Friday, July 13, 2012

Appreciation and Whatnot

Again, I want to thank you all for sticking it out with me during the long dry spell of no posting. Currently, I've been attempting to throw myself back into novel writing, which has been proving to be much more difficult than I originally anticipated. However, I still plan on putting out -- poems and writings, that is heh heh -- for you all to read. Also, if things begin to take off with my book as I'm hoping, I'll start letting you guys sample bits and pieces here and there. 

Honestly, the thought of constructing a full length book is daunting as hell. I find it easy to think about all the successful books that have been written and let it freak me out like I can't do it. I fret about all the reasons it could fail. My friend Bayle has told me several times that I just need to write more, and I think it's true. "How are you ever going to be a successful author if you don't write." That put the -___- look on my face cuz she's right. Ideally I think I'd be putting the pen to the paper (or the fingers to the keyboard) for at least an hour everyday, but that definitely doesn't happen. The main blockade that's been tying me down me is the worry that things won't be cohesive and believable. Like I won't present a story that makes sense. Bayle reminds me that I just need to sit down and write and deal with all that other stuff later. It'll come together. I don't relate to many of my friends about writing that way, so her advice has been very helpful.

For almost as long as I can remember, I've wanted to publish a book. In first grade, I wrote little two page stories and at one point I had around eleven pages of a story that I thought was ready to become a book. I used to dream and plan about making stories about my dog Tallie being a character in a fantasy book that was basically Lord of the Rings meets Star Wars meets Narnia meets the Matrix. Crazy stuff. When I got my Mac (the one I still have) in 8th grade I wrote probably 25 pages of decent content and then stopped. I don't know why. I think since that time I've lost my vision and drive for book writing. I started writing for the school newspaper and the Mid-America Union's blog and then started my own blog. I've gotten away from my fantasy and fictional story telling roots that I love so much. That's the direction that I want to move towards once again, while still maintaining my poetry/lyrical and "inspirational" writing.

Anyways, that's some of what's going on in my life as far as writing goes. Again, I'm here in Estes Park, so I feel more motivated and inspired to write. My dear pumpkins, it is an incredible feeling to be away from Lincoln right now and be able to find some level of solitude. It feels like I'm nearing the edge of something better. But that might just be the coffee talking.


P.S. I might be crazy, but for the last few weeks, I've been near death in agony longing for Autumn. Like really, all I can think about sometimes is driving about with my windows down, the heater on, and a pumpkin spice latte in my hand. Oh, and being able to wear flannel comfortably would be great, because these hot-ass humid days in Lincoln are teasing my psychotic side. It's ridiculous. Anyways, I'm enjoying the kind weather in the mountains for now. Take care, peoples.

Caffeinated Friendship

Greetings readers. I post this today from the ever beautiful Colorado. I'm here in Estes Park at a StarBucks trying to get some. Writing done. tee hee. And I'm taking time to post this poem I've been mulling over for awhile now. Finally I have it completed.

I cling to things that pick me up
And put me down
Reset me on solid ground
This coffee is a warm embrace
It smoothly awakens my face
I know you wish I was better with money
Then maybe I’d have nice things to flaunt
But most days, this comfort is all I want
Whether I feel steam from under a lid
Or put a straw to my lips
It’s a friend when I don’t want to see people
Or twiddle my thumbs under the steeple
It’s theory, it’s factual
It’s intimate, it’s sensual
Let me cuddle with you
It’s love, it’s hate
It’s patience, it’s haste
A bittersweet taste
I’ve heard it called a crutch
An addiction or habit, perhaps it’s true
Because you have one too
I’ll transform this liquid energy
Into legendary thoughts
I’ll continue my caffeinated friendship
Whether it’s healthy or not

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Obsessive Perfectionist

I wrote the majority of this snippet of life while at work in between phone calls. For those that don't know where I'm working, I started at Gallup several weeks ago. McDonald's is no longer my master. Thank God. The following passages describe a time where I felt out of control as a result of obsessing over something I love. The first night of the play that I was a part of put a lot of strain on me afterwards. The second night was better than the first, for me. And the entire experience was incredibly rewarding.

