Am I Normal?

I don’t understand myself most of the time. Sometimes being around my family doesn’t help. Sometimes being around my friends doesn’t help. Half the time, the fact that I go to an arts school doesn’t help. And you know what helps even less? When I can’t find the right words to express myself. Like now.

Sometimes I wish I was introverted and actually enjoyed spending time in my own brain. Not that I don’t like spending time in my own brain, I do, but… See what I mean? I don’t know how to say what I need to say! And the trouble is that I need to discuss things with people in order to feel better about them. Actually, that’s not always true. But I do feel better after talking to people. But I don’t always know what to say, and that sucks. Because for all the time I spend talking to people, I still suck at communicating. God, I can’t even communicate with myself!

This post is just a messed up jumble of thoughts.

This sucks. The jumbled-up thoughts stage I’m currently in? Each year I change a little bit and I never know if it’s for the better. Not to mention, I’m at a point in my life where I’m incredibly indecisive and don’t know what to do with myself. And that’s nice, isn’t it.

I don’t know why I feel much more comfortable speaking (well, writing really) to this imaginary online audience of random people. I don’t know if anyone reads this. But it’s not like this is anonymous. This is a real, live, website that can be traced back to me at anytime. I may as well be posting this on social media, because any acquaintance of mine who reads this will know it’s me. But I would never post these kinds of thoughts on social media. Why? I don’t know.

Around me, I can see people reading, writing, and looking for books. From my seat inside a library in the (almost) heart of the city, I can see people shopping. It’s Black Friday today, a holiday of endless consumerism that happens and will continue to go on while I sit here and struggle with my mess of a brain. Because that’s what normal teenagers do.

Who am I kidding? Normal teenagers do not obsessively think about whether or not they shoukd call themselves artists. Normal teenagers do not obsessively think about their ability to make art, do not worry about really they are actually good enough to stay at the school they auditioned for. Normal teenagers probably don’t have warring parts of their brain, like I do. I love and hate both the arts and the sciences equally; I cannot live without one or the other. And that’s sad. Because in than two years, I will have to choose. I do not want to choose. I used to think high school would last forever. But now that it has become very clear that it doesn’t, I really wish it did.

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Summer

I think summers are wonderful, but this one just isn’t really working out for me. Really, last year’s didn’t either. I’ve always seen the summer as a great time to just branch out and do stuff that I can’t do during school, but I actually spent more time both writing and drawing for pleasure during the school year. Go figure (although that may be explained by the fact that a) I’m in a writing program, and writing kinda comes with the territory, and b) I was required to keep a sketchbook for art class, and since I do like drawing well…). I’ve wanted to write more code, like maybe write a video game or something. I KNOW I can write a crappy video game in a month, because I’ve done it before. And I do want to try it again.  But the thing with leaving all the these fantastic plans to the summer is that you really can’t get everything done. I think the summer is really better for either starting or finishing big projects, rather than starting and completing big projects.

I guess some people might disagree with me. But to me, that was a HUGE realization, and it sort of makes sense. I really only have time to start and finish one big project during the summer. And most of the time, I want to do many, many things, like writing a book, or writing and mixing a song, or composing electronic music, or even writing code for a video game. And I’m a multitasker. I suck at getting things finished. It’s a fact in my life. So instead or trying to finish all these things, I just go to summer school and try to finish an entire high school course in like, three weeks. It might seem a bit counter intuitive, but it makes the most sense for me. First of all, that is the only way I am guaranteed not to waste copious amounts of time on the internet for two months. Also, I like the feeling of accomplishing something tangible. Passing a course is not a small feat, and it’s a credit. Also, I despise math, so I usually just try to get that out of the way. But it also gets me into the habit of valuing my time and dividing it up accordingly. Again, I’m a multitasker. School does not prevent me from multitasking.

So now summer school is over, and I’m working on a whole bunch of projects at once. But I’m starting to think about simply getting the projects started. Maybe not finishing them, but I should just pick one, get a huge chunk of it done, and then dabble in the others. Hmmm…

-Rebeeks

On Fiction Writing

Sometimes I don’t understand why, deep inside me, there is still an impulse to write. Why am I doing it? sometimes it actually doesn’t make sense to me. I always start a lot more poems than the number of poems I actually finish; why, I do not know. Or actually, I do know. To me, inspiration is something which is fleeting as the wind. It comes and goes like the wind. Sometimes I wonder how actual writers, real published authors, overcome this. But maybe they don’t. John Green did just go like, at least 3 years without publishing a book.

