Friday, August 22, 2008

281. Baggage and Backstory for "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" One Success is the Summation of Failures

Mind you. I am writing this entire blog in anxiety. My thoughts may not come out straight. I need to desperately jog, but I need to get this blog out of my system.

The accumulation of failures has led to the Illusion of One Success?
With the above abbreviated two-page pitch to the agents, combined with my “visual, professional charm” (ha ha ha, ya right), I was able convince 5/6 agents to take interest in my parable “The Elephant and the Oak Tree.” Two very interested. And I even interested them in the later hours of the afternoon when they were no longer perky or energetic anymore! It was a phenomenal day. It was already amazing to have the ability to meet and talk with real literary “agents.” I have encountered enough scams via email! Well… I found out later that agents, like most humans, are very polite in person, but a few hours later, during lunch, ended up laughing at some work and throwing entire manuscripts in the trash. At least it’s all a personable experience and not electronic form letters. I discovered that literary agents were real human beings. Granted, I learned how to tie my shoes for the first time though billions of people already knew how to tie their shoes, but it’s a major deal for me!

In the end, life is all one big emperor penguin dance (I made a song about this). It’s about finding your “lover,” (academic lover, literary lover, music lover, film lover, evolutionary-build-a-family lover, all the same) your match, your marriage, for a short or long period of time. I got married to Armand Kuris and Bruce Tiffney’s minds as an undergrad. I married the mind of my father a long time ago. And I got married to a few new professors for a few years of grad school. And it’s the same with agents. Agents want to get married to you and you want to get married to agents. Agents can only have so many clients, just like professors can only have so many graduate students. It’s the whole eusocial ecological niche space. And the best way to meet an agent is LIVE at a conference. They are open and you are open, and maybe you can discover you have a match made in heaven. I have a good hunch with some agents in San Francisco. One agent reminds me of my good friend, Lauri Green.

Baggage and Backstory of “The Elephant and the Oak Tree.”
The Benefits of Failure and a Natural Selection of Ideas

It is possible that the most humble billionaire of this planet is the writer for the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling. Paul Burri, a member of a Goleta Toastmasters section, performed an interpretive reading on her speech to a recent Harvard graduating class. It is so important to discuss te underlying mechanisms of success and failure that are never discussed in the story itself... this "Elephant and Oak Tree" story. Whatever I write will represent the summation of success and survival, but also represents a lot of what has failed--tagged along with severe emotional turmoil. You must discuss the mechanisms of storytelling because then you develop formulaic protocols on what works and what doesn't work. This is what you do and this is what you don't do. It seems like every single success story or completed project of this blog is backed up by a series of three years of behind-the-scenes failures. The benefits of failure--JK Rowling discussed how failure chips off all the things that don't work and pulls through all the ideas that work. Very much a process of natural selection and the perpetration of ideas. Then again, I don't understand how society can perpetrate ideas of Disney Disillusionment. I mean, Rowling's writing is great, but it's the perpetration of a Fantasy World. So much for the Natural Selection of Escapism. This world really is going to hxll. Anyhoo, that is beside the point.

But all things that have failed for me are not forgotten. They are a trail of chaotic dust that lay behind me the last three years, that need to be at least accounted for to some degree. The blog is beneficial to account for, remorse over, and place a more formal memorial on the death of ideas, on your failures that didn't work and were chipped off, set aside, buried. Publications otherwise become a "success."

The Inconvenient Truth Al Gore fil was a very polished presentation, but represents 1000 trials of interacting with an audience, and eeach time, he continues to tell stories about global warming that seem to work (or hit people in the head), and the ideas that don't work he just leaves behind and they were never manifested in the film.... But in blogs, you can mention your failed ideas is if they are the buried notes of your sketch laboratory notebook of failed experiments in human communication.


