May 23, 2013
- There's an ulcer on that taught strip of skin, the bit under the tongue? Yeah;
- A duck may have abandoned her NINE INCUBATING CHILDREN for a booty call;
- I stepped on a large stone, twice;
- No matter what I do, I can't drop one stupid pound in weight;
- The above is a result of chocolate cravings;
- The above is a result of depression;
- People's voices are much louder than they need to be;
- I forgot to make myself a brew upon waking;
- I keep having 'Game of Thrones' themed nightmares;
- People all over the world insist upon murdering one another;
- Women are still being treated like cattle;
- Each time I sit to write my brain releases the 'shit' valve, filling my head full of useless things and rendering me unable to focus;
- Writing and I are experiencing a fucking great speed-bump in our marriage;
- The Hobbit is shit and I'm reading it;
- I've managed to kill a succulent;
- Being in the same room all the time;
- Being uncomfortable out of the room mentioned above to the point of severe distress;
- The physical presence of another human. Any human; *
- The physical presence of myself;
- DVDs that I allowed folk to borrow that have become damaged since they were loaned;
- Thanks a fucking bunch for the above;
- Credit Card debt;
- The supplier of above card cold-calling me to try and sap me of more money;
- The same supplier not believing I'm the card holder;
- The amount of fat and salt in everyday foods;
- My novel;
- All the short stories that either won't work out or are rejected;
- The thought of getting accepted and recognised as a writer;
- Healthy, happy people living their lives;
- The same people telling me to go out there and 'get it';
- The same people again telling me 'everything will work out';
- Lacking a pug;
- Having no real purpose in life other than to feel angry about everything;
- Lacking the capacity to develop and maintain relationships;
- My washing;
- Having Fibromyalgia;
- Being sleepless;
- Temperatures below 18 degrees C and above 19 degrees C;
- Being alone.*
February 24, 2012
I set myself far too many tasks last week. Or was it this week? I forget. Anyhow! I made a promise in an earlier post to write a series on Creativity for the Agoraphobiac, that is, anyone who struggles with going out and being around a lot of people.
As I explained, this condition is a nightmare to live with but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the activites that more socially able people enjoy.
I’ve chosen a selection of creative activites to write about in the coming weeks, activities that I find fun, educational and theraputic. The best thing is of course, you can do all of these things within the safety of your own haven and invite close friends to join you if you’re feeling sociable.
Each post will focus on one of the following and (hopefully) provide my own examples and wisdom for you to draw on:
- Drawing / sketching
- Cooking / baking
- Letter writing
I think this is a fair list for now but it may be added to in the future. Look out for the first installment, Creativity for the Agoraphobiac: Knitting, in the next couple of weeks.
Forgive me for making you all wait so long if you’ve been hanging around for these posts; I’m not feeling my best at the moment. I’ll do what I can, a little at a time, as anyone should when they’re under the weather.
February 19, 2012
After yesterday’s realisation that I’m not actually Xena – Warrior Princess, I’ve decided to pick three activities I know I’ll complete today.
There. Much simpler.
February 18, 2012
Finish reading A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
- Finish the draft of my short story in preparation for either the Mslexia 2012 Short Story Competition or the Bristol Prize
- Complete the first wristwarmer I’m knitting and begin the second one
- Complete sock 1/2 that I’m knitting
- Write the next post to continue the ‘Creativity for Agoraphobiac’ series
- Draft ideas for my novella
- Redraft Scene 2, Chapter 6 of Trace
My yoga practice Write letters to friends
- All of the above without exhausting myself
Update: It’s almost 5 pm and I’ve barely touched the list. Some of this will have to be moved to tomorrow.
Update 2: Getting there. I’ve decided to pick three more I know I can accomplish by the end of the day. Number 11 obviously isn’t one of them…
Update 3: So picking three was a bit adventurous. Moral of the story: be realistic about what you can achieve in one day. I’ll do more tomorrow.
