Posts tagged ‘writing’

December 6, 2010

Crushing Reality Or How I Managed to Avoid Killing Myself


This is me everyday actually.

Today I am 24 years of age, an age of no usual significance-unless you’re me. If you’ve read my first post, you would know that Past Me made a deal with Myself that if I didn’t have anything published by the end of my 23rd year, I’d off myself. I would completely succumb to depression and in an angry rage at my inability to chase my dreams, I would end my life. That is unless I somehow fuck it up and just end up in the ER. Resulting in a fate worse than death as I have to live the rest of my life knowing that I couldn’t even do the thing I said I would do if I couldn’t do the thing I really wanted to do with my life.

How did that work out? Well I had planned on averting death by merely proving Present Me is smarter than Past Me by “publishing” some work (this blog) on the internet. Instead, I’ve actually gotten stuff published on a website that is not a blog. Good old Demand Studios, you’ve not only helped me dodge a bullet but proven that I’m also more skilled than Past Me. Sure, it’s not the most respectable of jobs and publishing, but hey, type my name into Google and I come up more than that other Antonin who’s worked on movies.

Take that, doppelganger.

So what else have I done by the end of my 23rd year? Well I’ve finished a manuscript-a first for me. Sure, I’m still editing it, but it’s coming along. (Remind me to never change the gender of a main character ever again, by the way.) It’s become a rather grueling procedure now where I stare blankly at a page thinking of how to fix the rubbish I put there in a hurry to make a certain word count.

I’ve also bought and remodeled a house. That’s neat.

I got a dog too. Past Me would never have seen that one coming. Hell, sometimes I forget the dog is there until she nudges me, wanting me to feed her. As if she’s entitled cause that’s the humane thing to do or something.

The other thing that actually asked most of me is the thing that’s probably made the least amount of progress: getting married. Oh the things we still have to do. I don’t even think the bridal party is set yet. Wait, doesn’t that fact that I don’t know tell me something. I should probably talk to the fiancee and get to work on that. The wedding is about 6 months away-the half birthday of Jesus Christ-and I don’t even think the colors are officially picked out yet.

Yeah, that’s a good idea. I should go do that. I should, but I think I’m going to work on updating that other, nerdy blog of mine.

September 23, 2010

Rough Draft Completed! Wait, what?


So I literally just finished the rough draft of my novel. As in like 5 minutes ago of this writing. You’ll probably be seeing this post in a few days or so but I feel like getting some words down now.

At first I felt nothing and I walked out of the room. “Isn’t there supposed to be a strange feeling after this?” I thought.

Maybe I should have turned the creepy music off but as just as that thought ended it felt like a ton of blood rushed to my head, the walls hummed, and my hands shook.

Well I’m not drinking coffee anymore!

Then I sat back down. I’m not done, there’s editing to do! Probably a few months worth, which is still pretty cool. I’ve never finished a novel length story before. While I will admit there is a giant clusterfuck on my computer with a huge word count surpassing even the one I just finished, that one pretty much needs to be rewritten. Completely.

Goddamn my head feels funny.

So what now? Well I have to edit, and edit and edit before I show it to some of my peers and colleagues (and maybe I’ll harass some old mentors of mine). But, from what I’ve read by other writers, after you finish the rough draft, you leave it the fuck alone for a month. Let it sit there; leave it be for a month before you come back to it. You’ll get a fresh look at it that way.

Okay, cool, but what am I going to do in the meantime? I don’t think I can stop writing for a month. Maybe I’ll start thinking about another project I had in mind.

Either way, I need to go chill out and celebrate a little. :3

August 24, 2010

Revolver Wielding Muses


Hesiod and the Muse

This image is a lie, Muses are all bitches who hate everything about you.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working on a novel and since this whole blog was actually started because of it I figured I’d let you good people know about its lack of progress. I’ve been pretty diligent with working on it; inching closer and closer to my goal of 80,000 some words. My productivity even started increasing when I hit the 50k mark since the end was in sight. However, recently I’ve hit a bit of a speed bump. The kind that sends your car spiraling out of control and down a cliff. Soon the news reporters come and everyone is looking at your dead corpse which is half way through your windshield because you were too cool to wear a seat belt.

