Embers In Place of a Fire [VEDA #15]

Most of my days of VEDA have been spent on work behind the scenes- I’ve been going through feedback for my two big short stories and thinking about them a lot in my spare time.

The problem remains though- my motivation is dead. Kaput. I can’t bring myself to do schoolwork sometimes and doing VEDA itself has been a painful struggle. While it’s the only reason I get up off my ass to do something sometimes, it’s really, really hard to get up off my ass in the first place. I just feel weary even though I’ve done nothing and just drained.

I’ve got a couple of freewrites and thoughts that I’ll share. Hopefully I’ll feel some sort of spark to relight my fire and to get me down to business.

 

Honest Poem – Moral Boy [VEDA #3]

(A/N: an attempt to compose a poem out of dialogue. Quotes are taken from an actual person that I know.)

“I want a girlfriend so badly.”
A void of loneliness will never fade.
“Is it worth talking to this girl if you’re not going to date them?”
It is not worth talking to them. Because you are not worth talking to.
“Don’t you look at every woman and just choose whether or not you’d date them?”
I do not dare to assume anything. I have my flaws, and I do not judge theirs.

“You shouldn’t disrespect the Bible. Every Adam has an Eve, and you shouldn’t be alone.”
If I had to choose between perpetual solitude and your company, I would be lonely.
“Ohhh shit! You need to sabotage their relationship, bro, you totally have a chance.”
Do Christians not believe in loyalty and trust? Or is that just you?

“You’re not thinking like a father.”
I pray you will never be a father.
“I’m not transphobic, but I do not want those people in the bathroom with my daughter.”
She’s in more danger with you than she is with one of them.
“That’s just my point of view, as a Christian.

Personal Writing Problems [VEDA #2]

I’ve been writing an editorial for the past four weeks.

Well, I suppose a more accurate way of putting it is that I’ve been rewriting and editing an editorial for the past four weeks. And I devoted my second day of VEDA to completing it.

And while it’s been a grueling process (I’ve never had an article go through so many rounds of editing across such a long timespan), I’m very happy with this final draft.

But it’s also brought a few problems with my writing style to light that I’ll be working on improving for the rest of VEDA.

  1. My sentences are long. Clarity should be the top priority, and shorter sentences can hit harder. I’m working on a more minimalist approach to writing that does not dispense with the wordings that I love to use.
  2. Initial drafts have trouble staying on the straight and narrow. For this article in particular, I’ve gutted a lot of arguments that were too speculative, and the article itself became far too focused on disproving the opinion that it was fighting rather than focusing on the initial, more important issue at hand.
  3. I presume and make leaps in logic. I can’t assume that everyone thinks like I can. And I can’t cut corners in my rush to get my point across. I’ve got to take the time to slow down and to think more.

These are just a few things that I share with you now. There’ll be more to come.

For now, though, I’m going to have fun with other projects for the next few days. I’ll be working on Photoshop tutorials, basic edits and such, and then I’ll be streaming/making videos while I prep for a video game review for the paper (my next article after this one is released).

Until next VEDA post, everyone!

-D

Thoughts on Podcasting [VEDA #1]

Context: I got to write and host on a class podcast titled The Web We Weave in an episode centering around Tony Zhou’s Every Frame a Painting. This is a reflection on what I learned from this experience.

Preparing for this podcast was definitely one of the more nerve-wracking parts of my life. I felt as if I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of being in charge of such an episode, of being able to take the stage with my voice after hiding behind the written word for so long.

Photo credit to: https://singingmachine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/stage-fright.jpg

When looking for material to address Every Frame a Painting, I went through first some of the series entries before poking around Vimeo to find every episode of the series uploaded there, before turning to Tony Zhou’s Patreon for EFAP, which offers alternate versions of the episodes for educational use (at a price), and then to Twitter and Reddit, both forums that I used quite often. Showing these different resources to my partner, we both made our own observations. As I watched Zhou interact with his followers and advise them on how to critique the works that had impacted them, I saw how viewer-audience participation worked its way into Zhou’s new media and how it allowed him to continue participating himself despite how long it had been since the series had updated.

I was not initially exceedingly familiar with Every Frame a Painting, nor was my partner Kevin. However, I was familiar with the YouTube scene and personalities like the Nerdwriter, so when we sat down to plan out the episode, we each brought our own impressions on the series and our own contexts (Kevin had previous experience with the Soul Pancake episode of The Web We Weave). Kevin pitched questions to me while I did my best to answer them, and I would then in turn bring up different topics of conversation (such as the Reddit AMA mentioned in the episode and the idea of Tony Zhou perpetuating the participatory culture with his work). Collaboration was more than integral in making this episode what it was. It was also more than reassuring to have someone who was so confident on board and had faith in my work. We worked on applying Every Frame a Painting to the terminology we had covered in class and we put it all into one Google Doc entry.

The document was interesting because it was far more fragmentary and incomplete- when writing for another mode, because it relied much more on my voice and the natural chemistry I had with the co-producer, I found that it was both challenging to not fall back and write out whole monologues or answers to questions without stifling the conversation, and recording became difficult because I found myself worrying that my co-host would feel cramped or cut off. It was difficult to not be overwhelmingly self-aware of everything. This did help my rhetorical composition in the end and I think it’s made me more adaptable than I was before.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Rubber_bands.jpg
Flexible like a rubber band!

The process also felt much faster and immediate than writing, say, this reflection or another blog post or article, which takes me a lot more time. It also felt natural to go faster than with my previous work. While structuring the argument and conversation was both very much the same, it also felt different because I had someone else to bounce off and interact with. In a way, it was like having another person alternating the argument paragraphs- similar arguments that still differed in subtle ways.

