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Tag Archive | creative reunion

Viet-Mom

Welcome to CodyGough.com! This may be your first visit, because it’s my birthday, and I’m using the powers of Facebook to trick people into visiting promote my web site. Welcome, and enjoy. I host episodes of Unqualified: A Video Game Podcast here, as well as post stories and poems that are ten years old. I will eventually do more stuff, but I wanted to start simple in 2013.

With that out of the way: exactly 10 years ago, I had an idea. Inspiration like you would never expect. In addition to incredibly artistic drawings of characters from Super Smash Brothers: Melee, I came up with the premise to a story of epic proportions. Observe!

A CHILLING TALE INDEED.

A CHILLING TALE INDEED.

Transcript:

VIET-MOM
The chilling tale of one Asian woman who bore an entire nation, only to one day be betrayed by her own uterus. Witness the gripping re-enactment of one pedophiliac cannibal’s quest for her “golden children” through the exotic jungles of such countries that start with the letter “T” as Tahiti, Tijuana, and Taiwan. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll cry some more, as the journey takes you through four hundred years of tragedy, comedy, romance, and satire.

A few things:

  • Yes, I know I didn’t originally write “Asian,” but the word I DID use wasn’t politically incorrect yet when I wrote it. So sue my 10-years-ago-self. I actually am sorry if that offended you, though… just keep in mind, this was written by a high schooler in a different time. That’s all.
  • I’m pretty sure that tragedy, comedy, romance and satire were like, the 4 types of stories we studied in English class. We had also watched Apocalypse Now in class, which I’m sure inspired this entire poem.
  • I have no idea where Tahiti is. And I hate myself for ending the previous sentence in a preposition. But at least now I’ve shown that I did learn something in school, so I’ll call that a win.

Look, I never said that none of my stuff would be offensive (DAMN YOU, DOUBLE NEGATIVES), so please keep in mind that a high schooler wrote this stuff and that the “big picture” of my entire 10-year project is to entertain. Sometimes that includes shaking your head in my general direction. Other times, that means seeing my INCREDIBLY ARTISTIC ARTISTRY, especially applied to video games.

Anyway, I went on a kind of sabbatical from my web site in March, but you can look forward to seeing a lot more of my high school genius in April. Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoy my little project and decide to check out other parts of my site, and more importantly, I hope I can entertain you again soon, because I honestly think making people smile is why I was put on God’s Green Earth®… even if only because I have no other real skills.

Speaking of earth, I like how on my Apple keyboard, I can simply type Option+R to make the ® symbol, but on my Windows 8 laptop, I have to type Alt+0174. HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE

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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!

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A poem I can’t really explain

Fair warning: I have no idea what motivated this poem. It includes a lot of vocabulary words and is kind of emo, at least for me. So good luck getting through it:

Holy vocabulary, Batman

Holy vocabulary, Batman

Transcript:

I cry, enraged;
Interneccine, intractable, intolerable
Living a lie because the truth hurts
The truth, just as myself:
Intangible, impractible, intolerable
Just as hard to reach as
An echo in a cave
But deep within they lie
Investigate, intrude after all
Invincible You, Invidious You,
Inviolate Me, Invisible Me;
Interjected by hope.
By love – But for Whom?
Insanity for me
As if I could even tell
It interrupts the thoughts I can’t understand
They intrude, they intrude,
But into nothing at all.
People want me,
People need me,
But they don’t see me
So do they use me?
Symbiotic
People use people
And in the end, enraged,
I cry.

A few things:

  • The second line roughly translates to “murderous, obstinate, intolerable.” Later on, “impractible” isn’t a real word, “invidious” means “hateful,” and “inviolate” means “unharmed.”
  • I think the tone of the poem is too dark for me to have been simply messing around with alliteration, as I’ve done in previous poems, unless I was simply too angry while writing this angry poem to heed the English language.
  • “An echo in a cave” refers directly to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, although I don’t necessarily understand the context.

I must have had a bad day or something when I wrote this. Do you see any universal truths in this poem? Any statements about human nature? It’s hard for me to look at any of my old poetry objectively and try to read it out of context, which is both problematic for presenting my old works to the general public, and frustrating because maybe that’s now really the point.

This poem really sticks out to me because it isn’t sarcastic or irreverent, but it’s also really abstract compared to a lot of my other stuff. Like, generally, I see something and think to myself “okay, I get where that came from,” but this one is just like… totally out of left field. I hope you find some enjoyment out of it, because I can’t find much value in terms of poetry or reminiscence.

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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 Poem: “Bad Poetry Gone Worse”

AN ASSIGNMENT! Looks like we had homework in my creative writing class. And this also looks like a semi-serious attempt at a semi-serious poem. I’m going to post the transcript first, and THEN an image of the poem, so that you can read it (if you’d like) without my teacher’s commentary first.

Just as before, I’m reluctant to post one of my actual serious attempts at poetry, because who wants to feel vulnerable ever? And yet I must, not only to grow as an artist, but because I wrote this ten years ago and really have no business feeling self-conscious about it in the first place. So here you go:

Bad Poetry Gone Worse

Warmth and safety –
Temporary, not contemporary –
Brought about by softly stroking,
Holding close who means the most,
To feel warmth and safety.

A delicate caress, and a moment trapped in time
Forever – an eternity – can never last that long
The feeling held, the moment constant,
Infinity within a single embrace
Yet no time, no numbers, no measurements
Can quantify my Happiness.

Supporting Me, supporting You
Like two, like one; like one, like two;
Together at last, together forever
Together forever… but only for a moment.

One last look one last sigh
One last hug at the end of the night
One last peck – unless we’re just Friends –
One last grin as if keeping things quiet
One last touch to ensure that She’s there
One last heartbeat—
The everlasting hug… Gone.

Don't let the title fool you: it's not actually that bad. Maybe.

Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not actually that bad. Maybe.

A few things:

  • We studied Emily Dickinson quite extensively in English class; this led to a substantial use of “random” capitalization in my poetry, often somewhat mockingly. In this case, however, it looks like my teacher (and I, ten years later) was pleased with how I used it.
  • I can’t decide whether I agree with my inclusion the line “Temporary, not contemporary” that my teacher circled. It kind of doesn’t fit, but I feel like there’s a case for it. Thoughts?
  • This poem doesn’t suck, so that’s kinda cool, right?

I wasn’t what you would call “good” at things like “turning in assignments on time,” so I’m sure the check with “-20%” at the top of the page means that I turned in my assignment late. Oh well, I still graduated!

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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!

Poetry about hell… and Roy from Smash Brothers

I’m not sure how or why this happened, but apparently I penned a few poems about hell. The first poem is my “main” hell poem, followed by a poem that is about both hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Melee, equally. Let’s see how dark my high school mind could get:

A poem about hell, followed by two poems about hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Brawl

A poem about hell, followed by a poem about hell and Roy from Super Smash Brothers: Melee

Transcript:
The descent.
Through the cloud;
Off a cliff;
Into the needles
—Of a blackberry bush.
The voice of death
Whirring in your head
The descent into hell—
You know that you’re dead.
The same from all places
The distance of the journey is
For central the location be
Of Auburn’s room 296.

Wow… talk about anticlimax. I’m guessing that my creative writing class met in room 296. Anyway, that poem is followed by a rough draft of the next poem. Moving along, here is that second poem:

Gripping, masculine, muscular hands
In hell, no-one can hear you—
Play Smash Brothers—
I guess Roy really IS flaming!

A few things:

  • Roy is a character from Super Smash Brothers: Melee (originally from the Fire Emblem video game series), and I never liked him. His sword often bursts into the flame in the game, so I liked to call him things like “flaming idiot” and “flaming loser.” At the time, “to flame” someone meant “to insult” someone; I often had “flame wars” with my friend Captain, who of course LOVED Roy.
  • The imagery of tightly gripped hands could apply to Roy’s very heavy in-game sword, but it ends up implying the grip used to hold a controller. This gives the Smash Brothers poem actual poetic validity, which both annoys and pleases me.
  • I wonder why I specified “blackberry bush” in my first poem?

I like that my seemingly serious attempt at a poem about death/hell devolved into a stupid comment about my high school creative writing classroom, but my stupid anecdotal poem about a character I hated in Smash Brothers resulted in the creation of some actual legitimate poetry.

