Saturday, October 22, 2011 | By: Brianna

Question Saturday

Q:  What's your interpretation of a recent dream you had?

A:  One of my keys was bent in half.  My RA key.  I would say that has something to do with my apprehensions about my job and fulfilling expectations to the best of my ability.  Performance evaluation this week, so...yeah.

Q:  Why do you think people say someone's "bananas"?

A:  Because saying that they're "kiwis" is weird?

Q:  Why is it important to be genuine?

A:  Because the alternative is so difficult.  If you spend all your time lying about who you are, what you like, where you're from, etc., it's just difficult to keep all the lies straight, and then if you figure out that the person you've been ingenuine towards is someone you actually would rather be genuine would just be way too complicated to straighten out all the deceptions.  Besides, would they like your genuine self?  All sorts of complications there.  Being genuine's just easier.

Q:  What happens in the latest movie you saw?

A:  The latest movie I saw was Puss in Boots, and I would tell you about it...but it hasn't been released in theatres yet.  (Spoilers...)

Thank you to IWU Homecoming for giving us the chance to see Puss in Boots before it's official release!

Q:  What was your major in college?  How did you choose it?

A:  English Writing.  I knew I wanted to do something with writing.  At least, I was pretty sure.  It was a toss up between creative writing and theatre.  At some point in second semester of my freshman year I spent the majority of my time explaining my actions with "and that's why I should be an English major..." so I declared an English major because it was simple, natural, and it just felt like the right thing to do.

"Write a lot, but read even more."
- Amanda Hocking
Saturday, October 15, 2011 | By: Brianna

Even More Things I've Learned

Today is a good day.  It's also a spectacularly good day for writing a list.  So here we go!

More Things I've Learned:
  • Carry a fork.  It's good for eating ice cream, pudding, and eggs.  All in the same day.
  • The Kool-Aid jammers (or whatever they're called) will not tell you where they're made/manufactured.  You will be convinced they come from China.
  • Do not kid about buying alcohol for the underage resident of the underage RA who's with you at the time...
  • There will be a question of coincidence versus fate when you pick up that trashy romance novel to find the name of a person you know in the synopsis.
  • The cashier at Target will question your intelligence.  You will resent this because you go to the better school in town.
  • The answer is always "pretend you like someone else" if someone's creeping on you.
  • Ukulele on a porch swing?  Always yes.
  • I've got the moves like Jagger.  Sometimes.
  • My favorite fall jacket is eerily similar to my boyfriend's.  Although his probably doesn't have a hole in the pocket.
  • Nothing in "Go Getter Greg" was planned...naaaah....
  • Kyle just wants to dance.
  • I am only semi-cliche.  (Teddy bear with a butter knife.)
  • Hugs in parking lots.  That's it.
  • Drinks that are neon-colored are delicious.  And taste like Kool-Aid.
  • "I'll have a shot if she does."  Challenge accepted!
  • Some contacts are frightening.
  • Yes, you can make a scene in Target.  And Kroger.  And Jewel.
  • Bats don't like being woken up and will not "glide" if you drop them in the bushes.
  • Seize every "loppertunity" and push down dead trees.
  • Hang out in the kitchen and you will get fed cookies.
  • The Brat Stop is terrifying.
  • River Song is only slightly better than I thought she was.
  • Notes are always better and more educational if you write them in pretty pen.
  • The first time you use your disappearing TARDIS mug, you will use it to eat vanilla ice cream (from goodness only knows how long ago) with a fork.
  • You will wake up after a night on the town with a strange craving for greasy food.
  • I have written over 40 poems as part of my poem-a-day project (and I have just realized that this can be made into the PAD project.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.)
  • It doesn't matter how determined you are to "work" on Fall Break Day, you will spend the majority of your time travelling around town, ranting to your friend in a sorority house, and worrying about the work you need to get done.
That's all I've got for now, we'll see if I can learn more things before the end of this weekend!

"Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught."
- Winston Churchill
Thursday, October 13, 2011 | By: Brianna

Just Write

"Just write."

You have no idea how many times I've been advise to "just write."  And I'll admit it, I've been guilty of advising someone to "just write" when they're stuck.  But what does it mean?

Whenever someone tells me to "just write," I feel an unyielding desire to yell back at them: "And then what?"  Or "duh."  The whole point is that I have writer's block.  If I were to "just write," where would that get me anyway? When I "just write," I write about writer's block.  Or I write about how whiny I am.  Or I just whine.  Or I write lists.  Lots of lists.

So "just write"?  I understand the idea behind it, the idea that you should just write without trying to censor yourself, without correcting your typos or your grammar (it's ten times easier to do that on the computer because the "backspace" button is just so easily accessible...).  Just write and write and write until you plow through the writer's block and end up on the other side with...what?  A page full of randomness?  Granted, a page full of randomness really wouldn't be that bad, but what are you supposed to do with that?

Just write.
I've read that writer's block is merely a refusal to write.  So basically writer's block is a coward's excuse for not writing.  It's kind of like giving yourself permission to be lazy or give up.  Which is why I write about it.  Because every time I think of that saying, I feel guilty.  So instead of just sitting around and wallowing in self-pity about my writer's block, I write about it.  And it's great.  I kid you not, the majority of the things that I'm proudest of are actually about writer's block.  And some of them you can still tell that they're about writer's block.  Mostly because the title tells you so.  Or because the characters reference it frequently.

So write.  Allow the randomness.  Give permission to your inner child to come out and play for a little while without censure.  Because that's what it's all about, right?  Writing.  Creative self-expression.  And if you're not going to have fun with it, what's the point of doing it?  (That's another rant for another day.  Why do people insist on doing things that they don't enjoy?  We'll think about that later...if I can remember...)

