank you for the kind words, kind friend. Honestly…. I don’t do ANYTHING. I’m just vocal in inviting y’all to share ideas. You teach yourself, this is all on you, and the is story is always yours to write. Whether a “student” takes me up on such invitation is up to them. Honestly, I think teachers take too much credit, and they receive too much. Students need to be recognized more, both by the system and themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  43. mikemadigan says:

    Who has anything they want to share, some recent writings from their journal? Just a small taste, maybe?

    Like

    1. Cue in the years of self doubt, self-destruction and loneliness that followed. I’m ripping off a band-aid. The wound feels fresh, the wound feels raw. But you know how else it feels? Like a breath of fresh air. You know how wounds heal? By airing it put and healing/nurturing the wound.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Please continue with the Road you’re writing for yourself, that you have written…. And post that first post to your blog!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As soon as I get a day off! I will recharge and write!

        Liked by 1 person

  44. mikemadigan says:

    Crazy is not crazy… it’s honest composition.

    Like

  45. mikemadigan says:

    Okay, so who’s writing about Sedaris, Lawson, or both?

    Like

    1. peacheymaddie says:

      I think I am going to write about both, but I am not sure what the topic will be

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        What do they provide readers? There’s the question. The answer is your thesis.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m leaning towards both, but I;m not 100% sure yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Cool… get back to us!

        Like

      2. Olivia peachey says:

        same I am not sure yet either!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. mikemadigan says:

        Finish Lawson’s book if you haven’t already. And if you have, do some brainstorming and journaling. Go with your heart as a reader and human.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. shantiadams says:

      I think I’m going to write about both of them and then also compare them to each other(differences and similarities)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        I would say they both provide something for readers, but in different ways… Maybe?

        Like

    4. Skyler T Herring' says:

      I’m defiantly all about Lawson personally, the way she writes making you feel comfortable and at home and make you smile the whole way through even through the sad times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Great! Are you done with the book?

        Like

  46. mikemadigan says:

    For tonight’s page….. If you have self-doubt, pick a written fight with that self-doubt.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. mikemadigan says:

    For the essay coming up, go with your instinct as a reader. Whatever and whomever you’re drawn to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      you are sending us an email with more details on that tomorrow I’m pretty sure right?

      Liked by 1 person

  48. mikemadigan says:

    Also…. Focus on the author as a character. Who are they, what are their intentions… what do they want from us as readers? What do they want us to do? For Sedaris, I will say, there’s a bit more dimension, both small and sizable. With Ms. Lawson, there’s so much character and attitude, and fearlessness… so much textured psychology. Picking one could be challenging, but that’s what I would do. Again, that these of “Sedaris/Lawson is …..”

    Like

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      like a character from a book? or like a character stereotype from a type of genre of a book? or more like a one or two-word description

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        I was referring to the character of Sedaris/Lawson. The author IS a character.

        Like

  49. mikemadigan says:

    Let’s wrap it up, y’all… Questions? Anything you want to offer? Great session tonight. I can tell you firsthand, this is much more reliable than Zoom. Fuck Zoom. And, great writing practice and communication intensity. You guys are doing great! I will remind you, though…. your visible activity is what will determine your grade. Just posting once or twice to the prompts and then ghosting will not earn you the grade you’re after.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Skyler T Herring' says:

      I enjoyed what you said earlier about “The value of comedy in writing CANNOT be measured or quantified.” is something that is underestimated sometimes comedy that is but Lawson and Sedaris go to show you a little or a lot of humor can still go a long way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikemadigan says:

        Cheers, Skyler. Enjoy.

        Like

  50. mikemadigan says:

    8:01pm. #professormikey, OUT. Remember, keep writing and looking for ideas for the next paper. Please revisit your Sedaris notes and reactions, even and especially if you’re decided on writing about Lawson. Keep your ideas cultivating, and prospect your own mind, canvass it, for new ideas and thoughts on the authors…. And, thoughts on writing one’s own story. No matter who you decide for your paper, you should address the act of writing one’s own story. Narration. This is all a study and exploration of narrative. The empowerment, the vulnerability, the pain, the love…..

    Liked by 1 person

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