In this moment, my more literal-minded friends would point out that there are lots of things to fear besides fear, for example snakes and rabid dogs.
At which I would concede the point.
However, I would also argue that in terms of the bigger picture, Roosevelt was correct, even slightly prophetic.
Yes, if I walked down the street tomorrow I could be bitten by a rabid dog and that fear would be justified. But such an event would not have an impact on anyone outside my immediate circle. However things that people can do to other people plain and simply out of fear can have an impact that is community-wide, country-wide, or even world-wide.
We are talking here about discrimination, xenophobia, racism, repression, genocide and war.
At the moment it sometimes seems as though the entire world is being consumed by fear.
I am afraid of it.
Let’s revisit the colouring books of our childhood. Colouring for adults is way less kinky than it sounds. (more…)
2014 has really not been my year. It contained way more lows than highs. Actually it’s even hard for me to think of a high for the year. It’s a lot easier to think of a lot of lows, though I’m not sure if that’s due to a complete lack of highs or just due to my general grumpiness.
But just because it’s been a sucky year that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn anything. That’s what it’s about in the end, right? Every year, whether good or bad, we learn new things and, hopefully, become better people.
So here is my list of things I learnt this year. I promise it doesn’t include “don’t sweat the small stuff”. 😉
So you can apparently tell a lot about a person from the kind of books they like to read. According to studies, people who like biographies are different – personality-wise – from people who like fantasy and people who like historical fiction are different from people who enjoy romance. I wouldn’t know if that is actually true, but I do know you can tell my mood and state of mind from what I like to read at a specific moment in time.
I just needed to get this off my chest.
Sooo… It’s still the third week of NaNoWriMo. My little colourful calendar there in the sidebar is starting to look increasingly like a game of Tetris and I’m still winning the word count. I haven’t been behind yet, except for the second day where I was technically a few hundred words behind when midnight came, but I continued writing beyond midnight and by the end of day 3 I was all caught up again. So, this is the week of the 30,000’s. And the great and scary thing at the moment? My week-threes haven’t turned up yet. You know how I said that other people suffer during week 2, they hit a block, etc., but that I suffer during week 3, because that is usually when I run out of steam? I did run out of steam a bit in week one. Well, actually I started low on steam, but now I’m pretty
chilled chirpy. We’ll see what the rest of this week holds. I’m trying to study for English Lit and doing an assignment at the same time and it’s a bit stressful. I write English on Saturday (yes, Saturday, sometimes I hate my university) and I also have to hit 40,000 words that day. And the 3,000 word assignment is due next week. I just want to curl up on the couch and watch How to Train Your Dragon, but all of that will have to wait for December.
We’ll see. But that is not all that happened this week. I found a couple of things that are just yelling at me to hold on and keep writing and studying and creating. One of them was this tweet that appeared on my Twitter dashboard:
Jennifer Persinger (@jp0473) November 12, 2012
It came at the right time. I need to continue writing, even though the odds aren’t in my favour this week. Then… (more…)
Hi! Sorry this post is late…
Oh, and welcome, to my 100th post on this blog! 😀
In other news, my oral exam went really, really well and I did great. I got about the highest marks that I have ever got for talking! Of course I had been worrying myself to death over nothing…
I was just really glad that I could sit down for the exam, because I had given myself such a stomach ache from stress (like I always do) that I wouldn’t have wanted to stand up. 😛
Also, I really don’t even have an excuse for the late post. But I’ll try: I was procrastinating 60% this weekend, I forgot that I hadn’t a finished drawing yet for 40% and I fell asleep when I tried to do something about this last night for 20%. Oh no, wait. That 120%. Let’s try again: I procrastinated 50%, forgot 40% and fell asleep (or just decided to go to bed) 10%. That sounds sufficient. 😉 A nice, statistical way of saying nothing at all…
At the moment, I’m lying flat on my back on my bed with the laptop on my stomach, nursing a headache. It aches from my nose, through my eye, in a line across my head and down my neck at the back. Urghhhh… Also, I have a huge analytical essay to hand in on Friday and I haven’t written a single word yet. And not a single word will get written tonight either, if I know myself. I’m just going to go to sleep again. Well, maybe I can make an attempt to read my research material in bed, to make myself feel less guilty about not working.
[Harry] did not usually lie in bed reading his textbooks; that sort of behaviour, as Ron rightly said, was indecent in anybody except Hermione, who was simply weird that way.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
I’m writing! I’m writing! Can you believe that?! When last have I written anything that was not non-fiction? Yes, indeed it was during NaNoWriMo, more than four months ago. That should be the new officially warning for Wrimos: You may be drained from all writing for four months after the challenge. *evil laugh* Just when you have completely recovered, it will be time for the next challenge! Hoho!
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling about the wonder of writing and get to the story. This started off as a story of hope and then did a 180 degree turn and went in the other direction. Then things got a bit political and I suspect it is laughing at things one should not laugh at. Please note: it is not speaking about any specific country. You can apply it wherever you like… or see it as completely fictional dystopia if that is the way you prefer it.
