I usually know nothing about the people I ask to feature. Here is the usual process of listening to music to getting a feature.
I’m listening to music and goawwing about my day.
A song stops me from whatever I’m I’m doing.
Hit repeat again. And again. Then before looking into the artist’s bio. Before thinking about how I’m going to put źßacross the themes I’d like to touch upon.
READ ABOUT MY CREATIVIESTS I NEED YOU! PROJECT
Mental health and how creativity by having a creative outlet to express ourselves can lead to better mental health.
My approach is instinctive. Before I ask myself how I’m going to achieve this in a feature interview, I realise I’ve hit send asking for a feature.
When people get back to me and say yes.It sends my thoughts spiralling down a tunnel picking up random and conflicting emotions
Yay, someone thinks I can write about them.
Someone thinks I can write about them in a structured way.
Someone will probably think I do this all the time.
(A barrage of emotions).
What do I know about interviewing and communicating?
I know nothing about this person/band.
(Frantic typing on my laptop).
I obsessively research, listen to their music, doubt myself.
Berate myself for doubting myself.
SELF TALK: I love doing this. This is another experience to add to my goal of writing -connecting with people. A chance to be creative. A chance to express myself.
A chance to embrace my own passion for writing. A chance to challenge my writing style and that means communicating with other people not just in the writing form but “live” speaking.
I have to come out of my writing bubble world so I can go back to the fun part of writing and researching.
I struggle a lot with my mental health. The one way that helps me stay on a good path with my mental health is writing and being creative. feel self-worth and self-validation that comes from inside, feeling like I have expressed myself in a way that feels genuine. writing for me keeps me away from my triggers for relapsing with my mental health.
I immediately wanted to run away from an outlet that I get so much positiveness from doing.
it is quite bizarre that my instinct to run away and not do the interview stems from my own thoughts about if I can be creative.
It puts pressure on me to follow through with what I say I want to do and then I am given the chance to do something I am passionate about not a professional music journalist. I am afraid to fail.
I feel like backing out of doing most features if I did that then I would be a hypocrite because the whole point of doing these features is to demonstrate to myself and others that feeling the fear and feeling inadequate prevents me from being happy. It is a challenge to my own self-perception and my belief that creativity does improve mental health.
The way I prove it is by doing it. This is my style and I express myself as the person I am because I want to be well. I want to enjoy discovering new people, having new experiences, learning and feeling a part of something that means something to me.
This was the first piece of fictional writing I ever wrote. It was also graded and then I had to adapt it into a different genre.
‘Miss Sainte!’ the travel consultant’s hands twitch like a bees feelers, ‘let me get your tickets for London.’ and she is off. I’ve always found it amusing how people assume that your life is more exciting than theirs. My life had taken on the acrid taste of bourbon. Hard decisions require liquor. There I was bobbing up and down like a buoy in a sea of bitter. Disconnected from all sources of life. Waves of nausea threatened to bury me, deep, in an unrefined grave. This was my existence until I sobered up.
The hairs on my arms prick up like ears on stalks, straining to confirm what they’ve heard. Shivers rush down my spine. Impulsively my hand goes to feel the smooth outline of the documents in my handbag, confirming that the surgery will go ahead. I look up from the tropical brochure and nearly fall headfirst into a pair of dung coloured eyes. She’s that close. I quickly murmur my thanks and bolt out the door, the wind slamming the door for me
My life tends to go from one oblivious moment to the next. One ginger bastard is all it takes for the state of my jagged ignorance to be shattered. Now all I can see is my former ignorance smirking everywhere. All of a sudden its: Ginger beer, Gingerbread, Ginger cats, Ginger biscuits, Gingernuts, Ginger pubes, Ginger! Ginger! Everywhere! I’ve reasoned that it’s not too avaricious to want more than ‘current-girlfriend’ status. Why would a heathen (his -word) such as myself, all tits hanging loose, wild hair and barefoot, want certainty and commitment? Why indeed?! Every time it’s the same watery twaddle:
‘I’m a married man… A Catholic!’ –with a bellyful of 24-hour bargain booze. It’s all driftwood. I’m Odyssey’s ‘Scylla ‘or ‘Charybdis’. If he wants to treat me as a necessary evil then instinctively I will lure him to my grotto and devour him. Men have this habit of changing anything they see as mystifying into the female form.
