Friday, March 26, 2010

Fiction Friday

Hello lovelies/comrades! I'm posting a bit of a story that I wrote in Feburary on here. There should be at least one more part of the story coming next Friday, but it won't be an every week kind of thing. Why am I doing this? To pressure myself into writing and finishing things and showing other people my writing. On with the story.

“What don't I like? I've never been asked that before.” I rock back and forth in the chair, my hands clinging to the arms. I focus on the yellow canvas next to my left thigh. “Why do you want to know?” On that last word, I abruptly look up, right into your eyes. Your eyes are too blue. They're probably light blue, maybe grey, naturally, and you wear coloured contacts because you think they make you look better. They don't. They make you look like you're from outer space, an alien that was made to look like a human, to infiltrate our society.
“I have a theory that you have a lot of negativity that needs to be let out, and maybe, if you let it out, you'll be able to deal with it in a more constructive way than you're dealing with it right now.” You're using an upward inflection at the end of that drawn out statement. Sometimes you do that, even when you're not asking a question. It's irritating, really irritating. You're not asking me a question, not really, but you want me to tell you.
Begrudgingly, I do. “I don't like candy cane ice cream. I don't like superhero movies, and I don't like crunch bars, but I did like those crunch with caramel things they had out a couple years ago. I don't think they make them any more.”
You start talking when I've closed my mouth, before I've finished. “Food and movies?”
“There are more things that I dislike. I hadn't finished when you interrupted me.”
“Oh, by all means, please do finish.” You say it in a bit of a mocking tone.
“Fine then.” I sit up a little straighter and cross my legs, knowing that if I go too long without moving them, they'll both go numb. “I dislike sitting in the front of classrooms. I dislike people who look like they're trying too hard.”
“What?” You react to the oddest things sometimes.
“You dislike people who put forth effort? I would have thought completely differently for you.”
Like always, you don't get it. It makes prefect sense to me, but the message never can get through to you. “It's not about putting forth effort, it has nothing to do with putting forth effort. It's about trying too hard and making it horribly obvious. When it's obvious, then you're just reaching the point of ridiculous.”
Your eyebrows go up, not even disguising your feelings. You never have been good at that, your face is so transparent, so obvious. “You want people to put forth secret effort?”
“You're not getting it.”
“No, I'm really not. Could you explain it better?”
“Some girls look like they put a lot of effort into their appearance, you know, with horribly straightened hair, a lot of make-up” You nod, trying to act like you get it. You don't. “And I hate the way they set this sort of ideal, and the ideal's not even pretty.” I pause, waiting for you to interrupt me again. You don't , so I fill the space. “You weren't' thinking of it as an appearance thing, were you?”
“To be honest, I didn't have any idea what it was about. I thought that it was kind of strange, given you-”
“My perfectionist tendencies?”
“I wasn't going to put it that way, but yes.”
“What's wrong with saying that I have perfectionist tendencies? I do. Is it too honest for you?”
“You know that I believe in honesty.”
“I think that what you're talking about is kind honesty.” You ignore this comment pointedly.
“I think that 'perfectionist tendencies' is too strong for your situation. People who have perfectionist tendencies don't usually relate it to their emotions, like you do.”
“How much do you think I relate my perfectionist tendencies to my emotions?”
“We don't exactly have a scale for that. How do you want me to measure it?”
“I didn't mean that I needed a number. Lord knows I've had enough of numbers by now. I want to know in terms of people with perfectionist tendencies or whatever I have, are they all tied up in my emotions more than everyone else?”
You pause, trying to think of a way to say this without hurting my feelings and making me more stressed out and more obsessive about everything in my life. You finally come up with it, and this time, I really care about what you have to say. “I can't really compare patients like that.”
“You're lying.” Too quickly. Too impulsive, too sudden. You chuckle a little bit, laughing at my astonishing lack of self-control. This, this is what happens to me all the time, but never before with you. I say something vaguely ridiculous that I just didn't think through enough, then you laugh at me. This is what happens , and I know it is entirely my fault. MY fault for being stupid and impulsive, my fault for never learning from my mistakes.
“I'm not lying to you.” Your voice startles me from my thoughts.
“Would you tell me if you were lying?”
“If I was lying, I wouldn't respond. I wouldn't want to confess, and I would feel bad about lying again. So there. I don't compare my patients.”
I sit there and I stare at the floor for what feels like a very long time.
“What would you like to talk about now?”
“There's, there's nothing else. I think I'm done now.”
“Okay then, if that's what you want. Same time next week, right?”
“Um. Yeah, right.” I seem to have lost my ability to look you in the eye, I stare towards the door, towards the rug, towards your feet.
“Have a good day.”
“You too.” My voice trails off, not completely done wit the word until I'm out of the room and going home.
But I don't want to go home. What am I going to do at home? I'm going to have this horrible reoccuring crawling out of my skin feeling again, and that feeling, that's why I'm not going anywhere mentally. Physically, yes, I'm going somewhere, going somewhere a large portion of the time, because if I stop for too long, and I don't have something very specific that I need to do and think about, I go crazy. Well, not exactly crazy. No, crazy's the wrong word for it, but I don't know of a better word to describe it. I just get twitchy, scared, uncomfortable in my skin.
I just need to do something to get out of here, because I've already crawled up all the walls in the room.
And when the walls have all been climbed, I go some place else, maybe the library, not because I need to find something to read, but because I can stay there for hours, hiding in the back of non-fiction, maybe in the biographies, and I can be alone, but not alone, not really. There are people around, it's a public place, and I think that makes it easier, easier to forget.
Because I do want to forget, I'm sure of it. There is not one thing, not one thing that I've done in the past five months that I'd admit to. I would lie, and I'm good at it. You would buy tales of me having family obligations and whatever else I could think up.
Maybe you could see the truth, if you wanted to. You don't want to know. You don't want to know what I'm trying to forget about, because you know it's bad. You know that if I can't handle knowing it, you don't want to know even a hint of it.
And I think I hate that you don't care enough to ask me about it, to tear the lies away from me and leave me bare, the truth brutal and exposed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Animals...and Orwell...and sci-fi/fantasy

