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Much has happened recently, and I've been hiding from this place.

As of friday I have been admitted to the University of Oklahoma at Norman. I will be graduating from highschool a year early to attend. I have had more than enough lectures on why I'm missing out on the wonders of highschool, but really I'm fine leaving now. No, really.

I got a 2040 on my SATs (out of 2400) the first time taking them. That actually isn't a horrible score, I think.

I have won a few poetry contests, but nothing notable and nothing national. I've expiremented in found poetry (this will be posted soon).

However, in spite of all of these happenings I am troubled by one thing.

I feel like a teenager. Now wait, before you head to the "comment" section and tell me that this is what I'm supposed to be feeling, you have to understand that this is not particularly normal for me.

I do not like "teenage" things, do not often succumb to "teenage' language, am not interested in marketing geared towards my age group. I hate dances, boy bands, and school sports games. Of course, this listing does sound much like a teen, but I can deal with that. The problem is, whenever I have an emotional trip up I am frowned upon as in "one of those stages."

However, I find it juvenile that when I read back through my work I am surprised by it. I received a few comments on "Sawdust Stars" today, a piece that I more or less posted and never looked at again. I read through it again and it made me genuinely uncomfortable in its imagery and general notions. Maybe it's because I know what I was talking about, maybe it's because I wasn't aware those words could come from me.

I'm not sure how to explain it, but it's left me in an odd mood the entire day. Do any of you know what I mean? I'm sure this couldn't be uncommon among writers, or at least I hope not.

She falls softly down from towering pedastools...

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The following comments are for "may 2005"
by shefallssoftly

the odd moody reread
Congratulations, miss softly. Hey I'm nearly forty and feel like a teen sometimes. Less sometimes than I would like.

I agree with bob, that we reread our works at later times and wonder where were we when this was written? Wow! That's a lot of w's. I'll have to come back and look at that again some time. ;)

Sometimes we cringe, other times we are inspired to try some more. Best of luck with your poetry and studies.


( Posted by: Smithy [Member] On: June 1, 2005 )

Its good news

I wasn't sure how to take this, but I'm guessing that you'll read my comment after some time has gone by and you may feel differently. To echo what Smithy said, I AM 40 and I don't feel any older than I did when I was 18 or twenty. Not only am I sometimes surprised at what I write, but I'm often surprised at what comes out of my mouth. When I'm speaking to a group of people professionally it happens a lot. I'm surprised at how much it sounds like I know what I'm talking about. I certainly don't remember learning the answers to these questions.

More specific to my writing, I can't write a poem in a single sitting. I need to come back to it a few times, days weeks or even years later (first draft of A Debt Paid was over ten years ago.) part of the reason it if I don't, it feels wrong to me. I posted my last piece (Old Man) too quickly and I'll have to re-write it.

I'd better stop before I write more than you. Congratulations on your move to college, I wouldn't worry about your age in years, its how you feel (wrote a poem about that too, can you believe it! three plugs for my own stuff in your thread. I'm a shameless blunderbuss.)

Saavy of you to ask about this, rather than let it gnaw at you. -Philo

( Posted by: philo [Member] On: June 7, 2005 )

Age is not
You're only as old or as young as your pain and joy allow you to be.

Oooh... Didn't that sound sufficiently vague and creepy enough to be wise? Or at least wise-ass?

I'll echo, to a degree, what Smith and Philo said; I've never "felt" one age vs. just "this age." That being said, I have always seemed to feel much older than my peers at some points, and much younger at others. Even well into my twenties... even now. At 38, I still hear, "You're only 38?" or, sometimes, "You can't be 38!" I seem to vibrate between 7, 16 and 74, I think.

As far as looking at old writing goes... tread carefully. On the one hand, it is like an echo of a stone that you dropped in a well a long, long time ago. It's good to listen, and to hear what comes back from the depths. You can learn much from reading and reflecting on what and how you wrote before. But don't be too tempted to re-write old pieces. I would rather suggest that you totally re-examine whatever the subject was and write an entirely new piece [caveat: steal shamelessly any particularly good images, rhymes or bits that can help new material, though].

Short answer: don't worry about it.

