The Spider – Another Excerpt from my book!

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She was on a high, such a fucking high that she felt she would never come down. People were clouds. They floated by and she didn’t really care. They would glide past her pretty much oblivious. They would be there one minute and gone the next. A passing observance perhaps. They had no substance, they didn’t care. They could be innocent and light one minute and the next they would be pouring all their grief so that your soul felt as wet and soggy and depressed until the next one. Why did they do this to her?  Was it funny? Did they like to watch as she stumbled around dumbfounded, stupid and oblivious? Was it an experiment? Did they actually even care? They were there in their lab coats and with their clip boards but she didn’t know what went on behind that. Did they joke? Did they make notes to compare at a later date? Or did they just not care. They had lives, just like she had one. It’s just that hers wasn’t one. It was a life, it just wasn’t living. Did they really care? Right now she didn’t. There was only one thing in this world right now and that was the small spider she was watching struggling, failingly to climb the wall of her room. She laughed, shallowly, inwardly. With a skinny finger she poked at it. Its attempts were feeble. Her attempts were feeble. It kept trying. She had given up trying. It grasped and pulled and scrambled. She felt dejected. There was no hope. But she was high and she didn’t care. What had they given her? She didn’t care. It was nothing. She was nothing. There was, nothing beyond anything she could think of. There was something at some point she briefly considered. She tried to remember but no thoughts came. There was nothing in her mind. It had been erased or she had erased it. There was a time when things were different, when she didn’t know what they knew now. She was different, she had come to realise that and somewhere within herself she had accepted that. In fact, that was what had given her hope. What she hoped Gail had believed in. But why did they put her here in this place? Why did he put, no allow, no accept her to be here in this place? Whatever. But again, right now, she didn’t care. She glanced at the spider. It desperately tried to escape. She had long since given up. The straws and grooves it now desperately tried to grasp had long since gone for her. Gail had seen to that. Was he like her now, like she was in that room with that spider, laughing at her? Standing upon high, like those clouds she watched imaginatively float past, laughing at her struggling? Did he have not a care, like she did now? Did she rain grief upon him, like those clouds she saw? He had changed. He grieved, she could tell but every day she saw him was a thunderstorm. His emotions, his actions, his intentions came everyday with an almighty crash and a rain that crushed her to the ground. Her power, her being was no match for his overwhelming actions. Her soul had washed away. It was as clear as the blue sky she hoped one day those rain clouds would leave behind.

Want to read more? Try ‘Everything’

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Living with a Fear of the Metaphorical Darkness

So, gin and tonic in hand, I wonder about the topic of today’s post. Do I free write? No, because that comes up with some serious shit. Like good serious shit, not seriously bad shit, or at least I like to think so. OK, I’m almost free writing now as I tend to swear a lot when I do that, which brings to light a topic I have just thought of – why do I swear so much when I write? I mean I never, like really, never swear in real life conversations! Like really, I can’t remember when I did. Actually I tell a lie, it was around 18 years ago when I was in 2nd year of school …

So, just to give you an idea, here’s a little text I ‘free wrote’ the other morning for my book (yeah a book – I know right?!). This could be embarrassing as I haven’t blogged ‘raw text’ before….


“What are you afraid of Aeva?”

Benn looked at her, peering over the rim of his glasses while slowly, gently stroking his soft, short beard. Jesus, he fitted like a glove into this role, she thought. This squinting annoyed Aeva. She wished he’d just take his glasses off and not have that uncomfortable half gaze like somehow whatever stood within his glasses’ focal distance was still more important than what lay beyond it. He made her sit there and bear everything and practically wrench out her soul, not that she did, so why didn’t he take off those god damn glasses?

“Everything,” she replied, dismissively. Within herself, her fear tightened its grip a little.

“Are you afraid of,” a slight pause, “me?”

“No.”

Inside, she almost laughed. Almost. At least she wanted to, but nothing came.

“Then you are not afraid of everything.”

“But I’m afraid of the fact that I’m not afraid of you. It all leads to the same thing.”

Had she said too much? Really, all it came down to was just ‘one thing.’ But it formed and dictated everything. This time though, he didn’t pick up on her words.

“But you’re not afraid of me. Why?”