I finished reading Animal Farm today. You should be happy for me, considering the fact that in recent years, I've had the attention span common in my generation, courtesy of google, and as a result, I've had a lot of trouble finishing books*. This is a personality flaw.
I liked it. I liked it a lot, because I felt like every third word was a reference to something that I knew. I'm not generally a person who gets symbolism on the first (or fifth, for that matter) reading, but in this, it was all blatantly obvious. I think that might detract from the story, a little. I know that it's all about communism, that's what all my post-its were saying, but I'm not sure if I think it was really a good story. It just wasn't entertaining. That might be shallow of me, to want to be purely entertained by books. I want them to make me think too, but I want it to be a good read, without being too simple or overdone with symbolism.
This porridge is a little too hot or too cold in both aspects, I think.
The problem that I often have with science fiction and fantasy books is often that the author gets too caught up in their big imaginary world to bother to develop their characters. Animal Farm had none of that, because history developed the characters, but there was still something that wasn't quite right about it. Maybe if I read it again, it will have more of whatever I'm looking for. I do wonder if it's just some innate issue that I have with sci-fi/fantasy, that no matter what, I'm determined to find something that's wrong with it. This is kind of strange, given that the steampunk thing/novel five is something of a fantasy. What am I doing writing fantasy? I don't even read fantasy!
This is a strange decision on my part.
Was this photo a tragic attempt at being like someone else? Maybe.
Today was also exciting because...I got to go inside the new library. My town has been building a new library for what, a year and a half now, and it's very close to being done. I was taking part in their commercial, and I had a chance to look around. It's going to be marvellous. Marvellous enough that it almost makes me want to live here. Almost.
*However, I've maintained a strong relationship with commas over the years.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I'm thinking about people, and I've been thinking about people a lot lately, and I keep coming to one conclusion.
Do you want to hear it?
First off, I need to get out of this horrible habit of using words associated with hearing when I'm writing things.
My big, earth-shattering conclusion is this: People are complex.
I can hear you now*. "Samantha, that was the most obvious thing I've ever heard! Of course people are complex!" And I'm saying**, in response to this "Yes. Sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake."
It seems like most people, they have all these different faces, and they show them to different people at different times. I'm not sure if they're trying or not, but it seems as though they do. I'm different on the blog than I am in real life, and I'm different on facebook than I am in real life, and I'm different at home than I am at school, and I'm different with one other person than I am with a big group. And goodness knows, I'm different when I'm all alone. This, of course, makes me wonder: What am I? How do I define myself? Who do I want to be? Who was I a month, a year, four years, eight years ago? Was I more truly me at that point in time? Am I truly me right now? And if I'm not me, who am I? Who is out there and worth being?
Really, what I'm trying to get across is this: People are lies, and they are complex lies, and the lies that they let you see tell you all the truth you're ever going to get out of them. I'm a liar. I'm a terrible liar, but each of those lies tells you what I wanted you to see at that moment. It may not be good, it may not be pretty, but it made some sense to me, and I wanted you to know. Those lies, they are the only thing that borders on true. Maybe they aren't some abstract thing that I put outside, but maybe they are me.

