Friday, 11 December 2015

On Feeling Like a Fraud and the Harsh Inner Critic

I recently read an article about "imposter syndrome" and recognized myself within it.

Imposter syndrome is basically the feeling of being inadequate, in spite of evidence of high achievement; it leaves people afraid that they will be "found out" and exposed as frauds in their field. I've felt this way...

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Relearning How to Fly: What Revisiting My Awkward First Work of Fiction Taught Me About Letting Go

Kiki's Delivery Service flying over the sea
'Without even thinking about it, I used to be able to fly. Now I'm trying to look inside myself and find out
how I did it.'  - Kiki, Kiki's Delivery Service

After my fellow blogger Lynette shared a climactic passage from one of her first stories, in the interest of fairness, I dug around in my own under-the-bed reserves of shame (the writer's equivalent of the dirty magazine collection, if you will). I present to you an extract from one of my earliest longer story attempts, The Lightbearers:

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

"The Jealous Rival" and Other Inspiring Characters

I have just reread one of my first works of fiction, grandly entitled: "The Jealous Rival: In Death Not Divided". Featuring beautiful maidens, awful love poetry, and grisly deaths, it is a masterpiece of my 10-year-old imagination. Here's a gem of a scene:

"Bertram and Geraldine were immensely happy and started to make plans for a grand wedding. But then, alas, shadows began to darken over their paths. Cordelia was secretly in love with Bertram de Vere herself, and when Geraldine told her about the engagement, she was simply furious...One evening, Cordelia, thinking they were alone, pushed Geraldine off a bridge with a wild mocking, 'Ha ha ha! You will never marry Bertram now!' But Bertram saw it all and at once he plunged into the dangerous current, exclaiming, 'I will save thee, my peerless Geraldine! Have no fear!' But alas, he had forgotten that he couldn't swim, and they were both drowned, clasped in each other's arms."
Anne Shirley writing
Well, we all have to start somewhere.

I credit Anne Shirley and Jo March, two literary heroines of my childhood, with inspiring me to write.

Anne and Jo drew shy, lonely little me into their worlds because I could see myself reflected in them. We were all quick-tempered, imaginative, and something of the odd-one-out.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

On Fear, Writing, and Life

Three stories up. Unforgiving concrete below. My heart was hammering in my throat as I swung my leg over the balustrade of the balcony, and I froze, suddenly and acutely aware that dying was a possibility if I messed this up.

But I had to get out of the house. Everything I wanted was out of the house. I simply couldn’t stay in the house any longer.

Climbing from my balcony to my next door neighbour’s balcony was the only way out, since there was a party in the street below and many guests had parked their motorbikes and were sitting at tables right outside my front door. I didn’t know how long the party was going to continue. Eyeing the celebrations below me, I wondered how traumatic it might be for the guests if a phalang (foreigner) suddenly crashed their party—literally.

Monday, 6 July 2015

10 Books That Have Influenced My Life

When a friend recently challenged me to list ten books that have influenced my life in some way, I was presented with two problems. The first was the painful process of whittling my favourites down to just ten. I hummed and hawed over the issue for several days and had to suppress some serious feelings of guilt at 'betraying' some of my other favourites before reaching any kind of resolution. The second was the frustrating feeling that Facebook (where the challenge was circulating) wasn't an adequate platform for conveying just how much I loved these books. After all, as Jorge Luis Borges wrote, 'I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met... all the cities that I have visited.' To redress that wrong, therefore, here are my picks in the order that I discovered them, alongside some of my favourite book covers and quotes for each.

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings Fellowship Collins edition book
Collins edition (2002)