Warning: Doesn’t work well with others

In the art world, it is inevitable, you have to work with others, especially if you are like me, who works somewhat with print in the visual arts and can’t draw their way out of a paper box.

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Seriously, my stick figures don’t even look like a 5 year old drew them.
My excitement of my visual art idea quickly fades every time I think about having to work with others because frankly every experience minus one (my children’s book project) that I have had, had majorly failed.
It started back when I was a fresh-eye college student. I had a plan for a fem-fatal graphic novel and a friend who was an art major in a near-by college. He had already had some successful with his post-it-note paintings, so I was majorly excited when he approached me about a collaboration.
I spent the better back of four months, drafting and conceptualizing a story (it sits still on my laptop, I need to rework it for a novel now), sending him drafts, getting feedback, waiting for the drawing to begin.
He even sent me a couple of rough sketches.
But then, I got a boyfriend.

Then poof. Nothing. Nada. Won’t return my phone calls/text.

When he finally gets around to answering me, he comes up with the excuse that I’m not invested (after i did all of my end of work) and scraps the project.

Months, hours, days wasted on a script I will have to completely retool to be readable.

I would like to say this is an isolated incident, but it isn’t.

Time after time, other artist I have worked with have bailed, and it doesn’t matter if they are “professional” artist or a “novice”, but I end up pointlessly excited and doing way to much leg work to have it fall through.

I’m starting to feel like I’m cursed, and I’m starting to want to mostly go solo, but art for an extrovert isn’t much fun when you are always solo.

Has anyone else had this experience?

marching towards the light, erasure poem by Rachael Stanford (Half New Year Poetry Series)

My poem is live,check it out 🙂

Silver Birch Press

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marching towards the light
by Rachael Stanford

My dream — wearing a wedding dress
it didn’t fit, the hem was caked
with dried mud, a tattered veil

he, a dank cave,
an old fashioned white cloth
half woven

and he was staring right at me,
like I was a TV program,
he’d been waiting for.

My dream-self was slow
taking in the stalactite ceiling,
the stench of growling
bleating sounds that echo from behind
blocking the room’s only exit — a cavern
beyond.

“please I don’t have the strength,
you have to hear me!”

SOURCE:  Percy Jackson and the Olympians Book Two : The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, 2006).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is based on a page from a Percy Jackson YA novel. In writing the poem, I wanted to retain the original feel of the page but change and tweak it to elicit…

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Ink love for your favorite book?

Buzzfeed had a fun little article about 50 amazing tatoos inspired by Children’s classics (though I would agrue that some books such as The Little Prince are better read by adults!)

I won't lie, I am now craving this.....

I won’t lie, I am now craving this…..

Most of the pieces are fairly creative and well done. And it got me thinking, do you have any literary ink? (If so please post pics below in commment section!)

Would you get a permant marking of your favorite work? Or do you think tattooing your favorite childhood work is just a bad idea?

oh the things we could have done….

oh the things we could have done, if we only took the first step.

Yet here I am, a city deer starring at the blurring headlight sun, one foot hanging, delicately balancing, refusing to take the first step.

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I had a lot of plans this year, plans which I have absolutely sucked at. Life, my impossible high standards, and fate aside (it’s been on heck of a year emotionally), I have made inlets this year: poems and plays published, a job in teaching, another prospective job (I’ll blog about it later) in teaching play-writing to little nugs, work beginning on my graphic novel as well as my kid’s books (yay!!!!) and an ever growing blog audience (you guys rock).

…But there’s on thing I linger on…….

Releasing my ebook of plays.

It’s been available on the Nook now for a month, maybe two. Tucked away, unpublicized by my fear of something.

And the insane thing, I don’t much care how much money I make. It’s low priced, I might even put it a bit lower.

All I really want if for people to read my previously published plays and maybe, if they like them, throw up a show of their own.(Though a bit of an extra income is always nice as well.)

I need to release it and move on. I need to figure if five people buy it and read it, it was worth the effort of editing and the pain of my ego.

I think I’m going to do it this week.

