‘I want to marry the blue light’, or ‘Writing because you haven’t in a while’ – 28/5/16

I tend to write on this blog once a month, usually exactly one month after the last post. I have no idea how this happens. I write a post, a few days later I think I should write again, let the feeling pass; two weeks later I get another urge to add something to this personalised URL – eyes are too sore from being on the internet all day, four weeks later, bam. And so on. It’s the cyclical nature of blogging perhaps.

I said I would take a break from my laptop for the next few days but, alas, the allure of the blue light is too endearing. There’s that bit on Broad City in The Matrix episode where Abbi’s all like, “I want to marry the blue light”, which ALWAYS makes me laugh because I can only agree. Sometimes I’m curled up in bed with the blue light and think we could have a long and happy existence together. 

So, yes, I wanted to check in on here and check WordPress is surviving without me. (DISCLAIMER: It is.) Although WordPress is still as difficult as ever to work, and I still have no idea how to use it, I’m glad my blog is still here, gathering dust. I rarely have time to write on here anymore, but seeing as I do right now, allow me to clear my throat, good people: Ahem.

I have an exciting week coming up as my play ‘Fitting Room’ is going to be watched by actual people at an actual theatre. I’m only as anxious as a kind-of-playwright can be: The rehearsal draft is in and now the director does their job. I’m looking forward to it though. I am missing Bruce Springsteen for it, but I am in no way bitter about it. No, really. I started writing it back in August and it’s been a lovely project to work on over these past nine or so months – to see something evolve and grow over umpteen drafts. I still have a bit of a soft spot for the first draft though, even though it was the shittiest. I’m a bit like that. If you don’t believe that I could have written a play that a theatre company wanted to produce, here’s the proof. I find myself looking at that a few times a day, just to be sure.

I’ve been writing on this blog less because I’ve been working on a new site based on a zine I created a few years ago, Obviously a Hobby. Although it’s a bit reminiscent of 2009, I’m back on Tumblr, as Tumblr is so much easier to navigate than this goddamn site that I couldn’t say no to its virtual suggestively raised eyebrow. It does everything I want it to. Some of my friends will hopefully get on board with it in the next few months, but right now they’re (rightly) enjoying their newfound summer freedom that comes after exams and such. You can see the (beta) version here.  I’ll be double-posting things of worth on here too, but I’m now reserving this space for stream-of-consciousness diary-like- letter ramblings as it’s what I’ve accidentally done for the past four years anyway.

There’s loads more going on but I’ll save it for another day.

All my love,

T.A.L x

‘Tis the season, no, not that season (quite yet), but another season: An ode to autumn

This is from my 2011 scrapbook! I know right! Original images. Don't get used to it.
This is from my 2011 scrapbook! I know right! An original image. Don’t get used to it.

Happy Fireworks night. I don’t feel so firework-y tonight (long, heartfelt sigh), I’m just gonna have a huge bowl of spaghetti and read a book. I wrote this at the start of October but it’s been laying dormant until now – so sorry if it’s already a little outdated. Like, if this post was a fresh leaf when it was written in late-September, early-October, it’ll now be a mushed-up, rained-on mixture of pulp and chewing gum mashed into some pavement somewhere. Such is life. 

Look – I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the fact that both my parents were born within a week of each other at the crossover of September into October, so it’s ingrained into my DNA make-up or whatever; perhaps I’m overly sentimental for things like transitions and change and every other darned thing a writer can get sentimental about (SPOILER: everything)

Maybe it’s the familiarisation of routine that sets back in after a long summer: early nights, hearty meals, people bonding miserably over the miserable and changeable weather; maybe I’m a witch, whatever, who even cares – but autumn is my lady.

There is just something about darkness setting in earlier, leaves browning and yellowing and dark purpling, lying dead on the ground; that smell when they get rained on, get dried, and then turn into autumn sludge again. 

This season has more memories for me than any other. In the way that childhood/adolescence is often portrayed in films – hanging out with your friends all summer long, in sepia – I don’t feel as nostalgic about the summer as I do the autumn. (I spent a good few of my summer holidays as a child counting down the days until I could get back to school)

Autumn feels a lot more familiar than other seasons. Autumn and I are friendly to each other. Well, I say friendly. Ms. A.T gives me the gift of big, woollen jumpers, increased portion sizes with every meal (it’s getting colder – I need to be insulated) and this. I mean, I don’t listen to that all the time, although I wish I could say I did – but all I’m saying is autumn provides us with all the tools we need to stay in, get our heads down, and begin to create things. We don’t give it anything, we just sort of walk around in it. But thanks anyway, autumn!

Applying to online courses, looking up university degrees, pitching ideas to magazines. Maybe I link this time of year to being at school, slightly perspiring from the dusty heaters cranked up to 11.  Autumn feels pretty studious – until the clocks go back and you’re all ‘I’ll stay in Dreamland for another six or seven hours, thank you” – but there is a brief changeover period where I feel like getting my head down and getting to it.

I hope this feeling of wanting to begin new things prevails throughout the rest of my life. It’s convenient getting stuck into new projects at the start of the season when there’s stationary deals going on in every store across the world as everyone’s getting geared up for another academic year. 

Once we get into winter, every evening is a prime Netflix and chill time. And I don’t even mean Netflix and chill, I just mean Netflix and chill. Unfortunately.

Autumn, on the other hand, is pretty expectant. Suddenly, I have to face the fact that there is LESS than two months left in the year. The year! Like, Christmas, guys! Again!

And as I have to pretty much dismiss the potential of doing anything at all in the winter (hibernation, impending eternal darkness, Netflix), I always feel so inspired to spend time on my own, reading books I’ve been saving up all summer, scrapbooking everything I’ve been collecting over the last few months, taking time out to check in with myself and make sure I’m set for the long and cold winter (kind of like a squirrel collecting nuts).

As the nights get colder, it becomes way too easy to indulge nightly in mass social media-ing. I’ve recently deleted my Instagram, because although it’s great fun, it was stopping me from getting all my shit done by the time it needed to be.

[EDIT] That other girl that deleted her Instagram this week got loads of attention online, possibly because she was ‘goals’. Although she cried about being ‘goals’, so everyone was all “This girl was goals for her hot bod, now she’s goals for taking a stand on what is becoming a boring and negative daily ritual for many. The girl is just GENERALLY goals.” I deleted my Instagram and NOBODY even noticed. So I’m not goals, but I’ll do.

I thought it was about time to get rid of all those distractions as I work full-time and have so much I want to do in the evenings. The small solo projects I’m working on now may not amount to anything, but it’s not a waste of time. Use these precious autumnal opportunities to their full potential. It may be the compost that’ll turn into that good idea. Stay in for the night, turn your phone off, throw a huge jumper on, and work all the way through to the witching hour. (‘Tis the season, non?) Pritt-sticking, writing, painting, practising cartwheels: Use your time wisely, and get to it.

(Just for the archive, my first play is on in a couple of weeks (16-17 November)! I’ll probably write more about it and the process of writing it soon, when I have a few spare hours. I’m soooo proud of it. Now I just want to get started on something else! A feature film! A fashion line! A symphony!)