Friday, October 28, 2005

Cemetary Crawling

Journal 11-1

Haha. I knew this entry was going to be about the crawl in the cemetary.

It was a lovely day. Gorgeous in fact. It was so nice and pleasant it kind of took away the somber mood I was expecting to encounter there. Instead of being presented with the thought of sheer death and decay (which I think would have happened to a certain degree had the weather been cloudy and gray), I thought of rested souls sleeping peacefully, no one truly alone because they are surrounded by so many others. Flowers left by love, and the squirrels, those crazy squirrels.

Aside from the sunshine and happy fall leaves drifting around me in gold and orange and red, it was the squirrels that distracted me the most. They're not normal squirrels. I wrote about them instead of what I had expected to write about (which was nothing in particular, just a few vague ideas, but with the same feeling of quietness and somberness). They kept fussing at me and I could hear them chewing on nuts and whatever other snacks squirrels chew on. Several would just stare at me from their perch on a branch or from their upside-down position on the side of a tree. A lot of times I got squeaked at. At one point I thought I saw one asleep on his little broken branch and was making noises due to a dream. I was wrong. He was just still and huffing at me even though I was still far off at the time and had only come closer to see if he was indeed talking in his sleep.

But anyway, I think if the weather had been grayer and the squirrels more normal and subdued (maybe they're just not used to humans), I would have had something more interesting because I was (and always have been) intrigued by vaults and above ground tombs people decide to lay in as opposed to going into the ground. That's how I want to be when I die - placed on a bier in a tomb like a hero. I decided this long ago.

Either way, I enjoyed it. To be honest, that's the first time I've ever stepped foot in a cemetary. I liked it.

Currently: Comfy

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

How Many Times Will I Repeat Myself?

Journal 10-2

Haha. I think I've said the same things already about these books in relation to my writing. But, considering how I think usually I've just mentioned them in passing (or as I ramble), I'll go into full on detail this time around due to the question.

Breathing In, Breathing Out hasn't had much influence on me. Granted, I was excited to see that I do pretty much everything he does in his notebook and encourages others to do, but once I realized that I was already on the right path (which I was sure I was on anyway), there wasn't much else for me to soak up. It was a good book, but I've been there, still doing that, so there wasn't much influence.

Writing Down the Bones hasn't done too much either. She just presents ideas, some of which I take offense at - okay, maybe I don't exactly take offense, but I get defensive. Like the comment she made about pencils being slow and how one should find a good pen (even though she claims hers is fast, but it leaks). I hate pens. I've always used a pencil. I always will use a pencil. It's not up for debate. And it's not slow at all. Maybe she was living in the time when mechanical pencils weren't the thing to have. Then it would make more sense. Anyway, there are a few good ideas in there, but nothing has hit me.

However, I think if you put the two together, not what they say, but what they represent gave me a definitive push. That and the fact that I've been doing a lot of reading this semester, both in class and outside of class. Finally near the end of the week at one point all I wanted to do was write. So I pushed my homework out of my way as much as possible and poured over my notebooks (yes, plural). I wrote and wrote until finally I had though I lost my muse. When I found myself surrounded by notebooks and books and books about writing and pencils and pens that I actually like, I cracked and just had to write more. It was a burst of, well, something. A veritable writing spree. And when I'm finished with all this grad school stuff, I'm going to jump back on it again.

I've simply had everything I believe in reinforced is all. Knowing that I do similiar things to other writers make me proud because it means I'm not just some goof who writes in a notebook all the time, I am making progress whether or not I know it, and lapses happen. The books couldn't have done it alone though. With the help of music and various forms of entertainment (which lead to the sudden appearance of muses), I've been pushed along the edges. Not much mention of muses have been made in these books. I think they're being underestimated. I'm not saying that a writer should wait for a muse before getting to work, but when you do find yourself inthe presence of one, well then use it for goodness sakes! Use it until it can't be used anymore and has to go back to muse haven to replenish itself. I've had that happen twice (or almost twice) already. The Phantom just about passed out (haha) and Kakashi's lookin' pretty weak. Poor guy. It's easy to tell who and when each muse appeared by what I've written in my notebook.

