Snake in a Bank

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So, you may notice that the poem is a touch different than it has been in the past, that’s because I’ve been having some difficulties with Illustrator over the past couple days + had to improvise. Turns out I kinda like the new format too. Enjoy!

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If you dig it, tell your best friend about it. Or just like, their dog. I dunno. It’s your choice.

If you want to see more, you’re in luck! I have a big announcement coming soon regarding the GME poetry. I’ll publish it here so you can get a good look at it too. Expecta  few days of a wait, but it’ll be around.

In the meantime, rep some S+I gear and show it off. All four central blog designs are live on Teespring right now! A perfect gift for Valentines day, ya know.

Grin ))

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I haven’t smiled this much in ages.

I think it’s not right.

I thinnk somethinnnng is wron .

It))s lik/e ::mym_nd_sfl__t_ng))

inside of a sea of ))loud/s

Welcome home…

Θ(( The Skies ://:THE Future…………   ))

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www.linmtba.com

The Darling Bones releases the 21st! make sure you pick up a pre-order copy. ❤

Gift Giving, The Christ-a-mas Miracle

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I apologize for the lateness of this blog post! The past couple weeks have been absolutely nuts between a friend’s wedding and two back to back trips to Salt Lake City I haven’t had that much time to breathe or to sit down and write.

Everything has been wonderful though, This trip was needed for me. I got to go and spend some time driving, and if you know me at all, that is where I feel the most at home. I come up with some of my best stuff on the road. Some of that stuff you’ll be seeing soon! 😉

When I was in high school, I would regularly get up early and meet my friend Quinn to ride our bikes to the school. This practice eventually folded out into the summer time and we would wake up early to just ride around Elko because it sounded fun to us. One day in the middle of June, I woke up bright and early as the sun had just barely begun to peek his sleepy face over the mountain tops outside my bedroom window. Quinn was already down in my driveway waiting for me. I woke up, threw on some jeans and booked it down to my garage to get my bike. When I rolled the garage door open I saw that it was snowing. In the middle of June there was a quarter inch of snow on the ground in front of us. Quinn and I, excited, decided to go ride in the morning snow anyways. We called it a Christ-a-mas miracle, at an attempt to be funny. We changed how we pronounced the words because the letter “A” wasn’t supposed to be in the word. Just like the snow wasn’t supposed to be falling in the middle of summer. We enjoyed our day and by the time the sun was all the way up in the sky the snow had stopped falling. By 3 p.m. it had all melted away and the temperature peaked up to regular summer levels. Still, I’ve held that memory for years. Though Quinn and I have gone separate ways and our lives have taken many different turns I still think about him in June. Christ-a-mas was a special day for us, for no reason in particular. I’ve considered a few times breaking it out to my group of friends today but I don’t think they will hold it in the same regard as Quinn and I did.

This story about Christ-a-mas brings me to a few days back at Tomato’s. I was serving this table of older ladies for lunch and they were telling me about this book they had just finished reading in their book club. They told me it was a terrible book from a great writer and asked if I like the author at all. It was T.C. Boyle. I had never read anything of his before and I told them that. I began asking questions about what kinds of books they liked to read and we had a nice chat about it, eventually I revealed to them that I am a writer myself and they began talking to me about my books. After a couple of visits they handed me the novel they had just finished and told me that I could keep it because they wouldn’t be reading it again. I’ll be picking it up to read soon, to see if it was as bad as those ladies thought that it was. That isn’t an important part of this story though, the important part is that it was in the middle of June. This year I was given a Christ-a-mas gift without even realizing it until I had gotten home. It was a nice sentiment, because it reminded me in some small way about how life is supposed to be. We should look forward to the things that are out of place, and we should take note of everything that doesn’t seem as if it fits. Those moments of confusion and awkwardly placed snow should be meaningful to us because of what they symbolize.

This life isn’t meant to be dull and all about hum drum day to day things. Sometimes you have to ride your bike in the snow. Sometimes you have to read a “bad” book and not understand it. That’s important, I think. You don’t always have to understand your life, it makes it easier to love all of the uniqueness that revolves around it and around you. So, I hope you find a “bad” book today, I hope you read something different. I hope you do something different. Spice up your Christ-a-mas holiday this week. Do something that you wouldn’t normally do, if people ask about it you don’t have to tell them. They don’t need to understand it, as long as you stay healthy and happy, being weird is okay.

If you liked this or any of my other blog posts, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter + Facebook @alvatobiasbooks

I love you all, Life is not meant to be Awful.

A Small Box of Spells

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I want to talk this week about something that I began to truly notice last year, and have since been trying to conquer. In March last year, I released my first book, The Darling Bones. This book, as it was my first ever huge personal milestone, came with a party. My friends and family showed up + we all talked and laughed and drank and had a wonderful time. After the initial party, I went over to my apartment + proceeded to get belligerent with my friends. It was a good night, and we truly had as much fun as we could have had.

