Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh the Irony

Journal 2-2

I actually thought it was ironic the subject of the day was drawing for inspiration when I’d already done that in my notebook (a tiny sketch of a symbol), have done it many times before, and have already drawn 6 maps of future worlds for current books (either finished or in the making), and plan to draw more. So naturally I was sitting there grinning like an idiot thinking in a little singsong voice, “I’ve already done this!”

Not like that makes me special, but I think it at least shows I’m on the right path in a sense that I do a variety of things. Anyway, the neighborhood I chose has a lot of memories attached to it. My list on the back included 14 things. It made me remember a lot of good times I had with friends and family during my whole 2 years of living there. It’s been my favorite house since – almost as good as my home in Colorado. It made me remember the series of vignettes I wrote in 8th grade. We had a student teacher and I remember every single person in the room bitching about the amount of work she wanted us to do (I think it was a total of 5-7 vignettes), whereas I simply dove in and gave her the maximum amount. I really wish now that I had saved them because they were great stories, slice-of-life sort of things. Crazy stories that happen when you’re with your friends and heartwarming ones, such as getting a new dog after falling into the belief that you’ll probably never have one again (as long as you’re living with your parents that is).

I was smiling half the time, remembering simple things, fun things, strange things, and even a few things that brought up a little anger from the past. I wonder who lives in that little house now. That house is the reason I miss having carpet so much. Though I don’t really know what exactly my older sister thinks of things then, I know my parents and younger sister had a hard time of it, but I loved it. We all had different experiences there, and I think mine might have been the best.

Those times made me think that maybe my first piece would have something to do with that house – another vignette type, or longer. But I don’t remember enough of any one story to have a clear cut one. I know I could forgo being totally truthful (or as much as possible) and go ahead and mesh experiences if necessary, but I really do prefer them as they could be – pure memory (or as much as possible) of one experience. I don’t know…I’m still iffy on the whole idea.

But I did start wondering…about the house…I wonder who lives there now?

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Writer's Crawl Does Not Involve Alcohol

Journal 2-1

I rather enjoyed the Writer’s Crawl (I like the name too). Getting out and about once and a while really appeals to me and if I have a notebook in my hand, it’s just as good. I remember once I just couldn’t get anything done in my house one summer, so I asked my sister to drop me off at Barnes & Noble the morning she went to work and to just pick up me when she got off. That’s 8 hours at Barnes & Noble and I don’t think I brought any money to eat anything either. This was back when they still had the tables. Anyway, I sat there for the longest time ever and just wrote because the atmosphere was just what I needed. After about 5 hours I started to run down, but I was glad I had finally gotten so much accomplished. So yes, I do think the Writer’s Crawl concept is a good one. Besides, it gave me an excuse to finally check out the place that replaced Rocky’s. Initially my friends and I had banned ever going there because of that (seeing as Rocky’s was the only place for us underagers to go and party Freshman and Sophomore year), but I really was pretty curious as to what was inside. Now my curiosity is satisfied and I can still pretend I condemn the place to my friends. ^_~

As for ideas…hmm…. I don’t know. It depends on where they are and how we would be expected to go there because I don’t have a car and I don’t know what some of the other places are. I mean there’s always the bus…. Haha, Barnes & Noble. But that’s far away and even so, I don’t know if the one here still has its tables or not. The one in Champaign got rid of all but one (to my dismay). I’ve always had a thing for bookstores though…or libraries. All those books just appeal to me. If I’m going to do serious writing, I want a place to be quiet these days. It’s actually kind of disappointing because I remember when I was in high school and I could ignore all the background noise without any problems whatsoever and write to my heart’s content. Now I like to be in places where I’m positive I wont’ get interrupted, yet still with an atmosphere I find interesting. It’s getting hard to find a balance – or at least to find a place where I won’t get distracted or find ways to distract myself. I guess I just need to buckle down more than I have been. I really should work on book #1…but I digress (as usual). Art!

