Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Blog I Enjoy...

Sleep Talkin' Man is probably the funniest thing I have read in quite a while. It has seriously helped me get over my bout with whatever I had last night. Blech.

Anyway, the blog is kept by this lady who records what her husband says in his sleep. She posts the audio and transcribes the audio as well. The person talking is apparently rather distinct from her husband. Different opinions and vocabulary.

Very funny and worth checking out at least once.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why I Write...

This is an essay I wrote for my Creative Non-Fiction class.

I write because I feel I have something to say. As a white, middle-class, American male, I feel I get lumped in with the white, middle-class, American male stereotype. Yes, there are worse stereotypes, but I don't like getting categorized like that. One of my best friends, Pepe Robles, a native of Huacho, Peru, accused me, in the best way, of having an “envase gringo, contenido peruano.” Roughly translated, this means a gringo container, Peruvian contents. That's a label I wear with pride. I write to show that all is not as it appears on the outside.

I write because paper is a shield that allows me to strip away the armor that I use to protect and hide my true self. I can bare my soul and let myself be vulnerable because when it's on paper, I can distance myself from it.

I write because writing allows me to be paradoxical.

I write because I don't like confrontation. Every day I see people commit acts of sheer stupidity. Rather than be outspoken about said stupidities, I take the passive-aggressive route and write about it.

I write because there is no “backspace,” no eraser for the things that come out of my mouth.

I write because it's therapeutic.

I write to find my truth.

I write to figure myself out. I'm 33 now. For the first 25 years or so of my life I tried to be the person I thought my parents, siblings and friends wanted me to be. I finally figured out that living that way was too stressful and that I wanted to be who I wanted to be. Writing helps me feel my way down the pitch-black hallway of self-discovery. Writing shines a flashlight on the cancerous traits I want to surgically remove and on the atrophied attributes I want to exercise and develop.

I write because I enjoy putting an actual pen to actual paper.

I write because I enjoy writing.

I write because if I don't write down these thoughts running through my head I will forget them. And, to be honest, and maybe just a tad egotistical, some of these thoughts are just too cool to be forgotten.

I write because somebody has to, and nobody else is going to tell my stories.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Classes...

I'm really excited for this semester. I think I'm going to make a lot of progress as a writer. At least I hope so.

I've got four writing classes. I'm a little worried that I'm going to run out of ideas, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I mentioned my creative non-fiction class. This is a relatively new genre. It includes biography, memoir and personal essays. An argument could be made to include journalism under the creative non-fiction umbrella, but I think it's generally held to be it's own beast. I really, really enjoy writing non-fiction. It's a pleasure and appeals to my search for personal truths.

I also have a class in playwriting. This one will be a good class for me, though it's the only class I foresee having personality conflicts with some of my classmates. And then, it's only one or two. No big deal.

I also have classes in poetry and fiction. I'm a little nervous for fiction, if only because I don't generally write fiction. I enjoy it, but haven't been able to wrap my mind around creating it.

So my schedule this semester is this: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I have creative non-fiction for an hour. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have playwriting, poetry, and fiction, all in a row, in that order. Each class is 80 minutes. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I essentially have classes for 4 1/2 hours straight. I'm anticipating headaches on those days. But I'm still looking forward to it.

I've also volunteered to be an assistant editor for the yearly student publication "The Kolob Canyon Review." This should be a good experience and will hopefully look good on my grad school applications.

A little later today I'll post the first piece I wrote for my non-fiction class. A short essay about why I write.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today is the first day of classes here at the local university. While there has been a lot of stress involved in preparing for today, I am excited to start my classes.

Particularly the only class I have today: Creative Non-fiction.

So excited!

More to come later....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Songs That Make Me Emotional (Part Four)...

"There's been a change in me. A kind of moving on, though what I used to be I still depend upon. For now I realize that good can come from bad. That may not make me wise, but, oh, it makes me glad.

And I...I never thought I'd leave behind my childhood dreams, but I don't mind, for now I love the world I see. No change of heart, a change in me.

For in my dark despair I slowly understood my perfect world out there had disappeared for good. But in it's place I feel a newer life begin and it's so good and real it must come from within.

And I... I never thought I'd leave behind my childhood dreams, but I don't mind. I'm where and who I want to be. No change of heart, a change in me."

I first heard the song, "A Change in Me," on the soundtrack to Disney's On the Record, a production using songs from 75 years worth of Disney music. I hadn't heard the song before because it is from the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast.

