NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 16: in which I hardly mention NaNo at all

So, NaNo, hey?

35,928/50,000 words at the start of Day 16. Like, how?!

In previous years I would’ve been lucky to be 19,000+ words into writing by this stage. Maybe practice makes perfect. The more terrible novels I write, the slightly less terrible they become each time. But I’ve been drifting a bit and getting bored and yesterday spent too much time on MBTI introvert memes on Instagram. And I realised that a lot of the time, Introvert memes aimed at ISTPs tick me off. They often have this controlling tone about them, like one I read and reshared yesterday said, “ISTP: you will likely do something for someone rather than give compliments. Give praise. Some people need to hear your appreciation.”


NaNoWriMo 2016 Days 5,6,7

It’s Day 7 of NaNoWriMo here in Melbourne, Australia. What started out as a sunny spring day is now clouding over, as a north wind blows warm pollen-heavy air across the hills and into my sinuses. God bless the inventor of antihistamines.

I just noticed that the NaNoWriMo widget at the bottom of my WordPress blog is not refreshing. So far I have updated my word count every day and my current validated word count is sitting on 12,046 words. I am a full day ahead of the NaNo race against the calendar.

At this point, while I don’t want to over-inflate my sense of self-confidence, I am doing a far better job this year than in the previous three years. (more…)

I am currently decluttering my RedBubble Portfolio, to make way for more recent art that best represents who I am now, as well as to make it easier for customers to navigate the available products for sale. As a result I will be sharing some of my old creative writings here on WordPress, as a way of preserving them. In several cases my mind, opinions, beliefs, values and overall understanding of life have changed since the time I wrote these pieces, but I still feel that they are personally valuable reminders of the various stages of my life journey thus far.

This piece of writing was first posted at my RedBubble Creative Writing Portfolio.

Date of original post: 3 October 2010

Total views, at 2 May 2016: 334

Dreamscapes: escaping from the crowd to the sea

From a dream I had a few years ago.

Ivy covered door hidden in a cleft in the hillside. Above it are the electricity pylons. I am escaping the crowds and I sprout wings.

Escape and fly to the ocean. Wings beating hard but the resistance. The fear. The terror as the crowds hunt me down.

The ground below is green and clear. Only the powerlines break the view of undulating lawns.

Wade into the sea and grow flippers. Swim, escape. The crowds are gone but here I must remain.


Celebrating the Small Victories

As a person with the double whammy of anxiety disorder and depression, my natural tendency is to ruminate on the negatives in life. Though, hilariously enough (to me) since undergoing psychotherapy and medical treatment for these conditions for over three years now I have discovered that I’m quite the optimist. Dark, somewhat gothic in my creative expressions, a little bit morbid, and with a raging thirst for heavy metal music, to be sure, but it’s a revelation to discover that under the gloomy layers I am, generally,  an assume-the-best, hopeful, upbeat kind of person who loves art and flowers and kittens and classical music. Don’t let the wardrobe of black clothes fool you; when my mental health is going well, I’m very laid back and really quite capable of being friendly. To look back on years of being told by the powers-that-be that I was lazy, disorganised, unmotivated, had a “bad attitude” with an attendant “lack of gratitude,” there’s a vague satisfaction that I can now look at those past conversations and realise that what they were seeing was a manifestation of my mental illness, and not intrinsic to my personality. It turns out that despite years of contradictory evidence, I’m a fairly neat and tidy person when I’m not weighed down by the persistent ennui of a despairing, depression-riddled existence. It makes me realise that I basically wasn’t a fully alive and happy human being from roughly 1991 to 2013 inclusive, up until the anxiety-induced physical breakdown landed me in the doctor’s office begging to know what was wrong with me. What seemed a terrible drama at the time became the doorway into learning how to live well with my mental condition. Add to that the freedom borne by discovering personality typing systems – critiques of their scientific veractiy notwithstanding – and realising that I’m actually really normal for a specific but relatively common subset of human being-ness (ISTP, Enneagram 5w6), and life starts to look a whole lot less bleak than it used to. I can now embrace the fact that like roughly one third of the human species, I’m an introvert – not “shy,” not “too quiet,” and not, as my primary school reports attest, “terrible at making friends.” An introvert with a physiological and psychological need for lower levels of external and environmental stimuli in comparison to my extroverted acquaintances (another argument in favour of going back to living in rural areas). (more…)