Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The residency so far

My first packet of homework is due on February 7. All I have left to do is finish reading one book (less than fifty pages) and then write a reading response to it. So why do I feel like I'm already so far behind?

Part of it is that I wanted to have reread and cleaned up the Zomburbia manuscript by the first of the month. Unless a miracle occurs, that won't happen. There are also three short stories for me to rewrite. Two that I submit to publishers, and one that I will send to Jim Kelly. Jim workshopped this story with me at the latest Stonecoast residency and he's offered to look at it again once it's rewritten. He thinks it's publishable. Have I mentioned that Jim is a hell of a guy?

I also have a ton of email I still need to answer from when I was in Maine.

One of these days I'll feel like I'm caught up.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Links 1/21/11

This year is off to a lousy start, posting-wise. Not sure when that will change. I am sick. My wife is sick. My son may still be sick. It is a time of pestilence here in the Kreutz Gallardo household. But some day all will be well and I will start to write again and posting here will resume. Until then, enjoy some links to articles I've read over the last few days!

Rick Bass, who is an instructor at Stonecoast, has advice for beginning writers. Oddly, "Run away!" is not on the list.

Welcome to Project: Iceworm, a city built under the ice of Greenland.

Mexican drug lords are now importing foreign models and beauty queens as their girlfriends.

How have I been a fan of SF for so long without knowing about The Turkey City Lexicon? This lapse in my education was remedied by workshop instructor, and all-around swell guy, Jim Kelly. I note with interest, and without comment, the definition of the term "slipstream."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is about ten tons of adorable

This video is making the rounds on the internet, but I couldn't pass up posting it here. A little French girl recounts the plot to Winnie-the-Pooh. If you don't like this, you have no soul.

Also, I don't have the strength to post anything else after getting back from my trip to Maine. Regular posting will resume... at some point in the future?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gone educatin'

In a little while I'll be off to Maine where an army of instructors shall try and penetrate my dense head bones in an attempt to fill my brain with knowledge. While I am away in the Winter Wonderland that is Maine, posts of any length will be in short supply here. However, since I learned last night how to publish photos to this blog from my phone, you can probably expect a sort of photo travelogue of my journey.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

This is a test, too

The future of music distribution

Damian Kulash, the lead singer of the band OK Go, was interviewed on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday. Kulash talks about, in broad strokes, the history of music distribution and, more in depth, his band's decision to leave the major label which handled them and start their own. He also wrote an opinion piece on the subject for The Wall Street Journal.

This is relevant to my interests for a couple of reasons. 1) Because I like this band and am interested in how they conduct themselves and 2) because I wonder if what they've done in music can be replicated in the medium of comics. Especially on the scale they seem to be doing it at.

Here's a link to the audio of that interview.

Links 1/5/11

There was a night during Cortes's conquest of Mexico that he was very nearly handed his ass by the Aztecs. It was called La Noche Triste. (Via Wikipedia)

Knock know. Who's there? Alternate universes, baby. (Via New Scientist)

Hey, look, somehow Jenny McCarthy was wrong all along. There never was a link between autism and vaccination. Who'd have imagined...

Monday, January 3, 2011

The last numbers of 2010

I was at my part-time job when the yearly odometer rolled over from 2010 to 2011. Don't get me wrong, I really like my job, but that was not really where I wanted to be Friday night. There was nothing to do about it, however. Nothing but sulk, I mean.

I like the way I spend my time over New Year's Eve/Day to be meaningful to me. I want it to be a reflection of my values and desires. Usually It will be with friends or family. That wasn't an option this year. So as I sat there feeling sorry for myself, I started to wonder how I could use that time in a way that meant something to me. And then I remembered that I had an unfinished draft of a short story on my laptop.

Let me say a word about my job here. I work as a projectionist at a locally-owned, independent movie theater. Projecting films is just one of the things I do as that process is largely automated. You should forget your romantic notions of sitting up in the booth waiting to change over from one reel to another. In our theater, we have a platter system. When the reels come in, our manager, Abby (hi, Abby!), assembles them into one big reel on a platter. So once I thread up the film in the projector, all I have to do is hit start, make sure everything is running fine, and then walk away. That's simplified a bit, but not much. After the films have all been started (there are three auditoriums in the theater), we employees have a bit of down time. We stock and clean, too, but we still have a lot of time to ourselves. Most folks play games, talk, eat, etc. I usually choose to write or work on homework. I'm explaining all of this so you won't think that I was getting away with something as I sat there for an hour and wrote. This happened after the last set of shows had started for the night and we had cleaned and stocked all we could before the movies let out.

So, yeah, I finished a story. My fourth of the semester. I was happy because I had originally thought I wouldn't get to finish it until after I came back from the MFA residency later this month. I was also happy because writing is one of the things I want to devote myself to this year. It felt good. And, after a month of not writing, I was happy with how easily I fell back into the process. I wrote a little more than 3,000 words in just over an hour. That might be faster than I've ever written. I think it's because I told myself that I had to finish the story before midnight rolled around, which meant I would need to finish it before the movies let out and I had my theater duties to attend to.

So, here are some updated numbers for the last of 2010:

Words written for 12/31/10: 3,080
Words total for Story D: 8,870

Which brings my word total for the semester up to 124,720. Just shy of 125k, which is just shy of 500 pages. Damn. Ah, well, maybe next semester. It's a new year, after all. Anything feels possible.