Tag Archives: writing 101

A Beautiful Mind

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.”

~ Patrick Rothfuss

My sister turned crazy when she was eight.

I don’t know if it was because of our financial situation, the sick violent relationship between my parents, the constant isolation, or the combination of it all that drove her out of her mind. Or perhaps she was just born that way.

I can still remember the first time she showed an unusual display of behavior. It was the evening we acquired an electricity connection and I was happily reading a comic book under the light when I heard her reciting a multiplication table from the other room. There was something that wasn’t right the way she was doing it. The tone of her voice for one, and she kept repeating the damn thing over and over again but mixing the whole thing up! I thought: what’s the matter with her?

The same day, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw her posed over the sleeping body of our elder sister holding a scissor above her head ready to strike. I could understand. I could imagine myself doing it also for countless of reasons but we usually don’t act the things we imagine, do we?

The next day, she came home from school crying hysterically, quite beside herself mumbling about some accident on national highway, dead, mutilated bodies strewn on the road, things like that… The funny thing is: there was no accident. Young as I was (two years older than her) I knew for a certainty that time that she lost it.  

And it never stops. Then there was a decapitated head on the bridge, an occasion when she rode on top of a vehicle naked and bleeding, she tried to kill herself by slashing her wrists with a razor I had to carry her all the way down from the attic to the hospital. And all that because a guy didn’t fancy her. And the time she was raving mad and climbed over the gate of someone’s house shouting the name of the sophomore (who turned out to be gay) whom I didn’t realize she was in love with but the boy didn’t know she existed and why he should? He belongs to the upper middle class and from a prominent family in town, and who are we? In his eyes we were just dust on the road. After the incident, more than ever.

Pity because my sister had and have still a brilliant mind.

She was a straight-A- student, even after that unfortunate incident with the gay sophomore, she finished the year with a gold medal. She is the most intelligent among us, the only one who has a magnificent voice she used to sing solo in church and school choir. If I have a photographic memory, then she has the most advanced camera in her brain, the girl can recall every small detail of long time ago which I have long forgotten. If I am a psychic then her power compares to mine is tenfold. Not only she can predict who is going to come on a certain day but she can tell you the exact time. She knows the name of every medicine known to man and can recite them in their generic names. I remember the time she went to a hospital and stole a lab coat and pretended she was a doctor. It took them a couple of days to find out the truth.  She’s that good. She once worked in a law office as an assistant and she has no law degree or any education related to law. She attended high school only a year before they shifted her off to college and even there she excelled.

We tried to get her committed in a mental hospital but after every interview, the verdict was always the same: she’s not crazy but emotionally disturbed. She doesn’t belong to a loony bin. A fact she will gladly and readily use against anyone who dares to challenge her cranial capacity and state of mind. Whatever her real condition is, it hinders her to lead what society considers a “normal” life. She is not able to hold/sustain a relationship for a long period of time and take care of her children. She tried. Harder than any of us. She wants the kind of family we never had: functional, together, harmonious and loving. At the end, the continuous betrayals, the hard facts of life, the huge responsibilities of keeping a family proved to be too much for her; she left and lives a life of a drifter. She becomes homeless. 

For some people perhaps she seems like someone who is a sexually delinquent person but the truth is she just wants love, attention, caring, warmth; all the things that have been denied to her all her life. My mother saw her as nuisance, ugly (she doesn’t look like any of us and not charming but in my eyes it doesn’t make her ugly) and always treated her with contempt. An attitude she extended to my sister’s children as well. I don’t understand.

For all the things she did out of the ordinary, there are two occasions that are engraved in my brain forever. One was when she jumped in pitch dark night into an excavation filled with coarse gravel straight through between barbwire fence and came out unscratched. The second was when we were in a bus traveling to the mental hospital and she squeezed herself through the window and jumped; landed on the highway, rolled over, stood up unharmed and started running away. Sometimes I think, she’s blessed in some other ways.

I don’t know where is is now. It’s hard to keep track of her when she’s always moving around. I hope she’s doing okay despite everything. I love her. She’s the best among us. Good at heart and innocent. Yes. Innocent…

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Farewell

If I will ever see you again what would I say?

