Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creative Answers and Creative Writing

First off, I got tagged by Michael Offutt for this new meme that's running around. These things seem to be really contagious with an almost 100% infection rate. I'm wearing protective gear as I write this, so, hopefully, not too many of you will catch it. Unless, you know, you want to. But I'll get to that in a bit. It's a fairly simple meme other than the fact that it involves time travel, and my flux capacitor is on the fritz. So is my police box. And that's unfortunate, because I was trying to use it for extra storage space, and it suddenly spit everything out as it returned to its normal interior dimensions. I was sad. So here are the questions and the answers:
1. If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?
Um... I don't really understand this question. At least, not in respect to the next question. I just get to go back and relive it? Which implies I must have lived it once already, so I can't just go back and experience some moment in time, but it has to be one of my own moments. And I'm just reliving it, but I can do that by remembering it, so what's the point? Maybe to approach the experience with a different sense of appreciation, in which case I would pick the first time I saw Star Wars. I had no idea of what I was walking into, and it might be interesting to be able to go into that theater all those years ago with an appreciation of the impact it was going to have on my life.
However, reflecting on Michael's answer, I might go back to this trip to Washington D.C. when my friends and I stopped in some hole-in-the-wall diner for burgers. Best burger ever. Seriously. Even if they didn't want to serve us and we feared for our lives. The burgers made it worth it.

2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
See, I don't know if this question is related to the previous one or not. Change one thing in my life or change anything? How do I know what the consequences would be? Although there are things in my life that I would do differently, I wouldn't do them differently if they wouldn't get me to where I am now. I have a great family. Wonderful wife. Awesome kids. I wouldn't do anything to risk that, so mucking about in time is not something I'm very inclined to do.
However, if I could be assured that my family would stay intact, I might go back to the Roman Empire and support their steam engine technology (Did you know the Romans invented the steam engine? Well, they did.) just to see where we would be, today, if the steam engine had gone into use, basically, 2000 years earlier.

3. What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?
This question doesn't work all that well for me, because I don't really watch a lot of television. And how does this question relate at all to the previous two? Should I pick a time travelling character? But, no, that doesn't really work.
If I have to pick someone, my wife would probably say Bob the Tomato. If you don't know who that is... well, I don't know what to say about that. Runners up would be Monk and Sheldon Cooper.

4. If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would you choose?
Just one? I don't know how I could possibly choose. I mean, there's no one I actually hate enough to want to kill, and there are too many people that deserve it to pick just one. And are we talking about one person alive today or just anyone from history? The whole scenario is just too... ambiguous.

5. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
Hmm... farmville? The farther through these questions I get, the more I wonder about the purpose behind them? Wait, wait! I have it! I would change my habit of not travelling in time. Yes, that's the one.

6. Why do you blog?
So I can discover the ability to travel in time? That seems to go along with the rest of these questions, and I can't think of a better reason. Of course, there's also the whole thing of giving people the opportunity to discover whom I am so that they'll want to buy my book(s). But time travel is a much cooler answer.

7. Name at least three people to send this to:
Since I'm trying to limit my contagiousness, I'm going to let you guys answer if you want to. Expose yourself to whatever kind of computer virus this is at your own discretion. But, um, yeah... three of you should definitely choose to answer these questions. At least three. You can let me know in the comments if you're gonna pass this on.

So that's it for the creative answers part of this post. Now, we move on to the creative writing part.

Starting today, I'll be teaching a creative writing class at my kids' school one day a week (in the middle school). Unfortunately, it's not a paid thing. But it is pretty cool. Going to a charter school, all the parents have to have some level of involvement at the school. Most often, this is just helping out in the class room or, maybe, grading papers. What I'm saying is that parents don't generally get to be involved in the academic side of things. That's probably as much the parents' decisions as the school's, though. There are a number of parents who contribute to the P.E. side of things and the drama group is parent lead, but that's about the extent of it that I've seen. At any rate, I'm excited to be doing this, even if it is a free gig. It should be fun.

My son (the younger one) had to have his classes switched around so that he could get to be in my class, and he's all excited, too. He was sort of grilling me this morning about what sort of things we're going to be doing, and I harassed him by telling him I was going to get to be harder on him than on everyone else in the class. I don't think he appreciated that very much. I am glad he's getting to be in it, though; he started writing his own novel at the beginning of the summer but quickly found out that it was harder than he thought. He hasn't gotten very far with it. Hopefully, having regular creative writing assignments will help get him in the habit of writing creatively.

