Might not Hopefully

If I had Visual Reflux set up a little differently, I’d really easily be able to go back and look to see the last time I was getting my daily posts done. It’s been a while. Longer than when I was sick and I’ve been sick a week; out of commission two and a half days, maybe two and three quarters days. The day I slammed Hiball to try to stay conscious was a bad one, even if I was technically functioning.

But falling off the daily wagon didn’t start with the sick. I feel like it was that big MCU post, which got a whopping seven hits. I’m not sure how many it would’ve gotten over at Stop Button but definitely more than seven. Though maybe not. For all the energy I put into the “Sum Up” posts at Stop Button, only the John Carpenter and Eleanor Parker ones were ever popular as far as hits. Might be why I lost interest in doing them and instead just call anything long form a “Sum Up” now. Like the microcast I meant to do daily and haven’t done since… Tuesday? I tried today but kept getting distracted.

I’m preoccupied. Like, big time. And I’ve been avoiding acknowledging it, even though it’s been “around” for a while now. It was a predicted preoccupation so I thought I’d compartmentalized enough to get around it but no. There’s only so much one can do to prepare for anything. And this one hit me.

I’m hoping this bit of acknowledgement will help me get things back in gear. Maybe start small, like a post a day for a week. Shouldn’t be too hard since I’ve got five more issues of Punisher to write about and the Visual Reflux podcast. It’ll also help not being dreadfully ill.

The big hope, as the week starts tomorrow, is keeping the depression in check. Preoccupation stress and anxiety leads pretty quick to a depression spiral for me. Always has. I’m old now so I’ve got all sorts of tools, both recommended ones and the tricks I’ve learned about myself over the years; just need to remember to use them. I’ve got a really weird project I’m going to do this week, but it might actually prove rewarding. Might. But not hopefully.

Blogged Ramblings vs. Podcasted Ones

I tried really hard to get a second episode of the Summing Up Microcast posted today but it didn’t happen. I recorded… four times? Like, way too much time spent on eight minute podcasting. Way too much time. Background noise is the current culprit. Though maybe Ferrite isn’t as good for recording as it is for editing? Regardless, I’ve got a microphone coming and hopefully it’ll help. At least enough to get the episodes recorded and posted. Drawbacks of planning and executing a new creative venture in about four hours. Just because 2019 makes it easy doesn’t mean you don’t still have to figure things out.

It’s going to be real funny if it turns out to be Ferrite though. Real funny.

The whole impetus for the microcast was getting ready to start the Visual Reflux podcast, only we didn’t get around to recording the first episode today so it’ll be a week out at least. The delay is fine… gives co-host Vernon time to see Avengers: Endgame and for me to stay caught up on “The Flash.” He’s on his own for “Supergirl” right now though. And we even have an agenda. Don’t have a theme song yet, but an agenda is something. Usually we have a list. Agenda seems more legit.

Otherwise, Visual Reflux (the blog) seems to be doing fine? I got burned out doing the MCU recap last week and I’m also behind—a little—on comic book stuff, but I’m getting closer to it. Punisher: Born was a bit of a buzzkill but I think I’m getting back into the rhythm… even if I’m going to have to do one more single read-through on the first Punisher MAX arc.

I’m having some trouble with the “daily Visual Reflux post as a writing discipline” thing for some reason too. I had been fairly enthusiastic about it but writing 350 words about nothing every day isn’t particularly easy. And even with the “cheat posts” (link posts back to The Stop Button), well, it doesn’t always work. Especially not on days without posts.

But maybe I’ll do some thoughts on the Criterion Channel later? Since I watched something on it this morning.

Fine Jetpacks

Visual Reflux had some down time this weekend. Not relaxation time but server out time. It’s been a while since I’ve had a blog with a server in despair. WordPress.com is real stable. It’s frustratingly limited but it’s real stable. I’m basically running VR self-hosted just to see if it matters at all. So far it doesn’t. I’ve done some CSS tweaks but it’s not like I’m willing to put in the rest of the work on google ads or even google analytics. The far less informative JetPacks are fine.

I’m really behind on my daily posts, but since I’ve given myself the makeup post later on, it’s not a stresser. VR is all about stress-free blogging. Lots of it, but without pressure. Letting blogging pressure was always one of my big problems over the years and I wasn’t even considering it Serious writing. And it’s nowhere near as serious as I used to be but I also needed to chill the fuck out on some stuff.

VR is supposed to be more balanced.

