Honest Poem – Moral Boy

(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.

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.

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

Honest Poem – Sunscreen

It smells like kindergarten.
warmth of a mother,
jubilant laughter as the sun
immerses but never burns.

It feels like melted butter
rubbed onto a frying pan before
hissing batter
snakes its way into a cake.

And you look at the child
reading about gingerbread boys
on that first day
tucked between two parents.

And you wish that they recognized you.

Promise Every Day

I will not be arrogant.

Everything that I am will go into supporting the people I love.

Everything that I am will go into every piece of work that I create.

I will be kind.

I will always put others before myself.

I will not look down on people or think them beneath me.

I will be brave.

I will starve my distractions.

I will feed my focus.

 

 

Evernote, To-Do Lists and Zelda’s Open World (in which I make too many references to explain something that’s really simple)

So, I generally use Evernote to write out a strict schedule for myself- I set goals for myself and I tell myself to achieve them.

Guess how well that works?

https://socialmediaweek.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/social-fail-940x492.jpg

Nooooooot well at all, as of late.

So change of pace- I’m using Evernote for to-do lists- giving myself objectives and not getting myself a regimen. Rather than a Super Mario “you have 500 seconds to get to the flag” approach, I’m doing a Zelda: Breath of the Wild “open world” approach where as long as the objective gets done at some finite and reasonable point, I’m a bit more free to move around the metaphorical cabin.

I’ll let you all know how that goes.

-D

 

Flash Fiction – Observers

(A/N: This is a very rough, very experimental draft. Descriptions of the child and the aliens are a bit sparing so you, the readers, can build your own images in your heads.)

Above the Earth, two entities reclined in their seats. One taller and thinner leaned back, almost indifferent, while the other, a face unlined with age, leaned forward, as if they were preparing to study what happens next. At the moment, their viewscreen was focusing on one house in an idyllic neighborhood like any other.

Right below them, a young child was trudging up the stairway. While their light feet did not stomp in any kind of angry march, their footsteps couldn’t sound any more heavier. As they finally scaled the staircase, they walked into their room and gently pushed the door closed. As the latch clicked quietly into place, they leaned the door and gently slid down. Holding their knees to their face, tears began streaming down their face, and they cried in earnest. Heaving sighs and wails of grief punctuated the silence of solitude.

The elder looked at his student and said, “Do you understand now, youngling? This is what it means to be human. Sooner or later, the inhabitants of this treacherous world will destroy each other and everything that they ever had. Even those with the purest of intentions will fall.”

“But sir, they were so happy before we interfered…”

“It does not matter- if we had not broken them, someone else would have.”

“You don’t know th-”

“Yes, yes. I do.” The elder’s voice grew steely, “But it’s far too late to show you now. Even I cannot reverse time, and show you all the heartbreak and horrors for this little… thing.” Composing himself, his blank, impassive face smoothed out, the creases of age thinning out. “It is clear that you do not yet understand, youngling. Come, and I shall show you another exa-”

“No.”

“No?”

“You can’t destroy any more lives just to prove a point.”

“Lives,” he scoffed, “These pathetically fragile, corruptible beings hardly count as lives. Their entire time on this mortal coil is barely a hundredth of ours. Their planet is insignificant compared to our smallest colony. They could never-”

“What does that matter? They are still beings like us.”

They couldn’t even begin to be like us.” He stood, grabbing the younger being out of his seat and tossing him to the ground. “And I’m going to show y-”

And that was when a *thwip* of a blaster reverberated through the old man’s body.

“No,” said the student, “Perhaps it is we who are more like them than you think.”