Archives for posts with tag: writing
  1. Finishing (read: starting) the paintings I begged my mom to let me do for her office
  2. Writing for Everything is Problematic, that little website I’m supposed to run
  3. Writing anything at all.
  4. Putting together my portfolio. 
  5. Making graphics for Donna Says
  6. Writing an email to Natasha to find out how her time in Peru has been.
  7. Making a journal to put recipes in
  8. Reading one of the many books I have started and not finished (The Romantics, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, The Sound and the Fury, and possibly more)
  9. Working for my dad so I have money to pay for (1) a $50 donation to the Tomorrow Kickstarter, (2) a car, (3) gas and insurance for the car I hope I’ll actually have one day soon, (4) books that I will read more promptly, (5) books that I will read eventually, (6) a donation of at least $25 to the ATX Television Festival Kickstarter.
  10. Writing television recaps or reviews, which could serve as potential employment and apply to my career field of choice.
  11. Blog things that people will read.
  12. Searching Craigslist for a car.
  13. Looking for potential places of employment in LA.
  14. Going out in public.
  15. Sit ups.
  16. One of the many DIY projects suggested by my mother.

I used to think that if I could be paid to have ideas for things, it would be the greatest thing ever (and the perfect job).

I still think it would be pretty great, but maybe not all it was cracked up to be.

I never have a shortage of ideas. Ideas for blogs, for stories, for things to cook, for things people should invent (I swear I invited the Kindle at age 9), for all kinds of things. I have more ideas than I could ever possibly follow through with. Because of these many ideas, I start a lot of projects. I love projects.

The problem is, I have a hard time focusing my ideas from the massive web of things they could be into something manageable. Conversely, I get ideas, become really excited about them, and become obsessive. Everything becomes about that one thing– this is great and fulfilling and productive for a while, but if there’s not something adding fuel the steam fizzles before too long.

Today I’m feeling overwhelmed with projects and ideas.

I’m at something of a loss lately with the direction to take Everything is Problematic in. Because the contributors are so spread out we can’t have meetings like the team of a regular startup might, and it’s hard to create a central vision from the disbursal. I hadn’t factored those kinds of things in in advice, but it turns out they’re a really big deal. Communicating over the internet (both with contributors and with the blogs audience) often makes me feel like I’m really just talking to myself, which can be disheartening.

I think part of the problem is that my projects are usually not things that have a clear end, so I can spend forever working on them, which seems nice at times but eventually there has to be an end or at least some kind of final goal, otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels.

I’ve been doing very little writing lately. In terms of EiP I have many a file of first paragraphs and awesome titles, but little in the way of finished product. The stuff I have finished I’ve been less than pleased with (I don’t, generally, think it’s bad, it’s just not what I’d like it to be). I’m definitely a little desperate for possible reinforcement, which is never a great place to  be. As for creative writing… nada. I have an idea (go figure) that I’m pretty excited about, but I’ve just been plotting/playing with it in my head. To be honest, I’m nervous about starting it (or anything) because I’ve been feeling so listless about my work.

My mom has been encouraging me to do more graphic/web design stuff for a while (I’m basically the webmaster for her company website and I do all the promotional stuff- flyers, etc), and I’ve started considering it as a way to make extra money. I want to put together a portfolio of what I’ve done/my services, but at the moment I’m feeling freaked out about the whole thing. I’m worried about biting off more than I can chew. Or worse, finding there’s nothing to bite into at all (aka no one wants what I have to offer).

I pulled my journal from the rumble of my stuff (aka my rummaged through but not unpacked boxes) the other day to journal a little. I said I would do it every day, but haven’t written any sense then. I should probably do that so I at least have a manageable place to start.

Anxiety, man. That shit can be crippling.

I was wearing pajama-esque clothing all day, and putting on some jeans and putting my hair down actually did wonders. Maybe I’ll cook something (that is one project I always finish), or maybe I’ll at least find some recipes for stuff to cook tomorrow and get a fresh start on that in the morning.

may be starting a fun little project on tumblr inspired by Donna from Suits. But maybe not…

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. The windy weather here has kept me out of the pool the last few days, but tomorrow I’m determined to spend some time sunbathing.

