Wednesday, August 5, 2009

There's a red moon rising on the Cuyahoga River

And as such, the Belle Isle Bella and I return from the hometown of rock. It was good to go back for a bit and (of course) to see my Tribe succeed against the Tigers once again (though that was much to the dismay of Belle Isle Bella). Father says that I need to find a way to be at every one of their games for the rest of the season. I think that would make a fun new baseball movie: Random girl is struggling team's good luck charm. Oh, how I love sports movies. They're a class all their own. So awkward in their cliched inspiration and yet...still delicious.

Speaking of which, Ninja football? Who's in? The thing practically writes itself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

The process of acclimating to a new place is always complicated. I don't even think I was entirely acclimated to the last apartment, but here I am again, in the process of learning all those little details: how to turn on the shower, where the light switches are, where the buses go from here...and, of course, trying to remember what I used to do before wifi.

I know that I did things. I was born into the digital age, but I have certainly not always had access. I spent a few formative years a little off the beaten path. has been quite a long time, and while I spend this week waiting to be reconnected to the wired world (and I am not very patient as my currently in a coffee shop status will indicate), I've gotten to think a lot about that.

I use the internet for a great deal: keeping up with current events, checking the weather, communicating with my friends, my colleagues, my employers...making sure the bus is on time, preliminary novel research, trip planning. I suppose it might be safe to say the internet is more than a little deeply ingrained into my life.

Not to mention how that effects being a librarian nowadays. Several months ago, a nice gentleman came in, wandered about confused for a moment or two and asked me in a concerned voice, "where is the card catalogue?"

Vividly, I remember the little typeset cards. There isn't anything like that in our library anymore. It really hits me with a wave of nostalgia. I love old things like those little typeset cards, but I'm not going to say the digital age is evil. As I've already established, I benefit a fair bit from it as well. Plenty has been written decrying it (for example: an article, I personally found more than a little elitist, but perhaps that is just my perception.), but as with all things...I suppose it just takes a little balance.

Speaking of which, the process of hand-printing my first chapbook will begin next week. After I have wifi so that I can look up a few things from home.

Current Reading: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"And she wrote the whole novel via e-mail"

She sits at the local coffee shop all day, sipping subtly on a cup of Earl Grey, hoping that the management doesn't see fit to kick her out as she scribbles her dreams onto the most handy surface: napkins.

My secret writing shame is that I am (in the most cliché way possible) completely enamored with the idea of writing on napkins. Probably because I've never actually done it. While I have written poetry on the back of receipts (to be later revised, of course, but sometimes those flashes of imagery don't stay with you long!), I could never actually bring myself to write on napkins. The preservation specialist in me gasps in horror at the mere thought. I am more:

  • Typing away at the keyboard at my desk, drinking coffee!coffee!coffee! and being endlessly distracted by the barn swallow that perches on my window and attempts non-harmonious communication.

Even when writing with real pen and ink, I like to have little notebooks with me at all times, even if I didn't (in times when receipt writing has to occur)...I wouldn't reach for a napkin. They tend to rip when you put a pen to them.

Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the romantic image conjured up by the idea of napkin writing. There's something of the classic Cinderella archetype in it, especially when you hear the "J.K. Rowling did it" anecdote, which. incidentally, she has refuted, despite the fact that I am sure magic napkins wouldn't rip when you put a pen to them.

I've never actually heard of any real writer who did this. I have however heard of a novel written via text messaging on a cell-phone. The modern day equivalent of napkin writing, perhaps?

Something to consider when my commute balloons to an hour and a half next week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Most Lovely Words...

Sometimes, I think the six most hideous words in the English language are "Thank you for your interest in." I've certainly heard them often enough in my life, and I'm certain that every single one of us has at least three times. The hard part about them is the fact that they are usually followed by words that go something like this: "There were many qualified applicants. You weren't one." [That's paraphrasing, but that's certainly what it feels like they are saying.]

When I decided to write, I generally accepted that those six utterly -vile- words would be part of my life for the rest of my existence.

Yesterday, however, they were followed by some lovely words, "selected to appear."

Two pieces of my poetry have been "selected to appear" (seriously, that phrase is like the Hallelujah Chorus echoing through my brain) in The Ambassor Poetry Project .

The project in general is something I'm really excited about as someone who is really coming to see this area as far more artistically profound than most people give it credit for, so even if I wasn't going to be in it I'd say to check it out.

As for me, I'm on cloud fifteen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Making My Way Back to Cleveland...

The other night, I watched my beloved baseball team play another away game here in my new home. I have done this twice and have been lucky enough to see them win both times. It always makes me very nostalgic for Cleveland to see them play. I know that's something you don't read often: Nostalgic for Cleveland.

Honestly though, I think both my old and new homes just have tiny (and by tiny I mean small giant sized) self-esteem problems.

As a young girl I always dreamed of living in New York. As an adult, while I still love the vibranacy that I feel when I visit the Big Apple, I feel my talents are more suited to the Midwestern metropoli that I've grown up among. It suprises me, actually, to see how regionalist my writing truly is. Personally, I don't see this as a bad thing. Ohio and Michigan are both much more than the media represents them to be (a.k.a. boring brain-traps from which there is no return) and they both deserve good literature written about them. These areas are most certainly -not- culturally dead.

It makes me feel like a true artist to be here. Because true artists get in on the ground floor.