Yesterday his spinal support kicked in and he decides to call me. It went something like this:
‘Babe, things are … complicated. I’m here for you.’ he said.
Then, that familiar feeling, the tightening jerk on my vocal chords, taut like a gymnast’s rope. Panic. The struggle to gulp in air. My throat is blitzed with grainy, arid sand. The beat. The beat in my heart starts clanging cacophonously and belches up into my throat. My instincts are shrill. Screeching: Caution! Do Not Proceed. This is what his voice does to me.
‘Babe, we’ve been through so much?’ Smelly feet. All I can smell is pongy feet; His feet! I’d rather go collecting cacti with my teeth than screw you. Yerr screw: That’s what I should have said.
‘I’m on my way.’ C’mon you don’t wanna be loved? So instead he gets his way and I’m running like an Olympic sprinter to get to my car.
There I am sitting in the car about to gear it up. Panic. With my palms, I start slamming the steering wheel. You stupid bitch. SLAM! Greedy stupid bitch. SLAM! Blasted tears form. I look into the rear-view mirror and with a fingernail, I press down hard, scraping my cheek- only satisfied when I see the offensive, black line of soggy mascara tarnishing it .Ugly Bitch! I pound the rearview mirror-over and over.
I can feel the gamut of my emotions and thoughts losing form. So fragile. One knock. One tiny crack is all it takes. When he opens the door all the innards of my mind start to scramble.
‘Neck this’, he says. He plays his part well. He picks me up like I’m a delicate fawn and gently lowers me onto his sofa. He waves a bag of coke in front of my face. My fucking dopamine receptors are giving you a standing ovation, mate! Trust an ex-army cadet to bring out the Bolivian marching powder. Several hours later, we’re both wading deep in overconsumption. Billie Holliday is playing, her voice becomes the beat in my heart.
‘Love. Love her voice… so raw….so pure…but damaged like… Know what I mean?’
He just sits there, shakes his head mindlessly, not even one cobweb is disturbed. Great bulging eyes leer out at me. I might as well have a pair of fucking rabbit ears and a hat on with electrodes attached to my head. One eye hanging precariously out of its socket. It is torture what he does to me. I want to scream: Why do you look at my pain? Consider it. Consider me! And then decide this bitch needs sterilizing?
He’s suddenly up and real close. His odour arrests my breath, it’s like taking in a whiff of a Parisian fish market at the end of a hot rough day. The hairs stand up on my body betraying my true feelings. Then he demands me to laugh.
‘Laugh. ‘He roars. Followed by frenzied laughter – Shit what’s he gonna do? He’s just laughing. Standing over me and laughing at me. Kick him in the gonads, quick! He stops. Breathe. He moves up close again, our faces touching.
‘Boo! He whispers, slapping his hands together with glee, he grabs my arse –roughly. I’m smiling. My mind severs itself form my body. It too plays its part well. He then begins to undo his jeans.
A bloated smiling face. The receptionist takes my documents. The ballooned smiling face points us in the direction of the waiting area.
‘Whoa! They must have known we were arriving, all the chairs are set up, ready for a blessed sermon. Wanna do the honours?’ What am I saying? I watch his fat turnip- shaped face go red. Blood red. He is simmering away like a stew but someone forgot to put the meat in. Jesus why the hell did I agree to this? The walls expand and shrink like I’m sucking on a plastic bag. Panic. I’m in Plato’s allegorical cave. His shadow torments me, I’m convinced that Mother Nature has given him rights over oxygen.
‘Hope Sainte?’ a nurse’s voice booms. Jumped up like a leapfrog. Crap joke but I got spooked. The nurse looks up at me, she raises her eyebrows which make her glasses slant downwards. He heaves his body upwards. I feel his skulking bristling my nerves. The Nurse ushers me into a cubicle.
