Advertisements
Archive | Notes RSS for this section

Actual advice for writing poetry, plus a poem that utilizes none of it

First off, you’re welcome for the ABSOLUTELY FREE NOTES I’m about to give you from my Very Professional Public High School Education. It’s your (or your parents’) tax dollars that paid for this, and I’m nothing if not completely willing to help you maximize your return on investment. Read and learn, then be completely befuddled by whatever may follow:

March 24, 2003: Satirical generic goth poem, plus class dynamics Read More…

Advertisements

One year later: a codygough.com retrospective (of sorts)

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I’ve been hesitant to write anything here for a long time now because I’m frankly a better speaker than I am a writer. I’ve always been the kind of guy who wants to exclusively present his “best” work. In college, I had a journalism class where we had to write one article every week; I wrote six over the course of the fifteen-week semester (for those keeping track: six is not fifteen). On the weeks when I didn’t submit an article, it wasn’t out of apathy or laziness – it was out of the knowledge that I didn’t have anything great to write about. So why do it?

Regardless, here I am, and here’s why: this is the one-year anniversary of my web site existing. Hurray! My first and last name, plus a dot com. Now there’s something exciting. The email I received informing me of my auto-renewal of this domain inspired me to actually, well, use it, so here we are. And for the record, I really hate how often I’m using Italics, but I’m going to soldier on and keep writing anyway. For you.

My “big idea” for this site was the 10-year Idea Reunion, which I thought was a great idea. I loved it. I got excited about doing it. I talked to people about it. But then… well, I’m not going to blame anyone, but someone very close to me actively discouraged the project, apparently thinking it was stupid. I let that person get to me, and the project sadly kinda died.

I was also going to host my “secondary” podcast here. I host the Unqualified Gamers podcast with my life-long friend Jon, and that’s been a blast. However, I also used to co-host this other, far inferior podcast, and this site was to be the main hub for all that podcast’s content. I’m frankly glad it went away, but that left a bit of a hole here.

So for the last several months, my titular domain name (did I use that correctly?) has essentially been home to Unqualified Gamers, and that’s about it.

But! 2014!

I want to resume the 10-year reunion, even if it isn’t technically 10 years old anymore. I hope to begin posting my old writings once a week, on Thursdays, specifically so I can shamelessly utilize #ThrowbackThursdays in my hashtags. I also want to start embedding YouTube videos here, now that I live alone and have a setup that will allow me to shoot my own vlogs or whatever you want to call them. So, there’s that.

And in terms of less “regular” content, I want to finally feature a section that serves the secondary purpose of being a talent page. I do have an IMDB profile, but it’s sparse at best, and I don’t feel like ponying up $15 for a month of IMDB Pro just so I can add a freaking picture of myself (which is supposedly a free feature anyway, by the way).

In the mean time, of course, you can visit my Facebook fan page for pretty much all that I mentioned in the preceding paragraph, but I’d like to get a completed acting resume on here, since I do happen to have one.

So there you go. Mostly useless information, but I wanted to say, I dunno, SOMETHING about this site. Who pays for his own web site and then just sits around not really touching it? Not me, anymore. I hope.

I know it’s only November, but here’s to 2014. I’ll talk to you again soon. Maybe.

Aphorisms!

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, an aphorism is kind of like a proverb. You know, stuff like “patience is a virtue,” “stupid is as stupid does,” and others like that. Here is a list of aphorisms that I wrote:

Can you spot the not-so-famous one I included?

Can you spot the not-so-famous one I included?

I didn’t invent any of these, but here are my favorites:
“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion.”
“Condoms don’t protect the heart.”
“Candy is dandy – liquor is quicker.”

And, of course, the one I slipped in from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. But I’ll leave that one up to YOU to identify (if you can read my high school handwriting, of course).

So if I didn’t create anything original, then why am I posting this? As a precursor to tomorrow’s poetry, of course! Stay tuned.

—–

This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

A really good poem with sexual undertones

There’s a bunch of crap on this page that you can probably ignore, followed by a poem that I actually kind of like a lot. More specifically, the top part of the page is probably some sort of word association, as I wrote about memories like “Forest City Invitational, senior year” (a cross country meet I ran) and “Picking up Dorothy and spinning her around” (I played the Scarecrow in “The Wiz”), and the middle part of the page looks like some disjointed stream-of-consciousness-type writing.

