Multiple Enthusiasms

Infinite jest. Excellent fancy. Flashes of merriment.

Category: imagery

When I first started the new blog, I meant Imagery to be not just pictures but videos as well, and not just videos like my cousin playing his guitar. I’ve gotten sidetracked lately, admittedly; I have lots of pictures to post, but my first and greatest priority for the past two months was revising The Prodigal Hour.

Now that I’m done, though, and now that I’m even in the process of submitting for representation, I can do more of what I originally intended.

Including videos like this:

This is “How the World Will End,” from my debut collection Entrekin, and honestly, it’s much how I envisioned it in my head.

So now you get to see it.

Hopefully, this will reduce the ambiguity Emily Veinglory complained of in her review of the freeview. I generally tried to be as explicit as I could without becoming actually graphic, but I was trying to capture something simple: if the world were to end right now, if the news were interrupted to report Iran had launched a nuclear attack on the US and there really was no hope for survival, well, I’d want to spend my remaining time makin’ love.

Anyway, that’s the story and its Imagery; as this is the first one, I’m cross-posting it to both blogs. Mostly to announce it.

I have plans for more, I think. But this, as well as the usual pictures, is what to expect.

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.

(edit: unfortunately, I was informed that one of the images I had used was actually the work of an artist who hadn’t licensed his work under Creative Commons, which was the impression I had been working with. While I sort the issue out, I’m pulling the link and the video itself. I’ll repost if I can.


Forgot to mention:

Several new posts over at et cetera, including Jo Rowling’s commencement at Harvard and Chris Meeks’ Hollywood book launch party (Be there or be square, baby!).

Also, New picture at Imagery.

What? I told you I was going to get better about updating them. And I actually like how it all works when I maintain them all. Cross pollination, so to speak, or whathaveyou.

As you may or may not have noticed (if you read this on any regular basis), I became a little too busy in the past few weeks to keep up with Imagery and et cetera. But that’s okay; I got lots of pictures and even some videos from the road that I’ll be posting to the former on a more regular basis, and let’s face it, the publishing industry moves at a glacial enough pace that missing out on a couple of weeks of news doesn’t make much difference (NEWS: books were published! People read them! Some even liked some of them!).

But anyway, here’s a new picture at Imagery; it’s of my final image of USC.

And in et cetera, a couple of publishing manifestos from people contemplating the future of books, as well as the Los Angeles Times’ evisceration of James Frey’s new A Bright Shiny Morning, which sounds like it’s every bit as bad as A Million Little Pieces, only just not pretending to be true.

But finally, one of the reasons I think I’m going to be able to keep up better again; everything at USC is done, handed in, graded, and finalized. I got my final semester grades; I pulled a 3.8. Back when I was an undergraduate, that would have meant I graduated summa cum laude; I’m not sure if that’s the case in graduate school, but still, I’m happy with my performance. Two B+s on my transcript, but one came from Irvin Kerschner and the other came from Janet Fitch, and hell, that’s cool by me.

Now, on the other end of things, I have somewhat mixed feelings about most MFA writing programs, but I can honestly say that going to Los Angeles was one of the single greatest decisions I ever made in my life, and, I think, helped determine the future course of it. I’m in a ludicrous amount of debt and now have to figure out what I’m going to do with a degree in writing, of all things, but still, baby, while it lasted, it was one for the books.

Well. What it would look like if I had a million dollars. At Imagery.

I’ve discovered I can use Twitter to do the little heads-ups, like, “Hey, I posted a picture,” or “Hey, here’s some book news.”

It’s not pretty; I don’t actually host this blog myself, yet, and doesn’t allow certain embeddings, like the flash/java required for the Twitter badge. But it allows the RSS feed, which you can see in the sidebar just to your left.

There’s a bit of a delay (between ten minutes and nearly an hour), but pretty soon a note will appear that I’m in class/teaching/grading today, but have posted the last of the fountain pictures at Imagery.

Now that it’s in the Twitter thing, though, I don’t think I’ll do any more heads-ups. Feels extraneous, after all.

New pictures today, over at Imagery.

In the meantime, off to class. Catch you on the flippy.

A sort-of photostory at Imagery.

Class day. I’ve been trying to inspire students by empowering them; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. My prompt this time around uses Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking as an example of satire to examine the form’s efficacy in argument, commentary, and persuasion. Mostly, anyway. I mean, that’s the idea, at least. Really, the point of the prompt is the point of the class (and it’s very nearly the point of the movie): any intelligent person should be able to acknowledge every complex issue as beyond issues of ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ and realize that every argument has its counter.

Today, one of my students surprised me. We had a speaker-series evening this week, where a Democrat and a Republican were meant to discuss the mobilization of young voters but which actually became a debate about technology and its efficacy. Which wasn’t bad, exactly, but seemed to be the wrong issue. The Republican called this “Politics for the iPod Generation,” and effused about how great technology is. At one point, he mentioned Live-Aid and how excellent it was that it had increased awareness of how many people in the world were starving.