You see, every writer has at least one muse. I have two: my fiancee and one that only seems to speak to me when I’m barreling down the highway at speeds that would get arrested for reckless endangerment. My fiancee tends to give me good advice at times it’s needed or wanted. She’s good at grounding and telling me when I’m being stupid.

And then there’s the other one. For the sake of clarity, we’ll call her “M” (because I’m so damn original).

The muse that is my fiancee exists in the real world (promise I’m not making this part up) and helps pay our bills; M exists only in my head, but knows how to beat the walls to piss off the neighbors and give me a headache. My fiancee is classy but is able to chug a fifth of vodka if the night calls for it; M is always drinking vodka.

The ideas from M never come when needed or even wanted. The ideas range from “Holycrapawesome” to “WTFisthisshit” and I often have to double check them with the fiancee. Sometimes M just piggybacks off of the ideas the fiancee tells me by telling me how her idea would work or fit into what I got going. Life would be wonderful if I could just get them to work together.

But life isn’t that wonderful.

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July 15, 2010

First Acceptance, First Rejection


Like a shameless whore, I’ve been trying to think of everything I can to (slowly) break into my whole dream of making money off of writing. (Sorry hippies, I’m a capitalist and I got bills to pay). I knew part of this plan would have to do with getting into freelance writing just to have something published somewhere. Craigslist has been the biggest joke so far; where responding to a want-ad for a writer is like asking someone if they’d like to try to scam me.

But at least there's cake!

I mean really, how stupid do people have to be to buy the whole “Give us dollar amount X and then we’ll give you pamphlet B and you can start working. You give us money so we can know how serious you are, we’ll return it after you receive the pamphlet” thing? People that stupid deserve their money taken from them. I’m almost considering starting my own fraud project but these things called ethics are getting in my way.

Back to freelancing, I seemed to have found my answer in Demand Studios. Demand Studios hires freelancers to write quick 400-500 word articles for a bunch of different websites. You’ve probably run into them; eHow.com, Answerbag.com, LIVESTRONG.com, and a bunch of others. I applied for the site around a week or so ago and was accepted/hired in a few days. I was pretty pumped and began working on my first article right away. That article was “How to Get All the Characters on Mario Kart DS.”

No, I’m not kidding.  Demand Studios is often criticized for being a “freelance writing sweatshop” and usually pays their writers $15 per article. I’ll admit that it does feel like that most of the time sometimes, but money is money and I gotta start somewhere. I wrote the article a few days ago, an editor sent it back for a few changes, I made them, and the next day it was accepted! BAM! Just like that I was floating on cloud nine, happy as a clam, and every other cliche you can think of. I was now officially a freelance writer, so I claimed another article and took a shot at it. This time it was “Snowmobile Games for the Wii.” I choose it because it was a job where I just needed to list what Wii games were about snowmobiling and give brief descriptions. Easy right? Especially since there’s only two games for the Wii that are about snowmobiling. I wrote the article and sent it in, then got a request for a rewrite. The copy editor requested that I go into more detail about the games and try to find more games that had snowmobiling in them (there isn’t much). I didn’t really want to go in depth into the games because they all have bad ratings, but I did and made the changes the editor asked of me. I was feeling confident, and went about my day.

Then I found out my article was rejected.

