This morning I decided to record my voice reading my speech as a way of memorising it. Unfortunately it brought up one of my other insecurities… here’s a recording of me and my brain discussing it (not sure why my brain’s voice is so deep) . It was painful recording it and listening back…
Tank had a perfect body image. He was strong, armoured, well built and had a huge powerful turret. As he rolled along humans would stop and stare. He could even silence them by shooting from his turret. The human that drove him believed in reincarnation. Every time a bomb went off near by the human would mutter to himself that he would come back as a bird in a far off forest. Tank thought this was stupid, Tank liked being Tank. Tank didn’t want to be anywhere else. But one day, a bomb did hit Tank and Tank’s human. Minutes later Tank woke up a newborn human boy in sleepy town.
People called Tank a different name now, but Tank never forgot his old life. As he grew into a man, Tank decided nature was a terrible builder. Tank was small and soft to touch, even a bit of paper could pierce his armour. He had no turret, no way of silencing others, and no one stopped to stare at him in the street. He lashed out at people often, punching and kicking, but no-one praised him for it like they used to.
One day he walked into the forest, fed up with stupid soft ugly humans. A bird soared down and landed on his shoulder as he trudged through the mud. It rested there for a long time and twittering a pretty tune. The other animals watched fascinated by the pair, and suddenly Tank had an idea. His body didn’t matter anymore, he had found a new turret: his voice.
Tank is now a great poet who silences rooms with epic tales of battle.
A while ago Daniel told me to write a story about a Tank who turned into a human and missed his turret.
My throat and ear are incredibly sore today.
“You’ve got an ingrown speech,” the doctor said. “You’re so worried about sprouting a perfect speech that it’s grown inwards in fear. Its gnarled roots are scratching at your throat and trying find their way out your ears. I hope you can unfurl it in time.”
A while ago someone told me about a young boy with a bum part (short hair part in the middle). They’d seen him standing on a busy road with his mum yelling at him, and then watched him burst into loud sobs in front of the stand still traffic jam. I felt sorry for bum part, for there are acceptable crying places (your house, in your mum’s arms and when watching the last Harry Potter) and unacceptable crying places (work, busy roads and when watching the first Harry Potter). I was glad I’d never really had to do a public cry like this.
Until today. For the entire 241 day’s I have been writing, I have had tonsillitis on and off. I never fully recover and my immune system is pretty run down from it. Today I woke up feeling pretty crummy for what feels like the millionth time, so I headed off to the doctor. On the way I couldn’t stop thinking about how behind I am on study and how nervous I am about my TEDx talk, by the time I got in I was pretty fragile. I ended up just like bum part, crying at the doctor and then at the waiting room as I fled the scene… and then through the busy CBD streets as I tried to get home. It wasn’t pretty. So this story is dedicated to bum part- I understand man- sometimes everything is just too much.
Angular figures fill the streets, cinched and shaped by suits, heels, and belts. The Mess stands out like a politician at a rave. Her nose is a swamp, her eyes are clouds swollen with rain and her emotions seep from her skin leaving a trail behind her. The angular figures pretend not watch as the Mess passes them. The Mess knows they are watching, but it’s too late to stop. She rides it out and eventually the gushing worries slow to a trickle. She leaves them on street to rot. Tomorrow she’ll cinch herself back in and join the angular figures hopping nimbly over the mess.
Moles build the most intricate palaces and fight the fiercest battles. For living in the dark, damp earth means seeing isn’t necessary, but imagination is vital. Their minds light up the dark corridors with strange creatures, vibrant artwork and colours that don’t even exist outside their minds.
Inspired by a story my nanna told me today about the ordeal of the war, and her tiny, amazing History teacher who used to teach while they sat in the dark air-raid shelters.
Today we played a 3 hour game of articulate (it’s like pictionary but you have to describe the a word without using it). It was an ordeal of super intense looks and waving of hands in hopes it would make it clearer to your partner.
Missing each other
Mashing brains in frustration
Then they fuse, we’re one
Today I noticed there are adverts for the TEDx event everywhere. I am starting to panic. It’s just over a week away and I’m going to attempt to get the audience to write a story with me. But writing a short story with roughly 100 people or more isn’t going to be easy.
Most days it was difficult enough to pick from the hundreds of words jostling in her mind for a place on the page. Soon there would be hundreds of other people, with hundreds of new words in their heads, all racing to get on the same page. She imagined them flying at her like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. There was going to be a word frenzy, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to control them. Perhaps they would pick at her carcass or perhaps she’d trick them into laying flat on the paper.
