Prompt: What does writer’s block feel like?

My head is empty as I stare at the blank space on my laptop screen. I know that words need to go there where now nothing but white is. Words I feel I have in me somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find them. I start writing a sentence, because you have to start somewhere, right? All the smart advice from better writers, from the best writers, says “just write”.
I write a paragraph. I wait for the feeling of accomplishment but I am disappointed. I know what I wrote does not make sense, is not what I want to write. What I need to write. What wants out but can’t find its way. So I erase it all. Start anew. Erase it all…
The white on the screen in front of me starts getting brighter and brighter until it is all I can see. Like a horrible game of tetris that keeps playing after you close your eyes this gleaming stays in my head. It burns my eyes behind closed lids. It spreads. It bites its way deeper into my head. My mind is blank. It’s white, gleaming, blinding white. And still the urge to write, the need to get words out that I cannot consciously think of yet, stays.
It’s like being hungry with no food around. You get restless. You get cranky. It makes you feel sick.
I get angry at myself. Angry at my mind for not delivering what I am used to. Angry at every distraction. The unwritten words pile up inside me. Somewhere deep down where I cannot reach them.
It feels like you need to throw up but can’t. You know you’ll feel better as soon as everything is out but it won’t come.
A bad hangover. Sometimes lasting a couple of hours, sometimes days, sometimes years.

Thanks for reading.

a*

Prompt: Write a love letter to the one that got away

(This was hard and it made me cry. Dammit! I thought I was past this…)

Dear K,

Just so you know, you are the one that got away. The one I never had, the one that I always wanted. I remember our first meeting very clearly: I wore a red-brown shirt and brown chinos, you your Yankees cap and the yellow Dickies. I sat on the table in the corner, you in the chair in front of me. We talked all night. I had never met anybody I could, and wanted, to talk to like that. Ever. You were my first likes-the-same-music-person. The first to share my love for sneakers. Had you asked me that night if I wanted to marry you, I would have said yes. No thinking about it. I was 18, you were 20. And we didn’t get married.

And now, so many many many years later, I would still say yes if you asked me. Within the blink of an eye. Because even now, you are the best man I have ever met. I can hear you laughing at me for saying this. But it’s true. Yes, you can be an asshole. You are mysterious when it comes to all things emotional. You like to keep people at a certain distance.

And still.

I know.

I know you are one of the kindest souls there are. You have such a soft, big heart that you need to protect it at all times. And I wish you’d let me help.

You are the single most generous person I know. And since you know my friends, you know how big of an accomplishment that is. You would rather starve than not help a friend out with some cash without expecting anything back. And they don’t even have to ask. You pay for food, drinks, whatever, without giving it a second thought. You give away those of your belongings that somebody else said they’d like. You help carry heavy stuff, repair things, build things, lend out your car, and drive people wherever they need to be, no matter how far.

You are the most intelligent person I have ever met. You know things I don’t even dream about and if you don’t know, then you still listen and learn. Hardly ever have I met anybody I could talk about so many things with, that I could use all the words I use with you with. I know you don’t know, but this is absolutely invaluable to me. Your smartness makes you oh, so sexy.

Not that the rest of you doesn’t help with that…

And all the little things. The tiny stuff that just adds up:

You open the car door for me and you close it behind me. You make fun of me where other people don’t, but in a way that is never malicious, never hurtful. You make me laugh. So hard. You are one of the funniest people I have ever met. And so sweet. The way you blush when you are embarrassed makes me want to hug you tight and never let go. You know about me, my “things”, and I don’t feel like you judge. When we eat you always make sure I get the first plate. You make sure I don’t carry the heavy bags when we go grocery shopping. You take me serious and despite the fact that you are so much smarter than me, I feel like you see me as an equal. Your hands, so beautiful. Your smile the cutest, way cuter than a grown man your age should have underneath that beard. The way your hair loss makes you feel insecure even though you are the only one who sees and cares. You buy extra tickets for shows you go to. Just in case anybody wants to come. You always buy the first round of beer. You are so considerate. And careful. You are fearless when it comes to travels and food, going anywhere, eating anything.

And the way you make me feel. Safe. I would go anywhere with you, as long as you are by my side, I’d be safe. When I am in the car with you, I don’t watch the traffic myself. I let go, I let you take the lead. The best concerts I ever went to were those where you stood right behind me. Tall enough to look over my head, keeping people from me, breaking the tide and making sure I could just enjoy the show. So safe.

