Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Writing Prompts: Day 20

This is purely a work of fiction - a small piece of writing I am doing to prepare me for NaNoWriMo next month. It was written in about 30 minutes with no prior planning ... but I just had to get some sort of writing out of me again!! 

Writing Prompts: Day Twenty
Include these three things: The sound of rain against glass, darkness, a recording.


I am holding the coffee mug firmly, the palms of my hands pressed against either side of the warm ceramic. I'm desperate to try and keep warm. It's grey outside, the clouds coating over the town in one thick blanket of darkness. Pattering rain drops fall against the windowpanes. 
I sit on my stool, foot twitching as I watch a stray cat, drenched from the downpour,  scurry past my front door. I am restless. I can't seem to get him out of my mind. Him. I wonder what his name is. I'd seen him again today, on the train, as always. He was wrapped up in black trench-coat and scarf. Battered leather boots, scuffed as the toes - I stared down at them, using all of my concentration to restrain myself from glancing up at him. He always caught me. 
Biting my plump bottom lip with the struggle, my hazel eyes darted to the shoes of every other passenger on board the train. Tattered jeans had slopped mud and water through the passageway, if we weren't careful one of us could easily slip. I turned beet red just thinking of it. Of course it would be me that would slip, right in front of him most likely. Everyone would laugh at me, splayed out in a catastrophic, painful splits across the floor. I'm always embarrassing myself like that somehow. 
Shaking the thought from my brutal imagination, I clutched onto the neck of my acoustic guitar for support. It was like my safety blanket. My eyes trailed up his legs now, uncontrollably. They found his belt buckle, his hands and finally his bearded neck. I stopped there, staring at the unruly mess of facial hair. The word rugged came to mind. I have no idea how long I had stayed there, staring at that hair - but I was suddenly forced from my daydream by the lurch of the train at it made to move forward again after another stop. Some of the passengers who had been standing, fell forward and grabbed quickly for something to steady themselves on. They laughed nervously to each other, sharing a joke I just didn't get. In the process of the lurch, he had been jolted forward in his seat and his face, his eyes, now lay perfectly in my line of vision. It took me a second to realize he was staring back at me, his mouth parted in a wicked smile - as though he was trying to share one of those jokes between the other passengers, just with me. I frowned at him, turning to my left and then my right to make sure he wasn't smiling at someone else. No. It was me. He'd smiled at me. 
The recording of the train announcing the next stop, his stop, whistled through my ears. He raised from his seat, winked at me slyly and departed the train. He always did. I wondered where he was going, who he was seeing. A girlfriend, a mother, a father? Work? 
As always, I drifted away with my imagination which always made him come and plonk himself down in the open seat beside me. He'd introduce himself and we'd fall into easy conversation. Flirtatious conversation. We'd exchange numbers, arrange a date. A real date. One which required me to chuck on a little black dress and do my hair nicely - and he'd see me from across that cloth covered table holding onto a glass of wine and he'd smile at me, thinking, 'wow, she's beautiful.'
Maybe one day... but for now, we were just strangers on a train. 