We’ll see tomorrow with the Eltingville Club and the Stop Button link post.

All Hail the King, Baby, All Hail the King

 

“From thy wedding with the creature who touches heaven, lady God preserve thee.”


When I first came across the “One That Started It All Blogathon,” I avoided it. If you look at the left sidebar at Stop Button, you can see I don’t avoid many blogathons. I only don’t do a blogathon (these days) if the blogger running it is problematic or if there’s just no way I’m going to write in the format. I post movie responses. Single movie responses. But, very slowly, I’ve been branching out.

And this year I’m apparently going to do a bunch of different things, including look at Star Trek II’s music (just the music) and talk about Josh Hartnett in O. 2019 is the year of not giving a shit when it comes to blog subjects.

I dwelt on doing the “One That Started It All” blogathon because it seems like I should be able to identify the film most influential to me. Even if I’m going to say something like Wild River, which I didn’t see until I was about twenty. Or Play Time. Play Time would be a good one. Grand Illusion. Kane’s not unthinkable.

So I kicked it around in my head, even toying with the idea of doing Ben-Hur because it was a movie I heard about as a kid (from my mom) but have no memory of seeing in its entirety.

Then I got to Kong and it was perfect and so I set about writing the post. After signing up for the blogathon.

I wrote four and a quarter drafts of the Kong post. On incredibly rare occasions, I’ll write two drafts of a movie post. I’ve never pitched a longer essay—well, wait, I rewrote the Superman franchise post, but those changes were about form—and there was some file-saving disaster the first time I tried doing the Carpenter retrospect. But going back and rewriting from scratch for Stop Button. Not my thing. But I found myself working out the post through writing it.

And now I’ve got a bunch of variations on the post, written over a two week period; I’m curious how they’re different, from a statistical standpoint.

Besides the obvious length-related differences—the post is about twice as long as any of the previous drafts, which all clocked in around 1,200 words—apparently my writing is about the same. Thirteen to fifteen words per sentence, eighty-five percent monosyllabic words. The first two drafts were, according to the Automated Readability Index, sixth grade level; the third draft and the posted one are fifth. For students from 1967.

Dale Chall says it’s an 11th to 12th grade level, which is higher than I’d like. Flesh-Kincaid says you could read it at twelve. I was twelve in 1990. I’m not sure I would’ve cared about someone’s summarized King Kong memoir. I think the Dale Chall is comprehension, but all those tests are going on syllables and word length and whatnot.

I used to freak out about not writing at a high enough grade level and then I ran some Hemingway through the readability calculators and stopped worrying.

An almost ten page King Kong ’33 piece. I’m all right with how it turned out, which is good. I really didn’t think I would be so pleased. I hated the second and third drafts. I hoped but didn’t think there’d be some clue as to why in the syllable count or something but no. Can’t readability analyze away writing you’re not happy with.

400ish words of talking about writing instead of writing

At something like 10:45 last night I realized I wasn’t getting my daily post in. I’ve been planning on starting the TV episode posts and it’s not going well. It just hasn’t worked out, scheduling-wise. But hopefully I’ll get caught up on posts today somehow. It’s only two, but this morning when I decided to write two… well, I assumed I’d be done with one of them before now.

My two writing projects from yesterday have had progress, but not completion. Not even anything I’d considered finished drafting. But the other big thing from yesterday worked out fine—the Visual Reflux podcast is working (technologically speaking) and we ought to get our first episode out… before the end of the month. Anchor’s iPad app isn’t full-featured, something they don’t tell you on the app but on their website. It’s not ideal but it’s workable.

It would be far more exciting if everything else this week weren’t so daunting. I may have to reexamine TV stuff, just because of the current schedule issues. Maybe it ought to start in the fall anyway.

But I’ve also noticed I’m not posting links, which I used to do to check “VR post” off in my bullet journal-y thing. I’m not… reading right now. I’m either in research mode or contemplate on draft mode. They’re mostly mutually exclusive from each other so adding general reading would just confuse things even more. And, to be honest, Punisher: Born got the Ennis read-through off on the wrong foot. I really wanted to find something good to read in before the next (first) Punisher MAX arc and I’m having selection paralysis. New or old. Mainstream or indie. Like everything creative is stuck until I get through this week’s projects, which is fine… it just hasn’t happened lately.

I’m not posting haikus about King Kong movies, which was a real possibility this week, so I guess it could be much worse filler.