I’ve learned that I need to work on my timing- we went over by a lot and editing involved cutting out a lot of material and it was a struggle to finish the episode in time while balancing other obligations. I need to work on my self-confidence as I was exceedingly nervous during the episode, and I think that it is evident that while I eased up as time went along, I still have a long way to go.

But given the chance to work on a similar project? I’d jump at the opportunity.

VEDA- Create Something New Every Day (#0)

To be clear- I am not creating a video every day in April.

But I want to create something new every day in April. I want to branch out, and I want to experiment. I’ve looked at the stuff that people across the Internet are doing and I’m always in awe of them. I’d want to follow into their footsteps, but I’d never feel ready, never have the skills or the right equipment or whatever else.

And I’m never going to have that. Unless I get up and I start.

Recently, I feel lethargic and unmotivated and unhappy. But I’d like to take some small steps and start working on things that I love, and that’s why I’m doing this pseudo-VEDA thing that a ton of YouTubers have done before.

To wit, because some stuff doesn’t fit what I do on this blog, some of it won’t be hosted here. Some of it will be here, some of it will be on my marktheredwood Tumblr and Twitters, and some of it on other platforms.

This should be fun, and I hope you enjoy seeing how this plays out.

-D

It All Begins Tomorrow

…ominous titles aside, I’m starting something tomorrow, so that will be fun. Working on it will be a good way to end what has been a nastily rough week.

I’ve got way too much to do. I have a buttload of internship applications, catchup homework and this new project. I could cry. 

All-in-all, it’s been a very rough week. Coming out of it, though, at least I have something to look forward to. Creative world-wise, it gets me away from the one project that has been trapped in editing hell for three-going-on-four weeks. And it gives me what will either be a motivator to catch up and finish my work or what will be a whole other distraction.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to say it’s the former and not the latter.

Other things that I’m working on- two other writing projects both have first drafts that have been sitting for a short while that are ready to be revised. I’ve been told that the professor wants “bold” revisions on them, whether or not they go right or wrong. So that’ll be fun to work with. I like almost all the characters I’ve created so far, between Oliver Watterson, Arthur Cohn, Sarah Metis, Charlotte Haas, Johnny Stevenson and Emmy Gomez. I feel like Charlotte could definitely stand to be better developed, but for a first try, I’m actually rather happy with them.

The two stories, interestingly enough, are complete opposites to one another, and I think that one is weaker than the other as a result, but that’s alright.

At any rate, I’ve got some work to do, and I’ve got a post talking about these more in detail. So I’ll leave it here for now. See you all tomorrow!

Honest Poem – Retrospect

You remember a time
when the second hands moved too slowly
There was a time
when the bell could not have rung any later
And you loved the time
where you could run in the green grass
with a smile in your wind-tossed hair
and a song stuck on repeat.

She remembers a time
when she saw the most beautiful births
There was a time
when she saw your face dawn as the circuit clicked
And she loved the time
with the boat surfing the waves of your imagination
on the open sea, entirely free.

I remember the time
when this was all still real.
There was a time
when there were twenty different open doors
And I long for the time
when we could all choose one to walk through
Together.

A Pre-Midnight Update

Work on the paper continues apace. I’m officially at the halfway point of the paper (2 and a 1/2 pages out of 5).

Yes, I know, I’m a tortoise.

The few things that spur me forward are the plans I have for creative projects that I’m going to work on in the future. Not all of them will be shown to the public…

but goddamn, they’ll all be easier than this paper. 

As for specific blog updates- I might see if I can’t get an Honest Poem up tomorrow? If I can’t, I’ll probably talk about something that’s been on my mind recently that I’ve just been inwardly debating.

I really want to get a Flash Fiction written, but honestly, that’s going to have to wait until I’ve crashed after I finish this paper because cranking this out has been exhausting.

Have a lovely night, ladies and gents.

-D

So to compensate for my inability to get an honest poem or a flash fiction up for you guys,

I’ll post a bunch of little posts throughout the night with some random musings and thoughts.

It’s gonna be a late night, I’ve got a five page paper to write hnnnng. And while I’ve finished the first page quickly, the rest of it is going at a tortoise’s pace. So as I write, I’ll be updating here.

See you all soon!

Outlining vs. Going Unplanned (A Superhero Story)

The deadline for my second story is coming up and I haven’t written a lick of it yet. I’ve written plenty of ideas and basic premises and even character plans and world building….

And yet, I don’t know if I’m going to stick to any of it. I might just grab a vague notion of a protagonist and dive wildly off script.

It’s entirely unprecedented, as all of the fiction I’ve written since I restarted trying to master this genre has all been carefully planned out and everything has taken shape in my head. But not this time- this time I’ll be making it up as I go, jiving to the character’s beat, you know?

I know that recent, earlier attempts to write in this way have crashed and burned, but I think I have a voice to channel into a story, so we’ll see how well it goes.

The voice is also telling me something that I’m not sure is such a good idea.

This story? It’s going to be a superhero story.

Oh, joy. Personally, I think the entire genre’s getting a little tired but you know what? I’ll work with it. See if I can’t get anything fresh out of it- although I’m pretty sure the entire animals has been hollowed out and stuffed with a printer that makes money.

There are so many ways this could go wrong as all hell… but eh, what’s a life without a little bit of a risk.

I’m running late on a couple of things, so I’m afraid no flash fiction or honest poetry today unless inspiration strikes. Sorry about that!

(However, you can expect another post later today.)

Until then, folks!

-D