Publish date:

The Friendship Situation

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too." --"I'll Be There for You" by the Rembrandts.

"It's like you're always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

Brief aside: Ok. Now I know that my blog hasn't exactly been "weekly", in the American sense of the word "week". But, as it turns out, in the Czech Republic, a week is actually 11 days, so I'm pretty much right on time.

Being in Prague, I've learned several things. 1. Bone roasted pork knuckles aren't necessarily the best things to eat before running. 2. Avoid British stag parties at all costs. 3. Expecting to work while two of your friends are visiting is nearly impossible.

I got to Prague two weeks ago, after spending several days in Bratislava absorbing the culture and eating alone at the one, sort of Mexican restaurant in Slovakia. I keep doing this--getting homesick for something 'American' (or, I guess in this case, 'Mexican') and hoping that the Eastern European approximated facsimile of that thing will stave off said feeling. And it never, ever works out. The guacamole at 'Hacienda Mexicana' was something that a well paid food critic for a Bratislava paper might refer to as, "gross" and " possibly made with fish". But, alas, I needed to reunite with my friend and travel companion, the aforementioned Big Cat, and so I met him in Prague, where we rented an apartment for a month and both finally shaved off our travel beards.

The city is beautiful. It was one of the only European cities left basically untouched during the destruction of World War II and it is small, walkable and safe. But there are SO many tourists. SO many. See how I emphasized the word by putting on caps lock? That's how serious I am about getting across this point. And, yes, technically I am a tourist too, and yes, I guess, looking back I shouldn't have purchased an extra large velour sweatsuit with the words "Czech it Out" stitched across the front and back and, okay, fine, I probably shouldn't wear it everyday... but, seriously, how are there even any people in other European countries if they're all here posing for novelty caricature artists on the Charles Bridge and congratulating me on my hip sweatshirt purchase?

Whoa. Sorry about the anger. I just wish I hadn't "discovered" Prague five years after everyone else. (Brief snippet of convo with my father to illustrate this point: "Hey Dad." "Who is this?" "Kevin." "...?" "Your son?" "Oh, um, how's...where are you, New Mexico?" "Prague." "...Dude, that place is so 1999." "...Did you just call me dude, Dad?" "Yeah, I did. A lot has changed since you left. Anyway, I need to go. I'm watching a video I made of me swinging a Medicus 5 iron. Get me a t-shirt in Albuquerque.")

 Anyway, the first week here, I was a writing machine. I finally had a "routine" down, and a spot to go that served bagels and bottomless cups of tea, and I was working at a prolific rate, getting thing accomplished I hadn't even thought about in months. I finally finished and edited a new Writer's Digest Quiz (aptly titled: Does Your Editor Hate You?), pitched a travel story, wrote a new chapter in my novel, and started working on editing the reality celebrity short story. I was excited. My life looked brighter. Colors were more dramatic. I had even stopped noticing the intense throbbing sensations stemming from the cavities in the back of my mouth. But then it all stopped.

My friend Frank came out here for spring break from law school and my friend Stu bought a flight two days before he came and within fifteen minutes of getting a new job offer in San Francisco. And they both brought their computers, which seemed like a good idea at the time, because our apartment has Wi-Fi, and I've been spending upwards of 200 Czech crowns a day (something like 30 grand American, I think) sitting in Internet Cafes watching the "Dick in a Box" SNL skit on YouTube. Plus, my old laptop I'd shipped out here came with its computer screen smashed despite being bubble taped and in a laptop case and so I figured, well, how nice, my friends have provided me free access to put down my thoughts and get some real work done from the comfort of my own apartment. Um, right?

"Absolutely not. Don't touch my computer," Frank said, when I asked if I could type up some of the chapters I'd written down and maybe do a, you know, blog entry. "Seriously, not right now. I'm looking at famous images of New York City on the New York Times website."

"Why?"

"Because I don't have any new emails and I've already read all the articles on ESPN, obviously."

My subsequent minor temper tantrum only inflamed the situation and became a source of hilarity for all of my friends.

"Frank may I use your computer," the Big Cat would theatrically ask. "I want to re-look at some emails I just sent and think about ways I could have improved them."

"Of course. Take as long as you want. I certainly wasn't doing anything."

All of this is actually happening right now. As I type Frank is standing behind me and trying to calculate how much I owe him per minute for being able to use the computer ("I mean, you act like I won't give you competitive rates") and everyone is waiting for me to finish my work so that we can go see a "museum" or "something they don't have in Charlottesville, VA."

As anyone who has ever tried to write something coherant with a bunch of people standing around, sighing dramatically and whispering secrets behind them can attest, it's basically impossible. My productivity has tanked, I seem to be getting some sort of rash, and I can't even think of the central point of this post.

But, like Stevie Wonder said, that's what friends are for.
Right? .... Right?

Join me next time, when I attempt coherance by stealing Frank's laptop and hiding myself in the Czech movie theatre showing of Rocky Balboa, where I can finally concentrate.

P-P-Push it real good.

KA

Allusion vs. Elusion vs. Illusion (Grammar Rules)

Allusion vs. Elusion vs. Illusion (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between allusion, elusion, and illusion with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines

Prepare for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Visit WritersDigest.com each day of November to get a prompt and write a poem. Then, use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript.

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

Learn the process indie author Amanda Aksel went through in getting her novel Delia Suits Up traditionally published, including questions she asked herself and weighing one strategy against the other.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 6 New WDU Courses, An Upcoming Webinar, a Competition Deadline, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce 6 new WDU Courses, an upcoming webinar, a competition deadline, and more!

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

A publisher accepting your manuscript is just the beginning, not the end. Author Rick Lauber discusses how to work with a nonfiction book publisher from query letter to release date and beyond.

From Script

Writing Empowered Superheroes in CWs Supergirl and Understanding Animation From the Trenches (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by Script Magazine, story editor Katiedid “Did” Langrock speaks with Reckless Creatives podcast. Plus, one-on-one interview with CWs Supergirl actress turned scribe Azie Tesfai about her groundbreaking episode and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is writing a characterless character.

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

Fiction editor and author Kris Spisak ties together her seven processes for self-editing novels, including editorial road-mapping, character differentiation analysis, reverse editing, and more.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Unold Crwca: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn unold crwca, a Welsh quatrain form.