Thursday, September 25, 2014

Writing

Writing is hard. It is something we all struggle with- we are thinking beings and to get those thoughts down in coherent words is hard. Writing as a career is even harder. I know I have constantly harped/complained/bitched/lamented on this subject but I realize I was going about it all wrong.

Trying to become famous through blogs as a new writer is really impossible. It has been done and there are always those success stories that make you so jealous, it hurts. But it isn't reality.

I finally got a job writing for a legitimate company. And I am writing about something that really interest me- the outdoors. I have realized that you reach the world-wide audience through places where audiences already exist (duh) and then hopefully the personal blogs also flourish because you have a following. It also helps when you have some sort of perimeter to write in instead of blindly looking for topics...

Maybe I'll get some fans...want to be my fan? Here is the stuff I have already published with Wide Open Spaces- http://www.wideopenspaces.com/author/mateja-lane/

I should maybe also change this blog's title to "wannabe famous writer" ...


Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Blog!

I started writing for a website where I may make some money!
http://matejalane.hubpages.com
It won't be that different from my personal blog but hopefully I will get more traffic on the Hub site and more people will read my thoughts. If I have anything silly, I will still post here. Lot's of writing!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Making A Difference

I feel like I am having an existential crisis...trying to find a job in the tech market just feels so lifeless. How am I supposed to feel alive while writing software copy or selling AT&T. It just makes me feel so small and unnecessary. I was talking to my friend recently who works for a NGO saving the whales. I have another friend working with malnourished children in Africa. I'm sure they get some sort of pleasure from these positions. I always thought I would change the world and it's really inhibiting my job search. I realize that each working part of a company make the work influential as a whole but I feel like I want to make more of a difference on this Earth. I am just having a hard time caring about finding a meaningless job when our world is falling apart, what with ISIS beheading journalists, racism and police brutality, WWIII on the horizon and all the other things Vice reports on. But maybe I'll just write write Earth shattering software copy...at least it pays the bills.

Here are some lyrics from a Fleet Foxes song I found myself humming while I wrote this blog post:

Helplessness Blues

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me



Friday, August 15, 2014

Old School

I have been reading Dostoevsky again. Maybe I'm missing my studies and I spent a lot of time with Dostoevsky to write my thesis. Maybe I missed his psychotic unstable characters. But there is something about reading classics that make the reader nostalgic for a time passed. A simpler time, maybe? Realistically, no. I think passed generations had it a bit harder than the 21st century. Although, it does seem like the problems the characters have are much more immediate and small. Whom shall I marry? The neighbor has been frequenting the tavern so regularly...Did you know the milkmaid ran away with the butcher? Now with global connectivity, neighborhood drama is just gossip. Who cares about the little things when ISIS is taking over the Middle East, dictators are using chemical warfare and police brutality is getting out of hand. The level of transparency in our world today may be just really expose the ugliness of human nature. At least back in the 19th century society masked it pretty well so as uphold dignity. I'm not sure which is better but the 21st century definitely longs for a simpler time. It seems that the Medieval Age definitely wins in the nostalgia category. I can tell you, that was not a happier time. Mainly due to lack of sewage systems. But between Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Clash of Clans, there is something alluring about feudal lords, knights, kings, jousting, swords...they just don't show the shit in the streets. Anyways, I think it's interesting that we obsess on generations passed and romanticize all the good things. I'll keep on reading the classics for the time-being. Besides reading Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith, I feel like Dostoevsky is more challenging than most contemporary authors at the moment...



Yes, I guess this idea isn't novel and groundbreaking...Monty Python got there first.


Passed Past

I miss yesterday.
It will never happen again.
Doesn't it make you wish you did more with yesterday?
Not quite regret but just
longing.
That you used that hour more...progressively?
Efficiently?
Wieldly?
If you make a word an adverb it seems to long more.
Desire more.
Desire morely. 
Desire wisely. 
***********


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

kitchen disasters?

So, as we have established...I have a lot of time on my hands, what with moving to a new city, unemployment and healing from knee surgery. I have been watching the Food Network...so I've been cooking! And baking! And failing! I was obsessed about this gnocchi dish I saw on Southern at Heart. That girl is just so darn cute with her Kentucky accent and all. So, I tried to recreate this oh-so-easy recipe. Spoiler: it came out just fine, actually really good. It just took me probably 3 times as long as this gal on TV made it. The dough was just so sticky and I had a huge mess as I tried to roll my gnocchi dough down a fork to make the little ridges. By the way, the Food Network labels this recipe as "easy." I felt like a failure. But I kept going. Next step was to boil the little cheese pillows and then fry them in bacon grease. Yum. But...my bacon grease was sizzlin and as I dropped the little nuggets in, the grease popped everywhere. Another mess. I definitely burned myself somewhere during that step. My final mistake was to add dates into the sauce because the recipe called for them. But I hate dates. I apparently thought they may be magically transformed in this special sauce. Anyways, long story short, the meal came out wonderfully I just had a big mess to clean up and the preparation took forever...not to mention the 80$ grocery tab.
I just have been thinking about all these meals I have been cooking and the cinnamon rolls I have been baking and the bread and how I have never tried to be a good cook, never really wanted to be. But there is something comforting about making something that is pleasant to eat, it's good and it's good for you because you know all the ingredients you put in it. I have really realized how rewarding cooking can be and even though it is frustrating, time-consuming and I am always my worst critic, it helps the healing process.
Here is the recipe:
 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/damaris-phillips/goat-cheese-gnocchi-with-bacon-dates-and-kentucky-wine-sauce.html
And some pictures of my cooking:


Plus, baking treats make great instagram photos...



