Archive for the 'Non-Fiction' Category

So I’ve Been Quiet.

I know. I haven’t been writing, really. That’s the sad thing. School takes it outta me. All the reading I do to “learn” from, instead of to learn from, and I have been having to crank out poems nearly every week, which is where most of my creativity has been going.

There is one thing worth mentioning, though: Things are looking rather up.

I also managed to get Always Happy to Serve You published in the Edgewood Review, much as I did A Dark and Stormy Night last year. I think last year’s was the better story, but apparently this year’s contributions sucked or the editors liked my story more than I thought. In either case, I am honored. I’ll have to get a pic of me holding it or sommat.

That’s all for now. More writing to come once I’m out of school. I wanna do a thorough rework of Everybody Knows Everybody Here to make it into an actual story and not a treatment of one, and I have plenty of unfinished things to either finish or prolong Inuyasha style. We’ll see.

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Same Old, Same Old

As I lamented a little bit ago, I’ve really got to stop writing poetry about my girlfriend. At least this one isn’t sad or lovey, it’s more of a ‘let’s go do cool stuff’ poem. It’s named The Happiest Days of Our Lives after the Pink Floyd song best known as the bit before Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2.

Much of the material came from a ‘quiz’ in which we’d get a line of poetry from Actual Air by David Berman such as what’s more radical, the snow or the tires,/ and what does the Bible say about metal fatigue/and why do mothers carry big scratched-up sunglasses/ in their purses? followed by something like “Ask three more questions that go along with these:” Truth be told, I think I came up with a bunch of good lines this way, and some of them are reflected in the poem.

The other contribution is another poem, one that when I wrote it, I was terrified of showing anyone. However, Courtney likes it, and my professor (who I turned it in to because he doesn’t know me) liked it, and I’m such a compliment whore that I may submit it to the Edgewood Review. So what the hell, I’ll throw it up here. It’s tentatively titled Home and anyone that knows me IRL and doesn’t want uncomfortably personal thoughts revealed probably shouldn’t read it. Especially if you are or live with my dad. Some people need Not-Safe-For-Work warnings, I need Non-Fiction ones.

That’s all for now. I’ma get some sleep.

Straight Outta Wilson

From Skype. Click for full size.

Homework

The submissions for the Edgewood Review, my college’s little annual literary collection, are due soon, so I’ve spent some of my time this morning working on shaping up stories. The tentative plan is to submit The King of Pecatonica County and Always Happy to Serve You. I don’t have anything as good as my submission last year, but it’s worth a shot. The group saw the first story last year – I submitted it after it got a good reception in my class workshop, and it was tentatively accepted until I submitted something much better. However, last year the magazine’s editor was also a fan of my work, and she graduated, so it’s more of an uphill struggle. We’ll see how it goes.

In any case, while editing, I mentioned to Courtney that I’m not very good at physical descriptions. She agreed, and pointed out that the one’s I’d put in were long after we met the respective characters, and stated that I should practice my descriptions by doing them of real-life people. I like this idea. So, without further ado, I present Wilson-style descriptions of my friends and myself. Guys, don’t take it personally.

Isaac

Isaac is a thin, nearly gangly individual of average height. His most notable features are his typical look of slight confusion, his beard, which splotches up like an invasive weed despite any grooming efforts, and his hairline, which long ago abandoned his forehead and now loses ground on his scalp with every passing year. He smells of motor oil and baby.

Ben

Ben is a gentle giant, a tall, quiet fellow with dark brown hair and a smile that can make him look a bit dopier than he really is. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Isaac’s missing hair had simply migrated, colonizing Ben’s upper back and neck. Despite his height, he’s rather nonthreatening, especially since his normal stance is sitting, slightly hunched, staring intently at a computer screen.

Courtney

Whereas Ben’s smile is dopey, Courtney’s always looks loaded; There’s mischief or planning behind it. Her hair, which is currently a rusty brown, changes colors with her whim, probably more often than is healthy, though each change is agonized over. Her other most notable feature is her chest, which somehow sticks out farther than her nose, and which she tends to show off a bit, much to her boyfriend’s dismay – those are his, after all.

Taylor

Taylor is a lumpy little fellow pushing a B cup with his moobs. His hair is perpetually greasy, which doesn’t even help to add a gloss to the dull brown. He typically has a look of boredom or disinterest, unless he is actually interested in something, in which case his eyes bug out and he stares way too intently and gets way too close to the person in question. He is almost always in a Hawaiian shirt and cargo khakis, even in summer, which makes him sweat, which makes him seem even greasier. His glasses are usually dirty and slightly crooked.

So there you have it. Now I wait for Isaac and Ben to kill me.

My So-Called Life

I’ve been quiet. Truth be told, all that time spent not writing after my mom died sorta took. I need to get back in the habit. Thankfully, the grays and muted blues of this composition page are comforting to me by now, and I can feel the gears creaking and the machine coming back to life.

