Confidence and Adversity Shouldn’t Fight

I had that moment again.

The garrulous absurdity to actualize my station in life out loud, in front of other people. A verbal check-in/confirmation: I am at where I planned to be this time two years ago. I am on schedule.

The result of that mis-slip of affirmation: a reminder someone else hasn’t got it all figured out.

It’s not a competition, homie. Nor is it your role to turn on the shit spigot. We should take moments to celebrate other people’s achievements. We should swim in their wakes. It’s a terrible aspect of American social conditioning: if someone is happy, do your part to shut it down, immediately!

Two months, people. My first fiction novel is available to you in TWO. MONTHS. My project management skills have gotten me to the point of final editing towards full publication, but good ol’ gumption got me to proclaim that I exist in an artistic vocation, full time. That’s the kind of woman I felt I deserved to be right now: an artist in bloom.

So perhaps my liberty in proclaiming a collected sense of self-worth was too outrageous, too ostentatious. I felt it erupt, I felt the knowing of the thing erupt from my mind and develop into spoken word. I expressed joy, and in that expression, the reaction was…oh, I’m not there yet.

There is a way to get there, though. Jump on the shoulders of giants. Swim in the same channels as those who care to venture in the same waters with you. But don’t self-loathe about it. Self-celebrate about it. Have self-faith, you’ll only develop pure confidence from there.

Today I looked on my blog page and saw the countdown tally had shifted from 3 to 2 months and I feel excited about it. I feel relieved, really. I am finishing what I started, what I set out to do. And when that person folded inward, when he admitted, ‘I’m not there yet,’ I said, it’s ok. I’m here. For you. Let me slingshot you in the direction you want to go. Let me be your muse.

And then I asked, ‘What is it I can do to help you on your journey?’

He’s still thinking about it. But it’s good that he’s thinking about it.

Two quotes I recently mentioned in conversation, one acquired from The Dude himself, the beautiful Jeff Bridges. The other quote is straight from Douglas Adams’ final book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Omnibus, Mostly Harmless. Both were applicable in the actualization I experienced today:

[Jeff Bridges]

“I think that it’s not only the same fight that you have with your spouse, but it’s the same fight that everyone has with everyone—everyone. And basically the fight is: You don’t get it.”

You don’t get it?

“You don’t get it! What is, for me, being alive. And what you do to me. And the thing is: That’s true! I don’t know how you feel, what it is to be you. But that’s something to kind of celebrate and respect and honor! And that’s, that’s what we have in common. None of us, none of us, get each other. So you have to just be with that.”

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[from Mostly Harmless]

You cannot see what I see because you see what you see. You cannot know what I know because you know what you know. What I see and what I know can’t be added to what you see and what you know because they are not the same kind. Neither can it replace what you see and what you know because that would be to replace you yourself.

Von’s Party Mix! or, Idiosyncratic Writing Tactics

The ol’ working-out-a-scene-while-doing-cardio helped piece together the revamped opener to Act Two. This gem of a song popped up on the playlist and encouraged the creepiness forward:

Listening to this conjured up an intuitive conversation between the protagonist and one of the super beings:

I have this song playing off a balcony as the protagonist pursues a love interest:

This one’s on that random. I would love to sing this sometime this holiday season:

Think I’ll catch a nap now.

To Read Or Not To Read?

Original Post Date May 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM

The author weighs in on the opinion of reading fiction to qualify to write fiction.

“To be a good fiction writer you have to read fiction.”

Is this true? I’ll offer substance for both arguments.

Don’t Read In Order To Write

Many writers’ blogs warn of the death of the book, but I’m not that apocalyptic. Imagination in and of itself is not dead. Video game and movie plots interpreted from novels have evoked so much curiosity that people are investing in the original medium. For example, this past Monday I took myself on an Artist’s Date to watch Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I read this work in 7th grade, and then again in 10th grade, and revisited it a week ago. When I watched Baz’s version, I truly enjoyed the story. But one thing didn’t change since 7th grade: I still can’t stand Daisy Buchanan! During Baz’s interview on The Colbert Report, he mentioned there were more sales of the book leading up to his movie’s release than there were sold collectively when the author was alive.

I’m reading Ian Fleming’s 007 series as my summer book challenge. As Fleming wrote Bond, he considered how the character would appear on screen as well as along his pages. Was he reading a whole bunch of mystery novels and collaborating with other authors in the same genre? Not at all. Fleming was writing in one medium, but considering another medium as he typed his words. This was the beginning of the 1950s, y’all. How could this not be applicable in the Twenty Teens?

Read In Order To Write

From an artistic standpoint, this makes sense. During the development phase of I Blew Up Juarez, I read a myriad of works, fiction and non-fiction, as research and to supplement my story presentation. Of course, avoiding abject plagiarism or mimicking. I am my own artist, and my story is delivered with my creative essence. However, there were specific works that I wanted to experience to support the messages I want to convey in my novel.

From a marketing standpoint, this also makes sense. If you’re writing in a certain genre, you’re gonna want to attract the readership of similarly focused authors. So if I want to promote a book that features a strong female protagonist challenged by supernatural beings, I would look up works in a similar vein and read them to get an idea of how those authors present that type of story.

I contend you don’t have to be a book reader to love a good story, and thanks to the imagination and creativity of the digitally-inclined, a good story can be enjoyed in a multimedia format. Such is my business model. I look forward to releasing I Blew Up Juarez as an e-book and a physical paperback. I absolutely see this work in movie format. My editor thinks it could be a video game. My question is: where are we on action figures? Are they still a thing…?