Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some Rambling (Because I Finished the Homework I Brought)

While I am not really able to decide because I have only gotten feedback from one of my five readers and therefore cannot say for certain how much or little I need to change.  I am hopefully that there will be a consensus of what I need to work on to come up with a definitive, final version of the text.  I am thinking that the language needs some work -- particularly since there are some obvious typos.

They all have two slightly different last chapters to consider between, although, even though the changes are minimal, they make a major difference in the conclusion of the story.  I can't say more, but I am guess that the changes I made will be preferred.  Perhaps there are some other minor differences I can make. 

As of right now, unless my readers point out something that it is absolutely lacking, I have no intention of writing more and adding to it.  I would rather work with what I've got and whittle it away into a final product.  Of course, all of this could change, but, my goal is to move forward. 

I feel like I have been stuck on the same themes and the same stories forever, and I have.  I have some new ideas I want to work on, I want to progress as a writer and take what I am learning right now and grow and write bigger and better and more ambitious novels.  Also, I want to focus on grad school and getting the most out of it.  In order for me to keep moving, though, I need to come out with a definitive final version of this first book (and the stories that, while aren't directly related, definitely share similar themes). 

I don't know what is going to happen with it, but I do have a plan and steps to follow and research and marketing to do -- all in good time.  Probably not until the summer, since during this semester with everything I have to do, I am probably not going to get an opportunity.

School, including my classes, my tutoring job, etc, is going well.  Hopefully will have some news to report soon.  Until then, I will continue working and progressing as far as I can towards my goals and hopefully everything will work out how I plan.  If not, I will have at least learned a lot.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Meditation (with Jimi Hendrix)

When did I wake up in this false reality?  I sometimes find myself asking myself. The world outside looks plastic, a backdrop, like it would crumble if I pushed to hard up against it, or if I walk far enough beyond the horizon, which isn't very far, it's like the horizon in the Wizard of Oz, painted on a set, and that I will bump my nose if I try to go very far.  It's a trick of the eye.

Sometimes I wake up and I can't figure out how I got here or where I am or what the Hell anything means.  I don't know why this happens.  It isn't caused by anything in my life.  My brain merely malfunctions, or I somehow get stuck inside myself.  I have to find a way to break free.

I have to take the time to reconcile actual reality with my perceived reality, I need to meditate, or, better yet, play guitar, or something of that nature.  It's not generally very conducive for me to try and write when I get in this type of frame of mind; however, often times I find myself opening a bottle of wine or something, which generally doesn't help.  Okay, so maybe it does help, but, it works way better when coupled with an artistic pursuit.

Ultimately, it's the music, the writing, the painting (which I haven't done for a while, but I used to, somewhat, anyway) that sets me free.  When I listen to Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, The Beatles...  I get a sense that I am not the first (or will be the last) who have experienced this.  I am sure, to a certain degree, most, if not, all, people go through this.

At least I am not alone, and that fills me with comfort, even though it probably shouldn't.  It makes me part of the whole, instead of somehow on the outside of it.  No one is every really on the outside of it as much as he or she perceives.  Unless they force themselves to the fringes, and beyond, but I'm not going to go live in a cave.  Although it would be fun to go find a cave, go as far underground as I can, find some kind of underground lack, crystals sparkling all around from the water, which has an unnatural go.  I would go down there, and lay down at the edge of the water and stare up, emptying my mind, and just existing, the cavern around me glowing.

Maybe it is an artificial construction, but maybe it's not.  We all have a place like this in our minds, a place where we go to be alone, to wonder, in awe, to find peace inside ourselves.  When I come out of my cave, the world outside seems more vibrant, more alive, than I can ever remember it being.  It seems to shimmer and pulsate around me, and I absorb into it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spin It

Interesting article.  Will be paying attention to how the American Spin Factory Processes this information and why it is all of the sudden coming out now.


Okay, so I guess if you are a fan of my fiction, then this is your lucky night.  Here is another from that same time period.  I think I had intended to tell the whole story, but, I could never really get past this point, and realized that maybe this was enough of a story.  I think this qualifies as micro-fiction?  I dunno.

The Big City

Her cerulean eyes glowed like that one perfect May day during the blossoming of our romance, when we lay together in the soft green grass, surrounded by our favorite flower – a weed to some – the dandelion, and just enjoyed the moment of timeless bliss in comfortable silence.

“Chicago,” her soft pink lips that tasted of berry-flavored lip gloss said, springing my mind back to reality.  “Let's move to Chicago.”

We sat together at our kitchen table – our forks lifting macaroni and cheese goodness to our mouths, chewing and swallowing, to satisfy our hungers built from a day's work at our low-paying jobs – and tried to predict the future: our future.

