Posts made in November, 2011

The beauty of loneliness.

Posted by on Nov 20, 2011 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

For a reason I’m unable to explain, I’m drawn toward media (books, video games, films) that deal with the concept of loneliness. Some great examples are the games Fragile Dreams and Shadow of the Colossus, and the film Wrecked. There is something inherently beautiful in the characters’ singular completion of tasks. I think I love video games the most, because they have so much mystery to them. Certainly, you play the game to figure out what’s happening, and you unravel the past. A lot of the time, however, you never really get to get inside the main character’s head. If you do, the character frequently voices their loneliness, drawing the player in with them. This is seen best in Shadow of the Colossus, which is an experience in itself. I didn’t even play the game: I watched my husband play it well over a year ago. Regardless, the game stuck with me. Wander, the main character, is exploring an expansive landscape with no companion but his horse, Agro. Because no other people are around him, he doesn’t speak, except to say his horse’s name. What is he thinking, as he completes this journey alone? That always seemed interesting to me. The character that isn’t given a voice has to be thinking of something at this point in the story. I tried to emulate that feeling of emptiness and loneliness last year with my, as yet untitled, NaNoWriMo project. That is the one I am currently editing. I posted an excerpt last year, along with a Shadow of the Colossus remix which was some of my background music as I wrote. If you’ll notice, I wrote a similar summary of Shadow of the Colossus in that entry. Today, I’m going to leave you with a CreepyPasta I wrote a little while back. Urban Dictionary defines CreepyPasta as “creepy stories that float around on the Interwebs”. They are usually short stories but can be longer as well. Two of my personal favourites are Killswitch and the first arc of the BEN Drowned/Haunted Majora’s Mask Cartidge ARG. In the following CreepyPasta, which I have titled Your Neighbors, I tried to capture that same feeling of emptiness while adding an unnerving ending. I hope you enjoy. — Your neighbors are loud. You’ve been living in this apartment complex for three years by yourself and they’ve always been loud. You have to work in the morning? They have friends over, and they’re having a party. You wanted to sleep in? They’re playing their guitars as loudly as they can. Even if you’re enjoying the weather outside, they’re tearing through the parking lot, kicking up dirt. It pisses you off, but you don’t have the nerve to go to the landlord and complain, so you bottle it up and deal with it most of the time. One night, you’re going to bed early because you have to work the next morning. You set your alarm for six and settle into your cozy, warm bed. Just as sleep is about to take you, you hear some loud music and hollering from above. It seems your upstairs neighbors have decided to throw a party. You surprise yourself with the rage you feel. Too many times have you gone to work in a stupor, having lost sleep the night before because of these imbeciles. Too many times have you held your tongue and suffered. Your rage builds up and you feel you’ve built up the nerve to get up and say something… When suddenly you wake up, feeling more rested than you ever have. You stretch and rub your eyes and get ready for your day. You forget about the night before; it was probably better that you fell asleep before saying something, anyway. You go to work as normal and come home in the evening. That night, things were quieter, and you slept very well. It is a good thing I didn’t say anything, you think. There was clearly no need. Over the following days, you notice things becoming progressively quieter. Indeed, the entire complex is far...

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Don’t overdo it.

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Today, I saw an older gentleman exiting a food bank with several bags of food. I noticed he was struggling to walk, so I offered to help him carry some groceries. He declined, however said that he would be grateful if he could lean on me as he walked. So, I let him, and he imparted to me a little bit of wisdom. He told me he had a pinched nerve in his back, and that was why he had difficulty walking. He told me that these aches and pains can come on no matter how old you are, and can really slow things down for you. He stopped walking for a moment, then, and turned to look me in the eye. “You’re young,” he told me, “and you have more opportunities to be happy.” He looked pointedly at me, then. “Don’t overdo it.” That was one of those “eureka” moments, for me. It felt almost as though he knew what has been going on in my life of late, and how I have, in fact, been “overdoing” it. I’ve been working harder than necessary on a number of things, and I haven’t taken time for myself to be happy. It’s just been a constant “go, go, go”. I helped him to his car and we then parted ways. As I left, it got me thinking about what he said. “Don’t overdo it.” Why do so many of us (and I’m including myself, here) feel the need to escape from our lives? What are we running from, and why? Coping with stress and unhappiness comes in a number of forms. My mother once said to me “Don’t wish your life away, because this is it”. A lot of stress comes from being unhappy with what you have. That doesn’t mean that we should settle, but rather, if we’re unhappy with something and have the power to change it, why not do that? If you hate your job, find a new one. Don’t make excuses, be in control of your life. If you don’t want to find a new one because the money is good with your current one, then find something about the current one that you like. Happiness isn’t a given thing. It comes with practice. Sometimes you need to make yourself be happy the sake of your sanity. Take time to do something you love each day, or just to relax and close your eyes. Make plans, or do something spontaneous. Don’t escape your life, embrace it. Because, as my mother said, this is it. While it’s always important to cut loose and enjoy yourself, don’t spend your days waiting for that time to come. I fall into this trap all the time. I think we all do; it’s a very human thing to do. If you catch yourself doing it and try to correct it, though, you may find that happiness isn’t so far away. That’s my rare, stress-free lucid moment for today. Here’s an update on my NaNo goals, while I’m here. It’s only November 4th and one of my goals is complete, so I can get started early on the next one! Actually… I already have started the other goal. It’s been in the works for a few months. But this morning I worked on it for a little while. 1. Finish last year’s novel. Complete! Wrote the ending last night.2. Finish the planning for Population: 1. – In progress.3. Plan and script another cooking video.4. Do a soft edit of the draft of last year’s novel.5. Finish writing the song I started earlier this year. In further news, I’ve been invited to open for New Brunswick novelist Beth Powning at her reading on November 17th! I’m very honored to have been asked. It will be at 8 PM at La Teraz (154 Church Street, Moncton NB). Admission is by donation. I will be giving a short reading from Hub City Survival and will also be bringing a few copies to sell. If you have a copy you would like me to sign, you...

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