Tag Archives: writing

The Love-Hate Chronicles Part 1: An Introduction

Dear Reader,

At the end of 2014, WordPress sent me a rather pointed e-mail: “Hi Nuara, remember me? I’m your website. I miss you, and so do other people. Did you know that 970 people visited me in 2014, even though you didn’t publish anything new? They like what you have to say!”

Yes, I know it was a generic, mass-generated email. And I know that those 970 visitors may have just mistakenly stumbled upon my blog. And who knows whether they liked what I had to say or not.

But, still. Generic WordPress e-mail, you have a point. I should write more. I shall write more. Enter: 2015 and the Love-Hate Chronicles.

The Love-Hate Chronicles: an introduction

Many pages of mad rambles

Many pages of mad rambles

I kept journals throughout my childhood and much of my adolescent life. I wish I could say that all these musings were very profound and meaningful. But, they sort of read like this:

“Dear Diary,

Today is the first day of 1999! I am 10-years-old and have one 2-year-old brother. Today, I watched TV and played with my brother. It wasn’t a very exciting day. There’s only 365 days left to the Millennium!”

This:

“Dear Diary,

Since last year September we have had a temporary headteacher, Mrs. A*. She treats us like babies even though we are in year 6. I don’t like her.”

And this:

“Dear Diary,

Today was April Fools Day. I played some really funny jokes on people. My friend X* has a crush on a boy in our class called Y*. She says that she likes him 100%.”

*Names have been changed, of course. Although it would be cool to have a friend called X.

I was also fond of writing lists in these diaries. Specifically, Love and Hate lists. A neat line down the middle of the page, separating the things I adored from the things I detested.

“Love: My family, reading, chocolate.

Hate: Enemies, MATHS, assembly.”

I had a good laugh looking back at all of this. But it also made me think about the glorious simplicity of the world when I was a child. The black and white and 100 per cents. Love, hate and the strength of my convictions. You would have had a tough time convincing a 10-year-old me about any benefits of morning assembly. Well, in all fairness, 26-year-old me also struggles to find any love for the idea.

The world dictates that we are supposed to grow up, become more attune to the subtleties of the world, ditch the black and white shades for a more sophisticated grey.

But here’s the thing. Even as I began to stumble through the second decade of my existence, grey continued to allude me. I found myself being childishly stubborn on a number of things. Soup? I hate it! It’s like flavoured water. Stairs? Like I’m going to take the stairs! Yes, I will take the lift for one floor and I don’t care if you judge me.

Maybe I no longer wrote them up in journals, but my mind remained full of love/hate lists. Love: family, reading, chocolate. Hate: soup, stairs, pigeons. (At least one of the lists has changed).

However, recently, strange things have begun to happen. I had some soup…and I liked it. I’ve started jogging. I saw a pigeon and didn’t wish for its extinction (ok, I’m lying about this last one). Does this mean that I’m a grown up now? I’m not quite sure.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing my Love-Hate Chronicles. I will talk about things that I once hated that I have grown to love. Things that I continue to have a love-hate relationship with. And things that I will always love, eternally (a quick glance at my previous posts might give you an indication of the one thing I will never give up, ever).

Stay tuned :).

P.S. As part of a writing challenge with my weird and greedy friend over at Noodle and Egg, I was supposed to incorporate some assonance in this post. I shoulda, woulda, coulda but sort of failed.

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Day 1: In Which the Princess has no USP

Day 1 of my writing challenge. I spent far more time thinking about what I wanted to write than actually writing. The ideas that I mulled the most over all got thrown in the bin. The story below marks the beginning of an entirely random and unplanned adventure. Enjoy :).

The King and Queen of Pleasantville were the nicest, sweetest couple in all the lands far, far away. They were never at war with neighbouring kingdoms, since no-one had the heart to argue with folk who were so polite (and the Queen’s delightful scones were an instant pacifier for even the meanest souls). Their citizens were equally cheerful, since the generosity of their rulers knew no limits (four day weekends and free healthcare, to name a few perks). And ever since the King sent him a giant fire-resistant patchwork blanket for his birthday, the Evil Dragon of Garswick Mountains stopped using his fire-breathing for destruction and became the local co-ordinator for bonfire nights and barbecues instead.

However, amidst all the sunshine and laughter, all was not well. The King and Queen had a big problem. Their daughter, Princess Sweetheart, was without a USP (Unique Selling Point). Now, it is a truth universally acknowledged in all the lands far, far away that all eligible princes in possession of dashing smiles must be in want of a princess with a USP. Rapunzel had her golden locks, Sleeping Beauty was immune to alarm clocks and Princess Luna of the neighbouring kingdom of Lipton had a singing voice like the bark of a wolf.

How does one come to develop a USP? Simple – you need to make someone very evil, very angry. Tick off a bitter old witch – and bam! She’ll curse your dear princess behind. Annoy an evil stepmother – and score! That poisoned orange juice at brunch will enchant you away to a solitary tower somewhere in a land ever further, further away.

Without a USP, princes do not come-a-calling. Fact.

The King and Queen of Pleasantville simply found themselves unable to make anyone angry. All villains and witches directed their evil plans towards other kingdoms, and saved all their good, poison-free apples for their visits to Pleasantville (especially the Old Hag from Glargistan, who was an avid farmer in her spare time).

The years passed, and Princess Sweetheart edged ever closer to her thirtieth birthday, still without a USP to her name. The King and Queen became ever more anxious that their sweet, beloved daughter was to remain a lonesome spinster for life.

But here’s the dealio, dear reader: Princess Sweetheart was not ‘sweet’ at all. In fact, she was perfectly horrid. Her parents were blindly oblivious to this; in their eyes she was the sweetest of darlings. And since they were the nicest folks that ever were, nobody had the heart to break it to them that they had given birth to a certified meanie. Grumpy, scowling and deeply anti-social; Princess Sweetheart was the antithesis of her name. Many a villain found themselves tempted to curse her after making her acquaintance, but the sweet nature of her parents had somehow managed to shield her from evil throughout her life. As much as she was nasty, their niceness just always seemed to balance it all out.

However, Princess Sweetheart’s luck (of lack of, depending on your perspective) was about to run out. The fateful month of her thirtieth birthday is where our story really begins…

To Be Continued…

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Just shut up and write

There’s a recurring internal monologue that I’ve been having with myself recently. Every now and then, I lament at my lack of creative output and then find my mind conjuring up the excuse that I’m just too busy to find time to be creative. In truth, it’s a pretty shoddy excuse. If I accumulate my minutes of procrastination throughout the day, the end figure is embarrassingly hefty. If I wanted, I could easily take thirty minutes out of that time and spend it writing.

So why don’t I? The truth is less flattering than the shoddy excuse: I’ve become lazy and I give up too quickly. Five minutes staring at the blinking cursor on my screen is enough to make me click on my browser and internet-procrastinate for a while instead. Ten minutes later, the focus is lost and the motivation is gone. Blargh.

So, I have decided to set myself a challenge for the following week. I’m going to spend 30 minutes writing every day, for the next seven days. I’ll post the results on the blog (be kind, don’t laugh, *insert disclaimers of being rusty/out of practice/not too great here*) to be gawked at by the interweb and the one or two kindly folk who take a minute or two to peruse my rambles.

Go me! Self high-five!

Ok, a self-high five is, in effect, a solitary clap – which is a bit lonesome and sad. So I’ll stick with a Happy Face.

:)

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Self-intimidation

So, I’ve been attempting to write. To get myself back into that place where I can tap away and create a nice little bubble for my mind to play around in. But just like a musician who picks up his guitar after many a year only to find he isn’t quite rocking it the way that he did back in the day – I am rusty. A hesitant overthinker. That despicable as-you-write-scrutinise-each-word editor.

Hoping to inspire myself into creative genius – I decided to pick up some of my old writing, see if there was anything I could pick up, maybe rejuvenate some life into old ideas. I thought it logical to start with the last big-novel-that-never-quite-made-it that I had written – 100 or so pages before it fizzled out and I fell victim to my classic inability to finish everything (bar that sci-fi/romance/action novel I finished as a 12 year old, which no one else is allowed to read. Really. You don’t want to).

The reading process went a bit like this:

Oh hello, familiar characters. Some nostalgia. They seem so innocent. A smidgen of guilt in the knowledge that unbeknownst to them, they will all be abandoned.

Oh, actually – this isn’t too bad…

that bit is rather good, actually. Did I write this?…

because I can’t write like this now…

oh dear, what happened to me…

I feel a bit depressed.

Yes, I successfully managed to intimidate myself. And I am now far too busy feeling sorry for myself to even ponder about how ridiculous a notion this may be.

Breakthrough. Soon. Please?

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