Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go West, Young Man!

Sitting in Flint Airport waiting for the puddle jumper that's going to take me up, and then immediately down again into Detroit for my next plane that will take me into Los Angeles. Constantly amused by the fact that it's cheaper to fly from Flint to Detroit and then to LA than it is to just fly direct to LA. Proof of the arbitrary nature of flight tickets, I suppose. At the very least the wi-fi here is free. I'm not sure if that's true everywhere now, or what.

I'm spending two weeks (roughly) out in Los Angeles to job hunt, explore, and generally recharge the battery for the last 40 odd days of school that'll be left when I return. There's talks of a trip down to Mexico for margaritas, hiking in the hills around West Hollywood, and probably more than one visit to Santa Monica.

I've been trying to get the brain to focus to get the novel rewrites done by the start of March, but unless I suddenly pull another couple of days out of thin air, it's not going to happen. I'm just starting to rework chapter 4, and I haven't touched that since at least a week ago. Chapter three is one of the more violent and emotionally charged chapters. It's sort of the breaking point where readers are either going to say "Edmund, you're one sick sonuvabitch," and they're going to stop reading because he's wrong, or they're going to say, "I feel so sorry for Edmund, but what he's doing is still deplorable," and then they'll throw their lot in for the rest of the novel. God knows I'm hoping for the latter...

We had a writing group on Sunday, and instead of working on one of the multitudes of half-cocked ideas I have sitting around in notebooks or on hard drives, or floating around my brainpan, I instead started with something new. Something about the underground beneath Chicago. Maybe a war between the topsiders and the underground. Something. I'm not entirely sure what yet, but I'm enjoying the vibrancy of the new idea a bunch right now.

My bag is an inch or so bigger than the carryon cutoff. I'm hoping it doesn't cause an issue, because I'd rather not have to deal with checking my bag and having to wait for it, and worry about whether or not it's actually going to make it to LA anyways. Here's hoping, eh?

Hilariously appropriate Sleep Talkin' Man sound for the flight

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reviewy things

Internet is currently shut off, but I've been able to find a pirated signal by sitting on my steps, which I'm doing right now.

I'm in the middle of reading Dante's Divine Comedy right now. It's a spectacular, and obviously very very dense read. The imagery of hell is haunting in ways that I've not seen it before, and should provide some interesting pieces to draw from when I get around to writing again. Writing is something I've not done a lot of lately. I wanted to be done with the Rider by March 1, but at this point I'll be lucky to have finished Act I by then, let alone the whole book by the end of March.

I've finished 2 books so far this year, which is good for me. A friend and I got to talking about books we read last year, and it took me far too long to think of what the last book I finished was. Eventually it came to me. Soon I Will Be Invincible by (I have to look this up) Austin Grossman. It wasn't very good, but it did have moments of success.

So far this year I've read Under the Dome, which was a surprisingly competent and riveting read. The ending was surprising and King's ruthlessness with his characters was very surprising, and refreshing. It took a helluva long time to read, but then again it's a huge book.

The other book was Go Go Girls of the Apocalypse, by Victor Gischler. It was a post-apocalyptic comedy, which is of interest to me considering the story idea I'm working on, Bombed! Go Go Girls was a competent read, but not as spectacular as I was hoping. There are moments of sheer genius (the survival of the Jack Daniels distillery comes to mind first) and there are moments of bland (the rushed climactic battle and rather cliched movie ending). All in all I'd recommend it for its fun popcorn read. It left me with the vibe of an author's first novel. A ton of ideas, and a ton of work, and it'll never be as refined as their later work, but it's the clunky intensity and the sheer labor of love that makes it enjoyable.

Other fun things has been in music. Angels and Airwaves put their album out last weekend, Love. It's one of those that is just so ridiculous and over the top and utterly absurd and intense that you can't help but love it for its many failings. And anything negative I've said about Sleeping at Last's 2009 release, Storyboards, is completely rescinded. That album was a work of pure staggering genius.

Anyways. I leave for LA in 5 days, and I graduate in 59. Life is good.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy 3

Just a quickie while bored in class.

I completely forgot my blog's birthday. February 5th. We're three this year. Real post, reviews, and whatnot to come..

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Procrastinating at its best

This is not good. This is not good at all. I am in the throes of full blown inescapable senioritis. All the symptoms are there. Constant griping about school. Surfing the internet in class. Procrastinating homework until literally hours before its due. When I got my syllabi at the beginning of the semester I caught myself examining them and calculating what I could flub and biff, and still get by with a moderately acceptable grade. If I were performing triage on me, I'd bag and tag myself and move on to less helpless cases.

At this very moment I have a reading response and a 4-6 page paper due tomorrow, neither of which I've started, or have done any of the reading for. Instead I've reviewed a couple short stories, I've religiously checked my inbox, run seven miles for marathon training, done some laundry, made a playlist, and visited my library where I picked up 3 new movies and a couple comics to read and watch and continue procrastinating. Now to go for broke, I'm packing up writing stuff and heading out to the local Biggby for a writing group my friend Duke wrangled, and is asking me to spearhead because of my knowledge of writing workshops from my undergrad. I also wrote a song. First one in a while. It's not finished yet. Maybe I'll work on it tonight.

For being a lazy procrastinator, though, things have been all sorts of insane hectic, which have kept me from doing a proper update for a couple weeks.

First and foremost is the less than wonderful death of my Jeep, Kate. It was a good morning last Tuesday I was making tracks down to Ann Arbor. Smoking my pipe. Stomach full and happy from a breakfast at Sip n Snack. Figuring that it was going to be a good day. Then, about 10 miles outside Ann Arbor she starts to rattle and shake and then dies. I got towed all the way back to Okemos where the guy at the shop took one look at it, said, "yep, it's dead," and have been splitting drive time with my dad's car. More than anything else it's left me angry with this perception of my inability to really care for myself right now. I can't even afford to buy a car on top of other bothersome expenses. Its making my entire move home, which was supposed to save me money, sanity, and allow me a base of cash for when I move to wherever after graduation. That's been shot so hard in the foot that it riccocheted back and hit it in the head.

I had a great rejection letter from a magazine where I actually caused a little bit of conflict between editors, and made a couple of them feel self conscious and pass on my short story. A bummer, yes, but it made me laugh so that was ok. Here's the best part:

"I'm very sorry to say that this story did not pass the review of the entire editorial board.

But I would like to emphasize that I particularly liked this story and the writing. The other editors didn't care for the "dude-based fiction", which seemed hypocritical to me since they are themselves dudes."

And on that note it's time to get my schlock together and go procrastinate further by writing fiction and enjoying myself. 71 Days, 42 Minutes and 5 seconds to go.