Friday, September 25, 2009

O hai! Ur storiez iz rejektid.

I received the nicest rejection letter the other day from the folks at Storyglossia. Rejection letters are nothing new to me, and they don't carry the potent sting they once did, but still, frankly, mostly they suck. Not this one, though.

I won't reprint the email verbatim here, as I don't have, nor have I sought, their permission; however, this email was much more than your standard "Sorry...pass!" rejection letter. No, the editor actually took the time to commend me on several elements of my story, including its' subtlety (one of my most sought-after compliments!).

I almost want to print it out at post it at my desk, it's so unique in the juxtaposition of rejection and praise.

Has anyone else had a similar rejection letter? Or a rejection letter than was just dripping with meanness? Or maybe even some funny Lolcats? I'd appreciate any of that.

Listening to: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Mozart: Symphony #40 In G Minor, K 550 - 1. Molto Allegro
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Photo Odin's Day - Cafe Nervosa

For all you Frasier fans out there...

This coffee shop is actually located in the walled city of Derry, in N. Ireland (I prefer Bogside myself). There was no violence when I was there last year - this year a police officer was killed not far from the hotel where I had stayed - but there was certainly a palpable, almost exhilarating tension throughout my stay, especially as darkness began to fall in the evening.


Listening to: Dinosaur Jr. - Start Choppin (LP Version)
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 14, 2009

Update: I've got nothin'

I've been sick over the past weekend and am still not yet 100%. As I have nothing original for you at the moment, I'll just throw some random thoughts out there, see if they stick.

*I really don't want to, but I love Hole's Live Through This. It's the album that she ought to have made after Kurt Cobain died, instead of the piece of crap that she ended up releasing. And, oh yeah, boo.

*The Daily Show has not been on for a really, really, really, really long time.

*My computer's battery is running perilously low on power.

*Facebook is a total succubus.

That not enough for ya? Then enjoy these blasts from the past:



Fiction (w/ swears!!!)

Hope to be back on Wednesday...

Listening to: Cortney Tidwell - Eyes Are At The Billions
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Photo Odin's Day

Blogger is not letting me upload the beautiful picture I been planning to post. I've been trying to figure out what the problem is all morning, and what I'll do about it...

,.'-. \
( ( ,'"""""-.
`,X `.
/` ` `._
( , ,_\
| ,---.,'o `.
| / o \ )
\ ,. ( .____,
\| \ \____,' \
'`'\ \ _,____,'
\ ,-- ,-' \
( C ,' \
`--' .' |
| | .O |
__| \ ,-'_
/ `L `._ _,' ' `.
/ `--.._ `',. _\ `
`-. /\ | `. ( ,\ \
_/ `-._ / \ |--' ( \
' `-. `' \/\`. `. )
\ \ `. | |

Maybe I'll draw my own damn picture. Woo hoo!!!

*hat tip to Thanks!

Listening to: The Secret Life Of Sofia - Moose Collision
via FoxyTunes

Monday, September 7, 2009

Write why now?

I am not a great writer. So why do I write? This thought haunts me sometimes; usually when I'm having trouble figuring things out, connecting the dots, or even just committing anything to paper. These doubts tend to mount for a while, smothering my thought process until I just feel like walking away and giving up. (Ok, actually I feel like slamming my laptop to the floor, but I've managed to resist the temptation so far.)

Then it happens. A flash of insight, usually when I have finally stopped thinking about all my frustrations with the writing process. This happened to me just this last Friday night, as I was lying in bed.

One of the most encouraging feelings a writer can experience is the sudden realization of growth and maturation as a writer. If you've been writing for any length of time, you have likely experienced this. So awesome. Jump around squealing like a girl awesome.

Where was I? Ah yes, this past Friday. A story I had been working on had hit a dead end about a week previous and stayed stuck there. I began to obsess about it. I tried to go directly at it, to kind of force my way through it and hope that it would all work out in the end (which sometimes does happen, and is another thrilling moment in writing). Nothing worked out this time though, and I ended up just writing and deleting, writing and deleting. That and watching a lot of US Open tennis.

I then decided to try to go at it from the periphery, which sometimes works out very well. I usually try to write a short story or two, maybe the back story of a character, or maybe a random scene from the big story. In the middle of one of these short stories, I was running into the same wall that I had hit in the larger story. Double frustration. At a loss for what else to do, I went to bed. Drifting off, I began imagining how one of my characters might have arrived at the location of my story, something that wasn't in my original outline. And that's where it hit me.

I needed a character to be duplicitous (or to seem to be duplicitous, to be more precise), but I hadn't really worked through what her motivation might have been. That's the answer that came to be as I drifted off to sleep on Friday. I was so excited I got up, re-did my entire outline (as well as spent more time on my character's back stories), and wrote for nearly 3 hours straight. I got a fresh burst of inspiration, confidence, and a better developed, more three-dimensional character to boot.

I think I'm going to get all my notes together on this one and use it for NaNoWriMo!

Listening to: Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
via FoxyTunes

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fiction Friday - Northern Lights

Wow, Friday already. My work today is a rough draft of a story I'm prepping for entry to Storyglossia. The theme for entry is "Musical Obsession". I am fully aware there is not too much of that in my offering this week - that will be woven in between now and the deadline for entry, 9/15.

