Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Thoughts Thursday: Who Am I?


With a friendly wave the the Les Miserables fandom, this is what we're talking today: figuring out who the heck you are. Because not only do you need to know about the deep, dark parts of your characters, you need to know those parts of yourself. And this isn't some sort of post championing myself as master of this topic - because I'm not and hopefully I never do that because I'm not the master of anything - this is more of a 'this will help you' blog post, because people who know themselves naturally know their characters better. Whether you're like me and you take pieces of yourself to create others or you find archetypes and embellish them to your liking, or whatever you do, knowing yourself can only help you.

Like we were talking Tuesday, it's important for transformations to include cognitive change - whether that's emotional, intellectual, or the actual growing of your brain. The thing is, writing with experience makes it easier in abstract cases like these. There's no way to tell that someone is changing or that their brain is growing (unless you're into lobotomy - I'm not) except for thoughts, which you can't illustrate, and actions, which come from thoughts. The whole 'write what you know' thing isn't quite true with concrete concepts, like knife-throwing, being shot, or talking to animals, whatever your genre. But in the case of something that you can't see, it's a little tougher and at least for me, it's easier saying it after you've done it.

A lot of books - especially in the YA genre - are about figuring out who you are. And a lot of who you are lies in what you think. And there's really no set way to get to know yourself to figure out what you're thinking, it's a personal journey that is unique for everyone and explored through different avenues for everyone. Writing has been part of mine, as has my other experiences. I have friends who have gone to camps or conferences and come back being changed. Part of finding yourself is having experiences that challenge you and force you to look at yourself in a different light. This may seem like a very general and vague post, but that's because it is. This whole 'who am I' business is a journey to Mordor of one. You're Frodo, and you don't get a Sam to go with you. But don't fret - you have your fellowship around, you can have support. You just have to do the heavy lifting on your own.

What are your thoughts? Got any experiences that truly changed you? Get any inspiration with an experience that really helped her character? Let me know!

Looking into the Pensieve,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Witty Wednesdays: Cringeworthy

Last night, I sat out at a bonfire until one in the morning with some old friends. We went through old pictures of ourselves on Facebook that we'd posted four, five, six years ago. And we had completely forgotten how horridly awkward we all were. Everyone was different- new hair, better clothes, no braces, better complexions. It reminded me not only that I have come a long way from being the gangly, awkward, Pillsbury-dough-boy-complexioned preteen that first started this writing journey. I still may be awkward (and arguably fair-skinned), but I've transformed. I have made my way through the various rites of passage to where I am now. Everyone has theirs- the Ugg boots phase, the 'wearing jeans is dressed up, right? ' phase...I could go on.

What's the moral of this story? It gets better. Two sets of braces, one full round of puberty, and a better fashion sense later, I no longer look like a cave dweller. If you're trying to change, it's totally doable. Promise.

What are your rites of passage? Got any awkward stories or photos to share? Let me know in the comments or tweet me at @themoorewriter . I'd love to know I'm not alone!

Pimples and random growth spurts,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Think Tank Tuesday: Us Against the World

Change has always been part of our lives. When we were younger, we watched the seasons change (or watched the weather change every ten minutes if you live in Ohio like I do), and we saw ourselves change as we grew. We got legs we didn't know what to do with, weight gain we didn't know how to handle, and social change that we weren't quite sure how to navigate. But these changes didn't just happen out of the blue like it appeared to us that we did. The whole 'thing' about change is that it is catalyzed - something happens that makes us change. In the case of our bodies, hormone signals tell various body parts to develop, mature, or sometimes come about at all. Socially, environmentally, though, something happens to us that we understand. When the weather gets chilly and the sun hides away, we feel less happy, more tired and stressed. If someone argues with you and you avoid them for a few days, that social change was started by that fight.

The thing is, in young adult fiction, change is necessary. Part of the gig of being a young adult (or any sort of human being, really, but especially at this age range) is that you are constantly changing. Physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially. You go through a period where you are not the same person you were an hour ago, and considering your earlier years of mostly stasis (staying the same), this is pretty freaking scary. You can't exactly tell who you are, much less tell others who you are. Yet it seems to me that in YA literature, especially popular literature, everyone has themselves figured out, it's the external changes they have to navigate. I mean, there are some people who go through the changes early and get at a more stable existence in their late teens, but at sixteen years old pretty much everyone is a Molotov cocktail of hormones, decisions both good and bad, and short-term aspirations. It's why so much realistic fiction lies in getting a significant other or getting a former lover back. These are short-term goals that require a little change but that are very easy to accomplish in the grand scheme of things. It's easier to get a boyfriend than it is to change the world, just ask Tris Prior, Katniss Everdeen, or Harry Potter (girlfriend in this case, but he had the hardest time of the three of them. Poor awkward little nugget.)

