Sunday, July 31, 2005

Untitled, I

Does anyone else have the problem of when they've actually put things away and in their place, not being able to find them again? This is why cleaning is such a nusance, really. I know I'm going to lose some stuff in the end. It's always when I've thought that I've put something in a safe place, its real place that it's supposed to go, where I'm sure to remember it, that I can't seem to find it again.

This is why cleaning is a great social concern that needs to be examined by the federal governments and decided by the courts.

Writing Advice, I

Writing "a waterfall of water" may or may not be repititious, depending on your context. If your context is actual water, then yes, it is repititious. Editors will laugh. And not in a good way.

A Measure of My Rebelliousness

A "meme" from the Deep Magic Blogs: 110 banned books. Bold for what I've read, italics for what I've read partially.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Kapital by Karl Marx
#37 Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (novel and novella)

Quite obviously, I have a lot of catching up to do. I just finished The Handmaid's Tale, which was haunting, and will start on A Brave New World next, I think. I'm still trying to figure out who banned this books, so if you know, leave me a note.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Here's to You

I don't know whether to claim this guy or not after the "dog is cooler than I am" post, but at least I can embarrass him by putting up the link.

A blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Hot Fairy Tale

William Goldman had me. I mean he really had me. Completely believing, absolutely hoodwinked, downright oblivious.

I saw The Princess Bride sometime in the early 90s. I think we still have a tape of it recorded off a '93 Christmas TV special. Some time after that I read the book.

And was just blown away. For those of you who have never read this book, you're missing out on one of the greatest literary pieces ever. It's amazing. I can't pick favorite movies, songs, or books, but if I had to, you'd better believe this would probably be it. Ever since my exposure to the book, though, I've had to wonder, does Morgenstern's version really exist? I went back and forth, discussed it with friends, definitely believed it for a period, but in the end, decided inconclusively that it didn't. Still doesn't change my high opinion of this amazing book -- in fact, it heightens it.

Yesterday I went to the library to drop off my over due books (typical). While I was there I decided to pick up a few books on film making. I saw that Goldman had written a book about his adventures in film and screen play writing, and I was so delighted I got it. I was reading through it eagerly, when I read a reference to his ex-wife, Ilene.

Ilene? I thought to myself. No, that's a mistake. In the Princess Bride forward, he said his wife's name was something else... Helen, that was it. Has he been married more than once?

I read on. I came to another startling part in which Goldman talks about his two daughters. Daughters? What about his son? His son, his son, the one in the forward of the Princess Bride.

It's dawning on me... Of course Morgenstern's Princess Bride is fictional. But more than that, what I hadn't realized until now, but so is Goldman's forward. I go on to read about the conception and struggle that was the Princess Bride, and I am blown away.

This man is a genius!

I can't get enough of thinking about it. This man has completely hoodwinked me, even when I thought I knew what was going on. I really thought he had a wife Helen and a fat son and maids that changed every couple of weeks because his therapist wife scared them away with her "understanding" of their feelings. I completely bought him.

I hope there's someone else out there who also thought like me, not because I wish to feel any less foolish (which I do, I'll admit), because I want someone else to share with me this awe of Goldman's ability, and I don't think that can happen unless you too were completely fooled.

I want to tell him. I want to tell him so badly how he completely had me. Maybe when I get time, I'll write him a letter. He may find it foolish, but I think it will give him a laugh.

Besides, he deserves to be told just exactly how brilliant he really is.

Extra for the X-C

I don't understand how people who run miles and miles a day for fun can object to using the proper entrance to a building just because it's a few hundred feet more to walk.

Wrapping Up the Summer

This evening, I made a decision that before summer wraps up, I'm sending out a minimum of at least three stories to publishers. I'm nearing the end of a couple that I'm excited about, and once I'm able to transfer them off my laptop onto a CD (or get my internet to work) I'll be pressing on full speed. Here's what I've got planned:

"Mark of a Saint" (Deep Magic) - This story is a prequel to my story "The Saintly Fianche of Malitane." The latter starred Fianche's daughter, really, and in "Mark of a Saint" I write about Fianche and some of the issues she has. It's shaping up to be a really nice little short story. There's not a lot of action, per say. The conflict is internal, but I'm excited to send it in to DM to see what they think. It adds backstory to Fianche's staff, which they wanted a little more of when they accepted "The Saintly Fianche." Whether or not it gets accepted, I'm glad that I wrote it.

"Personal Universe" (The Sword Review) - This is actually sci-fi, which is not my typical genre. It was inspired just a few weeks ago by the comments of an agnostic on the boards, and I'm pleased with the way it's come together quickly. I feel like "Personal Universe" and "Mark of a Saint" are sister stories; they were both started around the same time, they are both about the same length, they'll both be finished around the same time (hopefully), and they are both destined to be sent (first) to my favorite e-zines. Anyway, this one was really fun to write, and I'm excited to send it to the team and see what they think. It won't be anonymous now, if any of the staff read the blogs, but that's ok. I can take it.

