Writing a Letter to the Creator


Dear Creator,

It is hard living in someone else’s head, spattered all over.

But what would you know about that? I live inside your head, not the other way around.

You dress me up, change my gender at will, you parade me in different countries, and sometimes, I’m not alone, you put me in there with other bits of me, dressed as other people, and have fun watching how I talk to another of my avatars.

For that is what they are, Avatars. The protagonist, the antagonist, the supporting cast, the bit roles. It’s me, all of them, depending on the time of the day, what you think up, how morbid you’re feeling or how happy.

“Be cruel to your main character,” you’ve stuck in bold letters on your table, and you sure take your advice seriously. You bash me up, kill me, make me wait to die, jump over hoops, lose the woman I love, make me dress up as a woman, a child, a dog, make me crash a car, lose a fortune. You know the drift.

But that’s not all. You chase me with a questionnaire, and I have to answer in character. You dress me up in skirts, ask me to pretend I’m a woman, and then ask me what I want. When I tell you, you make me wait for my own execution instead and then rescue me only if the reader would enjoy my rescue more than my death.

Bottomline: as long as you’re having fun, or getting something written, or published, all is right with the world. Who gives a rat’s ass what happens to me?

I wouldn’t say I don’t have fun. Even though it is me wooing an avataar, I love the romantic bits you let me play, though I hate it when you leave a sex-scene half-written and walk off to do your laundry, and then forget about the whole thing entirely when your friend calls. Have you any idea what it does to a man, being frozen in that position?

And then there’s the editor to think about. Just when I’m convinced I’m so- -and-so to whom such-and-such happened, the editor comes and makes you chop entire bits of my life, dream up others, mostly more unpleasant than the ones before.

Editors can’t stand me having cups of tea. I like my cups of tea dammit. They won’t let you let me rest either: Make a scene, they tell you, Show us through his actions what he is thinking, don’t bloody Tell us! There Must be some Disaster, he Must Fail, what do you think you’re doing, giving him such a cosy life, whoever would want to read that??!!

Now, I can stand you doing things to me, because I owe you my life after all, such as it is (or they are…thanks to you I have multiple lives, and things never get boring), but I owe nothing to that editor!! Why does he have to come and poke his nose in my business I don’t know.

So, I’m calling it quits. Going away. Holiday. Vacation. Ciao ciao. Heading for the exit.

Won’t be around to wake you up in the middle of the night because I’m having a nervous breakdown. Won’t follow you around as you water the plants or go out with friends. Won’t tug at your skirts and remind you to finish a scene so I can get on with things.

You don’t like it? Bah…fat good that will do you, Almighty Creator! The most you can do is kill me, so have at it. Sick of life as it is.

You’ll have to beg me on bended knees to come back. I’ll watch you grovel alright, and If I come back, it would be on my Own terms. I know better than anyone else you need your fix. I Am that fix.

So long then, and happy pushing around the Writer”s Block!!

Yours truly,

C

Writing about an Interesting Writer’s Block


A Character's Writer's Block?

A Character's Writer's Block?

I get by the times I have writer’s block by pretending I don’t and doing other things like revising and editing like mad.

But I have a character in one of my stories now, who is an award-winning author. Since I can’t get the story to close the right way, I thought I will free-write as her. In character, so to speak. And boy, SHE has a writer’s block, because this is what came out:

Most times, all I need is a blank bit of space. Sometimes, I’m hunting for one, because I think I’ve got the mother of all ideas and I just have to pen it down before it floats away.

Now is not one of those times. This is just the opposite, when I have to pin my butt down to the chair. When I have to shove a dictionary into my nose, in search of a word that would inspire me to piddle out a few words. One of those times I am praying for my faith in the practice of showing up on the page.

Not wanting to face what has happened to you, to block out the images that will not be denied gives you a writing hole the size of Grand Canyon. You step into one of those and it is a long way to the bottom. I’m crashing into the darkness just about now, the winds of turmoil speeding through my being, the blackness of grief like layers of fabric all ripping through, one by painful one, till I’m suddenly afraid this is all I will have, this falling in the dark, in endless folds of ripping fabric, till I reach a vacuum, maybe hit outer space when I emerge from the other end of the earth, and remain suspended in that nameless, ageless, nothingness. Maybe I merge and become a part of non-air, non-life, a piece of nothing.

