Monday, September 30, 2013

In Regards to Future Posts

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I have fallen into a sort of dilemma here on To Be Real.

Last week, I decided that it was time to try and enter some of my work into various poetry contests. I found quite a few that I wanted to enter, but noticed that the work entered had to be previously unpublished. At first I thought this did not apply to me, since I've never had any of my work published in any sort of magazine, nor have I entered any kind of contests before. But with researching a bit further, I found that a work is technically considered "published" if I have posted it on my personal blog.

And since most of my work is posted on my blog, it is ineligible.

So what am I to do?

Unfortunately, the only solution is to stop posting my work on my blog. Now do not misunderstand me--I am not saying I will stop blogging, nor will I stop writing. I will continue to do both. The majority of my writing, however, will be kept private from now on. This includes verse, poetry, short stories, memoirs, or any excerpts from my still-unfinished novel.

There may be rare occasions where I still post some things, but it will not be as frequent as before. I wish there was another way to deal with this, but if I hope to get any of my work published in the future, it needs to stay private until the right time.

--Emily
currently listening to: Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And there I threw my burdens down.

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I've been sitting here, trying to decide on what to say.
And I've concluded that I cannot.
I cannot say; I couldn't then, and I still now, I fail.
I've spent my time trying to remember you
and I wonder now if you can remember me.
I doubt it; I have even forgotten myself
a time or two, until she creeps back in
through the trapdoor under my eyelids.

Her hair was long. Dark. Wild.
She danced with people she hardly knew;
she laughed and giggled obnoxiously,
but honestly.

But when she is away, images return
of things I doubt I'll ever be sure of completely.
Notes and nooses, dangling feet.
Was the air in the room
dry and stifling, full of expelled life,
and your body a shell, a carcass, a deflated balloon?
Or was it stuffed with the scent of freedom?
Perhaps some things are better left unknown.

I've been thinking of words like with
and how it stays.
How it glows with possession
but even more, belonging.

I've been thinking about reactions to terrible events,
and how, even as I imagine, nothing can be calculated.
I never knew I would escape the house
and find solace on the summer grass, underneath
sky, where a tree used to be. Used to be.
I wonder now if its roots were still there, somewhere,
stretched and tangled beneath me like lines on a map,
tracing where life used to travel.

--Emily
currently listening to: Weapons by The Daylights

Sunday, September 22, 2013

leech

you're right,
about me.
that's why i didn't fight.

but i don't know
how to change it,
or how to accept it.

there's something amiss
with me. i'm the outcast,
the pariah,

the one with no friends.
that's what you said,
basically.

you kicked me out.
find your own friends,
like children on the playground.

that's what this is, anyway:
a glorified playground.
and i can't find my niche.

i don't blame you.
not completely.
you were right, like i said.

but another part of me
fumbled a little, coughing
up beliefs that we were friends.

but now i know. i was a leech, 
obtaining all my nourishment 
from you, the host, the victim.

part of me was just too caught up 
thinking that we were friends
to realize i was the parasite.

--Emily

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Turn of the Screw // Book Review

I read this book (novella) earlier this year after hearing my American Lit teacher talk about how good it is. This semester, I have the same teacher for American Short Fiction and it is a required reading.


Some good things about it:
--it's short. Only 117 pages on my Kindle edition
--it's free on Kindle
--it's a ghost story
--it's kind of a psychological thriller
--it has creepishly innocent children
--it makes you think.

Some bad things:
--it's Henry James
--which means it's incredibly wordy
--the narrator is obnoxious
--absolutely nothing is explained

It kind of ends up being like Inception, but in a bad way. You know, like when the credits roll and you're consumed in, "Was that a dream? Was it reality? Was it both?" Until you get to the point where you throw your hands up and say that there isn't enough evidence to make a solid stand. Basically, it's neither. Basically, it's ambiguous simply for the sake of being ambiguous. There is no right answer.

Does that mean that it is poorly written? Not necessarily. While as a reader it frustrates me, it's also what makes it able to be discussed and debated and evaluated. James didn't spoon-feed his audience with this one; he wants you to decide for yourself.

So anyway, what's the story about?
Well, it starts at this holiday party where people are telling ghost stories. The narrator is unnamed, but there is another man there named Douglas, who tells the tale that is The Turn of the Screw. Except it's not his story, and it's not fiction--he's reading it off a manuscript that was written and given to him by the Governess herself.

