Saturday, 28 January 2012

Now don't you worry about tomorrow, let tomorrow come and go

Sitting at my desk in my pyjamas on a Saturday morning, cold because mum insists on my windows being open to air the room, hungry because my weekend eating habits are diabolical, with a blank document open before me is becoming a too common occurrence. The thought of working later stops any motivation for morning productivity and so instead I spend the time wondering why I'm always so ridiculously tired after a 10 hour sleep, and mentally scanning our fridge for salad cream and ham.

Woe me, woe me, I'm earning good money with lovely people at a brilliant place during perfect hours. I have food I like just down the stairs, an open window with a gorgeous view of euphoric birds, and the opportunity to create a good piece of writing on a laptop.

Silly, really.

A friend was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this week. She doesn't have any of the above now, does she? 

I was thinking earlier about how mental it is that I was once the fastest sperm out of millions. 10 out of 10 for effort there. Then I thought about how Nicole was too, but her body decided to go out of control and obviously didn't take the fastest sperm bit into account.  Think before you act, bodies, for heaven's sake. Not really much of a trophy, is it? 

I saw Nicole last week in my Psychology exam. She was ill, had been for weeks, but sat the exam regardless like the determined girl she is. A bucket next to her desk sat untouched; she was fine. We were all fine until Tuesday's spontaneous assembly in the common room. Actually, we were more than fine because it meant we didn't have to move to form. A* for supplying us with ironic fuel for laziness. God, the change in the room when he told us about Nicole, though, was phenomenal. Not even her best friends knew because she was only diagnosed the night before. You know significance when the big boys who show complete apathy have expressions you never thought possible on their faces. There was a unanimous non-spoken thought in the room at that moment; that it was happening again. Our year lost a friend to this biter just over a year ago and it's fucking come back for more, the twat. It's got some nerve. 

They caught it early though. She's started treatment already and bloody hell the positivity that runs through her, and 'fuck it let's just get on with it' attitude she has is astoundingly admirable. I'm not worried. She'll be fine. I'm just angry. It's not fair. Nicole and I were going to do the same course in Cardiff, and now this fucker stranded her around medical equipment. That girl has so much potential and I cannot wait to see her kick this in the face and tell it to get stuffed, so she can prove that potential. And she will. 

She's more worried about her friends, bless her. Her best friends are taking it hard and though I hate 'real life' people reading this blog, I really hope they're reading this because they need it. They need to know that Nicole needs them to carry on with their lives and be amazing. She's doing just that, but with an added burden  that can be brushed off in time. The more shit and down you feel, the more Loser Lumpy too-Lazy-to-do-something-nice-for-once Leukemia is going to win. There's nothing you can do but be the best friend you already are, because Nicole's in the perfect cancer combusting place with amazing people looking after her. 

Yes, it's absolutely soul-shatteringly shit how life can change in an instant, but who put that label on it? This is happening. It's no one's fault and no one said it's an awful thing. Don't second guess and don't assume. Be there; laugh, make, gossip, eat, watch, talk, listen. Just listen. To everyone. Not just the voice inside your head that has already jumped to conclusions and forced you to be sad. That's not going to help anyone, is it?

So I'm not going to moan about my mediocre unmotivated Saturday mornings, or complain about having too much undisturbed comfortable sleep, because Nicole isn't moaning about her mornings. I'm not going to sigh and shuffle to my till at work later, but smile and converse with my customers to make their day. The happier I am, and the brighter the moment, the better life's going to be for others. Starting with a ham and salad cream sandwich, and fuck you, Leukemia, you don't have a say in it. Fastest sperms ftw.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sherlock: A Scandal in my brain, on the plane, on the big screen (pr. scrane)

If I just...a little more...no don't...grab it...nearly...push a bit...no...nope...it's gone...lost it.

Well, revision was good while it lasted.

To be fair, my handwriting has become incredibly erratic and I haven't realised that I've been letting myself sing along, loudly, to Taylor Swift for the past 4 hours so it's obviously going well. The only thing that probably isn't going so well is that I've realised I've totally missed out parts of the syllabus which are more than likely to come up, but I've concluded that if a question arises about them then I'll merely cross it out and write my own question. It'll show initiative, creativity, and courage.

I could fit in the missing topics during revision. The exam isn't until Thursday. But my brain doesn't comply with time. Oh no. I'll start revising but, soon after, the letters p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n start pushing against my skull, eager to escape, and dip themselves into the practical and progressive parts of my brain, corrupting the useful knowledge there like a drug filled, sex obsessed, violence prone older brother. Once they're done fannying around, they jump out of my eyes with a rope and abseil their way down onto my revision notes, before tying said rope around my fingers and pulling them onto my keyboard where they proceed to MAKE ME type out 'robert downey jr on craig ferguson' into YouTube. It's just so hard, you know? So hard to stand up for myself...*sobby gasp*...just give me a minute please...

