I create context. I also write blog posts:

I’m Not (Necessarily) A Manipulative Prick.

Posted: September 29th, 2010 | Author: | No Comments »

I want to write the way a lot of other people do.

There are tons of authors out there whose careers I’d like to replace my own with, and there are screenwriters and playwrights and even a poet or two (I’d be lookin’ at you, W.H. Auden, if you were still alive…). And then there are songwriters. There are a ton of musicians who make me sit up and say, “I wish I could write like that.” Not the rhyming with a chorus and a bridge, but that I wish I could do what So and So does. I wish I could tell the stories they do (12 different ones on an album that takes 6 months to record, against the 1(ish) story I’m writing in my script that, at this point, takes 18 months of wrestling). There are CDs that I put in the car player that can change my entire mood. They pick me up from a bad mood, or they get me thinking and morose and I’m screwed up for the rest of the day (yeah, that’s pretty fuckin’ emo, I get it). I want to write in a way that does that; I want to grab readers by the balls and tell them how to feel (or, rather, have my characters do so…). I listen to these CDs and I think, “Man, I want to make people feel like that.”

(This post is from my new tumblr account about writing. Click here to read the rest.)

Recent Spins

Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

I’ve been keeping my ipod busy the last few weeks, and I’m really impressed with a few of the albums I’ve picked up recently, as well as a few perennial favorites that always seem to be within reach.

Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs

Ray Lamontagne’s back, and he’s brought with him a band and a twangy-er sound. His “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise” is a further step toward a real folky/country sound for an already wispy, folky voice that’s been so good in the past. This one took hold after a few listens, because frankly, the band takes a little bit of time to get used to, as does the late-nineteenth century persona he’s adapted in the writing. He’s all over the map on this one, referencing a plains-wide cattle drive in the title track and the vaudeville shows of old in “Like Rock And Roll Radio.” My favorite, though, is “New York City’s Killing Me,” a plea to get back to, well, the country after a stay in the noise of New York.


A Radiohead/Jay-Z mashup. Nuff said. Except to say this: I have a few Jay-Z mashups, including the Grey album, and this is by far my favorite.
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Co-Workers of the World Unite!

Posted: September 10th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | 1 Comment »

If you’re like me, you don’t know much about co-working1.

But that’s all changing. Why? Because I had the foresight to Google it a few months ago, and that’s how I found out about Jelly Long Island, which I attended yesterday. While I still don’t really understand the name, it’s a pretty simple concept: it’s an opportunity for a group of like-minded entrepreneurs and freelancers and anybody else who works from home or Starbucks (short of the baristas!2) to get together and work for the day in an office environment. It’s a little like study hall, except talking is allowed and everyone wants to be there. I liked it because it keeps me focused on work, it puts me in a room with a bunch of really great resources — the participants came from a diverse field of occupations: a CPA, a marketing consultant, a communications specialist, a tech guy, etc. — and it was a nice bit of social interaction that, quite frankly, doesn’t come when I’m locked in my apartment all day.

Now, the ability to do work somewhere that’s not my living room is huge. I need someplace to focus where I’m not distracted, and I can only push myself out to a coffee shop or the library so often. So having a structured “office” to go to is a big help. But what I really enjoyed (and totally didn’t expect) was the social aspect of it. Everyone was very friendly and though we were all in different industries, there were a few different conversations that I was able to participate in that were great. I was given a quick Business 101 tutorial by a few of the members, and then I was able to give some writing advice to someone else. It was an extremely open environment for collaboration, with everyone chipping in when they could. It was an experience I wouldn’t have gotten at home, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten even if I were with colleagues from work. It’s amazing how enlightening a new perspective can be.

So that’s my pitch: if you’re on Long Island, and you’re looking for a place to work, check out Jelly Long Island. They’re in the startup phase right now, so they’re testing the waters and seeing how to make things work. But I think it’s an idea that’s got legs, and I’m gonna keep going back.

  1. What a cliche lead sentence! I’m definitely a professional blogger… (no seriously, I am…)
  2. Yak yak yak… I know, just indulge me, I’ll be back to fiction in a little bit, but for now I wanted to talk about this.

Thought Of The Day!

Posted: September 8th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | 2 Comments »

“Extreme” trucks and SUVs that seem to be all over the place now:

I get the air intake tubes you’ve got growing out of the grill.

But can’t you fit the cooler inside the truck somewhere?

On The Horizon

Posted: September 3rd, 2010 | Author: | No Comments »

I started writing this blog because my writing habits were getting lethargic, to be kind. Shockingly, I think this has actually helped. I fell off the wagon a bit in June and July, where I only posted a few times, but I think that was because I was busy at work. In August, I hit my stride again and I think I put up some good stuff. I want to thank everyone who’s been following along, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it thus far.

As far as the writing goes, I’m ramping up my game a little more, and I’m beginning to work on a longer project that I’ve been thinking about for a few months now. In the same way I used this blog to propel my writing, I’ve started peteshelly.tumblr.com to help with this next project. I hesitate to call it a blog, because I’m hoping it won’t turn into that. I think it’ll best serve as a sort of journal of my progress, as something that’ll keep me honest when I get distracted.

So follow along, if you’d like. I’ll still be posting here, but that’s where I’m going to be every day.

Thanks again,


Unfortunately, with the U.S. Open going on and live online streaming from usopen.org, I don’t think I could have picked a worse time to start this.

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