Monday, 27 February 2012

How I stumbled pen-first into writing.

It all began with an unprecedented cruising adventure...

It was February 2011 when Charlotte emailed what can only be described as the most enthusiasm-fuelled email that has ever escaped ones 'Drafts' box. I imagined her panting fingers typing "Half-price, they're HALF-PRICE. Let's go on THREE consecutive cruises! Let's conquer the WORLD! I'll bet some of the ships even go to SPACE!" My recall might be a little unreliable on that front, but I reciprocated with the excitement by calling her while in the middle of reading the first sentence (while tigger-ing around the room). That was all that was required, rendering her efforts in writing a 75 page long email (explaining how this cruise was essential to her life's continuence) as rather pointless. But I do believe my answer was "Yabba-dabba-Chappa!!!!" or something to that effect, which she seemed fairly pleased about.

At the time of this proposition, I was working full-time in an office environment and reeling in the predictably insufficient wages one would imagine. But boy, freeloading sure can pay off (I kid, my parent's robbed me BLIND). And Charlotte was an impeccably organised and capable student. Thus it was possible, and possible was all we needed. I have forever thirsted to explore Europe and Charlotte likewise, so naturally, we booked it immediately. Unfortunately, I was naive as to how exciting the two months leading up to the trip would truly be. I was not aware for instance, that if you are to meander through Middlesbrough with seven dimensions of excitement dancing in your pupils, that you should "expect to get arrested". I say that in jest, it would be highly amusing though surely. Even if there had been multiple arrests I would have forgiven all after spending eight interminable nights in Europe.

The day of departure arrived sooner than it felt possible. Preparations were tiresome, as they are when preparing for a journey of eight nights which requires no less clothing than is necessary for an entire lifetime of cocktail-sipping and sun-consuming. We were boarding at Tilbury, which required waking at an obscenely early hour in order to arrive before the ship departed. Though Charlotte's exhaust over-exerted itself in its suicide mission, we were able to salvage it with some of Asda's finest wire, preventing it sparking and blowing us up. Though we arrived with our limbs in a different composition, we made it to Tilbury surprisingly early.

As we climbed aboard, the level of excitement was apparent all over our stupidly delighted faces, right up until we remembered that we hadn’t labelled our luggage, just after we placed it in the custody of the attendants.

 “Noooooo”, we grieved in unison.

Fortunately, they were Superattendants and all was waiting for us when we entered our cabin. A wave of relief washed over us. After a quick fire-drill, we pottered across to the deck, sipping in the breath-freezing Southern air awaiting our departure. Thoughts of the following eight nights were like marble art for the brain.
With me, I had brought a note-pad; with the intention of writing a travel journal. The truth that time my writing was in a deep, irrevocable state of 'being on hiatus' after I had convinced myself in college that it wouldn’t take me anywhere. But the truth is I didn't know where I wanted to go at that time. The aura of uncertainty that manifested in my early departure from college continued to loom making life a daily struggle of ungratified self-enquiry. "What am I to do with my life? I can do plenty of things well, but what will I do? Will I do anything that extends the hairs on my neck?" This was a grave worry that clashed with my sunny demeanour.

I sat back and allowed my focus to be stolen by the emptiness of the pool, an enclosure perfectly designed to harness water for (my guess was), swimming in. An empty pool was but a ditch in the boat and this confused me. Maybe there was an abundance of skateboarders on board who insisted on it, some mid-70’s wild cards with flame-coated wheels and backwards caps that asserted their inner youth. The surrounding blue of the above and below seemingly had no separation. I was completely absorbed. And it was within this moment that I began writing, writing everything that surrounded me, writing everything that occurred within me. What was most significant for me was that I was writing...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The boy who was born in a beard

The light opened into his hazel eyes, only to be immersed in darkness moments later. And that was the moment he was born that boy you’ve all heard about, beard boy or queer beard – it was the boy who was born in a beard. His life was an abyss of pain, or rather an abyss of beard, shadowing his every step, cradling him as a duvet in sleep and transporting him in a rolling motion to school - both ideas of his penny saving parents.

It was preconceived that he wasn’t going to get along with beardless children, for what would they have to talk about? “I’ve got a silent night duvet”, “I’ve got this” – points to beard. “I fell over and cut my knee today”, “My beard tried to strangle me in my sleep last night”. He rationalised that it would be better to keep to himself. That was his intention anyway.

So much had accumulated by the age of six that the spirals that curled around him exceeded the area he was allocated in the classroom, swallowing surrounding children from their desks the moment he sat down. Teachers failed to locate these children for many a moon and upon reappearing, their skin was discoloured and it looked as though they had been soaking in a bath full of tea bags for the duration. Maybe there was in fact a giant bath full of teabags wrapped up in there. That was how Andy Randal’s version went, anyway.

At a safe 108m distance teachers deliberated. “I know he’s different, but to tell you the truth Susan, his beard is becoming a fire hazard. It took me hours to locate little Tommy Spencer yesterday, tangled up with the cactus plant he had brought in for show and tell. He looked like he’d been rolled across a field laid with hedgehogs”. Billy sank into his beard. “I mean why can’t his parents just chop it off? Don’t they want him to get along with other girls and boys? Don’t they want him to be NORMAL?” But what these teachers failed to notice, 108m away, was the special effect the beard had - an effect clouded through the unbalanced ratio between beard and the area it filled. It was an equation that boggled the minds of the maths teachers so deeply, that most fled the town.

What they didn’t notice, was that any inanimate object that came into contact with the beard came to life. We’re talking everything from pencils, to tractors, from televisions to protractors –even sombreros. The town had become a stream of enchantment awaiting its discoverer. Yet they remained adrift. "I vote home-schooling." Billy sank further, to the extent that he was completely within its grasp, camouflaging his escape of the classroom along the tunnel it created. Once in the clear, he collected it in his hands, slumped on some steps and sobbed.

A little girl approached him, slowly. “Why are you crying Billy?”

“Leave me alone”. She was disheartened at his misery.

“You know, just because you’re different doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. It’s just you know, the other boys couldn’t grow a beard that size if they lived 5 lifetimes.”

The boy sniggered, his relaxation unleashing the beard allowing it to crawl towards a stool standing next to a window in the corridor. Without a word, the legs of the stool loosened, bending in different directions. Atop the seat, a mouth and the gentlest brightest eyes the little girl had ever seen appeared out of nothing.

“Well aren’t you a wise young lady”, the words escaped from the newly formed mouth.

If she was standing atop Everest, her jaw would have hit the bottom. “S-sorry? H-how did you...?” 

“Oh its just beard envy, I’d be jealous if my 6 year old student had a more impressive goatee than mine, particularly one that had the gift of life”.

Forgetting to swallow, the girl’s unclosed mouth poured drool straight down her uniform. Billy turned to her, holding out his hand. “D-do you want me to show you?”

Mouth still unclosed, joining her hand with his, they disappeared into the darkness that promised light.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

An overview, or something like that...

Hello reader(s)!

Welcome to the wittily entitled (said with optimism) ‘Uninhibited Blatherings’, a blog that will stand by it's title and do everything but deceive! The idea is to include a little bit of everything (stories, topical pieces, songs, poems, maybe even a few movie and album reviews). The main focus is development. I am an aspiring writer who has recently begun studying English Studies with Creative Writing which thusfar has been consistently funtabulerrific! (I tend to do that sometimes)

The intention of this blog is to create a running record of my work and development over the course of completing my degree. Though still experimenting with different forms/genres of writing, at the present I am thoroughly enjoying writing fiction. I have developed a collection of short stories, which generally incorporate elements of the bizarre and magical, in addition to those of the real. As I am a first year student, I am using this time to play around with writing styles in an attempt to find my niche within the writing world. In short the purpose of this blog is to encapsulate my journey as a writer.

I would hugely appreciate any feedback offered, even if it consists of seven dimensions of slander. Seriously, if it’s going to help - never hold back! I sincerely hope you enjoy my writing and can derive something positive from it (excluding material, that's where I draw the line!) 

I will update as soon as time permits J

Happy reading!