Words at the typewriter

If I ever got a typewriter, it would be sky-blue. The keys would be white or, even better, yellow. On the left side would be an inscription in long, loopy cursive writing that would say:

This machine surrounds hatred, and forces itself to surrender.

I would put it in a plain room with only a chair and a small desk inside. No posters, no bookshelf and no open window. It would be a sanctuary dedicated to my craft, free of distractions except an unending supply of milk tea and Oreo cookies.

Bludgeoning the keys like they owe me 5 rand, I would dedicate myself for at least 5000 words a day, more if I could get away from the wife and kids long enough.

If I had a typewriter, I would already be successful. Not because it would give me success but because I would have enough time to bang away at the keys for 8 hours or more.

And when the day finally came that I could no longer write anything, either through sever arthritis or old age, probably both, I would sit back and wait for the end. Just me and my sky-blue typewriter.

Here we are, not close but not far…

Warning!!! Major Downer!!

So yeah…

It’s been a while.

I don’t have any excuses to give you, guys. When I started writing again, It took me little over a week to get back into the swing of writing my first novel. Things haven’t gone so well.

My writing has come to a complete halt.

I took a look back at what I”d already done and it had me cringing with every second sentence. The P.O.V was terrible, the chapters were too short, the plot was weak and the characterization almost made me cry. I am not the writer I thought I was.

So I stopped. I’ve been so scared that I haven’t gone near a word processor for the entire summer.

Now I don’t know what to do. I feel like I should try again but…

It feels like I’ll just fail. Just like I’m failing here. Writing this post instead of pursuing my dreams. Maybe I should just quit. Save us both the trouble.

On the upside though, I think I understand my characters better. After all, they are each a part of me.

 


I love you very much and I hope to talk to you soon.

In the meantime…on my habits

My novel’s falling behind since I decided to write it out longhand, my writing dreams are getting further away and I’m falling back into my old ways. Better procrastinate by talking to you guys!!

I had 25000 words down before all my work was wiped and I recently got it back but I decided to started again. Looking at the old work, I realized I am a much better writer than back then. My prose, details, characterization and focus have improved this past year and now, with the knowledge that there is a publisher who will buy my book if it’s good enough, my dreams of being a writer are closer than ever.

Unfortunately, the art has slowed down. I found that writing longhand helped me focus more on the story but it takes me a long time to get it all down. Longhand has made everything slow down, I usually can’t get two thousand words down on paper so I try to focus on the meat of the story and any detail I can think of will be added later while typing. I guess I’m just used to using notebooks considering I started writing in high school and notebooks were always readily available.

Oh, another little tidbit about my writing habit that I discovered is that I can’t write in silence. In the classroom, people were always talking, chattering, shouting at the top of their lungs and throwing crumpled up papers around till the teacher lost her shit and bawled at them with the thundering command of a wrathful goddess. It was in those few moments of utter chaos while the teacher was away that I could steal a second or two to write something that wasn’t on the chalkboard. So I discovered something relative to that same chaos that I could use. The answer, ASMR whispering.

Basically, its people, generally pretty ladies with pleasant voices, whispering into your ears. They can be doing role play, or drawing, or silent singing, or meditation; anything that’s quiet and makes you relaxed. Now I know it sounds kind of creepy listening to people whispering to you through head phones but for me, there’s something about having someone quietly coerce you to sleep at night that just does it for me. Of course channels like this are fairly new and don’t have a lot of followers yet but I believe that whispering has some appeal to everyone.

The main reason, besides adding ambiance, is that it sends chills down my spine for some reason I don’t quite understand. It’s like a shot of adrenaline injected into my brain and sent down your back. Like those tense moments in old horror movies.

On that note, goodnight everybody. I love you very much, and I’ll talk to you soon.

P.S – Can someone donate me a Moleskine notebook?

