Friday, October 24, 2008

Pre-TV ... in D

This is entitled  

"Pre-TV reflections as to why I've been so Wildly unproductive as of late set to vaguely generic acoustic stacatto: Neuroses in the key of D"

Autumnly Embraces,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slap in the facebook

Dear Facebook,

Have I not been faithful? Do five years of procrastinatory devotion, tagging, friending, poking, and lastminute birthday reminders mean nothing to you? Our voyeurism orgies? The good times? I don't even have a myspace you miserable humanizer! I gave you my all.

Alas, despite my dedication and allaround awesomeness you have forsaken me and deactivated my account. This, simply put, was a dick move. Why must you spurn me so you vile web temptress? 

Yet I shall not weep. Perhaps this is a harbinger from above, a signal of exciting new adultly times approaching, times when it will no longer behoove me to spend half an hour looking at wall comments of that girl from highschool with the superfine ass... I suppose it never behooved me at all. All those happy hours we spent trolling for hotties on company time, checking updates... have they come to nothing? 

Indeed, I must admit it is with trepidation that I take my first steps into a life without you, my maddeningly captivating comrade. However, in the past few dark hours, as I take stock of all I have lost- friends, groups, witty wall comments, that awesome picture of me dressed as Tomb Raider- I begin to wonder if perhaps the time spent away from your candy-coated-clutches will become more valuable than virtual time. Perhaps I'll actually call my friend on her birthday. Nay, perhaps I'll actually see my friend. Start a group! A real live group that does real things. Maybe i'll do something truly spectacular without worrying about what a missed Facebook album opportunity it was...

Dost thou thinkest that a bluff? Damn you Facebook, mistress of a million eyes, you see through my resolve to the shivering core. You know how much I long to login just one last time, if only to answer that message, to check that album, to bid a final farewell... 

A new account? A fresh start?

Not today,  Facebook. Not today and not tomorrow. If we should meet again someday, know that I will not forget this injustice. Know that without you, although my midnight web stumblings will never be the same, I can see a bright new future on the rise. Damn you Facebook- damn your splendor and your might and your deactivation, but most of all, damn your ways. I'm going to go out in the sunshine with some real live friends and do some real live living and I thank you for the wakeup call, however jarring, you ungrateful harlot.

Gratefully Yours,

Hannah Friedman

P.S. (my Facebook farewells)

Michael: Oh no I lost my inbox! Please send me the last message you sent to so that I can respond! Also, you have a fascinating mind. Also, blog plug on lifetime would be peachy. Thank you so much.
Laz: Send me your blog link again! Hope school is going well my love.
Brian, Jeremy, Lauren, Rachel, Rob, Willy, Benji: A final poke.
Lauren: I never got to join your tv show group... are there episodes online?!!
Mr. McMegatron: Imagine I just wrote something hysterically offensive on your wall.
Others: you can reach me at WRITINGHANNAH@ME.COM or here on the blog. 

Much love & silliness,

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air..." Emerson 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All Roads Lead To Rome. (Writing about Writing)

A few of you have asked me to blog about writing. I assume you want something more substantive than this embarassingly accurate reenactment of my day:

Morning... Bleh. email, digg, facebook, email, cookies! Bleh. writing, bitching, itching, knitting, cookies! Bleh. TV. (repeat)

Here goes- Writing is the most rewarding and maddening endeavor I have ever undertaken. Sometimes you sit down at the keyboard and the keys just clickclickclick away like raindrop patter and every image is poignant and you ride atop a soaring wave of creative flow until suddenly you realize it's been 2 hours and 5 pages since you sat down and you exhale a sigh of supreme satisfaction. The world is a beautiful place and you have a beautiful real purpose.

These times are few and far between.

They are flanked by many large angry phalanxes of crappy times. Writer's block is, for me, a misnomer, because it suggests that if the writer were to use some figurative plunging or Draino-powered purging, everything would flow freely. When things are not flowing it never seems the fault of a "block," but rather the crappy crumbling system of my own cerebral plumbing. It's simply no good. It'd be cheaper to trash the whole damn thing than to try and fix a little leak or blockage. I feel like the paragraph I'm staring at is shit, the chapter I'm pondering is shit, the project, and by extension my entire pathetic creative career and very existence is shit...

