What was I Thinking?

Really, do I ever?  I’m not convinced, mostly because I just had a great idea for a post, and in the time it took me to walk across the room–the very very small room, I forgot it.  This is mostly because I let myself be seduced by the trail of an idea, and didn’t bother to solidify it in my head before coming over…it was just so great, and of course I couldn’t forget it.  Well, I did.  And I don’t know what this one will be about, it’s just to fill space until I think of what the great idea was.  Sometimes it’ll come back to me.  I can only hope.

Interesting how that’s worded isn’t it. So far the shortest post I have here was written when I was on the far side of consciousness, and it’s still five hundred words.  I hardly lack for ideas, even if I did lose some really great ones over the course of pacing a room’s width.

I really wanted to write loose instead of lose in that last paragraph. Every single time I’ve been trying to write lose for about a month, in fact, I’ve been trying to write loose instead.  Unfortunately, in the writing I do…or have been doing…loose is simply not a word that shows up on a regular basis. Or even an irregular basis, and so I have no call to use it.  I should make one up.  But I have nothing to write about with loose in it, so far as I can tell. Maybe it has something to do with not writing fiction.

Say, if I was writing a story, than I could use loose as a way to get through writers’ block.  When I was in school, the only reason I really liked the vocabulary lists was to make sentences in which to use those words. I love using new words. And particularly using context, interesting context. Like impecunious. Actually, I just like impecunious because it’s a far cooler way of saying penniless than saying penniless, although I will admit penniless is better than the basic, cliched broke. Although, now that I write it, I don’t really mind broke either. Each has it’s own shades of meaning.

You can imagine what my vocab sentences looked like after I went on my tangents.

Actually, If you imagined they’d be long and creative and interesting, you’d be wrong. The one problem I’ve always had in school is not wanting to bother with it. I do the bare minimum to try for an A. I didn’t used to try, but I’ve been procrastinating so badly this semester, I’ve had to worker harder at it.  Also, this school uses pluses and minuses as part of the GPA, it’s the equivalent of .39 or something I think. What can I say, math is not my strong suit.

This is not because I’m particularly smart. I just tend to be good at taking tests, understanding what the teacher wants, and I enjoy reading. My learning style happens to be particularly good for the academic camp. Unfortunately, I don’t really wish to spend all my time in the ivory tower. I simply don’t have the focus to enjoy it properly. Not that there’s anything wrong with staying so far out of the real world. It has it’s upsides. And downsides too, of course, but then again, what doesn’t. The only bad thing about having a learnings style so perfectly suited to academics is the fact that I’m useless for any other kind of situation.  I need feedback, lots and lots of feedback and direction. Academia my thrive on that sort of thing, but the rest of the world tends to prefer the quick-on-your-feet independant-type personalty.  I suppose I can do that too, but passive is easier.

Which is why it’s called passive of course…

As long as these posts get…I’m starting to think the only reason I write anything is for the titles. I have, or at least I think I have, awesome titles.  Unfortunately, but the time I end up at the end of these posts, they hardly bear any relation to the title.  With the title here, for example, this post really ought to have been a semi-hysterial rant. Which might have been amusing, or possibly disturbing for readers, but isn’t really about what it was starting as anyway.  Kind of like sarcasm.

Wait, I think I’m losing track (there’s losing again). There is the “What was I thinking?” (or What was I thinking?”) of someone’s who has seriously (or moderately) screwed up, but in this case, it’s meant literally, “What was I thinking?” Which is kind of like sarcasm because the phrase is hardly used in the literal sense–by me anyway.

This is at eight hundred words again. How do I do it? I would say that words never come as easily anywhere else, although they do.  But really does anyone actually end up reading this far?

Since only those who have, have actually gotten this far…why?  I should post disclaimers at the beginning of every post: If you don’t finish reading, I don’t blame you. I hardly even manage to finish myself, I just write until my hands get tired.

Or change the title of my blog to: tl;dr.

Hmmmmm….

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What Could Have Been

Had I not been surfing the other side of unconsciousness.  Working mouth, and (almost) fingers, without any input from the brain.  Well, hopefully, I now know to avoid that state in the future.

