The State of Things

If you’re a longtime follower of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t write as much on here as I used to. I’ve heard that blogs have about a three-year life span, and that seems to be accurate when looking at Dreams of Literary Grandeur‘s most productive years.

Three things happened that cut into my productivity. The first was the launch of my other blog, Murmurs from the Balcony, in August of 2012 (earlier posts were originally written on this blog, either with Blogger or WordPress). If you check out that blog, you’ll see that I’m continuing to write over there on events like Sakura-Con and SIFF. The second was the death of Roger Ebert, in April 2013. He wasn’t my only reason for writing as much as I did (I started the blog before he started following me), but when someone that big leaves this earth, the void they leave behind takes on the properties of a black hole. And the third was focusing more of my writing time on my novel and short stories, only recently realizing that making time to write posts here would only help, not hinder, my literary efforts.

I could add a fourth thing, which is that life happened. More of my free time has been spent watching movies, or mindlessly reading tweets on my phone, or trying to secure more hours at work, or dealing with personal crises, or dealing with other people’s personal crises. And, considering the type of people who have ruled from on high in America this past year-and-a-half, more crises seem to appear every day.

Stability has also been lacking, which I used to think I needed to write. Now I see that writing creates its own stability. If anything, the inverse is true: the more chaotic my life feels, the more I feel I need to write.

The irony is that this blog was supposed to be the one I steadily wrote posts for, while my other blog was for the occasional special event and review. In truth, writing is writing, and while I could put it all on one blog (as I used to), it helps separates, for me, the public from the private sphere. If my posts on Murmurs from the Balcony are written for others, the posts on Dreams of Literary Grandeur are written for me.

So, with that distinction in mind, welcome to the rebirth of Dreams of Literary Grandeur.

Update on the Novel 5, and More!

I have not one, not two, but three updates for all of you folks out there!

1.) I sent my novel out to my first readers on October 21st. That means I should get it back from them by December 3rd of this year. Once I receive their feedback, I will start writing the final draft of my novel.  You heard right.  After nine years of working on it off-and-on, the novel will soon be DONE!  Or, as Samuel L. Jackson would say, “This motherfucking novel will soon be DONE, motherfuckers!”  Thanks for the translation, Sam.

2.) Because I won’t be working on the novel for about six weeks, that means that I will have time to finally finish my updates from SIFF (two more to go), which has been stuck on half of Week Two since August.  Not only was that post put up two months ago, it was written more than two months after SIFF ended, so any movies I saw at the festival that would have come out in wide release by now (like Tabloid) have come and gone.

And don’t worry; I’ll provide links to the earlier and later entries, so that it will be easy to read them in chronological order.

3.) October 22nd marked two years since I arrived in Seattle. While not as momentous as my one-year anniversary (I celebrated by working, taking a nap, then meeting with my Chinese language exchange partners), every year I stay in Seattle means one more year that poverty hasn’t forced me back home, or into the streets. A small victory for the arts. 🙂

Bonus update! Since I will not be working on my novel for a month-and-a-half, I can finally catch up on my diary entries, post blog entries more regularly, and maybe scribble off some short stories and poetry — as well as revise what’s already written. In other words, I won’t be spending all this free time sitting around.  Well, actually, I will be sitting around, but it will be productive sitting around!  I also hope to become more serious about polishing up my French and Japanese language skills and actually studying what I learn from my Chinese language exchange partners. And, of course, there’s much work to be done on the job hunt front.

Here’s to a productive rest of the year!

Note: Both photos were taken in early November of last year.

Ebertfest, SIFF, and My Two Year Anniversary

Dusk in Seattle

I know many of you (some of you?) are still waiting for the rest of my blog posts from Ebertfest.  Don’t worry, they’re coming. I’ll also be posting from SIFF, though I’ll be posting a separate entry for each week, instead of for each film.  The main reason for doing it this way is because I’m seeing more movies this time around, which also means I’m volunteering more, which equals less time to write about each film than I did last year.  This week, in particular, is insane.

Today alone, I am watching three movies, and one of them (La Dolce Vita) is three hours long (which I saw this morning with a nice, big crowd).  Through Saturday, I am watching at least one film a day. I get a bit of a breather on Friday (though not from movies) because I don’t work (though I do have afternoon plans).  On Saturday I’m scheduled to volunteer AND see a film, which also isn’t too bad (though I may be administering tests instead of volunteering–I’ll find out about that this week).  On Sunday, I’m volunteering and seeing TWO films.

All of this means that you may not be seeing many posts from SIFF until it’s over, though I’ll try to get impressions from week one up next weekend, if possible.  For more up-to-date news on my exploits during the festival, follow me on Twitter (@litdreamer).  I’m using the hashtag #SIFF2011 on all comments concerning the festival, almost all having to do with the films I’m seeing.

Finally, today marks the second anniversary of this blog.  Though I’ve been on WordPress a little less than a year, I started this blog with a post on Blogger on May 30, 2009 (which you can read on my WordPress blog here–and if you want to buy a poetry book, you can do so here, since the information included in that first entry is no longer correct).  Since then, I’ve grown my readership considerably, from a handful of people to about 40 regular readers.  Of course, when Roger Ebert tweets a link to my blog (as he has done twice), the numbers are a bit higher.  More than the numbers, though, I’m glad that the same people who began following my blog at the beginning continue to follow it now, just as I have done with their blogs.  Don’t know who they are?  Their names are in my one year anniversary post, and I can’t thank them enough for sticking with me, even when my writing was less than great, or my topics concerned subjects that didn’t interest them.

Finally, for those of you celebrating Memorial Day, let’s not just remember the soldiers who fought and died, nor the families who suffered, but everyone who has tried to make this world better than it was then when they came into it.

Including writers.