Writing about morning writing

I have not been doing morning writing for a while, something always comes in the way. Excuses, excuses, I know. But at least I have a few completed stories. Today is a weekend morning and I am up early so there is really no excuse. I mentioned writer’s block yesterday, but actually managed almost an entire short story in the course of the day, first draft, of course.

I liked what Annie said in her comment on yesterday’s post: “Maybe the writing muscles need more exercise” and also what Ted had to say, “I am never blocked, merely lazy”. I pushed myself, kept on writing and feel a lot better today.

Met a friend online yesterday who said she had nothing to write about. I never really had that problem, but for those who do, a creative writing class can be a real eye opener. It pokes you in the eye and tells you how everything all around you is waiting to be written about. Everything in your head, in your dreams, in the people you know, and those you don’t know, in the very air you breathe, things are just waiting for you to write about them. And if you are a writer, you will write.

Writing about being blocked

I have written about writer’s block before. I think I’m in the middle of one right now, but I do not believe in writer’s block anymore. So I’m going to power on, go with speed-writing and writing prompts, and just be not blocked. Presently I shall be in full flow, I’m certain:)

Writing again about being tired

Writing makes you tired, trying to write and never finding the time to do it makes you more tired still. Having to write, live, and work, when all you want to do is disappear in a book is about as much torture as you can fit in into a humdrum life.

I am dying for people and things to leave me alone, but I guess I should be careful what I wish for!

Writing about Reading: Fishing in the Rivers of Light

Fishing in the rivers of light

Writing about reading: Fishing in the rivers of light

I sit on the bed as I write, have been feeling none too well today, maybe I have been overdoing things a little, I don’t know. Outside, it is dark and raining, and as often happens in Malaysia, it looks like the end of the world is near. It is 12.30 pm as I write, but it looks more like 7 pm, and I have to have the lights on. A great day to just curl up in bed with a book, which is precisely what I’ve been doing for most of the morning.The wind is fierce, the rain unrelenting.

Been reading like a maniac the past few days, which means have got very little writing done, but went to a book sale last week (twice) and now have about 50 books I have yet to finish. (I have begun reading a few simultaneously.) Reading for me is like a fever, when I get into a book I’ve got to finish it. It has always been like this for as long as I can remember. My mum would complain whenever dad got me a book, because I would say goodbye to food, bath, sleep, play, even the washroom, unless it was too urgent.

I think I am a little more sensible now. (Mostly I’m not, though, I’m kind of hanging out there, fishing in the rivers of light! .) Right now, life, real life as I live it, consisting of daily routine, dinners out, grocery shopping, calling the parents, meeting friends, working, blogging or gymming has all become a big chore. There is only one life I am aware of, the one I’m really living, and that is the one spent reading. The rest of it is just automation.

Books I am reading at the moment:

In Praise of the Stepmother

Eating Naked

The Anatomy of Peace

The Winter Queen

Interpreter of Maladies

I pick each up depending on what mood I am in. I carry a book with me wherever I go and open it everywhere….I really, really, must stop. Okay, maybe take longer life-breaks, lol. I just finished Reef this morning, as well as They do Return, and I think I am in a bit of a daze.

And of course, I must get back to the writing part, but for now, fishing is so much fun, and who knows what gem I’m about to find, and how it will affect me? Back to reading. See you all when I surface, ciao!

Writing about emotions and conversation

I have been writing a fair bit these past few days, and somehow have not made it to my blogs. (Some of my writing exercises have made it to a local web-zine, which is good, specially because I like most of the other writing that has been published there so far).

While writing in the past few days though, I found that all our emotions have precedents, but all of them, really. Everyone, each one of us, goes through similar emotions, it is merely the extent of emotion that differs.
This has taken away for me a bit of their magic, their uniqueness, their unrepeatability and unpredictability and rendered them common, banal, somewhat like a beautiful piece of poetry when the feeling and intent behind it is explained in different words. What I feel at any given moment has been felt by others, will be felt by others, only their reactions would be different from mine.

Depressing. (And as I write it is pouring, the way it pours in Malaysia sometimes. In sheets, sounding like a waterfall….depressing, depressing).

Writing about conversation and emotions

Writing about conversation and emotions

Never mind feelings, then. I want conversations. Conversations like See-Saws, see something one moment, then talk about what the other one saw, vice-versa, and so on. And by “see”, I mean really look, realize the truth behind something, and be able to express it. Deep, soul-wrenching conversations which are addictive and scary at the same time.

Conversation, anyone?

Writing about being anxious

Writing has always been a thing of relief, of unqualified joy.

But the need to prove yourself can sometimes be too strong, the need to forge ahead too fast can be crippling.

This is a lesson I learned today, and a lesson I have taken to heart.

My prayer: Lord let me write because it is bursting forth, and let me not be anxious. Amen.

And now to bed and dreams.

Writing about a Heart of Stone

Writing about a Heart of Stone

Writing about a Heart of Stone

Writing from a writing-prompt has become a part of my daily routine, a way to stretch and flex my writing muscles before beginning my work for the day. For today I picked up 5 random words from the dictionary, and they were:

Stone Blue War Heart Ice-cream

And then I wove a story around those words, giving myself ten minutes. Here is the result, after I corrected the grammar and punctuation, and generally cleaned it up a bit.

A piece of stone where her heart had been, only a piece of stone. That is what grief can do to you.

Suffering ennobles man…bullshit! Suffering and grief rend a person of feeling, like burning your taste buds when you eat something too hot or deadening them with cold like he’d done once on an ice-cream binge with her.

They’d eaten ice-cream like maniacs, daring each other, pounds and pounds of ice cream, till their lips were blue and their tongues no longer felt like part of their mouths. They could not talk, could not taste, could not feel their kisses on each other’s lips, which made them laugh a faint hoarse laughter that seemed to come from somewhere else. Sometimes too much of joy can take away your ability to feel as well, but then that is a good thing.

And then he’d gone and left her. Left her for the war, its promises of glory, for the stupid people who no longer cared that he has given his legs for them. He gave them both his legs while fighting ferocious strangers in an unknown jungle on foreign soil, while she pined and died.

While her body was buried, they’d kept her heart for him, for that had been her last wish. As if the dead heart, no longer beating, no longer within her, turned to stone, could bring him her love.

A pink stone, that is what it was, a soft porous sandstone and on it he was going to carve the story of her life, even if he had to lose an arm or both doing it—he did not care. That piece of sandstone was all he had. He dug his crutches in. He now has to find his chisel and begin his lifelong work, or perhaps the work of a lifetime.

Writing about Evenings and Lights in Singapore

I was rifling through some of my old blogs, sifting through my earlier writing, when I chanced upon this post. At the time I was considering my move from Malaysia to Singapore.
It has been a few months since I have returned after my stay in Singapore, and am back again in Malaysia in familiar surroundings, among friends. I see an older, different “me” in the post and feel amused :)
Writing about Dusk in Singapore

Writing about Dusk in Singapore

I think we were staying at The Grand Copthorne or some such hotel, and it was a lonely evening because the husband had some work.
I like watching Singapore light up, little by little, like a shy Oriental bride adorning herself, tremulous, slow, graceful. Night takes its time descending here, but when it does, it does so abruptly, and then the yellow, blue, green lights that had glimmered in the last pale light of dusk are suddenly resplendent. The banks of the tiny river are dotted with lights that fall on the miniscule ripples, little pools of light in a continuous flow of darkness.

I also find this is a city-state fanatic about jogging, young or old, in dry or drizzle. They are there, breathing hard as they pass me while I recline on the cushions.The hotel has tossed a few wooden chairs inside a glass-covered portico on the waterfront, over which the building looms: I can’t see its top when I look up.

I sip at my iced lemon tea, and consider things, try to resolve in my head a knotty project I am struggling with, and find that my brains have become sluggish along with my body. A light breeze breaks out on the river momentarily relieving the tropical, sultry warmth, and I cannot find my last train of thought. I give myself up to watching all these health-concious people whipping past me at a run.

I have swooshed up the lift now, along with a dotty old man who could not figure out how to swipe his card on the lift, and was very relieved when I offered to do it for him.

From my room I can see the traffic jams, all crossings marked by blinking red lights as toy cars glide to a pause. I am afraid of heights, but this view from the room through glass across an entire wall persuades me that living in a highrise apartment may not be such a bad idea after all. In a few months I will be househunting here, and I shall keep that last bit in mind.

Writing about sports and winning

Abhinav Bindra

Writing about Winning: Abhinav Bindra

Writing about sports is not something I do often, or have perhaps ever done on this blog or any other. But for the first time in years, I am proud to stand up and say I am an Indian, as Abhinav Bindra today gave India her first individual Olympic gold ever.

When the blinding display of the opening ceremony was on, I was home with a few good friends and declared that India would again go home without a medal….and today I was so happy to be proved wrong. It is a great feeling, especially when you are away from your country to see your countryman do you proud!

Writing about Bluebirds Singing

Writing about a Bluebird song

Writing about a Bluebird song

I will not crib about writing this one like I have been cribbing about writing the other poems inspired by Rick’s prompts. That is because I have been getting some fiction writing done. Not the best fiction, but then, I am a rank beginner, so what can I expect?

Anyway, without further ado, here is the poem. I call it: Bluebirds are meant to sing.

Bluebirds are meant to sing

Bluebirds are meant to sing.

Leave the flying,
fighting, dying
to those
who know better
the Bluebeards
who bring meaning
to short, big words
like war, valor, glory,
vainglory perhaps.

You are a bluebird,
it is your place to sing
to bring in the spring
to bring up your brood
to whistle and sing,
to not be understood.

Your song does not
now concern
those who know better,
little bluebird,
for what use is a song
when a long war is on
there are people to kill
and battles to be won?

But sing, little bluebird, sing,
sing of the skies, of the distant
seas sing, cry out your heart
in joy, in pain, sing of anguish
in love, of soft blue rain sing.

Sing of men in throes of lust
sing of empires turned to dust
sing your soft blue song,
sing, little bluebird, sing.

When the war is ended
and all the battles are won
the job of those
who know better
would be done
but your work, little bluebird,
would have just begun.

So sing your blue song
little bluebird,
bluebirds are
meant for singing,
leave the flying, the fighting,
the dying to
the Bluebeards
who know better
and be a little bluebird,
and like a little bluebird, sing.