Don’t break character

Warning: attention whoring inside.

Don’t break character
You’ve got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labour till the work is done

I feel like a fraud sometimes.

From writing to working to everything else.

I sometimes feel like I’m a fraud. That I got to this age, to this life, to this place, all through luck. Makes sense for me to think so, when you consider that at 5 years old, I doubted I could reach 21 years old, much less thirty.

I still remember that moment. Lying on my back. Remembering fragments of a conversation earlier about someone having a birthday party or turning 21. Not sure which. But thinking vaguely to myself, that wow, it’d be incredible if I reached that same age. And thirty? That would be a miracle.

And at 31 in a few weeks, I’m surprised I’m still alive. Still here to type these words, though I’m not sure who will read this. I apologise for the pessimism, but as a woman, I can and will claim the monthly hormonal imbalances.

It doesn’t change the thoughts I’ve been having though, but merely allows me to open and vulnerable.

Because it takes a lot to write such thoughts. To laying out your heart.

But this is the safest way I know of confronting who I am. And to try to figure out who I want to be.

Don’t break character
You’ve got sooooo much heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Oh Rise up like the sun
And labour till the work is done

My work is not done. I am not done, not by a long mile. For now, Over rock and chain, over sunset plain. Over trap and snare. Tis time to be acquainted with my old tools again.

Freezing with fear

So many thoughts, so many ideas.

Been reading so many books and sites about writing and summarising and selling that my thoughts are a constant book marketing narrative now. I think in synopsis, in bylines, in taglines, in short sentences that are designed to intrigue, designed to sell, designed to make people give me money, that when I sit in front of the screen, my mind goes blank.

Deadlines, I need a deadline. One that comes from outside rather than within. I have ideas, I have stories, no, I have the glimpses of a story, but when I sit down and write, I find many reasons to procrastinate. It is not fear that holds me, I think, or is it? I’ve lived with fear for so long, I find the physical version of fear and horror to be a splash of cold water.

Fear.

It is possible for this insidious, sinister thing to come into your heart, into your mind, into your brain, and lodge itself there. It hides itself well, masquerading as love, as caution, as concern, but know it thus by its name.

Fear.

We humans are fearful creatures. We have to be, it is something that we have to develop in order to survive. So many years. So many generations. So many ways for fear to weave itself into our psyche, to corrupt everything we touch, to hide our own weaknesses and blinkers.

How did we come to this state?

No, that is not something I will answer. You need only to see the history of humanity as it is written to see that everything is motivated by fear. Not love, because love does not require us to move, to do more than simply accept and return that love, but fear moves us forward. It is ingrained so deeply into our psyche, that we build walls around us to love and only move forward when we fear losing that love.

Fear motivates most of us. The question is, will fear stop us from taking a breath and saying, “I am here. I can do this. This is what I want, more than the safety of my life, and the ones I do not want to disappoint”?

007: Heaven

Image of storks from my own collection
Image of storks from my own collection

The first thing she was aware of was the feel of the gentle breeze caressing her cheek.

It was a constant, gentle thing, a cooling wind to blow away the cares of the day. She found herself breathing easily, enjoying the breeze. Each breath she took brought new aromas, opened her senses to more information about this place.

The scent of wildflowers. Of freshly-cut grass. The cleanliness of a river.

A beautiful meadow, she thought to herself, her mind instantly casting back to when she was just five years old, and her parents had taken her and her brother on a family picnic. That one moment, when she was a child, walking in the tall grass.

“Open your eyes, Alice,” the brimstone voice of the demon broke her reverie.

Alice opened her eyes to find herself standing on a small hill, under the shade of a large yew tree. Around them, she could see people about them, frozen in a moment. Some were running after each other. A few were sitting on picnic blankets, sharing food. She even saw a couple kissing passionately, lovers entwined with each other, forgetting the world. Her cheeks turned red and she looked away.

“You may speak, child,” the demon’s voice seemed to unlock Alice’s lips, and she found the questions tumbling out.

“Where is this? What am I doing here? Why is everyone frozen?” Alice found herself hyperventilating, panic rising in her chest for no reason.

“Breathe, child. You are not in danger here. This…” he waited till Alice had taken two deep breaths and released them before he continued, “Is heaven. A place where those who are sinless and those who have done good, are taken to rest. Frozen, in a moment of time, at their happiest.”

“What… what is it that you wish me to do here then?”

“We want you to destroy Heaven,” she looked at him as though he had gone mad.

He grinned, and sat down. Alice could not help but think how absurd it was, that here, in the sunlight, in what was supposed to be one of the holiest places, a demon, complete with horns, cloven feet, and thin tail, was sitting happily on the ground. And looking up to HER as though she was going to do the impossible.

“What?” she blinked and stared at him.

“Corrupt Heaven, Alice. This is the price you will pay.”

“But how?” she took a few steps back from him and held her hands open wide, to emphasise her words.

“I leave that up to you. Let me know when it begins, hmm?” the demon leant against the Yew tree, closed his eyes, and soon began snoring.

Alice did not dare to even think of running away. She had made a bargain, and she would stick with it. The question that arose, of course, was how do you corrupt heaven?

~~~~~~~

Heaven, they say, is a place on earth.

Or that it’s something you work on. I don’t know. And to be honest, I stopped caring a long time ago.

Heaven, to me, is a state of mind. It’s a moment of bliss, a moment of happiness. A moment where everything clicks. When you feel right, and that everything around you is right. A moment that you would want to freeze. So as to remember it forever.

I don’t want to freeze time.

I know I don’t want to die. I have a lot of things to live for. I always had, I’ve just never had the courage to admit it to myself. But that’s beside the point.

I like the idea of Heaven, but I don’t like what you have to do to get there. That separation is painful. And if there is nothing in this life after death, it is also pointless.

Much better to love and appreciate the people around you instead while they are here. Heaven shouldn’t be a place you wait to meet those who’ve gone before. By the time you’ve found out, it’ll be too late.

Heaven should be a place on earth. Or rather, a person on earth.

Moments of happiness. Of life.

I don’t want to leave this plane. I don’t want to leave my friends, my family, my loves. I want to live here. To be here. Eternal happiness is nothing if the people I care about are not there.

Hell, they say, is other people. But I’m willing to be in Hell if my loved ones are in hell. Because my heaven are the people I care about.

And apparently I can care quite a bit.

This entry was written for the 100 Themes Challenge. For the full list, click here.

On Maturity

Reposted from my G+:

While talking with Masami yesterday, I’ve come to realise that maturity isn’t about being serious and all that. It’s about realising your priorities, being responsible for your own actions AND taking actions to realise your dreams and priorities.

It’s funny. At 30 or close to it, a lot of my girlfriends and I are reassessing our priorities. It’s less about doing what’s fun for the sake of fun but more of doing things to safeguard our family’s futures or give pleasure to our families.

Giving up a holiday to buy a home or to pay off debt doesn’t seem like a sacrifice at all now.

Why do I write, 2014 thoughts

Karcy had a very interesting question the other day. She asked on Facebook, why do the artists on her friends list create?

For me, the art of creation is what keeps me sane. Writing keeps me sane, keeps me alive, keeps me grounded, in a sense. Several years ago, after being out of a job for about 10 months, I began to work full time again. (My venture into freelance is something I’m still highly embarrassed about, mainly because it’s due to my own inadequacies, but that’s a topic for another day).

So when I started working again, I went into social media. It was what I was hired for, what my skillset then was good at. And in the business of it all, I neglected to write. As in write longform, stringing together words to make sentences to turn into essays. I began job-hopping. Then I finally ended up where I am working now, and still I didn’t write.

It took almost 18 months and the realisation I was slipping into depression before I began to take up the pen again. I could write, it seems during Nannowrimo, but I was afraid to write any other time. The sense of failure had resulted in fear, and I was truly afraid that I would fail again.

I tried all sorts of way to write. It wasn’t until this year, when I started submitting stories, that I really felt right about writing. It’s not an indulgent thing, to want to write because I want to. It’s not a matter of bragging about my skills. I’m not an imposter who’s lucky enough to string words together.

I write because I want to live.

And that’s all that matters.