Week Five – The Worlds I Haven’t Visited Yet

As finals season looms upon me, I’m placing my personal goals on hold as I prepare to deal with my final assignments. That, however, does not include these weekly entries, which after only five weeks, I’ve grown somewhat attached to. In the meantime, however, I’d like to discuss the stories I intend to tell in the future over the next few weeks. This also serves as an introductory freewrite as I begin telling the stories themselves.

  1. In a divided nation, when the close friend of a journalist is murdered, the journalist sets off across the five city states of her nation and becomes embroiled in a national conspiracy. I’m most excited to see the personal journey of this character and to see how she emerges from the story irrevocably different from where she began.
  2. A world of deep magic, where smoky black waves of nausea co-exist with pastel pink pocket universes. Two friends gain these ancient powers and clash in a personal conflict. One of the most grievous flaws in some of my previous stories was poorly created conflict between the characters, and this story is meant to address that flaw and to work on it. Both characters should have equal footing in their fight, and have an equal amount of development and looks into their perspectives, and I’m also interested in the conceit of interfering outside forces in this conflict – because they’re not exactly fighting in a vacuum but in a larger world.

I’m excited to dive into these concepts, and turn them into realities once finals season ends. As finals season trudges on, I hope you’ll tune in for more personal meditations as my third year of university draws to a close and the curtain rises on my final year.

Week One – Closing the Book on Abuse

(Author’s Note: It’s been 84 years since I last posted.)

Hello again, everyone.

It’s been around four and a half months since I last posted. You have my sincerest apologies for the radio silence since my last poem and status update, and the growingly larger absences I’ve had since I stopped regularly posting on The Oddity Writer awhile back.

The truth is that this blog was started as a portfolio site to help showcase my works and to help me get into college, but it quickly grew into something much more personal than that. During and in the years since the college application process, this blog gained a small following that I never thought was possible, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

Ultimately, I stopped posting here because I began to not have enough time to balance both the blog and my university work, and because writing as a whole stopped being fun and became much more like a chore. I was also growing dissatisfied with the quality of the material that I put on here (although, in retrospect, perhaps none of it was as FANTASTIC as I remember). As I started applying for internships and jobs, I also cringed at the prospect of employers or someone else finding and judging the writing and very intimate personal thoughts I put on here and grew afraid that it might limit my employment opportunities. I also still have and struggle with a lot of depression and social anxiety, that have also contributed to my lack of productivity, as well as some impostor syndrome. One really cool fellow writer, Ruben actually wrote an excellent post about impostor syndrome that I’ll post here if you’d like to learn more. 

I’ve also been grappling with a lot of crap in my personal life. Over the past two years, I’ve been trying to confront my many flaws and to work on correcting them, and I like to think that I’ve emerged a much better person when I started. However, because of my shitty mental health, although my problems are far less severe than those of others, life still isn’t exactly a cake walk.

So here’s what I’ve been trying to do recently.

I recently came across a creator by the name of Dottie James who’s been trying to change her life in 365 days, and I’ve been trying to follow her model of change.

https://youtu.be/qlhtued3OEw

I’ve set myself up with Big To-Dos (fixing my sleep schedule, writing regularly and finishing my current works-in-progress, finding a place to live that is my own, taking time for my mental health), Weekly To-Dos (primarily to do with cooking and writing regularly), and Daily To-Dos (i.e. exercising regularly and keeping up and getting ahead with my schoolwork).

And in going back to my roots, I’ve decided to use my blog again to provide myself with a record of my journey through life and to keep myself accountable as I embark on this regimen.

And with that, here’s your progress report, ladies, gentlemen and other configurations of being.

On my first week, while it was a struggle, I completed my schoolwork at the time that I set for myself, I spent less time in the library and I went to bed earlier than I often have this year, and took time to take care of myself.

Most importantly, I finally severed what was a very unhealthy and abusive relationship. After six years of excusing physical abuse (like when I was held up against a wall as my own property was deface) and verbal abuse (being told to my face that my opinion was completely wrong, and that I should not have argued for it), it’s finally over. And despite still struggling with a lot of other issues, I’m proud to have finally let go of this toxic relationship.

However, I failed to write something or to complete creative activities like I wanted to, and I failed to be as productive as I wanted to. And in this coming week, my efforts will go towards being more productive on the creative front and on doing more with my day to make the most of it without stressing myself too far.

Wish me luck.

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.

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

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

 

Derek Walcott and Creepy Poetry

My Spanish professor may not be the best teacher, but he is one of the sweetest dudes I know.

So naturally, when he walks into class nine minutes late (which isn’t exactly irregular, he’s been late before) with a mournful look on his face (which is irregular, since he’s normally quite chipper), we ask what’s going on.

Chicos,” he tells us, “the world’s greatest poet passed away today.” He goes onto tell us about Derek Walcott and his revolutionary poetry for five minutes before opening up PowerPoint to a listening exercise. His mouse hovers over and threatens to start playing the obnoxious opening to the fictional “Blablabla” podcast, which will spout useless drivel that we’ll parrot back in some way, shape or form.

