Do or Do Not.

Archive for the ‘Memes’ Category

Seven Sevens

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My head, it is filled with cotton balls. Too many different thinkies battling brutally for supremacy in my brainspace. So in an effort to give the ol’ noggin some semblance of direction, I now present a slightly modified version of The Meme of Sevens, which I promised Michelle I’d do a couple of weeks back.

Seven Things To Do Before I Shuffle Off This Mortal Coil

  1. Watch both of my daughters reach adulthood happy and healthy.
  2. Travel extensively outside the United States.
  3. Learn to speak a foreign language fluently.
  4. Get a comic-book script I’ve written published.
  5. Publish a book. Not necessarily a novel.
  6. Attend Comicon International.
  7. Get us completely out of debt.

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Written by Allen

January 19th, 2006 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Memes

Meme: 23/5

with 2 comments

The lovely Amy hit me with this 23/5 meme–go to the twenty-third post in your blog, pick the fifth sentence and then try to expand on it, the themes that are either explicitly or impliclty present in that sentence. So I dug up said post and said sentence, which I reproduce now exactly as it was presented then (on May 26th):


(Yes, it was in all caps. Go look yourself if you don’t believe me.)

The original context for the sentence was in dicussion of the first draft of John Irving’s Until I Find You–a draft he threw away so he could rewrite the book in third person instead of first. I was simply astonished by the fact that he was able to write one single piece of fiction that was so horrendously long…well, you can go back and read the original post if you’re interested.

To expand on that sentence somewhat–well, obviously I’ve been having some issues with my fiction lately, largely in the getting-my-ass-moving-forward front. As you might have noticed from the sidebar, my first draft has been stuck at a little over 15,000 words for about a month or so. Not all of that has been directly related to a lack of motivation, of course; my father’s recent illness (he came home from the hospital yesterday, by the way), helping my boy Jay drive up to New England from Florida, plus any number of other sundry happenings have helped divert my attention from the manuscript long enough that I’ve found it incredibly hard to pick up where I left off. (To be fair, some of my problem has been purely a lack of motivation.)

I know that word count isn’t the measure of whether or not a story or a novel is successful–that would be like saying the main reason I dig The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” for instance, is because that song has just the right number of notes. That’s clearly ludicrous. But numbers work for me, they keep me going. Watching my word count has the same effect for me that all the fancy readings on the treadmill do: both give me a measurable objective against which to gauge my progress. I might not be able to use that info to judge quality, but at least I know how close I am to being done.

Realizing just how far away I am from being done with that draft, however…looks more and more like I have to re-think that “end of October” deadline. Grr.

Written by Allen

September 29th, 2005 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Memes,Writing

Evolution of a Meme

with one comment

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the Webbernet? ‘Cause I do. Pure technological wizardry aside, the kinds of worldwide communication that are now possible absolutely blow my mind. Case in point for this evening: the whole meme thing.

You might remember a couple of months ago I was tagged for a five childhood memories meme by Saundra over at Secrets and Lies. I know Saundra only in that we read each other’s blogs, and since that was the first time I’d been explicitly tagged by somone Out There for meme participation, I felt more than a little flattered and honored. I answered the questions as best I could, and then like a good little resident of Blogopolis, I passed the meme along to a couple of people, including my friend Amy.

Before I continue the story, a little background info that’s recently been brought to my attention about this particular meme. Brad Warbiany at The Unrepentant Individual started up the meme on June 1 as his method of “fighting back” against the memes with which he clearly gets regularly besieged. A month later, it had made its way to Saundra, who tagged me with it on July 1; by July 5 it had independently made its way back around to Brad’s group of buddies. Five weeks to come full circle.

Anyway, back into how this ties, however slightly, into me (because don’t you ever forget: It’s All About Me). I infected Amy at Beauty Joy Food with the meme, and on June 7 she took it and tweaked it, turning it into a “five food-related childhood memories” meme. This tweak makes sense given that Amy’s a food blogger, as you probably garnered from the name of her site. [1] She responded to the meme based on said alteration and tagged some other food bloggers.

Something I didn’t realize, being as I’m not really into food blogs and clearly don’t write one myself (anyone who knows my eating habits would doubt my qualifications even to read a blog about food): food bloggers are dedicated and passionate, and those people network like sumbitches. Amy started her blog at almost the exact same time as I started Do Or Do Not, and she only has about half as many posts as I do here–but I can guarantee you she’s got a far larger readership. (Some of this can be attributed to the fact that her entries tend to be longer, more involved and cough better, but we’ll ignore those points for now.) When she unleashed the childhood food-related memories meme into the gastro-blogosphere, those people took it and passed it around their virtual table like gravy at a Southern Thanksgiving dinner.

