Archive | December, 2010

Delusions of Grandeur? Or Valid Promises? Or is She Crazy?

30 Dec

So. The stats are pretty interesting. I looked at the archives for this here JournaBlog and saw the amount of entries I’ve made, divided by year.

2007 – 3 entries (makes sense, it was the beginning)
2008 – 105 entries (a whopping 105, at that. Wow! I was on a writing roll. Pretty awesome)
2009 – 5 entries (more than 2007, so, yeah, in your face, 2007)
2010 – 25 entries so far (“so far,” which means nothing, because this year ends in ONE MORE DAY)

Delusions of Grandeur – I will do better in 2011. I will return to the original intent of starting this thing: to always keep writing. I will blog every single day, regardless of boredom/ennui; busy schedules; not really feeling like it. I will make use of the laptop I have at home and not only update this thing at work. I will start talking about my feelings on this thing, not just posting pictures of Paul Newman and realizing that even in the twilight of his life, that man was solidly handsome. I will do better. I will do better!

Or Valid Promises – Quite honestly, I need to set aside a proper time and place to write. There needs to be a routine. Also quite honestly, I may sometimes not stick to the routine or forget, but I will do my very best. Because I’m writing this thing for me. It’s not fiction, but any kind of writing seems to inspire me. I’ll try to do better.

Or Is She Crazy –

A Piece of that Sweet, Miscellaneous Pie. Yummy.

29 Dec

A few misc. things swirling around in my mind…in bullet form, of course.

  • This isn’t a forum for Hollywood-y, entertainment-y things, but I have to get the following off my chest: in what universe did the Oscar producers think that choosing James Franco and Anne Hathaway as next year’s hosts was a good idea? Huh? I get that they want to make the Oscars “younger,” or whatever, but come on. Where was Billy Crystal? Call Billy Crystal! I don’t know. Something about appealing to the younger set takes away (for me, anyway) the old Hollywood feel away from the Academy Awards, which is kind of sad. In a world driven by every new thing, it’s still nice to tune in and get that old Hollywood glamour feel from that show. Which, believe it or not, I did. Currently releasing a confused sigh.
  • It snowed in Somewheres, VA, over the weekend. One measly inch, was gone by mid-afternoon. (Yeah, I wanted snow. I wanted a big, fat storm, the kind that would keep me in the house and under the covers. Which can only mean that this might be a precursor to some sort of mental illness.). However, the Northeast, particularly New York, received a billion feet of snow. New York always gets the fun stuff.
  • It’s almost 2011. 2011! Where are the flying cars? The robot maids? Elroy?
  • I’m getting that longing for live theater again. I’ve seen two excellent shows in the past few months: The Light in the Piazza (absolutely gorgeous) and Sabrina Fair (witty, smart, and equally gorgeous). I want more. Time to stalk and scour this place and this one and that one.
  • So, I’ve been reading this blog. It has been become a brand new, fresh, crazy obsession. Seriously! Ree Drummond is a mother of four, a chef, a wonderful writer, lives on a farm. She chronicles said aspects of her life on her blog, and I cannot get enough of it. I spent most of the day reading about how she met and married her real life cowboy husband, nicknamed Marlboro Man. Addictive and super awesome.
  • Did they lose Billy Crystal’s phone number? Call him!
  • More misc. later.
  • Promise.

I Think I’m in Love with Paul Newman.

27 Dec

Seriously. I watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for the millionth time this past weekend. ‘Nuff said.

No, one more thing…



Good Title (gulp).

17 Dec

A line from Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, the moment when he realizes that the original title of his play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter, hardly compares to Christopher Marlowe’s The Massacre at Paris. The difference in titles is obvious. Anyway, other than referencing a film I saw about 16 times back in the day, the line reminded me of something.

Titling my work is usually the hardest thing to do for me. (After reading my work, my BFF, who I call my unofficial literary agent, gives me a list of other titles that could have been used. And they’re good! Yeah. Not adept at titles, at all.)

But…this is all to say…I’m LOVING the title of my newest compilation of short stories. LOVING it. It just came to me, and I so, so love it!

