Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Making yourself

Not so long ago, when I was struggling with a pretty heavy depressive episode, I came up with the idea that we make ourselves who we are. At first this seems pretty far-fetched, considering that I suffer from a genetic chemical imbalance that puts me into my depressions. But really, even now this still holds true. The more I learn about myself, the better I control the effects of depression, the more I can live my life, the more I become the person I want. I have always shied away from using drugs to control my depression because they also make me into a different person. I don't judge anyone else for using drugs, illegal or otherwise; this is simply the choice I make for myself. It strikes me as funny how much effort we'll spend to craft ourselves into what looks good and just leave ourselves morally bankrupt and self-centered. Money is increasingly becoming the focus of our lives instead of harmony.
Many people think spirituality is something you get from church. Truly, it should be something you already have and cultivate and bring to church. It bugs me how many people think that athiests and agnostics are immoral. I left the church due to the hypocrisy and flaunting of who is closer to God, who was wearing what, etc. I mean seriously, these are the same people reading in the Bible about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they argued who would sit at the right hand of God...how can they not see that they do the same things?
For me, it would absurd to think that someone else (such as a church) understands my relationship with God/Allah/the Goddess better than I do. The world is my church. Every day that I stop and look around me and feel lucky to be alive, to experience the wonder and the absurdity that is the world, that's my worship. I don't think there is a religion for people like me simply because we would all gather around, talk and laugh with each other, and walk away feeling the same satisfaction we feel every day.
The music of Eric Whitacre is something amazing - if you ever get a chance to hear a choir sing it live, it is a treat. He has a composition based on an e e cummings poem named "i thank you god for this most amazing day." Although I have yet to hear it, I think about that title a lot as I drive along and notice the mountains, or see the sunset, or stand in my yard and listen to the trees and smell the grass. I am grateful for the days I get, and the chances I get to make myself into a better person.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Decision at Last

It's weird. For the first time in my life, I feel truly as if there are signs to point the way. I have taken the LSAT and the GRE, paid all my fees, gotten my letters of recommendation, and am waiting patiently for news to arrive. Then my best friend tells me he doesn't think it's such a good idea. We talk - he tells me I should pursue something creative. I keep seeing signs; another friend is coming out to California to look at schools and might be a potential roommate. Then, last night at the Oscar party I spoke with my very creative friends. My boyfriend, on the ride home with me, simply tells me, "You're really happy right now. You should think about that."
With those simple words it occurred to me what has been happening ever since this decision was presented to me. For once, metaphorically speaking, it's as if God has stopped watching TV, turned and looked down at me and said, "Oh no, no, dear. I meant you for other things."
I believe I am about to pursue a degree in something artistic. And I feel fabulous about it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I just saw Reno!

I just saw someone who looks like one of my characters. In fourteen years of writing, this has never happened. It's probably fortunate for me that he was in the drive-thru two cars ahead of me, or I might have done something weird like try to take his picture on my phone. My drawing style has always been very cartoonish, so it's hard for me to convey to my artist friend Fuzzy what I mean when I say, "No, Reno's nose is big, but not Faramir-big, just big-big!" You can imagine his frustration with me. I know what's there when I draw it, but I've never had a clear picture until today just now.
Maybe I should have chased him down and camera-phoned him.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Keeping pace

I often forget to post, considering most of my time on the internet is at work, and, when I am at work, I am often trying to catch up to my endless list of tasks. I am trying to make a habit of it though, if for no other reason that I will have a record of where my time and attention is going. I haven't written in a while - I must say that I miss it. I managed to reread the entire Dark Tower series and am still not pleased with the tone of the last four books, but it was nice to visit Roland in his world again.
It comes to me often that the world is not meant to be a very nice place. I was reading an excerpt from a book, and there was a quote the author used - "Whatever a man hates, he becomes." (Or that's what I remember the quote as since the website is down.) It really struck a chord with me. Is it really true? If so, is it wise to judge others so harshly as to hate them?
Sociologists will rail against society and the "prison city" that keeps people from interacting (it's true, ask one...and bring a lunch.) but is it in our nature to interact without conflict? Perhaps the division is necessary in modern life to keep it from collapsing into chaos. It would be interesting to know the truth of it, but truth is better left for philosophers than scientists. Everything is subjective, even this statement. Muhaha...the irony fairy strikes again!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wilde and Emerson

It never ceases to amaze me how much society can make a brilliant man look average. Lately I've gotten on a kick of reviewing quotes from famous authors. It started with Oscar Wilde; the man is highly quotable and I'd heard many of his more boring quotes before (see previous entry on An Ideal Husband) but I read more of his lesser known quotes and was amazed! Where did this witty insightful man come from, and why weren't these quotes the ones he was known for? Tonight, I discovered Ralph Waldo Emerson - not the lame Ralph Waldo Emerson who I often confused with Henry David Thoreau, but a vibrant, intelligent man who was a great thinker and reluctant activist. I don't agree with his views on charity, but many of his quotes are inspiring.

