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This is one of probably many updates about my new NaNoWriMo project. Feel free to add me to your Reading Page to follow along!

There were three thoughts that went through my head when I came up with my NaNo idea (Pokemon in Ohio). I will cover the first two in other blog posts, because they are the images with which I started my story. I usually start stories with a scene or two that starts it off and then helps me carry the story. For The Dealey Five, that scene was Tamasine on the table in the room, all alone. For Blue Impulse, it was the scene at the end of the first tournament that inspired the faded picture, with the words "We'll remember this forever, right?" on the back of it. There are two moments like that for this story, and I'll cover those in a bit.

But the third was, "Okay, so if Pokemon is in Ohio, then what is Ohio?"

I knew where I wanted to choose the name from almost immediately. I know a fair amount of Japanese at this point, and one of the kanji combinations I learned was 真中, manaka. I knew it most from Manaka Laala from the anime Pri Para, as all of their characters use directions for their last names. Laala's rivals have last names that mean "north" and "south," and the two American twins literally have the last name West. Laala's last name is Manaka, which means "in the center."

You know. Like "The Heart Of It All." I've dropped Ohio's old slogan a couple of times in Cosmic, as it's the title of the first book and as a slogan the kids remember from before the zombie apocalypse. And they should. Growing up, it was everywhere. I would see the big sign every time I'd go back and forth from Indianapolis to Zanesville, stating I was in "The Heart Of It All!" I didn't really know precisely what that meant at the time, and while it's still kind of vague, the sentiment still rings true.

The heart. The center. Manaka. And like lots of corruptions in the Pokemon world, mah-nah-kah became MAIN-kuh.



In many ways, Manka is just like any other Pokemon region. There are people and Pokemon living side by side, a sense of adventure, kids learning about Pokemon for the first time, and peace and harmony. But when I thought about making Manka, I wanted to really focus on what I liked about Ohio. What did I miss those five years I was in New York City? What was I learning to reappreciate now that I was back?



One of the big draws for me was the scenery. The first month of being in Ohio was spent getting reaccustomed to things other people don't even think about. Like driving. And leaves. And opening the back door and watching your dog walk out. And being able to make right hand turns. And silence. Lots of silence. And the sky, and how it would turn colors right before the sun set, and how it's not Manhattanhenge but it's somehow better. I didn't have too long to get used to Zanesville -- I got a new job just as my parents moved to Powell, so I went with them. (For those of you keeping track at home, yes, that's two moves in one month, and I have still gotta find a place of my own.)

The long-ish drive to work from Powell (depending on traffic and time of day) runs along the Scioto River, and looking out over it and watching the foliage go by is strangely peaceful. How could I incorporate these images into my story? My mission became not only to write about what Pokemon would be like in Ohio, but to write about this Manka in such a way that people who had never been to Ohio would know what Ohio was like -- even through the Pokemon lens. I want my friends from NYC to read this fanfiction and know, "She's from Ohio." Because I am.



I found a nature preserve with two walking trails and took pictures as I went. While I went, I could almost feel my main characters running down the paths, on their journey to discover what the world held for them. Maybe the path led to a new town, where they could rest for a while. Maybe they would find more wild Pokemon in the bushes, or maybe they would climb a tree and see the views. The endless possibility can almost seem nostalgic, for a time when anything was truly possible.

And that's not the only thing, as well. I want to show the academic history of Columbus by putting the regional university and Pokemon Professor there. I want to highlight Cleveland's recent sports fame, but to also see it for myself with new eyes. I want to make Pokemon trainers have to stop in Zanesville until the First Friday of every month, so they can experience the art walk. I want sternwheelers on the Ohio River and parasailing on Lake Erie, shopping in Cincinnati and riding roller coasters in Sandusky. And I want to highlight the southern part of the state, the hard working, blue collar history that has made Ohio what it is today, the history I read about in my great-grandfather's stories.

And I honestly hope I do it justice.


memorialrainbow: (bell what's out there)
So I figured I'd write.

A long time ago, when I was going through some rough times, I wrote in here a lot. I wrote about the things that were going on in my life, and I used this journal as a place to promote my work. People read along, for a good couple of years. I came out with an album, and then I came out with a book that grew into a series.

I'd post on here every once in a while after that, and my entries got more cryptic as they went on. And who knows how often I'll write now? But this time, I'm writing less for you and more for myself. Tumblr is too PC, Twitter not enough characters, Facebook too perfect. And yeah, maybe I'm writing from work at the moment, while I'm putting in information and being a database.

But nobody's really reading this yet, are they?

Here's the thing: I've been in New York City over four years now. Do you know how many albums I've produced in that time? Do you know how many songs I've written, how many times I've gone out there to promote myself? I actually made a habit out of it a long time ago, before places closed and I had to work instead.

There was a boy. It always starts out that way, there was a boy. We promised we wouldn't get too far in deep, that we'd be honest with one another. He supported my art. I was able to find temporary work, go to open mics. When I was let go from that job, he ensured I wouldn't have to worry, took a new job himself to make sure he could support both of us, moved in because living in New York is crazy. We were both crazy, we both had our faults, but at the end of the day, we were honest with each other. We didn't go to bed mad.

That was the most creative period of my life in NYC. I got a new job, one that enabled me to grow up from the crazy that I had been accustomed to. I found an open mic I could go to and even got my own show. I went to Comic-Con and we performed, and I created an album, and everything was perfect -- until it wasn't. I don't want to say my anxiety got in the way, but having all of your belongings in trash bags in your kitchen is more than a little rough. We grated on one another. Somewhere in the shuffle, my flash drive with my Comic-Con stuff was thrown out. I blamed him way more than I should have. I started blaming him for everything. He let me.

I went through a depression for the first part of 2015. Nothing happened. I woke up, went to work, came home. I wrote a little bit, but I was out of it. I was in survival mode all over again. The old-school methods I had used a long time ago woke up again: God hates that you were being creative, so He sent bedbugs to stop you. You might think I'm crazy, but that was the way my brain was operating.

I wasted a year. I wasted an entire year. At least he was around, right? At least he was being productive, starting his YouTube channel. I stayed off the computer. I let him have it. I was just in the way, right? I didn't want to take the computer and waste time while he could be recording his shows. For what it's worth, I did try. I lost sleep composing music for a friend's cabaret and now she's not talking to me because I wanted to be paid for a future one. I choreographed a dance and performed it in front of others, and then a fight broke out and my boyfriend escorted me into the nearest Mickey D's before the cops could show up. It was supposed to be a competition, and nobody won.

Things like that wouldn't knock old Emily down. I'm not sure he ever properly knew old Emily. Old Emily existed before January 5, 2012.

And you're still here in black and gold
Your inner core the only change
So how much of the girl I fell for still remains?


You know what I should have done on January 5? I should have quit the city. I should have called my dad, said "this isn't working out, I'm coming home." And yeah, I signed a year lease, but those things are just numbers in this city, anyway. I would have gone home, maybe gotten yelled at a bit, but hey, I would have gotten what I wanted out of the city, right?

But in the end, I'm glad I stayed. I've learned a lot about myself, about the way I process things. I've learned that it doesn't matter where you are, as long as the people you love are around you. And I've learned what that actually means. I know now what New York City is, for better or for worse. I know it's not a be all, end all. I know people romanticize it, and even those who live in the city romanticize it. It's our bubble. We live here, and if anybody threatens it, we act like it's 9/11 all over again. (Ted Cruz just made some interesting comments on this.)