Just wanted to share that.

Rude Girl. RUDE GIRL.

8 Dec

I’m in this three-day training class here at the job, one of those long, tedious things that give me plenty of time to daydream and come up with plot ideas for future stories. And there’s this girl that sits at the table with me.

Nope, she’s not a lady, or a woman, or a Girley Girl. She’s simply a girl. A child, really.

She’s one of those silly/passive/ridiculous people that has decided to deal with her obvious shyness by being the snarkiest and rudest people in the room. Self-preservation. I get it. But did you have to let the door almost close on me? Yes, she was exiting and I was behind her and she let the door almost close on me! What are we, 9 years old?

I cannot stand it. I literally cannot. I mean, I sit there and I fidget, because I want to reach across the table and smack her wrists. And kick her toes. Honestly. And what’s with injecting profanity into normal conversation? I know it’s a product of having a feeble, uncreative mind that causes a person to resort to using to stupid, foul words to express themselves and communicate with people, but this is also a business. Wake up and smell the professionalism. And zip it.


Immature, foolish, rude.

That is all.

Happy, Happy, Joy…Joy?

6 Dec

I’m a bit struck.

After excitedly informing a good friend of mine that I had completed two brand new short stories (seriously, this is a feat. For quite some time, I’ve accumulated a lot of half-finished work, which, yeah), she asked me if they were “happy stories.” I chuckled and conceded that one had a “happy ending,” which is a loaded term, based on the story’s context. Anyway, later, as I thought about it…

All my stories are downers.

Not even just the stories. The few poems I write are, too.

Logically (yeah, let’s deal with the logic first), I can’t expect myself to come up with stories about sunshine and birds and roses. Why? Because I think most writers work from pathos. (Writing is easy. Just open a vein.) Good times don’t inspire me to take to the pen and work it all out by way of poetry and prose. When life points its heel towards my rear end and I fall to the floor, I write from that pain and confusion and darkness. That’s just the kind of writer I am, and I hate to generalize, but based on the gazillion books and stories I’ve read, I think a lot of writers are that way, as well. And quite honestly, if a story were about sunshine and birds and roses…well, those aren’t the bestsellers, are they? Drama fuels story.

Emotionally (here we go), as I mentioned before, I was certainly struck by her question. Which led to a mental rundown of most of my work, which led me to the conclusion that…her question was quite valid. I should aim for variety in my work, right? Versatility? To not be so easily categorized? Am I depressing my poor readers? Is it all too Debbie Downer and miserable and good God, is this ANOTHER poem about a boy who didn’t love her?

In the end, her question left its mark, for sure.

I don’t imagine a huge turnaround in my work, where sunshine and birds and roses prevail. To me, when my fiction people are able to understand and figure out and kind of rise above whatever muck I’ve put them through–there’s the happy ending. It’s relative.

However, on variety–we’ll see…

We’ll just see.

Oh, the Light! The Light!

3 Dec

I think I’ve been struck by light as a metaphor for understanding and awareness since the Bible account in Acts, when Saul (about to be Paul) is literally blinded by the light on the road to Damascus. Since then, the idea of illuminations and epiphanies have long been a running theme in my life and in my creative work. I don’t know. To understand is major. I think what catalyzes the understanding should also be major. If it’s literally light or a thought or a thud, even better.

I wrote a short story a few years ago about illumination by way of a fire. I decided to go with the illumination theme a month ago, and just completed two more shorties (no more than 3 pages) about illumination by way of nighttime and, yes, by way of daytime and light. I’m proud of them. I love themed works, by the way. It makes it all seem cohesive and together. Anywho, yay for completing some work!

It’s all for the next book, which will entirely comprise of new short stories. I may add the fire story, just to make it all fit together, but I’m excited. Brand new stories!

It’s also nice to isolate what fascinates me and what I think about. It leads to more writing, for one, and cuts down the possibility of being blocked, which I more than appreciate.

So onwards. Time to mine the brain and get to work.

Turn on the light…



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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