Thursday, 30 December 2010
But I have had a taste of pure solitude, two days, and found myself, oh the horror of it all, found myself degenerating into... adolescence. Heaven forbid! Those days should be long over.
My mind went into overdrive, thinking of all the worst and greatest moments in my life. I don't enjoy this in the least. The past belongs where it is. And all the would-have-beens and could-have-beens that plague me are the stuff of fantasies that should never be read.
Silly thing, the human brain, it only half-cares what you think but is more interested on working on its own solutions. Perhaps these thoughts are always whirring at a subconcious level, looking for peace, for an answer to why certain events went as they did. Quiet brings them to the surface, where I can't shut them up.
Perhaps if I started watching television, I might get the peace back.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Good luck to anyone else doing ROW!
Monday, 27 December 2010
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Here's the PDF for our Reality Hunger, by David Shields
Having read the above, I must say he starts off making several good points and highlights the merits of memoirs and how they don't necessarily belong as non-fiction, being more literature.
But then he starts bashing the escapism and "cogs" of the fiction, calling "Great art...clear thinking about mixed feelings."
I had to stop reading from that.
It was good until that point, however.
Friday, 24 December 2010
But you might. What do I know? Anyway, here's the link.
Eagles in space... maybe there's something to that.
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Ok, I exaggerate. Sometimes shopping with friends can be fun, just for the experience. But the must-have objects are the problem. I've been so busy filling my flat up with beanbags and books that when I cut myself yesterday and it wouldn't stop bleeding, I realised that I didn't own a first aid kit. Isn't that just the height of arrogance? To think that I need beanbags more than bandages? I improvised with duct tape and some cotton swabs (painful peeling off later, I can tell you).
Everyone, though, should stop and consider how much they have, and what they really need in life, before they drool over the latest fad.
We don't live long. I don't want to spend all my time shopping for a future I might not have.
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
All you are now is a cloud of consciousness, a series of thoughts, of conversations with yourself. What voices are clearest in your mind? Which two voices assert their character the most? Your supposed devil and angel? Your ego or libido?
Take the two strongest personalities that live inside you. Don't give them bodies, put them on an infinite plane with nothing but talk to fill the void.
What will they say to each other now that they are not the same person? How will they come to terms with themselves and each other? Kill the other? 'Walk' away? Befriend? Or something better.
These thought beings that live within you need their own voices from time to time. Give it to them in spades.
Door of consciousness by ~AndreyBobir on deviantART
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Love it! Who says genre fiction can be seperated from great literature?
So my new writing regime starts first thing in the morning with oneword.com as I sip my tea, followed by an exercise from the Write Brain Workbook, possibly followed by a 3 a.m. Epiphany exercise (depending on how reluctant I am to get back to work on my book - these exercises take some considerable thought) and finally, the serious work on my novel.
As an aside, I am loving this new book I'm reading, Entropy, but unfortunately my copy turned out to be signed. I can't enjoy cracking the spine as I work my way through because I'm so concerned about the condition it's in.
And another thing: I hate novels about novelists and writers (Entropy has hints of this but has enough merits to outweigh it). It really grates at me. Write about someone other than yourself. That's what imagination and research are for.
Friday, 17 December 2010
Then came horror, just for myself, as my keyboard became completely broken and I had to write by pen. Most unpleasant.Then followed ecstasy, as the IT man brought life back to my laptop.
But this... this is what I suspect others have been feeling for a while now: an ability to write, wasted by a lack of metaphorical wind in the sails. So what next? Another WriMo? No. This time quality comes first.
And that's why I thought I'd mention http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
You may already have a character in mind, someone waiting for a plot but doesn't really need one. Use them. Otherwise I've added two pictures to inspire thoughts of distinctive characteristcs.
Other things to include:
1) a precious object - choose from a knitting needle, an amber paperweight, a shoestring, a feather or a lock of hair
Silent Night I by ~kandieis on deviantART
We're All Stars. by =t0x1c-d0LLy on deviantART
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Two choices for your prompt:
1) Write something crazy. It's bizarro fiction, haven't you heard of it?
or 2) Use connective thinking to find some kind of inspiration for the normal style of story you're used to writing.
(I'd personally go for the monster and make it a horror style story. Another time, however... Much to do and whatnot!)
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Focusing on prose, I give you the three best writer's tools available in book form:
1) The Three A.M. Epiphany
2) The Write Brain Workbook
3) Lights! Camera! Fiction!
