The process of writing

May 30, 2008

There are many approaches to writing. Virginia Woolf took long walks and composed passages of text in her head. She must have had a fantastic memory, though she depended on quiet to get things done. Zelda Fitzgerld wrote her only novel in a sanatorium while recovering from a breakdown. Although the quiet and free time undoubtedly helped, writing about the disintegration of her marriage must have been cathartic and helped her recovery. I saw Phillip Pullman interviewed once and he aims to write 3 pages every day which I guess gives you a draft in about 3 months. The NaNoWriMo crowd work to a strict 50,000 words in 30 day deadline:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

When I started this I thought all the styles were different but I am seeing a theme – whether busy or isolated or competitive all the writers are writing consistently with no gaps. There is no time off from writing. It could be an accident of the examples I have chosen but all of them write continuously. Perhaps this is what I need to do if I ever hope to carry an idea through to conclusion. If only I had discipline…

To be frank I am impressed I have lasted this long blogging. It’s a lot easier as I really just sit here talking to myself, but equally as no one reads it there is no obligation for me to keep writing. If I didn’t have the kind of job that gives me a certain amount of freedom I probably wouldn’t do it. I never blog from home but that’s because I don’t have my own computer and I don’t want to be discovered. If someone I know should find this by their own searching and figure out it’s me then good for them, they win a cookie, but I will not lead anyone here on purpose.

So why am I a fail writer? What happened to my capacity for discipline? Even when I have to write things for work I trick myself into doing it by flicking between the text and various websites, I can’t bring myself to read through the piece as a whole – not through any sense of angst, I just can’t get my eyes to focus on it. I think that multiplied by 100 that would be what ADD feels like. So why am I not interested in things I am writing for myself? I get excited about them when I first think of them but then I abandom them utterly like babies in skips.

If I did find the cause of my failings, the root flaw in my psyche (retch, emo-much) would knowing it mean I had control over it? Really shoddy comparison but: I know that if my partner flirts with someone it is meaningless, but that doesn’t stop me wanting to put lit matches into the other person’s clothes until they go away. Not doing that is a pretense of control: changing the action does not change the emotion. This is probably why I am so often surprised by my emotional responses to things; I am so busy not being silly that I don’t recognise an emotional response as justified.

Saying all this gumph about emotions though: I find it easiest to write/art (art is a verb) when in a low mood. It’s like the negativity can channel creativity. Which sucks because I enjoy being a good mood.


What’s going on in my world today?

May 30, 2008

Link, and rant, link and rant and rant *the itchy and scratchy shoooow*

First the sad news:

http://video.news.sky.com/skynews/video/?&videoSourceID=1317480&flashURL=/feeds/skynews/latest/flash/falluja_p7464.flv

The American army’s use of phosphorous in the Iraq war has caused a sudden surge in the number of birth defects – nice one guys. I’m not going to go into whether or not the war was needed, justifiable, a failure or any of the rest of it because it’s too late, it’s done now and you can’t undo it. Sadly these people, random civilians presumably not involved in the conflict, are now suffering as the result of a poorly researched technology. Anyone going to take responsibility for this? I can believe it was a mistake as they probably checked to make sure short term exposure to adults (ie their soldiers) wouldn’t cause harm and that they probably wouldn’t have researched the affects on long term exposure and developing foetuses. But they still did it so they should make some form of apology.

The thing that bothers me about this is that the BBC is not reporting it. I have searched their website and there is no sign of this. Would it be some form of politcal dissent? The more I look outside the BBC the more I see its limitations and biases. Also if you ever want to feel angry you can read their Have Your Say pages which are full of fascists complaining about too much liberalism (where?) ruining the world.

No wait – if you really want to feel angry you should read the Daily (hate) Mail. I don’t know why I go there so often, it surely must be bad for my health. I used to avidly read Liz Jones’ column about her life believing it was satire – that is how terrifying, exaggerated and pathetic the woman’s life is. All she has taught me is that if you think seperating your eyelashes with a pin will impress men then you don’t deserve respect.

What really angered me about the daily fail today was this article about ‘retrosexuals’ which forms part of their recent anti-feminist attack:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1022932/The-return-real-men-Ladies-ready-meet-Mr-Retrosexual.html

The article insists that men are better when they can’t dress, wash, cook, take care of their homes or property, pay for everything (with cash, like a drug dealer) but then leave at the first wiff of commitment (why not save the hassle and pay to use a trafficked hooker? At least she’s tied to the bed and can’t follow you to your decrepid hovel). There is also the assumption that all men like football and are homophobic. In my experience the more that a man tries to live up to these viciously restrictive ideals the more of a prick he is. So thanks Daily Male for reinforcing the negative behaviour of fucktards while claiming that feminists make RealMen(tm) into pussies.


