Monday, April 20, 2009

Overdeveloped Pictures

Quote of the Day:
The world today doesn't make sense so why should I paint pictures that do?
~Pablo Picasso

Current Local Forecast:
Sunny with scattered clouds for the next few minutes. 20% chance of
moody, irritable periods of silence exist in the 10 day outlook.

Currently on my iPod:
Chris Cheek's album: Vine
(can't stop listening to this tune, check it out)

I was interviewed this week
Listen to me here:

Dear friends, family and family of friends,

I'm back in the blogging mode. Glad to be back. Hope you all didn't suffer too much without my weekly words of wisdom. ha! Anyway, A few announcements before we get to my cryptic blog title. The website for Writing Away Retreats will be updated this week. We're having two 5 day retreats in October back to back. You can stay at both for a slight but well worth it increase in price if you really need the time away.

The house is in Breckenridge, CO and is gorgeous.
Not to mention, I have an all star staff. I'm sooooo excited to work with them. They include: Author and Editor, Signe Pike of Plume/Pengui
n, Kate Gale of Red Hen Press, Editor, Mike Signorelli of Harper Collins, Scott Hoffman of Folio Lit Agency, Sorche Fairbank of Fairbank Literary Agency, Matt Marinovich author of Strange Skies from Harper Collins, Eddie Schnieder of JaBberwocky Lit. Agency among others, and of course, ME! :)

Enough of that.

So, processing pics. Yeah, I know, it's a thing of the past. I don't think anyone born after the year 2000 will ever know what it's like to not have instant picture gratification. Remem
ber those little receptacles in the middle of the parking lot of the Big Lion and Piggly Wiggly shopping centers where you deposited canisters containing memories and walked away 2.5 days later with beautiful 3X5's of your favorite overdeveloped people? I do. But what we should really be thinking of now, is the bigger picture of who we are. Are we overdeveloped? Are we developed against the backdrops of fake and delusional scenery in an Olan Mills life?

*these are not real people, they just play them on blogs.*

Anyway...hyper-pigmented and overprocessed lives. Take a look at the bigger picture. I've spent way too much time with myself lately. Writing, working on my writing, writing on writing and writing for fun when the writing got old. It's a solitary profession at best and I'm starting to believe my literary agent is actually my best friend.
Gary, I love you. Yeah, okay, I'll retract that in fear of losing his hand holding sessions for good. I'm weaning myself from his apron strings, slowly. VERY slowly as not to cause uncontrollable bleeding from the eyeballs.

Regardless, I think we should all rethink the bigger picture of our own lives. I did. It worked. For the most part at least it's worked very well. What is your bigger picture? Now, I'm not talking about American Idol. Not that there's anything, well there is, I retract that statement too. There is something very wrong with the almighty AI. The very idea that success comes to those that sit in line in a stadium for hours and sing in their showers only and get uber encouragement from parents and the cheerleading squad in high school is a little bit sickening. Some of these cats do have some talent and I'm not just a jaded musician saying this. But to get it "all" after a few months of "hard" work is what's wrong with this country. This just perpetuates the idea that success can come with luck and a Ford truck commercial contract. You can be everything in the world, money and all by the time you're 20 years old. Sure. Go for it. Worked out well for Michael Jackson and that Britney chick...

Why does everything have to be about a mass-marketable and commercialized competition? Imagine if the literary world was like that. Oh wait, Amazon is doing that! ( for Travis Erwin's Plundered Booty on Amazon's competition. Period. It's BY FAR the best one up there.) But Amazon is taking novels, which take sweat, gallons and years of, and hard work and more hard work and putting them to the test of the Literate public. Not just the cell phone carrying 12 yr. olds who think some kid is cuter than the others. What happened to the hard work ethics of this country? What happened to valuing the arts as a foundation for our future? This is what the bigger picture is all about, not just the, I-want-to-retire-by-the-time-I'm-23-outlook-on-the-socially-and-mentally-acceptable-weather-channel of our time. Without the arts and the lack f TV, we're going to become senseless, imaginationless idiots.

Why Cicily, you're a bitter b****. If you're thinking this about now, you'd be right or at least I can say I'm getting there fast. I've been observing, waiting, taking notes and names for a whole year. What has resounded through my core is that I've seen WAY too many people who are in WAY too much of a hurry to develop their bigger picture. I'm not talking about the jazz musicians. They are the antithesis of this. They are reverant in their time management skills and painstakingly watch the days go by in hopes that one day, they'll be as good as the founders of the craft.

For the rest of us, remember that taking your time to see what develops in your core, your soul is part of the fun. Process what you really want to do and then write it down. Process what you know you DON"T want to do and then write that down too. Make a list of the pro's and con's and then write those down too. Write until you're blue in the fingers and eyes and head and every other thinking part of you. It's a great therapeutic regimen and is WAY cheaper than any drug or therapist with a fancy leather couch in his/her office. It's the way I started writing and hey, what works for me, might work for you. At least it's worth a try.

I don't think I really knew what I was going to do until about 5 years ago when I began to take writing seriously. Before then I was a student in the big university of life. How would I begin to know what questions to ask my interview subjects had I not been observant about my own actions and learned from mistakes and lessons, both good and bad? I wasn't trying a get rich quick scheme, standing in line to see if my fractured voice would be good enough for the Simon Cowell's of the world or primping in the mirror in hopes to land a sugar daddy. (although if one comes along, I may still consider that as a viable option.) Living life, not in front or through your television or computer pixels is the only viable option as far as I'm concerned. It's also, in my opinion, the only way we're going to begin to fix the horrendous mess we're in as far as the state of arts and culture in our country.

Living life and processing, very slowly, our own lives, is the only way to learn how to communicate with others, to learn how to listen properly and to learn how to live amongst the living. LYAO AND LMAOROFLMAO is NOT communication. Texting is NOT communication unless you're trying to find someone on the streets of NYC and you've taken the subway, the WRONG way for the millionth time and you're late for a meeting with a kind soul that is forgiving you every second you're late. Speak up, listen up and realize that this world is not existing only for you, you have to make it what you want it to be and the only way to do that is through hard work and a fully realized, developed, mature and beautiful self.

I feel better now.

Hope you guys have a great week. Comment as you wish.

Yours in Developing, Desserted Drunken Rampages and Drowning in Pop Culture Wastelands,



Mark said...

So true. I try to do 100 things an hour and get nowhere. I want to be Anne Rice and Walt Whitman rolled into one but I just need to be me first. Thanks.

Travis Erwin said...

Sadly, I already got booted from the Amazon contest, but thanks for the kind words.

Ronwriter said...

Thanks for the time machine. I remember times in my own darkroom, negatives clouded because of a few degrees variance in solution temperature or a two seconds too long in the red wash of the safelight.