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Nanowrimo, Day 30, I’ve won!

Congratulations to everyone that had made it to the nanowrimo winning post. Best of luck to those of you furiously writing, knowing that the deadline is racing right beside you, step for step. If this year is not a purple bar year, there is always NANO 2010.

For me, this year’s journey is over. Yeah!!! The second year and the second win. This year I was very quiet on the forums, and the blogs, and only managed to consistently post a virtual diary on Flickr and keep to just over 1700 words on average per day. The motivation and approach was so different compared to my obsession with Zetoec last year. I was far more relaxed and disciplined.

 

 

So what did I end up writing about? Well in truth I haven’t even gone back to read the full story yet (could be some surprises lurking in there).

Inside Her Drawers A synopsis: At the end of her life, a memory hoarder discovers that the memories she had preserved by collecting an eclectic array of trinkets were in fact misconstrued memories. Unwittingly she had perpetuated the angst, phobias and grievances of three spiritual guides.

There is a lot of editing to be done to the book, but in the last few days I started to feel that the idea for the book might have legs. Similar to last year, the process of writing has been quite cathartic and at times emotionally challenging. Maybe this is why I was at times quite ambivalent about the M.C. – a Ms J Duncan – she wanted to explore ideas that I really didn’t want to. It may not be ready to share anytime soon, but it was 30 days of literary abandon, with an official word count of 50334.

To read a little more of “Inside Her Drawers”, you can find a few snippets here.

Sacrifice

I came
butterfly took
run rose
river sang

I came
tortoise heard
sun walked
waterfall cried

I came
pawn thought
sun slept
mountain blue

I came
bamboo danced
stars played
stream laughed

I came
monkey forgot
moon turned
today died

I came
tiger killed
religion lost
love answered

eye saw
ear heard
mouth spoke
heart felt

I came
lips red
breasts blue
thighs green

The Fabric of Story Telling

Word Challenge # 5 – FOIBLE

It has been a little while since I last attempted the word challenge and to write a creative piece, although the story I wrote has been drifting around in my head for a couple of days.  I am finding that the more I write, the more I want to play with words, and twist the meanings – I guess it is what I like to look for in a novel or story – the unexpected and unlikely turns.  I am not sure why fabric (the fabric of life) has been central to my thoughts lately, but it has become central to today’s word challenge yarn which can be found by clicking here.

More sites about cloth, material, fabric:
The Thread Project: One World, One Cloth

World Peace Cloth

Textile Research Journal

Textile Exchange

Critical Critique

I am curious why I should feel more liberated to share my thoughts and creative attempts so easily online, yet feel more anxiety when I share them with someone close to me.  I previously posted my intention to share copies of Zetoec with some friends, including my partner. I knew he had started reading it, but he hadn’t said anything as yet. I have been anxiously waiting for some feedback, so I finally asked today …

The verdict – (quote) You should be proud of what you have written … I like your writing style, maybe not the content, but it is interesting to read … so far I like the Philosopher …(unquote)

I will wait until he has finished the full story, before I ask again for more feedback. If Zetoec passes the most critical critique from the person closest to me, I may try to write another book again. My NaNoWriMo shirt finally arrived in the mail today – it took a long time to come all the way to the other side of the world – it may be the wrong size but it will probably last longer than this current passion for writing !!!

Readability Tests

As I have written a few time before, I am new to writing creatively – until a few days ago, I didn’t even know that there were things called readability tests.  However since discovering these tests, I thought I would “test” the full unedited version of Zetoec – my submission for NaNoWriMo 2008.

According to the Flesch Reading scale – the novel came out with a score of 100.  Apparently the style of writing is very easy – what would be normally used for a comic book (according to Flesch).  The score is heavily affected by the use (or in may case non-use of long words).  A plain english score is around 65.  I then looked at the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level which was 1.3.  So according to this readability test a Grade 1 should be able to read the book.

Perhaps some learned writers could enlighten me on these results.  I was surprised that my writing style was so simplistic.  Perhaps all those years of writing corporate presentations in powerpoint have dimished the complexity of sentence structure and the way I use language to communicate ideas.

On another note, I have spent some time drawing up my Blavatar using those copic pens lying around in my drawer.  It was a fun way to while away some hours, and as much as I like the medium, there is still so much to learn and explore there as well.

