Archive for September, 2008

Newspapers providing titles and a poetry link

September 18, 2008

I have a pile of newspapers beside my bed, under a larger pile of wood working magazines. My life is a life of hobbies, really. I am just out of school, graduating with an MA, and I’m still looking for work in the gloriously prosperous state of Michigan. So I tend to have time to fill. The wood working magazines is a hobby passed down from the men in my family, oddly on opposite sides of my geneological tree. My grandfather from my mom’s side was a construction work. He built the majority of his own house and was a workshop tinkerer til the day he died. My dad took up wood working probably in his late thirties or early forties. I’m in my twenties and while always being curious am only now taking it up a bit.

So that’s why the wood working magazines are on top of the newspapers. The newspapers, all several months old by this point and likely needing to be recycled rather than collected, are there because I like to scour their pages with a notebook by my side and jot down combinations of newspaper titles, ads, obituaries and whatever else and forming them into titles for short stories or whatever. A good title is worth its weight in gold and I have a very wealthy little notebook by this point.

It goes into a question all writers get at some point, regardless of how successful or prolific you are. The moment people know you write they get curious. It is a weird occupation and an ever weirder hobby. It requires a lot of patience and time spent by yourself. And the fruits of it just seem to appear from nowhere.

So I have the newspapers there. They are my answer to the question: where do you get your ideas? I steal them. From the newspaper. Sometimes Jay Leno or podcasts I stumble across. I just take these things and put them into words and try to puit a little twist of my own to them. Nothing special.

Though the truth is the ideas come from everywhere. From reading a newspaper to going out to lunch with friends to just sitting on your deck and watching the day move slowly towards night. For all of us the task is different. We have our own ways of exploring a concept and forming an idea. Sometimes it helps to have a kickstart like a newspaper. But I really should get them off the floor.

Added the Poetry Resource Page to my links. Looking through the site, it’s not bad. Though I’m having trouble with some the links. I’m finding I need to edit them and go to the front pages of some of the sites they are linking to. Which is understandable-they tried to be as helpful with links that were as direct as possible. I think it can be somewhat useful, though. I’m still trying to go through it and explore it a bit. Hopefully I’ll be able to expand the links section quite a bit over the next few days with links to sites similar to The Poetry Resource Page and also to sites for various literary journals and what not.

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Transitioning Between Projects

September 17, 2008

well, I finished a short story over the weekend, around 3550 words, and I’m having a hard time moving back into some other projects. The short story was just a little thing that was really a spinoff from a Kevin Smith Smodcast but it came really easily and just seemed to show up on the page over the course of a couple of days.

The two projects I’m trying to transition back into, though, have been more difficult. one is a long work that is in the same vein of Ironweed by William Kennedy that I have tentatively titled “Green.” The other is something that started as a short story about someone witnessing someone die and has morphed into a larger project concerning obsession and the spiritual realm which is currently untitled.

“Green” I have been crawling along with. “Untitled” hasn’t been much better. And since I finished the short story I have been having a horrible time getting back into the swing of things. I’ve attempted free writes, poetry, establishing a schedule, etc. and just nothing has worked very well. I end up staring at the screen with nothing happening.

So I’m wondering if I should just move on to other projects. Throw both of these things in a drawer and come back to them when I can. This would be easy to do wth “untitled.” It’s something that just sort of popped up in a moment of rambling and it went for a ways. I don’t really care for the main character and the material doesn’t really interest me right now-though the material is there, in my head, and it’s going to be there until I get rid of it.  In other words, it’s going to annoy me until I finish whatever it is destiend to become.

This is a bit harder with Green. It’s been a story/concept that has been in my head for awhile and is something that I have been able to personalize to a degree. I also like the depth of it where I can use one story to relate the similarities/differences in father/son relationships over the course of several generations.

So I’m just sort of stuck in the mud between firm pieces of earth. Behind me is my finished short story, ahead of me are a handful of projects, but I just can’t bridge this gap yet.

Writing, Reading and (maybe) Getting Published

September 15, 2008

Welcome to Loose Leaf Bound. This post will act as a statement of purpose of sorts-outlining what I hope to cover here, what I hope to accomplish and what you are likely to find as this blog evolves and, hopefully, evolves into a larger website of its own.

I am an out-of-work English major with an MA in English Literature and a BA in English with a focus on Creative Writing. In the dim and distant past I also collected an AA in General Studies. I am currently looking for work, though probably a bit half-assedly.  What I really enjoy doing is reading fiction, poetry, prose, watching flash movies, and generally enjoying anything that is creative and interesting. And what I do well is writing fiction, poetry, prose and failing to learn how to compile flash movies. Unfortunately, I don’t do so well when it comes to researching, caring about Professional Criticism and then writing some pointless, soulless paper eviscerating and examining fiction, poetry, prose or badly compiled flash movies.

Which explains why I’m not pursuing a PhD and am trying to find gainful employment in the worst place possible: michigan (last I heard, over 12% unemployment. Go Blue!)

What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to explore the process of writing. I will talk about what I’m working on, why I’m working on it, how I’m trying to work on it, etc. I’m sure this will be, at times, just a sounding board for me (and you) as I try to sort through some problem I’ve encountered. At other times it’ll probably get messy and philosophical and slightly introspective in a drive way puddle sort of way. I am sorry for these moments. They will be easier if you have some liquor handy.

Other times I will talk about something I’m reading or is being published. In effect, it’ll be a place to share what I find interesting and worth a look at. On the negative side, I live in michigan and I am sure I will be behind something new and fun. But on the flip side of that I often read old stuff anyway-so maybe this will also be a place to make old things new again.

This includes links to whatever interesting site I stumble across that is in some way related to literature, publishing, etc.

In other words, this blog will be a hodge podge of many different things all brought under this one umbrella. Hopefully it will be helpful to anyone who wanders by. Hopefully I will do well in holding up my end of the bargain.

What I won’t be doing (at least as far as I can foresee) is sharing any of my actual work on here. For whatever reason it just doesn’t seem appropriate.

I hope toget a schedule in place for blog updates, so this thing can have some sort of reliability for when new content will definitely be posted. Right now I’m thinking it will be Tuesday and Thursday because the acts of writing and reading are so time consuming, I should have enough time between posts to have something to write about.

That’s all for this one. Hope it is easily the least interesting blog I do here and I’ll see everyone again on Tuesday.