Thursday, January 21, 2010 | By: Brianna

The Photograph That Never Was

This is a draft of the first poem that I wrote for my Writing Poetry class. We were supposed to write about a piece of art or a photograph (aka an "ekphrastic poem"), and this is what came of it! Reactions? Comments? Questions?

Camera spits.
One square of slowly developing brilliance.
Now a box full of fog,
soon an example of artistry.
Held gingerly at one slippery corner,
waved in the wind.
Grayness fades,
almost like murky water parting.
You hear the accolades in the breeze.
Shouts commending your brilliance.
"More!" They say. They want more.
More photographs, more autographs.
"It was nothing," you say. Waving.
You smile.
You look.
You see.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | By: Brianna

Some Preferences

As I attempt to write close to every day this month, I've discovered a number of preferences I've developed through the years. Going through my old writings, I was relieved to note that my handwriting has improved since 4th or 5th grade or so. Definitely good to know I don't take up half a page with three sentences of my gigantic writing. My writing is still admittedly larger than others', but it's significantly neater now. Such a relief.

- Dark black pen, ball point...preferably Bic (none of that "gray" ink, and not the ink that sinks through the paper either)
- NEVER pencil.
- Papermate blue pens, if I have to write in blue. Black wins, usually.
- Notebook over loose leaf, usually.
- Handwritten, not typed.
- Quiet, or very VERY low music.

And that's all I can think of right now. Pretty basic. I was just thinking about it and wondered if any of my quirks were odd. To me, they're perfectly normal, or maybe a little odd, but not horribly so. I mean, maybe the dark black ink is a little weird, but I can tell the difference between that icky gray-ish ink and real black ink. It just looks so much better in true black ink.

A thought on chronic writer's block:
Everything that I've ever read that offers a solution to writer's block tells me, "Just write." And I can't help but wonder, "But how am I supposed to write? I have writer's block!" It's as if those people don't understand what you're telling them. You're telling them that there's no other alternative for you but to pound your head up against a brick wall, and they tell you in that infuriatingly patient text, "Just write." So what they're saying is, you have to struggle and run into that brick wall a couple hundred times with a pen, and then it'll come tumbling down, your own personal Wonderland of infinite story lines. An oasis of inspiration. Is that right? Is the pen mightier than the brick?

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter — it's the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning." - Mark Twain
Sunday, January 10, 2010 | By: Brianna

Not A-Muse-d

I would like to take this time to set the record straight. No, I am not Greek. Yes, I am a muse. No, that does not mean that I'm going to inspire you just by being in your general presence. And no, I don't inspire just anyone. No matter how many times I explain to people, they always manage to come up with the most ridiculous questions to ask, and more often than not, they're the same questions I've answered a million times.

I live in New York, I've never been to Greece, nor will I ever go to Greece. I live in a very nice apartment down the street from a very bohemian cafe. And no, that's not a coincidence. I like the music there, okay?

I bake. Yes, bake. One taste of my famous cupcakes would have even the dullest office worker singing his own original show tune. That's right, cupcakes. Inspirational cupcakes. None of that magic touch stuff or divine inspiration, just plain old ordinary cupcakes that happen to taste pretty awesome. If I do say so myself.

But I do know people who inspire differently than myself. I mean, I can pretty much choose who receives these cupcakes. But then there are some people like that one muse who does inspire people by touching them. Boy do I feel sorry for him. Especially since he's one of those clumsy guys, always tripping all over himself, bumping into random people and sending them off to write sonnets. That whole Harry Potter fiasco? His fault. None of that was supposed to happen. That whole seven book phenomena was not supposed to exist, and now that random Scottish lady's raking in the...whatever kind of currency she uses. And who can I take credit for? A couple indie rock bands. At least I inspired them on purpose. His were all accidents. Lucky bastard.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | By: Brianna

A Class Act

First day of class invariably brings with it the promise of work. And with the promise of work comes the certainty of procrastination. Not only have I spent an ungodly amount of time on Facebook, but I have also spent a good amount of time lying face down on my bed wishing that I didn't have anything to do but knowing that if I didn't have anything to do...I would be doing the same thing.

Not only have I correctly identified a serious problem in myself, but I have also discovered a truth. A really depressing truth.

I even procrastinate when I have nothing to procrastinate.

But in my defense, half of my work has to be left unfinished, undone, etc. because I don't have the books for those classes. Which might be a legitimate excuse to me, I'm not sure what my professors would say if I offered that excuse. "I'm sorry, professor, I would have done the reading, but I didn't have the book to read. Because it's currently in transit from some unknown place I ordered it from on the Internet." Because the Internet is so reliable.

It's a bad sign when I start reading something and all the words seem to hit a wall in my brain. I'm talking about literally bouncing off my brain as if it's a trampoline. All that stuff about the death penalty shed its shoes and is now bouncing around performing impressive acrobatic stunts on the trampoline that is currently my brain. Pretty sure if I could take my brain from my skull, it would make a fantastic bouncy ball right now.

Hopefully this isn't an indication of what the rest of the semester will be like.
Friday, January 1, 2010 | By: Brianna

New Years

It's New Years.
A new year.
The year that will mark my being two whole decades old. (Because the world obviously revolves around me. Clearly.)

So in the spirit of the new year, I have a friend who is setting a goal to write at least 300 words a day, and finish at least one story a month. If I'm remembering correctly. And now...because I've read those goals, I sit here thinking to myself, "Should I do something like that? I don't write nearly enough to be considered a real writer because I barely practice."
And then I remember my track record for completing goals.

Goal: Finish all my college applications by Thanksgiving.
Result: I was lucky to finish all my college applicaitions by Christmas.

Goal: Read at least 100 (or was it 50?) books in a year.
Result: I've either a) lost track or b) forgotten to read for fun because of classwork.

Goal: Finish packing before the day before I leave.
Result: Ha ha, I think you can figure this one out.

Remembering said track record leads me to wish I could figure out why it is that I have such a bad habit of either forgetting or losing track of my goals OR just all out ignoring them. I'd like to say it's procrastination. At least, that's the reason for the first and third examples... But the second example is the kind of goal a writing goal would end up being for me. And that's a forget.
I wonder if there's a way to encourage myself to write at least once every day. Like it doesn't even matter what. I'm thinking a really pretty journal would be fun...but then there's the issue of even if I see the journal, that's not going to make me think, "Oh, right! I haven't written today! I should do that!" No, there has to be another way of keeping track when I write and how often.
Could I keep tabs on my calendar? I mean, that'll be right by my desk, if I find a way of organizing my room that way...would that work? Would that be enough? Should I pull a Stargirl and have a dish of marbles or stones or something and transfer them to another dish every time I write?
What will keep me from cheating?
Well, it's a thought.

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith