Tag Archives: writing

Just a little somethin’ somethin’.

I love to read. When I was growing up, I absolutely hated it but then came Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I fell in love and haven’t been able to stop since. My vocabulary has been extended and each book that I read opens up endless opportunities for escape from my dreary life. In interviews with J. K. Rowling, she says that Hogwarts and all of her characters had been alive in her imagination long before she ever wrote anything down and that the characters are as much apart of who she is as they are individual, three-dimensional fictional characters. I’ve previously written that I would love to one day write a book or series of books that are as loved by readers as the Harry Potter series and while I’m nowhere even close to being able to do that, I’ve been bored at work lately and as a consequence, I’ve been tapping away at the below story. It’s by no means an amazing piece of writing but it did help to cure my boredom for a little while.

The pre-dawn air was cool and there was dew covering the hard ground beneath my feet. I curled my toes and caught the grass and red earth between them. It was peaceful here. There were no interruptions and no unwelcome noises, only blissful silence and calm. I looked out towards the familiar farmhouse from my childhood, looming in the distance and noticed a tired looking tree that seemed to just appear out of nowhere. I had grown up here and yet, had never noticed the tree before. I began moving towards it but it seemed like no matter how many steps I took, the tree remained where it was and I got no closer. I started to run and then panic started to creep its way through my feet, into my legs and up my body surrounding and clutching at my heart. I have to get to that tree. I’m not entirely sure why but I’m pretty sure that my life depends on it. In my panic, I didn’t see the tree root before it was too late. I crashed into the ground and then all I could hear was the pounding of my frantically pumping heart in my ears. After a moment, I felt something start to pull at my right arm. The pulling became increasingly more desperate and it felt like my arm was going to be ripped from my body. There was one last fraught pull and then all of a sudden, my eyes snapped open and I was in my bed, in my apartment with my arm still safely attached.

“It was just a dream.” I sighed and reached over to check the time on my phone and quickly retracted my arm as a sharp pain shot up from my wrist to shoulder. I got out of bed to look in the mirror to see if maybe I hit my arm against something in my sleep but it looked fine. Strange. I gingerly tested my arm and it felt fine. I shrugged it off and went over to my bedside table to check the time. It was 5:16am and my alarm wasn’t due to go off until 6am. “Great.” I said to myself. I debated about whether or not to just get up but an extra forty-five minutes of sleep was too tempting. I crawled back into bed and slipped back into a fitful sleep. All too soon, my alarm was blaring and I had to drag myself out of bed. I should have just gotten up forty-five minutes ago. Now I feel even more tired than I did before. I was so preoccupied with being cranky at the morning that all memory of the dream and my sore arm were gone.

The rest of my day passed without any major incidents. I made myself presentable in all black, went to work and slaved over a hot espresso machine in forty degree heat for eight hours. By the time 4pm rolled around, I was more than ready to head home. I walked through my apartment door to find my pig of a boyfriend asleep on the couch, covered in pizza flavoured Shape crumbs with the TV blaring. Fucking useless man. I decided that the best approach to waking Noah up was to unceremoniously kick the couch until he stirred from what I can only imagine was a dream involving V8 Supercars and bikini-clad women. I told you, he’s a pig. I don’t even know why I’m still bothering with him. Maybe it has something to do with being comfortable or maybe I’m just afraid to be alone. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in a relationship. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than a two week period of singledom. Maybe I should just dump Noah and be done with it, with him. Maybe it’ll good for me but then again, I would be alone and despite everything, Noah has his charms. When he wants to be, he can be the kind of man that sweeps me off my feet with his romanticism but it seems like, these days, those moments are few and far between. It’s been months since anything even remotely resembling romance entered my life. I don’t even think I like, let alone love Noah any more. I really do need to do something about that. Didn’t someone once say that a life without love is no life at all? Maybe it’s time I draw a proverbial line in sand but for now, Noah needs to get off my couch.

“Noah, get up. I’m pretty sure you have to be at work in 5 minutes.”

He groaned as he rolled off the couch, brushed the crumbs off his shirt and proceeded to laboriously stuff all of his belongings into the backpack next to him. God he’s a slob.

“You could’ve woken me up earlier Cara. A little common decency wouldn’t kill you.” Noah grunted.

I looked at him in disbelief. “Ok so you being late to work because you fell asleep in front of the TV at 5pm is my fault? I literally just walked through the door after having spent the last eight hours making the money that pays for this pleasure dome of an apartment you’re currently frequenting. Sorry that I wasn’t more considerate of your precious feelings but you know, you do have your own place.”

“Jesus. There’s no need to get all PMS’ey on me Cara.”