Find someone who inspires you. Then find who inspired them. I suspect there is a very long trail of wisdom that lies mostly ignored for the masses, or perhaps is just unacknowledged.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Stephen King's Dark Tower series

I just heard that Stephen King's Dark Tower Story is getting a new addition in the form of a comic book. Apparently this story is between Wizard and Glass and The Gunslinger, which makes sense if you're a fan of the series. It's ironic that this is coming out now - I was just rereading the series this month.
One thing that bothers me - the books seemed to go downhill after Wizard and Glass. I'm still a fan of the ending - the ending after the ending for those of you who stopped - even though I know a lot of people weren't. There's something that fits Roland's dark romanticism about his endless repetition, but this time he has what he needs so it's uplifting in a way. The rest of the books in between just seemed too hokey, like Mr. King lost sight of the real world of the gunslingers and just added our world when he felt he couldn't get in touch with theirs anymore. Perhaps this is because I read the stories before W&G, before it seemed there would ever be anymore books. Many fans know what I mean - the original days when Dark Tower books were few and far between, and before the "may it do ya" and "thee" were introduced into The Gunslinger. I enjoyed the way the story seemed to be going through The Drawing of the Three and The Wastelands...and it seemed to dissipate after that. Perhaps this story, like many others before it, outlasted the author who wrote it. Sam Kieth's The Maxx comes to mind, although the author admitted it was time to move on at the end of that one.
It all seems to serve as a reminder: finish your story before the ending leaves you.


Wow. Stress stress stress....if there is a good way to relax, I need it right now. I need a good way to relax that doesn't involve oh, time off, fun, money, or illegal drugs. I hope at some point that there's some type of payoff, but the longer I live my life, the less it feels like there will ever be anything but the present.
I was thinking today that, were I to be diagnosed with cancer and given months to live, I would want to write. Not work at some job that isn't my passion just so that I can make a living wage, but to truly write, to sit down and do what all the authors tell you to do and write for at least four hours a day. I want to finish my stories before I die. Even if they're crappy stories that will be forgotten, it will still be better than never having finished. My NS stories are mounting; I have what I call a "pile of words" that's pretty formidable and a direction that I want to get to with her. The Drifters stories are just starting, which is sort of exciting and scary at the same time. I have two more ideas waiting in the wings for research to be done, and somehow the ideas keep coming. I used to be afraid that I would run out. Now I think it's more a matter of staying in shape mentally so that you're open to the ones that come to you.
BTW - the old author's saying about the characters having their own lives and you discovering them through writing - absolutely true. Anyone who can control their characters is writing a boring book.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Internet vitality

I live on probably the only block in the country where there are about five wireless networks, and all of them secured. Currently, I'm still recovering from Christmas and insurance and cell phone bills and graduate school application fees and test fees....you name it, I've incurred it over these past weeks. Consequently, I have no internet access at home. It's interesting to see how much I still rely on the internet to get my bills paid, make sure that my life is in order and generally keep in touch with people. In my opinion, the internet is achieving "utility" status, right up there with gas and water. Of course, many others would probably disagree, but those people probably aren't reading my blog, either.
It's hard, but enlightening at the same time. I grew up without internet access, and I was in high school by the time it really started hitting the masses where I lived. Seems odd that something so new could be so life-changing. I suppose that's what they felt about electricity as well.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


I read a lot. And when I mean a lot, I'm the person who reads the back of the shampoo bottle...more than once. The internet has been an interesting place for me due to this. It is just recently that I have decided that blogging isn't some sort of self-important pity party, or at least that it doesn't have to be.
It is here that I hope to develop my writing style. I don't ask anyone to read this...if you do, then be warned. This is not for you, as the Pearl Jam song puts it. Nor will it be about me directly. Somewhere in the middle, we'll find a compromise, and I'll find my voice. The journey is the important part.