This is a little scary, because the story is in her voice. If she is so blocked, one needs to find out why….or I won’t get anywhere with that one. I’m in fine fettle with my writing otherwise, did a 1000 words yesterday. Interesting how a character in my story can be blocked without me feeling it all. Or maybe it is me who is blocked and pretending away I’m not? The character came from my head after all, (admittedly at a workshop two months ago.)

Hmm.

Reading, books, longing


Sometimes the only thing I want to do is curl up and read a book. I have dragged myself out of bed today. Twice.

Reading, reading, reading

Reading, reading, reading

Wish life were all about staying under the covers, book in hand, while someone whipped up healthy delicacies. A bite, a page, a little reading over again, listening to music, the hum of rain outside the window.

Instead, must work, clean, be nice. Arrrrrgh. Blog even. No, I did that because I had to drag myself out of reading, or I would be an irritated grump when I go out for the evening.

Writing about happiness, cost


Happiness has A Price

Happiness has A Price

Happiness always comes with a price tag attached. Not a tangible one, like on a Versace bag, nor an obvious one, like a room covered in blood spatter. It is a hidden cost, like those we bear when receiving subsidies or a windfall.

These hidden costs are part of life, and therefore, of writing. It is a good thing we forget about pay-up time when we are happy, or there would be no real joy for any of us.

Character Interview


I stalked around my apartment today, asking my character what he wants. he won’t talk. Sulking. Wonder why.

Mostly my character interviews just flow, they tell me their most intimate secrets, rage, cry, buzz around my head.But today, there is this oppressive silence, filtering out of my head, passing through each strand of my hair, charging the air around. I keep feeling if I untie my hair it would stand on end, like a halo, a filmy hedgehog.

What a character.

Writing, fish, life, death


Platies, Mystery Disease

Platies, Mystery Disease

I’ve been writing something or the other the past few days, and today spent a few hours with some super writing-friends writing some more. That’s good and should make me happy.

But, all is not well in my aquarium, and I didn’t know this would keep into my writing. That it is so important for me.

I have had fish-related posts before, but now that I have flushed down three fish since last evening, I’m beginning to wonder if burying them instead is a better idea. Would it give the whole thing some ‘dignity’? Does death ever have dignity, even if it is that of little fish who make no difference to anyone (other than me, maybe, cos I’m sitting here stressing over it) ?

Meanwhile all the other fish in the aquarium are swimming around, life goes on for them. Well, unless the mystery disease gets them too.

Writing, Publishing


A big part of writing is getting published. It completes the writing process.

But my current approach to is: keep working at your writing, keep sending things out, but don’t be too crazy about being published, everything in its own time. Polish your craft, so you don’t put something out in to the world that would make you cringe later.

This post talks about the same thing….and it makes me feel better.

Writing prompts, white blood spatter


White Blood Spatter of the Pure

White Blood Spatter of the Pure and River of Light

A leaf is a leaf, right?

The rainwater splattered on it, in crystal drops, is just that. And then, as you keep looking at it , it transforms. Becomes something else, a river of white blood belonging to the Pure, those devoid of flesh, a milky-white blood spatter on green fields.

I sat down to look at my writing prompt today, a snap taken when on vacation a long time ago, drops of water rolling about, glinting in the sun, as a huge palm leaf waved ever so light in the breeze. And now I have a story about the Pure, their lives, their wants and griefs, and their greatest tragedy, an inability to die, a continuation of decrepitude, an absence of renewal.

Not sure where it comes from, maybe from Ali Smith’s story I read last night, ” God’s Gift” which ends like this:

” In a moment I will go upstairs and see if the fledgeling is still on the glove on the window sill. If I can see a bird still there, the it’s probably dead. if I can’t see a bird on the sill, then it’s probably alive. but it might have fallen off, or been blown off. What if it fell off? It might have fallen the height of the house and be stunned or killed on the ground below.

If there is no bird on the sill what I will do is this. I will go to the window and lean out. I will look down, and it will be there. Or I will look down and it will be gone.

It will be dead.

It will have flown.”

Writing About Being like a Pencil.


Read one Paulo Coelho and you’ve read them all. I have read three, but it is basically the same thing the chap is trying to say.

Being a Pencil

Paulo Coelho's "Like a Flowing River": Be a Pencil

But once in a while, I like reading over extracts from his writing, like this one from from Like a flowing river”:

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:
‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
‘I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special. ‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’

‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’

‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.

‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’

‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’

‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your actions.’

——-

Cliched and very Hallmark , like most Coelho, but there can be no argument against what he says in here in Like a Flowing River. Nice.