Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ravings of a Paranoid Insomniac

Woke quite sudden in the still, dark hours of the morning, filled with terror, absolutely convinced the eery music in my head was real. After searching for its source for several minutes, however, I was forced to concede it was only the echoes of a dream.

If a dream is powerfully emotional, could it perhaps slip somewhat into being? Could it be that those after-images are not tricks of the mind, but things which almost exist? Things we feel so deeply we are half able to pull them through to this plane from another? After all, who's to say the dream world is not actually a reality we only catch glimpses of? An alternate reality. It is bizarre because it doesn't follow the rules of our world, but perhaps we are just as bizarre and impossible to them. Could there be a world of wild aspirations and what-ifs?

Perhaps in dreams we see our own heaven or hell. Sense does not come into it. But in reality do we ever experience such pure happiness or horror? An irrational emotion is the strongest kind.

Or perhaps the dream world is a sticky earth-ball, being made of bits of everybody's strangest, most gruesome, beautiful, delightful, mad imaginings - a glutinous, undulating world with rolling fat waves of bizarre. And by the nature of this dreamscape, we sometimes stumble into others' dreams. One's foot goes Sploosh! into the mud of someone else's strangest thoughts, and down one sinks, choking on someone else's most inhibited desires, until Pop! - one comes right out the other side, emerging from the clear pool of a child's pure fantasy.

Oh, but I'm merely torturing myself! I can only dream of dreaming - I am imprisoned in reality by vicious insomnia.

"And in my sleep
What dreams may come
Before I'm woken by alarms
Put on my riot gear"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dreams, the Internet, Boys, and the MWE

Today (but this was actually written yesterday) - oh day, oh sun, oh waking hours, hours of operation, I cannot make heads nor tails of you - today, I really did absolutely nothing.

         Every day I set my alarm for nine or ten o' the a.m. and practically every day I fling out an arm in the intoxication of sleep and turn the alarm off.

         Round noon, I finally rise (wipe the sleep out of my eyes) and reprimand myself for the nth time.

"Self," I say, "you are sleeping away your life!"

"I like sleep," I respond. "There are so many things to dream."

"Dreams," argues the logical bit of my brain, "do not pay the bills. They are selfish deadbeats, just like their fathers. They will spend all 
your money and drink all the beer."

"Don't! Don't!" I cry. "I love them! At least they haven't sold out to the man!"

"Please to be quitting the nonsense, Cam. This is rubbish. You don't speak to yourself like this."

"Well, I might."

"But you don't. You've only just made it up, because you think it's funny. You can't go misleading kindly audience types into thinking you're that clever and spontaneous."

"I'm spontaneous."

"You are a writer. You're the opposite of spontaneous. You analyse and edit everything you do and say to death so that it's publish-perfect."

"That was well expressed. Publish-perfect. I'm making a note of that."

"My point exactly."

        The real point being that unless I've got work, I've no idea what to do with myself during the day. The hours of nine to five are so uninspired - so old hat - so - so nineties! I mean what stuffed suit thought of that anyway? Why should daytime mean awake-time?

Night is much lovelier and more exciting and generally makes everyone look better. And the moon is so much more inspiring, because you can actually look at it with your eyes - not like the sun, that big, bright braggadocio.

Though, admittedly, darkness presents quite a problem to photography. And people really are very fond of their own image. I have found it out, then. This is obviously the reason for the correlation between daytime and awake-time.

I, on the other hand, being not terribly fond of my own image, prefer the more creativity-rich Night. Or a brutish, brooding storm. I'll take a good storm over almost anything. I could move to England purely for the weather.

Which brings me back round to the actual subject matter on which I wished to enlarge.

Another day wasted in front of a stupid computer screen. I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. It is a truly fantastic place in that it is like a magical abandoned mansion on the edge of town. One can get in easily, but must be wary of the porch - it looks stable enough, but its wooden planks are completely rotten in places, and the inexperienced adventurer will fall straight through, to be bombarded forevermore by utter rubbish.

