Friday, September 28, 2012
I should be doing homework right now. I will get to it: in fact, it will probably take the next two or three days of time that I am not at work -- and I work 18 hours the next two days. That is why I am sleep deprived. I am going to try to get out early tomorrow, although I don't know how likely it is that it will actually happen, although I am a manager so it is probably more likely to happen than it would be for a regular crew member.
That's right. Homework. I love what I study, really and truly, but I loath doing it. Can't stand it. Don't want to spend even a second on it. But I have to spend some seconds on it. A multitude of seconds. Years of months of days of minutes of seconds. That's a lot. It will get me ahead, push me to do the work to do the research to write the papers to get published.
After the C.V. workshop yesterday, I am trying to get myself working on building it, which means doing stuff academically that will impress people enough to invite me to join a PhD. program after I get done with this whole Master's degree business. That means getting published and presenting at conferences. That means a lot of research, which means a lot of homework and studying, which takes a lot of time.
I care too much about my job. It just a means for an ends. Sure, I have extra responsibilities as a manager, and it is by far not the worst job I have ever had -- but it is not my future. Its place in my life has a limited future. It knows that. I am only supposed to be a part-time manager now. I am working 38+ hours this week, and have been working 35-40+ since I transferred there. Next week I have only 24 hours, which is perfect. I am going to insist on staying around 25 hours -- except during Christmas break. We'll see how that works. I take too much responsibility there, which is seen as good and I am glad I can help to improve the situation in anyway I can, however, it is becoming too much of an obstacle in my career path, and I don't need anymore obstacles, as I am already coming from behind. I am not going to just quit it, though. I am going to continue working there and just be firm about my role the and scope of time I can spend there.
I do have a full graduate student workload, and am married, and am pursuing creative writing too, and I can't seem to get anything done. Truthfully, I do finish my assignments, but I would like to spend more time on them -- even if it takes me forcing myself -- and spending more time pursuing getting some articles published in journals, write some abstracts, and do some presentations, get a TA position, get some teaching experience, maybe do some tutoring... And of course have a life, be a good husband, and try to be a published novelist.
If I keep on working at it, I know it will all come together, and if it doesn't, I will start down another path, but until I get to that point, I am going to keep going down this path and hope that my head doesn't explode.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Then it was O.M and D.I.
My teams and I really proved how great minds can work together, have fun, and be creative, and have it all pay off. I really enjoyed those experiences. Definitely tops. I can't replace those memories. Even the ones involving Duct-taping profanity to hotel rooms and chasing Viebs -- or was it James -- around downtown Knoxville. Making out with random girls on elevators. We used to have a game we would play to warm up before competition and anytime in general where we tried to be as profane and insulting to everything and everyone as possible. That way we wouldn't say anything too overtly gross in front of the judges.
Marching band... I can't even describe how much fun we had.
The Posse! One word: BAM!
In college, SPJ and the Stater.
Captain and Tennille Overdrive...fucking rocked.
Creativity and has always been an important part of my life. I guess that is why I have such a hard time trying to divide myself from my creatives pursuits, why they define and drive my life. They are my life. I can no longer separate myself and retain my identity.
I am writing my first curriculum vitae. It's a big deal. Now I have to really get published and go to conferences and do presentations and really get my name out there, get some teaching experience, so I can market myself to a good PhD. program. And get a job there after. It's all too real sometimes. So real, it's unbelievable Why is it that the truth is so hard to believe? That is where science ends and religion begins.
I guess that's why it's time for me to get off of here and start working on finishing this story and this novel. Finishing them is the first step. And then the ones that follow. Then will come to truly hard part. I have been there before... Am I ready to go back? I guess there is only one way to find out. I guess I have at least proven I can draw some sort of audience within my immediate sphere. The numbers are marginal when compared to the whole, but when only looked at within the frame of reference of my total number of contacts, it looks a lot better. Now I just have to extend that, and that is where the job of a writer ends and the job of a salesman begins.
And on some level follow the rules, or breaking them in just the right way. I think I prefer the latter, but I don't know if that is evident in my writing. Maybe I should take more chances. Maybe I will.