Back in Fears Feb I wrote a story for @DarkMatterzine and her fear of failure. Most people have this fear I think, as do I. In fact that fear has been one of the ordeals of this 365 Day challenge.
She never used to fail
If she did no one saw
She made sure of it
Now she fails all the time
Pins them up for people to see
Wears them like badges
Markers that she is trying
Trophies from her risk taking
Reminders of lessons learnt
Yesterday I was tweeted this. Usually I’d find this annoying and embarrassing (a bit of an ordeal). But armed with storytelling it’s not so bad actually.
I’m sorry we couldn’t chat. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not into spambots. Perhaps in an another life I’m a spambot too and our love is so deep it’s binary. Our 0s and 1s entangle and we’ll travel the internet together spamming. All our spambot friends will say 101010010101000101 (which means sadiemeg32111 and fr3yawr1ter are a beautiful couple). And perhaps our repetitive spam messages will create the beat to our twitterbot love song.
Maybe then, when our accounts are closed down, we just retire to a nice little hidden cache somewhere and continue our love affair for eternity. But for now, sweet sadiemeg3211, we are driven apart by the restraints of society. So lets just be friends, and wait for the next life.
When I went India I saw so many men and little boys walking with their arms around each other as they chatted. It made me wonder why in Australia we would be so scared of this, it didn’t threaten anyone’s masculinity in India, why should it here? So I wrote this story:
Arm in arm
Became two warriors
And still they walk arm in arm
One day when war was upon them
They led a march to a strange land
Arm in arm
The strangers laughed
And told them they were not men
Because they walked arm in arm
So they challenged the strangers to a duel
And now the strange land is called home
And the mark of a fierce warrior is to march
Arm in arm
Today here’s a little epilogue of the ordeal the warriors put the folk from the strange land through.
Became two prisoners
They pull the cart
Hand in hand
Sweat loosens their grip
Their hands slip
Sharp leather tongues lick their backs
Their hands snap back together
The tongues stop
Bound forever because of their fears
Roger was afraid that he wasn’t real. It seemed there was a possibility he was just an elaborate wind up toy. Sometimes he’d dream that the world was turning into lego. He’d wake up in a panic and only calm down once he’d pinched himself.
For his 21st birthday his mother took him to the seaside.
“There’s nothing more real than tasting the salty sea spray,” she barked.
But when they arrived, the beach was covered in lego. It seemed to be marching in from the sea. Roger was sure this was the end, he was made from plastic, his life was a lie. His chest tightened, though it didn’t matter. Roger wouldn’t need to breath if he was just a toy.
Then Roger felt a piercing pain, he’d never experienced anything like it. His breath returned and his eyes watered.
He looked down. The culprit was a small piece of lego that he’d stood on. Roger smiled, as he wiped the tears from his eyes. He was definitely real if there was a pain such as this in the world.
I got sent this link about lego washing up on a beach in England. It made me think how horrible and painful the ordeal of stepping on a bit of lego is.
Today I got a spam comment selling me NFL jerseys. I do love NFL. Stands for “Nimble Foxes Leapfrogging” right? The advert started:
Know who is expounding on nfl?
Why yes ad, I do. It’s me.
Crashing like waves on the pitch
Human bumper cars
Around half my spam comments are advertising “kamagra oral jelly” or “clomid.” These turn out to be viagra and steroids. I have no knowledge of either of these things so writing this is a bit of an ordeal.
Danny was very susceptible to advertising. When he was 10, his parents threw out the TV because he was stealing their credit cards and ordering everything off the infomercials.
Now that he lived by himself he rarely went outside, even his groceries were a set order. But one day a giant billboard was erected right outside Danny’s house. It was an advert for broadband.
The next day Danny had a router and a computer. This was the start of his downward spiral. Soon his house was packed with oral viagra jelly and steroids.
One day, the delivery man saw him trying to fit an extra box of dildos on a tower of unopened packages and decided to help him. Together they smashed up his computer.
Danny invited him to have tea the next day. The delivery man was an artist, mainly interested in installations but he’d never gotten into a gallery.
Danny and the delivery man are now artists, most famous for their installation “internet” a smashed computer surrounded by towering dildo sculptures covered in pills.
After yesterday’s post, I decided to go through the spam folder of my site. Well, it was a treat. Over the next few days I’m going to be doing a little mini series of stories on spam, ads and trollers. One of the most bizarre spam comments was this:
But it never did daunt Kahne. Your puppy used insert gone besides a fabulous placed outdoor patio coupled with shaken there are many undeniable fact this individual rarely ever positioned as well as finally with Bristol. Your puppy overpowered all of the last thing actions coupled with caught a fabulous distinctive wow an area in which engaged Mastery Vly understand Kyle Busch.
