writer: stuck

so every now and then, this ‘silence’ engulfs me… by ‘silence’, i mean not being able to write… i toss and turn.. watch Two and a Half Men… toss and turn some more… hoping that the feeling will pass and it usually doesn’t…

so what does a writer do in moments like these?

let me go think about it for a little bit…

….to be continued

while you wait, have a read of a post i wrote a little while ago about this very same affliction

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inspiration: do not be angry with the rain

 

dont be angry with the rain

 

“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”-Vladimir Nabokov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i love summer. i was born during summer. maybe that’s why i love summer. i love the stillness of sunlight. no wind. just warmth. bubbles of light. the sun goes down rather late (Cape Town summer evenings are spectacular).. the sun rises early. prompting and prodding an early start. polka dot dresses. sunny dresses. sandals – my toes relish the liberation. wet beach sand against my skin. cool breeze after the sun goes down.

or maybe what i love the most about summer is the mood. sunny means smiley. smiley means happy. happy translate to general goodness. wholesomeness.

sometimes the heat can be unbearable. and when it seems like the sky can’t take it. it rains. tears of relief.

inspiration for this post: saw the image featured here (and the title of this post) on A Small Press Life, a blog I follow…

i am no survivor…

French-Canadian singer, Madeline Peyroux sings:

“sticks and stonessurvivor

may break my bones,

but tears don’t leave any scars

so i’m alright”

these lyrics almost have me flipping to ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child.

And I can’t help but think that

being a survivor

is truly overrated,
if you ask me(i know you didn’t but still, i’m sharing that anyway).
it’s a vain attempt to show the world our supposed strength.

that i-can-beat-anything, false bravado.
what does it even mean to survive?
who determines the degree of resilience?
heck, i’ve been through somethings
and most of the time, i like to fool myself into believing that i have successfully
survived those trying times.
how do i explain to myself
those moments when i simply cannot get up in the morning?
those moments when i simply do not have the strength to enjoy the sunshine?
does that mean i’m not surviving?

is that a sign of weakness?
when your body is so consumed with this mind-pain that is unbearably huge and seems insurmountable..
so really, what does being a survivor mean?
is there a badge one gets to show the world that i have “survived”?
i may walk with my head held high
and laugh with the world
does that mean i have survived?
i’ve never been a victim of sexual abuse as a child, or physical abuse by a partner or any of those things that get people gasping, speechless, fumbling for words of sympathy.
does this make my plight any less heavier?
well i believe it is completely acceptable to concede defeat along the way.
it’s alright to completely miss the mark some times, at the very least it makes life’s twist and turns seem interesting (laughable,almost)..

 

magic series: music

the hair on my arms slowly lifts as soon as the first note breaks the silence.music

my heart starts beating faster.

my breath quickens.

this feeling.

it grows in intensity with each bar.

as the solitary voice sways with me back and forth.

i can barely see ahead of me.

the tears, streaming down my face.

i can’t stop listening.

it’s got me.

the music.

got me bad.

it’s rhythm echoes left behind.

banging right through my bones

like the sound of rushing blood

until it catches a moment

in my throat.

lingering there.

i can’t help but sing along.

it’s got me.

the music.

got me bad.

sleeping under the same sky

got very excited at the prospect of seeing you.sky

when we did finally meet,

it wasn’t all tears as i had expected.

only a hint of excitement…

felt strange yet familiar at the same time.

hours passed…

days passed…

i felt your skin against mine,

your breath against my back while you slept…

reminded me of days gone by…

when it was time for us to part,

once again i waited for tears

but they didn’t come…

i head home with a heavy heart…

knowing that thoughts of you will haunt me till we meet again…

magic: melody, dancing and you

magicdancing..

swaying my heavy body to the hypnotic beat..

takes me to a far away land,

reminds me of a time

when i dared to dream.

dared to remember the cause,

the plan,

the goal.

moving

to the sound of music in my head.

the endless song

playing in my mind’s ear.

i wondered if,

you heard it.

i am hoping that,

you’ll like it.

that it’ll steal you.

give you a peek into another world.

another time

where

the plan,

the goal

all intertwine

and give birth

to a beautiful melody

of time with me and you:

magic.

what really makes good writing?

“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” Tennessee Williams

how we perceive or understand what we read is mostly subjective, right? it follows then that how we write is also subjective. good writingsome of us look for good grammar as a yardstick for good writing. others look for phrasing. others look at syntax. others just look for something. and we draw assumptions about the writer based on these filters. preconceived, learnt behaviours we might not even realise we have.

but what really makes good writing?

briefly, here are the basic characteristics of good, effective writing:

  • Good writing has a clearly defined purpose.
  • It makes a definite point.
  • It supports that point with specific information.
  • The information is clearly connected and arranged.
  • The words are appropriate, and the sentences are conciseemphatic, and correct.

Mike Consol captures this so aptly in his article: Kill the Euphemisms

side topic

many companies are recognising that it is essential to invest in good copy, read about  How Facebook had to go beyond robospeak 

the long shots: truth in comedy

the long shotsSo I braved torrential Cape Town rain on a Tuesday evening, thinking to myself, ‘this better be good’ and half hoping I wasn’t going to be one of two people who bothered to show up. Little did I know, the Long Shots have quite a following.

The Long Shots are an improvisation troupe based in Cape Town, takes impromptu to another level. Or so I was set to discover when I went to one of their once-a-month shows at the Truth Café on Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.

The Truth in Comedy show is made up of short and long form improvisation. All the sketches are unrehearsed and the actors simply make up action and dialogue based on the skimpy outlines provided by the directors and the suggestions thrown in by the all-too-eager audience. And the audience participation is what made the show special for me.

The sketches ranged from an interactive poem with the starting line, ‘ Jacob Zuma has 6 wives’ and ends with ‘would you give me weed’. You can imagine the chaos in between. To a multimedia presentation (with actors as the ‘presentation’) about the plight of the sloth in Kazkhastan presented by a Russian Professor.

Even when someone from the audience shouted, ‘Zimbabwe’ when asked for a title for film made in Korea, the actors launched into made-up ‘Korean’ with suitably hilarious English translation, as if there was nothing out of place with the combination.

Comedy is obviously a rather subjective art, there were some moments that were downers for me. But judging by the roaring audience behind me, there were definitely enough winning moments to say the show was a success.

This show was their first at the Truth Café, the Long Shots’ new home. They will perform here every second Tuesday of the month. The troupe offers a weekly drop-in class on Thursday evening, where anyone is welcome to have fun with improv.

Facebook page: ‘The Long Shots’ Improvised Comedy Troupe.

music and freedom

so you can imagine my excitement when i saw a poster for a freedom day concert at the City Hall (Cape Town).. the City Hallfreedom day concert is an impressive building, for sure… but what really excited me was that Paul Hanmer and McCoy Mrubata… Had no clue who Amaryoni were… the Moreira Project – somewhat an enigma for me, whenever I’ve been to a festival and Moreira is on the bill, I’ve somehow never managed to see them…

the thought of attending a City Hall Sessions brought memories of the last time I was there, in another wing of the City Hall building… watching Zim Ngqawana playing with Kyle Shepherd – probably his ‘farewell’ performance in Cape Town… a very special performance indeed.. This reminiscing mingled with memories of when I performed as part of an annual my high school  used to put on at the City Hall…

i digress,  so it’s with all these mixed thoughts that I arrived at the City Hall on Freedom Day…

pondering the fact that it is rather somewhat significant that Hanmer and Mrubata are able to perform in the City Hall on Freedom Day, considering that there was a time when they couldn’t share a stage because of the colour of their skins… never mind the fact that Crawford and Gugulethu are barely a stone throw away from each other… their heartwarming and energetic track, Johannesburg Mountains, a tribute to their working home, Johannesburg. Feya Faku on trumpet was a surprise!

speaking of surprises, Moreira Chonguica, was certainly a surprise… his lyrical saxophone, definitely something that stayed with him long after i’d left the City Hall… his crazy drummer, you had to be there!

of course, every struggle, victory, moments of peace, moments of discord, moments of protest are usually remembered according to the music of that time, Amaryoni, brought back that spirit and filled the Hall with their a cappella sound of songs freedom, of reflection, of remembering, of not forgetting… I was touched… transported to a time when as a little girl, a neighbour and his friends would entertain with renditions of freedom songs (at the time, I had no idea what significance these songs held except that the melodies and harmonies filled the space beautifully)…