Monday, August 27, 2012

Pre-Semester Post: Fall 2012

This semester I'm taking a poetry workshop, the 18th Century Novel, and Short Fiction (a critical practice course). (Three courses per semester are considered full time.)

Usually, I like to prepare for the courses a bit and do some studying. I haven't, though. Too busy writing. I wanted to get some stuff done because I knew I wouldn't be able to do them during the semester. I wrote some poems, did some translations, finished three stories, and worked on a novella or two. I also accomplished a lot of reading. Good summer.

I think all three classes will be a lot of fun. I'm not such a great poet, but I'm looking forward to learning. It's a form that I definitely don't want to neglect. I grew up reading Poe and I've never forgotten that one could be good at prose as well as verse, one could pursue both, and they're both worth pursuing!

The novel class should be good. I originally wanted to take a novel workshop, but my piece wasn't accepted for the class. Alas! So I took poetry. I thought this lit class would go well with the novel workshop. Anyway, it sounds like a good course. I've very interested in novels and expect to write quite a few in my lifetime. Something about a large project that requires skill and dedication. I probably won't have to buy any books for this course since it's all 18th century and I can get the books for free. Love it when that happens! Why wasn't my undergrad experience like this?!

The short fiction course sounds really nice to. As I said, I grew up reading Poe. He was the master of genre, really popularized it. So I've always valued it. Some think it's inferior to the novel. Ha! While a novel requires more dedication and time, a short story is just a different animal. It presents its own challenges to the writer (namely, how the hell do I make something literary and worth writing and in a limited space?).

Excited. Will learn a lot. A lot of useful stuff since I'll definitely be writing poems and short stories and novels in the future. I like to dabble.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Review: The Sun Also Rises

I just finished reading said Hemingway novel. A quick read in one sense (barely 200pp). A long read in another (a reference to Hemingway's style). I liked the book. I did. But I did a lot of reading without any idea of what the hell it all meant. I still don't know exactly.

What I get out of the book is this. Beyond the themes of nature and death, it's about Jake. It's about hope. It's about despair. I don't think it's really about him and Brett and their forsaken relationship, despite that the novel ends, much as it began, with the two basically expressing their love for each other and yet acknowledging that they can't be together. It's more about Jake's raison d'etre. He is unable to perform sexually, yet he desires women, specifically Brett. He idolizes Romero, a bullfighter, his idealized macho male, yet Jake, as a journalist, does not fit this mold. Jake is confronted with a reality where he has little to hope for. And in much of the novel, hence the long blocks of nothing really happening, he wastes away, dining, drinking, and partying about with Bill and Michael and Cohn. There doesn't seem to be much of a point to it. In fact, the happiest he is, it seems, is when Bill and him are in the town of Burguete, away from Cohn and Michael and Brett in Pamplona, where the two fish and enjoy nature and sleep warmly in beds, the outside freezing cold. Society is noisy and unpleasant, living pleasure-seeking pointless lives. The best life, it seems, is that which is simple and closest to nature.

A good read. Liked it. Could've done without the long passages that emphasized the wasting away, though - I get it Hemingway. Love his style, though. Iceberg theory. It's improved my writing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


This is the song that inspired me to write my short story "Homesick," about a boy who thinks, or knows, he's an alien. OK Computer is one of my favorite albums. I'd listen to it, from start to finish, every day going to and coming from school. Years later the song would inspire the story.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Short Story Accepted: Homesick

My short story "Homesick," inspired by a Radiohead song, was accepted by The World of Myth. I don't know yet when. The song is "Subterranean Homesick Alien." The song is quite old. And so is this story (though I didn't write the story until years after first hearing it, and even then only knew I was inspired by the song retrospectively). It's gotten rejected quite a bit. And I'm honestly sick of editing it. But I've learned a lot from doing so. More about the story when it's published.