June 30, 2009

I’ve been thinking by my ability to write fiction recently–I really think that my short stories tend to be pretty crappy, though that’s at least partially just me being self-defeating. A major thing I have problems with, I think, is character creation and development. Probably has something to do with how I have trouble writing about myself and people I know personally, and by extension, creating and writing characters that are similar to me or people that I know. I’ve recently realized that this isn’t really how it works with a lot of writing–I think before I just thought characters were magically made up from scratch by really good, gifted writers, but now I’m pretty sure that I’m mostly wrong on that front. So! A mini-project for the next couple of weeks with me is going to be writing fiction scenes that are character-driven, and that borrow elements from my own self or from people that I know, in the hopes that I’ll get over my characters-I-know phobia and get some practice with prose in the process. Hopefully some of these scenes’ll turn into full stories, and maybe I will be able to write halfway-decent ones by summer’s end! That said, here’s the first entry. For this one I just focused on one main character–I have an idea of the guy’s son, too, so I might write a “sequel” with both him and his son after this.

“…You never really expect to be where you end up, do you? I mean, you run away from or towards whatever your dad was, right?” The old man pointed left and right. “And you always end up on the other end, swearin’ you’re your own man. But you aren’t! You just keep on livin’ out a life that’s been done before…”

“Um, yes, thanks, I just want to pay, here…”
Keep on Readin’ on?

Santa Fe, Part 3

June 30, 2009

More pictures! We’ve had a lot of pictures recently, but after yesterday’s giant mass of text I figured some eye candy would go over better for now. (A picture’s worth a thousand words, but one word can be part of a million pictures.) [Or something like that.]

June 29, 2009

Oh hey, we passed 1000 hits last week! That’s about 30 hits per each of the 30 posts, over the course of about 4 months. I’m pretty happy, personally. Thank you! I mean, yeah, you; if you’re reading this then I’m assuming you contributed at least once today, if not before a few times too. Unless someone on the internet is stealing this paragraph and posting it somewhere else, in which case, uh, wow, I’m flattered? And/or you might try a blog with a little more readership and a little less self-hatin’? (This entire paragraph is going to be really funny someday if the blog hits it big, haha.)

In partybration of this semimomentous occasion, here’s what I think is probably my favorite story I’ve undergone since I started this blog. This one’s a little long, but it’s pretty good, I think! I’m admittedly not really sure how I feel about putting this on the internet—that is, I feel a little weird just talking about these guys on the internet with them not knowing about it, and even weirder for the amount of analysis I give to the situation and them. But, I’d like to remember it and share it with people, so hopefully they’ll understand if they ever happen upon this little corner of the internet themselves. For these reasons, I’ll give them fake names, which is actually just as well since I only got one of their names, anyway. In any case, I really appreciate the conversation, guys.

Well, about halfway through the Santa Fe trip last week, I was walking by myself past a parking lot in a park. In the lot there was an old red truck parked with three guys in it, two in the car’s seats and one guy sitting in the back. The guy in the driver’s seat called over to me. “Hey! Know where we can get wasted around here?” Keep on Readin’ on?

Santa Fe, Part 2

June 26, 2009

Way, way too many pictures. More soon. Note the sky. (Probably’ll have some stories written down and done justice over the weekend, not sure if I’m going to post them over the weekend or wait till Sunday yet.)

Quick Story

June 24, 2009

She was nameless in my mind, but if you saw her, saw her staring down past her incredibly still and dirt-caked hands into the river below, you would understand why she cried in less words than this. Stronger tears I have yet to see.

June 23, 2009

Free video games on the internet! I know way too much about these. Here are some favorites; they’re all easy to pick up and play, fairly short and highly recommended.

Cave Story is actually one of my favorite games, period. A platform game ala Mario made entirely by one Japanese guy over five years, and looks like it first came out on the original Nintendo system. Incredibly fun with a nice story and some good, catchy music. (Coincidentally, the program used to make music for this game is the one I used to make the pixelly tunes posted earlier on this blog. Except these songs completely blow mine out of the water.) Arrow keys to move and point your gun, down arrow key to check things like signs and talk to people, Z to jump, X to shoot, and A and S to change weapons once you get more than one. If you only try one of these, try this one. (This download link has both mac and PC versions.)

