[Mister Saint]'s blog

1357  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-02-22
Written: (5127 days ago)

I'm learning lots of new things in my writing classes this semester. A list approaches!

1. Journalism is just as fake in print as it is on television. I wrote an article about moving away from 'retribution justice' i.e. someone kills a guy, we kill him back, and towards 'restorative justice' i.e. someone kills a guy, the killer has to make amends to the family and then goes to jail. My 'editors' rearranged my paragraphs, cut things out, and added a hokey 80's catch phrase to my lead (lede) line that not only interrupted the flow of the statement (it didn't even fit in context) but was absolutely antithetical to the entire article.

2. Contemporary writing = telling stories about things that happen in everyday life. My creative writing course apparently centers around this mundane garbage. We're being led to write about relationships and families and homes, jobs and kids, instead of things that are actually, um, interesting.

3. Focus on character instead of setting and plot. I half-agree with this, but I'll tell you right now that I remember far more about the fat pimp gut-punching the main character in Catcher in the Rye and him sneaking into his own house than I do about the characters, and that book is some sort of classic. I can't even remember his name, and I only read it a few weeks ago. I think that events driven by characters are what make stories interesting, followed closely by the reactions to those events. Still, events.

4. Instructors are human, too. I get quite a bit of flak from my CW teacher for 'dictional tone' (I dunno what that means, either) and told that my internal rhyme and such feel forced, when other people who've read it like those parts the best. This is a good life-lesson for any writer.

5. If you're inclined, you can surmise ten million things about even the shortest story. Whether those things are accurate or not doesn't really matter, as long as you can get academia to accept and start repeating them. The most famous example I can think of is how folks widely considered Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' books to be an allegory (story written to represent something else) representing the World Wars until he actually came out and said 'No, I hate allegory, this is nothing like that.' 

Sorry for the length. I've just been poking through the blogs and thought something writing-related might be appropriate. ^_^

1331  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-02-15
Written: (5135 days ago)

I'm so glad Valentine's day is over. I agonized over what I was gonna do for my girlfriend this year, for weeks in advance. Actually, I did last year, too. I had things I had planned to give her... jewelry, namely. But when V-day arrived, I was flat broke. I had no money, couldn't find a job in that horrible little town... but I didn't want to tell her that. "Honey, sorry, you get nothing because I'm unemployed." So I tried to cover for it by saying "I couldn't find anything worthy of you," while I finished working on some artwork I'd decided to go with when I realized I wouldn't have the funds to send her the swag. She was furious with me for quite some time over that. This year, I planned ahead, and got her a nice present - still nothing fancy - and... come V-day, all the agonizing turned out to be moot.

It occurred to me that being single on V-day again wouldn't be that bad, if only I could afford alcohol. And drank. I'm just glad it's over, personally. I'm hoping I can pull some good inspiration out of all this.

1324  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2007-02-14
Written: (5135 days ago)

Ha! Finally, something good. I have fixed my computer's display! I've been running in 16 colors for weeks. o.o Now it has... function!

1314  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2007-02-13
Written: (5137 days ago)

The Poetry Dueling Arena has restructured its categories to allow a more thorough experience for the entrants. Check it out, if you're interested. There are no duels this week while the older entries get sorted into the new categories, but you can enter just like always!

I'm doing the best I can, right now. I died on Saturday night, at about 12:32am. Sunday morning, I guess. 0032 hours if you like. So if I'm not quite my usual happy helpful self, forgive me. I'll try though.

1302  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-02-08
Written: (5142 days ago)

Ha! I finally got internet working in my room!

1260  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2007-01-24
Written: (5156 days ago)

If anyone's interested, I could use a critique on my poem 79.Poetry.The Spilling Ants for my creative writing class. I don't like this sort of writing, so I'm not that good at it.

College is... well, I still hate it. My daily routine is to wake up and go straight to class after a cereal bar, yawn through it (except creative writing) then go immediately here to the Powell lab where the computers don't run so poorly. I check up on WritersCo and my comics for the day, check email and do any assignments I have hanging around, and then head back to my room to kill a few hours. Usually I do this by running through my MMA daily routine and trying not to break anything in the room, and then working on some writing or poem or something. I get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich break in between, and all this lasts until 7pm EST, when my bestest friend calls and we talk for a few hours about all kinds of stuff.