Pinch of This

Pinch of this,
Pinch of that,
Oh, wait, that was too much.
Shit, that's on fire.
Does bubbling mean it's overcooked?
Wait, that's ok.
Just sip some wine, it'll improve the taste.
But it's not so bad right? 
I'm never doing this again.
What's on the Food Network?
We need to run to the store...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time

Since I have all this time on the couch...
Once again I am bed-ridden. I got surgery on my right knee, some cartilage under my knee cap was warped. It is most likely residual from my car accident, to injure that particular area of cartilage you need to hit the knee cap pretty hard. Isn't that funny how I now claim ownership to something that was completely out of my control. My car accident... I wonder if my blog should now revolve around my injuries. That may be a depressing blog. Anyways...this go-around is really mild compared to other surgeries I have had and I guess I am grateful for that. Only 6 weeks recovery! Woohoo! I wonder if the sarcasm shows...
So, I guess I have time.
And time is such a funny thing...
I think this is such an interesting time for me. "Interesting" being a euphemism for "really freaking strange." I fluctuate from feeling so optimistic about all the things ahead of me to down-right depressed because I'm still unemployed...I think the youth right now is kind of in a strange position. I think we grow up now to feel more entitled, like we deserve more than we have. I especially feel that with my education I am somewhat worth something even though I have never even had a real job. Anyways, as I try to quell the raging storm of thoughts that go through my head during my couch time, I really always end up with the conclusion that everything will probably be alright.


Professional Endeavor

Careers are just that
do they use you?
can you be jealous of job pursuits?
really knowing is by being aware.
Charity skewed.
Kicked to the curb.
and you just run
and fuck
and sometimes smile.

Success is in the eye of the beholder.
abandonment.
and holdings.
and age.
Time may be the professional endeavor...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Can't Stay Away

I need to write. Even if I use this space for a personal diary; it is a place where I can muse and reconsider, make assumptions or claims free of judgement. It keeps me from talking to myself out loud. Writing is cathartic. Blogs can be an online journal. Sometimes it scares me that it is public but if someone needs to hear my writing voice, this can be an option.

I have been going to a writing group, a workshop, here in Austin. People applauded my voice. They liked my narrator, me. They like me, they really like me! I think I will edit some of my stories from the hospital with the group and the compile them into a small memoir. We talked a bit about selling books in this market (some people in the group have published books.) They say that the most difficult thing with sales is that the consumer doesn't know who the hell you are. We talked about how important social media and marketing is with authors. Authors are now expected to basically sell themselves and their work through social media. They must tweet daily, update Facebook statuses, spit out blogs, pin and post pictures on Instagram. All in between actually producing work and most likely having a job that produces steady income.

I think I have important things to say and I will use this space to say it. Yes, blogs are narcissistic. Yes, social media is just reinforcement that you are someone important and people "like" you. But this is the world we live in. All art is in itself a form of narcissism, really; the author, artist, dancer just wants to be recognized as brilliant and necessary. They just want to be liked. Artists are really just people with low self-esteem and need constant validation. And that is the way it has always been.

I have lately been preoccupied with reading about the moderns and the women behind them. I read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, a historical fiction written from the perspective of Ernest Hemingway's 1st wife, Hadley. I just finished Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Ann Fowler. Both books overlap with the stories of both couples in Paris in the 1920s. Both books are fantastic. Both books really dive into what life would be like married to each of these literary moguls. Both Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald were extremely self-conscious; bad reviews of their works would literally throw them into deep, drunken depressions. I think that period of literature is fascinating and Paris in the 1920s is irresistible reading. And the women behind these great men are so important to everything that was produced in that period of art. Talk about artists with low self-esteem...

I also have been letting my trip to Southeast Asia really sink in and am realizing I am missing it already. I am missing the history and just traveling in general. I miss having to plan trips, deciding what sights to see, what activities will be memorable. Oh, to be rich enough to just travel all the time. Here is a quote from Z; "There is a word for people who move from place to place, never seeming to be able to settle down for long: peripatetic" (Fowler, 142).  I have been thinking about this quote a lot and really think that I could live anywhere. I want to live in so many more cities around the country. I want to live in Europe. I want to have a life like the Fitzgeralds or the Hemingways in the '20s- moving from Paris, to summer homes by the French coast,  to the mountains for the winter, back to the U.S. That's what I want. But one day at a time. Here are pictures of the inspiring women behind amazing authors and then another few to quell my travel nostalgia.




Hadley and Ernest Hemingway

Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald


Women
By, Mateja Lane

Now that we are us
that we have a place in society, 
an important place,
is it more difficult?

Is it harder to keep tradition
while we push to modernity?
The women in the past
struggled to find their
voice.
meaning.
direction. 

But aren't we still there?
Swimming upriver,
running in sand, 
trying to find our place 
in time and space.