Tag Archives: thinking about writing

To have an opinion

18 Jan

I’ve written and deleted many posts over the past few months and wondered at my inability to generate anything interesting. After some reflection, I realised my problem was that I didn’t have any opinions to call my own.

Thanks to the abundance of reviews, forums, comments and the like, I’m finding it very difficult to believe in my own originality. Of course, it is rare for a person to have completely original ideas, but in the past, you could at least half-believe that you were alone in thinking something. Such comforting self-deception is no longer viable today. It is starting to feel as if everything to be said about something already has been said, with varying degrees of eloquence and it’s hardly difficult to find.

After realising that, rather than be paralysed, I decided to be free. Yes, there may be innumerable others with the same thoughts and feelings that I have, but this blog is my own space for me to express my own thoughts as best as I can – or choose to. It’s not how my future posts will be but it’s a start.

For my first opinion to kick things off, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an endearing and fun adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that has been modernised but remains true to its roots. The vlog format is fresh and entertaining, the cast are perfect for their roles and the use of social media (tumblr. & Twitter especially) is innovative and this is the only version of Lydia that I actually like or can sympathise with.  If you have ever kinda liked the book or any of the other adaptations (delectable Colin Firth in the BBC1995!), I would definitely recommend it!

(Click start from the beginning after you hit the link above. And be prepared to lose many MANY hours of your life :X)

You only need to watch Lizzie’s videos, but the experiences is greatly enhanced by all the other social media (Lydia’s videos, Maria’s videos and again, I say, TWITTER AND TUMBLR!)

the LBD

Photoset of cast (missing Allison Paige), by the Meryton.

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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.

Events and moments

13 Oct

I think writing, like photography, is perfect for capturing moments, and it is through the capturing of such moments that I can bring an event to life for the reader.

For instance, I recently attended my cousin’s wedding. I could say that it was in such-and-such a church, that about one hundred people attended, that the bride was beautiful and the groom was happy.

But just a description doesn’t bring it to life. Instead I remember moments.

I was with the bride as she was dressing up. The dress had to be pulled on, so she sat down, legs waving in the air as four of us tugged and pulled the puffy skirt up her waist and finally zipped it up (with some difficulty).

She almost sat straight onto her bridal bouquet of purple tulips as we were dressing her, drawing loud shrieks of consternation from everyone in the room.

The bride was meant to pin the corsages onto her family, but after too many failed attempts by the bride and everyone else, the photographer put down her camera and finished it in minutes, finally telling the bride :

‘I’ll take pretend photos of you pinning them on later.’

In the church, as we waited for the bride, I sat with the bride’s little brother and helped him write a congratulatory speech for his sister.

The groom cried as the bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father.

The pastor marrying them had known them both almost all their lives, and he was almost as delighted as the respective parents to see them married.

The bride’s mother hesitated slightly before voicing her consent to give away her daughter.

During his heartfelt self-written vows, the groom declared that he would endeavour to keep their marriage bed active into their 50’s. Amidst the general amusement of the attendees, the bride asked, ‘Only fifties?’, eliciting more laughter.

That was the sort of wedding I attended, and it was funny, warm and beautiful all at the same time.

Congratulations cousin! I wish you all happiness. It was a privilege and joy to share a tiny part of your wedding moments.
(and I also hope you will never read this for too many reasons. I’m tempted not to post it, but I hope you’ll forgive me for going ahead.)

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.

Peter Galen Massey

Haiku, Book Reviews, Commentary & The Occasional Nonsense

bottledworder

easy reading is damn hard writing

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