My Favourite 20 Tweets of 2020 (With some COVID-19 Honourable Mentions)

Hello again everyone,

I begin with a now annual apology: I don’t really do much on this blog anymore. Sorry about that. I encourage you to check out my Facebook page and my Twitter account for semi-regular updates relating to my writing, as this blog is very clearly on the back burner in terms of my priorities.

With that out of the way, just about the only thing I do regularly with this blog anymore is a ‘top tweets of the year’ post. For anyone interested in the previous collections, here are the Top 10 of 2010, Top 11 of 2011, Top 12 of 2012, Top 13 of 2013 & Top 14 of 2014, Top 15 of 2015 & Top 16 of 2016, Top 17 of 2017, Top 18 of 2018, and Top 19 of 2019.

This year will continue to be an evolution from earlier efforts in the series. I believe all of the posts make better use of the new(ish) 280-character limit. This will also be the first year where a tweet with a picture made my ‘best of’ list. A final innovation? I tweeted a lot about COVID-19, and while I didn’t want to turn my 2020 retrospective into ‘The COVID-19 Show,’ I also didn’t want to eliminate all mention of what has been one of the biggest shapers of my year from the record. As a compromise to share the spotlight, some additional COVID-19 tweets will appear as honourable mentions at the end rather than crowd out other worthy candidates for the Top 20.

Anyway, let’s get this show on the road! Here are the tweets I want to highlight and look back upon from the past year:

My Favourite 20 Tweets of 2020

Jan 1, 2020

I received a scented candle for Xmas that smells like a campfire. Now my ‘I’m not a scented candle guy’ street cred is firmly established, but I’m not going to lie: This thing smells like a campfire, and —unless and until my landlady calls the fire department on me– I dig it.

Jan 10, 2020

Today is the sort of day where you don’t trust the weather forecast. I’m still going to wear my winter coat. Oh, I could bust out a spring jacket in January –be a hero– but the risk? The risk is too great. I mused this to someone. She said, “This is your next tweet, isn’t it?”

Jan 25, 2020

There’s something about carpeting in an airport that just FEELS like Florida, you know? Someone really lobbied for this. “No. No easily mopped floors. We’ll vacuum. I want this airport to look like as much like the set of The Golden Girls as possible!”

Mar 4, 2020

“He’s a cowboy. On a steel horse he rides. Why a steel horse?” My coworker wonders.

“Because it’s a motorcycle,” I say.

“Oh!” My coworker says, genuinely gobsmacked.

Another coworker also thought it was literally a metal horse.

…I feel like I’m taking crazy pills some days.

(Worth saying these first four tweets all happened in what I now call ‘The Before Time’ or ‘The Long Long Ago’ before COVID-19 changed so much about how the world worked. These are tweets about holiday gifts, the weather, travel, workplace banter about Bon Jovi lyrics. As long and weird and scary as 2020 has felt, I kind of marvel at how normal my first few months of tweets read back to me now.)

Continue reading “My Favourite 20 Tweets of 2020 (With some COVID-19 Honourable Mentions)”

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Fast Fiction: Strange Musicians at a Strange Time of Day

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

Love Without Voices. Usually she came around half past two.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Strange Musicians at a Strange Time of Day”

Fast Fiction: During a Famine, Choosing a Scapegoat is Not a Good Use of Your Time

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

The silence around her was absolute. But on the edge of town, hoarse dogs were howling in the soundless night.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: During a Famine, Choosing a Scapegoat is Not a Good Use of Your Time”

Fast Fiction: The Whole Town Watches the Tide Deliver Mob Justice

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

For almost the first time since I met him, he was completely calm.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: The Whole Town Watches the Tide Deliver Mob Justice”

Fast Fiction: Waiting Rooms Aren’t What They Used to Be

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

“I didn’t do it! Oh, God, I can’t stand this waiting!”

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Waiting Rooms Aren’t What They Used to Be”

Fast Fiction: A Powerfully Optimistic Plan Proposed by the Powerless

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

But I being poor have only dreams.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: A Powerfully Optimistic Plan Proposed by the Powerless”

Fast Fiction: Saturday Night Freedom with the Dancing Man Who Paints Himself Blue

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

This month’s prompt was a photo of a man painted half blue dancing half-naked at a rave. I wouldn’t recognize the picture even if I went looking for it, so I grabbed this much better piece of art as a suggestion instead.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Saturday Night Freedom with the Dancing Man Who Paints Himself Blue”

Fast Fiction: Burying Two Men in the Same Grave While the Woman in Black Freaks Out

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

For this one I changed two words of the prompt, one intentionally and
one accidentally:

Ma [originally Mother] turns against the church as my [originally her] father and her last surviving brother are lowered into the same grave in gravely unpleasant Southern Cemetery.

I then did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before or since. I didn’t end up using the prompt in the exercise! It’s there in spirit, but I was having too much fun with the scene to go back and work it in.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Burying Two Men in the Same Grave While the Woman in Black Freaks Out”

Fast Fiction: Awkward on Ice and Heading for a Fall

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

For almost the first time in her life, she was sorry for him.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Awkward on Ice and Heading for a Fall”

Fast Fiction: Morning Musings from the Secret Homemade Basement Drunk Tank

Hello again everyone,

Here’s another example of fast fiction from my monthly writers group’s warming up exercises. For anyone interested in a full explanation, here’s a link.

A quick rundown of the rules:

Rule #1: These pieces of fast fiction were generated from a prompt chosen at random during one of my monthly writers group meetings. I will label that prompt at the top and where I use it in the prose.

Rule #2: WordPress allows me a ‘click here to read the rest of the story’ break, and that will be used before the fast fiction begins in earnest so people browsing through this blog are not overwhelmed.

Rule #3: The prose of the fast fiction shall be transcribed from my handwriting accurately: Line breaks, grammar, punctuation, spelling, what-have-you. The point of showing a 10- or 15-minute first draft is saying what you tried to do in that time, so what does editing really get me? The very rare changes I really do deem necessary shall be noted with an asterisk and an apologetic explanation at the end.

Rule #4: After the fast fiction I will include a few sentences about my first thoughts of the prompt. These entries are less about the actual prose and more about the exercise as a whole. Post-gaming that exercise will be a big part of the end result.

And that’s it. Here we go.

Prompt:

To his horror he realized he had been this way before.

Continue reading “Fast Fiction: Morning Musings from the Secret Homemade Basement Drunk Tank”