Dear Diary


It’s a new year folks, and it’s time to face the music. I am not a 365 day poster. In fact, I don’t think I’m much of a blog poster at all. I started a blog because I thought that, as a writer, it was weird if I didn’t have one. It could be, but then again, if I’m spending most of my day writing content for work or for campaigns, to be honest the last thing I want to do is come home and wrack my brain for something witty to write just for the sake of posting it. I’m not sure why it took me this long to accept that I do not have to follow a cookie cutter definition of what it means to be a writer, especially since I am plunging into an industry that challenges the very phrase. So please enjoy the five remnants of my blogging adventure, because let’s be real, that’s probably more than you would read on a blog anyway.

Allison Graaff

Crows rank top 5 creepiest animals in my opinion. Fun fact, they are actually modern dinosaurs, as I learned in one of the science classes I was forced to take. Crows have some issues. Think about it; a pack of these things is called a murder.

A murder of crows.

Right there I’m already done with them, but then you add on the screeching caw, the little black beady eyes, and their disturbingly large size and confidence and you have yourself a nightmare. I did myself a huge disfavor by watching Hitchcock’s The Birds, and I fear that there is an unfortunate amount of truth to that disturbing movie. In downtown Portland, you’ll be walking along, shopping bags in hand, and hear the cacophony of 100 or so crows circling the streets, scavenging for food scraps or a pair of Nikes. You see bird shit all over the brick sidewalks, strategically right where people stand waiting to cross the street. To top it all off, they are smart little fuckers. Apparently, a crow can remember a person’s face FOREVER, and they hold a grudge, according to an experiment conducted in Seattle. If you ever want to know the full extent of their capabilities, just google “facts about crows,” and you’ll quickly understand that the moral of this terrifying story is never cross a crow.

Allison Graaff

Cue the slow clap, because I already missed a day of writing and not even a week has gone by. But fear not, for yesterday’s sun did not rise and fall without me doing some sort of creative activity. Sometimes singing and sleep are even more fruitful for my brain than writing, and that’s exactly what I did yesterday. I go through periods of inspirational drought with singing and writing, as I’m sure any creative does with their hobby. Right now, singing is in season and writing is slightly out, because it’s feeling like more of a chore for my brain at the moment. I think school helps keep writing a part of my daily routine, but right now writing just to write is proving to be challenging.

Allison Graaff

He thinks

He thinks the smile is an invitation, the glance a desire

He thinks the curves are his territory, the laugh his accomplishment

He thinks the conversation is a victory, and the walk away is a game

He thinks the destination a challenge, with crumpled sheets as the trophy

He thinks the turn of her head and the look in her eyes is a yes

He thinks

Or does he

Allison Graaff

Day two. Sunday night. Forgot I started this fuckin challenge and the devilish procrastinator inside me is cursing whoever dreamt up this yearlong test. I’m not the type to sit and bang out great ideas at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it works, but most of the time I need to stew on things for a bit and let inspiration strike at the most inconvenient times. This sort of daily activity is good for me. I tend to be a perfectionist, but this will encourage me to dump out whatever is on my brain. Writing every single day, I’m going to have to face the music that there are going to be some less than fabulous posts, but it's all part of the writing process.

We'll see where it leads. 

Allison Graaff
Beginning / Ending

I’ve been wanting to start this challenge for a while. Being the procrastinator that I am, I kept waiting for the right moment. There have been lots of moments when I could have begun; lots of moments in this year that have made me reflect on the nature of our world. So why is the urge to start the 365 day challenge coming to me on a rather uneventful, frigid Saturday?

As December creeps by humanity, most people stop to reflect on how their year has been. I think it’s safe to say that 2016 has been a hell of a year. It’s difficult to remember the good moments of the year when there has been hit after hit of atrocities. A friend of mine once told me that no matter how bad emotions get, humans eventually always return to the same level of happiness, whatever that level may be. I think the world is really testing that theory this year. With each new day, it seems like we are lucky if there is only one headlining story of death or racism or idiocy. What are the options when we are under a constant barrage of bad news? Most of America resorts to being numb, becoming blissfully ignorant by turning off the news because all it shows is distaste. Or we become hopeless, because how can you look at the glass as half-full when there seems to be an unstoppable slow leak at the bottom. And some, the good few, become angry. They take the hurt and they turn it into change. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by these types of people. We work in an industry designed for change, that thrives by shaking things up. It’s hard to see the light when it seems like all there is is insolent darkness. Maybe there isn’t light. Maybe that's an optimistic Gemini talking. But at least we can strike a match and let it burn with the hope that it will ignite a bonfire in the ass of people who need a wake up call. And if 2016 hasn’t been enough of a wake up, I’d hate to see what the real one is.

Allison Graaff