(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Novelist? YES! It's official!


I'm so freaking excited.

I learned so much along the way that it's ridiculous.  I know that sounds cheesy, but I am a writer and I am unashamed (I yell as I brandish my pen and notebook...computer)!

And the plot practically wrapped itself up on its own.  I swear, it's magical.

Don't worry, my lovelies.  I will be back to post more regularly now.


Okay, maybe instead of "more regularly", I should say "more often".

Whatever. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making Mind-Crushing Despair...Music

Handbell choir.

The one I'm in sucks. 

Handbells: they only want to be touched a certain way.
I could blame it on the players.  I could talk about how despite the fact that all but two of us are music majors (the two that aren't are two of the best ones in it, actually), people refuse to count and for some reason, can't seem to play eighth notes.  Or even quarter notes on the right beat sometimes.

Despite how we make it sound,
this is not what's happening to our music on a regular basis.
If I didn't want to go into that, I could talk about how our director has more fun yelling "you sound like you're playing this for the first time!" than telling us how to fix it, or how he sings along with the music while we're playing but does it WRONG and messes everyone up.

If I wanted, I could go into how no one is inspired to do well and the few people that work hard are so fed up that they've given up completely.

This is what it looks like when someone goes over the edge. 
It's not pretty.
One way or the other, it all comes down to this: we're so bad that when we had our concert, we all begged our friends and family NOT to come.

Then I found out that our director had told other music professors not to come.

That's how bad we are.

And now he wants us to play several pieces for a classical music radio station, which apparantly a gazillion people listen to at any given time. 

I've had enough.

Next semester, if we don't have a new director, new policies, or a small ensemble (or preferably all three), I'm done.

If not, I might have to do something drastic.  (See "throwing" picture above, and insert deserving victim to be the target.)

I'll let you know how it all goes.

pictures found using Google Images and edited as needed

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Weed of Destiny

Guest blogging time!

Today, we're hearing from The Weed from the blog called, coincidentally, The Weed.  (He sure makes it easy, doesn't he?)   I would give him a nice, informative introduction, but honestly, he'll tell you all you really need to know.  And he's funny as heck.


My name is The Weed I am writing a guest post in this blog because I was meant to from the beginning of time.

Here's how it all happened.

I was doing this thing that I like to call "writing research" but which is actually just reading a bunch of people's blogs for hours and hours and hours, and suddenly I stumbled upon a post that spoke to me. Like, literally spoke to me. (Not "literally spoke to me" because that would be terribly creepy and would probably mean I have schizophrenia.)

See, there was this post all about seeking a guest blogger and how it would be awesome (it's possible you have read this post--it was posted on this very blog) and I was like "Lah-dee-dah-reading-random-blog-mindlessly..." and then I saw the following:

If you're interested, and by "you" I mean you, sitting there reading this and pretending that I'm talking to one of the other readers even though I'm reaching out to you specifically from the depths of my soul, leave a comment or email me at pyra.extrano@gmail.com. And thanks in advance!

And I suddenly knew with the same type of certainty that I "know" I better get to the bathroom soon or I'll have an accident in my pants or that I "knew" my wife was the woman I was supposed to married that, for sure, without a doubt, I needed to guest post, and that that paragraph was talking about me, and that the universe would benefit from this collaboration. So, I wrote back and said:

Listen, I don't know you at all--just stumbled on your blog during a long sequence of blog-hopping, but I've gotta tell you, when you said "and by 'you' I mean you sitting there reading this and pretending that I'm talking to one of the other readers even though I'm reaching out to you specifically from the depths of my soul..." I seriously felt you talking to me and we shared this really cool mind-meld (I'm pretty sure you felt it, too) and it was awesome and I was like "Yes. I will guest post on your blog. And it will be awesome and the heavens will resound in joy and this event will be heralded by the birth of cute kittens and the whinny of unicorns and the conquering of small, communist empires. I firmly believe this blogging connection was always, always meant to happen." So, if you're serious, send me an email at inattentive(dot)subtype(at)gmail(dot)com and I will totally do it.

And if you're not serious? You just made my soul ache...

The very next day, I got an email saying that I could guest post in a way that was at once encouraging, but which I think might have actually been saying "You seem mildly psychotic. Surprisingly, I think I will allow you to post on my blog anyway because I'm that busy."

And now, here I am, preparing a post.

The cosmos is a crazy, amazing thing, isn't it?

The cosmos: lots of crazy, coincidental crap happens here every day.

Wanna know another way the cosmos is crazy and weird and this post was supposed to happen since the beginning of time?

Guess what three topics were given to me as suggestions for this post.

1. Writing (to keep up with the theme of nanowrimo). Turns out, I happen to be an aspiring writer myself!!! What are the freaking chances of that happening here on the internet where bloggers (who like to write) find other bloggers (who also like to write)? I was like, "Deidra, are we writing soul-mates???" So yeah, pure serendipity.

2. Movies. Whoa. Not only have I watched a lot of movies (unlike all those other people out there who haven't really seen movies), but I'm actually writing a movie. Right now. What are the freaking chances??????

