Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Prompt - This is the closest I have ever been....

I didn't say if this was an F or NF prompt, because I don't know yet.  I am literally just dumping onto the screen, via the cat who is determined that there is room on my lap for the laptop and him (there is if I keep my wrists firmly holding the laptop down)

So.

NF
This is the closest I have ever been to giving up teaching.  I am here every year, at the start of May, hating myself, hating the job, loving my children, loving my colleagues and hating SATs with a passion.  An utter passion.

And then my son came down and distracted me and I lost the thread of where I was going.

So.

F

This is the closest I have ever been to the sun, thought Della, and this is too damn close.  She slapped the control panel again, and watched as the array of lights flickered on, tempting her brain with hope of engine recovery, and then flickering off again.  Nope.  Nothing.
Stupid, ancient, heap of junk machine, she thought angrily. On the other hand, the temp gauge had never worked, so there was every chance she wouldn't know when she was about to die.  That had to be a bonus, right?
There was an alarming juddering from the left side of the ship, and she glanced out of the port side window in time to see the leading edge of the wing begin to glow white hot and lengthen with the heat, thinning as it did.  That wasn't going to go well. 
She punched trim controls into the computer, arguing with the auto-flight that was insisting that everything was fine.  It always insisted that.  It had started insisting that when they had got caught in the fish storm on Rigel 4, and a shark had busted through part of the wiring in the nose cone.   It had carried on insisting that through the dust storms, the ice storms, another fish storm, and everything else that that planet could throw at the pair of them until she had saved enough fuel to get off the place and out into space again.

The fish storm was the worst though, she thought absent mindedly as she rerouted the last of the power into the engines.  The fish stank.  The lights dimmed.  The air recycling unit slowed, but not stopped.  She knew that the immediate feeling of the air thickening was psychological, but she accepted it and moved on to finding anything she could that would slow her descent into the burning orange of the gaseous ball beneath her.

She had one chance.

One.

It was outrageous, and stupid, but it was dying with a sword in her hand and not whimpering on her knees, and so she had to take it.

It came.

She was prepared.  The shields were strengthened underneath her, what was left of the wings was tilted at the right angle, and although she'd be going backwards, this would be the ride of her life.

She watched the screen as the bubbling increased in that area of the sun and then WHOOSH!

An enormous solar flare erupted from the surface of the sun, plasma shooting towards her.  She laughed on the edge of hysteria as the plan worked, and the ship rose up onto the front of the wave, reaching the lip, balancing there, and riding the plasma away from the sun and certain death.

Too close to the sun, by far, but it had been the only way out.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Do I believe in 'Big Magic'?

I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic” and the question I have to ask myself if “Do I believe?”

I don’t believe in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny, but I don’t tell my class that.  I do believe in Jesus and God as one and the same but intrinsically different, which is a hard believe at  times, and the actual Trinity makes it even harder.  I sort of believe in ghosts and spirits because the evidence is there, in my house.  I don’t believe in the Washing Fairy, as my son and other half do.  I do believe in being nice to other people.

Do I believe in the idea that ideas are out there, waiting for me to be available to write them?  Do I believe that inspiration hangs about in the ether, flitting from person to person waiting to find someone who is going to open their mind and heart long enough to write or paint or draw or make whatever the idea is that is crying out to move from an ephemeral wisp of nothing, to a solid and shareable piece of creativity?  I think I might be starting to.

I have 25% of the book left to read, according to Kindle.  I’ve read most of it yesterday, making a conscious decision to come away from the Brainship world (I return there over and over again!) to look for a book that will actually help me to write.

What Gilbert says, however, is that the only person who can actually help me write, is me.  I have to actually get off my backside, get the pen and paper, turn the computer on, whatever it is, and want to do this. I have to try and I have to enjoy trying.

The last isn’t hard.  I love writing, I love the feeling of a pen in my hand or hte keys under my fingertips and I love leaving my marks on the paper or screen.  I can type as fast as I think, almost, and so most of the time I type, but I also always have a notebook with me, jotting down pen portraits, desciptions, first lines, story outlines, anything that comes.  I don’t do it enough though - I wait and see if anyone is around, so that nobody asks.  I can’t be a writer, in my head, if nobody wants to read what I write.  

That’s where I’ve been going wrong.  I’ve been thinking that I can’t be what I want to be, unless other people are involved.  This is wrong.  (In my head I wrote a curseword, but my mother might read this one day!) This is wrong because I have to do whatever it is that I want to do, that I need to do, that I have to do as a huge intrinsic part of me that cannot be contained any more.  It has been.  I wrote a lot as an angst ridden teen.  I acted a lot at Uni and let it out that way.  I stopped everything when I started teaching and it absorbed my life, and then I started again when I had my son and he was tiny and I had time again, and then he got bigger and then I didn’t have time again, and my creativity was in him and in my classroom and now I have the urge, the need, the have to, to open up that flow again.  

I had the moment to write “to open up that vein again” which would have made a more beautiful sentence, but it’s not how it is for me.  I don’t drain myself to exhaustion to write.  I can’t.  I have so many other demands on my time and my own self, that this has to take it’s place in the queue.  Life is like that!

This Easter holidays I have written a lot.  I had printed out a couple of things to revise, but I didn’t get chance to as they were made into paper aeroplanes on a camping trip.  I will do.  I need to sort that out, get a summary, send it out, because even though I don’t believe, now, that part of my writing is the need to be read, I’d still like it read.  

I have no idea who will read it, who would want to read it, but I want to give it a chance to fly.  I want to send out short stories and see them in print, not from an arrogant ego based sense of my own brilliance, but from the point of view that that is their purpose.

That might look contrary to my previous epiphany, but it isn’t in my head. My head says “Don’t let the need to a reader stop you being a writer, but once it’s written, start collecting rejection letters until one day you don’t!”  

So that’s the plan.

Starting with this, today.

I have to write.  It’s who I am.  I am a creative person.  I am a writer.