The minute I come up with a decent idea for a short story and put a few paragraphs of it on paper, my inner critic starts to work its negativity and tries to convince me that my idea’s not original/interesting enough, or that I don’t know enough about the topic that I’m writing about.
I’ve been meaning to continue working on “The Visitation” for the past few days, but I’ve ended up playing NBA 2K10 on the PSP, watching TV, reading Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” or just hitting the sack early instead.
It’s like my inner critic has a whole arsenal of things to throw at me to keep me from writing my fiction, and I’m too weak to resist them.
I know, I know, I just need to sit down and start writing. “Write hot, edit cold,” as they say. This weekend, I think I’ll hole myself up in a coffee shop that doesn’t have Wi-Fi with just my laptop (no book, no PSP, no iPod) and just the write the hell outta that story. The self-criticism (sometimes it’s even self-loathing) will just have to come later.
Bought my Ozaki iMini iPod speakers from iStudio at High Street yesterday. iPod speakers have been on my to-buy list for the past 2 years, but other things would somehow push them out of the top spot just when I was about to buy a set. That plus the fact that iPod docks are hella expensive.
The Ozaki iMini iPod speakers come in black, white, pink, blue, and a couple of other colors. They run on AC power and six AAA batteries for portable use. Aside from the iPod dock feature, there’s an alarm clock (which can be powered by a separate watch battery), an FM radio, USB plug-in function, and line out reception via a 3.5mm cable.
The sound’s great, and at P2,800 it’s a real steal. Most docks go for at least P5,000. Can’t wait to get home tuloy. :D
“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”—Alan Alda (via dolldalera)
A guy from the Colayco Foundation gave a talk at the office today. Found out that my money in the bank isn’t earning enough to counter the effects of inflation. He then talked about how investing in mutual funds is the best option for someone like me: young, single, and with a sincere desire to earn money beyond my day job and (hehehe) sidelines.
I’m about 95% sold on the idea; just sent out a note to one of the speaker’s recommended mutual fund companies, asking for either a phone or face-to-face conversation to find out more.
I visited their website; there’s a quiz that you take to measure your risk tolerance. Apparently I have a medium risk appetite. I’m hoping the conversation with one of their reps will help me to figure out what product will work best for me and my current financial goals and capabilities.
I bought one of those Thumbthings at Fully Booked yesterday. Yes, the product is called a Thumbthing. Essentially it’s a thumb ring with “wings;” you slip it on and it allows you to hold a book open with one hand as the “wings” prevent the pages from closing on your hand.
I bought that, Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” and the complete Essex County trilogy by acclaimed cartoonist Jeff Lemire, and the sales clerk dumbed them all in one big plastic bag.
I opened it when my officemate Noah and I were in Starbucks, put it back in the plastic bag with the two books, and then when I got to the office I pulled out the books and threw the bag in the trash can with the Thumbthing still inside. I only realized I’d thrown out P150 worth of plastic when I was already home. At this point the Thumbthing was already mingling with the remains of my officemates’ lunches at the bottom of the pantry trash can.
Oh, well. Guess I’ll just have to get another one.
I think the first Stephen King book I read was Christine. I was around 10 at the time, and as much as I enjoyed the more “mature” aspects of the book (I was 10; Stephen King was as raunchy as I was gonna read for at least 3 more years), what really struck me about King’s writing was his ability to create believable characters. I felt for pimply Arnie and I rejoiced when he got the girl after all those years of living under Dennis’ shadow. I sympathized for Dennis, the sports hero one minute and then helpless with his leg in a cast the next.
After that I moved on to The Dead Zone, then The Stand, but when I got to The Regulators and some of his later work I just sort of lost interest. I moved on to Mario Puzo and Lorenzo Carcaterra, rediscovered comics and moved on to Neil Gaiman’s fiction, which then led me to Haruki Murakami, who is quickly becoming my new favorite author.
