On Edge

Have you ever looked around a room and wondered: where did I get all this crap? How did it get like this? I’m sure you have, but right now I’m doing it so let’s pretend it’s something mystical…although kinda not.

I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop, staring, just staring, and I noticed an empty bottle of 9 to 5 from LUSH. It’s been empty for weeks, and it’s still there. I think, I got that before going away and finished it when I got back. It just sat here the entire time I was going through that roller coaster ride. Stupid make-up remover, being all inanimate and judgmental (it’s all in the twist of its jib). Then there’s a toothbrush, why is it in here? How did it even end up in here? A mess of plastic containers full of cosmetics I’ve bought on a whim and never used because I don’t know how. Books I’ve forgotten to read, figurines all askew, and axolotls that never seem to admit they’ve been fed. I think, there’s a lot of life in here, not just in the living water-aliens that lurk in tanks, but in everything I’ve touched, smelled, admired, turned over in my hands. I pause and I stare and I think, everything is a mess and I don’t know how it got this way.

Then I see Groot. Sitting there amidst all this junk.

This little inanimate object, just like that damn judgmental bottle that I scowled at, but it makes me smile. I’ve moved the clutter that was around him, but the pure positioning of the fallen flower made my heart feel all warm and fuzzy. That little painted on face of Groot’s, looking at it with innocence and cuteness.

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Look at that filter, can you tell I’m using Instagram?

Then I start to get all deep and broody. I think, I need my flower. I need to be able to sit here and let all my thoughts fly around my head, all the distress hammer at me, the hurt claw away, and the unknown – that bastard unknown that drives me mad, all those “what ifs” – prowl and cause whatever racket they want. But me, I need to sit there and admire a little fake blue flower and smile at it the way Groot smiles at his.

What I also need to do, unfortunately, is look at the clutter I’ve allowed to accumulate in my brain and think how did it get like this?

My psychologist is a smart man. He taught me that education and understanding are massively important when it comes to mental illness. It’s uncomfortable to explore the why of things because it means addressing those things in the first place, but the answers might be enlightening – I can’t pretend they have been for me yet. There’s a bit of an ooo ahhh moment, but it doesn’t automatically heal. I think it’s healthy to question though – healthy to question our beliefs to keep us in check with what we truly believe and not what on that specific day at that specific time we’re being told to believe. I guess in that same regard it’s important to question why we believe certain things about ourselves, and search for what external influences there might be to that.

For example, why the fuck have I placed so much pressure on myself about my appearance when I want to be an author?

Have I always felt that my breasts were too small? That my hair was too thin? My nose too big? My lips not plump enough? My hips too wide? Why can I write a list of what I don’t like but then when asked what I do I smile all creepily and slither off like Uriah Heep. If this were a different time in history would my list of dislikes be entirely different? I think they might be…

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Is it weird I only just feel comfortable enough to post this picture here, but wouldn’t dare on Instagram? By George this photo is filtered, by the by. 48% of whatever. Always 48.

Then I take a picture like this to send to my boyfriend. We’re long distance, before him I didn’t do the whole selfie thing (I mean mass amount of selfies…). But I don’t see myself in these pictures. I have actually quizzed him, “But do I look like this?” I look kinda happy (I guess you can tell I’m not really smiling by my eyes), I look pretty confident, but I don’t feel it’s me. Back to that broody place…maybe it’s because I know it doesn’t represent all that clutter in my head. Heck, do any images ever really represent anything when posed? It’s all just faff. For instance, I know that I’m holding my hair like that because I think it makes it look a bit better, I know I’m smiling despite probably sleeping only a few hours the night before, I know I won’t have eaten, and I know with absolute certainty that the person I took that picture for I am in complete turmoil about. But, smile!

I mean, I have pictures from when I was with my boyfriend, posed outside in the bright sunlight of Hawaii. But inside that house was our mess. The actual mess we had created from neither of us having the energy or will to clean, and the mess that had become our relationship. Yet there we were, smiling into the camera, looking like a happy newly engaged couple when just half an hour before we were at each others throats and screaming from the pain we were causing each other.