I wanted to get up and say, well, perhaps, but how many of them are now eating.

Because awareness is all well and good, but should not be confused with action.

One other thing I mentioned was this iPod thing; not everyone has one, certainly. USC is smack between Compton and Watts, in Los Angeles; we get reports from the Department of Public Safety everyday, concerning muggings and etc. And I asked how many people around us actually had iPods, or access to the technology.

And my student raised his hand and said, sure, but one might wonder whether those people vote, anyway.

And it stopped me. Brilliant.

It brings up whole other issues, of course, but that’s beside the point. I was just thrilled to catch them thinking (rather than, you know, sleeping, which has occurred a few times this semester, now).

One thing I’ve noticed is that I think some of these students feel like those people who don’t vote. They seem to continuously seek “the right answer,” while the whole point of the course is that there isn’t one; there’s only their answers. Their papers don’t depend on what they say but how they make their case.

I think they’re getting it.

Here’s hoping.

By the way, new pictures over at Imagery.

Lecture first, then class, then office hours . . . I’m out for several hours.

Some pictures of where I’ll be at Imagery, though.

Over at Imagery.

I finally got the video of my cousin playing a sexhityune working!

It’s over at Imagery.


Not long ago, for my business course, I had to do some market research for ‘competitive’ projects; books or other media that were somewhat like mine but not so much. Acknowledging there’s anything out there remotely similar is difficult; whoever wants to admit that their stories aren’t actually unique? One’s first instinct, often, is to point out differences; no, that’s not at all like what I did. My characters are like this. Etc.

While browsing through time travel fiction on Amazon, though, I encountered a novel called Discipline, by Paco Ahlgren I’ll admit I clicked through, at first, based on its cover; it really is a good-looking book, with a well designed (if rather vague, now that I think about it) cover. Its description mentioned quantum mechanics, time travel, and Buddhism, and I was all kinds of like “Sold.” It also mentioned chess, which is up there with golf in terms of activities I just don’t get, but I figured, hey, I’ll give it a go anyway.

The novel follows Jasper Cole as he learns about some unique abilities he has. It’s approximately like The Matrix, story-wise, except without the Matrix thing itself, which I liked; Ahlgren sets everything pretty much here and now, and its ‘fantasy’ elements can be explained away to quantum physics/mechanics. Uncertainty principles and the like.

This is an idea I’ve been fascinated with; the question of reality, and what it means. There are places where philosophy and quantum physics supercollide, and this novel is sort of about them.

It’s not perfect. There are some long sections of pretty much completely expository dialogue, where one character explains something to another pretty much for the sake of the reader. Cole, too, comes off like a whiny little bitch sometimes because his mentors feel, at moments, that he is not yet ready for new concepts, which would be fine except one gets the impression Ahlgren is simply holding his cards just yet, which makes Cole reader-proxy. It clunks down at times, and it neither starts nor ends well; I get the sense it’s because it’s the first in a planned series, but still it could have satisfied more.

At the same time I ordered Alhgren’s, I ordered Caprice Crane’s new book, Forget About It. The premise is rather awesome; a girl with a life she doesn’t much like gets into an accident, so she fakes amnesia for a ‘do-over.’ I was a huge fan of Crane’s first novel, Stupid and Contagious, with which this new one shared its wit and charm.

It isn’t quite without its problems, either; for a do-over, its protagonist, Jordan, starts down pretty much the same path she’d led before. She’s a bit of a pushover (which is part of the premise), but she also seems like she tries her best to avoid every confrontation she could have with people. Which is true to life, certainly, but novels aren’t life.

Overall, I enjoyed it for what it was; light and fun, with some romance and plenty of humor.

So what was the last good book you read? I’m looking for suggestions for my next read.

And by the way, A couple new photos (again of fountains) over at Imagery.

Visit Imagery for a picture of a splashy fountain!

If you’re into that sort of thing.

I mean, I am.


Getting back into the ole’ blogging swing of things, working out kinks as I go.

I’ve decided I’m going to pretty consistently post a note here when I put anything up over at Imagery. There are another couple pictures over there since last I mentioned it here.

Also, a new blog: et cetera. I’m keeping this one as a news-ish sort of blog; links to news, reviews, interviews, and, basically, et cetera will go over there. Two posts to start with; the first with iPhone pictures, and the second collecting all of the Entrekin reviews to date.

I’m going to be working out further kinks as I go. Expect more in the way of links, a better set up, and probably a redesign of the homepage.

Hope you like what I’m doing with the place. If you have any suggestions, or there’s anything in particular you want to see, let me know, and I’ll see about incorporating them.

In which my cousin plays his guitar.

I’m in class all day. But happy Saturday.

Teaching today. Picture at Imagery.

I might stop with the heads-ups; it’s getting pretty consistent across both blogs, now. We’ll see. Oh, and you can comment over there, too. Should work.

Because I’m off to school today.

Have a good one in the meantime.

At Imagery.