Stuck In Transit

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Creatively speaking, I’m at my peak when I’m depressed.

I’m not sure where it stems from; I became conscious of the fact in high school. I had begun writing fiction at the age of 12. By the time I got to high school I would regularly fill notebook after notebook with musings, doodles, and vague attempts at poetry and lyrics. This was even before I even found Creative Writing class. While my early subject matter revolved around general teenage angst and malaise, naive socio-political commentary, drug and alcohol abuse, and even the odd attempt at something cheerier, Creative Writing served as a tool to focus my energies. Ms. Riddell would nurture my love of characters, helping me with my ability to conjure up hauntingly real personas on paper.

I believe the gravitas in good writing, lies within it’s cast of characters.

One of my favourite things to do, is people watch. Strangers incite curiosity in me. At the airport, since I am eternally early for my flights, is invent background stories for the people bustling between terminals. Sometimes the people are simple busy-bodies, going nowhere important, to do something equally blasé. Other times, they are multi-layered to such an extreme, that even I start to lose track of their complex history.

Somewhere down the line, I stopped putting my ideas on paper. I fell into the trap of letting my routine go, when I left high school. It was easy to sit down and write, when it was expected of me. It became quite a different ballgame, when that expectations was gone. It seems silly in hindsight; 90% of what I wrote as part of routine was never submitted for peer review. The ideas never stopped, they just never got written down. A lot of them are still floating around, though much like oral folklore, they are probably far different than their original conception.

I’d love to find the culprit for my lack of motivation.

I used to thoroughly enjoy writing, even though I never thought too highly of my own work. It was relaxing and an escape to worlds I could not visit. I could blame it on the brain injuries. I could also easily blame it on technology. Perhaps even a combination of both? It’s easy to get distracted in this day and age. I hate to use that as an excuse, though.

The last few weeks, I’ve made a concentrated effort to try and dive back into writing. I wrote in a post awhile back, about re-connecting. One of the things I wanted to re-connect was pen to paper. Part of re-establishing that has involved a few steps:

-Setting up a workspace
I’m also going back to school in September, so it has a dual purpose. I surrounded my desk area with my favourite prints and collectibles, cleared plenty of space for writing, and am in the process of acquiring utensils to better hone my craft.

-Books
I need to rebuild my book collection, so I have started anew…again. I’ve moved a lot over the course of the last 10 years (4 times cross-country and 8 different abodes). Sadly, books are not the easiest thing to transport across the country, and many good reads have been left behind for others to love. I’m trying my best to make new friends, that is to say branch out into writings I have never owned. It’s difficult though. I miss the familiarity of certain book-jackets. I recently acquired a slew of history books, which is convenient since that is what I’ll be taking in school. It’s going to be a long and expensive foray.

-Notebooks
I got some shiny new notebooks. Part of the plan is to always have a destination for thoughts handy at all times. One in my bag, one at home. The trick will be to not censor myself.

The ideas are bubbling again. The last 8 months have been emotionally exhausting, so it’s no wonder the creativity is bursting. The key will be to catch as much of it as possible as it starts to spill over. I have a big project in mind; highly character driven. I hope dearly I can commit to it. Once the pen starts flying, it’s usually fairly hard to stop.

Wish me luck.

-DFP-

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In Between Dreams

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Sleep.

Yesterday I slept for 14 hours. My monthly “crash” if you will. I used to track my sleep using an app on my phone. I realized pretty quick that it was less a helpful tool, than it was a symbol of how bad my insomnia has grown over the years.

In high school, I wager I got about 6-8 hours of sleep every night

In my binge drinking days, closer to 5-7.

If you believe the last app readings, which were back in November: 4.5 hours/night.

Of course, the app isn’t wholly accurate. It only starts calculating from when you start the timer. It doesn’t factor in how long it takes you to doze off after activating it. It also doesn’t account for waking up frequently throughout the night. Let’s not forget, this is also an average measurement. As previously stated, I usually have a crash once or twice a month, where I binge sleep. My body just can’t handle the fatigue anymore. You could probably safely assume I indeed only sleep on average 3-3.5 hours every night.

My mind doesn’t have an off switch. It’s not that I lead an overly exciting life; the thoughts buzzing are certainly not screenplay worthy. Frets and worries of a near 30 year old are pretty bland, truthfully. I have school registration in roughly 12 hours to contend with, currently. I also have a ticket to a concert tonight that I’m pretty jazzed about. It’ll be the first concert I’ve gone to alone in, pretty well ever. Earlier in the evening, I was challenged to list 5 “Nice Things”. My brain doesn’t typically  lean towards positive things, particularly lately. Since I can’t seem to find sleep though, let’s give it a whirl. Who knows? It may just clear some clutter…

  1. West coast rain on my face. Especially in the morning when it’s still cold and I’m barely awake.
  2. The fact that as the years go by, my handwriting is slowly looking more and more like my Gramma’s everyday.
  3. The hum of a tattoo gun; the bite it delivers into the skin.
  4. Beers that wash over your entire palette.
  5. The unmistakeable sound of a home run.
  6. The perfect snap a baseball mitt makes on a beautifully thrown 2-seam fastball.
  7. A book so good, you have to re-read it immediately since you can’t leave the characters behind…because they are not characters, they’re friends.
  8. Sour-cherry cheesecake.
  9. A seamlessly conceived playlist.
  10. Rhubarb rock candy.
  11. The first cookie from a freshly baked batch.
  12. The first autumn wind.
  13. Cherry cola.
  14. The fizz that tickles your nose, from a freshly poured soda-fountain drink.
  15. The cold-side of the pillow.
  16. Coming home from camp and not being able to wash the campfire smell off your skin.
  17. Not being able to sleep the day before a big trip, while still being able to get up early to get your butt to where you need to go.
  18. Plaid
  19. Being the first to toe the rubber on a freshly groomed baseball diamond
  20. Ocean spray, on a summer day at the beach.

(…so I got a little carried away)

-DFP-