“How could you do this to me?” being a commonly yelled phrase. “How could you break us this way?” another. In pictures though? We’re fixed. We’re content and we’re in love. Now, I know that we are told not to believe what we see when it comes to the pictures we see posted on the internet. But my god is it hard not to get sucked in. I scroll through instagram and I see images that leave me feeling inadequate, and I wonder, why am I allowing this stuff to make me feel this way?

Why am I letting it concern me at all? After all, like I said up there, I want to be an author. I want to be an author, right?…

What do I truly believe?

You know, I think I know the answer, it’s just the solution to get to it that I’m struggling with. Like in primary school when they want to see your working out but you got the answer from Katie, and for fucks sake, Katie, move your arm so that I can see that and copy it down too. I hate maths, because I’m bad at it. I hate Katie too, because her arm was all clutter and in the way. I guess if I’d just pushed her over and broken it then…this is turning into a weird way of wrapping this up. What I’m trying to say is, once I work through the clutter I guess I’ll see the solution, and that’s the most important part of being able to say: FUCK IT.

Little notes: If you made it this far, you deserve a medal. This post should have come with a cuppa tea needed disclaimer.

I’m sorry my rambling might seem a little boring or disjointed this week, it’s been a rough one. I wish I could talk about what has been happening but it isn’t my information alone to share. Perhaps, in a round about way, I’ll be able to address that issue head on in a way that doesn’t reveal too much about others. I’m distracted though, which if you think this blog is rubbish, I’m going to blame that. It’s also the reason for my lack of fiction post on Friday and for my absence on all your blogs. I’ll be back though. Oh ho ho, I’ll be back!

I hope this doesn’t post with the huge ass picture of me like it always seems to choose to. Use Groot ffs, he’s top!

Oh! Pandora had a ruddy parasite! She’s being treated for it now, and so is Seb, so hopefully that will be all cleared up soon. Because no week is complete without ferret photos, here are the loves of my life. My own blue flowers.

 

Bonus Pandora video I put on my Instagram – with even more bonus cringy music!

 

Finally, it’s no longer really Sunday, but I’m going to lie and say that it is. What? It is somewhere in the world!

I hope you have had a fantastic week, and oh, finally lastly finally: thank you for the encouraging words about my book! It means the world to me. Thank you!

Why am I hesitating about posting this? In my last post said be fearless.

Roar!

 

The Blogger Recognition Award

Weeeee! This post is about The Blogger Recognition Award, of which I am super smitten to have been nominated for by the wonderful Maria – superwifeandmommy – check out her blog! It’s full of humorous and creative writing! You will enjoy it, look into my eyes and trust me – yeah? Oh yeah!

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“This is an award given from blogger to blogger to encourage and acknowledge that you’re all lovable, talented, soon-to-be supervillians  the hard work and effort that goes into creating amazing online spaces.”

 Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

My Blog

Well, there’s no point in lying (you can see my dates from my blog list) I’ve been a terrible blogger until now and neglected this place terribly! I don’t even know why I started this thing, I think just to talk about things because I liked writing about stuff. I don’t think it was necessarily a place to post my creative writing because I was super shy back then. It’s only recently that I’ve really wanted to share my work rather than post it up and have a nervous fit for half an hour after! You guys have massively helped with that – thank you. In short, I suppose my blog started very much as an “Oh! This looks fun!” kinda thing. Maybe. Maybe I’m lying. Who knows.

 

Advice to new bloggers

Always use two leashes when walking your crocodile and do not let it near children.

Put the right shoe on before the left or the devil will have your dinner for lunch.

Also, blog often. Keep a schedule not just for your readers but for yourself. You’ll find yourself much more motivated to post if you know there are specific days when you’ve decided you will. Seriously, stick to it and you’ll find yourself blogging often and even wanting to blog more. For those blogs, write about what you want to write about and be fearless. Roar!