Creative Writing Challenge

I recently referred to a great creative writing challenge regularly presented by Saturday Scribes. The last challenge for the year is based on the theme “Journey’s end” and three words – anathema, epitome and denouement.

Here is my contribution to the challenge and my first attempt at Saturday Scribes (so please be gentle)

Untitled

My earliest memories are stark white peppered with silence.
Even in old age, I can recall the stiffness of the hospital sheets pulled taut across me, the hardness of the mattress below me, the quiet murmurs of the nurses as they prodded and poked me, their grim faces and vacant eyes, the endlessly white claustrophobic walls stretching around me. There were moments when colour splashed across these walls – sickeningly fragrant flower arrangements from my poor mother’s garden.
Those cursed flowers were the beginning of the end of my life’s journey.  For days on end, I would lay there watching them slowly fade as the water in the vase turned murky and green.  I would hold my breath, as they exhaled their last stagnant perfume, and without forewarning the petals would suddenly turn grey, limp and dead.  I counted the petals as they would break free and drift towards the floor.  As much as I willed them to stay a little longer, fresh and pert, they never did and I suffered with them in their demise.  At the time, I firmly believed that if I could only capture their essential beauty and keep them eternally poised in a moment of gloriousness then I too would heal.  Even in the courtroom I pleaded that the years of hopelessly watching this relentless cycle from pulchritude to putridity had significantly affected me.  No one seemed to understand the depths of my anguish.  No one seemed to care that to watch the slow decay of beauty was anathema to me.

As I courted adult years, my body maintained its wretchedness.   I skilfully dodged any chance of catching my reflection.  I averted my eyes before mirrors, and avoided shiny surfaces that might imprison my image.  If I didn’t see the ghost of myself, then it (I) didn’t exist.  There are no photographs of me … no, that is not strictly true.  There are three – a direct front view, a left and a right profile but I don’t want to talk about those.  How I screamed when they took them.  I hurled myself at them, I flung myself against the wall, I raked at my face and body, I cursed at them, but they refused to be averted from their meticulous task and forcibly held me to take the shots.  The misery was unbearable.  I cannot understand who would want to record my array of deformities – hunchback; twisted legs; gnarled gross hands; bulbous nose and flayed skin.

For many years, there is only one that could look upon me without scorn or fear – my beloved nurse.  She is the epitome of grace and kindness.  When she administers healing balms, her soft gentle hands soothe my aching body.  On our daily walks into the garden, she shoulders my weight without complaint, and patiently waits while I pluck each glorious bloom from its stem and crush it underfoot.  She has never asked my why I do this, and I believe that in her heart she understands that is far better to destroy beauty in its greatness than to watch it waste away.  She humours me, and lets me pluck the grey hairs that have started to sprout around her temples.  She understands.

They say that my neighbour – a surly fellow who was obsessive about my nurse and for whom I have little regard – found me lying beside her.  They say that my contorted hands were scarlet with her blood.  They say that today they have been waiting for the denouement of this pitiful and hideous case.  I do not understand why they have not allowed nurse to be here with me for I am lost without her.  I feel as though her essence is slipping from my memory.

Today, I heard the clattering of a key and the grating of grey cold steel.  Today, I feel the hardness of the mattress beneath me and I pull the grimy grey and threadbare blanket tightly across me.  All I can see is the endless grey gloomy walls echoing around me, and there isn’t even a spatter of colour to watch as it fades into grey.

Hopeless search

Word Challenge #4 : Quadrature

How easy do you find it to find the ideal gift for your loved ones?  Today I decided to dedicate the day to finish shopping for Christmas, but despite the variety of gifts and the number of shops I traipsed through, it felt like an impossible task.  Some people are just so difficult to buy for, and my family always are reluctant to make direct requests.  Personally I would rather buy a present that will be enjoyed and used, than one that will get the “ohh, isn’t it lovely” … (when is garbage collection day?).

I nearly thought that writing a piece with “quadrature” was going to be just as hopeless.  However I did get something down and you can read that by clicking on creative piece using quadrature.

Now its back to rethinking those Christmas presents …

P.S. next random word – “FOIBLE”