Tag Archive | David Foster Wallace

The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power

MPjournal early fallIn today’s column, I’ll look at all of the essays, exercises and tasks of Week Three in The Artist’s Way, except for Synchronicity, a fairly long section, which will be the focus of next week’s post. That’s a whole beast of a topic to tackle.

In thinking about this week and all its topics, including Synchronicity, it strikes me that this one line in the Detective Work, an Exercise section could be the topic sentence for the whole chapter. It reads:

“Many blocked people are actually very powerful and creative personalities who have been made to feel guilty about their own strengths and gifts.”

She goes on to say that:

“Made to feel guilty for their talents, they often hide their own light under a bushel for fear of hurting others. Instead, they hurt themselves.”

To my mind, all the little essays in this chapter illuminate more about these lines, and get at how we lose our power through shamings and criticisms, how we give away our power by ignoring the messages from our difficult friend Anger, and how to start to take it back with detective work, synchronicity, and finally, growth.

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Tarot, Podcasts, Dreams and a Little Music

thestarIn last week’s Artist’s Way Reflections post, in the Shadow Artists section, I wrote about how looking at what I obsess and fangirl over is like looking at a compass showing me what secret yearnings lurk in my artist heart. In doing that looking, I wrote mostly about music and TV/film.

After writing the post, I thought, hmm maybe I need to add podcasting to that list because that’s probably the thing, pop culture wise, that I consume the most, although there are times when I trade out for audiobooks instead. I constantly listen to podcasts. While getting ready for the day or ready for bed, while doing any type of chore around the house whether it’s just washing one dish I need to use or doing a full-on cleaning, while working out, while in the shower or bath, while practicing guitar or keyboard, while cooking, while eating meals, while commuting when that was a thing, while falling asleep back in the day when I fell asleep with my phone. Podcasts in the morning, podcasts in the afternoon, podcasts in the evening. Podcasts all day long. I’m obsessed with so many of them, so shouldn’t that be a Shadow Artist art form too?

I dismissed the thought–the post was already long enough–and went about my day, and I’m sure, listened to more podcasts, which as you can see in my end-of-month Pop Culture Digest post, mostly meant listening to old Bachelor-related podcasts.

Then that night, I dreamt about starting a podcast. I don’t remember much. I hardly ever remember dreams anymore, and this snippet is maybe the only one I’ve remembered at all in the last month. I was going through a drawer of random electronics and cords and shit, and an unidentified friend or mentor (didn’t seem to be anyone I knew in real life), a dude, was telling me not to use a certain mic, and pointing out that I already had a better one, and to use that instead.

It’s not the first time I’ve dreamt of podcasting.

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The Circular Hotel – Blind Conventions 2

detriothotelEverywhere you walk, you “get caned”—hit by several canes from all different directions. There are just so many people navigating[1] their way around that it’s impossible to avoid. From the moment you emerge from your room to the time you reenter it, you get caned. There are dogs everywhere too. They are also getting caned at every turn, and surrounded by so many other dogs. I think they are more overwhelmed than the people. The hotel has set aside a place outside for people to relieve their guide dogs but I keep hearing that some of them, especially the ones that have never been to a convention before, are having some bladder issues.

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“The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good”

Or, why I haven’t been writing like a motherfucker. This will make sense later on in this post, I promise.

write like a motherfuckerI don’t know who originally said the perfect is the enemy of the good, but you know who quotes and paraphrases this all the time? Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, a show that I think is virtually perfect. There’s a lesson in that.

I never meant to abandon my blog for so long. Life just gets in the way sometimes. I had a pretty heavy courseload last term–advanced organic chemistry, behavioral endocrinology, evolution, two labs–as well as my job (in which I got a promotion of sorts) and then there is this little tiny test called the MCAT which has been sucking away all the leftover time.I always think I’m going to be better at time management than I actually am. Balancing my passions for science and writing is something that will probably battle on inside me for a long, long time.