I’m rather unsure about this story. I’m not sure if it’s too fragmentary, too vague, too horrible. Opinions, please! That’s what the comment box is for!
I present to you… Burning.
It is a terrible thing when a country burns. All the people and creatures get scalded and that is not a nice thing to get, after all. Most of the plants die as well, except for those who learn to feed on the liquid raining from the sky. This liquid is no refreshment, for it is not old-fashioned water, but hot oil raining from the sky – and it does more than just make everything slippery. It feeds the fires burning in the earth and it banishes the water. Those two have an ancient feud, you know. In fact, both would have had massive chips on their shoulders if only they had chips. Or shoulders, for that matter.
Some of the people of the country fled before it all started. They were the most foresighted – or perhaps the most cowardly. Who knows? The foolishly heroic who remain behind roam the stricken countryside in packs. There are still a few areas where one can survive, where the wind-patterns turn away most of the oil-clouds. However, ferocious fights break out on the smallest patch of grass, over said patch of grass, of course. When it is done, not much grass is left. It is easy to start a fight in these days. Without society’s restraints, even a look can serve as catalyst. Luckily for the fights, there are not many looks: people prefer not to look at each other too much, no one being much of an oil painting what with all the oil, ash and smoke around.
What else is left in the country? In fact, what is there left for a burning country? There isn’t much feeling: neither mirth nor maudlin. Things just are, without any kind of descriptive adjective. People and creatures still draw breath and just about the most you can hope for is not getting burned today.
There is not much else to say about the burning country. Usually it is as silent as a mausoleum – which is more than a simile. Sometimes you can hear the laughter of hyenas echoing across the plains. But then, those things will mock anything before they tear it apart – alive.
PS. Random fun fact: This is my 50th blog post! Yay!
© 2012. Elana E. All rights reserved.
Hi guys! I thought it was time again for a new short story. I don’t know what it is that is lately happening to my writing, but everything that I write seems to turn out as these dark, surrealistic stories… I’ve definitely been studying and reading too much Modernism this year! Bleh.
Oh yes, if you have read this little guy on my Goodreads shelf, you might recognize the title of the story. And maybe the end as well. And if you have read one of my all-time favourite Agatha Christie stories, Sleeping Murder, then you might just recognize the… claws…
Anyhow, I’m talking too much and not getting round to the story. Here you go! Hope you enjoy it and leave a comment to tell me what you thought!
All copyrights belong to original artist, Laurent Ménabé.
The library was deathly quiet at this time of the evening. There were no other people, no other movements – only me… and the little noises. Just the little noises to break the dusty, deathly silence. You think I’m hearing the creaks from the bookshelves’ wood cooling down after the heat of the day? Let me tell you that this is not so. The noises do not come from the bookshelves, but I do not know where they come from. Sometimes it sounds like creaking and sometimes like rattling, and sometimes they seem to come from just about anywhere and sometimes they seem to come from overhead.
Outside, the golden light of the westering sun fell in standing pillars through the limbs of the trees. They were ancient trees with heavy, knotted trunks and twisted boughs which formed a canopy high overhead. As the light fell through them, the leaves glowed and sparkled: mostly green and brown, but also with hints of red, gold and silver.
Over the great double-volume main hall of the library, a glass dome stretched. It was inlaid with delicately carved frames of metal and panels of different coloured glass. The evening light also fell through this skylight and drew mandalas of coloured light all over the ground floor of the library. I stood on one of the first-floor balconies, looking down at the floor below. Then I saw another speck of light dancing in front of my eyes. I blinked and it shimmied off to one side. I squinted and tried to focus as it flickered closer to my nose again. It was a firefly – a little glowing ball of light with wings attached. When I opened my eyes after having blinked again, it was gone – this time for good. I sighed and turned back to the bookshelves behind me.
I picked up my bag and started walking through the shelves. It was narrow and dingy in there and the shelves were absolutely stuffed with books. The spines bristled like that of so many hedgehogs.
I was heading for the English Literature shelf. Which was right at the very back, of course. Right at the very back, where the lights were faulty and the little noises intensified in volume in the stillness. When I reached the correct shelf I started to browse down it, running my fingers along the dusty spines of the books.
Directly behind my back, the creaking noise started up. I thought it came from both behind my back and overhead at the same time. I spun round and looked up, but I didn’t see anything. Shrugging, I turned back to my shelf and then spotted the book I was looking for. As I dropped my bag and pulled the book out of the shelf, the overhead light started flickering and the creaking redoubled. This time it was definitely overhead. There was a sound as if someone was filling a paper bag with gravel and shaking it very hard. With the book in my hands, I looked up again and this time I saw a light bobbing across the ceiling.
It was a firefly again, though if it was the same one as previously I could not possibly tell. It was bobbing close to the base of that flickering lamp and by its light I could actually see the base of the lamp for the first time. The lamp was partly pulling out of the ceiling, leaving gaping holes around the base where the screws had torn out of the compressed wood. By the light of the firefly, I could just see inside one of these holes. There was a faint movement in there and I could see the edge of a shadowy shape that was just illuminated by the firefly. The shape was indistinct and at first it drew back out of the tiny circle of light, then it seemed to make up its mind and approached the hole.
All this time I had been standing with the dusty old book in my hands, staring upwards at the hole in cold, frozen horror. I don’t think I would have been able to make myself move at that moment, even if I had thought about it. My brain was so occupied with trying to keep my imagination – which had leapt into overdrive as soon as it saw that firefly – under control that it had basically shut down all other functions, including breathing.
I stared at the approaching shape; I watched it grow distinct. I saw it become a pinkish-grey, hairless paw. I saw its digits curl into spastic claws. I saw it trying to squeeze through the hole in the ceiling, felt my legs finally regain the power and I ran. I dropped the dusty old book and heard it clatter on the floor behind me as I scooped up my bag and took off.
I flew out from between the shelves, through the – suddenly very quiet – library and clattered down the stairs. I raced across the dark main hall and wrenched open the great entrance doors. And moonlight spilled into the library.
During my time inside it had grown dark and the stars glittered and flickered in the sky – like little fireflies. The cool night air washed over me and calmed my racing heart. But then I looked down at the trees – those beautiful trees of this evening – and saw, to my horror, that they had grown faces. Huge, knobbly faces, with shadows dancing between them. And their branches creaked like that sound inside the library and their leaves whispered in the wind. Once again I stood frozen in horror – caught between the horror inside and the horror outside.
That was when I knew I was having a nightmare. And all I wanted to do was wake up. But the problem with this nightmare was that it was reality. The world was the nightmare and the nightmare was the world. And I was wide awake – there was no waking up from this. As I stood there, cornered on the steps of the library, I knew that I had to face at least one of these horrors to find escape. I could go back inside and face the horrible claws. Or I could get off these steps and face the horrors of the dark night. But I could not make myself move. I could not face up to these horrors and so escape from them.
I was in reality and reality was a nightmare. I could not overcome it. I remained on the dark steps.
Status update: Elana is back on duty!
Eating: What is this stuff? *pokes it, peering into the bowl*
Drinking: Hot Chocolate. Mmm!
Listening: “Someday” ~ John Legend
Reading: This interesting blog post on a blog named Cartoons and Creative Writing. You should read it too!
First off, Readers: Y’all should appreciate this post muchly.
Why? Well, because this week I, being my usual foolish self, managed to tear the tip of my left thumbnail completely off, and then into the nail bed. It hurts like— like— something that you can imagine that hurts in incredible amounts. If only there was an interesting story behind my little accident it might have been better in some way (more ideas for blog posts for one thing), but unfortunately it must be the lamest story you have every heard about a wound like this. I was sitting in the library, being academic, tried to take my diary out of my bag, it got stuck, I yanked at it, my fingers slipped, and when I looked again the front part of my nail was hanging like a flap. Ouch!
But I still haven’t explained why you should appreciate the appearance of this post. Well, that would be because, with a finger like this, it hurts to do basically everything that I need to do. It hurts to write with a pen (I write with my left hand), it hurts to type, it hurts to pick up my bag (yes, the guilty party in my wound), it hurts to take a bath and it hurts to put on my clothes. Therefore you should have appreciation right now, because I still bath (not that you care), I still wear clothes, I still write and, most important of all, I am still typing this blog post at the time that I had said I would do it.
Now. Without further ado, let us proceed to the long-awaited (not!), new, long cartoon!
The following anecdote happened when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I think… Well? Are you going to check?
Cue… the incident of Lord Voldemort, the shower, and… yours truly!
Yep. I was a stupid kid. I still am actually, sometimes. (Think torn-off thumbnail! ) And this was just sooooooo embarrassing!
But in all seriousness, for quite some time, I was truly scared of reading Harry Potter because I so scared of Lord Voldemort. But, when reading the later books, this fear was replaced by an irrational fear of that pet snake of old Voldy. Nagini, I think? Seriously, for years, when I was blow-drying my hair in front of the mirror, I would be continually checking behind me, and under the bed because I was scared there would be a huge snake there. The reasoning behind that being, if the hairdryer was making such a noise, I would not hear the snake sneak up behind me! I know, I know… Therefore, thinking of my childhood fear, I was very gratified to watch that snake getting killed in the final Harry Potter-movie. As I watched it, I thought that if my childhood had to die along with this movie, then my phobia might as well go as well. Hah! I truly hated that snake!
And this post just made me look like the hugest Harry Potter fan! I’m not actually. I liked it whilst it lasted; the final movie made me extremely melancholy and nostalgic; sometimes it annoyed me greatly… but I can’t say that I was ever a Harry Potter fan-girl! *ahem* Rambling off-topic again… (And now I have an addiction to ellipses!)
Lastly a special announcement: to my very special Impish friend, the professional geek, the Serverus Snape of our world, and sayer of really strange things Such as…
Here’s a big internet hug for you! *hug* Hope you enjoyed your
Up next (that means next week some time, hopefully!): A new short story! A fairy-tale — Elana-style.