I’m only going to transcribe the poem that follows those thoughts, however, because frankly, I think it’s actually worth reading:

February 5, 2003: Poem

Transcript:
Rest
Relaxation
Muscles loosened
Body stopped
Staring at the closet, the closet staring back at me
One last movement – cuddling
One last thought – sex
One last sigh –
Finally.

It has pretty strong implications, but it’s also open to interpretation. You could even say that it’s… poetic. Maybe my creative writing teacher got to me after all. I just hope this poem was as good for you as it was for me (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

—–
This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

Writing exercise: writing similes and completing sentences, 2003 vs. 2013

Yay, a writing exercise! My creative writing teacher provided phrases ending with “is/are like…” or “as if…” and we had to finish the sentence, thus forming a simile (although it looks like some of these are just sentences needing completion, but close enough). We were giving this exercise on February 4, but I’m posting it on February 2 because we then used these similes as inspiration to write a poem, and I plan to post the poem on February 4.

I’m going to actually do this exercise, meaning that I will type all of her “set-up” phrases and complete them on my own. Then, I will supply my original 2003 answer, and then we can all compare. And please note that no, not all of these will end up being “similes” strictly by definition. Let’s do it:

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

A writing exercise for writing similes. Try it out!

Similes:

A spider on an old man’s beard is like…
2013: a scorpion in a tumbleweed.
2003: a woman in an older man’s bed.

The oars on a boat rowed as if…
2013: they had no other purpose.
2003: pushing away an annoying little brat.

Nothing was the same now that it was…
2013: Friday.
2003: Halloween.

The Wino took to coma like…
2013: a Russian going to bed.
2003: a student after school.

The dice rolled out of the cup toward Len like…
2013: an avalanche of rocks spewing from the peak of a mountain.
2003: his mother’s fist did last night.

A child in _____ is like a _____ in _____
2013: A child in peril is like a princess in the dungeon.
2003: A child in need is like a stripper in jail.

Puffy clouds in your glass of wine are like…
2013: balls of lava in a lava lamp.
2003: jagged clouds in your bag of cocaine.

A _____ is like muscles stretched taut over bone
2013: canvas
2003: hug

The fog plumed through the gunshot holes in the train windows like…
2013: a creepy pedophile sneaking into an elementary school.
2003: water pours out of Daffy Duck after Elmer Fudd shoots him.

The grey honor (honor?) walked up the satin plank as if…
2013: he were going to receive a medal for exceptional swordsmanship.
2003: on his way to the ring for a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship.

Cancelled checks in the abandoned boat seemed…
2013: like an impractical waste of space.
2003: almost as confusing as this awful analogy.

If I should wake before I die…
2013: then I should celebrate life.
2003: put me back to sleep with your warmth.

Illanah poured coffee down her throat as if…
2013: she were a robot that needed oil to continue to function.
2003: she hadn’t had a drink since last night.

Up is like down when…
2013: you’re in Dante’s Inferno.
2003: you’re completely insane.

You mine rocks from a quarry. What you get from a quandary is…
2013: a lot more difficult to understand.
2003: able to rock your mineshaft. (lol)

Marlene dangled the Parson from the question as if…
2013: I have any idea what a Parson is. (and yes, I know I ended that with a preposition)
2003: she actually made sense.

She held her life in her own hands as if it were…
2013: a chip on a roulette table, optimistically willing to let its value be determined by the arbitrary spin of a wheel.
2003: a feather on a windy day.

“No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…
2013: balling into a fist and preparing to strike.
2003: wrapping more tightly around her waist to keep her close.

The solution was hydrochloric acid; the problem was, therefore…
2013: finding a plastic container that could contain it without dissolving. (Thanks, Breaking Bad)
2003: zombies.

Love is to open sky as loathing is to…
2013: being tightly bound and unable to move, barely able to breathe.
2003: cuddly rabbits and teddy bears.

A few things:

  • Why so many drug and alcohol references? I was in high school!
  • Here’s your homework: please explain to me how a child in need is like a stripper in jail.
  • I actually really like the Elmer Fudd / Daffy Duck line… frankly, it’s completely appropriate. Well done, 17-year-old me!

I was struck by the similarity in my responses for She held her life in her own hands as if it were…; in both of my responses, “she” left her life completely open to chance, leaving fate to decide its outcome. Conversely, my responses to the very next entry, “No, no, a thousand times no!” he said, his hand…, were polar opposites, one ending in a fist and the other ending in an embrace.

