Call for notes!

Do you write notes to yourself? Do you use post-its (of printed or electronic variety)? Do you make epic to-do lists? Do you keep track of all the shit you’re supposed to remember on the back of your hand?

From little blurbs to long lists, I want to see your notes!

I’m in the middle of working on a long-form fictional work in which the central character makes a lot of extensive personal notations, and I’d like to generate some ideas about how he does that, eventually developing a style for him. This is also a very visually-oriented work–in its current iteration, the work will consist primarily of these notes, handwritten onto pages.

So! If you are comfortable sharing your notes with me, I would love it if you mailed them to me, or scanned them and sent them over e-mail. Pictures of notes will also work. No one else will be looking at your notes but me, and none of your identifying information will be shared–this is strictly for research and none of this material will be reproduced in the work.

You can contact me at chelsea[dot]fiddyment[at]gmail[dot]com with scanned notes, questions, requests for other contact info, fan mail, smiley faces, etc. I look forward to hearing from you!

Big plans, changes underway

Obligatory statement that I have been terrible at updates here. Excuse for such behavior: school. Declaration that things will change very shortly…

Hello there, 2012

Delicious consumables...and this is just the food

Our NYE party has come and gone, along with its delicious spread of spreads: pear-blue cheese chutney, mushroom-walnut pâté, spicy hummus, homemade crostinis and cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps, various cheeses, bacon-wrapped shrimp, cranberry-orange relish, bhel puri…many of these recipes I will present in the near future for your own experimentation.

As much as New Year’s lists can seem trite, I think it’s important to document where I’m at as an arranger of words, as well as where I am in my life at large, in a space that allows me to revisit my desires and goals and that enables others to encourage me to keep my word. So, without further adieu:

Things to Do in 2012

I. The Professional

  • Set up and maintain a solid, unchanging three-day a week writing schedule, during which I write for three-four hours at a time.
  • Maintain this blog regularly: Adventure Day recaps/status updates at least once every two weeks, more recipes (with photos and perhaps video)
  • Maintain Drawing Coffee regularly: update/cycle through my writing portfolio online, columns/essays on the state of writing and writing-, narrative-, and publication-related issues at least once every two weeks
  • Develop coding skills.
  • Finish all of the work I’ve begun revising and new work I’ve started over last fall and the coming spring.
  • Make some decisions about my thesis by September.
  • Secure at least one internship.
  • Develop bookmaking and binding skills.
  • Write personally about my writing process and my critical self once a week.
  • Submit my work to ten publications.
  • Finish reading one book a month.
  • Perform at three readings.

II. The Personal

  • Set up and maintain a workout schedule three times a week by the first week of February.
  • Take one day a week for myself–to write personally, to get things done around the apartment, to make food for the coming week, do laundry, clean my work space, play video games, etc.
  • Write and adhere to a personal monthly budget.
  • Volunteer.
  • Find/start a band, and play at least one show.
  • Plan at least one road trip.
  • Plan a writer’s retreat+trip for January next year.
  • Acquire enough poster frames for all of my artwork.
  • Go to at least one Cards game.

The beginning of the year has to come to be a very significant time to me. At the beginning of 2010, I felt like everything in my life had dropped away and left me suspended, free-floating in empty space, and I couldn’t tell if I was flying or falling. Graduating from college felt like I had run a marathon and vaulted over a single last hurdle off the edge of a cliff with no base, no ground to crash to. I forced a minimal amount of writing, and mostly stopped altogether. 2011 started with a bang and a bruise, celebrating in Chicago for the first time with tons of significant people who, though they may not know it, help keep me driven even though they are typically far away. And I was, of course, playing the waiting game in many ways, including hearing about grad school admissions. As compared to the previous year, however, I believed in the direction I had come to, and was cutting through the air around me despite not having hit the ground yet.