Because we make it, right? Because we all struggle in this city. It's a shared struggle that we romanticize so much. We talk about how hard it is to find a dollar coffee, how we're squished like sardines in the subway car, the number of homeless people and pigeons and piles of puke we walk right past on our way to work, where we must dress exactly how they want and act exactly how they want in those high rises lest we go back to working at Mickey D's. (And they probably make more money, at this point.) Everything is always our fault, but that's okay, because we're making it in the real world. We have our shoebox apartment and we wouldn't have it any other way. We can't afford to go out because we're too busy working two jobs, but we certainly have it better than anybody at home, right? We blow through our bonds and have no money left in our savings accounts, no future, but we're living like the starving artists on Broadway. You know, just like Jonathan Larson. God bless Jonathan Larson.

We pick up and we scrape by, and we're nice to those near us as long as that niceness doesn't actually hurt us any. We put on our headphones and ignore the beggars on the train, the people sitting with cardboard signs as we go to work in our elite sports clubs. We oversleep because we don't want to get up in the morning, but hey, it's what "real people" do. And I don't doubt that anywhere. But I used to talk about the Oxford bubble, and now I'm talking about the New York City bubble, and I'm wondering just what is real. Is real life what we make of it? If so, then everybody in New York City automatically gives too much control to everybody else. We have to, in order to make this city work. If you deviate too much, you're left behind. If you don't move at supersonic speed -- and that's saying something, considering this city must be moving faster than Top Thrill Dragster -- then you have no time or energy or money to write or music or create or anything. And it's even worse for those of us who deal with mental problems, who were bullied as kids, whose fathers' words echo in our heads even when our mothers tell us they no longer matter. New York City is okay -- but it's not for everybody. To pretend it is for everybody is to shame the world we live in, to shame every place that isn't New York, to ultimately shame New York and the individuals who might be creatively trapped here.

And I know what everybody in NYC might be reading. You don't like it, then leave?

Maybe I will.

I go to Jersey for a jaunt and I plan my life, knowing that when I'm back in NYC, I'll be moving too fast for me to properly think. I go to Albany for my yearly jaunt to the convention and I feel tired the entire time, unsure if I should return back to the city. I go to Cedar Point, because maybe racing for the sky and racing underneath the sky are two separate things. Maybe I can't fly in NYC. But maybe that doesn't mean I can't fly at all. Maybe it just means the buildings are too tall here for my liking. Maybe the skies are too crowded. Maybe it's more hopeful for me to leave.

There's only so much you can learn in one place
The more that you wait, the more time that you waste


In July, I went outside of the city to have the most successful gig of the year. We made it all the way through and my client was so happy, and I'll never forget the look on his face and I learned we might actually be making something here. While I was in Charlotte for the gig, my boyfriend was busy being in somebody else.

He told me in October. I should have chased him out, burned his things, but I was stunned enough that I let him stay another month. I still haven't gotten rid of some of his things.

But I dealt with the stress of that, and I've dealt with the stress of it, and I need to toss those things out. I've tossed out memories before, and I'll do it again. I say that I remember everything, and it's true -- but just because I remember something doesn't mean I don't want to remember. The past means nothing. The past doesn't help me out. The past doesn't pay the bills. It only holds me back.

I'm furious.

That may be the best thing to be right now.

For now, though, I work. And I plan, in the little bits that I can. I get outside the city to think. I take the ferry. I fix music. And hopefully, this summer, I'll go back to the place where I had my successful gig, and lightning will strike twice.

And the thunder will follow afterward.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
Coming Home, Part III
a really really really creative nonfiction

I don't know what attracted me to it. I just...I just know it's supposed to be important. Read more... )
memorialrainbow: (Default)
Wow so after all of that I just can't even think straight. I kind of took today and yesterday off life and tomorrow I'm back to going crazy and trying to do too much during the holiday season.

Tomorrow I go to choir among other things because Thursday and Friday are gone and I'm out of town Saturday and Sunday. I have reserved the 23rd - 25th for doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Which translates to "I'm not leaving the house, I'm eating really bad food and catching up on anime and 'bad' fanfiction and now I'm listening to Rob Thomas and all I want to do is go home for Christmas.

(inserts all the curse words)

So yeah! I started my winter with the Hudson derailment! How's that for a great day, you know? I'm not just talking incidental faith, I'm talking waking up to helicopters over my building because Spuyten Duyvil isn't THAT FAR from Marble Hill and HUDSON LINE, I MEAN COME ON MAN. There's a whole world of mess going on with that that I might write about on TTR, but will probably refrain because I'm tired of getting text messages that say I'm mental. It's being properly documented, but...details.

Sigh.

Uh, November sucked, too? This is why I was hoping December would be better and so far December has just been really busy and I haven't had a chance to properly rest or really douse myself in Christmas cheer. I barely finished NaNoWriMo and all of my projects just kind of suck right now. Nothing's getting done by Christmas. I have a new job I love but I'm still trying to figure out how I'm fitting everything in together as far as time commitments and I probably won't have any of that figured out until the New Year.

Which reminds me. Can't 2013 just keep going? It was kind of awesome.

Moving on. I reserved yesterday for "going to Argo and writing something because I'm stressed out and I've learned the way I destress myself is if I write so let's write something." And after I got a few other (coughpreviousblogentrycough) things sorted out, I wrote the following piece.

I love it. So did Garo. It's, in a way, extremely personal, but can make sense to a new reader. Knowing Digimon is helpful. Knowing Dvorak, specifically The Dealey Five, is very helpful but not necessary as things are explained. It's a bit of a crossover between the two with some HSTF things in there if you know where to look. I'm surprised how much detail I put in it with it really just being a first draft. A couple of notes: it assumes that the time thing that got fixed in Season 2 of Digimon never got fixed (an oversight on my part, but details) and there are very light mentions to "underage" sexual activity? But because of the time paradox ages are all out of whack, and you have to look very hard and it's all consensual. BL, too, but again, details. I'd rate it on an OT16 on the old Tokyopop scale.

I should really shut up now and just post the damn thing.

Shall we initiate the Jogress? )
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Scene Shifts There
a really creative nonfiction

A lonely scientist created a robot; when he finished, he called it a miracle. )

We don't have enough data to call it alcohol abuse --
uh, we have no way of knowing, um,
if these are the only two incidents that have ever occurred
in the history of the HyperSong corps
or if there is the tip of a very large iceberg.
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It's June. Hello, June! I haven't blogged yet for June or yet for this summer, so it's comforting to know I'm having a bit of fun here. I literally have sat in this chair ALL DAY. Nice to know that my butt likes it here.

To the sky high, toberu hazu )

Everyday I'm shufflin! )

So now I have moved from the chair. Have a good night, ya'll.
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Originally published at topthrillracer, dated 111208. References changed to modern-day.

Even if we are apart -- like we are
The two sides of the star-sign that runs in the heavens
A noon that clatters around noisily
A night that's wistful and thoughtful, as well
Over the sky, there we are
Gemini, gravity pulls us toward each other


An echo coming form somewhere
-- wait
-- wait
this isn't coming from where I expected it to!!!
Through the cloudy sky, I see the stars.
Are you watching the same stars, as well?

Two in the morning -- I happened to wake up
Another shattering dream
I sat alone on my bed
In times like this
Somebody --
somebody --
help me please --


I texted you this morning after another problem. You came to my room and found me lying on my bed, curled up in a ball. Some time later, I went down to 96th and Park to watch the trains run. Later that same night, I was touched in a way I haven't been since back then. "Breathe in, breathe out," I remember the way he used to say. How can I explain something to you that happened years ago, something that still affects me even now, something that will affect me for the rest of my life? What is this?