A few months ago I decided I sucked at story-writing and almost gave it up completely, but I couldn’t. I always tell people I am primarily a non-fiction writer, which is true, and I wear that self-appointed label like a badge of honor. Why shouldn’t I? These days, all people seem to care about is fiction. And I do love fiction as much as the next person, but I love my essays too much. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a literary narcissist. I spend way too much time writing about my life, my experiences, my joy, my sorrow… I know my life is complicated, and I do like giving myself a voice. But I realize there are others, other people, other problems, other complications in this world. I’m just not necessarily qualified to speak of any of them. And so I know the non-fiction genre, unpopular as it is, has a lot to offer. And it has a special place in my heart. But I still find it quite impossible to give up fiction.

Perhaps it is good that I can’t give up fiction, but it does cause me some issues. I am not confident in my ability to make up and tell a good story. At all. The last time I tried, I came up with eight pages of rambling nonsense. And as we all well know, rambling nonsense is not conductive to telling a good story. At all. My characters are flat and there is generally a glaring absence of plot. But for some reason, despite all of this, there is a tiny voice in my head telling me not to give up.

Well, it’s actually not one voice. It’s voices, plural. I swear there are sometimes characters in my brain clamoring for me to tell their stories. I am not making this up. One, it actually drove me crazy for about two weeks, and I was forced to sit down and take extensive notes on this character and her family. I haven’t started telling her story, yet, though. And I think deep down I fear that if I give up fiction, I will irretrievably lose a part of myself, the part of myself that is a storyteller at heart and loves bouncing story ideas off other people. That has been a part of me since my earliest childhood. Where is the confidence I had, back in fourth grade, back when I thought I could write mystery novel? What happened to the sixth grader who thought she could win short story contests? I admit I’m scared. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of becoming incoherent and messy in my writing again. I hate being messy and incoherent. But what do I do?

For the first time in almost three years, I am writing a story. It may be a short story, it may be a novella, it may be a novel. Who knows? But the effort counts. I am not saying I haven’t written fiction in 3 years. I am saying that I haven’t done it for myself, with passion, with actual belief in what I am doing and the story I am trying to tell, in 3 years. It’s a lot. With that time gap my adventurous self is returning. I am trying new genres; I’m experimenting. I’m going all out. I don’t hate writing fiction. I’m trying to regain the confidence to be able to look past my shitty first drafts, the confidence to even begin those drafts. I hope I find it again, because deep inside, I miss my inner novelist.

Poem

I thought I’d share one of my poems today.

What Talent?

Inspiration doesn’t come when you call it.
Not even remotely when you need it.
Oh, no. It runs away from you. It stutters. It stalls.
It finds good excuses – oh, sorry, good reasons
To not help you out.
I’m sure it says (or is saying),
“Oh, look, she’s tired, I won’t bother her with good ideas” or
“She has two weeks to finish that; she doesn’t need my help”
Which is really annoying.
Or, maybe you just infuriated the Greek muses.
Really, who knows?

And when your creativity finally shows up—
Oh, when it comes, it’s always at the most inconvenient time
Such as, in the bathroom or
At three in the morning
Or during that really boring science test—
I mean, ideas are great and all but you sort of need to pass that—
And creativity doesn’t always flow like water, but no,
It drips and abruptly stops or
It is a crashing tsunami that quickly washes away,
And then you’re just stuck there thinking,
“Why,
Why do I even do this art thing with my life?”

The problem is, the making of a creation
Is a long and drawn out process that involves
Sitting at your desk and yelling
“Ideas! Come to me!”
(Which may be why the Muses hate you in the first place?)
Or you know, even days when ideas appear while you’re otherwise occupied
But disappear before you grasp them,
And, it involves piles of messy drafts
And mounds of vile work
And days of adjusting details to unattainable perfection.

The worst part?
Your friends might come over and look at
Your painful hours of exertion and tell you
That you “were hit with the talent stick too many times.”
Talent stick? What talent stick?
It’s not like someone invisibly walks around and
Randomly bops people on the head with this huge stick marked “TALENT”
And doles out talent (Because why not?)
And this person is like “You’re going to be this amazing singer” or
“You’re going to be this amazing painter and—
Yeah. No.
Life doesn’t work that way. Sadly.
It takes time and work and so much effort
To do something presentable
And so, when people tell me that I’m talented,
Sometimes, just sometimes,
I look at them like, “What talent?”