It appears that over time, people are capable of changing in some ways, but not others. Or perhaps as a writer, inspiration strikes differently at different times? Perhaps some writers have killed off characters in some drafts, but saved them in others. I guess there’s only one way for me to further explore this theory: write more!

—–
This post is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” project, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

My education: a little background

Before I get too far into my 10-Year Idea Reunion, I’d like to provide a little background on my education. Despite my self-referential, tongue-in-cheek, smartass poetry and stories, I did in fact receive a quite advanced education leading up to the creative writing class I took my senior year of high school.

In addition to having read The Iliad, The Odyssey, most of Plato’s The Republic, and several other scholarly works by my sophomore year of high school, we delved into advanced literary criticism at the beginning of my senior year of A.P. English Literature. Here is one particular excerpt from my notes from my first semester of my senior year that stood out to me:

Be sure to pay attention to the "Good day in Dimmesdale's life" section

Be sure to pay attention to the “Good day in Dimmesdale’s life” section

Highlights (Italics added):

  • Chillingworth starts to talk about sex, beats himself into an orgasm
  • Both Chillingworth and Dimmesdale exist in an S&M relationship
  • Beat yourself to get released from the beating

Frankly, I remember virtually nothing from A Scarlet Letter (who does?!), but it certainly was important that we talked in class about people beating themselves into an orgasm. Was that seriously part of the book? I somehow doubt it, but we sure interpreted it that way!

My classmates and I were handling very adult material by the time we were 15 (I took these particular notes when I was 17), so it’s not like the nonsensical scribbling in my idea notebook are indicative of my educational background; on the contrary, they are indicative of someone who had chosen to neglect to utilize that educational background, instead focusing on the pursuit of irreverence and… wow, this sentence has a lot of vocabulary words in it, maybe I should just keep extending it in an attempt to exacerbate the illusion of SHOOT I CAN’T THINK OF ANY MORE BIG WORDS, IT APPEARS THAT ALL GOOD THINGS MUST INDEED COME TO AN END.

**UPDATE: In an extremely bizarre turn of events, it was just brought to my attention that The Onion posted a satirical piece about The Scarlet Letter only two days ago. I guess great minds think alike! And so, apparently, do The Onion and I.


This blog entry is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

How I’m like my shoe

My first creative writing assignment: write about how I am similar to my shoe. Okay, easy enough, right? Here’s what I came up with ten years ago today:

This is how I'm like a shoe. How are you like a shoe?

This is how I’m like my shoe. How are you like your shoe?

Transcript:
“I’m like my shoe because we’re both afraid of spiders, tripping, and werewolves. My shoe is very old and thus could become a BED TIME SNACK for spiders, and I’m REALLY scared of spiders, and of bugs in general. Also, I hate tripping on things or accidentally kicking hard objects and ending up in pain. Also, werewolves are really freaky and violent and fight like girls. FOR NO REASON.”

A few things:

  • I don’t know how old shoes can become a “BED TIME SNACK” (why was that in all caps??) for spiders, but that line still makes me laugh.
  • I’m still really afraid of bugs, but centipedes scare me much, much more than spiders ever have. Boxelder bugs also scare me out of my mind.
  • To clarify: werewolves fight like girls because they kick and bite and scratch, which boys generally don’t do. Sorry, ladies, but you can’t call science sexist.

I don’t have much more to say, so now comes the hard part: I will try to describe how I’m like my shoe today. I wish I had attempted this before reading my original response from ten years ago, but I can’t do anything about that now. So here is my 2013 explanation of how I’m like my shoe:

I’m like my shoe because we’re both comfortable, we both age well, and we both have spring in our step. My New Balance shoes are comfortable, and the word “Cody” literally means “cushion,” which is what I feel like the soles of my feet are stepping on while I walk. We both age well, probably because my shoes avoid the rain and I avoid the sun. I also like to walk with a little bit of swagger, which my shoes also do as they spring my feet back up with that classic cushioning. This is the part where I’d love New Balance to pay me large sums of money for my ringing endorsement. Although to be completely honest, I haven’t purchased a pair of shoes other than New Balance shoes since my sophomore year of college, which was nearly ten years ago. They’re just, like, the best shoe brand ever. I think I got off topic, but let’s face it: blog posts that stay completely on topic can become a BED TIME SNACK for spiders.

…some things never change.


This blog entry is part of Cody’s “10-Year Idea Reunion” series, in which Cody revisits his creative writing class assignments exactly 10 years after writing them. Learn more about Cody’s Idea Reunion and follow him on WordPress to follow along!

%d bloggers like this: