Exponents partying under a full moon.

Right now the moon is raging on this Chicago sky and making me feel like a manic werewolf in the BEST way. That being said, I’m posting some more in-process writing from the school computer lab and rushing home to my delicious stout. Then I’ll sit on my porch at 2am with a glass and feel wonderful.

This is for my fiction class, I’m starting a *much longer* series using exponents to mutate the focus of these vignettes/chapters. I love feedback of all shapes as it helps me to use my brain.

Here’s a snippet of the first seven I’ll be showing to class:

X

You are sitting in a room in a chair by yourself. The walls are empty. The carpet is clean. The only sound you hear is ventilation. You think it’s nice, maybe you’ll do some writing. Maybe you’ll let everything be quiet. Maybe you’ll get out your day planner and map out the next month. There is clarity of mind right now. Yet, you manage to feel anxious about this clarity.

 X2

You are sitting in a room in a chair and someone enters.  They avoid eye contact and have a container in their hand. You wonder what’s in the container.  Maybe it has food in it? Does it have papers, or tools, or something functional? Maybe it has nothing at all? They sit in a chair in the corner. There is no mutual acknowledgement. You keep wondering about the container.

X3

You and the person sit in the room. A loud noise clatters. You and the person make eye contact, both of you look startled. The noise is coming from the ceiling, it sounds like a glass piano is smashing the floor above.  You both remain seated and tense. The person shrugs and opens their container. It is filled with chips; this disappoints you a bit. They eat their chips loudly. At least you have the dreadful glass noise to distract from the chips.

X4

You and the person eating chips sit in the loud room.  The noise continues, but now you can hear a voice. There is a yelping “Idiot, idiot, idiot!” The person eating chips has finished the chips. They put down the container and clear their throat loudly.

You wonder why they would only pack chips. “Idiot!” continues to blare above the sound of glass. For a moment you decide to stand up, maybe standing up will make you less complacent. As you stand up the sound wanes, you glance at the chip eater and they are glaring at you. You notice chip-eater removing a small knife from their pocket. The ceiling sound is dead.

X5

You stand in the room with the knife-holding chip-eater. For a millisecond, it is more silent than ever. Then, chip-eater removes their gaze from you and places the knife on their lap. You are so paranoid, you realize, as they remove an envelope from their pocket. It was the sound, the glass sound, which made you assume violence. Or are you just that suspicious of others? Feeling self-conscious you return to your seat, you look at your hands for a long time. Chip-eater is peacefully oblivious while opening the envelope. There is now a knock on the door. You pretend you can’t hear it.

X6

You and the non-violent chip-eater sit in the room as there is knocking on the door.This time, you have decided, you aren’t standing up for the noise.
“Get the door, won’t you!”
Chip-eater has finally broken his silence, and you wish he hadn’t. Regardless, you let the knocker in. The knocker is a girl who looks like your sister. You don’t particularly care that she resembles your sister – it’s just weird.  Chip-eater is reading a letter of some sort. His face looks upset, and you wonder if it is a personal letter. Sister lookalike is walking around the perimeter of the room with her arms crossed. She looks like a nice person; someone who would offer people rides to the soup kitchen, someone who would make jello for her neighbors, someone you might be bored of.
You are still slightly aware that earlier in the day you had planned on writing, or day planning.

X7

You and chip-eater, and doppelganger are all in this room together, you sitting, him sitting, her walking around. Doppelganger continues to circle the room, now she has her phone out texting. You figure she’s walking around because she’s nervous about the texts, whoever is texting must be important. Or maybe she had coffee and can’t keep still. Chip-eater has folded up the letter and is putting it in his pocket; he makes eye contact and winks at you. You don’t know what to make of it, should you start a conversation? No, there’s nothing to talk about, except maybe that glass noise, what was the deal with that? Chip-eater has weird muttonchops, you just noticed. How perfect, chips and mutton chops. You wonder if your face is distinct as well, if you have funny elements that double as afterthoughts. Doppelganger is still texting and vividly reacting. She laughs loudly and you feel annoyed. Keep it to the text, why doesn’t she?

———————————————————————

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Baby steps.

Here is the link to a 9-page PDF preview of the first few pages of “Money Talks” (also known as the anthropomorphized five-dollar-bill screenplay).

More thoughts to come this week!

Money Talks

If you read this, even if you hate it (especially if you hate it). Thank you. Time is money, so reading this is like giving me dollar bills or bowls of food.

On privilege, guilt, and gorgeous grandmas.

There’s always a shadow standing behind me when I write.

The shadow that calls out narcissism, the shadow that calls out hyperbole, the shadow that says:

Be more serious.

Be less serious.

You’re not doing it right.

Of course. It’s normal to self-analyze/self-doubt, whether you’re writing or just Being a Person.

