My two faithful readers – ok the one reader besides me logging in as another reader, my mom, may be wondering why there appears to be a dearth of blogging and unwanted-advice giving here. Truth is, apart from trying unsuccessfully to make actual artwork for a deadline, I am recovering from a formative experience that has recently resurfaced.

During the second grade, I, for whatever apparent lack of discernment, became deeply enchanted by Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. So when my teacher announced that the day’s assignment would be to write a creative story, I knew that I was to copy word for word the entirety of Dracula as my response. I would in artistic ecstacy absorb each word of Bram Stoker’s as they spilled out of my no. 2 pencil into the form of my newly acquired cursive. Even in my rapturous state, I had some idea as to the ambition of writing a novel in one day, so I happily forsook not only my morning recess, but also my lunchtime to diligently complete my homage.

At some point my teacher noticed the fervent scribbling of a lone student in the classroom and discovered what I was doing. She quickly chastised me for not contributing original writing, for outright plagiarism. To my horror I received a zero for the assignment, a deeply cutting indictment of my failure as a second grader essayist — and an impotent stack of binder paper with my rushed writing was the fiery evidence. Even worse, after a range of other students’ presentations of their assignments, such as “Why I Hate Rainbows” and “Funny Things My Dog Does To Me,” I would suffer yet another indignance when another student asked why I was not presenting my writing and the teacher declared to the class and the attendant ghosts of literary epistomology that I didn’t follow directions.

So it is in that shame and utter disenchantment that I struggle for what area of unwanted advice to dole out, and long for the light of creative wonder and enthusiasm to shine again on me and bring obnoxious and sarcastic torments to my reader, my mom. I do believe in the words of George Steiner when he writes, “The true entrance into us will not occur by an act of will.” So I am forgiving my second grade self for not knowing the benefits of a master copy enough to tell my teacher to suck on it and…. and here I wait. And wait.

Today’s Advice: “The movement toward reception and apprehension does embody an initial, fundamental act of trust. It entails the risk of disappointment or worse. As we shall note the guest may turn despotic or venemous. But without the gamble on welcome, no door can be opened when freedom knocks.” (Steiner)