You are the one person I know that I don’t feel needs me as a mother. The one person I feel like I can be held instead of holding.

And yet. And yet you are with her. A woman that I consider a personal insult. Yes, that bad. And I don’t know where I went wrong, what I could have done. Something tells me, short of forcing you at gunpoint, that I could have done nothing.  That I am your nightmare as much as you are my dream because all this, everything that’s in this letter, you don’t want to hear, can’t accept.

So I am going away. Not far, but far enough to escape the sight of you with her. In the hopes that one day I will meet someone better than you. Or that one day I will be over you. And you will probably never read this, never know how deeply I care for you and how deeply I hurt.

I have given up. Given up on the dream of you and me together. We are the worst we could be; we are my worst case scenario. We are friends.

And as such I bid you

Farewell

Thanks for reading.

a*

Prompt: You could eat off the floor

When he remembered the house that he grew up in, he remembered the cleanliness. His mother would always keep everything as clean as it was the day she bought it. Never a speck of dust anywhere in sight. The carpets always freshly vacuumed. No hair to be found in the bathroom. His own toys were lined up with military precision on the shelves of his room that overall looked like a picture in a furniture catalogue. Everything had its place in the house. If you touched anything, you had to make sure you didn’t leave fingerprints and put it back exactly like it had been before. Everything always had to be perfect. The bathroom towels folded immaculately, the fine china in the display case arranged for best visibility. The whole house was so orderly and clean you could have eaten off the floor.  And it had to stay the way it was. Everything. Always.

If it wasn’t, there was hell to pay. If his mother wouldn’t notice right away, his father would. And one of them would throw a fit, yell, throw things around because everything already was ruined and chaos ruled, why not make it worse? The same rule applied to him. When he was younger, his mother would dress him up in the cutest clothes and he remembered distinctly being told not to get the tiniest stain on them. While all the other kids played outside he had to stay in and ideally sit still. He had been allowed to one toy at a time and to move it around carefully. Not bump the cars into each other or the walls that could leave stains or scratch the cars. Not play to roughly with the teddy bear, lest it lost an ear or an eye.

And he hardly ever was allowed to go to other kids’ homes because his parents were too scared that he would get hurt there or maybe their concern was more about his clothes and the way his hair was combed? He never knew. Of course no other kids were allowed in his home. One of them was almost more than his parents could bear, so there was no way that they could have another in their perfect home. This worked out as fine as something like that would as long as he was small but the older he got, the more he realised how bizarre his life was, how bizarre his parent’s life was. He tried to please them, he tried to be good as much as he could. But in the end, he was a human being and he breathed and he moved and sometimes that meant that the things around him moved as well. Without moving back into the place they always were in that was. Oh, the horror.

When he was a teenager, he fought long and hard to have his room respected as his space. A place where he could be whatever he wanted to be and do whatever he wanted. His parents hated it, but they respected it. Hated it because his room became a black hole. Things vanished in it and his parents weren’t allowed to go look for them. Soda bottles went in but never out. So did plates, cups, cutlery, towels, bed sheets. His mother, unbeknownst to him, often stood in front of his door and wept. It hurt her almost physically to not be allowed in there. To know that there was disorder, chaos, dirt behind that door, a door in her perfect house. And she was not allowed in. There was nothing she could do. Whenever he was out she considered just breaking in and cleaning. She wanted to look under his bed so badly. She wanted to clean his windows and dust his shelves but she knew she couldn’t.

He often thought back to this house, this picture of perfectness, of squeaky cleanliness and he knew that his childhood was the reason that he had become an artist. Living on the streets, building things from the trash he found. Big trash sculptures that he sold for thousands of dollars without ever touching more than a couple hundred a month. He liked it dirty. He liked it wild and raw and stinky. But sometimes when he thought back, he wondered what his life would have looked like if his parents had not kept their house like that. What if his mother had spent her time not with cleaning and scrubbing and putting orderly things into order, but instead had spent it with him. Or with friends. Or with writing a book. What could their lives had looked like. What about his?

Prompt found at Easy Street Prompts

 

Thanks for reading!

a*

Long time no see. Prompt: Penny Candy

Again. It has been quite a crazy year… I have so many excuses that I don’t seem to have one at all.

But I feel like I need to go back to writing and I am determined to write  a little something every day. Might not post everything here, but some.

Yesterday I wrote a little short story that has to be reviewed.

