Next Stop: Unknown


Rarely have I fallen in love with a place or city.  I’ve visited several parts of the world and thoroughly enjoyed many of them, but the head over heels reaction that you read about in travel blogs and see in movies has completely eluded me.  Too many questions cloud my mind to allow any sense of euphoria to take hold – What’s the cost of living? Is the job market good? Do I enjoy it only because I’m a tourist?

The one thing I know with 100% certainty is that I’m done with Charlotte, NC.  It may be an amazing place for some, but I’m burned out by its superficial friendliness and the swarm of bad memories lurking around every corner.  Too many personal and professional failures.  I want this new chapter in my life to start fresh without the baggage of my past.

So I do what any writer does when confronted with a dilemma, I put words to paper and figure it out on a blank page.  Hopefully—through the combination of my online noodling and the hive mind of the Internet—recommendations, advice, or warnings will find themselves in the comments section of this post. [click to continue…]


Life Kicked Me in the Balls


I used to love climbing up corporate ladders grabbing rung after rung.  The thrill of the chase and the joy of achievement were enough to keep me satisfied.  Brass rings, accolades… whatever you wanted to call them, I snagged those puppies on my race toward the capitalistic nirvana known as the American Dream.

For the longest time I thought this was the proper order of things.  Build financial security to rely upon later in life while enjoying the perks of being a traveling consultant, then fully immersing into my creative endeavors, once I was “comfortable” enough.  Of course, like any other pipe dream, reality had a different path in mind for me. [click to continue…]


Quiet Days


I miss the peace of of my younger days, not from a misguided sense of nostalgia, but because they were the times before the Internet when being hyper-connected meant having a beeper and quarters in your pocket for the payphone.  Self-reflection wasn’t a luxury, it was an everyday exercise.  I’d spend days lost in books and nights sitting on the trunk of my car staring into the night sky pondering the random bullshit that inhabited my mind.  Sometimes, if I was lucky, I would be a blank slate and absorb the kind of silence that only comes from darkness.

Those quiet days made up a majority of my early life.  I didn’t jump into mainstream living till much farther along my timeline.  They called me a late bloomer.  I wish I had appreciated the gift that slowness gave me, living without the pressures of the outside world or its frantic pace.  [click to continue…]


A Tweet, a Train, & Ksenia Anske

Popular Articles, Writing

The name Ksenia Anske first came across my Twitter feed in playful banter with other authors I adore.  They would banter back and I was intrigued.  With a quick click I checked out her profile, scanning to see if it was worth following.  I go through this checklist-in-my-head with all my potential Twitter follows: 1) do they post interesting thoughts or links? 2) are they only an advertisement for whatever “thing” they’re selling? 3) do they re-tweet others and support the community? 4) would they add or detract from my Internet experience?

May seem excessive for most, but I prefer to curate my list of follows no matter what social media I’m using.  It’s not a numbers game for me, it’s all about quality and creativity.  So I ended up following her and enjoying a stream of writing tweets, threats of violence to other writers for not writing, and proclamations of insane word counts (i.e. 2k+ a day, everyday).  Then I saw a photo of a train and truly fell down the rabbit hole. [click to continue…]


When Did People Get So Toxic?


Watch the news, jump on Twitter, or read the comments for a YouTube video and you’ll see people being absolutely horrible to each other.  Sometimes it’s a reaction to an opposing viewpoint.  Oftentimes, it’s free floating hostility aimed directly at a person for no good reason.  There doesn’t appear to be any way to gauge the responses because there’s no balance to them.  A simple statement can be met with unrelenting fury.

Ashley Judd makes a comment about a basketball game, no different from the millions of other tweets made my sports fans, and she gets threats of death and sexual violence.  It’s a fucking game!  When did it become acceptable to spew such venom at each other?  This confuses me as much as it pains me.

I’m too young to be this cynical and bitter, but it’s fucking hard to be otherwise when the world keeps burning around you.  When I’ve met people in person I’ve rarely had a bad experience, on these shores or overseas.  We’re all just trying to get by and enjoy the brief time we have on this Earth, so why do things feel like they’re devolving? [click to continue…]


My Ideal Writing Career


In almost every career there’s an ideal we strive for, someone or something that is the measure of success we most identify with.  If you’re into basketball, Michael Jordan may have been your early inspiration.  If you’re into politics then being the President could be your brass ring.  If you’re into writing… well, that’s when things start to go off the rails.