So we've covered the fact that change is the only reason books are written or that people encounter different scenarios, but what about characters? Half of the whole book (or more if you're into classics like Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) is about the character becoming a different person. There's even a term for a book that talks about coming of age: bildungsroman. Not exactly the prettiest name, but there are so many books that explore the young adult age range and how people change during that time they have their own term. And if you've seen a Joyce book, his bildungsromans are thicker than my arm. The elements of change a person experiences during their time as a preteen and adolescent are so complex people write whole books about it. So why don't we have that in young adult literature as a minor element? People change, of course, but is that it? Someone becomes more compassionate, another learns about loss, but there's no way that's all the changing they do. Look around, check out books filed under 'bildungsroman' or 'coming of age'. Embrace the fact that characters at this age are changing drastically, just as we are. Does that mean they can't save the world? No, but to write them like an adult and focus mostly on how their decisions change based on experience is to shut out a beautiful and extensive part of what it means to be a teenager. We are still changing, forever and always. Maybe it's about time we stopped pretending like we don't.

Still changing too,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maniacal Mondays: Wings

This past weekend has been weird. I went to my cousin's wedding in Maryland, which was a six-hour car ride. We spent a day in DC wherein the patriotism and heat was so intense my sunburn would look like the star-spangled banner, and I learned that my true habitat lies in air conditioning with free wi-fi and my laptop. But that's no surprise there, is it?

To be honest, part of the reason why I'm late for this Maniacal Monday is because, well, I have nothing to say. I had little to no sleep theses last few nights and without wifi or my laptop all I could do was attempt to plot and make mental lists, and with my lack of sleep those were all shriveled up and gone by morning.

But among the weird things happening today, besides doing a stint in a cardboard compactor (yes, I essentially went dumpster diving during work today), I've sort of realized that I'm actually a college student now. It's one thing to have an ID card and have paid for your tuition, but it's another thing entirely to know that in less than three weeks you will no longer lie on the floor of your room each night doing homework, and your parents will not be making food for you. I will no longer have my own room, a bathroom shared with only one other person, or a car. I'm going to be two hours from home and just out of reach of anyone that I was friends with before, except for maybe five people.

I consider myself a pretty independent person, but this whole idea of suddenly being thrust onto a secluded campus of over twenty thousand people ages 18-24 is pretty terrifying. I'm not worried about keeping my room clean or being able to do my laundry or making sure my studies are paying off. I'm afraid of all of the things that don't have rules - socialization, sororities?, finding my niche, figuring out how to project the identity that I define as myself, not a judgement from others. I've spent years from the time I was small finding a niche and filling it. When it was prudent for me to become the class bookworm or the know-it-all, so I became. I was like a caterpillar trying to find a place to become a chrysalis, only a means to survive. But now I need to learn to find primo areas. I'm a big, bad butterfly now, and instead of folding my wings and hiding, I need to put those things out for the world to see. I need a place that makes room for me, not vice versa.

Me in butterfly form. Intimidating, right?
Everyone says that college is transformative, and a place to figure out who you are. But the thing is, I'm already pretty sure of who I am. Of course I'll change over the years (and hopefully get rid of this whole 'face of a twelve-year-old' thing), but I've already had that transformation occur. The hard part now is finding a place that will give me space to spread my wings without someone trying to tear them off, because there are birds at college. Both metaphorically and literally. There will always be someone around seeing your butterfly-self as a tasty afternoon snack. You can't let them near you, but in a new, strange environment all by yourself, it's sometimes hard to see the trees for the birds when you're still freaking out about the trees.

So this week my topic is what I've been struggling with: transformation. Change is the reason any book is written, and the point of every sequel. Especially in YA literature, change is a must-have. So stick around this week for posts on literary transformation AND a review of Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis!

Fluttering off for now,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Thoughts Thursday: The New Age

This whole thought train started with a conversation I had with my mother a few days ago. I asked her about country clubs, since she and my father had recently been to a work party at one. Every time that I'm in one or one of my parents is, they begin to talk about how they aren't what the used to be. My question was, why not? My mother told me that it got to be too expensive, and people in my generation weren't looking to join. They became less and less exclusive to continue earning money.

