So my brother's band got into a battle of the bands at my university. There's a voting thing, and the winner will get to open for the big concert later this spring, as well as get a mention in Spin magazine and some cash.
If anyone would like to help me get them the rub they need, by clicking this link and voting for 'Inklosure' I'd be very appreciative. You can vote once a day, so by all means, do!
Now, you can listen to all three entrants and decide for yourselves, of course; I'm not gonna ask people to vote just because it's my family. I honestly think Inklosure has the best, certainly the most current, music even though Inklosure was given almost zero warning of when the submission would be due, and had to record it in a storage unit using a computer speaker and Audacity. Their competition obviously has professional recording equipment available and the funds to make it work, so they don't need the win that badly. Thanks!
"And she drove with the same hard, accurate skill that she used on the concert stage, like a man. It is what the reviews still say of her: a masculine strength. They usually add a phrase about feminine sensibility or, more negatively, lack of masculine intelligence. 'Not bright but sometimes brilliant,' was her teacher's evaluation of her. She had and has the force of discipline. These things are enough."
-- excerpt from This Is Not For You by Jane Rule.
I don't know why, but this excerpt from this story hit me as impossibly empowering for this character. This is early enough in her description that we know little about her before now; she's a college student, a musician, possibly a lesbian, and dresses well. The last two sentences seem especially worthy of study.
Storyshop is ready to go. If you are a serious writer and don't mind working to improve yourself, come see us! If you're not a serious writer, you might come by and just watch the proceedings anyway.
Alright. I'm gonna try to put together that workshop page I mentioned a while back... it's going to be at Storyshop. Anyone who wants to participate or help, let me know. Now, this isn't going to be a place where you can go to have people critique your work for nothing. You MUST participate in order to get the benefits. The goal here is to improve ourselves as writers, until we are good enough that there's something to worry about publishing. Quite frankly, I've seen very little around WC that would warrant serious publication, including my own work. But that's what we're hoping to improve.
One thing I've learned in college is that a writing workshop can be worlds more effective than a writing class.
So here's what I'm suggesting and I hope people wanna try. A round-table writing workshop where members can contribute sections of stories (or poetry) that they feel could be improved. These sections would then be looked over by all involved, and appropriate feedback supplied on an independent wiki-page.
Finally, after all my grinding away at the wheel, I'm being published!
... to a lit mag, but still! Finally, some reward! Every little bit helps, you know.
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-relate
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.
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!
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.
Ha! I finally got internet working in my room!
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.
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.
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.
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 responsibiliti
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
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.
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!
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.
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.