Urgent Help Required for the Inspirationaly Challenged

Inspiration has left me and for once mu hyper active brain is completely devoid of subjects to write about. This usually does not happen to me, but this lack of creativity could be stemming from the fact that I slept I think 18 hrs of the last 24 hrs which is highly unusual in someone who is an insomniac and then spent the rest of time in complete mundane tasks like laundry, grocery etc. I am not saying that these tasks are not essential but sometimes I feel that these necessary but absolutely mindlessly boring tasks actually blunt one’s minds!

Jane Austen observed as much in Emma, when Mrs Elton complained of her giving up music because a married woman has much to do, despite Emma pointing out ample opportunities for her to pursue her interest. In today’s world I feel the same holds true – we get so wrapped up in what’s petty and banal, that we lose sight of bigger and more important things. The problem is when you try to look at the bigger picture and let go of the smaller things, the other will think that he/she has an advantage over you and can exploit you for his/her own needs . And because you are looking at the bigger picture, you let the other win because in the wheel of life everything will balance out. Bollocks!!

I am rambling…..I need help!!!!!(Yes I am aware that for you have thought so for some time!)

Seriously, I am completely without an idea on what to write…. I thought I will write about the Conn Iggulden’s The Conqueror, but I have not finished the book and want to hold off until I reach the end! (So many books start with a promise and end up being a disaster, so I will not shoot off until I reach the end!) I thought I could share my thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey…but 1. I have not read the book…am not sure am liberal enough to read it either….(Yeah me a prude) 2. What can I possibly say that not already been said…I mean the book is selling because of the publicity and not because it’s a great work of literature and to write about I believe will inadvertently give it more attention than necessary. I thought inspired by Eggton, who I consider one of the bestest of best of HA HA bloggers, I would do a take on my journal….Unfortunately, my youth was anything but interesting….I just filled pages and pages of whining about how I never got any attention and wrote in a pedagogic fashion because all my friends were having fun while I took a high moral ground on how fate left me down …re-reading it made me want to throw up my dinner…me thinks me will burn the journal…I am surprised my parents did not murder me for being such a crybaby…They should have and no one would have blamed them, least of all the adult me!!! I Maybe my prudiness is a result of my whinny adulthood…I also  thought about writing on friendships which can be picked up from any point, but it’s such an exhaustive and poignant topic, that I was drained of my energy before I began… (Maybe I am so tired because I slept so much!!!!)

So, finally, I decided to ask all my wonderful patrons – What would you like me to ramble on? What is the first thing that I can talk about, which will in turn make you raise your eyebrows – tell me and the words will floweth…..name the book (if I have not read I will read it via kindle or in the good ol’ fashioned way!) you want more quirkiness from my flatmate and my life – name a subject and we will both dive in to give diverse versions of the same… maybe there is an old blog you want me to a blogquel on (Yes I invented that…it’s a sequel for blogs!!!! I am bored, but still a geniusJ) just name it!

Think of this as a charity project to prevent someone from growing absolutely prosaic…sob sob…HELP!!!!!!

The absolutely magnificent and completely unforcasted holiday……

So I have not blogged for a while! I am so aware of this shortcoming and feel extremely guilty about it. A combination of reasons including work pressure, emotional turmoil and ill health have contributed in keeping me away from penning away my idiosyncratic thoughts. The same reasons also contributed towards making my weekend near perfect!

No I am not crazy and am not making contradictory statements. And Yes I have recovered from my illness so my brains are not damaged and I am not talking rubbish!!! One must cultivate patience…let me explain – the week had been extremely stressful (Yes! We all have stressful weeks; let me add that mine was more stressful than usual) and I just could not bring myself to be creative or intelligent or even tenuously funny. Every single cell of my brain rebelled from associating with anything remotely related to intelligence. After staring at the blank word document for 2 hrs I gave up – a smart creature always makes best use of his/her resources or in my case rather lack of resources. I am smart, if nothing else, so I gave up on trying to finish writing Book 1 of my novel and instead spent the whole weekend reading!!! So I gave myself a reading holiday!!Yipee!!!

There is nothing more joyous or more blissful about an unexpected holiday – you know when you were in school and it rained/snowed heavily and school got cancelled? It especially becomes great if you had horrid assignment or test that day. Or at work, you are dreading this Business Review with the VP and then you realise that it ain’t happening because, the VP hurt himself playing tennis???? My weekend was on the same line – I was expected to finish book 1, but I just could not make myself type a single word. I gave up and started reading – I read through 5 books and Boy! Am I glad I did?