Once inside, however! Oh, there is simply no end to the secret wardrobes, crawl spaces, medieval passages, Underground Railroad tunnels, walled up corpses, and, if one is lucky, a leftover cask of Amantillado. Naturally there is the attic of lost treasures. And a dumbwaiter which leads somewhere else on Tuesdays.

On the other hand (I do always consult my left, because he is an idiot savant and sometimes comes out with the most astonishing pronouncements), the world wide web is also a great, gaping black hole which can swallow one up and spit one out three years later. And on the other side, one finds she is an uneducated, malnourished loser and wishes desperately that she could go back, but alas - it was not to be. She has become, irrevocably, a lamely emaciate nerd, with a useless hobby of anagramming.

As it turns out, it is a very happy happenstance for my writing that this laptop, on which my thrilling prose is composed, does not have the capacity to host that sometime black hole which is the death of productivity.

Round about seven, I began to be restless, and despondent over my lack of popularity and the non-fruition of my genius, so I hatched a plan to save either the world or my brain, but not both. (For if my brain begins again to work properly, the world is certainly doomed). Taking my poor, crippled laptop, I made away like a thief in the night!

To Sitwells! (A most excellent coffee joint). And there I sat, surrounded by surrealist art and strange-strumming instruments and very badass hipster youths, with a pumped-up drink to hand. And sat.

And sat.

And sat.

Staring at a screen, debating whether the words "writer's block" are more akin to Voldemort or MacBeth.

(Ala - "Fear of the words 'writer's block' only increases fear of the block itself," or "A terrible curse befall ye who speaketh aloud of the Scottish impediment!")

And after an hour and a half of sitting and staring and pondering and being distracted by cute boys, when the cafe was closing, I had written one paragraph.

But before they could turn me out onto the street, I had to pee and, oddly enough, this was the reason the evening turned out not to be a dead loss. For, at the back of the place, the talented young artist whose surrealist works had been displayed about the cafe was packing away his pieces. Seeing this, I paused on my way to the loo to tell him how very fantastic his art is, and his name is Donny, and you may view his art here:

Another odd meeting took place as I was exiting Sitwells. I was hailed by a quite handsome fellow I had never met before, who turned out to be Michael McIntire, guitarist and singer of The Marmalade Brigade. He was enormously friendly and chatted me up for a bit, and I gave him my number, and I'm beginning to think Sitwells is the place, you know. To meet cute, artsy chaps.

Even if it is not the place to write a brilliant masterwork of sheer genius.

And now, since this has degenerated into utter frivolity, and it is four o' clock in the morning, and I've developed a powerful need for a spot of soothing tea, I bid you a very. Good. Night.

[Bows, with much flourishing of her plumed hat.]

And now about the very exciting today times!!! I have finished the first chapter of the Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma (MWE)! Oh, but there is still so much more to write! It is an exhausting thought!

Anyone care to guess what the MWE actually is based on my playlist? If you guess I shall give you ... something really great! Cross my heart and hope to die!

"What the F*** Was That!?" - Evil Dead the Musical
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" - Daft Punk
"Another One Bites the Dust" - Queen
"Smooth Criminal" - Michael Jackson
"Blood" - My Chemical Romance
"Beautiful" - Moby
"Battesimo del Fuoco" - The Dear Hunter
"Earth Died Screaming" - Tom Waits
"Mending of the Gown" - Sunset Rubdown
"Don't Make me a Target" - Spoon
"St. James Infirmary" - Louis Armstrong
"Double Trouble" - John Williams
"Climbing the Walls" - They Might be Giants
"Exterminate Regenerate" - Chameleon Circuit
"Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse
"Remains of the Day" - Danny Elfman (from the Corpse Bride)
"Hedwig's Theme" - John Williams

Haha! Stumped? Anyone care to hazard a guess?


Today in the post, I received a package. Oh, dear, thought I, what have I accidentally ordered? The internet is entirely tooclickable.

But then I noticed that the package in question was from Amazon.

A book.

I rushed to the calendar. 2 June.

Not just any book. The book. Her book. It had finally come.

Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon's Lexicon.

(If you do not know who Sarah Rees Brennan is, go here. She is beyond amazing.)

