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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You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

Boo, remember me? Until you don't.

Boo, remember me? Until you don’t.

There are some aspects of my personality that are like the Silence. I don’t remember they exist as long as I don’t lay eyes on them, but when I see them – shit! They’re just terrifying. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and as a teenager I often found I could exorcise my darker self by writing down whatever she thought, whatever she wanted, whatever she wished for. Once on paper, I was free. My evil twin would be trapped in the pages of my diary and not dwelling in my heart any more. But the downside was that my diaries were really hard to read, the words on there would sting my eyes. It’s good to get rid of the filth that accumulates in your stomach when you’re upset, but then you come across one of those notebooks months, years later, read them and it’s a sucker punch. On balance, it’s probably better seeing your darkness on a blotted piece of paper than it is having it stare back at you from a mirror. So tonight’s lesson is that I probably need to start keeping a diary again.

I’ve written a lot again, even though I still intend to just put the minimum necessary on-line tonight. A lady must have a contingency plan! Part of me is a bit surprised by how much I seem to have to give to this latest project. Unlike any of the previous pieces, the events described aren’t drawn from my life, only the feelings are. When I wrote about Eskarena’s walk, I was just describing a moment from a holiday I’d had a gazillion years ago with a former boyfriend. The fictional direction the story took was what took me by surprise then, I didn’t expect it to become science fiction and as a result, despite being terribly thrilled at the idea of writing something of that type, I was stuck. There were vague notions of what I wanted to do in that world, but it had been so sudden, so unexpected, I got lost. I didn’t actually know anything about it.

When I started writing yesterday, I didn’t have anything clear in mind either. I started making up scenarios from scratch, and somehow ended up dealing with stuff I knew all too well. I feel so familiar with this piece I almost feel I should put one of those disclaimers, you know, all events and people hereby depicted are fictional and any resemblance with actual people yada yada yada. So yes, that.

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And then the first shoe dropped

You just can't trust yourself when you don't sleep - apparently it turns you into a sociopath with dissociative identity. And an obsession for making up rules.

You just can’t trust yourself when you don’t sleep – apparently it turns you into a sociopath with dissociative identity. And an obsession for making up rules.

So I had promised myself I would write every day this month, but to be honest, on Wednesday I was knackered. Technically I’ve skipped also Thursday because it’s 3AM on a Friday now, but I don’t believe in technicalities. Day isn’t over until I go to sleep. Which I’m going to do right now, otherwise it becomes a slippery slope. I’ve pulled this kind of bullshit before, I stay awake all night working on something and I’m like, yeah, just one night, no biggie. Then the day after I consume ridiculous amounts of caffeine to keep myself in an upright position and by the time I should be going to sleep again I’m too supercharged to even consider it. And then the thing goes on until I collapse or something, which I hear isn’t super healthy.

I’m off to bed now, which is kind of a nuisance because I’m totally on a roll and haven’t finished my piece yet. But whatever, I’m sleepy and if it’s good it’ll still be there tomorrow. And if it’s bad, sleepless minds are not the best judges so I wouldn’t be able to notice it and this would be a waste of time. So goodnight, and if you want in the meantime you can read the first 500 or so words. Yep, it’s happening, I’m cheating by posting only the first part of what I’ve written and keeping the rest for tomorrow so that I have backup in case I can’t get anything more down. It’s my blog, I can make my own rules!

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Roar!

I wonder if today's weather might have in some way influenced my story...

Wonder if today’s weather might have influenced my story in any way…

I think it’s become pretty clear that my day job is becoming a hindrance to my writing. At least when the objective is to write a minimum amount every single day. I guess I could just quit my job and become a full time writer, but then again I would probably find some other excuse, like how difficult it is to write when it’s cold and rainy and you live under a bridge.

I actually had a couple of classes cancelled today so I ended up getting home pretty early and on my way here I thought how lucky I was! Today I won’t reduce myself to writing at midnight and being super-cranky! So I got home at about 5:30, turned on the computer, sat myself on the sofa and began procrastinating. I read a couple of interesting New Yorker articles, an old interview of Terry Pratchett by Cory Doctorow, checked my Facebook news feed, checked my Twitter notifications, read some other blogs on WordPress and all in all managed not to write a single word for three full hours.

Then the love of my life got home and I admitted that a) I was feeling uninspired and b) I was hungry. We ended up having dinner watching last week’s Doctor Who. And I thought, this is it. I’m actually going to sink the project this time. So I went anachronistic, grabbed a notebook and a pen and locked myself up in the only room in the house that provided no distractions: the bathroom. There I sat, pen resting on my lips, cogs turning in my head, just the sound of the rain and passing cars to keep me company

I wasn’t surprised by the outcome. Just like yesterday, I apologise in advance for the lack of editing. I’ll try to fix these over the weekend.

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Moonlighting

Alas, missed the midnight deadline for a blink of an eye!

Alas, missed the midnight deadline for a blink of an eye!

I had the most annoying case of lightning writer’s block. All the way home from work and while doing a couple of urgent chores I had this situation in mind, which was probably set in the same world as Eskarena and the Imaginarium and could have been an interesting chapter one. But as soon as I sat in front of the screen the idea started weakening, I realized I hadn’t thought through any of the details and got hopelessly lost at about 150 words in.

So I decided it was destiny, opened a new file and started an entirely different thing. An odd piece that appeared to deal with compulsive behaviours and boring summer afternoons. But that turned out to be a dead end too. I was ready to throw in the towel. My number one fan kept trying to motivate me, suggesting I should write about sexy female vampires, or sexy witches, or sexy female vampires with sexy witches, but I had to turn down all of those ideas despite being aware of just how marketable they would be.

But then, after staring aimlessly outside the window and smoking a nasty cancer stick, a memory emerged. And it led me to another memory. And then another one. And then I knew what I was going to write today.

I haven’t edited it at all, so I can only imagine how dreadful the syntax and grammar must be, but bear with me. It’s past midnight, I’m exhausted and a long day awaits me tomorrow!

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Down the rabbit hole

#NotNaNoWriMo begins! And what an unexpectedly prolific beginning it was!

#NotNaNoWriMo begins! And what an unexpectedly prolific beginning it was!

Well, OK.

I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly optimistic about this project. And to be entirely fair, it’s far too early to say that this enterprise won’t sink. I can already see lots and lots of icebergs ahead. But at least I started, right on time.

First day of November, first 500 written words. Actually, more like 800+, a fact you may have no doubt I will soon use as an excuse to write far less in the days that are to come!

My biggest concern was that I haven’t actually written anything in a while (no, years) so didn’t think I had any stories in me at the moment. Sometimes while walking home from work I would try to create plot lines in my head but nothing would come. So today, when I found myself sitting in front of a blank page, I was pretty much ready to give in, white flag et all.

And then the first paragraph just appeared in my head. And right after that a name. OK, the name was lifted, to be completely honest, from Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites, but it was by pure chance! I read that book ages ago, and the name just suited my protagonist perfectly! Then after the name came the rest. I started typing and typing and from without even knowing where it was going I suddenly got to have a precise setting and an ending. Well, the final result is definitely not Discworld material, but rather Philip K. Dick inspired. (In case you were wondering, I did not leave it blank. But telling you which author it is would be a dead giveaway! If you don’t mind spoilers, just highlight that blank space. Otherwise do it after reading my piece and see if you guessed it right.)

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