(A sorrow as if this sky has fallen)
That sound coming from my soul
(The warm rhythms that will melt those)
Hold on tight so you won't lose it


He cocks his head for what seems to be the hundredth time at you, but I know that he's been doing this for an eternity. "Mr. Yuuichi, what'cha doin'?" "Mr. Yuuichi, can I drive the bus?" "Mr. Yuuichi, can you buy me some cotton candy?" White as the snow, blue as the sky, little one, don't you get it? You're always so bright, so shining, innocent as the day you gave your life away to save those who should have never been saved. Climb back up onto my shoulders for now?

If you're lost on the path
Nervous and afraid
During those times, those times
Close your eyes and feel the pulse running through you
During the hand-freezing mornings
Languid afternoons, too
By this sound, the two of us are connected


I once had a dream where, I can't remember what happened at first during the dream, but I was getting ready to fight something. And I pulled out a piece of fabric from out of my pocket. It was a turquoise color, and it was in the style of these bookmarks I had seen at the Dollar Tree (this was back in Zanesville, Ohio). But instead of saying "love" or "peace" it said "hybrid," like the roller coaster type. The only hybrid I really knew about, coaster wise, was Gemini, although there was one apparently at Valleyfair and the Coney Island Thunderbolt, a long time ago, was a hybrid as well...
If I became an angel and got my wings, where would I fly to?

When I look back on the past
I realize I really am alone
It's such a far place, far away
I feel like I've been traveling all night
Suddenly, it occurs to me; what if I vanished?
Somebody --
Somebody --
Answer me... please...


The first miracle is light.
The second miracle is death.
The third miracle is speed.
The fourth...I don't need a fourth miracle...

(Sorrows as if this sea has split)
I always heard that sound, somewhere, in my heart
(These old-fond rhythms that douse everything)
I'll hold on so I won't disappear


I don't need a fourth miracle...but I'm getting one anyway.

Hey, don't cry
When you are lonely
Clear your ears and listen to my voice
Even if it rains outside
Even when the night comes
It's gravity that's holding everything together
If you're lost on the path
Nervous and afraid
During those times, those times
Close your eyes and feel the pulse running through you
During the hand-freezing mornings
Languid afternoons, too
By this sound, the two of us are connected


There was a bird that had fallen
Burned by a broken heart
With an uncertain future
It wanted to disappear, but instead, it came here
It rested its wings
Then eased its heart
When it's through with crying let's sing a love song
Some day's love song that couldn't be sang today


Don't you hear that?
That's *your* line.

Hey, don't cry
When you are lonely
Clear your ears and listen to my voice
Even if it rains outside
Even when the night comes
It's gravity that's holding everything together
Even if we are apart -- like we are
The two sides of the star-sign that runs in the heavens
A noon that clatters around noisily
A night that's wistful and thoughtful, as well
Over the sky, there we are
Gemini, gravity pulls us toward each other


And long-ago words echo out:

No matter how far apart we are,
we're still under the same night sky.
We all see the same stars.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
I couldn't get it into my head --
the rhythm of goodbye.


March 28, 2008, approx. 10:00 PM.

He stops walking.
The hustle and bustle of the city surrounds him, cars blazing past, people talking, horns blaring, noise upon noise upon noise. And yet...and yet he swears he just heard his name called. Like somebody is looking for him.
He looks to his right, then his left; nobody looks familiar. This area doesn't look familiar. When did he get to Herald Square? The only way he's able to tell is because the Macy's signs are still lit up, and the M34 bus still runs at this time of night.
At this time of night -- he thought he was back in Washington Heights. How did he get all the way down here?
"Well, don't you look lost."
He jumps and turns toward the voice. Nobody there. He adjusts his hat and heavy jacket; it's cold, even in March. New York rivals Chicago for windy, dark days. Life near Lake Erie has prepared him for this, though.
He's more concerned about where that voice is coming from.
"Over here." This time, with a chuckle. He follows the voice and ducks under the Empire State Building's entrance, an overhang regally lit. There are two guards, and plenty of tourists, but still nobody else. It's late. His ears are playing tricks on him. He shoves his hands into his pockets and looks at his reflection in the window -- short stature, skinny build, coat's too big for him. Stringy black hair kept short, blue -- wait.
His eyes are brown.
"Gotcha."
He jumps a foot away from the glass, then turns -- and there he is. Tall, formidable, in a white uniform with blue stripes. A police officer with snow white hair and piercing blue eyes that are so blue, he thinks they're green. They probably are green.
The man with the white hair speaks again. "Nice night for a walk in Herald Square, am I right?"
The boy holds his distance. Strangers usually don't talk to him. He's quiet enough that he can slip by somebody unnoticed. He doesn't want to be noticed. But he's done this college stint in New York City since September, and he can handle anything...right?
He puts up his fists. "Stand back."
"Oh, I have no intention of hurting you. It's just that you looked so familiar." Snow White looks deep in thought. "Am I right, Aki-chan?"
HIs now blue eyes widen. Before he knows it, his memories take him back -- to the girl with braids in her long brown hair and starry blue eyes, the girl who drew in her spare time and apparently created music, though he had never bothered to listen to it. The way she listened to him. The way he had played with her, sat next to her...kissed her. The times he stayed up until two in the morning. The fights they had, the lies he told, the feelings of rejection. He had felt justified back then. She was wrong. He was sure of it. If she couldn't handle it, she could leave.
But there is a man here, in Herald Square, right in front of him, with white hair and a commanding presence about him, and he had just called him Aki-chan. A name only she knew. A name she had given him.
It couldn't be.
"You're not one of...them, are you?"
The white haired man laughs. "You deduce well, Aki-chan. I'm aware that she tried to tell you. I'm also aware that you didn't listen."
Aki-chan fumes. "Who are you to --"
"Are you aware that she's in this city, right now?"
He freezes. That girl -- his smiling girl, the one he lost -- she was here? In New York City? He feels his heart leap. Where is she?
But he can't just ask that. He can't really go to see her, no matter where she is. She is a woman, after all, and he is a man. They have their divisions, their separations. That is, after all, how it should be --
"She's up there." The white haired man points up. "Eighty six stories up, on the lower observation deck. Jesse's up there with her. And so am I, in one form or another."
Aki-chan stops breathing. "How do you know all of this?" Even though he already knows the answer.
Another laugh. "Let's just say I watch out for her. She's very important to me, just like she's very important to you, Aki-chan."
He blushes. "Is she really up there?"
"Of course she is. I wouldn't lie to you. She's on a class trip, all the way from little old Oxford." The white haired man crosses his arms. His green eyes do not leave Aki-chan. "To be honest, she picked up two free postcards in the lobby. One for her, and one for you. I don't know if she'll ever mail yours, but she's been thinking of you the entire trip. Wondering if she'll somehow run into you, even though it's such a big city."
His knees buckle.
She wasn't kidding.
What she said -- that night --
could it be true?
He looks up at the landing's brightly lit ceiling. Eighty six stories separate him and the one person who has cared about him. He left her for society, lied to get her off of his case. A victim of circumstance. She tried to push his limits, and he had pushed her away.
But now -- now that she is so close -- what can he do? There is nothing he can do. Tradition prevents that.
He hears his name again. In a girl's voice. Aki-chan? He has never actually heard her voice before, but he knows it's her. And he can't control what he is feeling anymore.
It's too late. I'm too late.
Can you hear me? It's me, Aki-chan! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry...