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tell Me What To Do

It's one of those days where I just want to pull the beige knitted shawl from Zara over my head, cradle a cup of green tea and try to forget the world. Nothing is going right. I'm beyond the point of sadness now. Moving to Europe and giving up everything in my old life was a tough decision - and now I'm not even sure if it was the right one.
I've always been a good worker. I'm motivated, driven and like to be proud of what I do... but I just can't seem to find a boat or a crew that stick. I have aways had long term jobs, my colleagues become my family. It's different in this industry. There's so much booze, sex and drugs and that's just not me. Don't get me wrong... I'm not a complete bore. I would just rather be outdoors, fishing, surfing, hiking or throwing a dinner party for my friends than getting wankered in a dingy old bar with people that scream over God-awful music so loud its a wonder half the yachties aren't deaf.
I had some day work on some boats over September and it felt so good to work again. Without work I get irritable. I like to know that I've done something with my day - feel useful, you know? But now it's back to the drawing board and the scary thing is that the season is almost over. There's little to no work here now unless you want to do a crossing to the Caribbean - which I don't. I never thought I'd hear myself say that... travel is my everything... but I've set up a new life here in Mallorca. I've got a cozy little home, friends, a guy that I've had a really wonderful couple of months with. But even that is getting strained now. Maybe it's me. Maybe I mess everything up intentionally when things get serious. Or maybe not... I told him I loved him on the dance floor, my arms wrapped around his neck as he was swaying with me to Sail Away by David Gray. It felt so right... and he'd said it once before over text (I hadn't known he'd been so drunk when he'd said it...). But when I said those three words... the words that scare seven types of hell out of me after Sam pretty much destroyed my heart, causing me so much hurt and stress that I broke out in Psoriasis and shut myself away for months becoming a complete heartbroken recluse... he took a step back and looked at me. Not the good kind of look. He stared at me for a moment and sort of sniggered.... I stood staring back at him, feeling my face flood with redness and regret. Why had I said it?? Up until this point I had been pretty sure I would never let love interfere with my life again. Fuck it, right? All it does it kill you in the end. Eventually he opened his mouth and the words that came out of his mouth brought me to instant tears. "Don't expect me to say it back. Don't expect anything from me."
The first time I decide to chance it again - to let love in... to let my guard down. Shot down instantly. I was so confused. Why had he said it when he'd been drunk??? Things have been really sour between us ever since and I have no idea what to do. We've created some gorgeous memories and have been really happy for a while now - but is that all over?? Everything comes to an end eventually. I know that. I'm not naive. But it always hurts when things end.
To top it all off, my mothers trips to the AA meetings seemed to be going well - but it was all a lie. She's still drinking. Somehow the doctors think her liver is A-OK. God knows how with the amount she's slicked back over the past few years from 10am till 2am. Every day.
My brother smacked my car into the gate too. I miss having my independence and transport so bloody much. I hate being this useless version of myself with no job, no money, no car... no nothing. What am I supposed to be doing in my life???? Should I even be in Mallorca? Before moving here I was in such a stable, good job in the gallery. I had my car, my flat, my life. But I gave it all up for this bright new world but it's just been one massive thunderstorm.
I just want to know that someone out there loves me. That sounds so ridiculous.... I know. But is it really that hard to find someone willing to love me and hell, bring my a bloody flower????
Yes, I know I say I hate flowers as gifts but it is the thought that counts. Granted I'd rather have a bonsai.... something I could nurture and watch grow rather than a flower that no matter how many times I water it will just wither and die in the end anyway. And what about this stupid Facebook lark? I just can't find someone willing to publicly say they are in a relationship with me. That sounds stupid too.... but I see other couples putting on their relationship status' every single day... but me??? No one ever wants to. Am I being stupid??? Them wanting to hide me online so they can chat to all these other women etc.... it's been my life story for as long as I can remember. I'm over it. I just want commitment. Love. Happiness.
I just don't know what to do with myself anymore. I have options. Endless options.

1. Stay in Mallorca, try to find work on the yachts, forget about love because it's becoming infinitely clear that I am in fact unlovable... plod along sporting a very nice tan.

2. Go to Manchester and invade my poor cousins life... look for work there. Lose aforementioned tan. Probably spend my measly savings getting drunk on beer in a dark and dingy pub (minus the yachties... thank God).

3. Crack open my savings account and go to India. Call an ashram home for a while.. try to find peace of mind, peace in my soul. Yoga. Meditation. Silence retreats. Art. Really fucking hot curry. Yum.

4. Buy a one-way ticket to Ireland, the place I have always wanted to go. Sign up for Wwoofing so I can get free accomodation, shovel some cow shit around for a few hours a day in exchange for a bed and a meal... Probably spend my measly savings getting drunk on beer in a dark and dingy pub (minus the yachties but plus the sexy Irish accent that makes me swoon...)

5. Why didn't I say this before? Go back to South Africa. See my cats that I am really starting to miss... my dogs. My family??? Get my car back. Probably try move to Cape Town or somewhere out of the shitty little town of Knysna. Find a job doing something... anything. Why didn't I say that??? Because I've left South Africa behind me already. That was a big move... I can't just go back. That would be like life winning and me failing....

Any other suggestions??? Please tell me. I need to know what the hell to do.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Inspiration from Grant Achatz for Nanowrimo

I've been wondering if forcing yourself to write when you just aren't in the mood for it is actually a good idea. You could end up resenting it even more than you currently already do. 
* Side-note... as I started typing this, the bloody next door neighbours turned on a saw loud enough that it must be possible to chop down the fecking statue of Liberty. HOW do you write and get creative with that kind of noise?! This is useless.... 

Nevertheless... I was overwhelmingly inspired yesterday by a man who, needless to say, is a huge inspiration. Grant Achatz. He's the owner and chef of a restaurant in Chicago called Alinea.