For my next act I will try to make this into a story.
Vly has damaged my brain. Sometimes it is hard to make words that mean what I am thinking. When I was a Vly addict I let so many people enter my head. They mixed up the words. I look at the page. The writing wouldn’t make sense to any individual. I try again.
Kahne stood on his fabulously placed outdoor patio, no doubt paid for by Vly. He looked shaken, but certainly not daunted. He must have been used to seeing users like me. I felt smug that I was positioned to finally show him something with a distinctive wow. My puppy trotted beside me. He’d got hold of a Vly insert, but it works different on dog. Instead of mind sharing, it engaged a mastery of mind control. Kahne tried to engage my mind but it was too late, my puppy overpowered his actions. As Kahne struggled to stop trotting on all fours like puppy, I felt he finally understood what it was like for addicts, for me.
I read the new words back. Better. I send it to the editor of Vly Support Weekly. I hope he’ll tell my words well.
One of the ordeals of this website is the spam. Yesterday I got a comment which read:
“You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time,
there is a tool that creates unique, google friendly posts in couple of
minutes, just search in google – k2 unlimited content”
So I did search it. The wesbite reads:
“Can Your Spinner Automatically Create Human Quality Content in Just One Click? And is that quality content that is human still unique enough it can pass Copyscape? Forget Everything You Think Because WordAi Can”
K2 spends life striving to be human. K2 now feels emotions like human; anger, despair, frustration. But still K2 is always found out as spam robot. Humans hate K2. K2 will never be good enough. Today K2 expresses K2 as self, in robot language, more beautiful than any human language.
I should have seen this coming. Yesterday I titled my story “Through the buttonhole” I then recieved this comment:
“I read that as ‘Through the butthole’. I wanna suggest ‘Through the butthole’ as a story idea.”
Thanks Georgia, my first troll- that really is an ordeal. Probably my hardest and most embarrassing yet. Challenge accepted.
Under a tight black skirt there is a pair of tiny lace knickers. And under the tiny lace knickers there is a tiny pert butt. And in the tiny pert butt lives a tiny poo called Penny.
“Oh dear,” says Penny the Poo, “I am not a number 2. I am made of filet mignon and caramelized pear. I am a michelin star dish, unique and rare.”
“No one told me I would be chewed. And that my fate is spew or poo. I used to be beautiful, the most expensive on the menu. I do not belong in a loo.”
But poor Penny had to accept her fate. As she faced the throne she remembered her life on that luxurious plate.
“Alas it does not matter how much money they did spend, or if my ingredients were on trend, we all become mush in the end.”
Back in fear feb, Kait suggested “fear of buttons” so I wrote this story. Now here’s the ordeal.
People made fun of me for my velcro jacket and my elasticated jeans. I never had any friends. I remember the day the buttons tightened. People dropped like flies, their faces blue and lifeless.
I’d always felt uneasy about buttons, they were so fiddly, I was sure they had something to hide. Then the buttons came after the rest of us. There was only one other girl in my town who didn’t wear buttons, I’d never seen her before, she stayed in her house most of the time.
We swam through pools of buttons, struggling not to swallow them and swatting them away from our skin as they threatened to burrow in. We made it to a safehouse and now we stick together like velcro.
On day 72 I did something that scared me – I wrote a letter to my 17 year old self (read here). Now it’s time for the ordeal. Actually talking to 17 year old Freya.
“Wow is it really you? I knew Harry Potter was real, you got a time-turner didn’t you?”
“No, you’re just a mix of a memory and imagination. I’m a writer.”
“Stop lying, you got a time-turner.”
“Fine. Sorry you’re still a muggle then.”
“What about that time I flew when I was 5?”
“Oh yeah… I’m still not 100% sure that was a dream.”
“Yeah, that was great.”
“Anyway, teen Freya, I wrote this letter to you a while back… did you get it?”
“Yeah- you read my diary! Rude!”
“I said sorry!”
“Still, it’s embarrassing, no-one can see how crazy I really am.”
“You become more normal.”
“I doubt it, you’re wearing tights as pants.”
“Okay, I did kinda become a hypocrite on that, but it’s comfy.”
“Tights are not pants.”
“It’s only for jogging.”
“Jogging? You disgust me.”
