Tagged: stoke

My room is small.

I wish it were even smaller though. Right now I can take like, two steps one way across, and three the other way.

That seems like too much.

It always seems like too much.

It would be awesome to just walk up to someone on the street and grab him or her by both shoulders then scream, “It’s, always, too-much.”

It feels embarrassing when I require too much of the world.

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Wintertime Stoke in Patagonia

after 40-50 days of rain / snow, yesterday and the day before it was clear. layla and i hiked up cerro amigo. we saw a condor. that’s our word now, condor. super condor.

yesterday we walked out to the airstrip and looked back at the ridgeline where the condor flew.

cerro piltriquitron

layla kept looking at piltri and saying ‘mucha snow.’

it was clear but cold, maybe 40 degrees and windy. we all got cold after half an hour.

all the puddles that were in the shade were still frozen and layla got to break ice with her ‘stompers’. it was all super condor.


all photos by laura bernhein.

postmodern juxtaposition #5763 of being a writer /editor

Editing Robert Hirschfield’s story on visiting the Jewish Cemetery In Calcutta, uploading a photo to go with it, then zooming in on a detail in the photo–the Hebrew letters in stone–and thinking about the author in Brooklyn and his brother’s grave in Oregon and those other graves in Calcutta,  then looking out the window at Cerro Piltriquitron in Argentina while listening to Kid Klimax by Atlas Sound and sort of crying at the chord changes @: 44 and @2:13.

Then feeling stoked about this somehow.

notes on narrative nonfiction writing

1. All knowledge and cultural reference is assumed.  [Anyone reading your story also has access to Google, Wikipedia, and millions of websites and blogs.]

1.1. Therefore any explanation placed within the body of a narrative  [For example: "He had on a boina, the South American version of a newsboy cap," or "He was listening to Outkast, a hip-hop group from Atlanta] tends to slow down or obscure the  narrative flow and/or potentially alienate the reader (if he/ she already knows what the referent is).

1.2 Therefore the narrator should simply describe / narrate, and if necessary,  add references via (a) links, (b) words in parenthesis, or (c) footnotes.

2. Emotions are never assumed [Ex: "She seemed happy that morning."], but can only be portrayed the way they were perceived by the narrator, [Ex: "She stood in the corner punching herself in the stomach."]

2.1. Any changes effected by or perceived by the narrator either (a) within him/herself or (b) outside of him/herself, must be placed in temporal context* [Ex: "Right now she would be around 6 months pregnant and we’re both grieving this in our own ways."]

2.1.a. *unless it is fiction.

3. Narrators should be self-aware and transparent about (a) their connections (and / or lack of connection) to the subject, (b) the temporal / historical context of the subject, (c)  the potential effects of their writing on the subject, (d) their acknowledgment of using various  mimetic or diegetic devices  as storytelling “vehicles.”

3.1. Logical fallacies, incorrect information, hyperbole, and other potential “issues” are all “ok” as long as they are recognized transparently.

4. Narrators should develop / operate from a lexicon faithful to the way they speak / think  in real life.*


*mine is stoke / anti-stoke.