Sensory Overload

I am utterly blessed. In the midst of an overload of senses; no, through them; God has blessed me.

I have a hot little hand on my face as I try to read. It pokes me and twitches at the entrance to my nostril, making breathing odd. If I turn over, I’ll have, instead, little untrimmed toenails in one of two choice spots: kidneys or buttocks.

A short reach away, I hear the thunderous roll of snoring. I prod and suggest turning over and for a moment, the storm abates. But only for a moment. Without any lightning to warn of its advance, the long drawn in breath offers new meteorological mysteries.

Further distant still, the irritating whine of machinery. It’s monotony is broken only by the insidious, regular alarm throughout the night.

Dogs, ours, bark at intruding nothings. Loudly.

If I leave this horizontal plane and venture out, I will likely find lines of light break through the darkness. Here and there, I will hear more cacophony to interrupt my rest. From one doorway, little light accompanies the pings and whirs of levels unlocked by a well known Italian plumber in overalls. From another, brighter light pops out, as unyielding as the so called notes screamed by a boy-man wearing more eyeliner than I ever have as he bemoans his newly single state.

Should I turn and retreat, my hapless tarsal structure is likely to be assaulted by weaponry at floor level. Possibly this time, I will encounter the string of a cheap bamboo bow. As I lightly sidestep the threatened trip, my other foot may find the arrow; or Danish building materials with spiked edges; or an assortment of miniature bovines cavorting without care near an enclosure of even smaller dinosaurs; or a shadowy feline hoping for food.

But despite this risk; this riot; this rude interruption of horizontal calm that I say I’d prefer; I am utterly blessed.

Little fingers and toes are not a blessing all who wish it share.
Snoring means he’s here with me.
The whir of machinery speaks of luxury others do not have.
Lights and music mean my children are home safe. They can be and do just as they wish without fear of persecution, despite my musical preferences.
Even the scattered hazards of a family hall shout freedom, safety and luxury.

I am utterly blessed.

Veritas, Eski

Creative Writing – A Journey Part 6

“Hem, hem.” The wolf cleared his throat nervously. “I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve called you here?”

“No, some of us are pretty sure we are going to make your next meal a little sweeter, really,” muttered a stout pig in the corner.

“Well, let me tell you a story. You may think you know how it goes, but I beseech you to listen closely. My reputation, such as it is, is on the line.”

“There I was, wandering through the forest, sniffing here and there, marking out my territory…”

“If it’s going to be THAT sort of story, I’m out of here!” A slender red squirrel twitched her sleek tail and made to leave, but those around her tutted as the wolf continued and she sat down again, clearly miffed.

“…red satin. Bright as a poppy flower it was, flashing here and there as this young miss skipped across all parts of the forest, leaving divets in the floor, ripping out wild flowers willy-nilly. You know the sort! Jolly ecoterrorism in a pretty dress, thinking they own the place. So I stopped her. Right rude she was too. 

      “I know your sort,” she said to me, snootily averting her gaze. “You’re trying to lure me off the path so I can be your next meal!”

Well, I was appalled at the idea, as well you can imagine! Eat her! I shouldn’t think of what that would do to me. Human-intolerant, you know. I have many eating choices, but she isn’t one of them.”

The wolf looked around the group gathered before him, smiling what he considered to be a winning smile. Unfortunately, he met the terrified gaze of a young rabbit whose second cousin had unwittingly crossed his path around lunchtime two Thursday previous and had not been heard from since. The wolf quickly looked away. Perhaps now was not the time to be persuasive.

Part 3 – Creative Writing – A Journey

Thanks to Grace, of “Practical Creative Writing” we used this exercise today:

There are ten exercises below and each one comprises a simple set of three questions. Each one should be answered as quickly as you can. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – only ideas. It is up to you to decide whether the ideas appeal to you enough to make you want to develop them further. I suggest trying them all and see what happens.


One

1. Who is coming round the corner?

It is Lilly. Her green dress flaps wetly around her legs. There are flicks of mud stuck to her stockings at the back that show she has walked swiftly through the rain for sometime. She is hurrying and takes no notice of where she has headed. Fortunately for both of us, I do.

2. What is their secret? 3. What are they carrying?

Lilly is huddles over. She has her arms wrapped protectively about her chest. At first glance it appears that she is trying to keep warm, but her thick wooden cardigan belies the action. The day is not so cold. She is rushed and flushed, her cheeks unnaturally bright in the greyness of the dim twilight. She does not notice me, but, trained as I am to observe, I notice the gasp as I catch her shoulders to avoid knocking her into the street. I notice the gasp and the clutch of her hands to her midsection. Lilly is pregnant and I don’t think that it is what she wants.

Two

1. Why did Peter lose his temper with Joanna?

Joanna laughed smugly, knowing that this time the tables had turned. Peter would be the one to leave their home today instead of her. She sat back comfortably on the white leather couch, watching as he scrabbled for his keys and wallet in the African earthenware dish they’d fought over early in their marriage. She knew it was the right thing to have by the door; he felt it was worth the yearly income of the small African village it had ostensibly come from. Just like today. She knew that selling their home was a bad idea; he believed that they needed to downsize. Phhht! Downsize was only a word she wanted to hear in relation to her wardrobe or her waistline.

2. Where did he go after he stormed out?

Peter headed to the late night cafe only two blocks away. He knew he was in no fit state to drive. This latest argument with Joanna had left him in no doubt of the state of their relationship; it was over. A fact he should have known any number of years ago. He and Joanna had been at loggerheads even before they married. As he drank his mildly bitter, styrofoam infused beverage, he knew that they were best described in terms of the fashion houses Jo was so fond of. She was Dolce and Gabbana and he was Dollars and Sense. It was ill fated from the start.

3. What happened to him when he got there?

An hour and a half and three lukewarm cups of coffee later, Peter knew the showdown that he’d been expecting wasn’t going to happen. Wearily, he walked the now quiet streets back to the atrocious and ostentatious villa. It too was quiet. He turned his key in the lock and made his way to the crisp perfection of the spare room.


Part 3 – Creative Writing – A Journey

3) Write a setting based on the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.

Tasmania. Dove Lake. Snow capped mountains rise, blurry in the distance, around a gorgeous blue green lake. The air exits my mouth in cloudy puffs, drifting slowly in the calm air. The rough cut planks of the walk way form one of few human scars amidst the clumps of prickly heather. Heather is one of those mysterious plants that look round and soft and even a little fluffy from a distance. Up close, I notice the rough stems and gaps in the semi spherical blobs on the rocky ground. Dove Lake lies a few kilometres hence, glassy in the quiet of the mid afternoon. It’s enticing waters are as alluring as a siren’s song, and just as dangerous. Despite the smooth beauty of the surface, this way lies a swift and glacial freeze.

Creative Writing – A Journey Part 5

Write a letter to an agent, telling her how wonderful you are.

Dear Ms Stomar,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to give you the opportunity to represent ME!

I’m awesome. I’m honest to a fault and definitely the sort of person you’ll be keen to represent. I describe myself as an outspoken, honest, drama queen. 

I’ve heard of your excellent work and am keen to discuss possibilities for furthering my career with you.

Instead of writing the above, I’ve been distracted by the noise outside:

The excessive testosterone could be measured in the gruff notes of verandah karaoke and the vibrations of the floorboards beneath my feet. Assassins Creed references flew through the air, as did the impromptu parkour efforts; and failures. Occasionally, the roar dimmed to a murmur of one upmanship with spikes of attention grabbing falsetto. Despite both obvious and subtle attempts to the contrary, the girls present remained unimpressed and left without falling for the somewhat dubious charms of their male peers. Slowly, the racket subsided to a rumble, punctuated by growls and grunts whose use in communication seemed apparent only to the participants.

Write a 20 line poem about a memorable moment of your life.

I was born, I know that much

But the event itself, well, I’m out of touch.

I am sure I felt; I believe I’d cried

But I don’t remember being inside.

My mother does, at least somewhat

She was the one who was “on the spot”

As it were, when she had me

And because, as you know, I’m the first of three

The experience can’t have been ALL bad

For with my mum or my dad.

Since then I remember many things

Chasing butterflies; twisting on swings.

I remember the birth of my own babies, four

I remember deciding not to have any more.

I remember the pain of unnecessary death.

I remember the first time really noticing breath.

I remember the joy of finding direction

The smarting sting of all correction.

I even remember things I’ve been taught;

But of my birth, I remember naught.

Part 2 – Creative Writing – A Journey

Create a character with personality traits of someone you love but the physical characteristics of someone you don’t care for.

I’ve chosen to use my mum (whom I love dearly) and a man I knew when I was about 13.

Renee is tall and wiry. She has is muscular to the point of thick, ropy cords of muscle rippling under her leathery skin. She looks old. Her skin is far to tanned and is beginning to look dehydrated. Her hair is also wiry and the white grey of the not-quite-old. She is decidedly unattractive in a conventional sense, but when you know and love her like I do, looks are no longer important.

Renee is generous to a fault. She is sometimes so concerned about the feelings of others that she apologises for doing something nice for them. Renee will do anything for her friends and family. Sometimes, this has backfired and she has been hurt, but family always wins out in the end. She seems incapable of being still for very long, finding jobs and activities to keep her hands busy and help others.Renee enjoys nice things like clothes and food, but mostly she enjoys sharing these things with others. She has been blessed with a reasonable wealth and is now intent on bestowing that blessing on others. She is love in action.

The Journey – A Creative Writing Exercise

This is the first day of me running a creative writing class for secondary students after school. At present there are two of us in the classroom. It was originally intended to be a Future Problem Solving class. I ran this last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. I started this year with 8 students and it has very quickly whittled itself down to one. Although not impossible, I’m afraid that running an extra curricular activity designed as participation in a four person team competition with one person is more difficult than I would like to take on at present. So here we are. Creative writing. Today’s task: Journeys.

We’ve chosen today to simply begin writing with a stimulus. In the upcoming weeks we will undertake skill builders and apply them to our work. So, today the stimulus comes in the form of travel brochures. Choose one that you like the look of, then flick through and find an interesting picture which sparks your interest. This is the stimulus for your journey writing. It can be any sort of writing: narrative (by far the easiest, I believe); essay; report; analytical. However, I find narrative easiest, so that’s what I’m going to do. 



The view was gorgeous. The approach to the castle was a breathtaking sight. Perhaps she would have been breathless regardless because of the steep incline of the winding ascent, but she had always like to put a positive spin on things, so she would be breathless from the view. Behind the castle, the mountains were gently fleeced with white mist that echoed the clouds of forced breath she did take. As she followed the broad, square shoulders and tugged the hand cart behind her, she knew that whatever occurred in the next few weeks was likely to be difficult, but already, her imagination was caught.

Julia needed refreshment and reinvigorating. She was bored at home and knew she needed to jumpstart her life. Writing had always been her passion, but she hadn’t written in a number of years. Well, nothing worth keeping, anyway. She’d been so caught up in her day to day dreary getting by that she’d let her passion slip away. So here she was, almost at the base of a Rhenish castle, ready to switch on senses long dormant. Fifteen days is all her current budget would allow and she was easy to make the most of them. Firstly, by exploring the dream setting she was slowly approaching. The slowness was her own fault. She had chosen to….

                     *************************************************************************

Time is up! Now to move on to the next exercise. I’ve found a 12 Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises over at “The Writer’s Dig” and so we are going to start there. Thanks, Brian.

Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write:

  1. Close to Home – A love story. Isabel and Adam
  2. ‘Scuse Me, Miss! – A teacher’s view of the class room
  3. Toddlers, Teens and Tweens – A ‘How I did it’ parenting book
  4. Capturing my Family – Family Anecdotes
  5. God Stuff – devotional
  6. {Insert Book Title Here}

I found this far more difficult than I thought it would be! Will have to complete it for homework. In the meantime, why not comment below with a favourite sentence written by you? Mine is in bold above. 

Get creative!

Eski 🐛