Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Day in the Life of Todd Crawford

Hello and welcome to "A Day in the Life of..."©, a featured guest post exclusive to my blog that's published on Mondays and sometimes, on Thursdays. On these two days, a spotlight guest will share a normal day in their lives, giving us insight on their thoughts, projects, interests, obsessions and more. Occasionally, and if we're lucky, they'll even throw in a giveaway.

And now on with the show...

About Todd Crawford 

Todd Crawford (1994) was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where he wrote his first three books, a Clockwork in the Stars, The Final Gospels, and his anthology The Black Season. His writing style is recognized as descriptive, cynically honest yet whimsical. His works obsess over the geography of the human mind, existentialism juxtaposed with the politically religious, and nature hearkening back to the Romantic era of literature. He first published a Clockwork in the Stars through Lulu publishing, but released his latter works under the CreateSpace banner before reissuing Clockwork with his new label. Although his only currently released works have been of the literary outlet, he has indulged in other orientations of Art such as music (having composed a companion piece for his novel, The Final Gospels), film (having adapted his novella, Brighter, into a short film), and comic books. Crawford is currently working on his third (traditionally structured) novel, The Pilgrimage, an abstract commentary of politics as he is browsing agents to market the release.

Connect with Todd Crawford

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A Day in the Life of Todd Crawford: 
Todd Crawford Could Really Use A Time Machine Right Now

I wake up hung-over around Noon every day. I've never touched a drug or alcohol in my life, although I would never consider myself what some would call "straight-edge," yet I still can't shake the feeling that I woke up in a bed leapt into as a last resort in order to prevent any damage I may have otherwise caused in my latest of waking hours. I immediately grab whatever clothes are nearest as well as a bath towel before heading to the shower to wash away all lingering memories of the night. I actually enjoy my natural scent, but I find the thought of waking up in my own oils and greases rather unsettling, especially as a long-haired male who can feel the dampness of my roots pressing against the back of my skull.

After my shower (sorry to disappoint, but that's even more private business than I am willing to give out!) I typically begin my day by logging in to Facebook or spreading the pages of a comic book. I have always been fascinated and somewhat obsessive about comics, but I haven't felt this strongly about the craft since I was 12 years old. I like to consider it studying for a few potential comic series that I aim to get off the ground, but to be totally honest, I'm more likely just obsessed. The sad part is that I can feel a deeper connection to this than I feel with most of my fellow humans in this town, but more on that later! Being that I don't speak with many of my former classmates since Graduation (we'll get there, no worries now) or many people at all as of late my comrades on the Internet are some of the best social interactions that I get in a day. I'm perfectly okay with that, though, because I know that they do not want to take anything from me and vice-versa. They're probably healthier relationships than most I've had in high school, to be fair. 

Around 3 o’clock, I go downstairs and wait for my father to get home from work. I'm not the best at social interactions all of the time, but I always try to make sure to be around for when my father gets off work and we have our ritualistic family dinner. It's the one sanctity of our household, it often feels like, and one that I don't intend on breaking if I can help it. (Confession: I missed dinner today for a pizza party and four movies at a friend's house.) I usually don't get discuss my family with others because I often come off as bragging. I have this odd situation where I actually enjoy their company. Speaking of friends, I've been spending a lot of time with Randi Armour lately, a girl who has recently moved to my hometown, Greenville. This usually lasts until around 2:30 so that I can be home in time for dinner, or from 4 (or whenever she gets off work) through Midnight. (I used to stay over much later, but my family set a curfew and as shut in as I feel inside during the latest hours of the night, I would like to respect their wishes.) We'll watch movies, go to SHTZ, or go on walks, really casual-yet-entertaining things.

