Saturday, July 26, 2008

the day when...

It's Saturday night and most of my favorite blogs aren't updated on weekends, so I check PostSecret because sometimes the Sunday secrets are up the night before. And tonight, they are. They don't seem as exciting as usual, but maybe I'm just not in the proper frame of mind or maybe it's just a slow week...

And then I see it. My secret. The one I had written up, dreamed up, elaborated in my head but never put on paper. The one I would have stuck between the pages of a PostSecret book at work and perhaps one day returned to point at and bathe in the glory of...

That's a bit of a strange idea, that someone else, somewhere, in another Barnes and Nobles or Border's with a name tag and a smile and a delighted word with any fellow Stephen King book buyers should spends his days and nights off writing the next great american novel, and his time at work dreaming about that acceptance letter and that celebratory glass of champagne and maybe eventually his name on that sought after New York Times best seller's list and returning to his old workplace one day only for a speech and a booksigning...but it is a nice one.

The world needs its next generation of inspiring writers. Nobody writes them like they used to--so it may as well be us.

20th century ghost stories

Horror used to be (is, maybe?) my favorite genre of reading. I devoured all Stephen King books and found joy in Richard Matheson, Ira Levin's frantic worlds. Neil Gaiman's dark fantasy appealed like nothing else--and hey, it is a bit tragic, thinking back, how few authors actually conquered that category and did it well. Oh yes, there are endless numbers of insipid horror writers out there, clinging on to descriptions of gore and expected surprises and shock factors and monsters, imaginary or the very real. And endless horror short stories following the same general path with the same general plot and the same general feel. And once upon a time (or perhaps even now) I was most certainly one of them. How I longed to win a Bram Stoker award, invited to a prestigeous dinner banquet celebration dressed in a stunning black gown, shaking the hands of the legends as I happily accepted awards upon awards...

So for a long time, I wrote a lot of short stories and flash fiction. I joined horror writers groups and submitted to obscure horror ezines. Once upon a time, I was even published on one or two, and it gave me a delight and great hope in one day securing that great Bram Stoker...

Now I read these short stories and I cringe inside, and perhaps outside too. They are cliched and rather uninspired, formulaic and lackluster in emotion and life. But that is besides the point, for the point is, I just finished reading 20th Century Ghost Stories by Joe Hill, a collection of short stories--horror stories, to be precise. And I realized that I am still as much in love with all things creepy, dark, unusual and macabre as before. And few things get me hooked on reading as satisfying, dark tales that hints at the supernatural or just psychologically disturbed sides of any normal being.

Which makes me really really happy. For a while I had lost track of what I wanted and what I loved, and in the realms of the meaningless books filled with literary merit and "poignancy" (I've come to the conclusion that if a book's selling point is its poignancy, I'm in for an unsatisfactory, pretentious and irritatingly trying to be deep and emotional read. No, no thank you, please.) I thought that perhaps what I needed was more complex deep relationships and poignant mundane family drama turned into heartbreaking emotional adventures or something of the nature--it is not so. Not all is lost. There is beauty in fear and the things that do not occur in these every day life but which we always have in the depths of our minds, a worry for.

And I suppose, what I am trying to say is: I highly highly recommend and adored this book. I miss reading good horror, and possibly writing it too. I'm finally working on a short story I think I might like and connect to and have a direction for. And if you have good books to recommend, horror or not, please always do share.

Friday, July 25, 2008

kissing girls, scene queens, and the tragically beautiful

Some things I've been in love with lately (and you should be too!):

+Bon Iver's Daytrotter session. As if there isn't enough beauty in the tracks of For Emma, these versions are heartbreaking, stunning and haunting all at once. Songs you want to hold on to forever and escape too quickly. So you listen to them, again and again, until you think maybe you are numb. And then there is a note, a noise, a break in the guitar, something in his voice, and you close your eyes and it overtakes you with all the force it did the first time.

+Katy Perry:


Yes, okay, there are countless things wrong with this song/video. Yes it probably would be considered a guilty pleasure/bad pop singalong song. Yes I find the lyrics irritating and immature and shallow, as Katy makes it appear that kissing a girl is such a twisted, fucked, taboo thing to do (and one that she only did when totally wasted and thinking about pleasing her boyfriend...) and that irks me quite a lot. Yes she is a scene bitch who is really not that talented at all--but it's a catchy song, one that would be fun and easy to dance to, sexy in a really contrived matter, and I just really like the video because it's a half assed attempt at fourties, pinup glamour, even such a weak imitation is rather fun.

+iCiNG-Gala's blog is completely inspirational, edgy, modern, sexy, fun, and brilliant on so many levels. I'm probably going to steal her Things I Love Thursdays idea and after reading quite a few of her blog posts I am determined to make my blog/life more aesthetically pleasing and delightfully fun.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some things I'm going to do:

+a picture a day! photos and art and everything is so delightful to look at, makes a blog post more interesting, and well, I've got a lot of them that I love and would love to share.