Today was a prompt. This one from Dragonwritingprompts

This is what came out:

„Hi Bonkers!“ I waved at the clown that was smiling at me maniacally down from the sewer. He gave me a short wave back before concentrating his ghastly stare on the Miller kids as they left the house for school. I walked past them and smiled as they skipped past me and pretended to be afraid of Bonkers as he mock-tried to grab their legs from below before they ran off.  Next door the patched up monster made of body parts of various skin colours, including one of a greenish hue that of all places was placed on its forehead, growled at me by way of saying good morning.

“Morning, Stan.” I said. “Big day today, huh?” It nodded and I thought I could see it blush but I couldn’t be sure. If so, that could mean that blood circulation was finally coming back to its face. Way to go Stan, I thought.

“Good luck, then.” I said and meant it. Stan hadn’t been out on a date in about two years, ever since he discovered his girlfriend rotting away in his basement after coming home from a weekend at his Dad’s. True, she had been already half-rotten when he met her, but she had never been the same after this weekend and after about two more weeks he finally brought her back to the museum where he had met her. There had been some talk of his Dad maybe building him a new one, but word had it that Stan himself had decided against that because the first girlfriend his Dad had built him did not turn out so great. We all remembered that one. Thought she was better than him. Poor sweet Stan. Of course that had been when we were back in high school so maybe his father had learnt some new skills since then.

But I understood Stan’s decision to bring his girlfriend back to the museum. After all, I myself had a resurrected husband at home and I knew how hard it was to keep him from falling apart, always stitching skin, arms, legs and such back on whenever he happened to bump into someone, get stuck on a nail or just rough around with the kids in the garden. It was worst when he hung out with his friends from Zombie College. He would always come home carrying his one arm over the shoulder or with his intestines hanging out because they had gotten drunk on brains and slightly lost control. That’s the reason I had turned into a typical suburban Mom and limited the nights out with the boys to a minimum.

I had strolled down about half our street and knocked on the door of a pretty little pink house. Creaking the door opened. An old lady opened the door, looking at me from underneath a big, wide-rimmed pointy hat, leaning hunched over on a knobby walking stick. Her face was wrinkly and there was a hairy wart next to her long nose.

“Morning Stella. In old lady mode today, are we?” I laughed and so did Stella.

“I know, what use is it being a witch when I don’t make myself pretty, but I just didn’t feel like it this morning.” She said. “Come in, love.”

Her black cat rubbed against my legs.

“Hi there, Fluffy.” I said and leaned down to pet it. “Bring any bad luck today?”

“Nah, he took the day off.” Stella said as the cat jumped on her shoulder and settled comfortably on her hunchback.

“I’m sorry, I can’t come in. I’m in the midst of making cupcakes for the baking sale at Marty’s school tomorrow and I was wondering whether you had any of these frog legs left?” I kept petting the cat on her shoulder. “I thought I had some but it turned out they were gone. I suspect Mary ate them…”

“Sure, just a second.” Stella said and went to her kitchen. “Do you want any toenails, raven feathers or dragon whiskers to go with that?” she asked as she gave me the small glass with still wriggly green legs in it that she had fetched.

“That’s too sweet of you, but I have all the toenails I need. Thanks a lot.” I turned to go back home. “Wanna come over for coffee tonight? Elena is coming over as soon as she woke up and had her first feeding of fresh blood. You’re very welcome to join us.”

“Oh, that’d be nice.” Stella said. “We haven’t done that in a while. I’ll see how fast I am done with this potion I have in the cauldron right now.”

“Great. I hope I’ll see you tonight, then.” I said. “Thanks again for the frog legs.”

I went back home to my half-finished cupcake batter. This was such a great neighbourhood to live in.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

a*

Real life: Am I back?

Why, hello there. I have been gone for quite a while, haven`t I? I needed a break. Truth is: I couldn´t have done anything if I wanted to. Finishing my University “career” left me in a big black hole of depression that I had hoped to never see again. When all the strength you have goes into getting up and moving your pyjama wearing ass to the couch… well, there`s nothing left for creativity. Figuring things out and fighting with the unemployment agency and the health insurance company did not help.

But now everything is figured out. Basically. I still do not have a new job and I am still very much undecided about where I actually want to live, but slowly things have gotten better and the big black hole in my chest has been closing. Last week even saw me develop a new idea for a writing project with a friend and the joy writing brings me reminded me of just doing it.

I wish I could write daily but I won´t be able to. Everyday life still drains most of my energy. But I´ll try to write something more often than never. Deal? Deal!

Looking forward to it.

Love,

a*

I promise!

