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Monday, November 30, 2009

Pause

One moment of silence please, as I mourn the loss of face from being unable to complete Nanowrimo on time. Again.

*sigh*

But three cheers for the fact that this writer has landed an editorial job, albeit only a contract basis.

Life is about to change. Yet another time. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Half Truth

I will tell you a story that is only half true. Which half that might be is really up to you.

I used to be a gorgeous princess once. Well, at least that's what my Mother used to call me. I wore the prettiest dresses and was the admiration of everyone who saw me.

Only that what they admired wasn't the dress nor the beauty. What they admired was really, my ability to be brave. Not many girls are brave. Or rather, not many girls are as brave as they portray themselves to be.

I was once brave.

I was brave enough to stand up to the boys. Boys are full of nasty ideas, and they are big bullies. One or two tried to tease me and call me names a number of times. At first I just smiled nicely and pretended like I was too sweet to do anything to retaliate.

Then, one day, when all the boys were out playing football, I exchanged the shirts of the nasties so that none of them got to wear back their own shirts. Of course, they never knew it was me who did it. I was careful about that.

I almost fought with a teacher once, for mistreating my friend. How dare teachers just accuse people of being lazy, when the truth was my friend was busy helping her dad's business so they could earn enough money for the family so she and her other sibilings could all stay in school.

I wrote my real thoughts about school down once, in an exercise book, and handed it up as my essay homework instead of what I was actually supposed to write.

But I had girls in my class who refused to let me join in their fun and games. I was on the sidelines practically most of the time.

Eventually I watched other people my age hog the limelight, whilst I fell back into the shadows. Not because I had nothing to offer, but because others outshined me, and I accepted it for a fact.

My voice grew softer amidst the growing confidence that my peers were developing. Latest world news, current youth trends, juicy gossip. I could not keep up.

I had talent once. I squandered it. That is because I sang in a school concert, and although it was pretty good, my teacher told me instead that I had done a terrible job and my voice was not worthy to be heard in public. Which was terribly untrue.

I had always wanted to be a teacher. But then my grades got bad in high school because I fell in love with a boy who didn't love me back. One day, I tried kissing a real live frog, hoping that it might become a real prince, who would love me as I am and when he looked into my eyes, I'd feel so self-assured that I was okay and that I was lovable.

My Mum died when I was still in university. She used to say such lovely things to me every day and it kept me going. It made me feel special, that I had a unique place in this world. After she was gone, I stopped believing everything she said because I realised all the hope she had encouraged me with hadn't had the power to save her from dying and leaving me all alone here in the world.

I found a useful job, and kept at it long enough until all the good people gave up doing it, and only I was left. So I was successful because there was no one else who stuck it out as long as me. And everyone thought I was smart. And also hinted that maybe I had been brave.

I married a man almost prince-like, only so far as his choice of cars, clothes and food go. Nothing but the best and the most pricey things for my handsome hunk. I am his princess, but only when I do everything he expects of me.

I wrote a story once, about what my lfe was really like. It had a happy ending, or so I thought I recalled. It goes something like what I just told you.

What I told you at the beginning of my story is true. And then there was the other half.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Them, part 2: Against Them


Entry #0002
Cardboard box

They hosted an entertainment event today. Various performers, but mostly from amongst themselves. The idea of course, was to generate publicity.


Many of us were asked to attend. No, wait, let me rephrase that: many of us were forced to attend. What good would a public event look, if there were too many empty seats?


But in all honesty, their ideas of amusement are feeble, to say the least. Back where we came from, music festivals were joyful and full of vigour. There is nothing of that sort here. If you would just look at us, we are nothing but the living dead. We have lost our souls almost entirely.


I am a performer at heart. I miss the freedom of singing in the open streets. And dancing. It thrills the heart, and sparks life into the bones. Dancing is forbidden here.


And so is singing.


But in the dead of night, I hear voices. There are some among us who have not yet forgotten the tunes of yesteryear. One day these songs will resound in this city again.


I hope in some ways I will help to hasten the coming of that day.


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All related posts for this story can be found under the label Them

Friday, November 13, 2009

Passion

There is a great deal of difference between doing something because you have to and doing something because you want to. That is, I believe, the essence of passion.

Take now into consideration the fact that I am up at this superbly late hour working on freelance articles. Of course I'll get paid for it and of course I have to deliver because I agreed to deadlines and it would reflect on my professionalism.

But yet I could choose to simply kill off word limits by writing nonsense or simply plaster in facts without putting effort into coining catchy puns or putting life into the words I write. It would consume less time, and the work would still get done.

However, ladies and gentlemen, I take pride in the articles I churn out, regardless of how pressing the deadlines or how daunting the topics.

The reason lies in the existence of passion.

I will be downright honest with you and tell you quite frankly that the amount of money I am being remunerated right now for what I do versus the quantity of effort I put into to produce any one given article is not in the least proportionate. It is by no means at a sustainable level as far as income is concerned. But I am doing this in the hopes that someday it will be.

Let a passion of yours collide with what you do as work and the results would be explosive. Productivity would be up by a gazillion notches and not only would you be satisfied, I'd wager your employers would be as well.

I'm embarking on that road now. The path to seek out how I may enter a job that incorporates what I am passionate about that at the same time can earn me a steady and relatively self sustainable income.

It has not been an easy road so far, and I don't expect it will be in the future either. I'm still waiting for my big break to come, yet shuffling while I wait by taking on freelance work to build my portfolio. A lot of people in my life are supportive of my move to do this, yet not many people really appreciate what it involves or share my joys/despairs in the journey. I have been questioning too how much of this is worth it, and how it would be be oh-so-easy to just slip back into doing what I'm qualified to do but which kills me off slowly as I continue to choose to do it. It is a dilemma of sorts.

Is what you're passionate about worth fighting for?

If you asked me, I'd be willing to wager that if it wasn't, it wouldn't be labelled a passion of yours in the first place.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Them

Entry #0001
The Trenches, 0000 hours

I am finally alone. I am here at last.

I have tried many times to make it here to write this, but as you might expect, things often get in the way around here.

It's all their fault.

There have been others before me, many who have tried to do as I now endeavour to. To write about what really goes on here. To make known everything that they do.

They have kept us silent for far too long now. They try to strike fear into our hearts, to make us cower in their presence. To believe that there is no way that we can rise up against them. That they are not afraid.

But they are.

That is why they keep making efforts to silence us. It is the reason that they stalk us, the same cause for the violence. Yes. They resort to violence now. All their calm assurances that they would never lay a hand on those under their care is nothing but a hoax.

That's what they are, anyway. Nothing but a giant lie.

I shiver as I write this. I fear to be found out. But as I said before, I need to continue where the others have left off. It is the tiny glimpse of hope that comforts me now. The hope that somehow, when our story gets out, there will be a chance for change.

It is that chance which gives me the strength to keep going.

But this is all I can afford to pen down for now. I hear them coming. I must go.

Till next time.

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All related posts for this story can be found under the label Them