Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The POD Chronicles - Day One


Courtesy of Deviant Art

It's been nice knowing you folks. I bid adieu because the POD has come to reclaim my soul.

You are all familiar with the POD. My very brilliant professor who teaches in a manner that is not for the faint of heart. He means well, in his own twisted way.

Well, as you know, I survived his sadistic tormenting last semester. In fact, I guess I must have liked the kink because I signed up again for another one of his flogging sessions.

Oh, Rebecca, what. does. this. say. about. you? 

Well, the truth is that this is an upper-level course that I need and he's the only one teaching it. And, ok, he's grown on me. *sigh* And last night was our first class. For the next three months I will be in his medieval torture chamber awaiting the different levels of agony and unbearable pain he will put me through. Truth be told he sees this as a legitimate way to extract that which he wants from us: our blood. And, our crime? Simply that we are shitty writers that deserve the pillory or rack because our submissions could qualify as nothing less than a crime.

But the POD was quite pleasant last night. Very pleasant. Very kind, sweet and charming. Hmm? Where did my PODdy POD go? The man standing before me looked like the POD, his voice sounded like the POD, but it wasn't the POD. It couldn't be. Well, maybe the holidays were kind and loving to him and he was still basking in the light; or, maybe he met some nice lady friend who is taming his fiery temper; or, or, or....

Oh, I get it! New kids on the block! New blood on which to feast! Reel them in with words of sweet. Yes! How brilliant is my POD?! They're young and innocent and believe him to be a nice, elderly professor who is going to be oh, such a pushover and, oh, such an easy A!

HA! Put those thumbs in your mouths right now fetuses because you are going to start crying for your mommies! You have entered his chamber of horrors and you will not leave unscathed. Tsk, tsk. They looked so trusting too, fiddling with their hairs, yawning, waiting for class to end because they had better things to do. Oh, yeah. Next week you'll be like kittens standing before a pit bull. A pit bull who hasn't had a bite to eat in a month.

So, we do our in-class assignment. The prompt is snow or extreme heat. Pick your poison. Write for 15 minutes, let it flow. I submit mine. He loves it. WTF? No, no, no!! This is not what I signed up for! Put me on the rack! Tell me it's shit! Use me as the example of complete suckiness! Yes, I realize this is not a word, but, hey, my story, I get to make up words.

No, he likes it. As a matter of fact, he wasn't critical or mean to one single person. Not one. Okay, this is boring. What's wrong with him? This has to be bait. Yes. Because next week will be different. Next week the innocents will finally meet him. How do I know? Because after a week's worth of shitty, unreadable submissions, all Hell will break loose. And they will get to see him discard the costume of a nice, gentle man before their very eyes and see the devil that dwells inside. Oh, I can see the tears now. "You want to be a writer? You expect me to applaud this garbage? Do you speak English? Can you write English?!"  And the POD will once again spew those venomous words that will leave us whimpering at his feet begging for his forgiveness for being such incompetent morons.

And this course is not a free ride. It is not an easy A. We're to produce. At least 100-200 pages of worthy material, not mediocre material, but solid material that could be publishable. Be it in the form of a play, screenplay, novel, memoir, poems.

Great.

Well, scratch the memoir because that would take half a page at most and would undoubtedly induce coma in any reader because of the boredom factor.

So now I'm down to a novel (250 pages). In three months. I'm not brilliant and my brain is not that big.

Okay, screenplay. Seems daunting. And do I have time for writing something that I'm a complete novice at while actually doing what I get paid for, preparing for my college's commencement exercises which sucks the life right out of me? No.

Poetry? Please, I'd rather write a novel and a screenplay. Not my thing.

So what am I left with? A play. I can do plays. But I'll write something tragic to keep him from flogging me too severely. He thinks my Pollyanic light shines too bright and thus it is his job to extinguish it and seek out the dark in me. It's how he gets his kicks. But, a 3-act play? Christ!

And instead of using my time now to begin penning my words for this tremendous project, I am here fiddling around and writing this post instead. Okay, so call it mental floss. Because I know the mental beatings will soon begin and I'm ready. I think. And which genre I choose to write is irrelevant anyway. I am now his puppet, doing his bidding. Forget that I have a mind of my own. He's taken possession of it and will not return it until he believes I've earned it. And he will sniff out that which I most fear, that which would want to make me take my brain out and put in a jar for lab rats to pick at. And he will take me to that precipice and tell me to jump and call me a coward if I fail to do his bidding. So, yes, let me have my little moment now, because life as I know it, is now over.