Secondly, get involved with the community. It’s nerve-wracking, I know. There might be mean people out there lurking in alleys, heck, I’m one of them, but get involved anyway! You’ll find a whole bunch of amazing writers and if you appreciate their work you might just be lucky enough to see them stop by and read some of yours!

Now for the fun bit… rubs hands eagerly – mwahahah!

Ahum.

 

Nominees

Neha

Ryan

H.J. Ruiz

Walt 

Ivors

Amy

Bia

Edmark M. Law

Amy Rose

Diana

Dire_Direst

What? I can’t count.

No need to make any posts guys, just a bit of recognition from me to you and a small panic attack worrying who I have missed – aaaaargh. Keep up the amazing work, everyone!

Thank you again, Maria!

Two black cats, Neo

Oh, weird, deja vu. That’s happened quite a bunch lately and I’m not sure if I should be taking it as an omen or preparing myself for a gang of Agent Smiths.

meow meow

Anyway, hello loves! It’s been an interesting week but an awful lot of it doesn’t really find its place here. On the other side of the soap opera I am living in right now I’ve been up to the usual ferret herding and wall staring. I tell you, one day it’ll do something if I just watch for long enough.

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This picture has no relevance. I just feel that the post needs it.

Pandora and Seb are back and forth a little but given that my nephews and brother are currently living with us I’ll give Pandora the benefit of the doubt and consider that she is under a lot of stress again. I wouldn’t say this is beyond the realm of possibility – she’s had a lot of change lately and this is another one. Thankfully, Seb is still grooming her and being the usual sweetheart she is and I think Pan is starting to come round to a bit of ferret-ferret comfort. Merm can be a comfortable cuddle blanket, but I’m not about to start licking her. I’m not that odd, yet.

Here are a couple of pictures we took together – in true myspace mirror fashion. Obviously these are filtered to high heaven. Stress is taking its toll and the spots (you can still ruddy see) made me all prissy.

 

By the by, I know I have posted pictures of myself in every blog post so far and I will most likely continue to do so. I’m sorry if it makes me seem self-obsessed. I’ll probably talk about why I keep going selfie-o-rama in another much more ooo aaaa serious post. Speaking of face pictures, pictures in general really, what do you all think of using instagram as writers? I’ve created one on the suggestion of a very talented artist I collab with, but I haven’t used it as of yet. Wait, did I ask about this last week? I hope not. Awkward.

To something less outwards and more inwards, I’m going to start a new weekly blog post (on Wednesday – that seems like a suitable day, right?) that will be short snippets of passages from my book – Kidnapping Death’s Daughter. For the first, I will be posting about the book and giving a little write up about what it is and why it’s sat around doing nothing for a couple of years. Lazy book, bad. I intend to publish it as an ebook this autumn and although I don’t expect much will happen with it as of yet (maybe never –  I love my characters but it’s a bit rud structure wise) I’d like to start posting about it. I hope this will not become a nuisance to any of you. I like having you around and I just bought another set of cups so we all have one for cuppa time.

Holy smokes what is this witchcraft I did something to my mouse track pad thing on my laptop and it made the text go smaller. 

Other than those little bits of this and that I’ve been watching The Story of Diana – something I never thought I’d think to watch, and I’ve found the entire thing rather sad really. I know it’s cliche to do an “I remember where I was when…” comment, but it’s the only thing I do remember about her: where I was and what I was doing when I saw the news that she had died. I was too young to really know who she was, but she was a princess and I knew princesses were important so I shouted up to my parents what had happened. And that’s that. It’s interesting to now, some years later, actually be learning (well, as much as we can from a documentary about any person) who this princess was that I rushed to tell my parents the news about back in yonder year. It feels so rotten to say of someone’s biography after they have died, but it is quite interesting to learn more about her.

I also tried to watch the American live action version of Death Note last night. No. Stop. Bad.

One last thing, I hope to post some more creative posts alongside my flashback friday and my soon to be weekly book snippets. I’ve finally started to feel some creativity coming back while thinking about the plot for my latest book – Jack. It’s been a real slump. I can’t express how glad I am that characters and stories are starting to reappear. I’m actually quite sure I don’t need to, you’re all writers. You know what it’s like when stress smothers your imagination and that elated feeling when your imagination starts fighting back.