Then the ripping began, and the shrieking, and the petting, crooning softly to it, rubbing it to my cheek, and more shrieking. I am afraid the neighbors may be under the impression I was being brutally murdered. Meanwhile, I was dancing like a wild thing on the loose. Somehow the furniture survived my cartwheels of glee. I phoned Meg and shrieked at her a bit, as she is the only one who would understand what I was raving on about. As usual, she was calm and understanding. She is much like me, but without all the hyperventilating. To calm myself, I made a cup of strong tea. With the tea close to hand (but not so close as to be knocked over in one of my many fits), and under the mood-lighting of a stormy sky, I began to read.

Here, in my trembling hands, I held Nick and Alan and Mae and Jamie! As I read, the characters spun by Sarah's words lifted themselves from the ink, blossoming from the pages like shifting shadows to play their story in my sitting room. Everything I love about Sarah Rees Brennan's writing was here, especially her signature wit, which I cannot imagine her writing without. She combines a dark, sometimes terrifying, adventure with quirky, real characters, with real flaws (none of this sparkling perfection nonsense), who I instantly fell in love with, and adds to it moments to make you reel with laughter. These moments allow you to relax, while subtly tightening the strings of dramatic tension. Nothing could be more true to life. Who ever feels only one emotion? She confuses and dazzles you with comedy alongside the Very Serious, like writer Cassandra Clare and filmmaker Joss Whedon, until you are whipped into a whirlwind of emotions - pretty much the way you feel about life.

Now, I must confess, I have not finished it yet, but I have a very good reason! As you can see from the photo above, I do not read books. I devour them. I am a bibliophile. But I do not want to treat this book the way I treat Christmas chocolate - that is, I eat it all in one sitting, make myself sick, and the next day I have nothing but sweet-smelling wrappers. I want to enjoy it slowly, savouring every unique flavour. So I will wait. I will make myself wait.

I hope Nick does not mind being nibbled on. He is just so scrumdiddlyumptious.

I imagine I will be saying, "Many people think I'm a blueberry scone." for years to come. I immediately began quoting out bits of it to my confused, but tolerant, father, who chuckled and said it was just my kind of humour. I hope that Sarah Rees Brennan will agree someday. For, when I become a published author, I will beg my agent to arrange a play-date with her, and hopefully she will not say, "I thought I was a bit mad, but you, madam, are a true lunatic," and brandish something sharp at me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

In Which I Give Up a Little, You Heartless Jerkwads

Laziness triumphs! Oh, I am a ridiculous procrastinator. I even leave things I like till the last minute. But I did scribble some things down last night while watching The Mummy. So I shall just incorporate last night's scribblings into today's blog and voila! I am such a clever slacker.

I love The Mummy. It's the epitome of popcorn entertainment, combining elements of Evil Dead, Romancing the Stone, and Around the World in Eighty Days. It is so Action Perfect Get On, it makes me salivate.

The actiony bits are so delightful and gripping because we care about the characters, and their struggle seems real and vastly important.

Now, for all my obsession with philosophical discussions, subtext, metaphors, and so on, I like explosions an awful lot. And one day I am going to write the ultimate action thriller. Zombies are the obvious choice, possibly vampires. But a dream I have cherished since I was a small child enthralled by the comedic stylings of Robin Williams is to remake Jumanji in a more realistic vein - as a truly frightening experience.

The key to a great thriller is knowing when to flip the switch. The greatest thing about Evil Dead 2, one of my favourite films ever, is that the audience is laughing their collective ass off right before they jump outta their seats. The combination of comedy and action or horror makes the experience ten times more exciting, because if they're laughing their heads off, the switch is a shock, and therefore that much more thrilling (unlike my blogging, which seems to be terminally dull. I mean, really, who do you have to lay to get some attention on the internet? It's not like real life. You don't actually have to be talented. I'm missing something important. Yes. YES this is too self-aware. YES I know one needs to be likable, which I am not. YES I want attention. Look at me look at me look at me! I have a hole in my soul which needs to be filled by a multitude of adoring fans!).