Amy let me know a few days ago that the meme has now shown up in Austria, and it’s shown up in Paris at what she assures me is the food blog of note. (I’ll take her word for it; for all I know, Amy’s is the food blog of note.) If the meme’s made it to those places, there’s no telling where else it’s gone, and I find that concept absolutely fascinating.

Yes, I know, I know–what I’ve described here is pretty much the textbook definition of a meme. But this is the first one I’ve ever seen that I could personally trace in this way.

Anyone reading this, feel free to bring your memes on to me. You’ve now seen the magic that happens when I participate. You want your meme to spread quickly to all corners of the world?

Pass it on to me.

So that I can pass it on to Amy.

[1] When I was typing that sentence, I first mis-typed it as “Amy’s a good blogger,” which while a typo is still very, very true. If I haven’t said it in this space before, Amy’s a fantastic writer, and she’s passionate about food and cooking (specifically natural food and cooking) and that passion is clearly evident in her blogging.

Written by Allen

September 9th, 2005 at 10:29 pm

Posted in Memes,Web

Meme: Childhood Memories

with 4 comments

You know what I like about memes? Yeah, yeah, sure–they give me just a little bit more insight into the pasts or psyches of my friends. But the important thing is that they keep me from having to think of topics to write about.

Saundra tagged me with the Childhood Memories Meme, and since I’m never one to turn down an excuse to keep from doing any real work for a few minutes, I’m game to give it a whirl. Away we go:

Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump every one up one place; add your blog’s name in the #5 spot; link to each of the other blogs for the desired cross-pollination effect.

  1. Write on Right Now!
  2. One Over-Caffeinated Mom
  3. Blerg
  4. Secrets & Lies
  5. Do or Do Not

Next: select new friends to add to the pollen count. (Obviously no one is obligated to participate).

Hmmm, let’s see:

  • Terry, of course.
  • Michelle, since she has a shiny new blog and needs stuff to put on it. (Jay, you’re welcome to do it as well, but since your new blog’s photography-oriented I’m not gonna explicitly tag you.)
  • Amy, returning the favor for her having tagged me with the last one of these things I did.

Then add your memories.

Five things I miss from my childhood:

  1. Free time. I was an only child being raised by a single parent who worked full-time and had a life of his own to deal with, so I had plenty of free time to draw, to write, to learn how to do cool things with my Commodore 64/128, to read, to learn whatever I wanted to learn. I can honestly say that a great deal of who I am as a person today comes from having so much alone time when I was a kid. Nowadays I’m a husband and father of two, and free time can be hard to come by.
  2. The time I got to spend with my dad, just me and him.
  3. Grapico, the best vaguely-grape-flavored soft drink ever. (I had so much of it when I was a kid that I reached that point where I just couldn’t drink it anymore. But that doesn’t stop me from missing it now.)
  4. Feeling like I was smarter than everyone else. I’m sure that sounds strange and more than a little egotistical, but being hella smart was just about the only thing I ever took much pride in when I was young. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t used my brain as much as I felt like I should have, and that’s made me feel somewhat less bright. And now I work at a video game company where everybody is really friggin’ smart, which takes away some of that uniqueness I always used to feel. I know I’m still a really bright guy, but my identity isn’t quite as centered in my intelligence anymore…and I reckon there’s probably a little of both the good and the bad in that.
  5. Starting back to school in the fall. So many kids hated it, but I loved it–I loved back-to-school shopping, getting new school supplies, starting new classes…and getting away from the excruciatingly hot and boring summertime.

So there ya go. Over to you, Terry, Michelle and Amy!

Written by Allen

July 1st, 2005 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Memes

Meme: 40 Questions

without comments

So the wife tagged me with a big-ass bunch of getting-to-know-you type questions, and instead of responding via email I thought I’d put the responses up here instead of doing any actual writing today. I’m warning you now–this here’s kinda longish. But, because it comes from me, you’d be well advised to read every single word.

Away we go:

  1. What time is it? 10:20 p.m.

  2. What is your name? Allen Jason Holt. The “J. Allen Holt” part’s just something of an intended professional name–there’s some other schmuck who’s using “A.J. Holt” as a psuedonym, under which he/she publishes shitty crime fiction novels. I want to make sure I’m not confused with that person. Damn shame, too, because I would have liked to have used “A.J. Holt.”

  3. Any nicknames? Not really, no. I will say that you can most definitely not call me Al. Ever.

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Written by Allen

June 22nd, 2005 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Memes