Ned Stark’s reminder hangs over my head every summer.

Photo by Maksym Diachenko on Unsplash

I grew up in a wonderful, magical place called Southern California.

In this mystical place, winter is a week or two in late December or Early January, where we get a little bit of rain. All of the broadcast news casters celebrate this by having a Stormwatch! — they position reporters at various locations throughout the Los Angeles metro area, in heavy windbreakers with their collars turned up, pretending to be drowned by the fraction of an inch of rain that’s coming down.

It’s literally a drizzle, Phil.

To be fair, that much rain usually turns Los Angeles into even…


and other flights of fancy

My new typewriter. Courtesy of the author.

I’ve been wanting a typewriter for a long time.

There’s something romantic about the idea of a poet having a typewriter. Of writing my sonnets not by hand — I mean, that was good enough for William Shakespeare, I guess — but having to clunk out every last letter one at a time. Slow. Deliberate. Methodical.

Poetry is such an old-fashioned thing after all. Or so people like to tell me.

Maybe there’s something romantic about the notion of having a typewriter — of being able to take poetry on the go. Of being one of those people who can…


And problems are turtles, all the way down.

Photo by Shafiqul Islam on Unsplash

I am a naturally anxious person. I’ve worn my anxiety like a second skin since I was 10 years old or so, and over the last couple decades, it’s become a permanent part of my personality.

But it seems to be worse lately. I think a couple of tweets I came across this morning do a good job of summing up why:


Even so, it doesn’t mean that writing is easy.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

You have to keep showing up. You have to keep moving forward.

There are so many people out there who are looking for the secret of being a writer. What kind of magic does it take to go from actually having an idea to having a written book?

There must, after all, be some secret ritual. Some mystical thing that they aren’t doing, some obscure literary god that they need to appease before they, too, will be blessed with the inspiration to finish their book.

They have the idea, after all. They want it to be a book. And if…

Zach J. Payne

(He/They) Ninja Writer. Thespian. Queer. Essayist, poet, novelist.

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