Our new reality is the never-ending loop of reliving the same day, but we, as the protagonists, can’t escape. Our mission is survival. Keeping the panic at bay while watching the numbers tick upwards. Separated from things that bring us joy. Trapped inside with people we wouldn’t want to spend 24/7 with. Some are finding new passions. Relationships are tested, but new ways of communication and social interactions are developing. There is only silver lining to this nightmare: nature is healing and thriving as humankind diminishes. Once we survive this horror, will we change? Will we change the world? Ourselves?
Shoes crunch over the white layer on the ground. Shielding eyes as the gust of wind lashes. It will ruin the holiday spirit if we don’t get there in time. Fighting the other families to get there, and grab it.
“Over here! There’s space here!” comes the cry.
Looking over, seeing the spot. The perfect spot. Rushing over, dodging people. Drop the bags to claim the spot.
“Get the towels out. I’ll get the umbrella up.”
With well practiced speed, the set up is complete. Everyone sits and enjoys their Christmas picnic on the beach.
In the middle of the forest there lay the ruins of an old building. Half the walls and the foundation were intact but the roof had long since crumbled away. This ruin was not known to many, but to the locals it was a curious treasure.
In the middle of the ruin there lay a statue. Unlike the building surrounding it, the statue was in perfect condition. A woman hunched over hugging her knees with her face hidden away from public view.
In the middle of a nearby town there lay a girl. She had grown up visiting the ruin and statue as most of the children in the area did. She had imagined stories around the woman. As a child she had talked to the statue. Now as a young woman she still visited the statue when she needed comfort.
Maya didn’t know why the statue brought her comfort. Maybe it was imagining someone else’s story that eased her pain. Maybe just escaping her life just for a few minutes helped. She tried to visit whenever she could get away – which wasn’t often.
Right now she was supposed to be at an appointment but she was called here instead. She felt a magnetic pull to be here in this precise moment.
She ran her hand along the smooth cold marble. It soothed her frayed nerves.
Back and forth as her breathing slowed to match the rhythm.
Until suddenly her hand lay on top of warm flesh. She jerked her hand back and stared transfixed as the marble receded and the statue turned into a real woman.
A while ago I was asked to write a blog post about an author event that happened at a library I work at. The author was Rowan Coleman talking about her book “The Memory Book.” The blog never got created in the end so my post didn’t go up. But I was thinking about the main theme of my post: memories.
As a psych student I know all about the technical side of memories: how they are processed, stored, and retrieved. But there’s more to memories than the brain activities.
Memories are a person’s entire life. They are an important part of what makes up a person. J.K. Rowling mentioned memories very often and relied heavily on the ability to view other people’s memories in the Pensieve – the sixth book was mostly made up of viewing memories. She understood the importance of the memories. It was this simple act of learning about Tom Riddles’ past that allowed Harry to destroy him.
But what about in non-magical (muggle 🙂 ) worlds? Are memories simply something in a person’s mind and then lost forever when they are? No, of course not. We create our own Pensieves: in journals and photos, art and books, social media and blogs. All these things that we spend our lives documenting are safe and we can look back at, at any time.
It’s been ages but I’m slowly getting back into writing which I’ve missed so much! I will be meeting my writing group again next week, the first of the new year. The theme for this month is, of course, Valentine’s Day.
Over a bridge and across a stream. Past a cave and under a tree. Up high in the sky among the clouds, a girl sat alone in her room on the bed with a glowing light which illuminated her face. The floor next to the bed was covered in broken china pieces. She held tightly on to her cat to stop him from hurting himself, as she balanced a laptop on her lap.
The piece of paper lay on the keyboard as she Googled the meaning of it. Izzie had found the paper moments ago when her cat, Felicis, had knocked an old ornament which her gran had given her off the chest of drawers. She had been furious when it split in two, until she realised that there was a piece of paper inside it.
After a quick search, Izzie discovered that the address on the paper belonged to an old bookshop in town. There was a long number under the address that she didn’t understand.
Izzie put her laptop aside and grabbed her handbag. She headed downstairs in the lift and out onto the street.
As she hit the high street a shock of pink hit her. All the shop windows were adorned with hearts and flowers and all that was cute and fuzzy.
Damn! Izzie cursed silently. It was Valentine’s Day today, she had forgotten all about it. Of course it wasn’t a big deal to her, being single.
Cringing slightly at the sight of all the happy couples, she carried on towards her destination. She had to take a tube to get to the address on the paper. Izzie had put the address into her phone so she could keep track of her whereabouts on the map.
When Izzie finally surfaced twenty minutes later, she had to check her phone again to get her bearings. She set off in the direction her phone told her and kept an eye on all the shop names. There were plenty of old bookshops in this area.
Finally she found the one she wanted. Izzie was relieved to see that the window was not decked out in a Valentine’s theme. She paused and took a deep breath, wondering why on earth her gran had sent her here, and went in.
Inside, the bookshop looked like any other bookshop: the walls were lined with shelves crammed with books, and there were sofas and chairs scattered around with a coffee area in one corner.
Izzie was so distracted by all the books that she didn’t notice the man behind the counter until he cleared his throat.
“Can I help?”
“Um…” she dragged her gaze away from the books. “I found this piece of paper, does it mean anything to you?”
She handed the man the paper and looked at him properly. He was very good looking, with blond hair arranged messily, and clear blue eyes like a summer day. He looked to be near her age, so late-twenties, she guessed.
“Yes, actually I do know what it is.” Izzie blinked and stopped staring at him and focused on what he was saying. “It’s an order for a book. Hang on, I’ll find it.”
He turned away and Izzie took the chance to carry on eyeing him. She started as he turned back to face her.
“Here’s the book. I remember it actually, a little old lady who looked like she could take on the world came in here on a mission. When I got the book in she said I must keep it and hopefully one day soon someone would collect it. That was a year ago…”
“Uh yeah sorry about that. She died about a year ago. She was my grandmother.”
“Thanks. So what’s the book?” He handed it to her. It was a book of paintings and their locations. There was a card tucked into one of the pages. Opening to that page, she saw her gran’s handwriting. She looked up puzzled.
“She came in when we got it in and asked if she could leave that in there until the person came to collect it. She paid for it so I didn’t mind.”
Izzie nodded and looked at the card. Follow the clues. That was all it said. She looked up and the guy shrugged. Izzie looked at the page and saw a painting she knew well. It was a landscape that hung in the local museum that she knew well.
“I guess I’m going to the museum?” she asked uncertainly.
Izzie hesitated for a moment then followed her instincts, “Do you want to help me?”
“Sure, I’ll close up and then we can go.”
“Can you do that?”
“Of course, it’s my shop.” Izzie’s jaw actually dropped in surprise.
He chuckled. “I’m Ryan by the way,” he said holding out his hand.
“Izzie,” she responded and got butterflies as she took his hand.
“Let’s follow the clues.”
I received another rejection today. I’ve lost count of how many that is now.
This time the rejection was particularly disheartening because of the way they phrased it. I know it’s a standard reply – or at least I’m hoping it is – but it just sounded worse. They wrote that they don’t think they’d be able to find a publisher for my book. It’s just so negative!
One step closer to self-publishing I guess.
I just don’t know how to go about it. It sounds complicated! I’d like to have a hard copy as well as an ebook. I think ebooks are great and make my life easier in terms of travelling around and shelf space, but I still like having a physical book.
Marketing my book is probably the most scary thing about self-publishing.
Lately word counts are all I’ve been thinking about.
Of course, as writers who hope to publish we think about it a lot especially in the editing stages. Too much or too little?
Generally with any type of writing, including academic writing, I’ve struggled to get very large word counts. I guess in a way it’s good: I write succinctly? But on the other hand it’s bad: I don’t have enough description.
Description is always a tricky topic though, how much is too much?
When I reread my work I do always manage to find parts that I can tweak and add more. But at what point do you stop? Every time I’ve finished something I think that is it, I’m done. But then I find more things to add.
One of my favourite authors, Trudi Canavan, was tweeting about the last book in a trilogy as she was writing. She had decided to go back and reread all her previous books in the series, and even though they had long been published, she had wanted to add and change things.
(On a side note, that has made me want to read the series again, hmm maybe I’ll put my too read pile on hold for a while).
Lately all my free time has been consumed with writing an academic paper for uni, as I mentioned in my previous post. I think I’ve finished but I had to employ the 10% word count leeway because I’m 200 word under my 2000 word essay. The last 200 words I wrote, I really struggled, it was like drawing blood from a rock. And I have no idea why.
Anyway, so I think I’m done with my academic writing, and I can now go focus on my creative writing for the next month before hopefully the academic writing starts up again (please please let my essay be enough to get me through to next year!)