These past few weeks have been too busy.
I finished my Master’s Project, I packed my things in Leeds and wondered and cried about how much stuff has gathered in just this one short year.
I went back home and here I am now. I still have not, after almost a month, unpacked all my stuff. I have met most of my friends and here as well I wonder how I got so many friends in the first place and cried about it.
I had friends here, visitors from Japan, a third is coming next week. Even though I am a bit overwhelmed by all this, I am happy they come to see me.
I got a new phone, I read some books (as I spend a lot of time on the train again) and today I finally, after messing it up when I moved to Japan two years ago, I reorganised my wardrobe.
I have not yet made it to a hairdresser to get my annoyingly long hair cut for my comfort and for the pictures I have to take to apply for jobs.
I have not yet gotten back into my life here. It is comfortably familiar, the place, the city, the people, and yet… Somehow I feel like I don´t fit in. I think I´ll get that feeling back. It it my life after all and I (think I) want it.
I will do my best to spend some of my time writing as I really want to. I feel it might be very, very beneficial to my mental health if I use this to keep sane within this… craziness. I have never been without a job to support myself in the past 20 years so this state of being in between things, and without knowing what I actually want to do on top of that, is quite stressful.
So I promise to write stuff.
Wish me luck with life.

Picture Prompt Experiment: Downtime

Another first for me. I randomly picked a picture and will make it a little scene.

“Can you make a fire?” Dill pointed to the little fireplace where the tea kettle sat, ready to use. She did not wait to see Jul the dragon do it, but turned around and part by part took off her rider’s armour. It was made of dragon scales, light and practically undestroyable, burnt black by the dragon’s fire and laquered matte, every scale, every plate of the armour, rimmed with the queen’s colours: red and gold. When she was done, she wore only her underwear and shivered at the thought of all the footsoldiers out there that had to sleep in tents in this cold winter night. Sharing a cave with a dragon might not provide the best exposure to sunlight but in winter it sure kept you warm.
“Ah, thank you, dear!” The dragon had rolled up around the little fireplace where the tea water was already cooking, it´s tail forming almost a perfect circle around the gleaming coals. The very tip of the tail was slightly twitching. Not quite relaxed yet, thought Dill and patted the giant head that rested on her claws. She put some tea leaves into the water and rubbed the dragons nose. It had been a tough day. Jul let out a hot breath through her blackened nostrils and looked at her rider through half closed eyes. Then she let out a little squeak, a sound that Dill loved because it was just not what you would expect from a big, rather scary, fierce dragon. Very gingerly the dragon nudged Dill with her nose, careful not to breathe out too heavily and burn her naked legs. Dill laughed.
“‘I’m coming!” she said. “I just want some tea.” She poured herself a cup, then threw her provisions bag on Jul’s head, right between her four horns that pointed backwards and gave the giant creature a very streamlined look.  Dill then climed up herself, found her ideal sitting spot and leaning her back against the surprisingly soft scaled back of the dragon, resting her feet on the horns. This was what she needed after a day of fight and tension. She took a sip of her tea when she felt soft fur against her thigh.
“Oh, hello there.” She said and stroked the big orange tabby cat that had jumped onto the dragon’s head as well. The cat rubbed his head against her arm, then curled up next to her, right into the shallow notch between Jul’s eyes. It was as if it was made for the cats to lie in there and it sure was Cody’s favorite place.
From her other side, jumping over the wings of the dragon and casually strolling up her tail, came Max, the snowshoe siamese, and sat next to Dill, looking into the cave for his next catch. Dill could feel the dragon’s heartbeat in her back and could tell that Jul now was relaxing. Her breathing got deeper and after only a few minutes Dill was sure that the dragon was asleep. That was how the giant liked it best: everyone close, everyone warm and cuddly, her, Dill and the cats. Dill took another sip of her tea, scratched Max behind the ears and closed her eyes as well. It had been a long and hard day.

Inspired by this artwork by Julie Dillon/Deviantart
As you can see, I also lend the names from her, including the cat’s names.