He jumps; looking up, he sees the white haired man has knelt by his side, putting one hand on his shoulder. His green eyes are still on Aki-chan. "I'm going to give you one chance," he says. "While this is still fresh. While you still remember how to feel something other than what you've been taught. While you're still outside your fence. This is the only chance we'll get." He takes a deep breath. "Aki-chan...what do you really want?"
Nobody has ever asked him that before. Really asked him, not about food or clothing preferences, but about his life plan. About what he really wanted to do. He has always assumed he'll go into business, start a family, live in happiness in Cleveland for his years. Until this past summer, and the heartbreak that followed. A childhood dream lived out, shattered at the end.
And she was there, heartbroken as well. She had picked up his pieces and made him whole again, and he hadn't ever realized that...until now.
She had written a song about it. About that summer. She had even sent it to him, until he had told her he couldn't listen to it and she insisted he destroy it.
"More than anything..." His words come out uneasy in the cold March wind. "More than anything, I want to hear her sing."
The man touches Aki-chan's lips with his finger, and he can now see the green in his eyes. He gasps as a shiver runs down his spine. It's an electricity he's never felt before. Uncomfortable. This man can read him like a book.
Who is he -- who is really? What relation does he have to her? Is he -- is he really her --
"If you can't hear her sing, then you can become her voice." Then, wings spread wide, and Aki-chan is caught in the shadow of feathers, long white feathers with soft down, real feathers that rise and fall as the white haired man breathes.
"I'm dreaming," he says. "She isn't really here. She hates me."
"Oh, quite the contrary," the man turned angel says back. "It may be a while. She isn't ready yet. You're not ready yet. I can't tell the future, but I can make sure you meet again, make sure she sings to you. Would you like that?"
Aki-chan nods. Any disbelief is beyond him. Her angel is in front of him. "Yes."
"Well, then." And Aki-chan feels the angel's lips graze his forehead, and then his hat is gone, naked before the Lord, turned inside out and invisible by those green eyes. For God's messenger has been sent to this lonely lost boy, and this is all real, and maybe he's wrong, and maybe she really will sing for him someday.
He feels his eyelids go heavy and hears the angel's words. "Fight for what you want, Aki-chan. Not just for you, but for her. Because when you come back, you'll be coming back as someone special, as someone she loves. I have a feeling you'll be a great present to her when she needs you most."
Aki-chan's last words are just a breath. "What will I be?"
Micky smiles. "Her muse."
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A little less 'clock is ticking' today, although I really didn't get any writing done. Maybe, like, a sentence. Then again, I kept myself busy all day and it was a fantastic day, so I'm not complaining at all. :) I'm praying about it, which is my version of giving it to the universe. (MICKY!!! YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING!)

I had a very good dream the evening after my birthday (yes, when I ended up in my friend Kristene's bed near Herald Square -- YES, THAT HERALD SQUARE, ACROSS FROM *THE* MACY'S), a dream that I wish I could remember in its entirety. There was a group of people in that dream, a group I knew from high school, and they had gone on living their dreams and I hadn't, really. I hadn't stuck to the path I had made for myself when I was sixteen. Now, it's cool that I haven't, but I haven't kept the same spirit. Those people (fictional) came back to me in my dream, and I realized after I woke up that the leader was me, that kid who still exists in me and won't give up anything for the sake of others.

Where is your bright dream? What happens when we abandon our childish dreams, grow up? Even Barrie told us 'all children, except one, grow up.' Wynona Judd sang we 'put those dreams away, thinking that we'll find them come some rainy day.' But the past rarely leaves us alone. In Kanon, Yuuichi, the main character, has to remember who his friend Ayu is so that he can help her. He has to go back years and years to memories he's not sure he really remembers, memories of a school and a hill and a tree. He's a character who doesn't want to grow up, and he really does remind me of my boyfriend (Jesse notwithstanding!~~~). Dylan often doesn't want to make a big deal out of his birthday. He doesn't want to be old.

Let's make it an 'unbirthday,' then. Eternally six. Or seven. Or eleven. I wouldn't mind being eleven forever. But twenty four year olds don't wear rainbow colors in their hair, or color with crayons. They have kids and get married and put on suits and ties and go out and get sensible jobs. They don't wait on a startup they tell themselves will never happen, and they certainly don't pray for it to happen. They get practical.

Twenty four year olds don't move to New York City just because they can. That's reserved for eighteen year olds with guts...or twenty three year olds with everything to lose.

The sequel to THOIA directly deals with the loss of childhood love. But it doesn't deal with childhood dreams directly. While THOIA's sequel (which I'm not gonna talk about a lot, since it's not even pended out!) is based off of my younger childhood, this new idea is...different. It's something even I had long forgotten until the dream I had, a dream so vivid it grabbed me and won't let go.

Perhaps I'm just a silly artist. But I'm a silly artist who wants to animate a video, who wants to put together music, who wants to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo using an idea that she had back when she was sixteen (!) and never fully developed.

This idea might just kill me.

Today I went to Kmart (not knowing I'd go to Michael's later) and got a beach towel, more glow in the dark stars, and red duct tape. I took the duct tape home and put it on the rug in my room. Nine squares, eleven by eleven, thirty three by thirty three in total. I put little markings on some of the squares, because I was too damn lazy to make full arrows. It cost me five bucks in duct tape. But it's beautiful. And I'm going to keep using it. That red duct tape isn't going anywhere.

And if it doesn't work...

And if it don't work, make the real thing wipe it out!

What Scotty D. said.
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I love March. It is inserted right between February and April, the two months I hate the most, so it is a nice reprieve from the suckiness. Although it hasn't been nice so far. The weather has been CRAP.

My roommate wasn't home today so I decided today would be a good day to record something. But I didn't have any raps written; I've had some inspiration but didn't really have anything to do with it. So then I was like, dude, I should finish the Little Fish song and do *that* today.

And as such I present you:



This took FOREVER. Mostly because I decided I was singing before I had any tracks laid, and then sang the whole song in like five different keys (most. embarrassing. thing of my entire life. period.) Then I had to lay three different piano tracks and they were ALL an absolute mess. But the Garageband version is done, and there's an MP3 track available, too.

Now, if you excuse me, I am tired.

(passes out)
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So I had an interesting morning. Woke up early and got on the subway, ended up being late on the ferry because of some emergency or something. Which I'm cool with. I'm really understanding of when things like that happen...could they just not happen on a Sunday?

So I thought it'd be cool, I can catch the late bus and maybe 50/50 chance of making it to work on time, but then the bus was late. And I was just like, okay, this is NOT COOL. At all. So I walked down to the taxi stand and took a cab. The cab ended up taking more than just me, so we went someplace else and then the driver took the expressway.

And my automatic thought is "WHUT? You mean the HIGHWAY?"

And then all of a sudden, THERE IS A HIGHWAY. IN FREAKING STATEN ISLAND. And we are going, like, 55 on this road. THIS IS, NO LIE, THE FASTEST I HAVE GONE SINCE COMING TO NEW YORK CITY. I was like, what is this madness? And we were across the island in, like, THREE MINUTES. What normally takes twenty five minutes TOOK THREE. What the hell can I please move to this island now.

But when we were driving and I could see the Bayonne Bridge ALL THE WAY OVER THERE, it kind of reminded me of 275 and driving around Cincinnati. And I missed Ohio. For just another split second. I kind of wish I could take everything I'm learning and take it home to Ohio, to show people what they're missing. I don't know if I can do that. I don't know if they would want me to.

But I suppose I could try someday.

I think that being here is making me a better person. I want to do so much. From my writing, to the Job, to Dylan, to everything. I'm filled with such a knowledge that so much can be done. I won't let anybody get in my way, I won't let anybody bring me down.