“Seriously Noah? You’re going to pull that misogynistic crap with me?” he looked at me like I’d fatally wounded him.  “You know what, don’t even bother. I’m going to go and have a shower and when I get out; I expect you’ll be gone.” And with that, I walked out of the room. I really need to stop letting him get to me. I really need to stop wasting my time on him. I’ll deal with it tomorrow. Promise.

I drop my bag on my bedroom floor and head for the serenity that only a hot shower can provide. There’s nothing better than having the scolding water wash away the day’s grime and to emerge a refreshed and calm person. Right now, I need calm. I need to forget what just happened and all of the fights that have come before that one. I need to escape. I turn on the shower and undress while the bathroom turns into a makeshift steam room. I climb into the shower and let the water rush over me and momentarily, I don’t care about anything else other than how nice the water pressure and heat feels against my skin. I close my eyes and put my head under the stream of water. The world begins fades away. I’m finally beginning to relax and my body feels too heavy to be able to hold up any more. I sit down and utter relaxation washes over my entire body. The hot water against my skin together with the slap of water against my blue shower tiles soon consumed me.

I’m back in that familiar paddock behind my old house. I see the house and the horizon but there was something not quite right with the picture. It was like I was trying to see the picture while under water. The outlines are blurred and fuzzy but still recognisable. Slowly, my vision improves and I see Noah standing there. It’s strange because I didn’t know him when I lived here. I never even told him about this place so how can he possibly be here? He reaches out towards me and says something but I can’t hear him. I begin to take a step towards him but as I do, he doubles over, in what I can only assume is pain, and drops to the ground. I run over to him to find him lying on the ground, motionless. I touched his face and immediately pulled it away. His face felt ice and was hard as stone. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. There’s something very wrong going on here. I looked up from Noah’s lifeless body and saw the same gnarled and tired looking tree beside my old house that was so unfamiliar and yet, maybe it isn’t so unfamiliar. I get up off the ground and walk the hundred meters over to the tree. It had to be at least thirty-feet from trunk to treetop. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so tall in all of my twenty-six years. How could I never have noticed it before? I reached out and touched the gnarled trunk. It looked so rough and weather-beaten but it felt as smooth as silk. I looked towards the emerald leaf-covered canopy and thought; this tree must be hundreds of years old. Suddenly an electric shock when through my hand that was touching the tree. I jerked my hand away immediately and checked to see if there were any marks where I felt the shock enter but I saw nothing. A cool breeze stirred the leaves in the undergrowth beneath my feet and caused my summer dress to gently brush against my legs. Someone behind me called my name. It wasn’t a whisper but rather like someone had called my name from afar and travelled on the breeze towards me. I quickly turned towards the sound and for the briefest of moment, saw Noah standing there, beckoning to me. Then I woke up.

I was up against the wall in my shower where the water was now lukewarm. How long have I been asleep? I got up, turned off the water and got out of the shower.

To be continued….

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The dreams of a dreamer.

We all have dreams. We have them while we sleep or when we’re awake. We daydream. They’re things we may never accomplish but that’s why they’re our dreams in the first place. Imagining that we can accomplish near impossible feats of strength or perform skills we never thought we would be able to do are but a few of the kinds of things we dream of doing. Going on grand adventures to battle evil and save those in peril are ideas of grandeur which seem to be inherent but my dreams, these days, are a little closer to home.

I used to dream of being a badass superhero who beat the bad guy to a pulp and fell madly in love with the man of my dreams. I used to dream that my life was not my life and that I would wake up one day to a world transformed where I was a hero who has magical powers and saves the day (thank you J.K Rowling). Nowadays my dreams are simpler. I dream of one day writing a novel or series of novels that are loved just as much as those written by J.K Rowling (Harry Potter), George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones) or John Marsden (Tomorrow, When the War Began). I dream about using my own experiences and my own knowledge to create a world in which people can escape the mundane and be transported to another time and place. I dream of creating complex characters that engage a new generation of readers and inspire them to write stories of their own. Dreaming of being an author also appeals to my more romantic side. I’m not entirely sure what it is about the lives’ of writers but they always seem to be rather romantic and inspiring. Well some of them at least.

The only thing standing in the way of me accomplishing my writing dream is my current lack of a story. I’ve written a load of excerpts for uni assignments and when I have nothing better to do but I’m unable to put together a cohesive storyline where I can build characters and their world. I just need that one unique character or plot line or world and then I know I’ll be able to write. Perhaps I should take up meditation. Maybe it’ll help.

Why do all my good ideas pop into my head when I’m trying to go to sleep?