P.S. Check out Suri’s Burn Book– it’s hilarious.

Pitzer College

Founded in 1963, Pitzer College was built upon four core values that reimagine the purpose of a college education in a progressively changing world. These values are social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy. Almost 50 years later, our students feel that our founding values help prepare them to address the issues of their time. How do you feel these values will help you find solutions to the evolving challenges of your generation?

More than even before, we live in a time of constant change. Sometimes slow, building changes which are often unrealized until they finally take hold, but also change which comes quickly— two years, a year, a few months. In the relatively brief period that I have been alive to witness these changes, the world is dramatically different. Yet even with changes in technology, law, and many other areas of life, many cultural narratives and societal ideals are virtually the same as fifty years ago and beyond. Some of these narratives serve us in a positive way, but to accept all of them on the basis of their familiarity or the fact that they have survived the ‘test of time’ is detrimental. More than anything it is important that my generation realize blindly accepting change as a sign of improvement or letting little change be enough change, regardless of circumstance, not only fails to advance us, it allows backslide. A commitment to social responsibility, one of Pitzer’s basic tenants, is key to such realizations and understanding.

Accepting social responsibilities means also accepting difference, accepting that different peoples hold different ideals and goals. Intercultural understanding is necessary make things better for all, rather than better for some— and subsequently worse for others. The necessity of intercultural understanding exists not just when dealing across countries and continents, but in daily and personal life. The United States is full of cultural and ethnic diversity and complexity, which should be embraced and celebrated.

Interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy are values that I find to be especially complementary because they encourage exploration and innovation. The problems faced by my generation, be they social or otherwise, require a willingness to step outside the box of preconceived notions. Not everyone wants to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician— people should not be forced into pursuits that others believe to be ‘necessary’ or ‘productive,’ instead they should be encouraged to what inspires them. Furthermore, what it means to be a doctor, or an engineer, or a politician is rapidly changing— they requiring people thrilled to undertake the challenge, not drones pushed into the field. The best that can be done is to encourage people to explore what they are passionate about, something which Pitzer does through emphasis on student autonomy. Only by investigating the full extent of our interests and the diverse directions they may lead will lasting improvements be made.

and wrote a scene instead of an essay for part of my Pitzer application. The prompt was to explain my dream job. The screenplay format went to hell posting it here, but you’ll get the idea:

 

INT. LOUNG – SAN DIEGO COMIC CON – day

MICHAEL AUSIELLO, a television journalist, sits in a plush arm chair. Across from him sits CHELSEE BERGEN on a couch, examining throw pillows with the faces of actors on them.

CHELSEE
What do I have to do to get my face on one of these? I guess people would have to recognize my face in order to want me on their throw pillows.

MICHAEL
Some people know your face.

CHELSEE
Yeah. Hardcore fans. But I mean, those guys know like the address of the childhood home of our secondary characters. But I think even they wouldn’t want my face on a pillow.

Chelsee holds up a pillow with the face of a handsome young actor next to her own. She laughs.

MICHAEL
Maybe they’ll start a line of executive producer pillows.

CHELSEE
Can I get some of those? Like, is it creepy if I’m hoping that J.J. Abrams style brilliance will rub off on me from a pillow? Executive producer pillows- that would be great.

MICHAEL
So, for those people who aren’t familiar with you- who don’t have a pillow with your face on it- can you give us an introduction to you and your show?

CHELSEE
God, I probably should have started with that instead of the pillows.
(laughs)
I’m Chelsee Bergen, I’m the show runner for a show called POINT PERDIEM, which is something of a sci-fi drama about this strange little town where time becomes… ambiguous. The show is in its fourth season on HBO, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve just been renewed for our fifth and final season.

MICHAEL
What has your experience been like working on the show? I mean a few years ago it didn’t seem like the show was even going to be picked up, now you’re headed towards a fifth season with a huge fan following- looking back on these past few years, what’s that like?

CHELSEE
I’ve got the best job in the world, I really do. Five years ago I could not have even conceived of the wonderful experience that this show has been. I get to show up to work everyday and talk with the most creative, some of the coolest and smartest people I’ve ever met, about stories and weird stuff and magic and science and whatever we want. The show had kind of a shaky start, so it really was trial by fire, trying to get our footing, but I’m surrounded by talented people- actors and writers and crew- that I want to work with for the rest of my life, really. Like, when the wonderful ride that is Point Perdiem finally ends I know I’ll take a deep breath, maybe a nap, and then I’ll start calling these people up and asking ‘What have you got for me? What do you want to do? What can we make happen?’ Cause that’s really what gets me exciting, getting to work with people and create new and interesting stuff. There’s nothing better than that.

My body is not feeling well. I do not approve of this. All I want to do is lay in bed, except I don’t have anything to do (this is a lie, I have plenty to do, just nothing that I want to do) and I can’t sleep. I figured now was the time for an update.

My reading was last night. Despite all the worrying (and doubting of my ability to write) it went really well. I definitely want to do it again. I ended up reading a short story I wrote last fall (which has now gone through 8ish revisions– the most any of my work has ever received) called ‘Cross my Heart’ about a girl with a congenital heart defect. I may post it later– I’m pretty proud of it. Natasha helped me (the night before) decide to read that.
There will probably be another reading in April, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to get in on. If not, I’ll definitely go to it, because it was really nice to hear other people’s writing. There were some really wonderful poets there, which inspired me to write a poem about Alex. It’s part collection of inside jokes, part story of our friendship. Hopefully I can make something of it.

I am always starting projects. I meant to write an entire blog post about it, but I’ve realized that if I don’t write a post within the first two-ish days of conceiving it, I never will (or will not be satisfied with the product when I try to). I spent a lot of time berating myself about starting more projects then I can finish– about not having more follow through, more polished work, more to show for all the idea I get invested in. I’ve decided instead to celebrate always having projects, new ideas. There will probably be a time later in my life when I can only have one project at a time, when I will need to finish (basically) everything I start, but now is not that time. For now I am going to follow my ideas where they take me, and rejoice in the fact that not having inspiration is never my problem.
Details about this latest project are fourth coming.

In a week I will be at home. This means having a kitchen! I always aspire to post awesome recipe posts with the food that I make (which involves taking copious photos with my iphone), but so far that hasn’t happened. Perhaps you’ll have some of those to look forward to. At the very least I will keep you updated on my adventures in Vegas.

Everyone should be watching Fringe. Especially if you were a fan of Lost. If you weren’t a fan of Lost, it doesn’t matter. The show literally has something for everybody– procedural elements, character development, science, science-fiction, character driven story, mythology, good looking actors, talented actors, humor, heartbreak. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? Definitely Top 5 Material.
Anyone who knows me knows how coveted those Top 5 spots are!

I now have a second favorite poem (my first favorite being Helen of Troy Does Counter Top Dances by Margaret Atwood): Aristotle by Billy Collins. You should read/listen to it.

I plan to read a lot over Spring Break, so expect some posts about reading material. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with a hot shower followed by the Footloose remake and some gluten free cookies.

1. The essayist will take pride in neuroses. He will go on an on about the joy of scratching his ear with a pencil or brag about how long he hasn’t driven a car.

2. Everyday outings, such as going to the grocery store, will become overwhelming adventures. Huge adventures, like swimming with whale sharks off the coast of the Yucatan, will sound like everyday activities.

3. You will never know where she is. She will insist on trying a diverse range of activities, from accordion lessons to firing a machine gun, claiming it is research for a “Never Have I Ever” column.

 

Ten Reasons Not to Sleep with an Essayist | Bark: A Blog of Literature, Culture, and Art.

 

This is great. #9 is my favorite.

In two weeks I’ll have the opportunity to read some of my writing in a showcase, along with two other undergrads and 5 or 6 graduate students. I am totally thrilled– MY WRITING WILL HAVE AN AUDIENCE. And what’s more authorial than doing a reading? Plus, being in undergrad in a showcase consisting mostly of grad students is really terrific.

Which brings me to the crux of this post– what the hell am I going to read? I have plenty of writing, so options isn’t a problem, but how do I pick? I have 5-7 minutes, which is a pretty sizable chunk of time, meaning I could read pretty much anything excepting a few of my more extensive short stories. But obviously I don’t want to read just anything- I want something polished, or at the very least in good shape. How do you know when something is really in its best shape!?

