The End of Camping.

There will come a day when I recover enough to tell the tales of The Reedster Camps.

Today is not that day.

Instead, I leave you with this image (click for larger view).

Whoever said “life begins outside your comfort zone” is full of shit.

Posted in I am the weakest link. Goodbye., Inappropriate Behavior, Self Improvement, The Reedster Camps | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Reedster Camps | The Movie Trailer

This movie trailer was scheduled to be released yesterday, but our production department ran into some issues with YouTube. Apparently, they weren’t keen on my use of “Under Pressure” by Queen + David Bowie for the soundtrack. Which is odd, because the remaining members of Queen were TOTALLY OKAY with it (hi Brian!), so I’m guessing that David Bowie, suspecting a viral sensation, was all “I WANT MORE MILLIONS! GIMME ALL THE MILLIONS!”

But did I let this minor setback crush my creative spirit? No. No I did not. Instead I went with a royalty-free stock music sound-alike called “Absolute Rush.” I think you’ll enjoy it.

tl;dr David Bowie is probably a greedy asshole so I’m using a fake Rush song instead.

And so, without further ado…

The Reedster Camps | The Movie Trailer

In this rare on-camera interview, Cindy Reed of The Reedster Speaks discusses her highly anticipated camping trip and the challenges ahead. Some people are calling it the best 3 minutes and 43 seconds on the internet.

Posted in Self Improvement, The Reedster Camps | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

I guess I’m going camping.

We’re spending a week with my family in Minnesota so I thought, hey! We should totally extend that to two weeks and camp ourselves silly on the way there and back.

How hard could it be to take the girls on a road trip by myself?

Sure, I’ve never hiked in the four years we’ve lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but those trails are tricky to find. But I do I have kickass hiking shoes. The right one got tons of use this summer when I needed it to balance out the Velcro boot on my broken left foot.

I think the first word most people would use to describe me is “hale.” Sure, there was that bout with mono last fall. And yes, I spent part of our Disney vacation in the Celebration, Florida hospital after Harry Potter tried to kill me, but doesn’t everyone have a funny story like that?

I’ve never towed a trailer, but my dad pulled one behind our station wagon for years so that probably rubbed off on me. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully put up a tent either, but I’m kind of counting on Astrid to handle that.

I wanted to rent this super-cool pop-up camper called the Aliner. You can set that sucker up in like 60 seconds. But I kept not calling the place and not calling the place so when I finally called today, two weeks before our trip, can you believe that it wasn’t available?

Aliner with drop shadow

Sick pop-up trailer. Aliner should totally pay me for mentioning it on my blog or else sponsor our trip.

So I rented a tiny teardrop trailer instead. It’s pretty much a queen bed on wheels. You can’t stand up in it or anything, but it has this place in the trunkish area where you can pop a Coleman stove or just set your Happy Meals out in a line. I’ve never lit a propane stove but my grandma had this old oven you lit with a match and only one time did it sort of explode and melt my sister’s argyle socks.

little guy

Spacious travel trailer for three.

We can’t all fit in the queen bed, but luckily the trailer comes with this tentish thing called the Side Mount Screen Room™ that you suction onto the door. I’m not sure if it has actual sides or if it’s see-through but who cares? I’m comfortable with my aging body.

Tent that may or may not be translucent.

Tent that may or may not be translucent.

I’ll need a hitch and it appears welding might be involved, which is no problem because my dad ran a welding supply company. I practically grew up with a blow torch in my hand. I mean, he never actually let me touch one, but sometimes he would let us suck helium out of a cylinder and make funny voices.

Come to think of it, I’m not completely sure I actually rented that trailer. I talked to the lady and she said to fill in the online form but when I filled it out I realized that my car insurance card expires on July 28, which is two days before I would need the camper. Matt wasn’t home and I tried to get into the USAA site so many times to see why my card was expired even though they keep auto-taking my money that I locked us out of the account. So I just put the expired date down.

I hope she’s not a hardass about current insurance.

Posted in I am the weakest link. Goodbye., Self Improvement | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Reedster writing course for bloggers
What’s up, you ask? Oh, no biggie. It’s just that this fall I’m teaching a writing class for bloggers so awesome, I’m calling it an “experience.”

It’ll be just like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, except with fewer guitars.

