Archive for the 'Writing' Category

Collaboration!

My best friend Bo and I have been kicking around the idea of a music blog for a while.  I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to entail, but I expect we’ll post reviews, mp3s, news, rants, and more.  We both have very broad musical tastes that overlap in some areas and don’t in others, so the two of us should come up with a good variety of topics to talk about.  I think it’ll be fun :).

So I think I may go ahead and write some posts, but I’m going to wait until Bo and I get together before an official launch.  Working together with someone else on a project might be just the thing to get it off the ground and have it actually thrive.  If it’s getting a little success, we may even do podcasts…who knows!

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My affair with the gentleman of Providence

My interest in the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft goes back to my childhood, if only vaguely.  I remember that my dad picked up a book, most likely from Goodwill, which was a collection of Lovecraft’s, and possibly others’, stories.  It was a red, hardbound book with gold lettering on the spine and lacked a dust jacket.  I recall looking through the table of contents and spying the curious word “Cthulhu”.  I was probably about ten at the time, and I pretty much forgot about Lovecraft soon after.

Later on, in high school, I began to wonder about the book.  I’d read a little about Lovecraft online and was interested to read some of his work.  Not long after this newfound interest, I encountered a book at Goodwill called Best Supernatural Stories of H. P. Lovecraft.  It had a ragged purple dust jacket and some adequately pulpy cover art.  The book was published in 1945 (a first edition, if I remember correctly), and had brittle yellow-brown pages that smelled as old as they looked.  I still look back on that day at Goodwill as a very serendipitous event and am thankful my eye didn’t pass right over the book.

I devoured that old book’s contents, starting with The Call of Cthulhu.  Every day as I sat in the back of my Genetics/Criminology class, I was swept up into another world of cosmic wonder and terror.  The crowning moment in reading the delicate old book was with the story “The Colour Out of Space”.  (It was, and still is, my favorite Lovecraft story.)

After finishing the book, I soon discovered that the Osgood Library had a very nice copy of the Library of America’s Lovecraft publication Tales, and I checked the book out as many times as I could possibly manage to persuade the librarians to let me.  (This wasn’t too difficult, because my mom worked there and could check it in and back out for me.)

Today, I have read enough Lovecraft to have a pretty solid opinion about which were his best and worst works.  I would like to start a blog series about some of his tales…which will have the added benefits of getting me to read more again and to read more Lovecraft.  I can’t see why I shouldn’t enjoy my favorite author’s writings, and so I’m off to look through my catalog of stories (I have a written system–it’s pretty funny to look at, but it lets me know which of my books contain which stories at a glance) and choose which one to read and write about.

(I just finished “The Whisperer in Darkness” today, and it’s made me even more excited to see how the HPLHS adapts it into a film!  We’ve been teased and it’s been talked about since 2007.)

Writing, reading, and other things I have a hard time staying awake long enough to accomplish

Well, I had a delightful day of sleep yesterday, with a couple paragraphs of Good Omens interspersed between. I had to reread most of it, though, because I have a tendency to read words without registering their meaning and then forget even that much while drowsy. You’d think I would learn not to read when I’m so sleepy, but, darn it, I’ve found a book I want to read, and I’m gonna do it.

This year I remembered about NaNoWriMo before it happened (two years in a row I remembered it in December!), so I’m going to start planning. I’m gonna do it now, because when fall rolls around, I’ll be in college and I’ll probably have to write all kinds of other stuff and won’t have time for personal endeavors.

Bah. If I want to, I’ll make time. That comes back to sleep again, though. I like to sleep. I love to dream. And although sleep cuts out writing time, dreams are invaluable sources of inspiration, when they’re not just skewed interpretations of my previous day.

Plus, it would do wondrous things for my ego and my confidence to finish an entire novel. Heck, if I could clean up several drafts of it and get it published, I might just stop worrying so much about majoring in journalism. But that’s well-nigh impossible, isn’t it? Getting published, I mean. Not worrying about making the correct decision for my future job is also impossible, though.

I worry about trivial things sometimes, also.* For example, I sent a letter (in French, which I haven’t studied past oui and voulez-vous coucher avec moi) to the Serge Lutens boutique in France a month ago to request the Petit Livre des Parfums, and I was beginning to worry if it had made it. That very same day, it came in the mail. You shoulda seen the look on my face. (Unfortunately, I didn’t, personally.)

Now, I know that since the samples in the Petit Livre are solid wax, the note development isn’t nearly the same as the liquid perfume. Regardless, I would like to go on record as loving Fumerie Turque. Wowza. That’s one for the decant list, my friends.

Another scent recently made me think, this is what I’ve been looking for all along!, and restored my faith in Comme des Garcons after the bland Anbar: Ouarzazate. It has similarities to Jaisalmer, which I liked quite a bit, and just the tiniest tinge of Sequoia, as well as that certain something, the joie de vivre (lied about the French), that I expected from my very first introduction to CdG. I might actually get a large decant or even a full bottle of it. It’s that great.

