Staring at the Sun

On days like this I begin to feel that even those who I considered to be my kin are set against me. I look into their eyes and I see snakes coiled up and ready to bite. I have no choice in this case but to retract into myself, to find solace on my own beach of calm. I must soothe myself, heal the wounds imagined and real, and rebuild my tower of strength from within.

He is here, on the beach, as the waves lap gently at the sand. He is crafting a crown for me, smoothing out its imperfections and dents. There is no doubt in his mind that I should wear it, that I am worthy. In fact, he sees no other possibility.

“You can rule,” he says, “or you can lay down on the ground and turn to ash.”

I sit down on a lone deck chair beside him, closing my eyes momentarily and taking in a deep breath of cool sea air.

“When all seems misaligned,” he goes on, “it is madness to expect the rhythm of all that is beyond you to change. That is like swimming against the current and you will drown for sure. Better to take stock of your own beat. Take back control of your own frequency.”

He wears spectacles today, and clothes akin to rags. I wriggle my feet in the sand, watching as he polishes the metal and jewels on my headpiece.

Remember the periphery, I think to myself. I have been storming ahead with my focus, I have been bullish. But there is another landscape on the edge of consciousness that never ceases to exist; that opens up a whole universe of possibilities and versions of this. I just have to relax into it.

He looks up and smiles kindly, sensing my realisation.

“It is no use staring at the sun, you see. Not only will you risk becoming blind but you will surely miss the beauty in the shadows.”

He stands and stretches out his arms to admire his handiwork before passing it to me. “Here, try this.”

My NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is an annual challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. I decided to attempt it this year, because I thought having a more structured approach might help me to make a good start on one of the long form fiction ideas I have been carrying around.

I spent the last week of October planning out my approach. I made a timeline of events, scrutinised my ideas for plot holes, wrote character bios, and considered what I would write when. This all made me very excited about my novel at first, but quickly became more like work than pleasure. Getting technical was already taking the soul out of what I wanted to write. I found myself excluding aspects of the story on account of them seeming unrealistic once I had analysed them, or strangely enough the opposite; they were too realistic and therefore boring. I suddenly felt daunted. Continue reading “My NaNoWriMo”

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