‘Change into this then hop on a bed’ she gestures to a bed. I touch the blue gown and put my fingers to my nose. Tainted, I gag. How can I put it? It’s like, I’m inhaling water. Panic has dropped her anchor.
Lying horizontally I turn my head to the left and I look up into a pair of nostrils. It’s the Surgeon. His lips are moving like that singing bass fish that was all the rage in the nineties. I can’t hear jack shit- the porter wheels me into the theatre.
I open my eyes. I exhale, the cubicle expands. He enters, drops his head. Doesn’t even bother to look at me. He stands in a corner and folds his arms He just stands in that corner reminding me of a scarecrow. All stiff and glacial. Hours slither by, the silence hissing mercilessly. A hug. I want a hug. The silence is pierced. It’s me. I’m screaming. Little critters are scratching away at my insides. The attack is stabbing and sharp. The pain throbs with intent. Panic.
‘What the hell is happening?’ I look over and he’s fiddling with his fucking phone like he’s re-arranging his balls. Strap on cock-face! He turns around to face me. Did I say that out loud? He looks demonical enough.
‘Erm… well derr!’ He slaps my forehead, ‘you’re giving birth to our baby! Look at the state of ya!’ I follow his eyes. They settle on my well-formed bump.
‘You stupid murdering bitch!’ He then spits in my face and turns to leave.
‘Hey, where you going- we agreed on this?’ Panic. There’s more screaming.
‘Why? Why? Why?’ Each “why” growing in expectation and volume. Sobbing, through my tears, I can just about make out a figure of the porter. Everything starts to slow down. No. Retardation is setting in, slowing me down. Panic. The surgeon appears again. It’s like I’m in a macabre pantomime
‘Now, please, count backward from ten, please.’ he smiles down at me.
‘I can hear you!’ I dribble out. The surgeon smiles and nods his head like one of those Chinese paw-waving cats.
‘Hey! Listen can you hear that?’ they’re playing music! What kind of sick set up is this? Beethoven’s, ‘Moonlight sonata’ is playing in the background. I touch it. The bump. I’m pretty sure this has got to breach my human rights.
A voice punctuates the air. It’s mine.
‘Number one. Gotta look after number one!’ That’s what my Mum always used to say… “If ya can’t put yourself first, you’ll never be able to put ya, child, first. From now on I swear it. I’ll make each moment in my life count! Maybe one day I will be worth being called a mum….sorry.’
My eyes close, a tear rolls down my cheek as I’m wheeled into theatre.
What are your views on Abortion?
I light this vigil/ candles given to me by an individual/ a name I cannot give thee/ heart and mind forgive me.
If I said his name is Slash/ he’s indecisively crass/more renowned as a light brush stroke/ his Latin name leaves a remarkable impression in repressed folk.
It worries me that Axl hasn’t made up his mind/ more guns than roses-sublime/ A promiscuous murmur/ hidden in visual fervour.
confess/ snitch …..
Naming something can either increase/ diminish power/ I’m thinking psycho -you know – the scene in the shower? /If I had to reveal his true name is Virgule/ why does that visually conjure up an image in my mind of a gargoyle?
For the meaning of the word ‘Virgule’ scroll down.
This was so hard to do. I think I may have broken 100 rules and made up my own. Hey ho!
Definitions for virgule
a short oblique stroke (/) between two words indicating that whichever is appropriate may be chosen to complete the sense of the text in which they occur: The defendant and his/her attorney must appear in court.
Citations for virgule
It can be used, of course to indicate the choices, one or more, that may “properly” fill the blank space that follows. But the virgule need not be strictly identified with a particular or exclusive binary. It can be argued that the virgule is the poststructuralist punctuation par excellence (although a strong case can be made for the hyphen), in that is can be deployed to suggest the endlessness of binariness, a serial proliferation of constrastives in horizontally endless adjacencies …
The path was cleared for the substitution of the verbalizable ”or” by the unspeakable ”/” in the legalistic term ”and/or,” which would be hard to say as ”and or or.” Now we are afflicted by the promiscuous use of virgules.
Virgule entered English from French, where it means “comma, little rod.” It ultimately derives from the Latin virgula meaning “rod.”
The virgule, often called the “slant bar” by computer users, has four specific uses in punctuation.
A virgule separates parts of an extended date.
Example: The 1994/95 basketball season.
Washington was born in February 1731/32.
A virgule represents the word per in measurements:
Example: 186,000 mi./sec. (miles per second)
A virgule stands for the word or in the expression and/or. (Though not considered standard, it sometimes stands for the word or in other expressions also.)
A virgule separates lines of poetry that are quoted in run-on fashion in the text. (For readability, avoid this with more than four lines.)
Example: Ann continued,”And up and down the people go,/ Gazing where the lilies blow/ Round an island there below,/ The island of Shalott.”
*Here is a cool activity to do and an easy way to build on character development in your own writing. I’ve used my own example. *
*Grammar police -Apologies in advance for any Typos 😀 *
Characters Name: Steve Tusterone
Checklist of physical traits,age,gender,nationality ,state of health
Lots of hair, dark peppered with grays.
Grey slate – one eye has a fleck of green in it
Stocky – not thin, not fat – in shape
present day – early 40’s
Now – has trouble seeing through one eye – flecked one ( due to rape attack with Betty
Skin shows some sign of alcohol abuse-
Mental health volunteer for a therapy walking group for people with DID and other mental health issues who are coming back into society after treatment
internal characteristics, level of intelligence, outlook on the world.
Not empathetic – sympathetic- ‘well at least………’
Rigid thought process
Into violent porn
Not abused but has a dominating idea that men should own their women –mothers included
tries to hide his lust and desires by walking the straight line –struggles not to commit rape again.
Wants a woman to overpower him –conflicted.
Social and family life, who they know, who they are related to, how they feel about them.
Parents dead. He travels a lot to keep a distance from his past, he is trying to not act on his impulses for fear of getting caught, still, resents women in general, he has no friends, casual work colleagues through volunteering as a person with MH issues. He feels his mother was weak and he dominated her.
Finally, write down the major events of their life so far.
Raped college students
Got stabbed in the pencil by a student – Betty-alter Lola
To evade being caught –been on the move a lot
Meets Betty – falls in love with her Alter Lola
She indulges his sexual fantasies
Lured by money and being with a woman he can dominate and who can dominate him unlike his mother he agrees to kill Betty’s husband so Lola can take over and they can elope
Put your character in a scene –using
Interpretation (the author, narrator and/or other characters tell us about a character).
Appearance (external details).
Action (habits as well as one-off actions).
Thought (going inside the head of the character).
Perfection at this point is not the aim of what I am trying to do, so this will most likely change as my story develops and the cliches will get less cheesy. I’ve literally written this once and proofread it once.
Okay, I think I am actually learning! ha ha!
Today I focused on an exercise to do with character development
This is a bare skeleton of one scene I had roughly plotted before I did this activity.
Walking past the daisies and horses strutting in the farms passing by , Steve fell into step with Lola who looked into the distance – Seemingly appreciating the view – he did not see the glazed look across her face. He did feel the prickling sensation of crackling between them. This was something he could not ignore. Lola turned to look at Steve – she scanned his face, spotting the dimple in his chin and seemingly convinced she approved what she saw, gazed into his eyes- penetrating them. Steve felt his groin stir. He hadn’t come across a woman to match his sexual prowess in many a years. He knew he should leave well alone but this woman was far too playful, far too irresistible. A dangerous man required a dangerous counterpart and he was not going to pass up this opportunity.
“ Yes, I do like the scenic route, very much. “ Lola leaned in closely whispered in his ear , the hotness of her breath was so in congruent with his first impression of this woman. She smelled of Roses, lilacs and a fresh breeze . The person before him was indeed another type of angel- musky, hints of magnolia, passion and erotic. Lola lingered. Steve knew he should compose himself – he must. He would find out more of this character.
Here is the same scene, slightly tweaked, using the activity for character development ( this is again not polished, and very rough) but even I can see the improvement.
Walking past the daisies and horses grazing in the fields passing by, Steve fell into an awkward step with Lola’s long, leaner legs ,who looked into the distance –her seemingly to appreciate the view – he admired this creature. Not his usual type at all. He failed to notice the glazed look in Lola’s eyes.
He did feel the prickling crackling almost violent rubbing energy between them. A warmth spread around his testicles, the desire to grab her flesh and bite her all over to hear how she would react made his heart drum. He knew he should focus on the being with the walking group- keep a low profile. He sensed in Lola not an equal but someone who would enjoy being hurt and maybe under his guide, learn how to satisfy him This was something he could not ignore. Lola turned to look at Steve – she scanned his face, he was shorter but his stocky build made up to make him appear menacing. His nails were short, bitten down, jaggered.
His face was ruddy not in a youthful boy sense but more hard and weathered from years of hiding away his secrets. He sweated out fumes of over concealed remnants of years of alcohol benders. She spotted the dimple in his chin and seeming to convince Steve she approved of what she saw, settled her eyes on his – penetrating them. Her gaze settled briefly on left eye- steely grey flecked with bits of olive green. Steve felt his groin stir. He felt as if he was the prey!
His eye twitched – a constant reminder and warning to himself that he should walk away from this creature. He knew how out of hand this could get. He couldn’t help chisel out a cheeky smile from this thought. He knew exactly what he wanted to do to her. She might be his undoing.
He hadn’t come across a woman to match his sexual prowess in many a years, if ever. He knew he should leave well alone but this creature was far too seductive, she had an aura of smuttiness and a fire in her that went as deep as the pit of a vexed dragon. A dangerous man required a dangerous counterpart and he was not going to pass up this opportunity. If he had a pair of dice on him –this was the moment he shook them –he didn’t need to blow into them for good luck and let them roll. Just like the rolling hills they passed, nature left to her own devices. Raw and untamed.
“Yes, I do like the scenic route, very much. “ Lola broke into his thoughts like a seasoned burglar. Steve almost felt the heat rise from his cock to his cheeks. She leaned in closely, whispered in his ear; the hotness of her breath was so in congruent with his first impression of this woman. She smelled of Roses, lilacs and a fresh breeze. He could feel himself falling. The person before him was indeed another type of angel- musky, hints of magnolia, spice and myrrh. Lola lingered. Steve knew he should compose himself – he must. He would find out more of this beguiling creature.
HAVE A GO.
Tick Tock! Still awaiting the results of my first TMA.
No time to rest and already onto the next one. I am the kind of writer who gets an idea and then I just start writing – I like to get the story out before going over it and picking it to pieces, re-plotting it , the dreaded cutting stages.
I’m so frustrated – My next assignment is to write a 2000 word stand-alone piece of fiction. Not so hard right?
Well, unless you have my brain.
Got to get this out.
In my head, I have come up with a story ( shit or bad) – I don’t know but it wants to write itself and indeed it already has.
The problem being I’ve written over 1000 words already- just putting together the bare bones of the story and I still have yet to get into the internal /external conflict of the characters. Plot it just right etc.
I know if I carry on with this narrative – it could end up with maybe 3500 words!
My brain hurts. Why don’t I just abandon a complicated, plotted story and find another to write about?
That would mean giving up and letting go.
I do not let go or give up easily- be it my work, my passion, people.
Yes, I am stubborn.
Does anyone else who writes fiction have this problem? I (bear in my mind I am learning to write for novels ) and in this assignment and I have to write a stand-alone piece of 2ooo words)
I know. I know.
There is more than just me (the only student) studying and needing my “precious” story to be marked.
I DON’T CARE!
I do. Just not right now. 🙂
I also have my other bigger script to worry about and my brain is flipping from one to the other. Deadlines!
So why am I so wanting to tell this particular story?
I want to challenge myself – create a more complex plot.
Go way out of my comfort zone. So far, successfully achieving this to my detriment.
Then, I have to share on a forum , with other writers and comment on their work and wait for them to comment on mine. Lovely.
I am a generous person. The first person to offer to read someone’s work but not everyone is the same.
It would make for a boring world, I agree.
Nevertheless, it is still frustrating.
So, here is the premise in a small nutshell
Betty is married to a kind and loving husband who has supported her her throughout their relationship/marriage,she has DID ( Dissociative identity disorder)and has so far responded well to a new radical form of therapy to treat her disorder. Or has she?
It would appear that she has come to some kind of inner peace with her alternates through engaging with said therapy. She bumps into the past, an ex from college or uni- something doesn’t feel right but she is drawn to him.
Her symptoms start coming back an, example, losing track of time.
One remainging, undiscovered alternates has managed to dupe her. Back in college her old flame -lets call him -Steve- fell in love with one of her alternatives- the seductive, provocative – Lola -everything Betty isn’t.
It didn’t end well. Lola couldn’t compete with Betty and all the other emotions/alternates that were playing out in her mind and her life at that time and Steve left her.
Betty doesn’t know about this other alternate or their true history together. Steve and Lola come up with a cunning ,deadly plan to be together. Lola is determined to be the dominate personality (she won’t compromise her wants) and she will do everything in her power to be able to be with her past lover – even if it means making Betty believe that her husband, Roger is the one cheating on her! Expect a bloody ending but whose blood?
Okay. Sounds really simple 😉 but there is so much information I have in my head. Ideas of how Betty gets manipulated by her ex-lover and Lola.
Do I start in Media res? -bearing in mind,this the first time I have written it down and it does need polishing. Excuse the cliches.
BANG! –the sound synchronized with their clock chiming, a ghastly wedding present, and the longest announcement to confirm it was 6 pm. A demonized scream left Betty’s mouth – as blood splatters stained her face to complement the abstract disarray of Betty’s current surroundings. The remnants of a wistful, discarded soul arrested Betty’s own eyes for what seemed a lifetime, before the body crumpled to heap on the bedroom living carpet– someone so strange yet at the same time familiar. A glint of metal. Another thud. This defined how far Betty had veered this time.
“Betty, Betty come to me”, a calm familiar voice reached the ear hairs of Betty- clearly orienting her to look behind her. Every bone in her body seized up.
Do I start with a more startling- more fact-based opening: like this:
They say that we should always leave our past well alone. If only I had done so. If only I could have foreseen the danger, it would bring me. How could I? I am merely human- subject to my environment, emotions and experiences.
It’s all there in my head and some of it on my word doc. but it will be more that 2000 words.
I need help.
In my commentary (which is something I have to do for all my assignments is to reflect on many factors – one being my thoughts and challenges writing in the Script genre versus the fiction genre. There is a lot more I can reflect about.
Plot? – I am going to have loads to say about overcoming that challenge. haha . I’ve lost it. 😀
Opens /endings – middles
The list goes on and on.
I’m feeling that pressure of a challenge coming on.
I could just write some uncomplicated story to attempt to tick boxes but how will I ever develop as a writer if I play it safe?
Or am I being too ambitious?
Do I carry on with this story? using what I learn in the MA study guide materials and my own independent research ,to aid me, to tell this story to the s.t.i.p.u.l.a.t.e.d.length ?
Or, am I setting myself up for failure?
Am I being too cocky?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am an amazing writer .
I do believe in having the right in being able to express myself creatively and writing is one way I get to do that. I read a cool article this morning- link here
That’s just my personal take, but more generally I feel like the arts are such an important part of how we understand ourselves, how we laugh at ourselves, how we make sense of reality. ‘Listening to a record that you love, reading a novel that you love – it connects you more forcibly into life. For your mental health, it’s extremely important that people are accessing that part of themselves, tuning into other people’s creative expression, expressing themselves.’
Comments appreciated. Thanks for reading.
MINI LIFE UPDATE
I’m slowly moving our company online. Here is a link to my online shop -eek!
Don’t worry I don’t expect you to buy anything. But feel free to follow me on instagram and Facebook – (slightly cheeky but sadly writing doesn ‘t pay the bills 😦 )
I haven’t even finished 3/4 of the whole online shenanigans yet.
Tomorrow will be spent all day working on developing our business.
My daughter is doing so well – check out all her certificates that she has received -all in one semester/ term. So proud.