The first one, I have barely worked my way through a tenth of the exercises, but they are so good, so versatile, that for each exercise I find myself writing up to ten really different storys or fragments. That's all that needs to be said about it really. The perfect exercise book.
The second functions as a warm up for a day of writing, sometimes invaluable when you can't bring yourself to continue what you started yesterday and you want something fresh to do to take your mind off of your serious work. I don't think I've created a single piece that I would call professional from this book, but that's not the point. It makes writing more enjoyable and hence made me far more productive in other endeavours.
The third may fluctuate between the obvious and the inspired but whether you find the book a revelation or a waste of time, the worksheets in the back are really the most useful tool I've ever had for writing a novel. I don't feel obliged to answer every question but it makes me look harder at my character's backgrounds ('How does this character see himself in regards to his occupation?') and plot.
If there are any books that you also think are invaluable I'd love to hear your reasons, but what I've found so far is that most other books have failed to provide me with anything that writing practice won't provide.
(And yet I'm still reading them... XD)
So here is my first picture prompt.
1) Pick one of the two pictures below
2) Think of the first most obvious scenario that goes with the title you've picked.
3) Do the opposite, reverse your premise. E.g.: If the happiest moment you automatically think of is childbirth, then make a death some character's happiest moment. If you can be convincing, human, and not at all Disney-villain evil, then you have succeeded.
4) Once your antithesis is written you may go back to the your obvious premise if you still prefer it.
(I don't want to give you too specific an idea to build on. You're most comfortable writing in your own style and a prompt is there to fire up the connections in your brain that make your natural creativity take hold. I'd be curious to see the variety that this prompt could develop.)
HAPPY by ~thathu on deviantART
Alley of broken hearts by =wchild on deviantART
Sunday, 28 November 2010
...oil and water. The world's two most precious resources in one neat package.
If you take all the oil that goes into making the bottles and you add in the oil that it takes to move the water to bottling plants and then to distribution centres and then take the oil that is used sending trucks around to pick up all the empties, it is the equivalent of filling each bottle of water 1/5 of the way with oil. But bottled water has a water footprint as well as a carbon footprint. On average it take 3L of water to make each 1L of water that goes on the shelf and that other water goes into making the bottles, into cooling the machinery and into washing the bottles...
(BBC television, The Foods that Make Billions, 1. Liquid Gold)
Afterthought: I know there is sometimes a good reason to go for bottled water, particularly in countries like Lebanon where the tapwater is safe for showering and such but otherwise undrinkable without boiling. There's only one serious supplier of water: Soha, another Nestle branch.
I just object to the decadence of encouraging harmful industrialisation in western countries when we can help reserve oil by sticking to water piped efficiently into our homes with minimal environmental effects.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
I'm really happy with it. The juxtaposition of decay and birth sum up the root of my premise.
Yesterday I had a growth spurt in my stats and now I have 37000 words, a mere 4 1/2 thou behind schedule. Not a problem. Last minute pressure is doing wonders for my word count.
See you at the finish line.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
"Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down."
Looking at all the other people who are passing the finish line is putting me in a foul-slash-apathetic state. I aim to write 5000 words today. 1000 done. It'll be a miracle if I finish. I'm trying to be acurate with the symptoms of psychosis but its hard when I have to limit time spent on research to ensure some writing gets done.
I just want this book done with so I can start the next one, the good one.
I had a rather horrific dream last night, about blood leaking from cucumbers and sliced torsos being held together painfully, keeping a person alive and on display while feeding loved ones a blood-infused drink. Other elements which severely disturbed me shall remain unmentioned because they are now material for novel number two (or is it four with the old attempts?).
First step, the ordinary, second step, the extraordinary.
Already looking forward to step three: the leap of faith.
(I have to wonder if I'm making any sense.)
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Four really good days of 2500 words at a time and close to catching up, followed by a weekend of nada. Now 10,000 words behind. I just can't bring myself to write anymore. I don't know enough about psychosis to describe it.
Should just go with it. Editing is for accuracy... Shut up, brain. This isn't your best day.
Don't go there... Goddamnit brain, I know that place is nice... with the castle ruins growing poppies in the cracks and the caved in roof bringing a still weight of fresh air. The corridoor is long and the doors off their hinges. Grass is thickening between the slabs and in one room lies an apothecary of the weird and disturbing.
There's no one there anymore.
Let it lie.
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Image via Wikipedia
Today I took some old apples and turned them into apple sauce concentrate, adding lemon and some uncooked chunks for crunch. It was perfect and took a lot of effort, boiling an old coffee jar and whatnot. I stuck the jar in the fridge when in cooled and couldn't help taking a dip two hours later.
It tasted like ash. The odour of coffee was somehow still overwhelming and drowned out the apples entirely. I had to throw it out.
Then I thought about my novel. Am I putting that much effort in, taking the purest ingredients of time, commitment and imagination and turning them into mulch?
Just can't write today.
Friday, 12 November 2010
Image by katerha via Flickr
Does one really wealthy, happy life outweigh two miserable hardworking lives? As in would it be kinder to kill one if it means putting them out of their misery and making the other wealthy and happy or letting them both live regretting their lives to their death?
Thursday, 11 November 2010
That is true... I have an idea I'm just not willing to use in this book but which my stupid sodding brain can't let go of. Sod. Sod, blast, and damn. Damn it to hell. Hells, bells and a bucket of blood.
I did have one thoroughly useful idea tonight, and that was to have more movie/series marathons with dressing up and suchlike.
Bring on the Elfen Lied. (Haven't seen that in a while.)
Maybe I should actually get a bit more writing done so I can catch up.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Image via WikipediaYay! I've hit the ten thousand mark! I know that many others have crossed twenty thou but I'm quite proud of me!
It turns out the big piece of fanfiction I churned out in three months when I was fourteen was actually 150,000 words, so if I cannot complete 50,000 in a month (the average pace I held) then I have to conceed that my fourteen-year-old-self is my superior. I can't let adolescent-me beat twenty-one-year-old-me.
Incidentally, I found my old blog. It contains almost nothing but interesting extracts from books I was reading. That's something I'm going to have to take up again because I really enjoyed reading it as though it was somebody else's blog. Go seventeen-year-old me!
The Capricious Approach: http://feyperiphery.spaces.live.com/
This is as it stands right now... I'm three days behind :S But today is set aside for a serious catch up session and I hope to have at least 12000 by the end of today. 15000 if things go awesomely.
I realised that writing short stories was setting me back so I've dropped those until I can get at least a couple of thousand words ahead (seems unlikely at this stage).
I've got to cross my fingers that no books distract me.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
I'm trying to catch up my word count after yesterday and already I'm struggling. They say that the first part is easiest. True, when you're used to it, but I know my best weeks will be two and four.
Considering that I used to be capable of pumping out 16 a4 pages a day, my word count is utterly embarassing.
Monday, 1 November 2010
“I think I’m improving,” I mewl pitifully.
“I might even be able to start manning the till soon?”
“You just stick to packing bags.”
My head sinks to a stony neck as she shuffles off with the perseverance of a saint.
I gape as a colleague picks up a jar of pasta sauce and takes aim. It streaks through the air, straight into my palm and I fling it back ferociously, making him nearly topple as it strikes him in the chest.
“No more pass-the-breakable!” He quivers his lower lip. “No!” I snap, passing full bags to a hair-raised old lady. “Play with someone who can afford to get in trouble.”
“But they don’t have your reflexes, Lis-babe.”
“Oh,” I roll my eyes, “all right,” surreptitiously reaching for a roll of hobnobs.
News: It's NaNoWriMo and I'm taking part to kick-start the writing that's slowed to almost a dribble over the summer with all the fuss that goes along with life. So... a word quota is a good motivation. It should be. And yet the procrastination continues.
I found this small bit from a month ago which no longer is a thing of contempt (hopefully this will happen with other things I have since written).
Friday, 20 August 2010
Monday, 26 July 2010
Image via Wikipedia"What are you doing on the ceiling?" Judy gasped, slamming the door behind her. Stephen sputtered indignantly.
"What are you doing on the ceiling?"
Silenced, Judy crossed her arms and paced. To come home and find your husband splayed across the ceiling, ankles bound by silk scarves to the dangling ceiling lamps and gripping the curtain rail for dear life... Well! It was an ugly surprise. She glanced once before averting her eyes.
"This isn't funny Stephen," she told the floor. "What are you doing?"
"Everything's upside down," he mused. "Even you. I didn't think you would be."
"No it's not Stephen. It really isn't."
"It is. It is. I swear it is. I feel so much better on the ground. The ceiling made my stomach turn."
Judy lifted a hand to hide her face.
"Honey, please come down."
"I should ask the same. How are you still well?" His faint smile sent her hand for the phone.
