It smells like my uncle.
It smells like my mom.
It smells like her sauce
’cause her sauce is the bomb.

It smells like my cousins.
It smells like my dad
when he ate all the leftovers
and made me feel sad.

It smells like my brother,
except for his feet.
He can make some mean meatballs
and it smells like the meat.

It smells like the garden
when I’m cutting the grass.
If I eat too much,
it even smells like my–

Naw, but I can wish.

It smells like my grandpa
when he crushes a leaf.
It smells like his mouth
when it’s stuck in his teeth.

It smells like my grandma,
whom I sure miss the most.
It smells like her apron–
even smells like her ghost.

It smells like my memories
from times long ago;
it smells like my childhood,
where I wish I could go.

It smells like the only
smell I want nasal.
It’s my favorite smell
and that smell is basil.

Escape Writing

If you write and have a Twitter account (I know that my one reader–hi, mom!–does not have a Twitter account so I have to briefly explain), you’ve probably seen tweets by others in the writing community like “post a gif (or picture) of your ideal writing space.” I’ll save my writer-gif criticism for a different blog post, but the comments of those tweets are usually filled with gifs and pictures of impossibly perfect cafes and beautiful landscapes that are similar to the one below.

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Yes, I took this photo.

That’s Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, for those of you who skipped the picture caption. It’s beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. Stunning. Inspiring. A description using all of those words and their thesaurus results couldn’t do the view justice. But is it my ideal place to write? Heck no. If you look at that picture and think, “Wow, I gotta get a pen and a notebook out there and create a story,” then you’re not being honest with yourself.

It took a 1.8 mile hike up a mountain to an elevation of 10,110 feet (I googled that) to get that view. And I was with my family, i.e. my wife, our two daughters (ages 6 and 3), my parents (hi again, mom!), and my brother and his wife. The air was thin; it was hard to breathe. I was exhausted, a little dizzy, and probably not thinking straight. I loved the view and the hike was worth it. But there was no way I was stopping to say to the rest of my group, “Do you all mind waiting for me to sit on this hard rock so I can selfishly write a piece of flash fiction that I’ll eventually scrap because I’m just really inspired from this view right now? Oh, I know I’m just going to be staring at a blank page for the next 30 minutes instead of the view of the mountains directly in front of me but this is something I really need to do. Also, that lake water is as cold as the Rockies because, of course, this is the Rockies, so do your best to keep my kids from going in the lake, because that’s what they will naturally want to do, without any help from me for I will be gasping for air on this uncomfortable boulder, trying to write something while constantly being interrupted by my body’s natural reflex to swat at mosquitoes. Okay? Thanks.”

No, my ideal writing space is a terrible, but safe, place. It’s my desk at work at lunch time. A place surrounded by windowless walls and the absence of any motivating decor. It’s a dark, uninspiring basement. It’s somewhere my internal voice screams, “Oh my gosh, this place is awful and/or boring. You have to get out of here. But you can’t right now because you are working or you’re stuck at home while your kids are in bed. You’ve got to think of something creative; you’ve got to pretend you’re not here; you’ve got to get lost in another world.”

Stables just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. Beautiful. But not my ideal writing place, for I am a city boy who wouldn’t be able to get past the distracting smell of manure to write anything that wouldn’t be…manure. That’s a criticism of me and my writing talents and habits, not the smell of manure. When I smell it, I want to ride a horse or feed a goat or pet a dog, not write a blog post.

The picture below is also not an ideal place to work on a manuscript. It’s an ideal place to have a coffee or drink some water or a beer or whatever liquid you prefer. It’s a place to take in the beauty of the natural surrounding and listen to the water as it flows through rocks down the mountainside while you contemplate your insignificance with the world. A place like the one below is a spot to think about how you are here in this world, how you don’t really matter in the big scheme of the universe but at the same time you do matter because you get to be at that spot, you get to be here on this planet and you get to have this life and move through these experiences. Keep the pen and notebook in your backpack and let your body, mind, and being soak it all in while you can.

Listen to the water. Breathe the mountain air. Your notebook will be there for you when you return to your regular, drab surroundings.