I really, really, really want to talk about the story in Modern Warfare 2. However, I’m saving that for my friends. I don’t have much experience in action movies, or first-person shooters, so I feel like my comments would be without the degree of authority I’m usually so good at faking. I guess I’ll write a couple of lines.

Some people have said the story in MW2 is over the top, or too far, or ‘crash the moon into the earth crazy.’ They may be right. Nukes were involved in MW1 and this ratchets up the scale significantly. I’m trying to avoid spoilers, which means I can’t really say anything at all. However, I can say that whatever one says about the writing, the presentation is impeccable and gripping. Whatever the gaming equivalents are of cinematography, art direction, all those things – these are executed flawlessly. The game is one big series of Holy Shit moments. This is what I want from a single player experience. And the heroin-like nature of MW1 and 2’s multiplayer doesn’t need explanation from me. The fact that my loved ones will see nothing of me for weeks is testament to that.

The other big – bigger, truthfully, even bigger than MW2, which is apparently bigger than God – is that Lanuria‘s coming to visit on Tuesday.

I don’t know what to say about this. Here’s a girl I developed very real feelings for based exclusively on online, 99% text based, interaction. However, the fact remains that she’s been the single biggest supporter of myself and my writings. I doubt this blog would have half of the content it does, or even be updated anymore, if not for her constant encouragement and fangirlism of my writings. It’s probably not healthy, the unconditional positive regard, but she can keep liking what I write, I’ll just have to start hating it more.

In any case, if you don’t hear from me at all next week, that’s why. I’m going to be up to my ears in Futurama, MST3K, and 4chan references.

Two Posts for the Price of One

There are two linked, but somewhat separate, subjects I wanted to write about today.

Part one. Ever since this entire situation started on Saturday, I’ve been strangely calm. I wasn’t panicking when I called 911 Saturday morning, and while I’ve had many emotional episodes and did, in fact, totally lose it when they pulled my mom’s breathing tube, I’ve been rather okay, emotionally. This has been worrying me almost as much as the situation with my mom; it’s not that I’m so self-centered, it’s just that since basically Sunday morning the outcome was evident; the following days simply made it more obvious and unavoidable.

Since Saturday, though, I haven’t been crying and curling up into a ball on my bed nearly as much as I’d expected. I did feel like I was running on empty from Monday until about Wednesday, but that’s faded with the closure that Thursday morning brought. And with a good night’s sleep and that closure, my paranoia about being a jaded, emotionless thing has grown.

It was this morning, though, that a thought occurred to me. I sat, thinking about what I had been feeling instead of intense sorrow. Disinterest, general malaise, apathy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in doing much. Wait a minute! Not only are some of those symptoms of mild grief, they’re all symptoms of clinical depression! Thank God. I am feeling crappy.

My mood has notably improved, though. Not just because of that realization, which absolved much of my paranoia. There’s also the fact that my mom gave one person a set of lungs, another person a kidney, and a third her other kidney and pancreas. Knowing she has helped so many people in this event has helped my Dad and I substantially.

Part two. If you’ve never lost a parent or other member of your immediate family, let me try to document my experience so you can have at least a glimpse.

Outside of the trauma of the moment – any car accident, cancer diagnosis, or the trauma of actually watching someone die (which I hope never happens to any of you) – the actual idea of the death of a loved one, in this case my mother, is simply too big to look at head on. It’s much like the S.E.P. field in the works of Douglas Adams. I’ll wait while you read the section I linked in the last sentence. Anyway, the death’s like that. Saying to myself “My Mom has died,” doesn’t mean much. It’s too big. It can’t be fathomed, at least right now.

However, it still shows. The other day I was having a conversation about drinking water and I said “We have an undersink filter.” Now, the word ‘we’ doesn’t mean the same thing as it used to. The definition of my family has changed.

Likewise, last night I went to bring a sandwich upstairs, and as I climbed the stairs I started mentally preparing for the short argument I’d have with my mom about bringing food upstairs. Then I stopped, because that wouldn’t happen anymore.

I know it’s going to continue, too. I’m going to come home from a friend’s house at 5:45 in the evening and ask, “Have you guys eaten yet?” I’m going to have to learn the hard way to use the past tense when talking about my family.

To come back to the original SEP metaphor: This isn’t something you see when you look straight at it. But if you catch it out of the corner of your eye, be prepared for a shock.

And In The End

My mom died this morning, a little after nine. It was rather peaceful.

Her liver, pancreas, and kidneys are usable – the liver to one person, one kidney to another, the second kidney and pancreas to a third. Her lungs looked good from blood tests, but they’ll need to examine them up close before knowing if they can be used for a fourth person. Edit: The lungs proved usable, but the liver did not. Still, that’s three lives changed for the better.

I’m not sure what else to say. I might have actual words later on. Right now silence is very comforting.