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.

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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.

Catching Up On Readings Today! (First Bit)

Hey gaiz- I have a lotta reading to do for my classes today, so I’ll have the Flash Fiction/free-write up later tonight. In the meantime though, I’ll be tweeting and live-blogging my reactions to some of the readings here for your entertainment just for shits and giggles.

See you all soon!

Debate Highlights from Twitter

Hello, you beautiful people!

So my friends and I were watching the Democratic Debate, sharing our thoughts and making wisecracks at one another. And I decided to live-tweet the whole thing.

You can find all my sarcastic remarks here. I hope you enjoy these silly tweets!

VAGUENESS

VAGUENESS EVERYWHERE

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Considering their bias, I’d say there’s a high chance. My friend channeled his inner pulp fiction by telling CNN, “I double-dog dare you, motherf***er.”

…Yeah, I found these both happened a lot. I felt bad for Lester Holt and the other moderators for having to put up with this as the candidates went to town on each other.

 

…Man, Martin O’Malley- you got sidelined a lot, but you sure made your time count for something.

See Tweet #1.

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Oh, and one last thing before I go:

 

Multitasker

Good afternoon and hi, ladies and gentlemen! As always, my name is Daniel and welcome back to The Oddity Writer. Welcome, in fact to a post that will be kicking off a semi-hiatus for the blog.

Due to the many commitments that I have to schoolwork and to the major projects I have going on outside of writing Oddity Writer posts, it has become difficult to keep up a regular blogging schedule. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I will be disappearing from the Internet entirely. Far from it, in fact.

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The source can be found here: Right here!

I’ll be posting status updates about my work over on Twitter while I’m gone, and I might find the time to do some reactions to movies or video games over on Tumblr if the free time is at all available, and if it’s something you guys would be interested in.

WordPress activity is also not going to go completely dead. Each Oddity Writer column/feature/thing will update at least once during the hiatus. Talk it Out will update to talk about the other 10 episodes of this season of Doctor Who. Circumnavigation will be next, talking about the blog Gulab Jamman Writes. Writing Prompts will also return- and who knows what we’ll see? onlytimewilltell hahahahahaaaaaaaaa

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Source: aopinionatedman.com 

Not to mention I will be guest posting for Jason Cushman- better known to you guys as OM- over at aopinionatedman.com! It’s a honor to be able to do so, and I’m really looking forward to doing this. So, as you can see, I’ll be around. You just need to know where to look.

So hopefully, this content and schedule will tide us over until I can return to The Oddity Writer for regular work. But now, let’s go through a few other things- one last update before I log off for a bit.

  1. The Atticus Project- I’ve mostly finalized the wording for the beginning after doing some major revisions there. I’m now currently writing a big chunk of the story and it’s difficult, to be honest. I really want to do this story and this cast justice, you know?
  2. The Experimental Story- I have a clear premise, and I’ll be working on it soon. I really like the idea but it’s on the back burner for now because of…
  3. Redemption- it’s a tentative title, but this story is about halfway done, I should be finishing up a draft of it tonight. This one is for my school portfolio, but I’m really looking forward to finishing it up. It’s a very personal story and it covers recent events, actually.

But this is a very transitional time for me, and I’m sorry that you guys have to put up with my irregularities. “You see, guys my age have… performance issues.” …Okay, now I’m just being inappropriate, haha. I’ll stop.

At any rate, thank you all so much. I’ve seen a great amount of creativity and kindness in the people in this community, and I’m honored to be a part of it, to have met you all. Thank you for supporting me despite my sporadic updates. And I hope you guys look forward to whatever comes next. Until next time, then- Thank you all for taking the time to read this post, and I’ll see you on the next page of this story!

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

A Message To My Friends, Family and WordPress followers,

It’s kind of hard to put my thoughts into words at the moment, but I’ll try my best. I’ve always had something to be thankful for, something to lean on, something to hope about, a bright side to life. But I’m going to be perfectly honest here. This is the first year of my life where I can say for the most part, I’ve been truly happy and content. I’ve been able to look at the world around me and the life I live and truly appreciate what I have now. I have a loving family, some of the best friends I could ever ask for, and the chance to make a difference doing something I love.