(Robert Downey Jr, though. I don't know what it is about him. I mean, I fall for anyone who's interviewed on Craig Ferguson because that man could make Hitler likable, but RDJ is suddenly so at the front of my frontal lobe that if he went any further he'd make a permanent squashed face print . I'm infatuated after seeing him in Sherlock Holmes 2 this week. Not even the film stopping near the end ruined it for me. That actually happened. The screen went black and all the lights came on. Me, being the unobservant fool I am, didn't realise until a few seconds after it'd happened and thought it was part of the film. It didn't really bother me though, and nor did it evidently bother others, because no one moved. The group of us in that cinema were so British, that we merely looked around at each other, shrugged, mumbled incoherently, and contentedly sat, and waited. One woman stirred a fuss. Not because of the circumstance that just occurred though, but because she was "bloody cold and they should put the heating on." One man, after some hushed insistent direction from his partner, finally sighed and left to get help. In the end, the projector was fixed and we all got a complimentary cinema ticket for any inconvenience. Which was nice of them.)

After being sabotaged by p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n, I decided to utilise the opportunity of a DEFINITELY WELL DESERVED BREAK and spent a good hour couple of minutes deliberating whether my sudden love for RDJ was ever so slightly wrong. He's 46. Too old? Definitely old enough to be my dad. But then I realised that Alan Rickman, whose existence captivates my heart with little boundaries, is 10 years older so it's all okay. I can carry on.

This time in four weeks I'll be making my descent into Toronto. Not just me. I'll be on a plane, obviously, because unless the human evolutionary process takes a sprint and leap, I'll need transport of some sort. I've been wondering during the course of today about what I'll be doing then. Making a fuss because I haven't got a window seat? Whacking the poor sod next to me with my elbows, which I forget exist sometimes because I'm not very spatially aware, for the millionth time? Pressing the alarm button instead of the light button above me? Screaming in the toilet when I  flush because THAT SHIT IS SCARY (not literally, just the noise. i mean not THAT noise...the flush noise *digs hole deeper out of plane*...NOT THAT HOLE. jesus. you lot. seriously. stop.).

I think I am underestimating the actually-getting-over-the-atlantic-to-the-other-side-of-the-world-on-my-own process. Once I've done that, it'll be fine. My auntie has already got an itinerary which includes seeing War Horse on Torontofied Broadway, seeing films that don't come out here for months which is infinitely more exciting that it should be, buying copious amounts of Hershey's Cookies n Creme, and spending 3 days with my cousin. I've yet to make the point that if we don't go to Niagara Falls, she'll be stripped from my family. *sweet smile*

Alas, Canada is 4 weeks away yet and I still have 3 exams, 3 essays, and my practical coursework to finish before then....subject to me being alive after Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall tonight.



It'll be fine.

Just fine.

*twitch*

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Ironically inspired imagination ideas

I watched a video this morning by Tom Milsom



Tom's cool. I like Tom. He has a lot of thoughts, and  feelings, and opinions which properly make you think, and this video is one which really resonated with me. Making videos, though in a different format, is much like blogging. For the past 2 years I've written about 4 blogs a month, and they've all come from an idea I had. Maybe it wasn't an idea, but a thing that happened, or something someone said to me. In whatever form, it's inspiration. You can never have a preliminary knowing of inspiration. It's not like going to a museum, or the beach, and knowing what you're going to see or do. It just happens. You can actively seek out inspiration, but the arrival of it, I've learnt, is too forced that way. 

Inspiration is different from imagination. Everyone has an imagination. 

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not - and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation - in its’ arguably most tranformative and revelatory capacity it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”
   - J.K. Rowling

Imagination is a base in your mind where anything can happen - anything you want at all - but you still must have inspiration or an idea to place in your imagination to kickstart the process of creating something with it. The first thing that I found interesting with Tom's video was that he doesn't know how to make videos or write songs. He makes videos and writes songs, that's what he does, but he doesn't know how to do it. That's the same here. I don't have a process of blogging, I just do it. I don't know how to blog correctly, or follow a routine..which is perhaps where I'm going wrong. I've never had to have a routine, because blogging and writing is not my life. I've just written when I feel like I have something to write about. Which up until now has worked. In the past few months, I've hardly written at all, and my excuse has been school. A levels. Uni. A very plausible excuse, until this week. 

I met Alex Day (http://bit.ly/rZKsn3) a few nights ago and we were talking about blogging/vlogging/writing, and when I said I've slowed down a bit with everything, he asked why. I said "just school work". He asked "what else". I'd been rumbled. Of course school work can't slow everything down, because I spend more of my time on twitter and tumblr than I do on school work. I know why I haven't blogged, and it's because I'm adamant now that every idea I have is a throwaway one. I'm overthinking. To use Tom's analogy, I'm taking the grain of sand, and not making it into a pearl, but adding it to the others on a sandcastle to get lost and knocked down. It's not just blogging, it's writing my book too. I've had a million and one ideas for books, but the plain base of an idea is awful, obviously, so I've instantly discarded it. But that's not how it works. You have to take an idea and build on it. Don't take the idea and throw it into the world yet, but keep it and work on it, until you're happy to throw it out there. You can't have a plank of wood to get you across a lake, because you'll sink with it. You need a sturdy structure which will help you sail. (love an analogy, me)

I was always told that you can't just start a book and not finish it. No matter how tough it is, or how much you think it's now rubbish, you must stick with it until the end, because it could become something brilliant. I agree with that to an extent, but Alex is the first person who disagreed with that. If you're not enjoying what you're writing, why write it? You're not going to enjoy it, so others aren't either. You may as well wait until you find something which is more motivating and something that you believe in. That made me feel tons better. Every book that I've started just hasn't felt right, and has felt so forced. I've been so focused on finding a brilliant idea, that I've ended up at the scraps which I don't like. 