I think part of this worry is born out of the fact that I submitted a short story (which had already gone through six drafts) for work-shopping, and while everyone really liked it, their revision suggestions were pretty extensive. There’s nothing that requires me to make these revisions (or any at all), but I will because after seeing their commentary I agree (or mostly agree). So how can I know what’s in the best shape for reading? I guess the one consolation is that in my reading something no one is physically looking at the piece and can’t reread it, meaning that even if there is revising that needs to be done it’s much harder to tell.

Are some things better for reading than others? I mean outside of the general quality of the writing. I guess I already know that the answer to that is yes. Perhaps I need to pick out some potentials and just read them out loud. Maybe I can rope Belen or Lexi into listening, or maybe I’ll call someone- like Alex or Natasha.

At any rate, I’m excited and I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

Magpie to the Morning

I whispered his name, walking my fingers over his bare white chest. He

lurched away from me, jarred from sleep by spider-like fingers running across his skin when he should have been alone, asleep until noon… It was only a split second, the briefest moment, before his face clicked with recognition of my own. A blink.

He smiled warmly, sleep still clinging to his features.

“Hey.” His body relaxed, moving imperceptibly closer to where I stood. I smiled at him, feeling a kind of dizziness. Our fingers were intertwined, though I had no idea when our hands came together.

“Hi,” I said, wanting to be sleepy again, to be warm and quiet and still. There was a space for me in his bed, the alcove between him and the wall, my niche in his life.“I’m gonna go. I just wanted to let you know… So I wasn’t sneaking out on you.” As with our hands, our lips found their way to each other without effort.

“I have to go,” I breathed, trying to make clear that I wanted to stay. He could pull me down beside him, and I too could get lost in the sleepy dim light of his room…

“Okay.”

I had meant to sweep from the room, possessions in hand, closure intact, but suddenly my things were everywhere. How had so much of me found its way into this strange room? I forced a suede heel into my too-large purse.

“This was fun,” he said flatly. I winced.

“Yeah,” I said, surveying the room for lost objects, my unencumbered ease gone. When I had collected my things, I tried to ease the door open for my escape. It was a laborious process, full of strange maneuvers of objects and my body.

I allowed my self a last glance as I finally slipped through the door, hoping to freeze his face in my mind. He had rolled over, running to sleep, completely unaware as I disappeared into the morning light.

I just started digging through some old writing look for stuff worth revisiting. One of the things I went to was my Soundtrack to Your Life project from Modern Literature senior year. For those of you who don’t know about that project- we basically had to construct a memoir from 10+ pieces of writing which corresponded to events, feelings, or periods in our life– these pieces also had to correspond with a song (something that lyrically represents the feeling or event).

One of my pieces was a series of postcards, in the style of Perks of Being a Wallflower, addressing the days in and around my senior homecoming week. Each postcard had a picture from that week, then some bit of story addressed to an unknown person who was present at all those events. I hope that’s enough information.

I felt like sharing this, because it’s a really interesting piece of personal history. I made it a PDF and attached it to these posts for you to view (you’ll have to click the little link below, and it will bring up another window).

Because this is the ‘print’ version and I didn’t make any edits to it, the set up might be a little wonky. Read L to R, starting at the top. The photos correspond opposite (the top R photo belongs to the top L text)– that won’t really affect your reading, I just thought I would let you know.

Maybe this is too complicated and no one will actually look at the postcards.

Anyway- here they are:

 

Post Cards

It feels like the more I have going on, the more I have the write about, the less I actually want to write.

There’s something about writing that, while therapeutic in some ways, also makes things seem… more real. More permanent. There’s something sacred about writing, about the things we put in to writing… and I just feel like I only want to write… I don’t even know what.

Sometimes I want to write about something but just can’t bring my self to do it. It hurts almost.

Sometimes I feel like it’s my responsibility to write. Like I have to put down my experiences because I can, and maybe some one else needs them- needs to understand what these things feel like, or else needs to know that someone else feels the same. But some times that’s hard. Really hard.

Maybe if I force myself to journal I’ll feel better.