Cynicism radar: 29.95 with free sarcasm alarm

May 29, 2008

Last night I watched the new magically recut magical magic new version of Blade Runner, and while it was fun to see Adama as a young and kinda freaky-looking man I could not see any obvious difference between this and the director’s cut. It raised a tweak on my cynicism radar, particularly when I remembered the email I got from amazon.co.uk with a note saying they had completely remade the film from the bits on the cutting room floor. Which they (of Blade Runner rights ownership) obviously haven’t so I can only conclude they are screwing me for cash.

Cynicism radar can also help you identify people as those who may be fine at acquaintence but are not to be relied on in crises. Like those who think wife beating is a private matter and nothing to bother the police with, and leaving a friend on the street is ok if you’re trying to patch things up with a partner. Ok those are fairly obvious things but they confirmed to me that people I’d already chosen not to trust deserved my lack of faith.

I have long had a problem with a clogged up thought process. So far I have tried whining about it, writing this blog and ritual magic to help the problem, and I’m now starting to see how things I do could have been better if I’d thought about it more at the time. Which sucks but is a start so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Want to hear a really sick cliche? I have to stop wanting to do things and start doing things. I hate all that self-help life-coaching positivity-mantra bull-shit. It’s sickening and twee and reeks of desperate weakness – probably why women are encouraged to do it. That pisses me off too: women be strong and do something for yourself by acting as pathetic as possible! I think the 12.99 that crappy book costs would be better spent on a big creamy coffee treat and an epic piece of cake. None of that skinny latte skinny muffin shit neither – I’m on to you starbucks, you with your fake fair trade ‘but we have to screw the africans or where will our profit come from?’ attitude.

Speaking of attitude, how badass is the angry stripping woman?:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/cath_elliott/2008/05/so_angry_i_could_strip.html

Considering I’ve been stared at, honked at, shouted at, talked at, curbed crawled, asked inappropriate questions about my sexual history and had my arse groped at a bus stop at lunchtime I can appreciate this problem. I do not dress to be leched at and I ain’t even that pretty, though I’m young and well-endowed. What I find most insane about this article is the number of responders implying that the author is just jealous because she’s not much to look at and probably doesn’t get this sort of attention. Again, I call bullshit. I feel a deep well of pity for all women who enjoy the greasy stares of grotesque men. And before anyone says it even if George Clooney or Johnny Depp asked me to get my tits out all they would see is my angry face.

 Edit: I forgot to add that I love the Mary Wollstonecraft quote at the end of that article. If only my cage were so shiny #sigh#


Diversions

May 28, 2008

In the way back when hobbies, entertainments and parties were called diversions. I’m not sure what people were diverting themselves from, but it feels like they had these specially arranged distractions every so often that provided fun and gossip. We’ve probably got more distractions than actual productive tasks now. I want to say something about comparitive levels of altruism but my history isn’t good enough to back it up. I think distractions are only meant to be short term though, and too many people treat them as the be all and end all to their detriment.

On an unrelated topic: I need to sleep. If you have read the other posts you will know that I do not to well when sleep deprived. Things like train disruptions (thank you Virgin for your needlessly wank service, and London Midland for the no warning when moving my train time for 2 days) enrage me to unreasonable levels. Forming sentences is taxing (this post sponsored by sin coffee). Unfortunately I can’t really complain about the reason for my lack of sleep (a damn good shag) but the timing could have been better. Particularly as my partner knows I need at least as much if not more sleep than him and he gets to lie in an extra 2 hours after I get up for work (a reasonable half eight to my half six). And I overslept by 20 minutes today, meaning no gentle wake up with soothing peppermint tea.

As I rant I realise what a precious and spoilt creature I am to complain of my minor inconveniences when I could be a starving third world orphan suffering the molestations of the UN. I found it daft when the news reader last night said some nations don’t want to admit if their people have been involved in this to protect the countries’ reputations – because being a nation that condones and hushes up rape is so much better. Maybe they should have that as a screening question in interviews: “If you think the stress and pressure of working out there among the suffering is going to make you feel a bit rapey you should probably consider something else.”

Sidenote: 45 pages into Save me the Waltz and loving the swirling narrative style.


Secrets

May 27, 2008

What I should have been writing about today, of course, are my secrets which are untraceable, rather than my public experiences which will glow of me-ness to anyone I am non-sexually intimate with.

