Timothy Clever is said to be a young man with exceptional features. He’s most famous for his ice-blue eyes, so piercing that they’re thought to see right through people, able to discern everything about them.… More
Hello and welcome to my blog/website/portfolio/whatchucallit. Ever since I was little I’ve been passionate about writing. I love to create other worlds, to create other characters and to build places I wish existed. This is a mix of my work as a student studying a Bachelor of Creative and Professional Writing and an aspiring writer who just types up dozens of stories on a whim.
I often get carried away with my stories. Either making them a lot longer than they should have been or I’ve thought of another ten things I want to write about and I’ve forgotten to finish the ones before it.
I’m very bad at asking people to read my work and by ‘bad’ I mean there are maybe four people I’ve asked in the past four years. And so I’ve made this. In order to tell some of my stories, document my learning experience as a writer and maybe even hopefully get some feedback on my writing.
Oskar had waded through the remnants of the town for over a day, not finding anything important or useful in the rubble. His stomach was grinding with anxiety and hunger, worrying about what was going to happen when it finished eating the last of the fat from his body. He gripped the bottom of his shirt and looked around as the sun began setting on another clear day, with nothing in the sky but the winds that patted down the trees.
He wandered to the edge of what was left of the town, looking for a place to spend the night that was sheltered and gave him an easy way out into the surrounding brush should he need to flee prematurely.
In one of the broken houses, Oskar found it scarred by past rains, the smell of mould and fungus blocking his nose. He moved on to the next but it had caved in on itself. The last he tried was a combination of the both before it, and so he decided to sleep on the doorstep of the house that caved in, not wanting to bear the stench of the mould, thinking it might kill him in his sleep.
When he laid down to sleep, he started counting the days again; the days since the last time he saw someone and the days since the last time he ate. The first number had exceeded four-hundred and was beginning to blur in his memory and the second number was eleven. Eleven days ago he’d found mushrooms on the ground that he’d stuffed in his mouth, throwing them up not long afterwards. He hadn’t filled his belly but he had eaten them alright. He crinkled his nose at the memory of the white-grey mush that he spat back onto the forest floor.
In the morning, Oskar moved on from the town. He’d noticed that his mind was starting to get slow and he was finding it harder to walk. Last time it had taken only eight days to make him feel like that, so he looked at that as the silver lining, hoping that maybe one day he just wouldn’t need to eat again.
Occasionally, he might spot something that looked nice in the forest, but he’d tried most of the leaves and plants by then to know that not many of them gave him any satisfaction let alone a full stomach. Some of them tasted like he shouldn’t be eating them and so he steered clear from those.
He didn’t find another town that day, following the edge of the forest again the next day, thankful that clouds glided over him and showered his world. He pretended that they were checking up on him, making sure he was still alive. He collected water in his little bottle and thanked them, waving as they passed through. He’d tried naming them at one point, but he’d started forgetting the names and so gave up.
On the fifteenth day, Oskar still hadn’t come across another town. His mind was growing hazy and he was starting to panic, but he had to wait for another set of clouds to pour on him so he could cry with them. He didn’t like doing it alone. His stomach was devouring him from inside out and his legs were starting to fail him, causing him to fall over an increasing amount each day.
Eventually, on the seventeenth day, he didn’t get up. He sat against the trunk of a large tree, just trying to keep breathing properly as he looked down at his shrivelled body. He felt like his mind was up with the clouds, being weighed down by his body that didn’t want to move anymore. It hadn’t rained again and he was out of water. He couldn’t stop himself from crying. He was about to make it to his fifteenth year. His dad had told him to make it to twenty, to do what he could to survive, but Oskar didn’t think he could; he didn’t think he could get to fifteen anymore. He wondered if his dad was sad. And then he heard it.
Oskar woke to a sound. There were winds around him and evening had settled in without him realising. He waited, his body prickling but for a while, he could only hear the trees shaking in the wind. And then he heard it again. It took him a while to recognise what the sound was, having not heard it in so long. It happened again: clap. As he focused more on the sound, he realised that it was happening a lot more than he had thought. It was music. Someone was clapping two objects together and the wind was carrying it to him.
He tried to get up but he couldn’t, he was too exhausted, and so he closed his eyes and mustered a small chuckle, listening as he was lulled by the sound in the distance, brought to his ears on the sails of the wind. A clap.
I finally received a notification that my application for my Situated Creative Practice Project was successful! I didn’t get an email like I was expecting but yesterday evening I went onto the application website and there was a notification that I had been successful in my application. Though I don’t have any more information on the project than before, I’m relieved that I’m part of a project and excited because I was given my first preference. Yahoo!
It’s Orientation Week for my university this coming Monday, and as I work with the uni, my week is going to be busier than it has been. The new semester is blooming and I’m all for it. Hopefully, I’ll be saying the same thing about the second semester and then graduating at the end of the year, haha. Bring on the books, coffee and assessment tasks. The only thing I have to resist is the urge to buy new stationary equipment. Argh, but I want the new books and highlights and sticky notes and unnecessary stocks of tape and staples!
Before my busy week begins, I have my first Dungeons and Dragons (with me being the Dungeon Master) session in a while. Hopefully, that doesn’t tire me out before the week begins. Updates about that will find there way onto my other blog (you can find info about that here: I Started a DND Campaign). Let’s see if I can juggle that as well as being a third-year student… oh dear… I’m a third-year now. *deep breath*
I must admit that I have not been as productive these past two days as I should have, instead I’ve been focused on trying to prepare for the DND session coming up (knowing in the back of my head that it’s going to be a mess anyway). I’m hoping to make up any targets/goals during the remainder of the weekend so I’m not instantly falling off this little productive snowball I just got rolling. The plan is to write for the remainder of the day and well into the night, dedicating tomorrow morning to DND prep again but focusing on my writing again in the afternoon once the session is over. It’s a pain sitting at my desk though because the weather has gone back to being hot and I share the fan with my partner. I feel like I’m covered in a perma-grime that I can’t get off because of how much I’m sweating by just sitting here. I also have eczema that flares in these sudden changes in the weather and so I’m probably a lot more uncomfortable than if I didn’t have to worry about it.
Well, that’s about it, just wanted to give a quick update about getting my application approved and so I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to be able to pay rent. I’ll be posting my Writing Reflection tomorrow and so we’ll see just how much I managed to get done this week.
The sprite slipped into her hand-bag, falling in between the small gaps of jumbled objects as she jostled it in her walk. When they finally came to a stop, the hand-bag was thumped once more, dropped onto a counter and going still. Slipping out from underneath a glasses cleaning cloth, the little sprite wriggled out into a gap between the clutter of the bag, looking up to see the opening, a large tear of light surrounded by strangely shaped objects. He put the tip of his thumb in his mouth and blew hard, causing his body to light up as he looked around.
The hand-bag smelt of citrus with the tinge of something sharp that stung his nose, coming from a little green bottle not too far from him. He shook his body a little to create more space, noticing small grains of random materials underneath his feet, most of it dust bunnies. He pulled up the glasses cloth and wrapped it around him, letting his head do most of the lighting.
He moved nimbly amongst the smaller structures, recognising that the only object leading most of the way to the exit was a journal, but it was standing vertical and he couldn’t climb up it. He climbed up and down on small objects trying to see a way to the top, finding some easy and some hard and at one point he found himself in a bed of receipts, not realising the paper would crumple right underneath him. There were a few bottles of sweet smells that he sat by for a while, almost lulled to sleep by them. In another corner, he found a collection of pens that he tried to pick up and place against one of the vertical journals to help him climb out, but they were too heavy for him.
After having slipped down many times, the sprite came across the wallet, sitting a little bit higher on top of a soft packet of tissues and a few scattered hair ties. He pushed open the wallet and sat down on it, looking at the shiny cards tucked away in its folds. One by one he took them out, fascinated by the ones with her face on it. Every now and then he looked up into the light in the sky, wondering if he would see the face appear there. He played with the paper cards, flapping and bending them, intrigued by their flexibility compared to the hard plastic cards.
He began dragging some of the cards over to the vertical journal, leaning them up against it and putting them around the smaller objects, creating ramps to make it easier to get to them. But after all of his efforts, he was no closer to getting out of the hand-bag and found that he really had just moved things around rather than making any progress. He pulled the little cloth around him tighter, starting to feel cold at the bottom of the bag.
The lining was soft but it only made it harder to climb, and he could feel the hard surface underneath him. He pulled some of the tissues out of the opened packet, building himself a little nest as he laid down, hoping to think of some way to get out. He tried climbing and he’d tried building, but he couldn’t seem to get up the book or the wall of the bag and nothing would stack well on each other. And then another idea hit him. He jumped off the packet of tissues and gripped the cloth close to him, hurrying over to where he’d seen the collection of pens, just remembering what he’d seen there. There was a rip in the lining.
The hole in the lining was only small, created by the pens poking at it over time, but he managed to wriggle through it. His joy was met with the leather wall of the outer layer, but he could feel air moving somewhere. He followed it, finding a number of small objects that had also slipped through the hole, some shiny things made of metal and others just collections of time.
When he came across the collection of spots letting air and light in, he tried to push out of them, but he was too small, the hole hadn’t been weathered enough. He pulled and pushed and wore it down, apologising to the face on the cards as it ripped it open, squeezing out into the bigger world, tugging the cloth free with him. He let out a musical hoot and stopped his glowing before darting away from the bag, not wanting to tumble in another one any time soon.
Years ago I download an app called Writeometer. I stopped using it for a long time because of my inability to keep a schedule and the big low of my writing years but have recently cleansed it and started using it again.
The reasons I like Writeometer are:
- It lets you have multiple projects
- It tracks your session writing, allowing you to adjust the time of each session
- It offers a rewards system for completing sessions or words written that you can adjust however you want
- It gives you an estimation on your completion date based on your words written and lets you know if you’re on target
- It has a neat little toolbox that gives you word salads (I use these for my writing prompts now) and quotes and has a thesaurus and a dictionary
Now that my phone notifications are fixed, I’m hoping that I can keep up my daily check-ins to make sure I’m at least doing one or two writing sessions a day. I have my timer set at 25mins but I rarely adhere to this, often it’ll go off and I’ll just keep writing until I either feel that I’ve written enough or finally feel the writing falling off; so I take how much time I’ve spent writing with a grain of salt.
I definitely recommend this app if you want to track your writing and motivate yourself if you don’t already have something to do it with. It’s pretty easy to use and has a nice and clean interface. This is starting to sound like an actual advertisement so I’ll stop here…
Let 2020 be my year of productivity!
Sometimes I feel small,
Like I’m curling into a ball,
As if making myself small,
Will make life feel less threatening,
Sometimes it feels like I’m being swallowed,
Like my body is being hollowed,
Into the darkness, I am swallowed,
By a monster with my own face,
Sometimes the fear blankets me,
Heavy and blinding, nowhere to break free,
What will become of me?
Lost here in this abyss that screams,
And then sometimes I feel a warm shield,
Filling around me, forcing shadows to yield,
In my mind, it’s there, a mental shield,
It’s being held up by the warden of my mind,
Sometimes I take a breath and think,
I touch the shield and no longer sink,
It’s pushing away the shadows I think,
This warden with my face is guarding me.
This semester I’m only doing 3 units (but still 48cp worth):
- KKB192: Smash the Act – Indigenous Australian Politics
- KWB306: Creative Writing Project 1
- KYB302: Situated Creative Practice Industry Project 1
Smash the Act should be pretty straightforward but I don’t know exactly what to expect from the writing project and the creative practice project. I think the writing project is going to be a lot like my English Extension 2 in high school, meaning that there are two small assignments but the grade mostly hinges on a larger piece of work.