 

Why I hate tragedies

We use to read stories in high school. Unfortunately the types of stories they gave us always left a bad taste in my mouth. Othello, Romeo and Juliet and The Animal Farm, they always gave us the same damn tragedy’s.

I grew to despise tragic stories because they often had predictable endings. Either someone died, they lost their dream or were betrayed by the people they once trusted. They focused on good, honest folk with a flaw or two and pecked at the tiny cracks until they became crevasses so deep that the person often fell into those black pits never to escape. I hated how they made us love someone and then casually took them away, as if we had no say in their lives.


Hero arrives, hero goes through trials, hero dies. Rinse and repeat until oblivion. But the point of the stories was always the ending. What happened to the journey? What happened to making new friends, losing old ones, fighting our demons and winning or losing the small battles. I could go to the end of a tragedy and read the last chapter and be done and dusted within ten minutes. And why is the ending always so important? I believe that if the middle of the book is good then the ending should round things off like a tiny dessert topping off an excellent meal.

I can understand the premise of tragedy though. No other genre expresses the finite-ness of life and the infinite potential within humans to overcome adversity, not always in the way we think but in the way that satisfies the character so much that readers have no choice but to be satisfied as well.

I guess, without sounding too cliche, to each his own. If you love tragedy’s then that’s your slice of pie. Me? I think I’ll stick to bittersweet horror and adventure. But what about you?

What genre’s do you love/hate?

Get a better mirror

Ready, Set, Done

10 minutes. You and your keyboard (or smartphone. Or tablet. Or pen and paper). No pauses, no edits, no looking back: it’s free-write time!

Warning: This is a rant. Like it says above, No edits, pauses and looking back, so please forgive the grammar and – heaven forbid – spelling mistakes.


I had a thought today.

Which is surprising considering my recent track record on the matter.

I was sitting at home watching YouTube videos and enjoying the nonsensical humor they had when I started turning more towards things like People are Awesome. I saw young, beautiful people doing amazing things with their bodies (no not those types of things. Get your mind out of the gutter.). They were doing back-flips with motorbikes, they were breathing fire, they were playing instruments with such fine tuned precision that I thought there were little cogs and wheels turning in their appendages in order for them to play so masterfully. I was in awe of their talent, of their natural born skill at anything they did. I watched a little boy do skate tricks that made my head spin, I saw a girl ten years my younger playing a guitar in ways that made my fingers ache. Old people flipping boxes and burgers, speedily going about their day with superb proficiency. An Asian woman flipped boxes of cards together faster than I could chase down a McDonald’s burger, a man in his 20’s becoming one of the world’s greatest word smiths and even a young man finishing orders for meals at record pace amazed and surprised me.

I sat back and thought: “Wow. These people are amazing. I wish I was that good at something.”

That’s when the thought came. Here I was again, watching other people being amazing instead of striving towards that same level of perfection. It’s easy to fall into a rut and watch other people soar above you and think that you’re not good enough. You are the frog in the well, watching the birds fly above you and wishing for wings. I do it too. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized my mistake. Those people had dedicated years, even decades of their lives to perfecting what they did. They hadn’t picked up a drum stick or fingered a guitar or back-flipped over a car in just one go. A lot of the time, they didn’t even know what they were doing. It was their dedication to what they loved that made it possible for them to get so far.

We often look at other people and think that they are so much better than us, at least that’s my mind set on the matter. We see them shining brighter than we ever have and don’t even consider our own light. You can get so use to seeing other peoples worth that sometimes you forget your own. And that can kill your dreams.

These ten minutes are up. So let me leave you with a piece of advice, quoting from my favorite poet, Shane Koyczan:

“And if you can’t see something beautiful in yourself, then get a better mirror.”

Dreams: Potential or Hogwash?

Winter Dreaming by Josephine Wall
Winter Dreaming by Josephine Wall

Warning: This is a rant and as such, it will be left mostly unedited. If you are sensitive to grammatical errors, please leave a comment on my mistakes or if you liked the post, comment on what parts you liked. Feedback is crucial to making great content.