A wise man once told me that when you are really really down, wear bright colours, cook up something great and read something really funny. So I wore red PJs (yes! I like red) and about the food see below and finally when it came to books, who can make me laugh more than Mr Terry Pratchet? I recommend Mr Pratchet whenever you are sad, ill, unhappy or happy, contended and having fun – he is a man for all seasons. I loved and I mean loved as in 40 Bold Font size, his Good Omens which he wrote in partnership with Neil Gaiman. It’s a brilliant take on Omen (The Movie) and the battle between good and evil without being didactic. After being restored to my natural sense of absurdity, joy and unbound optimism, I was ready to take on anything in the world, so I read George Orwell’s Burmese Days. It’s not a book to make you jump with joy; but it is brilliant take on the British colonial occupation and double standards that are imposed by the society that leads a man away from his destiny and ultimate happiness. It’s not a fun book, but worth a read for the richness of the language and the vivid portrayal of a country under imperial rule and subjected to a desperate fate, because of the infighting of her own people. I followed this up by re-reading Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop. What can I say about this book that has not already been said before? His take on sensational journalism is laugh out loud funny with a good dose of rolling on the floor! William Boot and his travails in getting a scoop for the Daily Beast in the civil war torn Ishmalia will bring tears to your eyes (because you are laughing so hard; not crying! I do read such books but do not discuss them in public). I then changed the variety and read through John Norwich’s A Short History of Byzantium. I love history and read it as closely as fiction and have a minor obsession about the Eastern Roman Empire, which had been condemned for poverty, obscenity etc. but produced some of the most magnificent works of art and in whose absence, the west would have completely lost its tracts of Roman and Greek works. Lord Norwich writes in a light, but scholarly way making the bygone era come alive with vivid characters and a hue of colours. Finally my 5th book, which I began reading and am still reading at the recommendation of my flat mate is Erich Maria Remarque’s The Three Comrades. I am still reading it so I will withhold my opinion, but just to give all of you a brief glimpse the story traces the lives and friendships of three friends in 1930’s Germany, where they have to live and make choices in a society that they never wanted to be a part off.

Since the books were so awesome, I ensured that the food I ate was also awesome. If I was going to be decadent I was going to be decadent all the way – Pizza’s with extra cheese, Pasta, Devilled Eggs and Fried Chicken. (Yup, it was an orgy of food and books)

The net result however is magnificent. I have got back my bounce back; my cherry optimism floweth unbound and I can laugh at myself and look at things at a 360* reverse angle again. Since the efficacy of this medication was so good for my bruised and battered soul, I wanted to share with all my blogosphere friends and proclaim it out loud – when your heart is not in it! Don’t do it….Just let it is and instead do something that you want to do and things will fall into place! It’s ok to take some time off once in a while and recharge yourself!  Take a reading/painting/cooking/walking/manicure holiday and you will see the difference when you come back to tackle your original bidding.

Perfection, Blocks and Blogs

For the last couple of days, I have been suffering from what is referred to in a clichéd manner as “The Writer’s Block”!  I want to understand why something that sounds so bloody positive should actually mean a dead end! I mean the idea of a writer’s block should conjure images of 1920’s Paris and the roaring twenties and the Jazz age of Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. Or it should represent some hill side (or if you prefer a beach side; give me mountains over the sea any day; but then that’s me!) where a writing community meets every year to discuss and develop the “next break through literature”. Better yet, it could refer to a journal, a la, the New Yorker, where all the post-modernist/post colonialists/post realists/post whatever genre is in vogue now publish their posts! (Pun intended). Instead, it actually refers to my sitting in front of the laptop, staring at the blank word doc and twiddling my thumbs, while I drink endless cups of tea! (The way things are going I will soon have to graduate to drinking something stronger!)

Wikipedia (I only go to the best for reference) lists that Writer’s block can be a result of various factors working in combination or independently and includes but not limited to –

  • Creative problems where the author does not have any inspiration and may think that he has conceived a project far beyond his capabilities – My response – I am very much inspired and the narcissist that I am, I am convinced nothing is beyond me except a 10 mile marathon (Physical activity is not my forte; maybe I have a condition called Physical Block or something!)
  • Awareness of an audience can also be a deterrent for the writer and stifle his creative capabilities – My Response – Narcissist argument holds good here  again; what I will write, the world will love (Yes! I know I need to come down from my cloud 9 zone to avoid nose bleeds!)
  • Writer’s personal life may impact his writing capacity – physical illness, depression, financial constraints. – My response – Physically I am fine (I do not consider my inability to run a 10 mile a thon, a serious ailment) Depression – Nope again!  Financial Constrain – Well, that has been my condition ever since I have finished university and is now practically my best friend residing with me and my flatmate!

So after much rumination, I have come to the conclusion, that I have a unique writer’s block condition that no one has experienced before – I cannot think of a absolutely spectacular, stunningly innovative and brilliantly conceived plot, that will be handed down to posterity as the by-word of all matrimony where my male protagonist proposes marriage to my female protagonist.  I know Margret Atwood has said that if she waited for perfection she would never get a word written, but in all honesty, I cannot conceive a believable plot where my hero can propose marriage in an era of chaperoned girls and conservative morality. That’s my dilemma….I am inspired, I am aware of my audience and I am not suffering from any physical or mental ill health! (Unless you consider my eccentricity as a sure sign of madness!)  I just cannot seem to get past this chapter!

Again, per Wikipedia, the cure to writer’s block lies in –

  • Group Discussion – My flatmate alone has suffered enough through my novel high and lows (again! Pun intended and yes it’s a bad pun, but concentrate – I am suffering from lack of creativity) and I refuse to subject the rest of the world with it – I mean if I start breaking down the plot for one and all, where is novelty of the book?
  • Journals – What will I write in the journal that I cannot write in the book? I know the plot; I know the outline, it’s the detail I am struggling with! Ugh! Ugh! In fact this thought made me feel like a goat! (Don’t despair, I will explain, I am suffering from creative disability not correlating inability – Sue Grafton made a very pertinent observation on writers and ideas – “I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that’s only the first step. Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”)
  • List Making – List of all the innovative proposals through ages? Who is the author of this work again- the whole wide world or moi?
  • Free Writing – Well, that’s why I began this blog because per Julia Cameron  (again Wikipedia) Morning pages, which are three pages of writing without any intention of writing for any purpose, helps stimulate cognitive functions of the brain. I thought this was eminently sensible, so the blog.

But woe is me…my condition is bad……I still have absolutely no idea how to make my protagonist propose marriage!!!!!!!