Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A bit of fiction...

Before you begin reading, note I am not a creative writer, nor do I try to be. I am often overcome with great ideas that soon become great nothings because I lose patience too quickly.

In my American Literature class, we are learning about Henry James and his realist style. I thought I would tinker with the idea subtly.

This came to me, and was written, in close to ten minutes, so know it may never be my best work. But I hope you enjoy it either way.

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The stranger was tall, thin and well-shaven; he mumbled through dull teeth words masked under a tone of disinterest. He had just exited a meeting with her boss, and he looked just as displeased as he did when he entered the office. No amount of disparagement uttered could turn women from him. His pronounced jaw, only moving to let out a few syllabic grunts, remained a mystery. She imagined little elves—not kin to Legolas, but possibly of the Keebler surname—skillfully chiseling at bone until the definition was seemingly divine.

The platonic stranger moved across the room, delighting others but rarely delighting himself. No smirk, no courteous chuckle, no eye-contact with anyone shorter than he—he was above it all.

She watched him closely—she did not trust him—and breathlessly witnessed his quick exit from the room. The moment he was gone several women watched him indiscriminately through the window while the rest of the group relaxed. The worst was over, and she could continue with her work.

To the hills of Hollywood, strewn with debris, short skirts and missing underwear, she was sure it would have been worth it to lose all of her dignity to someone who cares for nothing. However, she had logos on her side.

This was not Disney. Beasts cannot be tamed into beauties. Neither was it worth the effort to try.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thinking

I needed inspiration, and I needed a place to start. I just wanted to write something.

It was as if I was thumbing through my own thoughts, yet getting nowhere--pages and pages of faded, grey text mocking me. I was so determined in this action I could feel the edges of imaginary paper rub against my thumbs. No corner, confine nor metaphorical filing cabinet in my brain had the words I needed. I shifted and fidgeted to keep my anxiety down--my only means of taking the edge off of an otherwise calming day. He huffed on his cigarette a few more times as I avoided the line of smoke; I suppose that is his means.

"Write the way you think," he said.

He said it so coolly I felt dense for asking (I had been picking his brain for the majority of that afternoon). I was drowning--he said it first--and the black sea was unforgiving. Classes were in progress, goals were being made and broken, and I was feeling the pressure.

‘Write the way you think.’ If I cannot say what I am thinking, how am I supposed to know where to begin?

My focus phased in-and-out for the rest of the evening, but negativity was nigh.

The way I think will never do. The way I think is too primitive. Worse: the way I think is too honest--proving just how lousy I can be.

“You’re too focused on writing… Stop writing and start thinking,” he said.

I have put away all of my files, my thumbs have been bandaged, and I am sitting in my best pair of pajamas, to think--not to write, but to think. Wish me the best of luck.

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I appreciate all of the conversation this has sparked! I feel I should reiterate a point for you all so there is no confusion:

I am an English major in college with a focus on magazine writing. I am not, by any means, a creative writer.

This particular post--though it wasn't said--surrounded my inability to come up with something good and "me" for the campus' magazine. Not to mention school had been wearing me out, so it wasn't helping my ability to think things through. That's why he told me to stop trying to "write" for an audience and just get passionate and write the way I think. Write the way I think so I can reach people in my article.

People spend way too much time trying to write impressively and forcing themselves to write through different exercises--they don't just let the words flow as they naturally would. And that's what he was trying to tell me.

Keep the comments, going, though! I'm enjoying hearing about your techniques in writing and why or why not you think this was good advice!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Almost 200 Words: Man With the Boom Box

The graying man arrives every day just a few minutes before class is supposed to begin; not mine, but another (whichever one he teaches). He is a quintessential Brat Pack character, the man with the boom box. In this day and age, our university looks upon his music machine as a blast from the past—old and unique.

The boom box is in flawless condition. The sound is clear, and just as the description of “boom box” would imply, its sound booms off of every wall in this hallowed hall. Students stare in amusement as he makes his way, undeterred by the looks, to class.

The man with the boom box is the most unique character we have of all our professors—even more so than the one who rides a unicycle to work. I can only imagine what must happen in his class—the antics, the mannerisms, the music.

Maybe one day I will know from my own experience. For now, he is but an interesting face I see, and one I enjoy seeing on such otherwise boring days.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Old and New

I waited to find the old clunker parked outside of the dormitory—a noticeable red, but referring to the vehicle as red would be wrong. Years of wear and rust give the color its own flavor. The bleached out sticker on the windshield, meant to look like a tattoo, now just looks unfortunate. If cars could wrinkle with age, Christina's car would be the elderly woman with the back tattoo of which has drooped and disfigured too far for anyone to ever want to see now.

"I'm really into hip-hop right now," says Christina, and Nicki Minaj infiltrating my ears as we drive down the road.

Christina says something to this effect at least once each visit—and her opinion changes often. Last time I visited she was infatuated with Latin culture. She wanted a man who could speak Spanish with his body and tongue, and was listening to a rock band whose lyrics I could not understand. (I chose French over Spanish in high school.) I remember Christina telling me she had been in love with Latin culture in her high school years.

Nothing is ever new for Christina—she always revisits the same places in her life with some sort of pride. I did not know Christina before this past year. She could only be revisiting what she would rather proudly confess, or her life could have been an amazing spark of multicultural interests and social peculiarities. Either way, I envy her.I always held my head down to the floor, feeling ridiculed for some quirky interest I had throughout my schooling. Now that being a nerd is “chic,” I can at least walk around in Star Wars t-shirts without wondering who is staring at me disapproving.

Before Christina’s love for Latin men and music, her entire world was Korean pop and Korean dramas. That is how I met her. Christina streamed all of her Korean fix from several websites with the English subtitles following slowly behind, and the fast-talking gibberish of people from Korea—either transferred there or native—cheerfully telling their life to strangers in video-logs. I watched a few episodes of a drama with her once; the entire show was colorful—not in language, but quite literally colorful. I could only compare the scenes and actors to walking into the “Care Bears” aisle of a toy store. For weeks Christina would mimic the trends of Korean culture, she saw displayed in her dramas, by sporting a ponytail on the side of her head with colorful bows pinned in her hair neatly. She was different.

I often wonder if modern Asian culture is really as bright and colorful as it appears in media. Their world seems fantastic, yet quite possibly a fantastic ruse to make us burn our red, white and blue’s for something more confining and structured.

Despite the conspiracy, the fun is not lost on me. We all have our guilty pleasures, I suppose—I used to watch the Jersey Shore with my roommate. Christina’s guilty pleasure just changes once a week, and is often reminiscent of a life she used to live.

Typically I just move forward. If my taste changes, I can blame it on a new discovery. But she finds comfort on past affinities. Many of us marvel at our past selves as if they could never be greeted again warmly. For better or worse, who we are evolved from who we were. And, like Christina, there is a reachable thrill from reliving memories and finding new solace in old things.

I might be embarrassed to remember the me that was, even just a year ago, but she has just as much worth as the me now; and I have not completely given up on the things I used to love. It is for this reason, one might find me still lurking in areas of a library or bookstore from my past, smiling as I once did.

Perhaps I will turn out to be one of those elderly women obsessed with antiquity, clinging onto every old photograph as if it were my last. I hope Trey can bear it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Exciting News

So, for this New Year's I got engaged, and everything is just a whirlwind of bliss right now.



He doesn't look like it here, but he likes me.

Funny enough, I heard this song in particular a few days ago and I love these two together, so here is my favorite singer with another adorable actor I love to see her with: