Blog

Confidence

Confidence is something we all need – or, at least, we feel like we need – to be able to do anything and I feel this especially in my writing. It’s fascinating really as I have no problems pasting excerpts or full pieces of my writing up on this little blog but when I want to share it with my online writing buddies, or my peers, I get the writers equivalent of stage fright.

Now that is something I have been working on and taking this creative writing course has been a good thing for it. This may sound like bragging but I had a meeting with my tutor for the Short Fiction part and I got told that I have a natural talent in writing, especially when it comes to creating atmosphere and getting across the character viewpoint. He went on to say that if I worked on my descriptions – which I know is a weak point for me – and stopped making the setting so vague, I could get my work published.

I have crippling self-doubt when it comes to writing so to hear this came as a surprise. Especially as the others in my class have – at least in my opinion – infinitely more talent than I do. It was a boost of confidence for me but it also made me think. How much should we limit ourselves because of our own views on confidence especially if it is in regards to something we love.?We may never know how good we are if we let ourselves be held back. I almost dropped out of the course due to my low levels of confidence and I am so glad that I didn’t. It has been an amazing experience and will continue to be one (knock on wood) for the rest of the year.

What I am trying to say in my erratic way is that we are our biggest critics and our worst enemies. We shouldn’t be because we can all achieve many great things in the world – we just have to let ourselves reach out and do it.

-Shay x

Advertisements

Goodbye

Here’s a piece of writing from my short fiction class! Enjoy. x

Goodbye

 

Goodbye.

 

It’s a word uttered at a parting of the ways. A sense of finality – not necessarily that one might not encounter each other again, but that – for the time being – that period of time has come to a close.

It’s a decision to make – a hard one. One has to analyse the consequences of it all. Will everything be okay? Will we be okay? Do I want him to survive when it’s all said and done? Will I survive?

 

Goodbye.

 

But how does one come to such a decision? How does something end? A conversation, a story, a life— it can be mutual. Somebody can take initiative. Or, in some cases, it can just be inevitable… An inevitable goodbye. An inevitable end. Sometimes a person can only put up with running for so long before they have to embrace that sense of inevitability. Me and him. Together, like always. But this time different…

 

Goodbye.

 

Though goodbye isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it? One goodbye leads to a new hello. Or is that just wishful thinking? Is it worth it if there isn’t that thought of a new hello? Can a hello even be without a goodbye to chase it?

Oh, I already know the answer to that last one. The goodbye that is left hanging always scares off the hello. It makes the hello unreachable. Sometimes it even kills it. Goodbyes don’t like to be given, but hellos need to be embraced. Sometimes the goodbye is much too strong. Sometimes it’s much too selfish. Sometimes it doesn’t care…

 

Goodbye.

 

Strength is needed to be able to reach a goodbye – to be able to say it. Without strength we will always surround ourselves with familiarity – but for what? To be safe? But what if you’re already not safe? That familiarity is used as a reason to not say goodbye – to go and claim nostalgia is an excuse. Because if it hurts you, if it kills you, is not saying goodbye still worth it?

 

Goodbye.

 

Saying goodbye is hard, I know it is. I’ve had to say it plenty of times before. To my parents, to a feeling of home, to safety, to security. And it was never easy… Not when you didn’t even realise until later that it was goodbye. But is it easier or harder to say those words when you know it is the end?

I don’t know the answer to that. Not yet – not when I haven’t deliberately brought things to a close. Of course I haven’t. Goodbye may be necessary but it’s not something to be rushed. Not when you’ve known the person your whole life. He’s been there through everything….

 

He has been the reason for everything.

 

Goodbye.

 

But what if you’re saying goodbye to your purpose? Is it still worth it then? How do you know what your new purpose is? Do you get one? My purpose has been to always be with him. My brother. To make sure that he could do what he needed to do – even if what he needed to do was wrong, even if it hurt people, even if it took away from my own happiness… Though is my happiness more important than the one who took care of me? But if this all never ends what will become of me? If I do end this, will I even still be me?

 

 

Will he forgive me for doing this?

Does he love me?

… Do I still love him?

But how do I decide—

Is it worth it—

How to choose—

Him—

Me—

Us—

Can I do it—

Will it be okay—

Oh God—

Goodbye. Goodbye…

 

 

 

“Goodbye, Austin.”

