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True Confession

          When I started ‘Confessions of a Coffee Shop Whore’ I wanted a home for my fiction.  It did not take me long to realize that fiction was not what I needed to write.  In fact, the harder I tried to focus on fiction, the more I became distracted by my reality.  I was not sure how to write about my reality.  I had always been a story-teller and that was not the same as being a writer.

            I had never really identified myself as a writer.  This is an odd concept to explain, so bear with me.  For as long as I can remember, I have entertained myself with absurd little stories.  These stories matured with me, gaining depth and complexity as I grew older and learned more words.  Whatever I learned whether in school or in life invariably found its way into my little fantasy world.  My stories became an embodiment of my education.  My stories helped me make sense of the world.

            I didn’t start writing my stories down until I was eighteen.  I can actually recall that first writing experience.  I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember quite clearly my state of mind.  I was in despair; violent, self-destructive despair.  I was far away from all that was familiar and alone in an unforgiving and unsympathetic environment.  The back of a duty roster became my confidant. 

On the page I could separate myself.  My problems became obstacles for my characters to overcome.  In my stories I could say what was on my mind without fear or consequence.  Still, I did not consider myself a writer.  I was a sailor who liked to write in her spare time.

My characters became my best friends.  They traveled with me, consoled me and they never pressured me or made me feel ashamed.  People were not nearly as accommodating.  When you are in the military, people and places are temporary and sadly interchangeable.  True connections are few and far between; at least they were for me.

I wrote throughout my time in the Navy, tending toward the dark and sinister corners of human nature, nicely disguised in fantasy or science fiction.  After signing my discharge papers and heading to LA I adopted the sunshine into my narrative, but soon I was distracted by school.  Once again I was processing whatever lessons I learned by writing it out.  I would twist and turn each idea until I could see it from every angle.  I turned those angles into characters, and those characters began to have voices different from my own.  They came to life, independent and complicated, and for the first time, unique.  I was no longer the main character of my stories.  Yet still, I was a student who liked to write in her spare time.

Spare time…such a common and unassuming pair of words, but ah, the illusion they create…  There is no such thing as spare time.  Time may be occupied by a variety of activities, but it is most definitely occupied.  My stories gained life because I was living.  My characters became independent because I became independent.  My mind was active, synapses were firing, connections were being made, and input was producing output.  My time was fully occupied, but still I thought I needed more time.

I thought that shifting into full-time writer status would be a breeze, after all, the creative juices were flowing, I had more ideas than I knew what to do with… if only I didn’t have that test to study for or that chapter to read… if only I had more time to dedicate to writing… if only.  A few months after I was out of school the ideas dried up.  I had plenty of time to write, but I had nothing to write about.  No input, no output.  And if I have nothing to write about, how can I call myself a writer?  This is the spiral I found myself in last year.

I may have been blocked on my fiction, but I did discover something new about my writing.  I discovered my voice again.  Somewhere along the way I stopped needing a character to speak for me.  Suddenly it became more important to speak for myself – to take back ownership of me – to no longer bury my thoughts in plot lines and dialogue.  But that was not how I had envisioned my blog and I didn’t know how to adjust.

When my computer crashed I found it impossible to keep up with the blog.  I had no theme, no continuity, no criteria from which to build a body of work.  I was writing myself into circles and corners.  In retrospect, writing for a self-imposed deadline, and then stressing about it, is rather idiotic.  I was the worst boss I had ever had and I should have known better.  I needed to step back and regroup… but I did not want to admit failure… (what plan am I on now?)

So, back to where I started with this thing.  I am a writer who occasionally works elsewhere in a non-writing capacity.  Not only does this non-writing occupation of my time help put food on the table, it also provides input to keep the output flowing.  Fiction or not, I am writing.

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Confessions

 

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Computer Issues

Just when I thought I was getting things together… my ONLY working computer, STOPPED WORKING!!!!!!! As I have no library card – and therefore a miniscule amount of ‘guest’ access – I am once again delinquent on my postings. I have six minutes remaining on my borrowed computer. I want to cry.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2010 in Confessions

 

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Alphabet Fiction

I mentioned something I have named ‘Alphabet Fiction’ a while back.  Well, now I am going to expand on it a little bit.

As you may know, I have a slight obsession with the dictionary.  My Handy-Dandy is a source of comfort, security and wisdom.  Oftentimes, it is also a source of inspiration.  Some of you may remember The Dictionary Distraction (https://missfionna.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-dictionary-distraction/) well, Alphabet Fiction follows a similar thought process.

Choose 5 – 10 words that begin with the same letter.  Even better if they are within the same dictionary page.

Use the definitions of these words to create a story line.

The title of the story MUST begin with the same letter as the words chosen. (the main title word… not ‘A’ or ‘The’, etc.)

The idea is based on flash fiction (500 words or less) but I bet that longer works could easily be developed using this technique.  I haven’t tried anything longer… but one day I will make that attempt.

I am interested to know if anyone gives it a try.  I am on outline phase with “D”.

Hope all is well,

Fionna


 
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Posted by on June 14, 2010 in Confessions

 

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Media Misunderstanding and Modern Inspiration

I firmly stand by the idea of Escapism…. especially when I don’t like myself very much.  I have been irritating myself recently, delving into self-pity more than usual, and that is just a waste of time.  So, as a way to occupy a few hours of my time, I decided to watch a movie.