That's actually quite a trend between her generation and mine, not being alike. People my age are, studies show, less materialistic and less concerned about physical wealth. And we're not spending or investing, we're saving. We grew up in a recession and have been surrounded constantly by information with the dawn of computers, the internet, and social media. We are expected to be reachable instantly because of our smartphones that not only call and receive messages like their ancestors, but also browse the internet, play music, download files, post to Instagram, hold data, and run a touch interface. And while every generation is different from the one before, we have quite a bit different from those who raised us.

It's one of the reasons it's pretty evident when there's a young adult author writing that's from my mother's generation. The values of the characters are different and their pursuits go to ends that we don't always recognize as viable. It's like when I go to watch Jonny Quest, one of my favorite cartoons. It was created and aired during the late 1960s and early 1970s, when my parents were kids watching these kinds of things. I love them because of their hope for the future in cases of scientific advance, the subtly sinister villains, and the campy sound effects. But what differs so much of from the cartoons of the 1990s and early 2000s that I watched as a kid is that the plots are simpler. The women are portrayed as women 'should be' - helpful plot catalysts or attractive one-episode crushes for any of the male characters. And most of the villains were Russian, because at that time the United States and Russia were in the midst of the Cold War.

My generation is not the 'Me' generation that many newspapers claim it to be. We are the largest generation, outnumbering all others still living, and we work the most and the hardest. We're also paid the least, and are the most in debt from our student loans. We network better and are more politically and socially active than our ancestors due to our increased connectivity on the internet. And the question now is, of course, why does this matter?

Well, according to American sociologist Kathleen Shaputis, we've delayed passage into adulthood so much we've created a new phase of aging - 'emerging adulthood'. Basically, we've been so affected by economic pressures and by seeing the mistakes of the generations before us that we wait longer than any other generation to make traditional rites of passage into adulthood. So things like buying a house, getting married, and having kids are being pushed back because we can't afford it, and when we can we want to do it right the first time. We're also more likely to be skeptical of religion, more liberal, and more open-minded. That means that young adult characters, especially being written right now, should have those traits to reflect the audience.

I remember when I was a kid reading The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix - my first true dive into dystopia. I loved it, but I couldn't wrap my head around a bunch of sixteen-year-olds protesting the government. But today? I've seen it. Protests for gay marriage, protests against the U.S. support of Israel, pro-Palestinian movements, you name it. That's one of the reasons dystopia is so popular right now, besides the fact that world seems to be falling apart. Now, more than ever, the young up-and-coming generation is ready to fight back for whatever we believe in. None of this 'good-for-nothing kids' nonsense. We're creators, protesters, petitioners, agitators. We don't take the status quo as fact, we create it in the image we want. But with this whole set of strengths comes new problems - mostly financial right now, but what about later? This whole change in generational perception allows for new plot arcs, new stories, new conflicts. And like our perspective, our literature has to change to reflect our new values and our new struggles. No more stories like Gatsby about trying to get into higher classes. Nowadays, we don't want that. We want closer relationships, we want justice, we want different experiences than sitting in a country club while a struggling college student shines our golf balls. When the target demographic changes, so must we, the writers.

What do you think? Have any other interesting trends you see in the new generation that concern you? Let me know in the comments below!

Hoping to make this generation look good in the history books,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Witty Wednesdays: Put On Your Sweatband

Today was originally going to be a review post in which I review Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, but that's been moved to Friday because I feel that Wednesdays by default are the days in which you need much more motivation than the rest of the week - hence the sweatband reference.

I know that my last Witty Wednesday post was less than witty, considering its focus on religion, but I hope that today's is a little more light-hearted. As you may know, I am nearing the finish line on my first draft of The Artist (finally) and have been pushing the last two days to get it done. What you may not know is that I had a full day yesterday and spent at least half the time I spent writing trying to motivate myself to getting back to doing so. I mean, the Law of Inertia does have something right: objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Once I sit down to it and get my fingers going, it's easy to crank out a huge chunk of writing. Unfortunately, when you're a college freshman like myself that still has to buy dorm materials and you still live with your twin brother and parents there's really no way to just have several hours to yourself for writing.

