50051 words and the Nanowrimo beast is finished! YYYYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! If you’re nearly there, don’t give up! God, I’m so happy and so sleep-deprived. Thanks for all the support guys/gals/bloggers/homosapiens! Now I need to sleep before I break down.
This isn’t a direct response, but this post is certainly inspired by today’s Daily Prompt. Fight or flight, eh? This entire month has been an exercise in that dance for me and many other writers. Four days left, and we’ve shed blood, sweat and ink in an uphill battle to write 50,000 words by the end of the month.
I’ve quit and returned to my novel three times this month. I keep getting that soul-crushing feeling that whatever I write does not matter to anyone and never will, that I am just another 16-year-old trying to hammer out a mediocre novel. My plot bunny, once long-lost, has returned over the past few days. It doesn’t make it easier to get out the words but it does tell me where they’re going. Exam pressure makes me want to run and give in to the weird side of YouTube and my gaming console. Even new friendships make me want to run away (yes, I am something of an introvert.) But I’ve decided to fight, even though it goes against my instinct to run.
Movember (yes, MOVEMBER) was an international fight-or-flight struggle. I say this because everyone knows what a touchy subject men’s health is. There’s this general consensus that men dislike discussing their health; they’re almost afraid of the subject. This month, thousands of bloggers and people around the world joined forces to bring this problem to the forefront. We’ve joined forces to encourage people to fight instead of run. It wasn’t easy. I’m sure the main campaigners and fundraisers were plagued more than once with the depressing thought of minimal interest, little outcome and overall failure. But they’ve fought anyway. And if you’ve even done the smallest thing to help that effort then you know what a great thing that is.
This month of November has woken me up. It’s kept me in the fight for my dream to be a writer, it’s helped get me involved in encouraging the fight in others. It’s helped people around the world wake up too. Heck, in one way or the other it might have helped you. Because for me and many other people this month’s been the difference between facing our fears and doing what we always do. It’s leaving this:
–and facing life like this:
Yes, less than a week to the end of the month and here I am talking about Movember. Aren’t I punctual? Well, I’m not so much talking about it as showing you five of the most famous writer moustaches in history with tidbits of commentary. Without further ado:
5. William Shakespeare
Arguably the most famous writer in existence, and yet his moustache is decidedly less impressive.
4. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One of my favourite authors–his moustache gives him more of a friendly grandfather look. Or an uncle. I think Garcia would make a pretty cool grandfather, if you could understand the madness of your bedtime stories.
3. Thomas Hardy
Ah, the quintessential British moustache, the mark of a proper gentleman. Odd, because he appeared rather feminist in his writings.
2. Salvador Dali
Best known as a painter, but it turns out Dali put his fantastic mind to a novel or two as well. More importantly, his ‘stache is too magnificent not to be included here.
Visually, the Albert Einstein of the writing world. I mean seriously; they could be twins!
Alas, NaNo has taken away my last bit of writing magic and writing a poem was not viable. Also, my intention to add J.K. Rowling to this list did not come to fruition, as I am that bad at photoshop. There’s only a week left, but you can still support Movember through donations, likes and of course visiting the site of the fantastic Le Clown (if, by some misfortune, you haven’t heard of him already.) Zaijian until Monday!
Of course you’ve heard of the quickly escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas. It’s been on your television, your news reader, in your papers. There was a brief mention on your radio station before you switched to the next one. The world is watching the Middle East once again (because let’s face it, the Western media has all but forgotten the plight of Syria.) Most media stations have expressed the sentiment that Gaza will fall. World leaders are waiting for the bombs to finish falling, waiting to see which group drags themselves out of the rubble so that they can quickly change allegiance or reaffirm support for the group they knew would win.
And in the middle of it the innocents die and are forgotten.
Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert on this. I don’t fully understand the reasons or the predicted outcomes. I am not in the position of either Binyamin Netanyahu or Hamas. I will never be able to see the situation as they do. But I will say that what either side is doing is not working, and that it will never work.