On the front page of my datebook for 2011, I wrote an important note to myself to be read every time I opened it up–“Devote this year to love.” Over the course of the year, my understanding of love developed in incredible ways. Love–big love, capital-L Love, not just the kind you say to your family or your SO, but the way you feel about life and what’s in it and all the people and objects and places you will never know–is why I write, is one of the things at the center of me that makes me the person that I am. Life is too short not to genuinely extend yourself, the best part of yourself, to as many entities in as many ways as you can and to try to see them for what they are and what they can be, to try to understand them in the way they understand themselves and to be a force of exploration and curiosity and growth and passion in their existence, if only for a brief instant.

More than any other goals for 2012, I plan to devote this year to love. My feet brush the ground beneath with every step.

Adventure Thursday!: Logan Hardware

On today’s edition of Adventure Thursday!, my esteemed colleague Cory and I set off in search of a magical land of 8-bit graphics and catchy booping tunes. And boy, did we find it…

It will probably be 2 months before I update again (let’s be real)

Things I’m reading for funsies:

  • Clash of Kings by GRRM (again)
  • Storm of Swords by GRRM (again)
  • Willful Creatures by Aimee Bender

Things on my list:

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • A Brief History of Authoterrorism edited by Gabriel Levinson
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Things I’ve cooked (that I hadn’t really made before):

  • a ton of potato soup
  • tempeh hash
  • egg & rice bowls
  • vegetable korma (with homemade paneer)
  • tempeh shepherd’s pie
  • pasta with white wine & veggies
  • vegan & gluten-free chocolate chip cookies
  • oatmeal & buttermilk pancakes
  • whatever’s in the fridge curry

A bunch of miscellaneous things:

  • First-time occurrences: getting laryngitis, collapsing on the subway, watching O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Hustler, and Black Dynamite, going to a bachelorette party, cleaning the sun room completely, becoming an aunt, filing insurance claims, blah blah
  • Projects I’m currently working on: two (2) new stories, a bunch of old works, a collection of text self-portraits, my photo project, a collaborative live-writing performance, a triptych of monologues, bunches of things (probably a text-based game in the near future, among other things)
  • Things I’d like to do here: update, finish my LotR live-blogging (maybe get back into it over January), include more cooking updates, offer more opinions/speculation on things about writing and publication (as well as inevitably, current events), start blogging Adventure Days with one of my program-mates

As foolish as four Hobbits leaving the Shire: live-blogging The Two Towers

In December I decided I was going to give the Lord of the Rings trilogy another shot, so I brought Fellowship of the Ring home to read through January. Then I started posting commentary about the book while I was reading, which people seemed to find relatively amusing. This, unfortunately for the internet, contributed to my personal delusion that I’m funny, and got me thinking that perhaps I should step up the ridiculousness in my first-ever complete reading of this fantasy epic. Instead of just making the occasional offhanded comment, why not live-blog the whole thing like some sort of culturally significant current event?

So, as I read The Two Towers, I will be live-blogging jokes, thoughts, and the like on What the Fidd as they occur to me. Ideally, I’ll notify you guys far enough in advance of each live-blog session that people can be engaging with me while I’m reading, trading comments back and forth. Needless to say, this is going to be slow going. Given how long it took me to do the first two chapters, I’m only going to do this a chapter at a time, which  means this may continue for a while, depending on the rest of my schedule (not every day is the Snowpocalypse, after all).

I hope you’ll join me in this completely silly venture and continue to support my egregiously incorrect belief that I am hilarious.

The Two Towers Live-Blog Session 1

8:19pm: This session of The Two Towers live-blog experience has closed. Feel free to continue commenting, though any responses from me will be less prompt.

Covered in this post: Book 3, Chapters 1 and 2

Why on earth am I doing this?

5:11pm: The Two Towers live-blog session underway. All blogging/commentary will be made as comments in response to this post.

Aw, friends

Why yes, I am a ridiculous nerd

How to start a trip to Boston


Working on story revisions and listening to music after enjoying some dinner at a hotel near the airport.
Yes, that is a brick wall behind me. And yes, I am wearing a Kate Beaton shirt.

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