I am being unreasonable, but I am learning how to adapt to and experiment with society. In order to communicate with people, you have to figure out what people know and don't know, as well as their emotional state. And once you figure out the formula for the societal baseline or "audience baseline," then you start building from there. This is a technique discussed in Dr. Ron Rice's book on public communications campaigns. The Audience Baseline Effect. Dr. Pete Sadler uses it. Pete says that males tend to bluff what they know and don't know (they don't want to admit their lack of knowledge), and females tend to admit what they don't know. They tend to focus on what they know, rather than relish and gloat in what they don't know.

My writing is for open-minded and desperate people. Unfortunately, open-mindedness is highly correlated with people who are desperate and have experienced tragedy. I will continue a later time on my theories of how to manipulate humans and the optimization of dartboard models projected upon the collective human brain!

Aside. Toastmasters is a brilliant test of ideas. Pilot experiments. Testing ground for ideas you would never be comfortable testing around n the univeristy.... You can talk about whatever you want, from the Absurd to the Straight-laced. I can develop singing, and I can also train myself to become a comedian. Whatever! It makes my theorizing SO MUCH FUN! Humor works quite well. Right now I am being in a "literal" phase so the last few times at Toastmasters I have not been in the absurd humor phase like when I first started Toastmasters.

Aside. It seems like whenever I write a disturbing poem, I disclaim ownership and say it's an anonymous poet. Then I place it on my blog and analyze it as if it were the poem of someone else. It's like my brain goes through mental-emotional detachment when I present myself to society. I want people to know certain things and I don't want people to know certain things about me, so blogging is tricky, and sometimes there has to be lots of "bluffing" going on.

Back to Baggage. "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" has so much baggage. Most recently is the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. I had the privilege to sit down with my good friend, Lisa Angle, and I told her the story. Then she guided me how to frame this story as a brief 1-2 page paper pitch to a literary agent. I didn't have time to attend any workshops on how to pitch of an agent because I was busy filming. So essentially, Lisa was so kind to train me!

The most important saving grace from Lisa Angle was that she IMMEDIATELY identified my story as equivalent to the international best seller "Who Moved My Cheese?" (the MD-credentialed author was also a SBWC veteran). That is a thing. I have had difficulty in PIGEONHOLING MYSELF as a genre. So! That took care of that quite swiftly. I was difficult to classify Question Reality. I identified it partly with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. But it's more like a megabook of philosophy 80% philosophy and 20% setting-character-plot development. I found out retroactively the who-moved-my-cheese-story is a parallel about how corporations deal with change and was a parable of subservience. The issue is "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" is a philosophy of thinking outside the box.... There was a double "aha" moment. Not a singe one. One of self and one of the holistic perception of the environment. But both books have a simple beautiful message embedded within an overarching story.

Thanks to Lisa, I have been able to develop a FORMULA ON HOW TO PITCH TO AN AGENT. Agents are essentially like news journalists. They have ADHD (they even openly admit it) and they ony have a stretch of attention pan equivalent to my former advisor at UC Riverside (who thought of me for three seconds and moved on to the next idea... and it was not her fault, she was chair and didn't have time for me).

Speaking with agents basically trains to to TALK TO ANYONE. In other words, assume everyone has ADHD and say things as if you have 15 seconds left to live. BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT. Maybe today is the day I will have enough time to write a short letter! The stakes are high. And I need to rid these ideas off of my chest. It took me THREE YEARS to WRITE A SHORT LETTER!

At one point, I have Lisa an "ELEVATOR PITCH" literally! And I did it right on the first try with Lisa (with three years of failure)! FINALLY! I told her enthusiastically,

Do you see what I see?
If we all knew we were leaf cutter ants on an oak tree and not blind termites on an elephant, then we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing—hurting ourselves and this environment that keeps us alive in the first place. We need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

This simple message shocks everyone into a koanesque mode. I additionally pitched to Paul Fedorko (Trident Media Group), within a one-minute time span, informing him that I am an environmental media Ph.D. student and that my thesis is that the problem of the environment is not the environment itself, but the human perception of the environment. Therefore we must investigate the way how humans think. This bit of information plus my thesis convinced Mr. Fedorko and he told me to send off the first round of materials.

