Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is What's Going to Happen

I’ve gotten frustrated, and given up.
Shannon was supposed to, for all intents and purposes, build my website for me and just basically leave the content up to me. Well, that’s not happening now.
I’m not upset at Shannon at all. She has her own things to do, and I’m sure she had all intentions of putting my site together for me. But I got impatient.
So now I’ve been trying to learn how to build this stupid website on my own. It’s not happening.
There are lots of great tools out there to build a generic website. But I don’t really have the patience to learn to use them properly.
I’m basically trying to jump into webdesign without learning how to properly design a website. I just want a tool that will do it for me, and while these tools exist, they aren’t built for the sort of thing I need them to do. Namely, maintain three blogs. Keep each blog archived separately. The latest post to any one of the blogs should be the only content on the front page, with links under the blog to the first blog of that category, and the previous in that archive.
Really, that’s it. Wordpress is a really good website generator, but it doesn’t seem to be able to do the things that I want, and I would need to learn how php works, and more advanced css than I care to, and all sorts of things like that in order to make the site work and look remotely the way that I want. And there doesn’t seem to be a way to just sort of make a new page. I’m sure there is, but… I don’t know. I’m out of my depth.
So, I’m frustrated by all of this. And it’s seriously preventing me from being productive in the actual writing of the stories, which is really the whole point.
So I’ve officially given up on having the site operate properly.
This is what’s going to happen:
I’m going to use my limited html knowledge to create a site that looks like crap, but at least is completely customizable. It will look very amateurish, I think. It’s going to probably have just a matte background color, and be primarily text. It will look, in short, like the personal webpage I made back in high school.
I’ll just be maintaining my archives manually. No databases, no fancy posting applets. I’ll just make a new html page for each archived story, and update the links accordingly. Old school.
On the bright side, in a few months the site will get a facelift.
Sophia is in some webdesign course again, so for her semester project she’s volunteered to design me a pretty site. I don’t think she knows anything about database management or anything, so the archiving thing will still have to be done manually, but at least the site will look nice.
Anyway… that’s what’s going to happen. SerialShorts will go live on Monday. It won’t be pretty, but it will be. Then I can get back to writing the content for the site and not worrying so much about designing the stupid thing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Health En-Sewer-Ants

Lately there’s been a lot of debate over this health insurance thing. And then Mike said something about it. And so now, I suppose, I’ll say something about it.

I don’t really have that much to say on the subject. I’m really not all that informed on the healthcare issues. I listen to Rush Limbaugh, and he’s a crazy man. And his problem with this whole thing basically comes down to “Don’t trust anything government run. They do this, and then they’re setting themselves up to have the power to do literally anything else to you.”

That’s… well, I suppose he’s right. If you really believe that Democrats are honestly and truly trying to leverage the country from a representative democracy into socialism or communism, then I guess that’s something you should worry about. But they aren’t. If you really believe that Democrats hate the Constitution and want to do a complete rewrite of it, then I guess all these protesters and right wing nuts have a point. Passing this health care bill could provide the leverage needed to insinuate government into all sorts of aspects of your life. But that doesn’t seem to really be the goal, in the real world.

However, the goal is to socialize medicine. And I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

The goal of the Obama White House is, very obviously, to completely socialize medicine. Medicine should be affordable for everyone. Nay, free to everyone. The government should provide health care to all.

That’s a nice thought, and a lofty ambition. I don’t know if it’s practical though.

Immediate health care is currently provided to anyone. This is a fact. If you are currently dying and need to be saved, an ER will do its best to save you, and if you can’t pay for it then you will have massive debt. That debt won’t be paid, maybe, and if you survive you will now have a whole slew of new problems caused by the life saving procedures. But you will have gotten the health care.

Then, when you can’t pay for it and you have to declare bankruptcy or whatever, the hospital is paid for its service through tax money. This system is currently in place. This system could be better, but those changes could ostensibly be relatively small in comparison to the overhaul of the health care system that is being proposed.