It’s a gift, in ways, it enables us to pull-back, re-calibrate perspectives, and change.

(I do believe people change.)

However, self-analysis can easily become it’s own worst fear: selfish, destructive, and irrelevant.

This past week I had a fresh wave of simultaneous self-loathing and self-congratulating-guilt.

It’s the guilt you feel when you realize only 6% of the world goes to college, and you still sleep in and complain about academic workloads as if they were an Inescapable Burden.

It’s the guilt that happens when you realize you are white, straight, American, and able-bodied, and that the daily ease you feel is not universal–that it is built on so, so, many inequalities, you can’t even begin to delude that you are “self-made.”

It’s the guilt you feel when you have good parents, who are patient, who care, who have put up with you even when you were an unbearable-stooge.

It’s the guilt that says “You’re wasting time, you’re wasting resources, with great privilege comes responsibility.”

It is a guilt that occurs when you realize that others don’t realize you’re joking, they don’t realize you view humor as a necessary-sexy-transformative-life-source. You’re not irreverent for cynicism’s sake.

The thing is:
Guilt in itself is not productive. Ever. Much like shame, guilt is one of those deceiving emotions that wears the costume of humility, without any of the progress.

*seemingly jolty segway*

My grandma did not finish college. World War II was in progress, she was writing (if not fully engaged to) my grandpa. There were numerous factors road-blocking her completion. I remember asking her about this as a child, eyes distant, wondering if she was sad.

Bana has always been a figure in my life. She taught me how to read, introduced drawing proportions, and probed me with stimulating questions as a child. People love her because she listens, is careful with her words, and takes their comfort and perspective into consideration.

As a kid I wanted her to paint more (she was talented), I wanted her to live forever, (she’s still at it–92), but mostly, I wanted her to be carefree and future-minded with me.

My own-personal-grandma-guru! Why not?

Obviously, I’ve grown up, and no longer hassle her about her art in the same obnoxiously-well-meaning-ways (she would be physically unable at this point, so it would just be rude).

But I do consciously listen more when I see her (to soak in her habits). This last visit I had an “a-ha” moment. I realized she does not exhibit guilt. I have never heard her express it verbally.

What she does express, is gratitude, conviction, and a genuine awareness of others.

This, is what I want to replace selfish-anxiety with:

a realization of my life’s super-punch-drunkenly-awesome factors, while maintaining a recognition of the diverse views and experiences of others, and how I can take them into consideration when expressing myself.

Also, I want to draw/write/paint/converse the hell out of everything.

Absurdly Absurd Fiction vs. Normal Absurd Fiction.

In exactly one week from today my brain will be smashed by a piano-heavy plate of class-work-interning-“freetime” commitments I’ve staked out during coffee-highs/moments I felt I could bend time (and be an 80% more productive human).

That said, one of the fall commitments is to produce a full-length screenplay for my Advanced Screenwriting class. Luckily, first drafts leaves lots of room for grace.

Knowing myself, and Time, and how me and time have a tumultuous relationship (universal), I decided to try to “help myself” and “prepare” by mapping out my screenplay ideas this summer.

In reality, this summer’s “mapping out” involved Youtube videos of Japanese Gameshows, 13-year-olds giving dating advice, and buzzed conversations with friends where I told them I was going to do lots of idea-fattening that I Did Not Do.

SO. NOW.

I need your help.

I have two main concepts on my plate, and would love feedback on which sounds

A.) More Interesting.

B.) More Realistic (as in, realistic to finish + more likely to sound reasonable coming out

of my brain.)

C.) C is just for sex-appeal/symmetry.

Idea One:

Plotline One would be to convert, finish, and flesh out the vignette series I started last November for Novel Month. The concept was to observe a series of scenarios through the perspective of a five dollar bill. I already have 50+ pages to work from (in prose format).

Pros:

–I already have material to convert.

–A Five Dollar Bill gives me space to invent/explore, less research/more writing than a human with their own sexuality/ethnicity/gender/etc.

–I can integrate more of my personal experiences into the scenes when inspiration runs dry/during panic-attack-death weeks.

Cons:

–Writing successful vignettes in screenplay format is tricky.

–Creating a story-arc/incentive to keep-watching will be more difficult.

–Too Silly?

Idea Two:

A story about a man who grew up in a cult and escapes during a cop-bust. He moves to a new city (to start over/un-learn) but has an incredibly debilitating case of stockholme syndrome. As he enters a romantic relationship with a lady, his symptoms increase. The symptoms cause the feeling of deep nostalgia/love for his former cult leader. Eventually, he finds his personality integrating new personalities, a dominating persona is the cult-leader-herself. I can’t give away the ending because I am a brat, but you can guess.

Pros:

–The plot would have a definite arc/structure conduscive to film-making.

–I’ve been researching stockholme syndrome and am obsessed, very-gung-ho for all the research.