Nobody.

Not even you.

I've continued to keep my muse a secret, although I guess this character isn't too much of a secret. This character has kind of stayed hidden, shy like me, but I guess some people know of them. I found some old pictures of them -- yes, they are a character from Studio LRPLI, from so long ago! And that doesn't make me a dork. And no, it's not Rocket -- or why would I be saying 'them?'

Hmm.
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So yeah, before I get into this doozy of a blog entry, I'd like to introduce you to my book.

Cosmic Book 1: The Heart Of It All Workbook
It's available as a free download as an .EPUB now; it's been submitted for Nook and iBookstore distribution, all free of charge. (Kindle hates me -- it's ninety nine cents up there.) The book will remain up for you to read until about mid-May or so, at which point I'll take it down to revise and get the final version. At which point I will try to forward it to the right people. And I will pray. And maybe something will happen. More than likely, it won't.

Maybe I'm just being all time-of-the-monthlike. I know I'm not scared. Okay. I lied. I'm totally scared. I want to run and never look back. I really want to go to bed right now, because I'm starting to get a headache again. I don't know how to have an actual day off. I'm always the one who keeps busy and doesn't stop. I even started working on an old book again today, and I re-edited about the first twenty five pages or so before I realized how long I had been sitting at the Secret Starbucks, freezing my butt off and pouring over my computer that refuses to move as fast as it did. (Ringo and I are in denial. I still want my new desktop.)

I don't want to go home tonight. I just want to sleep over here, to relax and be anywhere but where I've chosen to be. God, though, I realized I left my work notebook at home, and I'll probably need it in the morning. Maybe. Maybe I'll just do without it. I hope Dylan walks me part of the way home. I realized I don't have any food for lunch tomorrow, either.

I'm just tired.

My mind has been going crazy since I finished the book. It's been all, great, what next? And I've been hesitant to work on anything as far as a sequel, because I want the first one done and sold and out there before I get there. I am kind of working on a small side story, but nothing more than that (and it's more background than anything). I've been trying to think of what to work on next, and it's been taking me back to who I used to be. But more about that in a few minutes.

Last Friday morning after I woke up, I rolled over and checked my Twitter feed. Beth Revis had updated her own feed, saying she was going to NYC that night as part of a tour. And it took me a few minutes to realize that, hey, <i> I live in the most populous city in the country. </i> And I had this Friday off, and my new favorite author was going to be here, tonight.

I cried all the way down from Dylan's place to my apartment. One of my regrets is that I never got to meet Brian, and now I was getting to meet Beth. I was super-nervous, but Dylan dragged me over. She signed my copy of Across the Universe, the one I got the night I knew I wanted to be a writer. I'll never get that experience back.

But it's gotten me thinking about my writing. I don't want to stop. I want to continue writing, no matter what happens. And it makes me think about the last time I wrote like this, the last time I was so inspired to write. I thought about what I would want to write next, and it made me realize I've been running from something really important.

I've been running from a story. From characters who won't leave me alone, years and years after I dumped them. Or did I dump them? It's a bit complicated. Places come back to me. Songs remind me of times that have passed, times before my life spiraled out of control. It was a place to hide, but more than that...it was a place to flourish, to grow. A place to explore. The Underground. All of those times, when I was writing before, I wasn't running away from the 'musician' or the person I was supposed to be. I was building my craft. I was doing what I was supposed to do. All of this time that I've spent fooling around and hiding behind my blanket and making bad relationship decisions and blaming myself for every little thing -- all of that is a waste of time!

So for those of you who are going to hate what I'm going to do...because there will be you. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. But I came on this journey to find myself, to rescue myself, the most important person, and I've found that. It's taken me so long to get to this point. I'm kind of a late bloomer. But I'm right where I need to be. I'm finding my way back, and when I got there, somebody unexpected was waiting for me.

A friend. Someone who reads a lot. Someone who became my muse, even for just a short time. A character of mine, who was also out of step with their surroundings, who felt alone but had parents who trusted and taught them, showed them the way. Whose destiny was bigger than themselves, who found true love, and their destiny that was so different than what they had anticipated. I don't know why, but perhaps I foretold the future with this character.

Who are they? I'll have to show you later. I have some old records to dig up. Or maybe I'll just create some new ones.

Goodnight, moon.

Hope is what I have, and what I have
But is my power near enough?
Is love enough for destiny?
And I -- what can I say of me?


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I am still in love with my celery-hummus combination, and have now completely depleted one tin of tomatoes.

Today, I am going to start off my journal entry talking about how much I hate the S40 bus. I hate it. I hate it hate it hate it. It's this hatred that makes me want to move to Staten Island and get Navigator-Widget (my Yaris) back so I DON'T HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS TO WORK ANYMORE. No. Seriously. It's that bad.

Because the S40 bus sucks balls, I am left waiting for the bus and the ferry and everything else, and it is good to have something to do. On the weekends, it's Ringo as I work on Cosmic's first draft (which is coming along quite swimmingly; I'm 300 pages in). But I can't lug my poor Macbook everywhere; Ringo wouldn't want to be lugged anyway. That's where reading comes in.

I told myself that when I moved, I would not buy books unless I absolutely needed them. Manga broke that rule, as Book-Off is ridiculously cheap and it helps my Japanese -- but none of this YA stuff, right? WRONG. Across the Universe actually got recommended by a NYCNanoer named Jeremy on Twitter -- I knew the book, because I had seen it in Wal-Mart, but had resolved to go for it after it came out in paperback.

Well, the sequel's out, it came out in paperback, and after I figured out the print version was not any more expensive than the ebook, I got it at my 'local' Holy Land! Winning. (You'll remember, if you look back, that I touched on that shortly when I wrote my crying "I want to be a writer" rant a few weeks back.) Because it came so highly recommended, and because I knew about it, I had no trouble paying for it even though I'm cheap-ass broke. (Such is living in Manhattan.) I figured that if I didn't like the book, I could always donate it to a library or something.

I have the book still in my bag. That book isn't going anywhere soon. It'll probably be all bent out of shape in a while, because I am probably going to read and reread and mark in it and take out sticky notes and eff the entire thing up. And then go buy another copy. Maybe.

Needless to say that I loved it. I literally couldn't put it down. I was reading it on my lunch break, when the biggest part of the book (in my opinion) hit me. It was so much more eye-opening than I thought it could be. What I liked the best about the style was that it proved to me that alternating POVs could be done. I'd seen it done before in one of Sharon Creech's books, but never with a debut like this. To hear from both Amy and Elder was special -- and great timing, as well! It makes me confident as a writer to see this done when my own book has alternating POVs.

Although I have, like, seven narrators in my book, and we'll have to see how that shakes out. I think that's the only thing I have going against Cosmic right now. We'll just have to find someone who believes in me, nee?

But my favorite character in the book wasn't even Amy or Elder. It was Harley, the side character, Elder's 'best friend' in the book. They keep all the artistic kids cooped up in one building in the book, and Harley's always painting -- mostly koi fish. He's got paint in his hair and paint on his clothes and paint in his fingernails and God paint everywhere. He comes into the story a lot, helping Amy and Elder with their mystery (when he's not painting, of course).

I like the connection -- and I guess only I am able to make this connection -- between koi and koi. I don't know, I was thinking about it on the boat, but koi for the fish is identical in the English language to the short form of 'koibito,' which translates roughly to 'lover' in Japanese. The connection I made was less about an actual person and more about the 'koi' part, which represents the actual act of loving here. The 'ai' that so many people know of is a romantic love, but 'koi' translates to a passionate love. 'Ai' means "I love you." 'Koi' means "I'm in love with you."