As I understand it, this emergency medical treatment is not really what this new plan is about. The plan seems to be more about preventative health care than it is about emergency health care. It’s about health insurance, which is a myth.

So let’s talk about that. What is insurance? Insurance is basically making a bet with an insurance company, in a backwards sort of way. Lemme dig up a Terry Pratchett quote and work from that:

"Well suppose you have a ship loaded with, say, gold bars. it might run into storms or be taken by pirates. You don't want that to happen, so you take out an ensewer-ants-polly-sea. I work out the odds of the cargo being lost, based on weather and piracy records for the last twenty years, then I add on a bit, then you pay me some money based on those odds-"

"-and the bit-" Rincewind said, waggling a finger solemnly.

"Then, if the cargo is lost, I reimburse you."


"Pay you the value of your cargo," said Twoflower patiently

"Oh I get it. It's like a bet, right?"

"A wager? In a way, I suppose."

"And you make money at this inn-sewer-ants?"

"It offers a return on investment, certainly."

So, basically, with insurance you pay a small amount to an insurance company, betting that something is going to happen. Let’s take fire insurance. Ostensibly, you’re betting the insurance company that your house is going to catch fire. The insurance company does some arithmetic and determines the odds that it will, then it takes your money and makes a bet with you that your house is not going to catch fire. If it does, then they pay you.

That’s the way that insurance works. But that’s not what we want with health insurance. We just want them to pay. We want to pay a small amount to some big company and then we want all of our medical expenses to cost less. This is not insurance. This is just health care.

That’s where this whole problem of preexisting conditions and such comes into play. If you have a condition that is guaranteed to cost a bunch of money every month, then you are not a good bet for the insurance company. So it will be very difficult for you to find affordable health care.

The point of the reform in health care is to make health insurance obsolete. The idea is that being healthy is a right, and that the government should provide it. Not based on an insurance, or betting, system, but just always give you the medicine that you need.

So, it’s a good thing then, right? Well. I don’t really know about that. Let’s assume for the moment that this bill is not about any sort of crazy liberal takeover, and it is really just about providing health care to the people who need it.

I think that if we had socialized medicine in this fashion, with the government picking up the bill for anyone who asked them to, that would put most to all of the health insurance companies out of business. That’s fine, I guess. Fuck em, right?

Well, now there’s a standard. Everyone gets the same medical treatment as everyone else. This will benefit people who couldn’t afford medical treatment before, but the people who had really good medical treatment and could afford it could find themselves with sub par treatment now. Their money may no longer be able to buy them the better things that they are accustomed to.

Okay, so let’s assume that this problem has arisen, and to combat it a small but expensive system of private health care is established. Health Insurance companies are now fewer and smaller, and cater to a much more select customer base. So there’s that modestly taken care of.

There will still be doctors. Doctors will still make a nice living. Maybe not as nice a living as they do now, but they will be compensated well for the work they do.

So, let’s discuss the death panels.

That’s silly. The term originated from looking at a provision in the bill that allows for “end of life counseling.” In other words, senior citizens are encouraged to see a doctor and discuss things like DNR, living will… that sort of thing. I think it’s twice a year. And I think it would be free to the person. It’s not mandated. It’s there for people to take advantage of, or to ignore. Stupid stupid republican bullshit scare tactic term.

Okay… but let’s look at how the term has sort of grown up to mean something that’s not QUITE as stupid.

When government takes over the health care system, it will be government bureaucracy that decides what life saving treatments should be paid for and to whom. Effectively, government will be deciding who lives and dies. This is true.

But it’s happening already. It’s sill to think that this will be new. As of now, medicines and procedures are paid for by the insurance companies. So, before you get your medicine it needs to be cleared through your insurance company. And they don’t want to give you your medicine. They want to protect their bet that they placed on you, and so you better believe that the list of things that have to be for them to pay for your treatment is just as suited to not paying for you as the government’s will be. We have the same death panels now that the bill would be proposing, but it’s in the private sector instead of the public.

