Archives

Nearing Graduation

So… it’s been a while.

The biggest stress hasn’t been the schoolwork, but figuring out what I’m going to do after I graduate. It’s been hard coming up with solid plans. I have recently had some comfort in deciding that going home was going to be my final option, and I have enough money saved up that even if I don’t have a job guaranteed by the end of the semester, I can still stick around and look for a job. Something’s bound to come along. If not, I’ll just burn through my money as slowly as I can and go home when I can’t stay any longer. I’ve finally decided I’m willing to risk that to have a chance at becoming independent and move out of the house.

The unknown still scares me.

 

I’m beginning to feel that in so many areas I am above average but not exceptional. My art is good. It should be; I put a lot of time into art. But what I produce isn’t really worth money. I’m beginning to think the same of my teaching. My writing too. I’m still going to submit to Outlet. I promised myself I’d do that, and I have nothing to lose by it. However, I think I’ll feel better if I stopped thinking about my writing so much in terms of publication anymore and make it a hobby again. I’ll continue to write (and draw) for the rest of my life. For now, that writing’s going to be for myself and maybe friends and family. Future kids, maybe.

I’m content with that decision, but I know at some point I’m going to wish for a kind of greatness. I want to be great. Is that wrong? It certainly isn’t restful, but I suppose I didn’t sign up for restful. When is it ever enough?

 

I love life, by the way. In my studies I get to see some of the best and worst of humanity– through study and fiction. It fascinates me. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough. I want so badly to take that learning and my own thoughts and experiences and do something significant and worthwhile, something great.

 

I guess I’m just a youth with starry eyes, but I hope some good will come of that.

Follow-up on the Goal

So… workshopping your story is like ripping out part of your soul and handing it to someone else, then trying not to bleed too much while they critique it. Poor little story.

 

Because I care about my story and because I want my story to be good, I’ve taken in to the Writing Center twice, Writer’s Workshop once, I’ve had two people from class workshop it, and I’ve been to my Creative Writing teacher three times. Every time I go, he finds something new that needs work. That’s good. I wish the other resources were as helpful as him (I feel bad going to him so much, since he’s only one person and has an entire class of people to help out). Still, it gets hard, and sometimes it feels like the story will never be good enough.

 

I just want people to like it.

 

It was due for class yesterday. We turn in three stories during the semester. Once I get this one back, I’ll see what fixes I should have made to get a better grade, then I’ll workshop it with a good friend of mine when she comes to visit, and eventually I’ll submit it to the school’s literary journal, Outlet.

 

I know it seems strange that I’m going to submit something after my experience last year. I hated submitting my work. I didn’t think I should submit anything unless I truly that it was worthy of being published, which I didn’t. This time will be better because: a) I like my story better, b) I recognize this will be my last opportunity to submit undergrad work, c) I’ve already gotten a rejection letter before, so it won’t be a new experience.

 

Besides, I’ve got to work toward something. I need to have some sort of ambition, or I won’t get anywhere. I still don’t know what’s going to become of me when I graduate in April. Publishing is not the goal so much as feeling worthy and having the courage to submit the thing. That’s no small thing. It’s hard to have courage when the story never seems to get done, only closer.

 

If I were to get what I want, really get what I want, I’d be able to share the story with others and they would laugh, meditate, find understanding and clarity in the story, and ultimately end on a high note, feeling better about life. A lot of short stories I’ve read end on a low note, which I think is rather mean. I know there are disappointments in life, but I think there are more happy endings than we really believe. At any rate, I want my readers to enjoy the story. Laugh and meditate. That’s going to be the goal.

 

I’ll give you more updates on the story later. It’s called “Cracked.”

The goal

By the way, I think I should tell you that I’ve made it my goal to submit a short story to my school’s literary journal before I graduate.

This is a story I’m writing for my Advanced Creative Writing class. We’re to write three short stories this semester, and they all have to be “literary.” This means no fantasy or sci-fi and it means the work must “deal with the profundities of the human experience.” I never much cared for “literary” fiction myself, but it’s worked out pretty well so far. I think this could be one of the best short-stories I’ve produced– as far as craft and value– while still being fun. I’ve workshopped it with different people, and hearing them laugh is what gratifies me the most. Yesterday in a Writer’s Workshop, I was told that the ending was satisfying and that I paint well with words. O_O

I still have work to do, but I want to the story to be in it’s best form. Then I want to submit it for publication. I have to take this opportunity to submit undergrad work while I can. Wish me luck.