If only I could separate my poetry about the locales from baseball metaphor. There's only so many times you can reference League Park and keep it fresh.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The plight of the researcher, pt. 1

I will never adjust to the dramatic temperature shifts that summer work in an office requires, methinks. It is currently almost 90 degrees out there (I don't even want to imagine what the humidity levels are; but it's certainly oppressive. This is the Midwest, after all.). In here, it's somewhere around 50. I realize we have to preserve the media. The Preservation Specialist trapped in my brain goes, "yay - low humidity and slightly chilled" but my poor goosebump covered legs are proclaiming otherwise.

I finally got around to reserving some pictoral works of Detroit history for some background research in Sebastian's story. I should be able to pick them up this afternoon and I am quite excited. Unfortunately, finding this information was significantly more difficult than the notes on Polish culture for Dosia's chapter. I find that a little odd, but I imagine the issue could be settled if I could find the time to get myself to the Bentley during research hours. They seem to have everything I need, but don't want to share any of it. *grumbles something about archivists*

Sometimes I wish that I was the type of author who could go to wikipedia for this sort of thing. Do a quick google search. Not find the answer. Make something up. But -no-...

Because that, my friends, is the way of the weak and lazy. Mine is the way of more work than strictly necessary.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

Or at least it's going to start off stormy. A transplanted Ohioan such as myself expects stormy summers rife with buzzing electric air and clingy humidity right -- before the thunderclaps rattle their way through the landscape. Which incidentally, is usually around 5 p.m., daily, on weekdays. At least they were when I used to work until 5.

It kinda "thundered" a little last night. I prepped the tea (Green Chai *bliss*) and waited...for... nothing. Oh well.

The writing goes slowly. I despair of finding niches or markets for modern ya fantasy set in rural Ohio or "Gothic horror" (I'm a touch unsure of this label, but it will do for now) traipsing it's way through various turn of the century settings. But I suppose we must press on. The Burning River (I really need a new title for this nonsense. It doesn't even take place in Cleveland, though the city of rock is mentioned...twice.) is currently at about 17K word count. Not where I had hoped to be, now in June, but getting there. Much of the tedious expository work has been done and I'm ready to tear my teeth into the meat of it now. The epic -- well, at the very least quasi-epic -- battle meat of it all.

I'm about half-way through a re-read of Lovecraft Tales. I think I shall blame that rather off-putting last sentence on that. On second thought...that just doubles the creepy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The more they remain... insane

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Clearly this also applies to my fear of public forums as well (internet social anxiety? does that exist? I must get some of my army of psych-kids on figuring that one out.) . I am going to have to come up with a schedule to keep this endeavor going.

Perhaps we shall begin with a project introduction:

My major project at the (1st - there are 2, go me) library where I work right now is weeding through our VHS tape collection, which is weird to me. I can't explain it. I suppose it's the technological obsolescence (great phrase, I try to use it as much as possible) making me feel old. Or maybe it's the fact that via this project, I learned that Paul McCartney wrote a "Liverpool Oratorio"...which is -interesting- in and of itself.

But, honestly, I am completely incapable of working on only one project at a time. And, of course, writing happens. And writing can never happen one thing a time either. I write the novel, but every so often my mind will wonder just enough to allow the plot virus beast to do this vicious little dance and chase me around the room until I crank out a story to its liking. Then we have a problem. This is a horrible habit that I desperately need to break myself of. Granted, I try to make sure that every one of my writing projects exists in completely divergent worlds -- otherwise I'd find the characters running about trying to make friends with one another as they did in Gilded Days (I'll get to that, don't you worry your head over it). Still it keeps everything a little slow going. My word count tallies can get a little sporadic to say the least.

My goal for this summer's is to buckle down on one of my main three. Which of the three, at the moment, is still dangerously up in the air.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Blog? For now...

Like any good Converse All-star wearing teenager who had a "hard time of it" (who didn't?) in high school. I have long kept (And when I say long kept, I mean going on six years now) an online journal -- I also kept, and will continue to keep as I find myself moderately addicted to the process, a paper journal. Both are quite resplendent in their contents.

However, as I grow into the fascinating twenty-something I find myself considered (and believe me, it's completely awkward to be suddenly considered an adult, when I still look in the mirror and see the "Converse All-star wearing teenager who had a hard time of it in high school"), I was confronted with a dilemma. I was still stuck on becoming a professional writer/ creative type. Every once and while people had told me I had a knack for the thing and, well, it's nice to get the ego padded every once and awhile. It's bad when the idea sticks least it was for me, now doomed to aspire to the career of traveling minstrel.

And! With everyone saying that in order to achieve this bizarre-if-you-take-ten-seconds-to-think-about-it goal, you have to have a "web presence" aka a blog, this disaster happened. So...what exactly is this?

Well, officially it's my "writing" blog and narcissistic form of self-validation and marketing. I'm also quite a few things other than a writer (as many tend to be the random thing or two), so those might crop up too on occasion. For example, I was born and raised and spent 99.9% of my life in a little heart-shaped state woefully attached to Lake Erie and now I find myself a graduate student at the University of Michigan. Ever seen those old ESPN "If it wasn't for sports, this wouldn't be disgusting" commercials? Life is just full of those dichotomies, isn't it?

I'm also a librarian of the "old school" aka archival science student aka weird person who gets all teary-eyed about really old junk, but oppositionally also a systems librarian who finds herself programming, coding, statisticing and databasing a surprisingly large amount of her time. I even know Python and Java, something I try not to admit to my poor father who programed with COBOL.

I could go on with the duality. I'll spare you.

And so, the introduction post is over for now. Maybe I'll delve into my actual writing and other such things shortly. Because that's exactly what the world needs: another blog from an aspiring authoress. I can only promise you that mine will contain occasional urban decay and far fewer sparkly things...unless it's sparkly urban decay. Move along, folks, nothing more to see here. Seriously.