I am usually a plotter type writer and I do not like reading in first person and outside of poetry and my blog posts, I rarely write it. Yet there is something going on in the throes of my imagination recently that I don’t quite understand.
The series I am working on here on my blog “Shadowlands” is not plotted; I have no idea what is going to happen from one week to the next in this story. It is as much of a surprise to me as it is for you. As soon as I have written each post, it is put here on the blog without redrafting – yes you are reading first drafts, I am sure you can tell?
I am also astonished that I am writing this in first person; I usually hate reading stories that are written in first person.
I don’t know if this is a fantasy, a horror or a dark fantasy yet either. I suspect horror. But I can’t really say, for I do not know.
I don’t think about the series until I am ready to write more. I am doing this to see if I can become a Pantzer – if I can and if this series turns out to become good and popular, I may try to pants my way through other stories in the future.
I have no idea what started this, but I have learned to live by impulse regarding all creative matters recently and not to try and make everything perfect like I usually do. It doesn’t have to be perfect if you are having fun and you are creating something. So far, it is a good rule to live by in my opinion. I have started doing things in art, journaling and writing that I have never done before because I felt that there was a certain system and order you had to do things – systems and organisation are innovation killers.
I used to think it would be lovely to pour coffee over a crumpled piece of paper and stick it in a journal purely for aesthetic reasons with a few pretty buttons, ribbons and cut out vintage faeries – but then I thought, HOARDER ALERT! Who’d think that was artistic? But I recently discovering a whole host of people on YouTube who are junk journal creators and they are selling those very ideas I often secretly coveted for myself over the years. I was surprised that most of my unique but ignored ideas were actually a cultural thing in certain bohemian creative circles and I then I became sad as I realised how much fun I have been missing out on in life.
I was raised by a scrupulous mother. White walls, beige carpets, glass tables, clinical house stinking of bleach and spring cleaning happened monthly! No room for cutting and pasting pretty things into makeshift little booklets and journals. No room for saving buttons off the shirt you are throwing out and keeping cinema tickets as memorabilia, that is dirty hoarding, it’s not creative, it’s not nice and it is not art! This is what I was raised to believe, this is what was brainwashed into my mind and I often dreamt of freedom. I often dreamt of keeping all the pretty things, because most things I had growing up were often thrown away within less than a year – nothing lasted. My mother was often proud of her “throw away” cultural ideologies. She even bragged that she wasn’t the sentimental type too – often throwing away family photos of people who she had recently disowned and never saving anything just because of emotional value.
She tried to make me like her. For a time it nearly worked, until I literally had the second nervous breakdown I ever had in my whole life. She was making my home like hers, though a little more dowdy because she knew I liked natural colours. So magnolia walls with brown carpets and curtains, she winced at my liking for oak furniture (the most sensible normal choice she could accept) and I hated it.
I felt my home was cold and uninviting and very old fashioned, it never represented my personality at all. Not the true me anyway.
As soon as I decided I couldn’t take contact with her anymore, my house dramatically changed and it is slowly becoming a warm, fun and cosy place for me.
My living room side walls are green with wallpaper on the chimney wall that looks like trees from the Lorax. My sofa cushions are a mix of all my favourite things, bees, marvel comics, quotes I love, kittens, rabbits and butterflies. I have faeries and dragons lining the bookshelves as guards to the world of my imagination that are my favourite books.
My window ledge is festooned with herbs and a lemon tree, which my mother would probably find dirty to have potted plants indoors like that.
It’s lovely and it is my home.
I know I am 39 on my next birthday, as things progress to how I want for my life, the more I am starting to believe that for me, life might really begin at forty as they say it does!