Alas, The Consumption!

August 29, 2008

Yes I am sick, and I don’t do very well at being ill. So far today I have got up early to feed the cat and had two naps. My beautiful man-creature put me in the bath so I am relatively scum-free. Dizzy spells and wobbliness are far more fun than thick chest mucas but there hasn’t been too much of that. I don’t even know why I’m posting really, just that I should do it every weekday. I am also very pleased that I have had over 400 hits this month, though most of them based on searching daft things. Maybe I should consider telling a select few people I know to check it out. It just seems so… vain? I don’t know, I guess it’s kind of the point of blogging, to have an audience. But if I told people I would never know how far I could go, gathering accidental traffic and pretending that people read me.

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Huzzah! Exciting new layout

August 12, 2008

Although classy I was finding the old layout a little hard to navigate. The type was also too small. And I wanted tabs at the top, which I have now used to start noting down my list of books that I want to read that usually rattles around in my head. Undoubtedly this will grow, suggestions are welcome. I think I’m labouring under the falsehood that eventually I will be able to read ALL the books. All the books ever.

I think I have a stone uterus: I can feel a whole lot of squeezing but not a lot of blood is coming out. A good metaphor for my own stubborness but uncomfortable when stuck on a crappy office chair.

I apologise if that was a little graphic for anyone but it says on the back of my feminist membership card that I can and am actively encouraged to blog about mentruation. So there it is. I’m not sure what the rest of the card says; I’ve had it in my back pocket for a while and some of the words have rubbed off. I did pull it out yesterday though, after soon-to-be-ex Housefolk made some joke about not needing women’s sports to which I replied “We do need them, or else we wouldn’t have any Olympic medals.” Take that, foolish fool!

The conversation took place after Team GB had won gold for street cycling and gold and bronze in swimming. I’m not in to sports myself but hope that these medals go some way to strengthening the legitimacy of female participation.


Decisions

June 19, 2008

I have decided to open a second blog called Parody of Virtue for better thought out pieces of writing. This is after reading the comment I got about my ‘personal beliefs’ entry which made me realise that yes, this is a largely pointless and meandery blog, written for myself to clarify my thoughts in an attempt to maintain sanity and improve my mental agility. And vent, but that’s so obvious a thing to do with a blog it’s barely worth mentioning. On the one hand it’s my personal blog and although I am happy for people to read it I don’t write with an audience in mind. On the other hand I’m not helping myself as a writer if all I do is spaff out a train of thought every day. Writing quality reviews and opinion pieces will serve me much better and provide a better product should anyone happen to read it. Whether it will actually be any good or not I don’t know. It will probably begin somewhat subparr and improve with time.

This is breaking my brain somewhat as my motivation is being diverted from work ie the things I actually get paid to do. It doesn’t help that I find it harder to concentrate with menstruating but that’s usually fixed with a cup of coffee. Sidenote (and further indication of my hormone driven ADD) I discovered last night where I can buy frozen pig’s uterus. After all those stories you here about people chowing down on pig’s penis and it never once occured to me that pig’s uterus would be just as tasty. I wonder if it tastes different if the pig has had a litter?


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.


Circlejerk

May 22, 2008

Isn’t that a great word? Circlejerk. it just rolls around the mouth coming to an abrupt halt. I wonder if the word jerk was originally onomatopeic? Circlejerking is what I think some misguided people do when they blog about issues they feel passionately about (good up to this point) get all their friends to read it then all congratulate each other on such ‘right down to the bone’ rants. This is just a thought by the way and not directed at anyone I know – the only blogs I read are large public ones.

My actual word of the week is ‘stereotype’ – seeing as I’ve had time to use my brain this week this word has been spewing out of my mouth rather frequently. From the arguments used in the abortion/fatherhood debates to widely anticipated Sex and the City movie stereotypes abound. I want to say I am drowning in them but that would be a cliche. It’s painful to be aware of these things, it makes you lose respect for people. It also forms part of my reluctance to write – trying to get around then will be like walking on glass (I saw Derren Brown do this, but only after putting a plastic bag over his head first. I find this man fascinating and last week dreamed that I found him in some unknown suburban house while on a school trip and had a delightful natter with him).

I should write though. I believe this blogging to myself is a great help. Aside from creating a secret identity as the great Snarkista it allows me to a) think, b) without judgement, c) out loud on a page. I’m not sure if I’ve thought anything at all for a very long time except within the context of a debate – talking with others does bring out some good arguments and I am often surprised at my capacity to think. Not in an egotistical way either, more like when you run for a bus and not only catch it but don’t have a stroke. Was that too cliched? I avoided the obvious ‘heart attack’ but I’m still not really satisfied…

I guess that is what they mean by the ‘inner editor’ at NaNoWriMo. I was going to do that last year, made a profile and got all ready, but 2 days before the start I was struck down by a meddlesome plague and missed the first week. By that point all my ideas disolved and I called it quits. I like to pretend I’m realistic but usually it’s just a lack of confidence (my second most hated word after ‘potential’).

On the plus side I have been reading, which I believe increases my knowledge of writing. Still reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, occasionally I want to say “Are your flies undone? Because I can see your peen.” I don’t think it is because of the character’s either, but the writer’s voice – obviously embodying the sentiment of the time (and potentially some resentment towards his wife). It got me thinking about the author’s voice: in a large number of books you can guess the gender of the author. It is possible to write in a gender neutral style, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (only HP book I’ve read, and I didn’t find it particularly interesting or special) and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Some books are written to reflect the gender of the main character, such as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which has a hypermasculine protagonist, or Marian Keynes’ Anybody Out There? which is centred in a very female world (but not in a gross Bridget Jones way). F. Scott Fitzgerald was both very involved with Tender is the Night as it took him years to write and a massive ego as he thought it would define the great American novel. I suppose that for those reasons it has quite a heavy imprint of him on it.

Considering authorial voice I wonder what my voice is – it’s easiest to express in blog form which is why I think blogging helps, because it makes the voice stronger. When writing fiction it is very easy to slip into ‘this is what a writer sounds like’ voice. It’s similar to the voice people get when they read poetry. I want to write. I’m not sure what. But I think I should start sketching.


What would Virginia do?

April 28, 2008

A new day, a bright shiny rain-freshened monday, a new blog. Not since the heady heydays of LiveJournal around two years ago have I taken to writing for internet consumption. By migrating to Facebook I believe that we now get all the advantages of LJ with none of the drawbacks of actually having to write things that people may take offence to. That was actually why I stopped LJing – people starting rumours based on things they were inferring from my posts. But nevermind that. Now I am a new person.

The title and user name refers to Virginia Woolf, for whom I am a total fangirl. I expect if she were a twentysomething now she would be a sharp-witted and internationally reknowned blogster. What she would have written about in a modern context I have no idea.