I was supposed to start NaNoWriMo on November 1st, but I was too er… busy.  But I have written like a guilty writing machine type person ever since, not even remotely influenced by the fact that Bohemiénne has the number of words she has written slapping me in the face every time she surfaces.  So now I’m only two days behind – OK, three, counting today – and not at all smug that I have so far out-written her.   Hah!  Eat my dust, bitch!  (Oops, sorry.  I mean: Well done, Boh.  I’m sure you’re doing your best, honey, but we can’t all compete at the same level, can we?)

Anyway.  I’ve written loads of words.  I have a lowering feeling that what I wrote yesterday may be the sum total of my imaginary words (obviously it’ll be a while before I run out of the non-imaginary ones – my incredibly sedentary and uneventful life still holds endless fascination for me).  I’m also slightly surprised at what lurked in my imagination, and rather dread to think what will emerge next.

Actually, to tell you the truth, I more dread that nothing will emerge, and I have emptied out my imagination.  Or even that I haven’t, as there are stirrings in it, but they don’t seem to want to be written down.

OK, the truth is I’m procrastinating.  I think that I’m achieving something filling up some space with this rubbish, and am trying to pretend that it will count when it doesn’t (“You so did NOT write more than me!  I posted on two blogs, I’m definitely out ahead!”), and that if I just sit looking casually the other way, inspiration will grab hold of form and I’ll get something down in writing.

Shit.  It’s just not working, is it?  My last ditch attempt will be reverse psychology.

I will not write anything for NaNoWriMo today.

There.  That’s shown me.


Cut & Paste

October 22, 2007

The insides of my mind are covered in wallpaper paste, with bits of torn up Deep Thoughts half glue-submerged and half blowing in the draught. I find a bit that says:

“you are totally exposed, open, pliant… the natural instinct is to protect you, cover you, shelter you”

which logically must go with:

“Yes … I remember trying to get a reaction out of you. You were very disciplined, and I felt like seeing where that might break down.”

but apparently doesn’t, because it can be summed up with:

“I think he gets protective of me because he thinks my vulnerability shouldn’t be exposed. I think other people want to try to expose it”.

which rather kills the discussion dead. Trawling through reasons why some people would want to break me down and others want to preserve my strength doesn’t really yield up anything particularly edifying about anyone much, so I end up abandoning that train of thought.

Then stuck to the glue I find a whole lot of prickly bits about fathers, the lack of, and Alpha Males, and things my daughter has to say about the kind of man she’s looking for (how come it took her 20 years less than it took me?). I could write a whole plethora of posts, I think happily, but they elude me.

I’m sucked into a black hole of advice-giving, which leads me to wonder why it is that every single man I’m involved with appears to have some inability to resist dingbats. Or is it me? No, apparently not: I’m the dingbat antidote, I’m told. But maybe this is because as an ex-dingbat I have the inside scoop on them, I’m subsequently told by someone else.

This morning a colleague asks me to be the union representative: I’m diplomatic, I don’t kiss ass, I’m not self-serving, I can say my piece, I don’t take sides, I can negotiate. Huh. So it’s only lovers who want to cut me off at the knees. Or alternatively, all the people I normally infuriate with my impartiality suddenly see how this can be turned to their advantage.

Underneath it all runs a little thread of worry and dread and anger, and that’s the mouldy paste my thoughts are sticking to – the things I don’t want to write, that pervade everything I do write.


October 18, 2007

I’ve always had it easy, you know.  Everybody knows it, surely you should too.  It’s my special talent: I roll in the shit, and come up smelling of roses (it comes in a spray, you should try it): I fuck up my life and I get what I want (I box myself into a corner, and then I cry for help.  It usually works, you should try it).

Oh, I should wail, I should tear my hair out by the roots.  I should get out of bed and kick myself every morning.  I should be ever so humble, and I should repent.  I should smile with gratefulness, and not with pleasure.  I should repeat my litany of thankfulness, I should be so grateful for everything I have (but I am, that’s why I smile.  Why are you too stupid to see this?)

If I don’t cry out in pain, then I must not feel.  If I don’t confess, then I must not know the sins I have committed.  If I forgive myself first, then there must be something I don’t tell.

I keep it to myself.  I don’t tell anyone (but I do.  Just not you).

It’s not reaction you want, it’s the reaction you want that you want.  I think you’d back me up against every limit I have just to push me into something raw and real.  And yet I throw emotion at you, and you discard it: it’s not what I give you want, it’s what you want to take. (And then again, I know that’s unjust.  I know you’d give me good things if I asked for them.  But I won’t, and it infuriates you).

You can get here from there

October 12, 2007

I have no idea what direction I’m coming from at the moment.  I’m OK at work – there I’m walking straight at you and I’ll be right up in your face if you don’t move.  Here and now… no idea.  No clue what’s going on in my head, although there seems to be some surface activity, doing the chitchat thing.  But really I keep wanting to say:  “What do you think I’m on?  Where do you think this stuff is coming from?  When do you think it’ll stop?”  And more than that: “Do you think it’ll do any good?  Is this all I’ve got, or is it just a symptom (this mental discharge)?”

I suppose I’ll know in a week or so, or I’ll just get used to it.  I suppose whatever direction I’m going in I’ll just keep going in.  I think I’m headed somewhere familiar, but I still wish I knew how I got here, or what way I’m facing.

Talk to me

October 9, 2007

I’m gazing into the foam on top of my cappuccino when a voice makes me jump. I look sideways, and there are a pair of adolescents engaged in their awkward mating dance. They shift from foot to foot, look thoughtfully at their coke cans, lean faux-casually against the nearest available surface (sometimes a passing adult), and I drag out my coffee just so I can listen to him.

It’s not quite the timbre, but it’s all about the accent. I know exactly where he’s from, and exactly who he reminds me of.

She’s the daughter of a friend of mine, so I keep smiling at her encouragingly to make her nervous, so that she will blurt something out, and he must respond. I work out that if I stare at him intently every so often he will jump a little, and engage her more in conversation to deflect attention from the mad woman at the counter. I alternate, working out how long it will take each of them to wind down, and then stabbing them with a look to release another little rush of words.

His accent gives me the long, hot, wet, shivers. I consider turning round and telling them both that I’m not really there to freak them out, but that I’d really appreciate it if he wouldn’t mind just talking for a bit. Perhaps he could read out the price list, or the opening times, or something at random from the notice board or the local free paper. Recite the alphabet, even.

How many of you are there? I want to ask him. Are there many more of them that talk like you? Line them up for me and make them speak. I’d just stand here with my eyes closed and listen, no trouble to anyone.

I decide against saying anything. They would just think I was nuts.

I’m too sexy for my meta

October 6, 2007

Listen, Boh.  This blocked thing.  Have you tried senna pods?

Oh, Mel, sweetie. You can be so literal sometimes.

I know.  Everyone tells me I’m ever so literary.  A regular bluestocking, that’s me.

Um. Yes. That’s right. Anyhow… the point is that, sometimes there are just too many other things going on, and I can’t get the words to flow. What should I do?

I have no freakin’ idea.  I can’t write anything either.

You? Ms. Purple Stockings, or whatever that was? I thought you were bursting at your wordy seams!

So did I.  But apparently not.  I think it may be because in actual fact all my stockings are black.  Maybe I need to do a dedicated lingerie shop.

Or perhaps being outrageously sexy isn’t good for the writing process. On the other hand, all of my stockings are in disarray, with holes, and runs, and hanging from chandeliers and such.

Yes!  That’s it!  Perhaps I’ll start wearing tights and granny knickers instead.  Oh well, if it comes to that, all mine have teeth marks and mysterious stains.

Teeth marks and mysterious stains!!! Well, I would think those are the ones that I’ve borrowed. I can’t think how else that would have happened.

You’re having another go at that irony thing again, aren’t you?  Give up – you’ll never get the hang of it.

Oh, stop using all your smarty-pants (granny-pants?) literal terms. Irony-schmirony. You’re just jealous because you’re always the smart one, and I’m always the sexy one.

Look, stop worrying about it.  You’ll be smart and sexy too, one of these days.  You’re just a late bloomer, that’s all

Do you ever talk of anything but bloomers? Really, it’s no wonder I’m too distracted to write.

…  Like one of those sad chrysanthemums.

Oh. Now there’s a thought. I could write about how I’m like a beautiful flower. The most intense fragrance and glorious bloom produced by the flower of late summer. I can just imagine it now. My fans will swoon.

Yes.  Or a hardy perennial.  I wonder what kind of flower I am?  Maybe I could speculate about it for a few posts, whilst cunningly revealing my true nature.

Hardly hardy. Delicate and glorious to behold. The temptation to … pluck me is almost all-consuming. But I must be left to be enjoyed by all… then wither on the stem. I am a tragedy, and yet a thing of beauty, the height of my being captured forever in one beautiful early autumn moment. What? Did you say something about you? Shhhhh. I’m sure I have an analogy about how I’m surrounded by weeds, yet reach to the warmth of the gradually more distant sun. Oh, perhaps you could be a weed.

You’re so funny! … Oh, don’t look at me like that!  I thought you were being witty.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to spray you with crumbs. I’m laughing AT you, not with you.  Oops, that didn’t come out right… Fine.  I shall be one of those creepers that strangles the beautiful flower, one of these days.

Whatever. I’m off. Must write. My blockage has passed.

Yes.  I thought there was a bit of a funny smell.  That senna pod tea always does the trick.

Antidote to Blocked

October 6, 2007

Bohémienne is blocked and distracted, but I’m bursting at the seams with wordy-goodness. My every thought needs to be committed to sentences and sent out into the ether. I need to write, to communicate, to tell, to get it all out and get it all down. Thoughts prance through my head in beautifully coiffed phrases, and if I don’t get them down, they’ll be lost forever, and all I’ll be left with just the annoyingly clunky and awkward ones that always get picked last because they can’t run fast enough.

The dust bunnies are gathering, ready for their coup. They don’t hide in corners any more: I see them brazenly prance across the middle of the floor, confident in their massed millions. They plan to combine forces with the dust, piled perilously close to every edge, just waiting to drift down and cover everything in an epidermal nicotined fog. The pots in the kitchen are almost ready to cook themselves, the beds have given up their welcoming freshness, the floors wait patiently for coffee drips to merge with tea drips.

More coffee, more cigarettes, all those words and the pounding lure of a hot scented bath with the promise of a (another) nap to follow: all these drown out the plaintive cries of the ironing board and the vacuum cleaner. And in the bathroom, the laundry basket silently girds its thongs and pillowcases, and prepares for ambush and invasion.

I’ll do it later. I need to write this down first.