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What stays with you

25 Oct

I was deeply interested in myths, legends and fairytales from a young age. My first love was Norse mythology, but I’ve dabbled in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Japanese, Chinese, Malay and quite a few others. The stories were a little strange, and many of the original ones didn’t even have the happy endings I loved, but I couldn’t stop reading them. Some were macabre and dark; I think one of the reasons horror movies don’t really scare me is because fairy tales are far scarier, and I’ve read so many different types from many different cultures.

There was a strange line from a Scottish folk tale I could not forget, even though I couldn’t even remember the story. I haven’t been able to look it up until I got home and dug up the book.

It goes:

‘Ae gude turn deserves anither,
Tak’ ye that for being sae kind to my auld mither.’

I’m not sure why that, in a language that is almost beyond understanding, still remains in me today. However, if there’s anything I’ve learnt this year, what I’ve learnt is the things that deeply impact you, stay with you, words and images that haunt and remain – those are the roots of the stories. What I see, what stays strongly with me, these have the greatest power to move and form and shape themselves into something else altogether.

There are days and nights I sit and wonder, why write? Why subject myself to a life of uncertainties, rejection and heartache?  Then I realise, the words, the images, the things within me cannot be content until they are released, set down yet free to capture other minds that read them.

And I open my laptop and type yet another page.

Notes (that I can’t be bothered to organise into coherent paragraphs because they don’t fit in anywhere):
1) In case you’re wondering, the Scottish folktale in question is this.
2) I’ll be participating in Nanowrimo (again) this year. I’ve never been able to complete it yet, but I’m feeling optimistic!
3) I’ve also read very few Australian and African myths. I probably should fill up that gap in my knowledge.

Places of interest: Where do you write?

5 Oct

I live in Melbourne, Australia, apparently one of the world’s most liveable cities. It’s won two years in a row despite its amazing weather (even the official government website warns: ‘be prepared for anything‘), hipster culture, obsession with coffee, and did I already mention the weather?

But this isn’t a post about what I love and love to hate about Melbourne so I’ll get to the point.

I tend to write most of my posts in my room. It has no windows, is perpetually messy and could do with more floor space. It’s good enough for blog posts and stories but I’ve never really been able to write good poetry here. I’m an inferior poet at my best times and somehow, whatever I’ve produced in my room … let’s hope they never reach your hands, or I could never face the mockery.

Last semester, when my one and only poetry class required about 200 lines of poetry as part of its final assignment, I took to wandering outdoors. I even considered sitting on the grass outside the beautiful State Library (despite my horror of dampness and assorted critters) but I settled on writing in cafes.

I know a whole slew of you will judge me when I say some of the better writings came when I was sipping some overly sweetened icy blasphemy of a coffee in Starbucks. I also put about 2-3 spoons of sugar into my (hot) coffee almost every time when I get it from more reputable establishments. Now you’ve condemned me to coffee-desecrators’ purgatory.

The two Starbucks I went into were very different despite being only about 5 odd minutes away from each other. One was filled with students feverishly preparing for exams. The other had lots of families going in and out, chatting casually and business people looking all smart in their suits, staying only for short periods of time before dashing off.

Some of the best writings (according to my tutor. I’m not judging them on my own) were written in the lobby of a church. I was sitting there for a good two hours, waiting. Perhaps being in church made me consider mortality and suffering, for two of the pieces that my tutor pronounced as ‘moving’ and ‘well expressed’ came from there.

Two poems were written in a food court where my peace was shattered by a large family. I wrote one angry poem condemning them and then another that might be the best in the collected 200 lines. I don’t know yet.

I bought a tablet so that I didn’t have to lug my computer around (though for poems, I found that actually writing them, with a pen onto paper was the most conducive way for me). Sadly (or thankfully), now that I don’t have to write poetry anymore, I don’t go out to write anymore (I play games on my tablet instead). And I lose a bit of the brilliance, rage and challenge of instantly recording in little snapshots everything around me.

when you were sleeping

5 Oct

Last night I dreamt that I was embroiled in a feud with a classmate I’ve always thought highly of and liked.

I wanted to detail it lovingly and obsessively on my blog but I’ve written before that I’m leery of posting too much of anything because it’s a potential story idea. Of course, another part of me scoffs. Any story I write or produce is going to be polished and edited and changed far from its original concept. I get ideas all the time too, and maybe 2% ever make it into a story, and about only a quarter of that tiny percentage ever gets finished.


See, now with what I’ve posted above, I could go two ways.

I could continue to talk about that dream and how it may be related to similar experiences when I was younger, where I found out people I was fond of or had no particular opinion of felt great distaste for me. I would then dramatically exaggerate the effects of this on me, leading finally to blame all my self esteem issues on those incidents.

On the other hand, I’ve thought of an interesting topic  I’d rather pursue, which is places I write in. I’d rather go with that.

Making the writer

5 Oct

I’m trying now in the height or depth of my sleeplessness to make a writerly self, to force apart the me-me and the writer-me.

The awareness that the two are getting too close, that I will soon be cut a little too deep, is pushing me.

I need to separate them. Maybe even create more than one persona, to find different voices, to become different.

I need more barriers between them, more screens to hide and to shield and to build layer upon layer upon layer to differentiate what is within.

If not… maybe one day I won’t be able to live with myself or what I’ve become.

Discard then discard then discard again

5 Oct

I think over the life of this blog, many posts have been written and instantly discarded because I don’t have the courage or inclination to allow the world to see my real thoughts.

Dare I suggest that everything on here is a construct of a fabricated persona, a carefully constructed front to hide the real me from the world?

Then again, is there really realme ?

No matter where I write, deep down I’m always fully conscious that someday the words might reach the eyes of another.
I’m some times even made hyperaware that what I think is a result of my upbringing. Society. Careful manipulation by certain parties when I was younger and even now. Influences. Expectations of others around me.



I’m rather sick of writing all the “I” “me” “I” “me” but I’m reluctant to put anything else down because..

Narcissism. Memememe.

Peter Galen Massey

Haiku, Book Reviews, Commentary & The Occasional Nonsense


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