This is a last ditch effort. In my anxiety I have lost the way in this English class and, starting earlier and moving forward, will now be desperately marching on towards progress. Gods willing, I will be turning in many assignments come Wednesday, and will pray that Sir Thomas will grant mercy to my wayward and lethargic soul. Following this, I will work at my very hardest to complete the Expository Essay on the topic of Tabletop Roleplaying Games, I will conquer the Annotated Bibliography, and with great and righteous fury I will devastate the Douglass worksheet. Prayers for mercy will come swift and fervent, throwing myself, if I must, at the feet of my vicious god of an instructor, weeping for pity. I wish that this semester had been easier upon me, but, alas, 2014 has been a year of terrors and scorn in my suddenly chaotic life. I am pondering thusly my academic future, and praying that it will be a time of good news when this semester comes to its climactic end. With but scant few weeks to go and little time to devote to the completion, I am at the mercy of my own two hands, which I pray will remain idle no more. Prayer, however, is good only for self-appeasement, and to truly achieve I will have to work on my own terms, of my own volition. Out, then, shall go the devotion to the outside world. Out will go the frustrations and melancholies of the day. Out shall be all but my devotion to my studies, and study I shall. Shaking as I type this, I hope that the relatively small load of work I possess will be accepted. Tomorrow is another day, and Wednesday is a day further still. My work shall be long and arduous.
In an example of antiquity combining with the rougher humor of the modern day, this image approximates Biblical language with an image of a man struggling with an angel. The image is in greyscale, a woodcut perhaps, with a very detailed artistic style, realistic and well-managed. In the distance, a tropical island that seems almost primordial sits serenely away from the life or death struggle between the angel and the human. Palm trees emerge from the sea that threatens to overtake the peaceful island, swaying ominously in an unmoving breeze. The stone on which they grapple is ancient, crumbling with the weight of ages and mossy near the edges. Grass grows behind the angel, suggesting that the stone is firmly lodged in the earth of the island itself. The clothes of the two beings stand in stark contrast to one another, the man clad in a rough-hewn black robe, simple and plain, with a pair of leather shoes his feet’s only protection from the elements. His robe lacks sleeves to keep cool in the balmy and warm air that causes him to sweat profusely. Meanwhile, his violent opponent in the angel dons a long and flowing robe, pristine and white, his sleeves missing as well, but smoothly cut, as if they were never meant to be there in the first place. Natural and beautiful, his graceful wings betray an almost sinister air, pointed and almost ragged, as he smites the human with seemingly his own fists. His face is an image of peace despite the cruel struggle he is locked into, serene yet firm. Confident of its own victory, but almost pitying on its victim. The text describes the scene in a comical way, implying that the angel is a cruel older brother who forces his underling to hit himself.
Nelson handed me a script as thick as a brick. Looking it over, I saw it was some cheap thrills flick about a guy who skydives while fighting ghosts. I chuckled to myself and slammed it on the desk, causing Nelson to jump like a man about to get shot. “Nelson, this script stinks. I know it’s the third revision but if I don’t see some quality in the next two weeks, it’s your ass on the line.” With a look of terror, Nelson couldn’t move an inch, and he started shaking in his cheap English shoes like I really was going to shoot him. Maybe I’m sick for taking satisfaction in that; the script was amazing, but if he knew that then I’d be out of a job and his flick would be out of the Oscar pool after it was in theaters. He took the script back to redlines and I lit my cigar, leaning back in my chair and laughing like a man on top of the world. Honest truth? I am a man on top of the world.
I pushed the button on my desk. “Shirley?” I say. “Yes, Mr. Fontanella?” replied my secretary, less than half an office away, but behind frosted glass. “When am I scheduled to talk with that one guy? The idiot with the kids movie about bees?” There was quiet, then some rustling of papers before finally she replied, “It’s a 2:30 meeting, sir, after lunch.” I chuckled darkly. I was gonna enjoy this one. After Seinfeld’s big flop, who the heck was gonna go see a kids movie about bees? I’d tell him who. People who like cereal. His big bee movie project was gonna turn into the biggest advertising extravaganza since Transformers 4. Honey Nut Cheerios: The Movie, starring Brendan Fraser.