"I'm not the one who's sick," she murmured, dialling then putting the phone to her ear. "...Hello? My husband's gone mad or had a stroke or something. He's currently hanging off the ceiling... Yes. 113 Clarrendon Road... OK, I'll try."
"I wonder why this happened..."
Judy quietly left the room and returned with a chair, left again and brought a box. She brought anything sturdy and stacked them underneath him. Under her breath she cursed as she built her shaky staircase.
"How did you get up there? Fly? Trust you to go insane before I do. Was it in spite?"
"Innocence isn't exactly your strong point, babe. I know you’d do this on purpose."
"You really think I'm wrong? That I'm the upside down one?"
"Yes," Judy cried, climbing onto a small coffee table.
He shook his head. "Mad, woman. Pure insanity." She lifted her face towards his and smiled thinly.
Balancing on her tower of furniture she took hold of his wrists. "Come on Stephen. People are coming to help you. Please come down."
"Gladly, if that were down," he said, motioning with his nose and almost smacking heads.
"Stephen, come down," she growled, trying to wrench his fingers off the rail.
"No! No-no!" He squeezed his face up tight.
"I'm trying to help you," she argued, thumping his fingers as hard as she could.
"Ow!" He tried to shake her off his arms. "Get off!" He shook harder. In a moment his fingers slipped and in the next, Judy lay under a noisy pile of furniture and Sephen swung from the ceiling by his ankles.
And that was how the ambulance crew found them.
In the ambulance, Judy glared at Stephen as he struggled with two paramedics trying to climb to the roof of the vehicle.
"Definitely needs a CAT scan, this one," said the bulkier, who promptly received a hand pushed into his face.
"What about me?" Judy asked.
"It'll take a month or two for you to recover from your bruising and broken arm, but you'll be fine," a third paramedic said, watching the others wrestle with mild amusement.
"Oh! That's okay," she said looking pointedly in her husband's direction. "That’s just splendid."
Wrote this one a while ago, when I was utterly bored, to entertain myself. Almost threw it away. Probably needs some editing but I don't think it's worth it.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
“Peas may have some good qualities but the disadvantages on your internal organs....” He whistled through his teeth. “Forget about it!”
The quiet man in the black suit piped up: “Why is it exactly that certain diets can make you live longer?”
“Ah!” Lyle grinned, wiping his mouth with a scarlet napkin. “It’s been shown that a matter of how healthy your digestive tract is usually correlates with life expectancy.”
The man, who had been very hushed all evening, spoke an eloquent little speech in which he conclusively refuted everything Lyle had said with actual case studies, telling the table in a modest voice that the only diet to increase longevity was a restricted one that slows metabolism.
It turned out the man was something of an expert.
Not the most riveting thing, I know, but constructive feedback would be loved.
Are there any literary passages you love though you're not 100% clear on meaning?
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Indeed it does, or at least the character conflicts for novel number 1 (or is it number 3.5? Nah, those first tries don’t count.)
Here, for your amusement (something that really terrified me at the time) a true saga! Told almost entirely with imperative commands. (Read it! :P)
Fear the winged monster that dusts your cheeks as you barely sleep. Rouse from your pearly-grey slumber and kill it, before it takes from you again. Turn on the lights to find it gone. Wait. Wait until your eyes are closing, then allow yourself to believe it has gone away. Search through every crevice in the room, one last time. Find yourself content and lay your head back on the pillow. Glance around and turn off the light.
Sleep a second and then wake to the wings of a moth gargantuan, the Goliath of moths. Shriek once. Roll off the bed in a tangle of blankets then rage yourself up and find a weapon. With a book covered in receipt papers, back into a corner. Throw the switch and bide your time; it won’t be long before you see it and crush it. Don’t shake. You mustn’t shake like that; it’ll throw off your aim when the time comes.
See a flash of black in the dimness, a triangle against the white. As it sits poised serenely above your empty pillow, pontificate your attack. Sneak up from behind. Don’t fear that it might move. Don’t think. You must, for the love of god, stop shaking. Stop over-thinking and go for the dive. Feel a muffled crunch under the book. Remove the soiled thing and put it on the floor outside your bedroom. Close the door and try to calm down. Let the adrenalin fade and crawl back into bed so you might fall asleep. Fall asleep while still shivering mildly.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
*Sirens sound.* police yelling 'report to your nearest nuclear bunker'
"Oh crap! We've got to get out of here!" People panicking and running around them.
"Hang on! Gotta pee." Runs towards loos.
"I was holding it in!" apologized "I thought you were gonna kiss me. Back in a tick."
