The absence of hope.
It’s sometimes nice to read something like this when your dreams seem so far gone.
What is your favourite book? Have you ever read a book & thought "Whoa, I wish I'd written that!"?
Do you have a process you go through before writing, mentally &/or physically, like walking or listen to music, or do you simply sit and start writing?
My favourite is a picture book called: ‘The Lost Thing’ by Shaun Tan.
I definitely thought ‘whoa’ and I admire how well it’s illustrated and written.
The book has also been translated into a 15 minute animated short film this year.
No process really. Sometimes I get ‘motivated’ to write. I have this urge to sit there and empty the congestion of words that have caused a traffic jam in my mind.
Music usually sets the tone to start writing, but I found that I just need to ‘feel’ like it to write. Walking is a good way for ideas that are wild to be captured and taken back home. Wild ideas are everywhere.
Update 19/01/2011: I was granted permission from Sophie Byrne (Shaun’s Melbourne Agent at the time of writing this) and Shaun Tan to use the book cover you see on this post.
‘The Lost Thing’ book cover is copyrighted to Shaun Tan 2000 and was first published by Lothian Books.
When I was born, everyone around me was speaking a foreign language. As I grew up, I learned this foreign language and from my memory, at the time, my mind still remembers the foreign words that were spoken. Even though I know how to speak it now, the words from when I was a toddler are still foreign.
While conversing today, even though we are speaking the same language, what people say sometimes seems so foreign to me.
Some people can understand a foreign language, but can’t speak it.
World leaders speak the same language, but sometimes we have trouble understanding them.
Sometimes, being foreign is very familiar.
I've recommend your blog almost every Tuesday since I've found it & I am so glad I did [=
Despite this, I can't seem to find your blog in the Creative Writing directory. Why is this?
Thank you for making the effort to recommend my tumblr for such a long period of time!!
My blog is there. Somewhere.
If you enjoy reading what you find on this tumblr, please take the time to recommend me. It only takes a few clicks! It would be nice to be placed higher in the directory.
If you use facebook? Like my page.
Do you use twitter? Follow me!
I will have to consider if my life isn’t worth living before I could think about taking a bullet for a cause.
If it is purely scenario based, everyone would be taking bullets for anything or anyone. They would be leaping in front of bullets all day assuming they would be getting back up again. Others would find a way around it (like people so often do) and wear a bulletproof vest.
When it comes down to the real thing, I’m not sure if many would consider the prospect and why would they?
For me, if you value your life, I would ponder about if my life is worth giving away. However, I feel like I would ponder for eternity on that thought, so I’d rather take the gun away.
Also, what advice would you give to people who want to write but don't know how?
If they want to write, words should be flowing through their fingertips.
Sometimes that might not be the case, so if that motivation exists and words don’t seem to come easy, I suggest a few things that can help cure the disease (and to a lesser extent, writer’s block).
The first piece of information is ‘exercise’, similar to lifting weights or running around the park, but for your imagination instead. The pen (or keyboard) is the dumbbell and the running (flow of words) around the park (mind) is what needs to be done first.
If that burning desire exists to write, then my advice is to sit down and capture every word that explains your state of mind. Even if what is coming out seems to be pointless or doesn’t make that much sense, just write. It might not be any good, which is OKAY, keep writing.
Whether it may be when you’re sad, write down your thoughts, when you’re happy, write down your thoughts. When you’re angry? Yes, write down your thoughts!
Use the emotions experienced in life as the source for ‘creative flow’ or a ‘fountain of ideas’.
I would expect to be the same as I am now. What is left of me anyway.
The only difference would be that my skin will wither away. The darkness of my hair will lose its memory. The layers of wrinkles on my forehead could tell my age from a distance and I would think dust would find refuge in there at times. My body will finally lose the war against disease and the aging process will be near competition. My eyes would have a constant battle trying to fend off cataracts and glaucoma. My bones will give way to arthritis. My heart will be occupied trying to provide enough blood to my muscles that will have to face off fatigue, and at times the arteries will be blocked, because I still love to eat takeaway foods. I will be making constant visits to the hospital. If I am fortunate enough, I will make it out of there alive.
My mind will be anxious though. It fears Alzheimer’s disease. My words, my thoughts, my dreams will live each day in a state of worry. My resting heart rate will increase slightly, as my beating organ is aware of the possibility of a memory living in a state of paralysis.
My lungs will cough. I didn’t smoke, but everyone around me did. So I will be faced with the possibility of cancer because passive smoking was a way for smokers to include you with their favourite pastime. I couldn’t run away from it, even in areas with ‘no smoking’ signs were up.
I imagine when I’m not fighting a health related battle; I will think about death and often stare out of windows on public transport, taking trips between cities where empty parks reside for the elderly. It will be quiet there, a place where the wind will tell me a silent story.
I will make sure that I have enough water wherever I go so I can take my prescribed medication I need to remain pain free at such an old age. Sometimes I will forget a pill at home and often cause my own cardiac arrest because it could be an important pill. A similar feeling you get when you lose your wallet somewhere or realised you left your music player or car keys on the train.
With a walking stick by my side and having a fashion sense that has remained stagnate in-between the 1950s; I will start to appreciate every detail and every moment that the rest of the world was too busy to have noticed before. All of a sudden, I will discover parts of life that has past me by already, like bits in a song where after 100 listens, you hear a part you haven’t heard before.
Time will finally slow down; resting its brutal speed after all these years to remind me now is the time to spend on reminiscing about my life. By then, regrets seem insignificant. Any wrongs, morals or values seem not that important anymore. I will question religion for one last time, hoping that I would have enough faith to believe in a God to live on after I die. I think I would need that type of comfort, even after I denied it all these years.
After contemplating what I would give to be young or to be born again, I would finally reach my last thought and ponder at all the good things I have done and achieved in life to finally say, “I lived a good life. I was happy enough.” That is, if Alzheimer’s disease hasn’t taken my memories away.
This is a long answer for a pretty important question that all of us will eventually get to (if we do) or think about.
By the way things are going, all the above could happen a lot sooner.
1. Is there any personal significance to your blog title beyond the obvious meaning? Can you expound on that?
2. Do your imagination and writing tend to flourish during certain times of the day? If so, when?
Please forgive me if these inquiries have been addressed in prior entries :)
1. There is no personal significance. The blog title was a few words I managed to glue together to create a meaning that I thought fits the purpose of what I will be writing about.
The meaning is simply, we can all understand and relate to what happens in life; the emotions, the behaviours, the temptations … the end.
It is nothing foreign to us, a language we can all understand.
2. Not really. Many writers will try to capture a certain state of consciousness when they try to write. Certain ideas are dormant until you can think in a certain way, whether that may be just as you’re about to wake up or when you’re so tired and about to go to sleep.
Some will even try to take certain ‘substances’ to force that state of mind.
As for me, any time of the day can ascend a rush of ideas. Sometimes it happens when I am listening to music, when I’m close to dreaming or stuck on an idea that has caused an epiphany.
Sometimes the imagination only relies on you to look outside the window or relies on you to go out for a walk. Your imagination will reward you, if you feed it the life around you.
Everything is there. It is just waiting to get noticed.