I don’t know what it is but it seems like whenever I’m trying hard to fall asleep after a long day, the best ideas start to rattle around in my brain. Try as I might, unless I write them down, I’m unlikely to have a decent nights sleep and so it makes me wonder why these ideas wait until the most inopportune moment (when my eyelids are heavy and I’m on the verge of deep sleep) to dredge their was up from my subconscious? Like right now. I’ve been trying to all asleep for about an hour and it’s just not happening because I had this idea to write a blog post about exactly what I’m bloody well writing about! Jesus!! It’s just inconvenient! Seriously though, someone needs to come and knock me out so my brain will story functioning in hyper drive and I can get some shut eye. Seriously. Now. What? No takers. Sigh. Fine. Well I don’t think I’m going to be nodding off any time soon so I may as well do a little research.

Apparently I’m not the only one who gets their best ideas at night. According to other blog posts I’ve read, there are a multitude of people out there that are their most creative under the cover of darkness, which is also apparently particularly conducive to writing. Go figure. Nevertheless, it looks as though our best ideas aren’t just limited to night time revelations. According to Leo Widrich, our most creative epiphanies can be triggered by a few different factors. Primarily we’re at our most creative when high levels of dopamine are released into our brain so it’s not just our relaxed sleep-time stupor that enables us to get creative. We can be in a warm shower, listening to music or even exercising. Who knew? All of these activities contribute to the increased flow of dopamine to the human computers that are our brains but as well as this, when we’re in a state of zen, we’re more likely to become introverted and make insightful connections within ourselves thus further increasing our creativity. Now to really top the cake, being distracted is also super helpful as it gives our brains a break from our conscious thoughts and allows for our subconscious to work through a problem more creatively. So, if you want to really get those creative juices flowing, increase your dopamine levels, be relaxed while maintaining a moderate level of distraction. Is it just me or do the factors that contribute to our creativity sound more complex and confusing than they should be? I think maybe I’ve ruined it for myself by trying to unmask something as mysterious as the concoction of creativity. I should have just well-enough alone. Maybe now that I know, I can sleep though. Here’s to hoping.

The journal vs. the blog. Can either be trusted?

At the ripe old age of 14, one of my English teachers set a ‘running’ assessment task: A JOURNAL. We were expected to write one entry a week for the duration of the year and he would check it at the end of every week. Now he promised that he would simply check to see if we’ve written the allotted one-page minimum and not actually read what we had written but I’m sure that that was a lie. How could he not be tempted by what I’m sure was riveting reading written by a bunch of angsty teenagers?! Anyway, it seemed that the habit of writing in a journal stuck and I’ve continued to keep a journal well into my adulthood. Being able to record the most incredible and also the most mundane experiences in my life has been something that I thought that nothing else could ever compare to. Then I discovered blogging.

Now, being relatively new to the blogosphere it occurred to me yesterday that writing a blog is the same as writing in a good ol’ journal. A startling revelation, I know. It’s not exactly the same as cracking open a leather-bound journal, getting out my favourite pen and writing down my deepest, darkest secrets but I’m beginning to appreciate the opportunities afforded to me by being able to write a blog. I can get creative with my writing and finally make use of my vocabulary to then write about things that I would normally just keep to myself. Additionally, I’m reaching that wide global community that until now, I have remained woefully closed off to. BLOGGING = LIBERATION. However, I’m sure that none of this is news to all of you regular bloggers. I’m a novice I know.

As much as I love to write in my journal and now my blog, there some of things I write in my journal would NEVER make the likes of a public blog (no-one should be subjected to the emotional train wreck that is my life at times) for the simple fact that an online, public blog is there FOREVER. A journal can be lost, stolen or in some rare cases, spontaneously combust into roaring flames but when you publish something on the Internet, it’s going to follow you around for the rest of your days. Sure you can delete it but I have no doubt that there’s a guy sitting in a dark room full of beeping and twitching computers that, if bribed with food or perhaps in dire circumstances money, he could dig up all of the skeletons in your digital closet that you’ve tried so hard to keep in a deep, dark cave of personal shame. There’s always going to be that one photo, comment or blog post that you curse the day you posted it and so it got me thinking, can either medium truly be trusted? A blog can be hacked and a journal can be read so is there really any hope for any of our most private or indeed our public thoughts?

Blogging isn’t hard. Right?!

Ok so I’ve written a couple of blog posts in my time but they were purely written on the basis of finishing an assignment for Uni. I’m in no way a “blogger” but seeing as it looks like my summer is going to be less than interesting, I may as well give it a go and see what weird and wonderful revelations pop out of my head. I mean, how hard can it be to just write about whatever happens to be rattling around in my head at the time? Someone will read it, right?! I suppose though that even if no-one ever reads my posts (a highly likely occurrence), it really doesn’t matter because there’s something truly cathartic about putting it out there and writing it down despite the (potential) lack of interest. Well, it is for me anyway so I’m not fussed if I don’t attain global fame by way of blogging (ha!).

Stay tuned bloggers. Ramblings will ensue.