So how do you keep yourself going even though there's a delicious chicken avocado quesadilla calling your name from the fridge or a twittersphere updating at the speed of light on the phone perched at your side? I got you.

1. Remove All Distractions

I know I've used this GIF before, but come on, seriously? It's perfect and goes with everything. But back to the tab at hand, don't give yourself an exit if you can. You'll know it's there, and the second something gets hard the overwhelming desire to abort mission and do something else is hard to fight. Eat before you sit down or graze as you go so that you're not forced to sate your grumbling stomach halfway through a scene that's going great. Keep your phone out of easy reach so that it's more of a chore to check it or go on twitter or my new vice, Houzz (like Pinterest but for pretty houses). Have a blanket and water nearby. If you have research or other notes, nest it around you. I do this for school work, too. I literally surround myself with what I need to do so it discourages me from getting up and lying on the floor in front of the TV or sleeping.

2. Start Your Jam

Some people need music, some people can't stand it when they write with noise. Either way, get into your jam. If it's silence, close doors, open shutters but not the windows, and find a way to sit so that you cause minimal noise. Also with the eating thing, because stomach noises are the most annoying, especially when you hate noise. If you need some tunes to go along with your writing prowess, either create a playlist before you get your things together or play one on repeat. That way you're not stopping every so often when some random song that breaks the mood comes on and you have to change it. Whatever inspires you for a particular project works, but don't be throwing brand-spanking-new songs in there. The point is that you're only half-listening and really working. New songs you're relatively unfamiliar with pull you out of your writing because you're busy listening to them. I personally have Spotify lists and iTunes playlists for pretty much anything I need ever, so I don't have to listen to the same thing into oblivion. Apparently that method of mine has received recognition throughout the house. Oops.

3. Reward Yourself

Writing is hard work. Slightly like the Hobbits' journey to the fiery death that was Mount Doom, it requires going on when you don't want to and running from various creatures out to stop your mission. Theirs were Orcs and Ring Wraiths, yours are procrastination and fatigue. But even the Hobbits got some down time. Nothing can sustain working all the time - I learned that with my laptop battery and now turn my laptop off religiously - so don't freak out if you can't keep going for hours upon hours. Sometimes you can, and sometimes you can't. Build in some good time for yourself to go and do something else for awhile and let your brain relax. Read a book you have near you, maybe just sit back and listen to music, or take a quick walk. I'd say make them mini-rewards so that you're not away from your work too long, but sometimes a forty-five minute lesson on how to longboard is just what the doctor ordered. The road rash from learning wasn't so much part of the plan.

These may seem like really obvious steps, but the thing is, we don't always do what is good for us. Sometimes I watch two hours of TV because I've missed Perception for a couple weeks. Other times I eat full sleeves of Double Stuf Oreos. It's just part of being human. But if we just keep these steps in mind every time we sit down, there's going to be a better chance of someone getting something done than if you just flop down and try and crank out the next great masterpiece. Make it a habit, make it a routine, make it something that helps you achieve success. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a first draft to finish.

Climbing Mount Doom with the Ring of Power,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Think Tank Tuesdays: The Muse

I read a really interesting article on tumblr the other day about a psychological study that was conducted at the Iowa Young Writers program - a program similar to the Kenyon Review Young Writers program but a plane flight for me instead of a short car ride. Basically, the point was that the stereotype that writers are moping wallflowers is wrong, and it was proven by young writers including Kurt Vonnegut.

Basically, the way a person's mind works when it comes to mood is that there is eurythmia (the sort of baseline, feeling normal) and mania or depression, where the balance of your mood escalates to either a high (mania) or a low (depression). You'd think that all the writers waited until depression or mania struck to write, right?

Wrong. In fact, it was found that during periods of mania or depression it was impossible for the writers to find inspiration or write. It wasn't until after they were back in their normal flow, their eurythmia, that they could write. However, when the writers were in a normal mood state, they could reflect on their periods of depression or mania without being attached to them personally, being able to perfectly describe these periods without the effects returning to them.

I think it's really interesting, but also unsurprising. Writers are generally thought of as brooding or otherwise not sunny, happy creatures frolicking in meadows. (What I do in my spare time is not yours to judge, okay?) But the reason this is isn't because everyone knows a writer that sits in corners with their tea and stares listlessly out the window, it's because the literature describing depression and how it feels and acts on a human being is so vivid. I mean, writers are supposed to be able to make a reader feel how we want them to feel using description, so this comes as no surprise.