Hehe. Delicious.

Currently: Happy

Monday, October 24, 2005

Project 1 => Project 2

Journal 10-1

Project 2 is working a little differently from Project 1. Because it's poetry, it's going to take a little more time and thought than just pumping out a draft of something. I know that sounds bad, like I don't consider my prose when I'm working on it, though I actually do (sometimes more than I should I think), but prose flows a little easier; it can be planned and all you need are the details. Things like that. Poetry, well, poetry takes more time for me, especially if I sit down with the purpose of writing poetry as opposed to letting it be spontaneous. But spontaneous isn't always the way to go. Besides, I haven't been spontaneous for a while now soo...

Project 2 is going to be harder to edit too. Editing poetry always seems funny. There are times when the reader has good points and suggestions, and there are other times when I just don't want to change what I have because I feel it loses something I wanted to say. I'm wondering how to go about questioning my group. Maybe I'll ask for some of their interpretations just to see if the poem is going in the right direction.

I guess maybe I'll go work on it now...

Currently: Somewhere Between Comfy and Dreamy

Friday, October 21, 2005

Oh The Irony...

Journal 9-3

The one day you finally decide to grant us a free write and I'm not feeling much of anything. There have been days in the past where I would have willingly spilled my guts due to frustration or sheer bright-eyed-bushy-tailedness, but today I'm pretty "meh."

But, because it is me, I'm sure I'll be able to ramble enough to get onto one specific topic and then go all out. After all, it's what I do.

Let's start with last night, shall we? Good times.

Actually, that's a lie. Last night was not good times. In fact, last night I was freaking out because of all this graduate school stuff. I felt like I was stuck. There were things I needed to do, but essentially I was stuck because I didn't know how to do them or just what to do with them. It was weird. Like one of those days where you have a list of things to do, and in all reality it's not that hard to get started, but there are just so many of them, little and big, that you don't know where to begin or how you'll finish. What made things really stupid is that at one point I flopped down on my bed at around 7 (or was it 9?) and laid there muttering to myself.

"It feels like I don't have enough time. But that's stupid because I totally have plenty of time. I could do stuff right now..."

But did I do anything? No. I was too wound up, too stressed to get anything accomplished efficiently, and if I can't do something efficiently, then I don't want to do it at all. I don't like half-assing stuff if I can help it. So finally I opted for something more relaxing.

I painted my nails. They're quite lovely too, all decked out in their French manicure glory. It was nice. And while I did that, I reread some of my book (#2) and thought about things I needed to change in it. I did have an inspiration at one point and sat there typing, nails wet with little white strips over them to keep the tip-paint at bay. I had to change the manner in which Akira had her memory blocked. Instead of giving Kaiton the ability to play with minds (which in truth, makes no sense), I busted out an old idea used ealier (which will be ironic because later on I'm going to remove it), in which Kaiton uses a chemical to get her into more of a berserker rage. Anyway, I had him pump her full of the stuff instead. It makes more sense and is a lot more fun.

I read some more. Used the Track Changes to keep tabs on what I did and eventually saved it as a revised version. It's not all revised, I'll have to go through that baby several times before it's the way it should be, but hey, .01% is a start right? I did look at it in that book view though. that was fun. Near 500 pages of goodness (single-spaced mind you!). That gets me excited.


What else?

I'm still concerned about graduate school. I don't know what my sister had to send in, but I have to send in writing samples. My problem? I don't know what to send. I mean, I understand what I need to send (poems, fiction, etc.), but out of my material, what do I send? The age old question of what they want is plaguing me. The issue of what these people consider "real" writing and what they don't eats at me. I suppose I'll just have to sift through and find a variety. A novel chapter here, a short story there, a bit of creative they want is single-spaced or double spaced? Probably double-spaced. Which kind of sucks in a way because then that means I actually get to send less material than if it were single-spaced. Hmph. I still need to get my statement of purpose ready. Ugh.