"You'll hang on for a kiss but not for the end of the world!?" but he was out of earshot
Friday, 25 June 2010
After a rather difficult and disappointing finals period, I have finally reached the point where the desire to write has returned.
It came in a flash.
A moment of heat and light.
Lying in the back garden, absorbing sun rays, I had to word how soulfully nutritious the whole sensation was. First came the obvious lewd euphemisms, followed by the mechanical: plugged in and absorbing the energy that feeds Earth’s life.
In the sun I could feel all the way to my bones and rolled the little collection in my foot blissfully.
May not be the sort of thing people want to read, but the desire is valued. : )
Short stories to commence shortly (*groan*) and links will be posted here.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
We’re born. We live. We die. Does that take us somewhere new or back nowhere? Can we do both?
I attemtped to characterise these theories so they can coexist as a Schrodinger cat phenomenon in my latest story:
Only 342 words! Hope you like.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Yesterday I skived out on myself. I had set myself work to do but then snuck out while my conscience wasn’t looking and got on a train. I brought something I was supposed to read to ease the guilt a little.
I sat down and like a good student got out my tutorial material, reading rapidly (and therefore learning barely anything). I didn’t look out the window. I love looking out the window. I like to lean back and feel how I am being physically shot forward through space, a sort of slow-motion bullet experience.
Not being able to look out the window made the experience more surreal, because my attention was still on the world outside that I was being flung through.
Maybe other adults aren’t fascinated by this sort of thing anymore.
I can’t suppress my child-like awe.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
because it certainly isn’t a day for working hard. More like a day for sleeping.
The new story is up:
I think the pace is too fast. I am generally too concise as a writer (not a common complaint!). I’m working on it. This story may need reworking later, or I may take it down in a few months. It depends on my mood.
Saturday, 13 March 2010
- a black bunny with a white stripe on its nose
- a pair of boys who found it hilarious when they came up and said hello to me
- a man who couldn’t sit still
- an old lady with the harshest voice in the world
- a slightly younger lady with a pot-belly trying on skin-tight clothes
- a teenager who wanted to quit school
- and a floral dress that looked magical, except it set off my manly, bandy knees
Monday, 8 March 2010
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Three new pages have been set up, including a writerly forum!
Now anyone can post their stories and have them reviewed, or post creative writing titbits, or set up challenges etc…
Saturday, 6 March 2010
The next one is up!
“Already?” I hear you cry? Indeed. I know you have all, the masses of you, been hanging on tenterhooks to get at it. So here it is:
(If that wasn’t written sarcasm at its finest, I’ll eat my dinner.)
Friday, 5 March 2010
The next story is being put up as we speak. Well, it’s more of a fragment or scene than a fully fledged story.
The link will be:
As an aside, I’ve figured out RSS. I use raw feed (subscribing brings it straight to my Live Mail program) but the reader options are also available too.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
I’ve discovered the secret to ending my writer’s block. It works like a charm and I’m spilling words like I haven’t in years. The only problem is the speed of my writing has come at the sacrifice of quality.
I have about 10 short stories written in the past week and I’m not sure they deserve to be posted.
I guess I’ll wait… and if I continue to be dissatisfied, some shall go up.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
I knew skipping those handful of days when I was in school would be back to haunt me.
And now here I am, being paid to go to school, ignore the teacher and basically do nothing. (Sound nice? It isn’t.)
But I suppose all jobs are a form of bribery. It seems to be the only real incentive to get people to work. Promise them inner peace and they’ll do a half-arsed (or no-arsed) job. I know I would.
So here’s to bribery! It keeps us from doing what we love.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
I was doing a writing exercise purely for fun and came up with a new story (the fun element may be quite obvious in it).
The exercise came from the Write Brain Workbook (*love!*) and had to start with “Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil running around and around on his wheel!”
Here’s the link:
Don’t forget to leave a comment!
Friday, 19 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Anyway, I ended up finishing the title page and I’m pretty pleased. The only thing left is the bloody content!
Here it is:
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
The sun is out today and I've opened my curtains and laid down on the carpet under the sunbeam. I could almost pretend it's summer.
As an aside, I've got the pdfs mastered. Just the comments left to sort out and then I have no excuses for not getting to work.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Oh, who am I kidding? This page will probably stay empty until summer, when "things" will once more become entertaining enough to write about, at which time everyone will be, like me, on the beach.
However, when a new story becomes available, I will post so here with a link.
See you in a few weeks!