–There is room for plot-changes while maintaining a basic structure.

–People like cults/other people/love/insanity.

Cons:

–I will have to do a lot of work to not make this utterly hack. Utterly, utterly hack.

–There are not the 50+ pages Idea One has.

–People hate cults/other people/love/insanity.

——

I have to remember that I am 22, anything I write will seem annoying to myself, because I have not been in wars/had 8 babies/traveled-all-the-world/accumulated-the-secrets-of-life.

But– you gotta start somewhere!

I figure if Mitt Romney can run for president, I can finish a screenplay.

The glamour of laziness.

So this is my obligatory back-in-black post where I mention that I haven’t done things on this web-space for months. Because, summer makes me a kind-of-drunk-girl that analyzes life just enough to not participate in it.

But now fall is a thing, that exists. So I have no “excuse” to be complacent about my hopes and dreams which like-it-or-not involve putting myself out there.

And so, as a preview in the next two weeks I’ll be posting:

*My final prompt for the screenplay I’ll be writing this fall semester.

*Some samples of the character-profiles and comedy sketches I’ve worked on this summer.

*A new baby-fiction (flash-fiction, but with less explosions).

*An article pitch for Cracked because I’m delusional and want them to pay me to make lists of pointless words.

*Pictures of all my meals.

*Pictures of Angelina Jolie eating ice cream.

*Legitimate documentation of Paul Ryan drinking infant blood with Satan.

*Fran Drescher hula-hooping on a trampoline full of your hopes and dreams.

A few of these might be fictional. But, life is your oyster, so, you know, believe whatever you prefer.

Not dead yet!

So, I just as I thought the flames of procrastination and over-planned days would inhibit me from poetry month, a raging surge of stubbornness hit me.

So here are poems 11, 12, and 13.

I even stayed in from a session of debauchery to get these out (and by “staying in” I mean spending slightly less money I don’t have anyways). Poem 11 is for NADA magazine, which is doing a Mormon.org theme this month (thus the Joseph Smith poem earlier in the month).

Poem 12 is addressing cockroaches in my apartment.

Those are my off-the-bat spoiler alerts.

——————————-

11/30

I am normal.

With weeks unrolling

like carpets,

flying

beneath my untrusty

weight,

I’ll survey

the land,

My kitchen counters,

the bedroom,

dust clouds hugging

chair arms,

sweep it up,

sterilize.

Fold and keep

at arm’s length.

My daughters

watch,

as I deliver

pearl casseroles,

fresh-plated hand folds,

lying sidelong

from sober sex.

My husband

drapes the house,

his

spiritualized shadows

cloak stability,

in bold-lined

figures of Right.

While I fly frantic,

scavenging bones

for my slice

of immortality.

—————————————

12/30

An overlord of roaches,

she now keeps vacancy

in her kitchen,

swatting lights

by the papered out dome

of insects

the portable room piling

bodies leaf-like

“How urban!”

a friend chimes

from a well-swept

hallway,

dressed in vanilla

smell skirts.

It is

the petty corner

of an Aesop Rock

chant,

A Baudelaire stanza,

not the thesis,

but the word that

steeps in your brain.

————————-

13/30

Memory is now commodified,

Folded, wrapped, and sold

in wires.

SLR file-types

trump foggy brain recollections,

Automated playlists

whispering sensibilities,

you visited last week,

at 1:05pm,

(three minutes and five seconds.)

Nostalgia

sleeps while

machines

screen last week’s

sun spots, your expired

romantic notions,

streamlined in boxes,

sharper than

your wit.

End of the first trimester.

It is already the 10th — meaning we are a third through Poetry Month! How insane. I can already tell that when I’m 98 I’ll rave about how speed-demon-fast time is. Right now though, I’m just glad Time hasn’t devoured my soul or flunked me out of school/being alive yet.

Poems 09 and 10 — I have no strong feelings for either in positive or negative ways. I DO know that I want to keep working on them, possibly adding a good amount of length to each. Thoughts/Comments/Insults are all welcome, but not pressured.

——————–

09/30

Emaciated battalions

of ADD

gun your synapses,

stabbing through

aural gats,

naked flash grenades,

free-rolling

typos.

Exasperated

by language

trails,

triggered

by

Enter.

The troops

breathe slow

mania

in

To-Do

lists,

Snowballing

into

delusions

of world domination,

After this paper,

Some winks,

A run.

Tomorrow.

——————–

10/30

Slipping inside

45s

of rainbow-haired

ghosts

she scales

dead-cities,

and

boredom politics,

snatching slogans

of rudeboys

already mugged

by suburban

pissers.

she extends

gloved hands

to

grey-veined

veterans

“don’t you want it back?”

Feet up, backs against

laz-boys,

they shake mouths

indifferent

“you figure it out.”