        I hear two hundred hands clapping behind me. Its like a sudden eruption of audio lava, pouring over me in a warm embrace. The feeling lasts for a moment before the heat intensifies in my stomach. A tingling sensation crawls up my chest. These aren’t butterflies. They’re roaches.
Its my turn to take a bow. I turn around from the director chair to accept some of the applause, but its hard to feel deserving. In this moment, I feel... happy? Nervous. Scared? No. I feel myself withdrawing from the people around me.
There were only two opinions outstanding in my mind. The one of the stupid kid in the restroom and the old critic’s, the one living beneath my skin. I walk briskly out into the cool night air and begin pacing up and down the sidewalk, pondering the reasons for my strain. I don’t want to face the audience. I’m hiding from their opinions and remarks. How can I believe what they say? How do I take the compliments? They make me uncomfortable. I go back inside. My peers swarm me, smiling and satisfied. I do my best to put up a convincing front. They can’t know how I really feel. Not right now, anyway. We have to put on another show still. I have to stay confident, controlled, contained.
Soon, the props and equipment are stored and the school is being locked up. Several of us stand outside for a few minutes before I walk to my car. The broken duct taped window is down, leaving my car’s interior exposed. Then I see them. An overnight growth of tiny white circles had appeared like patches of unwanted mushrooms all over my seats and floor. There isn’t time to think of analyze, only to feel.
Corrosive words explode from my mouth. Car keys fly out of my hand into the grassy hill across the parking lot. I jump up and kick my car, yelling all the while. My friends chuckle as if it’s a normal hammed up rage. I’m glad they believe that. Some wonder why I’m upset, but I continue to openly vent.
So much for keeping my cool, I think. I assume that one of the actors must have committed this treachery against me. After all the work I’d put in, I’m repaid with this. The thought consumes me, and I realize that I would probably punch the perpetrator in the face if they were standing in front of me.
I walk around, steaming, searching for my keys lost in the grass. Finally I find them, get into my car, and begin driving angrily. Underoath is in the CD player and I scream every word with them. My open palms beat against the steering wheel, sometimes honking the horn.
In the midst of my red mist rage, I begin wondering at the answer to my volatile emotions. Maybe everything’s just built up and now I need a catharsis. I’m never this genuinely upset about pranks. I continue thinking about the night and how the play went, running it over and over again in my mind. Each time I think about it, I’m not satisfied, and yet all the compliments and enthusiasm on peoples’ faces tells me it was great.
Nothing is making sense. If everyone around me believes and is proud, then what’s wrong? It clicks with me suddenly. No one else’s opinion matters. Its what I think that counts. Its the pride that I take in my work that makes the difference. Its that one negative comment that’s setting off my alarm. It isn’t my humble reserved nature. This is the dark cynical perfectionist that beats himself up for things. I think about my visions for the new born play and how I’d pictured everything going on stage. Then I remembered tonight and realized that it wasn’t how I’d planned, but it was fine. It didn’t suck like I kept hearing in my mind. People enjoyed themselves. Let it go. The words bring on a deep relaxing breath. Let it go, stop worrying. Another exhalation and I’m back in control of my thoughts.

P.S. Scott Simpson was the one that put the hole punched paper in my car, and I deserved it. In November of the previous year, I, along with other friends, lit bags of human feces on his porch. Twas well played, Scotty, and I learned that payback is a bitch. Yours is coming... not really.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Black Clouds

Here are the lyrics to a song I've had written for quite awhile. But on a more exciting note, my poem "Stalemate" has been accepted to be published in an up and coming literary magazine here in Lincoln, "The Lincoln Underground." I'm super psyched about it. It's scheduled to be released sometime in January for their winter edition.

Check out "Stalemate" here --->
The Lincoln Underground --->

I fell asleep with you on my mind
But you were heavier
The thoughts were heavier
Than I’d planned
So I woke up in the morning
With this headache
Its just heartache
Above my neck
I swear your eyes could put me down
You punch me in the chest
Your crystal eyeballs
Predict a future
Where I don’t exist
While your skin
Is inches away
I try to resist
Black clouds
Are in the skies
Bad dreams
Are in my mind
Seems to see
The side of me
That doesn’t want to breathe
There’s something moving in the covers
I’m thrashing
Thrashing around
I think I’m alone here in my room
But there are spiders
Spiders crawling
Down my wall
I swear your eyes could put me down
You punch me in the chest
Your crystal eyeballs
Predict a future
Where I don’t exist
While your skin
Is inches away
I try to resist
Black clouds
Are in the skies
Bad dreams
Are in my mind
Seems to see
The side of me
That doesn’t want to breathe

Thursday, July 5, 2012

People and Stories

I don't deal well with change. In fact, I'm sure most people have difficulty adapting to something different. For some that means moving or switching to a new job. Maybe its transferring schools or letting go of a habit. In my life, the majority of changes have meant friends moving away. Many of the poems or songs I've written deal with goodbye in some form.

