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Freewrite, not Freebird. September 10, 2014

Posted by phoenixaeon in Children's Literature, MA, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, Tempus fujit stupidus, Time to recruit the word beavers, writing.
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I am trying. I swear I am. I am really trying to hoof my Muse into action. And freewrites suck. So bad.

 

At the moment, I am reluctantly engaged in working out my flow problems. You see, my writing ability is about as able as my walking ability. Which is to say, not so able. My writing appears to imitate the few jittery jolting steps I am able to take during the day. Stop. Start. Stop. Start. Concentrate to place a foot/word in the right place so I don’t fall over. Make sure the hips/sentences are stable enough not to need some sort of edit to stay upright. It’s not fun. And it is all the wrong headspace, especially when all of the writing manuals keep telling me to go out for a walk. I bloody can’t go out for a walk! And going for a roll (because obviously I can’t stroll) takes so much planning and dependence on other people that it’s just not worth the hassle. The logistics of writing are against me from the get go.

 

So here I am. Computer on lap – because I don’t have a desk – static and locked up. Maybe I should use that as a starting point for a story, and maybe I will at some point, but right now I need to work through my inability to write through the inner critic. I need to impale the bugger on a lance of lexical confusion to shut it up for 15 minutes of quiet writing time. Sometimes, writing an essay with all the analytical jargon is that much easier for the WTF-is-she-going-on-about that it can create in the mind. I used to read essay stuff out to my Mum and she’d stare at me with glassy eyes and her mouth would be set somewhere between a smile and an Elvis Presley impersonation, and I knew I’d hit the technical mumbo jumbo just right. But writing fiction? It only creates chaos in my head thanks to my feelings of creative inadequacy. Hmph!

 

And now I will apologise to anyone reading this. Sorry for flumping my inner critical vomit into your eyespace and invading your brain with wah wah wah. Yes. I hear you. I’ll bugger off and just get on with it and stop moaning. Yes. I know I can’t write if I’m not actually writing. No. I can’t promise I won’t wah wah wah all over my blog about bouncing off the rubber walls of I-can’t-write again. And yes. I am off to try and break the inner critic’s camel-like back with a house made of words, with a lovely musical interlude.

 

Spam, spam, spam, spam… December 7, 2012

Posted by phoenixaeon in General rubbish, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, On Writing, Time to recruit the word beavers, Wordiness clouds, writing.
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Spam comments. Who needs ’em? Apparently, I do.

So, every now and then, I think “Let’s have a looksee, see if there’s been any spam that’s actually quality commentage.” The answer is almost always a resounding clang of NO, so I shufty off to see what else is happening in ‘netland, or crawl into the cavernous tunnels of Academia. But the other day a gleaming jewel caught my eye, and while the comment was still firmly located in Spamania it held a disheartening acorn of truth:

Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

To whoever opened such a blindingly observant can of cured wormmeat – YOU’RE NOT WRONG! I know I am on the dark side of the magical lexical moon, but I am trying to find the meaning of creativity (as has been mentioned in previous posts)! It is proving to be an elusive beast, more so than the Jabberwock or even Jar Jar Binks (much to the disapproving stares at the LEGO advent calendar he was so rudely puked out from!), but I am hoping that I am making ground on this cur to my blogging prowess.

Unlike Odin, I have yet to poke my eye out in the attempt to find wisdom, though this may happen at some point with a misplaced thinking pen, but the everyday depths of creativity are once again making themselves known to me. I plan to be free of my prison of ineptitude in the forthcoming months, so please bear with me in these dark times of inelegant expression.

I hope that for the moment this has slaked your thirst, sated your hunger, for voluminous verbosity.

Fear is the little death. September 1, 2011

Posted by phoenixaeon in Born of frustration, Damn you evil inner critic I will soon show you my mettle, If I could sit down and just write I might get somewhere, lost words, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, writing.
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Writing. I don’t do so much at the moment. I haven’t done so much in about two years. The last year or so on the blog is testament to that. Not only in the frequency of posts, but in the quality too. I have lost my lexicological botanic garden. Words no longer flourish at the tips of my cyber or mechanical fingers. To put a cliche to it, the well is dry. And the reason? The little death in the title.

