To thine own self be true


So people have been asking me, "Hey, Livingston, what are these vague hints we keep seeing on crustaceansingles.com about some ambitious project involving mental health?"

I still don't even know a lot of the details, but what I do know is that in the last four days, I've assembled a cast of 12 main characters, set their various problems and conflicts into motion, and filled 40+ handwritten pages (which is actually not that long, but it's an achievement for me, OK?) and about 50 notecards with it.

Most of it isn't ready to see the light of day, but that's what I'm doing, and whatever I end up doing with the finished product, you loyal readers will be in the know.


A battle of giants

Meta-mental health: an Editor's note

I'm still working this...project. I don't know what to call it. In a move which is almost totally foreign to me, I have applied some organization and planning to it, as you can see on this cluttered desk:

It's kind of necessary, since I have 12 main characters (so far) and I need to figure out how their stories interact. Don't worry, it's not too organized.


Mad with power

Mental Health
Johnny Marconi was regretting where life had led him. He had never had the interest or the stomach for his family's traditional line of work, and had always intended to leave it on as good of terms as he could as soon as he was out of college. 
But it was harder than he had anticipated to say 'no' to his mother as she lay dying in the guest bedroom of the family mansion, especially as the only surviving son of the Marconi family, and so somehow he had ended up a 26 year-old Construction Management graduate (the family had insisted on that field of study, as a "cover") taking the reins of a business he didn't care about, surrounded by people who had always hoped to take orders from one of his more competent (and more ruthless) brothers.
Johnny often wished he had gone to graduate school in a topic he enjoyed– literature, or French, or something like that. It might have allowed him to put off his entry into the real world. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: So I guess I'm writing this longer, multi-character story now. 21 notebook pages of it exist from the last two days, and I reckon I can keep it up for at least a few more. The above is a selection therefrom.


I always find a way

Mental Health
Tom was the sort of guy who had never mastered the use of question marks in writing, because he never changed his intonation to ask a question when he spoke.
Who do all these people think they are, he thought to himself, sitting on a bench at the park. When will I finally snap. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yesterday I started writing, and before I knew it, I had multiple paragraphs (many pages, even!) of awkward, uncomfortable characters in potentially interlocking situations. Tom is one of these characters. So...I'm going to write it, hopefully pretty fast over the next two weeks or so, and then I'll decide what to do with it.


Life is a circle

Hey. I thought I should mention that I've begun an attempt to write several longer-format, interlocking "mental health" stories. I'm doing it because I've wanted to for a while, I technically have time this summer, and because last night I had a conversation with two awesome, creative people that made me feel like I'm underachieving creatively. Should I post clips from it on this very site? Maybe I will.


Where do ideas come from?

Mental Health
A lot of parents can be disappointed or outright angry when you finally tell them. I've even heard of people being disowned. But I'm happy to say that when I told my dad I was going to grad school, he accepted me and my decision. Thanks, dad.


Maybe now's not a good time?

It's been a while since the last Interrogation Tuesday. So here's one for you:



It's a re-run day. But can I just take a second to express how deeply I'm concerned with the NSA recently being caught illegally spying on American citizens? If that weren't enough, our executive branch has responded to the outcry with this (and I quote):

If I have to fear anyone, let it be my enemies, not my own government. Whether you're a nutjob from the right or the left, I think we can all agree that something is seriously wrong when, caught red-handed violating the constitution, our government laughs it off and says, "Deal with it." 


Do you know why I've stopped you today?

NARRATOR: In fact, he was a member of a longstanding family of evil masterminds, but was trying his hardest to branch out, and, whenever it wasn't too repulsive, to assimilate into mainstream American society. Events like this were extremely unhelpful, as they contributed to his social anxiety.


Nothing serious

Mental Health
"Other than the decapitation, there's nothing wrong with him," said the enthusiastic young doctor. "He's in fantastic shape for a headless guy."


Sometimes the words won't come out right

So on those days, I post B-sides. 

I think I've moved on to post-humor. I don't know what's funny anymore.