But every idea has potential. If  I'm writing something which I don't feel is going anywhere, then I shouldn't chuck it, but throw something else into it. If something slows down, which you don't want it to do, then you have to add something to carry it on. That's life. If you slow down, you either rest or eat. If writing slows down, you either let it rest until you feel in the right frame of mind again, or you add something to it.  It's discipline. Alex is successful because he has discipline, and a routine, which I need to have. If I'm going to be successful with writing, I need to carry on writing and stop making excuses. I need to take my own advice and go out and get what I want. Stop being negative and TRY things out. Believe it can happen, but also believe that inspiration will come in time. The human mind is flooded with ideas, and we have the capacity to create incredible things with them, but it all takes time and effort. Time and effort you WANT to spend on it, so it doesn't become time and effort. It becomes your life. Which, now, writing is. Writing is my life. I want writing to be my life so I should probably make it happen. Starting with the idea that hit me today. Wakey wakey imagination, inspiration's arrived and you've got stuff to do. Get cracking.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Well, it was nice knowing you all.

Have you seen the rain? I wouldn't even call it rain. I'd call it little 3D shapes of prophetic doom. Of course, if you're not reading this right now, which you can't be, because I'm still writing it, like literally, typing away right now, then it's probably not raining. Well, it might be. Probably not as much as it is right now. Unless it is. Unless there are no 3D shapes of prophetic doom as you're reading, but just a massive thing of wetness. The 3D shapes of prophetic doom have all clubbed together are like "fuck this shit. BAM BAM BAM BAM" and are just bamming on the earth.

But it might not be raining.

The rain doesn't bother me. We all knew it was going to happen. The arks will be ready by the end of the year and Morgan Freeman will call my name in the lottery to live on them until the water recedes. S'fine. *sits on windowsill, staring out with a mellow expression. slowly drags eyes away and onto diary. begins "this is the day i die..."*

New Years always fascinates me. Essentially, it's just one day going to another, and then another, and another, doing that time thing that happens. But for some reason it always feels different on January 1st. Probably because of the hangover. It really does feel like a whole new year, and that December 31st was ages ago. 365 days of anything are ahead, and that emptiness is quite nice. It's not the "Oh new year, new me. I'm going to completely change who I am. Start a new." crap I'm talking about, but just the amount of time and space. Maybe you will change, but change is always inevitable. Something will change between now and tomorrow. You can change something about you, about anything, whenever. You don't need a new year to do that. But maybe all that blank time and space is motivation. In January, it's always a bit awkward saying December was 'last year'. You can't quite let go. 2011 is all wrapped up, but the corners aren't quite fastened yet and you could still rip it open if you wanted to. Next month will be different. Last year will be 2011 and you might have more of an idea of 2012. You've gotten used to it; there's a baseline of January, but still so much time to do stuff.

I quite like how no one has thought of a year past 2012. We're going to die this year. Yep. End of the world. Another end of the world. Ooh, those Mayans, predicting stuff. WE SHALL BELIEVE THEM.

WHO THE HELL WERE THE MAYANS.

They wrote a calendar?

I can write a calendar.

I predict the end of the world to be in 8349u5987485.

There's even a 'u' in that year. That's how far ahead the end of the world is.

The world can't end soon anyway. I have things to do. I have to go to Canada on my own next month, I have to pass exams, I have to move to Cardiff, I have to turn 19, I have to write my book (deja vu), and I have to eat a lot of food. I have to try new things, and set more goals, and achieve things, and be happy, and meet Matt Smith, and make him fall in love with me, and move in an...oh...backspace until 'be happy'...no wait...'meet Matt Smith'...that can stay...

I am absolutely convinced that this year is going to be the best year yet, and I say that with no hint of soppy soggy cheese. Don't be one of those who says "Shut up it's just another year, you're not going to change, the same shit is going to happen, don't be so stupid", but at the same time, don't be one of those who says "This is a brand new start for me. A year for me to change and sort my life out." Don't be one of those. No, I mean don't be one of those. Never be one of those. Think of the time you had, the time you have, and the time you want to do and be things. That's all you need. The time. And you have a hell of a lot of it. Want things to happen. Be selfish. Will things. Nothing will happen if you don't.

On 1st January 2013, people will stop, stare, and after a few moments contemplating, will go "Oh so we're carrying on? What, as normal? Sure? That can happen? Am I good to book a meeting for next week? Yeah? Right. As we were then..." and time will carry on. Like it always does. Spreading in front of us like a big blank spready thing. Full of unknown stuff.

How exciting.