Wednesday, February 20, 2013

new hobby from an old-school trick

it's usually a hit or miss with paperback covers. flimsy, easily-torn or just a plain ugly/dated cover. well, i've taken my favorite picks from my batch of paperbacks to give them new life. using the timeless solution of brown paper bags to give books a good resistance against wearing out, i've crafted new covers for each one with their own unique twist!

this is why i can never invest in an ebook. i have simply too much fun and splendor with real books!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a pretty little incident, or there is a point

there is the most beautiful blossom tree in the steep hill behind the gates that draw out the boundaries of my backyard. if not to sound too Anne Shirley-ish, it truthfully was a surprise and excitement to see that the black tree behind the gate that was bare and stiff in the summers bloomed into a torch of delicate white flowers. if i hadn't been reading the Anne of Green Gables books recently, there would probably be nothing to tell in this post.

i like flowers in the house and lately there's been no flowers around, save pine cones whose strong wintry scents are fading and fake holly garlands coiled to be put in the garage soon. with a pretty tree in the back of the house it's hard to not think about possibly getting some flowers and for free. so i made up my mind to go out back this weekend and pluck a few sprigs of blossoms for the kitchen table. thing is, once i unlocked--with difficulty-- the back gate door, i closed it after a few seconds. there was mud and tall green grass surely lined with a snake, and a fallen tree was in my path up the dangerously steep hillside. it was rocky and the tree, at this range, was much farther away than it had looked. too risky.

i also have acute OCD. i was back inside and i knew i probably did not lock the gate well. soo i got my Union Jack rainboots back on-- the bright plastic ones my sister had bought me from her trip to England last November and haven't touched since nothing i have goes with such obnoxious shoes as them-- and trudged back out.

the gate wasn't locked right.

and now the tree didn't look that far. or so i kept telling myself, to force myself back out there and give it a shot. i fully unlocked the gate and sprinted up that hill past whatever might be in the dirt. pulling and prying at the sprigs weren't easy as i imagined, cutting my pinky and thumb to get a few short branches.

now the sprigs are sweet-smelling and grace the table in the kitchen in a clear worn vase and looks fine against the set table. i did that. i pushed myself after shirking away once. i was all set, had the boots and the gate open and everything-- except the courage. this was a minor weekend incident that probably seems like nothing, but lately there's been a lot of doubt in my mind over things that have occurred to me this year, things that have made me feel unhopeful and yes, depressed. i have cried and felt a failure for reasons that now don't seem to matter.

they don't seem to matter to tell you all now, because i can still change them. that moment in pushing myself to go up and get the sprigs is personally a triumph to me-- a regain of strength and assurance that this tough year for me is going to change, that i will change it. that courage and sterness i had to march up against the dangers of the wildwood needs to grow within me, if not reflourish is it had back in high school. high school, Clayton Valley. good years. i was stronger, persistent, happy. i looked towards other mountain peaks towards which to leap after i'd conquered the top of Maslow's Hierarchy.

it's going to all begin again. life is just ups and downs and i've been in the downs, but the blossom tree-- it's sudden bloom and calming aesthetics always looming behind-- it forced to me to go up.

i've also learned that the Union Jack boots may not be too hideous after all. they are most sturdy and handy. they really are made in not-so-loud colors.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Focus on a Glass Green Tea Bottle," a poem

No voices
In the clearing comes
no genius forward
for that glimmering Pullitzer
and here we slouch,
discuss the subjects of lies and smooth rhetoric
they call it politics,
and oh the joy it gives!
With this cold bottle
atop the desk
Wishing to toast
to something so dreadful
and then to this drink
I give a beautiful,
a beautiful thought
and then no more.

Monday, February 11, 2013

my love for Vincent

i admit i've not read my fair share of poetry-- i know i need to round myself off with some Yeats and Wordsworth, etc.-- but i've always been drawn to Ms. Edna St. Vincent Millay. i love every poem written by her, as each one is clever and simple and captures something extraordinary and heavy in the undertones.

just to say, there is the favorite poet/writer versus the favorite poem/story. just as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my favorite book that doesn't mean Betty Smith's my favorite author. it's in liking every word and work penned by the favorite author that you choose them. with poetry, i know enough that Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" is my favorite poem. but Vincent, you just cannot choose one poem. there's the liveliness and old-time grace to her words, in describing nature like distressed beings and the grandness of a single person by how they see the time passing and the environment around them. i am going back to Vincent because soon i have to choose a favorite poem on which to present for my lyric poetry class-- and "Howl" has just been worn out for me.

it's a runner-up, the above, versus the simplicity and gratitude in "Recuerdo" and sighs of"Cap D'Antibes." i was reading them all today on BART into San Francisco this morning, and even if i couldn't choose it was nice that something kept me awake-- nice that i have stumbled upon once more a magnificent and classic lady like her.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

this was the year i really didn't write letters. that's bad.

because it's a lovely thing. to write letters. a lot. they’re the best keepsakes to have. when you read one, you realize that you are your own story.

