I’m approaching the 2-month mark since moving to Ohio, with little to show for it.

By the time I reached this point in Denver last year, I went on several road trips, live performances, and met so many people Facebook keeps reminding me I friended a year ago. Flash forward 365 days: I’m sitting on the living room floor of my two-bedroom apartment I share with my cat, drinking coffee at 12pm, watching the leaves fall from my window, googling road trip ideas in Ohio, a state I only peripherally knew existed before living here.

There are several differences between now and last year. I’m going to grad school instead of beefing my resume with an unpaid part-time internship; I live by myself in a town where I’m the obvious new kid; my money goes to living expenses and school-related things, and I no longer have a killer part-time second job that lets me read on the clock while also ensuring I have plenty of money for my Nation of One; I’m in a city a quarter of the size of Denver where servers ask if I’m meeting someone later, and then look taken aback when I say I’m here by myself (this could be changed if I were less reclusive and sought companionship more—I’m not yet to the point of full-on friendship, but if you add up my works-in-progress, they equal maybe three whole friends. The point is, I wasn’t expected to change this behavior in Denver).

In summary: Fewer mountains, more questions about my name (which is very exotic here?), and I’m dubbed the eccentric out-of-towner known to YA male fiction writers.


“Why would you move from Denver to here?” I’m asked by everyone, brows furrowed, words soaked in incredulity.

Denver was a temporary stop, my last physical address (and current one, according to my mixed up New Yorker sub. Hope whoever got my magazines by mistake appreciated the fiction sections like they should). My hometown in the Arkansas River Valley is exactly like this city, just displaced by 800 miles to the southwest. Fort Smith, too, is caught in a post-industrial decline, though on a smaller scale, and newcomers are working to revamp the downtown scene into an arts center. There is local history taken for granted, and the kids who grew up there claim there is nothing to do, which is complete bogus. Dayton and Fort Smith are twin cities and they don’t even know it.

Yes, it was—and remains to be—a major adjustment from Denver (the gas is higher here?) and I miss that city differently than I miss home, but just as severely. I miss it because the people of Denver were excited to live in Denver. There was a city-wide pride that I wish I saw in Fort Smith, and what I saw growing when I went back last summer. I don’t see that here.

Perhaps I’m searching in the wrong places. Small town universities aren’t the best place for that (looking at you, students of UAFS). I need to find that inspiration I was so excited to take back to FSM those months ago. Luckily, until I require a second job, I have weekends to spend on small solo adventures, so when I leave I can actually say I’ve been here.

Readers, get ready for a travelogue with mediocre photos.

First Day Manifesto

Crippling self-doubt. Shouts into the void. Opening tabs and shutting them again. Stressful Netflix binge.

Day one of a blogger who hates the term “blogger.”

What could I write about? What would anyone read? I am just another college grad pouring money into a site. I take photos on an iPhone and a Nikon point-and-shoot, using a free editing software. My day job is a teaching assistant at a school of music in Ohio, 800 miles from home. I buy my clothes second-hand and they’re promptly coated in cat hair once I take them home. I think going to bars alone is fun and I love classic films or horrible B-movies; otherwise, television is a waste. I’m addicted to Instagram. What could I write about? Who would read it?

This is the box all artist movies strive to break. I can’t cater to one interest because I don’t have just one; I can’t separate any from the others. My practice schedule dictates my fashion choices, and my coffee taste is influenced by whatever performance I’ve just seen: Nothing is independent.

The relationships between these things are what I want to explore, because nothing is compartmentalized and none of us are unbiased. I wanted an outlet that is the middle section of a giant Venn diagram, so I created one. I’m not sure who else will find this.

This is day one, in a simplified retelling.

I’m not here for readers, though I know they exist—I can’t be the only one reading personal blogs regardless of subject matter. I am here for a shelf on which to put these things. I’m not sure what it will look like in the end. I hold in my pocket the right to change this blog as I need. It will fill the shape of its container and move into whatever I can carry. I give it the right to remain fluid.

Thanks for the option.