Ready, steady, go!!


I have a dream!

Well, I had a dream. Last night. It was like watching a movie based around an all-time childhood favorite, Coraline. It was about two brothers whose parents had tragically died in a traffic accident caused by a misplaced vegetable cart. As such, the children now live with their aunt and don’t eat vegetables. They completely abhor the stuff and spend their days burning down trees and ripping the grass from ground in the fields surrounding their aunt’s house. One day, as they are making their way to their usual hiding spot, Timmy, the younger of the two, is kidnapped by an unknown assailant, right in front of Billy’s, his other brothers, eyes. Billy, distraught and helpless, calls out to anyone who will listen and out of the ground sprouts a giant human-like creature made of wood. The creature agrees to help Billy find his brother and the two dive through the dead trunk of a giant tree into a phantasmal and horrifying reality where “all children’s fears go when they’re outgrown”. And the journey is peppered with danger and crazy characters, some who wish to help and others who wish to harm, but all based on creatures akin to children’s worst nightmares.

Can Billy summon the courage to overcome his own fears and save his brother? Or will he succumb to his hatred and fear, not only of the world that stole his family but also of himself?


The above was a dream I had today. I was injured yesterday after a skateboarding accident and had to remain sitting or lying down for a few hours. I dreamed of Billy and his brother and the whole thing played out in clay-mation (my favorite type of animation). This is a story that, if told properly, could be a favorite for the kids and the adults. I am, however, not interested in writing this story. It was a fun idea I thought up in my sleep. And it got me thinking. Why don’t we use our dreams more?

While we sleep, our sub-conscious comes to the fore-front, kicking and screaming for it’s chance to shine. All our inner most thoughts and desires are displayed behind our eye-lids and a lot of the time, we don’t remember them. Sometimes we do and we simply ignore them as flights of fancy.

If they are our most honest thoughts, why not use them to our advantage? I tell you now that even though the story is not my cup of tea, it could be worth checking out and whats wrong with trying something once or twice? It wouldn’t hurt to write a page or two and see where it goes from there.

So be honest, how many times do you have dreams that make you stop and think, and then dismiss them as casually as you would dismiss a fly?

When the fire burns… or when my emotions run high

Foreword

I wrote this piece when I was getting close to the edge. It was all that I felt but could not express aloud because I was afraid of the backlash I would receive from people I love. I’m posting this now because I believe that true honesty comes from expressing your emotions without fear and I want to be honest with you. Just remember, before you start sharpening your pitchforks, this is a rant. And besides small spelling corrections, I’ve let it largely as it was.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Once in a while, the world pushes some people way too far. It pushes and pushes and pushes them, squeezing them into tiny molds that it deems acceptable. Then one day, those people they push decide to push back. And the world points it’s finger and yells “EVIL!”. We are not misunderstood, we are not oppressed or depraved or melancholy or even looking for help. We are simply tired of being pushed by society, by peer pressure and the expectations of our loved ones. We are saying that we will dress in all black, we will listen to music that has violence and anger and rebellious youth stamped all over it. We will keep being who we are and if you have a problem with it, whether it be socially, religiously or personally, then instead of pointing your finger and accusing us of being weird, or depraved or downright insane, give us a chance to speak. You won’t like what we have to say and we won’t listen to your excuses about how you care about our futures or how people see us. But at least listen before you judge.

A friend of mine text-ed me today and asked: “When will it end? When will they learn to accept us as we are?” I couldn’t answer him because I would be lying to him if I told him some BS line from a movie I saw once. All I could say was “I don’t know”. The truth is I don’t know if society will ever accept those whose lifestyles don’t coincide with their visions of a stable, well-adjusted human being. I didn’t post this the day I wrote because I was a coward and I cared about what others thought. But I knew I would one day.

That day is today.