When you think about people getting drunk in their underwear, you tend to think of Joe Exotic and the people on Tiger King, the hot-AF Netflix documentary, but the people who are masters at getting completely sloshed at home are the Finns.
Yes, the Finns.
They have a word for it and that word is kalsarikännit. That word means pantsdrunk
They even have emojis depicted half-dressed emoji people holding a beer or a wine glass that they send each other when they are solo drinking in their undies.
And that’s what is happening to America in the time of Covid-19. Believe me, this is such a thing that it’s a trending Instagram tag and even the Barefoot Contessa is getting involved.
Here’s the thing. People in northern, isolated, winter-dark, sun-absent climates know all about staying at home. They know about facing the darkness and drinking in their undies. Yes, undies. Not sweatpants. Undies. Part of being pantsdrunk is stripping down.
“When it comes to happiness rankings, Finland always scores near the top. Many Finnish phenomena set the bar high: the best education system, gender equality, a flourishing welfare state, sisu or bull-headed pluck. Behind all of these accomplishments lies a Finnish ability to stay calm, healthy and content in a riptide of endless tasks and temptations. The ability comes from the practice of "kalsarikanni" translated as pantsdrunk.”Harper Collins's blurb people
According to an article by Claudia Alarcon in Forbes,
"Pantsdrunk is one of the cornerstones of drinking culture in Finland,” says Partanen (an actual Finnish person she quotes). “The Finns are very reserved people, which is why there are jokes in Finland about how social distancing simply means that we keep doing what we've always been doing: avoiding physical contact and keeping at least a meter distance from others.”Claudia Alarcon
When you are undergoing constant stress and anxiety, it increases your risk for both physical and mental health issues. You don’t want that. We don’t want that for you. So, it’s okay to find some joys even as the horrifying happens. Build a fort. Sing in the shower. Read books. Snuggle with puppies.
What’s this got to do with writing other than the fact that the tradition has been immortalized in a book? It’s about letting go, diving into your story and giving your anxiety a giant finger flip. It’s about tearing off your clothes and your devices and writing the raw, naked tipsy story without your internal critic or internal editor standing over your shoulder telling you to go get the seltzer water and put your clothes back on. That’s when you write cool stories.
This time we are in now, this pandemic, this physical isolation? It can divide us or it can make us closer. We can choose to despair in our systemic issues and lack and we should recognize it, but is just as important to notice the moments of humanity, of how people still find ways to create and communicate and love.
Don’t give up. Persistence is super in life and in writing.
Find your alcohol. Be naked. Live while you can.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
Last week's interview with writer Jordan Scavone!
It’s our very own writing course!
Basically, it’s set up a bit like a distance MFA program, only it costs a lot less and also has a big element of writer support built in and personalized feedback from me! This program costs $125 a month and runs for four-month sessions!
To find out more, check out this link. It’s only $125 a month, so it’s a super good deal. Come write with us!
I have a new book out!!!!!! It’s an adult mystery set in the town where we live, which is Bar Harbor, Maine. You can order it here. And you totally should.
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can order it here.
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
I’m still revising ANOTHER NOW, which is a big time travel story. It is killing me.
And over on Patreon, I’m starting a new story this week! It’s a chapter a month if you want to check it out. It basically costs $1 a month to listen to my story and $3 a month to read it. There’s a new chapter every week. It’s super fun; I promise. Here's an excerpt.
It's a lot like life honestly. Here's the number one hint. Wait forever to start writing. Don't wait to start. Don't expect lightening to strike or a muse to come down from the heavens. Just write. Call it practice if 'writing a novel' seems too big a task. Trick your mind into being chill about it. If you want to do something, you have to do it. Don't wait for permission. Just do it. As long as it's legal and doesn't hurt other people. Obviously that sentence up there about not waiting for permission doesn't apply to all things. But it does freaking apply to art and writing and joy and fun. Again, as long as your fun doesn't hurt other creatures. Back to the point. We wait all our lives for inspiration, for a prince or warrior-queen to come sweep us off our feet, for the muse to bless us with the perfect novel or poem or family or painting or child. But we have to put in the work. We have to be brave and actively go after what it is we want. We might write a ton of sucky sentences. We might forget how to use a comma. We might fail and get rejected a million times. That's what makes the quest good though. That's what makes the goal worth it. So if you want to write a ...
It’s 2021 and people are burnt out. There’s COVID-19. There’s political strife. Systemic bigotries and biases. There’s meanies at the grocery store and there’s that never-ending effort for some of us to pay for food, shelter, and health care, right? On Carrie’s blog, http://www.carriejonesbooks.blog, she talked about how you can burnout on self care even, but also how writers seem super susceptible to burnout and why she was a bit burnt out for awhile. First, let’s put some definitions out there. Writer’s block is when you can’t figure out what to write. Writer’s burnout is when you are super stressed and completely mentally and physically exhausted. You have zero motivation. And surprise surprise this pandemic has burnt out a lot of people–not just writers. What else causes burnout? That damn stressNobody supporting youNot being valuedWorking too hardMultitasking like a wild oneChaos What are the symptoms? Back in 2016, the Harvard Business Review had an article by Monique Valcour about beating burnout. Her main three symptoms are ExhaustionCynicismInefficacy Add to that: Zero motivationNot being interested in thingsFeeling like a big failNot feeling attached to anything, especially your work In Valcour’s article, she pulls out four things you can do to combat burnout. Prioritize self-care.Shift your perspective.Reduce exposure to job stressors.Seek out connections. Valcour Easier said than done, right? Over on the blog, TOO MUCH ON HER PLATE, Dr. Melissa writes Taking care of YOU is not a luxury. Which makes sense because if you don’t take care of yourself and your basic needs, you die. But I think she’s talking a bit beyond those basic needs and writes what happens when you don’t take care of yourself! Yes, we’re talking ...
So, one of the big debates in the world of writing advice is the Write Every Day Debate. I know! I know. Sexy name. High stakes. But, honestly, it gets people so riled up. There are the Write Every Day Camp. They carry lit Twitter torches and follow Stephen King who famously wrote: "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft And then there are the Anti Burn Out Crew who say that you can't possibly write every day because your fingertips will fall off. People have Twitter wars about this. But to be fair, people also create character sheets and become hyper-focused on knowing their character's favorite color and think that's more important than what it is that the character wants with all her heart, or what the character is terrified of happening. WRITING Hint: Your character's motivations, her wants, the thing she's longing for and living to get? That's more important than her love of teal. WRITING TIP OF THE POD There is no one way to be a writer. If you can write every day, write every day. If you can't, don't, but make sure you still actually write. You can't really be a writer if you only talk about writing and don't actually do it. DOG TIP FOR LIFE Nobody cares what Lassie's favorite color ...