I love my thesis. It will keep me busy for the rest of my life, for sure. Which is a saving grace in concern of "having something to do that is all-encompassing." The best part of my thesis is, even though it may be too late to "save" the world, at least I will get to fxck with people's minds along the way to doom. I am The Ultimate Darwin Award: Suffering from a Satirically Slow Death. Living in this modern world is MENTAL medieval torture. I don't like waking up to scientifically verifying Doomsday.

Anyhow, I learned how to "sell myself" not only from Lisa Angle, but through encounters with other prestigious people who never had the time of day for me. Like impatient agents and managers in Hollywood who only care about image and not holistic neuronal activity (through the International Model and Talent Association).

I also learned how to pitch in 15 seconds through an encounter with Dr. Jared Diamond, who still treated me inhumanely (I was more hurt by his shoo-off than any Hollywood personality, but I can't blame him because he's chronically being bombarded by students and faculty and the media, so why would he have any vested interest in me? I wish I met him before he became "famous").

If I had 15 seconds left to live, what would I say or do? I remember at the Santa Barbara Writer's conference a lady suggesting that I should talk as if I am trying to convince my disinterested, dying grandmother of an idea (capture the interest of a near-dead or desperate person?). Which is in part NOT funny. I would have had to be 15 years old, because my grandmother went out slowly via Alzheimers. So, I would imagine I have to sound DESPERATE, FLASHY, and TO THE POINT. Hook 'em ASAP before they become addicted to lamenting over their doom.

What could be a better way to capture interest than to SHOCK PEOPLE into a THINKING MODE with the invention of a KOAN? Get their minds into a state of "wait a second--" double bind, but not into a state of denial and cognitive dissonance!

Wow. It took me 27 (godforbid) flippin' years for me to sell myself in 15 second with something original. At least to the creative and intellectual crowd. Not to the bonehead Hollywood crowd.

I guess I have to speak "TRIANGLE" with an ADHD society (flashy stuff in the front and technical details in the end) and "HOURGLASS" with the scientists.

I had essentially 10 minutes to talk to four agent, and 2 minutes to talk to two other agents. I also accompanied our conversations with a PAPER. It was like a query letter, but I felt like the conversation was a query letter. My document was essentially a two-page book proposal that contained the following components in brief: (1) title (2) credentials (3) genre (book equivalent) (4) taglines (5) summary-abstract (6) brief thoughts on marketing (7) format of the book (8) who is Victoria (9) contacts. I additionally provided sample artwork in professional-looking manilla envelope, but that is generally discouraged. I know, subliminally though, that a single piece of artwork can inspire great visions of writing. Writing and art are essentially complimentary.

Anyhow, I was able to speak with 6 agents and 5/6 were interested. Two seemed very interested. Laurie McLean and Paul Fedorko I liked in particular. Especially Laurie. What an enthusiastic, intelligent lady. I even had the capacity to meet Angela Rinaldi, the agent for the bestseller Who Moved My Cheese?

But then, at the same time, I heard retroactively that agents place a facade. They tend to be nice and courteous to you in person , but they have a lot of "subliminal" whatever responses and retroactively throw manuscripts in the trash on the day of meeting potential published authors. Wow. Whatever. I don't blame them. They probably interact with a few hundred people every single day.

I remember a volunteer stating that it's good for agents to meet you in person rather than dealing with emails and other electronic mediation because the agents want to make sure you are a real human being, and not some psychotic off the streets of San Francisco.

In addition, I had the opportunity to present "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" on the last day of the Santa Barbara Write-off Competition with Cheri Steinkellner and a panel of "celebrity judges" including, Cheri's husband, Bill (yes! they are the producers and writers for Cheers!). I actually have to send an email to Cheri and provide her my finalized work from the 5-6 days of write-off competition.