Stay tuned.

Storytelling lessons learned from the (failed) HIMYM final

I was one of those who fell into watching How I Met Your Mother; namely, I had Netflix and time on my hands. It wasn’t amazing but it was OK…..

In the end, I would call myself a semi-devoted fan, I liked it. I liked the characters, the story was ok, and by the end I just wanted to meet the mother…..

And like most fans, I found the final to be a slap in the face, and came away thinking, why did I waste my time watching this series, for this final. Not only was I disappointed but I was angry…….

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I understand that this is the writer’s stories and as such they can do what they want, however; there were several mistakes which were made (which we as storytellers can learn from) :

1.Pacing matters: First, the final season’s pacing was way too slow. It was bloated. Instead of advancing the plot, the story turned to self-congratulatory and self-absorbed flashbacks.  But, within that, the writers of HIMYM spent a year of the viewer’s life focused on Barney and Robin’s wedding. What does this do? It focuses the viewer’s attention on the couple as well as created an investment of time and emotion in the development of the couple. Then, they promptly dissolved the couple within the first 15 minutes of the show. Oh you can argue well that’s life…but that comes to our second point:

2. Genre conventions: Sitcoms (or comedies) like most genres come with a certain set of expectations and conventions. You can break those conventions but you better have a good reason for doing this or face the readers/viewers wrath. The HIMYM final failed to have any real reason explained for this slide into drama.

3. Character Development: HIMYM spent nine years developing characters. Again it spent the better part of the year giving Ted the balls to walk away from the dysfunctional and cold Robin, and Barney the insight to heal his awful self-esteem and view of women, to again within the lesser part of the hour, have the characters slide back to their old way, for no real reason or purpose.

“Barney and Robin had issues because she worked a lot, so hey who cares that he spent the better part of two years trying to be a “decent” person, let’s just make him a slut puppy again because it’s funny!”

4. Reader’s (Viewer’s) Expectations: The title says it alone. This is a story of “How I Met Your Mother,” and the better part of nine seasons were spent building up this epic romance of Ted and his wife. Episode after episode allude to it. To then what, introduce her for one season, again building it for their meeting: One hour. One hour in which she promptly dies. And then the worst part:

5. Negating the entire point of the series: The final turned what was suppose to be a cute story about true love, into a pitch to Ted’s teen children on why he should date their “aunt” Robin, who Ted has apparently been pinning after, maybe all along. Instead of celebrating his love of their mother, she is relegated to a place filler that Ted might have been happy with, all while probably still harboring a flame for Robin. To make this worse, Robin spends half of the final lamenting how she should have married Ted (probably because within their dysfunctional relationship, she could do no wrong) while Ted is with the mother.

In short, the final rewrote the meaning of the series. This wasn’t a story about hapless in love Ted growing up and finding adult true love, rather it was about the inability of Ted to ever move on from a doomed and one-sided relationship with an egomaniac. Ted kinda comes off as a creep and a loser. And there dysfunctional relationship can now envelope to innocent teens…….

Awesome.

When your give birth to your literary babies

Poetry may be dead, but poets aren’t!

I woke up on Monday with two bittersweet emails. Two of my poems had been accepted for publication in Cool Etc! a few new online journal. One of which was a baby of  mine, Loaded Gun, Twice Fired. I wrote this poem about 8 years ago (wow I’m getting old) for a class in poetry. The assignment was to finish the Emily Dickinson poem, My life has stood a loaded gun. I ended up with a poem that I loved that stood a lone or in tandem to the original piece. But after I got out of college, I had a heck of a time trying to publish it, because it was “too traditionally.” I refused to give up, and now, my baby shall see the light of day. It’s an odd feeling though, to be done with a piece I tweaked and changed some many times throughout the year, but greatly satisfying. Image
In addition, my poem, The river bed, was also published! This wasn’t a baby of mine, rather a poem I wrote while spending a day walking along the Mackinaw river.

It’s pleasures like this that make a rainy Wednesday much more enjoyable. I hope you liked my work.