What about drug companies? This is where, assuming that the bill is done without evil intentions and can be paid for and works to provide everyone with free or affordable health care, I have the biggest potential problem.

Drug companies are seen as evil entities. Drugs are ridiculously overpriced in this country. That’s why we aren’t allowed to buy drugs from Canada or wherever, where they are more affordable. Drug companies have a lock on that.

The $50 pill that you take to control your blood pressure did not cost $50 to manufacture. It was probably less than a dollar. You aren’t eating $50 worth of chemicals.

What you are eating is $50 worth of research.

Yes, drugs are too expensive, and yes, drug companies maybe make more profit off of them than is ethical. But the money is paid for the research to develop the drug, not for the drug itself. And I’m not crazy about the idea of putting drug research solely into the hands of the government.

The government doesn’t know how to do research. Government funded research needs to have a specific goal. It needs to be, say, cancer research. Or whatever. But that’s not always where breakthroughs come from. Lots of things are discovered by accident. Look it up. There you go. I done the work for you.

Not only that, but research in fields like cloning and stem cells are politically sticky territory. I don’t know that I like the idea of politics being behind all of medicine’s research.

So, that’s my, admittedly underinformed, take on the health care issue. Is socialized medicine a good thing? I think it is more good than bad, but there are genuine problems with it that need to be addressed and talked about. All of this Nazi comparison and death panel crap isn’t helping.

Every once in a while I see a republican on The Daily Show or something talking about healthcare reform in an intelligent way. Admitting that our system is in desperate need of change, but that this big sweeping change that’s currently on the table isn’t the way to go. There are substantially smaller changes that could be made to make health care more affordable for everyone, while not throwing out the current system and replacing it with a whole new one. These are the people that I would like to hear more from. But this sort of reasoned analysis gets drowned out by the Rush Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks and their flashy sloganing.

Both sides suck. Both sides need to take a step back and find a middle ground, because that’s really where the proper solution probably lies. But no. In US politics it’s go big or go home. update!:

Shannon says she thinks she’ll be able to put together the site tomorrow. Could Monday be launch day? It’s possible.


Hey, Mike... I'm interested in what you think about this serialshorts website idea. I don't know if I can write a 2-6 page short story in a serialized series manner effectively, or if it can realistically be done at all. Or if it's something that has a chance of gaining an audience on the internets even if it can be done well. What do you think about it? As a concept, since I'm sure you're probably happy to hear that I'm doing... you know... something.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Soulgeek Girl