I had listened to the song maybe 3 or 4 times, but hadn't actually paid attention to the lyrics. I had just come back from a movie and I was sitting in the parking lot of my Mesa, AZ apartment and I actually listened to the lyrics. I started crying so hard I could barely breathe.

It had finally hit home that I needed to make changes in my life. I had to start deciding what I wanted and go for it.

I spent the majority of my life trying to be the person I thought other people wanted me to be. That's honestly a very stressful way to live. Having lived that way for 25 years, it's almost as stressful to decide who and what I want to be. I'm still working on it. It has involved a lot of surgery. Some parts of me I've been able to go in with a laser and cut out he exact trait I didn't like. Some of which involved therapy that I actually felt did me some good. Other parts that I had to get rid of were so rooted that it was like hacking away with a dull axe. I've also been doing some rebuilding and fortifying.

One of the big realizations I made with the help of therapy was that it is okay to dream. I had been so focused on being practical and trying to obtain what was within my reach that I lost the ability to dream. Getting that back has been a lifesaver. I don't get as depressed as before and the depressed periods I have are much more infrequent.

I'm a very spiritual person. I trust my feelings and innate sense of right and wrong to guide me. In attempting to hack away dead growths stunting the growth of my spirituality and sense of truth, I may have gone too far. At least according to some. I don't trust organized religions, including the church I grew up in. I believe in truth, wherever I may find it. I still believe in God. And good. And I feel good about where I'm at faith and religion-wise.

The best part is, I like myself now. I think I'm a pretty decent guy. It makes me sad to think how much i loathed myself before, how worthless I thought I was. No more. I like me. I'm still looking for more of what and who I want to be, but I've made a decent start. I can only get better from here.

"I'm where and who i want to be. No change of heart, a change in me."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


...I has it.

At least the last couple of days. Yesterday I took pictures of my Xbox 360 and my bicycle so I could sell them on Craigslist. I posted the items for sale.

I also managed to practice my guitar for the first time in several months.

I even did some writing.

Today I took my car in to get the oil changed, went book shopping and sold my bicycle.

I also practice my guitar and did a little writing.

It's been a nice couple of days.

I'm particularly excited about the books I bought with store credit: I got two books in the Malloreon series by David Eddings in hardcover. I like hardcover. I also picked up "The Lonely Polygamist" by Brady Udall. Really looking forward to reading that book.

Good days. Kind of wish I didn't have to go to work tomorrow night.

Oh well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Charlie Brown...

...I've come to accept that I have a lot in common with Charlie Brown.

I suppose this realization was inevitable. In high school I auditioned for the part of Linus in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." I was cast as Charlie Brown. I had really wanted to be Linus, so I was a little disappointed for a day or two. I ended up really enjoying the
part and I had a lot of fun with it.

In one of my Spanish classes at Southern Utah University, I got to know a theater major fairly well. One day I asked him, "If you were directing 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown' and I auditioned, who would you cast me as?" He immediately said, "Charlie Brown."

Everybody else could see the similarities long before I could. I accept the similarities and revel in them now.
I just discovered another similarity.

A week or so ago, I wrote about friendship and my frustration with always being the one to initiate activities. Yesterday I read a Peanuts comic strip from 1953. I scanned it in and am including it here. Click to make it more readable.

Go figure. Yet another connection.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Night Watch

Just finished what I believe is the last book in the Night Watch series, by Sergei Lukyanenko. He's a Russian psychiatrist who started writing Science Fiction novels in the early 80s.

I discovered the book series by way of the movie Night Watch, or Nochnoy Dozor. It was a visually stunning movie. When I found the movie was based on a book, I couldn't resist.

It's an interesting series. It has been touted as a modern horror epic, but I don't see it that way. This is very definitely a dark, urban fantasy. The bulk of the series takes place in Moscow. I'm guessing it gets labeled as horror due to featuring vampires and werewolves.

Anyway, the series deals with Others, people who gain the ability to use supernatural powers. These powers include vampirism and lycanthropy, but also magicians, enchantresses, witches, and battle shape-shifters. As the series starts, the focus is on the battle between the Light Others and the Dark Others. They fight over who will control the destiny of the ordinary people, who are basically batteries providing the power for the Others to use.

As the series goes on, Lukyanenko starts exploring the idea that Light and Dark don't represent good and evil. Both are needed and are in balance. One side can't win over the other. Some of the Dark Others are quite sympathetic, and some of the Light Others are manipulative and deceitful.

It's an interesting series, and it kind of makes me want to learn Russian so I can read the original without having to depend on a translation.

However, I don't think I'll get to learning Russian.