In other, unrelated news:

I think I'm disliking November and this whole NaNo thing. Yeah, I know, blasphemy. But I think of Mork every time I see NaNo anywhere at this point. "NaNo, NaNo!" Just, you know, please don't start sitting on your heads. I suppose I'll see how the rest of the month goes before I make a final decision about this weird ritual.

We got a dog. It's about time. More on that to come, I'm sure. Maybe pictures if I ever get the camera set back up since the move.

Online sales in October for The House on the Corner were completely flat. That's less than heartening, but, overall, I suppose I've been doing okay. I wouldn't really know in all actuality, though. Maybe everyone is just waiting to hear what Michael has to say about it. It seems the trend that anyone he reviews gets a spike in sales afterward.

Well, it's time to go get ready for class...


  1. Boy you must have been pretty disreputable back in the day if they didn't want to serve you.

    I wish Nano would just go away, but I'm in the vast minority on that. Maybe I should change my answer to if I could go back in time I'd find who invented Nano and push him/her off a cliff to spare us this crap every year. (And like with XMas people start talking about it earlier and earlier all the time.)

  2. Mutt: Actually, we just in the wrong part of DC and the wrong ethnicity. We had to wait 15-20 minutes with no one in line before they even acknowledged we were there. I suppose they were trying to give us opportunity to leave on our own.

    I cannot say I disagree with you about NaNo.

  3. I don't understand all the Nano hate, I think there is huge backlash as it's gotten more and more popular. Overexposure I suppose. That and so many new writers jump in... I suppose it can feel like amateur hour. I don't know. I like it because it was the impetus I needed to actually try my hand at a novel. It wasn't so popular back then, but the idea that I could just write was a real revelation to me. I know there are a lot of folks that are in the same boat as I was back then. I mean, I spent something like 5 years doing research for a novel and it never went anywhere. I wrote about three pages during that time. Three pages! Anyway, it's import for me has lessened every year. I participate now out of a sense of loyalty. I have been taking vacation every year in November to write, now the family understands it's a month that I get to sit and write and ignore them all... they seem more supportive during the month, I have nieces and nephews that participate.

    Anyway, I suppose I've been seeing more negative discussion about it than I've ever seen before, I just figure it's like arbor day or something, hard for me to understand not wanting to support it.

  4. Oh I don't know about that (you saying that what I review gets a sales spike). I think that maybe one person may buy a book is all--hardly noteworthy and hardly attributed to anything I have to say.

    I got bogged down with work but I will finish House on the Corner. People just started sending me all these books (I'm serious) and I have no idea why. It's like I got five books in one week for free.

  5. Rusty: Mostly, I already made my comment over on your site, but I may as well say something here, too. I'm all for people that want to do that. I can't write that way, so I don't really get it. Not having ever been blogging during November before, though, it's rather disconcerting to see so many people just disappear. Like a mass alien abduction.

    Michael: I don't know about it, either. At least, not from experience. I do know that people that get reviewed by you keep seeing they see a jump in sales after, though, so I was just kind of poking at you because of that. :P
    As for why people are sending you books: it's probably that same perception that if you review it, people will buy it. Just a guess, though.

  6. Oh the lies that people tell /hugs. Briane Pagel said I was the "Colbert of blogging". It made me laugh.

  7. This was a funny post! It's really hard to answer questions like that without going very philosophical.

  8. Well, you already know our feelings about NaNo. If you do it, do it for the right reasons. Don't just spew crap onto a page just to say 'Look at me, I wrote a novel!'

    Also, I love your response to the first question. It seems like kind of an odd question.

    "If I could go back and relive any time in my life, I'd relive the time I ate fresh baked cherry pie. Because it was a really, really good pie, totally worth reliving."

  9. LOL That's pretty good. I should watch him more often, but that would require me watching TV.

    Elizabeth: Yeah, it is. I would have been more okay with it if the questions had been more related to each other. Or completely unrelated.

    Beer: Oh, man, how can you possibly choose just -one- pie to go back and have? Unless that's the only fresh baked pie you ever had?