Archive for January, 2011


Gaga did coke. Hemingway, Stephen King, and Poe were raging alcoholics. Countless other artists have died from drug overdoses or been steeped in some sort of illegal substance for at least part of their lives. It leaves whack jobs like myself wondering if to be great, I have to develop some sort of substance abuse problem.

Of course, realizing how stupid an idea that is, my mind went wandering for another explanation. Best I’ve got is that a whole hell of a lot of people that create greatly influential work are troubled. Troubled at best.

What leads those with depression and troubles to the arts? Maybe it’s the only thing we can do to escape our pains and troubles.

I’ve got pretty much nothing for this week’s blog entry, and for that, I apologize. There’s been too much other shit going on– too much drama and other bullshit none of you want to hear. School is always a problem. Family is always a problem. Money is a problem for everyone right now.

When I said I was thinking I needed to develop a substance abuse problem, maybe I was looking for an excuse. House has his vicodin (or did) and Holmes had his heroin. Hell, from what I’ve heard, Alexander the great was an alcoholic and he took over half the goddamn world.

Me, however, I am not great. Just fucked up. Fucked up in ways that my professors are starting to notice that I’m not quite normal and starting to worry about me. Not normal in ways that interfere with my school work and classes. Much stronger than needed reactions to certain types of events. Discovering “triggers.”

Thankfully, I’m too poor to afford most drugs. And those I can, I don’t want. I don’t want any of them really– my body couldn’t take it, as fragile as it is. So I’m stuck with what I can do: Hide in plain sight, staying inside my head, and playing Resident Evil and whatever other survival horror games I can get my hands on. I can murder the monsters in the dark there. It makes the specters here easier to bear.

Title of Post: Lyric from “We Are the Kids from Yesterday” by My Chemical Romance.

“Well now this could be the last of all the rides we take
So hold on tight and don’t look back
We don’t care about the message or the rules they make
I’ll find you when the sun goes black

And you only live forever in the lights you make
When we were young we used to say
That you only hear the music when your heart begins to break
Now we are the kids from yesterday…”

First off, I’m going to participate in the “post a week” hoo-hah that is going on. You have all been warned.

Second, I have made a decision of my life path. I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that my dear friend over at The Uncomfort Zone has some terribly ambitious plans in the making, and is making them happen by studying for the LSAT and being all adult. Those of you that follow my twitter and have read my delusions of grandeur know what I’m talking about.

I’m gonna be a screenwriter. Preferably for TV.

You know how shows seem to fizzle at the end of approximately two seasons, and that’s if you’re lucky? How House has gone all to hell because (House Cuddy ) Huddy is fanservice. Bad. Fanservice. That would be fine except for the fact it is OUT OF CHARACTER for both of them? How Chuck is dead to me because of the shit they pulled in season three? (Aside rant: Chuck is not James Bond, people. I don’t give a flying fuck what magical computer he has stuck in his head, he’s still been a dork for how many years of his life? And NOW he’s Mr. Superspy? Oh no. Also, the only reason Superspy Barbie (Sarah) hasn’t been hauled out and shot in the head for some of the stupid shit she pulls is an act of Deus Ex Machina, nothing more. I hold to my idea that she is what murdered the show because the writers keep trying to set up chemistry that ain’t there. If Chuck has any sense at all, as he seemed to demonstrate early on, he would have taken this yo-yo thing and gone “You know what? Go cry in your ‘daddy’s in jail, I trust no one, I’m a hardass spy and cannot love you–OMGPLZDON’TGO I NEED ATTENTION IN THE FORM OF BLIND ADORATION BECAUSE NO ONE LOVED ME’ corner. Fuck this. I’m going to go find someone sane.” )

See that, right there? That’s why I’m going into screen writing. Because apparently, character continuity does not exist. It’s all about “omg, MAKE SEXUAL TENSION. MAKE IT NOW. Now beat it to death! Do it, do it!” Further more, there seems to be a trend of perpetuating the idea that you should keep pining over people that treat you like shit that needs to stop. The idea that you should let them treat you like shit, and that this is good writing and television, disturbs me. Huddy is an example (really, Cuddy? You’re the “tough” chick on the show and suddenly you NEED a baby and are letting House treat you like garbage?) and so is Chuck/Sarah. There are other examples in popular literature at the moment (Twilight, anyone? “OMG, I love you so much I’m going to take away all your friends and your decision making ability! I KNOW WHAT’S BEST”) but I’m taking on fixing TV. Why? A little history.

I have always been into two things: characters and the way they talk. I love mind hacking characters, I love figuring out why they do what they do, and I love the way they say what they do and don’t say what they do. I have been writing fanfiction most of my life. Yes, I know, I just lost all respectability as a writer. Stay with me.

Why did I turn to this hobby? Well, combine a shitty home life, school life, and a fascination for people in a little sixth grade body. Add in a dash (okay, more than a dash) of wanting to talk to someone. There you are. My writing process for getting to know characters in a nutshell. I drag a character in, sit them down, and talk to them. I’ve been poking around other people’s brains and lives ever since, learning from their mistakes, their biases, pondering the questions of what it is to be human and to be alive. Why one should bother to be alive is a popular topic, especially with the pessimists that claim to hate humanity.

Perhaps it is because of the way that I deal with characters, as beings I have little control over, real living breathing beings that have their own agendas and thoughts despite whatever I come up with and are not simply playthings for me to fuck around with and puppet as I please, that dialogue is a strong suit. How I first get to know characters, how they first charm me or repel me, is how they speak. What the say. I listen, however offensive I may find it. I spend a very long time having conversations with them before I dare to try to write for them. As a result, I always tend to get high marks for dialogue in assigned work even if the rest is crap. It’s from all those years of imaginary conversations that I kept writing until they rang true, not just settling for making the character say what I think they should to make me happy.

The other stuff, meanwhile? The long-winded ramblings of setting, back story as provided by an omniscient narrator, writing that “This happened, then this happened?” Ehh. I can, but put in that form, my words come out as clotted cream, not something you would want to put in your coffee. Dialogue, or text that sounds like dialogue, is how I tell a story, other wise it comes out dead and flat. That’s a problem in books. You gotta summarize something sometime, and describe things sometimes, and I just… suck. Believe me, I’ve been trying really hard to fix it, but I still suck. Screenwriting, on the other hand, is all dialogue and actions. You CAN just imply other action, or skip it entirely. You can cut between scenes much more easily, showing what is important rather than the important bits AND a whole bunch of summary AND description. You set the dialogue and the scene, but the rest is implied via stage direction and other suggested action.

Maybe there’s a way to write books like that. Maybe. But at the present, I’m leaning toward screenwriting as being the place I wanna be. It plays to my natural strengths. All that stuff, the arguing around the table with a bunch of coffee driven writing fiends, the deadlines, the being a part of something that’s a hit but still being able to walk down the street unmauled– I like that idea. I really do. Plus, I’m overqualified for the job, which helps. I’m gonna have a degree in English and Psych both here soonish. Now, all I gotta do is convince the folks out at Warner Bros. to let me in their elite screenwriting program once I get the hell out of this damn college.

Wish me luck.

Watching Sherlock Holmes (the newest movie) and contemplating what it is about this movie, and about the older episodes of House, that I find so very calming.

Yes, ladies, gentle folk, and those in between, ’tis a trip inside my head time. Do feel free to skip if you’re uninterested, but I will try to make it entertaining, despite its egocentric nature.

As many of you have probably noticed, I have a take on the world that is a bit unusual in some ways, not so much in others. The differences in my mind, in how it works as it processes is in some ways a blessing, some ways a curse.

I am good at school. I can twist and argue things well, which is why I do well as an English major. I have good grades there, not spectacular but a respectable B average after almost four years there. However, this same ability to twist my mind inside out around Kafka’s The Trial and work my way into a character’s emotions like a happy heartworm. For those of you that are scientists out there, ignore that “heartworms” mostly reside in the arteries in the lungs and run with the simile.

However, this same ability turns reality into a nightmare, where paranoia is justifiable by the sheer number of negative outcomes that can be thought up for every action and its reaction. It whirs, an overclocked CPU, taking the smallest pieces of information and expanding it, tracing it’s origin, route to the present, and the many ways it can meander into the future to significance or none, wanted or not. I cannot control when it decides to run off on these tangents– They can be summoned when needed, but once they appear, they cannot be stopped. If this process takes a dark turn, it can end with me turning into an angry, suspicious, cynical, inconsolable mess and there is really no way to properly explain how or why to most individuals. Not only does my mind run in all directions– it has the sadistic ability to convince me that whatever conclusion it comes to is right, or at least has a high enough possibility of being right that it will cause me to worry and take precaution.

My mind has the remarkable ability to synthesize the past, future, scenarios, sensations, reasoning, logic at a speed that would shame a cheetah. Despite the above problems, it does come in handy, and not only with school. A large part of why I am a writer has to do with the fact that if I try hard enough and harness that power, I can hack my way into a character’s mind to the point I feel the stitches of their clothing over my skin, the weight of their jewelry, know the breadth of their shoulders and how they have to move because of their shape and build, their inflections when they speak and the sound of their voice. I know their biases, their fears, their reasoning. Due to this immersion technique, I will pick up moods and mannerisms for whomever I am writing occasionally. Hell, I’ve been told I have a certain expression on my face when I write some of my best loved characters. I can synthesize a person from a touch of perfume, a tea, a turn of phrase. It’s alchemy. Beautiful, glorious alchemy of a god, where I turn not lead into gold, but clay into flesh.

My mind eats input, craves stimulation, and consumes itself when left idle, usually for the worst. My… sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Sherlock Holmes or House, both are brilliant detectives and utterly kick ass at what they do– they can solve things no one else can solve. They also are drug addicted, eccentric, and a complete and utter bitch to get along with.

It is arrogance to compare myself to those two, lowly being that I am. However, even in my most self loathing of moods, I can see similarities. I have a dangerous fondness for alcohol and painkillers that (thankfully) is kept carefully in check and under constant watch by myself and my dearest. I have eccentric tendencies. Where House sets the hospital on fire or Holmes lures flies into a bottle to experiment with how they react to his violin, I have been known to write compulsively on any flat reflective surface I can find and mutter River-esqe nonsense while gnawing my nails and lips until they bleed.

I suppose it is their kinship, perhaps, that is so calming. Their sound flowing of ideas and reasoning, the timbre of their voices as they explain their latest theory. Their own immersions into the minds of the criminals they’re chasing or the patients they’re treating. Or perhaps it is simply the fact that when Holmes and House go off on their flights of reasoning, it ends well. It doesn’t turn around and impale them. Usually. Perhaps it is even more soothing when it does.

Maybe what is most comforting is that for all of the shit that has happened to me, how people seem to avoid me, how I seem to have some repellent air about me, people like me can be useful. Needed. Needed enough that what little relief simply drugging myself into a stupor or worse can provide from the constant tangled blur inside me, I am worth more to the world awake, alert, functioning. Useful enough that someday, I will find where I am needed, much as House and Holmes have. Somewhere I am needed that will keep my mind active, awake, and busy so it does not consume itself. Somewhere that prevents the consumption and destruction without halting my mind or blood completely.

The first is mentioned because it’s what I’ll be rambling about, the second is mentioned because it is part of the reason why I’m up at 6:35 AM writing a freaking blog because I can’t sleep. Yay having a sensitive stomach, eh?

So, here I am, on a highly uncomfortable couch in a friend’s apartment because I’m maid of honor in her wedding and we’re going to a wedding show today. This lovely friend lives with two other girls, another one that is getting married soon as well, and another that doesn’t believe in marriage. As she put it “I’m just going to have fuck buddies the rest of my life. *Shrug*”

Got me to thinking. What is all this hoopla surrounding marriage?

I mean, I get that for a lot of women it’s the one day that they get to flip shit and do whatever they want, and if that includes being brought in on a white sleigh with horses and snow in June, they will freaking do it, never mind how much debt it puts them in. There’s a fair lot of folk out there that say “I have the wedding planned, now I just need the groom” or, worse “I just want to have a wedding!” My friend isn’t like this, thank god, but does this depress anyone else?

I mean, I realize I have a unique perspective: Where I live, I’m not allowed to get married, because two sets of boobies in a relationship is just too much for the Midwest to handle. In my own personal journey of why I should give a fuck about being ABLE to marry my dear girl I’ve discovered a awful big pros to being able to:

1. If I’m knocked the fuck out on a hospital bed, my medical proxy defaults to her, not my parents. Big plus.
2. If either of us get a call of “OHFUCKSHITWENTBAD” and rush to the hospital, neither of us can be shut out under the “family only” bullshit. We’ve discussed this, being the morbid folk we are: If we’re dying, we want the other one there. Period. Sadly, without a(n) (honored) marriage certificate, if they really wanted to, they could shut me out. I can’t deal with that.
3. Suddenly, insurance becomes a lot easier. MANY things become a lot easier, actually.
4. It has the added societal bonus of “It doesn’t matter if you or your church recognize my commitment or who I am– the legal system does. Blow me.”

The first two are the main ones, but the third and forth are awful nice all on their own. Especially that last one.

Here’s what baffles me: A lot of straight folks seem to take this for granted. It’s all about the wedding. The marriage doesn’t factor in. For me, the wedding is just an excuse to have a huge-ass party with all my friends and get to wear over the top clothes I WISH I could wear on a day to day basis. It’s not the main event, and it’s CERTAINLY not worth getting my ass in debt for. I have school for that.

I’m not one of those girls that has been planning my wedding since I was three, and there’s only so much hemming and hawing over place settings I can take before I go “THEY’RE FUCKING NAPKINS, JUST PICK A FUCKING COLOR!”

In the process of helping my friend get ready for hers, I’m realizing just how much that above fact sets me apart from a lot of people. I originally was going to say “sets me apart from a lot of girls” but that implies I belong to that group in some way, which I really… don’t. I sure as hell don’t describe myself as transgender in the sense that I identify as the opposite gender from my sex, but I really don’t identify with that whole…. “girl” thing. Or that whole “boy” thing. Love of make-up and clothes keeps me from identifying as wholly masculine, and love of a being a force “as loud as God’s revolver and twice as shiny” and some of my distinct lackings in femininity keep me from identifying as feminine.

I never realized quite how much that matters until I was in the middle of a group of traditional *girls* that to my knowledge, have no gender conflicts, giggling and squealing over wedding things. There’s just something in the *way* they behave that is distinctly alien to me. I haven’t been that way since high school and… sometimes I miss it. I wish for it now so I could be squealing along with them the way normal girls seem to. I really, really don’t want to fail the wonderful woman that made me her maid of honor. I don’t want to make her feel like I don’t care. It’s just that honestly… something in my brain doesn’t understand how you can pour over things like dresses and colors for so long without a break. I know some of it is that it’s *your* wedding, not mine, but… the traditional floof and tittering is really just lost on my dumb ass that doesn’t understand when my girlfriend facepalms because I eat my ramen out of the pot I cook it in because in my heathen mind, bowls are unnecessary. I mean, the pot is a bowl. It’s even warm! And has a convenient carrying handle! How cool is that?!

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