I didn’t mean to be writing a blog tonight. This time was allotted for writing episode four, but I’m not in the right mindspace for that at the moment. But this is Scheduled Writing Time, so here I am.
This is the second day in a row that I’ve not written the next episode and had planned to. Yesterday was because I spent the night with friends instead, which is important to do from time to time. Tonight I have the time, just not the mindset, which I think is not as valid of an excuse. Tomorrow I need to write it.
I also spent some time with Shannon going over rough plans for designing the website last night, so it wasn’t a total loss. It’s productivity of a sort, but I’m trying to get into a groove writing, and it’s hard going.
That’s not to say I feel ready to publish yet. I want to get another like… five episodes or so written before I start to publish them. And then maybe I can start work on the second series while simultaneously writing an episode a week on this one. Then maybe I can build like an eight story buffer on that one before starting on the third while maintaining the other two. These are lofty goals.
So, I suppose I’ll discuss those last two things about Stacy I mentioned in the last post. Interestingly, Emily didn’t ask me about that since. Weird.
I don’t know why I’ve been sitting on these. They’re fairly inconsequential. I think it’s because by the time they sort of came to mind, I was really past the point of feeling like I needed to be thinking about and discussing this sort of thing anymore. I guess I was sort of saving them for a time when I wanted to write a blog entry, but really didn’t have anything of consequence to write about. And here we are.
Thing number one. I used to say to Stacy: “I love you so much,” with a decent amount of frequency. Now, this thing isn’t really about Stacy at all except for the fact that she was the recipient of the phrase. The only thing I have to say about this is that saying it sounds weird. That’s really not much to discuss.
I think it’s the way that I said it with genuine feeling, and that it ended on the word “much.” The way that the word came out of my mouth and sounded really seemed very awkward to me.
There. Glad I got that off my chest. I feel better, you?
Thing number two is more of a statement about Stacy in particular, and the relationship I had with her. But I really don’t want to dwell on it that much. So, what I’m going to do is give it a brief setup, a brief explanation, and then skip the part where I explore what that says about life and relationships and Stacy as a person and me as a person and all of that stuff that I usually go into in this space.
I’m very stereotypically cheesy sometimes. Specifically in relationships. When I was with Dana, we did that adorable/annoying “you hang up first. No you hang up first” thing. I liked that. We also did the “I love you more” thing. With Stacy, I always waited for her to hang up first, and she always did. And I never ever tried the “I love you more” bit. Because, well, it was obvious.
There. That’s done. Said, and moved on from.
Next on the agenda, I want to talk a little bit about Melissa, the fact that I have this crush on her, and the nature of crushes.
I don’t understand it. She’s cute. By which I mean, I am physically attracted to her. But I don’t really know her that well. Which is why I can have a crush on her, acknowledge it, but not let it control my life or make me majorly upset that I won’t be dating her. That’s not what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about is; why do I have a crush on her anyway. Yes, I’m physically attracted to her. But there are at least two other girls from work that I can think of offhand that I’m physically attracted to, and I don’t have a crush on either of them.
Why not? I don’t dislike them. I like them fine. It’s not like the small amount of time that I’ve spent with Melissa has been unusually fun or anything. So, I don’t get it. Where does the crush come from?
And the answer is, seemingly, it just sort of does. It’s not something that’s necessarily fundamentally explainable. It’s just something that happens. If I got to know her a lot better, there’s a good chance that I would develop what I would call real feelings for her as opposed to this easily disregarded crush that I’m currently harboring.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that I would find out I don’t like her at all. I don’t really even know her well enough to be able to disregard that as a possibility. So where does this feeling of a crush come from?
I don’t think this is something that has a satisfactory answer. I’ve written here about things like it before. I remember specifically wondering over the dynamic between people who find each other physically attractive, enjoy spending time together, but don’t have sexual/relationship interests in each other. Where is the disconnect between these things? It boggles the mind.
On a semi-related note, there’s this girl I found on OKCupid.
Let’s back up.