I've been watching this tv show sometimes on netflix when I'm too bored to do anything else with my unemployed ass - it's called The Chefs Table. It's a brilliant show based on the biographies of some of the most world-renowned chefs. Yeah - I don't really know why I watch chef programs when I still struggle to flip a friggen omelette but hey ho... I enjoy it.
Anyway, so this bloke, Grant Achatz... it was so fascinating to watch how his mind worked... I could almost hear it ticking, thinking up new beautiful creative ideas to do with food. I adore seeing the passion people clearly have for things in life, such as Achatz passion for food. Such as Jordy Smith's passion for surfing or Sasha Alsberg's passion for the unbelievably sexy Scot, Jamie Fraser from Outlander. I have that same passion for writing - it's THERE... I'm just struggling so hard to connect with it right now. 

I've been doing everything to get inspired, to have something new and exciting to write about. I moved to Mallorca all by myself, leaving behind my friends, family, cats and dogs. I started scrubbing rich Russian's excrement out of crappy (pardon the pun) toilets for a living... and you have no idea how much I wish I could be doing that right now... God I never thought I'd hear myself say that!! But when you're jobless, homeless and shit out of luck (pardon the other pun there!) that's how desperate you get. 
I started learning Spanish (I can now successfully order myself a gin and tonic.... and add a please at the end of that order.. and if you're really lucky I'll even throw in a thank you). I've been reading religiously, especially after discovering the joys of Amazon which means I can order all the latest and greatest books that all these fabulous booktubers rave about online! My credit card currently hates me. Just saying.
I started fishing and even gutted what I caught too, luckily I don't have a weak stomach.. I'm kind of partial to blood and gore... and if that could have been said in a non creepy sense believe me I would've said it that way.... I love me some Grey's Anatomy.... and not just because of McSteamy either. I promise.
I've started doing yoga again and meditating in between swatting a dozen mosquito's to death - very tranquil I know. I've been tugging on a pair of trainers in the mornings (OK, 2 mornings to be exact...) before the sun has risen and I've been going for runs sporting my 'Gym and Tonic' yoga pants and oversized hot pink headphones. I look pretty daft but I literally don't give a fuck - if it gets me inspired to WRITE SOMETHING again I am actually willing to do anything and everything. 

So although I've opened my wee world up to such new and exciting prospects, I appear to still have this blasted writers block that has been my constant companion for the past year since my heart got broken. Funny though how just turning on the television and seeing Grant Achatz's love and never-ending passion for food, has fuelled my desire to write again.
As spices, vegetables, herbs and meats are his ingredients that make up his passion, the letters on a keyboard are mine. A all the way to Z... they make up my world... and I need to open my world to them again, one step at a time. 

Nanowrimo is coming up in November - just over a month away... and I plan on conquering that national novel writing month. Beating the shit out of it in fact (I'm sorry, I don't know where all these pooey referrals are coming from today!?). I am going to write a novel in a month, whether it be 50'000 words or more.... but definitely no less. And when I am finished, I will send it off to agents and publishers and try once again to make my only real dream and ambition in life come true.... to have my work published. To walk past a bookstore and see my novel sitting there in the window. To watch someone pick my book up and read the blurb on the back and see them smile, see them relate or connect to the story I told. 
To just hold my work, my creation, my LIFE, in my hands. It's by far the best feeling in the world. I can only imagine how incredible it must have felt for Grant who went from being a cook in other restaurants to realizing that he needed to break away from them in order to freely express his creativity for food - and when he took that leap, that plunge, he succeeded in ways I bet he could never have expected or imagined. Hearing his story of how his dream became reality kicked my unemployed butt into gear.... and I think I just realized that I need to stop referring to myself as unemployed because although I may be broke and not actually earning a penny (scared shitless currently....), a writer is never unemployed, are they??? A writers brain never shuts down. Words, thoughts, stories and ideas constantly swirl through my mind even while I sleep. I just need to stop my shit (that's the last time I promise!!) and start writing again.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hearts of Broken Glass - a song by Jade Lee Wright

I say sorry to my heart, the pain
found out you will never love me, today
all my hopes and dreams, fade so far away
and its there they stay, in the distance

So if I could, I'd shed my heart of you
I'd coat myself in armour, too
Just forget us, forget us, 
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

Encapsulated, we were in the cold and dark
A twisted forest, as rough as the tree bark
But it was fragile stuff, almost broken from the start
How it lasted as long as it did was an art

Forgot it was all just temporary,
'cause everything comes to an end eventually
Just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

But you will always be my past...

You taught me so, so much
You became my fucking crutch
Wish I'd seen it coming now
Would have stopped it all somehow

But then I ask myself the question,
Would I really have done anything differently, upon reflection
Could I really just forget us, forget us
Forget us

Could I really say...

Lets start over
Lets forget one another
These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

'cause you will always be my past

These lonely days will pass
No more hearts of broken glass

You set me free, 
Got my whole life ahead of me
and so I learned today
Sometimes your heart breaks in the right way.

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