 

A whisper came, though in the silence it seemed like a yell. It was brief and gave little time for the young man to react. Though he did and it was in a small way; a quirk of his lips. A small smile that conveyed so much. He was ready – not for the end, but for her to finally come to her senses – and he could sense that it was now. That inevitable goodbye. He watched as the only person who had stood by him – his sister – gripped his cherished knife in her hands. Her eyes were bright and alive – he took great care to note that in his last moments – as she pushed the knife into his throat, something she had seen him do many times before to countless people, forcing as much of her strength into it as she could. The death wasn’t instantaneous which was expected with her lack of skill. It seemed he was in for the long haul of bleeding out. He could have laughed then but all that came was a strangled sound.

It wasn’t hard for him to tell why she was doing this. This moment seemed placed in time. Inevitable. He destroyed everything she loved and he did it with a purposefulness that made everybody question his love for her. He had even destroyed the person she loved. Oh, and he didn’t regret that even if that was the catalyst for this moment. She was his, after all. He looked after her, he made sure she stayed alive, and so her whole life should be revolved around him. It was all almost ironic though. He had been pushing her for a long time to finally murder someone and in the end, she picked him to be that person. Funnily enough, that made this the one moment that he could have told her that he was proud. The words that she wanted to hear. But in the moment he could say them, he wouldn’t. Even now he couldn’t give her something that made her happy. That would set her free.

She would have to live with this decision and that almost made dying worth it. This was all his own fault and though he was proud, he didn’t want his life to end now. Dying was a cruel fate when he felt he could better the world. Better his sister. So for her to have to live every second knowing that she had killed him – it brought a sense of smugness to him. Brief in the pain, but it was there. Yes, if he was going to die then it to be in the way that his killer would never forget him.

The time seemed to stretch on but his eyes didn’t close – he didn’t even flinch. He needed to read every emotion that flittered across her face just like he would have done if he were the killer. Anger, sadness, disgust, shock and then finally, relief. She sagged with the weight of what she had done, falling over him. He would have wrapped his arms around her if he could have managed it. But everything was growing heavier and he knew that the time was almost here. Instead he inclined his head forward just slightly and waited until tear-filled eyes met his. It was then that he barely managed to mutter the words that would do as she did to him – kill her.

 

“G-goodbye… Aly.”

 

 

Hello.

 

It’s a word uttered proceeding something. A beginning. A chance to start something new. It comes before a goodbye, but it can also come after. Hello – goodbye – hello – goodbye – hello. A never ending cycle.

I hope it’s worth it. Killing your brother… It’s not an easy thing to do. But with that new hello, who knows? Maybe there’s something good in store for me next. That’s probably the best thing about a hello – you don’t know what fills the distance between it and the goodbye.

 

©Re’Sha Garthwaite 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Home and Apologies

I have not come back to this once which I feel shows how much of a writer I am – start a project with good intentions but then fail to come back to it for months. I very much apologise and hope to post a whole lot more now that I am back to studying once again.

I am taking a creative writing course!! So, I will end up with a whole bunch of writings to share as well as my wailings about assignments and such. Without a specific topic to talk about I may as well share one. Feedback is greatly appreciative! It’s not finely tuned but to me, that’s not the point. I just want to share the things I create.

 

Home

 

A new place. New things. Possibly, even, a new home. That’s how Alyse thought of it, at least. It felt like forever since she had experienced having a sense of belonging. Some figured she had lost it when she and her brother had been abandoned but that wasn’t true; it had been two years ago when she ‘discovered’ that brother dearest had a need to kill.

 

It was hard, though, when ‘home’ wasn’t necessarily a physical place but a feeling. And that was what she was thinking as she glanced around the town they had just arrived in. It looked cute; a pavement drawn out into a would-be populated area that held a variety of stores and market places. It was what one would think would make a good home but that didn’t automatically make it one.

 

With that in mind Alyse broke the silence with a beseeching, “Aussie, please would you refrain from murdering anyone here.” If she wanted a fair chance at recapturing a lost feeling then she needed things to go a certain way – ie have things be the way they were before, when she was happy.

 

“Aly, would I do that?” It was a rhetorical question and one that had a clear answer: yes, yes he would. Though they were siblings, he was inherently selfish, especially when it came to matters of her happiness. He needed her to stay with him and so took every opportunity to ruin what would make her otherwise complete.

 

And asking him not to do something was just playing into his hand.

 

Silence developed around them once more as they walked. Both of them were primarily night owls so darkness had fallen by the time they had arrived. With night came a lack of people, and so the two drifted through the town unnoticed. Good thing too, in hindsight, as they were both dressed in rather conspicuous attire.

 

“Do you think- “ The young girl began, about to inquire where to seek residence for the night. But before she could get the words out, she was shushed by her brother.