Hamas’ approach is wrong.
Hamas attacking Israeli citizens with rockets will do nothing but cause the deaths of Palestinians in return. They know this. The idea that this whole affair is them testing their allegiance with Egypt’s new Islamist leadership is disgusting, and despicable. Yes, Palestinians have been severely wronged but that is not justification for deaths on both sides. Provoking Israel like this will only cause more Palestinian death, or push Israel to destroy Gaza entirely–the only reason they have not so far is because of the outcry from Western allies. Any more condemnation from the Western media and that may no longer be Israel’s concern.
Israel’s approach is wrong.
To quote this excellent Guardian article, Israel’s reaction is a result of the logic of escalation. They can’t be seen to back down and so they escalate the situation, returning fire and marching on Gaza. Except this time it seems Hamas may not back down and might even (possibly) be supported by the Egyptians. They say offence is the best defence, but Israel’s actions are not only harming its own citizens but forcing itself into a corner. If violence is Israel’s answer, it may as well kill all the Palestinians and do to them the very same thing that the Germans did to the Jews, in an irony which would not go unnoticed by many.
Now if fighting is not the answer, should speech be? Perhaps. I almost grow tired of repeating myself regarding issues of conflict, and suggesting that opposing sides should talk. I guess I’m an undying pacifist. But I say it because it seems the only option which few try. They laugh instead and tell us pacifists that we don’t understand, that we can’t. And yes, I am aware that decades of mistreatment and enmity will not go away magically because of one peace talk. But I am also aware that these talks are possible. Colombia and FARC are making an attempt, even if Colombia’s unwillingness towards a ceasefire are making things difficult. And all are aware that even one day of peace would save more innocent lives than one more day of gunfire.
It’s been more than a week since I posted (as one Mr Peter Monaco reminded me.) I’ve had exams and NaNoWrimo to deal with, combined with a dodgy Internet connection. But that’s no excuse. It’s been an interesting week, however. I missed two days of NaNo, and on the second day, I decided to give up. Yup. And then I also told myself I’d give up blogging. Yup. And that was the point my second voice kicked in and woke up my sanity. It happened like this: I carry around papers with the last five pages of my novel printed on them, so that I have something to do when lessons are slow. It so happened that some of my friends read these papers (I had not done the thing where I told everyone I knew that I was participating, as you are meant to do), and had positive feedback to give. And then the sanity kicked in and reminded me of how much I loved writing, and how much I needed to do it, as summarised in this quote:
Oh, I almost forgot about the second part of this post. I’ve actually somehow managed to attract 200 clearly misguided individuals to this blog! Yay! Somebody break out the champagne and forget that I’m 16.
It’s now been three months of blogging and eleven days of NaNoWrimo. Once again, godspeed to anyone else participating out there (I’m looking at you, Pete and Contrary.)
Wow, I can’t remember what I was actually going to blog about. However, I do know that in honour of Movember and Le Clown I will at some point this week be writing either a bad poem or short story about, well, moustaches. Talking moustaches. Who spout philosophical wisdom. And if I write it up and it is too ridiculous then I will settle on something more serious. To do with moustaches. Also, I have readied something of a rant, partly about celebrity culture and partly about the BBC–I don’t know if anyone outside England has heard, but recently our national television corporation shoved a list of alleged paedophiles into the face of our Prime Minister. Yes, you read that correctly. No, I don’t know why either. But I most certainly have something to say about it.
The crow is back.
What inspires you to creativity? Do you use pictures or prompts to help you blog, paint or write?
If you are undertaking NaNoWrimo, I salute you. Three days in and it already feels like one of the most mentally-taxing things I’ve ever done. I haven’t had time to reply to emails or comments, and I’ve been putting off school-work due on Monday (terrible, I know.) Whatever muse I had on day one has deserted me, and I’m finding creative inspiration through music and photos (and getting by on Pepsi, seeing as my mother’s finished all the coffee.)