One thing that I am not sure I have mentioned before:  I take movies VERY seriously.  I give myself over to the story completely, I take no aspect of the creative process for granted.  I savor lighting, camera angle, score, dialogue…. ALL OF IT.  I view movies as vehicles for emotional exploration.  To me, there is no such thing as a bad movie, for that label is much to vague.  Much like every other statement or opinion, I want support and specifics.  There are very few movies out there that I honestly view as ‘perfect’.

When I feel like my life is difficult or that I am fighting against terrible odds, the true obstacle is (as Richard mentioned in his comment) my perspective.  Specifically, I have come down with a case of the ‘poor, poor, pitiful me’ narcissism.  The perfect cure for this ailment:

If you have not seen this movie, I definitely recommend it.  The fact that is a true story only makes it that much more of an inspiration.

I am in awe at the power of the song, Amazing Grace, more so in the story of the man who wrote it.  But I am humbled beyond measure and forever grateful for the man who was inspired by it.  For those of you who are not familiar with the movie, it is the story of William Wilberforce, the politician who dedicated his life to ending the slave trade in Great Britain.

It is possible for one person to change the world.

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2010 in Confessions

 

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No Witty Title

I surf various blogs on various sites and I am amazed at the imagination and creativity of people.  I wonder if the medium of the internet is recognized by the ‘intellectuals’ of the world.  I wonder now if there truly is such a thing as an ‘intellectual’.

What does that mean anyway?

I don’t see anywhere other than the internet where ideas can be connected in new and interesting ways.  The real genius of modern society is available for anyone who knows where to look, unfortunately, it is not always easy to know where to look.

I have tried to find individuals in various fields, bloggers like myself, to share ideas with.  So far, only fellow writers have responded with any degree of interest.  And they say that writers are a solitary bunch… they are wrong.  In my experience writers thrive at meetings of the mind.

So, I am here, sending out my little plea for help.  I am in need of discussion on diverse topics.  I have become stagnant in my own mind and this condition only seems to worsen when I ‘cold call’ or search blindly for someone to ‘talk’ to on any given issue.  For example, I would have loved further discussion on Self-Concept but it just did not happen.

I just passed a blog milestone, over 1,000 visits to the site.  I thought that by the time I reached that marker that I would be comfortable with the blog and that I would have found a theme.  I feel just as unsure as I was the first week or so, I actually think that I have gotten worse at the whole thing.

I don’t know, maybe this insecurity will pass, maybe tomorrow I will wake up and have something I want to say, but right now… I think that right now I have been done in by reality and the abstract and insight are lost to me.

I see the spark in other blogs around the world wide web, I feel the teasing warmth of inspiration, I sense Truth hiding around the corner but my reflexes are slow and I can’t grab hold.  I would rather put forth posts full of ideas and passion, not posts such as this one, confused and numbed by the pressures of the world.  But as it is, that is where I am, this is what I’ve got.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2010 in Confessions

 

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The Sub-Genre’s of Life

I apologize for my silence this past week and for my sporadic postings in the past couple of weeks.  As I mentioned before, I have been trying to find a job.  I still have not been successful in that endeavor, however, I do not view the time spent as a waste.  I have rediscovered some skills that I have not put to use in recent history.

Previously I also mentioned my past employment disappointments and difficulties.  While I may have once viewed these experiences as failures, they too have taken on a new light.

I was able to help someone this week.

When I think of instances in my life where I have been of help to another, I usually think of instances in which ‘helping’ was a part of my job – tutoring, for example, or customer service.  I have been known to run to the grocery store for an elderly neighbor or make a meal for a sick friend, but this week… this week I helped a friend keep his home.

While I won’t go into detail, I will say that it has been a very long time since I have felt this at peace with my professional past.  Thanks to my varied background I speak and understand Lawyer, Doctor, Government, Social Worker, Therapist… and I have the ability to translate terminology and jargon into English.  I think that is a pretty cool skill to have.

Again I apologize for my absence, but I did not want to divide my attention or energies and risk making a mistake or letting my friend down – you guys know how quickly and easily I can get off track.  I should be better this week.

Hope all is well,

Fionna

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2010 in Confessions

 

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Multiple Applications and Slowing Down

At this moment I have five tabs, two windows, a PDF file and two word documents open.  While this slows the Acer down considerably, that is the price I must pay for ‘borrowing’ a WiFi connection.

Sigh!

It strikes me that this is how I live my life a great deal of the time.  I have to wonder at my ability to collect ‘To Do’  items all at one time.  That wasn’t a well constructed sentence, but that only further emphasizes my point.  MY PROCESSING SYSTEM IS SLOWING DOWN!!!

One week ago today, I was aimless and without direction.   I was without transportation, cable, internet, a good book and sadly, a computer charger (I left it in the truck) and to top it off,  I was all alone in the Wilderness (my travel trailer… although I was also out in the boonies… so either way).

Today, I have a million things going on, all scattered in various different avenues of thought, subject and purpose.  It is coming up on 11pm, and my day is NOT approaching completion.  So much to do, so little time — for now anyway — next week, I may have finished my ‘To Do’ list and once again be aimless and without direction.

When I worked full-time I had a balance and a routine.  Since going back to school my routine has a duration of a single quarter.  Three month’s of a schedule is barely enough time to settle, never mind achieve balance.  Since I have been out of school and traveling I have forsaken  both balance and routine.  In many ways I am glad that both disappeared, I did not appreciate either one when I had them – even disdained them at times.  I now see their value and hope one day soon to call them my own once again.

Hope all is well,

Fionna

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2010 in Confessions

 

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