February 17, 2011
- Constantly pace the room
- Think about what you’re going to write, but don’t write a word of it
- Draw it instead
- Contemplate your diction
- Ruminate over how you divide and construct your paragraphs
- Plan dinners days/weeks/months in advance
- Write lists
- Frequently check your emails, re-reading the ones you’ve read ten times already
- Try out new hair styles
- File your nails to perfection – hands and feet
- Play with your pet. If you don’t have one, go out and acquire one then play with it when you get home
- Create fantasies of your perfect life/love/job/home
- Confront your theoretical problems and live them
- Daydream about later chapters
- Invite your characters over for tea and see if they respond
- If they do, don’t be tight; get the good tea out
- Let your character dominate the conversation and listen to what they have to say
- Watch their body language
- Learn from them
- Process your plot in your mind, over and over, until you’ve perfected complete sections of drama/dialogue
- Observe time, fastidiously, counting down the minutes until you can eat your next meal
- Read. Anything. Pick up the biggest novel you can find and read it
- Read it with a dictionary by your side
- Be patient
February 3, 2011
- A train, specifically the Trans-Siberian Railway or the First Great Western service from London Paddington to Land’s End
- The top of Rutherford College, UKC
- The top of Darwin Tower, UKC
- In someone’s bag
- A cottage in the middle of a forest clearing, close to a river
- A lighthouse
- British Columbia, Vancouver
- The Peak District
January 27, 2011
- You stab cardboard boxes with your correcting pen
- You fantasize about becoming a marketing manager
- The thought of a being a ‘failed writer’ feels like it’d be a great success
- Your surroundings collapse into two-dimensional props, devoid of colour and significance
- You wake up from power-naps convinced that the last twenty-six years of your life have been a crazy dream
- You sob because you realize the last crazy twenty-six years of your life aren’t a dream
- Personal pronouns begin to really piss you off
- Your characters offer you advice
- You’d endure a rectal exam with a smile on your face just so you’d have something decent to write about
- Classical music seems to mock you
- Everything seems to mock you
- Depression is the most interesting thing to happen to you all week and you don’t give a toss
- You’ve given up caring about sounding pretentious
- All you want to do is finish the chapter.
January 2, 2011
These three things combined soothe a migraine. I’d avoid the smoothie if you a mischievous stomach though.
I’ve been thinking of avoiding the obligatory ‘New Year’ post that creeps up at this time of year but just for a laugh, I think I’ll do it anyway and throw in a list of challenges to complete throughout the coming year. Not like a list of resolutions but just a bunch of stuff to do that I know I should do and could make for some interesting writing material:
1. Write a new post at least once a week
Yeah I know my track record has been sketchy but sometimes the words just aren’t there. Maybe I should take more photos.
2. Delete my other blogs that aren’t going anywhere
I get excited about loads of things all in one go and then fizzle out so it’s time I sat down and scraped off the good stuff from those blogs, threw them into this blog and then rid myself of my crumbling blog empire.
3. Take a certified grammar course
I know bits and pieces but like most people, I have a poor grasp of English grammar. My grasp is so tedious in fact, I’m not sure if I have poor grasp of or a poor grasp on. The course should remedy this along with my dissatisfaction with the gaping holes in my knowledge about language. Plus I’ll get to be a grammar snob and then start breaking the rules.
4. Reduce my material belongings by x%
Okay I couldn’t give you a real number then because I wouldn’t know what a percentage like that would physically translate to, but it’s going to be a lot of stuff. The books can stay, obviously, but many other things can be moved on to the nearest recycling bin. Rule of thumb: if I’ve not used it in the past year, bye-bye. I foresee much heartbreak.
5. Write 30,000 words of the novel
Hmmm alright you’ve got me here. I’m supposed to do that anyway but why keep it as a chore? I’ll write those words (possibly more) because I want to, not because I have to.
6. Knit a slouchy jumper
I’m sick of fashion dictating what I can wear so I’m going to knit my own unfashionable slouchy jumper, all black and full of deliberate holes.
7. Start a scrapbook
This is going to be easy but time-consuming. I’ve already got a scrapbook ready to be filled so I need to rummage through everything (which will occur when I crack on with number 4) and get sticking. That way I’ll have a place full of physical ideas to draw from for number 5.
8. Paint more
I love painting and sketching and have so far produced some nice pieces. I’m going to do more of this and open myself up to weird ways of observing.
9. Pace it
I have a dirty habit. It’s called taking on too much. I shall focus on a handful of things this year (with a list x points long), only giving my full attention to two activities at a time. And I’ll combine activities so that they spawn new ideas and teach me new things.
10. I was going to stop at 10 and I think I shall
This is my final challenge: know when to stop.
I’m satisfied with that lot. It works out at roughly one a month (with the exception of the novel) and I don’t see the need to take them on in the same order I’ve written them. Some will be ongoing, some will be quick. Some will be updated whilst others will be deleted, replaced and exhausted.
I hate New Year hype. It makes me so over-optimistic. I’d rather skip it and exist elsewhere.
July 23, 2009
1. You can feel eye sockets beginning to form in the back of your skull.
2. You need to pee – badly – but know that if you wait five minutes, your bladder will get so exhausted in telling you to pee, it’ll stopper itself up for the night.
3. The untidy bits of your home / room start to look quite reasonable.
4. Aching, you think it a good idea to watch that documentary, Ypres: Gas Hell, for the hundredth time because it just seems like a good idea. Remember, you’re tired.
5. Lists like this become increasingly nonsensical.
6. You’re not even sure if ‘nonsensicle’ is a word anymore.
7. The thought of using a dictionary to see if ‘nonsensical’ is a word makes you want to cry.
8. You simultaneously remember and forget that you have a spine.
9. You get jealous of your cat, laying there so peaceful and asleep.
10. You wake up your cat out of spite and then cry because you feel guilty.
11. You cry a lot.
12. You ramble.
13. It takes writing twelve points of utter, truthful rubbish to make you finally collapse into bed.