There are these people who scribe. They make my veins cry out. There are those writers who scrape my tendons. They hold mirrors up without judgment - for only you can truly judge yourself. Silence grips me in a death race embrace, but instead I choose to witness the maelstrom. There is a beauty in turning away from hideous self. It feels like walking through surprised fields of wildflowers - ones no one was supposed to discover. There are those poets, those scribes, those storytellers who disrobe before the universe. They do not concern themselves with your opinion because they know you are no more art than are they. Most of us do not see our own gentleness, our own storms, our own gasps of blue. I am thankful, but shamed for it. The balance is tipped by confusion. You are stone, beautiful, unwilling. You breach and submit. You crest and dive. There are people who spit coal for the fire.
I was tagged by celticwarriorpoet (man, it takes me ages to get round to these things, sorry!)
Why I Write
I have a million stories to tell, I prefer words to tears, I die a little inside every time I let a story go untold, words are my solace, words are all I have, words are my comfort. Simply, if I don’t write, I lose myself.
Life, truth, pain, joy, the essence of me and every person who has ever passed through.
Feel, let the words flow, pen to paper, scratching. Bursts. Long, short, somewhere in between. Bursting heart and dying soul. Write.
At the Moment
Dead Poets Society, tea, stuck in a city I hate, surrounded by pens.
Distractions. Falling in love with everything. Feeling too much, not writing enough.
A Writer Is
Anything you want them to be - a writer is. A writer was. A writer will be.
For anyone who’s curious, here is how the prose tag editorship works:
- I did not apply.
- Tumblr selects people and grants them editor status. We don’t opt in or out.
- Once selected, editors are granted the ability to give pieces a blue “prose” tag. Clicking that tag takes you to all the other selected/edited prose pieces from that day.
- A tag editor is allowed to feature 10 posts per day.
- Tumblr sends new editors one email telling them not to feature nsfw/gore, and suggests that we feature people whom we don’t follow. No other guidelines are given.
- I was told I would be an editor for thirty days. I have been an editor for over a year.
- Tumblr does not keep track of editors’ behavior, by and large.
- The featured tagging system is an old piece of Tumblr’s infrastructure. Featured tags used to be on the main page, now they’re not. They’re hard to even access if you don’t know about them from the old days.
- Featuring a post does not typically generate a lot of new traffic. A prose feature used to be a bigger deal, but now very few people follow the edited prose tag.
- Very few of the editors are active. Most editors do not actually feature 10 posts per day.
- I am allowed to feature whatever I want — as I said, there are no firm guidelines.
- In time, I’m pretty sure Tumblr is going to cut out the feature altogether, or let it slowly die since it’s not in widespread usage and they don’t broadcast it as a feature of the site anymore.
- Since Tumblr doesn’t give the editorship position a lot of guidance, and since it scarcely matters, I do basically whatever the hell I want with the limited power they have given me. Don’t worry. It’s not that big a deal.
- Reblogs are the true currency of Tumblr. If you believe in something, if you agree with it, if you think it is good, reblog it. A reblog from, say, yeahwriters will gain you hundreds of notes. A prose tag feature will gain you like four.
Consider that reading has become a mostly female pastime and that males are being better served by other media: the web, film, gaming. Of course publishers will skew toward the most profitable audience. Otherwise the world is still chasing the golden demographic of the ‘young male.’ If male writers could better serve that readership it would explode.
We’re only marginalized if we accept that status. What troubles me is the seemingly high number of younger male suicides: David Foster Wallace, Alexander McQueen, plus older men such as Spalding Grey and Hunter S. Thompson, not to mention ‘accidental’ deaths like Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Forever fucking suspicious of straight men who extensively blog/write about feminism to a young female audience.
sometimes being socially responsible means shutting the fuck up and listening really well
once upon a time, in Japan…. *white characters*
this takes place in Africa… *white characters*
our story starts in the Middle East… *white characters*
Long ago in Europe… *white characters* “for historical accuracy”
Long ago in obvious alternate version of Europe or European influence…*white characters*…for ‘historical accuracy’.
Long ago in a place influenced by Asia or Africa but still *white characters*
In a Apocalyptic/Dystopian future about systematic oppression, and suffering still *white characters*
Answering this late (the workshop was over last Sunday), but I suppose it’s better to wrap it up after the fact anyway.