Yes, I’ve had an epiphany. What about the art area we have – ooh, or maybe even the CPA building, or even the COB. I’ve only been in there once. Interesting architecture or buildings with artsy surroundings may be able to provide some kind of inspiration in some. I don’t know what’s in the art displays as of right now though…but I am always looking for some kind of excuse to go down there and poke around.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Hopes, Fears, Dreams - man does that sound cliché

Journal 1-2

My hope for this class is that I won’t feel like I have in previous classes if I get to write within my niche, even if just once. You see, my niche is the hardest genre to break into (so I’m told) – fantasy and sci-fi. My escape from reality and my hope that in being published, others may be able to escape from reality through my work. However, many teachers I’ve encountered are into their own style and some other styles and don’t seem to take fantasy/sci-fi seriously. In fact, some of them even seem to look down on it, as though those types of writings are stupid, or take no strong intellect to do. This might not be true for any of my past teachers for all I know, it’s just a feeling I get from them. I just wish for once is that if I decide to write something along those lines I don’t feel like some outcast, fantasy-geek for doing so. I’m really not. I really do have goals for writing this way, as mentioned above. That is it is just so fun to write.

I think that about does it for hopes. I’m pretty open to everything else because I’m aware that I can’t write within my niche all the time. Besides, moving outside the box will give me more ideas and hopefully some thoughts that I can include elsewhere to make my writing just that much better. I have noticed recently (on a writing spree not too long ago) that I did certain things, syntax-wise that I would like to cut down on by finding alternate ways of conveying what I want. Oh, and showing and telling. I’m always trying to polish on that, and I probably always will be.

Fears…ugh. Group work. Ok, I guess that’s not entirely true. After all, I am into the concept of workshops. It makes sense and it is very beneficial. What better way to improve than to have potential readers, well, read your work, right? So that I’m not bothered about. I was reading about the Writer’s Crawl thing and though I am pretty excited about skipping around outside the classroom, notebook in hand (I do so love notebooks – I got two free from the Alamo and they’re college-ruled, totally blank in that perfect whiteness I’m so fond of – one of them is already my notebook for this class), I don’t know about this whole reading aloud to the group thing. To a certain degree I’m pretty private about the intricacies of my writing, whether it’s just some random words on a page or one of my books. I don’t know. I think I’ll just have to wait it out and see. It’s not really a fear. It’s just not one of my favorite things to do. I’m a lone wolf. Always have been, but that’s a long story in itself...

Expectations, hmm…. Just a lot of writing really. I have about 20 books to read for other classes, so the amount of drafts has me just a little concerned, but I’m sure I’ll be able to work through it. In fact, I think this will be the first time in any class or anything on my own where I will have written over 3 drafts for one piece of material. I know it’s a bad thing, but I’ve never really been into drafts, just like I was never into dark shading in art class. But oh well. I’m a hard worker. In the end, three pieces = cake. Whoo! =)

Monday, August 22, 2005

When Writing Sucks?

Journal 1-1

This is hard already. I can’t really think of a writing experience that was bad enough to scar me for life so that I could never forget it. So I guess I’ll go with my first rejection letter. The truth is I sort of expected it. I wasn’t devastated when I got it because all writers are bound to be rejected at some point or another and I was completely aware of this. Rejection is a part of a writer’s life, end of story. Usually when being rejected, form letters are sent; sorry, thanks but no thanks, regards, so and so. Not much to go on. I, however, had sent my story to a Canadian magazine and received a paper in the mail with a whole checklist of things that were wrong with my story – their reasons for stashing it in the slush pile. They were good reasons. An editor had even written some notes at the bottom. A part of me read them and understood where he was coming from. It made perfect sense in regards to what I had sent. The guy wasn’t an editor for nothing.

So there I was, rejected and being told very clearly why my story sucked (which I now look back and think, yeah, it did), but at the same time I was quite impressed with what he had sent back. It wasn’t my last rejection letter. I was essentially told all my stories sucked (yes, they did), but I do give that Canadian magazine credit for sending back such a detailed form. I should try writing a short story that doesn’t suck (oh the agony of my short story intellect) and send it to them again.

True, that little story doesn’t exactly scream, “Oh my God! Such a horrible experience!” and in a way negates itself; starting off sounding as though it will be and then ending up with a “moral of the story.” Rejection isn’t always so bad. It never was, really. I’m pretty mild about it. But to get back on topic, I’ve always enjoyed my writing and even when being critiqued by my peers online (yes, I am with an online workshop) and in the classroom, though it can be tough to hear things that are wrong with your story or that just don’t make sense, I really do my best to keep an open mind. Much of the time I read or listen to what they have to say and think, “Aah, that makes sense…” I think I’m rambling now. I tend to do that if I don’t have a topic I can stick to like glue.