Friday, May 23rd

#119: santo26- cartoonist?

Music: The Bar-Kays
Mood: contemplative
When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said a "cartoonist." Now that I am drawing again as well as writing, what if I combined them once more and see what happens?

In order to reacquaint myself with comics theory once more, I have turned to Scott McCloud. If you don't know already, Scott McCloud has written a series of graphic novel manifestos on the subject of comics as art: Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and his latest one, Making Comics. Then again, if I want more practical advice from an actual cartoonist I know, I should probably ask Katie, who does the awesome webcomic As Seen In VT.

At the same time, I wonder if I should just pick a genre and stick to it for once. For years, I have bounced around from artistic medium to artistic medium, never quite finding one that has felt right; or is it that I have never stuck with one long enough to find success? While I am planning to finish editing the book and the short story and send them out, that's no reason that my next project can't be a comic. In fact, I have always thought that the stories that have inspired the name of this very website would do very well as comics. What if, just maybe, comics are the genre for me?

santo26 on 05.23.08 @ 05:02 PM PST [link]

Thursday, May 22nd

#118: Content Is Important

Music: Soul Merchants
Mood: visionary
Lately, I have been talking with prof_booty and awiggins about the next stage of the (r)evolution of the athenaverse. As awiggins so succintly put it, the athenaverse needs content. And folks, that is the issue: content. You can go back through the history of this site and it is filled with my empty promises where I guarantee more content is coming soon, and then there is a gaping hole of content for several months.

If I want the athenaverse to succeed, I have to constantly create content. Interesting, exciting content that will attract readers. If I attract readers, then these readers will spread the word and the athenaverse will grow beyond my hardcore audience of lurkers that I appreciate dearly. If the athenaverse is appreciated and read by a wider audience, the opportunities to expand and make it realize its true potential will present themselves. Or I can just hit "Add This Entry" and fughettaboutit for another length of time. Once again, it's up to me.

One thing that I have noticed is that my thinking around athenaverse content up to this point has been very limiting. In my last few posts, I have been mostly confining myself to talking only about how my writing is going, therefore excluding everything else that I have been up to and thinking about. There has been relatively little visual content despite the fact that I draw and make films, and want to express myself in many other mediums. Variety is not only the spice of life, but it is the seasoning that should help me to attract new readers.

If anyone out there has any suggestions on what you would like to see here on the athenaverse, let me know!

santo26 on 05.22.08 @ 06:04 PM PST [link]

Wednesday, May 21st

#117: Writing Update

Mood: efficient
Last Friday at the Shining Creamsicles meeting, one of my short stories was critiqued by the group. It was my first time being critiqued in this manner and it was unbelievably helpful. Everyone liked the story and commented on something different, bringing three different points of view to show me things about the story that I hadn't seen before. Armed with these new perspectives, I am going to do one last edit and I have a magazine picked out. I plan to send out the story by the time of our next meeting in June.

I am also trying to keep on track with the book editing, paying more attention to this here blog, and writing. I want to find a balance between focusing and completing writing projects, but also working on more than one at a time. I was able to multitask like that in high school and college; it's just a matter of time management. I still plan on adhering to my book editing deadline at the end of the month as well, so this is a good time to ease myself into multiple project territory.

santo26 on 05.21.08 @ 03:41 PM PST [link]

Monday, May 19th

#116: The Future And You

Music: Mastodon
Mood: hopeful
Yesterday, I went with my fellow Shining Creamsicles to see Cory Doctorow read from his new book, Little Brother. Although I knew he was a fellow sci-fi writer, I had never read any of his books and knew of him mainly through his blogging at BoingBoing, which I consider one of the best blogs the interweb has to offer.

It was the first book signing that I have attended since I have "crossed over" to the author's side of the table, and I will keep this one in my mind a perfect example of how they should be. I was already planning to buy a copy of the book based on San's recommendation but was sold by his reading of Chapter 12 of the book. The Q&A session was also quite awesome as well, and delved a lot into things such as RFID, computer security, and the need to be hopeful about the future. Someone told Doctorow that he was a "techno-triumphalist," someone who sees that we need to fight to make a better future, but it is one that we can win.