I will leave you with a picture of Pandora and the pokemon that my boyfriend quite rightly pointed out is her lookalike. I’m on to you, you furry snek!

 

 

–  Arbie x

Before Sunday Ends

I’m here. I’m doing this. Look at that, Sunday, just like… damnit! I said Saturday, didn’t I? Oh well. Done on purpose, I swear! From now on, it will be Sundays I post blogs. It makes sense, right? It’s the end of the week, or uh, the start. What do you think? Do you feel Sunday is the end or the beginning of the week?

Well, loves, I’ve had an eventful (not really) week of attempting to get mit for my end of year assignment, ferret bonding is underway (alongside poorly ferret vet time), I finally got round to playing Heavy Rain, I got lost in time and space reading affirming quotes, and I watched a neat TED video.

I’ll start with ferret rambles since ferrets always come first. The little blighters are doing pretty well with each other, although in the photo below I like to think Seb is looking at me and asking “Merm, do you realize it’s still here and it’s stealing my spot?” I’m taking it as slow and steady with them as I can, but that’s as much to do with them being unwell as anything else. Unfortunately, as if meeting each other wasn’t enough, the furzers have had poorly bums. We took a trip to the vet though and they are now on antiobiotics and everything seems to be clearing up quickly. I’m hoping that Pandora was just in the thick of it with everything that was going on (new home, poorly, etc) and might be a little less nip happy and more dook friendly with Seb once better. It was quite adorable really, when I brought them home from the vet and I was carrying them side by side to their cages Panda looked over at Seb and gave a quiet little “og og oog”. I took it to mean, “I feel ya, man.”

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I’m adding in an additional picture for the sake of seeing the creepy things you can find staring back at you when you have ferrets. Seb has a bag of what must be about 50 squeaky toys and she spends a lot of her day stashing them in places. This is who I found looking back at me one afternoon. Not weird at all, Seb. Not weird at all.

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Look at those empty, broken eyes. I imagine he’s saying “Save me…” or, “I will get you in your sleep.” uh, gonna be storing that one in the cellar from now on.

 

I mentioned that I finally got round to playing Heavy Rain. I say finally because it’s been out for years and I’ve lusted after playing it for years. It was well worth the wait. You see, I didn’t have a PS3, but my brother did. I bought it to play on his but never got the chance to do that. Recently, however, my boyfriend bought me a PS4. Despite how these pictures might look, I was stoked. I’m looking at my partner over Skype, I’m not that picture-photo-inept. The game he bought me to go with it is Until Dawn, a game I said I’d always wanted to play but never been able to. It’s one of the reasons he got me the console.

 

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It’s shiny and it’s my friend and I love it and I need a name for it.

 

Honestly, I loved Heavy Rain and I was shattered and blown away by the ending. It also got me thinking about ways I can improve the story I’m working on for my final, too. I’m not gonna reveal anything because there may be some late comers out there (like I was) who still want to play the game. It was a blast, although, I must admit there were times I thought about throwing the controller out the window with all the quick time events. I couldn’t do smooth detective or FBI moves to save my life (kept writing shave my life there for some reason) and every bottle grabbed or motorbike swerve attempted was ruined by my clumsy club thumbs. I have a real thing for consequence based games and games that are reliant upon story though and so it made me persist through the terrible terribleness at my attempts to use the PS4 controller.  I actually wasn’t aware that my choices resulted in who would live and who would die and so that came as a rather pleasant (and unpleasant) surprise at the end and when looking at achievements. I am definitely too much of a softy though and wish I’d killed a certain sumone sumone when I had the chance. I didn’t take any screenshots of the game with the console (I don’t know how – PS4 players please halp) but had to go back to take a photo of this incident. It’s the FBI agent’s face when he turns around. I sent the image to my brothers in our whatsapp group with the same caption. I couldn’t stop laughing.