That's where this has it's greatest affect. It's talking myself into what I already know. Giving it voice, and thus, through the power of electricity, life.
I don't believe I can say that yet. It's not just electricity that makes something live. Ask anyone who has ever been struck by lighting. No, it will take more than that. It's not alive and won't be alive. Not until I push myself further, take bigger risks, open myself up, maybe to failure -- but... I will push my boundaries, challenge myself to my absolute limits, and see where that takes me.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I edit, consider each and every word choice, the syntax, punctuation throughout. Even the white space. Sometimes the white space is as important as the words. The best left unsaid, but just around the corner from it. Implied but not plied. Sort of a reply to the music, sometimes. It all fits a puzzle. It all fits and flows and nicks and knocks.
That got all kind-of Dr. Suessy there for a second. That was kind-of cool. Well, I thought so at any rate. It doesn't really matter.
I should be finishing editing this story or that novel. Or another story. Or a poem. Or doing school work. However, I am not doing any of those things. In my head I am doing all of those things at once, but, here in the material world, that won't do, just simply will not do. No, mind you. Not at all.
Not a bit. Or a smidge. Or a tiddly wink even.
Lost. Completely and Utterly. In nonsense. It is static taking over AM radio, which was once meaningful but now devoid of any relevance. The static carries more significance.
The world outside our happy little bubbles is just static. It was once significant, but now is devoid of any relevance. The rest of the world. Nothing. Right next door but nowhere in sight and out of sight out of mind.
Electric currents through guitar amps produce sonic vibrations from the contact of fingers on guitar strings. The echoes meet my ears and then I thoughtlessly hear like the beat of my heart a natural part of my internalized twining.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I sit here, analyzing the past few days, which are definitely hazy -- although I do remember them. For instance, I am listening to LL Cool J right now, and I remember buying it; however, I still don't understand it. The NWA I understand a little better -- I have been wanting to buy that album for a while. I also bought Nouns by No Age earlier in the day yesterday, and that is definitely more my taste. I like branching out a little, though. Giving other things a chance. It's good to be open.
Getting older is interesting. Yesterday I didn't feel any different. Today I feel like a different person. I am ready to leave certain aspects of myself behind, move forward, towards the future. It is time for me to really buckle down and work towards something. This blog is a great part of that. I feel like the more I write in it, the better. It's great practice, anyway. I don't know if I will write in it everyday, but I will certainly try to write in it as often as possible.
Now that the party, a.k.a. my twenties, is over, I can work towards making a living. My way, of course, but certainly an adult pursuit. In my twenties I didn't count on a future. I just tried to live for the moment, and that worked for me for what I was going through. I feel like I am beyond that now. I feel like I can plan for the future, because I am living in the outskirts of it, and I need to focus on reaching the center. I have my first novel and companion stories to edit and get out to the work, I am in grad school, and I am also working as a manager at a restaurant.
I know I keep on talking about it -- but, hey, it's my blog, so deal with it -- but I am working a multifaceted plan to maximize my potential. I am buckling down and really hitting the books hard, doing as well as I can in my classes, networking and making connections, getting my professors' confidence, and getting a teaching assistantship. That will allow me to quit my job (actually, I will have to quit it) and focus more on my career path, both as a writer and as an instructor/professor. I am getting my MA in composition/rhetoric, as well as a TESL certificate and a literature certificate. If I decide to not go on and pursue a doctorate, I will be still qualified to teach at community colleges -- and other stuff.
I believe my writing is key, both fiction and essays. This blog can't hurt, either. I just have to keep up keeping up, which will be harder as the semester progresses, but easier once I reach a certain point with it.
Anyway, I feel like I can be more consciously concerned with the future. Maybe it won't turn out at all how I figure, but I feel like I have slightly more control over it. I am certainly not going to sit around and wait for things to happen. That almost never works.
I think the point is this. I have been dancing around it, but I feel like it is time. It is time to do less partying, and more schmoozing. It's nice to socialize and have fun with friends and family here and again, but I am through being so heavily reliant on certain substances. I want to retain some level of control over myself, and it is certainly harder when I am feeling "free", which is how I feel when I feel how I feel when I do what I do.