“Too much fear and all you’ll get is silence.” (A L Kennedy, Ten Rules for Writing Fiction, The Guardian.)

Ain’t that the truth! I made a comment the other day about having low self confidence when it comes to putting words on paper. Now, while I think that is partially true, I also know it is because I have a fear of failure. So to stop that fear, why start? It’s like that with the blog. The longer I’ve stayed away, the harder I’ve found it to press publish – even to start a new post. At the last count, I have 29 unfinished drafts of posts I had intended to publish, but I ended up losing my nerve or simply thinking ‘Why would anyone want to read this rubbish?’ So my doubt stayed my hand. I’ve even thought about closing the blog down, as it’s become evidence of my mental self-neglect. Looking at it makes it feel like some elaborate torture device, mocking me in shades of words once known. So much for the ‘Once there were dragons’ thing at the top of the blog. Now the words are gone, too. Well, all but the academic.

 

So, what to do? I still don’t feel confident enough to start again, despite this post. My flight feathers are still in mourning, crying for the warming rays of the sun. Maybe I should just continue to test the waters by trying to post more regularly here. It might not be the writing I am aiming for, but it could be the means to an end. Or a beginning. A slow therapy to reinstate the visual voice.

 

Whatever it could be, it’s time to press publish…

Enter title here March 25, 2011

Posted by phoenixaeon in A210, General rubbish, Memory of a goldfish, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, OU, The evil curs Writers Block and Low Selfconfidence attack.
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Yeah, couldn’t think of a title. My creative brain has dried up. Hmph! Think I need to work on that. Getting some creativity going might lift me out of my current funk.

 

As for that – the dark cloud is still hanging around, but it’s slowly but surely raining itself out. I think it’s partly helped through the finding of little drawings Princi has done, such as this one. I’m wondering if the choice of colour is symbolic of my mood of late as she only drew this picture two days ago. Still, it made me smile. And with that number of hearts I think I’d give a Time Lord a run for his money. Though surely I should be able to phase through time and dimensions in space with no ill effects if I am burdened so with hearts? If so, that could prove useful…

 

I think part of the reason I am feeling so blah might be due to preemptive exam panic. I have two more essays to get through for my current OU course – one of which I have to complete or I’ll automatically fail the course (it’s not like I’ve ever wimped out on an essay, just in case you’re wondering) – before the exam in June. I hate exams, I never seem to do well in them, so I pile all sorts of unnecessary pressure on myself in the run up. I suppose the fact that I will be doing the exam at home should take some pressure off, it’s a comfortable and familiar location after all, but I seem to find that I’ll look at an exam question and any knowledge I have will fly out of the window. That’s not good considering the window abundance here. It doesn’t matter how much revision/preparation/staring blankly at the books I do, my memory crawls into a tiny space and pees itself. Hence pressure, hence lack of confidence, hence blahness. Hence GRRR!

 

Any suggestions for kicking my exam phobia will be gratefully appreciated. I am hoping to be a happier me in mid June, when I have none of this to worry about. But any scraps to quell the demon in the meantime…

 

 

My brain needs a spam filter. July 6, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Mindless rambling that you could do without!, Oh no Im stuck again, The evil curs Writers Block and Low Selfconfidence attack.
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So. I moaned the other day about not being able to write creatively. At the moment I’m still quagging through the mire, but I think at least I’m moving forwards. Despite my despise for freewrites, that is what I’m using to free up some brain space. A freewrite first thing in the morning for ten minutes to clear out the dust bunnies. I am hoping that I’ll break through soon. But have a look – typos and all – at what I’m having to contend with. (Turn away now if you’re literally squeamish, it’s not pretty.)

Extreme said it best – If you don’t like what you see here, get the funk out. in such a funk, it’s driving me mad. Need to unlock but my bran is squished and mushed  and it doesn’t helpo that the computer keeps stalling. I’m supposed to be writing stream of consciousness but I can’t free myself enough, it just ticks along, thinking in full unbroken sentences. Can stream of consciousness be full? Does it have to be broken, like me? The washing machine is soo noisy, buzzing away like an angry wasp at a water park, I suppose I should be glad it’s not on it’s spin cycle, it souunds like a spaceship with a broken warp engine then. See, I’d just started to write something then and deleted it like a cyberman because it started with a but. I can’t use too many buts because it’ll sound repeptitive, but hey ho. More buts. I like big butts and I cannot lie… blah blah bah. Keep wrriting, don’t stop, if you stop you;; get stuck again. In mud, in syrup. lightly dusted. ah, is this the stream of consciousness floating in now? Like the strange dream where I was trying to be a stand up comedienne only to start the act with, hi, I’m Lexy, and I’m a vampire. If you’re gonna laugh at that, you’re not going to get home alive. or something of that like. stupid. that’s me. not like Forest Gump,m I’m not stuid is what stupid does. In the dream I was walking. but I wobble. And not like a weeble. I wobble and I do fall down.  I wonder if any of this rubbish would be good enough to start something with. Maybe I’ll do something with the first ever freewrite I tried. People seemed to like that. Said it was a bit like Pratchett. Sorry, but I’ve never read Pretchett, could never get into his books. Yes, call me a heathen if you want. I know what I like and I didn’t like them. I so wanted to like DEath and Binky. They were the reasons I tried to read Pratchett. But no. Just could’t get into it. And I’ve stalled to think again. that’s no good, is it. staling to theink. obviously theres a sinkhole in my stream, where all the words get sucked down never to be seen again. crap! What to do. there’;s no good  ideas in theis jumble of mumble. Grrr!

Yes, I know it doesn’t look much for ten minutes, but my train of though died. This is why I’m writing this rubbish, to get my head back into writing. Maybe a few strange dreams is what I need to unlock some creative magic, but even they have been few and far between of late. Reading and writing. I need to do more of them!

I will break through this writer’s block.

Damn you, evil writer's block! Try my tiger fist on for style!

Reality setting in. January 27, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Bendy beds and springy seats are supposed to be good for the health, Building work, Mindless rambling that you could do without!.
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This time tomorrow, if all goes well, the kitchen will be almost finished. The fitters are scheduled to arrive in the morning to fit the units, and the plumber and electrician will be here as well to begin the push to finish off their last few jobs. Then all that’s left to do is decorate. Not so yay to the standard magnolia finish. I shall have to do something about that. However, this means that the move downstairs is floating on the horizon like a pirate ship full of false gold.

Why do I say false gold? Simple. Although the move downstairs will make life easier for me, it comes with the disclaimer of never being able to go upstairs again and therefore a suitcase of broken dreams. Dreams such as decorating the little room for Princi, so she can finally have her own room. I won’t be able to – and this is a strange dream, but so part of parenthood – tidy her bedroom with her. I will no longer be able to put Princi to bed, or sit on the side of her bed (something I’ve never been able to do as she is still using the cotbed) and read her a story (she has either lain in her own bed, or cuddled up next to me on mine). I know these dreams sound silly and little, but not being able to do other things for her, like take her to school or the park – things Grandand does with her – means I need these moments to feel like I’m not failing her.

I know it’s a necessary evil to be downstairs – particularly because I can get aan adjustable bed, something that will help my Skidaddles as he won’t need to lift me half as much – but it makes me sad that I’m not going to be able to do the things a Mum should be able to do for her daughter. Hopefully, the fact that we can finally get a dining table will aid in mending some of those woes. We’ve never sat around a dinner table together at home because of lack of space. But now we’ll have that space. Maybe it’ll even encourage Princi to eat her food properly, rather than her taking over an hour (usually) to eat her dinner. And that’s when she’ll eat.

