Sometimes they come back

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…graaaargh, someone get these brambles off me!

Am I dreaming? The blog is actually being updated? Has the account been hacked? The answers to these questions are, in order: quite possibly, yes and no.

It’s been almost a year since my #NotNaNoWriMo project crashed and burned, but to be fair it ran longer than I had estimated. I’ve never been a glass half full kind of gal. I’d more likely eye the glass suspiciously whilst pondering on who left it behind, what were their intentions and what are the odds of it being poisonous (usually they would be pretty high). And then write a short piece of fiction about fear and paranoia and the lengths it can drive one to. As a matter of fact… *takes a short break to scribble something on her notepad*

But then if someone else gingerly approached that glass and made moves to drink from it I’d probably grab it and drown it in one gulp. Which is why I think it’s time to come back to blogging. My massive ego needs a place to vent before I start making all those around me too miserable with it.

So yes, I’m updating my blog again and I have many reasons for this: things in my life I’d like to share with the sole purpose of getting advice on, personal projects I’d like to spam the world wide web with and the such. I have a wedding to plan and have no idea on how to get around that. I need to make some serious career decisions. And finally, I need to write, it’s a craving that’s always been in me this entire time and it’s slowly burning a hole within me, so big it started sucking away pieces of me. I swear, I feel like I’m getting hollower by the minute and sooner rather than later there won’t be enough of me left to make a whole person.

Say what? Is this in direct contradiction with the aforementioned massive ego? Well, first off, you really focus too much on detail. You would probably be good at CinemaSins. I suggest seeing if they have any vacancies opening up. Secondly, I’m the author of this blog. I reserve for myself the right to contradict myself on the grounds of “so it is”. Thirdly, have a look at showbiz: there are hollow people wrapped up in massive egos aplenty. And that’s a legion I’m not interested in joining.

Back to being serious for a short bit: what started the whole mental process that led me back here was that last March the best author in the world passed away. He was my role model in practically anything literature-related. I had this dream hidden somewhere in my chest of wonders that one day, he’d read something I wrote. He would have picked it up in some nice little bookshop he was visiting, perhaps for a signing, and read it and had an opinion on it. I didn’t particularly care whether he thought of it as good or bad (well, that’s partly a lie, I’d have been well chuffed if he thought it any good), but just having him think something of it would have been enough. And there you go, what with that not happening anymore I started having all these… things happening in here, feelings and ideas and stuff that I started pushing away but that refused to budge. They didn’t want to go. And I would stare blankly because I had no idea what to do with them.

So there, I’m back because there are some feelings and ideas that are worth saving, if only for their admirable stubbornness. And I’ve decided to save them here.

The Everything Junkie

Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble cherries gobble gobble ghostie gobble

Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble cherries gobble gobble ghostie gobble

I suppose there are some people who are more inclined than others to get addicted to things. Whenever I latch on to something that I like, I devour it. A bit like Pac-Man, apparently I cannot content myself with just a few white dots. I must have all of them, and then more, and then more. It might be food, or literature, or a good TV show, or a stupid game app, or some pretty crazy behaviour like categorizing everything in alphabetical and chronological order. Yes, I’m looking at you, CD towers and bookcases. It wouldn’t be so bad, you know, but as it usually is with addictions, it means you tend to let go of everything else. Sleep, money, order, brushing your hair…

Last weekend I had to take a break from writing. I didn’t have a block, I kinda knew what the next instalment was going to be about, but I had been losing sight of the other things in my life that are important. First and foremost, there are people in my life, the ones that live outside my head, that deserve to be given at least the same amount of attention the ones I create get. And in some cases, well, even more. Secondly, wanting to be a writer mustn’t mean I can forgo being human and living in a human dwelling that wouldn’t resemble a prehistoric cave. And finally, enough with the egomania, I really cannot float through life expecting people to bend over backwards to help and support me and not be willing to do the same for others. I mean, I usually dismiss the guilt Scott Pilgrim-style, but I’m not a twenty-something any more, and egotism stops being cute when you’re supposed to be building a future with someone. So yeah, I spent last weekend sorting things out.

Which means I haven’t edited any of the things I wrote last week yet, nor have I reviewed this one. Same old same old, it’s late, I’m tired, etcetera. I’ll probably end up mass editing everything during my Christmas break. Ho ho ho!

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First world problems

Evidence A of the subject's absolute lack of dark, depressing thoughts

Evidence A of the subject’s absolute lack of dark, depressing thoughts

So today didn’t go quite as well as yesterday. I was really hoping to get so much writing done I would go on right past midnight and end up having also enough material for tomorrow too – see, it’s not cheating, it’s being exceedingly precise about time. Now despite whatever I may have written in my ramblings yesterday, I did consider trying to get a novel out of that piece. I was ready to set up a whole world around the Imaginarium, with Eskarena and Haikand’s walk in the woods as a prologue. But try as I might, today I just couldn’t delve any deeper in it. I stared at a mostly white with some dark symbols screen for hours at end. Hadn’t been doing that since the days when I was playing KoL. The staring at a mostly white screen, I mean.

Great, now I want to play KoL.

So anyway, after hours of being snubbed by every muse in the area, I just ended up with a writing exercise. Describe an absolutely ordinary situation as if it were extraordinary. And when I read what I wrote I figured out what might be the problem. I’m really, really happy. I know, I know. Woe is she, so happy that she can’t write, some people have real problems yada yada yada. I know that. But for most of my life I had planned an Eleanor Rigby scenario for myself, and in a way my writing drew from it. I don’t write about happiness, it tends to be far too conclusive for my taste, like a Disney spin on folk tales. Now, if I could just direct your attention to that picture  in the top left, that’s me when my head is filled with flying ponies and marsh mallows. And writing in those moments can be a bit challenging. It’s not that it’s impossible, I was happy yesterday too. It’s just that it tends to be a lottery, some days I’m having wild ideas erupting from my brain so fast I can barely get them written down on time and others, well, they’re more of the “hearts and arrows” persuasion.

Trust me, I’m not complaining. It’s the type of problem I can live with.

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Challenge not accepted!

Time to get creative

Time to get creative! Time to do stuff! Time to dig out your crayons and doodle!

See, in films there comes a point, approximately 65% into it, that the protagonist just knows they have to push further, overcome their insecurity and do what they’ve never dared do before. And it’s easy to see it coming. First of all, it’s a freakin’ film, which means you can see how much time has passed and how much film is left. Secondly, there’s a series of key factors that have been popping up since the very beginning, then by the X hour there’s a crescendo and the character’s change of heart or sudden boost of confidence or whatever becomes inevitable. Seriously, after that many hints it would be like trying to stop evolution. And finally, for those who need a more in-your-face clue, the music tells you. (Perhaps that makes it more, like, in-your-ear?)

But I digress. I started this blog three weeks ago and I have only written the one post. Which makes this my very second post. Don’t get me wrong, that is an extraordinary accomplishment for me, two posts in less than one month? Crazy talk! Two posts in the same year? Phoooey! Yeah, I’m over my average, but the whole point to this enterprise was to change my nasty habit of starting something and not finishing it.

So I was flipping through the pages of my work diary to see if I could “pencil in” being creative and writing something on here. I figured on Tuesdays I finish work early, and on Mondays and Thursdays I have long breaks between one lesson in a company and another. With a tablet I could be super-productive and write loads, loads I say! Except I used to have a tablet and my productivity was close to nil. There were so many other things I could do that took up all the precious time I should’ve spent writing, so ha. Anyways, as I was saying, flipping through my diary I was when I realized we were nearing the end of October. Which meant next month is November. And you know what that means: NaNoWriMo!

What better way to force myself to finally stop piling excuses and trying to write the friggin’ novel I’ve always meant to write? Last time I took part to a writing challenge I actually did get stuff done! Granted, it was flash fiction, the theme was winter and I practically ripped off a classic myth, but the words were pouring out, and I did finish it! And just to brag a little, I also won the challenge. And just to brag a little more, here’s a link if you want to read it.

But then my instincts kicked in, and I started piling excuses. At the end of the day, I really do have too much going on at the moment. But here is my plan, I will NotNaNoWriMo! (If that hashtag doesn’t exist, it totally should.) 1700 words a day is not realistic for me, not at this stage of my life. Look at me, I’m struggling to get this post online and they’re what? 600 words? So here’s my objective: I will write at least 500 words a day for the entire month of November. They may or may not be all tied up together in a novel. They may or may not just be plot outlines for 30 short stories. They may or may not be a bunch of crap. But I’m doing this. I’m writing the hell out of November, or at least I’ll be writing more than I have in any of the past Novembers of my life.

And that must count for something, right?
Right?

Hello, world

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Milcah Marcelo circa 2012. Nowadays I’m less red and sparkly.

Back when the internet started, that was what every first post was titled. I’m all for the classics. This is going to be my nth time trying to keep a blog/journal/whatever. I’m not particularly optimistic.

In 2001 I started a LiveJournal. Do you guys remember LiveJournal? I don’t. I think I started off as a semi-regular blogger, and then drifted off. I tried other services since. I even have a tumblr. How blogging challenged must a person be when they cannot even tumble? Neil Gaiman tumbles. And tweets. And keeps a blog. And posts contributions to The Guardian. And writes successful novels. I can only imagine that he has a team of at least 10 PA’s (all dressed as Death, obviously) doing all this networking for him or I don’t know how on earth he manages it.

But I’ve noticed that lately I need my own place to let out what I think. It’s the only way I know to keep sane. The alternative is to go to the IMDb message boards or read YouTube comments. And I assure you, that does not keep anyone sane.

I go through phases.

Sometimes I just post loads of photos. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. And shootshootshootshootshoot. And then I stop.

Sometimes I tweet like crazy everything that I happen to be reading/watching/hearing/thinking. And then I stop.

Sometimes I pin stuff on Pinterest, and I’ll spend 2-3 days in total awe of what you can find on the internet. And then I stop.

And then I vanish, for extended periods of time, and the only updates from me are actually automatically uploaded by my music player.

So no, I’m not particularly optimistic. As a matter of fact, I’m not entirely sure of what I’m gonna do with this blog. But I guess it’s worth a shot.

Hello, world.

My name is Milcah.

I’m just a girl, waiting to happen.