OPTIMISTIC H: But I've done good stuff before, right? 
U.R.SHIT H: Irrelevant. The well has run dry... the best you can hope for now is that people won't realize when you slap tacky ornaments onto your old, withering, once-mildly-amusing ideas.
HANNUKAH H: Man I love ornaments... and Christmas trees. And ham! Driedels blow.
GOD-FEARING H: You're totally going to hell. Say you love Hannukah.
HANNUKAH H: Fuck no!
GOD-FEARING H: Say it or God will smite you and you won't be written down in his fancy yearbook of people who aren't going to die this year.
NEUROSIS H: Ohmigod Ohmigod Ohmigod I read this thing about black African ants that travel in enormous migrating mountains 10 million strong, and they destroy everything in their path, and if they reach you you die, but not by ant bite, you die by suffocation. 
H: Eiw!
GOD-FEARING H: See? God has some scary shit up his sleeve.
EGALITARIAN H: Her sleeve.
ATHEIST H: Nobody's sleeve.
AGNOSTIC H: Is there even a sleeve at all? 
BUDDHIST H: It is the empty space within the sleeve that defines the sleeve.

REALITY CHECK H: You are all so full of shit. Shut up. What were we talking about again?
U.R.SHIT H: How she's full of shit.
BUDDHIST H: Now now, even shit is part of the oneness of the universe.
SKINNYBITCH H: You're only saying that cuz you're ugly. And FAT. I thought you reached Nirvana by starving yourself under a tree for 40 days... did Nirvana come with a milkshake and a side fries?
BUDDHIST H: You know what? Peace out.
SKINNYBITCH H: That's right fatty- you run! Then maybe in a few millenia you won't be the Chris Farley of deities.

WIKI H: Let's google the gods of greek mythology!
SKINNYBITCH H: Or the Olsen twins!
EGO H: Let's google me!

My curmudgeonly friend Ned says that blogs are literary masturbation, and that nobody wants to read about "all those fruity feelings," and that I should only keep him posted in the event that something truly momentous occurs because why the hell else would he read me instead of Orwell? And with Ego H leading the way I find just the thing...

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League, the guy who has protested everything from Dogma and The Golden Compass to Bill Maher and a statue of Jesus made out of chocolate, the 
guy who was featured in the Easter episode of South Park using a "doublecross" to seize papal power and condemn Jesus himself for "going against the church," quoted yours truly in a book. Whaaaaat?


My favorite part is that after my quote about icky teenage backstabbing he writes "...but not so with Jesus." I have found myself tempted to use this phrase a lot over the past few days, like "Working hard makes me want to get wicked high and play Halo... not so with Jesus" or "I think my brother tangled up the network with all of that online hardcore babysitter porn... not so with Jesus."

Anyway this just goes to show you how far I am usually led astray by bands of roving writerly doubt. One minute I'll be staring at a sentence unsure of what adjective to use and the next I'm having a full out existential crisis followed by an unstoppable craving for South Park, Redtube,  controlled substances, and the meaning of life itself. It's exhausting. 

The strange thing is that when you really are in the zone, when your fingers are flowing in perfect harmony with your thoughts, if you start thinking "oh wow I'm totally in the zone, hot damn that was a great metaphor," you plummet straight back into the pit. Don't overthink it. You can look back later.

Which is to say: I don't really like writing. I like having written. 

The satisfaction of looking back over a whole literary landscape you've crafted stone by stone totally... rocks. But the creative unconscious is a finicky creature who hates nothing more than the over-intellectual analysis that peppered so many of my best college papers. I've been reading a lot of 'writers on writing' and everybody seems to agree on one seemingly simple thing: stop trying so hard, don't be afraid to make mistakes, just do it.

The trick is that, just like with meditation, clearing your mind is much easier said than done. I find that carrying a notebook to get ideas out of my head is helpful, as is scribbling down a list of any "why you're an untalented loser" thoughts which get in the way of uninhibited writing. 

My favorite recent discovery is the fact that all good ideas and potent themes and meaningful truths that want to get written exist in a room with a million doors. 

Stay with me... so you can agonize over symbolism and stare at the computer for 12 hours trying to find the perfect topic or theme or chapter title, but in reality that thing has been waiting around the whole time for you to start knocking. Maybe you start knocking at a door with a picture of your dog on it, which reminds you of your Dad, which reminds you of that time you and your Dad went hiking and played harmonica in the abandoned barn and you realize what you really want to talk about is bonding through music. The door opens and suddenly you're inside- rehearsals, pianos, performance anxiety, it is a rich radiant room and now you're on a roll.

Or maybe you start knocking on a door that has nailpolish on it. And you start writing about painting your nails and that saxophone player who had sparkle nailpolish, or you knock on the sushi door and you write about the first time you ate California rolls in New York City and how your mother said if you didn't stand behind the yellow line someone might throw you into the subway tracks and how the buskers played the Star Spangled Banner as the 4 train pulled away. It doesn't matter what you start writing about because now you're inside the music room again even though you came in from the other side through a different door.

Stop worrying what's right. Write. **

**HYPOCRITE ALERT H: If Hannah could take this advice half as often as she dispenses it she'd have been onto book #4 last year instead of trapped on page 57 of book #1 for the third day straight. Damn.

Keep the faith. Keep smiling. Keep me posted.

H (&H&H&