Yo odio el podcast.” His sneer is tinted with contempt. It’s then that a student chooses to pipe up and ask the professor what his favorite poem is. He then proceeds to spend another ten minutes searching for a readable version of the poem while I just sit and watch him desperately search.

And then- it appears- right in that sweet spot right before one is about to give up and return to classwork and right after the ineptitude stopped being funny.

The Light of the World is about the speaker of the poem encountering (and silently falling in love with) a beautiful woman on a bus. The professor talks about how beautiful and pure the feelings are, and the poem’s well-written.

And yet… it’s kind of creepy.

Because the poem’s admirably descriptive up until it gets kinda weird (from my POV). “Powerful and sweet odours?” Nooooooo thank you, fam.

“Don’t tell me that you haven’t found someone so beautiful that you fell in love at first sight?” The professor implored to our silent (and probably dead inside) class. “That you could see an entire life with them?”

“Daniel, por favor.”

I could only respond with a noncommittal “ehhhhh.”

Because let’s be honest for a second here, friends, I haven’t even planned what my next meal is gonna be, much less my entire life.

At any rate, silly little story for y’all. Cheers!

 

What’s Happening Tomorrow?

I’ve spent the whole day working on internship applications!

Yahoo! I’ve been productive for once in my life~

No, but hello everyone! I’m just giving you all a casual Site News post- sorry to give you two in a row, I promise it won’t happen again.

But here’s a general game plan for anyone who’s interested:

You’ll be getting a silly little flash fiction tomorrow at noon! There was a thought that occurred to me, and it created a quick dialogue between two characters that I had to get down. That’s a habit that I’m going to try- inhabiting different characters rather than using my own voice. It should definitely be interesting!

I’ll be doing some coding practice for my New Media class tomorrow, as well as finally, finally starting Photoshop tutorials. And oh, Christ, I have to get around to sending emails eventually.

READING! That’s one thing I feel really guilty about not keeping up with recently. I’ll probably switch between “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the different classic poets from my classes. I might end up live-tweeting that for anyone who’s interested…

I’ve also got some thoughts that’ll end up getting posted tomorrow- lemme know what you all think, I’d appreciate your input.

And with that, I think I’m off to bed. G’night, everyone!

-D

Clinging to the Past

Entry #13 – March 7, 2017

Dear Kath,

As evidenced by the fact that I started writing to you again with this series of thoughts, you’ve been on my mind a lot recently. When I was tasked with writing my first major short story for a creative writing class, my thoughts turned to recent reflections on my past and to my last four years in high school. Considering the viewpoints I held then and those I hold now, I wrote a heavily fictionalized and dramatized account of one memory of mine from those last four years.

You naturally played a role in that story. Of course you did, you were my best friend in the past four years. Thinking a lot about my actions then gave me insights into how badly I had messed up and a lot about how I’d become so misguided in the past two or three years. Insights and revelations turned into a fresh new regret and a terrible nostalgia. And thinking turned into journaling where I addressed you. Later, as I began having assorted thoughts, different arguments and such that I would normally have sent to you all those years ago, the idea for this series of reflections was born.

I hope it’s accomplished its goal – to amuse and intellectually engage you with several different arguments, to show you where I am now mentally if you ever wondered what became of me (I don’t ever expect you to), and to show you that I’m still not great or fantastic, but that I’m always going to try to improve myself. I’m going to be better. I swear.

This, in case you haven’t realized by now, is where I bring this little series to a close. This is me moving forward, owning my fault and my blame and letting go. I’m sorry about everything, and I’m sorry for being selfish and narcissistic in writing this as a catharsis and using my memory of you to reflect on myself. I’m not even sure if this series or my actions even impacts you, but if it ever does, you have my apologies.

When I embarked upon these essays, a friend of mine asked me if I wouldn’t be better off and if it wouldn’t be healthier to talk to a real person about my internal debates and about my personal opinions and just talking about all the different pieces of my life. And they are right, of course. I’ll be working on communicating better in the future.

Thirteen seems like a solid number to leave off, doesn’t it? I like it. It’s a good number.

A proper goodbye is in order then. Because in these twelve letters, I never said thank you. I said thank you a lot when I was sickeningly saccharine but really. Thank you. You were a true friend during a time where I felt truly, absolutely alone and frustrated and I will never, ever forget how lucky I was to have that.

In retrospect, many of my past friendships were toxic and discouraging. I hope that, in turn, I will not forget neither this one nor any of the other people who were truly positive influences on my life.

I still feel very, very lost and unsure of myself, but I feel like I’m closer to gaining some footing and sense than I have been in a long, long time.

So thank you.

I hope that if these ever reach you, or if you ever happen to read them by chance, that they find you well, happy and healthy.

And I hope that to this day, you remain true to who you are.

Goodbye, old friend. Take care of yourself.

-D