On friday I was in a fug. I’m not sure where the word comes from but I feel it means a misery fog – it is thick and gloomy and makes you feel a bit isolated. I bought a small notebook (I now wish I’d gone for a bigger one) took myself to a coffee shop and sketched out the basic plotlines for the four major characters in my new script story. The women are clearer in my head but that seems normal, the men will come out in time. The fug became less sticky – or I started vibrating from the caffeine. My evening improved from there.

The point is that I haven’t pulled my disappearing act for a long time. It’s not something I ever did that often (unless you include the times I pretended not to be in my room/asleep). I didn’t think it was something I needed to do anymore, having left behind all the destructive people I did know and now being in contact with comparitively small (if persistant) stresses.

I think I did it for other reasons. A primary factor is the lack of personal space I claim as mine. My room is used for storage of my things and as a guest bedroom. That means guests own the space over me. The room is cold and isolated. It is cluttered. If I did go up there my partner would probably seek me out for having withdrawn.

Another problem I have is that things are always on. I’m all for watching a bit of telly, but when you’re constantly surrounded by tvs, pcs, consoles, sky+, even the fridge hums and the extractor in the kitchen. It’s too much. It’s never still. It puts me on edge, which is why I think I like the opportunity to scribble in a notebook.

The best part about going to a coffee shop is the feeling of having noone’s hands on you. No one knows where I am (there must be over a dozen coffee shops within a mile square) and it is incredibly unlikely that anyone will find me by accident, especially given my choice of seats. It’s like being in a bubble. I don’t have to play up to anyone, or feel any tension, or provide any support. And if I have a notebook I can write too.


Lobotomised by lust

May 27, 2008

That’s not me, by the way, who was lobotomised by lust but someone who if not particularly dear is quite near to me. He is a fool, but at least now he is a free fool. Free range fool. But the phrase had to go in the title because it’s cool and I thought of it and I’d probably forget it otherwise. If I see the phrase occur anywhere in any form I will hunt you down like a sparrowhawk.

My bank holiday went two ways: friday and saturday I did cool things, wandered about places, saw baby fuzzy duckies, met randoms, played Rock Band, half poisoned my significant other but made it up to him with phenomenal *** (who knew I was shy). Sunday and Monday I felt like I was being invaded by disease and refused to go outside where there was angry weather. This was boring.

I did finish Tender was the Night though, and decided that it was rather good as depressofests go. Although i have to admit that if I was Zelda I’d be pretty pissed off by the implication that I had an unhealthy love for my father. I’ve now started her Save me the Waltz, so we’ll see what she has to say on the matter. I wish I was a faster reader. Admittedly it would have been more useful when I was at uni but I’d still like it now. I have so many books to read. sadface.

Anyway, short post as I actually have work to be working on.

PS: Have ordered new cds for the first time this year. woot.


… And then he Spielberged all over it.

May 23, 2008

I don’t know who or what abducted Steven Spielberg’s marbles about 10 years ago but they are long gone. The man has made good alien movies, but he needs to understand that you can’t just crowbar aliens into every plot you lay your hands on #ahemAI# and I imagine he and George Lucas were sipping cold drinks in a hot place one day when they had this exchange:

Spielberg: I can put aliens in Indiana Jones, right?

Lucas: It’s freakin’ Indiana Jones! You could do a ten minute naked dance and it’ll still smash the box office.

Spielberg: I’m not really comfortable with cameos George.

Lucas: Wait, you were serious?

And so there were aliens. But it was kind of a 50s thing, along with greasers, atomic bombs and commies. I would have been happier if the aliens hadn’t come to life though, but you can’t have everything. Aside from that it was an entertaining if nostalgic watch. Harrison Ford may be old but he’s still got it, it’s just a little slower now. He also gets extra credit for waxing his chest hair to save the rainforests.

In other news: one of the housefolks randomly shouted at me for being a man-hating feminist. Which was weird. And made him sound drunk, though I hadn’t thought he was particularly drunk before that. All it took was a mention of the F word and he snatched it up and ran with it. There wasn’t really a lot I could say as I could tell from the manic look in his eyes that he would have loved to have baited me into shouting and looking crazy. He wasn’t interested in talking about it, it just pleased him to say things about how feminists are resting on their laurels a bit at the moment but then it’s not like we can throw ourselves under cart-horses any more and we’ve had the vote for ages anyway. This is the second time he’s done this. I’m still not sure what his point is but it is getting on my nerves. He’s also tried to insist that I wear a smaller clothing size than I do, inadvertantly implying that my size is large.

And on a slight sidenote: I’m frequently blind with sleepiness after just waking up but I now think I am blinded by not giving a flying fuck about what I am supposed to be researching. I’m sure it must have been deliberated elsewhere but how exactly does a fuck fly? If anyone knows I’d be delighted if you would share it.