As always, constructive comments (and, of course, encouragement, be it genuine or bald-faced lies) are welcome.


Katja leaned back, propped up on her elbows, the high sun glinting off her shiny horns. She was young and beautiful, and couldn't have been more exotic, Jake thought. Her eyes were squinted into tiny slits, scrunching up her nose in an adorable way. She was much
more tan than a girl from Finland ought to be. Her head swayed gently from side to side, as if she was listening to music only she could hear. Jake was immediately drawn to that particular idiosyncrasy, almost fell in love with her on the spot because of it.

"I don't want to die...don't get me wrong," Jake said. He was looking out where the river from the melting glacier met the ocean, watching the chunks of ice flowing swiftly out into the wavy blue infinity. A seal popped his head above the surface of the river, looked around momentarily, then went down again.

"Do you ever think you might be of...possessed?" Katja asked.

"I have thought so many things...I used to think, back when I was a little kid, that everyone could see music. I don't know, the kids seemed to sort of understand at first, but as we got older, I got more and more weird looks." Jake picked up a handful of black sand and let it slowly sift through his hand. It was a thrilling sensation; the sand on top was hot from the summer sun, the sand underneath was cold, the way you would think it would be in a place called Iceland. The temperatures mixed as they traveled between Jake's fingers, creating a sensation that his nervous system didn't quite know how to deal with, and so just got all tingly. He lost his train of thought momentarily.

"Weird looks?" Katja prompted.

"It was so familiar and natural to me - I assumed everyone could. I still kind of think that it's something we all have when we're born, something we lose as we grow. Of course, I realize that it's more likely all here." He pointed to a spot on his head a little above and in front of his right ear, where the tumor that caused his vision resided.

Katja sat up and scooped up a handful of sand herself, and let it slip through her fingers, just like Jake did. She also experienced an odd sensation, Jake noticed, as goosebumps raced across the bare skin of her arms and chest above her breast plate. She scooped up two more handfuls before giving her head a little shake and brushing off her hands.

"Maybe this is from God, do you think?" she said, reaching into her bag and pulling out cheese, bread and a tin of tuna, which she spread out on the blanket they were sitting on. She then reached back in and retrieved two bottles of water, handing one to Jake.

Jake scoffed at the idea, waving his hands as if the very idea was a pesky insect that wouldn't go away. "Some people in my family think that. I don't know, maybe that's how they're making sense of my thinking."

"Your thinking about the surgery?" Katja asked. "I understand...I think."

"Like I said, it's not like I want to die or anything. I just think about how...different my life will be. I won't have this special gift or talent, or, I don't know...curse, affliction..."

"What does it look like?" Katja interjected. "The music when you see it?"

Jake paused, rolling his eye up towards the heavens and then closed them. He took a couple deep breaths and appeared to be lost in thought for a few moments. He turned his gaze back towards the water and saw the seal's head come back above the surface, closer now. He exchanged a glance with Jake before slipping back under.

"Sort of like the Northern Lights, I guess," Jake finally said.

"I have seen the Northern Lights," Katja said. "They are beautiful, but I don't think I should want to see them all the time."

Now finished with their lunch, she reached bag into her bag and pulled out two cups of skyr, handing one to Jake. Jake reached for it with a reluctant slowness, wondering how long they had been in there - were they still safe to eat? And how deep is that bag? It's like a cornucopia or something. Sensing his apprehension, Katja said, "It's OK. It keeps without refrigeration." Jake opened his and tucked in. He had grown fond of skyr.

"Is it distracting?" she asked.

"The Music thing? Sort of. I can't listen to the radio when I'm driving - at least not when I'm driving in the city, anywhere where I'd need concentration. I drove through the desert once listening to some CDs. That was...a... great time."

Katja's eyes never left Jake as he talked. She brought the little fold-out spoon up from the cup of skyr to her soft mouth, twirling it in there to lick the concave side clean, slowly withdrawing it through her pouty lips. Jake tried hard to not keep his eyes on her the whole time and turned his eyes again to the water, where he saw the seal again, by the shore, nearly half way out of the water. The seal was waving his nose in the air, sort of like the way that Katja's head would sway slowly from side to side. As he sat there observing it, the seal was suddenly pelted with a scattershot of small pebbles. Jake turned immediately to Katja; it took a couple seconds to get his head around the fact that she had thrown the rocks.

"Pesky," she stated, just the slightest hint of contempt in her voice. "They will come and try to steal food."

She leaned back again, propped up on her arms, her body in that revealing costume spread out in front of Jake. She reached a hand up to hold her horned helmet, to keep it from sliding off. She craned her neck toward him, squinting into the sun behind Jake, one eye completely closed, as if she was winking, and said, "I think you should have the operation." This had the effect of plunging Jake into a complete state of indecision.

Listening to: Nine Inch Nails - Lights In The Sky
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo Odin's Day

The thick fog laying on top of Lake Superior was just beginning to dissipate when I got this shot. I like the way the water kind of melts into the fog, bestowing a sense of mystery and infinity to the scene. The quality of the picture isn't the greatest, but I think that just adds to the feeling of the picture.

Is the figure waiting for something? Dreading its arrival? Contemplating a life-changing decision? Just spacing out?

Listening to: Radiohead - Exit Music (For A Film)
via FoxyTunes