And I think it accurately describes how obsessed Harley could get in his world. It reminded me of being knee-deep in synesthetic color, completely swamped out, knowing exactly which color I was going to use next to compose a piece. It's a passion, a 'koi' type of feeling. A place to go and drown yourself in, to live when life is not worth living the way it was. Painting was an escape for Harley -- or at least it became an escape after his girlfriend died (not a spoiler, she's dead at the beginning). It's that passion, that fire, that losing yourself in your art feeling that keeps him going, knowing that no matter how much he gets lost, there's an end goal -- the landing of the ship. (Yes, it all turns decidedly Emily-ish at the end. My readers know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It's spoiler material.)

It was somewhere on the boat home that I realized that Beth, as an author, reminds me a whole lot of Brian. They're both people who love(d) writing, but most important, they're storytellers. Brian worked several bum jobs doing this and that and everything and just enjoying life and then became an author. Beth taught school for years, never giving up on her dream (but I'm sure feeling lots of doubt). Neither one of them had everything figured out at the beginning, and I think that's how life is supposed to be.

In addition, I think Harley reminds me a lot of Felldoh, my favorite of Brian's characters. Both feel an intense passion for something, but both also long desperately for freedom, and both find it in the same way. The way I think about Harley is similar to the way I thought about Felldoh as a kid, and it was in that moment, reading Martin the Warrior in sixth grade class, that I knew that this novel thing was special, and I wanted to be a part of it.

I want to hug Harley. Drag out my crayons and color with him. Even sing to him, let him know it's all right to feel anger and hatred and pain. That feeling in his eyes, in between flying and, well...that little bit of pain he felt, that reminded me of the little bit of fear I felt, the only bit of hesitance I felt when thinking about moving to New York.

But flying is so worth it.

Swim away, little koi fish. And while you're at it, can I come join you? We'll go paint in the stars.

Beth, if you are reading this, it's true that your characters are not your own. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Oh, and by the way, I'm not done with this. (runs off to get the 530)

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Hey.

Can I get my 2011 back? 2012 has kind of sucked so far. I got the floor pulled out from under me on the five train -- late, late, FUCKING LATE. And my new work schedule, while I like it, has me dog-tired.

I'd like to talk about two things tonight.

The first is food.

Oh, em, gee. I just went to Fairway to get some perishables and I'm so glad I did. I feel so much better now that I've arrived home with tomatoes and celery. I'm pretty sure I'm obsessed with both; so tonight for dinner I had chicken salad with celery, along with about a half a tin of grape tomatoes (addicting!!!) and a bit of hummus and ranch. I'm slowly getting used to hummus. It's weird, but good. I just have to tell myself it's peas. Right? Maybe?

The other thing I'm noticing is that I'm not who I once was.

There's a disappointing difference between Ohio-Emily and New York-Emily. When I see me in Ohio, I see me in Brookover, hanging out in my apartment, eating food and watching TV and sitting down. When I see me in New York, I see me running to the ferry. Every time. That's just one of the things that has changed. Before all of this happened, I thought I was incapable of change. I was going around in the same circle, over and over again, the same rut and everything.

When everything started happening that summer, when my life changed...I can't explain it. Even now, a half of a year later. Although there is someone I need to thank for it -- and that person really is Dylan. See, if Dylan hadn't been such a dick and moved to Madison this summer to pursue his dreams, I wouldn't have gotten so pissed off at him. And I mean, I was really pissed off at him, because I had spent all that time waiting for him to graduate from Miami and NOW HE WAS LEAVING ME FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER. What had happened to us going together?

But I figured, hey, he could go and get his foot in the door, and then either he can come home and stop dreaming those crazy dreams or he could become rich and famous and move me out there. And so I let it slide. Until I realized that by letting Dylan move, I had lost my riding buddy. And there was no way in hell I was going to let the summer pass me by without going to the Point at least once.

That was mid-June, when I saddled up my car and went to Cedar Point all by myself, because I could. The extreme success of that trip (known as the Royal Tour) led to the road trip to Madison for New Years. (For those of you who have lived under a rock, my New Year is July 16th at 10:00 PM. Every year. Don't ask why. There's a Chinese New Year, there's a Jewish New Year, and I get my own, too.) During this trip, I learned a lot about myself -- that I could drive with an eyelash in my eye, that I was capable of driving a car cross-state, and most importantly, that I could go to New York City all by myself. That was, honestly, the scariest thing I'd ever done.

(It was also during this trip that the 'ride warrior' idea that Cedar Fair has so fantastically planted in everybody's mind took root, and the entire drive home was spent immersed in a post-apocalyptic Point with a New York chick named after a coaster. YES, THUNDERBOLT, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.)

But more about that scary thing. I feel like my entire life, I've been able to hide behind what's easy, because I do it so well. I'm talking about my music. Whenever it came up, for a choice or what not, I was like, "Oh, I'll just do music with my life." It was never hard, because music was like breathing. So I went through life without a lot of trouble. The first trouble I really came up against was when I didn't want to become famous, so I moved home after graduating from Miami and started working at the Job. And even then, all I did was beat myself up.

Going into that city by myself...that was the scariest thing I had ever done. It reminded me of the first time I got on the Vortex. Anything else was like not living. I had to do it.

Back to my story, and then I'll talk more about how life = hard. If it weren't for Dylan, I wouldn't have driven to Madison and discovered all those things about myself. I really am capable of more than I thought. That's what I told myself then.

And then, in the space of one night...something really, seriously catastrophic happened. I don't like talking about it. Some people have an idea. TTR readers know what it is. It's a secret. And it has nothing to do with Dylan. But what happened that Thursday night was so life-changing that I had no choice but to move to New York as a result. What I had lost was so important that I couldn't wait to find it again.

That part of my life has been completed, and as a result, I'm now here. The Ohio Emily mentality is long gone. And Dylan is still here. He still pisses me off, and he pisses me off a lot, actually. But I love him. The cycle of hatred and misunderstanding has been broken, and I am confident in saying that Dylan isn't going anywhere.

He's that into me.

From what I've learned this summer, I want life to be hard. I want to take ownership and understand how life works, to do my own taxes and pay my own rent and not have anybody else do it for me. To 'drive myself.' Whatever that takes, I'll get there. I'll become a published author, and I want to work on my career in music, too. Not a fame-based career, something more along the lines of teaching or writing professionally. Something to keep me going until I find my way.

Until then, I have the Job. I understand that writing takes time. So I better get good at this Job -- not because it's something to do, but because I really do like it. And I love being there. It's enough that I think I'll move to the Island -- I still hate it, and I'd want to live close to the ferry, but not in a house, Aoiko. And perhaps from here, I can really, truly rebuild my life the way I want it.

I have Dylan to thank for that. I really do. I love you, so much. I normally don't gush about it a whole lot, and especially not on this blog. You changed me, sweetheart, for the better. Thank you.

And to you. You know who you are. You showed me that my life could be rebuilt, with the truth. I would follow you, and I will follow you, no matter where you go.

Because of you, I am never alone.

Thank you.
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This was originally posted on Facebook.

We're tired of this. We truly are tired of this. We go through life with high expectations, put on us by the parents and people of the last generation. Do this, do that, they say, and you won't screw up. Fail and you will make your life a miserable hell. And so we follow the rules for a while until it starts to really take a toll. We start wondering, who truly are we? And it's when our personalities start to break away from these rules and limits that we start having problems. We get short fuses and can't stand not having things just handed to us, because we're too damn tired of working for everything. We've tried working and we haven't gotten anything out of it, so we're just going to stop. We care about other things, other more trivial things, things that are just things. You know what I'm talking about; they've been mentioned before by several people. But people mention these things that make life shallow and then all they do is wallow in their pity; they don't do anything about it.

