Arthur Penn vs the World! … Or Maybe Just My Blog

Arthur Penn vs the World! … Or Maybe Just My Blog

It’s that time of the year again when most of us wake up feeling a lot like Rambo. You know, that indestructible feeling you get when you literally hop out of bed and shout, “Bring it on, world! Take yer best shot!”, then make a mad dash for the bathroom, where, you will look at yourself in the mirror (after you’ve emptied your bladder, of course, because that’s why you had to run to the bathroom in the first place), square your shoulders, and recite the New Year’s Litany:

2015 is going to be MY year.

This year WILL be different.

This year, I will …

This year, I won’t …

When you’re done with your little recital, you’ll feel obligated to make the commitment official. You will run out of the bathroom (again) and head back to your room, where you’ll fish out your tiny red notebook from the drawer where you dumped all your college books after you graduated. You’ll grab a pen and before you start writing anything on your notebook, you’ll rummage through your closet looking for a vest and cargo pants,  put them on, then look for shoe polish, which you will proceed to smear all over your face (or maybe, just your cheeks). Now that you’ve got your pen in hand and your Rambo look complete, you’re ready to begin:


1. To slay the beast.

I think that it’s important to remind yourself why you write. It’s what keeps you going even when you think that what you’re writing feels like crap. I used to have that reason, that driving force, which pushed me want to write, but over the last few months I forgot about it. I didn’t remind myself often enough why I write. The self-doubt got to me, and I became crippled in a way…

So I want to change that. I know that it won’t be easy, and that some of my reasons may not be as noble as most people’s, but at least they are mine.

I write because I like to wonder.

And I write because it’s fun.

I write to lose myself,

 And I write to find myself.

But most of all,

I write because, my life would be incomplete –

If I just … stopped.

2. To get on with it.

I have to admit that I am a perfectionist. I spend too much time thinking about how I’m going to say what I want to say, instead of just saying it. I over-think things, which means that I don’t allow myself to make mistakes. But mistakes are important; they are the growing pains you experience as you improve your writing, and I have to learn to be okay with those mistakes. I need to let go of the worry and actually write something, instead of spending what sometimes feels like an eternity thinking about whether I should have started with this resolution instead of the first one.

3. To take the road less travelled.

I think it’s important to keep pushing yourself to explore unfamiliar territory; to try something new every so often. So I’ve decided that this year will most likely be a year of firsts: first attempt at writing (halfway/minutely) decent poetry, first attempt at writing something with less than 500 words, and maybe, just maybe, a first attempt at writing a romantic story (the one thing I’m not looking forward to doing).

4. To take up tree hugging.

I love blogging. I love coming here every day to silently stalk my favourite bloggers. I love being able to meet (or watch from a distance) all these fantastic people I’d never have the chance to interact with in my physical world. Sometimes it feels like walking into a crowded room full of people you’ve never met before and being swallowed up by hugs. It’s probably one of the best feelings in the world, and I’d like to keep on doing this forever (or more realistically, until I run out of ideas).

5. To shed some skin.

I want to write about goats about as much as I want to write about the secret, extraordinary lives of garden variety slugs. However, to do that, I’d first have to move things around a bit and change this tiny corner of the internet known as my blog. To be honest, I don’t know how much things will change (or not change), but I hope that I’ll be able to figure things out this year as I go along.

Now that you’ve made the commitment official, you can rest easy knowing that this will haunt you for the rest of this year. But, on the bright side, your scoreboard looks something like this:

I know, my drawing suck...
Remember when I said that I wanted to experiment more?

Oh, and by the way … while walking around with shoe polish on your face may be all the rage this season, it might be a good idea not to leave it there for too long – I, er, forgot to tell you about its possible side-effects.

Image credit: Simpson’s Rambo 


“To All My Facebook Friends” (2)

I found an awesome poem today!

