Log in

No account? Create an account
Mar. 13th, 2006 @ 02:11 am now you're playing with power
Current Music: Wolf Parade - It's A Curse
A guy in a Safety and Security uniform is waiting downstairs in the lobby. He's shifting his weight nervously, as cops tend to do in residences not their own. He's obviously trying not to draw attention to himself, but this proves impossible--from two floors up you can still hear the his colleagues gibbering through the walkie-talkie on his belt. He warmly greets students coming in and out of the building, and they return the gesture with guarded smiles. His chin is frosted with white stubble, and he looks like he hasn't slept in a while.

Not an easy job.
About this Entry
Mar. 13th, 2006 @ 01:17 pm hooray for validation
Current Mood: greasy
Current Music: Secret Garden - Serenade to Spring
My mom sent me this email a few days ago:

Hi, Kevin

Mommy was born in a native- Englsih speaking country*, and I am not gifted writer,  I remembered when you were young i often go to Library, to borrow you books to read, now you like to to write, I guess if you want your children to be what kind of person, you have to start when they were young. Now I am glad your major in in creative wrting, Plese study hard and i hope you have a wonderful future.  I Love you


*My mom was not born in an English-speaking country. I think that's what she means.

This is deeply moving to me, because thirteen years ago this same woman bought armfuls of math workbooks from a homeschooling center and had me do drills for every second I wasn't in school. I never got straight As in my math classes--only B-plusses--because of what my teachers liked to call "careless mistakes." My mother saw this as some kind of horrendous learning deficiency that could only be corrected by hours and hours and hours of practice. When she caught me sneaking library books into my study room and reading those instead of doing drills, she was furious. She confiscated my books and threatened to never take me to the library again. (She never made good on that promise, thankfully.)

Bad parenting? Not really. Just a little misguided. After all, I am the son of a chemist and an accountant, and my parents were greatly excited by my fascination with the laws of nature. They and everyone else thought I was born to be a physicist. My mom most likely never even considered the possibility that I was more of a words person than a numbers person--to say it's rare in a Taiwanese-American community is like saying it's rare for monkeys to shit watermelons. And to a Taiwanese-American mother, all those other things--history, literature, music, the social sciences--they merely exist to make you appear more cultured. My parents seem to believe the sole purpose of sociologists, politicians, writers, and artists is the entertainment of scientists and buisnessmen. Nothing matters to them except the grinding of atoms, the swirling of solutions, the gentle clicking of calculators. Everything else is comedy.

And so it was that when Mr. Morris was dumbstruck by what he perceived as talent in a story I wrote in seventh grade, my parents took no heed. They were more concerned with my barely-average math grades.

"With grades like these," my mother would exclaim to me in Chinese, "you won't even get into Stanford."

So you can imagine how strange it is that my mother should finally accept me for who I am.

On the other foot, my father, as usual, is completely indifferent.

"I, uh, I just wrote my first computer game. From scratch."
"And, um. I just got a perfect score on my last English test, and it was the first one Mr. Morris has given in years."
"That's good! I hope you can do even better next time."
"Can you teach me how to shave?"


Why the hell did I write this instead of the six pages I need to write for workshop tomorrow?
About this Entry
Mar. 13th, 2006 @ 06:28 pm aside from bullets, sadness, and a wide variety of harmful substances
Current Mood: brain-constipated
Current Music: clothed harkies screaming in the rain




my...only weakness...
About this Entry
Mar. 13th, 2006 @ 10:01 pm i have been assimilated
Current Mood: graaah
Current Music: Mayday - Monkey King
So I've hit a snag in the story I'm writing, as I find myself losing progressively more interest with each new sentence. It feels so...literary. It's less like something I would write than something I would find in the anthology we use for assigned readings. And four pages into the story, one day before deadline, I've discovered why: It's high-concept, and nothing happens. It is a story about a guy who is bored and sad and all modern and stuff, pity him boo-hoo, and then the story ends on a poignant note.


This is awful. I think this is a sign that I'm not reading enough non-workshop books, or partaking in enough hobbies that don't involve computers, or having enough adventures in Nowhereland, Ohio. I'm tempted to pepper the story with spontaneous monkey attacks and duels to the death, but it's a little late for that now...

Comic books. I need to read horribly cliched, poorly written, poorly characterized works of genius. I need to go to Matrix, or the Oberlin public library. I need 50cc of imagination, stat.

Looking forward to spring break, in which I can hopefully spend less time writing and more time doing things I can write about.
About this Entry