So now that I’m back home and riding the same boring routine again (instead of a horse), it’s time to get back to work and escape my surroundings with some creative thought and writing. And I’m not going to show you my ideal writing place in pictures and gifs. Rather, I’ll show you pictures from my awesome trip to Rocky Mountain National Park so you feel jealous and angry that you didn’t get to see the fantastic views that I saw. Then perhaps you’ll use that jealousy and anger to inspire you to write your way out of those feelings. Then you’ll send me what you wrote to share it and thank me for giving you the inspiration to put an impressive piece of work together. You’re welcome.

Top 10 Blog Post Ideas for Bloggers with a Blog Who Should Be Blogging

Starting a blog can be daunting. I know this to be true because I just started one. As a new blogger, one thing I tend to do is check other blogs and websites for inspiration on what I could post. There are so many longstanding, reputable blogs out there with excellent advice and posts about blog topic suggestions. Most of them have even been written in list form to make reading easy and fun. So I figured, why not use that as inspiration and give it a try! I present to you, ten blog post ideas you should be blogging:

Share photos from your recent travels.

The mountain air was so crisp and the smell of pine reminded me of Christmastime even though I took this picture in August 🙂

Did you travel somewhere recently? I bet it was nice. Show everyone a picture. Tell them how crisp the mountain air was and how the smell of pine trees reminded you of Christmastime even though it was August. And of course the weather was a perfect sunny day in the high 60s, right? Your readers want to see this stuff. It’s a good break for them from staring at a blank page trying to write and create their own work. They’ll appreciate knowing that someone else went outside and took in some fresh air for a change. If you haven’t traveled anywhere recently, simply Google Image Search “mountains” and look for a photo that doesn’t have copyright protection. Post and make things up about it. Don’t worry, you won’t have enough readers to call you out on stealing a photo. And if you ever do, you make sure to stick with telling them that you were the original taker of that photo. Practice saying, “Well, yeah, of course I knew those were mountains in Nepal because I took that photo when I was in Nepal.” You don’t want to clam up if that problem ever presents itself.

Share your political views in the most controversial way possible. This is great because it finds your readers and builds a base fast. And don’t worry about offending anyone. Keep in mind, if you’ve turned someone away from your writing, they’re the problem, not you. And you didn’t want them reading your words anyway. You’ve got a better fan base for it, and now it’s only filled with people who agree with you that the existence of animals is purely for human consumption and how extinction is just nature’s way of running out of something on the menu. You’ve found your niche and you’re looking good. Please your crowd. Stick to your convictions and make no apologies!

Post a picture of your food and share just how amazing it was with everyone.

Sorry, I already ate my lunch before I took the picture. But just look at that olive oil, fennel, and little bit of meat droppings that were too small to pick up with my fork. Scrumptious!

Food is amazing. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! People love food. Show people what you just ate and tell them about it. “That curried cauliflower wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be. Boy, that fennel sure did taste good on the zucchini. And the meatballs! Oh, I wish I would have had enough to share before I ate it all.”

Tell your readers about a dream you had. Everyone will love reading about your dreams. Oh, especially the one about how Ian McShane tricked you into staying at the restaurant after it closed by purposely screwing up your bill because he knew you would complain about it. Then you both grew wings and turned into giants and flew all over the lake with the Las Vegas skyline in the background. You then battled each other to the death but you’re not sure who won because you woke up. This type of post works well if your blog is still a baby. Readers can expect, or at least hope, that any other future post you publish makes more sense than that one about your dream.

My [insert body part here] smells like [insert smell here] after I [insert action here]. This is an excellent one for beginning writers for two reasons. One, it gives you some practice at working within the beautiful and strange realm of similes and metaphors. For example, a simile would go something like this: “My feet smell like Doritos after I pick up cheese with my toes and feed it to my puppy.” That can even be followed up with a metaphor, like this: “I like when my puppy licks my Dorito feet clean.” The second reason for this kind of post being good for beginners is that it introduces you to your readers in a fun and unique way. Readers want to know about your hobbies so they can judge you better.

Tell your readers about your pet. Just like food, people love pets, but for different reasons (you may pet your food but don’t eat your pets, please). And just like your dreams, people love hearing about your pets. Of course they want to know about your puppy and how he ever-so-gently removes cheese from between your toes with his cute puppy teeth. Oh how it tickles! Post a picture of that crazy nonsense, sicko. Your readers will eat it up. No, not your feet cheese. I just mean that your readers will enjoy the post about your pet.