Last December 23, while heading to the section of Fully Booked High Street’s Fiction shelf where I knew I could find a new Murakami book, I passed a whole row of Stephen King’s work. Some I already had, some I’d borrowed from friends before, and some of the new ones I really didn’t care to read. One stood out: It.
I’d of course heard of the book. I knew there was a movie adaptation, one that I hadn’t been allowed to watch in my youth. I knew there was some sort of killer clown, but after moving on to King’s early work to his more recent ones and being let down I’d never even bothered to pick up more of his older books. I bought It and Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance and headed home.
Almost a week and 1093 pages later (yes, it’s a very long book, like reading an Ayn Rand novel), I realize now how much of an influence King was and still is on me. Friends have told me that I have a good ear for dialogue and that it translates to the page well, but reading It was a completely different experience. King fleshes out personality traits and relationship nuances between characters almost effortlessly with just a few exchanged words. But more than that, It shows King’s keen eye for detail; whole towns come to life without the book sounding like a travelogue, and that’s a skill that I have yet to master.
More than that, however, rereading Stephen King has taught this backsliding writer an important lesson: start by writing what you know. He spent almost his entire childhood in Maine, and that’s where (and when) his stories take place. His characters are amalgamations of his own friends and relatives, and that’s why even the film Stand By Me (based on his novella “The Body”) still stands today as one of the best films about youth and growing up.
With just 5 1/2 days to go before the end of the break, it’s time for me to look back on my inspirational and personal roots. I hear it’s a very good place to start.
(x) made out in/on a car ( ) kissed in the snow (x) celebrated Halloween ( ) kissed in the rain ( ) had your heart broken ( ) broke someone else’s heart ( ) had a stalker ( ) went over the minutes on your cell phone (x) had a good relationship with someone ( ) someone questioned your sexual orientation ( ) gotten pregnant ( ) had an abortion ( ) have a relationship with someone you’ll never forget (x) done something you’ve regretted ( ) lost faith in love ( ) kissed under mistletoe
OTHER ( ) painted a picture (x) wrote a poem (x) ran a mile ( ) shopped at Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch (x) posted a blog (x) listened to music you couldn’t stand (x) went to a sleepover ( ) went camping ( ) threw a surprise party (x) laughed till you cried ( ) laughed till you peed in your pants ( ) visited a foreign country ( ) cut in a line of waiting people (x) told someone you were busy when you weren’t ( ) partied to celebrate the new year ( ) cooked a disastrous meal ( ) lost something/someone important to you
In 2009 I… (x) broke a promise (x) lied (x) went behind your parents back ( ) cried over a broken heart (x) disappointed someone close (x) hid a secret (x) pretended to be happy ( ) slept under the stars ( ) kept your new years resolution (x) forgot your new years resolution ( ) met someone who changed your life (x) met one of your idols (x) changed your outlook on life (x) sat home all day doing nothing ( ) pretended to be sick ( ) left the country ( ) almost died (x) given up something important to you ( ) lost something expensive (x) learned something new about yourself ( ) tried something you normally wouldn’t try and liked it (x) made a change in your life (x) found out who your true friends were (x) met great people (x) stayed up til sunrise ( ) cried over the silliest thing (x) was never home on weekends ( ) got into a car accident (x) had friends who were drifting away from you ( ) had someone close to you die ( ) had a high cell phone bill (x) spent most of your money on food ( ) had a fist fight ( ) went to the beach with your best friend (x) saw a celebrity (x) gotten sick ( ) liked more than 5 people at the same time (x) became closer with a lot of people
I’ve got five, maybe seven short stories with first pages and no continuation. I’ve got 5 really good ideas written in my Yellow Submarine notebook.
I miss the days when I’d stay up to write. Nowadays I settle for haikus. Not that there’s anything wrong with haikus, but I write them because it takes me much less time to crank out a half-decent one than it would to write a basic plot outline.
This Christmas break, I’m really gonna push myself. I’m gonna get myself a kickass set of speakers, lock myself up in my room, play some creativity-inducing sounds and just write ‘til daybreak.