Year 2 of this blog!

My blog turned two years old a week ago. I don’t really know how I feel about that. On one hand, it makes me happy to know that I have been able to stick to blogging for that period of time, but on the other hand… I don’t know. More people are reading this now. I didn’t really have an audience before. Not that I have a big audience or anything, but people are aware that this blog exists. That’s sort of a freaky thought that I have about my little corner of the Internet. 

One thing I will say is that the quality of my posts has improved a lot, even though the frequency of them has decreased. I always say I’m going to post more, but then things get in the way… I don’t know what to think, so my only goal for this year is to post better content. 

-Rebeeks

I Think AI is Detrimental to Society

Our world is changing. And I absolutely hate it. I hate the fact that we are moving towards a world where robots will coexist with the human race. I hate the factt that we are developing more and more androids and more and more robots and more and more artificially cognitive machines. That also happens to be why I hate science fiction. SF kind of forces me to think about those things. Most of the time, I avoid thinking about it. But sometimes, just sometimes… Ugh.

Why would you want to have robots that look, act, and speak like humans? Wouldn’t that be creepy? What if someone tried to hit on a robot? What if that same robot responding that person’s advances?  Like, really, imagine going on a first date with a robot. Do you want to do that? Think about it.

-Rebeeks

Rambling About Ideas, Writing, and School

I haven’t written a post since November. I really do suck at this whole blogging thing. But I have been really busy with school work and summatives and exams. This is high school, people. Dying. This semester is starting out pretty strong. Report cards are coming out tomorrow for last semester (AAHH!!!), I have 3 projects at the same time going on in lit, and I am rediscovering my artist side. I’ve never really been a traditional artist, and I sort of suck at drawing, but I’ve always been into the physical things, such as sewing, knitting, jewellery design/ making, and photography. I am discovering the joy of keeping a sketchbook, and I am also discovering just how annoying is it to blend with coloured pencils. It is a pain.

I did read the new Unwanteds Quests book that came out about seven days ago. It wasn’t as disappointing as the last two books in the main series, but it wasn’t nearly as satisfying and it feels like the shortest Unwanteds book yet. I don’t know if it is though, because I read it in ebook format, since a physical copy was just sort of like a hassle to get a hold of. In fact, I’ve discovered a lot of new authors and book series through ebooks. Some of them are kind of shitty, and some of them are straight up garbage, but some of them are actually good and then I just binge read them. One such author was Shannon Hale, who wrote the Books of Bayern series. Do check them out, because they are great and amazing and awesome.

We are starting Sci-Fi in lit and I have no clue where to start. Half of the time I am like AAHHH! and the other half of the time I am like HOW DO YOU DO THIS!!! and all of the time I am like I HAVE NO GOOD IDEAS!!!! HELP!!! because it is true. I don’t know what I was thinking, but somehow when I was auditioning I didn’t think we were going to be writing fantasy or sci-fi or dark shit but our first assignment was to write a horror story. No dark shit indeed. Right.

So as much as I love complaining, I am going to have to pull myself together, because you can’t just be in a writing program and then not write. Not writing will not get you any better at writing so I get just have to sit my butt down nd do the damn work. The other thing is, I really need to work on my deep thinking skills. Also on letting my mind wander, and then capturing those thoughts. I get my best ideas at times when I can’t really record them, like when I’m in the shower or when I’m in the middle of doing a mindless task such as, I don’t know, washing dishes. The ideas flit by and disappear as quickly as they come, and then what I end up remembering, if I remember anything, is a colourless, washed out, unrecognizable version of my previous idea. Bummer. See, we all have problems. Some of us struggle with getting good concepts. Some of us struggle with executing them.

So, most of the time, I end up sitting down during a very uncreative time and brainstorming. My version of brainstorming is writing down everything I can think of until I fill at least 2 pages, handwritten in my messy handwritting. It’s sort of like a really messy free write. I always handwrite it because pens are comforting, but also because working on paper just helps my ideas glide better, I guess. Then I usually go and bounce my generally horrible ideas off of other people, because it really helps to refine or broaden or add on to a concept. You’d be surprised at how many good ideas will come out of a conversation. Just saying.

So, that was my rant of the day. I hope I see you soon in another post!

-Rebeeks