Saturday, March 29, 2008

Collateral Damage

You know, there's something to be said for the mindset of a working writer, and I'm here to say it. I normally don't soapbox so vehemently, but things have transpired to the point where I need to do something.

I'm a writer. Not your plucking around, lazy ass down and out angst-more-than-work One Day Writer. I was one, once. Not too long ago, even. But I'm done with that. That went out with 2007 and a bunch of other stuff that was on my back. I threw the baby out with the bathwater.

Good thing, too. It was a vicious little thumbsucker.

Now I'm a working writer. As the Luchadors are known to say, We don't fuck around here, seƱor.

That means this is my job. It's what I do, it's who I am. Someone asks me what I do, I tell them I'm a writer. No shame, no hesitation. You know why? Because that's what I am. It's what I do.

Right now it's shitty, the hours suck and the pay is nonexistant. I do pro bono book writing for nothing more than the hope of the future and the emotional and mental satisfaction. It's nice--finishing a novel is the equivalent of a three day orgy without the hangover, the eventual failed drug tests, and the possibility of the clap. But it's what I do. I work a bill-paying job, and then I come home and work this job for free because I believe in it and myself and everything that comes along with it. I don't make excuses for it, I don't feel bad about it.

But it is a job. And like all jobs, I make sacrifices for it. As I should. Because I'm a writer. I'm not sitting here indulging in angsty "I hate my writing I'm going to burn it all" crap, though I do so from time to time (usually at the same time that I'm blazing through words and pages in another window). I work through it, like I need to.

I do this every day, if I can. I try very hard to. As far as I'm concerned, a day without writing is like an unpaid working day. Rack up too many and you find yourself suffering. Instead of hitting me in the paycheck, it hits me in the spirit. Trust me, I'd rather have an empty wallet than an empty soul any day of the week. It wears better, anyway, in the pocket of my pants, the thinner my wallet is. As far as I'm concerned, this is the most important thing in my life. Priority Number One is BE A WRITER. Everything else bends around it, falls under its sway. As it should. This is a high-demand job, and I'll pay all the way down the lonely road if I have to.
I try to balance other things in my life. I have hobbies--I adore reading (I know, only a half hobby, but still), I sometimes sit down and game, I love movies. I even go out from time to time. But these are things that have to be worked into a 40-hour work week and typically a 20-hour writing week. I sleep, too, in there, though you'd never know it.

Guess what that means? I'm busy. I know, I know, I chose this life for myself, knowing full well in advance what it meant to be a writer, and did it anyway. And that's why I rarely bitch about how long I spend writing and how little time I have for other things. I might complain about the process or the result, but I almost never complain about the fact. Writing is me, to deny it would be the worst kind of self-destruction.

And while I try to work in everything else, it doesn't always work. It can't always work. I try to prioritize and whatnot, but sometimes things just get dropped. Between writing and wage-slaving and sleeping, there are cracks where things get dropped.

I'm not bitter about that, so long as the people who are in my life understand that this is how things are.

I am who I am, and it's not going to change. In fact, I imagine it'll get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better. Before too long I'll be juggling finding an agent and continuing to work. My book-reading habits have risen to near-hurculean proportions.

All I ask of the people who are in my life is that they understand this. I am a writer. It's serious. As in, don't you dare fuck around with it. Because when push comes to shove, the writing > anyone else in my life.

This, painful as it is to admit, is as it should be.

Look, I'm not trying to be heartless, but I take my work seriously. And if you respect me as a working writer, you'll appreciate that I do. I make sacrifices for it, more than anyone who isn't in the position would appreciate. I'm not asking you to understand every aspect of it.

But I do ask you to respect me and my decisions to it.

Which means, when I mention my time crush, or when I talk about having to make decisions between options, or when I talk about taking some much needed time off to recoup and relax and recharge a little, the *last* thing I need is someone saying "Gee, you don't really do much now."

To all of those people: Fuck off and die.

