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June 28th, 2008
Most people will tell you they are happy. They live happy lives. They have happy friends. But sometimes it seems harder than ever to find that ounce of joviality we swore we once possessed. How easily it slips away from us.
I can recall myself being happy once. OK, maybe twice. After all, happiness is fleeting, momentary. But when you’re a kid, I think we think that slice of heaven will be enough to fill us for a lifetime. It isn’t. The inevitable truth is that life sucks sometimes. People suck. Jobs suck. The world sucks. Allow me to express my sincerest apologies if what I’m saying doesn’t align itself to your definition of life, liberty and whatever else you’re living for, but it is my discontentment which forces me to examine myself more closely, to examine this world. My chaotic therapy. A chance to step back and see the world for what it truly is, for what we truly are. And what are we? We are human. We are fragile. We exist in a broken world, with broken people who live broken lives. We swear we’re happy, mostly because we have collected our fair share of riches or friendship or love, but what do we really have?
What’s wrong with us if that’s not enough to make us happy?
May 12th, 2008
Ever have one of those self-made deadlines, the ones you say you’re gonna keep but you never actually do? Yeah, me too. I made one of those blood pacts with myself about six months ago. I said that A Boy Called Arson, would be complete in January 2008. That was my goal, my overly-ambitious goal. Figuring that my college winter break, which was over a month long, would be plenty of time to finish up the manuscript, I find myself looking back at what a laughing matter I’ve become. It’s mid-May, and I’m still scratching my curly head, waiting for that spark of inspiration, that light which will simply flash on when it feels good and ready and equip me with the ability to finish the last few chapters. I know I’m capable of it; I just need to push myself to do it.
After suffering through writer’s block, conquering the pitch and shop conference, and doing a myriad of other things–from book signings to finishing freshman year, oh and trying to continue my dysfunctional life–I so desperately want to give Arson his due. I’ve been writing his story for over a year, the concept now nearly two years old, and I found myself begging for Divine inspiration, inspiration which will enable me to complete the manuscript that has already been requested by Penguin, and which I feel is my strongest story yet. So, here’s to writer’s block, watching too many movies, and any and all writers who can relate to what I’m going through.
April 30th, 2008
There comes a time in every man’s life where he is forced to simply jump up and down, scream and shout, and dare I say shake his hips with excitement. Today, is not one of those times. However, this past Saturday was. I know, I’m a little behind in my blogging, but seeing as how less than ten people probably read this thing, I guess I’m pretty much safe from an attack. So, on to the news. In case you weren’t aware, I attended the NYC Pitch and Shop Conference last weekend. What is it? Well, in short, 60 writers, one of whom was me, sit around in a few different rooms and figure out the best way to convince editors of major publishing houses why their lives are not complete without our manuscripts. We had a total of 4 days to “pitch” our novel concepts, essentially writing our own back covers to what we could only hope and pray would one day be birthed into existence with the aid of one of the big-time houses, waiting in desperation for that green light of acceptance. My group was filled with countless vessels of talent. The author of Dangerous Minds was among the gifted individuals in our literary circle, and she bought me breakfast! The other writers in company ranged from news reporters to romance novelists to scientific geniuses to top secret military writers. I was honored merely to be in the group, let alone the youngest. Being only 19, and pitching my 3rd novel in the same room as so many accomplished individuals, and having them congratulate me on my accomplishments, was nothing short of a blessing. After all was said and done, in my personal group of about 16, half were requested by editors. But mine was one of them. One could assume that my bribing paid off. But no, really, there was no bribing, maybe a wink of allure on my part, but no financial assistance, just good writing…I guess, and some help from the Divine.
It is my absolute pleasure to announce that an editor from Penguin requested A Boy Called Arson. When I heard this, a myriad of emotions stormed through me. I couldn’t help thinking: “Well, why didn’t the other editors want it, too?” and I should’ve been thinking: “Thank you, Jesus, someone actually gives a crap about my writing.” Considering the novel is primarily about the idea of acceptance, I suppose I should spend a little more time rejoicing over conquering one giant. The glass is half full, right?
So now begins the real struggle. The biting my nails, chewing my lip, scratching my curly head of hair kind of struggle to complete the manuscript in a reasonable amount of time. Wish me luck!