Going back home wasn’t so hard in the beginning. When I first moved out, I spend the first two years living with relatives, so even though I didn’t visit even as often as I do know, the ties were nonetheless closer.  There’s an intangible “togetherness” that comes with living with family, no matter who’s there and who isn’t, or any physical distance at all. And back then, just starting college-level work, even at a community college, Real Life just seemed so far away. The very concept of adulthood was entirely out of the reach of my understanding. Now it’s entirely too close, and like billions of others before me, I’m missing my innocence. Or at least childhood, and it’s lack of responsibility beyond minor chores.  Those I can manage. Real Life, real independence, not so much…although that’s as much fear of the unknown as anything. I still call it “home,” but this weekend I was definitely visiting.

I stepped outside and it smelled like cold.  It doesn’t feel cold, not right away, though there’s an awareness. Then it prickles along the skin. The stars burn brighter on cold nights, too. And when the moon is full, it’s light seems  more right to me than the sun. I remember looking out my bedroom window at the apple tree as a kid. Everything would be drenched with a silver glow, and the shadows were holes of nonexistance.

I was a weird child.  But I’ve always loved the moon better than the sun.

We would drive home during the winter, after a long trip, and it would be snowing.  Only occasionally, but I remember it as a regular occurrence. But it was when the falling snowflakes would be highlighted by the headlights. I always preferred the larger flakes.  Big or small, though, when you watched them from the windshield (leaning sideways over the littlest brother asleep in the middle seat), it was like flying through space. Warp-speed, of course.  My dad watche(d/s) that show all the time, especially when we were little and had to watch with him.  So that’s what I saw.

When I was a little kid, and the family had to go on long car trips, all I had to do was watch the world go by outside the car.  I read everywhere else, but reading in the car has always given me a headache. So instead, I’d watch.  Whatever the landscape was, it became a part of the story…whichever story I was telling myself at the time. Honestly, I’ve always preferred to use the characters from my current reading list the actors in these stories. There’s a pre-set situation, and characteristics, and I can put them through increasingly fantastic and wild plots. Plots that will never exist in a real life novel or story, and that I likely wouldn’t read anyway. But they’re amusing in the short term. And they lasted awhile for car trips.  During the mountainous areas, I often imagined someone riding a horse desperately and carefully over the rough and rocky terrain. Over the plains…well, they were boring, so I imagined how my favorite characters would be bored in my place.

Again, weird child.

Though I hated them at the time, one of the things I do miss about growing over my childhood dreams, is losing them.  When I say childhood dreams, I don’t mean the things that I dreamed of doing as an adult–those dreams involved either becoming an artist or a marine biologist, and I lost intrest in both long ago. No, my childhood dreams were simply the dreams I had as a child, which sometimes, I think I remember better than my actually child.  Even when I was younger, say early middle school, I sometimes had trouble even remembering that they hadn’t happened.

My dreams weren’t fantastic like the stories I made up about the stories I’d read…I suppose I’d used that up during the day…because my dreams were entire alternate realities, that, most confusing for me when I was younger, relied heavily on images, people, and places from the real world.  My family was the same, as was our house, but the alley behind us became a slope down to the houses on the other side.  And a mean old man lived there, who had no equivelent in the real world. He didn’t like it when our dream-selves rolled down the hill for fun.

Actually, the alternate reality dreams weren’t often fantastic.  They proceeded much like real life, until middle school, when talking, superhero cats became involved.  Only the nightmares bled into the supernatural, though they too used the alternate realities of my happy dreams. In about second grade, the house burned down.  I was standing outside, in the back, holding Bear Bear, while flames billowed out the windows. It was winter, and I was cold…the flames weren’t actually hot for me, but I was screaming because the house was burning down. In fourth grade, the elementary school was on fire, leaving the sky yellow. And I think this may have been about the time I was reading Little House on the Prairie, because timber wolves were chasing everyone around campus. I ran around the kindergarten building and hid in a claw foot tub with a yellow shower curtain, and turned to look into the yellow eyes of yet another wolf.