This isn't anything formal, but it is on the record. It is something I can hold myself to, but not something I have to so rigidly. It's not a court-order. It's not an ultimatum. It's more a goal. I am not going to say that I will never do it, because that is absurd and unrealistic, but I can certainly hold myself to not doing it very often. I am better than I used to be most of the time, but I aim to improve yet.
Don't call it a come back.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Yo, man... There's a lot of brothers out there flakin' and perpetratin
But scared to kick reality.
Man, you've been doing all this dope producing.
You had a chance to show 'em what time it is...
So, what you want me to do?
I'm expressin' with my full capabilities,
And now I'm livin' in correctional facilities,
Cause some don't agree with how I do this.
I get straight, meditate like a Buddhist
I'm droppin' flava, my behaviour is heriditery,
But my technique is very necessary.
Blame it on Ice Cube... Because he says it gets funky
When you got a subject and a predacit.
Add it on a dope beat
And that'll make you think.
Some suckaz just tickle me pink
To my stomache. 'Cause they don't flow like this one.
You know what? I won't hesitate to dis one
Or two before I'm through.
So don't try to sing this!
Some drop science
While I'm droppin' English.
Even if Yella
Makes it a-capella
I still express, yo, I don't smoke weed or a sess.
Cause its known to give a brother brain damage.
And brain damage on the mic don't manage
But makin' a sucker and you equal.
Don't be another sequel...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
Now, gettin' back to the PG.
That's program, and it's easy.
Dre is back. Newjacks, I mean hollow,
Expressin' ain't their subject
Because they like to follow
The words, the style, the trend,
The records I spin.
Again and again and again
Yo, you on the other end.
Whatch a brother playin' dope rhymes with no help.
There's no fessin' and guessin'
While I'm expressin myself.
It's crazy to see people be
What society wants them to be. But not me!
Is the way to go
Others say rhymes that fail
To be original.
Or they kill where the hiphop starts,
Forget about the ghetto
And rap for the pop charts.
Some musicians curse at home
But scared to use profanity
When up on the microphone.
Yeah, they want reality.
But you won't hear none.
They rather exaggerate, a little fiction.
Some say no to drugs and take a stand,
But after the show they go lookin' for the dopeman.
Or they ban my group from the radio.
Hear NWA and say "Hell no!".
But you know it ain't all about wealth.
As long as you make a note to...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
From the heart.
Cause if you wanna start to move up the chart
Then expression is a big part of it.
You ain't efficient when you flow
You ain't swift, movin' like a tortoise.
Full of rigor mortis.
There's a little bit more to show
I got rhymes in my mind, and better like an embryo.
Or a lesson - all of 'em expression
And if you start fessin' -
I got a Smith and Wessun
I might ignore your record
Because it has no bottom.
I get loose in the summer. When in spring and autumn
It's Dre on the mic, gettin' physical.
Doin' the job
NWA is the lynch mob!
Yes, I'm a cob?
But you know you need this.
And the knowledge is growin'
Just like a foetus, or a tumor.
But here's the rumor:
Dre is in the neighborhood
And he's up to no good.
When I start expressin' myself,
Yella, slam it!
Cause If I stay funky like this I'm doin' damage.
Or I'mma be too hyped,
And need a straight jacket.
I got knowledge and other suckaers lack it.
So, when you see Dre, a DJ on the mic,
Ask what it's like.
It's like we gettin' hype tonight.
Cause if I strike
It ain't for your good health.
But I won't strike if you just...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
Come on and do it...
[Wow. That was fucking intense. I really went to a dark place there for a moment. I'm sorry about that folks. I am still working out the kinks. That's where this meta-narrative comes in handy. Yes, that's right, I have just turned this blog into a defense of meta-narratives... no...]
...a ululating orb of self pity, shrill as the noights air, suffering forth upon yonder rock ledges, yonder past yon trees...
[No, no. Not popular fiction... This was more social outrage in nature. Anti-pop-culturish.]
I saw an ad for NCIS: Los Angles and got on Amazon and bought the mp3 album of Mama Said Knock You Out. Then that inspired me to download Straight Outta' Compton, the 2002 REMIX.
