What Lies In My Darkness


I’ve had a very clouded mind recently. I’m not quite sure why. I’ve been trying to write and my character interactions feel forced and false. I’ve even had a moment where I’ve asked myself “Do I even know how normal people interact?”

Needless to say, I’m not a normal person. Of course, “normal” is a relative term and we can argue the implications of “normal” for hours. But, I’m using it here as a term for what is deemed as the acceptable behaviour and the typical way in which humans interact with one another in a westernized, modern culture. I treat everyone with the same amount of respect until they prove otherwise via their behaviour, I talk to strangers as if I’ve known them a while, I say weird things, I rant to most anyone when I feel the need, I make odd noises such as quacks, clicks, or honks when I’m feeling silly or absent minded, the majority of my jokes are either immature, self-depricating, or puns, I like so many things and will get excited because of these things, I cannot abide rude or grammatically incorrect people, I cannot handle shorthand text messages, I put others happiness above my own, I would rather deal with physical pain than an argument I feel is pointless to have, and I will not call someone out on a job poorly done but will just go an fix it without a word.

Despite some of these lovely positives I have, there is a darkness in me, one that has been tagging at my consciousness the last week or so. It’s always been there as far as I can remember, but of late it’s been more apparent. This could be because this past week I’ve been house-sitting so I’ve been completely alone besides the company of a cat. I haven’t lived alone for several months now and I find that having to be considerate of others in every accept of living takes a toll on me, enough so that I forget to just have my contemplative moments. I use my spare time to decompress so that I can handle other human beings for another day.

But I’ve had a lot of time to think here. I’m not consciously trying to address the darkness, oh no. Like most people I hunker those little bits of unwanted personality down deep underneath the good things. I have been thinking about my life, my accomplishments, my tasks, my trials, my dreams and hope, etc. The little bits of darkness slowly ease into these thoughts like an ink drop in a glass of water. But, when I’m aware of it, I ignore it and move on to the next thought.

The problem is when I’m not aware or in control. I’ve been plagued with nightmare after nightmare with real monsters. Now, I love monster movies and silly vampire movies and so on. These things have never really frightened me, but in my nightmares these snivelling, snarling beast are heart-wrenchingly terrifying. I wake in a panic because I’m afraid that they’ve caught me, that they’ve taken me into their thick, dripping, claws and will never let me go. That no matter how many bags I pack and how many flights or trains I catch I can’t run away.

Now, I’m aware that my monsters are really my inner demons manifesting in my subconscious as something I fear.

You may be wondering, dear Reader, why I’m sharing these intimate things with you. Well, I think that some of you deal with your own monsters and your own darkness. I think that we all feel desperate and alone when our demons wreak havoc with our minds and hearts. I also think that we forget to let others know when we struggle. Dear Reader, I’m hear telling you that life is not all rainbows and unicorns for everyone but you. We’ve all got stuff.  I thought maybe, just maybe some of you needed to hear that someone else has a monster too, that behind the veil of happy-go-lucky attitudes something lingers that isn’t as cheerful.

Our nightmares force us to find our strength. Keep reading dear Reader and keep those demons at bay.

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Grave Mercy… Pun Intended?


So I finished Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers today. The title is clearly a pun on the work, which normally I would like, but I didn’t like the book all that much.

Sorry LaFevers, I realize that a lot of research must have poured into this book to get dates and historical accuracy all balanced out, but I had no real feel for the main character Ismae Rienne. She just seemed so feeble to me. She was a novice assassin and all, but she still feared men after all of it.

And her kills! Seriously, could you make death less scary and justified and just plain bland? I felt like being an assassin and killing people would be more exciting less… well there’s no better word than bland.

I didn’t care for the writing style either, but that is just a personal preference. If I’m reading first person and I don’t feel for the main character then something is definitely wrong. But the archaic style in which it was written is relevant to the plot’s setting but I had so much trouble getting into it. Not to mention the plot only picked up in the last 30 or so pages.

