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Charting Adrift

- I went ahead and booked my waxing appointment - no further than my limbs - because it's approaching summer and silky smooth skin feels so good against cotton sheets when I'm sleeping in.

- A month ago, an old school-mate and still current Facebook friend of mine got married. Before the wedding, she'd sent out her invites as Facebook RSVPs, which I felt too awkward to accept. Not so much on the general personal social awkwardness on my part than the sense of disingenuous that comes with maintaining a ghost of a relationship, compounded by the awkwardness of Facebook in general. I know that a fair lot of our mutual friends did RSVP, but I'm not sure that they actually attended.

- Facebook. Is. Awkward. The only reason I'm keeping my account up is that it is convenient for sending a quick message or birthday greeting.

- With a few exceptions, my personal relationships outside of my inner circle seem to be... not 'disintegrating' per se, but it's like looking right through a person. Just devolving into other people on tangentially different orbits, getting further and further away. It doesn't break my heart by any means, but it makes me wonder if the rest of my life is going to play out the same way.

- It's like I was built for solitude. But while I don't mind being alone, I feel like there's only so far I can drift before I find myself waking up and finding nothing but sea around me. If there's anything I don't want to push my limits against, it just might be that. 

Never Have I Ever

- Listened to a Beyonce song post-2005-ish. I've heard snippets of her stuff on the radio, but have never really felt the urge to listen through a full-length track.

- Had a banana split sundae.

- Watched an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians because there's only so much misery in the world I can process.

- Had an age-appropriate YA lit phase. Aside from Harry Potter, I think I went straight to the 'adult' section once I passed ninth grade. I've only just rediscovered the new era of YA lit and it's looking a lot more diverse than I expected, an experience which I ought to thank the Tumblr bookblr community for.

- Owned less books than clothes and shoes combined.

- Had a bikini wax. And I'd love to keep it that way.

- Had a manicure. Pretty nails are too pretty to ruin, so I just clip mine on a regular basis.

- Owned/Used a Slam Book. I wonder if the kids still use them. Or do they even call them 'Slam Books' anymore?

There's probably more, but I think I'm gonna scratch the sundae off the list first. 


I have been caught between lethargy and restlessness lately, and I've been thinking too much again. I've been too mentally parched to write, but my mind still craves for something to devour. I have been feeding it a litany of words through the book I'm reading, online fanfiction, podcasts, and Youtube videos, and it bares its teeth even now.

I tried to watch Les Miserables to take my mind off my mind - and how strange that appears as I type it - and it only made me want to go back to acting in my school years. In that moment, I craved for the physical spectacle and the release of words that made more sense than mine. Maybe I should look around for a local theater group: 'Experience: brief periods of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde during English classes in school. No, I've never done this professionally. But I play a part every day just to get through it. Does it count?'

Writing this makes me realize that this is just what I need sometimes: a moment of release.

Have you ever had these days when you're alive, but not really living? And you need to pause, reassert yourself into every atom that makes you 'you' and remind yourself that it's more than likely just another fugue that you've wandered into again. Things might be worse, but they don't seem to be getting better either.

Sometimes it takes every ounce of me to remember that there is some meaning to these days, something which is all too apparent if I look myself in the eye: it's just time and there it goes and now it's done.

'It's just not an option for us to throw another community under the bus.'


I've fallen off the wagon in the past few weeks.

Fortunately, it could be worse than what it is: oversleeping and binge-eating. The wake-up call came yesterday after a visit to the gyco, which revealed to no one's surprise, that said vices might be an effect or result of a thyroid problem. I did a blood test today and they told me to check with the doctor after two days.

All things considered, things could be worse. Given the nature of my job and a history of high blood pressure on my mother's side of the family, I was expecting to be prescribed with medication right off the bat, but it turns out my BP's actually normal. 'Perfectly normal', to quote. But while this is a good thing, it doesn't let me off the fact that I am still in shoddy health and need to make me a priority for a change.

I've already started the following:

- an earlier bedtime, except on my days off, but still aiming for minimum 7 hours daily.
- more black tea

Things to change:

- possibly try to get a gym membership because while I love my walks, they're not improving much of my physical health as much a good few rounds of cardio would
- replace chocolate with healthier alternatives
- more fruit and veg

While I think the above is going to be great for me in the long term, I'm really hoping that the work-outs won't eat into my writing time too much, although wait, Noori, aren't you close to finishing that original one-shot of yours? Oh yeah. Go me, on that count, at least ^^

30 Days of Writing - Day 30

Day 30 → Best source of inspiration?

