Archive for the Writer's Blox Category

Community Drawing, Notes To The Public, and More

Posted in Artistic Stuffs, Stuff With My Kid, Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2012 by Dustin

I did a lot this weekend creatively. By the time Sunday football came around I was pretty worn out. It didn’t help that I spent most of Saturday in 100 degrees fixing sprinklers and making multiple trips to the hardware store. This post is going to be picture heavy so I hope you enjoy.

Community Drawing – My First Piece

First thing we did this weekend was Friday at Perma Dirty in Claremont CA. I brought my nephew, daughter, and wife and we joined in the community draw which is going on for the next couple months. All the walls are covered in paper and blank canvases and also some furniture. I chose the chair to start with since it was free and had nothing on it yet.

Nephew's First Drawing

Nephew’s First Drawing Of The Night

Daughter Painting On The Wall

Zoe painting on the wall

After I was done with the chair I moved around the room to admire the work others were working on and chat it up with some friends in attendance. It was pretty warm with all the people and the unusually high humidity for Southern California but we all made due. I saw one guy doing homework next to an amazing artist Cynthia Garcia while she worked diligently on her chalk portrait of the Breaking Bad main star (sorry I don’t have a pic of that).

Doing Homework Is More Interesting To This Guy

Doing Homework Is More Interesting To This Guy

I decided to put a note and an arrow to have fun with this guy. Later he added some math equation which I laughed at. I drew a few more clever doodles and then we left because we were getting tired and hot and wanted to go to bed.

Juicy Weiner

My Juicy Wiener

Nar's Wall

Narwhal’s Like Other Walls

Dunce

What a Dunce

Slender Man

My Daughter Drew Slender Man

So the next day I spent way too long working on the sprinklers but after that we went down to Pomona to participate in the Walking Gallery. The name for this month’s show was Note To Self. My wife gave me a funny idea which I capitalized on. I took a small white board and a dry erase marker and made funny signs all night to get the people walking by to either laugh or interact with me.

What Are You Looking At?

Good way to get you to look at my crotch

I changed my sign every so often after I got a few laughs. Sometimes I had to wait a little bit for people to pay attention to me. I never called out to anyone. I wanted to be as non available as possible. As if the sign wasn’t very important and if they wanted to look they could but as if it was just part of me not something I was doing. Worked out great!

Some People Laughed, Most Cringed

Some People Laughed, Most Cringed

What do you think they touched?

What do you think they touched?

I like making people laugh and I got quite a few laughs out of this piece. I may revisit this another month if I having nothing else to show since it was so much fun.

Only 1?

Only 1?

On Sunday I watched some football and then went to the opening for the newest Chaffey Review literary and art journal at Simplicitea in Rancho Cucamonga. It was butt-ass hot! So many people showed up and it was good to see but with the stupid heat it was hard to do much but drink tea until I exploded. I have a short story in the latest volume, volume 8, which is my first published short story The Last Words Of Tim Dawson. You can buy a copy by sending them a check. All the details are on the website: http://www.chaffeyreview.org/.

Chaffey Review Volume 8

Chaffey Review Volume 8

Pretty busy weekend. Hopefully next month I can finally get the “Big Project” done that I have all these parts for but haven’t spent any time building. I’ll keep you updated. Hope everyone enjoyed the pictures. Let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page what you thought!

Greener Grass Than Mine

Posted in Artistic Stuffs, Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2012 by Dustin

Let Your Dogs Run Wild

Anytime I travel to a new town the grass seems to be exceptionally greener on their side. The food is in walking distance and is amazing with 400 thousand options. Kitschy neighborhoods with quaint little shops selling all kinds of frivolity abound and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me? Why do I stay living in such a mundane vanilla town with abso-freaking-lutely nothing but track homes and corporate businesses sucking the life blood out my creative soul? I’ve been to a few cities and not all of them give me such vehement reactions to my own home town but too damn many have and I’m really wondering when am I going to start planning my escape?

I have made the best of living here in suburbia, about 50 miles east of LA in the mecca of the Walmart culture. I run multiple video sites on youtube, do performance art on the street once a month, write blogs and stories and poetry, and once a year I fill my garage with horrific scenes of blood and gore and invite the neighbors to walk through and get some candy.  It’s all very fun and I love the people I hang with for all these events, but the lack of anything happening on it’s own, especially restaurant wise, is killing me.