Enter Governess! She becomes our narrator for the rest of the book. She has just gotten the job to be the governess of two children, Miles and Flora, at a country home called Bly. They are under the guardianship of their uncle due to the passing of their parents, but he is incapable of taking care of them due to business and such. We don't see the uncle in the story, but we're told that the narrator has a crush or something on him, and that his one command is that whatever happens at Bly, she is to take care of it and not to write to him at all.

Then some other things happen. She receives a letter that Miles has been expelled from school, but the letter does not say why. After meeting the children, however, she's completely overcome by how innocent they are and denies the fact that such a well-mannered boy could do anything to get him kicked out of school.

One day, she sees a man on the tower. Creepy. Later on, she sees the same man looking in through one of the windows, but when she goes out to meet him, he's gone. And upon describing the man to Mrs. Grose, another worker at Bly, Grose tells her that the man (named Quint) used to work there, but is now dead.

Oooooh.

And one day while by the lake with Flora, she sees another figure, but it's not Quint this time--it's Miss Jessel, the Governess that worked there before her. Except she is dead, too.

She sees them some other times and becomes convinced that the ghosts are after the children. But she also thinks that the children are involved with the ghosts, talking to them and such, and put on the air of innocence to cover their scheming. But she also says to herself that they're much to innocent to be involved with such things.

She goes back and forth a lot, making her seem a bit obnoxious. And paranoid.

And probably unreliable. But who really knows?
And what does it really mean to be innocent, anyway?