Well, no guitars, actually. It will be guitar-free. (Unless you bring a guitar. Then we’ll talk.)

But it will still kick ass. Because I am the Jimi Hendrix of writing teachers practically .

Storytelling for Bloggers

An Online Writing Experience


Registration Opens August 20 | Classes Begin September 15

In 60 days, I’ll teach you how to:

  • Turn your blah ideas into kickass stories
  • Stick with one core concept per post
  • Stop when enough is enough already
  • Ruthlessly edit your work to 400-600 words
  • Hone your authentic voice so you don’t sound like a big phony

Why nonfiction storytelling? Why not just teach you how to write good shit? Because storytelling is the most effective way to engage your audience. EVEN SCIENCE SAYS SO. Master the art of nonfiction storytelling and your readers will linger, share your stuff, and come back for more.


Hang with me this fall and together we’ll unleash your inner storyteller. Who the hell am to teach you? Well, I’ve won some awards for my work here at The Reedster Speaks and I’m a certified master online teacher. That’s right. I’m a MASTER TEACHER, MOTHERFUCKERS.

So kick it up a notch already. Create fans who will love you and want to marry you.

I don’t want to be dramatic or anything, but if you don’t ENTER YOUR EMAIL BELOW you MIGHT MISS IT and RUIN EVERYTHING.

(Don’t ruin everything. That would suck for you.)

Enter Your Email Below.

Posted on by Cindy Reed | Leave a comment

Smiling Lessons.


subway 18th

In the fall of 1998, a ginger-bearded doctor taught me how to smile.

Dr. Zammit, he of the inconveniently located Morningside Heights office, was turning things around in the Cindy-is-a-crazy-drunk department, starting with correcting my diagnosis from depression to bipolar. Maybe he noticed that sometimes I spoke like an auctioneer and thought I was going to be The Ultimate World Peacemaker in the next month, and then other times I forgot to wash my hair all week and talked like my old boyfriend’s father, a Kentuckian who could stretch the word “pie” into four syllables.

Dr. Z was the perfect therapist for me. He never harped on the past, like my memory of having a bloody nose in my crib and my sisters shushing me until they skittered back to their beds, leaving me with a smeared face and rusty handprints on the wall. Dr. Zammit was never all “What does it mean, the bloody nose? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”

Instead, he introduced me to cognitive behavioral therapy. We started with my crippling social anxiety, the leftover ruins of removing the scotch from my hand. The plan was to immerse me slowly in social situations until I felt comfortable, like they do with elevator-phobics who just have to look at the closed elevator, then look at the open elevator, then stand on the elevator when it’s not moving, until one day they CANNOT STOP RIDING ELEVATORS BECAUSE THEY LOVE ELEVATORS SO MUCH NOW.

My “just look at the goddamned elevator” task was literally to smile at one new person within seven days. I asked if I could wear sunglasses and Dr. Z said yes. Friendliness without sunglasses was apparently an AP class in smiling, for later.

I put it off, of course. There was no stranger-smiling for me on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. On Saturday I didn’t leave my apartment because sometimes that happens when talking to people is scary. Sunday is, of course, a day of rest, so I had to keep the no-smiling Sabbath. On Monday and Tuesday I was just too busy for this smiling nonsense.

So Wednesday arrived and I HAD TO FUCKING SMILE AT SOMEONE before 3:00. As I sprinted from my office on Union Square to the 1/9 station on Sixth Avenue, I practiced a fake story about how I smiled at someone and new worlds opened up and I was all better now probably.

The weather changed from droplets to sheets of rain. I had to stand for the approximately 400 stops between 18th and 116th Streets, as a fellow New Yorker’s soaking umbrella dripped on my shoe. The rain was now at last scene in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” level, except that I noticed as I raced from Broadway to St. Luke’s on Amsterdam. My body rained all over the waiting room carpet.

I was late. I had failed my first week’s assignment and I never failed assignments. I might be an alcoholic and a manic depressive but I always got A’s, damn it. I felt an ugly cry coming on from behind my sunglasses, which I was surprised to find I was still wearing.

The receptionist looked at me with pity. She was kind and concerned and had paper towels – real ones and not just the scratchy brown kind from the bathroom. She handed me the whole roll.

I looked up at her with more gratitude than I’d felt for at least a season.

I smiled.

Posted in Self Improvement, These posts are not funny. | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments