Where my head is at right now - I've not been writing much, but this is part of an idea that I've been playing with for a while now ...
I have a pen. I have paper. They appear to exist in front of me. I am aware, however, that philosophers would have a lovely time arguing about whether or not they do, in fact, exist and all other sorts of things like that. In my mind, though, they are there. With those simple tools I can write words and from those words images may form. Such images are the seeds from which stories may grow, such stories being the creation of life to an infinite number of beings I plant in your mind. Such life may not live and breathe as you know it, but who is to say what life is?
And they cannot be reaped by the Rivalry. I like that. Cheating the rivalry gives me a feeling of invincibility. It may be a hollow victory, but then, the life itself may or may not be hollow. The value of such victory may then be measured by the strength with which my creation takes root in your mind.
I forgot to say I updated my blog! Click my sig!
I am much intrigued by your snippet ^^.
From those two paragraphs, I sort of envision a really cool cross between Sophie's World and something Hunger Gamesesque. Have you written any more on that idea?
It got back-burnered. I had an idea, but it was so nebulous that I knew it wasn't ready to be written down. I'll keep it bubbling away until I get a firm grip on what I want to write ...
Sorry for the lack of punctuation (there's a reason for part of it, but mostly I'm just being lazy), but here is some jottings from today (if you go back to page 6 of this thread, I have a snippet of the same two characters at a different time)
-Seriously, a cliff?
Because she's scared of heights
– you could never even climb a tree when we little
-I was never afraid of heights, I was afraid of falling – and maybe that doesn’t bother me anymore
MAYBE you’re just playing at being hard, just like you always did. I snorted.
-You think you know everything about me?
-I know as much about you as you do about me – THAT you can’t deny
She looked a bit sad
-What happened to us?
I snorted again. It figured she would turn introspective now, it was almost expected at this point.
– you want me to answer that globally or instance by instance?
-You pulled away form me!
What are you talking about? You and your posse made my life a misery for a whole year because I didn’t fit into your idea of ‘normal’.
-I didn’t ‘pull away’ – YOU flat out rejected me. I’m not going to dress it up in pretty words because you’ve been stupid enough to try and top yourself – you were all b****s.
She sat very still, looking down at her hands. I counted ships on the horizon while I steadied my nerves. I couldn’t believe that that s**t still got to me after two years. Wasn’t I over it?
-I thought … I thought it would all get better when you changed schools. Like, we’d go back to the way we were before once we were away from all the craziness at school.
-How would we do that?
-I don’t know – it’s like, we were friends away from school, and when school wasn’t there, we could be friends
-And what you guys did to Maeve?
-It was an accident – it wasn’t our fault! Anyway, it wasn’t me
… and that’s why it couldn’t go back to what it was. Because it wasn’t an accident. There was a criminal case and a lawsuit against the school to prove it. The ships could go and f**k themselves.
Why was I still sitting here, counting ships again (just in case they’d changed in the past half hour)? Perhaps I wanted ‘closure’ too – s**t, did that mean that I was going crazy? I didn’t want to go crazy, not like Brooke there. She was spouting psycho babble like it was the answer to life itself (and like she actually understood it) – that rubbish wasn’t catching, was it?
-So how have you been?
Seriously? I mean – Seriously? We’re here for some weird D&M and she wants a potted history?
-Like, how good? Did you get into uni?
-Are your meds affecting your short-term memory? The results aren’t out yet.
I started counting again; it wasn’t as though there was anything else to do. Sitting there was awkward, and I kind of revelled in it. Petty, I know, but this was her show – I wasn’t there to be entertainment. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t leave.
-look could you meet me half-way? I just want to know how you are. I’ve missed you
Noooooo nonononononNO. I wasn’t doing that. Not doing the sympathy thing for suicide girl.
-And I’ve been so unreachable all this time. Living a whole 2 streets away, with the same email address and the same phone number. Finding out how I was such a hassle …
-I didn’t think I’d be welcome.
-Still, you didn’t even try.
(NB: My characters are very insensitive, particularly toward one another. This doesn't reflect my views on mental illness - it's just how my characters are talking. I'm kind of feeling my way when it comes to where this conversation is going - at this point there is a LOT of water under the bridge)
I like the style of this -- despite the punctuation lack, which is surprising... it sort of reads like e e cummings, but with more... grit. Sometimes I was a little unclear about which of the two was speaking, but even that seemed stylistic and, again, surprisingly okay.
Ooh yes, I remember these two. I think they were on a bus last time. Though, this snippet certainly makes them a lot more interesting. Hinting at court cases and the like. Naughty schools girls. You have certainly caputred the essence of an angst teenage girl quite well.
They were on a bus - it's just a matter now of figuring how they get from the bus to the cliff (via the span of a few years) and end up messed up by that experience ... and there WILL be some blood - though not belonging to either of the two parties. I actually have a STORY PLAN, but am working on how to up the action (there's a lot of sitting around and thinking) but cut down the side stories.
Basic plot: they're life long BFFS until one moves away for a while when they're about 12. When she returns, things are ... weird. Different. And the friendship starts to unravel. And other stuff happens, because they're 14 and EVERYTHING is a big thing at that age ...
Oh, Ama's right. That is gritty. Very real; very harsh but very true to a lot of people's attitudes toward mental illness, unfortunately. Story plan is good news - I'd like to know how they ended up like this too!
I've begun the arduous task of typing up my notebooks, so here's more of the girls on the bus story:
The air had already lost its cool touch by the time I got to the bus stop on Monday morning. The dew had dried up and the light streaming down had a golden hue that could make dog crap look like Lindt chocolate, but which also heralded the coming of bum sweat marks on chairs by lunch time. There were a few students loitering around the driveway chosen as the bus stop in that slightly defiant “I’d rather be skipping, but my mum can see me from the kitchen window” sort of pose. I vaguely recognised a couple of students, and we made that awkward eye contact while trying to remember each other’s name. It was too hot to really bother, so I slung my bag in the line silently.
It struck me as a little stupid that we were still lining up in high school, even there was only about five people who got on the bus there. There was no point questioning it though. I would have to acknowledge that I didn’t really remember the other people’s names in order to talk to them, and we’d been standing without talking for that little bit too long to break THAT ice now. Besides, there was no reason that we should continue to queue like five year olds; we probably only continued it because it had always been done like that before. And there was no hope of abandoning that sort of thinking …
As the crow flies (or as the kid trespasses), it wasn’t all that far from Brooke’s house, but I knew she wouldn’t come to this stop. There was one closer to her house that was earlier in the bus route, which meant a better seat. And nothing beats friendship like the right seat on the bus.
The teenage apathy is perfect! And I love this girl's sense of irony. The dog-crap-turned-Lindt and bus-seats-beat-friendship are my favourite observations, I think.
Hope you keep sharing! It's been too ong.
I agree with Darga about those segments. Your humour is one of my favourites here, Nef.
I really like the bus one, it seems very natural or real to me like something I've really thought before or like someone I know :D
The cliff one was bit confusing for me but I also really enjoyed it. I'd love to here more about how they got from one to the other.
Getting from the bus to the cliff is indeed a tricky one ... the cliff is an epilogue-esque scene ... set well after the events at the time of the bus scenes.
Tragedy has struck. I had a crate of old notebooks (and not so old notebooks) with story fragments littered throughout. And it has vanished from this world. A dark day indeed.
Anyway, another fragment (as this seems to be the only place I can keep them safe)
I was sitting with my reading buddy, and he was in a mouthy mood today. He wasn’t reading, but there was nothing new about that; he did anything to avoid looking at words on pages. Today, he was all about the gossip.
-Marion is mega-[censored] today.
-that’s nice. Read the page
-Like, head rotating, steam coming out of her ears angry
-stop stalling and read the page
-I heard it was because some girl called her jelly blubber
-Read the damn page, shrimp
-and she called her family trash
-and what does any of that have to do with the exciting story waiting to be read by you?
-then stop gossiping like a grandma and start reading.
-It was that stuck-up girl from private school – Marion is going to get her
-What, you mean Maeve?
-I dunno her name, but Marion was going on about her being a stuck up [censored] because she had been to a private school and was rich.
-Oi, you two, called the teacher, stop gossiping and get back to work.
I sat through roll call a bit nervously.
Marion was mean looking. She was big, angry, she scared the teachers, and she apparently ALWAYS took things the wrong way. She was in year seven, so we didn’t really have anything to do with her, except for the reading and comprehension buddy system we had during roll call. Most of our class did it, but Maeve was in a different roll call to me. In the group with one reportedly very angry girl.
(just so you know, this doesn't end well lol)
Read the page... love it.
Heh. I bet it doesn't end well. I always enjoy your conversations, Nef :).
I've probably posted a bit of this story before, but I've been playing with it a little.
I wake quite suddenly, immediately alert, as though I have just woken from a dream of falling. There’s that same sense of dislocation, that muscle tension.
I immediately notice the dappled light that filters in through my window. Dappled light.
It’s happened again.
I suppose that explains a fair bit. It certainly explains the various pains I am slowly becoming aware of – the tightness across my shoulders as I slowly roll onto my side, the stiffness of my lower back as I curl up slightly. And the rough feeling in my throat and elasticity of my jaw that remembers movement – because of course I have been screaming.
Dappled light suggests that the light entering my bedroom is filtered through large leafy trees. Dappled light is impossible in my fifth floor flat. Dappled light means that reality has not yet made it to my corner of the world. It means she is not yet awake.
At the moment, I like dappled light.
Of course it means only one thing. We’ve had zombies again. I hate it when we get zombies.
I bloody hate those [censored]. Why can’t it be something other than Zombies? Anything would do: mummies after my entrails, twenty legged spiders, harpies, three headed dogs of the underworld (yes I have put a lot of thought into what I would prefer) – anything but zombies.
I am lying curled up on top of my bed covers, fully clothed in clothes that are not mine. I can see but not feel the pair of black shorts that have been dead for years and I just know that with those shorts is a blue shirt I threw out a month ago. This zombie slaying uniform is what I always wake up wearing. It’s probably fitting that I have undead clothes to kill the undead, but I’m too tired to figure out why. They don’t keep me warm at all, which is understandable: they’re not really there. I can’t see my cotton pyjamas even though I remember putting them on, and at some level, I know that I am still wearing them.
I can also see that the clothes are covered in gore splatters. I can’t smell anything, though the splatter is quite liberal. The splatter also fails to rub off on the sheets. Again it makes sense, as it doesn't really exist. Nevertheless, I know I’m going to end up changing the sheets at some point today.
I stretch out one leg slowly, the leg disobligingly stiff about the movement. On my foot I am wearing a pair of pristine blue converse, shoes that I have never seen before, shoes that I have never even owned, mores the pity. My socks, however, are the pink argyle checked knee highs I put on last night before sleeping. It would seem, then, that she doesn’t dream of socks; what would Freud think of that? The socks feel dry in the ephemeral shoes, so I don’t try and remove them. The shoes are still too solid in my mind to allow the removal of the socks.
Sorry for leaving it so vague. There is more, but I'm still tinkering
Your ideas never cease to make me giggle. I know, I know - giggling at zombies is probably not the acceptable response. But, really - undead clothing? Love it.
Hope you keep tinkering and post more soon.
And my notebooks have been found! 15 years of scribbled notes are not all lost.
I should start some transcribing ...
Edit: AND I found my Enid B book - blog post ahoy!!
Love it Nef. Looking forward to finding out who 'she' is. and yay for finding notebooks.
How would you go about writing urban fantasy in australia? Having a negative reaction to an American author's take on australia (they ate DAMPER), and am feeling my way into a short story ...
What do you mean, Nef? I've written a sort of sci fi short story set in Australia (up north). Didn't talk about damper; just talked about the cracks in the ground and the eucalypts and magpies.
Also, what is this terrible book? I am intrigued.
It's pocket apocalypse by seanan mcguire. It's not terrible, but i couldn't help but think she hadn't done any homework. There's a whole chunk of the story about their weapons stock room, and I just kept thinking "where did they get the licences for those guns?"
I've been on a bit of an urban fantasy bender lately, and it struck me that many of the books weren't set in significant cities, or they were so significant as to be generic, and i wondered "how would you do this set in sydney? "