Britain has gone mad. What kind of leader wins a dirty fight, and then straight up admits they lied? Orwell would be appalled at the dystopian stories now unfolding in real life, everywhere.
We are leaving the EU because apparently, many of those who voted to leave didn’t think it was serious and someone would stop us and wait, what have we done? It’s like waking up to your scatty flatmate’s bad life choices. Except they doused both of you with petrol before lighting the match, to see what would happen.
Hell of a week, hell of a year so far.
No fiction I could write could top real events. This week I can’t even try, I’m so tired.
These few words will be my tiny victory, fiddling while Rome burns.
I feel bad, and it’s my own fault. I broke one of my personal rules: avoid drama on social media. I got drawn in today, because I had an opinion and chose to express it.
Opinions on social media are very blunt instruments.
I usually stay out of it because I value subtlety in communication, and that is often absent in online discourse. But this time? I wanted to say something, not because I was 100% right and they were 100% wrong, but because the subject struck a chord. It’s a storm in a teacup that will blow over, but I found myself wondering, what is with me today?
This argument, like so many, isn’t about the headline subject. It’s about deeply held beliefs that spring in turn from ancient experiences and wounds. It calls to my pain around privilege and being denied what others have. And it’s served with a healthy dose of ‘be grateful you’re not even worse off’, as though that helps.
I am angry today because this discussion chimes with a well hidden hurt. Because somewhere behind the adult facade lurks a hurt child. And this is true of us all. When we start to shout and come over self-righteous, when our language recalls playground taunts more than adult conversation, when anger rises like a sudden eruption of lava from a dormant volcano. Then we are in the past, fighting an old battle on today’s ground.
But I was fighting the wrong enemy. It was, and is, about me.
Once I realised this, I could step away, and use this episode as an opportunity. A gift, even. I was wounded in the past, I healed, there is shrapnel buried inside. But final closure only comes when I recognise that the pain from being prodded by today’s triviality comes from the jagged shard I never got rid of.
This wound has opened, but that allows me to examine it, remove the shard and heal completely.
I wrote here about my November 2015 experience. Although there is a certain freedom in being able to set my own goal for April, there is still the constraint of meeting it. And right now my life has no space for another daily demand, another must-do, on top of all the other things over which I have little or no control.
(I think it unlikely that I will step up in November this year, but hey, let’s wait and see.)
If you are participating, good for you and I hope you reach your goal. I will continue with some other stuff; my commitment to regular blog posts, attending and writing for my writers’ group, writing short stories, entering competitions, querying my first novel and maybe even working on the sequel, remains solid. Oh. Oh.
When I put it like that, added to my day job and the rest, maybe it is just as well I don’t take on any more. I can jettison my guilt.
It sounds like the old tree falling question. Actually I am writing, rewriting to be more exact, editing and polishing my WIP. But real life consumes the rest of my energy and so I am not producing much new content. It’s different than being stuck; that I can deal with. The WIP pulls me back. I know it isn’t finished, not properly, and I can’t commit to something new yet.
I hate not making new words.
But I have to finish this novel, and then I can turn my face forward and start letting the new ideas float to the surface. I hope they are composting nicely while I’m busy elsewhere.
A little snippet from my work in progress. Goodbyes are hard.
“I’ll be back before you know it.” He did not mention the tears she blinked back before whispering,
“I wish we had more time.”
“We will.” He turned over and kissed her forehead, then held her close knowing that she was about to move out of his arms and steal away again. He concentrated on her brown curls, the slightly hitched sound of her breathing, the exact weight and pressure of her in his arms. She had stolen most of the blanket but he didn’t mind. The chain holding her dogtags was just visible at the neck of her grey teeshirt. He wanted to scoop her up and run away, somewhere they could forget the world and learn everything about each other. But that was a dream, and in the real world this Eden was nowhere to be found.
I follow Chuck Wendig’s blog and sneak looks at his posts when I should be doing something boringly adult at work. I don’t really have time to do flash fiction. Hell, I barely have time to look at my WIP. But then I saw this.
I asked my 2 children for a number each. They both chose 17. I asked them again.
I got 7 and 17. Body horror and parallel universe. It’s rough but I finished on time. Here goes.
Eye of the Beholder
I relived that terrible meeting all the way home. Kim was perfectly made up, her lipstick red enough to command attention but not so red that it was an outright invitation. When she started to explain the concept that we’d gone over together, the shock of betrayal jolted through me. I blinked, and blinked again, probably looking foolish. I clamped my mouth shut and fixed my gaze on her treacherous mouth as she took the credit for my idea. I’d been taken in by her surface gloss and never saw the knife.