In the words of Random Frat Boy A: “BUZZKILL BRO!” Now, I have been rejected before and even wrote about it, but this felt different. This wasn’t the rejection of a query, but the rejection of something I actually wrote for monies. I spent time on this. Oh sure, I got mad and cursed the luck of the editor and his family, but then I calmed down. The editor did write long notes about the article and they were very, very helpful. I know the guy (or girl) was just doing their job. I think part of the shock was that I didn’t realize that I only had two shots to write the thing. When I realized that, I sank into my little “blast Linkin Park in a dark room” mood (which for you youngins is a another way of saying “emo”). I sadly looked through the site for another job to claim, but couldn’t find anything to write about. There was only super-specialized articles left like “How to put a Honda Civic engine into a Ford Focus.” I should mention that I found articles under categories that didn’t make sense, such as the various car repair assignments filed under fucking literature. Literature! Who the hell is stupid enough to put that there?

Like the drama queen I am, I questioned everything from the worth and true level of my abilities to the very nature of reality. I mean hey, it’s totally possible I am a volunteer who is in an experiment were they wipe my memories and subject me to various forms of rejection right?

Yeah, I calmed down again from that too. Since I want to be a writer, I know that rejection is kinda in the job description. I need to get used to it and not let it get to me. I need to put a steak on my black eye, reapply my lipstick and hit the streets again-daddy’s got money to make! Or something.

April 24, 2010

How DO those magnets work?


You know, I never really wanted to talk about this ever again. I really didn’t. Okay, well maybe during happy hour where it’d make for a decent bar story that no one would really believe anyway. I’d like to talk about it at that moment. Then, a few days ago, all of my dear friends sent me a link to a video claiming that “my people” came out with another video. An awesome video.

They were all lying and I hope they die in a fire.

Here is that video that brought back a bunch of terrible memories. WARNING: NSFW (Language).

Since then, it’s exploded into the ranks of an internet meme. It’s everywhere, forcing me to remember that I worked for them. (Well, I interned anyway.) Some people seem surprized by the whole thing. I mean hell, ICP’s songs are often about having sex with dead bodies and violence. What’s up with this one being kinda spiritual? Well, honestly, I could go ahead and explain that. For research, I read Violent J’s autobiography before I started working for them.  Through that, as well as my encounters with their employees and fans, I learned alot about the whole Juggalo culture-way more than I think anyone not associated with them knows. Actually considering that most of them don’t make it through high school, I’m pretty sure I have a deeper grasp than most of them. (Though I will admit I’ve met some rather sharp Juggalos who are really nice guys).

So yes, I could explain how that song makes perfect sense considering their beliefs and worldview, and I could even tell you about their beliefs and how it’s akin to a very strange Christianity, but I doubt anyone would find it interesting.

So instead, I’ll tell you the strangeness that was working for them! (That and I feel like copy-pasting the whole report on my internship for my Intern Practum class would be cheating).

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April 5, 2010

The Origins of a Story (and of a Writer)


Despite the fact that I started this blog about my desires to get published, I haven’t really spoken about any of my writing at all have I? Let’s change that shall we?

You never seem to hear why writers start writing, what gave them that first kick that said, “hey this story thing is pretty sweet! I should really try making this hobby into a lifelong chase” (Stephen King mentions writing for his school paper, but that’s it). I think I know why we don’t: it’s pretty embarrassing and tells you too much about ourselves and our youth. If I was a smart man, I’d delete this entire post before I can complete it, walk away and think of something else to write.

But I’m not a smart man. (And what do I have to lose, other than your respect?)

Being a young lad, I skipped to the rental store with my mother and rented this little game (you may have heard of it) called Final Fantasy VII. I dug roman numerals, and somewhere saw an ad with the anime-ish characters and found myself spell bound. I played, got mad, continued playing, and “meh’ed” at Aerith dying. Then one day while looking up information for the game, I ran into something strange. It was a story about the characters of Final Fantasy 7, but it wasn’t written by the people who made the game, it was written by a normal guy. That’s right, I had encountered my first fanfic. I can’t remember the name, but it was something like FF7: How it Really Happened. It was a retelling of the first quarter of the game, in script format, and was very, very “lulzy” for my young self. I passed it along to my friends and we all enjoyed a heartily, pubescent laugh.