The one that has reoccurred from about that time on, though, at least until high school, though I have had similar ones up until fairly recently.  Usually, the alternate Mt. Shasta (alternate, because if you look Mt. Shasta from my house…which is facing my old window…my dreams always have had it on the other side of town…where it wouldn’t be) is errupting. And the lava, smoke and flames are chasing everyone out of town. We’re all trying to drive away on the same road, which tended to have more lanes just for the evactuation. I don’t believe I let anyone die in my dreams, and even then I always remember, not just waking up into safety, but knowing everyone would get away before I woke. And when we were fleeing, I’d look back, watching the eruption, waiting to see if it got the house (which it never did) and the sunset would be gorgeous. My dreams were always beautiful, and bright.  The colors were always more real, and for my memories, still to a certain extent, more so.

I know that I didn’t like to control my dreams. I used to have very regular dreams of being on a swing, and wanting to go higher and higher. And I would, until the swing would break loose from the bars, and go higher, hundreds of feet high. And then it’d drop, and I could feel the loss of gravity, the air rushing past, my hair flying up, and my stomach dropping. Then I’d pull up and go up again, watching the sky. It was lovely fun.  Terribly exciting, far more so than anything I’d try in real life. The swings would get more and more extreme though, the longer I dreamed, until it got to the point where I’d start to be afaid I’d hit the ground, that I was going too fast to pull myself up. At that point I’d pull on the chains of the swing mightily, closing my eyes to concentrate my strength, and not just pull my dream-self up, but pulling myself out of the dream. Sometimes, it would fade after that, but usually I had to wake myself up. Then I’d fall asleep again, and sometimes the dream would start again, getting worse and worse until I had to wake myself up again. Up and down. Up and down.

What I miss most though,  is reading in my dreams.  I hated it then, because I could never finish anything, or not anything that I could remember. Even magazine articles. I remember having them open, reading the words on the page, and then watching them fade as the sun came though the window and returned my consciousness. I’d try to hide under the covers and screw up my eyes, and hold on to the words, force them to show themselves again, but they were always gone. But the stories were so good! and I hated that I couldn’t read them in real life.  Or even bring them to life myself.

I Miss Kindergarten

Title stolen from a facebook flair.  I think I love facebook, I think, mostly because I love the flair.  You should join facebook so I can send you flair–if I don’t already.

Anyway, I was driving home today with my brother, who came home with me. He lives Oregon and came down on the Amtrack train. He didn’t arrive until late, or rather early morning, and was very nice about knocking on my door very loudly although it meant he had to stand outside for about five minutes.  I didn’t go back to sleep because, well, because, and it turns out I got about three hours sleep total. So I made eight cups of coffee with the coffee maker my parents bought me from Walmart for eight bucks.  I drank about five cups of that…my brother got the other three.  Then, on the road, we got large milkshakes with lunch, lots of sugar really, and then got 32 oz. sweet teas from McDonalds.  I haven’t had tea that sweet since I made it that way in middle school. Wow. Now I’m drinking more coffee, and totally on a different topic than what I intended to write about, because all I really wanted to do was talk about something I thought about during the trip, not tell about the coffee or rather the trip itself, just the thought; it’s the caffine and the sugar rush doing me in although on the plus side while writing this I’m not actually talking out loud to everyone for the first time since we got back home…the coffee my mom made is peppermint coffeee and very pepperminty…minty.

Anyway. Periods are good.

So that’s right, when I was driving home I was thinking that the road looked really old. And that made me kinda sad because I only remember living here.  It shouldn’t look old…that only makes me realize that time is passing, and soon I’m actually going to have to grow up for real, and take care of myself.  Let’s not talk about that.

I have to go to the other brother’s play in ten minutes.  Both of them (the brothers) are wearing suits…they’re soooo cute!  (Don’t tell them I said that).  So the thing about small towns in the middle of nowhere though, is that they don’t change, really.  So there’s no real reason to admit how different everything is.  The only real thing that’s different about the route in between is that the planted trees in the fire area are actually starting to grow to the point where it almost looks like a forest again.  Even the old standing dead tree is still…well, standing. It’s a beautiful route, and one I’ll still be taking awhile. So I knew that.