Also, the subterfuge amongst the nobles and counts and what have you was just boring to me. I never felt a sense of urgency or danger reading this book. The whole thing was just too polite for backstabbing nobility. I guess I’m used to Game of Thrones where everyone is ruthless when it comes to achieving their plans, I feel like that is true human nature. It’s not so black and white as this novel puts it. (Something I’m trying desperately to incorporate in my own works, it’s all a grey area people!)

The book was well researched and well executed for sure, but it really isn’t my thing. It’s far too harlequin romance for my taste. I feel like it needs a shirtless man baring his nipples on the cover with a woman draped over him touching his taut muscles.

I can see how some may like it and if you do, then good on yah. Either way, I’m not going to continue with the series, just not for me.

Romance? I Don’t Think So


So, as I’m procrastinating my own writing, yet again, I came across this post on my Facebook feed. Now, I usually glance over this kind of over advertised article, but I wanted to see what this blogger had to say about Romance.

15 of the Most Passionate Lines in Romance Novels

Granted, some of these are very famous, but their not particularly “romantic” in my eyes, really they’re just about love and not necessarily passionate either. A lot of the quotes posted I found were more like revelations regarding what love is. Some were corny of course. 

But, these quotes got me thinking about the quotes I keep. Every time I read a book and there’s a passage I want to remember I have a little journal where I write it down. So, I thought I’d share my favourite quotes about love, to keep with the theme here. I think they’re a touch better than what mindopenerz had found. Sorry, mindopenerz, but that’s just my opinion.

“For love is by definition an unmerited gift; being loved without meriting it is the very proof of real love.”

Slowness, Milan Kundera

 

“I realized then the truth about all love: that it is an absolute which takes all or forfeits all. The other feelings, compassion, tenderness, and so on, exist only on the periphery and belong to the constructions of society and habit. But she herself – austere and merciless Aphrodite – is a pagan. It is not our brains or instincts which she picks – but our very bones.”

Justine, Lawrence Durrell

 

“Unfortunately, little darlings, there is no such thing as a simple love story. The most transitory puppy crush is complex to the extent of lying beyond the far reaches of the brain’s understanding. (The brain has a dangerous habit of messing around with stuff it cannot or will not comprehend.) Your author has found love to be the full trip, emotionally speaking; the grand tour: fall in love, visit both Heaven and Hell for the price of one. And that doesn’t begin to cover it. If realism can be decoration, then how can we hope for a realistic assessment of love?”

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Tom Robbins

These are three of my favourite quotes about love. I personally have only been truly in love once in my life, but I have loved so many people. It’s a tricky concept that we will never fully understand, and I think that’s why I love these quotes so much, they don’t flat out say “this is love.” They reveal to you an accept of understanding of love, but not the whole thing, we can never understand the whole thing. That’s why these are my favourites, because love is something you can never define. You can explain accepts of it, the sensations, emotions, realizations, but you can never explain what that pull to another person really is. It can take so many forms in so many ways in so many different scenarios.

My little thought for the day. Cheers and keep reading!

Only the Rain


There is no better sound, nothing more soothing to me, than the rain.

It starts slowly, a drip here, a drop there. Tiny overtures foretelling the coming of grander things. It’s as if the skies are tuning their instruments, waiting in anticipation to begin, allowing a whisper to escape. 

But then, all of a sudden it comes down flowing in torrents. The mass of little drops creating the most eloquent of sounds, it’s as if a symphony has begun to play outside my window. There’s even a crescendo that explodes into life, but then the sweet hum of the melody coos and wanes beyond it, slowly overtaking it. The crescendo withers and the soft melody of the percussive droplets blanket the world.  

It’s steady now, a slow beat of the drops, the tune so familiar, like velvet caressing the ears. A chill lingers in the air as the sound dips, drops, and splashes. Soothing but playful, gentle yet crisp, the rain speaks a language that few can hear. There’s an eery delight that fills the air, the same comfort found in a melancholy novel. It’s a tepid sweetness that encases the mind when hearing the pitter patter of raindrops.

