Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"A Struggling Writer Lives Here"

That's what it says on my dry erase board. Why is that?

Because I've been rejected by all the graduate schools I applied to.

No, no, don't give me your sympathy; I don't want to hear a bunch of "I'm sorries," that only serves to annoy me and remind me of what happened. And this is writing related, which is why this post exists.

For those of you who don't know, I was rejected by Carbondale Monday the 6th (or at least that's when I got the letter). Edwardsville said no in the first package of mail I opened Sunday night, and today my father informed me that U of I had sent the rejection there (why they sent it to the house, I have no idea). Of course, my dad started getting all these ideas, which (of course) only began to aggrevate me, the main thing being when he began spouting his belief of why I was rejected when I knew all along why. I admit, I was really irked when I had to explain yet again to someone what the deal was and why. But dad forgets stuff all the time so oh well. You see, writers have their niche, and what I was afraid of was that my writing samples wouldn't be good enough for them. They weren't, as the guy from Edwardsville outlined after I inquired. The problem? I didn't have enough of what I knew they would want to see. I've felt awkward in a few of my creative writing classes because the professors have their styles and if you don't write within 5 feet of that, they seem to look down on you a little as not as good of a writer. Of course, my last creative writing class with Dr. Lamonica (where this blog was spawned from) wasn't like that at all and I believe my total freedom helped give rise to some of my best creative ideas that might have made good samples to send. Ah well.

So now what? Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there like this. Interestingly enough, my sister Stacey informed me that Nick's (her boyfriend) sister Mari was in the same boat as me. I'm a writer, she's an artist. She's not going to grad school, but instead is just going to find a job good enough to give her what she needs while she tries to get her art into the public scene. Hmm, sounds like my plan, haha.

Honestly, that is my plan. You see, when I first got my rejection from Carbondale, I laughed. Not in spite or anything weird really, just "God, finally I have an answer, time to move on with life." I'd become so hung up on grad school and didn't really notice how much until I read that letter. It felt like a weight was off my insides. If anyone had seen me that day, I was bright and chipper, and bouncing all over. I was that glad to finally know. I won't deny that I was a little bummed because I wasn't going to live with my sister and have good times, but I was able to live with that. And that's not all. The rejection was like a wake up call to my writing, which had been sitting dormant for a long while. Suddenly I got out my red pen and went bonkers on the draft. If Carbondale rejected me, then there were only two left, and they could easily do the same. A part of me expected it really, so I started right then and there to get back into what I've been leaving on the back burner, something I am not exactly happy about. All this stuff about getting into graduate school in order to get a job as a creative writing teacher in order to make sufficient enough dough to live on has never been my life's aspiration. That was more of a survival plan. But I can survive without it. I have to. All that was pushing away what I wanted to do most - I wonder now how much it would distract me from my true life goal. My focus has shifted and a tiny part of me thought, "Well, looks like God has other plans for me." You all know I'm not overly religious (but I'm not atheist either), but I do wonder sometimes.

After getting the final rejection today (or I guess, techinically, yesterday), it seemed like the final barriers were down. I opened up old favorites I haven't visited in years and started making lists of places to send my work. I've been too wrapped up in school to do anything with them. Hell, I've even sent off material electronically already. I spent from around after 5ish until about 2 hours ago perusing online publications, listing things, planning ideas, what to send, to who, and when. I looked at my old "Attempts Made" file and noted how in 2002 and 2003 I sent out a total of 14 pieces to 12 different places. In 2004 and 2005 the total was a sad 8 (5 of which were a group of poems) to 4 places. And you know what? I only sent items to them because of my creative writing classes. The 2005 single submission only occurred because that was literally a requirement of the class.

As much as an MFA sounds good to tack on a resume, if I never get it, I don't mind. Like my sister said in her email to me today, "This sounds dumb, but in a way, I'm pretty jealous. You're done. No more school! " She was right. That's exactly how I felt.

So don't feel sad for me, I don't want your pity. Instead, tell me I rock and that you know I'll be published someday. Give me support in what I do. That makes me happier than anything.

Currently: Yay! Happy!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Daytime Fantasies

This post might weird you out, but then again, some of you might do the same things so who knows?