Would I say how are you and greet you with a smile?

Would you smile back and ask in return how I am?

Or we will pretend we don’t know each other and we would just walk by?

If I will ever see you again would I feel just the same?

The time that I first saw you in that fateful day

A day that is fateful and makes you cry inside

If only it didn’t happen would be the best for us

If I will ever see you again would you love me still?

Would you still say I’m your wonderful greatest sin?

The one you will never regret committed in your life

Because I am and will always be your one and only love?

If I will see you again would I dare to repeat

The words that I told you just before I turned and left

I said I will be be back only I don’t know when

But if your, our love is strong enough I’ll find you there waiting

If I will ever see you again would it be different

We don’t have to say farewell simply because we must

Would we have the chance to be together at last

This time you would not be my nephew and I would not be your aunt…

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Daily Prompt

Fallacy

Never want to be known

Not seeking recognition

Writing anonymously

Wishing to make a living as a writer 

Without prostituting his talent

That’s why he is blogging publicly.

*****

Fallacy 

A catch 22

Herd mentality 

Black and white thinking

Generalizing or 

Simply card stacking

Deliberately missing a point

Jumping into conclusion

Being judgmental and prejudiced

Patronizing, manipulating

 False modesty, lying

Misleading the audience

That’s what politicians do 

Oh, I remember now

Fallacy is

What most of us practice

Great.

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Modern Day Freedom

What is freedom…

Slaves by the clock

Self-image, status

Grown up toys

And gadgets

Stuck in a rat race

Is that freedom?

 

Freedom is…

A simple life

A simple house

Time for each other

And for loved ones

Time to enjoy fruits of labor

Watch the sunset

Swim in the ocean

 

What is freedom…

If you’re depressed

stressed, tired, can’t sleep

Near burn-out, can’t smile

Worried, aggressive, intolerant

Is that freedom?

 

Freedom is…

Being content

Being happy

Regardless of

View of society

 

Freedom is…

Having the time

To smell the roses

Walk in sunshine

Self-sufficient

Not hurrying

Enjoying the simple things

Simple things mean a lot

Appreciate it, doesn’t cost much

 

Freedom is…

Being content

Of who you are

And your achievements

Don’t compare yourself

With anyone

If you compete

You lost freedom…

 

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Seconds

…that last and last

seems eternity

look around

nothing new

same familiar view

 

a second stretches forever

it could have been a week

a month, a year, all the same

what matters is

every passing second

spend in this cell is

like a hell

a lifetime imprisonment

every second  a torture

longing for freedom…

 

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Reflection

Contemplating the future

Puzzling over the present

Trying to make sense of the past

Mulling over various possibilities

Considering every thought and action

Thinking of lessons learned from

Countless betrayals and bitter mistakes

Each one more agonizing than the last

Regrets and pain

Reflected on a wounded heart.

 

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Amnesia

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?

Yes and No.

Yes I hold grudges when the offense is very personal, mean, premeditated, evil, repeatedly done without asking for forgiveness and the outcome is life changing and not for the best. 

I never forget. I am blessed/cursed with photographic memory and I am amazed to find out that after all these years words still have the power to hurt me.

Forgiving is depends upon the crime and how it is done. How can you forgive someone who says sorry for stepping on your toes but keep standing on them? How can You forgive people if they don’t ask forgiveness thinking it is their birthright to abuse you? How can you forgive someone when there is always something there to remind you of their cruel deed? How can you forgive your own blood for betraying you?

No. Some crimes don’t deserve forgiveness and some stay engraved in memory no matter how hard you try to forget them…

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Seasons

Summer.

The barbecue tasted great. The potato salad too. We sat in the garden enjoying the wine, his hand intertwined with mine. We looked into each other eyes, communicating without words. He was happy. I was happy. So were the bees and other insects around us, they zoomed tirelessly between flowers, collecting nectar. I laid my head on his shoulder, he gathered me in his arms. Together, we watched how nature works. We stayed there till late listening to the birds.

Autumn.

