Monday, May 27, 2013

Officially in Colorado

Today marks the end of our two day roadtrip trip to Vail, Colorado until I leave for my best friend's wedding on the 2nd of July. Wrote 3000 words in the car on Whale, it's taking a drastic direction and I'm almost terrified it's falling apart before I can build it. I'll post up a section of it once I can figure out how to split it up into something other than 9000 words. 

As for now, the next few days will be spent recuperating and potentially storyboarding, as Whale seems to be getting too big (ah ha ha ha).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Found this appropriate.

Current work

I started this blog as a way for me to discuss myself to an audience 
so I have to make sense, or at least attempt to be coherent
this is more helpful than it sounds.

Here's some draft descriptions:

Whale. - I was sitting on a plane to Colorado, next to a middle-aged woman and a younger girl who were doing that thing where they're sitting next to you on a plane, and they aren't doing anything wrong, but you're annoyed simply because there so little space in planes. This is most evident via the armrests, which are the kinds of apparatus that you never appreciate until someone takes "yours" and you're left holding your arms like a T-rex. Thus, I had to do something, its a three-hour flight, be productive. So I practiced a technique I first used when writing The Wet Scientist, which is where I just let the tone take over and nullify structure or grammar, really anything that it doesn't adopt naturally. When I landed I had a story where I writer fell off a boat while on his honeymoon and spoke to a whale. But the tone was conversational the whole time, there was no actual dialogue from the narrator, it was all him telling the story, and I loved it. Eventually I expanded it further, to its second draft where it sits at 3000 some words. The story itself attempts to be a parable, but also a story on its own, so its not entirely concerned with showing you what it means, the story is ok with people being along for the ride as well, which is exciting to me, as most of my work up to this point has had the effect of sticking the reader's nose in the point yelling "no, bad. you should have seen this". I plan on extending the draft into potentially a story of near Wet Scientist proportions (11,000 words) which will go on to exist in what I'm excitingly calling my universe where I hook together other works and poems so they all happen at once. In particular, Whale will see the advent of the world ending as outlined in - I don't even know what to call it - Abacus (my first chapbook) as well as a few other stories weaved in (maybe Wet Science, not sure). My most recent idea (and one that is still so very young) is at one point having aliens come into play, which is not something I'm usually about, but I think for Whale it will be appropriate. Perhaps later on I'll put a draft of it up here, soon as I figure out where to put it at catagory-wise.

Wet Science - Allow me to explain myself. The Wet Scientist is a character I made up a long time ago way back in high school, who then became an inside joke, and then a draft where I was merely entertaining myself and my friends with a story about a man who would cackle and click his heels together, turning people into cats. And then all rather suddenly, character development happened and I found myself writing several chapters of this piece that all existed on the basic principle that numbers were "wrong", that through every measurement that we deem, we're depending on it staying the same because that's what it usually does. The universe is pretty consistant so far, and we're comfortable about that. What the Wet Scientist is, is that idea of doubt, that idea of miscalculation coming and say - just walking through a door as if it were made of water. A few thousand words later and a discussion with Becs led me to realize I was writing about real mathematical concepts, and I proceeded to nerd out. I'm not sure where the Wet Scientist will go, as his first "season" is complete, but I would like to continue his story, using more mathematical concepts with literature and try to merge those wonderful worlds together.

Feels so Good - A feminist screenplay about sex robots that uses a degree of satire that involves going way over the top. This draft has been in the works for nearly 2 years, but only saw itself on Celtx this past semester where it has grown its own fanbase. The conceptualizing of sexual ideals into actual reality and then those sexual ideals having their own eventual thoughts and feelings about their purpose is not necessarily a "new" idea. I'm almost certain there's a famous story that starts with a "P" about the whole thing, but where it sits right now Feels so Good plans to emphasize the realities of sexuality today while doing it in a way that is so honest it causes you to laugh and cringe at the same time. It's about a fourth of the way finished right now, and I have no clue as to how one would film a scene where a detached pelvis is penetrated with a dildo by a group of businessmen over lunch, discussing the pros and cons of the latest "prototype", but if there's a will theres a way...

The Bureau

It's time I explain myself.

I'll be honest, I am less than appreciative half the time. In fact, I tend to be daring enough to despise just about everything naturally before I really give it a chance. While there are many examples, one of them is college.

I came to Ball State because as one of the two colleges I applied to, they were the ones that accepted me (after numerous letters of pleading on my part) and they were not an art school (Columbia College of Chicago) and I was not to be going to art school, as I needed a real career, and at a cheaper price than that.

Along with this, Muncie is within an hour's drive of Fort Wayne, and due to a number of personal dramatics, (high school is such a fun time) I stuck around with Ball State, despite despising it my first year.

I was lucky enough to have my childhood friend Dan there, as well as my roommate for the first semester Luke. However for the first two years at BSU I wouldn't even say I really went there, as I would drive home nearly every weekend. And that's the thing, you really can't live anywhere new if you keep going "home".

My junior year was quite a bit better. I had a house with all my friends and somehow we managed to cobble together a homely feeling, one that I found I would miss when I was in my old home in Fort Wayne. And though I had my own things to deal with my first semester (discovering the various crutches, weaknesses, and the great nullifier alcohol) I finished the second semester off very strongly, mostly because I had actually decided to live and go to college, and do what I could to make where I was a home.

