Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Make Good Art. Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech & My Thoughts on the Apocalypse.

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makegoodartIf you haven’t seen it yet, go watch Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to the University of Arts class of 2012. Then watch it again. It’s inspiring for artists of all kinds, and is just the kind of message I need to hear every once in awhile. In fact, I may go listen to it again, right now.

Yesterday I started daydreaming a post-apocalyptic short story idea. Or, maybe you’d just call it apocalyptic, because the story was kind of a “What if this happened?” kind of scenario. I once heard that if for some reason our food supply chain got cut off, grocery stores would only have a few days’ worth of food, and then we’d all be screwed. I wanted to verify that time frame, so I googled it.

I found Modern Survival Blog and it blew my mind. Seriously. Go read it. I can’t imagine living with that mindset, let alone that several people appear to have made successful businesses around it. Just look at the ads. It’s such a goldmine of inspiration. Isn’t it kind of fun to think about which people you know might be closet survivalists? Then make them into the unlikely hero in the event of an apocalypse in your story.

After I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I spent a few days pondering what I could do to make sure I’d survive an apocalyptic event. I soon came to the conclusion that I would not be one of the survivors, and stopped worrying about it. At least, it would be very, very, unlikely. It is fun to think about it sometimes, though. If I had to get away, where would I go? When I was working at the convention center, I liked to imagine what would be the best place to defend against zombies or just other humans who want to steal our food. If I did survive, I would know how to make wool into yarn and then cloth, so I would have some talent to contribute to any kind of community formed by survivors. Chris could be the one to cobble together broken cars and turn one into a biodiesel fueled car. And maybe our husky would pull us on a sled in the winter. If “winter” still exists by that time, anyway. Haha.

On a semi-related note, when I walked on the neighborhood trail yesterday, I was happy to notice all of the thimbleberry plants coming up everywhere! Thimbleberries are mostly like raspberries, but wild and with different leaves. Last summer we took a walk down the trail and snacked on berries all the way. I will know where to go to hide in the woods when the apocalypse happens and I can survive on berries!

Do you like my picture? I just made it by playing around in Photoshop. It’s not very good, because I’ve never used Photoshop and I was just playing around. But that’s okay, because I’m learning, and right now it’s my best. Earlier, I dumped an entire salad on the floor before I even got to take a bite of it. That’s the kind of day I’ve been having. So I hope nobody cares that I made a crappy .gif with Photoshop to go with this post. It’s all Pinterest’s fault anyway. Just go listen to the commencement speech and forget you ever saw any of this!


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