There’s this dating site called Soulgeek. It’s fairly new. Well, it’s like a year old at this point, I think. So maybe not so new anymore. The point is, it exists, and it’s small. It was put together by a guy who is, I think, an actor and, I know, a voiceover work… guy. He does voices for cartoons, is what I’m saying.
I think his wife died. I’m not sure on that anymore. It’s been like a year since I knew the specifics. But he’s a geek, and she was or is a geek, and they were very happy together. He seems like a good guy, and the reason he created the site was out of a genuine desire to help other people like him to find a geek like themselves out there so they could find the happiness that he had.
I bring all this up to say that the reason I still pay any amount of attention to that site is because I think that the attempt is laudable and I would like to support it. Unfortunately, it’s really small still. So there really aren’t many people in a given area that are on it. Which kind of defeats the purpose.
So, while I feel it is a worthy cause, and it’s worthy of my support, it’s just not worth paying a monthly fee for. Even though the monthly fee is considerably smaller than the fees of sites like Jdate or
They way these sites work when they have the monthly fee, is browsing through the members is free. Creating a profile is free. But making substantive communication is locked for paying members. All you’re able to do as a free member is send a pre-fab message saying “hi. I’m interested in you.” But that’s it. There’s no way to follow up in any substantive manner.
This message is called variably a flirt, or a wink, or a number of other things depending on the site in question. On Soulgeek, it’s called a Hail in keeping with the geeky nature of the site proper. (searches are called Scans, and your homepage is called the Bridge… get it?)
So, I found this girl on Soulgeek who was in Miami and was cute and seemed alright by the little bit of a profile you can make on Soulgeek. Which is largely talking about what sorts of sci fi you’re into and what other types of things make you a geek.
So, I sent her a Hail, and she sent me a Hail back. And then nothing. Because that was really all that was possible from that site at the time without paying for it.
I sort of thought about paying for a month just so that I could send her a proper email, but there’s every possibility that you need to be a paying member to READ the proper emails as well. So I didn’t even know if she would be able to read it. And also, even if she was able to, I figured there wasn’t that much of a chance that anything worth mentioning would come of it.
This was all, I would say, six months ago. Maybe more.
So, I was on OKCupid the other day for some reason, and by some chance I came across the same picture of her that she had used on her Soulgeek profile. OKCupid is, for the most part, a free dating site. They are introducing a pay section, and it offers things like highlited profiles and more inbox storage, but the messaging and all the real functionality of the site is, for the moment, still free.
So, recognizing her picture, I checked out her profile. And I really liked it. This goes back to the whole crush on Melissa thing. I don’t understand it, really. There’s not very much that you can learn about a person from these stupid profiles, but for some reason I felt like I had a crush on her the same way I feel like I have a crush on Melissa.
So, a long story of stuff that doesn’t matter comes to the unsatisfying conclusion;
I sent her a proper message telling her I was interested. She got the message, and looked at my profile, but she hasn’t responded back.
What that probably means is that she isn’t interested. That’s fine. It would be nice if she was and we could meet up and maybe there would be something there, but I’m not emotionally invested enough in this person who I have never met, and yet still feel I have this crush on, to be really any amount of genuine upset.
However, maybe it doesn’t mean that at all. Maybe she just doesn’t think that me sending a message to her really means anything at all, and that I just spend my time sending these messages to lots of people. A lot of girls on these sites have things saying “don’t message me if you’re just looking for sex” etc. And she had a whole big list of those sorts of things. I’m sure she gets messages all the time of that nature.
So, I’m going to try to take a little bit of education from that story I wrote, and go with reason number 2. Reason number 1 would mean that communication with this person is over, but reason number 2 means that persistence may be worthwhile.
I’m pretty sure we’re dealing with reason number 1 here, but oh well. If I don’t hear from her in a week, I’ll send a short message saying that I’m sorry I hadn’t heard from her and that I’m being sincere and that it would be really nice to hear back.
Then, if message number 2 is disregarded, I give up and move on without undo amount of heartache, but with at least the knowledge that I wasn’t letting my, admittedly numerous, neuroses prevent me from something.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Writing and Editing