I think I’ve got the projects sorted. I’m not confident I have them sorted, but I think they’re sorted. The problem with drafting to a point where I can then deliberate on the draft is I need dedicated time, which I really don’t have.

But, hey, Anchor works and, one way or the other, one of the projects will be over this Friday.

Tomorrow’s Weather

If all goes as planned—yeah, sorry, it’s late and I’ve got nothing but another writing post today—but if all goes as planned, tomorrow I’ll have… well, some updates. Some news of future projects. Imminent future projects in some cases. But I’ve got to get through the morning’s writing tomorrow, which is daunting. I’m so nervous about it I actually downloaded the OmniOutliner demo—full-featured for two weeks, I believe (more than enough time)—to take notes earlier. It’s a concerning amount of seriousness. I don’t remember the last time I outlined anything.

Though, to be fair, it’s not exactly outlining and more like a forecast and structure of topics. We’ll see how it works tomorrow. I can get out of one of the “assignments,” I can’t get out of the other.

Earlier today, I was listening to Core Intuition, a podcast I like quite a bit, and one of the hosts was talking about how what’s special about blogging is no one has the exact same take or the exact same audience. A history professor once said something similar. Not about me, but just in general. And there’s this whole thing with creative writing where the experience you’re counting in your… ground situation as a writer includes things you’ve read. And obviously things you’ve seen, things you’ve heard, whatever. Our takes are our own. Even if they’re just bad takes ripping off someone else’s bad takes, the act of making that take in your individual context makes it unique. And a piece of shit if you voted for Trump.

But hearing that sentiment on Core Intuition didn’t really do anything for me. It didn’t make me feel any better about tomorrow’s Stop Button post, Michael vs. Jason: Evil Emerges, which is a no-budget fan crossover between Halloween and Friday the 13th. It’s not a slick production like most of the other fan films I’ve written about. I spent a lot of time thinking about posting about it, even considering just trimming the draft and posting it here in the “Link” category. But then I read it again and thought, nah. Up it’ll go. Why not. I’ve got some really shitty short films on there and, while M v. J isn’t great and you can miss most of it, it does have a really well-executed fight scene. Wrasslin’. Because why not.

The most important thing for tomorrow’s writing—sunlight. Well, sunlight and not getting too nauseous after too much coffee. But sunlight’s important too. It’s got to be just the right amount, which is all going to depend on the weather.

Partly cloudy.

I think I can make partly cloudy work.

I’ve got a handful more of these intense writing projects coming up—as opposed to the norm, which is writing something like 2,500 words every Friday—these other projects… well… I’m going to edit them. Like draft and edit. Probably print them out and make notes. I’m taking them seriously. So maybe it’s good to never get too comfortable with them.

Updike it ain’t

On one of my blogs—one of the recent ones—I planned on tossing out story ideas. It was probably Summing Up, which I’m toying with archiving as an eBook just because there’s so much content there from late summer 2016 to whenever in early 2017 reality got too depressing for me.

So if anyone actually wants to take the following idea and run with it, you’re more than welcome. Unless you suck. So I guess… ask?

There was that Australian show (and American remake) “The Slap” about a guy slapping a kid and the repercussions in the community. At least I think it’s about a guy slapping a kid and the community’s reaction. Doesn’t matter. My idea is called “Dick Pic.” It’s about a guy who accidentally sends another guy a dick pic because he’s sending a picture of his new robot vacuum and in the reflection there’s peen.

You can guess how I got the idea for the inciting incident (no, it didn’t actually happen but damn the Eufy is reflective).

Don’t really have any ideas about what happens after, just it’d be a funny inciting incident. A very sadly modern one. If I were a painter, I’d do the whole scene like a Caravaggio or something. Call it “Don’t Forget Your Pants.” Sadly, I cannot paint. I also have no interest in writing sadly modern short pieces involving accident dick pics.

I don’t have much interest in writing any sadly modern pieces right now. I’ll occasionally have an idea, sometimes get it far enough I’m at least taking notes (I did not take notes on the above), but then I lose interest for one reason or another. Maybe because it’s clutter. It’s 2019. If something’s going to be something, it shouldn’t be clutter. There’s way too much good old stuff out there and the real world, built on the fantasizes of that old stuff—while a shit show, deserves to be taken seriously and not like a Hallmark movie.

I’ve never seen Hallmark movies, however, so maybe they’re exceptionally serious and address inequity and suffering but I doubt it.