Anyway, now that I've given you the disclaimer, I was going to come back home from class, put all my junk away, and then just flop down on my bed and pass out. However, as I figured would probably happen, the cold air outside woke me up (some...well, enough) so that I know flopping right down on bed wouldn't get me anywhere.

So instead I've decided to blog about what I was thinking during my Philosophy class today, and I can do this because it does relate to writing (which is what I wanted to keep this blog restricted to).

There are times when I zone out during class (and I'm sure most of you do this too), and think about whatever I want. It can range from a lot of things. One day my black dragon is curling around Watterson Towers and I'm the only one he'll listen to. Other days I'll be walking in the quad and one of my bad guys (currently deceased though he may be written) will show up and kidnap my ass out of this world. That's usually the typical thought that snakes in. It doesn't even matter - the guy can be anyone. He'll show up and take me with him right then and there to his world (or technically, mine). It's never a girl - because I'm usually the girl. One facet of me anyway, but that's another blog for another day. And I'm not gonna have one of my other girls come and retrieve me. They're pretty much all based on someone else. No offense, but screw that. My boys rule. The only problem is that there is always a stipulation and I can't seem to get away from it. I always have to leave, right there, and I can't ever explain to anyone where I've gone, which really sucks because then my family would be all distraught, not knowing where I went, thinking I've been kidnapped and lying dead in a ditch somewhere when I'm really in some lavish bed in different clothing, eating something pleasant and...well that's if I'm with one guy...I'm not sure it would be so pleasant with the other. Heh, I might get thrown in a dungeon, but that's a whole other concept in itself (no, if you're thinking along the lines of kinky sex, for God's sake go to a church and confess to having a dirty, dirty mind. Sheesh.).

Anyway, that's one thing I think about. Now you can put your mind in the gutter because other times I'll be thinking about sex. I won't lie. It's true. Most of the time it's not me though. It usually revolves around a story, a couple of characters in whatever situation, good times and all that. Well, I guess I could say that I'm involved since I've already said that most of my female characters (main ones) are based on me or some characteristic of me. So in a sense it's not really the true me, just one side. But that's beside the point. It amuses me, to get to the basic point about all this daydreaming. Do you ever wonder (probably not, but now you will, haha) how many people are thinking about sex while in a class? I don't mean, "Man...I need to get some." No, no, not the fleeting thought, I mean having all out fantasies. It's good times. I suggest you try it sometime. Then again, I don't know how any of you people would handle it because for me it's all rather casual. I'm sort of writing as I fantasize, coming up with descriptions, hand placements, eyes, words, etc. etc. I usually have to rewind and do some editing. Add something in, change some lines there, continue on. Hahaha, now that I think about it, it's like I might as well be directing pornography. But it's good stuff, not that lame ass shit they crank out these days. Got that "real" quality in there, as much as it can be real seeing as it's just some random fantasy. No one would probably ever think it of me, which makes things even more amusing. They'd probably think I was totally zoning out or thinking of what I'd like to have for dinner later. Not that I don't sometimes.

Ironically enough, this stuff never gets written. Yeah. That's not to say I haven't ever written any of said scenes - I've written the same one twice, another as a gift to someone (that one was fuckin' hard by the way), and I think another just for kicks. I don't remember because the last time I wrote a scene was freshman year and that was the gift one. So if I fantasize as often as I do, why don't I write it out? Well for starters, I like to give my characters their privacy. Yes, I know that may sound dumb to you, but my characters aren't on the page to satisfy a reader's taste for sexual literature. And it really doesn't need to be in there. I imply it, and I feel that is enough. Secondly, I would strive for accuracy, and well, seeing as I've never hopped in the sack with anyone, one could say I wouldn't know what I was talking about. True, imagination is pretty handy, but in the long run I'm missing out on key items; scents, feelings, touch, etc. etc. I suppose I could write it and get it across, but at the same time it's a bit like describing say, the experience of eating ice cream when one has never had ice cream. Sure they could make it up, easy enough, but experience goes a long way.

That's not to say I'm about just go have sex though. And besides, I'm quite content with my fantasies as they are now. Hehe. XD

Currently: A Lil Tired and Dreamy