"Again and Again and Again" and "To the Halls of Valhalla" (Paradox) - Both of these are quasi-historical fiction. "Again" is historical; it's one of my gems that's already been sent out and rejected. I hadn't really looked at it since until tonight, and I had forgotten some of the changes I had made since the original story (funny how that works). I don't think it'll need as much work as I thought it would. I'm also open to trying Amazing Journeys with "Again." "Valhalla" focuses on the Valkyries of Norse mythology. It's a contemplative/reflective piece, one I wrote when my friend Steve and I decided we were going to both write stories about the Norsemen (which came from a strange comment about Norsemen that turned into an inside joke). It's very rough; it's mostly dialogue right now, so I need to smooth it over, tighten it, and just make things a little more interesting. "Again" will go first.

"City of Honor" (Amazing Journeys) - "City of Honor" was inspired by the book "Honor Lost" and is dedicated to all women killed in the name of family "honor." This story is in its very rough first draft. This one'll probably take the most work, but it's one of my babies (er, well, aren't they all?) because I found "Honor Lost" so powerfully chilling and sad. I hope my piece will inspire in the readers a sense of sadness and loss as well.

I put sticky notes on my mirror to keep me working on these stories. I have about a month to get out three, and with the car ride to and from NY within that month, I'm pretty sure I'll get that done. Probably the biggest obstacle is getting ink for my printer. I'm very excited. I've only sent out one batch before, three stories at the end of July last summer. It's been a whole year, and I've finally got some pieces that are almost ready to be sent out. I will, of course, be anxious to hear back from every one of the editors (or to spy on them at those where I volunteer), whether that be in form of rejections or acceptances.

Brilliantly enough, these are all paying markets. Wouldn't that be fun?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


If you ever stop and listen on a summer night, you gotta wonder just how many bugs are making up the great symphony of cricketing, creaking, and humming.

Being the Typical College Student

Typical college students change majors. I changed mine at least twice before starting college, redeclared a couple of times in college, too. I think I'm taking it a step further, though.

In fall of 2006, I most likely will not be returning to Anderson. If all goes well, I will be on my way to sunny California, where there is surf and snow and everything else. I'm looking to transfer schools and have started inquiry this past week. I got a call from Brooks Institute of Photography (I do hate those calls -- I was kinda reluctant to start the whole process over again, from a total different angle than two years ago -- but it's helpful), and I was asked how interested I was, on a scale from 1 to 10, in film as a career. I said 7, because I'm pretty much definitely planning on going to L. A. to try this thing out.

The thing is, my current college town is just too small. My opportunities are limited to the school itself. I'm realizing more and more how many things there are to do and experience and how many different careers and hobbies and passions there are to explore and what a waste it is to stay where I am. I'm on a one-track plan here. If I stay here, I know where I'll end up in four years. And I'll probably be happy, but I'll always wonder about all the things I never got to do. The thing is, I'm tired of feeling like my life isn't going to start until I graduate. I shouldn't be waiting for my life to start. I am, and it's making me unhappy. I need to make a radical change, get out to a place where everything's happening and everything is explorable and nothing's the limit. I'm really excited. I think I'm going to be really happy. I won't have to look forward to the opportunities of the future anymore; I can be content where I am.

It makes me wonder, though, how many other people are waiting for their lives to start.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Nature of Love

It is the nature of love to give oaths, vows, and solemn promises, to swear itself to eternity, to death, to things not humanly possible, to see forever and always and everything.

But is it the nature of love to fulfill these rose-colored promises?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is Romantic Love?

I've thought about love about as much as the average person (if you take my sister out of the equation, 'cause she spent her whole undergraduate career on it. And I mean that seriously, not in a bad way.). I had a whole class on it first semester, what it is, and how it relates to our relationship with God, and what qualities we desire in a mate, and what drives us to pick who we pick. After all this thinking and wondering and comparing different situations, I think I've come up with something.

The only kind of love that exists is the kind you believe in. If you believe in love at first sight, then love at first sight exists. If you believe love doesn't last, your love won't last. Sure, there are exceptions, but the love you give and take is so colored by your perception of what love is, it will be conformed to your ideals. Love is like faith - love is a kind of faith. It is what you make it, what you believe in, what ideals you've created for yourself. Someone might try to tell you otherwise, but in the end, you know that what you believe in your heart is true.

Google It!

Yes, I'll admit, I've Googled myself.

But it's a lot funnier to find out Cheryl Shank's done it, too.