The next morning came quickly, the hangover alongside it. I had been asked a while before to stop by the restaurant that morning as we were installing a new POS system + we were supposed to learn how to use it. A meeting that in our hungover state would have lasted months. Still, there were some people who showed up despite the pain in our skulls. Once we arrived, a friend of mine + I took a seat away from the windows and the painful sunlight so that we could rest our eyes and wait for the technician. After a few minutes of waiting, we became bored and so did her son. The baby boy decided that he was going to wander around and play with stuff, so my friend and I sat back and watched him for a while.

The technician took longer and longer and the group that was stationed at the restaurant, waiting for him was slowly becoming more and more uneasy. Some of us had other things to do, some of us needed to vomit, some of us needed to eat food, whatever the case was, each of us had gotten restless.

That’s when it happened, one by one, we all started to pull out our cell phones and browse the internet or play games on them. I was among the group, but in a drunken haze the night before I had knocked my phone charger out of the wall and it died shortly after I had begun browsing Twitter. Still, the rest of the party there were on their phones and enjoying themselves while the little boy was playing with his car and running around and enjoying himself.

In that moment, something struck me in a way that it never had before.

This blog post isn’t about how cell phones are poisonous for you, or how you shouldn’t be concerned with them when there are other people nearby. That’s not what I’m saying at all, but looking at my friend’s son that day put so much into perspective.

This life is full of tiny miracles. Each little thing that we come across has no logical reason to exist, but it still does. Making it that much more beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, cell phones are little magical boxes that enable you to have essentially anything you want delivered right to your home. It’s a portal to distant places that you can see and hear and feel emotions through. It is by all intents and purposes, a small box of spells.

That being said, I noticed that all of us were enamored with our phones and only giving my friends child attention so often. We would look up to make sure he wasn’t getting into trouble and then we would return to our make-believe world.

I would never have reached this conclusion if it hadn’t been for my phone being dead, but I’m glad that it was. I saw things in a new light. There was this tiny bundle of cells running and yelping in front of all of us, who would grow to become something amazing. He will get bigger and stronger and smarter and kinder, and he would live his own life full of beautiful moments that will make his mother so proud. He was this tiny human that was dancing around and enjoying his day to the best of his abilities. He didn’t need to speak to portray his emotions. He didn’t need to sign it, he didn’t need to tell anyone how he felt about things. It was written on his face, and if we looked we could have known. Moreover, he simply didn’t care what we thought. He was going to do his own thing anyway, and he was okay with that.

I sometimes wonder if people get hungover like that without getting drunk. I wondered that for a long time, but after that day I began putting my phone down intentionally. So much has come from that simple gesture. I don’t get nervous in crowds anymore. I don’t forget about people. I don’t ignore people. My conversations have become more meaningful and I can speak from the heart. I can look around and see all of the small beauties that this world offers to us.

There are so many things in this world that are worth rejoicing, and the abilities that smart phones give us are some of those things, but there are others. More basic miracles that are existing right beside you. The trees growing outside, the family + friends you surround yourself with. The air we breathe. The fact that we wake up every day, refreshed. There are so many things to notice and be in awe because of.

Yet. Those smart phones are the things that we take the most interest in.

I think it’s because they are the thing we are least familiar with. We’ve spent our whole lives breathing and sleeping. Trees have been around forever. Children will come and they will grow and then they won’t be children anymore. But as they grow, I notice something else that happens.

As we get older and more in tune with our lives and our phones, we begin to use it as a defense. When a situation is awkward, we pull it out and play a game of candy crush to calm our nerves. We use it at dinner with friends because we feel as if we don’t have anything important to say or to offer. We put it up to our face to hide the brilliant color of our eyes, only to let them be whitewashed by the backlight.

We won’t notice any of these things if we stay glued to our phone screens. As wonderful as they are, as magical as they are… They are not everything important.

One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in this past year is to put my phone down. To turn my music off. To get out of that fiber optic prison cell for a while and be with people. Real people. People I can see and who can see me. Ones that I can hug and feel the warmth of their bodies. People who can put their hand to my shoulder and remind me that tomorrow morning, things will be better. People I can share a real meal with, and laugh with in person. People I can build a life around.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people on the other side of those phones. I’m not saying that using a phone is some kind of travesty. I’d never want to insult the amazing people I know through social media in that way. It’s our only means of communication, and that’s okay. I do want to meet all of those people. I love so many of them, so much.

I’m just saying that our smart phones are not the only magic box that can cast a spell on you. When you look at it, this entire world is full of brilliant magic that we can look at and be amazed by. All we have to do is see it and understand.

These things are all beautiful, and they all have their place, but when you become over encumbered by the weight of one, you are so busy with your face to the ground and your back hunched, trying to lift that weight, that you forget there is an outside world.

At least, that’s how I feel about myself sometimes.