+post more, and more often, and about more varied things. Even if it's about fashion and my favorite collections or even my own daily outfit posts. and I feel a little bad writing about them (yes even now, still!) or songs and bands everyone's already heard of or obscure books and authors.

+stop feeling guilty for every little thing I do.

+get over my recent and apparent Facebook addiction.

starting, now.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A LLong Goodbye

It's strange, reading my future classmates' notes on facebook or blog entries, moments of sentimentality about leaving the life they've always lived for a new beginning. Grand plans or little things for the remainder of the summer, cherishing the last few weeks of a familiar routine and place.

But for me, there is no sentimentality. Not concerning the last bits and pieces of San Diego, at least. It makes me a bit sad, that there is not more left to want to remember.

Even, once upon a time, a few months ago, I might have thought that I would miss the long rides and late night walks, coffee shops and trips to the beach, the familiar areas. Somewhere between then and now, between the future and present I envisioned in my mind versus the snapshots of reality, I lost that sense of nostalgia and something else that I can't quite get. I'm as detached from everything here as I possibly could be, and while i feel lots of hope for future memories and moments, it doesn't make the days go by any faster.

It is quite strange, though, how I ended up here, how nearly every single event, if they hadn't happened exactly in the way that they did, things could be so very different. Or perhaps not. The mysteries of life that I'll never know, I suppose.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

You know what I miss? Romance.

Not the cliched, sappy kind of store brought romance. Not a single stemmed red rose or stargazing on a rooftop with the one you love. Not long gone ideals of chivalry  or love at first sight and  unlikely connections and reunions and courtship rituals or any of that. Not romance in the way or relationships or love but love of little things, moments in life or words or songs or something. Something not concrete in the way that you'd expect things to be but concrete in its subtle beauty and tenderness. Romance in that if you play out a scene in your mind, a moment, a capsule, over and over, adding details, playing with the edges, blurring the background, replacing the time, the little things that don't matter, in that scene that you learn to fall in love with, little by little. And then one day you wake up and you realize that you're acting out the scene, there you are, alive and apart of the world you'd always imagined and dreamed of.

And maybe it's a little rougher around the edges, the grass is not a perfect peaceful green but the concrete has cracks and gum and trash, and maybe the sky is cloudy and foggy and the weather is a bit too cold or hot and the perfect outfit you envisioned is really too casual or dirty or awkward for the occasion. Maybe the way it happens doesn't have the grace and flow it happened in your mind, and those perfect sentences and thoughts you composed before hand comes out at the wrong moment and maybe the meaning's even a bit mixed up. But eventually you get through it and you're in the midst of it and you're smiling and you realize, hey, it's happening. It's really really happening. And all of those imperfections cease to matter and become more beautiful than anything you'd ever imagined.

Romance in that a simple song can become a whole another world, transforming your steps and surroundings into something so much more precious. So that every where you glance is a snapshot and a perfect illustration to the story you're writing with your words, your smile, your gestures.

Romance in that I want to go out and stroll a park and find magic on every blade of grass, the dirt, the tables, the trees and sunset. Romance in the idea of daydreaming and dreaming until everything finally appears in reality and overwhelms and then you are convinced, finally, that maybe life holds so much more than what it seemed to have to offer.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Well, here I am, back in San Diego and the perfect weather and cars and open roads and a big bed and the big room and my friends. My sleep schedule is now officially completely fucked, the day before running on two hours of sleep and some ridiculous delayed in an hour at New York and somehow making it to Detroit on time, then three hours of delay because of a thunderstorm in Detroit. Admittedly flying through a thunderstorm was quite the adventure. The lady sitting next to me was from Paris and didn't speak English too well and seemed so scared of the rather unsteady ride. I felt slight hints of fear and concern, but was mostly too exhausted to do anything but drift in and out of sleep. Which I supposed, made the long long wait/flight easier.

And, orientation was so much fun and so remarkably easy to meet lovely people and make friends. After three days I already felt completely at home. Playing frisbee in Washington Square Park or late night art in a dorm, wandering to find adventure or just striking up conversations with any's such a change and very promising of the four years to come. The little "variety" show we had at orientation was even amazing...and made me fall in love with the school even more. And to think, once I would have wanted nothing more than to be elsewhere. NYU is probably as perfect as it's ever going to get.

So strange meeting my fellow classmates who got zero financial aid and grew up with prep schools, though. I don't really think I've ever really felt an economic class divide before, but here and now, it's apparent. I nearly forgot that not everyone recieved financial aid/scholarships and many of them came from surrounding areas. Nevertheless, I love it here and cannot wait for the fall to start. Also remarkable: I'm leaving for our Oregon trip in just a few more days! Summer will go by fast.