Thank God it wasn't anything by Marky Mark and the Funkybunch. At least I bought good shit. But anyways, I would do Calvin Klein ads if I was Mark Wahlberg too. I heard a conspiracy theory once that Mark Wahlberg has a third nipple. I would just like to say, unequivocally, I sincerely hope he does. [No wait, that's not what I was trying to say at all. Sorry, I am extremely easily distract-able tonight.] Or maybe that was the point. At least I didn't buy pure crap. Next time I might not be so lucky. Unless it is someone like Taylor Swift. Then I'll at least have something to masturbate along to!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Also, if you haven't ever checked out my fiction, I have posted on the fiction page (immediately adjacent to the poetry page link) three previously-published-on-this-blog short stories.
Live long and prosper!
and May the force be with you!
A). to be a grad student in the English Department
B). came to a meeting and will continue to go to meetings and participate.
Those are the types of organizations I can commit to. And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Deal with it, grammar boy! Fuzzuuuuh! That was an anti-huzzah. It was a fuck you huzzah. A fuzzah! Fuzzah yuzzah! WAAAAAAAK!
Okay, that was ridiculous. That is usually a good signal to me that I need to stop. I try to come back around to the Dr. Jekyll side of my personality. The calm and collective narrative part. The part before the psychedelic freak out part, you know. It is as important or more important. The most important? It is the lens in which I few all other parts of myself and the rest of the mortal universe. Am I inhabited by an immortal spirit? A lot of people would indicate yes, but my humanly scope of reasoning isn't capable of understanding it. That is probably true; although, my heart wants to completely discount it. That, again, is pride. I think I said that in the last one, but I am continuing it as a theme from here out.
Right now I am not studying. I will probably read a chapter on syntax and maybe then another chapter on syntax for another class. That's right, I am in two linguistics classes that are only marginally different but the credits count for different parts of my schooling: I am going for my masters in English-Composition with a Teaching English as a Second Language certificate and and literature certficate so I can maybe be an instructor and gains some experience teaching before I graduate and start pursuing a PhD -- hopefully as a teaching assistant, which I am politicking for right now. Already have one instructor who will write a recommendation. I am vying for two others. I just have to impress them somehow -- I am hoping through my writing, which is key. I am becoming quite the kick-ass essayist too. I am just not as public about that half of my life. I more mumble semi-coherentlhy about my fiction most of the time, but the essaying part is what's really getting me through grad school and hopefully getting me into a doctoral program at either Case-Western, Kent, or, if I can convince myself to move -- Purdue, Pittsburgh, or maybe, Ohio State. I will probably apply at all of them just for shits and giggles. First I have to get a TA position and go to conferences, present at conferences, start teaching.
I am really exciting about teaching freshman composition classes, so hopefully I get to do that or at least work in a writing center. It would be good for me as well. I am a fairly capable stylistician, or will be one by the end of it. I am just now discovering, or consciously realizing this, and am developing it, based upon my writing history, starting as a journalist, and then an essayist (if an undergraduate one), then writing songs, and poems, short stories, a novel -- and back to essays again, with even more of a focus. I love studying propaganda. I will study the linguistics, the stylistics of it. It will be fun.
Ughhh... Time to get down off the stage and stop shouting about myself now. Sorry. That was very self-laudatory. It's a bad habit, like smoking or obsessing about a zombie apocalypse. I would rather just be ready for any sort of apocalypse in general. I would say a zombie apocalypse has a 5% chance, which is a better chance that being prodded to death by interstellar alien rapists, which has a 3.29% chance of happening. Whatever. My money is still on nuclear annihilation.
That's why I am doing what I want to do. It is too late to be bored.
I don't think I am going out on a limb to say that electronic media of all sorts has turned us all into zombies. In another generation we will be those people in the Matrix. Not the ones who break loose, though, we're the one's still connected, completely oblivious to the tumult going on around us. We get little slices of it in the news and whatnot, but it is hard to say what is really going on above the blankets. We live in a Plutocracy and we are the proletariat. You see, no matter what vision of the future, everything just short of actual, honest-to-God communism -- which seems by and large to go against human evolution because really we are still just pack animals -- there will be a proletariat. Sheep. Pacified and enlightened. We need an alpha to tell us what to do. We need to be fucking cyborgs plugged into (what I am doing right now, fucking hooked to a computer, with my Saturday morning PBS house-remodeling block) in order to be completely happy. We have been pacified.