So it's been nice knowing you folks. And I'm off to the Temple of Doom. If I fail to return in one, uninjured piece with my faculties intact, then please know that "the kindness of strangers" has not been lost on me. I like you. I really, really like you. And you've all been very sweet and kind to me. Thank you.

Let the verbal flogging begin.

January 27, 2009

26 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

Rebecca....I have always wanted to write a book....but I am not a writer. You, on the other hand, have it in you. Do the book!!!! Wouldn't that be something to walk away with at the end of your class. How do you start? With a character? A setting? Do you come up with an ending and work your way there???? What do I know? Do it.

CathM said...

Rebecca. LOL... I know that feeling re ‘getting the creative writing juices in full flow for a meaningful project like a book’! Thanks for a fun and humorous post. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your course and how you get on with whatever project you decide to embark on. I think you’ve got lots of starting points for a great book with your blog posts! p.s. by the way, ‘chuffed’ is a slang term used in the UK to mean ‘very pleased’. Incidentally, I looked up the word ‘chuff’ which means ‘a rude, insensitive person, a boor’ – I didn’t know that definition (LOL)!

Genie Sea said...

Oh! I never would have pegged you as a masochist, but then again you are a writer... Aren't we all?

I can't wait for the return of the evil PODy! Write something bright and optimistic and watch him incinerate! :)

Hehe I can be evil too! :)

Have I mentioned lately that I love you? :)

Leni Qinan said...

Rebecca...

Who said writing was easy? But, hey, dont let that POD evil being intimidate you before he even appears!

To face a white paper/laptop, whatever, and a deadline can be stressful, that's for sure. But try this: write a bit every day.

Note down all your ideas in moments of inspiration -notepad in handbag, remember? that's what i do, and it works!-. And more than anything. write, write, write, and inspiration witll come easy.

You're sensitive and sweet and can do the magic of changing images, feelings and sensations into words.

Chin up, good luck and down with POD! (Booo!)

((besos y abrazos))

rebecca said...

Hiya Lori!

A book, huh? Well, if there's a perfect time to do it, it's now. Let's see what this convoluted mind of mine can produce. But the POD has the affinity to guide me into unknown territories where I feel quite uncomfotable because the landscape is so unfamiliar. I am betting that this will be the case again. All I know is that I better be ready for him....because he is demanding and unyielding! In a very, good sort of way. :)

rebecca said...

Hi Catherine:

I am also looking forward to seeing what I can produce. The road there will not be easy especially given the time constraints as it allows me absolutely no time to let my wanderlust spirit get in the way!

I have a couple of ideas but now the difficult part of choosing which one. Because that one will be the one that I will have to live, eat and breathe for the next three months. No more little vignettes. Now we're onto the real McCoy!

But I'm "chuffed." :)

rebecca said...

Oh Genie, my sweet...all writers are masochists, didn't you know that? Why else would we put ourselves through the pain AND enjoy it!! And if I dare give the evil PODdy a light and optimistic manuscript, he will have a coronary on the spot. And, thank you very much, I do not want the Devil's dead soul on my head. I like to sleep soundly at night. :)

Smooches my sweet, love you too...

rebecca said...

Leni, mi amiga!

I am not scared of the POD. Pft! I learned his game well last semester. But he still scares me! Did I say I wasn't scared of him? Hmm? I lied!!!

No, actually, he is a very good teacher and I learned a lot from him. I am looking forward to learning just as much this semester. He pushed me hard and was ruthless with me last semester and it paid off. During the course last year there were moments when I wanted to take my eyeballs out just to see if I still felt pain. And, in the end, he ended up respecting me because I produced what he thought I would not be able to produce and I was not scared off. I didn't even flinch. I cursed him repeatedly under my breath but kept my cool all throughout. Oh, yeah, he now likes me.

I enjoy writing these POD chronicles because he is inspirational in that sense. He, himself, as the POD is a character like none other! And I respect him immensely.

Derik said...

Can it really be as bad as all that? A play could be fun to compose; I've never tried. Enjoy the work!

rebecca said...

Derik,

Trust me, with the POD, it CAN be! He's a killer. But I sincerely like him because we do learn a lot from him. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can produce. Plus, I've written a couple of plays and it is something that I enjoy. But I have a feeling that he will see how comfortable I am in that area and will undoubtedly force me to try something that I've never tried before. That is his MO!

Leon Basin said...