Publication

My creative writing class is requiring that we submit our best work from the semester for publication as part of our final.

 

I have some issues with this.

 

It almost goes against my principles. I don’t want to submit work for publication unless I think it is worthy of being published, and, quite frankly, none of my work is worthy of being published. I don’t say that out of a sense of modesty; I think my writing is good, but I do have certain standard for the quality of work that should be published and none of my work is going to cut it. I don’t have the gall (and I use the term affectionately) required for submitting work for publication.

 

Still, I must submit the work in order to get a grade for my final. My “best” work from the semester. How in blue blazes am I supposed to know what my best work is? My poems got better grades than my creative nonfiction, which I like better, and I have not yet received a grade for my two short stories or scene (from the drama unit). I won’t get grades for those before I have to submit something.

 

I really can’t see myself becoming an independent or published artist, writer, or other creative-type person– making a living off of my craft or what have you. I don’t have the gall. I’d like to share my work, certainly, but the whole money thing makes everything complicated. Especially now, where there are so many people who want to do that. I don’t think I could do it.

 

Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong, and I certainly don’t mean anything against anyone who is pursuing a career as a self-made, self-published creative-type person– that’s not it at all. I just think I was made of different stuff, and I can’t conceive of doing this for publication or income.

 

It does make things difficult for me, though. I turn my hobbies into projects, which makes it harder to use them for ‘winding down’ purposes, but I can’t seem to turn them into work with income. I’m almost repelled by the idea. So where does that leave me? Theoretically, I suppose it would leave me with a job, but I’ve been having difficulty with that as well. I just have to be confident that somehow something will work out.

The end is near

Well, it’s almost the end of the semester. I still have some assignments here or there, nothing I’m intensely concerned about. I hope to spend some quality time with my roommates in our last one and a half weeks together.

 

We’re planning on having a Sharable– that is, a little party where we get together and share excerpts from what we’ve written over the semester. I did this last year, and I enjoy the tradition. I plan on converting the “Sharable” concept into audio form and make a sort of podcast where I get to share my experiences with writing and some of my creative works-in-porgress.

 

That’s going to be one of my summer projects. Along with some video projects, writing projects, maybe even some art projects. I did a concept sketch yesterday that I kind of liked. I’ve recently came to a decision about my artwork– if I want to keep on doing it, I’ve got to create images that I will enjoy coloring. That generally means focussing on the people, and not creating backgrounds with a lot of empty space. Skies, for instance. Skies, unless done right, usually bore me to death. Trees too might get tedious. That’s the trick then, whatever I draw, it must not be tedious to color, or I’m going to lose interest in artwork and abandon it in favor of other projects. I don’t want that to happen if I an avoid it. I like this concept that I have. When I have time and space, I’ll be able to work on it.

 

Reflection

As you know, I like to take some time near the end of each semester to reflect.

 

First of all, I became a gateway seminar coordinator. I am assured that I have done an excellent job and that my contributions have been valuable. However, though I was qualified, I was not chosen to be a director for the Inspired Learning and Teaching Gateway Seminar. I’m grateful to have been able to serve in the capacities that I did, and for what I learned from the experience.

 

I had hoped to find a job so that I could stay here for fall semester (BYU-I has a two-track system, look it up for clarification), but perhaps I was too confident in my ability to get into the few positions I applied to. If I were wise, I would have applied to much more. But I don’t like the idea of getting a job just for the sake of having a job. I want to work somewhere where I could really contribute something, somewhere where my unique skills and talents would be valued. Anyway, I don’t see how I can stay here for the fall and I have no idea what I would do if I went home again. I’m trying not to let it bother me.

 

Instead, I want to focus on my achievements. For one thing, I made a pretty neat engagement gift for my roommate. I’ve been working on some video projects. I’ve done a number of writing assignments for my various classes, some of which I even like. I’ve served as a Relief Society instructor and gateway seminar coordinator. I’ll be finishing up an 18-20 page paper for one of my classes before Wednesday. My grades have been pretty good. Also, I made pancakes a couple of times this semester. That makes me happy. I missed having pancakes.

