A few days ago, arriving at a local community space for a tribal bellydance class (which had me afterwards ruminating about my oft-visited idea of teaching it as a side project, though I later wonder if what I mean is that I would love to simply perform more; of all the dances I’ve danced over a dance-filled life so far, it is by far the most intricate and the most sensual; the most hypnotic and precise), I bumped into a man I’d met here a year ago (we played scrabble together when the whole island shut down over Nyepi; he beat me to a pulp with his easy familiarity with two-letter bizarrities of the English language, only later letting me know that he’d competed successfully for years, by which time I was pretty sulky on the inside). He is an interesting and energetic fellow – speaks Indonesian fluently (I’d forgotten this; it was a surprise when we were ordering our juices together the next day at a secret hideaway warung I’d never been to before) and attends a multitude of AA meetings, dipping in and out of the UK doing short stints of social work to fund his spins on his bike around Bali. Anyway. He introduced me to the local library, which is just inches from my homestay but so tucked away I would never have known about it. Outside, the corridor of approach is lined with what appears to be an installation of giant water bottles; anyone can refill their own bottles for a fee. You have to crouch to hold your bottle neck under the giant bottle as though receiving a blessing.
As I entered the library, I felt like I was walking into a wonderland; Continue reading
Making decisions has never been my strongest talent. Even as I write this, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to write about. It’s great, isn’t it? I have absolutely zero plan. I wonder if you’ll read on. I’ll probably write on – here in the attic bedroom I have brought my laptop up to especially, only because I have the urge; that formless, purposeless yet driven urgency to find out what I’m finding out about, what I’m figuring out; all via the wonderful medium of webbity blogging. Continue reading
I find it quite interesting (by which I mean annoying) that when I play a piano piece I used to know very well, but which has – through my recent abandon of it – started the gentle cascade towards only semi-memory, it is the old favourite parts that I mis-play, or forget completely. I get to the most beautiful part of a piece; the section I would once have felt my way through with my eyes closed, or while gazing absently at the blue picture frame in front of me (which used to belong to my Grandma and contains a poem about how much more we would value the world if it were small enough to fit in our hands), but this time my fingers freak out and have no idea what to do. Continue reading
You are my favourite whim; my grounding line; my comfort and my direction.
May my ship always sail boldly towards you, with hand-written notes-to-self flickering skull-flags at the front.
You have guided me through deep waters and beamed over rocks in the night.
May your power never be mistaken for limp liminality; may your presence always be fondly felt.
May your laugh never falter; may logic dictate you and heart revel in you, but may you raise your eyebrow, gameful, in the face of calendrical chronology. Continue reading
I feel really uncomfortable about selfies. I also feel really uncomfortable about how uncomfortable I feel about selfies. Continue reading
(Note: I found this blog post saved in my ‘drafts’ folder. I’m not sure when I wrote it, why I didn’t quite get around to clicking ‘publish’ and I never actually do a ‘draft’, preferring instead to pour things out in an unthinking flurry of fate and parentheses, but here we are. Its content seems timeless, at least… So I’m giving it an airing.)
… Is the title of one of the short stories I’m playing around with at the moment.
For some, utterly bizarre reason I haven’t yet identified and for years didn’t even particularly notice, I have traditionally oscillated between writing poetry and writing novels. (No mid-way; mid-way has been for losers; I’m all about the full-way. Or something.) Many authors, probably quite reasonably and intelligently, recommend building up to writing novels via short stories, as though they are mainly instrumental spurts of intent and skill (maybe pain-staked, maybe accidental), a bit like lifting weights before lifting a car (terrible analogy, sorry; and people don’t generally lift cars*). But I never really bothered.** Continue reading
(Or: why I almost never agree to send my manuscript to my friends.)
It’s a bit like offering to take your clothes off and wait, naked, while they smile – politely – having spurred you on with nods and enthusiasm as though nothing else could be more usual for an innocent afternoon.
There are hundreds of books whose first pages I’ve read, or whose first paragraphs I’ve skimmed, before promptly dismissing them for some arguably flippant reason. Maybe I didn’t like the style, or the person in which it’s written. Maybe it was written in the present tense. Continue reading
I have absolutely no idea how time whizzes by so fast; it’s quite dizzying, but I suppose I have been quite busy since opening the door of novel-land and looking outwards, letting the light gradually eke in and, symbolically speaking (because, in reality, there is always more facebook to check, more articles to read, more emails emails emails to reply to), closing the laptop (on my novel) for the final-ish time before creeping gingerly out of the room. Continue reading
… What do all these things have in common? Continue reading