I don't feel wrong for lying, because the lies are all I've ever had.

On an unrelated (who are we kidding? Of course this is related.) note, I've been wondering for a while now if my brain functions slightly differently than a lot of other people's brains do. I was playing a game on Saturday, and someone told me to think like they do. I didn't understand. I don't know how to think like they do, and I don't think I'm supposed to know how to do that.

I may be too introspective for my own good.

*See? It's a unhealthy addiction!
**I'm starting to get worried about this issue.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today in APUSH, I came to a huge realization. Not a realization about Harry Potter* (although the Black family is endlessly interesting, every adult we see in the series, except for maybe the Weaslys, is really messed up. And I do wish we knew more about Regulus**, and what Snape's boggart was. And what Snape saw in the Mirrior of Erised.) This realization is about books and my relationship to them.
I don't know anything about language. I know about plot, and I know about characters. I may not be able to write them, but I can understand them. I don't know anything aobut the simple parts, the very basics. I don't know anything at all. I've been reading for ten years, and I don't know anything about words.
I'm afraid, and rightly so.
How do you learn about that? I don't know anything about writing style, and I don't know what I should know about writing style. Do I have a style? For the only writing assignment I've done in English this year, the teacher said I had a strong voice. I was being horribly sarcastic in the assignment, and I thought I was going over the top. Does that mean that sarcasm is my style? Can that even be a style?
I feel like such a terrible writer at the moment. It is vaugely encouraging to know that the things I'm writing have been getting better. I came across a story that I wrote this time freshman year, and it was really bad. It was your general angsty-inesert-self-I-don't-know-how-to-make-a-real-character story. The characters kind of all blended together in my NaNo, but at least they weren't all exactly like me. Milton was kind of a platform for my rants***, but at least he was his own character with his own past. Ixente isn't anything like me, and I don't think Elliot is either. That means they're getting better, right?
On a completly different note, I went to crew today, and then I got home and thought "I'm really tired so I'm going to take a nap, then I'm going to go for a long walk because it's warm and sunny today and I want to spend some time outside." And then when I woke up, it was dark. No walk happened, and that makes me sad.
On another completly different note, that girl from my drawing class who believes that Norway is perfect just might be right.

