That's what I usually tell people when they ask me about what I do. Perhaps because there is no other applicable answer, I respond with "writer." But there is too much "I" and "me" when we speak of writing. It's not so much that I write. I write stories. They have their own paths that are revealed to me down the line. I am unaware of these twists and turns. Often, they take me by surprise. When I talk about writing, I have a tendency to insist that it's not me - it's some other portion of me that does this work, some me that is invisible to the human eye. But I say this simply to save face.
It's not shame. I don't feel shame about what I write. I tend to be a very apologetic person in daily life and there's something about my writing that I feel is unapologetic. That's what frightens me. I'm afraid that the people who have come to know me entirely will discover that they don't know me entirely - but that's a given, you can't live in the mind of someone else. What I can tell you is that the only way I feel I can express myself truly is through writing, even as conversations fail me.
I've written things. I have fifty journals sitting in shelves, from the day I told my parents that I wanted to be a writer. Old college papers slumber in my desk. Stories fester in my head, one of which has taken up the majority of my life. I've had two short stories published, including an essay as well. One of my short stories was sent in to a contest, of which I do not know the results yet. I'm working on a short story, as well five novels; M+I counts for three these days. I keep a public journal (online) and a private journal (not online). In short, 2013 has been the busiest year for me as a writer.
And I figured perhaps now would be the right time to finally talk about what I write. (The easy answer: I have no idea what genre I write in, but we'll say Literary Fiction to save face once again.)
'To express a desire authentically,' he told me, 'is to satisfy it categorically.' Angela Carter, from The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
A haze of green and blue coats the atmosphere of Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides; prom in the midst of glittering stars while ELO's Strange Magic drifts into the film seamlessly. Cigarette smoke surrounds Kirsten Dunst's face in a fine mist, twisting coils of nicotine, that could only be produced in fantasy. This is a perfect recreation of the dream-like eulogies the boys of Detroit suburbs wax about the five Lisbon sisters, after the girls have all committed suicide.
In The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides created an incredibly complex novel on the nature of suicide and how we, as a community, react to such aberrant behavior all in the context of a Greek chorus consisting of suburban boys in a liminal state between adolescence and manhood. We know from the beginning that something is wrong. It's in the air. It's in the water. It's festering within the stagnant pools of suburban households.
In Italy, they have a saying: "If you're not treating everybody, you're not treating anybody." This is in reference to their health-care system. They will treat anyone regardless of where they come from (legally or illegally) or what they have. Italy has figured out that in order to keep their citizens healthy, they have to keep everyone healthy. But this is a health-care system that cares about the people involved. This is a country where the well-being of their people is actually considered.
In America, we are run by capitalism. We have the most expensive health-care system in the world. And not only that, those who are truly ill are often treated as if it's their fault for being sick. Before the Health Care Reform Law, it was entirely possible that you could be too unhealthy for health insurance. Or I should say, people who really needed health-care couldn't get it. When I was kicked off of my insurance, I was told that because I had a preexisting condition, if I didn't find another insurance policy in the next 90 days, that company would never enroll me ever again.
There is a lack of empathy in America about illness, which is truly concerning. And often, business is favored over human rights. This is nothing new, America has been dealing with this issue for a considerable amount of time. The Dallas Buyer's Club focuses on America's reaction to the AIDS epidemic, where many people were treated as if it was their own damn fault for contracting the disease. As much as I would love to sit here and review the film, I feel as though the best aspect of Jean-Marc Vallee's work is the discussion it will open up about health-care in America.
When I approach a work, it is as a writer and an English major. This means that I have a tendency to focus solely on the language, even when it's a film, show, or video game that I'm discussing. For this reason, when I look back at the posts I wrote for RahXephon, back in 2010, I feel as though I failed that series. When I imbue too much personal information in a post, I feel as though I have failed. When I discuss it in a voice that is anything other than essay-writer, I feel as though I have failed.
Failure's in my blood. I don't say all of this to gain pity or to have someone pat me on the back and tell me I'm not a failure (and I have nothing against people who do this, because it is nice to have someone validate your existence). It's something I've always felt. It has everything to do with my personal level of perfection and nothing to do with what others think of me. Which is strange, considering that when you publish work, it is for the eyes of others.
It's only now, after having watched The Story of Film, that I consider the visuals that go into these works. Before, I don't think I had the language to discuss what it was visuals did to me, or what it implied for the story. For example, I think without Mark Cousins' guidance, I wouldn't have seen the beauty in 12 Years A Slave, when Solomon burns the letter he was writing and even after the letter is no longer in existence, the viewer can see the burning embers as it still lives, in the particles left behind. I couldn't express the paradoxical feelings of hope and despair in that moment before. In the same way that I had to be taught how to read as an English major, I think that we need to be taught how to watch analytically. On that note, perhaps we need to be taught how to listen analytically as well.
