Thursday, April 25, 2013

340. This Work is Copyrighted

Originally, I had posted the fully revised text of one of my stories, but since then I've thought better of it and chosen to delete it. I also went back and removed the first draft versions of the two stories which I had originally posted. It's not really a big deal I guess, but I had this nagging feeling that I should protect my unpublished work, rather than giving it away on the internet for free. "Leda & the Swan' is currently competing in a national competition, and "Behind the Lines" has been submitted to my college literary magazine for possible publication. It isn't very practical to watermark a work of fiction, and neither story makes a lot of sense if I only post an excerpt.

It's weird, actually. This is the first time in my life I've ever written anything that I felt I should protect, unless we're talking private journal entries. Even now, I don't think they were truly good stories. But having invested hours upon hours in them, lost sleep over them, and revised them until I couldn't stand the sight of them anymore, I feel compelled to defend my rights to them.

In other writing related news, I got a response from the school newspaper today. The editor in chief wants to meet me and said I sound like a perfect fit. I'd make an ok Lois Lane, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

339. Burn-Out

Finish line is in sight, but I'm exhausted. I spent the last two days revising "Behind the Lines", which I intended to post for you, but then left it on my desktop at work. No rush, I suppose.
This morning I got up at 5:30 for my last Soliya session. I'm going to miss those kids, but I won't miss them too much when I'm getting an extra hour of sleep on Wednesdays. I managed to find most of them on Facebook, and a couple on Instagram, so at least we can keep in touch.
Last weekend I finished what I think is the hardest of the two drawings I had to do, because I was supposed to copy Da Vinci's style. I am no Renaissance master, and even though I understood the technique, the Wizard's portrait came out having its eyes too close together and vaguely resembling Harrison Ford. Not that it's ever a bad thing to resemble Harrison Ford.
The next one I'll be working on this weekend lets me draw in my own style, but asks that I incorporate some of that Da Vinci technique too. I don't dread it so much, which seems promising, but I also haven't decided what I want to do. Overall, I have begun to feel like the novelty of assigned drawings is wearing thin, but next semester I'll be moving onto Graphic Design, and this won't be an issue again for a while. 
In the next week or so I still have a lot of hands to draw, an essay to write, a Powerpoint presentation to put together, a chapter for Anthropology and the final exam for it too. So what did I do with my evening? Stuffed Chinese food in my face and practiced "Yesterday" on piano for about an hour and a half.
Thankfully, I have time to work on a lot of this while I'm at work, leaving me with a three day weekend free to work on the big drawing and relax a bit. The Wizard and I are planning to grill some tasty food and make margaritas for a couple of friends on Saturday, which might be the most mundanely charming afternoon I've been able to look forward to in some time.
On that note, I'll leave you with a little Cinematic Orchestra...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

338. EEK!

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from my fiction writing professor while I was at work. The head of the English department had reminded her that he needed student submissions for The League for Innovation Literary Competition, and he needed it by the following morning. She was calling to find out if it would be possible for me to finish my revision of my first story, Leda & the Swan, in time. I cannot seem to say no to this woman, so I left Figure Drawing a little early that night and sat up until midnight making changes to the story based on the suggestions I received from my professor and students in my class during my workshop. Though still not completely satisfied with it, I felt much better about the overall pace, character development, and ending. I sent it off to her by email and completely forgot about the competition until last night.

I arrived to class about 5 minutes late because my brain wandered off somewhere while driving and I found myself taking the wrong highway to school, resulting in detour that added about 10-15 minutes to my trip. My professor was just finishing up an explanation of our final portfolio review guidelines, and I took my usual seat in the back of the room. Once she'd finished explaining the handouts, a couple of people began handing out their stories to the class, for their workshop date next week. Story handouts are always a little hectic because half the class seems to be standing up trying to make sure they get everything they're supposed to have, and getting in one another's way.

Everyone was settling back into their seats and I was busy organizing the sudden influx of paper on my desk, when I half-heard the words "League for Innovation". I glanced up from what I was doing just as my professor announced that I had won our district, and that my story is going on to the national competition. I was so shocked, the first thing I blurted out was, "What?!"

I don't expect to win the national competition of course, this is the first story I've ever written. But after class, when I was asked to stay and discuss my second story with my professor, she commented that she'd wished she could have sent that one instead because she liked it even more. I don't know what to think. I've never pursued any sort of writing major or career path because it seemed impossible in the same way that being recognized for any kind of art feels impossible. It still doesn't feel easy by any means, but it doesn't seem completely out of reach anymore, either.

Graduation is spiraling toward me at an alarming rate, and I still have no idea what I'm doing. I have five classes left, and only one is an elective. The more classes I take, the more I want to explore different avenues and possibilities. There isn't enough time to try everything I'm curious about before I have to choose my area of concentration. And I'm so scattered I can't even seem to narrow down the school I plan to attend next, though I hope to have at least that much figured out this fall. Everything is just moving too quickly. I feel like I'm in one of those cheesy cop movies where the detective handcuffs his weaselly informant to the rear-view mirror, and they have to run alongside the car in order to keep from falling down and being crushed under the tires.