(no subject)

So I haven't updated in over six months.


I'm going to forego catch-up chatter. Recently, I decided to write a bunch of short memoirs for my thesis. Since I have a piece due to my thesis chair this Wednesday, I jokingly told one of my friends that I'm thinking of just putting together a bunch of my old Live Journal posts from back in the day. Funnily enough, I've had this thing since I graduated high school. The last time I looked at the really old entries was sometime midway through college-- not long enough to overcome the embarassment of realizing that yes, I did in fact use ridiculous nicknames to refer to people that nobody who ever read my journal even knew. Spaz? Valky? Vampy? WTF, wee Kat?

It's always weird, though, to pick up things from that era or slightly before. My sense of humor's the same, as is my sentence structure. I remember picking up a copy of Marya Hornbacher's Wasted a couple years ago and realizing exactly how much that book's style ended up permeating my own writing. I think I read it at least a dozen times in middle school and high school. Can't read it now, though, because I remember it so vividly.

The switch to memoir was kind of out of the blue-- my friends have been telling me to take a nonfiction class all through grad school. And I liked them well enough in college, even though I could never get anything on page right. The structure seemed off, the sequencing of events didn't make sense to me.

So it was surprising to get into class and realize how natural it feels at this point. More natural than fiction for the time being. I've felt stalled with regards to my writing ever since I came to Emerson-- not wanting to send things out, not feeling like I could really get the ideas floating in my head to form legitimate pieces of literature.

Thus, I decided to write my thesis around all the themes that have been floating in my head, mostly things regarding these past few years: life post breaking up with Mike, coming out, etc. Horribly self-indulgent, I realize, but it's writing, and it gets it out of my system. Once I'm done with it, I figure, I'll be ready to go back into writing about other things, made up people and so on. So we'll see.

Anyway, I'm tired. Randomly picked up The Art of Eating by M. F. K. Fischer when I was working at Borders. Figured it would be one of those brick-like books that remain on my shelf unread, but I'm on a not-buying-new-books kick, as well as a non-story/non-literature kick, so this collection of food essays seemed like a good fit. And it is. One essay she describes placing tangerine slices on a radiator for a day, then cooling them in the snow, then eating them. Another she talks about Roman vomitoriums. Another she talks about the development of cookbooks. Etc. Interesting and lovely.

(no subject)

Alright, so, I never post.

I went to AWP this past weekend-- this annual writing conference that generally functions as a vehicle for a bunch of writers to get drunk together. There are panels and readings and the like; the panels tend to be fairly awful, the readings fairly good.

The two panels ended up being mediocre and awesome, respectively. The former was interesting in its own right (a bunch of authors discussing how New York culture has affected the gay literary community over the years), although the presentations tended toward anecdotal conversations instead of really heavily thought-out speeches.

Oddly, though, I ended up with what I think is my first literary obsession. I don't know how to explain it, but I've never been very good at keeping up with the names of contemporary literary figures because, honestly, even big names in the literary community are nobodies everywhere else. Gleaning through all the different potential authors in search of an idol is difficult, because it generally involves searching out obscure books printed from small presses.

Anyway, as it were, I walked into this panel and one of the authors caught my eye immediately. The author, T Cooper (who, being some form of transgender without the hormone use and operations, prefers not to be referred to with pronouns at all), ended up talking about this book spanning multiple generations of Jews, from a woman obsessed with Charles Lindbergh to her grandchild, a transgendered Eminem impersonator. I picked up the book (Lipshitz 6 or Two Angry Blondes) at the bookfair, and while I haven't started it yet, I'm looking forward to it.

A few factors really fascinate me about Cooper:

A) I did read one of Cooper's stories that appeared in The New Yorker last year, about a man who accidentally kills his son and moves to Cambodia. Fabulous stuff. OMG. Cooper weaves together the threads of the end of the narrator's marriage, his affair with a new woman in Cambodia, and the woman's cousin's whale-killing business in this magically non-melodramatic narrative.

B) Cooper and Cooper's girlfriend have managed to achieve this celebrity status in the gay community, even garnering a photo spread in Curve magazine. I think the reason this interests me is because writers, much less writer couples, get little attention in the mainstream media when they're not authoring best sellers. Generally speaking, the authors who do get the attention have work that's easily accessible, which, from what I've heard, Lipshitz 6 is not.