But I haven’t forgotten about this blog at all. Sometimes, in fact, I get overwhelmed by all the things I want to post about. I have so many in mind–book reviews, discussions on writing-related topics, posts about all the Breaking Bad episodes I haven’t posted about yet, discussions on topics related to other TV shows, blindness and albinism-related posts, and the list goes on–but today I want to talk about writing. Or, more accurately, not writing.

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Foraging Into the Blogosphere

My name is Emilia Jordan. Some people call me Emmy J or EJ but I usually just go by Emilia. I’m a writer, dabbling in different forms and genres, and I’m starting this blog in hopes of connecting and talking with readers, other writers and interesting people of all flavors.

I plan to blog about writing, whether it’s about the primal creative flow; crafting that flow into something more, well, crafty; the love of language and letters; fitting writing into a busy life; getting writing insights from TV, movies, books, music and art; writing groups; the publishing process; or my pet favorite topic, the importance of story. We might do some writing exercises on here, take some polls, have some guest blog posts by other bloggers and writers, discuss our writing favorites and just overall have some freakin’ fun with the written word. A lot of it will be really interactive so I hope you’ll all join in and have some lively discussions, recommendations, opinions, debates, throw-down drag-out flame wars (kidding) and inspiration.

A little about my writing: One of my earliest memories is of sitting on my dad’s lap at age three or so, while my parents went over the letters in the alphabet and what sound they each make. Not long after that, they got a Wheel of Fortune board game. I didn’t know enough to be able to really play, so my parents would make up puzzles out of simple words I did know based around my favorite letter, W: winter, window, flower, snow. And thus began my lifelong love affair with words. In elementary school, I was writing little “books” that were just a few pages long and thinly-veiled mimics of Nancy Drew and The Baby-Sitters Club, and making my family read and rank them.

In high school, I wrote a bunch of short stories, usually with a sci-fi-ish twist, some involving ridiculous characters (there was one who was named after the lead singer of Alice in Chains and spoke in grunge music lyrics) and they’re almost all at least somewhat mortifying. Still, I posted some of the stories, for entertainment under Older Works in the Samples and Excerpts section. After that, I got into a lot of memoir writing, including a full manuscript (which needs some reworking, more about that in future posts) and personal essay writing. Recently, I’ve also started dabbling with screenwriting and TV scriptwriting. I want to continue to explore all these different forms and how they inform each other. I’ll put up some writing samples (don’t worry, they won’t all be from the bowels of my high school-era treasure trove), descriptions of current projects, and snippets and pieces from works in progress.

A little about myself: I have albinism, which means I have really, really pale skin, hair and eyes, and that I’m legally blind. It’s made for an interesting life, to ya know, understate it just a little. Since this is a major topic in my personal essay and memoir writing, and something that the average person doesn’t know a lot about or may have drastic misconceptions about, blindness will definitely be a recurring topic here. I’m already thinking of some potential guest blind bloggers that I hope you’ll enjoy.

Another main theme here will be TV. I watch way too much of it, but there is a lot that us writers can learn from all that watching. TV is a major way that stories are told these days. I watch a handful of shows, but I will give you a heads up from the start that I’m currently really into (read: pretty freakin’ obsessed with) AMC’s Breaking Bad and in my mind, it’s just rich and brimming with insights for writers, or storymakers of any sort, so there’ll be a lot of that type of dissection going on here on this blog. Seriously, if you haven’t already, go watch it. Best show on television, though definitely not for everyone.

There are a few other topics that I expect will play a lesser but not wholly insignificant role here. One is science. I’m a science student right now (and should really be studying organic chemistry right now, instead of trying to cajole you into watching a show about a badass kinda evil organic chemist) so science will no doubt seep in. Plus, David Foster Wallace made it cool to let that inner nerd slide into the writing. On an almost opposite note, I’ve spent a lot of time dabbling in the metaphysical–I’ve done astrology and tarot readings for years–so that’s bound to come up too. As will music, movies, books and other random crap, I’m sure.

But I always want the underlying theme (for the most part, anyway) to be the written word, and story.

~Emilia J