Jake LaCaze

I’m about a quarter of the way through my Galen Leather notebook and I think I’ve found my go-to for creative writing.

A throwback to my camp counselor days

Useful Limitations

Just because we have options doesn’t mean we have to exercise them

What’s Wrong with the Car Market? from The Journal.

This podcast episode hits close to home since the head on my engine blew out and the mechanic is having problems finding parts. Buying a new ride ain’t a great option right now either.

If you’re considering getting into fountain pens, you’re probably deciding between the Pilot Metropolitan or the Lamy Safari for your first purchase. But I’m here to tell you to consider the Pilot Kakuno. The clear body with the clear cap is a good look.

Though I’m bummed I had to get my car towed this evening, I’m proud that I handled it in a matter-of-fact manner, whereas in years past, I would have let my anxiety dominate the situation.

This Stoicism and meditation combo may be working, y’all.

Castlevania on Netflix was so refreshing: 4 seasons, 32 episodes, and it ended on a high note rather than wear out its welcome.

Serious question: Is this headline ridiculous, or is it just me? At the least, “quirks” and “oddities” are a bit much, right? “Bizarre” seems to put it all over the top.

The Obsidian Experiment is Dead

The Obsidian experiment is dead. What follows is a justification of why Obsidian did not work for me, not a takedown of Obsidian itself, because I think Obsidian is great at what it is intended for. But I don't think Obsidian is a program that I should continue using.

My problems with Obsidian play into a bigger battle for balance I've been struggling with for the last couple years or so: How much digital is enough? Or maybe the question should be: How much screen time is enough?

Like so much work in the 21st century, my day job sees me almost exclusively planted in front of a computer monitor. On top of that, I'm also in front of screens for so much of my leisure time. These days, most writing is performed on a computer. I read my RSS feeds via the computer. I watch YouTube videos or take classes via Coursera. In June I'll be starting an online technical writing certification program. Much of my shopping is performed online. I'm directionally challenged, so I rely on my smartphone's GPS to get me from A to B. Oh yeah, and don't forget about podcasts and the music synced from my Plex server I listen to on that same screen that conveniently fits in my pocket.

It's no secret why so many of us use screens so often. They're efficient. The possibilities are damn near endless.

But how much screen time do I need? I've made great strides in reducing my screen time over the last couple years, and I still use screens way too much.

Ultimately, Obsidian is just another thing to keep me in front of a screen more often. Perhaps paradoxically, using Obsidian pushed me back to bullet journaling. It made me realize that I still wanted some things to be handled in an analog manner. While I acknowledge that screens often allow us to be more productive, I'm not sure they consistently always allow us to be more creative. For me, there's something about pulling out the old pen and paper. It's as if slowing down in such a way gives me the opportunity to sort through the noise and find something to pursue.

While I see the benefits of Obsidian, I don't think it's something I should continue to use. For me, it's just something else to get lost in and distracted by. Perhaps I would feel differently if I had different aims, but my ambitions outside of my day job relate to writing and becoming a better writer. I'm not sure Obsidian empowers my ambitions any more than pen and paper and iA writer.

Perhaps Obsidian is a casualty of my becoming set in my ways. I won't deny that possibility, but if that's the case, this is one case in which I'm not going to fight it. Either way, I'm better off just doing what I'm doing. Not everything is about efficiency and productivity after all. Some things should be done if not only for joy, then primarily for joy. And I do enjoy documenting certain thoughts using analog methods, even if that means that they can't later be linked together to create some groovy graphs.

Does anyone have any experience with Scribophile? I tried it briefly in the past but didn’t give it a fair chance before closing my account. I’m back again, since my writing group seems dead again.

My new favorite thing is the “Garage Cafe”, in which I sit at our card table in the middle of the garage with the doors open. It’s perfect for this cool, rainy spring evening.

As of today, I am fully vaccinated. Time to party

The next time I’m recruiting for a writing group, I’m going to put out feelers on LinkedIn because that appears to be where all the failed fiction writers hang out these days.

These days I keep up with the NFL mostly for water cooler chat, but this Aaron Rodgers drama is SPICY. I don’t care how it plays out. I’m just along for the ride.

Yeeeeeah, I’m glad I didn’t read The Plague a year ago. It hit too close to home for that ish.

Monkey see, Monkey do

She approves of my new laptop backpack.

How people from my hometown greet you when they ain’t seen you in a bit

I love Carrollton Square.

I once heard a piece of professional philosophy that went something like:

If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying.

For writers, it would be:

If you ain’t making typos, you ain’t writing.

With today’s launch of my monthly writing newsletter, I continue my trend of pretending I know what I’m talking about.

The Haunted House Next Door, a new vignette at Turkey House Publishing, is an exploration of how we play scenarios in our heads vs. how we actually act.

This morning I learned that “spicket” is not a real word. The word I was looking for is “spigot.”

Despite growing up in the sticks, I’ve never thought of myself as a country boy, but this is a reminder that we’re all shaped by where we were raised.

Another new story at Turkey House Publishing…

The Bird Watcher

The story can best be summed up by these lyrics from “Two to Birkenhead” by Bill Ryder-Jones:

They say that desperate times call for desperate pleasures

Attempting to write a novel has forced me to eat humble pie as it has shown me that I’m still not ready for the task. At least I’ve made some progress on my short story collection.