What's the point of this entire thing, you ask? Am I attempting to start a support group for depressed writers? Of course not. What I'm trying to say is, writing isn't all about the craft in your words or your character arcs or your ability to cause emotional trauma with your deaths. Part of it is the technicality of it all. I mean, good runners don't eat two Big Macs and a large Coke and expect to run a good time on their five miles. As writers, it's up to us to make sure our machinery is working. And more than many other pursuits in this world, that requires that we take care of our brains. Obviously there's no real 'cure' for this roller coaster of emotion - it's a natural alteration of serotonin and other chemicals in your brain. But there are things that you can do to keep yourself inspired, focused, and ready to write. Eat right, exercise a little, get good sleep, those are pretty common. But don't forget to give yourself a little lovin' every so often.

Everyone is so stressed nowadays with work or school or whatever else that it's easy to drop into these high or low periods because they're so busy with everything else. But as a writer you have to maintain your brain machine. Watch your favorite show, make yourself some cookies, lie on the floor, people watch. Do whatever you need to make you happy. When you're running at full steam, so is your brain. Let out those lovely ideas and ground-shattering philosophies, and don't worry if it's not coming for a little while. Like the study shows, that's just natural. I know a lot of writers who are slaves to their work, and I think we could all take this lesson to heart (especially myself). When you're good, your writing is good. Simple as that.

Brain food and good sleep,

Monday, July 21, 2014

Maniacal Mondays: Lifeline

You guys may have noticed (or you're being yanked out of pleasant, ignorant bliss) that I stopped blogging last week abruptly in the middle of attempting a post theme for the week. And although I'm sure I had all of you hanging on the edge of your chairs, stools, and couches, it's not for lack of ideas.

My laptop died abruptly on Wednesday before I could send out more posts, and refused to turn back on. Now, for most writers this is a nuisance and quite possibly like the loss of a pet, but for me it was devastating. Not only could I not blog, but my works were on the hard drive. I've had horrible experiences with flash drives being lost by others who temporarily borrowed them, files being corrupted, idiots stepping on them and nearly destroying them...I could make you a list. A hard drive is one of the most structurally sound parts of a computer, so long that the computer doesn't get any viruses that target it or, as happened with mine, crash. Fortunately, I was able to temporarily revive it and pull out the most important pieces from the hard drive onto my flash and send it to a friend for safekeeping, but shortly after I couldn't revive it again.

Cut to a run to Micro Center, a few hours spent in a frigid electronics store in which I purchase two new 16 GB flash drives, an external hard drive, and a new battery. The guy who checks me out likes my laptop sticker. (Block letters in teal stating THIS LAPTOP IS A HORCRUX)

So long story short, the battery works. My laptop is (knock on wood) currently experiencing no problems and running as smoothly as ever. My hard drive is safe, and now I have a complete mirror image on my external hard drive in case anything should go wrong.

But there's a reason that I have that sticker on my laptop. It's my baby - I love it to death. I actually began experiencing some serious mood swings and depressive episodes while it was down. I couldn't write, even if I wanted to. I had my desktop in the house, but it's not really mine and my ability to use that thing is very low, because the parents have piled things into it that would infuriate Bill Gates like no other.

So fortunately I'm back and bigger, badder, and better than ever - I think. I'm dangerously close to finishing my draft, and I have the perfect weapon in which to do it. Moral of the story: back up everything. Hold your important things close - even if it's a laptop - and secure it. Everyone's got a horcrux, everyone has something important. Keep it safe.

Happy to be back (and hugging my laptop like it's my child),

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Think Tank Tuesdays: Real-life Horcruxes

This title definitely isn't related to the fact that yesterday I watched the entire TV special Harry Potter: The Making of Diagon Alley. And it definitely doesn't show how excited I am for that theme park when I haven't actually been to Disney World since Apple came out with an iPod Shuffle and Expedition: Everest was still a dusty lot.

I'm going to attempt a horrid segue here into our topic today, which actually does tie into the title of the post (thank goodness I got something right, huh?). I mentioned it a little yesterday about giving a piece of yourself to whatever you do, whether that's drawing, writing, cooking, or something else entirely. Like a significantly less murderous form of a horcrux, your work should house a little sliver of your soul. You can't create life out of nothing, something needs to be living first.