It's time to stop this. The question is, of course, how do we stop such a thing? We feel powerless in our current situation and only continue to change the perception of our reality. It's okay to do bad on tests. We don't have to be better. And we become slaves to these rules and limits instead of the ones that our society creates for us. We have limits imposed on us, then we create our own limits. I'm not sure why. Maybe to make us feel superior, to not have to worry about "doing any better" than we are right now. Maybe because we're used to it, having these limits.

There are those who don't see the limits, which is a majority of the people here. There are those that see and don't do anything about it...that is almost worse than never seeing at all. People don't see that they have these limits. Then there are people who create way too many limits and build a nice fence around themselves (come on, you know who you are). They may have different reasons for doing this, but it all boils down to fear. If I put my fence down, it my limits disappear, I'm afraid I might do something bad. I'm afraid I might be condemned. I'm afraid of the expectations that other people will have of me if I start doing things that I never imagined were possible. I'm afraid of failure.

Well, I got news for you. Bad is rather relative depending on your culture, but you can't know what's good unless you know what bad is. And the best way to experience bad, unfortunately, is to get knee-deep in it. There's no way to avoid it. If you try to be perfect, you're essentially screwing yourself over. If you're afraid of going to Hell, well, I got more important news for you, but that's going to be saved for a later date (unless you wanna hear my testimony right here, right now). Jesus is there for you; okay, done with that. People will always have expectations of you; that's what created the limits in the first place, remember? As long as you forsake the expectations that are placed on yourself, you will want to be able to do more. We do more if we are not required, if people aren't breathing down our necks. And as far as failure goes? Everybody fails once in a while, but it is important to see failure as not a failure but try to find another way of doing something.

Back in the day (yes, THAT back in the day) she used a story against me. Once upon a time, there was a butterfly who was captured in a jar. She flew and flew and flew but could not get out, exhausted, she fell to the bottom of the jar, trapped. The story goes on to say that the butterfly had to find another way out, to see things differently, but to my mind, it was warped that I shouldn't even try. Perhaps we need to stop beating against the lid of the jar, exhausting ourselves with this crazy life, searching for something and something and something and JUST SCREAM FOR SOMEONE, ANYONE, TO UNSCREW THE LID OF THIS JAR!

And then when they do, to never return to the jar...never.

...I don't know where I was going with this...
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I am writing again! Even though I woke up this morning and felt like THE DEATH. (It's a girl thing.)

But I'm now sitting here in my little hidden Starbucks, typing away at my novel. Or, I was. XD Let me tell you about this Starbucks. Finding a place to sit in the city is near impossible. When you go to Barnes and Noble, there will NEVER be any place to sit in there. I can guarantee that. It's like people sit there and just do nothing all day. It's the same thing with the Starbucks down the corner from my house. Never a place to sit. Always room to stand, though.

One day I was in Times Square and I was wanting a frapp, so I put Starbucks into Teebs to see what it would bring up. After I went to Sam Ash, I found the place it was talking about, a small little S-bux between Broadway and Sixth on 45th. It's not widely advertised -- I mean, I'm sure you can see the Starbucks logo, but there are at least three other Starbucks by it.

Every time I go into this Starbucks, I can manage to find a seat. Even if it's just at the bar, but it's still a seat. I can sit, I can relax, even for a minute. It's not Zanesville's Starbucks. But it's pretty darn close. And that's why I like it.

I better keep writing. Does anybody on here want to read part of Cosmic when I'm done with it?

--Emily
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It's 7:11PM right now. I'm sitting up in the B&N at 53rd and Lex, working on Cosmic. I'm on page 169 out of 504; I'm sure the final word count will change, among other things. I don't know how long I'll sit here without getting uncomfortable; I have to move often. Dylan is downstairs, in a public space, doing a rehearsal for a play. The dorkfaces downstairs wouldn't let me charge my laptop, so I came back up here. (I did buy books here earlier -- I have a receipt. Someone recommended Across the Universe, so I bought that, as well as Leanna Renee Hieber's latest! I was super stoked about that.)

Writing makes me cry. It makes me cry in ways that music doesn't. I cried writing in Shriver one time, just happy to cry, to feel something. I bawled my eyes out when Dylan put his copy of Spangler Gotham right up beside Brian in the bookstore we were in. (See all the Pondicherry entries I wrote. Brian Jacques is, and will always be, my favorite author. He's the one who got me started.) And I kind of teared up even sitting up here, although my left leg is about to go numb after six minutes of sitting/thumbing through my new books/crossing and uncrossing my legs. Damn this skirt. At least I have leggings on.

I love B&N not because it's B&N, but because it feels like home. It could be any bookstore, really. (Borders...teeheehee! Some of you will eventually get that Cosmic reference.) When I look at the books here, I see possibilities, endless, spreading out as a canvas in front of me. I especially like the kids section, where nothing is set in stone and everything is a discovery.

I remember being a kid and going to the huge Barnes and Noble in Easton, being awed at all of the books there. I remember being even YOUNGER than that, reading when nobody else knew what that was. From the beginning of time, I was certainly a freak; my synesthesia made reading easily (but, somehow, writing an impossibility -- I hadn't figured out how to make the colors myself on page). I was the kid who got called on in class to read notes. When I was in kindergarten, one day we did a scavenger hunt, but the teacher was absent. In the sub's notes, she put my name down as the one to read the clues.

But my ability for reading, as I mentioned before, did not translate well into writing. My first attempts at putting together words were messy; I remember trying to write a recipe for peanut butter and jelly and just writing the first letters of each word, unable to do the rest. I loved making up stories in my head, putting them to music, but could not write them down that well, if at all. My stories were first translated through drawing, and then through music, which both developed around the same time.

When I created stories as a young kid, I always assumed they would grow to become animated pictures. This was in the Disney golden age, and Don Bluth's name was still big as well. (The irony of An American Tail right now, I SWEAR!) But as I grew, two different things happened -- I was teased for my drawings, and I was renowned for my musical prowess. Both I considered as just playing -- I just had fun with it! I mean, yes, I wanted to do that someday, to have my pictures on the big screen with their respective musics.

To create with people. But I couldn't find anybody who understood, who could play with colors and pictures the way I could, who wanted to spend the rest of their life coloring. And I was alienated.

In sixth grade was when it happened -- I picked up my first book by Brian. It wasn't a place to hide, really -- I hid in my music. But I could see that worlds could be built with words. I wanted to do that -- not because it was fun, or really because it was a challenge. I wanted to create worlds like that, as well. But I also sensed that you did not need a group of people to create a novel, like you needed a group to create an animated film. You didn't have to (at least immediately) have everybody telling you how to do it, or not to do it.

So, I tried. God, how awful I was for a really REALLY fucking long time. Totally horrid. I wrote parts of books and full books for at least eight years before I was even remotely good.