 

Well… that’s it, really. Everything else is sort of… unsure. While I’m on vacation, I intend to write, and maybe work on some art projects. I can finish up those video projects. Maybe I can even compile them in some way, and make them into a gift. I could do another book, like what I made for my roommate’s engagement. I don’t know what organizing subject I would work with though. If any of my writing turns out decent, I could make it into an audiobook and probably give it to one of my siblings as a gift. There’s still the youtube channel idea, but I’m not sure I want to consider the idea before I’m certain my work is of good enough quality, and my Creative Writing class has taught me to have reservations on that matter.

Completed Project

I finished the gift I was making for my roommate on the occasion of her engagement. The printer messed up the colors a little bit, but it’s decent. I might be able to see her reaction tonight.

It is strange to be done, especially since I have been planning it for so long. Like any other creative project, finishing this makes me want to do more. I wonder if there are possibilities in this– potential gifts.

At any rate, it was fun to make. I wouldn’t mind exploring more in the future.

 

Here are some samplers 🙂

 

Opinions

Coming up with the topic used to be one of the hardest parts of writing an essay. I think somehow things have changed over the years. This is particularly the case with opinion essays. I find that I have quite a few opinions, and some of them are quite strong. Our professor recommended “pet peeves” as a source to look to when searching for a topic on an opinion essay. I thought about people who text during class, people who pirate videos and music, and people who move your laundry and leave it on the dryers without your permission. I settled on talking about the sort of people and attitudes that would use the phrase “I wish I could draw as good as you.”

No, you don’t.

One day I might, perhaps, post the full essay, but for now, there are other things I wanted to talk about.

 

I volunteered for a church service project yesterday. We had a low turnout, which was disappointing. Our leaders had to leave early (they received a phone call, it might have been some sort of emergency), as did the person who gave us a ride over to the place. The rest of the people who came had rides back, but there wasn’t room for my sister and I, so we had to catch a ride with someone from a different group. Moreover, I spent a lot of the time working by myself, watching some people idle, and hearing a lot of people say things like “we’re done” when there was still a lot of work that could have been accomplished.

I was a bit cranky, and started to think somewhat less highly of people in general. This is one of my many weaknesses, it doesn’t take much to get me annoyed with people. It was hard to stay that way though when I got home and my roommate’s fiancé gave me a hug and the two of them tried to convince me to take a nap. They’re so wonderful to me. The world should thank them, because I think better of the world because of them.

 

I have a certain difficulty. I work hard all week, but as soon as the weekend nights come, I have no self-restraint left to keep me from staying up late watching movies. I lose sleep, and sleep is so very important. Perhaps if I had gotten more sleep Friday night, I wouldn’t have been as cranky last night.

 

Ah yes, I watched The Importance of Being Earnest, performed by BYU-I. Algernon was a bit of an acquired taste, he was somewhat over the top. I couldn’t help but think, as I watched, how I would have done it differently, but over all it was a good show.

 

I’m surviving school reasonably well. It was a bit difficult during the middle, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, but I started to gain confidence near the end of it. I hope to continue to do well, and to help others do well as I do my work as a Coordinator for the Gateway Seminars. We’ll see.

Where I might go with these projects

I’ve been considering where I can go with these various creative projects that I’ve been involved with. My friends recommend that I create a Youtube channel for my recorded stories. I suppose in there I can include a little storyboard, and if I can find a way to give people the option of downloading it… I’m not sure how I would do it, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

 

I also mentioned to my friends about how I would love it if I opened a fanfic contest to see who can create the best written work based off of one of my artworks.

 

There are possibilities to explore, I’m not very hopeful of making a large profit off of any of them, but I think it is something to shoot for.

My current writing project

Forgive me for being remiss in keeping you updated, I’ve been busy with schoolwork and suchlike.

 

Along with my responsibilities as a student, Seminar Coordinator, and Relief Society instructor, I have a couple of projects that I’m working on. One, of course, is the engagement gift I’m going to give to my dear friend and roommate. The other is a story, part of a series of short stories about a group of fairy godparents. Their job, of course, is to bring the happy endings to whatever case they are faced with, whether it be evil stepmother, mad prince, or family feud. The one I’m doing right now is based on Romeo and Juliet. I’m having such a fun time making fun of it. That particular play really bothers me, because I can never really believe that Romeo and Juliet love each other. They’re just dumb teenagers. That’s why I delight in putting my own twist into the story.

 

I dearly hope the semester will go well. I have no idea what I’m going to do once the semester finishes.