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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Tuesday, December 14th, 2010|
I am tired of needing to find a reason to keep living every day. I would like to get to a place where my general state is, not one of happiness, but general acceptance; where good news is a welcome surprise, and not simply the currency I require to purchase the passing hours.
|Monday, November 29th, 2010|
...is not a good day for me to see signs of my ex-girlfriend on-line. I know it would be a bad choice to try and get back together with her, because being with her makes this emptiness inside of me so big that I feel more alone with her than when I'm alone. I'm tired, though. And sad. And it's just not a good day.
|Saturday, October 23rd, 2010|
I'm not sure why, but these last few days have added up to one of the worst weeks in recent memory.
|Sunday, September 19th, 2010|
|We broke up
The status on Facebook won't change for a couple days, I guess, but we broke up Saturday morning. It was mutual, no hard feelings whatsoever, and it's mostly a relief. So, um, watch out ladies, I guess.
|Sunday, May 30th, 2010|
Guess I'm more of a Peggy guy after all.
|Tuesday, May 18th, 2010|
|News you can use
Talked with my agent on the phone last night. Turns out she's closing up shop in October.
...anybody have a literary agent looking for some good horror fiction?
|Sunday, May 2nd, 2010|
|Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010|
Somebody just got in touch with the AV Club asking for--well, here:
"I would like contact info for Mr. [my actual last name here, which I'm not using because I'd rather keep this journal semi-anonymous] in order to set up an interview about his time at the A.V. Club."
Weird, right? My ego is, of course, curious, but I can't help noticing that the person didn't mention what the interview would be for, and, as far as I can tell, didn't even sign their letter. It's probably a weird new form of spam, but I dropped them a line. I'll let you know what happens.
EDIT: Turns out it's an undergrad from Purdue University who wants to ask me some questions about my job. So, less famous, but still, what the hey.
|Sunday, February 7th, 2010|
I am sort of almost kind of deliriously happy right now.
This is so, so not good.
|Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010|
|You should probably read this one.
I've been thinking about shutting down this journal. On the good side: I like having a Friends page, getting a sense of what people are up to, and I like having a place where I can try and work things out. On the down side: I hardly every update anymore, and when I do, it's mostly negative. This isn't because my life
is negative (although it can be), but because I only ever really feel compelled to write about situations that I either don't understand or can't control. So I'll churn out three or four paragraphs, and I'll post it, and because it's so long, nobody reads it or comments on it (which is perfectly reasonable; I love y'all to death, but I don't tend to read entries that are longer than a couple paragraphs, barring special circumstances.), and I feel embarrassed and guilty.
That's just silly, really. The big reason I'm thinking of giving this up is that I'm not sure the writing I do here does me any good anymore. I'm tired of berating myself for being whiny, and the brief satisfaction I get from a post is not really enough to justify the time.
Let's face it--my life is, right now, as good as it's ever been. I'm living in a great city, the writing is going well, I get to see my best friend every day, and I may actually have my first novel published. I feel attractive, I'm slowly getting used to hanging out and being social, and there are times when I can actually see myself as some kind of a grown-up, living the kind of life I always wanted to lead. It's amazing that I've gotten this far. Four years ago, I was moody, self-loathing, broke, and I didn't think my life would ever go anywhere. Three and a half years ago, I started writing The Living
, got a second job at a movie theater. Three years ago, I started jogging and lost a fuckton of weight. Two years ago, I started writing for the AV Club. So basically, 0 to near-nirvana in 4 years.
Oh, a lot of miserable stuff happened in those four years. The Student Worker Incident, nearly losing my job at Bates (twice!), I've been rejected, displaced, poor, stupid, depressed, suicidal, terrified. Last December was easily one of the worst times in my life, like, ever. And right now, things aren't perfect. I hate my full-time library job, because it basically amounts 50 hours a week of work for something I don't care about, and I've got a ton of AV Club stuff to get done and never the time to do it. Romance eludes me, although I don't care in the same way I used to. I'm stressed that I'll get fired later this week (nothing huge, but there's always the danger), stressed how I'm going to pay my bills, stressed that I'll never be able to leave here, stressed that I'll let down the people I love or I'll be needy or weird or whatever.
But those things are a part
of my life. They aren't all of it. And I feel like, with LJ, that's the only part I ever really talk about. So I'm thinking maybe I need to move on. Not sure.
|Monday, January 4th, 2010|
|Sunday, January 3rd, 2010|
Man, it's been snowing for three days straight, seems like. We went for a walk last night into the Old Port, just to see what it looked like, and it was fierce--windy, white powder blowing everything, very cold. Stopped in a bar, had a beer (I've drunk way too much Pabst Blue Ribbon in the past couple weeks), and there were a surprising number of people hanging out inside. I always forget how annoying drunk people can be when you're sober. They can be pretty annoying when you're drunk, too, but that constant, "I'M GOING TO YELL A LOT!!! AWESOME!" enthusiasm grates fast. I've been there too, I know what it's like. But I don't feel like I've been missing anything major by not being huge on the scene for a while.