My Life As An Aspiring Software Engineer

We could unplug ourselves
Off Facebook
And start writing
In journals.
We could write
Each other letters
And make frequent trips
To the post office.
It will take too much of our time,
Of course, but our correspondence
Will be longer
And the pleasure of conversing
Will be drawn out.
Anyway, a conversation
Via social media
Mediated by computer monitors
And profile photos
Isn’t really much of a
Conversation, is it?
Anyway, I want to see your
Handwriting, feel the strokes
Of your pen with my fingers,
And smell the ink and paper.
You don’t have to write and sound
Like Jane Austen, although that would
Be great, as well.
You can write like a cardiologist,
I wouldn’t mind.
There are nuances in our handwriting,
You know.
We could lie on roof tops
And gaze at the distant galaxies
And talk about our dreams.
We could…

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Creativity Is …

Creativity Is …

Being able to write a 1,148 word short story about a passive-aggressive cat-fight with an imaginary best friend over the last copy of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl at the bookstore.

Now breathe … and let me start from the beginning:

It’s hard to imagine how a simple Daily Post prompt can turn into a huge problem. (Okay, maybe not a huge problem, but it was still a problem.) Last week’s prompt was so simple, even a five-year old could do it. So, why was it so difficult?

It wasn’t. It was fun, and I was having so much fun that I kept on going. Who knew that talking about your imaginary friend could get your creative juices flowing? It felt like being hit suddenly with a bolt of lightning, I couldn’t stop writing. I started right from the beginning: explaining how my imaginary friend came to be, what she liked doing (hitching a ride in a kangaroo’s pouch), the kind of parents she had, and her favourite food (lasagna). It felt, good. I, was on a roll.

Then came the reality check, when you realize that you hadn’t thought everything through. There was still one problem: how would I meet this long-lost imaginary friend?

The bolt struck again.

Like a mad scientist, I set to work sewing in scenes and filling my tale with snippets of dialogue. I was firmly in the grip of mad hysteria; fleeting and incoherent thoughts jostled for space inside my head, while each new word sent a welcome shiver racing down my spine. With all the commotion that was going on, I didn’t notice that something else was happening in the background …

“More power, Igor!” yelled the Mad Writer.

A face crisscrossed with large, unsightly stitches, which seemed to have been made by a reckless tailor, appeared from behind a row of machines stacked in a far corner of the room.

“But thur,” said Igor, looking at the power gauge in front of him. “We’re already at theventy-perthent full power. More would be – “

The Mad Writer cut him off. “What did I say about questioning my orders, Igor?”

Igor held his tongue and turned his gaze towards the small helpless figure pinned to a granite slab in the middle of the room. It was squirming uselessly against the leather straps, in an effort to free itself. It’s no use, he wanted to say, those straps could have easily held down a troll. In Igor’s opinion, there was nothing worse than a mad writer. Sure, he’d worked for a couple of mad scientists with questionable morals in the past, but they were nothing compared to his current employer. Mad scientists were simply misunderstood –usually by an angry mob wielding torches and pitchforks – when all they wanted, was to create something for the greater benefit of humanity. Mad writers were a much crazier kettle of fish all together; they created things, sometimes terrible things, and they enjoyed it. That was what bothered him most: they took pleasure in what they created.


“Right away, thur.”

He disappeared once more behind the machines and made his way to the far wall, careful to avoid stepping on any of the live wires that lay on the floor. This part of the room was covered in darkness, so he had to feel his way along the wall until his fingers rested on the cold metal of the lever. He took a deep breath as he slowly eased it down.

Igor took a step back and made his way back to safety behind the row of machines. He wouldn’t risk getting any closer, after all, his previous experience had taught him that this was usually not an appropriate time to be curious. It was a survival tactic, one that he’d gotten very good at over the years.

He could hear the Mad Writer cry out triumphantly. “Igor, it’s working!”

The lights flickered, as shadows danced along the walls. Four large glass orbs supported on ten foot tall posts, which had been positioned around the slab, glowed white-hot with the energy of about three thousand lightning bolts. The machines hissed loudly beside him while the dials flashed red in warning. A shrill inhuman cry came from the figure, before the whole room abruptly plunged  into darkness.



This was odd. Past experience had also taught him that this was typically the part where lightning flashed long enough to illuminate whatever horror that lay on the slab, as it broke free from the straps. But there was no lightning, thanks to the fact that they were in a room without windows, which made Igor more nervous. It was much better to die once knowing what would happen to you, than to die hundreds of times trying to imagine what would happen to you.

“Marthter?” he called out again, this time the panic in his voice was unmistakable.

