Monday, October 27, 2008

Second Workshop Over

So, my story was workshopped today. Overall, it went really well (much better than the first time around), so yay! There are definitely places where I could work things out more (naturally) and I'm still telling. :( But maybe there was less telling in this one? I'll schedule a time to meet up with my prof to see, but he wasn't the only one to say that some things could be cut. I'm learning though and I guess that's the important thing.

I'm trying to think of what else to post about--there's a bit Halloween/sleepover/birthday party on Friday. I'm totally looking forward to it. I bought an afro wig for the occasion--very psyched about it. I could probably tease up my own hair to make a ginormous afro, but I don't want to deal with the after effects. I have a big grammar assignment due on Thursday, but I just feel like watching some TV or reading a novel. I should start writing my next story, but I have yet to be inspired.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whew!!! Thank God That's Over!

So, I just read my Chekhov inspired short story, "Baby Dolls" (posted with the other stories to the right). I was nervous about reading it out loud and could totally hear a tremble in my voice. But I managed and it went over pretty well. I still haven't decided if I'm going to use this story for my third workshop--I want to write another one. We'll see.
About Chekhov (thanks Wikipedia!)

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (January 29 [O.S. January 17] 1860 – July 15 [O.S. July 2] 1904) (Russian: Анто́н Па́влович Че́хов, Russian pronunciation: [ɐnˈton ˈpavləvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕɛxəf]) was a Russian short-story writer and playwright, considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in world literature.[1] His career as a dramatist produced four classics: The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard; and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics.[2][3] Chekhov practised as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress."[4]

Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Konstantin Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a special challenge to the acting ensemble[5] as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text."[6]

Chekhov had at first written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story.[7] His originality consists in an early use of the stream-of-consciousnessJames Joyce and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure.[8] He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them.[9] technique, later adopted by

Now, thankfully, our class is moving on to study Flannery O'Connor. I'm looking forward to this change of pace and what type of story I may be inspired to write after spending a few weeks reading her. I've been told that she has some wild stories--crazy Southern woman. This should be interesting...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Second Workshop Story

Today I turned in my second workshop story: "Kiko's Baby" (posted to the right). Who knows how it'll go--I took the suggestions made toward my last story and applied them here as best I could. I like the story (although I worry a bit about the end and if it's strong enough), but that doesn't mean anyone else will. I'm trying not to worry about that right now--I'm just trying to write a little more than I have been lately.

Other news:

  • I need to manage my time better so that I can write for class and for fun (cause trust me, writing for class at this point hasn't be as fun as I would like it to be).
  • It's getting cold (dropping down into the 40s)--I love it.
  • I've been feeling a bit stressed out and sad for some reason--grrrrrr.
  • I have an unhealthy addiction to brown sugar Pop Tarts and York Peppermint Patties--it's time for me to give them up cold turkey. They're becoming comfort foods. Delicious... delicious comfort foods.

My workshop prof wants me to write non-fiction stories and just change the names to make them fiction. I don't know how I feel about this... please weigh in.

Part of me doesn't like it because it's just too damn personal and I don't feel like spouting out all of my business to a group of people who are still strangers to me in many ways (even though we hang out every single weekend, which is amazing) on a public blog. And I don't like mixing the genres--fiction and nonfiction. I think part of it the privacy thing, but I think another part of it is my journalism background. You can't put fiction into non-fiction, so why is the reverse okay? Some people say that all fiction is non-fiction. I would disagree and agree with parts of that. I do put parts of myself in my characters, but I have never written a story that completely reflects my life and called it fiction. There's just something wrong about that. He wants us to write in a voice similar to Jamaica Kincaid's in her short story "Girl". He wants us to write in a voice (or voices) of our parent(s)--what they told/taught us. I can do this, but everything that I would want to write is somewhat negative, and that bothers me. I haven't decided if I'm going to write my revealing expose yet. I need to think about it more; wait for someone else to post.

I read my Chekhov story out loud on Wednesday. I'll post it here sometime this week. I don't want to read out loud.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Time Is The Right Time

"The Lorax" - Dr. Suess (1971)
"Mister!", he said with a sawdusty sneeze, "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues, And I'm asking you, sir, at the top of my lungs"

He was very upset as he shouted and puffed --"What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.

Plant a new Truffula.
Treat it with care.
Give it clean water.
And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest.
Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.
Now all that was left 'neath the bad-smelling sky was my big empty factory...
the Lorax... and I.

