Two Reasons

So, I’m sorry I haven’t been updating this blog very much lately. When I logged in and saw that my last post was from December my chest did a whole frump. Yeah, a frump.

I’m not really sure what that is, but it goes kind of like this:

December explains a lot really. Since December, everything has kinda changed for me. First, I didn’t feel like posting anything because I was having a mini crisis about the world. I read the book The End of Mr Y (which is actually marvelous and completely brilliant) and it changed my perception about a lot of things.

Through reading it and stumbling over a lot of other things in life, everything suddenly got turned upside down and spun around at a disorientating pace. And now I can’t put it back together again. But this version of life is better, and fresher, and more real. I’m probably not making much sense, but my friends had to deal with me a lot telling them about Derrida and the meaning of life between sobbing and finding me in strange places in the dark.

This was pretty much my life throughout most of December.

I remember a good few days where I would just get in my car, drive somewhere with a view of the sea, the cliffs, and cry angry, red, stinging tears because I was just so in despair over life and why we’re all here. I wrote so many scrawled, scribbled out pages into all my notebooks during those times. I was very scared.

An existential crisis, I suppose you could call it.

Another reason why I haven’t posted in a while is because I haven’t been totally sure of myself lately, either and I didn’t want to post anything I would regret, or look back on and think, ‘Why on earth did you write that? You little idiot.’

I don’t want things to come back and bite me in life; but then, I guess, nobody wants that, do they?

I’ve been waiting to get the hang of myself again, to step back into the person that defines herself as ‘me’. A breakup – yes, a breakup – has shaken everything up in my life. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you might get just how in love with this boy I was. Sounds cliche, doesn’t it? But I did truly love him. Weird thing is, I expected it to hurt a lot more. But it didn’t.

I guess the reason why might be this: I still have the best friends I could ever ask for; I live in a wonderful, beautiful place and I have a family who adore each other every single day. Everyone has been so kind to me and supportive I’ve not really had the chance to fall apart.

Love. I’m really starting to question what that word really means. I thought I would hold onto this perfect little romance forever – and a lot of times I genuinely believed it was totally perfect – that I would find little reminders of what we used to be everyday so terribly breaking and unbearable.

But I don’t. I find them comforting. I can speak openly about the relationship that once was (and people find this jarring because they expect me to cry) because there’s no resentment. We’re simply not meant to be together right now, and that’s okay.

We had our time together and it was so beautiful.

People usually end up hating their ex lovers, but I am genuinely so proud of what we had, what we’ve done, and I look back on all of it with amazing memories that are going to last me the whole of forever. And they’re going to get me just the best stories.

This is so important.

As with everything, you always need to know when to leave. Get the timing wrong and it can make your life something it was never meant to be.

All of this (among other things) ultimately ties up my unexplained absence. These are the two main reasons why I haven’t been here lately. But I promise to be here more, and I promise to try and do it well.

Maybe I should get back to writing about cats. This always seems to make me happy.

4,000 Words

Following my blog post about the author workshop I’m thrilled to be participating in, I received an email yesterday outlining the work we’re going to be doing to work with Lionel Shriver. Basically, the most pressing thing to do is come up with a piece of writing that is 4000 words long and submit it to her so it can be evaluated and critiqued.

I know, it sounds simple enough really, doesn’t it? It sounds like this is the most work we actively have to do within these workshops, aside from critiquing others’ work and really buckling down with all the fiction writing activities. It’s exciting and I already have loads of pieces that amount to either just below 4000 words or over. All I’d have to do is tweak it up a little and then submit, let her read it, and go!

But that’s just a little way too terrifying.

Writing 4000 words within two weeks is pretty simple and easy. That’s plenty of time. I have no issue with that. But coming up with 4000 words to submit to a real live – award winning author – FROM AMERICA is scary, to say the least. It’s incredibly daunting and I don’t even know where to start.

Giving her the first 4000 words of my novel is slightly embarrassing, as the protagonist is a womanizing jerk and in the second chapter there is a drunken bathroom scene in which two teenagers get a little too excited with each other (to put it that way). But it’s the most recent writing I’ve done and I have to admit I’m a little  bit in love with it. I am proud of it. But to give her something else feels odd, as I don’t feel my other writing is as good as the novel I’m writing right now. The piece we submit can be anything, on any theme, and can be complete, or a work in progress or something entirely different. Just as long as it’s fiction.