Who is your favorite character from the 1982 cult classic, The Beastmaster, and why? Spoiler alert: it’s the ferrets because they’re so stinkin’ cute! They’re cuter than your puppy, even.

Give up and post a bunch of gifs. People overuse and abuse gifs. You know how you’re annoyed when people say “Yeah, baby” in that Austin Powers accent or repeat decades-old quotes from Jim Carrey movies? Well, those are the audible versions of gifs. But people love gifs. So make sure to use them often.

And if none of those ideas that I’ve listed inspire you, post a Top 10 list of something helpful and informative! But double check your list to make sure you included all ten suggestions. I mean, how embarrassing would it be if you don’t have the right amount of things listed, am I right?


This is the official Author Page of Baxter B. Bramatti created by Baxter B. Bramatti. Baxter B. Bramatti’s creative writing spans across, and mixes, many genres. Wait, I’m Baxter B. Bramatti. Why am I referring to myself in 3rd person narrative? No one else but me would make an author page about me. I have to stop looking at other people’s author pages and taking their format without thinking about it. Let’s try this again…

This is my official author page that I created to finally get a piece of internet real estate and settle down. Now I can welcome visitors, show off this beautiful purple orchid I’ve been taking care of, and promote my work. But most importantly, it’s another special space where I can interact with you!

As for me, I’m a (about to be) self-published writer, dabbling in and mixing many genres. The good thing about self-publishing is that you can cross platforms, you can write what you want to write, you can write for you or for your grandma or for your dog or for those ants that somehow keep finding a way to get into your kitchen and climb into the bowl of blueberries that you leave out on the counter. I mean, sure, you could put it in the fridge but for some reason you like your blueberries at room temperature even though that’s not even the point anymore. You just want to win the battle of the blueberries between you and the ants because you bought those blueberries for crying out loud. You are the one that went to the store and picked them out, checking them for any signs of mold and judging them on their freshness. Then you paid for them with your hard earned money. It surely wasn’t those sneaky, thieving ants that did all of that! I can destroy you in hundreds of different ways within my stories, ants. Don’t think that I won’t.

I live in Michigan with my beautiful and lovely wife, two fantastic-mean-the-world-to-me daughters, and a dog that is more like a piece of furniture that is also a trip hazard than a dog.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hi! I’m new here, and so are you!

Welcome to my Author Page. I’m so glad you made it. Come on in. There’s not much happening around here yet because I just moved into this place. Give me a chance to unpack some of these boxes over here and I’m sure I’ll find something exciting for you soon. Oh, please don’t touch them. I have them stacked carefully and I don’t want…Hey! No peeking either! I gotta get organized first. No, I’m not mad at you. I could never be mad at you. Why, my heart would turn into peanut brittle and crack into a million pieces before I was mad at you. No, I don’t have any peanut brittle. I think there’s some leftover pizza and a bottle of most-likely-expired-mustard in the fridge, though, if you’re hungry. No, I’m not suggesting you put mustard on the pizza. You can if you want. I’m just letting you know what’s available if you’re hungry. Yes, I’m aware that sounds disgusting. Well, do you know of any other author page that offers food? Stephen King’s page gave you tacos? Well, go on over to Stephen King’s page then. No, I’m not mad at you. I already told you that I could never be mad at you, remember? I’m just saying, why not go on over to Stephen King’s page if you’re hungry, grab some tacos, and then head back here and we’ll hang out some more? And bring me some Stephen-King-author-page tacos, won’t you? We’ll both feel better with some food in our bellies. But please, do come back. I’m hopeful there will be some cool stuff going on around here once I start getting some of these boxes unpacked. Also, I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to those tacos. I’d probably get sick if I squirt some old mustard on that leftover pizza I have in the fridge. Then it’d just take me longer to get to these boxes. It’s hard to unpack when you’re tethered to a toilet or stuck at urgent care. Alright, tacos first and then it’s time to get to work.

See you soon! Oh, and make sure to get extra guac. And something to drink, too. Or else we will be washing down those tacos with that old mustard. I don’t think WordPress has turned on my water yet.