Writing has never been like music for me. Music just comes to me naturally. Ever since I've been tinkering around with that eight-key piano at age six, I've been writing music. I learned, but I created. Writing music was as natural as breathing for me. By contrast, writing words was like constipation -- I had to do it, and I really wanted to do it, but it was HARD AS HELL. (Sorry for any mental images.) And I don't even remember when it started -- from the very beginning, when music took over and people took notice of me because of it, there was an expectation. It was like there was a star beside "musician" on the list of things I did, with the star reading, "You better fucking do something with this gift, or it will be a waste." Naturally, because my parents pushed me to do music, to play and to be part of performances, I assumed I had to do something with that. But I didn't. That's not what I wanted at all. What I wanted was to continue playing with music, but I didn't want to be forced into doing something with it. To this day, part of my heart still feels like a failure because I didn't become a famous pop star at sixteen. But the 98% of the rest of me knows that's ridiculous, that I never wanted that anyway.

But still...I won't lie when I said that's part of why I wanted to move to New York. I wanted opportunities, I wanted to create with people, yes. But I don't really want to write music with people. I just want to write. I mean...words. Music is easy. Novels are hard as hell. I sit down at a piano and it just happens. By contrast, I've been planning Cosmic since July, and it's January and the mofo is nowhere near done. I am not talented at writing. AT ALL. But I have worked my ass off at it, and something that's usually so solitary has become a group event (thanks to that thing I do every November).

Don't you get it? I'll probably never push myself at music. That's not a bad thing. I am horribly talented at music, because of my synesthesia and perfect pitch, but it's always been within my reach. I've never had to work for it. By contrast, the words that sit on the shelves in front of me were something I once couldn't make out.

I will never be a famous musician. But I will be a famous author.

I want to write.

I want to write.

Okay...NOW I'm crying.

When I think of Dylan and how focused he gets on what he does, I think of how I write. When we were sitting at Panera earlier in Queens, Dylan was all tunnel on his acting gig websites, answering emails and this and that and blah blah blah. I was kind of peeved -- we were supposed to be having a planning meeting about my own story -- but I eventually just went back to Cosmic. And then I realized that I could be working on some of my music instead, but I was working on Cosmic. It's not that I don't want to work on music -- I do all the time. But when I get a completed album, or a completed song, I don't get that relief, that sense of satisfaction, of "I did it!" that I get when I finish a chapter of Cosmic, forbid an entire book. (I think I cried at the last write-in when I actually completed my 110K book in a month. That or I bought myself a drink.)

Knowing that this is what I want -- to give my book to some sixth grader and to tell them that anything is possible -- that's what I want. It's what I seriously want. And God, now I'm crying like the woman in Something's Gotta Give, all over the place in front of my Mac and typing like crazy (although she was writing a play). Effing eich, why don't I have tissues.

This is what I want, more than anything. Maybe I should go back to school not for music, but for creative writing? I mean, I'll be living out of a box either way, I suppose. Perhaps I'm like the kid who just now realized what she wants to be when she grows up.

And tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'm gonna tell myself for the umpteenth time that I'm a musician, and that I gotta be world famous or my talents are worth nothing. Perhaps I should have set fire to the 530 instead of Brian's books in Pondicherry. I am not leaving music behind, though -- I'm just becoming more at home among these books.

Perhaps.

Or maybe I will wake up in the morning, grab my best friend, go to Starbucks, get another frapp, and edit the thing that is most important to me. More important than any song, any performance, more precious than any time I've done an audition, more difficult than any time I've put my violin to my chin or have sat down at a piano. When I play, I close my eyes, I lose myself. But when I write, I open my eyes, I find myself. Perhaps that's the difference.

Will you help me? You, the reader. The person I've written to, in one way or another, for years. For my world of music only contains me, but I write for people, even an invisible people. Not help me write, but help me be myself. Help me put my thumbs up, to Ringo, to Thunderbolt, and weave a string of words. I once wrote that I was like a spider, spinning tales, making all of the words flow together, carefully choosing which words to put into the story. Help me know not which words to choose, but when to ask for help, when to post, when to be excited, when to take a chance. But most importantly, help me be me. Not the me I never wanted to be, but the me I've been searching for all along.

That me is right here.

And that me needs a huge box of Kleenex, a huge reality check...and to work on her most precious thing.
memorialrainbow: (Default)
Welcome Cosmic tag. :)

So if you called a rose by any other name, it would still smell sweet, right? WRONG. If you called a poo poo icky flower, I'm sure the English Powers That Be would have found something else to call it.

I suggested the title for the first Cosmic book (which is just "Cosmic," by the way) and nobody at the NaNo party seemed to think it was good. It'll still be the title of the series, easily -- it makes sense considering who the kids have made themselves out to be. If you wrote a zombie book, what would you call it? I particularly like "Heart of Mold," which I have yet to read still, by one of my fellow NaNos in Zanesville. But "Heart of Mold" wouldn't really fit my novel. Imagine Bella and Edward in the zombie apocalypse, fighting zombies instead of werewolves. If you could only name it with one word, what would you call it? Heck, give me title ideas -- I'm not saying I'll steal them unless they're really good. For now, it will remain Cosmic.

From here on out, I'll probably talk a fair bit about the book on here -- nothing huge, as I don't want to be spoiling anything or drumming up too much attention -- but at this point, there aren't that many people on here, and I could totally use your help! So, have at it! :)
memorialrainbow: (Default)
I was late again to work today. Read more... )
memorialrainbow: (Default)
So I had fully intended on posting something last night, except I had a pretty big mental breakdown after not getting any sleep for the last 48 hours or so. 12 hours of sleep later, I'm sane again and feeling up to post!

First off, the fifth episode of HPP! is finally up for your enjoyment. )

Meanwhile, in other news, I really need to write a report on Saturday...despite the fact that I only got about two and a half hours of sleep. It was our Writers at the Crossroads event in Cambridge, and I had a lot of fun, despite the fact that I was gunning to get there in time. But it was so much fun! They had lots of food, and so many writers were there. Rita was there, as well as Linda and Luna and a bunch of other writers I recognized. A lot of us had our books there as well; I had several copies of Makani on hand, which the printing finally turned out the way I wanted it to (which is a huge relief -- two proof copies later). I have leftover copies, so if you want to get Makani and you see me in person, let me know!

WHIZ's article on the event is here, and they have video, too.

I think I'm finally going to hang up my clothes before I go over to the 'rents house tonight. There was one other thing I had wanted to do last night before I went into epic-meltdown mode, and that was color/sketch a picture of a character for a new "Epic Idea" I have going on. Yep, I get some pretty epic ideas. And I've figured out over the years that if I just start writing the darn thing down, or start working on it immediately, it will get more done than it ever will if I spend all of my time planning. Makani is a really good example of this -- I wrote maybe half of the thing on spring break, 2007. HPP is another recent example -- I have seven episodes done and the want to finish them is slowly dwindling. (I feel like all I have to do, though, is watch some more Heartcatch! and I'll get the inspiration to finish it. I'm more than halfway there.) Maristar was this glorified, because it was right before NaNo. And I have ideas for Script Frenzy, though I'm not very enthusiastic, am I? (Just write the darn thing, Emily!) So yeah, Ringo and Amei are coming with me to the 'rents. I hope to at least work on the picture there; at least I got the original scanned.

Overall, I feel much better than last night. I got all of my crap out of me, I suppose. I've had a pretty in-funk week this past week, and instead of getting stuff done on my days off, they were just spent playing catch-up. I was able to relax and think about things more. When I get to work tonight, I want to be able to fully process what's going on in my mind and to think more about my future.

I love my job, but I think I can also view it as a crutch. I really do like it, but I keep getting this idea that I will stay there forever, or that I can't move somewhere if I can't transfer. I have to keep things a bit more open. I want to look at the sky and see a wide, open view of possibility.

Totally on another thought-process, I really miss the beach. If I get one day at the beach this summer, even if it is at Lake Erie, I will be a happy camper.

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