The bad parts were few and far between. Lack of sleep was killing me and I ended up drinking close to 8 cups of coffee a day—that resulted in that nervous energy where you feel sweaty on the inside. That was really the only true negative. Flying standby was awful, but the price made up for that and I had a good friend helping me through the process, watching the flights as they came to tell me how my chances for landing a seat looked for each leg of the trip.
Overall, the entire week was good. There were lots of lectures and panels and such—and I don’t really go in for that sort of thing—but they were entertaining. My class was diverse and my teacher for the workshop was great. I was amazed by the things people have trouble with and amazed by the things people feel good about. “I don’t know how to write dialogue but I love injecting philosophy into the theme of a story…” Stuff like that. It was crazy seeing all of these people attempting the same things as me but in completely different ways. That may have been the best part—seeing the different work methods so I can say, “Well that’s stupid, my way is better,” or, “I never thought of that, I’ll have to try it.” This all probably sounds very vague. That’s what hard about these ‘creative’ things—there’s no way to accurately describe it.
Here’s what’s concrete:
— Nick Flynn remembered me from a reading two years ago and we spoke often throughout the week. He’s a good guy and we’re hoping to have another reading together soon (aka I’m twisting his arm into it).
— A few days ago an editor for a good mag reached out to me to send some poems their way. They did this because of my having attended the workshop. Poems aren’t my strong suit, but I did have some work I felt happy enough with to submit their way.
— I got to meet two editors and one agent during the workshop. One editor was lukewarm but a good enough person to talk to; the second editor was pretty generous and seemed interested in my work; the agent was really great and wanted to take a look at my work—however, the agent was very clear that I should wait until I’m ready, so that’s what I’m going to do. I have no intentions on sending half-polished work to someone I could be entering a “career” partnership with, or however I should put that. So I’m going to do exactly as the agent said and take my time getting everything right.
— I did a reading. Not a ton of people showed up but those that did kept approaching me throughout the week to say how much they enjoyed my story. That was nice.
— I met a ton of people that I hope to keep in touch with.
— The state of Oregon has no sales tax and wine is as cheap as three dollars a bottle. We’re not talking Night Train or Wild Irish either. Actual, corked bottles of fair-tasting cabernet.
So, yeah, a good week. Anybody that contributed money to my GoFundMe will be getting their stuff (photographs, six worders, etc.) in the coming weeks!
Q: Today you saw the children lying on the beach. What was it like to see this but be unable to help?
Tyler Hicks: It was clear that these children were beyond help. I was very close to three of the four children who were killed and it was clear that they had been killed instantly. Had there been some way to help them I certainly would have. Because Gaza is so small ambulance crews arrive almost immediately when something happens.
Image: A civilian carries one of four Palestinian cousins killed by an Israeli air strike while playing on a beach in Gaza, by Tyler Hicks via The New York Times. Read the Times’ interview with Hicks about reporting from Gaza. Select to embiggen.
Not writing related, but seriously, wtf Tumblr??? You can’t just drop a fucking image of dead Palestinian children onto my Dash as a “suggested blog” post with no trigger warnings, nothing.
I reblogged this as a text post so that the image would be hidden from you guys. But I’m really mad, that’s some fucked up shit.
“You have to surrender to your mediocrity, and just write. Because it’s hard, really hard, to write even a crappy book. But it’s better to write a book that kind of sucks rather than no book at all, as you wait around to magically become Faulkner. No one is going to write your book for you and you can’t write anybody’s book but your own.”
Cheryl Strayed (via maxkirin)
This was quite a journey! I spent the better part of a day going back and forth with a guy that I was not entirely sure was for real at first, then I absolutely got fooled, and then I realized I got fooled. It was fun. The guy said some LEGITIMATELY funny stuff when he was “in character.” And it all ended in a way that I felt good about.