I was looking at the fire pit watching the flame. I lighted it earlier and sat in the gazebo waiting for him. He uncharacteristically late today. So, unlike him. The dinner I prepared and laid on the table turned cold, the candles had burned out. He finally came at eight looking different, haggard and somewhat worried. He sat opposite me and said he wanted a divorce. He is in love with someone else. Outside it started raining. Good. I didn’t have to water the plants.

Winter.

He’s gone. Packed his bags and left. He said he was going to stay in a hotel. I found out later that he moved in with her. I watched him marched through the garden with his suitcase. He stepped on my rose bushes on the way to his car. He probably didn’t notice they were there under the blanket of snow. I closed the curtain and laid in the dark.

I stayed there for days. Sometimes weeks, lying in my bed without moving. Standing up just to get more wine. And smoke. I took up smoking again. I found out cigarettes were good substitute for food. It filled my stomach and quieted my nerves. A good companion during those dark long lonely cold days and nights. I took the phone off the hook and disabled the doorbell. I didn’t want to hear or see anyone. I just wanted him to come back and say he made a mistake. I waited in vain.

Spring.

I went outside and found out that crocuses and snowdrops had pushed through the layers of snow. A little farther, cyclamens were also putting a good show. So was the grape hyacinths.  I lower myself to the ground and fingered them. Tough little flowers. Soon dutch irises and narcissus will be joining their efforts  and the garden will be alive again with riot of colors. I smiled for the first time in months.

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Itchy Feet

When I was growing up we moved a lot.

We never had a real home or time to settle and grow roots. My memories of home are vague snippets of strange places with different people sometimes I doubt if they are real or imagined.

I never want to go abroad. It was never my dream. I was happy where  I was.

When I was 17  I found myself in Europe. What a strange place. I can’t get used to the food and the weather. I came from the land of endless summer. Here, it is mostly cold, the trees bare and looking like Blair Witch Project.

For the first time I stayed longer in one place, twenty  years.

Eleven years ago, I moved again. This time in an apartment. After 3 years I moved once more to a terraced town house. I stayed there for another three years before I settled in a six bedroom Edwardian house in the country. It took me five years to move to a suburban villa where I am currently living.

Last week I started looking for houses. I have appointments to view some of them this weekend. Yesterday I saw two and was disappointed. 

I guess, I’m moving again.

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Possessed

“In the hour after midnight, a man is more than the madness inherent in the sunless expanse of a night wired with creative storms, lightning strikes neon against a void of light as the writer casts words to page in fevered pace, morning a curse he awaits in sleepless states”

~from humble shadow

Who can relate to this? I think everyone who writes can. Why it is that great ideas come mostly during wee hours? I remember a saying that goes If we can only realize those ideas we have when we cannot sleep, everybody would be rich. Or something like that.

True isn’t it? I am more productive when I’m suffering from insomnia. I might be a walking dead, feeling like swimming in a thick syrup, living in a dream or in the outside looking in or inside looking out but those ideas come pouring in non stop.

Funny thing is, if we don’t record those thoughts while they are fresh, we tend to forget most of them the moment we sleep. We can still recall the concept, the gist of what  it’s all about but not the exact genial arrangement of words. And anyone who writes knows that this is very important: arrangement of words. It affects the whole story and will determine the outcome of the final product.

I’m writing a book at this moment. After too much deliberation and waiting for years, my son finally convinced me to put my ideas on paper. Yesterday I was dead tired and couldn’t really write. Lying in bed, ideas for a crucial conversation between an important character and the leading role came to mind. I knew I had to write it down but I thought I know this scenario, I played it in my head countless times, I device this whole thing, how can I forget it? Wrong! 

Today, trying to write the exact arrangement of words  based on how I remember them prove to be difficult. It just didn’t flow naturally. It felt strained and forced. Like a rehearsed conversation between two bad actors. Too smooth, memorized, it just didn’t feel right.

You might say I learned my lessons by now. I thought so too. But speaking from experience, I know I will have those sleepless nights again full of brilliant ideas I am too lazy to record but will regret not doing so the next day.

How about you? Did you experience something similar?

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