I go on a lot of walks, by the way, as in, at least two hours' worth of walking a day. I've heard it repeated many times on the tele that one solid hour of walking a day will help you lose weight, so I figured that if I walked two hours a day then I could be healthy and still have the liberty to eat as I please without consequence! Of course I have since learned otherwise, but the thought is pleasant, nonetheless. It's upon these walks that I really get to understand myself better. There is a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche that claims "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking," and I find that statement very amiable. I used to hide myself between the trees of what little woodland remains in Greenville, PA, but the past six months or so I've found Main Street very interesting to walk down. The street itself is lined with bars and coffeeshops, and knowing that these establishments are not only open, but quite well populated and I am not inside of - or welcome inside of - either is truly isolating. I have always tried to avoid falling prey to unnecessary clichés, at least without putting my own twist on them, but one truly recalls the classic Vampyre mytho that the bloodsuckers cannot enter a building until they are invited by the home's rightful owner. Another reason I feel so repelled by the Main Street is because I was once welcome within these places, and I once conversed with their people. It all brings back a flood of memories, both good and bad. I walked the streets with a very close friend who I will never see or speak to again, and stopped to sit along benches and watch the river flow underneath the bridge. There are even more memories at the Riverside Park that I often frequent, as well. I used to trace circuits around the park with this same friend, talking or swinging (it sounds juvenile, but my concept of absolute happiness are two men in business suits dropping their suitcases and blasting off on a swingset together), but often both, until well beyond nightfall. If my memory does not fail me (and it very well may be, as I have long ago surrendered any sense of reality that belonged to my past for fiction, or "New Truths" as I like to call them) I had my second first kiss there. (Score!! ... *ahem, if you will, that is.) The park in general is a very magickal place to be, yet it is also very haunting. I feel unwelcome in this town, as if my time here has been spent, my quota of memories well past brimming and my eviction notice is long overdue. I think that in many ways, it is. The people of this town do not want me, nor do I want to live my life in such an area.

I've been really into comic books lately, as you may have heard. When I originally got 
started on them (with Sonic the Hedgehog, The World's Most Way Past Cool Comic! by Archie), I was very prejudiced and biased towards the superhero genre. It all seemed the same to me, yet just recently I have found a very deep connection to these modern mythologies. The superhero (be it Spider-Man, Batman or Iron Man, pick your choice) does not always want to go about the task at hand, and oftentimes there is a great deal of inner-turmoil within the character that the readership is shown thanks to editor's notes and thought bubbles. Recently, I have found that my relationship with my Art is not very different from those characters' to their life works. I feel that I owe it to the world to be the greatest possible Artist that I can be, and just as important as that, I owe it to myself. When I walk around Greenville I often wonder why I bother to keep up with myself, or why I haven't given up when everybody else so clearly wishes for me to, (How easy would it be for my detractors to write me off as a lunatic if I blew my brains out, per-se? "Oh, that Todd Crawford? He didn't have a clue and he was well off the deep end! Best thing he did with his life was end it," rather than seriously considering the messages I have to deliver and accepting that, hey, I may even have a point or two to make about society.) yet just as integral to Bruce Wayne as Batman is, or Spider-Man to Peter Parker, I believe that there is a similar relationship that I hold with my Art. "With great power comes great responsibility," as Uncle Ben would have it. 

To end my night, I usually head home and check all of my online profiles before retiring into bed. You may be asking yourself right about now "Wait! What about that whole writing thing!? What point is there in reading these posts if you offer no insight into your Artistic methods!?" Well, typically my Artistic process goes quite a bit like this. I spend months, sometimes close to a year this way, letting my ideas "gestate," as I like to think of it, before finally releasing them upon the paper (and you can be sure that when that time finally comes, I'm fit to burst). Just to humour you, the reader, myself, and Nely, for ever-so kindly inviting me to her fancy little page (I type that endearingly, without a hint of condescension!), let's say that this is a night where I take it upon myself to fit a little writing in before bed. I typically listen to inspirational music (whatever fits my current mood) and let the ideas possess me. I literally want them to take ownership over my mind and body, because I have been waiting, studying, and listening for so long to understand how these characters and plotlines may work, and finally I can let them just run free. I'll hear full conversations in my head, witness scenes that I am about to paint in the readers' minds, and formulate ideas revolutionary to the plot outline. Around Midnight (or earlier if my ideas just can't wait and I'm drawn to the page) I begin writing, a process that can last anywhere between two to eight hours. I write feverishly, and typically I'll have hundreds of pages lain down in weeks to make up for my otherwise stagnant nature. I often realize a lot about myself during this period, and I go to bed wholly contented. I know my place in the world, and tonight I have fulfilled it.


Thank you, Todd, for sharing your day with us and thank you, readers for taking the time to stop by. I hope that you've enjoyed today's 
"A Day in the Life of..."

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