Hello, hello, hello, is there anybody out there?
Yes, hello, it is me again. After the crushing failure of seething mediocrity that was my previous semester in this fine and fancy English class, I have opted to attempt it yet again! My name is still Tristan, I am still vehemently addicted to pulp fiction, and I still intend to pass this class. Previous setbacks aside, I fully intend to succeed this time, and with little to no obstruction to my soaring path to victory. That and I’ll keep up with the blog posting. Huzzah!
There’s a tendency in fiction based on previously existing properties to take a single attribute of said property and figuratively drive it into the ground. Repeatedly reiterating a fact, exaggerating it beyond recognition, focusing on minutiae until it somehow overcomes the original point and becomes a sort of cartoonish parody of itself. In sitcoms this is called “Flanderization”, referencing Ned Flanders of the Simpsons and the tendency of characters to start well-rounded with a few quirky aspects before, season by season, being wholly overtaken by the quirky aspects. Similarly, details of characters in the Star Wars movies have gradually completely taken over the entire setting, such as Han Solo’s request to “never tell [him] the odds” suddenly mutating into his entire race, the Corellians, being averse to “the odds” and all being risk-taking daredevils. It’s silly, not everyone conforms to the protagonist (or supporting character, as the case may be). Similarly, in my beloved Cthulhu Mythos stories, books have gone from terrifying affirmations of truth that are often dismissed as bogus to literal manifestations of utter evil and despair that somehow drive you mad via reading them. It’s an absurd concept, that knowledge results in immediate insanity. In general, I wish people would look more directly to the source and extrapolate, rather than exaggerate. Turning something as simple as a character trait, a quote, or an object into an over-the-top distillery of itself is childish and ignorant of the desires of the original authors.
What we have here are two authors of popular sci-fi/horror pulp fiction punching each other in the face. Well, it’s fairly clear they’re not really punching each other, but regardless, say hello to Frank Belknap-Long (left) and Howard Philips Lovecraft (right). Lovecraft and Belknap-Long were good friends in real life, and this picture was taken on one of the few chances they got to meet in real life.
It is a popular stereotype that Lovecraft was a shut-in; that he preferred to stay indoors and shunned the company of others. As such, some might find it a bit shocking to find an image like him. Better still, he’s even smiling! Surely the face of a miserable shut-in.
Lovecraft, in fact, had a very active social life, whether it involved visiting friends in-state, across the states, or simply writing letters back and forth. He was not considered particularly an outcast by his friends, and many considered him to be charming and sophisticated.
This is of importance to me as it challenges the kinds of stereotypes that frequently surround writers of antiquity. Lovecraft in particular is my favorite author, and he is frequently subject to speculation that he was maladjusted or that he made people feel uncomfortable. As is shown in the image, he was every bit as good-humored and exciting as one might expect from somebody with a creative mind.
I am an actor and a writer, and between the way I play villainous roles and the subject matter of my stories, which tend to be macabre or at the very least somehow strange, people tend to stereotype me as “creepy”. For a few years, some of my theater instructors refused to cast me in anything but bad guy roles, or anything that was otherwise “creepy”. This affected me in a very negative way, since she herself specifically would tell me that she thought I was “creepy” when, indeed, I think I’m fairly well adjusted. I’ve even got friends who can back me up on that!
My name is Tristan Jusola-Sanders. I am an Arts studen at the Northwest Arkansas Community College. I intend to be a writer by trade, hopefully an author of frivolous things like horror, fantasy, and maybe even a little bit of science fiction. My first published short story, “Who Hath Delivered Jacob”, will be published later this year, 2014, in a Lovecraftian short story anthology by BeanPod Press.
Speaking of, my favorite author is, in fact, Howard Philips Lovecraft, who created the ever-popular Cthulhu character. I am slavishly devoted to the weird fiction and pulp movements of the early 19th century, with particular regard, besides Lovecraft, to Robert E. Howard of Conan the Barbarian fame, Edgar Rice Burroughs of John Carter fame, and Clark Ashton Smith of Being One of Lovecraft’s Friends fame.
That’s me, and I hope to be writing in this again soon.