05. 03. 2018
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.
Hemingway couldn’t be anymore earnest, just like Bob the builder you’re constantly having to reassure yourself you can do it. You can write.
You are a writer.
Well, until it falls apart. And that can be devastating because writing is like standing stark naked in front of an auditorium full of people, praying no one snickers or points a finger.
So, let’s just say my building burnt and crashed…to dust.
For near enough a year I was convinced I couldn’t write, unfortunately unlike Bob I didn’t have scoop or dizzy for support. Being in a negative space, with little encouragement, and low self- esteem certainly didn’t help.
But, it wasn’t until I last week I felt the power of the pen again.
I was back.
Stronger than ever.
A read through milk and honey triggered a flow of emotions that needed to be put on paper, and before I knew it I was writing a poem. Not just any poem, I was diving into the depths of my childhood. A terrifying yet terrific moment. I was writing again, but naturally.
It felt right.
And I knew why, assurance. I had to believe in myself to be true to who I am as a writer. This idea of being original and different can be so overwhelming that words begin to invade the art of writing.
which is, expression, an element of originality. Your perception of the world is essentially unique. Life experiences sharpen the eye, from birth till date. For me, love has always been the centre of that. Be it platonic, parental, brotherly, a sisterhood, or even romantic.
Love is a phenomenon. It’s the one emotion that’s unfathomable, no one understands it, but they can feel it. I find that magical.
We live in a world that’s so juxtaposed. We’re so quick to throw the words ‘I love you’ to someone meaningless, but when it’s real we can’t even utter the words. We crave to be wanted, needed, yet when we see people with such a connection we laugh, we sneer, we eww. Some women desire to be chased, but they forget momentum is created by two forces not one.
It’s risky. It’s messy. It evokes fear yet it’s electrifying.
Underneath the chaos lies this joy, worthy of celebrating.
And to think I was ashamed of writing romantically in fear of being labelled soft, lovey-dovey, is just humorous now.
I am ready to rebuild and start again, brick by brick.
Beginning with a mini romance series, inspired by a prompt on thewritepractice.com (#7), and each little chapter will be accompanied by a entry of my journey to writing again.
( 1. )
I had never seen anything like it.
Two hours late, grubby reeboks, mismatch socks, deliberately on show. A crumpled shirt, bright as daylight. Who had I hired? Pippi Longstocking.
‘Good grief.’ I huffed.
Rummaging through her satchel, she pulled out a rubber band and gathered her wild hair into a bun. Covering the ground before her and I she offered her hand.
‘James, right?’ She asked, her hand still in mid-air. ‘Ella May.’
You see I had every intention to shake her hand, welcome her to the team despite the fact that she was a walking embodiment of chaos. But part of her hand glistened with what appeared to be, jam?
‘Sorry, I erh.’ She began, wiping her hand down her shirt. ‘Jam donut’
‘It was that or custard. And who has a custard donut for breakfast?’ She scuffed. Her chuckles filled the halls of the gallery, but one glance at my face her lips pursed.
‘The bathroom is to your right.’ I informed, reaching for my mobile. One name came to mind.
Just last week I had attended my assistant’s baby shower and had stupidly agreed to her niece replacing her while she was on maternity leave. I thought, hey giving back to the community, give a dropout a chance, but this was out of my depth. Punctuality, presentation, first impressions were not just golden rules but a way of life in my industry.
Just one ring and Denise answered.
‘I take it Ella has arrived-’
‘In a state.’ I finished.
‘O come on, I think the yellow shirt dress with wally socks is kinda of…cute.’
‘One is green!’ I shrieked.
Okay, inside voice. Inside voice James. Taking a breath, I muttered. ‘Look, she showed up two hours late.’
‘In her defence her alarm didn’t ring.’ She tried it. She tried it.
‘Denise.’ I warned.
‘She’s not perfect, I’ll admit. But you are my friend-’
‘Boss.’ I corrected sternly.
‘My friend.’ She continued stubbornly. ‘My boss, my soon to be god father to my child. I’m milking the cow real good right now, I know. But she’s been through a lot. I just want her to have purpose. It pains me to see her wasting her life.’
Her voice cracked. ‘All she’s does is sleep.’
As silence filled the line, I realised something. In all the ten years I had known Denise I had heard that crackle once. And in that moment, I felt it. She needed my help.
‘Den?’ I called.
‘Just think of her as a your protégé.’ She insisted.
‘I’ll do it.’ I added. ‘For you, yes. But she needs to step up.’
‘And she will.’ She assured. ‘But take it slow. Don’t assert your authority just yet. I just want her to see this through.’
As the call ended, I could still feel her smile radiating from my phone. I had to do this right. Heading towards my office, my ears twitched at the mention of my name. Coming to a halt by the restrooms, I heard her.
Ella May, on the phone.
‘O god no. Dr Janosz Poha no no. Clark Kent? I mean maybe. I don’t know. I was expecting an Adonis, you know a little distraction.’ She exhaled deeply.
‘The whole situation is like eating a chocolate chip cookie only to realise its oat and raisin.’
Oat and raisin? Was I being compared to the dates of cookies? My jaw clenched. If I was doing this right, it had to be my way. Turning around, I headed where I had first intended to.