Here a plan, there a plan…

I’ve been making a few plans recently.

A friend of mine has been encouraging my writing and other assorted personal growth items. She claims to be my Life Coach. I can’t really dispute that.

She has the luxury of being able to be brutally honest. We’re friends, and have been for over 10 years now. Not much that’s going to keep that from continuing. That being said, she can pretty much say what she feels and I will just have to deal with it.

Don’t get the wrong idea, she isn’t mean. What she is, is a straight shooter. Not just with me, but with everyone. I just happen to get the benefit of her caring about me, and using that ‘no bullshit’ attitude to my benefit.

She is a fantastic writer. So naturally, she’s the one I would talk to when I was interested in trying to be a better writer. She’s been giving me some things to work on. If you remember, I wrote a story a while back, published in five parts. She got to read it first. I got some good feedback there. One thing I carry around from my artistic background though, is that I kind of feel like a piece of writing exists on it’s own, as an example of when and how it was written. I’m not so good at the editing and re-writing portion of things.

I am working on some of those prompts and exercises. If I get anything out of them worth sharing, I will definitely put them up for people to take a look at.

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Description Exercise

I was working on an exercise for focusing on describing things in detail. I tend to focus on either the action, or the deeper themes when I just write haphazardly. So I was working on my description. Here you go.

 

The sun shown brightly between the slats in the blinds. I much prefer a completely dark room to sleep in, but the doctor said that I needed some ‘natural light’ during my recovery. Looking out the window, the weather actually seemed pleasant. I don’t usually care much about the outdoors, but some weather just warms your soul.

I opened the blinds, and then the window. The cool breeze rushed in to ruffle my hair and caress my face. It perfectly complemented the feeling of the sun full on my head and neck. The sun might warm the face, but it’s the breeze that touches the soul. It is the breeze that blows sweetly into the depths in each of us… I should stop right there.

I tend to overthink basically everything. I create a large amounts of stress for myself. Sometimes that starts with ascribing special qualities to everyday occurrences. My therapist specifically instructed me to get out of my own head. While I’m recovering, I’m allowed to write. I am only allowed to describe what I see.

I am in my room at home. The walls here are a pale green. It was supposed to be the pale green that reflects into the sky from tropical water during the golden hours just after sunrise and just before sunset. In the right sunshine it kind of looks that way. When lit with incandescent light or when it’s cloudy outside, it tend to look more like the inside of a mental institute. The blinds are imitation wood. I could afford custom blinds. You wouldn’t know that they are imitation at first glance. They hold the rich browns and blacks of coffee and chocolate. They really make the room feel warm and rich.

I haven’t gotten around to replacing the ceiling fan. It sort of ruins the illusion of a tropical getaway. Cheap, white blades on a brushed silver body let just about anyone know that the fan was installed when the house was built. When I wake up in morning, I stare at that fan as it swirls lazily. It reminds me every morning that I haven’t finished personalizing this house. At least the furniture doesn’t look cheap.

I spent good money at an overpriced furniture store to get just the right bedroom set. The wood matches the fake wood on the blinds rather well. It has a little more red in it though. The real wood has a less pronounced grain that the imitation blinds, but the deep reds swirled with the sweet browns just sing on richness. The styling is very masculine. It’s sort of a cross between colonial and mission style furnishings. Everything is very squared of and angular, but there is a flow between the wood grain and the smooth edges that ties the pieces together. The headboard on the king bed echoes the dresser and chest of drawers in a way that seems less like they match and more like they are long-time friends that share characteristics.

The blankets on the bed are another beautiful find. The sheets were ordered in a custom color from a website I found. The shade of green on the sheets is a perfect compliment to the banana leaf pattern that is so expertly dyed into them. I topped it all off with a rich chocolate comforter. I decided to eschew the use of any throw pillows. I didn’t want this room to look like it was designed by a woman, for use by a man.

My bedside table is where the illusion begins to breakdown again. This set didn’t have any tables that went with it. I found some that suit it well enough, but it’s clear that they don’t share the same soul as the larger pieces. Their contents are even less appealing. My lamp is another brushed metal monstrosity. It’s supposed to evoke a retro-futuristic feeling, like it was built in the 1960’s to imagine what it would look like today. Then of course there isn’t a clock radio in the world that looks like it belongs in the tropics. Black plastic with red eyes glaring the time into room. I hate it as much as I’ve hated anything in my short 28 years.

This room is to be my home  for the next few months while I recover from my psychotic break. The doctors think that being in a comfortable environment that I designed myself might be more soothing than being stuck in a hospital. I tend to agree with them. Until I see that tropical green on the walls turn sickly and institutional as the clouds begin to cross the sun.

 

Blinds

Blinds (Photo credit: spweber)

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Since You’ve Been Gone…

It feels like I’ve been chewin’ on tinfoil.  (bonus points if you know where that’s from)

I know that I haven’t been around. There’s a reason for that. I also know that that the only person that feels like I’m letting them down is me.

I have had some things going on outside of the blog, that have required my attention. I think I can also say that they are going to continue to require a great deal of my attention. I also think these are things that are best dealt with in their own space and time.

English: The spotlight model of attention.

English: The spotlight model of attention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That would be why I had been less verbose than before. I may also continue to have less to post than my previous everyday schedule. A large part of this also comes from my growing concern that I was just throwing fluff up on the internet for people to read.

When I first started here, I was able to post opinions, musings, and worldviews that seemed as if they needed to be shared. I had something to say every day, and the responsibility and routine of that was very nice for me. Now that some of those musings have slowed down a little bit, I don’t really want to be forcing something on to the page that just isn’t worth reading, writing, or sharing.

That’s why I’m thinking that I’m not going to commit to a firm schedule for writing here, but I’m also not giving up. I am going to ATTEMPT to write 2 or 3 times a week. I admit that this may not always happen. I will say that if it isn’t happening, it has more to do with not having something to say than it does laziness in regards to posting.

In case you were wondering, I will probably still be writing a few things, but they may not be for posting. I will continue to work on things to share here though, in addition to musings. There may still be the occasional poem or story.

Now on to an actual musing to kick this thing off right!

I have been listening to a podcast called Stuff To Blow Your Mind. I’ve been listening for awhile, but the most recent one happened to mention some things that I’d been pondering a bit anyway. They were referencing reincarnation and some of the different interpretations of it.

 

One of those viewpoints is that reincarnation can exist as a metaphor to our daily life. That how we act and react from moment to moment can set the stage or establish a pattern for the next and subsequent moments. That sort of tied into something that has been bouncing around in my head. People frequently say that a way to improve your outlook on life is simply to decide to be positive. I struggle mightily with this sort of thing.

I have been striving to be more positive, and more importantly, not be so hard on myself when I feel that I have made a mistake. I’ve been pushing that much harder recently, and it can sometimes create a bit of a feedback loop. Example A: I forget to do something that I said I would. I then get upset with myself for forgetting to do that thing. I then get upset with myself for getting upset with myself. Feedback loop.

When something like that starts to happen, I find myself wondering how it is that one could simply decide to be more positive about the whole thing. How am I supposed to just DECIDE to not be so hard on myself? I understand and can buy into the idea that your approach to situations can color how you handle them. I just can’t figure out how to simply change that approach.

I guess it was just one of those things that struck a chord and got me wondering.

 

 

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The Carnival

The Traveling Carnival is a queer thing. It is a private, self-contained city on wheels. It rolls from place to place, bringing merriment and sadness in equal parts. There is something so incredibly interesting about an entity that is so dichotomous.
Make no mistake, the Traveling Carnival is an entity unto itself. It lives and breathes; it has hopes and dreams. It is a landlocked Leviathan with the collective mind of a small town. That makes it all the sadder that what keeps it from growing and stretching is it’s own cannibalistic nature.
For the society of the carnival to exist it must stay close knit and contained. It keeps outsiders at arm’s length to protect itself from untrustworthy people who would judge it’s inhabitants. That same isolation forces it to fester in it’s own filth. It simply travels from place to place, re-treading the same ground. Never learning and never growing.
The carnival deals in merriment. One goes there for fun a frivolity. Even though the rides are dangerous, the games are rigged and the people distasteful. From a very objective view, there is nothing that should be fun at a carnival.
The people that live and work there don’t like us. That’s part of why it’s so sad. They sell joy and have none themselves. They peddle it all away, at an overly inflated price and keep none back for their own stores.
The people of the carnival wake each day more sour than the last. Every moment that they spend at their daily lives and working their livelihood, they are resentful Some for what others have that they don’t and some just because we’re different.
No matter what we think of them, we are the ones that are different to them. Anyone who is not a part of their insulated community is an outsider. The walls aren’t built on race or money, they’re built on society. It’s all about the society inside the carnival, and outside. We are all on the outside.
This creature, this fun-regurgitating parasite is poison. It lives with a dark heart and is rotting from the inside out. It is kept alive by feeding off of the people it entertains and despises in equal measures. It will ever be slowly dying and growing in concert. It will always be filled with hatred and disgust  just below the glow of midway lights and the smell of cheap beer, cigarettes and popcorn.
The people will always be smiling, and there will always be games to play. There is fun to be had, while the ones selling it are having no fun at all.
That’s why it will always be a little bit more sad than the happiness it brings.

Pingpong Ball and Fishbowl Game

Pingpong Ball and Fishbowl Game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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I wanna be an Astronaut!

I saw this over at Word Painting Without a Brush

Creative Writing Exercise = You are an astronaut. Describe your perfect day.

My alarm gently vibrated me awake. It’s so hard to wake up on your own in the preternatural darkness of space.

I gently slid out of my bunk. The covers stayed messy. I cackled maniacally inside my own head. I always knew making my bed was a waste of time, and being in zero gravity only serves to make me more correct.

I dressed myself slowly and deliberately. The lack of urgency in zero gravity is astounding. Hurrying was never something I was very good at. I had absolutely no motivation to hurry when everything was drifting by as if we were all suspended in still water.

I gently navigated my way the the mess hall. Time to heat up a bag of coffee. I have to admit, for as different and difficult as somethings could be in space, the fancy cooking gadgets were exceptionally refreshing.

I took my bag of warm coffee and floated to the common space. It was like a scene from a science fiction movie in there. The seats were clean and smooth and the space was open. The most striking feature was the window that took up the entire wall of the vessel.

space

space (Photo credit: Sweetie187)

I opened the shades and peered out into the darkness. Inky blackness greeted me. It was like staring through a doorway into madness. I smiled broadly.

There has never been anything that compared to floating around in zero gravity, slurping coffee and staring into that space that drive men insane. That insanity always felt more like home to me than anywhere else. It’s a shame there’s no place here on earth that compares.

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Well Hmmmm

Paradoxical feelings are…strange.

Paradox of Freedom: the fence

Paradox of Freedom: the fence (Photo credit: theilr)

I guess paradoxical is actually a pretty descriptive word for them. Having a feeling about something that is both exciting and maybe a little frustrating at the same time. It’s an odd combination.

I have the beginnings of an idea for something I want to write. It’s too delicate and new to be wholeheartedly excited about. I think it’s a good idea, but it needs some nurturing before I try to jump right in to it.

Hopefully I can get it to a point that I feel good really starting it in earnest. I think that it could be fun. It’s a little frustrating not being able to just move forward. I’m usually kind of impulsive with this sort of thing. I want to just push forward.

I know that that’s not the way to go. I suppose there’s something to be said for making the better choice, even though it isn’t exactly what you want to do.

I also know that I’m kind of rambling in the abstract right now. Sorry about that. If you’ve been around here before, you’ll know that being here is pretty close to being inside my head. You get what I’m thinking, how I’m thinking it.

Here’s hoping.

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Thoughts

Sometimes they swirl. A wild maelstrom of separate clouds, twisting and coiling in the circling winds.

Other times they bounce. Tiny bouncing seeds falling from great heights.

Often they flutter. Dancing on the breeze, flitting about in no discernible direction.

Occasionally they swim. Darting and turning in unison, in a school.

Rarely they are peaceful. Swaying in the breeze in a field.

They are never quiet.

 

English: Abstract art work

English: Abstract art work (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Short Series

I thought I had more than that.

I swear I had more Villains in my head when I started this series. Alas, this series will stay short. Jim Moriarty, The Weeping Angels, and The Joker will be all for this one.

I have to say that I was very interested in this Villain Series. Looking at a group of characters that typically doesn’t get recognition was a lot of fun. We love to hate Villains, but we never talk about why they’re sometimes so compelling. Many villains are especially potent to different people. I find this very interesting.

I kind of enjoyed the series. It’s more than a list, but not dedicating a whole month of posts to one topic or anything. I can sort of tailor the length of posts and number of posts based on the topic.

Séries+

Séries+ (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I have no idea what this is a picture of. It just said ‘Series’ so I went with it.

I would say you could probably look forward to more posts of that nature from me.

Have a good weekend!

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Joke’s on You

Joker (comics)

Joker (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next one is one most people will recognize: The Joker.

The Joker is a villain that took some time to grow on me. I never thought of him as a criminal mastermind until I got a little bit older. I can see now that he is truly one of the greatest villains around.

I never collected comic books as a kid. My father was more interested in model trains and computers than comic books and baseball cards. Most of my experiences with heroes and villains came from television shows and movies.

The first Joker I have any recollection of was the one voiced by Mark Hamill on Batman: The Animated Series. This incarnation of the joker was acted incredibly well. The trouble comes from the fact that it was a daytime cartoon for children. All the crimes that The Joker committed were harmless. They were covered in a film of clown jokes and everything always seemed to go wrong for him in the end. He was frequently victim to his own traps and jokes.

This kind of made him feel like he was more jester than villain. He was just there for comic relief. He wasn’t to be taken seriously as a dangerous villain for Batman to deal with.

As I have gotten older, I have been exposed to many different versions of The Joker. The most familiar to people that I know is the incredible version in The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger portrayed an amazing version and I think it would have fallen flat with anyone else. This version really brings the core of The Joker into sharp contrast. He is truly insane.

The Joker has no special powers. He is very intelligent, but he isn’t superpowered. His real advantage is his insanity. It makes him unpredictable, and it removes most of the social constraints that the rest of us possess.

What all this creates is a man who is willing to do anything that suits his purposes. Anything that crosses his mind is in play. He is also actually capable of pulling most of it off. He is a true wild card.

This makes him so incredibly frightening because he is the antithesis of what we work every day to build. People work to build predictability and structure. We rail against our very nature to create a safe and predictable environment to live in. The Joker threatens all of that with his very existence.

We’re also drawn to this. He does things with no moral compass. There are a lot of us who wonder what that would be like. To have true freedom to do whatever you want. It’s unknown, unexpected and scary.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

 

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Weeping Angels

Weeping Angels

Weeping Angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next Villain(s) on the list are some you might not have heard of. They are the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who.

Without getting too much into the specifics of the Doctor Who series(you can do that investigating yourself if you are unfamiliar,) the Weeping Angels are an ancient race of aliens. They attack people by sending them back in time.

The Angels are only able to move when they are not being looked at. If they are seen, they turn to stone. They look just like any other statue of an angel. When they move around other Angels, they frequently cover their eyes so that they do not see other Angels and they are able to move freely. If they happen to be seen by someone else while this is happening, they appear to be weeping, hence their name.

They are very strong and fast. They can move great distances in literally the blink of an eye. When they are attacking and close to someone, they appear more bestial with fangs and claws. They are very adept at working together, and make frightening predators.

What really makes them both frightening and compelling is that they are only able to move when they are being looked at. If you happen to see one, you know that any blink or look away will end in your destruction. You won’t die, but you will be sent back to a time before you were born and no longer be able to live the life you were a part of.

I find this interaction intriguing. Their way of movement is just captivating. It’s devilishly simple, but hard to do. Just. Don’t. Blink. We all know how hard it is to try to not blink. That one simple thing is all that it will take to save you. You will blink, though. Everyone does.

That’s why they’re so scary. There’s an inevitability to the interactions with them. There are ways that people have escaped, and most people will never come in contact with them at all. Once you’re entangled with them, you have few options. It creates a level of discomfort that is something special. You’re constantly uneasy.

Just. Don’t. Blink.

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