Hey, what's new?

rebecca said...

Hi Leon,

Thanks for dropping by. What's new? Well, I'm readying myself (with armor and shield) for what awaits me this semester. Taking a class with the POD, who is ruthless but brilliant and expecting, at some point, to extract my eyeballs just to see if I still feel pain the same way. Right now penning a two-act play and let's see what venomous words expel from his mouth once he reads it. Will he be pleased or will he put me on the rack? Will keep you updated! *sigh* :( But writers are masochists by nature, so, yes, I enjoy every bit of pain, sweat and tear because, in the end, I become a better writer...

Anonymous said...

Remember we grow stronger from pain
thanks for dropping by my lonely blog
bill

Yvonne said...

Hi Rebecca,
I enjoyed reading this descripton of your demanding prof. I once took a practicum which started me down the novel-writing path. By the end of the course we had to have a polished collection of poetry or the beginnings of a novel and I opted for the novel. In fact . . . you make me want to go back to school! I miss academia for sure. Hey! Thanks for linking my blog here. I just realized it. Good luck with your writing.
Yvonne

CoyoteFe said...

Rebecca-san!

Muhahahaha! You're sub0side is showing again! Don't you know the best way to torture a masochist is to show her kindness? You're toast! :-)

Seriously, write the play. I write them, and your dialogue will be brilliant. And, make it your own opus to the optimistic. It will be fascinating to see what he does to you.

Yea!

Mama Shujaa said...

Rebecca,

Please pop in from time to time and tell us of your progress. Keep us inspired... :-) and motivated.

Mama Shujaa

Tanya Gwen Minnick said...

Oh Rebecca you make me smile. How brave to re-enter his chamber of pain! lol I do hope you survive this semester!
btw- how is that book? I've read many of Paulo's books- but not that one..yet.
be well
t

rebecca said...

Hi Elliott,

Thanks and welcome! I happened upon your blog I believe thru Leon's? And so happy I did. You are a prolific and excellent writer and I am enjoying the ongoing story you are currently working on now. Will come visit soon again.

rebecca said...

Hi Yvonne,

Welcome! And thank you! I happened upon your blog a couple of weeks back and thought it very interesting. I love the title of your blog also!

I started working in academia right after college and left for a period of 10 years or so to do the corporate thing. Eventually, my heart found its way back to where I started. It is where I feel most at home. And, taking courses for me is like breathing life into my lungs. I never tire of the learning -- however difficult it sometimes may be.

rebecca said...

Miss Felicia!

I'm toast alright! His kindness threw me for a loop. I was not expecting that of him and was not at all pleased! This is not my POD! No, no, no!!

But, I am in the process of writing a two-act play. It is the genre that I most enjoy writing. I've had a lifetime of experiences and I have met people with all kinds of situations that I can cull many ideas from. I actually find playwriting easier than short stories or poetry. Well, I submitted my first Act to him today and he already likes the writing but said he will withhold his comment until I submit my second Act next week. So, so far, so good!

xoxox

rebecca said...

Mama Shujaa,

Thanks you! And I will most definitely pop in from time to time. I cannot stay away. Writing here is what sometimes keeps me sane :) And, yes, I will keep the readers updated on the POD chronicles....

rebecca said...

Hi Sweet T!

How are you? Yes, the chamber of pain! Yikes! But, masochist that I am, I am enjoying every bit of it!

Coehlo's The Devil and Ms. Prym? Excellent! I'm almost done with it. I love the way he writes, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Totally cool post!
I really love this post - I've always wanted to write a book, in fact I have the beginnings of several started.

You ARE a writer!... and an inspiration.

Yvonne said...

Thanks Rebecca. Writing rocks! What gives us pleasure gives us life! You have a great blog here. I'm a bit new at all this but catching on. I've read the Devil and Miss Pym. I do like the way he writes but that was not my favorite of his. How did you insert the cover on your blog? Through Shelfari?

rebecca said...

Hi Yvonne,

Thank you for that lovely comment. I'm happy that you are enjoying the posts!

The Devil & Miss Prym is the first of his books I am currently reading. I love it but do not have the knowledge to gauge it against another of his books. My husband just finished reading The Alchemist and he enjoyed that very much. That will be next on my list and then I can tell you whether Devil And Miss Prym still remains my favorite.

As far as getting the picture of the book on my sidebar I
will email you how I did it...it wasn't thru Shelfari.

Best,
Rebecca

Yvonne said...

thanks!