Pinned Image
(via Pinterest)

food truck food and team Edward

that there is the best of San Francisco's whole Off the Grid regime-- a Fryin' Maiden fried chicken sandwich from the eclectic and punching food truck Brass Knuckle with a menu giving homage to the greatest musicians.

now that's a prime example of character-- yes even in the culinary business! not just the business itself that has their twist, too. i wonder how people come up with the Prawns and Roses, Lamb Halen, and Notorious P.IG. recipes. what aeoli or cheese and waffle bun makes the chefs think of certain rock stars? what exactly gives each sandwich character??

this is disregarding sandwiches but embellishes on the notion of character-development, particularly in writing. the other day in my conference over my senior seminar piece, i was given a great advice* for making sure characters are defined, polished, and kick ass. since my piece is full-on character driven with switching narratives, it's tricky to make sure one character doesn't outshine the other (which actually, yes, is being the trouble with my novel in the beginning pages).

so here it is, what you can do and should do! in order to avoid loose ties in the story and horrific one-sided infatuations à laTeam Edward Team Jacob: interview your characters, each and every one. use the same 20 or so questions and soon enough, you can see the characters talk for themselves. it won't be a matter of you voicing them-- just listen to your gut and think practically and mindfully about what you're sure your character would say or act about something. this isn't your interview, it's theirs.

* this is the beginning to my new section, writer to writer, where i shall collect and share great advice for anyone else trying their hand at making a written mess!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

around the world:

it's been a fascinating start to this week!

King Richard III’s been found in a parking lot

The Alabama boy is safe

The former King of Cambodia is finally laid to rest four months after his death

French women are legally allowed to wear pants now

Saturday, February 2, 2013

heart and soul and laughter

now that i've switched my senior seminar piece to my novel, it's rekindled this fire i've long forgotten for this piece. i'm a novelist, i can't forget that, and it's been so long since i've tackled anything this huge. The Muse Land was my joy, a defining moment in my committment to the written word. even though it's still a raw story that i really need to edit inside/out, it's completed all the same and a full-length novel. when i can, i really do want to have it formally published somewhere.

as for The Knight and the Businessman, it's a lighter, whimsical take on issues i have towards social class and relationships. comedy is always something i feared for having little knowledge of how to create it myself. it's a hit or miss with me, but not this year. in 2013 i want to really work on my comedy, work on this new novel. what's a good writer without having a chance at all forms of writing? especially comedy, people love a good laugh anywhere in any form.

it is Saturday. find me at this desk again and at work with a serious itch on my bent brow and in the best of slouchiest comfy sweaters. i still can't decide on music, always an issue. it's so good just to have a working computer again to catch up, though being away from one definitely had its merits.

i had time to just think, read more (and get inspired again), and just reconnect with friends and what was in front of me. it was a long winter break. more like a retreat into what needs focusing. even from music. that was weird. but even as i write, this January of transcendalist nothing helps me remember to:

think about everything

pay close attention

take my time--even with these sentences it's nice to just relax and slow down the sentences. fewer.
words. more thought.

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Messy Girls," a poem

Cinderella is a raving
mad bitch.

She missed her stop at Fillmore
but that’s not the troubles weighing her down.

Of all the people,
of the chicks 9 to 5 like her
no chances of dreams
Shitting  the dress, spill the shooters
hairspray and mascara that run
things she swears over her dead body
could ever happen
ever after

Yeah she’s over it,
shouting to the rooftops
from bathroom mirrors
with pop songs on repeat
to affirm exalting madness
and over how skeptical she is
of every name tag
reading “Prince Charming.”

She’s just over it
the girl with the heart of gold
looking out to the foam slithering into Ocean Beach,
Cinderella thinks she’s caving in

With her favorite song in mind,
she’ll jump with fulfillment onto the back of the motorcycle
with Matt Helders.

Maybe she’ll kick the glass slipper and
don cream combat boots,
blowing that sinister kiss to the Prince.