Posts Tagged 'Future'

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

Pink Fireworks, Jaffrey 2010

For the first time ever yesterday, I went to the Jaffrey Festival of fireworks.  Let me give you some stats on them:

Length: 30 minutes.
Spectators: estimated 40,000.
Emergency vehicles spotted at the scene: 10-ish.
Children waving glow-lightsabers: Upwards of 200.

Basically, it’s a fireworks show put to music.  And since I live in The Sticks, I think that’s pretty awesome.  I was told that this year was incredibly less exciting than previous years, which amazes me further, because as a n00b, I was amazed this year.  Entry fee was $8, and we had to sit on a hill, but I wouldn’t do it any other way.  Perfect view, and the walk was less than a mile to his grandmother’s house, so we didn’t have to fight all the riddikulus traffic.

In fact, if it weren’t for Bryan’s sister’s obnoxious boyfriend (ahhh, relationship tongue-twister!) the walk back would have been utterly peaceful and perfect.  He was just captain obnoxious.  Oh yeah.  And we saw the tech that got fired from our workplace for downloading porn onto work machines.  He didn’t recognise me (hallelujah!) but he did recognise Bryan (sucks to be him) so I booked it and we ended up a bit ahead of everyone else.

But the fireworks were wicked.  I’d like to make a day of it next year, if I can.  But it’s hard to plan that far ahead.  I mean… who knows where my life will be then?  Louise (big boss lady) already took Bryan in for a chat and suggested the management track for him.  She hasn’t had such a chat for me, and I don’t know if I’m offended or relieved.  The company won’t be losing much if they lose me:  I’m a good team worker n’all but I don’t bring in the dough like my boyfriend does.

That was a digression.  My bad.

L’anyhoodle.  I had a long last 36 hours, and my 2pm to 10pm shift tomorrow promises to be a doozy, so I’m going to check my blogroll, then it’s off to sleep for me!

Bonne soir, mes amies!

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The Slush Pile

In a recent entry, Nathan Bransford (San Francisco agent extraordinaire) wrote about something called the “slush pile“.  Essentially, he explained that this “is a repository of hopes and dreams for the authors who populate it, and a Herculean and Sisyphean task for those charged with making the pile go away to make way for the deluge still to come. The slush is full of half-baked ideas, the truly out-there, the very occasional undiscovered gems, but mostly good-solid efforts by perfectly respectable writers, who are up against simple math that simply isn’t in their favor: maybe one in a thousand, if that, make it from slush pile to publication with a major publisher, and the odds are getting steeper by the day.”  The image I get in my head of that is like a pile of dusty gemstones, lost and forgotten by a dragon who (rightfully) found himself interested in something bigger and shinier.

As I read his entry (which mostly touches on the expansion of e-books and equal-opportunity-publishing-thanks-to-things-like-Kindle), I found myself missing the point entirely and straying to think… I have my own “slush pile”.  It’s certainly smaller than the one Bransford is talking about; perhaps it would be more just to call it a “slush puddle”.  It’s the place where all the good ideas go.  There are plots with no characters, characters with no story, old first chapters, half-written stories, short stories I’m not fond of… all these things that will never probably see light again.  There are so many good ideas in the world that there is no way everything can be recognized.  So we writers – like agents, editors, and publishers – only pluck the biggest, reddest apples from the trees.  A lot gets lost in translation, for better or worse (usually better).

The writing world is still hard, though.  Even if you’ve picked your reddest apple and given it to the trickiest hag to deliver, that doesn’t mean Snow White is going to want to eat it.  This week, she may be partial to kiwis.  Even people with great manuscripts and amazing agents (and I would never, ever try to publish without an agent, but that’s my personal belief) may never get published, and that’s the way the world works.

Even outside of being a writer, working in that industry is difficult.  It’s all about the people you know.  Bransford has written a blog entry on this, too, and he says that pretty much the only way to get in is to know someone already there, or if you’re lucky enough to get an unpaid internship… count your blessings.  I just did a search of agencies and I personally would have to move to New York City to even have close enough access to one.  Publishing companies?  I’d have to go to Boston.  Since I live in New Hampshire and currently work in corporate retail, there is no way I could afford to go to either of those cities and live on an unpaid internship.  Yikes.  So what then?

Then, we cut corners.  Maybe we dream of editing fantasy YA, but the closest thing we’ve got is a travel magazine, and that’s still an hour’s drive for an unpaid internship.  Still, it’s better than Boston or New York (with all the love in my heart), so that’s what next summer will look like for me, with a little bit of luck.  I don’t want to be a person thrown into a slush pile… shiny, but not shiny enough.

Meanwhile, keep rubbing elbows with the people that you know.  Because they may make all the difference.

P.S. If you don’t follow Nathan Bransford’s blog and you want to be a writer… do it.

Matchmaker

Heather and John at Hampton; July 8, 2007.

“Matchmaker, matchmaker, you know that I’m still very young… please… take your time?  Up to this minute I misunderstood that I could get stuck for good.” ~ Matchmaker, from the musical Fiddler on the Roof.

I have match-made once in my life that I can think of.  They were two of my friends from different worlds, one massively depressed, and the other a bubbling ray of sunshine.  She liked to help people.  He needed help.  I didn’t expect Andy and Vilmary to become a couple, but they did.  She met him by reading over my shoulder as I cruised Facebook during a college English course.  It was a bad plan.  See, they were really happy for a while, but it was all about sex.  Sexuality.  Sexualism.  Any other word I can stick “sex” into.  I used to want to scream at her for having somewhat lewd conversations with him on the phone and via webcam at three-in-the-freaking-morning while I was trying to sleep.

They are the reason I am hesitant to match-make my friends again.  See, they were really happy and there was a heck of a lot of unresolved sexual tension between them for a while, but now, anything I hear about them is raging red hate.  I hear from her how much of a soulless, heartless pain-in-the-ass he is.  I hear from him what a dumb, manipulative bitch she is.  I never hear anything positive.  I feel like I’ve created this monstrous relationship of negative energy that seeps out of the black lagoon and wants to eat my soul.

Okay, yeah, it may not be all my fault.  I mean, if he cared about living past the age of twenty-five, it would be okay.  If she didn’t decide to mess with his head and piss him off for fun every now and again, it would be okay.  And of course, I’m not psychic, and I couldn’t anticipate these things happening, but nonetheless… I still feel responsible.  Without me, these people would never have met.  And then there wouldn’t be so much hate and angst in their lives.

I have this thing about angst.  I really don’t like it.  It makes me grumpy.  Probably explained why CAPSLOCK!Harry and I don’t get on so well.

Relationships are so hard to determine.  Unless I can very clearly see that this person is no good, I don’t have anything negative to say.  Like Heather and John.  They practices?  Not my thing.  I didn’t much enjoy hearing about all their sexual encounters, and I felt that for a sophomore and senior in high school, they had a heck of a lot of sketchy ones.  But who am I to judge?  I let it be.  At any rate, they were happy.  And Heather?  She doesn’t do happy easily.  So seeing her smile instead of angsty and depressed was a good thing.  I could never have predicted that the relationship would end around three years with massive amounts of  cheating and neglect going on.  Bad stuff.  Bad times.  Big mess.  And that wasn’t my fault.  So I know that relationships go awry even without my help.  But that doesn’t keep me from being hesitant.

See, I love Bryan.  Really, I do.  I mean it when I say “love”.  I know I’m going to be with him, we’ve already begun (half-jokingly) planning our wedding and I have names for the children which he likes.  For anyone who is interested, there will be three children, two girls and a boy because I totally have control over that.  Angela Piper, Tristan Dorian, and Sonora Essylte.  I’ve got that covered.  But seriously, my own relationship is always rocky.  Sometimes I want to punch Bryan in the face just to get him to leave me alone (he can’t bug me if he’s unconscious, ja?).  I love him, but at the same time, I freaking wish he’d leave me alone.  But I know he’s crazy about me, and in the end, three years going in, that’s enough to work through the little things.  I have that much faith in myself, and I have seen him work hard to do the same (though, granted, I’ve had more than one person tell me I should have dumped him a long time ago, for various different reasons).  Our relationship is a little unhealthy and a little dysfunctional, but we shouldn’t believe all that cockamaymee bull crap about happily ever after being perfect and Prince Charming on a silver steed.  My relationship is dysfunctional and unhealthy but it’s also healthy and wonderful and we make a really great team when it matters.  I made the choice to be in that relationship.

I just don’t feel right helping other people with their choices.  I feel pushy.  And responsible.

Relationships can be a nightmare.  Or they can be amazing.  It’s really up to us in the end:  are we going to be selfish and make it all about ourselves?  Or is it going to be for the greater good?

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Health ReportHealth Report: I’ve eaten 1668 calories today and burned off 908.  That keeps me under my daily allotted – rock and roll!  I even included the ice cream sundae I haven’t eaten yet into that estimate, so I should be golden today.  Working copy center burns a lot of calories.  Making money and burning calories for the win!

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Random SqueeRandom Squee: One of my improv students posted this amazing, rocking video from YouTube on his Facebook profile and it makes me giggle.  I’ve watched it twice.

Keep Moving Forward

Sammy, Eric, and Eddie walking downtown.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney.

Many of my friends are juniors and seniors in college.  Those who aren’t in college are juniors and seniors in high school.  There are some others who are already out of college and I am finding that we’re all at a loss right now.  Some of us have loose assurances:   I have a job, I’m going to college, I’m getting married.  We lean on the cornerstones in our life and depend on them to hold us through all the rest.  But we don’t have a lot going for us, my generation.  Those cornerstones aren’t going to last forever.

It’s a terrible thing to do, but I purposefully keep myself ignorant of the things going on in the world; especially things going on in the United States.  Okay, I read up on the earthquake in Haiti a few months ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye on the Icelandic volcanoes, but other than that?  I rarely check the news.  I do it on purpose, because I know that the economy is faltering.  It never goes up… it drops, stabilizes a little, and then drops again.  That means I’m going to have a heck of a time making a living.  Getting married.  All of that will be nearly impossible.  If nothing else, it’s going to be really hard.

I’m not supposed to think about those things, though.  It makes me depressed, and then I talk to others about it, and it discourages them, and in the end, nobody is happy.  I’m trying to think more positively.  I keep telling myself that all those things I want?  Guess what?  Want isn’t need.  I don’t need them.  And if I don’t buy them, I will have more money for things that I do, in fact, need.  Lately, that hasn’t kept me from buying them.  I’m absolutely incorrigible like that.  But I think I can do better, and in fact, I have to.  How many pairs of pants does a person need, after all?  That sort of thing.

There really are a million ways to cut corners financially.  But I am one of the lucky ones.  You see, I actually have a job.  It’s got no promises attached, but it’s a job, and that’s more than a lot of people can say.  I have a friend who’s getting married in a year, and he doesn’t have a job.  I don’t want to tell him this, but chances are he’s not going to find one.  And if he does, it won’t be a stable job.  He’s a really nice guy, sweet, a hard-worker… but it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the only people hiring don’t want nice.  Nice is an accessory.  They’re looking for vicious.  I’m not vicious.  I’m lucky I got a job before they started looking for that as a trait.

As a junior in college, I don’t know where I’m going next.  I’ll keep working my job, I suppose.  Start paying off my college loans (yeah, those will be fun).  Even with college loans, I’m lucky.  I don’t even begin to have loans in the quantities that some people have, so I’ll be struggling a little less.  I’ll almost definitely get a second job.  I’d love to go to grad school and get a Masters, but who could afford that?  Besides, I’m looking at Brown University.  It’s an Ivy League school- talk about expensive!  So I’ll have to deal.  Especially since what I want to get my Masters in is entertainment-related.  Uses for a Masters in Creative Arts and Writing isn’t particularly helpful, and Brown is in Rhode Island, so I’d have to live over there.

But you know what?  Despite the worries of the world, I’m going to keep moving forward.  I am an artist, and nobody can stop that.  Nobody can change that in me.  I take photographs, because I want to remember what that moment looked like, not because I’m trying to sell them.  I paint so I can see what my emotions look like on canvas.  I write because I have so many stories to tell.  I act because I know so many characters, I want to give them all justice.  I smile because I am happy, and I smile because it makes me happy.  And nobody and nothing can take that away from me.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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