There it was again. She saw it. That look in his eyes. It gave nothing away. She could not tell if he cared or whether it was pity. It could have been disappointment, it could have been hatred and it could have been interest as much as it was disinterest. Whether he was in the present or whether he was elsewhere, she could not gauge. At first she accepted it as kindness and his gentle nature but now it frustrated her that she could not read him. She could read Gael. She could read everything.

He repeated himself, somehow bringing her back from the road she was starting to venture down in her mind. Everything eventually led to the same thing – a long dark winding road with sharp chicanes which whipped out of nowhere to take her crashing into a new dark reality. Everything  somehow led to the fear of that road. At the end of it she knew, Gael was there, waiting, like he always was.

“You’re not afraid of everything if you’re not afraid of me.”

Fuck you, she thought. Fuck you and all your incessant questions. Fuck this. Fuck everything. Inside she riled yet outside, outside there was nothing. Benn knew nothing of what she had been through. He felt nothing. He had no idea of what she felt inside, how she was dying, not from some diagnosable physical illness but from a desperation and desolation, from a darkness which consumed everything. There was no light at the end of the tunnel nor did she particularly feel that there should be. There was no hope, no optimism, no point. He sat there somehow believing everything was perfect and everything was meant to be and could be, perfect, or somehow at least liveable. There was no emotion or feeling in his voice. He just didn’t ‘get it.’ He was there pretending to be all goodness and light. If he thought himself a light then he was the insipid light of the moon, she thought, with it’s merely pale reflection and that begrudging face looking down and mocking her, peering over those half moon glasses. It was an apt comparison, she considered briefly. He pretended he could light the way, but really the darkness was still there. That was where she lived. She was afraid of the darkness, of the shadows. He just made bigger shadows and everything had shadows. His insipid light only accentuated the size of them and lured them further out of the black hole they came from. Over the last month her strength was waning and despite her anger she felt it come again – the dark fear inside her was growing and no thanks to Benn, his questioning had awoken it.


OK I maybe lied a little, again. (Does that mean I lie when I write too?) A little (read: a lot) of editing may have taken place. But the gist of this post is, that I swear a lot when I write. Maybe I think it conveys anger more, or feelings in general, or maybe I think it is more realistic of real life, I’m not sure. I’m calling this excerpt ‘Everything.’

Now I need to go and focus on something more productive.

Let me know what you think! Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Annette

 

Why do you Blog? Blogerative.

In the last few months I have written more than I ever have in my life. I’m writing a Master’s thesis, I’m writing a book and I’m writing a blog. I’ve learnt to express all aspects of my mind, my dandelion mind, in a way that makes me feel better about myself and the people around me.

So why do you blog? Why do we become obsessed by getting those little ‘likes’ everywhere? Or a comment – those little gold nuggets which make us feel a little like we’ve won the lottery. Are we so craving approval by other people? Does that little like button somehow give us a sense that we are normal?  

On the internet we can almost be anyone we want to be. We can give the impression of a perfect life. Like the fact that every meal is a delicious work of art, that we are fit and healthy and that we always look great.

We want people to think that is how we live our lives. 

We all respond strongly to imagery, colour and beauty. There are a hundred ways to photograph and construct your buddha bowl but you must now do it in a way that is a lot more than throwing a few things together to make a lunch. There must be art and beauty and colour and pattern in the image. We find the best background and take multiple images until, yes, that’s the one. It makes us feel better when we have that beautiful image to share with the world.

And so we construct some text to accompany the image. It could be something we want to inspire others with, something to make us feel better by ourselves, it could be a confession or a story. It expresses how we feel we want to be seen at that time. It follows our mood. Then there are the keywords, tags, hashtags, anything we find to add to share our wonderful moment with the world.

That’s it now, that’s what we want to say. That’s what we want to say to the world. That’s what we want people to listen to us say. People will definitely be interested in what I, the writer, must share to the world.

And then nothing. Then maybe a few likes. Did they read it? Did they actually read it and take it onboard? How do they feel? Do they agree? Have we changed their life? Was it useful? 

Or did we just waste 30 minutes of our time talking, as usual, to ourselves, in our mind? Except this time anyone can now read our thoughts.

Why do you blog?

