Friday, May 29, 2009
Pastry Deer Award
So yeah, I haven't done any meme sort of things since last year, and almost two weeks ago now, CrazyCris shared an award with me from her blog, so yeah, here I am actually doing my post on it now. This sort of recognition isn't an every day thing for me, so I just thought I'd post to say thanks, and follow the award's rules.
Rules: Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one additional question.
Basically, this post'll be one of those ones where you get to learn things you either didn't know or already knew all over again about your local blogging weirdo extraordinaire here. FUN!!! (That hurt even me.)
1). What is your current obsession?
I'm not really sure. Addicted to Animal Crossing on the Wii as usual, and pretty addicted to Taiko no Tatsujin on the DS. This Magician's Quest DS game (Sort of Animal Crossing meets Harry Potter) looks like it'll be a future obsession if I can find a copy as I'm hoping to this weekend, with at least a good year or so's worth of things to do and even better character AI. And otherwise, I'm musically obsessed with the latest Metric album, Fantasies, and M83 since I got into his music back in January after seeing him perform on Late Night with Conan O'Brien then. (This would be my favorite of his songs, from the 2005 album, "Before the Dawn Heals Us.") I've also rather gotten into listening to music by Japanese electronic pop artists Capsule, MEG, and Perfume. Sadly, none of them have released any of their albums in the west. And in general, joining Last.fm earlier this year's helped to fuel my exploration of my musical tastes, so it's probably a bit of an obsession too, you could say. Otherwise, still generally obsessed with finishing my novel this year so I can embark on the increasingly difficult journey of searching for an agent and publisher in this day and age where publishers are only getting more conservative and hesitant to pick up new authors, further reducing any aspiring author's chances of breaking into the literary scene and having any real shot at "making it."
2). Where are you right now?
In my room at home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Pretty much where I am 90+% of the time. I'd like to change that within the next two years, though - ideally find some success, some kind of writing work I'd be happy doing and start more of a life of my own. Stuck at home is not exactly where you want to be at 25.
3). Coffee or tea?
Tea, without a doubt. I love all kinds of tea, both hot and iced. It's part of why my teeth are less than blindingly white. The only kind of coffee I really like are those little bottled vanilla frappuccinos that Starbucks makes, but they're still kind of overpriced, and the excess of caffeine always makes me feel weird. Still, those things were important in getting through many an all-nighter, midterm, and final in college.
4). What's one of your favourite movies?
I could name many, many movies here. To be more recent, one of my favorites in recent times is Dear Wendy, a Thomas Vinterberg/Lars von Trier film that I had to pick up online earlier this year since no retailers stock it here in America. A slightly uneven, but really interesting, satirical character study on the psychology of weapon obsession, giving a bunch of teenage pacifists in a staged European art house take on isolated small town vintage guns, which they carry to bolster their self-esteem and confidence, and watching as all hell inevitably breaks loose. A lot of Americans took the film to be nothing more but a one-sided diatribe against gun rights, but there's a lot more to it than that, and it's a really entertaining movie overall.
5). What's one thing you're looking forward to?
Finishing this last set of novel revisions so I can get on to the "fun" of the agent/publisher search while I start work on my second novel.
6). Who was your childhood crush?
I don't remember. I know I had one on a classmate back in 4th grade, but other than her, I wasn't really attracted to anybody as a kid. Even as an adult, I'm usually not drawn to or attracted to anybody particularly easily, which has apparently made me quite susceptible to ridiculously long term unrequited love. Sad. Otherwise, there's just maybe a handful or so of actresses and musicians around my age out there - mostly smaller name ones - who I find particularly wonderful.
7). What is your (current) favourite song?
Already answered this one a few questions up with an M83 link, actually. Don't Save Us from the Flames is simply epic. Great '80s style shoegaze pop anthem.
8). What would you like to get rid of?
When this whole unrequited love situation undoubtedly amounts to nothing in the grand scheme of things, I'd like to shed the baggage with ease, but that's unlikely, knowing me. As a writer, I tend to be more inclined to keep my baggage around for study and character extrapolation in my writing - I'm assuming most do the same. Writing and neuroses can easily come hand in hand. Otherwise, I'd just like to get rid of this general stagnant way of life I have now - to get out of the south and finally begin my own life. Hopefully my writing projects will be a part of getting that going.
9). What's your favourite book?
Tough call. Probably something Salinger or Murakami. The last book I really found myself getting completely lost and absorbed into was Murakami's After Dark last year, and that's technically one of his more flawed works. It's just such an amazing mood piece. I'd kill to be able to write like that.