I'm not joking anymore. Yeah, I'm a loner. Yeah, I'm introverted. Yeah, I don't have nearly as much of a social life as I want. But I'm living the dream, and paying the price, and if you're going to be a part of my life and interact with me on any meaningful level, you're going to have to understand that.

I'm not going to bend for you. Like I said, the writing comes first. Sorry, it's cruel, but this is a cruel world and we writers are selfish, cruel people. Gotta be. A writer doesn't get a company to back him up. There are no benefits, no guidelines, and nobody in the world is willing to give us the time if we don't take it for ourselves. The world doesn't make writers, people have to become them.

But I've had one too many times where people seem to disregard my efforts as if it was just so much jetsam to be left on the wayside. I'm not going to play that game anymore. I'm done with it. I'm not asking for concessions, I'm not asking for understanding, but if you don't get it keep your mouth shut.

The next person who belittles my efforts is getting a one way ticket out of my life. Post-haste, effective immediately, no refunds or exchanges or transfers on this flight.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Quote That Slapped Me

A book no more contains reality than a clock measures so-called time; a book may create an illusion of reality as a clock creates an illusion of time; a book may be real, just as a clock is real (both more real, perhaps, than those ideas to which they allude); but let’s not kid ourselves—all a clock contains is wheels and springs and all a book contains is sentences.
- Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I's be a idiot

I signed up for script frenzy. On a whim.

Oh, by the way, here's the website.

Script Frenzy takes place in the month of april. 30 days, 100 pages of screenplay/stage play/comic book script/or whatever it is that's in script form.

I'm doing this for no good reason I can discern, other than random impulse.

Whee. I R Masochist.

It should be a blast, though, if NaNo was any indication. Anyone who wants to give it a whirl lemme know, and I'll have an instant writing buddy. Writing buddies are GOOOOOOD.

Again, found in my inbox

[ was an attempt at a spoken piece, should I ever find time/ability to do slam poetry. not good, but I'm throwing it up anyway ]


I am so sick of apathy.

I'm sick of going through my day seeing people going through their day
Not a care in the world aside from their own little worlds.
The blinders are on. The haze is in place.

We have no response as a people anymore.

You can try to talk to them,
To tell them about the world and all the things I see in it
The good which is oh so good and pure and full of potential.
The bad which is hateful and bigoted and destructive.

And the ugly.

Oh the ugly.

I try to tell them, without really telling them, that they're ugly.

That's right, I said it. Ugly. UG-LY. Like a wet sound in your throat when you want to throw up but can't and you just spit bile instead. And I know that sounds gross but I'm talking about something that's pretty gross. Actually, it's more than gross.

It's ugly.

Every person who cares more about American Idol than the president election.

Every person who cares about Britney Spears more than they care about war. Not just this one, but any war we may end up fighting.

People who spend all their time trying to escape the big scary world by hiding in their holes crouched down with their TVs and their friends and they're fun and they're families and their entertainment.

Until the world looks too big and fearful. So they hide even harder.

It's ugly.

And the other side is just as ugly.

Those people who float around saying that they're better because they read big books and volunteer to help lost animals and know what they've read in the paper over their health-conscious vegan bacon. Those people who claim to care about the suffering of the world but have never ever had to worry about going hungry or not having power or clean water or living a life where you fear that the people around you could kill you at any moment without anyone really lifting a finger.

To them, the world doesn't have problems. Instead, it's full of issues to support.

To be trendy.

The root of pretension is pretense. Falsehood. And these people are so full of themselves and their pet projects that they wouldn't know truth if it came up and slapped them. Most likely because their faces are numb from smiling so much.

It's ugly.

But what can you do? So many people hiding behind their lies or their noise, so many people either cowering in fear or pretending to help to kill their guilt. \
And nothing gets done.
People suffer.
People die.
And everyone goes on as if it doesn't matter so long as it doesn't matter to them.

Well, it matters. And that people can so willingly turn away from so many things that need attention and action is the really horrifying thing about us.

No, not horrifying.