At the time, my good friend Jacob-a man among men-had this thing called Jacob’s News using this new fancy creation called “email” (you may have heard of that as well). It was a sorta weekly thing he had going on where he’d write… well, the news! Mainly stuff going on in his life, but for some reason it was the coolest thing ever. Hell, it was awesome, and I can’t remember why. One fateful day when I found out that Sega would stop making consoles and would only make video games I had this very strange sensation. My head was full of this strange electricity that buzzed and buzzed and filled my mental head-space with vivid images and loud colors.

I believe it was called inspiration (or someone had spiked my Capri Sun with acid).

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January 16, 2010

The Start of DIY Fame and Fortune Or The Start of a Long Winded Suicide Note


I don’t know if this was the result of sobering up or becoming intoxicated (the memory is pretty hazy), but I do remember what I was thinking: I was laying on the floor of my bedroom, my eyes wide open on the unchanging ceiling, as I said to myself  “If I don’t have anything published by the end of my 23rd year, I’m going to shoot myself.”

Now this wasn’t out of any sort of depressed notion or self pity; I was pretty happy at that moment and feeling ridiculously confident. So confident that I didn’t really mind that my friends were shooting off fireworks at 3am in my neighbor’s backyard. (The cops never came when she called anyway). While I have been busy finishing college, getting a house, and working, I have yet to publish anything. I have recently realized, being a month into 23, that I have to do something soon or blow my brains out.

Now, I realize the 19-year-old-me wasn’t that smart, so he didn’t bother with any fine print. He didn’t consider self-publishing, or even self publishing on the internet. (‘Cause that totally counts). So that’s where this comes in. I will chronicle my attempts to get myself published in various forms of media and if by the end of the year I’ve gotten nothing done,  I’ll still have this… blog. So HA! take that Younger Me! You may have a freezer stocked with booze and strange cacti but I have a degree now and therefore am certifiably smarter than you!

But then again, being out of college is a different world. There is no longer an uncaring adviser who will send you back and forth from building to building in order for you to sort of find the right answer that you will only realize is wrong by the middle of the next semester! You’re on your own, and nobody gives a damn about you. Not only that, but once you’ve graduated you realize you now have the rest of your life to either succeed at your life’s ambitions, or horribly fail at them. (Usually the idea of failure is the only thing that actually comes to mind).

Maybe this constant reminder of what my dreams are/were will take it’s toll on me and I will become a shell of a man, regretfully looking back at what I could have been. I will only be able to stare mournfully at my shattered dreams as if they were a dead kitten laying on the cold pavement. The weight of my failure will transform me to the point that I am no longer recognizable and my fiancee will leave me, saying I am no longer the same man that I once was. This will cause me to become an alcoholic; and in a sad, drunken stupor one night in some back alley of Detroit I will finally end it my life by blowing my brains out all over the wall of an abandoned building. (And you would enjoy that wouldn’t you internet).

Or, you know, I just might succeed, but where’s the fun in considering that?

Until one of the two outcomes comes to fruition, since I’m obviously not going to be able to fill this damn thing with simply myself trying to get published, I’ll give you my dear (currently non-existent) readers stories of the horrors of post-college life. Everything from working a job that requires no degree (even though you are surrounded by people in the same position with higher degrees), becoming a substitute teacher, and probably other stories that have nothing to do with anything. And while you may be thinking “Well gee Mister,” because you do talk like that, you know, “that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Well that’s too bad. (But keep reading anyway.) You see, I have this problem in life where I often do things and crack jokes only caring if I find them funny. Sometimes going out of my way to make a big show out of a really bad joke, which I think makes it funny in a really, really stupid way. I enjoy being over-the-top (as you may have noticed already) which also gets me annoyed stares and in trouble. My sense of humor is off, I’ll admit, so my bar is pretty low. I can’t even take myself seriously. There is no need to feel sorry for me, because in the end, I am easily amused.

Fozzie Bear is my idol.

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