Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Listening to The Smiths & Thinking Morrissey Is Your Boyfriend

I knew this girl in college who was a friend of a kind-of friend, who claimed to be completely obsessed with The Smiths.

I didn’t realize this was a thing until college. Girls being into The Smiths. Not that it should be uncommon—The Smiths are great and gender shouldn’t define a person’s interests—it’s just I questioned the sincerity of certain girls’ infatuation with this band.

See, this girl was really peppy and into anime and stuffed animals with big doll eyes—all things that terrified me during my late teens and early twenties. It didn’t make sense—how could she possibly relate to Morrissey? I was quiet and soft-spoken and a smidge broody. I was the one who decorated her dorm room with things like Miles Davis posters and wrote melodramatic sayings like “Teenage Wasteland” on the tongue of her converse sneaker. Morrissey was singing to me, clearly.

The point is, this girl made me dislike The Smiths for a while. In my mind, all these freshmen girls who had just discovered Urban Outfitters and coffee houses and boys with black-framed glasses, were tainting the band (not to mention stealing the cute boys wearing black-framed glasses. I'm looking directly at you, blonde guitar player in my Economics class. I will never forgive you for persuading that bespectacled, dark-haired classmate with the right amount of facial hair to sit near the front of the class when for so long he sat near me at the back of the class.) I felt like if I said, “Yeah,  ‘I Know It’s Over’ is one of my favorite songs” real music enthusiasts would smile blankly and turn the other way, rolling their eyes like John Cusack in “High Fidelity.”

And having John Cusack circa “High Fidelity” not take me seriously was too much to bear.

But, a funny thing happened when I grew up—I realized I was an idiot. Once something becomes popular, it doesn’t mean it’s complete garbage that everyone should shun. It makes me embarrassed to think there was a time in my life when I allowed my elitism to shut out The Smiths. Today, I came across them in my library and decided to have a listen again.

And I realized their melodies and melodrama will always have a place in my heart, even if the majority of their fan base is now a result of “500 Days of Summer.” That movie was awesome, anyways.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things That Worry Me About Having My Picture Taken

Posed photo shoots terrify me. It's not like the photos I have full control of on my Facebook page. It's not like I can filter the shots through a Nashville haze on Instagram, then blur out the background and darken the edges so all that's shining through is an outline of my eye. I mean, the photographer may actually get a full shot of my face when it's not tilted slightly to the left--a pose I rely heavily on in every photograph I've ever taken ever.

See, in my mind, posed photo shoots are like when you went to the Sears Portrait Studio in 7th grade to get BFF portraits done with your bestie (wearing matching overalls with one of the straps undone to make you look extra cool.) It's like your Senior yearbook picture--you know, the one where you're holding a rose in front of crushed velvet draping because that says elegance and maturity.

I realize my fears are completely stupid and outdated and based largely on traumatizing pictures from years gone by, but an impending, legitimate photo shoot I'm participating in (combined with my natural inclination to panic over anything that may draw attention to me via a median I have no control over) has pushed me to blog.

Things That Worry Me About Having My Picture Taken:

What do I do with my hands? Will someone give me direction or will I have to improvise? If left to my own devices, I'm likely to forget how I normally stand and will instead opt for a completely unnatural look of discomfort.

Will my smile be weird? I mean, how will I know for sure if I'm smiling like a normal person if the photograph isn't being taken on my Macbook?

Will they have me do something corny like put my hand under my chin while I lean on a Roman-esque podium? I think this has a lot to do with the trauma endured from my Senior portraits.

Will people be looking at me while I get my photo taken? That's out of the question. Even the photographer needs to look the other way.

Will I look like a chubby amoeba monster? This is a fictional, amoeba-shaped monster I just created that is every woman's nightmare in every picture she will ever take. This is also what they see staring back at them in that horrible yet inevitable photo their friend will tag them in on Facebook without their permission.

Even despite my list of fears, I have to admit I'm a smidge excited. I mean, it's mostly fear and anxiety, but somewhere deep down there's a hopefulness that I will not look like an idiot. Maybe the photographer can capture that somehow?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Writing Samples and Mosaic Ideas

"If she was being honest with herself, she wanted to punch him right in the face. It was petty and unwarranted and she knew he wasn't even close to being hers, but she still felt incredibly hurt. She wanted to punch him, then immediately nurse his wounds. She wondered why a combination of violent hysteria and wild mood swings couldn't be a desirable quality in women.

She thinks about him at the end of the day as she nods robotically to motion some sort of consciousness in a conversation she won't remember later. She wishes she could offer up generic responses, but she can't make her mouth form the words so she remains unspeaking and tries to tune out the sound of nothing being loudly discussed ."

So, that's a tiny snippet of what I've been working on lately. I have this really horrible habit of just jotting down small thoughts or scenes or blips of dialogue randomly, without any idea of where it will find itself in the grand scheme of this novel.

I've been toying with the idea of doing something really out there with this piece, but I can't seem to reign myself in enough to focus on how to approach it. If any of you are familiar with mosaic writing, that's what I'm thinking about.

Completely random bits of a novel coming together to create one cohesive story. Like a mosaic.

But, I can't seem to even find where to begin. How do all these writers do it? How do they have the endurance, the focus and the time to write something amazing? I just hope one day, it all comes together for me.

What do you think of my mosaic idea, reader? Does the snippet I offered even mildly entice you into reading more?