Ho hum. Grin and bear it. I’ll have to.

Oh. Just ignore me. I think I may be feeling a little sorry for myself.

Liquid sticks to things that never should be seen by anyone. September 27, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in LGMD, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, Superhero me.
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<Apologies>< Ranting>

Do you know what I hate about being disabled? No, it’s not the lack of mobility and having to use a wheelchair. That is a necessary, and sometimes petrifying, evil. It’s not even the lack of control when I need help with moving said wheelchair.

What really irks me is the way people talk to you.

I am not stupid, I am in a wheelchair. I am not deaf, I am in a wheelchair. I am not useless, I am in a wheelchair. But it doesn’t matter, because I am in a wheelchair.

People think that you can’t make decisions. They think that you can’t comprehend simple conversations, let alone something as complex as how a muscle works, or Mendelian genetics. I am a result of stupid Mendelian hybridisation! I was a pea in a pod that opted for the r-r choice and that is why I am a product of a one in four chance genetic mutation. So there. And yes. I am a mutant, just in case you didn’t catch that the first time round. Stan Lee didn’t invent me. I’d be a pretty useless superhero.

And it doesn’t end there. I really hate the way people speak to me. Sometimes I’m just not there. Sometimes they look at my boobs – well, they’re looking at where my boobs would be if I were a ‘normal person’ who could support myself on my own two legs. And then there are the others who look at me as if I’m an abomination while speaking to the person who is helping me that day. You can see the pity in their face as they ‘sympathise’ with my helper. And they think I’m the wrong one!

What’s made me feel all irksome at the moment, you may ask. Well, it’s the ignorance of people who are supposedly there to help me and their inability to listen.

I’ve been having physio over the past few weeks. I cancelled the session I was meant to have this week because the physiotherapist did not listen to what I had told her, because obviously I don’t know what my body can and can’t manage. She’s the physio, she’d know. The problem with this, I have found, is that she doesn’t actually know how my condition affects me. She even admitted to such a claim, saying that she wanted to bring a colleague with her who know more about muscular dystrophy. Great. So what didn’t she listen to? She asked me how I got up from the bed, so I told her. I explained that when I couldn’t get up on my own I needed to be picked up. She asked how I was picked up, and then asked if there was any other way to pick me up. I explained that we had tried various ways, and how in certain positions – particularly one person either side of me trying to pick me up by having me put my arms around their shoulders – I was likely to be injured because I haven’t the strength around my hips to support my weight while waiting for my legs to work, resulting in my shoulders being almost pulled out of the socketswhile I try to hold myself up. But no, this wasn’t good enough. She took it upon herself to tell me that I was wrong and that she was confident that her and her colleague would be able to get me up. Grrr! Now, if I’d have let them try (by the way, they are both smaller than me heightwise, something else that would cause problems) I fear I would have ended up on the floor. After all, they would first have to pick me up from the stair lift so that I could get into the bedroom. I could only see a disaster happening.

It really makes me angry when people don’t listen. It’s not that I don’t have faith in their ability, it’s that I know my body would fail me. So, when this miraculous technique they have didn’t work and I injured them while falling to the floor, then I would be in breach of health and safety laws. I know this because I have been told before by healthcare professionals that they are not allowed to pick me up in the way I need due to possible injury to their backs. So I’m in a no win situation. I just wish that they’d listen. I know what I’m talking about because it is my body and my ability or lack of.

I know they are trying to help me. I feel bad for feeling angry. But they need to listen and not decide that they know better. I know what I can and can’t do, that’s why you’ll never see me on a skateboard. Or BASE jumping. Even though I’d love to try BASE jumping. Off Niagra Falls. Oh yeah! But that is just an impossible dream. As is people listening to me, apparently.

So, the cancelled appointment has been rescheduled for Wednesday. And they still want to go through with the picking me up thing, so I shall let them. My brother is off work that day and he has said that he will come around and save me if I need it. I really don’t want to do it, but if I need to prove them wrong, well, I shall. And I am hoping that I will be pleasantly surprised and that they will prove me wrong. I would seriously love that to happen. Really. But at the moment that hope is little more than a bedbug nestling between sheets of doubt.

Roll on Wednesday.

</Ranting></Apologies>

TV just isn’t the same anymore. May 13, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in BtVS, Mindless rambling that you could do without!, Supernatural, TV.
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[I apologise in advance for this rambling post, but I had to get it off my mind!]

OK, the post title is a sweeping statement, but it’s how I feel. A good thing, I suppose, seeing as I want to spend time writing and studying. But really, I seem to have lost a lot of the psychological attachment I used to share with the gogglebox in the corner. (Well, that is when Doctor Who isn’t concerned, but that’s a link back to childhood and something I share with Princi.)

I was thinking about this earlier while getting Princi off to sleep. There’s not much else to do but ponder insignificant things while playing Queens of the Stone Age to get your daughter off to sleep (she asked for it, before you say anything). I think I may have mentioned the obsessive compulsive nature of my viewing habits regarding a certain programme called Supernatural recently. While I have enjoyed zoning out in front of the computer (bigger screen than the portable DVD player by half), I find that I cannot remember much of any of the episodes. I can remember an outtake fully, because it made me laugh (see below). But the rest? Meh! Gone.

Now shows like Buffy/Angel, Star Trek: TNG, X-Files, they had me captivated. I’d cue the video recorder every week, despite avidly watching the show, just so I could have mega video fests when the mood took. And now, looking at that little list, I realise that I began watching  X-Files in the second series and Buffy in the third series – and boy, did I fight ever wanting to watch that programme! I was of the school of thought that protested against films being remade into series, claiming that the series could in no way compare to the film. Was I wrong! I had the biggest psychological attachment to Buffy – I could not miss an episode, and I even had a friend record it for me while I was away at university. I can remember the exact episode that reeled me in. It was the first episode of season 3, ‘Anne‘. It was just one line that hooked me, spoken by the bad guy near the end of the episode:

You’ve got guts. I think I’d like to slice you open and play with them.

It made me laugh so much that I had to tune in every week after that. And so grew my Buffy addiction. So, although I have hungrily consumed Supernatural via a quick DVD fix, it pales in comparison to that excitement of  watching Buffy. But I wonder now, was that because I was part of such a large social circle with Buffy? It was a shared experience: my friends watched it, we joined an online Buffy forum, there were special meets (called Nos nights) every month in London to watch two or three of the new episodes that were yet to be aired in the UK. It was a huge Buffy lovefest. Even now, I’ll still watch an episode of Buffy now if it happens to be on while I’m flicking through the channels in a moment of boredom or assignment avoidance.

Watching Supernatural has been a solitary experience (apart from three episodes I watched with my sis the other day). Just something to do to pass the time, or to avoid writing stuff for the OU course. I may have wanted to get to the next episode to see what would happen next, but the show hasn’t had as much of an impact on me. I have favourite episodes of Buffy, but I don’t for Supernatural. Likewise, there are episodes of Buffy I could do without watching again, but I can’t say that for Supernatural. I can’t remember them to pass a solid judgement on them!

Is this forgetfulness due to TV shows becoming so bland and/or repetitive that things just don’t seem to stick, or that there are so many programmes bartering for viewers that they end up run of the mill productions that people couldn’t care less for? Maybe it’s just that I want to be writing these stories rather than watching other peeps take on them? Or it could just be that I’m no longer enthralled with the TV as I was when I was younger? After all, priorities change and all that. Whatever it is, I hope that I find something that sparks my interest again, something that I can get excited about (and that doesn’t get cancelled in the middle of a season). I need a way to escape other than books – besides, it’s so much easier to fall asleep during a TV programme than in the middle of a book!