I guess I should go back to work on my portfolio now. Time to get crackin'!

Currently: Determined

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Diamante Poem = Randomness

Journal 9-2

Not something I was expecting, but here I go:

Color Orb
green, blue
revealing, sparkling, searching
worth so much and yet taken for granted-
shining, hiding, forming
red, golden

And good times were had by all. =P

Currently: Comfy

Monday, October 17, 2005


Journal 9-1

As the title implies, I've done little. I'll admit it. True, I have my discovery draft, and I do have lists of poems to work on and polish up (only using a couple out of 15), and have things planned out, but I have yet to write anything new.

Poetry-wise that is.

However I have been meeting with a new muse who has, to be blunt, been rocking my world. No, don't be disgusting, I don't have a new boyfriend or anything like that. I get different muses here and there, sometimes I can identify them, other times I can't. But this one I know and he's been very good to me. My notebook has since abandoned the numbered entries (considering I'm way past the grade-A mark anyway) and gone back to 3-asterisk divisions as is my normal routine. At the end of the semester I'll count up the different sections into a total for you, but that is by no means the correct number based upon your "entry" definition. In fact it's probably going to be less.

But no, I haven't been working on any new poetry. I haven't been in the mood, and even though I know it's not necessary to be in a mood to work on poetry, I've just been way into other aspects of my writings world. But don't worry, I'll get to them. It's not like I dispise them or anything, they're just not my top priority right now...which is kind of ironic. You'd think that my project would be the top priority when in fact my notebook and book are. Yes, my book is making it's comeback finally, which is very good. I spent all weekend, starting after my book group meeting, writing on and off, this and that, music on and off and feeling around in the dark for ideas I can use and mold into something beautiful.

I'm rambling. I always ramble. I'm in a violent mood today actually. More violent than on the sharingan day. Anyway, I don't have any questions for my group. Maybe just what they think of my theme. But actually even if they think it sucks, I don't give a shit. Because it's what I want to write, and if they dont' like it, it doesn't matter because they're not my real audience anyway. But I doubt that will be the case.

...I think I'll sit outside with my muse today.

Kakashi....watashi wa anata to ikitai desu....

Currently: Violent

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Writing Project 1

Journal 8-2

Well, it's hard to say. I'm still not used to having that many drafts because the one we're supposed to focus entirely on grammar and spelling is the last one, except my group members and I already focused on those things in each paper out of habit, which pretty much rendered the draft for editing obsolete. I don't know if we'll be docked points or anything for not having it but oh well...maybe I'll be better able to work with it this time, only since I'll be using poetry I'll turn it into a focus on presentation (punctuation use, whitespace, font size, etc.).

Anyway, I think one of the biggest problems for me was only having the input of two people most of the time. In past classes I've gotten the input from either a much larger group or the whole class. Online I'll get responses from at least five people. Considering the audience I'm shooting for, those unaquainted with the genre don't know what to look for as well, and only two people make me feel as though I'm not getting as big of a scope for help as I'd like. I even sent a draft to my sister who wasn't much help either, but that was because she told me, "I'm not into sci-fi," which I knew, but thought if she had any random ideas...

I'll have to submit this story to my online workshop. I still don't like it. I'll have to try and get their input before I polish this story more because it just doesn't feel right to me, but I need help in finding the flaws. I just feel that if I sent this off right now it would get rejected, hands down. I'm pretty confident that the idea is good enough to work. I just have to get the prose to agree.

...Never have been the best at short stories.

