Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preparatory to Anything Else...What the Title Means

I'm starting a series of posts with the intention of introducing and explaining some things that will make frequent appearances in my writings as we move forward. This helps so that I don't have to pause to define or explain something in parentheses when posting about it (certain baseball statistics, for instance). I should have probably done this a while ago to introduce Joyce before posting so much stuff about his work but, really, it's only recently that I've begun to treat this blog seriously as something that people might read as opposed to a wall on which to carve my opinions and blabberings like graffiti.

So, to start, it's about time I explain what this blog's title means. Well, it has a number of meanings behind it but first I must point out the fact that I didn't decide "How 'bout I create a blog...and I'll name it 'A Building Roam'!" It is instead taken from an idea I had last year for a novel. "Building Roam" is from Bildungsroman, a German word used for a literary genre concerned with the growth and assimilation into society of a young person. Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is considered a Bildungsroman novel, so is Siddartha and also Catcher in the Rye.

In my case, my story is concerned with a character who graduates college with a business degree but is unsure of what he wants to do with his future so, instead of interviewing for business jobs to begin a career as a suit-and-tie executive, he works as an office temp. This was me in New York in 2007. I worked for four different (very different) companies for varying lengths of time and have lots of interesting stories from each one. More importantly, it was during this time that I decided to move across the country to Southern California after spending the first 22 years of my life in the same spot. After growing up in the same nest (same house, same bedroom) I decided to jump out and test my wings. So, I see "A Building Roam" as referring to my journey as a temp from one office building to another as well as my eventual cross-country 10-day migration to San Diego where I had no plans, no job lined up, no apartment, I just had that destination. When I did make it there, there were some struggles for a little while and the bird who'd hopped out of the nest fluttered its wings frantically in descent at times, but eventually learned how to fly and stay afloat and enjoy the scene from the sky, soaring up above the buildings.

I have written a full outline for the novel telling that story but each time I try to sit down and compose the book I lose all confidence in my writing and shy away for a while. Part of the intention of this blog is to gain some more comfort in writing and hopefully (eventually) put up some draft chapters.

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