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  • Writer's pictureShane

Why 'Virtual Napkins?'

Something like five years ago--my first year in graduate school--a couple of other English majors and I founded a trivia team that would (weekly) come in second or third place in round one and last place in round two. I'll blame it on the ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-alcohol. This bar, Charley O'Corley's, gave us pitchers of Amberbach for some stupidly low dollar amount (like $4.00 or something), and we would buy one (each) upon arrival. By the time intermission rolled around, things were getting swishy in my eye-holes.

Being a bunch of English nerds, we all always had pens nearby (I wore mine over my ear, lid off, point back). So one night, and I'll never remember which one, we started writing on cocktail napkins. I'm sure Andy still has them in his little black, spiral-bound--the napkins from that first night. I know that a lot of the napkins were covered in jokes and puns while others were conversations we would have when the music was too loud for our vocal subtlety.

It's been several years, and I've kept up that tradition. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I'm sure we aren't the only group. But those napkins have seen some of my worst moments (phone numbers never called or phone calls never returned), but they have also seen some of my best ideas (like the time I finally articulated my master's thesis in one sentence). So, while this blog will in no way replace the cocktail napkins that are stuffed into my real life journal, it will be a place for me to scratch out ideas in a different space, which is really what the napkin is all about. You take writing and you put it in as many different places and modes and genres as possible, and you're bound to hit on something eventually.

Until next time, -Shane

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