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“I beg your pardon kind sir”

 

Ah, what a great time I had with that game. And then I started to play Order Up! and wondered where my life was going.

As for where my life is going (let’s pretend that’s a really sweet link) I was sent a great TED talk by my buddy Jules. If there’s a reoccuring trend I seem to see in writers (and by god is it usually the talented ones) it’s fear and it’s doubt. We talk about it pretty often and this video (I don’t remember how to get it to fit in the text…) is a good one to watch if you are looking at working on the skill of confidence.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote I adore:

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

― Oscar Wilde – robbed by me from Goodreads

Thoughts on Toast

Note: No idea how to get the pictures to be in scale with the text. I’m trying!

I should really have a lot to write about. I spent three months in Hawaii visiting my fiance (we got engaged whilst I was there), but unfortunately old habits die hard and I spent a lot of my time indoors. That was rather embarrassing when I was being asked for beach pictures. Hey, though, I made it over there which for me was HUGE, and I did go to some beaches! I’ll have to get the picture of Jerk, our resident reptile, off my fiance.

 

Moving from the past to the present for a moment, I’d like to introduce you to the little girl who will hopefully be a new addition to my creature family: Pandora. Panda is a furret.

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Sorry… I blame my pajamas, and the fact furret is a fun word to say. Furret.

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Pandora the ferret, not furret, is an absolute dream. Unfortunately the little girl I brought her home to be friends with, Seb, isn’t wanting to play. I’ll write a separate post on what is happening with those pair. Here is Panda investigating a shoe. Please don’t comment on the size of my feet, I’m very sensitive about this.

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She’s such a curious little girl and loves human company. She’s from a rescue that I know really care for their ferrets but I also think it means the household that had to give her up must have spent a lot of time with her too. Here she is greeting me after I come back from being away the whole of two minutes.

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And here is Seb, my little sweetheart who I think I have babied far too much given her reactions to Pandora so far. In short, she’s a wuss. Despite having lived with another ferret for four years (until Kimble had to be put to sleep last September) she is terrified of Pandora and just wants it to be Serb and Merm.

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And lastly, because I can’t bring myself to leave Kimble out, here she is.

Now before this quickly turns into a ferret blog, back to what I was talking about…

Other than trying to get some personal blog posts up I’m also going to be posting more writing. Even if it’s flash fiction or short stories I’ll be using writing prompts to get back into the habit of writing and start to practice again. I have a lot to learn and I’m not going to be doing that by sitting on my ass staring at a screen waiting for an idea. Ideas, come hither, I doth summon thee. No. Idea, I’m doing this with or without you. Yeah, that’s right, how’d you like that.

I’m also going to be posting up some first chapters and the like so that people can see the style I write in. So, if you follow me, I’m sorry if you get a bit bogged down for a few days. It shouldn’t be too much. After that I’ll be sticking to Fridays while I have the material, I’ll be adding a new weekly post also but that will be a short one, and then anything I get written under prompts. and a personal blog post on Saturday (maybe not every Saturday but at least some – sorry, I suck at commitment).

As for toast, I haven’t eaten any in some time. I really want it to be autumn so I can bundle up in a dressing gown, sit in front of a fire in the morning, and munch on a slice of warm toast with a cup of hot tea cooling beside me. Aaah, who needs sun. Give me the pouring rain outdoors and snugglyness indoors and it’s a job done.

Speaking of sun…

Somewhere in Hawaii when we got lost

and my reaction to it… booo hissssss spittt *melts*

 

 

 

The Depth of Us

Words not yet written will soon spill from hands

that have felt and touched and scraped across such different paths

and wiped from eyes tears that spilled for the past

We glance yet we do not speak to the stranger on the street

If only our mind would wander from fear and solitude

to a place of kindness, acceptance, away from our servitude

to our empty acceptance of loneliness, of life as you and I

as separate and unspoken our pain may be

understand the notion of what it means to yearn for humanity

For we are the ones that will guide our future

our words written without blood on our hands

our poems littered across the streets of this land.