 

The first excerpt….

So here we go, a sneaky excerpt from my book…It isn’t finished yet so this may well be changed, but I hope that it leaves you excited to hear more!!

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“Although Aeva slept soundly at this time, her dreams were still vivid and real. Every night her experiences plagued her. They always started at the beginning but the path that they took could be different. As always it felt like it could have been yesterday when they had first met. Just like it could have been mere hours before now when they laughed and joked together. Consider for a moment the historic clock which compresses all of time into a 24 hour visualisation beginning after the creation of the Earth at midnight. Single-celled organisms first swam in warm seas in the early morning, slowly becoming multi-celled by mid-evening. Humans finally appear mere seconds before midnight. Therefore what had happened to Aeva and who she was, was a mere blip on this clock – a pixel above the background noise of human existence. But it was a significant time step above the baseline of human life nonetheless. For Aeva, time seemed to compress itself into a similar function. Years had become hours and major events were as sharp and jolting as the chiming of those hours.

The beginning seemed so close that she could touch it and reach out and caress those beautiful moments of blissful ignorance. However, as she thought back through the mists of time, her memories as delicate as wisps of fog lured her and as she grasped to hold onto her former self, they vanished. Aeva was left hanging, floating then falling, trapped within the gravitational pull of the black hole he epitomised. As she fell deeper and deeper into its all-consuming, never-ending pull, time compressed itself. It warped and twisted her memories too, so much so, that she could not always decipher fact from fiction. A few though, came through as clear as the day she was there.

Her sharpest memory and one which served to set the baseline by which she tried to compare everything to what happened at that time was that first chance meeting. To anyone else it would have been mundane, an everyday occurrence and something which would fade into their own mists of time, to be forgotten and filed away somewhere.  But she remembered the clang of the awkward door as she entered her favourite coffee shop. She remembered the warm smell of roasted beans and fresh baking rushing up her nostrils enticing her to the delicious treat she had come here to savour. Finally she remembered, above all else, it was where she had first met him. At first she had remembered it fondly and held onto the good feelings and the trust she felt. However, now she cursed it as it had become her all-consuming nightmare. It was her stab in her back. It was the poison-laced salt rubbing ever deeper into her wounds.”

 

Let me know what you think. Do you like the writing style? Do you want to know what happens? See my tips on writing here.

 

So, I’m writing a book…

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In an attempt to become more literary aware I have taken it upon myself to read some of the classic novels. Why have I taken a sudden interest in books I would once never have had the slightest interest to consider? The answer is simple – I’m starting to write my own. There are several reasons why I started to pen, or type depending on where I am located.

The first reason was ‘why not?’ I think if you have created a story or world in your mind, then it is best to share it – imagine if JK Rowling, Terry Pratchett, JRR Tolkien or George RR Martin had kept theirs secret? It may not be complete, it may not make sense but it lives there with you every day. Writing about it helps you understand it. It can help make sense of a confused mind and it can keep you going through a tough day. Why? Because anything can happen in your own mind.

The second reason is because I have realised I would love to write one. I would hope that one day it will be successful and I can fulfill my ‘good life’ dream but overall I want to be immensely proud of something I have done completely by myself. I want to be able to say – ‘I’ve written a book.’

The third reason is because it helps to control a dandelion mind. If you find your mind often wondering it can help to provide focus. Minds can wonder in a good way – creativity, productivity, experimentalism or a bad way – depression, stress and self loathing. We all have these in varying amounts at all stages in our life. Make sure you have something to control them.

With that in mind here are my five top tips on getting started writing:

  1. Have a story which you live inside your head every day – it must be real for you. If you can’t live in it, feel it, breathe it, dream it, then how can you write about every emotion or event as if the reader was there?
  2. Don’t base your characters on real people but use snippets of everyone you know to build your perfect person. Unless of course it’s a true story.
  3. But remember people aren’t perfect.
  4. If you need to write about a rainy day, go and stand in the rain. Likewise, if you are writing about someone obnoxious, go and find someone who you consider to be obnoxious.
  5. Use your own emotions and feelings to develop your story. If you feel sad about what happens, then write sadly.

Do you write or would you like to? Maybe we’ll read each other’s book one day…