Music Prompt: Requiem for the Lost Ones

Of all the friends I had in my life, so many are gone. Some gone for good, some just gone. I never fell out with anyone, I never fought and then was unable to speak to anyone ever again. They just went their way and I went mine. But every single one of them still has a place in my heart. I wonder how they are, I wonder what they do.
I heard S. got married and their first child had down’s syndrome. I know he wanted to be a father for a very long time and I know he is a great one now. And I know he only wishes his father could see him being a dad himself. I wonder of he still likes music. I wonder if he makes mixes for another friend now. Or for his wife? I hope they share that passion as I know it was strong.
And what about my childhood friend A.? I know it broke her heart when the father of her son got another woman pregnant. I heard it from someone who met her mother. And now? What is she doing? Whenever I walk through the area we grew up in I hope I’ll accidently meet her.
And then there’s I. She was my best adult friend when I was a kid. She took me for trips on our bikes, she would collect dead shiny bugs with me and have me tell her stories I made up. She was quirky and had a funny southern accent that I came to love. When my mother left that circle of friends I never saw her again. And later heard she had commited suicide. I wish she hadn’t because she was great. She was a writer, she encouraged me to become a storyteller of my own, she gave me romanian fairy tales to read and I will forever miss her. I wish I knew why she did it. I wish I could have helped her.
Then there was Z. He stole my heart and left me like a fish out of the water when he moved back home. He just never returned my emails ever again and I never was more disappointed in someone I had considered a friend like I was in him. I missed him so much. The last thing I heard was that he got married and moved back into my city. I do not know what I would say if I ever accidentally met him. I wish for it and dread it at the same time.
My sister used to have a best friend that even moved in with us. I don’t even remember why. But she was like a sister and I never knew why they fell apart. She taught us to steal clothes and how to forge our IDs, she loved to dress me up and encouraged me to sing, something I still consider one of the most important things in my life. She was maybe too weak when it came to drugs, I remember her one-time boyfriend V. who died of an overdose but I hope she managed to have the life she always wished for.
I wish I had more time, more space in my life to keep everybody I ever loved in it. I wish I could care about everybody. But sometimes I just have to let people go. I believe they will come back if the time for that is right. Like L. did. Or they might just not and stay away. Maybe some of them are just so different now, or maybe I am, that we do not have anything to say to each other after the initial small talk. But I will still love them.

Music prompt (no lyrics): Bleach OST – Requiem for the Lost Ones

Music Prompt Experiment: Girlie

I put ALL my music on shuffle (130GB) and decided to use the first songtitle I got as a prompt using lines from the song…

 

She was a strange person. She would say things like “You cannot tie up the truth with a rope” while I was tying her to the bedpost. She was so wild and yet so innocent and even though I was the one tying her up, she was in control.
“Keep going, keep going” she would yell, like a battlecry.
We would run through the sleeping city, we would jump over fences and steal apples from the trees of my neighbours. When she was with me I wrote poems on the walls of the police station and yelled my most secret fears and wishes into the wind at the beach.
Once she fell, her knees scraped, her hands bleeding.  I was worried. She was not. She looked at the thin stream of blood running down her leg. “I like the pain, it doesn’t lie”.
I believed her. What she said was my gospel. I wanted nothing more but to see her happy, she was so sweet, she was so strange.
“Words are the flame of the candle, with time they will vanish”. She would say, her skin white as a cloud on a summer day. The red blood rushing through her veins my highway.
The time I spent with her was the best time of my life. I wanted her so badly, I wanted her to stay by my side. I wanted to help her, I wanted to make her happy. I needed her.  To her this was not enough. She wanted more.  For me, this was so much outside of what I had had before. My boring job, my boring friends, my boring life. This was all I could take.
I knew I could not keep her, and still… Even now, there is nothing left in my life, in my heart, in my body, where she was.

This strange piece was brought to you by: The Yellow Monkey – Girlie (Japanese)
Not sure whether I like this particular one, but I like writing what songs tell me. Control me, oh music!

Real Life: Getting to it

I promised myself I would write something, anything, every day when I got this blog. Yeah, right… I want to but there’s just life jumping in and stopping me. Kind of. But yeah, when I have a translation job to do, my Master’s Project to finish, helping others left and right with theirs, and want to spend time with my friends here before in three weeks I return home, then sometimes I come home late at night and just want to watch an episode of something brainless and then sleep.
I still feel bad about it because I WANT TO WRITE! I just can’t muster up the energy to do it.
And then I start with a short story that has been on my mind for a while and then I can´t get it going. What?
What to do, what to do?
Right now I’m thinking I have to write, no matter what, at least 20 mins a day and that means I have to get away from starting and finishing something. I will just write a dialogue or describe a scenery or a funky customer that I see in the cornershop downstairs or… You get what ‘m saying. Not make everything into a supershort story.
I’m trying my best. Bear with me.
If anybody has any good advice… Please, feel free.

Will write something now.