I still, inexplicably, flip out and cry every single day. For no reason, generally, but sometimes small ones. I heard a sad song on the radio one day. I looked at my watch that my brother gave me a different day. I was reading a poem another. All dumb reasons, but that's the result. It's not as bad now, though. I still cry, but not like, debilitating, can't-breathe crying like last week.

Um... got my finances straightened out. And I'm going through all of this nonsense for one primary reason. Because my girlfriend wanted me to. Yup, I broke out of my comfortable bubble, spent all this money I don't have, left home and my cat and my family, eat on an average of five US dollars a week, and spend every single weekday in solitude for her. She's great, she is.

The good news is, this is Wednesday. All I have to do is get through tomorrow, and then I can go home on Friday. My novel-writing endeavors have been murdered by this college thing, but maybe when I get settled down some more. Anyway, thash the report. 

1255  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2007-01-16
Written: (5164 days ago)

Gah! I missed her by fourteen minutes.

Well, no improvement on the college front. It's a load of red tape and isolation, and I hate it absolutely. Class, on the other hand, is okay so far. Anyway, yay. Wanna go home. Can't, so hey.

1254  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2007-01-15
Written: (5166 days ago)

Well... here I am. Eastern Kentucky University, yay. So far just about everything is screwed up... I have no phone line, no functional internet in my room, no blanket or fitted sheet (my fault), and I have lots of yelling to do at the various departments. I'm lucky I happened upon this set of functional computers in the lobby of my dormitory, as all the labs are closed for the long weekend. Nothing here seems to be open on the weekends, which is sort of disturbing since its a college town.

I took a long walk/jog to go buy a phone... it took about an hour and some change. I also had to sprint across four intersections, fun when people don't like to acknowledge the walk signal, as the signals don't last long enough to actually walk across in time. I still feel like this is a terrible idea.

Oddly enough, I'm not on the roster for the dorm, despite having the assignment. Neither is my roommate, apparently, even though his name is on our door and he's not there. Weird. There's also no listed phone number for my room. The check in lady told me the number earlier, but I didn't think to write it down, and the next person at the check in desk didn't know where to find it.

So... good luck, that I found this thing. My sleeping schedule has to change, though, which is gonna be hard. Or maybe it won't? I don't know just now, I'm having a horrible time transitioning and I'm not thinking very well. I've been mood swinging today every other minute.

I do like the bathrooms. Apparently my floor has a pirate theme, and a sign leading to the 'poop deck'. The showers are pretty small, and my shoulders are too wide to walk straight into the stall so I have to turn sideways, but at least these have a nice bench to set my stuff on. The hot/cold handles, however, are horribly confused, which did lead to a humorous moment where I blasted myself with hot, then cold, water in turn.

1251  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2007-01-13
Written: (5168 days ago)

I'll be moving off to school on either Sunday, or Monday... I want Monday, but who knows. Either way, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to keep up with my responsibilities here, but if I can't, I'll elt everyone know. This will only be the second time I've lived away from home, the first having been for only six months, so... it's going to be hard for me. Breaking out of a reclusive hermitage is scary. But yeah. So you know.

1250  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-01-11
Written: (5170 days ago)

Anybody here a fan of Meat Loaf? (the performer, not the food) I doubt it, but anyway... I was listening to some of his older work, and came across this gem that makes me laugh, and is an actually well written piece of work. It's from the song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"

"...I couldn't take it anymore/Good lord, I was crazy/ As the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave

I started swearing to my God/ and on my mother's grave/ that I would love you till the end of time

(pause, drumroll)

So, now, I'm praying for the end of time/ To hurry up, and arrive/ Cause if I had to spend another minute with you / I don't think that I could really survive

I'll never break my promise/ or forget my vows/ but God only knows what I could do right now

I'm praying for the end of time/ So I can end my time with you"

It makes me laugh. Misdirection and irony.