Other advice: screw high-school. Giant waste of time. You'll enjoy college much more. If you can spend 6 or 8 years there (graduate degrees, etc.), do so.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )

Does the apprenticeship thing. I look at things I wrote a month ago and groan. Still, it's tossing things onto the woodpile for that big fucking fire that's on the horizen. Or something.

I don't know what I'm trying to say - I never want to grow up. I plan on being a student forever, too.

Where was I going with this, anyway?

Oh yeah, high school. I didn't even start writing until 2003, the summer after I graduated. High school is fun, great for socializing, but once you hit university, the good times roll. If you are stimulated by academics, you're swimming in gold. Hell, even if you aren't stimulated by academics, you'll have a great time.

I shouldn't be allowed to comment anymore...All I do is ramble...



( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )

Has SAT scoring changed?
First, Props! your entry into University life. Having also entered at 17, I know how life changing it is/can be.

Has scoring method changed? When I took boards, 1600 was perfect. 750 was good verbal score then. Would I require higher one now?

Stay in school as long as you can!
Robert William

( Posted by: Bobby7L [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )

All those who commented on "may 2005"
Thanks for commenting. It is rather surreal; writing is difficult to connect one's self to, I think. No matter how hard I work to write something, how involved I am in the process, it's difficult for me to ever truly claim it. Most of my most beautiful pieces were accidents, and most of the bad ones too. That's life, though, right?

I should think you should cringe much less than you're proud of your older work. Usually, I do. Life changes quickly though, it's hard to remember who that person is that wrote all of those words. I forget often, and have journals to ground me.
I know you often feel young, but I rarely do. I somehow feel like I constantly function at age 35, and am stuck taking Algebra as karmic retribution. Obviously.

I never let anything gnaw at me for long, I either write about it or ask about it. I'm no good at suffering silently. Thanks for the congratulations on getting into college, I'm hoping that that sphere will be more conducive to bettering my writing than the one I'm in. it's odd that you have to come back to poetry. For me, I almost always write it all in one sitting. I may edit a touch later, but more often than not the bulk of the poem is through in less than an hour. Then again, your poetry rambles a lot less than mine haha.

I figured out that whole "screw highschool" thing in December. Roughly six months later, I got accepted into college. I swear I'm capable of absolutely anything sometimes... and then I try to write a sonnet and it grounds me.
I can't much imagine you acting anything but wise, maybe it's just the sphere I know you in.

Yes, SAT scoring is now out of 2400, as it includes a writing section. As is expected of me, I did wonderfully on writing and reading and then bombed the math section. The only thing that comforts me sometimes is that I only need one more math credit for the rest of my schooling career.
This girl does not want to be an accountant.

Thanks everyone for commenting! It's great to hear from all of you.


( Posted by: shefallssoftly [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )

Early Graduations, Karmic Retribution
I remember reading this National Geographic article about Leonardo diVinci and there was this bit in it that has really stuck with me -- the writer is describing a series of panels in a chapel which were painted by Leonardo, three of them in all, all of them depicting the annunciation of Mary, all of them depicting a door through which the archangel appears. And in the first panel the door is all wrong -- it's flat, two-dimensional, in precisely the way medieval art tended to be. In the second panel, the door becomes clearer, it develops form and substance. In the third panel there are shadows and the interplay of light, textural balance and so the door becomes real to the observer -- some would say perfected. The author goes on to say that you can look at this series of panels in two ways -- you can say Leonardo botched the first two and finally got it right in the third, or you can say these fresco panels contain the history of how Leonardo came to understand a door.

We all believe we understand things, especially the concrete things which surround us. But tell me Casey, what's a door? How many ways do you know how to express it? And then what's high school? What's a phase? What's art? What's life?

Maybe there's a fundamental misperception in a word like perfected -- it's one of those words which implies a condition -- like cold or heat or love or hate or life or death -- which we rarely understand completely because these idea-things are not end-states, in and of themselves, but integral parts of processes which are ongoing and fluidly dynamic.

And maybe there's a flawed concept in the idea that we can speak once on a subject and create a testament to an idea which will remain impermeable for all time, unchanging despite our changing vantage points, especially when the material we are working with is the substance drawn from an experience of life, itself.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: June 12, 2005 )

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