Writing Blues.

My writing has become a struggle these days. As much as I want to write, I haven’t felt compelled with anything brilliant to write about. I want to get back into writing again because I want to take it more seriously again rather than just a hobby. I want to start, finish, edit, and send off a story that would be worthy of getting into a magazine or journal. I want to be able to build a good, strong reputation as a writer so that eventually I can get a book published.

The thing is, whenever I sit down to write in my notebook, nothing comes to me and when I do, I end up tearing the page out only to stare at the blank paper again. I don’t feel confident in my writing yet to just write and not worry about how it looks until it’s finished. The Editor won’t stop editing, not even for a moment. There have been times when I’m able to ignore it and just keep on writing, but that hasn’t happened in a really long time; trust me, I’m not exaggerating.

I feel like I’ve discussed this before on here, but it’s just something that I don’t know how to beat. I don’t know how to kick the negatives to the curb and just let my creativity flow. Doing research online and reading books about it just don’t seem to work. Maybe I’m not really a writer: I don’t want to take the time to write and get something published. Or the fact of the matter is I’m just plain scared of putting my thoughts to paper. I’m scared to put my thoughts and opinions out there for everybody to see. Everyone who writes has these fears but it’s gotten to the point of inhibiting me from doing what I love the most.

There was something I learned in my undergrad years called Ass In Chair (or AIC). In AIC, you sit down at the table and just write and write and write some more. You’re not allowed to get up for several hours: you just sit down and keep going no matter how painful it is. And it gets the job done, or so I’ve heard. Maybe this is what I need to do: just sit my butt down in the chair and keep writing for a couple hours each day.

Searching for Substance.

My books line the shelves in orderly fashion, or at least as orderly as they can be until some lean over by the weight of gravity. I don’t have much more room for anymore, and yet I keep on buying, stuffing them in nooks and crannies and piled on the floors in the baskets and tabletops. Some of them are old favorites from childhood, others from when I was in high school and college, and still others that I’ve acquired in more recent years. Some of these I bought years ago and haven’t read (or even finished reading) while others I’ve read but couldn’t quite bring myself to get rid of. I’m a hoarder of books, each one I find a story worth noting, worth remembering for later and trying to get rid of them is like trying to get rid of my own children.

I’m searching for substance within these pages. I’m searching for a reality not quite like my own. These stories lay bare the truth that I couldn’t never discover in real life: they show far more humanity than I’ve ever seen within actual people sometimes. Or maybe it’s because I learned how people should act only to be disappointed by the reality of what is.

I grab for a book and look through the pages. I snuggle in a blanket and put a couple pillows behind my back. I’m not so comfortable I can hide within these stories forever. I’ll see you when I get out on the other side and if not, let these books become my heirloom.

Review: Annabelle

John and Mia, a young couple expecting their first baby, are attacked one night by two invaders. The couple survives, but not long after they begin to experience horrifying paranormal experiences involving a vintage doll. Desperate for answers, Mia begins some research only to find that the people who invaded her home were part of a satanic cult. The woman of the cult who died in her home clutching the couple’s vintage doll was named Annabelle and look like the ghost that is terrifying them consistently. She later finds out that Annabelle might not necessarily be a ghost, but that her image is used by demon with malicious intent. Meanwhile, the experiences grow more sinister as the small family discover what the unknown is really after.

Annabelle is the prequel movie to last year’s hit The Conjuring. It’s based on a real doll named Annabelle, but the real life doll is a Raggedy Ann doll, drastically different from the obviously made to look scary doll from the movie. It now resides in the museum that Ed and Lorraine Warren created for paranormal objects.

In spite of the bad reviews for this movie, I thought the movie was enjoyable, if a horror movie can be enjoyed, per se. It’s not as good as The Conjuring, which had a good balance of paranormal and building it up to the very end. In Annabelle, there seemed to be more story than paranormal experiences, but it was still enjoyable. Creepy looking dolls always disturbed me, so seeing a horror movie with demonic dolls will always affect me.

The ending of the film was underwhelming to me: to have a woman jump out of the window in order to save the family left me wanting something more from them. I expected something more shocking, but that wasn’t the case. I hope that in the future, any other films based on Ed and Lorraine Warrens’ investigations have a more solid ending.

Wednesday.