I am for one am totally okay with it. Pacify me. Let me lead a totally meaningless existence. I don't want to find meaning in a totally ridiculous primordial contest that has little or nothing to do with my actual needs or wants. I am happy in my life, working a meaningless job, go to school to study something I find interesting so I can make money talking to other people with a similar interest, and anyone who finds it interesting enough to take a class or two on it just to feel a little cultured, more than just by reading a book every one and again. I like the academy. Intellectualism. Okay, maybe even Intellectualism has it's primordial roots. Why else is chess such a kick-ass game. And risk. I have fun playing them even if I totally kind of such. That's why I play my computer. It is a good pre-brainstorming sort of exercise. If I don't know what to write about I just play chess, and it comes right out, just like a jizz faucet. It is like thought protein.
I like writing. Even if no one or only a few people are reading. It is norishing enough to me to have any kind of audience, even if not everyone all the time reads everything. As long as some people read something sometime it is totally full of meaning to me. I appreciate any kind of audience. It is a dream. So this is for you.
And me too. I won't deny it. It is self-gratifying, in a public masturbatory sort of way. Oops, I said it. Oh well, I can't take it back now, even if I can delete it so easily.
God I love computers. It leads me back to that. It really does. I guess my mind just works in weird, convoluted circles like that. If I admit my flaws that somehow simultaneously invalidating them by validating them. Ponder that!
Okay, that might not be true. I at least make an honest attempt at honesty everyone once and a while. (That was a poetic way of structuring that sentence, if I do say so myself -- hot damn!).
Yeah, it is sometimes self-congratulatory. That's just my pride. Whatever. Everyone's got it, after all, there is no use in denying that.
It might be frivolous. Inane at times. I always try to come to a point, or several somewhat-interweaving ones, at least.
I hope that, someday, by being completely honest, or at least a writer's way of portraying honesty, even when I am completely full of shit and it is obvious -- I don't care. I like being full of shit. It keeps me warm at night. It has everything to do with my fiction, because who can tell a story better than a bullshitter?
At least that is my philosophy, anyways.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I SHOULD finish them. I CAN finish them. I just don't. Upwards of five of those stories just need edited or proofread. The other three I could easily finish. Jesus, I have poems too. And two more book ideas, and at least two or three novellas, not to mention a thesis, class papers, and in the somewhat more distant future a dissertation? Fuck me! I have shit to write! It ain't gonna write isself, yo...!
Damn straight it ain't. Hellz yeauuhhhh!!! Dickweed! What's up? I am like tote's writing right now even! That's ridiculous. I should just finish it all so I can move on to the next thing. That would be logical. Yes it would.
Sorry, I will stop talking to myself now.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
What no writing class can tell you, what no writer can really tell you, is how to truly finish a book. It's different from writer to writer, book to book. There is no one single way. It comes to be finished when it decides that it is finished, and no amount of short-cutting will change that -- unless the writer is will to settle for less, and, invariable, most writers who fail, fail because they settle for less.
Maybe that's what separates a writer from a professional writer, or, generally, anyone who has a hobby or a dream from somebody who actually does it for a living. If you want to succeed, you can't settle for less. You have to keep working at it, improving it, be honest with yourself about it -- because, if you aren't, then it you won't be able to accept outside criticism, either -- and eventually (I assume, I hope) you will finish it.
Or you will give up. And I am not willing to do that. Maybe I have a job, maybe I go to school and work towards other goals in my life so I don't starve to death or live in a cardboard box, but I will, whenever I get the chance, I work on it. And I will continue to keep working on it until it tells me that it is done. Anyone who has ever written a book, or even a short story, and been successful at completing it, knows what I am talking about.
When I talk about "being successful" and "being a professional writer" I am not talking about being someone of that stature of Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk, I am talking about someone who makes a living as a writer (i.e. can pay the bills and have a little bit left over), and probably teaches at a university (or I would even settle for a community college).
