Some advice from Ernest Hemingway

I remembered what I was going to say before I wrote the last post.

I found an article called “Seven Tips From Ernest Hemingway on how to Write Fiction.” It’s an interesting read, and I wanted to share it with everyone, in case you missed it on the web.

I may start to take this advice, once I can come up for air this semester. If that ever happens, y’all will be the first to know.

Which sense would you chose to lose during lovemaking? A response.

I stumbled upon (not related to StumbleUpon) Prinze Charming’s blog today, and found an interesting article there, The Ultimate Sacrifice for Love; Makes Sense to Deny Participation, wherein the prinze asks, “Which of your five senses would you give up each time you make love to your lover?”

At first I thought that it would be an all-encompassing loss of the sense. If you chose sight, you would never be able to see again, ever. My answer to his question at this point in my understanding was to become a monk, live in a monastery and play video games for the rest of my life.

As I continued to read the article, I believe his intention is that you would only lose the sense while being intimate with your lover.  The thought of a loss of a sense only while being intimate is actually quite exciting… If I had my choice, I would want it to be a random chance of loss of sensation. The only one that I’d see as “too bad” would be the loss of the sense of touch. You’re not too likely to “get anywhere” if you can’t feel things, if you know what I mean.

For many people, the excitement of making love to the same person fades after a while. The excitement of discovering the curves of their body, the places that make them giggle, and the ones that make their hairs stand on end comes to an end after you have found them all, and can draw upon them as you wish. It’s one of the reasons that people cheat, the excitement of discovery is what drives people to do new things, or to do new things to new people.

With the random loss of a sense each time you became intimate with someone, your experience with them would change each time. Perhaps you lost your sight. Each kiss would be a surprise, a touch could come from anywhere and you would never know. The unpredictability of the experience could make things interesting and new each time. As long as it was not a permanent loss that effected my day-to-day life, I’d go for the roulette wheel of sense loss during intimacy.

If that’s “breaking the rules”, and I’m forced to pick one sense to lose every time I make love, I would go with taste. I feel like it’s probably the least important sense during intimacy, but I’m not really the type to involve food during “playtime”. Loss of sight would be a huge impairment, as I am an extremely visual person. Loss of hearing would be almost equally debilitating, sound is the primary method of performance feedback, and is extremely sexy. Touch would probably  be the worst though, without the feedback from your own body, how would you know if you were having a good time? Sure, you’d have the closeness, but you wouldn’t be able to feel it. No breath upon your neck, no wet kisses on your stomach, no pleasurable sensations from love making. Arguably, the loss of touch would impair, for men, your ability to even make love at all; for women, the emotional connection would still be there, but there wouldn’t be the feeling of closeness. I find it very difficult to believe that many people could have meaningful intimacy without the sense of touch. More research should be done on this subject. The sense of smell would not be a huge loss, but it would be noticed. The smell of your lover’s body, perfume or cologne is extremely powerful. Psychologists say that the sense of smell is very closely linked to memory, and that a scent can trigger powerful emotional recall. If you couldn’t smell your lover to help create these memories, there would be a definite loss.

To sum up: I’d either be a  Video game playing, kung fu fighting monk, a sensational(loss) gambler, or a tasteless lover.

Preparation: Finals Week

It’s that time of the year again, Finals. Everyone is writing, preparing, studying for their tests and performances. I, personally, can’t focus on that right now. I look at my notes and formulae and just see things that look easy and not worth going over. God, I hope that means I’m ready for this. It’s either that, or I’m deluding myself, preventing the studying that would be beneficial to my completion of this semester’s excitement.

I write this to try to clear my head of stray thoughts, prime myself for taking the big test in a few short minutes, but I fear that it is not working. Even as I attempt to align my willpower and accomplish this one task, to purge the excess energy from my mind, I am distracted by the sights and sounds around me: The table full of people discussing how badly they’re going to fail American History, the nice-smelling girl who just sat down next to me to finish her research paper or the hum of the florescent bulbs overhead.

None of those are really preventing me from writing. The real problem is the Asian guy listening too loudly to dubstep over his DJ-style headphones. I wonder if anyone else is as annoyed by that as I am. Why does no one say anything to him? Why don’t I say anything to him? Perhaps it’s a breech of the social contract that keeps humans from killing one another just because we can. He’s showing his dominance over those of us here in the library, attempting to keep to ourselves and study for finals. Presumably he is as well, his methodology differing distinctly, forcing us to bask in his auditory power over the silence of the library. If he were an ancient human, in the time before civilization, he might be banging his spear against his shield and shouting violently at the lot of us, deemed weaker in his eyes by our preference for peace. His war chant sounds much like fingernails against a chalkboard set to a heavy beat, one which we cannot help but answer. And the only answer available is conflict! Where are the warriors of our tribe? Why have we not met this challenge? Perhaps they look to me. Should I be the one to silence this threat? Am I to gather my shield and spear to meet this warrior on the field of battle? I am! I will champion my people! This threat to our way of life will be removed by my hand!

Oh. A librarian has caught the sound of his music and has asked him to turn it down. The challenger backs down, faced with a greater foe than he, but today it is not I.

Now it’s time to meet the true challenge. It’s 5 minutes until class starts, the final exam awaits. Perhaps I have a need for my spear and shield after all…

Learned the hard way: Tips for succesful writing

Perhaps this will end up being another series of articles for my blog, which I mostly say since I really only have one tip in mind at the moment. It’s something that I’ve learned about myself, and find it useful as well as frustrating. So here it is

When I write, I find that the first thing I write in any given session tends to be short, disjointed and generally not that great. This is the frustrating part of it. The good news is, once I’ve written whatever it was, I almost always go on to write other things, and they are invariably better than the first one. The advice I’d give here, if you experience the same issue, is to write something unrelated to your important project, and then move on to the main event. It’s a lot like an athlete stretching before her event. If you go in cold, you might not perform as well as you would want or, even worse, get a cramp and be unable to complete your event. It’s the same for writers. We have to prepare, and we all have different ways of doing so, or we could end up with a mental cramp, aka writers block. Anyone who’s had a rough case of that, knows it’s pretty awful.

What to do with those cast-offs? In some cases, it’s out there on the internet, but if you’re stretching your writing abilities before breaking into the real project, you can keep them to yourself, or take a look at them again later. Maybe you wrote something worthwhile, and it just needs a little fine-tuning from your agile, creative mind once it’s really ready to work.

I hope that helps someone. Writing it down has made it more real for me, and hopefully I’ll start practicing what I preach a little bit more.

How do you know when it’s worth writing a blog post?

I’m sitting here, feeling somewhat creative (also bored) and feel like I should be updating this thing. I’m not attempting to mirror my favorite news blogs, otherwise I could post the kajillion cool things I’ve read about today. I’m also not trying to post for the sake of posting, but many writers/bloggers feel the need to post to keep, and grow, their audience.

How do you know when it’s worth writing?

The likely answer is that it’s subjective. Do you have something you want to say? Then say it. Maybe you just feel like ranting, and want to see who agrees or disagrees. Write a post. Maybe, like me, you’re spinning your wheels with what you’re supposed to be doing, so you want to get something done, but don’t really have much to say. Typically, I’d say to just keep it to yourself, but I’m clearly not doing that.

Why am I writing this then? Self-doubt. I’m not doubting my feelings towards those that don’t have anything real to say or how I feel that they should, or more accurately: should not, write unnecessary things just because they can. More so, because I tend to doubt that the things I have to say are relevant or interesting to others. I try to encourage my friends to write about what they know, even if it doesn’t feel exciting to them. If you do a good job, others will appreciate the effort, leave you constructive feedback and everyone is happy all around. I’m trying to practice what I preach in this area, and write anyway.

It feels like rambling at this point, so I’m gonna close it up, but I feel good for having written something, even if it’s only a small grain of wisdom trapped in the sandbox.