Prediction had, nearly a year removed from that perfect May date that bloomed our love and started our lives together, become a favorite past-time of ours, and an Ohio future looked bleak.

“How can we afford that?” I, the realist, at least between her and I, said.

She pursed her lips as her eyes bounced about and the wheels of her brain turned around – she was always careful to choose the right words, especially when trying to persuade an English major – and thought for just an instant about what to say.  The logic that she had used to justify it to herself swirled about in her mind, vaguely hidden behind her pretty face.

"Anyway we can..."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Melville and Penis Jokes

"Look at the sailor, called the mincer, who now comes along, and assisted by two allies, heavily backs the grandissimus, as the mariner's call it, and with bowed shoulders, staggers off with it as if he were a grenadier carrying a dead comrade from the field.  Extending it upon the forecastle deck, he now proceeds cylindrically to remove its dark pelt, as an African hunter the pelt of a boa.  This done he turns the pelt inside out, like a pantaloon leg; gives it a good stretching, so as almost to double its diameter; and at last hangs it, well spread, in the rigging, to dry.  Ere long, it is taken down; when removing some three feet of it, towards the pointed extremity, and then cutting two slits for arm-holes at the other end, he lengthwise slips himself bodily into it.  The mincer now stands before you invested in the full canonicals of his calling.  Immemorial to all his order, this investiture alone will adequately protect him, while employed in the peculiar functions of his office."

Where does his head go? ;-)

The Kinks and Melville

Yes, they go together very well.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Bring on the Mitch Ryder, my friends!  Sometimes I think I should focus on writing about music.

I read somewhere in some bullshitty kind of way that there lies true at the heart of romanticism.  I disagree.  I feel like there is only truth in it if it is anchored to some sort of harsh reality.  Really, life isn't as important as it is in our minds.  It's nice to feel important.

In reality most people are on the margins, you know, because the warm bright center of the universe is that small because it is that far away.

I guess that's why I like some definite elements of tragedy.  That really all anyone can hope for is to have some level of warmth in their lives and that's all that really matters.  That's why so many people give up and go and live in the tropics towards the end of life, because they have finally figured out the most important thing about life.

Each other.

All these human relationships, and, Hell, nonhuman, hell, anything considered living, all relationships a person can have over his or her lifetime, these are the most important things.

The key to life is not getting caught in the bullshit and to keep moving forward.

All anyone can really hope for is the marginal sort of existence.  Hell, at least with marginality comes anonymity.  And there is nothing wrong with anonymity, as long as you are content with it.

Give up the bullshit and follow your dreams.  Why do we have them in the first place?  Why do we let this enormous shitstorm that we have to deal with just to make it to marginality.  When you're born poor, marginality seems like middle class.  Who doesn't want to be in the middle class, even if it is all an illusion?  Rich people still control the world, but when you're in the middle class it doesn't matter.  You have some level of comfort, even if it isn't real.  It is better to have a false sense of comfort than no sense of comfort.

Or is it the other way around?  I think it's definitely the other way around.  At least that way you are prepared for anything.

And if there is anything we humans hate more than anything, it's being uncomfortable, even it is unavoidable.

Shit people, I'm sorry, this is what happens when you read too much Melville and Shakespeare and Chaucer.  Everything starts to seem so much more complex and the myth of Western Superiority starts to become exposed to the rest of the world.  You realize you are standing there naked and your penis is smaller, but, holy shit, we're all equally as alive as one another, even if some people won't admit to that, so penis-size doesn't really matter.  Or is that the myth of Western Superiority?  Can I blame it on that?  Someone somewhere along the line has too small of a penis to make things happen?  I think the feminists will definitely have something to say about that point-of-view.  So I guess I'll lose it.  We are bound and held down by too many myths.  Sometimes it is more important to stand up and be naked before the world and accept it.

Sorry, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.  I guess that's why they call it free-writing.  It doesn't have to make any sense.

Anyways, I think it is really simple, really.  That you just accept that everything sucks and be happy and find some kind of comfort in the world, and just relax, and you put it all away, and, you take a deep breath, and, suddenly, as if it had been that way all along and you just hadn't realized it, and that it had all been in your head.

Show some Mitch Ryder Love.


Saw some friends posting about these events and decided to spread the information.  For all you astronomy fans.

And, for another take on it,

Have a great weekend!  I, for one, would understand if one of these things decided to hit us.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


While it is certainly a bit disappointing, with my inexperience as a writer in promoting my work and how I rushed and put  my entry together at the last minute, my book, Out in the Garage, will not be moving on to the second round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. 

As I have said before, I am not crushed by it -- it means that I need to work on writing a better pitch (which is what this round was a judgment of, not of my book).  In fact, it allows me to polish my work more, and pursue publishing on my own terms, instead of having to wait until the contest ends.