 

Initially confused, she glanced in his direction before following his gaze. A couple of dozen feet ahead of them was a young man walking. He looked to be in his mid-twenties, of wiry build. And, more importantly in a certain brother’s eyes, he was alone.

 

“Austin no- “ Alyse began again, only to be cut off once more. It was no use anyway. She knew – however inadvertently – that she had given her brother a challenge. If you told him no, he would bite back yes a million times harder. And in many cases, that bite was accompanied by a knife.

 

The young man spared his sister no glance as he moved silently ahead of her. Usually the need to draw blood was something that coursed through him – a literal need. This time though, it was just for fun. A knife was kept taped to his abdomen and he withdrew that, approaching his victim like a lioness would her next meal. The young man in front of them was completely oblivious – Austin had just become too good at this. With a swift move, the blade of the knife was taken to the other’s throat and sliced up across the jugular. Instantly blood spurted out of the man and Austin embraced him tightly from behind for a few beats before releasing him and allowing the body to drop to the ground.

 

Behind him, Alyse just stared. She had watched her brother kill many times and had forced herself to grow numb to it. Numb to the horror of a life leaving a body. Numb to the fact that someone who shared the same blood as her was capable of committing such an act. Numb to the idea that any day it could be her that is taken in the same way. Silence emerged. Then some more. And then finally she whispered, “Does he have a cell phone?”

 

It was an odd question to ask, but a necessary one. Neither sibling carried a mobile device on them but there was now a dead body in the street that needed to be dealt with. Travelling frequently meant that they made various friends and they had one who could take care of this predicament.

 

With a sense of carelessness about him, Austin approached the body and checked through the pockets. The first was empty but he moved his hand to a back pocket and was met with success. Withdrawing it, he walked over to his sister and handed it over to her. He was met with a contemptuous gaze but it softened almost as quickly as it had risen. Alyse couldn’t blame him for this. He just… couldn’t help himself and why would she ever fault him for that?

 

Turning in place, she led the way back the way they came while simultaneously dialling a number. “Hey Koda, it’s Aly.” She started, raising the phone to her ear. “It happened again.”

 

The pair of redheads made their way back through the town; heading for the exit. A new place. New things. But this couldn’t possibly be a new home. Home would never be somewhere where Alyse in one way or another caused the death of someone else. But that was okay, right? There was always another place to go. Billions of them. And Austin couldn’t murder someone everywhere they went…could he?

Role Playing

To quote from the delightful Maria from the Sound of Music “Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start…” and that’s what I intend to do.

My writing ventures began properly at the tender age of fifteen (that makes me sound a lot older than I really am) with role playing. For those who don’t know, role playing is the act of taking on the role of a character and portraying it to create stories with one or more people. Well, that’s it in the simplest of senses anyway; depending on how serious you take it and how important it is to you then it varies so much. And it was something I stumbled on over a summer where I was bored and hoped the internet would entertain me.

I had always enjoyed (and been quite good at, if I do say so myself) writing. I read a lot and had quite an active imagination, and looking back at it now it seemed like it was always the natural extension for me. But I never wrote properly. I always would lose motivation or the sense of purpose; I was young, I wasn’t looking to get published, what was the point? Stumbling across role playing, however, cleared that up for me. Essentially, it provided me with an audience.

There is quite a bit of stigma that surrounds role playing, and that’s role playing in any form. Live action role play, the little steamy bedroom sessions, and writing. Even now where I don’t hide the fact that I am a role player I am not so open about it either. Why open yourself up to judgement about something you enjoy so much? That’s how I see it anyway. If somebody was to show a genuine interest in my writing it might be different but even that I keep to myself a lot.

Discovering role play has helped a lot when it comes to write standalone pieces. It’s provided me with a means of expressing my own original characters, it’s given me a community to share with and be inspired by, it has certainly helped improve my writing skills immensely and I still have a lot to learn. Even though I do become frustrated and want to take myself away from the community that exists, I can’t. For as long as I decide to write I will likely role play. Everyday I learn something new about a character, about the things I love to see in the stories I create, and about myself as a writer. I love it and I don’t think I could give that up for anything.

I don’t look to get published for anything I write and that maybe why role playing appeals to me so much: it allows me to do something I love without any of the pressure. It may not be for everyone but it’s like home to me. It’s where I grew up.

Here’s a link to the last finished piece of mine: https://www.facebook.com/notes/shay-shaubae/aowndosano-idk-what-to-call-this/175472149555517

That might be it for tonight before I ramble too much. If you read this then well done you for getting through my nonsense. My contact information is on my welcome page or leave your opinions. If you are a writer or even role player then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Ciao my Lovely Little Turtles,

-Shay