Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Top Five Books, as determined at 12:27 a.m. 1-31-07 (subject to change at any time)

1. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami
2. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
3. Kafka on the Shore - Murakami
4. The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan
5. Housekeeping - Marylinne Robinson

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I visited two entirely contrasting self-images of my writing early this morning. I'm anxious to hear back from graduate schools on my acceptance status, and I've been trying to find out exactly when I should expect news, so I did a blog search, ending up on a site that listed the rate of acceptance for one of my schools at a measly 3.3%. Without having been officially rejected, I took it as a major blow to my chances. However, I also found an email in my Hotmail inbox informing me of a MySpace comment on my blog there. (It's the same thing as the previous entry, but I felt like generating some activity on my account). A college art professor had happened across my mini-essay on Batik, and he commented on my musings. He said he really liked what I had to say and asked if he could use my philsophy when he taught Batik in his classes. He also gave me a couple of suggestions on things to add in possible revisions. It was a nice feeling.

I'm working my way into writing more on my story this evening. I've already donned my writing attire, and I'm all set for a nice creative spree. So I'll leave you with just a short lyric fragment from my current artist I'm listening to. I'm not 100% sure what makes David Ford so appealing, but he speaks to me right now. It's probably the season.

David Ford - Song For The Road

So you can keep your belief in whatever
I'll wear my cynicism like a tattoo
While poets try to engineer definitions of love
You know all I can think of is you

Monday, January 22, 2007

Batik—the art of drawing on cloth with hot wax, filling in color, and melting the wax away.

It’s funny how we define our lives in this same manner. We draw out our lines, setting boundaries where things don’t mix, can’t cross. We spend our lives filling in those spots. Adding our own experiences as we see them. Sometimes the dye saturates the cloth, beads up at the edges, and we brush it away, staining our hands with vivid color.

It’s only toward the end when we desire to melt those barriers—regrets of a life with fixed boundaries, unbending will, stubborn resistance to change. We talk about altering ourselves, but the wax remains imbedded within us, rejecting the new no matter how hard we try to integrate it.

We are creatures of habit, out barriers forming our lives, enclosing our experiences. Sometimes I wish to melt that wax away, to let blue bleed into green into red, to recolor my life on a different canvas before the wax has time to cool.

I'm having trouble writing lately. Every time I sit down at the computer, I get distracted, and I can't gain the focus to actually create. Even this blog has suffered from my lack of drive. My only way of posting seems to be dredging up old musings and slapping them onto the page. Maybe I'm just taking myself too seriously. I'll admit that I'm a bit afraid of my writing. In my mind, I have prepared myself for four rejection letters to come in the next few months. In retrospect, I really should have applied to more schools, but I'm having trouble setting my goals lower than ideal.

I settled on my undergraduate study, and I really regret doing that. I should have changed my major and stuck around longer, but I had my eyes trained on the exit sign. Now I feel like I'm standing outside of some immensely popular nightclub just hoping the bouncer will let me sneak in and mingle with the writers I want to become.

In the meantime, I really need to work on my story. One of the final scenes always plays itself out while I listen to one song. I really want to write it now, but I'm not even close to an ending, and I don't want to set a finish line that my story might not cross. Patience, my friend, is something I'm short on these days. Patience is the one thing I really need to practice.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nothing new, something old

7. Insomnia on the streets of east side St. Louis

The neighbors used to laugh when I’d take Mr. Boots out for a stroll. Apparently it’s a pretty rare sight to see someone walking their cat on the east side. I guess I was somewhat ashamed too. That’s why I started going on our walks later and later each night.
As the thugs wheeled through the neighborhood, they didn’t seem to bother us. I guess that’s partially because I killed the local gang lord when he mocked me.
Yep, we walked those dark streets like we were invincible. I blinged out Mr. Boot’s collar, and no one challenged us. We ruled the sidewalk.
It’s kind of funny, you’d think the streets of east side St. Louis would be more dangerous at night, but Mr. Boots feared the sky.
Nothing knocks Mr. Boots out like sunlight, and his afternoon naps left him wide open for a coup.
But Mr. Boots was smart, street smart. He knew how to stay safe, but it was just a matter of time before he slipped up.
Mr. Boots always had a thing for the nip—catnip, that is. One afternoon, someone lured him to the sidewalk with a baggy full of the good stuff. Poor guy never saw the man with the gun.
I still stay up late—too later—and roam the east side. I just can’t sleep until that sunlight hits my body.
I tried to replace Mr. Boots, but Waddles the hamster was never one for walks. Sure, he’d roll around in that diamond-studded ball, but he kept getting stuck in the gutters. I finally gave up and put him in a cage by the window.
I walk alone now, but I wear Mr. Boot’s collar on my wrist. After all, you gotta represent.