Beer, Book, And Blog

It occasionally happens that I will get into a phase of reading and will consume book after book in rapid succession. Reading will suddenly become the only thing that interests me and the unfinished book will call to me no matter what else I am doing until the book is finished.

Luckily for me these phases don’t last long.

The biggest problem with these reading phases (after the obvious problem that I can’t get anything done because I’m too busy reading) is that when I try to write anything I find myself unconsciously imitating the style of whatever writer I am in the midst of reading. As someone who is working to develop a distinctive “voice” this is doubly frustrating: not only can I not think of anything to say (because I’m too busy thinking about that unfinished book) but I can’t even remember how to say it.

It occurred to me that I didn’t need to fight this. Sometimes when I feel frustrated or intimidated by something I try to dismiss it when I could really be learning something useful from it. So in the late, dark hours before I was able to fall asleep I came up with the idea of writing a short blurb in the style of whatever writer was rattling around inside my brain. I wasn’t sure what to write about, but I liked the idea of test driving the writing styles of other writers.

Earlier that day I had just finished reading “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay- the novel about the friendly neighborhood serial killer that the television show “Dexter” is based on. It seemed a little bit incestuous to test-drive the writer’s style by reviewing the book. I tried to think of other things I could write about. I had been meaning, for some time, to get back to reviewing the different beers that I have tried since that too is something that I find very enjoyable. In an ironic twist it occurred to me that my current beer selection was Third Shift Amber Lager.

The argument could be made that the Band of Brewers are not the only people whose work doesn’t stop when the day shift is over.

So please be kind, as this is an experimental new category: The Beer, Book, and Blog.

  • The Beer: Band of Brewers’ “Third Shift” Amber Lager.
  • The Book: Jeff Lindsay’s “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”
  • The Blog:

By six-thirty in the evening the desk was all cleared off and it was time for beer. I felt a lot better. I always did, after. Filing paperwork makes me feel good. It tidies up good Gwydhar’s graceless workflow. Having a beer afterwards is a sweet relief, a necessary untangling of all the little knots inside. I enjoy organizing paperwork. I enjoy my beer too; sorry if that bothers you for not being ladylike. Oh, very sorry, really. But there it is.  And it’s not just any beer, of course. It has to be enjoyed the right way, at the right time, with the right beer- very complicated but very necessary.

By seven I was sitting in the kitchen of my California apartment. I had a book I was eager to get back to. I took the beer out of the fridge, a simple, brown glass bottle- with a simple brown paper label printed in blue and yellow that read Third Shift in black letters. Nice and cold, open now, ready to pour into a glass if I wanted to admire it. I did. Such a beautiful color. Sweet maltiness, lightly toasted flavor, subtle hops- not too bitter. I placed the bottle on the corner of the counter with the others, six clean and dry bottles ready for redemption.

Whatever made me the way I am made me independent, creative, driven to be productive, slightly prone to anxiety. I am not naturally social. It doesn’t seem like a big deal. I’m quite sure most people fake an awful lot of everyday human contact. I just fake all of it. I fake it very well, and it lets me go on being productive and creative in private. It’s hard work, but beer helps. Especially Third Shift which tastes best after working hard anyways.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 3, 2013.

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