3. Women. Okay, so, I happen to be an expert on this subject. Wanna know why? First of all, the two fields I work in (education and psychology/counseling) are replete with women. I was always one of like 3 dudes in a class of 30 women all through college and grad school and it kinda gave me a complex and made me wonder occasionally about my gender identity. BUT not only that, I am 30 year old man who is married, and I have three daughters (all under the age of four, and who, yes, are adorable). So, obviously "Women" is one of the things I know MOST about, except for the things I don't understand, which about 93% of what they do.

As you can see, this collaboration was fate wrapped in karma filled with serendipity and sprinkled with a little bit of destiny.

In conclusion: if you keep your mind open and your heart pure, and if you spend hours and hours reading the writings of other cool people like Deidra, then you, too, might have your moment of glory, wherein you get chosen (or allowed with cautious reservations) to ramble at length about writing a blog post you will never actually have to write because you've been so long-winded talking about the process of getting chosen to write it that actually writing a post is no longer feasible.

Isn't destiny awesome?

The Weed writes a blog called "The Weed" which is awesome and filled with destiny. If destiny is particularly speaking to you, you can also follow him on twitter.

picture found using Google Images

Thursday, November 11, 2010

9 (The Ragdoll Hero in a Post-Apocalyptic Steampunk World)

So, I just watched 9.

It's weird.

For the first five or ten minutes of the movie, there's no dialogue.  9 wakes up alone in a post-apocalyptic world and we, like him, have no idea what happened to humanity.

He ventures out to find a steampunk, ruined world with no growing things and very few things living.  He soon meets 2.  And the Beast.

As the plot progresses, he meets the other inhabitants of the world, all numbered like him.  These inhabitants live in hiding, fearful of the machines that roam the barren planet outside.  Eventually, we learn that machines turned against humans and in a massive war, managed to wipe them all out, leaving only these little rag-doll creations and a few bits of malevolent machinery to occupy planet Earth.

I wasn't sure what to think of this movie.  By far, the best part was a handful of the characters who, to me, seemed extremely loveable.  And okay, I'll say it: they were adorable, too.

Curse my female sentimentalities, but they won me over.

On a somewhat broader note, I was perplexed.  The plot seemed to wind back and forth, with more of a series of small "quests" than a strong unifier tying everything neatly together.  It's true that the plot did go somewhere in the end, but let's not talk about the ending.  I expected it to end...well, a little happier than it did.  It did make a point to end on a hopeful note, but...well, not as many characters survived as I expected.

The more I think back on it, though, the more I kind of like it, for its uniqueness more than anything. 

I wouldn't recommend this movie strongly, but if you're bored, why not?  And if you're a lover of the bizarre, it's definately worth a try.

all pictures found using Google Images

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh, November Time

Hi there!  I have a little break between classes now, which isn't really enough time to work on anything, but might be just the right amount for a post!

NaNo is going pretty well.  I'm at almost 8,000 words right now (although I haven't updated the word count on the sidebar yet).  I would be further along, but a variety of things got in the way of novelling, including my participation in a terrible handbell choir concert and a few long work days.  I plan to catch up soon!  I really enjoy my novel this year, and it's fun to have the kind of creative liberties I've been giving myself.  I can't wait to see where it all goes next.  When I have a little more time, I'll tell you more about the story.

My brother and I rented a couple of movies last night, and I watched Sherlock Holmes for the first time.  I have to admit, I like Robert Downey Jr. better in Iron Man, but this film wasn't bad.

We also got 9, a brainchild of Tim Burton's.  I've been curious about it for a while, but have very little idea as to what it's actually about (something post-apocalyptic about a mad scientist or something...).  I'll have to fill you in once I've seen it to let you know if it's any good!

I'm sure it will prove to be interesting, at any rate.  With Tim Burton, I expect no less.

Lastly, I'm already getting excited for Christmas!  This is what I get for trying to plan out people's presents early.  I've only bought one thing so far, but I have high hopes for all the presents I'm getting for everyone this time around, considering that this year I actually have money.  Now I have the chance to see exactly how thoughtful I am when I have the funds to support it.  I hope not to dissapoint...

picture found using Google Images

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nomming on the Keyboard


Since I've surpassed the official day one word count goal, I'm allowing myself to post for you, my lovely readers!

I had actually forgotten how amazing this kind of writing is.  Yes, it's a shameful and disgraceful thing that I actually let myself forget that.  I'm telling you, NaNo is magical for bad, bad writers like me who don't keep up with the creative practicing that they should.  There's really nothing for motivation like having thousands of other people do it with you!

(Hmm...please don't take that last sentence out of context, because then it just sounds wrong...)

What was amazing about today's writing is that although I had little idea what I was doing (since I haven't yet gotten to the part of the plot that I actually know what I'm doing with), things just managed to come together.  A large section of my world just came together before my eyes!  I'm working in "our regular" world, but it's set far enough in the future that I can do pretty much whatever I want and get away with it by saying that things have changed. :)

Suddenly, my main character has a job and a life outlook to go with it.  I've also introduced one of my secondary characters much earlier than planned.

All this adds up to a very happy writer.

Except for the fact that my pre-NaNo grocery shopping is already very obviously turning out not to be enough.  I thought I'd gotten a lot of food.  Maybe I underestimated my ability to eat.  Looks like I'll have to get more soon, in any case.  I mean, what's the point of a NaNo Bunker if it doesn't have a month's worth of food supply?

At least I haven't run out of chocolate yet.  That's when it gets serious.

picture found using Google Images