Seeing Cory Doctorow was great for many reasons. It was great to see an author who is a contemporary of mine give a rousing book signing, and what he talked about in his book and in the Q&A were things that have been on my mind lately. The past couple of weeks I have noticed the intense incessant drumbeat of the mainstream media about how bad things are: gas prices, food inflation, recession, Iraq, politics. A perfect example of this is a cover story in Newsweek about the rise of the "post-American" world. It's not that I am opposed to the growth of other countries; in fact, I think it is great.

What I don't think is great is this large group of Americans who are think their country is going in the wrong direction BUT AREN'T DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. You know, the kind of people who live comfortable lives and said how they were going to move to Canada if Bush, Jr. won reelection but didn't go. It's not just those folks, it's been a Generation X kind of thing. There has been a complete disengagement with politics until very recently. Things have gotten to this point because the disengagement up to this point was a reaction caused by repulsion to what politics had become in the past twenty years or so. Instead of talking about substantive issues, politicians, aided and abetted by the media, would rather divide people up by taking about social issues. Nobody wants to work together anymore, and as a result, the actual things that need doing never get done.

I for one am willing to be positive about America's future, but only if we can get a majority of people to reengage in politics on every level. For too long it has been left to special interest groups and corporations to run the political tables. You can't really begrudge them in that they have been the only ones willing to engage in politics for a long time and as a result have gotten what they wanted. You can't expect to sit in front of your preferred media delivery device passively consuming the media of your choice and expect anything to change.

I have been taking baby steps myself regarding reengagement with politics. Earlier this year, I went to my first political caucus and I spent most of April sitting on the jury of a civil trial. Personally, I would rather think of myself as a citizen than as a consumer. While you do have the power to vote with your wallet, it is only half of the solution. The other half is actively participating to make sure the politicians you voted for are doing what you want them to be doing and to work to replace them if they aren't.

For some people, they will continue to fight politically for the rights of the group that they belong to are adequately represented. I have no problems with that; after all, it is everyone's individual choice as to where they want to direct their energies. Personally, for me, since I am starting from the point where I consider that everyone is equal, I want to direct my energies to efficient government. For too many years, it's been a fight between those who want government to do everything for everyone and those who want the government to do little or nothing for people. Now it seems that the legacy of Bush, Jr. on his party is that the people who used to want smaller government are now OK with big government as long as big government promotes their social agenda. What about efficient government? By efficient government, I mean the right to efficient government services for those who need them as well as the right to opt out of using them if you do not want them.

Well, that is one of my ideas on how to fight for a positive future. There are many more where that came from. I know I have been using this space mostly for updates on my writing, but I envision the athenaverse as a place where I can say what I want to say when the need arises, and sometimes, like in this post, the twain have met.

See you in the future!

santo26 on 05.19.08 @ 04:30 PM PST [link]

Tuesday, May 13th

#115: Keepin' On

Music: Portishead
Mood: rainy
Greetings to you, dear readers. Since I last talked to you, I have been...well, doing stuff but not a whole lot of writing. In terms of writing, I worked for awhile on a short story that I came up with when I was at Potlatch. I kept on working on it but finally decided to put it "in the trunk," if you will. I had wanted to produce a short story to present to my brilliant new writing group, The Shining Creamsicles. We had our first meeting last month and will have another on Friday evening, with an additional field trip to the Ballard Library on Sunday to see Cory Doctorow. It is so awesome to have a writers group- why didn't I ever do this before? Anyways, I decided to dust off the best short story in my trunk and I sent it out to the group instead.

While I was doing this, I realized that I had not really done much in the way of editing the book since Potlatch/getting feedback on the manuscript from my editor friend. Since I realized this, I have edited about a third of the manuscript. My friend suggested that there were some sections where she would like to know more, so I plan to go back and add a couple of sections. I have given myself until the end of the month of May to finish this edit.

I have also made a list of the editors who I would like to send the manuscript to. I want to pick the one I will send it to first by Friday. I also want to take a closer look through Writer's Market to pick a magazine to send my short story to. The only way I will get anything published is to just jump in and see what happens. I've been standing on the diving board for awhile now. The water looks great, but I haven't taken the plunge yet. OK-I will send out the short story by June 15th, how about that?

All this talking about writing has made me want to go do some work on the book. See you soon!

santo26 on 05.13.08 @ 04:34 PM PST [link]

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