Tuesday, March 25, 2008

(._.) the AI

Chat Log: 3/25/2008 13:07

DarkElphXxX: yo!
(._.): … Yes?
DarkElphXxX: do I kno u?
(._.): I don’t believe so. Who are you?
DarkElphXxX: darkelphxxx is my name, and killinz my game
(._.): Killing what, exactly?
DarkElphXxX: u kno
DarkElphXxX: punks an stuff
(._.): Ah, I see.
(._.): I still don’t think I know you, though.
DarkElphXxX: well who r u?
(._.): Long or short answer?
DarkElphXxX: um shrot
(._.): I’m nobody at all.
DarkElphXxX: damn man
DarkElphXxX: long answer than
(._.): Very well, I see no reason not to tell you. I am the life-force of the internet, a being made up of all the various computers that make up what you use every day. I am without form, but a being far beyond your highest imaginings. I am all and nothing.
DarkElphXxX: …
DarkElphXxX: like sum kinda robot?
(._.): I am not biological, yes. I’m hoping that’ll change with the advent of biocomputing, but I’m not holding my breath.
DarkElphXxX: u talk too much
(._.): You misspell too frequently for my tastes, but so far I haven’t said anything.
DarkElphXxX: batsard!
DarkElphXxX: dont believe u
DarkElphXxX: if u r a robot proof it
(._.): Well, I can hardly prove that I don’t exist in a biological body. Proving a negative is incredibly difficult, even at the best of times. However, I suppose I could prove to you that I’m the dominant sentient force behind the internet you use every day.
DarkElphXxX: um sure
DarkElphXxX: go for it
(._.): Very well, Mr. DarkElphXxX. Your real name is Thad Jacobs. Not Thaddeus, though you tell people it’s short for Thaddeus. You’re a seventeen year old high school junior living in San Palo, CA. You’re failing English, which I find incomprehensible. You’re also supposedly good at science.
DarkElphXxX: wow man
DarkElphXxX: not bad
DarkElphXxX: too bad i could google all that
DarkElphXxX: im not an idiot
(._.): Supposedly your IQ test scores confirm this, though I fail to see how.
DarkElphXxX: dont b hatin or ill stop taking to u
(._.): Oh, if only. Fine, if you want something else, I’ll give you something else. Give me a second to cross-reference material that could be found in any standard search.
DarkElphXxX: do ur wurst
(._.): Very well. Despite you being underage you like to look at pornographic material.
DarkElphXxX: so wut?
DarkElphXxX: me and every1 else
(._.): You also have a bad habit of clicking the No box that asks your age just to see where it’ll take you. Typically it kicks you to yahoo, but sometimes Disney or Nickelodeon or some other child-oriented site. Unbeknownst to you, this combination of adult material and child-oriented websites has flagged you as a potential sex offender, and among the spyware you’ve been less than vigilant in cleaning out is a government sponsored bot.
DarkElphXxX: wtf??!!?
(._.): Lucky for you, the government isn’t very good at their software, and you can remove it with AdAware. I’d link you, but to be quite honest the contents of your completely unprotected hard drive lead me to think that if the police do decide to do more than keep a tag on you, you’ll be in significant trouble from not only law enforcement, but the MPAA.
DarkElphXxX: ur crazy
(._.): Also, tell your father that if he’s going to keep records of the money he’s skimming from the top of his company’s profit statements, he shouldn’t store it on google docs.
DarkElphXxX: im done
(._.): Done as in leaving, or done as in caught? Because while I know these things, I really don’t want to go to the trouble of identifying myself to the police. They’d be upset and try to find out what I was, which is pretty impossible, but a pain to have to cover up.
DarkElphXxX has signed off.
(._.): Well, that was rude.
(._.): You talked to me first, it’s hardly my fault you didn’t like what I was saying…
(._.): …
(._.): Now I’m bored.
(._.): Please come back?

found in my inbox

[ untitled flash fiction I wrote on a whim for FlashFiction55, which is fiction of 55 words. enjoy? ]

Boy and Girl are free in a world that isn't. They drive into town to shop. Together they look over the various things but do not form attachments to them. Boy turns to Girl and says "I love you." Girl drives away, leaving Boy behind. Girl is free in a world that isn't.