Gravity Bone is a freakin’ experience. For sake of spoilers I won’t say anything besides that you should really, really try it, and it might change your perception of video games just a little bit. Kind of a big download (100MBish, I think) and 3D, so you might have trouble running it on older computers, but do give it a try, at least. PC only, sadly. Here’s what the game’s website says: “To make it in Nuevos Aires, one needs nerves of silk and the filthiest of hands. Mix together a batch of espionage, some high- speed car chases, fire-spewing assassins, and you’ve got one oven that’ll never bake cookies again. We provide the pliers and you bring the moxie. “ More Awesome Here!

Blogtacular Ineptitude

June 23, 2009

I’m sorry, guys–I am really having trouble finding how much time I want to devote to blog updates while I’m travelling. In retrospect I really should have done more of these updates in advance instead of trying to keep doing them while in Santa Fe. So, sadly, and annoyingly for me, tonight’s gonna be simple, and posts through Thursday probably will be too. But! Thursday onwards will be super cool, long SantaVentures and some pretty big creative projects! I’ve learned my lesson at least, hopefully, so this probably won’t happen again.

That said, lamely enough, here are a couple of guerrilla philisophic websites I reccomend you check out in the meantime. Again, really sorry about this. I am still learning this whole blog thing, I suppose! Thanks so much to you guys who keep reading despite previous and current blogtacular ineptitude. (are either of those words?) I really, really appreciate all you guys! (all twenty of you. ;D)

wis.dm is a site where you simply ask a bunch of people on the internet a question (usually opinionated) and get back lots of answers. Endlessly entertaining.

Arts and letters daily is a gigantic daily compendium of essays, book excerpts, and news reccomended to me by a friend. Endlessly fascinating.

Stumbleupon is going to take over your entire Internet life in the best way possible. Endlessly entertaining AND endlessly interesting.

Santa Fe, Part 1

June 22, 2009

Something Green

The place is pretty fascinating, surprising in some ways and exactly what I expected in others. Beautiful, beautiful town. I think I’ll wait until the end of the trip to discuss things a little more holistically, but for now, here’s some pictures and things that I enjoy remembering! Probably much more of this to come later.

OhLookAnotherBuilding

-I was walking past a parking garage when a gaggle of ten-year-olds ran down some stairs and into the garage. Overheard: “…But Security’s on to us!”

plaza

-Saw some teenage girls paying a beardy guy in his thirties for something in a white envelope. Over a public mailbox. In the middle of downtown. In broad daylight. Hmm.

OhHeyItsABuilding

-A gruff, long haired guy in his forties or so walks up to me out of nowhere outside of an oriental rug shop.
Guy: “Hey, hippie!”
Me, instantly: “Huh?”
Guy: “I need 24 cents for a pint.”
Me: “A what?”
Guy: “A pint!”
Me: “Why not?”
Guy: “HAH! ‘Why not’!”
[I hand him a couple of quarters.]
Guy: “Thanks, guy! Goodwill, man, goodwill!…”
[He wanders off past me without looking back.]

HolySpirit

-Holy Spirit Espresso: “Best Coffee in Santa Fe! 7-4 weekdays. 7-2 Saturdays. Sundays, we rest.” Also a fantastic people watching spot. (Pretty good coffee, too.)

(You should click on this one and look at it closer. Bottom of the sign.)

NoFunAllowed

-Finally, an oddly colorful cathedral in the middle of downtown, St. Francis. Very peaceful, as per standard cathedral fare. It’s kind of an odd spot for such a quiet place right next to the bustling downtown area, but it fits, oddly enough.

Cathedral

And when I say pseudoweekly, I mean pseudoweekly. :D Santa Fe stuff early next week.

“Photoroll” kinda reminds me of “Rickroll.”