My goal is to find a small or a mid-sized publisher, if I am lucky and can actually find an agent who will work with me, and market to a small, but loyal, audience. Maybe not the rock star of the company, but certainly someone who can be counted on to sell books.
I do have a marketing strategy and what-not, and, if I am not able to find someone willing to take me on in this capacity, then I will -- albeit somewhat reluctantly, because it's not ideal - go the self-publishing route, and, because I am cheap, I will probably only publish my work as an e-book. Then I will have to market it myself, and -- seeing as how I have so many engaged readers already -- will probably sell like 5 books.
However, I will keep trying. If it doesn't happen with the first book, then maybe the second, or the third, or the fiftieth. I have no shortage of ideas. As long as my brains still functions and I have means of getting the ideas out, I will continue to pursue it.
That's a promise, for a better or worse, that I will keep until I can no longer keep it. I can't say it will last forever, because nothing in this world lasts forever, but it will last until it no longer can last, and then it will be forgotten, and I will be forgotten, because eventually everybody is forgotten, and since we will probably all kill each other somehow in the next 10-15 years or so, when the human race will realize that it is nothing more than a figment from the imagination of a zit on the ass of a trans-dimensional turtle (I wish I could say that I made that up, but that, minus the trans-dimensional part -- that was my addition -- was actually how my political thought professor, way back when, described the philosophy of Niezche).
Or not. And we will all die of old age or cancer or whatever other disease from the nearly infinite multitude of diseases available out there, chomping at the bit to eradicate the human race one person at a time. Either way, we all die somehow, and I don't know how that will be, and neither doesn't anyone else, although some people can guess more easily than others, but I am not a betting man so I am not going to even think about it. Hopefully it is more entertaining than sad, though, if I had to choose, but anyway, it doesn't matter. The awareness or lack of awareness doesn't make it any more or less true. It is, and will always be...
I am not sure how I have gotten on this tangent. I am sorry for getting all depressing there for a second. I suppose when I am only loosely considering what I am writing two seconds before I write it, my subconscious can direct me towards one topic or another at random -- well, not at random, because it's not random, we just don't truly understand how it works. Anyway, it might have to do with the fact that I am also watching Louie, and, although extremely funny and intelligent, that show can be damn depressing.
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It is what it is, just like anything else. I have control over it, loosely -- the amount anyone has control over anything -- and I am going to leave it as is, for better or worse.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Instead of watching TV or masturbating or getting high, when I procrastinate I tend to write in this blog or work on my book, a short story, or something else along those lines. While it might not be the schoolwork I had intended on doing, I still feel like I am getting something important accomplished.
[Fun with parentheticals ---->] As a wannabe writer (I can't call myself just a "writer" until I have actually been recognized as such in some way, which I have not. It's like being recognized as a nation.) -- since I am going to school, in effect, to be a better writer and to teach writing on some level or at least some aspect of the English language -- I feel it is important to take my writing and all that encompasses being a writer (including having a solid, consistent online presence).
Again, I fully recognize that I might just be delusional, either way this is a fun experimentation with A). honesty (i.e. my nonsensical ramblings/stream of conscience bullshit), B). sex appeal (for those who find ambition sexy, grrrrowwwllll) C). alternative perspectives (from the mainstream go to school, get any job, make money, buy a house, get married, have 18 children, and die perspective) and D). defining oneself (because if I am successful in my pursuits it will define me one way, where-as if I am unsuccessful, it will define me in another).
For the record, too, I am not saying there is anything wrong with anyone else's specific social context in differing from my own, it is just not my own, and I am not going to apologize for being different. I don't feel like I should. With the stagnation of median wages as compared to the consistent increase of the cost of living, I would be foolish not to play multiple hands, to give myself multiple possibilities, including those of my dreams, and, besides,even if I fail, I will be better off for having tried, because it's always better to regret something you have done than you haven't done (if you are willing to submit to a Butthole Surfers sort of logic).
And with that, I will leave you with the Butthole Surfers, "Sweatloaf" (if you can't hear anything at first, that's okay, you're not supposed to, just keep listening).