Granted, "just write" is a lot less infuriating than "let the real Brianna write," because at least "just write" is a piece of advice that I can follow.  But for a second, can we ponder that second bit of advice?  "Let the real Brianna write."  So who's this "real Brianna"?  And how can I let her write if I don't even know if she exists?  Maybe I should let her "just write" and I'll get that great American novel onto the shelves.

"A truly creative person removes all self-imposed limitations."
- fortune cookie
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | By: Brianna


Q:  In what ways have you traveled?

A:  I feel like this question might be a little mundane, so we'll see where it takes me, and if it gets iffy, we're getting a second question.  Cool?  Cool.  Great.

Car.  Of course I've traveled by car.  Being American, and living in a city, it's a little difficult to avoid traveling by car.  Especially since a lot of the most important places (grocery stores...) we go are a car ride away as opposed to being within walking distance.  I mean, Dominick's is within walking distance of my house, but we prefer going to Jewel, don't ask me why, I have no idea.  The farthest we've driven as a family was Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania when I was in 8th grade.  It was pretty intense.  I remember driving through Ohio and thinking that though it was fairly boring, it was quite pretty!
Police car.  I was not arrested.  You figure that one out.

Airplane.  I've been to California (twice), Arizona (twice), and England/Scotland via plane.  And listing all of those out I've discovered just how much time I've spent on airplanes, which isn't as much time as I originally thought.  Strange.

Train.  I've traveled by multiple types of trains.  I've of course been on the subway/"L" in Chicago (because SURPRISE! that's where I'm from).  My mom, my brother and I used to take the train downtown to the museums when I was littler.
I've been on the Metra to get to downtown Chicago, because the blue line doesn't go to Union Station.  And that's just irritating.  The Metra is nice, it's double-deckered, and I always have to sit on the bottom level because all the business people sit on the top level and doze off.  Jealous.  They sell tickets on the train, and they're old-fashioned looking and you have to clip them to the seatback in front of you.  Then of course the conductors wander around the train in old-fashioned uniforms, which might be a little strange considering the streamlined metal exterior, but hey.
I've also been on the Amtrak, which is the nicest way to get from school to Chicago.  When I get a window seat, it's pretty much awesome.  When no one sits next to me, it's even better.  Unfortunately, that doesn't happen often enough for me to hope for it.

Bus.  City buses, suburban buses, double decker buses (in London and Scotland), and long distance buses, I've been on them all.  It's really thrilling, I know.

Boat.  I've been on small boats like a little one motor dodad, and then I've also been on a sailboat on Lake Michigan, which was spectacular.  It was a beautiful day, it was Talk Like a Pirate Day, and I got to help steer.  What could be better than that?

Horse.  I feel like this shouldn't count, because we weren't really traveling, but I still rode a horse, so...we're going to count it for now.  It was at a dude ranch.  Two, actually.  I've ridden a horse...three times.

Person.  I've hiked.  I'm a Girl Scout, there's little chance that I could get out of that one.
Piggy back rides.  There's nothing more to say about that.

"I travel not to go anywhere, but travel to go.  I travel for travel's sake.  The great affair is to move."
- Robert Louis Stevenson
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | By: Brianna


So it's October 4th.  I've successfully completed Poem-a-Day September, and I'm slowly moving into Poem-a-Day October with a different Poem Keeper for the month.  Methinks that if I continue throughout the year I'm going to use different people as Poem Keepers so that I have a different audience month after month.  Or I'll just switch back and forth between these two fantastic Poem Keepers.  I haven't decided yet because I'm not even sure that I'm going to extend this into November.

BUT there's something huger that happens in November.

National Novel Writing Month.  (NaNoWriMo)

So there's that.

I've never done NaNoWriMo.  For a couple reasons:
1.  It terrifies me.
2.  That's a lot of work to do all in one month.
3.  I'm already spread thin life-wise.
4.  It terrifies me.
5.  Did I mention it terrifies me?

I have two friends in a novel writing class this semester, and even that seems daunting.  The idea of writing an entire novel in the course of a single month just seems like insanity.  And yet the more poetry I write during my business classes, the more the idea appeals to me, despite the terror.  I know for a fact that I would have absolutely no time.  I already have no time, so I don't know where the novel-writing time would come from, but part of me wonders if that's where I can relocate my Facebook/Twitter time.  Though let's be honest, I would still do both of those things.  That would also end up putting this blog on the backburner, I know it.

But I'm thinking: why not?  I could always start it and see where it goes.  If I write something that ends up short but I manage to finish it anyway, that's something.  I haven't been writing a lot of prose lately because of the obvious reason that I'm not comfortable with it after the whole "let the Real Brianna write" fiasco that was my short story cycle class.  And also because I'm still suffering from a slight identity crisis in that I STILL don't know who the heck this "Real Brianna" is anyway.  I really just wish someone would tap me on the shoulder and say, "Hey, this is the Real Brianna, you should really sit down and chat!"  That would make my life infinitely simpler.

If I don't end up doing NaNoWriMo, I'm thinking that I still need to force myself to write some prose.  I've been in this state of poetic bliss recently, and that's great and all, but I feel not very well-rounded.  And then there's the guilt that I'm abandoning a form that I came into college believing I would write for all time.  Which is a strange experience, but I'm living with it.  So I'm thinking...a short story a week?  That could be do-able along with my poem-a-day project.  SO much writing, but it would be SO good for me.  Like eating vegetables.  Or exercising.  Or getting eight hours of sleep.  [We're going to bypass the fact that I don't do all of those things...]

So writing!  Let's actually commit to practicing, shall we?

"Be yourself.  Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish."
- John Jakes