Alright, look, I'm gonna level with you. I just ran out of steam and my sunburn is in the itchy stage. If you are reading my blog, you obviously need a life. Put on your leather trousers and set out to seek your fortune.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last Night on Earth

i text a postcard sent to you did it go through...

We are in the car, the three of us, him and her and me, after another fruitless day of "work," which consists of handing out advertisements for some wannabe Facebook, but hey, it pays. Having been exposed to full sunlight two days now, I am secluded by my agony. I feel like the surface of the sun. I look as if I've been in a chemical fire. He and she only tan.

you are the moonlight of my life every night...

He is singing along to Green Day. They chat casually, flirtatiously. Everything is familiar. I roll down the window, lean back, close my eyes. Bursts of light are orange from behind my eyelids. Orange. Black. Orange. Black. The rushing air feels better than I thought possible on my burning skin.

my beating heart belongs to you...

He says something to me. I answer absentmindedly, barely aware I am moving my lips.

i walked for miles till i found you...

I open my eyes. The back of his neck is just a little pink. Hardly noticeable.

i'm here to honour you...

She has said something. I have turned the volume on the world down. He reaches over to take her hand.

if i lose everything in the fire i'm sending all my love to you...

They smile at each other fondly, briefly, as lovers do. It's the little things. That is sweet, I think.

That is sweet? I think. What is happening?

Could it be that I really meant what I said? Could it be I really want more than anything for him to be happy? After all that I've been through, all that I put myself through, could it be this simple?

My heart aches no less. The longing and sadness are not diminished. This is not about me.

After all, it turns out I have a modicum of goodness left.

if i lose everything in the fire did i ever make it through?

Monday, May 18, 2009


A word of advice: do not live in the past. "What if"s only incur agony.

A years-old poem:

It's funny only afterwards you turned out the lamp

I nuzzled my cheek against your burning neck

And traced lost words on your palm with my frozen fingers

And let them dance along your spine

"I want to sleep next to you," I breathed into your safe embrace

You covered me with the blanket, because I get so cold

(Even though you love to see me naked)

And clutched my hand and sang softly in my ear

While stroking the curly strands at the base of my neck

Moonlight and shadows

You opened the window and lit up

The ones you'd saved for tonight

In the density of the clutter of your minimalist bedroom

The glowing end of your cigarette was the only light

Friday, May 15, 2009

The World Imploded

Frustration is slowly eating me from the inside out.

I don't. Want. To think about my life - what it's going to be for the next twelve, fifteen months.

I thought I wouldn't be able to write tonight, but it's surprising what your habitual writing spot can do for you. I sit down at this computer and put on some music and Bam! I start typing. It's like magic!

Do forgive me, but me head's a little vague.

I know what I've got to do, and I've just got to grit my teeth and do it. And the actual day to day will not be hard. It will be easy, so easy.

For the next year, I have to continue to live with my parents. Get a regular job (well, the best paying job I can find) - two if I can manage it. And spend as few pesetas as possible.

Ha. This will be so easy it may kill me.

I don't know if you understand how much I can feel my brain already melting. I mean, I watch way too much Hulu, so I'm doomed anyway, but over a YEAR of a regular job and no intellectual stimulation.... !

BUT! But, I am going to grit my teeth and do this so that I can finally go back to school. Oh, Brain, my Brain, just you wait. Learning again! What a heaven that will be! Yes, the thought of it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

Alright. Now, I am very tired and rather ill and a wrackspurt's got my brain. To round the evening off nicely, here is a very, very, very short story.

            The world imploded.

            Hardly anyone knew it was going to happen. One earthling fortune teller had predicted it, but she had long ago given up on the idea of being believed, and so she had tucked herself away in a filthy corner of the planet and was never heard of.

            It was a rather sorry sight, all that glitter and dust and life folding in on itself, curling in like flaming parchment, and eventually becoming nothing but a tiny speck.

            Two systems over, on a planet whose name is irrelevant, a distinctly non-humanoid life form, with a very long telescope, entered the data into an impossibly vast network, and that was the last anyone, anywhere, ever thought of Earth.