I visited Portland Oregon this weekend as a birthday present to my wife. Albeit this is the Vegan/Vegetarian stomping ground for a shit ton of hippy types, it is still a good example of city life breeding creativity not only in culinary amazing sauce, but also in art. (I am fairly biased being that I am a vegetarian freak myself.) We walked to the local once a year art happening “Art in the Pearl” and met lots of fun people from all over that are doing things and making it happen. The last time I saw anything related to art in my little dumpy town was when the guy with the white van set out all his paint by number pieces in front of Ralph’s to be sold to people who needed something to fill some space above the mantle and wouldn’t know art if it shit in their Twinkie.

My wife and I have gone back and forth and we’re pretty sure we like northern California for our eventual landing spot but for now we’re braving the 110 average heat index during the summer and a terrible food selection so that our daughter can finish high school with her friends. Come next year we may just be searching for a new place in the bay area. Until then we make the most of what we got.

Where do you think the grass is greener?

The Benson Hotel – Portland Oregon

Vacation Laziness

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , on August 14, 2012 by Dustin

Just getting back from vacation. Brought several things with me to be creative and didn’t do much but stare at them and then take a nap or go swimming in the nearby lake. Now that I’m home it’s a thousand degrees outside and I really don’t feel like doing anything. I must print some pieces I have finished in the garage though and get them submitted to a show I am going to be in soon. Also I didn’t write any poetry like I told myself I would be writing tons of. Oh well, the downtime was more than awesome and I needed that.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and explaining how much I miss vacation over and over when people ask me about it. I’ll get to work soon enough but until then I get to go to work for a pretty awesome company that helps me take these fun vacations.

Once I get some prints done I’ll post pics and details of the show when I get those as well. Off to sleep for now.

20120813-212658.jpg

Taking Time Off – Now What?

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , on July 30, 2012 by Dustin
Vacation 2012 Big Bear

Camping and relaxing in Big Bear

I am lucky enough to work for a company that gives me paid vacation time. I enjoy taking time off and this week starts my two week and one day break from managing networks and fixing broken computers. I won’t be leaving for a few days so I have some time around the house to myself (well with my teenager but that might as well be by myself with her staying in her room all day). There is never a shortage of projects, both artistic and around the house, for me to work on but where do I start? There is also a long list of movies I’ve been wanting to see. I have a blank canvas before me waiting for me to accomplish something but I’m stalled out trying to decide.

Lists. When I get stuck I find writing a list of things usually helps me either prioritize or eliminate. Since I’m going on vacation for 9 days I will need to get some stuff together before I leave. Maybe I should write a list of things I need to do to get ready? Or maybe I should write a list of household projects I never get to and I could finish one before we leave? There is also the creative projects I’ve been meaning to start. I should write a top 5 list and do the number one thing? Listing movies I want to see by preference sounds fun, maybe I could coax the teenager out of her cave to help me? Oh shit, I just wrote a list of things I could make a list about!! It’s hopeless. I guess I’ll finish this blog post first and then work it out.

I get like this when I have free time. The wife says “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Whatever. What about when you can’t figure out the plan, what do you do then Miss Know how to do everything? “Make a list.” Shut up smart ass. (Why am I arguing with my wife on this blog?) I find myself doing odd tasks around the house, taking forever, screwing around on the web, playing video games and then look at the time it’s lunch already? Half the day is over and nothing got done and I feel guilty and this guilt is too much to deal with and that meal was good, time to take a nap. “What did you do all day honey?” Sigh…

I have some things I need to do so at least I won’t be a total slacker. Got my laundry done and some dishes and I’m taking the kitten to the vet for her first appointment. I do want to mow the lawn and work on the sprinklers and I get to see my wife every day for lunch when I bring her something to her job that she still has to work at this week L. Between all that “have to” stuff I want to fit in some want to stuff. I want to work on my next performance piece and start dialing in the comedy act I’m working on. If I can get all that done in the next three days then I will have been a success and it’s off to vacation to have some fun in the sun with the whole Odd Family crew. And See, I accomplished another thing by finishing this blog. (I also went camping this weekend as the first hurrah for my time off. Had a blast. Check out pics on my facebook.)