Characters are the easiest way to determine whether you've done this. If they jump off the page, they've been given life by their writer. And when that writer is you, you have quite the responsibility to your new people if you want them to end up like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, creating a fanbase or at the very least a loyal readership who adore your characters. Nothing's more of a sock to the gut than having someone comment on your Goodreads page, 'the characters were flat, I couldn't relate to them'. And the thing is, it's not an impossible feat to do this. It just requires a certain personal awareness.

And not everyone knows themselves best. I'm very fortunate to be what's called 'self-intelligent' according to the Gardener Multiple Intelligences test, meaning that I know myself and how I function very well. But the way to make good characters come alive comes from (in Voldemort-esque fashion) splitting a shard of your soul and sticking it in their chest.

That sounds pretty weird, right? But it's not. Take, for example, my protagonist from my current WIP, The Artist. This year I discovered that I'm kind of a Momma Bear, protecting those who I love and taking responsibility for them. I thought that would be an interesting trait for her to have, since I was having a hard time expressing her benevolence. But she seems so much more real now that she's constantly looking after everyone around her as opposed to random blips of kindness that appear in her actions. She's better for the little sliver of me that's in her. It's really great for your antagonists, as well, or characters that are antagonistic towards your protagonist. One of the antagonists that you meet in the first book of the WIP trilogy exhibits one of my flaws - my fear. I experience emotions very intensely, and fear is no exception. The way that fear paralyzes me and makes me completely paranoid got split off from me and sent into him, and that fear is part of his downfall.

Taking pieces of yourself and putting them inside characters doesn't hurt you, not like it hurt Voldemort in Harry Potter. Your soul is regenerative, you can split it off and stick it in however many characters as you please. But something that I think is wonderful about doing this is that, like with my antagonist, you can create themes in your works by doing this. My antagonist, unfortunately tagged with my ensnaring and petrifying fear, makes choices based on that paranoia and other emotions trying to compensate for that emotion - generally anger. But he falls. Not just because he's the antagonist, that's not real life. He falls because he is so wrapped up in his fears and what he thinks may happen that he makes several bad decisions in who to trust and what to do. It's a theme that I want to express to my readers and myself - fear cannot control you if you want to succeed. It's natural, and it will always be around, but you must learn to surmount it instead of allowing it to consume you as it consumes him.

So go on, try it! If you have existing characters, try and find bits and pieces of you in them. When creating your characters, don't be afraid to make a side of them in your image, even in the facets of your image you don't like. Writing is a very personal experience for this reason, because the writer literally sticks bits of themselves in the words. But those pieces of you are what your readers will latch onto and cherish. I know for a fact that there's a huge place in my heart for Hermione Granger, the young bookworm and brightest witch of her age. I was her, I was the nerdy little bookworm who excelled in school and feared failure. That connection has never been broken, and remains as strong as when I met her back in 2000. Don't your readers deserve that kind of connection to your characters? I think they do.

May your soul split easily,

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maniacal Mondays: The Inability to Can

This past week was a really rough one for me. I decided not to blog in order to keep what was going on off the internet, and let everyone get on with their business unaffected. But I'm back and better than ever this week, ready to get back on a normal blogging schedule and attempt to get down to it once more.

I'll keep this short and sweet (well, short and sweet for me, anyway) because I'm sure you guys have things to do like freak out about the World Cup or read all of those BuzzFeed articles sarcastically lambasting Americans and our ridiculous Americanism following the Fourth of July, also known as the one day the patriotism gene is switched on in every American and causes an overflow of red, white, blue, the letters U, S, A, and eagles. Along with drunken shouts of patriotic phrases.


What's going down this week on le blog? Introspection. I mean, it's no question that to make art, whether it's a painting or a piece of music or a great novel, you have to give little pieces of yourself to make it real. The really great books, the classics, they're classic because they have immortalized truths about human nature that will never fade. It's what made Harry Potter so iconic, it teaches these truths to children that will never be lost to the ages. A great book doesn't tell you 'be safe on the internet', it tells you something more along the lines of 'you become you through your experiences, not your knowledge'. Something that will last.

And especially with what I've been through this last week, some introspection is overdue. Each day is going to be a little bit of how to anchor a little bit of you in there, whether it's a book you're writing, some art you're trying to make, or even wondering why that one song that comes on the radio every so often makes your heart pound all through your body and you feel like your soul is screaming the words at the top of its lungs.

Hopefully, I'll be back in the swing of things soon, thanks for keeping with me, guys. :)