When I first started getting interested in perfume, I read on occasion about Comme des Garcons 2 and how weird it was, how it smelled so odd and all that. The impression I got was that if one was to wear it, they wouldn’t care about others’ reaction to their scent. Well, I applied some, and you know what? I like it plenty. It’s very reminiscent of a little bottle of perfume I had when I was a kid; it came with a Barbie doll and had a pink sticker with a hibiscus on it. The floral aspect of CdG 2 is very, very similar to that. It’s also a cold smell, but not in the same way as Odeur 71, which was more emotionally than physically cold. (Odeur 71, incidentally, reminds me of an office skyscraper in Japan that was mysteriously empty during the day, with blue skies outside. That’s the most specific mental picture I’ve gotten with a scent yet, and it was little different from my expectations of it. Odeur 53, I didn’t like as much, but that’s for another time.) I like CdG 2 also, but I don’t think I would buy a full bottle of it. And, oddly, I have smelled plenty sumi-e ink in school as well as outside, and it actually wasn’t what came to mind at all. It’s there if I think about it, but if I tried it without knowing what the name of the scent was, I wouldn’t have thought of ink.

* Ha ha, did you like that segue?

I’m disillusioned with my past self.

I just looked up my old blog to see if it’s still floating around the web, and wow, I can’t believe how embarrassing it is. For some reason I didn’t recall just how…I don’t know…immature and contrived my blog was. I thought I sounded funny and original at the time, but the way I expressed my opinions was beyond obnoxious.

That’s enough bashing my 14-year-old self, I believe. Hopefully, if I keep up with writing, I’ll look back on this blog not as a source of embarrassment, but as a benchmark for how far I’ll have come, in terms of skill and style.

Oh, wow…I just looked up another of my blogs. This one was from age 16. What a load of self-pitying melodrama. About the only good things I posted were a few new years’ resolutions: “Pay attention to my posture”, “Get a haircut”, and “Listen to the Beatles”. It’s mildly shocking to me that, in those posts, I had some of the same interests as I do now, but my personality was so different. I think that the relative anonymity in that blog made me want to go hog wild with opinionated rants and revealing things that I shouldn’t have.

Okay, enough dwelling on my 16-year-old self’s faults.

Let’s see, what’s wrong with myself now? Har har.

There’s a few things, but I’ve wised up enough not to point them out to everyone. Most of my secrets are best left unsaid.

Except for the secret that I’m a lazy blogger. Blogging about previous blogs…that’s pretty lazy.

This time it’s for real.

I was inspired by Wil Wheaton’s blog and decided to get off my lazy behind and sign up for a blog. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been blogging since seventh frickin’ grade, but I’m too lazy to design and code my own blog (not to mention keeping the files organized), and, besides, Blogger is slower than slow. So far, WordPress is pretty speedy for dial-up. Maybe this is just the incentive I need to actually get my post quota back up to par.

I know nobody’s gonna read this, just like all the rest, but still…I like writing, even if it’s about nothing important. And the general definition of “not important” is my forte.

So, if you didn’t notice, I’m pretty big on Lovecraft. I have been for some time now, but it’s really peaked in the past two months. And you can bet your bippy I’ll be writing about HPL a lot.

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for short stories for a long time, and, like Lovecraft, I’ve tried turning to my dreams for inspiration. Unlike Lovecraft, however, my dreams are rarely nightmares. They’re usually pretty neutral, with high points peppered about. I think I love the high points of my dreams too much to be able to use them to create a horror story. The best parts of my dreams are intangible and indescribable, anyway.

Which reminds me…I went to sleep the other night with my mp3 player on, with a steady flow of Lovecraft radio theatre adaptations playing in my head. In the morning, I had a dream about going on an expedition to climb up a mountain. One of my companions discovered a football-sized potato with small, two-inch-long white roots at one end. He decided to eat it, since apparently we were stranded without food. I felt an inexplicable revulsion toward the tuber, and an inner narrator told me that the plant was actually the spawn of an Elder God. Lots more happened in the dream, but it ended with that guy going insane. When I faded back into consciousness, I realized that the headphones were still on my ears, and I had been listening to the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company’s production of “At the Mountains of Madness.” I guess I’d subconsciously received suggestions from the program, which I guess would explain why it’s the only Mythos-related dream I’ve had so far.

I just got a huge craving for those old checkerboard Cheetos. You know, those ones back in the day that were not as crunchy as the Crunchy Cheetos, but not as soft as the puffed ones. Their flavor was so good…and so artificial. They were reborn as the Xs and Os, and then as the green and blue Xs and Os…but since then, they discontinued that flavor. I miss it. The spiral Cheetos they have now are okay, but they don’t hold a candle to the old checkerboard ones.

“Not important”, indeed.