There was a time in my life where I was so broken, and I felt so awful about myself that I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I had imaginary friends who were everything I wanted to be. There was a time where all I could feel was anger and sadness and rage.

But I met other people who inspired me to stand on my own and move forward again. And I began to fully understand how much my parents loved me and how they’ve got my back. You all have inspired me to stand on my own and move forward from the pain and the loss.

Max and Vici, you guys have taught me a lot about love. Seriously. Your old-married-couple status is something everyone strives for. But in actual, non-sarcastic, seriousness, you guys are two of my best friends and I can’t thank you enough. You guys have shown courage in the face of adversity, and I’m so proud to say that we’ve helped people together. Cheers, guys. Here’s to the memories.

James, we’ve come a long way in six years, man. And in some ways, we’ve changed, but at your core, I still see one of the kindest people and one of the greatest friends I ever had and still have. Every time we talk, I’m always guaranteed to leave smiling, no matter how terrible I was feeling, and that’s a great gift. You’ve done a lot for me, and I wish I could have done more for you. But all I can do is leave you these messages of encouragement. I can tell you you’re one of the hardest workers I know and that I hope you keep going, and that you maintain some faith in humanity. After all, you inspired me to contribute some sort of kindness everyday.

E.R., I admit that when I first met you I was kind of intimidated by the way you seemed to already know everything I knew and how your creativity outran mine by miles, but it’s motivated me to push myself further and to learn more. And it’s been a pleasure to get to know you and to be your friend.

Emma, I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me during the past four years. I’ve enjoyed our long talks about life and God and pretty much everything under the sun. Your faith inspires me every day, and I’m trying to cram as much fun in my life as I can.

Lauren, you’ve done so much to help and you barely know me. Words can’t express my gratitude for that. You create amazing work, and you are so strong. Thank you for reminding me that I create my own happiness, that I am an independent person in control of his life.

And to you guys- you all inspire me with your creativity, and your kindness. You’ve allowed this blog to grow and evolve, just as I have. WordPress has given me the chance to come out of my shell, to express myself and connected me with some sincerely amazing people around the world. I love being the Oddity Writer, and I’m so grateful for the chance to make a difference somehow, or to at the very least, to try to create something wonderful. Thank you all so much.

I promise I’ll try to do you guys proud.

Thank you all so much for reading, and I’ll see you on the next page of this story. Good night.

Two Hundred Followers

Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen. As always, my name is Daniel and welcome back to The Oddity Writer!

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So first things first… we just hit 201 WordPress followers- which is amazing! Thank you all so much for this honor. I’m seriously touched that you guys felt I deserved a few minutes out of your day to read my ramblings and stories. It means a lot to me, and I love reading all your blogs and every comment I receive here is a treat. So thank you all. And of course, a huge thank you to the 33 followers on Tumblr and the 43 followers on Twitter, respectively. I know I don’t do all that much on there yet, but I’m trying to think of things that I can do, make it worth your while. But thanks for stopping by and giving me some time.

The thing is that I never really expected that the blog, being the Oddity Writer, would amount to anything at all, and the fact that I’ve been able to meet so many people and also create stuff that I enjoy is great. And I can’t wait to do more whenever I have the chance. I’m always scribbling down ideas and I love this thing.

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Acquiring Position…

So the obvious question that I suppose I’ve been answering a lot recently is, “Daniel, where have you been this time?” And yes, I realize it’s been awhile, and I apologize that my updates have been rather sporadic recently. I’ve had a rough past couple of days, I’m not gonna lie, and I don’t really feel at my best. However, I’m still alive. Still moving, still working.

The next question is probably, “What are you working on?” The answer is mainly this story which will be released online. I don’t know how it’s going to be released, whether it’ll be animation, or as an interactive adventure/video game, but it is coming very soon. My story’s deadline is December 10, and from there, I’ll be deciding what to do with it. I’ve also got some poetry running through my head which I’ll try and write out.

So the main question: “What’s next for The Oddity Writer?” The main thing I want to focus on is finding my stride here with school and the blog. I need a balance and also a consistent schedule. I honestly don’t know what that stride is and how to hit it but I’d like to. Once I get that done, the next thing to do is to work out what I want to do with Tumblr and Twitter. I don’t want it to just be a promotion hub, I’d like it to be something more. Give you all your money’s worth even though everything is free and my metaphor is invalid.

So I’m going to leave you with a question about this project, and please feel free to make comments about what you’d like to see more of down below. If there’s any particular series you’d like to see continued, or any topic you’d like me to cover, let me know!

Thank you all so much for reading, and thank you all so much for 200 followers. I’ll see you all on the next page of this story!

A Busy Couple of Days

Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Daniel, and welcome back to The Oddity Writer. Apologies for my sudden silence- school decided to complicate my life a bit and pull me offline for sometime. Sooo… I’m going to talk about random shit and intersperse it with my thoughts.

Let’s talk about the last “Today’s Headline” thing I did!

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsI remember when I was thinking about what makes a good comedy, I watched a ton of Jerry Seinfeld, because I was also really fascinated with the production process behind his show when I realized he had created another show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and they were just about to have George Costanza as a guest on the show as a mini-reunion. These things apparently stuck in my head, for when I heard that Jon Stewart had agreed to sign on to HBO to do a few news show videos, I thought of how Jerry Seinfeld had risen out of the ashes of his original show after all those years to create something new, comparable in length to the videos that Jon Stewart will be creating for HBO.

Source: Wikimedia

I’m beginning to realize that these tweets are a lot more informative than I intended- they were meant to be funny- now they just sound like cheap tabloid headlines- despite the fact that Jon Stewart was the one who talked about bullshit, detecting it and fighting it in his final episode of The Daily Show. The moral of the story is that I gotta work on my sense of humor a bit. In the other news, the six-year-old in me is alive and well.

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…In my defense, by taking that ice cream, they were drawing first blood! It’s like assassinating the Archduke that kick-started World War I! Too extreme? Yeah, the sleep deprivation’s getting to me. Just remember, I love that ice cream- I’d probably sit in my comfy villain chair and stroke it like a cat until it melted or until I ate it.

Credits go to Bill Watterson and “https://jordanrosenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/calvin-tantrum.gif”

So tomorrow, you’ll see the return of Writing Prompts and I’ll start talking about this interactive fiction vidja game of mine. But I hope this entertained you until then 🙂

Thank you all for reading, I’ll see you all on the next page of my story.

Housecleaning Bulletin

Good morning and hi, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Daniel, and welcome back to “The Oddity Writer”! I just wrapped up a ton of housecleaning on the Internet, cleaning up the Twitter account, updating the About page with an addendum at the bottom, renaming “Memoirs and Musing” and adding about 10 entries to the table of contents.

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So now all that’s really left is to actually come up with content for Twitter and to consider Tumblr. And actually, this is what I’d like to ask you guys a question about- I’ll be posing the question – is whether or not I should reset the Tumblr blog and delete everything. Because the thing with Tumblr is that the blog there (theodditywriter.tumblr.com) was initially opened as a secondary writing blog, in order to facilitate more creations and to try and write more stuff that might not fit on the primary Oddity Writer blog. It would cover pretty much anything that this blog did not. However, my Tumblr account has diverged from that somewhat, for nowadays, I just end up reblogging a lot, without much actual original content. Normally, I wouldn’t care because all this is a hobby, but I still want to do something with the Tumblr blog… I have some ideas in the pipes.

Currently, I have the ability to take everything on the Tumblr blog and delete it all with that magical Mega-Editor, but I find myself hesitating. Yeah, it’s become a place where I screw around and just reblog silly things, GIFs and other random stuff, and the content might be fleeting. But it’s still part of a moment and I’m not ashamed of hiding my silliness.

So part of me doesn’t want to reset it. It’s all stuff I laughed or smiled at, or something that was important up there. So while I lean to keeping all the old stuff around, I thought I’d get your opinion on it all and take your opinion in mind.

But this is just a small update- telling you to look out for silly tweets and more original Tumblr comment in the future. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read, and I will see you in the next post!

Today’s Omnibus, Part Three: Announcements!