Creativity When I Can

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , on July 23, 2012 by Dustin
This is how we do Prom

My daughter and I at Prom gallery opening where we had a piece

I recently read an article in Writers Digest by Pamela Redmond Satran called 7 Steps to Successful Juggling. This wasn’t an article about how to start your own street performance business begging for money while you dazzle 4 people on a corner or subway alcove (although I would read that article as well). This article was focused on writing and fitting it into your daily life. I stopped writing much this year due to many years in a row of trying to juggle it all and then getting burned out. The article didn’t give me any new ideas but it did jump start my initiative. I have been slacking creatively and it’s been bumming me out.

When I was writing letters every day for a year to my wife I used to get up every day during the week at 5am to make sure I got the letter to her in time for work. When on vacation I found time every day to steal away a few minutes or an hour to write. I used to write on my lunch breaks at work or while I waited for file to download I would through ideas down in the idea file and stay productive and focused on whatever my current writing project was. I finished a book like this, I finished a script like this, and I got through a year of love letter writing like this. Then, I stopped.

Working a full time job and writing was getting to me and I wanted to chill out. Soon after I stopped the writing I started feeling anxious and eating more and watching more TV. I would have short bursts of creativity but none that led to any lasting project our routine. I am only now starting to analyze where I’ve been in my head the past year with my writing. Writing is a very discouraging process when you only have small amounts of time to dedicate to it. If I wanted to make a career out of it I would need to work much harder than I am capable. So I feel discouraged about even starting anything because I know I can’t dedicate enough, or what I consider enough, time to it. But if I don’t write or create my head starts getting squirrely. So what am I to do?

The Great OddI write and create because I have to. If I don’t then I become even more self-destructive. Nothing may ever come of all this writing and creation but I feel better doing it. I have a never ending stream of ideas so I might as well put some of them to use and stop torturing myself. I started putting some plans together for a show I’ve been planning in my head for over a year. I got a small blueprint of ideas that is more concrete than it has been ever. I feel encouraged at least which isn’t how I’ve felt for some time. I just need to keep pushing myself forward. As long as I stay ever vigilant I will reach my goal. I’ve done it before I can do it again.

I am the Great Odd, ask me a question

Lazy and Fearful – My Creative Routine

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by Dustin
Dustin Scott - Artist

Me at Walking Gallery in Pomona CA

I have a head full of ideas and a to do list a mile long, but I’d rather sleep in and meander through my weekend than do anything about it. I have writing projects I’ve put off for years; performance art projects I have supplies for that are gather dust in the garage; and a honey do list that my wife won’t stop harping about. I’ll get to it when I have time sheesh, get off my back.

I have a million excuses why I am not being productive whether it’s mowing the lawn or starting my next script:

  • I don’t have time – True to an extent but I just watched all of the last season of True Blood last month so… (I had to get caught up on my erotic soap opera with vampires man).
  • I don’t know where to start – The beginning would be a good place
  • It’s too hot out – There are plenty of projects inside too
  • I have too much to do – Try eliminating some of that stuff and you may have a few hours to spare
  • What if I do this and no one likes it? – What if never got me anywhere, why not has gotten me plenty
  • It will take me forever – If you wait a week or work a week it’s still one week later, get off your ass and do it

I have a few projects that I believe to be great creative opportunities. I haven’t worked on any of them recently. I have barely begun on anything lately. I have been doing some video work with my daughter and that has been pretty fun. (See them here MetalDadAnimeGirl , MetalPMV). My writing on the other hand has been pretty sparse. I have some finished products I don’t want to look at and new projects I’m nervous about starting because they’re so monumentally large that I know it will be months of writing to complete. My Brain tells me “Why start something that big when you couldn’t even sell the other three large projects you finished?” Shut up brain, you don’t know me mutha sucka, I’ll kick your brainy ass.

My wife says I should write about it so I thought I would do some blogging maybe once a week and see if anyone out there has any help to assist. Maybe the cathartic exercise of writing weekly on my struggles will yield some kind of answer to the ultimate questions. That or I should stop pontificating and get off my lazy ass.