It’s pretty much all laid out in the screencaps, But let me elaborate here:
HEY YOUNG MEN! I know it seems like women complain a lot about how they are represented in media, including fiction, and how it seems like they want entertainment tailored specifically to them, and how they seem to want ALL of pop culture to be politically correct or feminist-ized or whatever it is you think they want, but really, what’s happening is that women are tired of seeing garbage women characters in most of our entertainment. And they’re wondering, Would it really be so much trouble to make more realized female characters? You could still have all your CGI and action and science fiction and drama and swords and stuff, but the female characters could be a little more fleshed out and interesting. And the entertainment would still be good and would, in fact, be better.
Guys, instead of thinking, “Hey, not everything has to be politicized,” try thinking, “I wonder what it would be like for me if the situation were reversed, and how I’d feel if in the vast majority of the entertainment I consumed, the male characters were few and far between and then mostly used as talking props & plot devices. I wonder if I’d get kinda tired of that and occasionally I’d say something, even a little joke, just to ease the annoyance a little.”
Fellows. Listen to the women in your lives. Ask them questions. It will change your perspective for the better. Years ago, I got into a brief argument with two female friends of mine about a movie— it does not even matter which movie— that they viewed as sexist and I did not. I couldn;t even fathom how they could see it that way. I tried to argue that it was not sexist. In recounting our discussion to another party, it was pointed out to me that they might have a different viewpoint based on their life experiences, and that it was not for me to tell them that their interpretation was incorrect. And that I was probably getting defensive about it because if the movie was sexist, it followed that my liking it would make me appear sexist. And that’s when I realized that none of this was about me, and maybe I should shut up and listen and try to understand. And also to be more aware of things like this and develop not just my sympathy, but my empathy.
I will only ever be able to empathize so much with women, because my experience as a white male in America is vastly different from that of anyone who is not that. But I can relate to:
- not being taken seriously
- not being listened to
- being dismissed
- being condescended to
- having something explained to me that I already understand
And I having had those experiences, I am now more inclined to TRY to understand where someone is coming from if they are telling me they are having a similar experience with our culture.
So guys: just try. You don’t even really have to dig that deep. Think about your own experiences as a person, then apply that to someone else. It gets easier the more you do it, and it makes your life better.
Anyway, I hear Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is pretty good!
- Creating a Race (2)
- Creating Animals (2)
- Disease (2)
- Ecosystems (2)
- Evolution (and Space)
- Flora and Fauna
- Inventing Species
- List of Legendary Creatures
- Night Vision/Color Vision
Constructed Language (Conlang)
- Basics/Phonology (2) (3)
- Conlang Guide
- Conlang vs. English
- Creating a Language (Revised)
- Culture + Language
- Curse Words
- How to Create Your Own Language
- How to Create a Language
- IPA Pronunciation
- Making Up Words
- 7 Deadly Sins
- Alien Cultures (2)
- Alternative Medieval
- Avoiding Cultural Appropriation
- Avoiding Medieval Fantasy (2)
- Avoiding One-Note Worlds
- Avoiding Utopia
- Change (2)
- Class/Caste System (2)
- Designing Intellectual Movements
- Everything (2) (3)
- Gender-Equal Societies
- Historical Background for Ideas (2)
- Matriarchy (2)
- Static World
- Wandering Peoples
- Basic Economics
- Currency (2) (3)
- Current Global Economies
- Economic Systems
- Economics (1500-1800 AD)
- Economics and Government
- Economics for Dummies
- International Trade (2)
- Marxist Communism
- Medieval Economics
- Schools of Economic Thought
- Socialism (2)
- Types of Economic Systems
- World Economy (2)
- Clothing Terminology (2) (3) (4)
- Clothing Reference
- Education (2)
- Fame and Infamy
- Food (2)
- Food Timeline
- Collective/Traditionalist Societies
- Creating a Government
- Empire (2)
- Fancy Latin Names for Government
- History and Politics
- International Relations (2)
- Justice System
- Non-monarchical (2) (3)
- Oppressive Government
- Political Ideologies
- Rise and Fall of Civilizations
- Secret Societies
- Shapeshifter Society
- Totalitarianism, Atmosphere Necessary For
- Tribal Society
- Types of Government
- Writing Politics
Hi, follow Little River and submit your poems. I want the river to be the only river you see for miles and miles, everything you ever built floating toward you. Away from you, Carried for you. Be a part of the first issue! There is no theme, just the work you feel proud of. You can send me any questions you have at kdecember or Little River.