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Archive for February, 2011

Here’s the rundown:

First off, this is only connected to my Twitter account. So I hope one of you is reading this entry and can come up with an optimal solution or something that may help me.

However, the help I seek is simply to help me help out a friend of mine.

He lives in Washington. We’ve known each other for about… six going on seven years now. He has no job, but he has had jobs before at Safeway and Goodwill. Quit at Safeway, Goodwill pretty much fired him for “poor attendance”, even though he showed up to work every single day. Anyway, he wants to go to the Art Institute of Seattle, which is very expensive. His father is encouraging – not pressuring, but encouraging him to apply there already. The rest of the family is also supportive of him.

The problem is that they pretty much do not have that much money, and probably don’t know the first thing about financial aid or the FAFSA. Plus, he graduated from high school I think…. in 2004 or 2005? I mean, it never is too late to go to school, right? Plus, it would open up so many windows of opportunity for him if he did the school thing because a lot of jobs require  a undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree, and most of the jobs he wants have that qualification on the list.

I’m trying to see how I can help him. He said that he could probably afford it if he got a grant or a scholarship, but I have absolutely NO idea what sort of scholarships are out there and what could qualify for him to pretty much… well, I don’t know. I want him to go to school as well because everyone else in his family does, and he wants it too, but I am just at a loss here.

So, since I can’t seem to figure it out, you tell me. What sort of scholarships are out there in the world?

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Hello, my name is Dmitry and I’m a writer. Some people also call me Mitya. But on several writing communities, I am known as DimiTheDominator, or just Dimi.

For a long time, I have been writing. Lots of people have told me, “you are a writer at heart”, “writing is in your blood”, and “you are your dad’s son.” That last one is relevant because my father himself is a relatively well-known writer, but some people who I’ve come to know in the past couple of months have never even heard of him until I mentioned, which is always nice to bring in new fans – err…well…umm. Anyway, enough about that.

I can’t even tell you when I first began writing. I think it was when I was about ten years old. Maybe. It was definitely after the CD of Carmen Sandiego’s Great Chase Through Time/Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego? was released. I recall a point in the game where the setting was Japan, and one Murasaki Shikibu (Lady Murasaki) was missing a page that she wrote for The Tale of Genji, and according to Wikipedia, since I can’t check any other source to provide me with semi-reliable information (good thing this isn’t a topic for an essay, but if it was, oh my god I’d have so much fun writing it), The Tale of Genji is apparently the earliest known novel in human history. Two years later, I remembered about this book and I wanted to buy it to read it. That was both the best and the worst ever decision, literature-wise, that I had ever made. Why the best? Because I loved to read to get my writing skills improved. Why the worst? Because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. That book alone has over one thousand pages.  I think the exact amount was, oh, I’d say…1347? I don’t know, that’s just a guesstimate. I still have the book. It’s hiding in plain sight at my house. To this day, I am still reading it. I’m on page 546, or something like that. I can’t believe I haven’t finished it. That’s even worse than only being halfway through with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though you can’t really compare the two. But anyway…

I used to write because I was trying to impress my father, who I always considered to be the better, or rather, the only good writer in the family. Although I was merely basing his talent off of his success. To me, my last name is a label. A label that’s pretty much what I thought would be unfair advantage and a one-way ticket to success in the business of writing and publishing. You know, not exactly equal opportunity. I never once wrote with the thought, “damn, my work should be published somewhere because I think it’s good.” I started out with poems. Little ones. Haiku. And then I moved on to bigger and better things – blog posts, short stories, and hell, even novels.