Before I discuss the Santa Barbara Write-off Reality show. I placed a very good pitch to Marcia Meyers and begged for the continuation of the reality show next year. Marcia said yes, indeed there would be another round. It was most certainly an outside-the-box experience that stretched me beyond my limits of what I could possibly do and be as a writer. Cheri and her husband inspired me to one day dream of being a part of a writer think tank for perhaps a film or television series. It was most wonderful experience to finally share my brain with other people after all these years of aching isolation! The Write-off competition combined with the Santa Barbara Writers Conference is certainly inspiring me to finish my Ph.D. knowing that there are dream jobs waiting for me on the other side! (I think being in a permanent state of free-floating graduate-studentism is romantic enough!).

In this reality show, I became intimate and deep friends with a small group of twenty people, as all the chaotic ideas slipping through our heads were written down and crystallized on paper. Then shared this snapshot of cognitive-spacetime-in-code among an appreciative crowd. I didn't know I could make deep friends within one week. Sharing writing is like probing deeply into the neurological structures of the human brain. I also wrote in another journal entry "We have come to express our inner thoughts and manifested and shared and external reality, and to intimately bond with twenty-or-so other random humans was by far the most precious experience."

I saw Penny and Christina (two write-off participants) at Shelly Lowenkopf's Saturday writers group and we were buzzing away about the whole phenomenal experience of the pilot reality show. We talked about how our snapshot of writing at the time represented who we we were. Christina Allison resorted to humor (but at age 90, everything must seem absurd and humorous, even the notion of being 90 years old!) (Christina is so hip and witty and in tune with things as a 90-year old, I thought maybe she was 60). Penny resorted to darkness and gloom, which I didn't think so (I keep remembering her for the epic performance of a Mamette simulation. And for me, I was into environmental philosophy and attempts at satire. That is where my head shall be for quite a while, but everything is all a phase. The only way to write myself OUT of environmental philosophy is to KEEP writing... but then again I will always write environmental philosophy because it's not like I can erase my brain of anorexia. I can only build upon it. Or maybe you can give me shock therapy, and I won't remember ANYTHING.

I told Maria Meyers at the writers volunteer gathering. It was super-challenging to co-write a script. It's almost as if this most talented group of writers emerged from the boonies of America. I think having a writer competition reality show would be a saving grace to Reality Television because Intelligence can be re-integrated into Hollywood. Writing involves thinking, and to win, not only you have to be a writer, but you have to be a multi-media Dramatizer of your writing. The judging was wonderful because you were being scored much like how they score olympic gymnasts. In the end, winning is arbitrary, and it simply represents the tastes of the judges.

I started notcing a little bit of biasing in the judges, because the judges knew certain people a certain way and they didn't know me at first at all. Maybe biased judging is a natural predisposition as to how you come to know the person you have judged. Almost like the whole shifting baseline recency-of-memory effect with choosing who wins the academy awards. How can PSYCHOLOGICAL ACCOUNTABILITY ADJUST THE JUDGING OF SCORES?

You could notice the whole span of writing about the human-environmental condition, and writing that spanned into the realm of commercialized slapstick that is instantly recognized as humor rather than detecting humor upon the second look-second read. If I really wanted to adapt to the contest, it would have to be impulsive writing for an impulsive judging. If the reality show were more fair, there would be two rounds of judging (1) one round as impulsive judging (2) second round of turning in writing and judging would emerge in a half-hour of reading. This would account for impulsivity and critical thinking.

It was nice, one participating writer in the reality show came up to me on the side and told me that I was by far a wonderful writer within the group and that don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I think I am occupying a unique genre at the interface of science, art, and humanity, and my writing is trying to send a personal and universal message. I am actually trying to teach something and change something, rather than just entertain. I also met a guy who writes children books in New York and I thought his work was a blast. I can't believe he's published!

In the end of the Santa Barbara Pilot Experiment Write-off, impulsively intellectual humor won. Such was Christina Allison, international playright and opera singer. She deserved it. I am privileged to be in the same writers group with her now. Wow!