Good evening and hi, ladies and gentlemen. As always, my name is Daniel and this is “The Oddity Writer”. I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! I wasn’t really sure what I would have done for Halloween even if I hadn’t gone on hiatus, but in my new surroundings, I kind of embraced the spirit of it all.

I know, yes, I broke the format of “Previously, we covered this and that”, but this is really only part of the Omnibus in name only, serves to finish it off and dive back into real Oddity Writer content (or, you know, another hiatus since I’m so consistent with it all.)

So here’s the thing:

  • I’m sure you’re wondering about that thing I’ve been working on that’s not the blog and how that’s coming along. The short answer: slowly. The thing is that I came up and was able to get most of the progress made because it was for a class and I was able to devote a lot more time to it than I really can now. But because it has an end that I’ve planned out, I think I can get it done rather soon with a couple of pushes. I have no idea if it’ll be novel length, but… we’ll see.
  • And with that, I’m going to be announcing a new project specifically for the Internet, which means that I’m most likely going to be posting its content here or be talking about it a hell of a lot.
    • I’m going to be developing an Internet game. The script itself will be completed by December, and hopefully by then, I will have determined exactly what engine I will be using and the format the game will take. The way things are going right now, I can choose between RPG Maker, Clickteam Fusion (the engine behind the Five Nights at Freddy’s series) and Twine, an interactive text adventure engine that uses HTML code.
    • I have yet to decide whether it’ll have to go on its own blog, but we’ll have to see.
  • Reorganization is coming. I want to make the Twitter and Tumblr accounts more interesting, clean out a lot of the reblogging I do and bring in more original content to at least balance things out. I want to be properly using these accounts to build a presence and to write more. Prepare to see things slowly evolve.

And that’s your debriefing bulletin for the day. I’ll be back at a more non-forsaken hour to talk about more personal stuff and to start work on the project. Until then, thank you all so much for reading! I’ll see you on the next page of the story.

CSPA, Future and Responses, Part III

This is the final installment of a trilogy of lessons I learned from a New York journalist convention. To read the previous installments, click here for Part 1, where I summarize the trip and here for Part II, where I discuss the lessons learned. 

Today on The Oddity Writer, I’m going to be discussing a website that the team and I launched that attempted to integrate the lessons learned from the convention.

Concerning daily posts- I’ve integrated that lesson here, where I make a concerted effort to talk daily, whether it be about the book, or a piece of fiction, or about my life and what’s going on in it. Unfortunately, because the site I’m referring to is a school-run publication and because there’s really no dedicated class (only our little team), we post on a fortnightly schedule.

However, we do work ahead- something The Oddity Writer really hasn’t gotten around to yet. We anticipated a performance of the local theater company’s and discussed how this year’s events would go and I prepared a review of a past performance to publish alongside it.

Unfortunately, my review was apparently “scathing” and ultimately not published. But no matter. (If you want to read it, you can click here.)

Starting with this year, we relaunched the defunct Twitter account and started using it to promote content again. We’ll either re-distribute old content or hype our favorite new pieces, but it’s going to be used a lot more regularly. But some good examples are (if you thought I was going to say me, you would be quite wrong. I do use Twitter but I think I need to get better at it. I do make attempts to interact with my following there, but it’s harder to gain attention and to speak one on one as I do here.

Concerning writing about people and not about events, becoming attached to a story, we do profiles every time we release a new wave of articles, where we interview someone and talk about what they do. (I’ve also seen Benji interview people in such a fashion, and technically, you could consider the blog awards interviews as well.)

Be honest about who you are and what you’re with- the final lesson referenced in Part II, we had to utilize that lesson with this year’s publication because we ultimately failed to do an exposé on drugs due to our position as a school publication. However, it worked out for the best because we were also trying to establish our legitimacy as an organization, as a piece of media, and while this corruption is going on, we weren’t in a position to stop it yet. (And not to mention people made fun of our name because it could be connected to #420blazeit. Best not to ask why.)

But that’s all for this Oddity Writer post- thank you all much for sticking around and reading about my experiences- I don’t know if this was particularly educational, but I enjoyed writing it, talking about what my friends and I have created. I hope you liked it! And thanks again for your time- let me know why you think down below. I hope you all have awesome days to come!