I’ve always been told that the best material comes from your passions. I was VERY passionate about Smash Brothers in high school (and college… and now), so I guess it makes sense that some semblance of creativity would have come out of me when writing about Roy.

…still feels totally ridiculous, though.

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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 a poem using similes

We did a fun little writing exercise in class on February 4, in which we completed some sentences to create similes. I feel like I wrote some pretty cool similes! But then, we were supposed to use them as an inspiration for a poem. Let’s see what I accomplished:

This poem uses a lot of similes! Which goes to show that a poem that uses a lot of similes... is still crap, if it's a terrible poem.

This poem uses a lot of similes! Which goes to show that a poem that uses a lot of similes… is still terrible, if it’s an awful poem.

Transcript:

Pouring coffee down his throat
As if he hadn’t had a drink since last night,
The honor walked down the plank
Towards the ring
Towards his title shot
For the WWE Undisputed Championship
The puffy clouds in his glass of wine
—Last night—
Had been like the jagged clouds in his opponent’s bag of cocaine
The clouds rolling like dice out of a cup
Like his mother’s fist did to his face last night
And as the honor saw the hydrochloric acid at ringside
He knew it could solve his greatest problem:
Zombies.

A few things:

  • This is terrible… except for the last line.
  • I don’t know what an “honor” is, in this context. Obviously I know what honor is, but my use of the word here baffles me. It’s not capitalized, so it’s not a judge… any ideas?
  • At least it’s coherent?

This just goes to show that there’s more to writing than just using literary devices. I think I probably took the assignment too literally, but I came up with something that at least told a coherent story, so… it could’ve been worse? Either way, let’s hope it doesn’t get much worse.

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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!

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!

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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!

Uh oh… a serious poem?

Well, this is going to be challenging.

In a culture over-saturated with irony, it’s hard to say something serious and leave yourself vulnerable to criticism, judgment, or even simple interpretation. That’s why I’m at least a bit reluctant to post this poem, because although I did indeed write it ten years ago, it’s strikingly devoid of the irreverence typical of the rest of my work. Was my teacher somehow successful in motivating me to actually attempt a serious poem?

Fortunately, the fact that I wrote this poem ten years ago is akin to a famous actor posting a video of the commercial he did for a local insurance company in Kansas when he was 16, so let’s face it: I can’t be too sensitive about any feedback I receive from anyone. So without further ado, let’s see if I was able to muster any poetic talent after my first couple weeks of a creative writing class (note that my actual poem attempt appears at the bottom half of the page):

 

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes... there's really no way to tell.

The top half is either a rough draft, or random notes… there’s really no way to tell. Either way, feel free to ignore it!

Transcript:
Darkness, stars, shattered dreams
Golden Idol among blindfolded denial
Cry of the Lifestream
Bloodshed of war
Fall of the epic hero
Hardcore
Body falling endlessly
Fallable, Falling, Failing
Hopeless destruction
Ultimate end
Hopeless failure
Goodbye to a friend.

A few things:

  • “Lifestream” is a Final Fantasy VII reference, and knowing me, I used “Hardcore” in the context of professional wrestling. So I guess I did go a LITTLE “inside” with this poem.
  • I feel like this poem would be awesome at a beat poetry open mic, probably because it doesn’t have an obnoxiously generic rhyming scheme.
  • Is this perhaps some kind of analogy for the life of a video game character?

You know what’s weird? I wanted to write some commentary on the poem, so I scrolled up to read it. And seeing it written on a blank white screen in sans serif, Italicized font… well, it made it un-readable to me. Am I totally crazy or what? But seriously, I feel like I can only read this in its original hand-written form, or I’m not able to really “get into it.”

Anyway, what do you think? Is this any “good” or is it just mindless high school drivel? I took the creative writing class to learn how to be more poetic (whatever that means), but I think that at the conclusion of the class, I never really learned whether I was any good at it or if I just got better at feeling like I knew what I was doing. Does that even make sense? Probably not. But I’m going with it anyway.

Clearly, I need to practice writing some more… good thing I’ve got this web site! Thanks for joining me for the ride. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share my project with anyone you think may be interested. More posts to come soon!

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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!

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