Wordlost

November is my favorite time of year. It is, in a word, NaNoWriMo–that is, in four more words, National Novel Writing Month. And while it’s only my 13th time participating, the organization is now in its 20th year. The premise is simple: write a 50,000-word novel in November.

The challenge, however, is hardly simple: November is also the onset of winter holidays, the shortening of days, the advent of colder temperatures, the mad dash to teach all the content, the mad dash for students to learn all the content in preparation for finals, and November comes at the tail end of the semester when energy is already low and hard to muster.

But since 2006, NaNoWriMo has been my passion: It is, so I’ve often told myself, the one time each year when I selfishly put my writing before all other obligations and write. Each year I win NaNo, I continue to assure myself that my dreams of being a writer are within reach.

And since 2012, I’ve been mingling my passion with NaNo with my passion for the mythology I’ve been constructing since I was about ten years old. This coming-together has been at times the most exciting opportunity, and at other times, the worst.

In short, my wordlust has turned to wordlost.

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The Brave Little Faggot

I was sitting outside in the beautiful fall North Carolina weather (our first day of sunlight in two weeks), musing about the story I might write for NaNoWriMo…I have an idea, but is it enough of an idea–

And then, from a table near mine, “–faggots kissing.”

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Elastic Heart: Societal Struggles

I recently saw a news story float across my Facebook feed about Sia’s new music video for Elastic Heart. The article mentioned many fans have criticized the video for its implication of pedophilia, yet Sia replied she had intended “to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.” The response was succinct, but kind and validating, and her additional comments left me intrigued.

So I watched the video, and here’s what I think.

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Talk About Them Blurred Lines

Can music exist outside its message?

Take Robin Thicke. He’s a handsome dude. Very pretty. Nice to look at. And though I’m saddened he can’t think of anything to rhyme with “hug me,” when his song hits the airwaves, my shoulders start rocking, my head starts bopping, and when that ubiquitous “Hey-hey-hey” comes up, it comes out of my mouth, too.

But I’m conflicted. I like the song, but I can’t stand for what it says.

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Final Predestination

For a few Tuesdays last semester a Chabad rabbi joined with a few of N.C. State’s Hillel students and spoke with us about issues in contemporary Judaism. Not to be confused with contemporary Jewish issues such as Israel, people leaving the faith, and the degradation of traditions, he instead led us through discussions about the modern significance of Yom Kippur, suffering, and free will.

It’s obvious, then, why I thought of him when I read today’s teaching.

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More Hook Lines or Sinkers

You liked it. I loved it. And here I’m giving it to you again.

This time around, I’ll be highlighting the beginnings of three more of my stories, providing commentary about why they were good, and why they weren’t as good as they could have been. I won’t go too much into the types of beginnings there are or the processes used to get there–you can read back a few posts in my “Writing” category for all that–so this time around, it’s all pro-tip facts and critical fiction.

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