C) Cooper used to be in a boy band. Hello!

D) Androgyny = attractive in my book.

From the writing stand point, I like have somebody who awes me with their skill. "Swimming," the story from The New Yorker, was more carefully constructed than anything I could fathom piecing together on my own at this point. At the same time, since Cooper's still only thirty-something, it makes me feel like I have a specific level of ability I can strive for-- Cooper definitely has a lot of experience on me, but unlike with the demi-gods of contemporary writing (read: people my parents' age), it still seems achievable; I only need a few more years' experience to see results, not a lifetime.

I haven't been submitting since I came to grad school, which is something that bothers me. At the same time, I don't feel like any of the stories I've written have been worthy of the magazines I enjoy reading-- nothing I write really strikes me as something I'd want to read. I'm finally putting finishing touches on a story that I DO like and could see myself reading for fun if another person wrote it. The submission envelopes are stacked on my desk, labeled to go to my favorite magazines. After spending the first half of my grad school career feeling as though I'm floundering, I'm finally reaching a solid level of confidence in my current ability and how I can continue to grow as a writer.

say what? an update? for real?

As of this past Monday, I'm no longer vegetarian, or even occasional pescetarian. It wasn't a long or even difficult decision once I thought about it-- basically, I realized after a weekend of eating salads with salmon for lunch and not being starving within three hours that no matter how well I incorporate veggie-friendly protein-sources in my diet, meat keeps me fuller.

I also realized I'd been pining after my friends' chicken gumbo from the Emerson cafe one too many times, and realized that's also probably a problem.

Thus, I dragged my friends Anne and Michelle (well, okay, they were completely willing) to the Intermission Tavern, where I chowed down on a 10 oz. angus beef burger. Super tasty. Promptly followed it with a round of sliders at one of the local bars when I went out with classmates later in the evening.

Okay, so, maybe it wasn't the healthiest way to kick it all off.

(no subject)

So I've decided I want to start eating fish, because it's healthy and protein-y and whatnot. Made the mistake of getting a packet-o-salmon (like canned salmon, but a baggy). Most of it is living in the dumpster outside the building right now. Mike made fun of me for a good twenty minutes. He equated it to eating beef jerky when you want to have steak.

Because I've been the least productive writer ever this summer, I'm writing a terrible screenplay to make up for my illiteracy. Twenty pages in, and it makes no sense. No plot descriptions beyond that until I get a draft done. On the plus side, it's pretty easy to chug through, since I have no effing clue what I'm doing and my major goal is to get it good enough to sell but not good enough to actually be seriously considered for production. Thoughts of the massive amounts of revision I'll have to do scares me shitless. Oh well.

Note to Sarah: Tell Gordon I love the Gilmore Girls like woah.

(no subject)

Oh, and I'm not done with Deathly Hallows yet. GASP! I decided to let myself read it slowly(-ish) considering I'm for once living with people who don't read it lightening fast. Yay slow reading!

(no subject)

I realize I never update anymore. I don't really feel like I have much to say because life is pretty ho-hum. Same thing day to day.

I feel rather dumb in both of my classes (Writing the First Novel and Writer in the Archive). I'm excited about the novel class because, theoretically, I should have a good chunk of a book done by the end of the semester. I feel like I'm on my way to accomplishing something.

The theory in my archive class is a bit frustrating, but whatev. Last week I went to this fancy members-only library to do some research for this paper I'm doing. The documents I was looking at were in these tightly packed boxes. I pulled a folder out, and everything inside (documents over a hundred years old) went flying. The librarian came over and asked in a (very forced) sweet voice whether everything was okay. When the same thing happened again with a different folder a few minutes later, she told me she was going to hold onto the box. Etc.

I do not belong in hardcore academia, apparently.

Running's going well. I hurt my ankle over break (waited too long to replace my shoes), so I had to build my mileage back up at the beginning of the semester. One of my classmates mentioned a reservoir that's about a mile and a half from my apartment that's really nice to walk/run around, so I'm looking forward to when the sidewalks will be clear enough and the weather a bit warmer so I can go for a run there.

Otherwise, not much going on. Mike has gotten Liz and me addicted to Supernatural, despite the fact that the shows pretty craptacularly predictable. I still look forward to the new episodes each week.

And... That's it. Now you see why I don't update.