I’ve been trapped here for a long time. A long time. I know this because after a while I forget how to define an hour, a day, a week. It feels like I’m contained under water, and all I can hear is the waves lapping at my ears. My vision is blurred. I see objects, people, but not detail. I forget detail. Can you miss something that you have forgotten? I remember words I once used. Stair. Vase. Key. I forget to what they refer. A strange world to which I am no longer connected.
I try to break free. I scream until the water around my head almost drowns me. I try to reach out, grab something or someone, but they cannot see or feel me. I wonder if they cannot see me in the same way I cannot see them. Just moving, man-shaped haziness. I have tried to call out: ‘help me, I am trapped; I do not know the way out’, but they do not hear me, and I fight against the current in my own sphere to be heard.
The paleness goes on forever. I can see only a short distance around me. The rest is obscure. I am numb for the most part. I do not feel my body. I am transparent, weightless. Sometimes I feel prickles where my arms would be, and this brings me comfort. If I focus hard enough, I can sometimes move things on the other side, small things, like a book or a glass. This also brings me comfort. Perhaps if they see that it has moved, they will rescue me from this translucent prison. I am afraid of sleep, and yet, at times I will it. I have been here for a long time.
All is still until:
I am suddenly awakened by a powerful emotion I had thought I had forgotten. It is fear, crippling fear, and it engulfs me. I am pulled forward through the partition (I am free!), and I can look down and see my body, dressed as it once was, in brown crinoline. And I am running, running down the great staircase in my home, running and trying not to look back. He is close, I can sense him. He mustn’t catch me. I am terrified by what he might do if he reaches me. I run, knocking over a table with the edge of my dress. I hear the porcelain vase smash behind me. I look back. I know I should see him, but he is not in sight. I do not slow however; it could be a trick. I can sense that he is near, perhaps just around the corner, waiting for me to stop, catch my breath, so he can have me. I see the door to the pantry, and then I am confused. I am inside, though I do not recall opening the door. I turn to check that the door is now locked and the key within sight, that he cannot get in, that I am safe. Once I lock the door, I know that I will be safe forever. It is not locked. I reach up to the lock, try to turn the tiny key, but an invisible force snatches my wrist away from the door. He has entered through the kitchen, one step ahead. He thinks I have betrayed him, but I plead and cry to him that I have not. “I am true, I am true”, I call out, not looking at his face, although I feel his eyes burning into me as his phosphorus grip burns my skin. He has a mallet in his hand, I see that, and I know, I know that if I stay there for a second longer, he will have me. I struggle to free my arm and turn, yanking at the door and then running, running down the corridor, through the hallway, the sound of broken porcelain beneath my feet. I run up the staircase and turn into the corridor and then stop suddenly. Something is different. Where is the damp, musty scent from the drapes at the window? The soft smell of burning from invalid grandmama’s fire one floor above? And then I look around and see. This is not my house. It has changed. I see unfamiliar people –a man, sometimes a little boy, a woman – all wearing strange clothing, all looking at me. I can see the details; the way the man’s moustache curls at the ends, the boy’s freckles, the woman’s fine lines around her mouth and her eyes. I see the detail, and it is overwhelming. And they can see me. And then I remember, and I start to call out: “help me, I am trapped”, but before I can finish my sentence, I am pulled backwards once more into the blue.
The fear has gone now. The red heat of panic subsides. My prison has pulled me back in, and emotion and hope is left behind in the other world. I am numb again. The water gushes back and I am still. I’ve been trapped here for a long time. A long time.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Well, NaNoWriMo kicks off tomorrow. Is there any scarier thought on Hallowe'en than that?! I'm aiming to write 2000 words a day, but I know I'm already going to fail at that because tomorrow I have a dance rehearsal from 7pm-10pm after work, so I don't imagine I'll get alot of writing done! Suppose it just means writing 4000 words on Thursday instead... Aaaargh!
I got some good news (possibly), in that my short story 'Raising Amy' is being publised by Secret Attic (http://www.secretattic.com/index.html). I think this is kind of cool, but I don't know much about the site, so it could all be a bit of a scam. They don't publish the story online, they produce it into a book which you have to purchase. I had a few poems published when I was 16 - 17 and that was a little similar in style because you'd have to buy the book to see your work. At least this time, the book is only about a fiver, rather than £20 (or however much it was back in the day). Still, a published story is a published story, and I'll take any excuse to celebrate!
Interesting article about play development schemes and the state of new writing for the theatre.
Interesting article about play development schemes and the state of new writing for the theatre.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I thought I'd post some information about these learning disorders, because it's quite possible that I have a mild case of both. I was talking to a woman who works for the Student Welfare office at the university where I work, and she said it seemed likely that I had them, but a proper assessment (now I am no longer in education) would cost me about £700, so stuff that! Anyway, I have problems with writing, especially if I am handwriting something and especially if I am under pressure (e.g. deadlines or exams). I tend to miss out words or letters without realising it, which does become a problem, especially when I try to read something back to myself and my brain doesn't register that those words are missing (I can usually pick up on when I've missed out letters though). I also find it difficult to find the right words when speaking, and find reading out loud difficult, unless I put 100% of my energy into it. I think I have acquired dyspraxia (if I do indeed have it) because I didn't have any problems with walking, crawling, organising my toys or anything like that, and I think I have fairly neat handwriting, so never really had any problems as a child. I am a bit ambidextrious, and get a bit clumsy hitting keys on my keyboard, and get hand-ache when I write, and I had problems learning to tie my shoe-laces, and I never really learned my times tables. I have problems working out the days of the week, and still don't know my left from my right. Sequencing numbers is always a problem (I hated those problems in maths!), and I do get easily distracted, daydream alot and have short-term memory slips. Anyone interested in finding out about dyslexia or dyspraxia can check out the following links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyspraxia;
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I'm being productive again! Yay! So, I think I've finished my scary story for Saturday - it's a ghost's story - and I've started writing (in my head if not on paper) the short story that I am hoping to submit to Tripod, a new magazine showcasing writing from Leicester, Derby and Nottingham. My story is going to be about Mouse, one of the teenage boys from my "Hoodie Leicestershire youths" play. I'm not sure as yet whether to write it as a first person narrative, or write it in third person. I'm leaning more towards writing it in the third person, simply because I overuse the first person, and second person is practically impossible (oh, unless I wrote it as a 'day in the life' or something: "you go outside for a fag. It starts to rain"...). Also Mouse, as his name suggests, is very quiet, so it would be unrealistic for him to write some great gushing story about his day/week/etc, when he is in fact introverted, not communicative in the slightest, and not very bright. Anyway, my story will follow Mouse on a typical day at school (or not as the case may be) and looking forward to the highlight of his day, which is to sit in the cold with his mates in Shilton rec (that's "Earl Shilton recreational ground" to most people). Why that is the highlight of his day will come apparent to those reading it as his day progresses. Poor Mouse. I'm going to take a photo of the reccy next time I go home, if the youths don't chase me off, so I can post it on here and remember what it looks like. I used to spend most evenings one summer sitting on top of the skateboard ramp with my mates (no serious skater would use it), but I think Mouse and co will take over the castle in the middle of the park. It seems more fitting somehow to have them camp out in a castle. The deadline for submissions is 1st December, so I have plenty of time to have a really good go at it (unless NaNoWriMo gets in the way). It should also feed back into the play that I'm writing and make characterisation stronger.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I am writing a scary story for Hallowe’en at the moment, and I’m finding it very tricky. Mainly, this is because of my tendency to repress any sinister thoughts I have, as I tend to have nightmares and ‘daymares’ for months afterwards if I don’t. Therefore I am finding it hard to imagine anything horrific to write about. It’s like I’m peeking through my fingers to see what’s inside my head. Stupid over-active imagination! For example, after watching a particularly scary episode of Doctor Who once, I actually ‘saw’ a creepy little boy in my hallway. Being afraid is one thing. Having your fears manifest themselves into visions is quite another. Perhaps I should seek medical help…
Friday, October 20, 2006
I have a new idea for a play, which was semi-inspired by a real-life event. My play will involve four characters (two couples) enjoying a dinner party. During the party, some information comes to light that results in the wife of the host couple killing herself. I was struggling to come up with a reason why - my problem was that all the ideas I had ended up being about the husband doing something really bad (e.g. murderer, pervert, etc). If this was the case, then surely the wife's reaction would be anger and hatred towards him rather than deciding to kill herself? So then I was toying with the idea that she discovers that he was a Nazi and had actively killed hundreds in the holocaust, and she herself was a Jew, but this was actually a true story I read in the Metro, so I didn't want to steal it. With the help of my trusty Alex, I've now come to the conclusion that he could have been some sort of paeodphile murderer many years ago, and the wife knew about this and helped protect him. At the party some sort of information comes to light from the innocent party guests, which reawakens the wife's guilt and disguist in her husband and herself and - BANG!
Monday, October 16, 2006
If something exciting doesn't happen soon in my dreary life, I think I might go insane. I have a really bad case of inertia at the moment. My flat is a sty, which usually highlights that my brain is in a similar condition. And I can't write when my flat is a mess. I just can't be arsed with anything! I think the thing that makes it worse is that I have £10 to last me until the 25th October, so I can't actually buy anything or go out anywhere either. Life pretty much sucks at the moment.
In terms of writing; as I mentioned above, I haven't written anything all weekend, but I have been having some ideas about my Nox story, for the National Novel Writing Month challenge. It's mainly back-story to characters, and I've decided what narrative style I'm going to use, so I just keep writing that down so that when the 1st November comes, I can be poised, ready. Also, I keep meaning to write some more of my 'Youths' play, but again, have been putting it off. The Momentum sessions are starting up again in November, so I'm going to have to think of a play with up to three characters in it again. I have lots of ideas for plays with four or more characters in it, but that's against the rules for Momentum. Oh well, sure I'll think of something.
Well, at least I've identified my problem this time. Hopefully over the next couple of days I'll be able to shake off the feeling, and my next post will be about how prolific and brilliant I am. But for now, I wish I was asleep in bed with my furry pink pyjamas on...
Monday, October 09, 2006
After a successful run of 'Titanic the musical' and after the chaos of fresher's week, I'm almost back to my old routine, which means I'll have time to write again! I'm currently getting geared up for the 'National Novel Writing Month', which starts on November 1st. My friends and I are going to try to write a 50,000 word novel each before 30th November - sounds like fun, so I can't wait! I've decided I'm going to write about Nox (see previous post 'My own gothic princess') and have provisionally titled the story 'Inter Vivos'. It's already caused some controversy, as I've labelled it as 'science fiction' and one of my male friends either a) doesn't think it classifies as such or b) doesn't think a girl can write sci-fi. Anyway, you can follow my progress at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/userinfo.php?uid=124755 (username Grizabella).
So, what else has been happening in my week away? Well, I got a rejection email from pulp.net about a short story I had submitted, which I'm not too bothered about, as I wrote the story during my lunchbreak and it wasn't that good. I also got a rejection email from Paines Plough after I sent them my still not completed copy of 'Red and the Wolf'. I'm awaiting their feedback, but I think I've come to the decision that I'm not going to progress with 'Red'. I did enjoy writing it and think it is well written, but I also think that the subject matter is not original enough, and so no amount of editing/rewriting will change that. I may come back to it later, but I think that for now, my energies are better spent elsewhere. So I think that's about it for my update. Did you miss me?