Back to "The Elephant and the Oak Tree"! On the last day of the Santa Barbara Write-off Reality show, wer were all invited to the "ultimate challenge." We were supposed to pitch the ultimate Airport Best Seller. A book that Cheri Steinkellner was willing to read when traveing from Los Angeles to New York. Cheri was interested in picking up the book from the airport bookstore.

In this specific competition, we were supposed to share (1) genre / taglines (2) title (3) (opening poem was optional) (4) opening passage (5) sample artwork.

When I read "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" (psychological-environmental thriller children's book for adults), I realized I completely missed the mark. The barebone essence of Airport Thrillers is slapstick writing suitable for chronic distraction in a long airplane ride. Crazy romance novels and self-help books and disastrous medical thrillers were more appropriate. For example, there was a case study that a woman was fertilized in a swimming pool and she had a baby named Chlorina. That was kick-xss hilarious. In the name of Impulsivety, my idea was out of context and forgettable, because it's a story that requires you to look twice, think twice. I also remember Christina Allison's paraphrased thesis: "I'm overworked, overweight, oversexed, and I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can lose 100 pounds in just three weeks!" Another lady wrote about a Sex-in-the-City that is occurring real life in San Diego, an all woman's writer club that revolves around sex--sex drama, sex jokes. I myself, if I thought about such a subject for a little longer than a couple of minutes would go crazy, wondering as to whether other humans had other forms of operating neurons in their heads. This lady mentioned something... something... something... "clitterini." Gawdzeeks.

Even if I didn't do well for this competition, I am not in the phase to "adapt." As my aunt Jeri Lyn Dillin advised, "Just keep doing what you are doing." You accumulate an audience over time as long as you stick to your theme and your territory.

Anyhow, I was glad to share my pitch for the Reality Show.

There is even FURTHER HISTORICAL BAGGAGE of this elephant-oak-tree story.
In the fall of 2005, amidst my depression and panic attacks at UC Riverside, I had a VERY inspirational meeting with my English teacher, Ann Camacho, who additionally inspired me ever since 9th grade. First of all, she was concerned with my obsessive writing style. I wrote too neatly and I even used the aid of a ruler. Little did Ann know (she insisted that I call her "Ann" and not "Ms. Camacho") that this obsessive, perfectionist writing would lead to my writing credits on a film for Goleta Beach. I am a Living Font, and I am proud of it. Maybe I can sell my Font and my Sunflower to Microsoft. There is even software that can allow me to design my own font... Another day! Not now! Secondly, Ann went through some similar self-destructive experiences as a teenager (seems like females implode and males explode). She wasn't exactly anorexic, but it was something very similar. She then told me two very powerful quotes, which ended up being essential backbones to my Question Reality manuscript: (1) You are not healed from anorexia. You have a long way to go (to my dismay at age 17). One day you'll see it. It peels like an onion. I applied this onion-peeling effect not only to human psychology but to environmental deconstruction and reconstruction. Everything peels like an onion in space and time. (2) "When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, there needs to be change."

On the late, chilly, December night at a Riversidian Starbucks, I met Ann, and she got up from her seat to give me a hug--ecstatic to see me! At that time, I hovered around 155 lbs (instead of 95 lbs). She exclaimed that I looked great, and at that moment I felt like I walked onto an Oprah Winfrey Stage for Anorexia Makeover. *Whatever!* Blush. Blush. Anorexia Makeover essentially equated to Mental Makeover and EnvironMental Makeover. Ann's compliments meant a lot to me, given that it was my high school English teacher and not Oprah Winfrey. The truth is I want to go back and contribute to my high school--John Wesley North High. The best thing I can do is tell my Elephant-Oak-Tree story as a presentation to Ann Camacho's class and just show the value of questioning, curiosity, and the need to reunite ideas of science, art, environment, technology, and the human experience. I also want to plant a seed to Ann and the class that you can self-publish your books through Lulu and there could even be a collective poetry/essay journal for North High School!