Ah, novels. That’s right. I’ve known about National Novel Writing Month for quite a few years now. My first attempt, albeit unofficial, was in 2006. I don’t remember ever registering an account name there, and if I did, it’s long gone by now because I don’t think I ever really accessed it at all, so I had to make a new alias for myself on the site regardless of whether I joined or not. Anyway, the 2006 attempt is still undetermined whether it hit 50k words or not. I literally do not know if I won the challenge or failed at it miserably. Either way, in 2007 I forgot about the challenge completely. In 2008…I found out about it the month after it was already over. December. And in 2009, I made my “comeback” in September. I didn’t know who I was writing for. I got 70,048 words on my first and still to this day only complete novel, The Hunt for Lane, and I’m very happy about it. On Facebook, a lot of people were asking me,

“So when is that thing getting published? No idea what it’s about, but I’d love to read it.”

“Where can I buy that book? Of course I’d need some money to afford it first.”

“When you get this published, I want a complimentary copy. Autographed, of course.”

And variations of the statement with the words “book/novel” and “published” written all over them.

This got me thinking… just who the hell am I even writing for to begin with?

My father was impressed with a small piece of my novel when I was translating ten pages of it into Russian, so that made my intention of “I’m writing to measure up to my father and his skill and talent” be…well, fulfilled, for lack of a better word. So I can’t be writing for him anymore.

For NaNoWriMo 2009 and 2010, I didn’t feel like I was writing for fun, even. I felt like I was writing for a region. That my word count mattered more for its statistics than myself. And it did. It kind of felt horrible. Very horrible.

Around this time, February of last year, I wrote the last chapter – or rather, the epilogue, to my ’09 NaNo. Since NaNo ’10 ended, I haven’t written a damn thing except that horrible piece of garbage that was 21,000 words long in January that only like…12% of it was actual “novel”, if you could even CALL it that. The rest was just dumb rambling about nothing significant. I didn’t have fun writing it. And I failed JanNoWriMo. But that’s okay.

 

It is now February 2011, and I am not writing, although I do wish to write… but I simply cannot. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

I am not writing for publication (at least not yet). I am not writing for a target audience. I am not writing for anyone who demands it. I am writing for me. And sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not.

NaNoWriMo 2010

I spent most of November 2010 writing a novelization of a comic I was doing at a different online community. It was going well, and I was keeping up with the legendary sushimustwrite for quite a while, until…well, lets just say something came up and I had writer’s block. Anyway, I met more people throughout this time period, attempted (and failed) the 50kweekend challenge, invaded the NaNoLanta chatroom…I had fun, but I still feel like I wasn’t writing for me. I just wanted to not continue with it anymore, even though I’d already ‘won’ NaNo by the 6th day, it seemed pointless to continue. And… it was, and it wasn’t all at the same time. I don’t know how to explain it. If any of the NanoLanta people (or even pseudo-NaNoLanta people such as myself and a few others) are reading this right now, I miss the times when chat wasn’t so empty. I go in there every now and then to see if anyone is still in there, and it’s basically a dead zone. I loved getting to know you all, even if we still don’t really all know each other at all. I just… I don’t know. I miss you, I miss the chatroom, I miss NaNoWriMo and… it’s just not the same.

I can’t even seem to write for fun now, because it’s not. I tried opening my NaNo ’10 file and get an ending accomplished. What did I do instead?  I started reading it from the beginning. The file had 237. I got to page 30 and…I was crying. It was mostly the scenes though that were real tear-jerkers. I was impressed with myself. I’ve never been impressed with myself. I also read my NaNo ’09, and I didn’t really like it that much. But this… this was just beautiful. I couldn’t believe it. I think I said to myself, “Okay, who the hell wrote this? I want to meet th–OH MY GOD IT WAS ME. I DON’T WRITE THIS WELL. I NEVER  WROTE THIS WELL, AND YET…”

I miss NaNoWriMo. I miss knowing that others are writing with me, no matter where in the world. I miss updates like the last bit of the above paragraph. I miss word wars and word sprints. I miss outlining and researching things for plot related things. I miss being able to write three thousand words per day no questions asked. I miss the fast paced and catchy writing soundtrack. I miss it all.

That’s all for now.

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At this very moment in time,

I just can’t sleep tonight.

And thoughts dance in my head

Of us all lying dead.

The next day we awake

The choices we must make

Await us in the end.