10). Why did you start your blog?
The idea was to ideally start developing a bit of a readerbase for when I started getting my work published and finally became a published novelist. And technically speaking, I am a published author now - just not a published novelist yet. I don't want to be one of those authors completely inaccessible to their readers, though it seems to mean shedding all that mystique and mystery people seem to love around authors. But then, people are usually disappointed if they get the opportunity to see past all that - authors, artists, and so forth are all still human like everybody else, after all.
Of course, when I first started this blog back in 2007, I wasn't sure what direction to take with it - and it's still not exactly well-directed now. It's mostly just a bunch of meandering ramblings and discombobulated thoughts about anything and everything. Especially seeing as I'm still a complete literary nobody, I'm not sure what value there is in reading them, let alone writing them, but here I am. I'd intended to have the novel finished within 2007 when I first started this thing as is, and now I'm just hoping I have a shot at getting it published within '09 or '10. At least I can say that it's better I finished it this spring than had I rushed through it to finish it back in '07. It's certainly a much better book for it, and I've definitely grown as a writer throughout the process. (And I hope and intend to only keep growing as one as I continue to write and ideally get book after book published over time.)
11). If money was not an issue, what is one thing you would purchase for yourself?
I'd probably just want to get a nice, comfortable apartment somewhere in New York or Boston. Either would be an ideal living environment.
12). If you could live in a foreign country, which one would you choose?
Another tough call. Japan's an obvious choice, if only to have the experience, in at least being somewhat capable of speaking the language. But Canada and many parts of Europe - especially the Scandinavian countries - are quite appealing as well.
13). What is one trait about yourself that you wish you could change?
I'm sort of ambivalent about it, but probably my lack of assertiveness. It would've helped me elude my long term unrequited love situation entirely, though in retrospect, without it, I might not have found a muse and who knows how my writing would have turned out? Probably not as inspired as it has been. And I might have just ended up more dead inside on some level anyway, since I don't tend to be one of the most emotional people in the world to begin with anyway - though what I have tends to be deeply felt. I didn't meet a single person who interested me in the slightest romantically in college, after all, and I tend not to meet new people with any kind of regularity, anyway. I don't make friends easily, and I'm okay with that.
And by nature, I've always been a passive person who's stuck to the periphery and simply observed others and commented. This is something I see as important in my writing as well. So again, for all this, while it'd probably be nicer in some regards if I were a more assertive person and more open minded to working worlds I really don't want anything to do with, it's not as though I dislike who I am in being this quiet, passive observer who rarely interacts with others. For all the negatives, there's a lot of positives to it, too.
14). How 'bout that favorite children's cartoon?
Yeah, this is the one I changed, since the previous was about wine, and I don't drink. And it's all about The Tick! Fox Kids canceled it after only three or so seasons, but Comedy Central gave it second life for a while in a late afternoon slot in the mid-'90s, since its style of writing and comedy was more suited to an adult audience than kids anyway. Great superhero parody.
15). What is one trait about yourself you're proud of?
Hrm. My ability to think things through, maybe. I may be neurotic, but at least I really take the time to think decisions in my life through - sure, I may overthink them and jump back and forth on decisions, but at least I'm capable of a rich internal dialogue.
16). Is there any particular talent you wish you had?
I wish I could still play a musical instrument. I'd like to take up something again, maybe the synthesizer keyboard and some kind of guitar, I'm thinking. Not unlike the sound combination M83 goes for. I'd like to eventually get the hang of composing and performing my own music, as another layer of creativity upon the novel, short story, game, sketch comedy, and TV show type writing I already pour a lot into and dabble in, depending on which of the lot we're talking about. But it requires a very different kind of thinking and approach to things. I used to be pretty decent at the Cello a long time ago. I'm not sure if I'll ever be any good at an instrument again, let alone good enough to actually take a crack at becoming some kind of musician on top of everything else. It might just be too much, but it's fun to think about anyway. At this point, it's stressful enough wondering whether or not I'm really a good enough writer to be worth publishing.
And POW, there you have it. A lot of personal babbling, just as you were hoping for!
Now I'm supposed to tag people, but I don't have a massive list of blogging buddies whose stuff I constantly keep on top of yet. So there's something else for me to feel guilty and neurotic about. Thanks for the pressure, blogging award~
So I'll just go ahead and tag Lindsay, since she tends to write a lot of interesting things. (Just a few days until Conan's return to the air!)
So yeah, sugar-addled deer are go! Or something to that effect.
It's almost June now. Where does the time go?