That night at Starbucks, Ann was telling me on how she was working on a script for a book recapping the major themes of great English literature we totally seem to forget, miss the point, and not bother to teach and inspire. "The Big Picture of English Literature" type of book. Wow, that right there is a great title! Ann was also telling me about her "subliminal turmoil" of living in a house that is right next to a major street, I believe Central. It was impairing her sleeping patterns and amplifying her anxiety and hurting her overall daily productivity (it was probably as turmoiling for her 4-year-old daughter). Her family was dismissing it as a real problem (I think), but I think Ann received courage from me that this needs to be changed. Extra background street noise 24/7 can bother you greatly and hurt your basic neurophysiology, even from a scientific surface-value perspective. It's a topic that needs to be pushed to the front, not shoved to the backburner.

Aside from that, I told Ann about my Question Reality manuscript (I also dropped off a copy to Mr. Hunter (my tenth grade English teacher) and Ms. Lieux (my ultimate high school physics teacher)), and her response took in the form of a story: "Plato's Myth of Caves" (besides giving me a list of a few other books I should read, essentially what everyone else was doing). It is essentially a story about a couple of men in a dark, yet warm cave around a fire. One man didn't want to stay in the cave anymore but the other man said that it was dangerous outside. Why not stay inside the cave, where it's warm and safe? The other man suffered from staying in the cave and went outside. It ended up that it was warm and sunny outside and it felt amazing to his skin. Then there is the Indian Parable about science being a bunch of blind men feeling the parts of an elephant, trying to figure out what the whole elephant was. So? There you have it. Two epic stories combined and intertwined with a third brain: my own! I wrote EOT with two ghost writers on my back! Ha!

EOT was still a baby story in 2005, but I wasn't able to elaborate the story until February of 2008, right before the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Boston. I still couldn't finalize it. Question Reality was still a big tumor in my brain. I was able to see the ending of EOT, which was previously unresolved for two years. EOT is like some of my poems. I let them sit for two years, and then I am able to expand upon them after a 1000-day hiatus. Weird.

Now since I have met Tariel, I can see the ending of EOT for sure.

Then there was a rainy day in fall of 2007. Where I was essentially internally in a state of chaos and falling apart. But I couldn't fall apart because I was trying to get into graduate school at UC Santa Barbara. I was the luckiest person to meet Dr. Nancy Kawalek, head of the STAGE program (promoting experimental theater along the themes of science-technology-art-environment), and she essentially asked me how my "dream Ph.D." would look like. MY GOD! Talk about running into the best possible person! Talk about the BLANK SLATE! Talk about CCS! Talk about INFINITE FREEDOM! Not many graduate students seem to be ready to respond to such a profound question (not many people can handle blank slates), but I was ready. I then talked to her for about two hours in concern of my DREAM PH.D. We both agreed right away, just like I agreed with Dr. Dick Hebdige of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at UCSB that the construction of art has very systematic, scientific elements about it. The construction of art is also a process of trial and error, coming to conclusions about what works, and scrapping what doesn't work. There's a form of "relativism" and "intersubjectivity" to science, and Dr. Hebdige recommended I read some articles along the lines of intersubjectivity. I found out retroactively that Dr. Hebdige was into the investigation of rebel sub-cultures, and that his masters thesis became a widely known book! Talk about running into the right people.

Part of this two-hour bout with Dr. Kawalek was my elaboration of the elephant-oak tree parable. She found it absolutely fascinating and a potential STAGE script if appropriately adapted.

I also told Dr. Kawalek that I have a dream one day to do a script that is a satire on the fragmentation of univeristy knowledge, and if a female mind had the capacity to re-organize knowledge and bureaucracy at all scales of the university and society, how would Reality look like? From value-language-perception systems to the new structure of rules and human-environmental systems. Call it a FEMININE INTELLECTUAL MAKEOVER OF THE UNIVERSITY, SCIENCE, AND SOCIETY. As if we were taking the university to a beauty parlor--in the extremist of surface-value Hollywood perspectives.