When I was a child, summers seemed to stretch on before me like an eternity of years waiting to be lived. I could snuggle in bed and play for as long as I wanted to. Books were my escape when playing seemed too boring to participate in. And Lord, was I an avid reader. I would read everything that I could get my hands on. I even read The Diary of Anne Frank without any prompting. I tended to read a lot of historical and realistic fiction, so it wasn’t quite unusual for me to read such things.

These days, summers seem much shorter. It often feels like two days of bliss, then already fall is coming onto us, taking away the warmth of summer. On Wednesday we had one of our last really nice days before the cold really set in. I went for a hike that afternoon and it was perfect. It was warm and the smell of leaves permeated the air. It felt like it was being wrapped in a blanket; I wish it could’ve lasted forever.

The very next day, fall reclaimed its place on the cold list. Its jealousy of summer’s last days knew no bounds. I stayed wrapped in a blanket, thankful that I enjoyed my last day in summer’s warming rays.

Fear.

I have fears, I just don’t like to show them. I’m afraid of not being liked. I’m afraid being alone. Not necessary having to be with a partner, but being left alone at the end of my life e with no one who really cares about me because I was too much of a loner. I’m afraid of not reaching my potential in life. I’m afraid of never finding my will to write stories again, to share my perspective of the world without ever being recognized.

That’s my problem: recognition. I want to be recognized, to be appreciated for what I do. I don’t want to feel like I always have to be at the top of my game just to become recognized. Trying to be myself is so hard these days because being yourself is not always appreciated. I not only want to be myself, I want to be myself and beyond.

Is that impossible? Probably. But it doesn’t stop me from trying, even if I get burnt out quickly.

Forgotten.

There is a book at the bottom of the bin. The cover’s worn, the words are faded, making it hard to read. I gently flip through the pages of the book, smiling at the innocent pictures and the crayon markings of a child who loved the book well. It’s forgotten now, but here it is, found. I wonder who it belonged to and why it was so discarded. If the book was so well loved, why was it left behind?

I imagine that the child wanted the book read every night. The pages were turned every night and every night he listened with wide eyed wonder. He’d take his crayons and make a mark in the book as if to say “This book was mine, I loved it, and I wanted to highlight it as something wonderful.”

But then, the child moved. It was immediate and hurried. The child could only take so much, just the essentials and the book was quickly forgotten and tossed aside. It was only later until he realized that his favorite book was left behind. Sadness ensued, and eventually the book was replaced, but it wouldn’t never take the place of the original.

Memories, Anniversaries, Grief, Frustration.

I’m pleased that I had the day off today. At my place of work, our Fridays and Saturdays alternate, so if I work a Friday, I have the Saturday off, then the next weekend I have Friday off but work the Saturday. It’s a nice switch so I don’t have to work all weekend, but I’m particularly glad that I had this Saturday off. Today is October 4th and it’s the one year anniversary of my dad’s death.

It’s kind of hard to imagine that it’s been a year since my dad died. Some days it feels like only yesterday, other times it’s like a million years ago. But every day I think about him and I miss him. He’s supposed to be alive, but for the fluke of human nature that doctors sometimes have and it had the misfortune to pick my dad. I wish it would’ve been somebody else, but no one can go back to alter it in any way.

I’ve realized since then how distant I am towards my dad’s side of the family. We were never particularly close, but now that my dad’s gone the distance has grown even farther. I feel no obligation to keep up with them in any way shape or form. They never made the effort for me in that way, especially now that my dad’s gone where the expectation of them making more of an effort is or should’ve been increased. My dad’s brother and his wife hasn’t come down since last November and I’ve only seen one of my dad’s sisters once since October and all the others I haven’t seen since October and some of those was the first time in five and ten years.

It’s always been this way, this sort of uncloseness if that’s even a word. They don’t particularly want to make an effort to come down to see us and now I don’t want to make any particular effort to see them. Even my favorite uncle and his wife I don’t want to see because they made it pretty obvious they don’t want to drive this far to see us even on a holiday but they expect us to go up and see them for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If they or anybody else wants to come down to see us, then they need to make the effort to come down.

Maybe I’m being a Scrooge, but when you’ve had too many disappointments from certain family members, you don’t expect much from them. The only person I want to see again is my dad, but that would only take a miracle.