I think I am struggling. Being intimidated by author power-status is a little bit unnerving! Especially when you get to meet them!

Marietta

    I knew a girl who had gotten dumped. I say knew. She hovered around the floating edges of my break times, my classes, my petulant walks through corridors. She’d never mattered to us much before. But now she was always on my mind.
Her skin, it etched in the name of the boy who had done and got her heart broke, and the blood ran off her fingertips. Marietta. She looked like a corpse dressed for Halloween. Her skin was so pale. The lace from the dresses that seemed embroidered onto her skin, her arms, became bumpy with bloodstain. It trailed all the way up to her elbow. People stared. Even the teachers stared. Too nervous, they never said anything to her. I could never work out whether they were scared of hurting her mutated feelings, or simply just her. She had an aura about her that rendered people strange. A sickly, pasty kind of feeling that sweeps over you when you walk past her in the corridor, or catch her watery blue stare as you look up.
The boy’s name was Todd Bow. Everybody knew him, so as a result everybody then knew her. Before him, I guess you could say she was normal.  She seemed so anyway. Like your average, functioning girl. But love has its way of ruining
the best of us. If we let it fester, it turns us inside out, upside down, and bent over double in pain. Blood poured from her heart, and now it poured from her arms too.
A mathematic compass was her tool. Her art for punching holes into her veins. You know the ones. We’ve all
purposely pricked our fat, fleshy fingertips with one just so we can see it hurt. Its pinprick point like a poised and ready needle. It digs in and burrows itself beneath our skin, if it should like.
Marietta took it too far. God knows what her mother thought. Perhaps she never told. Yet we all knew; we could all
see the faded lines beneath the white lace, and the fresh ones too. We could all see the quiet disdain she held in her voice when she spoke, like every boy she addressed was guilty of breaking her heart. We could all see the fresh
etchings of a T … then an O … a deep, stinging D … and finally one more. It wasn’t like she was hiding it, like she faded into the background like some old piece of furniture. She was there everyday, on everybody’s minds.
I think she knew it.
The boy hardly knew what to do. They’d lasted six months; he’d never realised how hard she’d fallen. She avoided him like the plague, yet he remained on her arms, his name a hideous inscription, like she was bound to him forever. And she liked it that way.
She shamelessly strapped his identity to her skin like it was the only thing she had.
In the end, I suppose it was.

Forts & Castles

I told you earlier that there are currently teenage boys constructing forts and having nerfgun battles to the death in our house right now. So far nerfgun battles we’ve had are constituting at roughly 3 per day. I am apparently their backup.

We’ve also had squabbles, alcohol ramblings and coming home at approximately 2.30am last night.
I thought, to paint a better image in your minds of our weekend, I’d take a photo of the boys and the fort they made. It is actually pretty good. Our sofa is literally upside down right now, with a blanket smothered over it, acting like a gateway into the dark hole within.

Mal is up there too … somewhere!

They’ve calmed down for now. Give them xbox and they calm down. It’s what I’ve learned.
Food also helps a lot. There are crumbs everywhere.

Mal is also enjoying herself. She is treating the fort as her own little princess tower, I think and won’t come down.
She’s very happy.

Let’s see what the rest of the night entail…

Held Under Fire

As a mature, accomplished 19 year old university student, I have come home to a cold house under a seize of fire.

Currently, there are roughly 4-5 large, loud and extremely hyper 7 year olds running around the house, along the hallways, up and down the stairs; they’ve even built themselves a highly strategic fort in the living room so sofas have been moved around and I can’t get into the food cupboards. I cannot even reach my tea – so I’m saying goodbye to hot beverages and may have to resort to walking swiftly out to the shops every time I want a drink. These 7 year olds – or that is how they appear to be anyway – are in actual fact nearly grown men, around the ages of 17-19 years old.

They are incredibly loud.
They keep bursting into my bedroom, unannounced, screaming my name, and demanding I join them in their Nerfgun battle to the death. I don’t want to die today.

Despite being sold and marketed towards kids, those bullets seriously hurt if they speed headlong into say your eye.

Mal is happy though. Despite being ran through with bullets she’s taken to running round the house with them, attempting to play too.
What a right little soldier. She’s my little Browncoat.

But then they stepped on her.

Basically, this was me.

So I went crazy. She’s shut up inside my room with me now, hiding under the bed.

Mal down!