Now is not the time for silly rhymes. No matter how creative one can be, now is the time for more pressing matters and issues. Rest is not allowed. In one’s life there comes a time where they are faced with the first step of becoming an adult, or something close to such: A little thing I like to call responsibility. Nobody wants to do things because they have to be done. Nobody. But just because none of us hold the desire to, does that mean we shouldn’t? Absolutely not. It seems get yourself in gear, and focus on what lies ahead, not what will stay behind after you move on. You’re not supposed to look back. You’re never supposed to look back. You’re supposed to keep going. I learned that the hard way.

My high school experiences had not been the best ever, and were certainly not the worst ever. Essentially, I was still very young and learning to grow up, and even though I didn’t like a great number of the people there, I made friends as well as possibly a few enemies, but that was okay, because both of those types of people back then helped shape me into the person I am today, and I have to admit I think they did a pretty good job. I’m surprised I’m still around, actually. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my good circle of friends (and although I think they will never see this, there is a slight chance that they might somehow stumble upon this page – I just want to say to you guys, if/when you get the chance to read this, that I love you all and I wouldn’t trade our friendship for anything in the world. It’s not just something I can throw away. And I hope that you’ll be with me. Forever. Supportive and all that good stuff. Thanks for being there for me since 7th grade. You’re all pretty amazing.) Anyway, in May 2009, I will admit I kind of felt…guilty about going on with my life. I was going to go to college. At first, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, “Oh my god. I’m going to be a college student in August. I don’t…I don’t believe it. I never thought this was going to happen.” And all my friends left for different colleges, either a college in a different part of the city/town/whatever the hell where I live is considered, or in colleges that were either out of state or in a different city, even. Anyway, we all said our goodbyes, and I was pretty much the only one who stayed in town. I was so depressed. This meant I’d have to find new friends. That scared me for a little while. I really didn’t know what to do. I’ve always had a problem socializing, and this was no different. I just didn’t know what to do anymore. It was like….It was like I didn’t want to go to college now. Nobody really wanted to go to college if it meant leaving everyone and everything behind. I still have the terrible memory of graduation night, where before the ceremony even began and hours before we had to be at the venue for it, I recall either having lunch or sitting in the car with my mom, talking about this whole mess. The following conversation occurred.

“Mom?”

“What is it?”

“…Do you think I’ll ever see any of them again? I mean, Lynn and Debby are going to college in another state. Anne and Kelly are going to be going to the same college, but in a different city. And everyone else….I just feel like it’s not meant to be. Like I’m not ready for this. Like this shouldn’t happen. Why must we all separate, and then drift apart?…I don’t want to make new friends. Probably nobody would like me anyway. I don’t think I can do this.”

I say to myself,

Why do I look back?

The yearbooks on my shelf

are a part of my past.

Both covers signed, by people thought to be friends

turns out at the same, signing yearbooks was just a trend.

All hopes shattered – nothing mattered.

New life and new friends would form over time.

And I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. I made it to college. I made friends. I went to classes. I studied, did homework. I hated leaving all my other friends behind (even though I never moved, they’re the ones that left me), but…for some reason I can’t stop thinking about them. When I moved on to the chapters of my life reflecting on all four years of college, I told myself I wouldn’t think about them or high school at all because it didn’t bring back many good memories. I didn’t want to remember them. I don’t know why I did. But I did. And now, I keep looking through old photo albums, and I miss every single one of them. Even if I see two out of those friends almost every day at the most random times, we’re supposed to be close friends, and we pretty much drifted apart after graduation occurred. May 19th, 2009 was a terrible day for me, and a wonderful day for others.

They say, “It’s not ‘goodbye’. It’s ‘see you later’,” but that doesn’t change the fact that it makes it even more depressing to think about it. Because, I can tell you right now, it’s been “later” for me for a long time – and I still haven’t seen them all.

Return to me, my friends.

I miss you.

You were a great part of my life, and I want you back.

We shall cross paths again in due time.

The last four words.

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