Still nothing.

He had to find the door, something wasn’t right. It was hard to make anything out in the impenetrable gloom, so he crouched down on all fours and started shuffling forward.

Grrr …

He paused. “Marthter? Ith that you?”

Grrr …

He froze. Whatever it was, it had quietly padded its way behind him. Igor gave a whimper as turned around to face the creature … 

You see, while I was busy enjoying myself, I hadn’t realized that my main character had gone through a drastic change over the course of the tale. My (somewhat) sweet and innocent nine-year old had turned into a monster, and I was left scratching my head to find answers to some really important questions. At what point did my main character change? When did the sweet kangaroo-pouch-riding and lasagna-loving nine year-old, turn into – and I really hate to say this – a bitch? This wasn’t the story I’d envisioned from the beginning, that is, if there ever was a grand vision at all.

Do you know what the worst part about this sudden turn of events was? It felt good being in this genuinely unlikable character’s head. It was almost how, I imagine, Goldilocks felt when she broke into the Three Bears’ home and found the last bed to be just right. But this was better than just right, this was great! I could have gone on forever.

I didn’t … No, I couldn’t go on.

Maybe it was the euphoria, the mad rush to finish my story, which finally led me to this point. I had quite literally, lost the plot. Not only did my ‘bitch’ have no teeth, since she had no idea how to get the book away from her imaginary friend; but the book itself had slowly been edging its way past the cashier’s till to freedom, when no one was looking. I had forgotten about Gone Girl – my raison d’etre for making up this story – and, I had no clue how to continue from where I left off. I was stuck with one more half-finished writing project with no idea where to go next. (I happen to have a lot of these on my computer.) So, I did what everyone else has probably done on countless occasions – I closed the document and sent it to my ever-growing pile of unfinished projects. (It’s not something I’m proud of.)

So, what’s the point of this pointless post?

I need a word-clipper, something to keep me from rambling. I wonder if there’s an app for that. Also, can I have it specially made for me? And, I’m welcome to any suggestions on how to end my story. It’s probably cheating, but who cares, right?

Image credit: Creativity by jeanbaptisteparis, via Flickr.



The Evil Queen and the Huntsman

The Evil Queen and the Huntsman

If I had a chance to spend a day in my favorite movie, I probably wouldn’t do it. I think I would ruin it.

In my opinion, there’s something wrong about taking a trip in your favorite movie. I love Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’. I think it’s probably one of the most puzzling, complex and definitely 100% original movie I’ve ever watched to date. I’ve never been able to tell when the dream, started, where it ends and whose dream it was in the first place. Really complex. ( Or maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention.) The movie is already complicated enough as it is without having to watch someone – a complete idiot in glasses – bungling through the entire movie. It’s like dumping Charlie Chaplin in the Inception.

I love the Lord of the Rings Trilogy movies. If I could spend a day in the movies I’d want to be one of the Black Riders. Yes, they drown at some point, but I thought they looked positively sinister. And, I’d get to do the scene where they’re entering  Frodo’s room at The Prancing Pony and stabbing pillows. They didn’t get their hobbit, but it’s one of the best scenes in the entire movie. Also, I’d probably spend most of my time exploring Gondor.

The Ring has to be one of the best ever horror movie that came out of Hollywood. I spent the whole night after watching the movie picturing Samara standing at the foot of my bed;  lying beneath my bed, or hiding just beyond sight in some corner of my room. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep at all at night for a whole week! So would I willingly spend a day in ‘The Ring’? … Definitely not!

And lastly, I know this wasn’t part of the challenge, but I’d want to spend one day in Snow White and the Huntsman. Not because I liked it – I hated it – but because I thought I’d been hoodwinked! The movie wasn’t supposed to be about the Evil Queen, but she managed to steal the show single handed (applause). I loved the Queen. She had a certain depth of character which Snow lacked. So if I could spend a day in that movie I would: kidnap Snow, lock her up in some long abandoned castle tower (get some dragons to guard it – just for good measure – we wouldn’t want any princes getting ideas into their heads), leave the movie and change its name to ‘The Evil Queen and the Huntsman’.

Mission accomplished!

Response to Daily Post Challenge: Fourth Wall