*No promises that wikiquote got this one right. The fall here is absolutely beautiful--I really can't get over it and I wish I had more time to be in it. I'm slowly discovering that I like nature--woods, trees, leaves, grass, the smell of winter, cold air. One of my classmates wrote a story about blighted trees, which can be caused by beetles and other parasites. I will be devastated if it starts here--or anywhere else (it's rampant in Colorado now). Very sad.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tidbits from Tanyaland

Howdy blogland!

Just felt like conducting some random blogging since I am not working, for the moment. Please be forewarned that this is going to contain LOADS of random thoughts.
  • It is definitely fall here (whoop, whoop <-- an Aggie thing); the temperature has been in the mid-sixties during the day and into the low fifties at night. It's glorious. Do people still say "glorious"? It really is Fierce (as Christian would say). I need more sweaters and stuff, but I've decided to put myself on a shopping freeze starting tonight after I see Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (which will cost me $9.5o... damn East coast... high movie tickets are the one drawback of this place). Well....... I think I'm going to buy a slow cooker too, so after I get that (and a slow cooker cook book) I'm done. Economy is in a recession--so is Tanya.

  • Working at B&N is still fun for me. Too bad I work with a bunch of guys who like talking fantasy football and Dungeons and Dragons all day. Not lying! One guy (who wears the exact same outfit every day, but is a generally nice and helpful dude if you can get past the wafts of B.O. and stale cigarette smoke) has been sick the past few days so I haven't heard endless convos about how XXX running back sucks and how XXX quarterback can't throw for shit or how XXX magical power will not slay thy dragon (whatever the hell those DD people say--it's all Dragon speak to me). It's been quiet in The Nobel. My shifts are spent shelving books (getting pretty good at it most days), working the register, putting away new merchandise, and helping customers find books. All enjoyable, mind numbing tasks.

  • I've realized that I don't like to think... aka, I'm lazy as hell. Stupid brain needs to kick out of daydream land. I need to find the "serious" lobe and massage it so I can start thinking smartly and contribute to smart discussions on Chekhov (soon to be O'Connor). Me no like think.

  • I bought a Julia Quinn book this week. It's calling to me, but I'm afraid that if I read it I will only become dumber. Like it will suck out the small amount of smart activity buzzing around in there. It's buried under the "smart" books on my nightstand--but it beats louder. *sigh*

  • Lately I've been wanting my own place. I miss entertaining, which is impossible in my room. So, I'm still deciding if I'm going to move out next summer or not. I can't beat this price.

  • I've managed to write a few days this week (up from my normal Wednesday night jottings). I'm working on a story about dead gorilla babies. I want it to be good, but I just read a classmate's story and now I don't want to write anymore. The program is not getting easier for me (in this mental war that I have going on)--I constantly wonder if I'm in the right place or not. Like my Quinn book--Estela, Moo, Daisy, Penny and so many others are drumming away. They're upset with me. I am upset with me too.

  • I just bought a ticket for D.C. for Turkey Day (glad I got that in before my spending freeze!). I'm excited about this as my little sister just became a real-life grown up and purchased her own house. I will help her spend money to decorate it, cause Lord knows she needs my help. I will see my mom and dad and other little sister too, so that'll be nice. I hope I'm able to make it to the Library of Congress. I want to smell old books. I should go hang in the Dover library later. Nah... I'll probably watch Iron Man again.

  • [Warning gross info to follow]: I'm sick again. Swallowing snot is not fun.

  • I just realized that I will need to lift my spending freeze in order to buy snow boots. Maybe I should get some online today--I've heard that L.L. Bean makes a mean pair.
  • There is this sweet lady at B&N who I only work with when I'm at the register (she's about 400 lbs and can't walk around because of bad knees). She's the sweetest thing; gives me lotion for my ashy hands. And everytime she has to get up, she grunts and moans: "Ohhhh rigor mortis!"
  • My cat has been extra needy lately and yet I push him away. That's not fair of me. I'd be devastated if I were him. Sometimes we just need a cuddle, right?
  • I made an 83 on my first grammar assignment. My feelings: Alright! I'm just glad it was a B, but the rest will be As. Grammar is generally a fun class for me--lots of discussion. I feel like I'm learning things that I should have learned in high school. Perhaps it'll be the same way with literature?

Okay, that's enough for now... we're all caught up.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Weather

I feel like I need to post something here. So here's a picture of the leaves changing colors outside the building where I work and have classes.

Everything else is going the same--still and probably will stay this way for a while. At least the leaves are pretty.


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