Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Monday Musing: No Real Theme Edition (and no political commentary!)

Random bits and pieces from over the last week, because I’ve been too lazy/busy to get an actual post!

-Penguins won the Stanley Cup last night. This was a good game, an entertaining series, and a lot more fun to watch in some ways without a dog in the fight. Congratulations to Pittsburgh on the win, and Nashville on a great series.

-In an era where coaching and systems have become so dominant, it’s comforting to see talent as the deciding factor. Though the deciding goal wasn’t some sort of rink-length, dipsy-doodling rush finished off with a diving backhander tucked up under the crossbar, Pittsburgh’s overall talent superiority was evident in them having most of the really good scoring chances. It would be nice to see coaches fill out the bottom six forward lines with more talent over “grit,” because the talent is out there.

-A couple of weeks back, I joined a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC; I think that’s what the letters stand for) through the University of Iowa. The theme of the course is “Writing Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction” (I always want to hyphenate ‘nonfiction’). It’s been pretty interesting, good food for thought, good exposure to other writers. The ‘discussions’ we’re supposed to be participating in, however, seem to be mostly individual responses to a question posed by an instructor instead of actual discussion. And there’s a lot of quid pro quo critique going on. Of course, there are a lot of people in this course, with a lot of assignments being posted: how many can you read (and thoughtfully comment on) in a week?

-I used a piece of my WiP and a piece of my RiP for a couple of assignments and got some useful feedback. It also got me looking at my RiP, which means I’m actually one step closer to finally doing something with it.

-Downside of opening the windows to let cool night air in? Skunks. Last night, the smell just sort of wafted in, growing stronger and stronger, though it never quite reached eye-watering levels. Pepé le Pew was on the prowl!

-Hit the middle eighties yesterday. I think maybe we’re clear of the threat of frost and snow–finally!

-Am I the only person who gets annoyed by this “Focused Inbox” thing that Microsoft is trying to shove down my throat with Outlook? Just show me everything and let me decide what’s important, thank you very much.

That’s about it for me, what’s new with you?


5 Responses

  1. The Penguins won! The Penguins won! 🙂
    Besides that, I'm sick. Blech. I hope I get better soon. Hubby and I are leaving for Albany next week. He's there for work. I'm along for the ride (and hopefully some distract-less writing).

  2. Yeah I rejected that 'focused inbox' crap from the get go. Nope, I decide what I want to read thanks Microsoft. Sorry about the skunk prowling Jeff. Good for you seeking courses to expand your writing. I have no idea what the Stanley Cup is. I'm super not into sports. Also Jamaican so definitely out of American Sports. Take care.

  3. Go Pens! I only started watching hockey consistently within a few games of Mike Sullivan coming in as Head Coach, so for me, the Pens really seem like win machines. I'm in southwestern PA, so I've always been a Pens fan, even if I rarely watched.

  4. Might just take a while to get used to how the group works. Good that you've already had great feedback. Skunks – that's one problem we don't have around here!

  5. -Stacy–I'm sure that's taken some of the edge off of being sick. Get well fast, and enjoy your trip to Albany!
    -Sheena-kay–I'm wondering when they're going to start reading and responding to e-mails for us!
    -Patrick–Pittsburgh has a pretty loaded roster. Maybe not quite as loaded as the mid-90s (Lemieux, Jagr, Stevens, Francis, etc.), but pretty loaded. We'll see what happens next year.
    -Nick–I really don't mind skunks; just need to treat them with respect and give them some space. I might actually try to prepare something of a critique post about the course soon.
    Thanks, all!

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