Careers within an industry usually run through similar tracks with similar results, allowing us to model ourselves after another successful person in an attempt to build our own plan of attack.  Writing, like the arts in general, has so many permutations, possibilities, and outliers, that one person’s success could be another person’s ruin.

My writing partner, Thersa Matsuura, and I were throwing around this question during one of our late night Skype sessions.  What was our ideal writing career?  Who do we look to, alive or dead, as the pinnacle of achievement in our field?  The answer isn’t easy.  You have to take into account genre, writing style, format (e.g. short story, novels, screenplays, etc.), and a whole host of other factors.  Tough question to say the least.

In the end, we agreed there was no single person who encompassed all of what we desired, so we created an alternate path to the mountain top. [click to continue…]

1 comment

Labels: Self Imposed & Otherwise

Personal, Rant

For over 15 years of my life I’ve worn the Info Tech label stapled firmly to my forehead.  Reactions to this identification (part of the classic America ritual “So, what do you do?”) have varied from nods of agreement to surprised expressions of “but you don’t act like a computer guy.”  Trust me, I’ve been pegged for a Sales dude—in a nice way—so often that I think I should have been making commission on something this entire time.

The funny thing about labels is that we’re geared to slap them on everything and anything.  We forego nuance and complexity instead pursing a tunnel-vision approach to our world.

You’re a Computer Guy, you can’t be soulful or artistic or have people skills.

You’re a Model, you can’t be intelligent or gifted with other skills or exist as anything other than an objet d’art.

You’re a Husband/Wife, you can’t live life against society’s expectations or enjoy “young people” activities or do anything other than work till you die/make lots of babies.

[click to continue…]


One Year of Movies meets Letterboxd



I’m an unrepentant film fanatic.  I can easily spend hours talking about movies, plots, actors, directors, etc. until I’ve thoroughly bored everyone except the most hardcore fans.  I love films just as much as I love writing (and sometimes a bit more).

My One Year of Movies experiment already has me recording every film I see, but I recently stumbled upon a website that takes my obsession to a whole new level. [click to continue…]


FYI: I’m Killing Feedburner


Rss.pngFor those of you using RSS readers (i.e. NetVibes, Feedly, etc.) I’m switching Cuban Nomad’s feed back to the original WordPress setup.

The are several reasons for this change, but the most important ones were the long term viability of Feedburner (Google’s been threatening its closure for years) and the weird issues I was having with the service.

All RSS icons on this site have been updated with the new link.  Please adjust your app of choice accordingly.


Writing Stats for 2014


Before 2014 started, I took a page from Chuck Wendig’s No-Fuckery Writing Plan and started a spreadsheet to track my writing output.  Much like my Movie Experiment I wanted to not only record my output, but decipher meaningful trends from the statistics.  Learning my habits only helps me to improve them or if need be, break them.

First, I’ll go over the design of the spreadsheet, the whys and hows, and then I’ll dive into my word counts for the year. [click to continue…]


Diving into Freelance Writing


Being a writer isn’t just about one thing.  This blog post means I’m a writer.  Scribbling away in a journal means I’m a writer.  Hammering together a piece of fiction means I’m a writer.  It’s something I have to do, one of my very few addictions and a compulsion unlike any other.

Since I refuse to pigeonhole myself, and I’m compelled to put words on paper,  I thought it would be a good idea to try my hand at the freelance writing world.  A few people I spoke to about freelancing groaned at the thought.  Not because they believed I lacked the ability, but from their memories of fighting in the trenches.  It’s not an easy industry and if anyone says otherwise they’re selling you something (literally).

But a writer’s gotta write, so I’m going to give it a whirl.  At worst, it’ll be like my current stage of fiction writing, rejections and radio silence.  At best, I’ll have published my first piece of paid non-fiction.  Possibly my first piece of paid writing, period.  I’m not going in blind, so I thought I’d share some of the resources I’m using to prepare for battle.

[click to continue…]