A duality emerges from it’s symphonic call. It invites you to either drench yourself in it’s labours, to feel the last touch of the drops as they find their way onto your skin. Or you drawn to cradle yourself in comfort, protected by any means, and merely hear what the rain has to say from a distance, blanket-wrapped and tea in hand.

Their’s a fondness I feel for this ever-common precipitation. It feels like home.

Just a few words on my favourite kind of day. Be good to yourselves.

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Finished the Chapter! On to the next…


I did it, I finished Chapter Four today. I had a lot of new content to pile on in there, a lot of plot asides and tangents that just took themselves away and played out into the next thing. 

I always find it funny how my characters lead me where they need to go. I never really think about it, it’s just the logical progression and man how they take me away! Sometimes I feel as if this world that I’ve “created” I haven’t even created at all, that it exists somewhere already and I’m just picking up the pieces and writing down the story. I had a vague image of the town in which my characters end up in this chapter, but it changed into something completely different as I wrote it. It feels a lot more tangible the way it is now. It’s like when you have this idea of a place you’re going to visit for the first time. You have this expectation, this loose imagine in your head, but when you arrive it’s like nothing you could have imagined. That’s how I feel about the places in my novel. I have this whimsical idea of them when I’m writing the outline, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty description it’s totally different, but I feel that it’s the way it is supposed to be once it’s been written down in its full format.

I feel as if the muses guided my hand a lot this past chapter and I thank them whole heartedly.

The thing I really struggled with most of all today was finding the right music to write to. I have to write to purely instrumental music, preferably stuff from movies I don’t know because otherwise I spend the duration of the song figuring out where it’s from. It also hasto have the right tone to what I’m writing about, otherwise I just lose myself in other thoughts. My absolute favourite website for music while I’m writing is Infinite Tracks. I have a few playlist creators that I follow but I find the majority of the music I listen to on there, be it for writing or just enjoyment.

So, another day of writing down. While, I might be going to work tomorrow I hope to get half a chapter out, if not more. I think the next one might be a shorter one, but I always aim for roughly 7 pages, single spaced.

Alright diligent readers, keep on keepin’ on.

Ps. This is post #100! Woo! Celebrations and what not!

Writing Update.


My dear and devout readers, I know there are few of you but I thought you’d like to know how the novel is going.

It’s slow. I just finally, after the post-university breather have gotten back into my writing. I’ve written a few pages thus far and have already found a few twists that lead me away from the outline – but not entirely so it’s not too bad. I’ve discovered two new characters already that may play a interesting hand in the plot as a series. But! That’s to come later.

Anyhow, I desperately want to finish my first draft before September, so I’m thinking July Nanowrimo is probably a must to achieve my goal. I’d also like to finish one or two major edits and send a few manuscripts off to a few beta readers who would be willing to give me some much needed feed back. Most of these lovely people will be friends of mine.

I’ve also been encouraged by a very successful youtuber (you wont know him unless you’re into hydroponic gardening) that I should start a vlog. Well, I’m not sure I have the right persona for that, or the lighting or the makeup skills. Also, what the hell would I talk about? Books probably. But still, I want it to be about the writing, not about my face! We’ll see though.

So, have I told you about my big trip yet? Well, I’m going to Bali, New Zealand, and Australia this coming fall. I’ll be gone a minimum of eight months and could be gone up to two years (work permitting as I plan to do a working holiday.) I will be blogging my travels right here for you entertainment. Also, I may post a video or two if I’m too exhausted to type. Anyways, if you have an insight, comments, suggestions, or tips for traveling these places pretty please leave me a comment! I would love your knowledge.

Anyways lovelies, that’s what’s going on. If anyone is still interested in reading Chapter two of my novel as I putter along in my writing, let me know and I’ll give it some love and edits and post it.

Cheers, keep reading!