One of the most important aspects of this home was a degree of understanding,  a degree of sharing the whole Creative Writing major thing with other people. That was one of my chief concerns when I got to college - I expected everyone to have grown up from high school into motivated, educated, upstanding scholars who were concerned with their studies and had fascinating conversations about profundity. This was not the case, obviously and it took me a while before I found theses scholars I was searching for.

At the time I had only found one "scholar" a peer who shared the same degrees of frustrations about the world, the english department, the english language, along with agreeing with me on the finer varieties of cheese. And this was Miss Becca Jackson. We met in a poetry class and spent many of our days with frustrated talks over lunches in her house about our classes and things we saw, you know, all that writer stuff.

And this was rather exciting, because for the first time I had a writer friend.

Over time Becca and I met more scholars, more writer friends, and although we were all on nodding terms with each other - or defending each other's drafts in misunderstood workshops - there was still a degree of separation from us as writers and friends. This was all until the first Bureau meeting in Brent Holden's basement.

Brent was holding a small get together of a bunch of these scholars to read poetry and drink in his basement, which if I recall was organized by Erica, and that was as far as the evening's plans were. Naturally, as the only other avenue for anything like this (reading aloud to other writers) was through Writer's Community - the BSU sponsored outlet for literary merit, we were all pretty eager to indulge in this tender night of literature and getting to know people.

And as you may have expected, a bunch of writers getting together ended up with more than one of us drunk. Most of us, actually. And during my particular drunken bout, I declared that we should keep doing this, that this is what we needed. The later phrasing we used was "supplementing a deficiency", in that currently, despite being in three different workshop classes at the same time, I did not feel challenged enough. I was a member of Writer's Community, I participated in the Gala Contest, but that to me still was not enough. I believed that the most successful writers came from a community - and that in order to get anywhere in Muncie we had to be the ones to create that degree of cultivation.

Thus, The Bureau was born. We decided on bi-weekly meetings where during one of them we'd simply do a "quiet" workshop, where drafts would be passed around, marked up, and discussed. The other meeting would then be us reading our work aloud and drinking, workshopping the performance aspect of the drafts. Through these meetings my writing scholars  had become friends and then Bureaucrats where now, with a good number of us and through only the fantastic networking only available from one of our members Camille, we have monthly readings at a local bar and a fair degree of an online presence.

The most important thing about growing up (or surviving, maintaining sanity, etc.) is supplementing yourself when there is a deficiency. If something does not exist and you're yearning for it, chances are other are as well, and we cannot always depend on the actions of someone else to establish the delicious meal many of us are craving.

The Bureau is an open group of writers determined to cultivate each other's work and in turn cultivate the town of Muncie with a degree of enthusiasm in literature that hopefully will entice further development in the actual reading and writing of original, local work. We have a facebook fan page that one can follow for updates on our readings, as well as a closed group that you may request to join. Along with this, we have a forum online where we may continue to critique each other's work throughout the summer.

The Bureau links:

Fan Page:

I have some fantastic friends, you should read their things:

Becca Jackson: I've been mulling over a clever way to describe her while still complimenting, but I cannot. Becca is a mathematician and writer, and comes up with the best metaphors this side of the white river. Read her blog here:

Camille Germain: Is actually a cat trapped in a person's body. But she knows everyone and writes the most horrifyingly honest work I've read. Read her blog here:

Brent Holden: Has a few cats that are adorable, and a wonderful basement that I nearly died in. He's a gem. Read his blog here:

Travis Campbell: Travis is relatively new to me, but he has some fantastic poetry about metaphors, and he updates very often. Read his blog here:

Marvin Madison Jones: I was lucky enough to have Marvin in a fiction class that I also shared with Brent, that was one of the best workshops I've ever been in. Read his blog here:

Erica writes a blog about being a mother, and she's the snarkiest person I've ever met, so that makes it even more entertaining while still instructing people like me on things I never would have thought about. Read her blog here:

Proverbial "first post"

I had higher hopes.
I had higher hopes of a lot of little things, a little pile,
a stack, you might say, of everything needed to build a set of stairs.

So naturally I thought I'd be going up,
you know, in the way that stairs generally lead when you're on a plateau.

This was incorrect.

Proverbial first post

I had a blog before, or at least, a place a I stuck a good deal of my unedited writings with a few occasional updates that almost always sounded like a late package in the mail "on the truck", "on the way", "working on it", so as a result for awhile I had some pretty (I think) embarrassing work up there.

After forgetting to update it, and having a class that spoke about the dangers of self-publishing (and hilariously thinking that those poems I had up on my blog were something I wanted to publish [HA!]) I took everything down and no longer had an online presence.

And now here we are, wouldn't you know it, I even have a Twitter.
Which led me to something rather profound and entirely obvious:
When I'm connected online to people, it's easier to talk to them.

Which is important, I think, especially on the way I work.
See, I have this condition where I'm convinced I'm losing my mind, and really the only surefire way to organize my thoughts, or even make any coherence from them is to explain them to someone. This is fantastic for conversations, walks home, and small luncheons. It is however, nearly impossible to maintain this degree of order and well - simple productivity as a writer - when I am stuck in Fort Wayne, or Lincoln, Nebraska, or Vail, Colorado, Boulder, Telluride, Moab, Etc etc. etc. (I'm traveling a lot this summer) Thus, after reading a few blogs that my friends maintain, how could I not jump in on this and continue to reorient myself via explanation of everything I'm "thinking" about?

I couldn't resist, I tried.
I had a whole shower thinking about it,
and that's some honest thought right there.