I don’t even know what I’m doing for the creative project yet because they don’t have to notify us what we’ve been accepted into until semester starts, which is making me pretty anxious. I keep getting paranoid that I haven’t even applied for anything because they removed the applications when the date closed and there’s no way on the website to check what you’ve applied to. That’s the part of starting the semester that I’m most nervous about, not even ice-breakers are carrying the same kind of doom. It’s not that I’ll hate life if I get my second preference, life will just get incredibly complicated if I don’t get into a project AT ALL. Not only will it push my degree back but it’ll also have my financial situation greatly affected. So, yeah, it’s a little worrying.
But I’m otherwise feeling pretty eager to get started on my second last semester of university. You’ll find out on Friday whether or not I’ll be yanking my hair out and putting all of my new productivity on an extensive hiatus. Until I get the news of my project or my units open up so I can see the resources, I’ll just be focusing on writing.
Oh look, it’s something that I said I would commit to months ago and then didn’t, that’s not very me.
To be a bit more serious, I’ve actually done well so far this year. Not perfect, not as great as I should be doing but good enough that I’m a little impressed with myself. I’ve been writing a lot more, hitting most of my targets so far, and getting other things outside of work done. I’m keen for the new semester to start and keen to get back into my DND Campaign (on another blog) because it’s been almost two months since the last session. I’m ready to graduate at the end of the year. I’m ready to do this.
Currently, my targets for this week are at:
- 13,428/10,000 for “Personal Writing”
- 4,027/5,000 for “Professional Writing”
I haven’t written every day of this week and mostly smashed out a lot of this in the last couple of days (which is pretty standard for me). I haven’t missed a Morning Page yet, but there is a nice correlation with getting close to the two-page mark and getting up early and being productive… who would have thought.
I’ve been feeling those “creative juices” nicely flowing, and it really is a drug. Having been barren of creativity during those rocky times at uni, I’m so happy to be freely writing. I have done that bad thing where I’ve just created a lot of new projects on a whim, kind of looking at my old (and much more developed and so should be higher priority) with side glances as they ‘tch’ at me for neglecting them. I feel that this is one of my greatest flaws as a writer (even as a person really): I like to get 50-75% done and then start something else. I think it’s a combination of getting bored of one and over-excited about another. I flat-line. I wondered for a while if it was self-sabotage (and it really could be) but I just reach a point where I find it difficult to keep putting myself into a project, even if I still really love it.
In terms of my ‘Professional Writing’, my biggest weakness is that I sit down and go “ah… wtf am I writing about?” I’m working on putting more effort into jotting down quick ideas to expand on or consider what I can write about each time I hit that wall. Usually it’s just me muttering to myself about how I don’t know what to write because some things I’d like to do will probably just turn out as garbage. But hey, at least garbage is a product, it’s something, and I can recycle it, repurpose it and get better. That’s what I need to tell myself from now on. Really need to smack myself with the “JUST WRITE IT” mentality that is usually encouraged.
Monitoring my words written weekly/monthly has been a great help. I used to monitor it a while ago but stopped. Now I have an Excel spreadsheet, a huge poster over my bed and small mentions of my progress in my Morning Pages to show me what kind of progress I’m making, what kind of productivity I’ve got going. It’s rewarding and reassuring.
I’m more organised than I was last year, and I’ve kept most of it up for the year and so have past that 30-day mark where a habit is meant to settle in… right? Usually, I find that I spend a month and then the habit drops off, but so far I have been good. Not nearly as productive in terms of what I could have done, but pretty productive in terms of what I have done compared to 2019… and 2018… and 2017… and you get the picture.
I’m a lot more on top of my finances (oh, that sounds adulty), my writing, my work and my health. Hopefully, I don’t get three weeks into the semester and just throw everything out of the window.
I keep a Bullet Book now and carry it around with me so I remember to keep looking at it and updating everything. I’ve reached that point where I’m eager to put down what I need to do and get it done. I also have some really nice markers that I’m using to colour code and sort it out. And stickers!… to cover up blank spots in there. But all in all, BB takes up the time that is usually dedicated to preparing to be productive… which usually leads to being unproductive. So I actually prepare to be productive and then I am (for the most part).
(I call it a Bullet Book instead of a Bullet Journal because I refer to it as BB and didn’t want to refer to it as… well…)
That’s my Writing Reflection for the Week starting 3rd February 2020.