I got a present!
I got a present!
This post has been redone.
* Right now she’s supposed to be writing two articles: one is on the Honors program and the other is on invested professorships. Until a few weeks ago, she had no idea what an invested professorship was. Apparently it’s like a grant for professors awarded by extremely benevolent benefactors or groups of people. The hardest part of her job is transcribing interviews, mostly because you never realize how much people say “Uh, um, like, ah,” along with other hesitation noises or repeat themselves until you have to listen to a recording of their voice over and over again. Those noises ruin some of the best quotes.
Sometimes she doubts herself and feels like she’s going to be a bad reporter because when people make hesitation noises during an interview she makes a cringe face because that quote that sounded so eloquent and full of emotion was just ruined by the interviewee saying “well, you know,” smack dab in the middle of it. Other times she doesn’t know if she should be a reporter at all. Some days she dreams about being a professional mattress tester or bubblewrap examiner. She believes she would be an excellent mattress tester personally.
2. Eating lunch**
** Her fiance made her lunch today. He made her a sandwich and gave her two packs of cheese crackers, a Mountain Dew Code Red, and a can of vienna sausages. With no fork. Her choices consist of eating the wee little weiners with her fingers and risk losing a digit to the unforgiving sharp metal edges of the can or staring at it blankly and hoping the sausage fairy comes to her assistance. Somehow this seems like a scene out of a SAW movie.
***Granted, she is still at work, but she also knows she’s not the first person with a desk job who’s fantasized about making a fort in the knee space beneath their desk. Seriously, all she needs is a pillow and a little curtain and she’d be fine. It would be a nice place to spend her lunch breaks. Her can of vienna sausages could keep her company.
4. Staring into the abyss quietly****
****Unfortunately, much of the time she spends writing turns into this. She believes the abyss is the only thing that doesn’t mind if she stares at it while the slow, grinding wheels of inspiration turn in her head. Most people get weirded out by her staring into space. Probably because the space she’s staring at is directly to the left of their head. Sometimes she stares at a downward angle and cocks her head to the side with a semi-vacant expression on her face. Inspiration (a.k.a. the abyss) lives in weird places. The abyss is a good listener when she’s talking to herself too. She wonders if the abyss likes vienna sausages. Or has a fork.
5. Screaming into the abyss*****
*****The abyss does not have a fork. And does not like being yelled at. That is all.*^*
*^*The abyss does like vienna sausages however.
Us readers, we read this book for the experimental fiction class which us readers take together which is in a room in which a class is held. Us readers, some of us liked it. Us readers, some of us didn’t. Us readers don’t agree on much. Us readers, sometimes we fight like cats. Other times we disagree like dogs.
What us readers who were not disturbed by the stories of the good brothers want you to remember is that these stories they are not dead-ends. There are no do-not-go-any-further-points in these stories of the good brothers. What us readers who were not disturbed by the stories want you other readers to take away, what us readers want you readers to know is that these stories are what you make of them. They are stories of mud and mud of stories. There are fish and boys that become fish and there is Girl who is a mother, mountain, sister, tree, moon, and lover. They are stories of what you dream and fear and hope. They are stories that only make sense if you don’t want them to make sense, they are stories that complement and contradict one another.
In this book of the brothers there are stories that made us readers happy, there are sections that made us readers sad or concerned, and there are parts that made us readers want to shake our heads and say, “Us readers, we understand.”
Us readers, we know what you brothers mean when you say that when you dive into the moon it shatters into a billion pieces and when you say, “Each broken chunk becomes a star”. Us readers, we also look for the stars that are falling and imagine them to be, “a burning match-stick, a still-lit cigarette flicked out of the window of a speeding car”. Us readers, we’ve had these feelings and with the help of you good brothers we know now what they mean.
Good, Peter Markus.
From head to toe:
Hair: In disarray
Brow: Furrowed in concentration/dismay/divine inspiration
Eyes: Slowly being fried by millions of little LCD lights with the power of small suns/ focused on computer screen
Mouth: Grimacing or twitching uncomfortably
Tongue: Repeatedly being stuck out partially and then hastily withdrawn
Shoulders: Stooped forward
Hands: Still stained with yesterday’s hasty scribblings of notes to self
Spine: Crooked and slouched
Bottom: Uncomfortable from trying to out-wait inspiration’s arrival
Legs: Crossed or not
Feet: Who knows?
(to be completed in no specific order)
1. To write something earth shattering!
2. Google Images search: puppies
3. Regain focus. Stare at computer screen and wait for muse to arrive.
4. Check phone/Facebook/whatever you look at to kill time to see if correspondence from outside world has arrived.
5. Vaguely ponder your future.
6. Ignore impending sense of panic/doom/imminent destruction that arises when you picture your future as a writer, possibly living in a cardboard box under an overpass.
7. Stare at the computer screen some more.
8. Do homework you forgot about until just now.
9. Drink copious amounts of coffee. Begin feeling mysteriously sleepy.
10. Counteract this by drinking
liquid meth energy drinks.
11. Get completely JACKED UP on energy drinks.
13. Wonder why you’ve never been able to see sounds or hear colors until this moment.
14. Twitch more. Convulsions ensue.
15. Your muse is knocking at the door but your body is currently seizing out of your control.
16. Recover from convulsions. Begin drinking heavily (your poison of choice) when you realize your muse is really pissed this time and might not come back.
17. Weep for lost muse.
18. Whine about lack of inspiration/muse to whoever will listen.
19. Watch that cat video that always makes you smile.
20. Write anyway. Lack of muse be damned.
Let’s say you’re tired of 5-star restaurants, steak and lobster dinners, or $25,000 hot chocolate. You want to eat like starving artists, writers, and college students. You want some genuine inspiration in your life.
In this first installment, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive shopping list so you can prepare genuine college student fare.
Let’s start with the “meat” group, shall we?
For those of us spending our money frivolously on textbooks, these wee little weiners are a cheap substitute for hotdogs. If you happen to stumble across some hotdog buns that aren’t green with putrid mold and have some leftover mustard packets from your last burger stand splurge, you can make a poor man’s hotdog.
You know you’ve reached rock bottom when you’re frying Spam in your roommate’s skillet at 3 a.m. and seasoning it with your own bitter tears.
Let’s move on to grains before you tie that noose to the ceiling fan.
Nothing says “I love you” like getting a care package of dehydrated broth, seasonings (read: salt), and noodles. For $5, even your grandma can send you fifty packs of Ramen without making a dent in her social security check.
And for dessert, or any time really, nothing screams starvation-based inspiration like a flavorful cancer stick.
With this diet, you too can lead a life of inspiration and fitness.
Prep Time: Several hours drafting genius blog posts, reading weekly assignments, and writing helpful critiques during workshop weeks.
10 – 15 Students proficient in the art of writing who will voluntarily act as Sisyphuses.
1 Zeus-like Teacher who pimp smacks the rocks (experimental attempts) the Students are so desperately rolling uphill back down, with instructions to roll it sideways or at weird angles because if you’re going to be experimental freaking experiment and make it weird.
-Absolutely no rules (except writing restrictions placed by Zeus)-
An abundance of seemingly random outbursts, such as “Your God can’t save me now!” and that if we didn’t have words babies wouldn’t exist.
Texts and reading assignments that shake the students’ perceptions of reality and leave them wondering, as they rock in the fetal position, if they will ever truly look at an escalator in the same way again.
1. Prepare the 10 – 15 Students (depending on attendance) by giving them the texts and reading assignments. Students will read the assignments, then proceed to look at their significant other (or cat(s), which are really the same thing) and slowly shake their head as they process their new reality. This is when you know they are ready.
2. Have Students arrive at class and as the early ones piddle about, encourage conversations such as these: “The aquarium lets you chill with the penguins for $100 an hour.” “But you just said they stink.” “Yeah, but I would do it even though they smell like shit.” “I love penguins.”
Alternately, you can have students get out their materials for class and ponder the near future, such as how much they hate their next class because the teacher is hypercritical about everyone’s photographs and your camera has way too many buttons.
3. Introduce Zeus. Allow him to call the class to order while also observing whose eyes are filled with hatred, anger, sadness, despondency, etc.
4. Talk about stuff. If it’s not a workshop day, talk about blog posts and readings. If it is a workshop day, critique the authors’ works while they sit and take notes.
5. Insert random outbursts now. It is best to insert them in the middle of class on non-workshop days because yelling “BANANA CREAM PIE!” during a workshop will get you sent to the school counselor to reevaluate your life. No worries though, you’ll see many of your classmates there.
Serve topped with a hot chocolate sauce and caramel drizzle. Adorn with a single cherry.
Congratulations you now have an experimental fiction class!
May the powers that be have mercy on your mortal soul. You know not what you have done.
Begun, blowgun, blowguns, burgundies, burgundy, flashgun, flashguns, gunboat, gunboats, guncotton, guncottons, gundog,
gundogs, gunfight, gunfighter, gunfighters, gunfighting, gunfights, gunflint, gunflints, gunfought,
gunite, gunites, gunk, gunkhole, gunkholed,
gunkholes, gunkholing, gunks, gunky, gunless, gunlock, gunlocks, gunmetal, gunmetals, gunned, gunnel, gunnels, gunneries, gunnery,
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gunslinger, gunslingers, gunslinging,
gunsmith, gunsmiths, gunsmithing, gunsmithings, gunstock, gunstocks, gunwale, gunwales, handgun, handguns,
laguna, lagunas, lagune, lagunes, misbegun,
outgun, outgunned, outgunning,
outguns, popgun, popguns, rebegun, salmagundi, salmagundis,
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shotgunner, shotgunners, shotgunning, speargun, spearguns, wangun, wanguns.