So, after day of careful deliberation and a cursory look around at my options, I bought a netbook. It's an Acer Aspire One. Because I like Acer. I'm not under any sort of fantasy that this was an intelligent purchase.

The problem I had was that I wanted to write, but I don't like writing in bed on my computer. I like to go outside and have a cigarette while I write. The phone with the bluetooth keyboard was fine for writing these blogs, but for any serious writing it just wouldn’t cut it. For one thing, the U button didn’t work well. But the real problem is that the screen just isn’t big enough to really see what I had written. There wasn’t really any way to read as I was typing. It was just the sentence I was on, and that was it.
So, for the past few weeks I have been writing. Like, real writing. But I haven’t been using the phone. I’ve been writing longhand, which I don’t really like. So, the idea is that getting this is going to help me to write more. It won’t though.
Let’s be honest. This was a foolish purchase. A monumental waste of money. The real reason I got it, while we’re being honest, is because I’ve sort of always wanted a laptop. I don’t really have any use for a laptop, but I’ve always wanted one just the same. And I was at Best Buy yesterday to pick up a standard to SATA power converter (they didn’t have one… Best Buy has a real crap Computer Hardware section) and I saw the netbooks. And they were just so adorable and affordable. And so there we are, and here I am. Writing on my new adorable netbook.
So, am I writing more of my current project, like I should be—like I bought this for in the first place? No. I’m wasting my time writing a blog entry while my new computer updates itself.
I only installed the essentials on this machine. Outpost Security Suite, MS Office, and Final Draft. It acutally came with a gimped version of Office, which included Word and not much else. I really could have just left it at that, but I decided to splurge on the whole Office Suite.
A quick note about the current state of my writing, and then on to more about that tangentially.
I finished the story that I had wanted to write when I wrote this last blog. The one about… well… me and my neuroses, basically. It turned out poorly, as expected. It’s basically just one of these blog entries—well, not this entry. One of the ones about my neuroses and my views on relationship theory and such—but in narrative form. I should really just post it up here. I might. It’s kind of long to be posted in this fashion though… so we’ll see. There’s also not much point to it, seeing as Emily already read it, and I don’t think Mike has any desire to. And I think the two of them represent the entirety of my audience here.
Anyway, I gave it to a few people to ask for there help on it. More on that later. Cherry tried to help. She seemed to have put a lot of work into it, actually. She gave me a couple good notes, but on the whole was pretty unhelpful. More on that later, in the same later as the last one.
The only person who was really helpful with it was Sophia. And, while her suggestion really was helpful and would probably make that story a lot better, I don’t think I’m going to go back to it. I wanted to write it, and it’s written. One of the main reasons I wanted to write it was just to get myself back (I say that, but I don’t really ever remember being there in the first place to go back to it) into the swing of writing. And it worked.
I’m revisiting my plan from like a year and a half ago of writing and maintaining a serialized short fiction series. But I’m trying to do it right this time. I have three different story ideas—one of which is the one that I tried writing last time. I’ve actually been doing a decent job of actually keeping up with it. I wrote the first episode last week, and wrote a second one this week. The plan is to try to write two more tomorrow.
There are some neat things about serialized work. One thing is that, if it’s not that great in the beginning, that’s kind of okay. It would be better if it started off fantastically, but the thing about serialized fiction is that it has a chance to grow and develop. By the time you’re on your 20th episode, the first episode is somewhat forgotten. Everything about the story could have changed by then, but gradually. Serial fiction has the bonus of growing and maturing with its author, which brings me to my next neat thing.
It’s a really good tool for practicing writing. Set yourself a schedule, and try to make it a little but not too difficult, and then stick to it. My schedule is at least one episode a week, for an eventual update schedule when I start to put this online.
I was listening to a podcast interview with Jonathon Coulton (if you don’t know who he is, look into him. You’ll thank me) and he was talking about the period of his career when he was just sort of starting out and he did Thing a Week. What he did was he wrote a song, or maybe more I don’t really follow him too closely, and posted it every week. So every week he had to write a whole song, which is kind of a big commitment.
He said that it really helped him to solidify his craft. And also he said that looking back, he doesn’t even remember writing or recording some of that stuff. He’ll go back and listen to it and not even recognize it as his own work.
So, I liked that idea. I took that principle and applied it to writing. Instead of trying to write a story or a script or, god forbid, a whole big novel and try to make it really good and go back and edit it over and over again for perfection (which I am really horrible at anyway) I decided it would be a better idea to give myself a posting schedule, like that of a webcomic, and make sure to have something worthwhile to add to the overall story every week. So far, even though I’m only two weeks in, I can feel it making a difference, which is neat.