I joined a gym today! The building is literally right behind ours, so while it's a little on the pricey side, the convenience is worth the extra cash. Actually managed to get a jog in on one of the machines, too. The place wasn't very busy, which was either a function of the weather (it's been a snowy weekend), or maybe just on account of it being Sunday. I'm hoping things stay pretty slow, but whether or not they do, I now have a definite place where I can go running no matter how nasty it is outside. Which is really all I wanted. Maybe I can finally drop the extra twenty pounds I've been wanting to lose for forever.
|Tuesday, December 29th, 2009|
|Lost in translation
Heya, gang. Been enjoying the week off from work so far, although I spent today in the old apartment, trying to clean everything out, and getting kind of depressed at how much shit I still have to do tomorrow. Even under the best circumstances (and so far, this has really been a smooth transition), moving sucks. Stressed about finishing things, weirded out and depressed about getting used to a new home environment, and dealing with the fact that there are inevitably going to be some flaws in the new place that I'll just have to deal with. So far, the only really frustrating thing is the noise. My bedroom window is ground-level, and last night at 1:40 in the morning, our neighbors were outside having some kind of discussion. Then the radiator kicked in for a while. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep.
But I'll get over it. May end up buying ear plugs or something.
Other than that, I'm digging how close the place is to everything--I've walked to the movies twice so far, and to various local bars, and there's a great place for jogging down by the ocean. This is basically what I wanted when I decided I wanted to move to Portland, and the other stuff, well, that comes and goes. I figured it would hit eventually, and it passes. Looking forward to getting a regular routine set in here, though.
I've got New Years Eve plans, though! A party at a bar, and I'm looking forward to it.
Not much else to report. Saw AVATAR, thought it was fairly idiotic, saw UP IN THE AIR, liked it well enough. Oh, and THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX was great. Also saw a trailer for THE LOVELY BONES and realized I'll need a new title for my book, as the movie refers to "the In-Between" as a place. I'm not hugely disappointed. It was a nice title, but I wasn't actually going to use the phrase in the book, and now I have a chance to come up with something better.
|Monday, December 7th, 2009|
|Sunday, December 6th, 2009|
|What's goin' on
This was a tremendously productive weekend. Okay, so I didn't get any jogging in since Thursday, no work on the novel (although I did figure out where it's going next, and am doing actual research, which involves re-reading a children's novel), and right now I'm putting off watching A Christmas Story
, which means I'm putting off writing an essay about it, as well as putting off a bunch of other small-ish AV Club writing gigs that are due tomorrow and Tuesday. But still-productive! Because me and Dave went looking for apartments, and we think we found a couple good ones.
I've never been apartment hunting before; the place I'm living in now just sort of fell into my lap, as did the place (the awful, awful place) in Waltham. So this was a learning experience for me. Of the five places we looked at, 2 were good, 1 was okay, and 2 were just lousy. It's an interesting dynamic, depending on who's showing you the rooms--real estate agents are obviously more laidback, professional, and easier to say no to. Of the people we met, one of them was kind of a frat-boy dick, very pushy, very aggressive and question-heavy, and his apartment was pretty lousy. (It was the biggest place we looked at, but dingy, the appliances were older than me, and the walls needed repainting, despite having been painted recently.) The worst place we looked at was just depressing--miserable neighborhood (close to the hospital!), plastic broken window boxes with fake flowers, rooms that stank like cat piss, no on-site laundry, and, the clincher, the most expensive rent of any place we looked at.
Thankfully, like I said, two good places, one definitely with the edge, but both places I'd be happy to live in. The first spot is the basement floor of a nice brownstone on Cumberland Ave, middle of the city, parking, cheapest rent, nice looking apartment, decent amount of space, and, well, it's kind of like walking into a hobbit hole. Dave and I faxed our applications in yesterday, so we'll hopefully know one way or the other Monday. The coolest thing is, both places are good to move into this month, which means I can hopefully be in a new place before the start of the new year. The next few weeks will be busy, but I'm really excited and happy right now. And hey, if I'm obsessing over moving, I won't be thinking about the book publishing thing for a while!
|Saturday, November 28th, 2009|
|It's (sort of) official (new book stuff)
Current title for current book that may change at some point down the future but at least isn't as lame a name as, let's face it, Zombieland
kind of was:Samantha of the In-Between
Things I like about it:
-The rhythm works, kind of a sing-songy feel to it.
-It can actually work as an unexpected punchline for the entire novel, if things end up as I believe they will. I like that--I like titles where the meaning changes or becomes more clear as the book goes on.
Things I'm less keen on:
-One of the things I liked about 'king' in some of the original ideas is that it put stress on a character who doesn't really show up till at least the half-way point. Kind of like The Third Man
. This new title is more direct.
-Comes perilously close to teen-lit, kid-lit, or even one of those earnestly graphic Wally Lamb books like She's Come Undone
. Not really a market I'm gunning for.