In first grade, my best friend Joel moved away. I still remember hugging him and crying on the last day of school. A few friends left in the following years, but fifth grade proved to be our class's largest population. For the first and only time, the males outnumbered the females. This was a grand happening in our class's history because it never happened again. Michael, Tommy, Casey, and Nathan all left. Nathan stayed around town and was home schooled for awhile before moving to South Carolina in 8th grade. That goodbye was one of the suckiest.

All during grade school, despite my losing friends, there always seemed to be new people that entered my life to help me along. But by the time 7th grade rolled around, I found myself best friends with Thomas who I hadn't even liked that much in our younger days. Nevertheless, we clicked. We also turned to our female friends to fill the void of male presence. Since we'd known some of them for a long time, they were basically guys to us anyways. We also had a Peruvian named Johan join us for awhile. In my 8th grade year, we combined classrooms with the the 7th graders. This allowed for me to connect with more people and broaden my friend horizon. My freshman year separated me from the new 8th graders, but we gained Davis and Trevor who became close friends of mine. In time, Davis left.

Larissa came to CVA my Junior year, and I was just acquaintances with her. She hung out with several people who I was friends with and at some point she ended up at my house cooking eggs and potatoes with me in the middle of the afternoon. I like food... But she loves food... Almost to the point of going to buffets by herself...... Maybe that's a stretch, but regardless, we collaborated on a culinary creation and it was delicious. The next day she left to go back to Brazil for awhile. I remember that hitting me for some reason and bringing me to unexpected tears. Those few droplets of rain out of my clouded mind didn't make sense, and yet they were there. Long after that incident, we did become legitimate friends. Close enough even, that when she left another time, I wrote the song "Dear Sister". The lyrics are on my blog.

At some point in high school I had a girlfriend who -- like Voldemort *gasp*, shan't be named -- I dated long distance for awhile. Any time either of us would visit, the goodbyes were always difficult. Until they weren't. There came a time I was happy to see her leave. Then we broke up. Oops. But, winning.

So aside from the ex-girlfriend anomaly, farewells have put me through the ringer, mentally and emotionally. I've been asked if I have abandonment issues, but I don't think that's the problem. Perhaps its making a big deal out of a regular situation. This year when Alex and Sam left for their respected destinations, it was the same ordeal over again, except for two people at once. I thought Larissa was leaving too, and so I wrote "Destined for Departure" which is on my blog. However, before they left I realized something. When a person exits your life, even for awhile, things change. Everything shifts. It can be like a complete restructuring, a renovation.

When Joel left back in 1st grade, I didn't know what I'd do without my best friend. Who would I trade Pokemon cards with or play on the playground with? Other times when friends would leave, it wasn't nearly as emotional because they weren't as involved in my life. They were important, not intricate. That was why when Nathan left for South Carolina, I became depressed. The two of us had built up plans and goals to reach in movie making. We wrote scripts, filmed stop motion, and brainstormed for hours. In my mind, there was a future and purpose to be fulfilled with our team work. His moving away was like the rug being pulled out from under me at the time. Similarly, at least a month before high school graduation, I'd already begun the grieving process. In my mind, I couldn't see a world beyond CVA life: wrestling in the hallway, building couch sleds, doing little to no homework, and having fun all the time. Michael had been thinking about our class graduating and how his class would be left behind. We'd start talking about how much it'll suck, then we'd get sad and start cussing at each other to forget about the topic. That inspired the song "Bittersweetish", which can be found on my blog as well. The event that was supposed to be a high point didn't feel good at all. I was being forced to write the endnotes on a full four-year long chapter of life. I was venturing into the real world.

If there's one thing I've discovered in the past year or so, its that life moves on, whether you really want to or not. I didn't wanna leave high school, but now I'm in college. I never thought I'd work at McDonald's, but I did for nine months. I used to think life would just end somehow if things changed too much, but it doesn't.

Its like losing a favorite Lego character or piece. The adventures just can't be the same. You aren't able to make the story you think you should, because they were vital to its creation. After awhile of frustration, you begin to see that you can still tell stories with different characters, different pieces. Those first few stories are good ones. Then there comes a point where you realize you're already writing on new pages of the same book as the old stories. One day, these new stories will be the old ones, and the old ones will be fond ancient memory gems. Sometimes you find the old pieces you'd been missing. It might be three months. It might be two whole years. But then you can begin telling brand new stories all over again, almost like they never left.


P.S. Thank you for bearing with me in my blogging drought. It has been nice to have a break, but I'm ready to get back into it and give you guys some great content I hope. I appreciate your fandom and reading :)

"Dear Sister":
"Destined for Departure":