I will put this one idea out there and see what people think. I want to get a show going and test it at the local small comedy venue in Claremont California called Flappers. I could book the act with only a host and maybe one or two opening acts then I would do an hour show. It would be comedy but not stand up. I would be telling stories (true stories from my life) and then work the crowd to get some of their stories. I would pair this with slides of pictures from my life that would match up to the stories. I have discussed this idea with friends and they all seem supportive. But here I am writing about the idea still and not taking any initiative to get it going. The only thing holding me back is fear. Fear of the untested unknown show that in my head looks great, and on paper looks fine as well, but can I pull it off? Will I be able to get butts in the seat? Will they stare into my eyes and not get what I am trying to do? I will be up there for an hour which I have never done before. I think about it and I think hell yeah I can do it, but the last time I saw the guy from Flappers putting up signs in the kiosk out front I didn’t talk to him about the opportunity to do a one day show mid-week did I? No I did not. When I had free time at home I didn’t start putting a file of pictures together and brainstorming stories for the show did I? No I played video games, watched more TV (again True Blood is pretty damn fun) and generally made excuses on why I wasn’t doing shit to move myself forward.

Tropics Lounge

Playing my pink sparkle Hello Kitty drumset

That’s just what I do. You know what else I do? I get a hair up my ass and work and get things done. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. I just wish the times in between the ass hair times weren’t such a bummer. I have written two books, a year of daily letters to my wife, a script, and I’m currently more than half way done on a poetry book. I have put together numerous performance art pieces and put out multiple CD’s of music with my punk band The Atomic Bombs. I can do things I just lag sometimes. When I stop lagging then the world better watch out because here I come.

Why Writing a Non Fiction Book Proposal is Hard

Posted in Writer's Blox with tags , , , , on August 22, 2011 by Dustin
FFFFFUUUUUU Guy

Meme That My Daughter Showed Me, Frustration!

Because I don’t wanna! Wah Wah Wah *stomps feet and rolls around on floor*. This part of the writing world is the serious part. The business side of selling your writing and telling others why it is better than what is out there and why they should pay you money for it. The non fiction proposal is so much more than just sending a short query letter and hoping someone likes your sample pages. It’s a report and I never liked reports when I was in school. I would usually wait until the weekend before and then half ass all of my reports. I remember getting an A plus on a book I never read. I did the report the night before and worked feverishly on it for about 3 hours. The teacher loved it and I got an A+. My proposal has no deadline only my own bullshit holding me back and so it drags on and on. There are always more excuses, more research before I can continue, more editing, more time wasting by writing blogs about it.

In all seriousness I am about half way through the thing and it doesn’t look too bad. I stopped working on this book about 3 or 4 years ago when I finished editing it. I found some other books out that were so similar to mine it scared me. I wasn’t as educated about the business side of writing then and it hurt too much to continue when I thought the other book had killed mine.  There are only three books I have found with similar subject matter and that isn’t much when you consider how many romance novels or horror or self help books there are. If I had written one of those I would have a mountain to compete against. Instead I have three books. The part I am stuck on is the comparison of mine to these three books. In a non fiction (report) proposal you have to compare your potential project with the competition and prove why your book is unique and why it can make money over the others or with the others. I feel confident my book is different and superior but looking at published works that someone paid to put out and my manuscript naked and bare in a word document gives me the shrinky dinks and I feel small and insignificant.

Maybe I should give myself a deadline and then wait until the night before to work on it. As the Procrastinators Handbook by Rita Emmett says, this is just another way we procrastinators do things. Thinking that we work better under pressure. Ugh, why?! I always tell on myself and never let myself slack off a little. Stupid conscience. I guess I’ll have to improve and stagger on continuing to push myself to get the things done. I fell like I am the parent to my own self doubt. Whenever I start to slack off I look in the room of my mind and say, “Are you done with that homework? No? Then get back to work and finish or you won’t be able to go outside and play.” ahhh man!

Every step forward, no matter how arduous, leads me towards completion. So I trudge along trying to keep my head down and not dwell on the results. I have a task and that is clear and in front of me. Write the next section of the proposal. Then when I finish I need to write the next. Eventually the thing will be done and I can start combing over it and sending it out to friends that won’t read it and editors that don’t like it and agent that could give a rats ass. “Are you still working that homework?” Yes Dad, sheesh don’t have to be an asshole “I heard that!”

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