Stump’s Best of 2018

Here’s the best of 2018! By category, only one winner per category, no runner ups, no honorable mentions, no blah blah blah. I’ve culled the list from 427 articles, 119 Youtube videos, 67 books, and 41 movies. Unlike many other best of’s on the internet, I’ve actually read, watched, or listened to the media that tops my list. Enjoy and Merry New Year!

Books

Books by an Amputee

Stump the Librarian: A Writer’s Book of Legs (I’m rather biased, it’s mine!)

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship, by Jessica Kensky, Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon

Nonfiction

The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles, Gary Krist

Fiction

Ready Player One, Ernest Kline (A PBS Great American Read)

Pictorial Works

Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel, Simon Adams

Children’s Picture Book

Her Right Foot, Dave Eggers, Art by Shaun Harris

Career

22 Things to do After Work

Chart

Monopolies

Christmas Song

Merry Christmas from the Family by Robert Earl Keene

Conversation

If you hate Small Talk

Crime

Convicted killer confesses to 90 murders

Generation Gap

Which Generation Are You In?

Language

Emma Stone learns British slang from Rachel Weisz

Shark attack Cape Cod

Also a language lesson to everyone not living on Cape Cod. It’s an island, so it’s “on Cape Cod” not as this headline reads “in Cape Cod.” It’s like when when people call the Gulf of Mexico, the ocean. Sorry, rant over.

Long Form Journalism

Map (Interactive)

Medieval London’s Bloody Murders

Mental Health

Anxiety

Movies

Documentary

Tower

Biopic

The Disaster Artist

Comedy

We’re the Millers

Music

Beat Root Revival, Live At the Saxon Pub in Austin, Texas

Sports Writing

Bill Belichick and Nick Saban Friendship

Social Media

Teens Desert Social Media

Television-Series

Big Little Lies

Travel

Travel is No Cure for the Mind

Truck Drivers

Shortage

Weeds

Weedkiller

Weed

Thanks for reading, watching, and listening.

Best Mail

Jump over to my personal page to learn more about the best Christmas present!

 

 

My Art

Steve and I were sitting in his living room Friday morning. We had struck up a conversation about Friday Night Art Walk in Fairhope. The first Friday of every month, businesses open up late and artists hawk their wares from 6-8 PM.

“The girls and I had fun,” Steve said, about their April walk.

I’m kind of sick of it,” I said. In hindsight, it wasn’t fair to Steve because I didn’t really know why. I am a lover and an appreciator of art. I’d be lost without it. Art influences my writing life in ways I dream of and wake up to.

After eight years of living in Fairhope, I can say that I’ve seen some really unique work. Sue and I walk around, have a glass of wine and never seem to buy anything. There is a lot of great work out there, but when a Nall print costs $400 , and a framed photo of the pier costs $250, you start to wonder why you are walking around. My friend and coworker Jillian (Not to be confused with Jill) seems to be having some success in Downtown Mobile with her art and needlework. She creates lifelike scenes, all handmade, often with red yarn. She calls them crochet installations. She also works in clay and recently sold a bust to a salon in downtown Fairhope. So I know art is alive along the Gulf Coast. I’m just not sure what my “art” is, or more importantly, whether I can market it and, ultimately, sell it.

It was only a few days later that I was able to identify why I’d grown bored of walking around during art walk. Art walk was new to Steve, as he strolled one Friday night with his daughters. That’s great, and exacly what it’s all about, getting people together on sidewalks, in stores and galleries to appreciate and ultimately to purchase something creative. What I’ve discovered is that I want to be the artist. I have an MFA. My degree just happens to be in creative writing, and not ceramics, or painting, or other media. My creativity comes from the passion to communicate something in words that another human appreciates.

So I invite you join me tonight in downtown Fairhope from 6-8 PM at the corner of Fairhope Avenue and Bancroft Street for Art walk.

Stump the Librarian

You Give Me a Subject, I’ll Write on it.

$ 2

It’s strange and wonderful how a conversation can alter our perspective. That little conversation with Steve and Jillian’s creative successes proved to be the tipping point for me. Tonight, I’m taking my writing to the street. Thanks to Steve, I’ve learned that I’d much rather fail than live with the regret of never trying. I will make every attempt to to write something creative and unique, and inexpensive. If it’s raining look for me in a dry place.