I am confident that, with the advice I will get back from my trusted readers, I will be able to continue working towards getting my novel published, whether through traditional publishing or on my own, or any option that might exist between those two (I am open to all possibilities at this point). 

This is only the beginning, and, if I get dejected at every rejection and fail to move forward, then nothing will ever come of all of my efforts.  Every author gets rejected.  The ones who are successful learn from the rejections and continue moving forward, which is what I resolve to do.

I will continue working on my school work, and, when time permits, and, as I get feedback from my readers, I will continue working towards getting it and my stories published...  No matter what I will continue writing and pursuing publishing.  I am not unhappy or upset, but only more resolved to work towards my goals.

In some ways I am kind of relieved.  While Amazon is certainly one of the biggest publishers, many bookstores, if not most, will not carry the books they publish.  More or less, I would be limited to selling my book, published by Amazon, through Amazon. 

While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is not ideal, either.  I would honestly prefer a smaller, independent (or independent-minded, anyways) publisher, so I can focus more on selling my book through all the various bookstores, in addition to online, instead of exlusively through Amazon.

In addition, I have a strong inclination to publish it on my own.  I am undecided about this as of yet, but I don't feel compelled to make a final decision, at this point.  I am merely considering my options, trying new opportunities when they become available, and continuing to work towards my goal.

Late Nights and Early Mornings

It's 1:21 a.m. and I am sitting here, having just finished reading "Measure for Measure" for class tomorrow.  I am still undecided about Shakespeare.  I'm not sure whether to like him or not.  I can honestly say I am not a huge fan of his comedies, so far.

Still working my way through Moby Dick, and I can honestly say I am enjoying it more more as I dive deeper and deeper within its pages.  Melville was undeniably a genius.  There, I said it.  As I have had time to ruminate on Typee, my favor has also started to sway towards it.

Chaucer, is well, Chaucer.  I like it well enough, I suppose.  The more I know the language the better I understand his writing and the more I appreciate it.  That goes for everything I am reading right now, really, but especially the Chaucer -- since Middle English is very different from Modern English.

Tomorrow I find out whether I move onto the next stage of the Amazon Breakthrough Writer Awards.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous, or that I won't be a little disappointed (if my pitch is rejected).  In some ways I will be relieved, because, if I don't make it to the next stage, at this point, it is a comment on my pitch-writing and not on my novel-writing.

I am confident that with the advice I will get from my readers, I will be able to make is salable.  I am confident that I have a good product, one worth reading, and whatever changes my readers suggest I will take into full consideration before I move on to trying to get it published.

Haven't had time lately to work on those last three stories.  I am confident that I just need to carefully proofread them and tweak the language to my liking.

Well, I have to work bright and early at 9 a.m., so I should probably head to bed.  I will try to meditate on this Shakespeare and do the supplementary reading before class tomorrow, and hopefully come to some sort of conclusion about the text so I don't sound like a complete idiot in class tomorrow evening.  Looking forward to digging back into the Melville tomorrow.  It was probably good to take a day off, though.

"Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;
Like doth quit like, and measure still for measure."

Saturday, February 9, 2013


UPDATE to the FICTION page: The Perfect Victim, originally published August 2010, added.

The MC5 and Melville

The MC5 and Melville are an interesting combination.

"Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harborless immensities.  Ere that come to pass; ere the Pequod's weedy hull rolls side by side with the barnacled hulls of the leviathan; at the outset it is but well to attend to a matter almost indispensable to a thorough appreciative understanding of the more special leviathanic revelations and allusions of all sorts which are to follow."  Chapter 32 Cetelogy (115 NCE).

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Compulsion

I write.  Driven my some unknowable impulse.   I write.  And write.  And write.  I am writing this now because I have to write, because I am compelled beyond all logic and reason to write, so I write.  I write and I write and I write.  And yet, nothing I write is ever good enough.  I second guess it, analyse it, and over-analyse it again, and rewrite.  And rewrite, and rewrite.  Until I am mad and desperate and on the verge of some sort of break...

Then I have a moment of clarity, and it all makes sense, and I know it will never be perfect, no matter how hard I try to attain this idea of perfection that I have in my mind's eye, I can never reach that point no matter how hard I try, but then I realize and I know and I tell myself and I believe that it's true.  It can never be perfect.

I will get it as close to perfect as I can get it, and I will send it out into the universe, and hope that it makes sense on some level to someone somewhere out there.

Then I start on the next one, and I start the process over again, but the next time around, I have the faith, and it drives me, until I have lost all sight of it, until I reach that one desperate moment and it all becomes clear again and I know it's okay.

And it is okay.