Currently: Tired.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bones and Writing *cue evil laughter*

Journal 8-1

I've read a few bits and pieces from it, but I forget where I left off. I've been reading a bunch of other books so I've been slacking on this one. In all honesty, I don't expect too much from it. Maybe a few ideas on how to brainstorm or get over writer's block or something, but other than that, it's pretty much just another writing book. There's only so much one can get from books about writing because in the end they all essentially say the same thing. What I really need are not books that put out ideas of what to put in a notebook or how to do this or that, but more along the lines of inspiration and query/cover letters. But you know what? I've already got those too! Hehe. Writer's Market and Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul. Especially the chicken soup one - it gets me going. I should take it off the top shelf and put it somewhere more accessible.

Since that's all I have to say on that subject, I figure I might add in a bit about my slackage and whatnot. I ran out of ink the other day printing out story #1 for a thorough examination. ...I need a red pen. However, much to my complete and utter dismay, I got the majority done when the ink just ran sucked because I had some other important things I was going to print out. And Wal-Mart and Best Buy don't carry the cartridges either. I think my printer is so old and out of sync with the world (the rest of the printers elsewhere being freaking huge) that they don't sell t hem anymore. So now I have to order them online. Crap. Well, se la vi, or whatever the hell it is the French say. I'm feeling particularly volitile today actually...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I Can See The Bumps

Journal 7-2

For the longest time I wasn't the best judge of my work. Granted, I had a general idea of what sucked and what was decent. I was never stupid enough to think anything I wrote was cloud-in-heaven perfect, but when it came to looking at my writing and being able to find out what was wrong, I had a hard time.

Once I joined an online workshop things got much better. Not only was I able to read good information about things to look for when critiquing (I was a natural at critiquing diplomatically), but I got back loads of helpful critiques of my own work pointing out things I had never thought of or ever seen before. At times someone would point out something I still didn't think was a big deal and didn't bother with it (especially if only one person out of say, the twelve, thought so), but I appreciated the comment all the same. But if the majority of those looking at the piece thought something had to be done with such-and-such part, there's a good reason I should look into it more. And usually I would sit there nodding, thinking, "Yeah, I never thought of that, but yeah." So now I have a much better idea of what I'm doing and I think I make much better judgements than before.

When I do critiques I like to keep things light. Even if there is something seriously wrong or that I feel is icky concerning whatever it is I'm reading, I'll let the writer know. That's my job. That's why they've been confident enough to let some stranger read it. But I'm not rude. As I've said, I critique diplomaticlly. I make a few goofy wise-cracks here and there and put in the occasional smiley face and always leave with a positive "Keep at it!" comment. Even if they might be competition for me in the future. But hey, if they get published before me well then that just means they might have better skill and deserve it or I just need to work harder (or both). We're all writers. We should all be pals with our shared passion. I don't mind proofing or editing at all because it helps both the writer and myself. I may come out of the reading with even more ideas on what to look for in my own reading and other things to avoid doing. Remind myself to check for spelling and grammar errors I might overlook normally. Things like that.

Besides, how else am I going to get better if I don't see any of the bumps in the road?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Erm...heheh...heh... ^_^'

Journal 7-1

I'm a loser. I haven't been doing anything. I've been slacking off completely. What is it with me and slacking? I really am a hard worker, I am. I dunno. Maybe a part of it is because I know how tough it will be to get this piece just right and so I'm putting it off because I don't like work (yes, I know, how lame is that?). Or maybe I'm just waiting for crunch time to give me a good burst of work energy and I can pump out something decent. ...Maybe I should have my parents take away my tv...

So it's still in the first stages. I have enough to make changes, no problem, and should brainstorm a few other things to add onto it so I can move on to the next draft. I seem to do this a lot lately though. I start on one thing and sort of lose interest and then start another thing. I'm going to have to force myself to get to work like I did several summers ago with #1E - I went to a Barnes & Noble for 8 hours and made myself write. ...I should find the bus schedules to go to Barnes & Noble...

So yeah. That's that. I think this is the shortest entry I've done so far, but there's really not much to talk about considering I haven't done squat and I know exactly why.

Ho hum.