Well hey. Beautiful idea. But not top on my priorities and to-do list right now.

Essentially, Nancy Kawalek was my light of hope in the chaotic darkness of fall 2007.

Dr. Kawalek was inspired to do STAGE when she discovered an improvisational theater company in Canada (was it "black box theater"?) who performed this magnificent play based on the script of two brothers fighting over some toys as kids scaled out to two countries fighting over scaling of weaponry and the race to space. PERFECT ANALOGY. I could see how this theater company could see human society as the mass accumulation effects of individual behavior.

Well, the baggage of "The Elephant and the Oak Tree" doesn't stop there. The last major time I tried to "incorporate" my story was trying to write an abstract for the AAAS Pacific Division Conference in Hawaii. The project would be classified under "New Sciences-Humanities Convergences," which is certainly a theme of the UC Santa Barbara campus! I interacted with Dr. Robert Chianese, a very inspiring English literature professor at Cal State Northridge (where my sister goes to school for physical therapy) and Dr. Interruption--excuse me, an eager anthropology professor in the School of Dentistry of UCLA--Dr. Carl M*ida. Don't get me wrong. He's a nice guy, but he interrupted me quite a bit, and he even bothered to mostly write my abstract for AAAS, framing the emphasis on communications campaigns. Maybe a typical graduate student would be happy that a professor did the work for him or her, but I ended up being extremely pissed off because writing my abstract is a form of "framing" and "brainwashing," just as the Scientology Church was forcing me to write in a certain way, but I wasn't interested in giving in. Training a person on how to write a certain style and order is a form of brainwashing. So, my father brainwashed me, and so did C Hugh Marsh, who taught me scientific writing. But stepping away from the courses, thinking like my father and like Dr. Marsh makes utmost sense to me. So, this brainwashing I concede to. I am not eager to be forced to write a certain way anymore, and if I expand my writing frameworks, I want it to be my choice to break out of my box. Not a top-down force.

I am sure Dr. M*ida did not intend this, but I have the stigma of Scientology all over me, and I think the only way I can learn how to write is that I write everything out myself. Especially when they are my ideas. The abstract was not my own abstract submitted, but moreso Dr. M*ida's. I didn't have a sense of self-mastery of concepts.

After hearing the elephant-oak tree story, Dr. Chianese claimed that I was an epistemologist and a Batesonian--and I didn't even know it. Hence, the blossoming of ecopistemology. Dr. Chianese was more concerned about the content of the story and Dr. M*ida seemed unconcerned of the story and excited about the campaigns theory context. I started to realize that I may use some data and state from communications campaigns studies, but I want to understand modern communication systems from an evolutionary psychological perspective.

The tragedy of all the work and preparation for the AAAS conference is that I never ended up attending the week-long event in Hawaii (next year, it's in San Francisco, and I can definitely attend)! Two weeks before I was supposed to register for the conference, two of the Hawaiian airlines with cheapest tickets (including ATA) went out of business. It was going to cost an-arm-and-a-leg for me to go. Whatever. Not cool!

In terms of the philosophy of writing parables, I discussed in a previous blog the advantages of writing in Parable Form. Big messages in simple, fun, adventurous stories. In terms of "other mechanisms of writing," I discussed several factors in the meeting with Dr. Hector Javkin.

Such is thr Rabbithole of Baggage and Backstory of The Elephant and the Oak Tree. Now the serious part, FINALLY! To write the story. Geeze!

keywords: The Elephant and the Oak Tree, penguin dance, marriage, benefits of failure, natural selection of ideas, audience baseline effect, pitch, brevity, darwin award, triangle, hourglass, brainwashing, feminine intellectual makeover, Dream Ph.D, College of Creative Studies, triangle, hourglass, how to pitch to an agent,

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