Questions. With no answers from Henry James.

~~~~~~~~~~~~



So, I'd give it about 2.5 out of 5 stars. That's what I gave it my first reading, and though I was hoping I'd like it better the second time around, I really didn't. For a ghost story, it's alright, but it was probably much better when it was first published in 1898.

--Emily
currently listening to: The Tip of the Iceberg by Owl City

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Random List of Randomness


Like, So Random I Don't Even Know and I'm The One Who Wrote It list.

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  • I love the expression "across the pond."
  • I want to create a list of songs that frequently get stuck in my head, but it seems like too much work.
  • I also like the expressions "until the cows come home," "safe as houses," and anything with the word "boonies."
  • I commonly have dreams from a boy's perspective, but was always hesitant to tell anyone lest they think I was odd, until Deacon told me a dream he had a few months ago where he was a female Chinese Olympian.
  • We're soul mates, you guys.
  • I'm literally in my pajama pants about 80% of the time.
  • So, I might be addicted to Grey's Anatomy.
    • I stopped watching for like two years after the finale of season 7.
    • And now I'm halfway through season 9.
    • But people keep dying and I'm too emotionally invested and I can't handle it.
    • Life, you know? Life.
  • I applied for a part-time job this week. 
    • No word yet, but I wrote my first real resume.
    • Which is a pretty big accomplishment in itself.
    • I have trouble being an adult.
  • This song right now. You guys.
  • You guys, you guys, you guys.
  • You guys.
  • What if I lost a hand?
  • I mean, have you ever thought about that?
  • I think I'm really an 80-year-old man. Or partial-man.
  • Hyphens.
  • Or maybe I'm just from 1933.
  • I'm reading The Book Thief again, by the way.
  • Or at least I was. It's been put on hold indefinitely.
    • Gotta work on Frankenstein and The Turn of the Screw first, for classes.
  • This song was stuck in my head yesterday. Truth.
    • just the middle part where it's like "Mister...Blue...Sky...."
    • that happens a lot to me, where just a little tiny part of a song gets stuck in my head
    • and repeats over and over
    • like the part that says "It's not all right" in Eyes by The Naked & Famous
    • I just tried to look up the lyrics to make sure that's really what it says, but the site was blocked. So I'm worried my school just blocked me because I had the word "naked" in my search.
    • That would be so awkward.
  • Anyway.
  • Now we're getting somewhere.
  • I need to stop skipping lunch for naps.
  • I need to start my "learn a new word every day" thing again.
  • Phrases pop into my head a lot, often for no particular reason, which is how I start a lot of my poems.
    • Like, If I could do more.
    • How does that qualify?
    • I'm sick of the past, but I'm living there.
    • I missed you. 
      • but, really. Does that mean "I once longed for you while you were away," or, "You were within reach but I didn't (couldn't?) catch you." Or are they quite the same?
    • I missed you. 
    • You are missing from me.
  • Dreamt. The only English word that ends with "mt."
  • Try and find another one. Dare you.
  • My words and thoughts regurgitate.
  • I'm wearing skinny jeans. Except I'm shaped like pear, not like skinny.
  • The quote at the top has been running through my head a lot this week.
  • Should I do more book reviews on here? I think I should.
  • I would ask for thoughts, but you guys never comment, and I hate reminding myself that someone might be reading this. 
  • You guys you guys you guys.
  • I don't understand this song by Paramore. I mean, are they trying to be a Southern Gospel group now? It starts off all jazzy, and then turns into something weird. 
  • I. don't. understand.
  • I still remember the first time I saw this.
  • Changed my life.
  • Not the fake-school-drama part, but the Hayley Williams part.
  • Do you guys have 50 videos open in YouTube now?
  • you guys you guys you guys.
  • Well, tough.
  • I'm ending this now. 
  • Really, though.
  • Lovies.
--Emily
currently listening to: Part II by Paramore

I don't

care about iOS7.

I care about getting out;
I care about overcoming;
I care about staying sane.

Which has been a struggle today.

If the highlight
of your week
is a new software update,

congratulations.



~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, I don't understand this new phenomenon of "speed dating."
And I'm just going to be judgmental and grumpy for the rest of the evening.

--Emily
currently listening to: Eyes by The Naked & Famous

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

my fleeting life and my fleeting September.

I want to travel;
I want to keep track of time,
and also let it escape.

I want to draw and paint
feelings that words
are not adequate for.

I want to write
everything, all at once.
I want my soul splattered on the page.

Above all, I want to give thanks
and give praise
and live ferociously.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~

September has slipped away again. I'm thankful. Of all the dreadful months, it might be the worst, for several reasons. The rain, I think, is a big part of it. What it brings. Part of the difference between the rain in September and April, for one, is that April's is footstep into warmth. September is all that seems to stand between summer and cold.

That used to be fine with me, but not so much anymore.

The school year is picking up. I'm realizing that this is my last year as an undergrad. I am getting tossed into adulthood, like it or not.

I don't know why it comes as a surprise. Everything before this point has been preparing me for this, right?

--Emily
currently listening to: Make a Move by Icon For Hire

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Comatose


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Was I happier then?
What does it take for me
to see, to experience,
to feel inspiration--
to feel anything?

I keep making the same mistakes.
I need to take things slow,
slow.
But I feel like someone has got my hands
bound, and is pulling me forward
like a fish from the water.

When did my pores become dry?
When did my soul become rusted?

Why was I so much better at this
when I didn't understand anything?

I can no longer speak;
I cannot find a way to get
thoughts from mind to air.
I stutter. Splutter.
Words trip on my tongue.

And now, my soul,
my mind, my pores--
my heart and I
have been silenced.

The question that lingers:
should I rather feel
everything violently,
or become anesthetized?

And once brought on,
is it irrevocable?

--Emily
 currently listening to: I Can Barely Breathe by Manchester Orchestra

Marching Still

When overwhelmed by solitude, occasionally I
find myself sprawled along my bed, head at the foot,
blankets stacked beneath me. Eyes closed.
I pretend you and I are sharing the tremendous embrace
of two that have seen too much, felt too much,
said and spake and dwelt in too much.
It is you, then, against me. Breathing. Beating.
I feel your lungs heave, sigh, fan, continue.
Your heartbeat becomes a metronome, in time with mine,
and we survive. We can survive, there, by ourselves,
together.

--Emily

Friday, September 13, 2013

severed, there.

I guess you live there, now.
After the fog clears, day
and dawn begins again.
That's where you are, now--
between the violent strands of sky
and mist that lingers on your skin.
Every now and then, I catch a glimpse.
It's never quite enough,
but I cannot negotiate such things.
You've passed the torch along to God;
you've turned the password into ash.

--Emily
currently listening to: I Caught Myself by Paramore

Sunday, September 8, 2013

you just sit here before us and reveal your life.

I've been thinking
about time, and how it moves
us forward, while our minds
are always moving backwards.
I've been thinking
about good things and bad things
and how they often appear together.

--Emily

currently listening to: Go On My Child by Michelle Featherstone

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My obligatory TLOK post.

School is back in session. But I'm not here to talk about it.

 The Krew

I mentioned The Legend of Korra in my last post, but I wanted to say more on it. Because Book Two premieres in ten days.

Ten. Days.


So here's an official trailer:

I know I watched a clip of the beginning of the first episode, but I haven't been able to find it again. So I guess you guys will just have to wait. Or search around on Youtube.

Update:
jk here it is.

By the way, I think I ship Bolin/Asami. And I hear that it might be a thing this season.
But I could kind of see her with General Iroh, too. The only problem is I'm not sure he'll be around in Book Two.

--Emily