Drafts, Drafts, Drafts.

July 30, 2008 at 7:23 pm (Planning for the Future, Writing) ()

For the past two days, I’ve bunkered down and gone through my eighty-odd pages with vibrant red pen. I planned on going back another two times with different colors and tackling different aspects of it, but I feel I might be able to get what I want done in one go, in terms of editing the current material.

(Slashing through with green and blue may be saved for another day.)

It’s shaping up well. Granted, it may be somewhat half-finished, but one of my toughest critics, my own sister, went through and enjoyed it.

She, of course, made points that I am being a bonehead about the process – some things, that I don’t know diddly about, like bone structure, cars, or the physics of hurdling, become readily apparent. As I want my writing to have a certain expansive quality in it, as opposed to being one-dimensional, it MIGHT be a good idea to get some help with those parts.

But other things that shine with my trademark wit, she enjoys thoroughly. One of the big, incredibly emotional scenes almost had her in tears.

When something you’ve created with words can inspire emotions in people – WORDS – that might be telling you that you’ve got something good.

But for now, it’s just a draft in progress. The mere deed of printing out eighty pages of my own words, my own characters, my own story, and holding in my hands brings me a great deal of happiness.

I cannot wait to “finish” it – I use quotes because once a different editor gets their hands on it, chances are that changes will still be made – and possibly, one day, see it bound and printed.

I know it’s business as usual for some people. It wouldn’t make a lick of difference what book they’re selling, and they could be more likely to sell copies of the latest dieting fad than put my book on shelves; but I could really grow to like the idea of finding my own book at a Borders or a Barnes and Noble, or at The Strand in New York City, or at a local bookstore in a podunk town I’m dropping into on the way to visit a friend.

Then again, I’m a little old-fashioned like that.



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April 26, 2008 at 7:37 pm (Planning for the Future)

I’d like some honest opinions.

Here’s the thing. When I put in my applications for grad school, my old boss neglected to fill out one of the forms, which was a check-list. I got wind of this through the applications office at Villanova, and took care of it. She had already written the recommendation (took her weeks, though – I asked her in late february, she finished it by March 26th), but I let her know that my app was incomplete, and all I needed her to do was to finish the paperwork. It was the same stuff that she wrote about in her recommendation.

She got a stick up her butt, and asked me how she could, in good mind, fill that out, because it asked for an academic evaluation, and that she was not a teacher.

I convinced her to do it. I get it back; and even though her written recommendation was absolutely glowing, she made it seem as though I barely registered as an employee. In categories ranging from “N/A”, “Bottom 50%”, “Top 50%”, “Top 25%”, “Top 10%” “Top 5%”, she put me in the “top 50%”.

And she was irritated about having to do it.

Flash forward a couple of weeks. I’ve put in the apps, I’ve been applying for other jobs as well. I have her listed as a reference. I know for a fact that the HarperCollins folk have checked my references; it’s going on three weeks since I had the interview. I also applied for a job at a local Apple store that wasn’t the one I worked at. I had talked with them about switching there, and moving away from Palisades. They said they’d call me two days ago; haven’t heard back from them since.

While I was working there, I thought i got along with her. I was always nice, tried to do exactly what she wanted almost before she could think of it, and was basically a good employee. I wanted to leave on good terms.

Could it be possible that she torpedoed me, or am I just thinking about this too much?

Once again, honest opinions.


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Good news…and bad news.

April 3, 2008 at 4:01 pm (Planning for the Future, WoW)

I’ve got an interview for an entry-level position at HarperCollins on Monday!


It would be a good fit for me and my skills, and depending on how it goes, if I get into graduate school, I might put it off for a year so I could get some more experience. (and lewts.)


But, on the down side, I’m running into a bit of a snag.

Another friend of mine went back to WoW.

He’s playing with our other friend, who’s rolling with his friends Alliance-side.

All that talk has me thinking of going back… but I know I wouldn’t go back to Ravenholdt, and I doubt I’d go and play with my friends on their server. (Once You Go Horde…um…I don’t know, you come up with something witty.)

The people I miss on Ravenholdt stopped playing, and the old guild’s done. I looked up a guild or two, and think I found a *really* good one on another server.

They’re not recruiting hunters, but it’s a good fit for what I’d want in a guild, and that’s what’s most important. Plus, I’m not terribly impressed with the caliber of their hunters. 😐

I’m really conflicted about this. Quitting felt like I was breaking up to get out of a bad relationship, but I also needed to grow.

But me going back to the game is ignoring everything that made me quit in the first place… which was the lack of people willing to help out, the new environment, and the absence of fun in where I was. I’d be going back to something bad for me, just because it’s comfortable.

But on the other hand, if, say, I DID get into this new guild, their attitude would be a good home for me. They’re remarkably organized, terribly friendly on forum posts (Friendly? Horde? What the deuce?) , and all about helping the rest of the guild out.

To not give them a shot would be like having one bad relationship, and then proceeding to stay celibate for the rest of my life, just because I think all relationships are like that.

So I’ve got a choice – keep growing the way I have, or to go back to the game with this new direction, and hopefully, have an entirely different experience.

It’s up to me, for the most part, but as the only people who comment here are Hershey and Cait, I would love to hear your opinions.


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Boredom… the monster returns.

March 16, 2008 at 7:45 pm (Grad School, Planning for the Future)


It’s been probably around 3 weeks since I gave up WoW, but two of them haven’t been spent at home, so the separation was easier.

Now, the move to find other ways to entertain myself begins, to avoid the, “ugh, I hate WoW so much, but I could really use a way to kill an afternoon right now”. “Gulliver’s Travels”, and the tabs for “Ace of Spades” in Guitar World, will do nicely as a replacement. \m/

Also, in other news, I put together a powerpoint presentation with requisite information and a detailed plan for my attendance of grad school for my parents.

I’ll be taking out loans for the expenses, but they’ve promised to help out a bit with housing (if I get into Villanova, it’ll be a stipend for rent for an apartment, if I get into a more local school, it’ll be I get to stay in my room), and they were thoroughly impressed. I covered everything, from requirements, benefits, major choice, and finances to the general five-year plan involved.

They also made the mistake of saying, offhand, “We don’t care what you do, as long as your facts are straight”… so I dressed for the occasion, wearing a tie on my forehead, elf shorts (as in, they’re red and green and have bells on them), a dress shirt, a hawaiian shirt, a martial arts belt, boots, and my sister’s scarf in place of a regular tie. Glorious.

I addressed them in a very business-like manner, right down to my pink flamingo pen, and I was amazed at how composed they were through the whole process, and how we were able to have a serious conversation when I was dressed like an absolute maniac.

I was also amazed at how damn good my legs look in boots.


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Thinking out loud… kind of.

March 15, 2008 at 8:51 pm (Planning for the Future, Reflections)

Got a haircut today – everything had been getting a little shaggy, but I have to say, I like having a nice, close haircut as much as I like feeling the wind flapping everything around.

So I’m back home, all safe. I got to hang with two of my best friends last night, guys that I’ve been friends with since grade school. We’re all in similar predicaments; one is a teacher at a high school who may or may not have a job next year (depends on whether the teacher he’s filling in for comes back from maternity leave), and another is finally fed up with the lack of advancement in his menial job.

But we celebrated anyway. We celebrated the purchase of a new car, the death of an old car, graduate school, and new jobs, all over a southwest chicken egg roll platter, a milkshake, and a burger laden with portobello mushrooms. (Yep, no booze, just greasy diner food.)

It’s odd, but I feel like I’m trying to hide myself less these days. I feel less guarded than I used to be. This past week helped me loosen up a lot, and showed me what kind of a great person my little sister’s grown into – it’s funny, but I think she’s become my new role model.

Oh, and I saw Vanilla Sky for the first time in years. I love Cameron Crowe’s movies (Say Anything and Almost Famous are personal favorites…well, almost anything with John Cusack is a favorite), and it was a chance to re-examine a great film with a changed perspective on life, love, and the whole crazy thing.

I mean, it’s totally whacked out and it makes my head hurt in parts, but it’s still beautifully done. I wish I could write / make a film that closes down Times Square for a single five minute sequence.

Also, changing the name of the blog. No longer will it be Back-Track. My brain happened upon an odd phrase this week during my sleep-deprived delirium, and it seems fitting.

Backseat Elvis.

Of course, I’ll still answer to Track. It’s what you know me as. But I feel like that’s the name that best reflects what I feel like, and gives a sense of purpose to the writing; chronicling the journey of a Backseat Elvis to Elvis in the Driver’s Seat.

(no leaving the building jokes, please.)

-Brian / Track / Backseat Elvis.

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