Welcome to Abbyland

“Good-natured doofus seeks outlet for creative energy, and/or possible junk drawer for the fluff rolling around in my brain.”

That was the alternate title for my new online journal, but I ran out of space.

Expect to see a lot of lists, sketches, short stories, intensely probing discussions prompted by one of my many sleepless nights staring at the ceiling in a state blended of existential ennui and awe, and pictures of cute animals.

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Dark Hills

Dark Hills

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a little girl lived in a small house in the country.

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My Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Movies



Sometimes, work sucks. This is a universally understood truth, regardless of your career choice and overall job satisfaction. On the days that it all becomes a bit overwhelming, I often turn to the world of film to quiet my mind. However, when I come home from a long day of explosive blood-poop and sad puppies, I’m not really in the mood for Schindler’s List. I crave lighter fare.

As a cinephile, I take great pride in my DVD collection. While my “Guilty Pleasure” films aren’t all necessarily bad movies, they’re all undoubtedly the equivalent of brain-candy. I can’t help but smile when I see them sandwiched between the likes of Casablanca and the Godfather Trilogy. Take a look at my list, and tell me all about yours!

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Cutting Out My Flesh: My story of parental estrangement



I can say this for my father: he did much better than his father. He ultimately was not able to overcome the obstacles placed in front of him–obstacles both real and self-imposed. He rarely struck us, and there was never really any of the sort of abuse that would render him irredeemable. No, he wasn’t a monster. Trouble is, there are no words for what he was.

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The Top 5 Methods for Improving Your Drawing (That I Never Use)

Pablo Picasso once famously said “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, I spent tens of thousands of dollars attending a hoity-toity Chicago art school to learn and memorize the foundational rules and concepts of realistic drawing.
I am repeatedly ignoring them.
I’ve been drawing since I possessed the motor skills required for holding a crayon; it stands to reason I would have some deeply-entrenched bad habits refusing to be broken. I can tell that my work suffers for it. I mean, these are the fundamentals of the fundamentals. And holy frijoles are they hard to keep going! Here are my top five biggest artistic mistakes.

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30 Before 30

I love milestones. I’m a big believer in celebrating life at every opportunity. There are a lot of lists out there of “Things to do before you’re 30” that don’t apply to me, but gave a lot of ideas. You’ll see a lot of things like “Get lost in a foreign country.” I already did that, and I’m actually just really glad I didn’t die, thank you.
There are only 14 months left of my 20s. I feel I have a lot of experiences to squeeze in before the odometer rolls over to a whole new decade. In addition to new experiences, however, there are also so many things I want to learn! I want to try out new hobbies, develop new skills, and form new habits.
After several days of agonizing over my options, here’s my official 30 Before 30 Bucket List!

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Let’s Talk About Suicide

Fun topic.

So. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This topic ranks near the top of the list of “Things we really, really need to talk about, even though it makes people really, really uncomfortable.” Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, nestled right between blood poisoning and liver disease. The US comes in at #43 out of 195 countries, putting us comfortably in the top quarter. Each year, over 42,000 Americans die by suicide.

We obviously have a serious problem. Most people have had their lives touched by this tragedy in some capacity. Experts estimate that for every person who successfully takes his or her life, twenty-five people make an attempt. That’s one in 300 Americans trying to kill themselves every single year. If you have 300 people on your Facebook friends list, imagine one of them suddenly vanishing.

I’m finally ready to talk about the year that I was that person.

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