I’m leaving. This post may disappear because I’m kinda high on caffine right now and completely forgot to make my point, which was I don’t like growing up, and when visiting like to pretend that I’m still younger mentally than I am, althrough really, I’m not too bad. I’ll have to work on it soon.

The Literature Conspiracy

I don’t know exactly what this post will be about.  I just read the title of Will Thomas’s “The Hellfire Conspiracy” incorrectly, and I like the sound of it.  Maybe I should write about Terry Pratchett.  There can never be enough discussion about Discworld as far as I’m concerned.

In 2004/2005 a book called Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature was published.  I would dearly love to read it.  Unforunately the only edition I found for sale was on Amazon for about $350 dollars.  He’s that awesome.  Or people are just that opportunistic.

Actually, I start lots of drafts far more than I have posts (as if I have all that many), and so since I started this one, I’ve changed my mind.

I’ve been really lethargic and out-of-sorts lately, kinda depressed, and it’s making it very hard to get things done.  I’ve always had the bad habit of procrastinating on homework, particularly papers, mostly because I usually can write papers fairly well in a rather short amount of time.  The more you get away with something, the harder it is to stop.  Can’t do much about that now, actually. So I’m going to write about NaNo.

National Novel Writing Month (more completely NaNoWriMo) which is in November and means that you’re supposed to write 50,000 words in one month, specifically November.  Turns out that November just came at a really bad time this year. For me. At least I distinctly remember October, but the beginning of November started way too early and I missed it. I think it was the the forth (?) or something before I remember that I was supposed to start this whole fifty thousand word thing.

The only thing discovered is that I simply don’t write fiction well. Or at least quickly. Summary is okay, the summary of a story, but all the rest of the parts of fiction–dialogue, description, etc., I just write really, really slowly.  That same day, when I started the only fiction I could think of–fanfiction, because NCIS wasn’t on because of the election–and got about 645 words. About. Not like I counted. Word did it for me, and that is kind of the point. Well because of that I counted the other writing I did that day…only the stuff I did on the computer.

Found out I can’t write fiction, but I can write a whole lot about myself and my opinions really quickly. And usually at the times when I really don’t have much to say.  So that day, or the next maybe, I wrote almost a thousand words in an email to my aunt, and then a note on facebook got…I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure more than I got on that “story.”

I think the problem is that I’m simply not much of a storyteller.  Either of my brothers, now, they were born telling stories. I just prefer to read them, and occasionally watch them.  I can tell, usually, when I’ve read a good story, and whether it was told well–entirely separate issues. So I know well enough the aspects of writing…in fact I own far too many how-to-write books (maybe I should sell them?). The only reason I got them though was because, really, I like to read them.  I’m not very good at following advice. At least in from books, I don’t know if I get much advice in real life. If I do, I think we can safely assume I don’t follow it.

Anyway. So I like the title of the post, but I really have nothing to say.  Very sad that I can’t live up to the title.

I can say I went to the library to pick up a copy of a novel for class. I own it, but the only problem is that it’s part of a collection, and that book is a nice copy, but heavy, and I’d like to keep it nice too. Anyway, I got it at the school library first–picked up two others too, even though I was in there for about fifteen minutes or so–wait, that’s pretty good for me. I didn’t like that copy (at the school) because it’s old, from maybe 1948. And it’s hardback and looking like it will fall apart.  Risky for taking to class. I got a bit luckier at the county library (and I can’t believe there’s only one in this town, I used to have access to three in the same town) and they had a far newer, paperback, lighter copy. Much easier to read too, without the old-fashioned typography. I was in that library for about fifteen minutes too, and that time I picked up five others.  None of these extra books are really all that likely to be read either, I suppose.

I miss reading.  The kind of reading I did as a kid. Used to be I was never caught without a book. Now I have the books I’m reading for class, but I don’t actually carry all that many others.  For an English major, and such a lover of books, that’s a very sad state of affairs.

I’ll blame the internet.  Why not?