The ache. That dreadful, delicious ache.

The saying that pain breeds the best art rings true on a lot of levels with me. I'm not just thinking back on every little hurt and slight, and the misfortunes that fell in-between, but there were these sweet moments of euphoric happiness that cut just as deep. You know, like, when you watch the sun blaze its way out, until it dips below the horizon and it's dark.

Ideas are pin-pricks, microcosms of worlds that fold in over themselves and complete. Sometimes it's rain on the side-walk, scattered luminescence. Either that, or it's the tears in your reflection.

Just like that, everything hurts so good.

That's the best and worst part about art. In the end, it's all about you, another atom in a diamond, whereas all you're really made of is carbon.

I'm a mess of nerves, held together by bones made of verse.

Everything hurts.

But the important thing is that it's here. 

30 Days of Writing - Day 29

Day 29 → How often do you think about writ­ing?

And I have them all the time.

Yes. This is the Hell I have willingly thrust myself upon.

30 Days of Writing - Day 28

Day 28 → Have you ever writ­ten a char­ac­ter with phys­i­cal or men­tal dis­abil­i­ties?

I've experimented with this in Leitmotif in which I tried to delve into the mindset of a protagonist struggling to cope with a form of autism slash ADD. However, it's still a draft for now as I don't have the confidence in going ahead with the limited amount of research I'd put in, though I think it shows some promise. However, it's going to be some tough work to pull off.

For characters with physical disabilities, one of the main characters in Pathway is confined to a wheelchair after an accident and I focused more on the emotional aftermath than the actual physical challenges. Then again, the story was written from the perspective of the ex-girlfriend of said character, so there's that and that's really ableist of me in retrospect.

As you can guess, my current body of work sorely lacks physical and mentally disabled characters, mostly due to a lack of confidence in writing them. I've picked up the bad habit of not actually addressing the disability in concrete terms and using the overarching plot to cover it up. I would love to include more disabled protagonists in the future though and I think I can improve my confidence level by interacting more with people who live with such conditions.

So if anyone's got tips to share on this topic, I'm grateful for any!

30 Days of Writing - Day 27

Day 27 → Do appear­ances play a big role in your sto­ries? How you go about design­ing your char­ac­ters.

As I've hinted at in the last post, while I can't draw my characters to save my life, I do like to make for it by describing them, usually by proxy of second protagonist (as is the case in Apocalypse Minor) or secondary character. I find it fascinatingly telling how much the impression of said character influences the perception of them from another character's eyes. It's like putting the pieces of a jigsaw together, in which every little piece counts.

I'm even finding this to be an important plot point of sorts in Apocalypse Minor: aloof, unattainable Savannah, whose loveliness strikes Ben in ways that bewilder and pain him. The way I picture Savannah is that her looks don't stem as much from certain defined physical features as they do from the very essence of her or, more fittingly, the mystery. It's very difficult to pin down her looks in that respect and there's the allure right there.

Similarly, I think it's not so much the aesthetic design of a character that stands out as much as they themselves, in and of, do. A distinctive look can accentuate a statement, but ultimately, if your character falls flat regardless, that's not the problem to begin with.

So I can't say I have a real method when it comes to 'designing' characters. Just like with a name, the little things soon emerge the deeper I go into exploring them: scars, tattoos, little quirks, their favorite music, the type of jewelry they like to wear if at all, birthmarks, blemishes, how faded and torn their clothes are, how much any of it matters to them anyway, they all usually appear when they need to. 

30 Days of Writing - Day 26

Day 26 → Do you draw your char­ac­ters? Do oth­ers draw them?

No, I do not. I cannot.

It makes me sad. So I over-compensate with a lot of pretty descriptions that at least ought to leave an impression. Or at least, that's the goal.

Neither have I had others draw my characters, but a few people have sent me photos or artwork that they say reminded them of my characters, so I'm not as bummed out about that.

Sometimes, I wish I had a knack for charcoal shading and sketches, especially when words aren't enough but I'm still swollen with them and need to breathe. Sometimes these times make me all the more glad that I have words to begin with and build upon and end on.

It's questions like these that make me wonder if our talents choose us more than we have a say in choosing them. 

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