Posts tagged writing
Posts tagged writing
Do you ever go back and reread something you wrote years ago and think ‘I don’t remember this… I don’t remember writing this…’?
So my brother just gave me this awesome little thing called a USB Think Light, which is this awesome little novelty light that you plug into your computer or laptap, and the faster you type, the brighter it glows. A great novelty tool for writers who like to challenge themselves. I’m going to give it a test run later and then probably post more about it after.
When I first started re-editing my novel once again at the beginning of the year, it was 72,000 words long… now I’m nearing the end and it’s almost 88,000 words long. I guess when I first sent it out, I really didn’t realise just how much I could still add to it. Maybe that means this time round, I’ll get an actual response.
1. I am not a robot. If you want a robot, go to self serve.
2. When I smile and say hello, it is not because it is part of my job, it is because I am a polite human being. I expect at least some kind of acknowledgement in return – preferably without the scowl.
3. If you come in at 10am on a Sunday when we’ve just started serving, chances are I won’t have even been awake for a full hour yet and more than likely, I will probably actually still be half asleep. Expect mistakes to be made.
4. Why are you so miserable? I’m the one who’s stuck at work all day.
5. I see two empty tills in front of me with happy assistants just waiting to serve you, so why must you join the queue at mine?!?
6. You may not believe this of a lowly checkout operator but yes, I went to school and yes, I can count for myself.
7. If I do make a mistake or, heaven forbid, I forget to put your green points on, remember this mantra: “The checkout girl is only human.”
8. Patience is a virtue. If you do not have it, I will teach it to you by going as slow as I possibly can.
9. The bags are on my side of the checkout for a reason. So you can’t reach them. Don’t try. You will only piss me off.
10. Unless you expect me to handle it like it is covered by a flesh eating virus, do not hand me something that has been in your mouth. That is how germs are spread. Would you like it if I licked every item of yours before passing it to you to pack?
Okay, so I just read this quote by Louis C K:
As humans, we waste the shit out of our words. It’s sad. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like they’re candy. It was awesome? Really? It inspired awe? It was wonderful? Are you serious? It was full of wonder? You use the word “amazing” to describe a goddamn sandwich at Wendy’s. What’s going to happen on your wedding day, or when your first child is born? How will you describe it? You already wasted “amazing” on a fucking sandwich.
And I just have to say, I couldn’t disagree more. We use words like “awesome” and “wonderful” like candy because we have learned to appreciate the little things. We use the word “amazing” to describe a sandwich because it is amazing, because we just bought a sandwich in order to nourish ourselves and give our bodies sustenance, but what we got instead was something so much more. We have evolved to the point where mostly, we don’t need to eat to just survive… and we are so lucky for that because not everyone has that, and if that isn’t amazing, then what is?
When I say a piece of work is awesome, I mean it. I mean I look at that piece of work or I read it and I’m awed. When I tell one of my best friends how awesome they are, that’s because over and over again, I find myself in awe of them and they inspire me to be a better person and that to me is worthy of the word awesome.
And wonderful… oh, there are such wonderful things in this world. Not all of them are big and not all of them are going to have a huge impact on your life, but in that moment… when you experience them, they are wonderful and they fill you with joy and wonder.
What word will I use on my wedding day, or when my first child is born? Well, just one word wouldn’t be enough. Such an event will be beyond words Beyond awesome, beyond amazing, beyond wonderful… because such an event holds such a gravity of emotion that the simplicities of human language won’t be enough to describe the feelings in that moment.
Human language is just a means to communicate… but no matter how complicated it may seem, or how large a vocabulary we have, it will never be able to describe everything. It’s just words, a bunch of random letters and sounds put together for us to try and get across the thoughts inside our heads and the feelings that we feel.
Hell, there are even phrases in certain languages that are almost impossible to translate because they are unique to that language and when you do translate them or try to explain them, they lose something along the way because some things just can’t be explained… Somethings are beyond explanation, and some events are beyond words.
There’s a ghost inside my head,
When I lie upon my bed,
And it sounds like you once did,
Before you turned and walked away.
There are fingers in my hair,
And breath upon my skin,
And I close my eyes and pray,
That it’s you who’s next to me.
So, I recently watched a movie… or was it a TV show? I can’t remember. It was newish, I think. It obviously wasn’t that memorable, but I do remember not being impressed by it, and then someone said this line… “I love you to the moon and back”. And I remember thinking, what a crappy declaration of love. I love you to the moon and back…
I mean, that’s like saying: ‘my love for you is quantifiable and therefore has an ending point… so one day, I will stop loving you’ when what it was most likely supposed to mean was ‘I love you so much and that will never change’… and just… the writer of that line really didn’t think that one through at all.
Let’s put this into perspective:
It takes about 39 seconds for reflected light to travel from the moon to us. So, that’s 78 seconds there and back again.
It can take anywhere between 5 days and just over 1 year to travel to the moon. That said, the Apollo 11 astronauts reached the moon in 3 days…
So if we’re talking about how long it takes us to get to the moon and back… that love does not mean much at all. It means it will last only briefly. And to me, that just seems sad… and I really don’t think that was the message they really wanted to get across.
If they wanted to say their love was eternal, then they could have said: I love you to the end of the universe and back…
Because, you see, the universe is supposed to always be expanding, so by the time you reach the point that was the end of the universe when you actually said that quote, it would have moved, so you would have to keep going… and going…. and going… and then you still have the journey back to factor in.
Yes, you could argue that the moon is also supposedly always moving further and further away from Earth by the tiniest smidgen each year… but you can reach the moon within a reasonable time and then be back again. But the end of the universe…? That’s different.
That’s why ‘forever and a day’ will always be one of my favourites, because, yes, so many have used it… but for good reason. It means more than forever… It means, I love you so much that this unquantifiable amount of time isn’t even enough to cover it. I love you so much that forever simply doesn’t cut it, because my love is so strong and so fierce that it will outlive forever. It will outlive time itself.
So… what’s the point of this post? I guess I’m saying, when you’re writing… or making declarations of love, you have to really think about what these things mean. How does it translate? Do the words really say what you want them to say, or did you just choose the moon because it’s a long long long long way away?
Notes: This is something I wrote awhile back when I was trying a different style. It’s still in it’s first draft phase, so it still has errors that need fixing… One day.
The thing about being the son of War was that people expected great things from you. They expected brutish behaviour and a roar of a voice that echoed across continents and struck fear into the hearts of kings and queens and presidents. They expected someone who was always up for a fight and always ready to, well, wage war.
Achaius James Maguire just wanted to take photographs… of daisies and stuff. In fact, ‘stuff’ was most definitely his favourite subject and had anyone asked him what he preferred taking photos of, he would always shrug his shoulders and simply say ‘stuff’.
War knew this. He had known it for a long time, but being War, he was still in denial - despite the fact that from a young age, Achaius had spent hours lazing about in fields of varying greenery, all wide eyed, staring out and just watching. War had always thought it was just a phase. Now he had a sinking feeling he had been wrong.
“It is time,” Famine announced, her voice a whisper on the air, starved of tone and oxygen.
War, who was a Viking of a man if you ever saw one, looked to her and shifted uncomfortably in his seat - which was ridiculous because it was actually a very comfortable seat, a plush red one that was perfect after a hard day’s work. It was also seated by the hearth where a slow fire burned away, warming him through.
Well, that’s another unfinished poem saved and to probably never be opened again *facepalm*. But at least it served a purpose in that hopefully it has helped kindle some passion to write and some rhythm that might help with my editing…