Full of it

April 6, 2009

The joy of spring that is. My garden has a lot of colour at the moment, though beyond the single daffodil and a gnarled up rose I have no idea what they’re called. It was all good until today but now I am also full of hay-fever. Poopies.

I have been spending all my free time with writerly friends, partaking of writerly activities like writing envelopes to agencies (on behalf of my friend), sitting in coffee shops and criticising popular novels and their writers. And buying shoes, but I needed shoes because my last pair came apart slightly and made me fall down in two seperate train stations, causing great concern to the general public.

I’m still hopeful of a slow but steady rise in progress as I now have a new writing aid…

Though progress may be hindered by general rage for StinkyHouseFolk who seems to have replaced his casual racism with active sexism and has been particularly obnoxious (as well as physically noxious) all week to everybody.


I’ve got my feminist hat on

March 17, 2009

First and foremost today, I am wearing my feminist hat. Now that I’ve said it twice I might have to get a real hat. Quote of the day: 

“Masculinity is what phallotarians do to keep women feminized. Femininity is what women do to keep from being pathologized, criminalized, ostracized, jailed, raped, and butchered”

 – curtesy of Twisty at http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com

This quote puts into words something I think I have long had an intuition about. Knowing that if I don’t display an appropriate level of culturally sanctioned feminity when out and about people could stare or make comments. If that sounds daft or extreme I agree, but that doesn’t stop it happening. And I’m lucky that that’s only one end of the scale that leads ultimately to violence.

Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to reaching an age where I will no longer be considered fuckable so that I will no longer be subject (object) of the public gaze?

In other news: I have been a total slacker with my writing. I wonder if I should start writing something else; another major project or something that exists only for me. The short stories I wrote last year were what I thought a short story should be. I want to be absurd, ridiculous, but when I sit down to do it I get blank page anxiety. I bought a book called “Gasoline” by Dame Darcy, a visually pleasing work with lots of illustrations. This is the kind of thing I love, so why am I not writing it? Because silliness is inappropriate? Because it won’t win any prizes?

I have not been wasting my time though. It has been gorgeously sunny ( I can scarcely believe winter is over, I’m sure it only snowed last week and christmas was the week before). I spent half the weekend reading in the garden amongst my swaying laundry and cats who like to poke their faces through the back of the bench.


Woe (times are changing)

March 10, 2009

I’m in a deep, dark, emo funk. It’s bad. It’s a blend of recession blues, personal dissatisfaction and general disgust for humanity.

The recession may see me joining the ranks of the boomerang generation I fought so hard to avoid (oh who am I kidding? I sat pretty and was glad of my lucky escape) and moving back to my parents house. This would only be tolerable if I could keep my job and work online.

I am personally dissatisfied with my person. The blues have been killing the delicate orchid of my motivation and every act is becoming a chore. If left to my own devices, with no watchers or responsibilities, I am certain I would be living in a pile of fetid blankets, reading book after book, eating from a can and refusing to shower so I didn’t have to go outside.

This is actually a pretty good mentality for me to start my novel redrafting. A little drop of self-loathing is good for my creative process; stops me getting too distracted.

General disgust for humanity is not something I like to feel but it’s almost always there. There always seems to be something: like the latest reports on the insanely high level of domestic violence, or overhearing people talk about the criteria they simply must have for their second car. Or their beach holiday (hmm, Mauritius or Dubai?).  And that thing about the Brazilian girl (age 9) who really shouldn’t have had an abortion (of twins) because now God won’t love her.

Anyway…

I went to see Watchmen at the weekend. My favourite part was the opening montage, soundtracked by “the Times, They are a-Changing” where they all started so young and happy and full of pride, optimism and self-belief and gradually got torn apart. Despite having read the comic and knowing all their fates I still had a tear in my eye when I saw Silhouette and her girlfriend murdered. That montage was a high-calorie viewing experience in itself.

Sometimes I look at people and think they’re hurting. It’s not true though; they’re just waiting for someone to talk to.


Birmingham Book Festival

October 16, 2008

Yes, we the birminghamese have learned our words and there is now so much interest in books that we have our own library. And the library is giving us a festival!

http://www.birminghambookfestival.org/

It’s now halfway through so I doubt I’m going to do them any advertising favours here – though do look out for next year’s. I took partner to see Mark Thomas speak about his new book Belching out the Devil about Coca Cola and how many evil things they do in so many different countries.

