“Tell me about yourself,” my date asked. His jawline was sharp, gaze sharper and so I was blunt.
“I’ve got such trapped wind right now.”
Yeah. Yeah. He’s not my date anymore.
There are so many things I could tell you about myself. That’s true of all of us. So where do we begin? How do we choose? What defines our most notable attributes? What makes certain things more worthy of knowing than others? Where is our value derived?
And that got me thinking. A book is valuable not because of a single page, but because of the entire story…
Honestly, I tend not to reference myself in the third person — as though I am some omnipresent narrator observing myself from a faux leather recliner somewhere, a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn perched in my lap. To me, that would be like commentating the life of a parallel version of myself. And I’d like to think she spends a lot less cash on jars of peanut butter and Rick and Morty merchandise (only because that means there’s more left out there for me!).
But anyway. In the words of one Joseph Francis Tribbiani; how you doin’?
About a month ago, Michael Thompson commented on a piece of mine about harvesting creativity. For a writer on Medium, that’s the equivalent of Daniel Radcliffe applauding an avid Harry Potter fan for Sharpie-ing a lightning bolt onto his forehead. I was sweating as I opened the notification:
“Shit this was good.”
I was sweating as I read the comment, too. It seeped into my eyes, distorting my vision and led me to read Mike’s message as “this was shit,” and thus, the sweating intensified.
But then the sweat dried, my sight restored, and I saw the sweet sentiment left…
One morning, Helen Sharman ventured off to work as a flavourant chemist at the Mars chocolate factory, like normal. On the drive home, she began the transition into the first ever British astronaut and the very first female in space.
From Mars to the actual Milky Way — how the crap did she manage that? Easy. She cold-called the cosmos.
Whilst in the car and listening to the radio (probably playing Supermassive Black Hole by Muse. Or Rocketman), an advert came on. …
Right now my existence is more chaotic than ever.
Unanswered emails. 58 open tabs. An idealogue I need to organise. I’ve double-booked plans. I’ve had days of doing nothing. My pounds (physical) are increasing and my pounds (financial) are decreasing. There’s a book I haven’t yet written. One I have — but haven’t edited. Poor posture. Clicky ankles. Low self-esteem. High expectations. You know the stuff.
So how do I react to my current life status? What are my options here?
The latter ups my likelihood of…
You don’t need to have lived a Life™ to be a writer.
You don’t need to have an affair just to experience life as the antagonist. You don’t need to give birth just to observe character development. Cancel that yearlong inter-railing ticket that you’re super dreading and can’t afford. Stop purchasing the latest edition of 642 Things to Write About. Leave the internet alone for an hour. And please, please don’t kill anybody.
You don’t need to do, buy or Google these things to live a life immersed in chilli pepper and jalapeños just to spark ideas spicy enough to…
“Fancy a quick one?” the message reads, lighting up your boyfriend’s Apple watch as he snoozes soundly beside you. At first, you think it’s harmless, trivial, probably just his mate Brian inviting him for a beer before rugby. But then, you see the image. A girl, a naked girl, a naked girl you happen to share DNA with and often refer to as “twin sister,” is illuminated on the love of your life’s wrist. Baring all. All the bodily bits that look identical to yours but way more tanned because she’s just got back from Spain. …
Pasty white, super round, always lurking, wholly made of cheese, been trampled on by men. Am I describing the moon or myself here?
Of course, there’s a lot more to her than that. I only bagged myself a physics degree so I could ogle her and call it viable revision. The moon is one of Earth’s most fascinating companions, our most organic view of art. To those who are spiritual, it’s the root cause to many behaviours. To those who are religious, the moon has connotations of our human ephemerality. To scientists, it’s the tether between life here on Earth…
My ex-boyfriend’s sister is getting married.
She’s two years younger than I am, the sweetest girl in this or any neighbouring universe, and she met her now fiance about a year after I started dating her brother.
Then, three years ago, I broke up with her brother (we’re still best pals, don’t you worry. He made me a cinnamon Danish milkshake last week. Love comes in a variety of flavours). His sister and her boyfriend did not break up three years ago.
And now — last night — they got engaged.
Have you ever felt your heart glisten with joy…
I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer.