September 10, 2010

On-again Off-again Audio Presents “Men Are Like Plants”

What I’m Reading Today: I started Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections to see what all the hubbub was about. I can definitely see how he and David Foster Wallace, who was his close friend, were trying to do some of the same things. Jonathan’s work is very ornate, rococo, baroque, but not simply decoration. He piles simile upon metaphor upon simile, so that you are constantly reminded of the text, rather than what’s happening. You know my penchant for clear straightforward language; however, as Jonathan says, he’s trying to capture life, and when he nails a metaphor, he really nails it. Like in The Corrections, the wife running guerilla actions against her husband. This struck me as so honest and true.

So, you want to see how badly I failed at the whole podcasting thing?

Check it out! You can either listen to this short story on the page or download the mp3 or double-click on the link and see if a player pops up. It’s about 16 minutes. I worked late into the night figuring out how to record and how to convert and how to edit and how to add music.

I tell you what: at this stage in my writing career ~ more importantly, my publishing career ~ I am very thankful for my backgrounds in both computer engineering and in marketing. I was in electrical engineering computer option for a lot of years before I realized that it wasn’t for me and either a) it didn’t matter if I could make a living with an English degree or b) maybe I could make a living. All those programming classes have never gone to waste. I use the mindset and math skills for technical editing and the computer skills in pretty much everything. I’ve done a lot of marketing in about every job I’ve done. Goes hand in hand with writing.

So all you struggling writers out there working on your degree in teaching in order to make a living, take heart. Your experience won’t go to waste. Also, follow your dreams and major in what your passion is subject-matter-wise.

I’m getting off topic here. I wanted to talk a little about the story. It’s called “Men Are Like Plants.” I don’t normally think of myself as someone who writes funny, but this voice grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. The story is about a woman who is very afraid of relationships and she’s also very passionate about plants, so she uses her passion for plants to keep herself away from the world. That and a wry sense of humor. I wrote this story almost in one sitting. I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep and this woman’s voice struck me and wouldn’t go away. I had to get up and get a pen and write it all down. I didn’t have it figured out from the beginning ~ I just had the character. She really wants a relationship but she doesn’t know how to get over herself.

This is a story I often read when I give readings because it plays well to an audience. Though I always wonder whether the men in the audience equate the protagonist with me and think, what a bitch.

So, check it out if you’d like…

Questions of the Day: Have you tried podcasting? It’s a lot of fun. Hard work to figure out, but once you do, it’s great!

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