1249  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-01-11
Written: (5170 days ago)

I have my character/race rewritten and fleshed out to redo after my book's premise was rendered 'unoriginal' by Elantris. Hopefully I'll get some time to restart the book *wailing* while I'm away. My dorm room is, to quote my brother Rodd, "within pissing distance" of the building where all my classes are, which is lovely. I have my things ready to go, for the most part. Gonna be a trip.

I am going to miss a few things. At this point, mostly, I'll miss my weekly sparring matches. I worked out some new additions to my move set tonight, one of which worked well, the other worked very well. Let me tell ya, a flying knee by a 290lb. man is not pretty, but it's damned hard to defend. There's also something strangely liberating about being punched in the head. Whee!

1242  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2007-01-08
Written: (5173 days ago)

January 7th.

Okay, I was wrong. But now I'm worried... I could have sworn Emily said she was to return the night of the sixth, but that could just be my horrible memory playing evil tricks on me. I just won't survive if something's happened to her, but I still feel that heaviness hanging over me, saying something has gone wrong.

On the light side of the news, my kicks are improving! I can finally kick over my eye level, which is no small feet for a 290 lbs. man. I noticed that I have a bruise about the size of a an american half-dollar on my right foot from where I threw a kick that my coach blocked with the point of his elbow. That was on Tuesday. It made me laugh. At least my nose is finally feeling a little better.

I talked to my dear friend Erin today on the phone for... gourd, probably well over three hours. She's such a delightful person! She has an amazing sense of humor, and a voice that just makes me smile. Just a lovely, lovely person on the whole.

I'm working on re-setting my book's story, after Elantris smashed the concept into ignominy. I have a new set-up, but damned if I feel up to rewriting the whole bloody thing. Especially with me about to go into college again, I just don't know if I'll have the time.

Ugh... anyway. I sincerely hope this is my last entry like this. Peace love and doughnuts.

1239  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2007-01-07
Written: (5174 days ago)

Saturday, January 6th

In ten more days I'll be starting at college again. It gives me the shivers to think about it. I find myself trying to put it out of mind, but that only makes me feel worse about it. Just have to concentrate on wrapping things up here.

Still missing Emily, of course... and my frigging nose still hurts, but not as bad. Tonight I cooked vegetable soup, homemade of course, talked MMA with a friend who is staying the night, and had a nice long talk with a new friend here. I also updated the Poetry Dueling Arena, which has two duels this week, so vote!

I had a similar dream, again. It feels so wonderful to live that way, that I hate to wake up to see it end. But, those are the breaks.

I had a talk with Tracie last night. Usually we don't talk, we just sort of acknowledge each other. Last night, though, she was ready with an answer to all of my questions... she answered quickly and abruptly, making her point without any rambling, but her voice is still very sweet. She told me some things about herself that I didn't know, and I felt more comfortable with her after the fact. It was nice, in a way.

I've been keeping this daily journal since Emily left on her trip, to keep myself distracted at night. Hopefully this will be the last one, as she should be getting back tomorrow if things go right. I'm praying for her as always. She's cool that way.

1236  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2007-01-06
Written: (5175 days ago)

Friday, January 5th: I got my housing application mailed off today, with the hundred dollar deposit. I'll have to take out loans to pay for this semester, and all I can do is hope that my degree, unlike my older brother's physics degree, can actually get me a good job to pay it back when all's said and done.

It still feels like a bad idea. I don't know why. I can't explain it, but the closer I get to going back to school, the more of a doomed feeling I get. Like the end of everything is approaching, or something. It's a very creepy feeling.

In good news, Jinx has fallen in love with the laser pointer. He'll chase that red dot around the floor as long as you feel like pointing it, and you can make him run in circles with it. I did on one occasion that saw him get dizzy and fall on his butt. He loves it, though.