Sometimes I feel as though my writing is too imperfect. As if I shouldn't even try. Why try when there are so many people out there who can write so much better than I can? Why am I even attempting to express myself through language? But I know the answer to that. Because writing is the only thing I have. Because there's nothing else in this world that I am decent at other than writing. It's the only way I feel as though I can express myself fully. And more often than not, when I analyze a work, if I feel emotions while divulging it, I will express them in the article. Whether that's considered professional or not, I don't know.
I had a couple of weeks where I thought I should just stop entirely. If I was so horrific at writing articles, then maybe I shouldn't even continue. But I'm not the kind of person who operates on what I should do. I live entirely by what I want to do and in the end, I want to write the posts that I do because it isn't just an analysis. It's my view on a work. It's my love and passion for a story expressed faithfully. Writing frustrates me beyond reason, but there is nothing in this world that I am more passionate about.
And I think, for that reason, I can't stop. The next step is to watch RahXephon again and fail better.
Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet is a bible for dreamers, reflectors, and the dispossessed alike. It is a guidebook to the mental state you will live with as a writer, compounded by the writing voices of the personalities that fluctuated within Pessoa's consciousness. Upon discovering that this book was in my local library, I immediately went searching in the fiction section to find no books written by Pessoa.
The Book of Disquiet isn't fiction. Nor is it non-fiction. Pessoa wrote a fictional diary for a writer who existed within him as a "heteronym," Bernando Soares and his life within the monotonous streets of Lisbon. Pessoa himself described it as a "factless autobiography." However, within these pages, you will find truth. I learned from a certain professor that writers are liars. They are con-men who utilize lies to make you believe in their story. Pessoa is the only writer I can ever give the credit of intentionally lying to you upfront so he can present you with truth. But here's the real kicker:
Fernando Pessoa never published The Book of Disquiet.
You may be asking yourself why a witch with unbelievable powers would only desire pizza (and perhaps some form of annihilation). Well, the answer to that is why the hell not? Plus, she gets to collect her cheese points and send it in for a Cheese-kun plushie.
The real answer to this question is that every character in Code Geass has neat little facets to them that make them perpetually intriguing. One of my favorite moments in this set of episodes is when C.C. refers to Lelouch as "kid." This is what lured me to the series in the first place. I know I said this before. Part of my issue with talking about Code Geass was that I felt I was repeating everything I had said before and I really don't like typing the same things up over and over. I probably mentioned before that Code Geass was one of the few series where I really loved all of the female characters. I noted that C.C. was Lelouch's Morgana, his anima, his Athena whispering words into his ear.
To counter this, Suzaku had Euphemia. But with a new season, we have a complete set of interesting female characters.
Oh the words I have wanted to bestow upon you, online journal.
It's been days, stuck in a feverish slump while all banality was slowly expelled out of me. I came out of it feeling renewed. No longer did I care about food. My schedule was broken. I thought that doing something like NaNoWriMo would make me write more, but what I found was that I stopped writing entirely whenever I thought about it. There's something about scheduling how many words I hit and counting every single day that destroys any creative inkling within me. I got to a point where I told myself, "You can't write in your livejournal today, you have to write your novel." That's perhaps the worst thing I could have ever done to myself, because when I write here, it makes me write more in general.
I once said long ago that I wasn't the kind of writer for NaNoWriMo. It's true. I'm not. And so I give up on this futile task, nine days in. I'll keep working on M+I at my own pace. If I rush it, after spending so many years on it, I might destroy it. I've waited ten years to finish it. Another year is simply that.
I miss writing on here casually. I miss not having to worry about perfection, but I think that's something I'll never escape. I need to just sit down and write something without worrying about what others will think - because trust me, that is the number one concern on my mind. "What will my family think?" I don't exist to please anyone other than myself. And if they have difficulty separating me from my writing, then that's their problem. I need that written down. I will forget it eventually. And once again, I'll worry about what my family will think.
It's been a long time since I sat down here and decided to start writing on my livejournal again. There's a line in Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet in which his fictional character states something along the lines of, "People think they're living because they're heard." And if this is my way of pretending to be heard, then it has certainly made me feel as though I'm living, even if I exist without many external friendships. You can take out the m in "many" if you like.
I'm in a transitional period, I guess. Aren't we all.
Current Music:Did You See the Words - Animal Collective