A Nook with a Tilted Lamp

September 29, 2010

Black Tie Beach Adventure

Filed under: Uncategorized — by justatiltedlamp @ 11:41 pm

At long last, I was finally able to participate in an Improv Everywhere mission! It is like accomplishing a dream. (I did do No Pants Subway Ride, but technically…I was a member of another group, Pro Pants.)Shells lined up in spirals at the beach

Check out the proper mission goodies, like the video and the reports here: http://improveverywhere.com/2010/08/31/black-tie-beach/

I managed to misread the directions, which meant that I thought the train ride should take thirty minutes. (Reality = more like an hour.) I knew all hope was not lost once a fellow in a tuxedo boarded. We arrived around fifteen minutes late, but we managed not to miss a thing. Instructions were given. Cheers were shouted. Strangers gaped. The ice cream trunk interrupted the spiel once.

And then we were off! Scattering along the beach, an elegantly dressed horde bubbling with excitement and prepared for the good times ahead.

Anyway, attired in my fancy dress (score one for Ebay), I set to work finding something to do during my beach trip. A mollusk shell cut the bottom of my left foot.  (It burned with the rage of sea water and sand.) So I set about taming the elements to my will!

I also learned that my parents hadn’t lied. If you feed the seagulls…they will poop on you. And it so isn’t lucky like pigeon. (Seagulls never fail to impress me with their intelligence though, so I forgive ’em. Way back when I was a small lass, a seagull unzipped my father’s duffel bag and grabbed the doughnut he had stored inside of a paper bag. Dad was thoroughly pissed and held it against all seagulls. I was awed.)

Right, so, black tie and shells. People were pleased with my bizarre art project, which in turn transformed me into a smiling dope. (Aha, see, mollusk, you might have injured me, but the lasting delight of happy beachgoers defeats you!) A sweet Asian couple insisted on taking pictures of the shells, and the woman even borrowed my camera to take of picture of me with the shells.

Oh, while the spirals began randomly, it quickly spiraled (no pun intended) into an artistic display for a friend, Ariel, and the traumatizing manga she once shared with me, Uzumaki by Junji Ito. Basically, spirals are nightmare fuel. Clowns, vampires, and monsters have nothing on spirals. Yeerks still trump spirals for fear factor though. (Seriously, one of the most terrifying things I have ever read. If you like horror and finding the terrifying images scarred into your mind for all time, then you should check it out!)

Another angle of the shells from above.

Crab claw

Close up of mollusks.

Portrait of me with the shells.

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September 18, 2010

Wavering Bridge

Filed under: Uncategorized — by justatiltedlamp @ 11:06 pm

This business of a juggling a job and an internship has had the bad habit of leaving me worn out and wincing at the prospect of looking at a computer screen. (I have learned the hard way that I get killer headaches if I stare at computers for too long. Twenty hours straight for my job. Some hours at the internship. Plus a ton more hours when I read manuscripts and partials for the internship during my spare time.)

Luckily, my job ends next week. I probably shouldn’t be greeting the prospect of unemployment with giddy relief, but while the paycheck is nice…I can’t imagine spending much more time data-mining. I have been putting some thought into what I will do in my upcoming spare time. Read. Draw. Write. Possibly look into another part-time job, preferably education-related. My old grade school has an afterschool program that I have been eyeing. Working with kids without being expected to go anywhere near a computer? Ho’baby, count me in. At a place full of nostaglic memories? A school that I know that I love and still has teachers that I adored?

I am a little worried that they’ll reject me. (THE HORROR.) But I suppose it’s worth a try. Heck, I even have prior experience working in their program, though it wasn’t official or anything. My father did not want me attending afterschool, which would’ve be fine, y’know, if he wasn’t miserably late every time he to pick me up. I spent afternoons hiding in the hallway. Eventually folks caught on, and I was offered a position as an art assistant for the art program. This allowed me to attend afterschool without paying, and had the bonus factor of meaning I got to help teach. It was what first clued me into how I really enjoyed working with kids. (This is me wavering between career paths. Books? Kids? Maybe I should look into wild life rehab. OR WHO KNOWS.)

But yeah, I am tired. Beset with headaches. And will work on updating on a better schedule once I am merrily unemployed.

September 2, 2010

The Ghosts of Queries Rejected

Filed under: Uncategorized — by justatiltedlamp @ 10:13 pm

My first day at my internship was yesterday. After managing to successfully arrive several minutes early, I was kindly directed to the slush pile until the agent arrived to provide with further instructions. Oh, the slush pile. Compared to data-mining, it is so refreshing and wonderful. On the other hand, I facepalm at some of the mistakes authors make. (Now the constant blog posts by agents begging writers to PLEASE FOLLOW THEIR INSTRUCTIONS and, y’know, make sure that the agent actually covers the type of work, are pretty understandable, if this is what they have to trudge through on a daily basis.)

Man, I should really make up my mind if I’m revealing names and the agency. Wariness goes here. Um. Until I ask permission, I’ll stick to this mysterious business.

I was given a nifty packet of information, instructions, and samples, which will be my Ten Commandments until further notice. Questions were encouraged and answered quite well! And I was privy to listening to conversations of much excellence and humor. (Not that I contributed myself. Being a shy thing. At times. I will settle eventually.)

Anyway, I spent last night haunted by a couple of the queries that I passed on. (WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.) I find myself questioning my decisions, but…they were made relatively early on. When I was fresh! And reading at my best. I think it’s just that the more I read, the quality of the ones that followed made the earlier pair seem that much better? For one, I adored the idea, but I couldn’t get into the voice. It didn’t seem to grasp the character’s situation. The other didn’t exactly fall into the works covered by the agency, but the prose was pretty good, and I was kind of intrigued.

Maybe it’s the guilt about turning away writers who went through so much effort to write their books and pursue their dreams coming to weigh upon my consciousness. …Although, now that I am reading manuscripts, I am beginning to feel reaffirmed in my decisions.

I suppose this will become easier with time.

In other news, Tom attempted to gouge out my left eye. He mainly got a chunk of eyelid, but, um, it hurts to blink. This is definitely the best condition to be in when I have four manuscripts to read.

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