I re-read "El Goonish Shive" recently. For anyone who is into graphic novels and doesn't mind weird humor (including gender-swapping, aliens, and so forth) check it out. The writer of this comic has an amazing talent at foreshadowing and dropping little hints in his story, referencing minute details a month after they appear in the story sometimes. It's a very fun comic on the surface, and very deep underneath. Especially if you like hunting for clues. Look it up.

I still miss Emily, and my nose still hurts. Both of them are bittersweet feelings... missing Emily just reminds me how I love her, and I actually shook Rodd's hand for landing that shot to my face. It was a good shot, and I'd been looking forward to taking a power hit ever since I started training MMA.

Oh. Lastly, I had a wonderful dream last night. So wonderful, in fact, that when I woke up I was nearly in tears for learning it had only been a dream. I can't really talk about it to the general populous, but suffice to say, I hope I have it again tonight. And no, it was not a sex dream. Perverts.

1234  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2007-01-05
Written: (5176 days ago)

Thursday, January 4th: Not much of a day. Having some trouble with my college information for some reason, but that's easily handled.

Emily called me today. I heard her beautiful voice and again, I couldn't speak for a few moments. I miss her so much... it feels like forever until the end of the week. But we talked a while, about how she is and how her trip has been, and though she was under the weather it was a very nice chat. I love her, and hearing from her was fantastic. I didn't cry this time, until after we said our good-byes. Last time, I didn't make it that long. But that was very happy!

1232  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-01-04
Written: (5177 days ago)

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Still feeling the nose-hurtness. I registered for my classes today... my bonehead advisors are little help, no matter how many times I say "I need at least seventeen hours of useful classes" they can't advise anything! I've ended up with an English major, creative writing emphasis... little direct job market, but I'm also going to take a class that puts me in writing for the college newspaper, so I can have a portfolio in case I want to pursue print journalism. I want to work in the publishing industry, or as an editor... maybe help writers like me, who have something to say but can't get through the red tape to say it.

I thought less about Emily being gone today. Okay. That's a lie. I haven't cried so far... that would be a lie, too. Less, though. I had some irrational fears... the terrible rumor is that women who go to the weddings of their friends become instantly more interested in committed relationships. With the distance between us, if Emily decided to take on that mindset... I'm afraid I would lose her. I'd rather be knee-capped. But I trust Emily, and I have faith in her, as she's always shown faith in me.

Gourd, my face hurts. 

1231  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-01-04
Written: (5177 days ago)

Belated Entry : Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Even though it has been less than a day since I spoke with Emily, I feel like it has been so much longer. I'm worried on a hundred different levels, about a hundred different things. Her safety, her feelings, if she enjoys herself, if the wedding goes alright, then my own feelings, my own worries, and all the combinations and ramifications thereof.

The good news is, tonight we sparred and trained some. It was very nice, very helpful, and we did a little more groundwork than usual. We started, though, with some boxing, which is my strongest point. I try not to brag too much, but I am proud of how well I throw hands.

So I sparred with my brother Rodd, and just dominated him the first two rounds. Rodd is in excellent cardiovascular shape, though, so he even told me later that all he had to do was wait for me to punch myself out to get in a hit. Still, in the third round I was doing just fine, keeping the guard up, switching stances, juking, all the lovely things that look so dumb from outside.

Finally, though, I threw a punch and got a side stitch. Now, for anyone whose never had a really bad side stitch, I'd like to say... DON"T GET FAT TO BEGIN WITH! But also, side stitches hurt. A lot. A way lot. As a result, I couldn't breathe, and even though I did okay, it caused me to drop my guard hand at just the wrong time.

BOOM! Rodd hit me so hard I could taste it. The sound I heard, and I actually had a minute to stop and think about this in 'ring slow motion', was the sound of a too-big stopper in tub previously full of hot water. You pull it out, and it goes 'plunk' with a popping sound. That's what I heard, and the stiffness and swelling I ended up having indicated that, yup, broke my nose a little. Now, I kind of doubt it really is, but that's how it feels. I actually started to bring my hands back up to get back into it, but my eyes welled up (which happens when you get hit that low on your nose) and I had to step back. 

Even so, I still won overall. After I rested a little I sparred with Iz, my karate-student brother, and did okay. Then I sparred with the coach, in point-spar kickboxing, and went to a 4-5 loss. But! I worked in some kicks and found them vastly improved. Push kicks and leg kicks in particular, but today was the first time I managed to put a useful kick in the head-shoulder area. Not that I landed any. Iz referred to my spar with Brandon as 'extreme patty cake' because neither of us could land a solid hit due to our careful guarding. My teeth and nose were throbbing like hell at this point, so I was very careful to guard. So yeah, fun fun.

I got home, though, and started to wilt. I made it to my bed early, because without Emily there's no reason to stay up. I played SOCOM, and thought about this going to college thing. It feels like the wrong thing to do, but so does not going. I'm the kind of person who always had someone standing over me growing up, saying 'this is what you need to do' and now that I don't have taht anymore, I find myself sort of lost. Parents, teachers, counselors, no one has the answers anymore. I'll get through it, though. Heh... for all the testosterone in the sparring, I still cried three separate times today. The nose-breaking doesn't count, because that wasn't crying. I promise. I've been a mess the last few weeks anyway. With Emily away for the week, I feel as though my life has no meaning. That's a good thing, though, in a sense.

1226  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2007-01-01
Written: (5180 days ago)

Welcome 2007. Let's hurry and beat it into subservience like all the years previous! So many new questions to be answered... how many awards shows will famous people come out with to further stroke their blistering egos? Can the Bush administration find new and better ways to look foolish and get my country into trouble? Who will Dick Cheney shotgun this year? Will the rest of the world finally get the idea that not all Americans are gun-toting, ignorant rednecks, or will it wallow in its own hypocritical bigotry for another few decades?  Many questions to be answered!

Well... this sucks almost as much as it rocks. I read Elantris by Brandon Sanderson today, and I discovered that it's a pretty good book. I cannot figure out the modern writers' fascination with killing off seventy to eighty percent of the characters in the last thirty pages, though this book really doesn't suffer too much for it. I felt like many of the characters were not very well fleshed out - in fact, the story-role of some of the ones who were killed off at the end eluded me at first - but all in all, it's a captivating piece of story; especially for a first effort. Still, I hate it.

And here's why. Elantris, named for a city in the story, centers around the aftermath of a world where a race of basically extinct white-haired, silver-skinned humanoids controlled everything. These people could write runes, and use the corresponding symbols to essentially cast spells. These runes could be cast on objects, or in the air using trails of light that the Elantrians produced with their fingertips. They built the runes from basic foundations, and added various modifications to determine target, strength of spell, and so forth. In addition, their home city was covered with these runes, which had different effects on the area itself.

Now, what I hate about this, is that in my unpublished work (completed a full year and a half before Elantris was published) there is a race of white-skinned, silver-haired humanoids who write runes in the air using trails of light, or on objects, building them from basic foundations and adding modification to determine target and such. The race was basically extinct, and lived in a city called Erinkan. Their city was also covered in runes.

So... yeah. As my book has gone through the editing process and the long effort of looking for a publisher, another book has come out that is so similar in this aspect that, if I didn't know for a fact the author could not have done it quickly enough to be out already, I would have thought he'd stolen the idea from me. This is obviously not true, but it does turn my book from a collection of my original ideas into a 'rip off' of an existing work.

Two hundred and fifty six thousand words, down the god damned drain.

1219  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2006-12-26
Written: (5186 days ago)

Happy today! Whatever day it is for you. If you don't celebrate, I hate you.

1213  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2006-12-17
Written: (5194 days ago)

I broke down and picked up a Harry Potter book to read, largely due to lack of other stuff to read. So far the writing is just fine, one segment actually made me smile even, though nothing really spectacular as of yet. I'll admit to going into this with some bias, though, so we'll see what happens. FOr the record, it was the hype that killed my interest in reading this stuff, not the material itself. In the same way I waited until after it was not quite as cool to watch Titanic, I hope to be free of hating it because I hear so much about it. Titanic was still garbage, but that's not its fault. All the boat could do was sink.

 The logged in version 

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