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Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

writing marathon | MEmorial

In MEmorial on 30 April 2011 at 8:46 pm

blogging my lack of productivity and failure at getting things done

Time to finish the thesis. Time to get her done.

Since I love a good time-waster, but hate the excessive social media poster, I will be featuring my paper play-by-play, right here, tonight, on this here lonely blog.

(And with hope, no one will ever know, despite its being on the Internet.)

So here we go.

30 April // 21:43 Time to start. I mean, I’ve had more than plenty of time – a whole semester actually – but it’s come to the wire and it’s time for me to go. My room is sparkling clean and my desk is clear, except for my lovely thesis folder and lovely pile of books. Pulling out the outline and working on the re-write.

Words: 0
Quality: n/a
Feeling: wishing I could think of something else to do  

30 April // 22:33 Clarity of thought; wrote a good intro; know what I need to do. But now I’m bored and would like to a) do something else b) go to bed. Meandered around on Facebook, reading about the oxford comma, you know, the good stuff.

Words: 264
Quality: decent
Feeling: twiddling my thumbs 

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the great divorce | musing

In musing on 25 April 2011 at 10:01 am

Moments from The Great Divorce:

The greyness outside the windows turned from mud-colour to mother of pearl, then to faintest blue, then to a bright blueness that stung the eyes. We seemed to be floating in pure vacancy.

They were all fixed faces, not full of possibilities but impossibilities.

I had got ‘out’ in some sense which made the Solar System itself seem an indoor affair.

One gets glimpses, even in our country, of that which is ageless–heavy thought in the face of an infant, and frolic childhood in that of a very old man. Here it was all like that.

But honest opinions fearlessly followed–they are not sins.

Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and
plunged into it
because it seemed modern and successful.

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deterrents, success | writing

In writing on 15 April 2011 at 11:54 pm

This is not a writing that solves anything; it simply opens a rupture, cracks the mirror soil can reflect the heart-breaking reality of humanity.

Geoffrey Sirc, “Godless Composition, Tormented Writing”

Writers understand, maybe more than anyone, the limitless frustration that comes with trying to create the idea, trying to represent the rhythm, the feeling that lingers inside.

And with so many deterrents–audiences, apathy, lack of work ethic, rules of grammar, kitschy-ness–it seems that writing, or any medium in which you try to represent that lingering reality that occurs to you  (that gut story that you want to write), becomes impossible. Amidst sentence structures and differing voices, we’re so often unable to speak.

How to achieve success? Sirc offers an alternate; speaking of composition as a whole, he says that rather than success, we need to be imperfected: “You could not become the mirror of a heart-rending reality if you did not have to be broken.”

I can’t say exactly what Sirc meant by those words; generally he’s talking about composition as a model, built on rules and “formulae”; but what I sense is that in writing, and in life, he’s telling us to reach. There are so many possibilities, that there is no way we will ever be able to obtain, to achieve one. Instead, Sirc suggests trying, but not in ethic alone. The “goal,” maybe, is in the exploration of limitless, exceptional impossibility (one day), and until then, all the mundane, boring possibilities that lie between.

goals & gut feelings | sunday life

In sunday life on 10 April 2011 at 1:02 pm

Love the feeling of warm, lazy sundays. Love the thick, Florida air, and the incredible lull that hits you right around 2:00 PM.

Lovely lunch with friends reminds me that there is so much to let into your life – on Sundays, you’re finally at peace with the way that your life will go, and you let it sink in that whatever you decide is where you’ll end up, and you’ll be just fine wherever you end up.

I’ve been consumed with goals lately – short term and life term; so Sarah Wilson’s post about how to set “goals” has me redefining what I want in my future. The things I want? Here they are:

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on fear | musing

In musing on 9 April 2011 at 3:04 pm

(and other saturday afternoon tragedies)

From Alain de Botton, earlier today:

Those who go on to be proper writers are those who can forgive themselves the horrors of the first draft.

The problem, I have discovered, is not my inability to detach from social media, from cell phone media, from connectedness.

My problem, today, is me.

I have come to the impenetrable that has built up inside me before, the wall that says no—flat out.

It’s why Facebook, why Twitter, why whatever you meander past on the Internet is so consuming—it involves no fear. There is no fear in impersonality, no fear in other people’s lives, no fear in avoiding yours.

The crippling fear that makes you want to cut your wrists, really, for fear that you you will never really do anything in your life. Whether it’s pondering on Facebook, or life in a cubicle, the heart of the problem is that you will be detached forever. Absolutely and forever.

This, to me (& for me), is completely crippling, and completely deafening. If I can’t open up the wall, then how will I be able to speak? Who am I? What is in me?

pausing, patience | Techno-logy

In Techno-logy on 7 April 2011 at 5:10 pm

I have an insanely annoying habit of nagging. Specifically, if I come across a link to an article, or a blog post, or something that might interest you, something that has the slightest semblance of you, I have to send it to you. Now.

While this isn’t really the most annoying habit – I’m sure there are worse – what bothers me about it is that I lost the thought behind communication. In these exchanges, I have become somewhat machinated – a google alert for what reminds me of you, within my collective memory. If it exists, you need to know about it.

In doing this, what I’ve lost is both the art of pausing, and of patience. Before I know it, I’ve hit send, instead of carefully monitoring what I send, and how they will receive it. Perhaps it should be sent, but it would be nicer to add a courtesy preface. On the other hand, perhaps I need to follow up more with people, rather than just sending them links. Maybe quality time would be the more loving form of communication?

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phone fast recap | Techno-logy

In Techno-logy on 7 April 2011 at 9:53 am

I finished the phone fast in full, with help from my roommate who took my phone with her in her purse, and didn’t return home until 1:30 AM this morning.

I finished the phone fast because I was forced to.

Let me add – I did not detox from facebook or e-mail (detoxing from e-mail would actually be more challenging for me). However, since I was away from unrestricted Internet access for the bulk of the day, I was still somewhat disconnected from all of my “online identities.” [I am such a nerd!]

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Throughout the day, it was incredibly calming to be without a phone. I took an easy route, knowing that essentially I wouldn’t need to be reached by anyone. But waking up and not checking the cell phone was nice … I mean, who messages you while you are sleeping that you actually need to get in touch with? Probably no one.

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effort matters | musing

In musing, writing, yes on 6 April 2011 at 10:33 am

What I need are the reminders that effort matters, however laughable the result; that hard work pays off if only in the satisfaction of putting in the hours; that for all the times you strike out, once in a while you’ll manage to hit it out of the park.

Christine Blatchford (via The Globe and Mail)

presenting electracy | MEmorial

In MEmorial on 5 April 2011 at 11:27 pm

Presenting, a presentation on Electracy! This is for Tuesday’s big thesis presentation. Find the Prezi here:

Electracy: Adding Dimension to What We Already Know

P.S. I met him!

phone fast! | Techno-logy

In Techno-logy on 5 April 2011 at 10:41 pm

As always, when there is plenty to do, I tend to find plenty of better things to do.

I haven’t ever written about self-discipline, or about stress in general, but I have always remembered Matt Richtel’s work which describes technology as “little lions” that bite for your attention, constantly warping you one way or another, and giving you bursts of sensation whenever you get a text message, email, or an instagram like.

I’m completely guilty. I can’t last more than an hour without getting incredibly antsy, for lack of phone. So, for want of peace of mind, and in an attempt for more discipline, tomorrow I start phone fast.

I’m leaving my phone at home, and committing to not using it for all of tomorrow, midnight to midnight.

What to expect? I am sure that halfway through the day I will consider taking a lunch break just to obtain my cell phone; I am also bringing my journal in lieu of my phone so that I can write about the life crisis that tomorrow could be.

I will probably blog more, read more, but hopefully, after the initial desperation wares off, I will be a calmer, more content Meredith.

And maybe more productive.

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