I’m actually really kind of excited about this project. I’m not ready to talk about it in too many specifics, as in what the story is about or anything, but the plan is to build myself a buffer, and then post one episode a week online, just like a webcomic but with short fiction. Shannon said she would design the website for me, which is good because I can’t really figure out a good way to display this sort of content in a web browser. I even bought a domain! belongs to me. I’m actually really proud of that domain name.
The eventual, hopeful, idea is to have three stories running. The one I’m working on now, the one I started (one kind of lame episode) last time, and a third idea that I like more than the other two, so I’m waiting till I’m writing a bit better to start working on. Then I’ll try to maintain an update schedule of MWF, one on each of the days. I think that’s a bit ambitious. It probably will not happen. But, that’s the hope at the moment.
Okay. I got more excited talking about what I’m doing currently than I expected to, and this is running a bit longer than I thought it would.
Oh! One more thing before I move on. A half hour lunch break is not nearly enough time to do any sort of substantial writing. Just thought I’d clear that up for you if you were wondering.
Sorry. As I was saying… this is going longer than I expected. I was going to throw in a couple quick thoughts about Stacy that I’ve been sitting on. But they aren’t important. So maybe next time.
Instead, I’m going to move on to the stuff I promised to move on to earlier. Editing.
But before I do that, I just remembered one more thing… the only problem with this new laptop instead of writing out longhand is the process of retyping. Having to read through and type out the stuff that you wrote is actually a really good tool for editing, because you have to read carefully at a per word level. If you’re reading something that you just wrote, the tendency is to sort of skim over it, but having to type it out forces you to do a thorough read through. I’m going to have to make myself learn some better quick editing habits.
Now, on to editing from a more theoretical standpoint.
Like I said, Cherry read my story, and she gave it a thorough workshopping, which made me remember why I didn’t like workshops.
There are things that you say in workshops, and they’re fairly predictable. Things like “the story doesn’t start in the right place” or “end in the right place”… basic things like that. I pretty much knew which of those sorts of things she was going to tell me. I knew that she would think them, and I knew that a workshop group would think them. The problem with a workshop group, and the problem with having Cherry workshop my story, is that people tend to take a bit of ownership of the story that they’re workshopping.
The main problem that Cherry had with my story was that, well, nothing much happened. It was sort of a snapshot of these two people’s lives, but not in a period of time where something altogether life altering was happening. I was trying to make a point with this story more than I was trying to tell a compelling “here’s what happened” sort of drama. That is, in itself, sort of a problem… trying to tell a story to make a point instead of telling a story to tell a story isn’t really the greatest approach. But it’s what I was trying to do nonetheless.
So, everything she said was trying to basically get me to write a different story. She wasn’t interested in this one. But that’s not what I wanted from her, and I never liked seeing people doing that in the workshops that I have been a part of.
In my workshop classes, in my hazy and not very reliable memory, I was the only one who would really try to see the story that the author was trying to tell, and then give advice on how better to tell that story. I’m sure that’s not true. I’m sure others were trying to do the same thing. But I distinctly remember a number of occasions where the conversation would be “this is what should have happened here” and then I would say “well, that’s not really the point the author seems to have been trying to make. If you make those changes then you’ll be telling a different story than what the author was trying to tell.” In these workshops the author isn’t allowed to speak until the very end, and I remember the author saying, a lot of the time “evan was right. That was what I was trying to do with this story.” And then a huge portion of the workshop, if not the whole thing to most of it, were rendered useless.
I don’t really have a point here except that in this very specialized scenario, which is not relevant to pretty much anyone at this point, people do it all wrong and they should do it better. Also, people aren’t good at discerning what the intent of an author is as opposed to the things that they read into what the author is writing. Which, I suppose, is a greater literary theory topic that Mike would probably be far more suited to tackle than I am.
And on that note, I will take my leave. I don’t know how often I’m going to be posting here anymore. Maybe more often now that I have this nifty laptop, but that will probably be temporary if at all. I’m hoping that the lion’s share of the time spent with this will be on writing my stories. And I’m also hoping that sometime in the not so distant future I’ll have a site up at, and my blogging will be there more than here.
Although, there are some things that go on a personal blog that don’t belong on a website like that. So we shall see.
Until next time.