All in all, though, this works for now, which is all I really needed it to do. There is something very satisfying about giving a project a proper title, because it makes the whole thing seem more real--like you're providing proper noun status to a series of loosely connected concepts. In the end, having a title is more important to me than getting too worried about whether it's any good. Because honestly, the books I love, the title isn't the reason I love 'em. I don't think I've ever picked up a novel because of what it was called
Thanks for the help, guys!
|Thursday, November 26th, 2009|
Fun with writing!
On my way to Thanksgiving dinner with the family--which was swell, thanks for asking, hope everybody had fun and good food, etc--I had a sudden epiphany. I'm between a third and half-way through my current novel (which is right around 74,000 word mark, if you're curious; it's gonna be a big one), but I've yet to come up with anything even close to a title. The file is currently saved on my work and home computer as "Sam," which is the name of the female lead, but it's not really a name I'd feel comfortable with as an actual for reals book name. But I thought of something rather clever while driving, which is:The King And Queen Of The In-Between
It's rhymey, and cute. Thing is, I have a history of becoming infatuated with phrases that are just too consciously silly to be appropriate, and I'm not really sure if this is one of them or not. The rhyming thing, well, that could be too much. So I thought up some alternatives:The King Of The In-Between
Which is neat because it's a little spooky, and references a character the reader won't really made till at least the halfway point, and I like that. (Note: the opening "the" of both titles is debatable. I like the added syllable, but I'm not huge on repeating a word in such close quarters, even if it is an article. The second "the," which changes the meaning of "in-between" from a concept to a place, is crucial, and can't be dropped.)The Ruler of the In-BetweenSamantha, Queen of the In-BetweenQueen Samantha of the In-Between
Right now, I'm leaning most towards one of the first two. I'd really like some opinions, though. I realize some of you know some of the plot, but not everyone, and that's fine--I
know it well enough to know if the meaning I'm conveying is appropriate, and what I'm really curious is if any of these titles sound appealing and/or frickin' retarded.
|Wednesday, November 18th, 2009|
|Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009|
|Innocent when you dream
I'm in a very good mood right now. It's nice. Only real reason I can think of as to why is that I finished an article last night that's been hanging over my head for a month now. I don't think it turned out that great--it's passable, but not something I'm especially proud of. (It's probably not a good sign that a good half of the articles I'm writing these days, I get to the end thinking, "Ah fuck it, if it's bad they can edit." More than half, really.) But still, it's done. I still have six or seven other things to do by the end of the week, plus I've got the new Wheel of Time book to read by Sunday for review... but for now, sweet, sweet relief.
I said I'd talk about the waiting-for-a-publisher game, right? Well, here's where things stand now:
-Still waiting to hear back from S, the place that might be interested in publishing The Living
as a young adult novel. So far, this experience has been a lot of tedium and vague depression, mixed with the occasional interjection of intense excitement. The S thing (I'm not sure it's kosher to name the publisher) is a microcosm of that. First they're interested in reading the book, then it takes them a couple months to finally get around to it. Then the editor who read it, P, "likes it," and brings it to committee. In two weeks. A month and later, I hear that while P is really enthusiastic about the book (which was great to hear), S doesn't have any place in their adult imprints. But they're starting a Young Adult imprint, would I want to be considered for that?
So, I get excited again--I had issues with YA, but I'm mostly over them at this point, because really, I just want this fucking thing published. Only, now that I've said yes, it takes two weeks for the new guy to get the book, and that was two weeks ago (ish) and he's still reading. It's been long enough now that I've kind of forgotten being excited. The wait doesn't mean anything either way, but it's weird to think, "Huh, there's at least one editor at a publishing house reading my novel who might want to buy it," and have that not really do much to me one way or the other.
-The agent isn't resting on her laurels, though. She's currently pecking away at TD (who she told me in this week's update may be "amenable," whatever that means) and T. T's actually trying to break into the zombie market, with a Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
knock-off featuring Tom Sawyer. Seriously. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess my book is better than that one. Fingers crossed.
-There are a bunch of other places she's tried, and half a dozen who actually got the manuscript, but I think I've only been officially rejected twice? And in both cases, it was from people who hadn't read the whole book. (One guy looked at the sample and the synopsis and said there wasn't anything special about it. So, y'know, to hell with him.) I'm assuming that with the places that have the book but my agent hasn't mentioned, those are basically no go, but who knows. I figured this process would be excruciating, and it sort of is, but I didn't realize it would be this backgrounded. I have no idea if any of this will resolve soon. We could get an offer from S this week, or it could be a month of nothing before they tell us they're passing. I'm just glad I've got the AV Club job, because otherwise, I think I would've gone insane by now.
|Tuesday, October 27th, 2009|
|Awww poor me
Hey, I got to pick the book for the latest entry in the AV Club book club!
Hey, everybody fucking hates it! (It's Ghost Story, by Peter Straub, and re-reading it again, it does have a lot of flaws, but god how I dislike being put in a position where I feel like my self-worth is tied into some dead fucking novel.)
I have a great (second) job, but sometimes it really fucking sucks.