This was extra fun for me because partner enjoys coke frequently. Ha. He may still go for it, it’s just not as easy when you know they pay workers less than a living wage in Turkey, they drain and pollute the water supplies of Indian villages, they use child labour in their sugar cane fields and turn a blind eye to their trade-unionist staff being shot in their bottling plants in Columbia. I can’t wait to read the book. I’ll let you know how it is. (we also got his previous book “As used on the famous Nelson Mandela”)

The great thing about Mark Thomas is how ordinary and approachable he is. He’s enthusiastic and good humoured with his blokey London accent and attitude – the opposite of the activist stereotype. (who does fit the activist stereotype? if you know, please share). I think it helps ordinary folk to put a person they can relate to to serious issues; it shows that you don’t have to be snobby or a hippy to boycott things, and you don’t have to be a raving loon to care about what goes on in the world. Good stuff.

When I first set this blog up I thought “gosh, why ever would I want to create a load of pages? I can’t even think of one” and now I’m getting overrun as I think I should add one for things worthy of boycott….


~*New Feature*~

September 26, 2008

I’m sure you are amazed by my misuse of random characters. What could it be, this new feature that requires such juvenile decor? It is:

Virginia’s Bisexual Icon of the Week!ta da!

In light of one of my recent posts about how I missed out on a significant event in my life because I didn’t know bisexual was an option, I have decided to start compiling a list of prominent bisexual people. How dull monosexualism will seem in comparison!

First up: Virginia Woolf

As a woman so awesome I named my blog after her Virginia Woolf has to come first. She was an intelligent and sensitive woman and born into the privilege of literary high society. It was a natural progression that surrounded by creative people on all sides she should become a novelist herself, pioneering modernist styles with strong psychological development of her characters.

Virginia was a feminist and advocated that women have the potential to be equal to men in creativity given the time, space and freedom from financial worry to do so. In her upper class Bloomsbury group and creative circles it was common to take a lover in addition to marriage, so although she was devoted to her husband Leonard she simultaneously had another long term partner, Vita Sackville-West.

It is thought that childhood abuse from her half brothers and deaths of many significant family members in her youth triggered fragile mental health for the rest of Virginia’s life. She had multiple breakdowns and it has been theorised that she may have been bipolar. At the age of 59 she drowned herself.

I think Virginia Woolf means something to me because I empathise with the way she writes about things. I know what it feels like to dissociate from the world because I’m so tangled in a web of my own thoughts (albeit less well constructed thoughts than hers). I understand how emotion can be there beneath the surface without being acknowledged, and what it feels like to be torn by something you refuse to admit exists. Virginia speaks to a side of my character that very few people do.


Personal Truths

September 22, 2008

Goddamn. Random emotional turmoil is for teenagers. It would be so much easier to be emotionally dead. I’ve been thrown off since an emotional sex session when I looked into his eyes as he was coming but when it was my turn he shut his eyes and I couldn’t speak. I’ve been exposed and vulnerable since. I find myself trying to take responsibility for every bad thing that happens to him, pretending to myself that it was in my power to have prevented it and feeling bad for not doing.

Totally irrational. Completely unfounded. Really friggin irritating. I’m trying not to let it bring me down.

Aside from this I’ve had a good weekend with friends. We went to the awesome Cafe Soya and did meditations together. My spirit animal is a ladybird and it took me to stand in a blue fire. I have a guide that’s really tiny and easy to lose track of: what does that say about me? I also found it by falling flat out into some brambles (in the meditation). I think this symbolises how difficult I perceive it to be to get useful things out of my head. I make things hard for myself.

Also really friggin irritating.

I might start a page to make a list of bisexual icons. The biggest regret of my life was caused by not knowing that sexuality wasn’t a binary, and that liking boys didn’t have to get in the way of kissing a really amazing girl who was probably the first person I ever loved and who I probably really hurt with my unfounded rejection.

My other regret (anything else has apparently been forgotten or healed by time) was caused by alcohol. I offered to lend the same book to two people – poaching from the first person to give to the second who then disappeared with it forever. It was a couple of years ago but it still bothers me. I’m going to redress it by buying a new copy and giving it to the person I should have left it with in the first place.


Women’s writing

September 15, 2008

http://bitchmagazine.org/article/the-ambition-condition

Here is an interesting article on female writing and journalism.

From what I’ve been reading lately (online and in Mslexia magazine) I believe that it’s probably very difficult for any writer to get started, genre writers are less likely to be respected in the profession, and that women’s writing is seen as a genre. Odd.

Despite this I would still like to publish under my full name. Just not here, obviously.