*While we're on the detour of Harry Potter, which house do you think I belong in? Because I don't think I really would fit in any of them. Does that mean I'm a Hufflepuff? Because Hufflepuffs are a) loyal and b) particularly good finders, and I don't think I'm either of those. I used to think that I should be in Ravenclaw, but I don't think so anymore. And I'm not braver than average either, so that rules out Gryffindor. And Slytherin...I'm not sure if I would belong there either. I don't think I'm evil, but I understand the self-preservation idea. And then Jo answeared "He’s so good. You know, Snape is so amazing, was he truly meant to be in Slytherin, Snape?" with "Yes, God, yes, definitely, at the time that he was sorted. I believe what Dumbledore believes when he says to Snape in the very last book, “Sometimes I think we sort too soon.” To judge someone at the age of eleven, to judge them, to set their future course so young seems to me to be a very harsh thing to do. And it doesn’t take into account the fact that we do change and evolve. A lot of people are at forty what they were at eleven, having said that, so I think Sorting Hat is shrewd, but Snape does redeem himself and it fails to take that into account. But then again, you could turn that on his head and say, “But maybe, with these people being sorted into Slytherin, someone who has the capacity to change themselves might also have the capacity to change Slytherin.”" and that kind of makes me think about the world in a completly different way, because it makes it acceptable to realize that when I was eleven, I thought I would have been a Ravenclaw, but that's changed. I wonder, if I was around people who were supposed to be just like me, if I would have changed less. Or maybe, I would have changed more because I would have thought that the world had enough people who were like me.
**Did I tell you that he and Cygnus and Sirius and Scorpious and Orion and Arcturus were all on the MME? They were. It made my day a week ago.
***Hey, that reminds me of someone else...but I do think that was his opinion, not the writer's.

Monday, March 15, 2010


So I've kind of been in this rut for a while now. I don't know what I want to do with my life, and I'm not really good at anything, and I don't know where I want to go to college, and hey! the earth is still spinning. Time is still moving foreward. I need to get a move on my, erm, life.
And that's worrying. That's big and scary and everything I do seems to matter right now. Instead of empowering and motivating me, it's paralyzing me, and I can't make any decisions and I can't move for fear of messing something up, something that will change the course of my entire life.
I'm a little freaked out about this. And apparently HayleyGHoover and Kristina are feeling the same way. They're in college. Is this a feeling that you're supposed to get when you're in college, not hi!school? Huh.
So that's how I've been feeling for the past month or so.
Also, how ironic is it that my house burned down on the Ides of March? How sad is it that I realized this only recently?

Quote of the Month

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Albert Einstein

Monday, March 8, 2010

My, erm, life

Gee, why don't we just apply that title to the whole blog? Would you read a blog named "My, Erm, Life"?
No, really. Would you?
Anyway, I'm taking the ACT part of the MME tomorrow. Contrary to the belief of some individuals, I'm not mad about the fact that I have to take it. Yes, I am kind of irritated that the state is forcing me to take the MME, even though the money that was once attached to it has been cut. Just wanted to say that.
All of this makes me freak out about career stuff a lot more. It seems like the things I'm interested in are not the same things that any employer is interested in, and that worries me. A lot. And more than that, I'm worried that I'm going to have to do something terrible and boring, because I'm not going to be able to get a job otherwise.
Why are all the fields that result in employment terrible and boring?
I've been thinking, and if I was to go into some kind of "sensible" career, like business, I would want to be in publishing.
Please note that my "sensible" option is the least sensible option out there, in terms of business.
I feel like I'm kind of screwed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In which I bemoan my tragic life. In other words, everything I've ever blogged about.

I have a cold, and I feel very yucky.
I wanted everyone to know that. I'm currently sitting around in my pyjamas and thinking of things that I could do that do not involve doing the copious amounts of homework that I should be doing. I have not made any advances on the college question. I have not made any advances on the career question. Progress on the book is at a standstill*, and I saw Alice In Wonderland last night. I want the book to look like that, but with less colour. Would that be a good backdrop? Because it's going to have a lot of characters (think Harry Potter. When in doubt, always think Harry Potter) and I want it to feel sort of steampunk-ey. Does that all fit together? Would that work?
Maybe progress will be made on the book after all.

*The book is currently in planning stages. It doesn't have a title, apart from "the steampunk thing" and the "they're going to do...something" and "Novel 5" writing on this novel will occur when school gets out.