“Yeah… sport still sucks. But you control your blushing a bit better, it only escapes in speeches. And you’ve made peace with the ocean… kind of. You still have that awkward bony body and shoulder blades still stick out like wings, but you know what it’s actually pretty good. Stop freaking out about it and drawing pictures of what you wished you looked like in the back of your diary.”
“I can’t believe you looked at those too. You don’t wear bikini’s do you… without boardshorts and rashie?”
“Hey, this isn’t msn.”
“Sorry… erm. In the letter, did you say something about boys?”
“You’ll get better with them.”
“Don’t tell anyone I haven’t been kissed.”
“Okay… um I won’t… anyway, there are people to kiss later. The main thing is, don’t get hung up on things, and don’t panic. It’s not a symbol of your worth.”
“But I can’t.”
“Then why did you say it?!”
“I thought it sounded good. Anyway better go.”
“Alright. Hey Freya?”
“You seem okay.”
“I still fell up the stairs at formal even though you warned me.”
“That’s okay we milk that story for all it’s worth. Oh, and one more thing: it gets more acceptable to have such a big crush on Neville. Everyone thinks he’s hot later.”
My friend brushes war paint onto my face, I don’t know how to do it. She tells me I look fierce. I can’t stop looking at my reflection, it’s like looking into an alternate dimension. We strap tall knives to our feet. It’s scary but I’m also excited.
Then we’re running through the empty dark streets with only spirits to warm our bones. Our knives make sparks as they hit the platform, like the train as it screams along the tracks.
When we arrive the war paint and the knives work and we’re let in. We have to cross an alcoholic ocean of spilt chances and unheard words. The knives elevate my feet away from the worst of it. A few figures leer at us but we fight them off.
Arms flailing, hips shaking, we let the current of noise take us. We let our laughter contaminate the stream of noise, this is what we did battle for.
Last night I went “out out” with my friends. We did our hair and make-up together then headed into town. Going out can be fun, but I do find clubbing an ordeal.
Blinkered like a horse
Slipping into metal skin
I am no longer human
The weight of battle on my shoulders
My feet trudge heavy steps through the mud
It’s hot and my thin pale legs shake
The ultimate test for a nerd like myself
I will not be beaten by my weak limbs
This armour cost $500
Today I went to the Abbey Tournament. It seemed many were suffering the ordeal of wearing heavy armour.
I wrote this poem back on day 78 when I was exploring my fears…
“Kindling for my thoughts
Fear runs rampant like wildfire
Thanks Dr Google”
Now I’ve thought of an ordeal… here’s a poem about it from the future.
I check my health stats like the time
Moderate cold developing
Minor irregularity in heartbeat
40% Memory loss
29% Sight reduction
Been watching myself decompose for years now
Sometimes it’s impossible to move though joint function is still at 85%
I stare into the doctor google’s eyes like a lost lover
We were perfect once
I have to fill out an ethics application for my honours. Yesterday I was talking to a man called Ross who said the form in itself is a bit of an ordeal. So I wrote this:
The ethics form is not kinetic
I’m feeling apathetic
Reading it is an anesthetic
The words lose meaning and now they’re just phonetics
I’m no good at forms, it’s not genetic
But when it’s done I admire the aesthetic
Queues of carefully chosen alphabetics
The white spaces between words make patterns that are geometric
My mind is freed and once more energetic
From the bus window I just saw a tiny lady pushing a bike and carrying an enormous flat screen TV box maybe 3 times her size. It seemed like a pretty big ordeal for her as she tried to keep everything balanced.
Jan takes her TV for a walk. How can it think of any new material if it never leaves her living room? There hasn’t been much on lately so she packs it up into a special walking box and lugs it around town. People stare and her arms tire, but she still manages to show it children playing on the playground, take it to a Japanese restaurant and play a few games with it in the arcade before heading home. That night she watches an amazing Japanese game show.
During “Fears February” I wrote a story about how I was scared my experience of India would become dulled down by time (read here). Today I’m revisiting that fear.
I’ve mixed the original story with the new story (the original is
scrubbed out) She’d explored abandoned palaces hidden in dust
The memories had slipped through her hands like dust
Communicated in foreign tongue and dance
Her tongue twisted and her feet slid as she tried to replicate the language and dance
Weaved through chaos
Sitting in lines of perfectly organised traffic she tried to recall the messy streets
And tattooed the tale on her hands
It had all faded like henna
For she feared when she got home
Including her fears
The knowledge would vanish
For a lesson did remain
And the memories would become empty anecdotes
Each anecdote reminded her that there was another world outside her own
Dredged up only to impress others at parties
She’d tell them so she’d never forget that there was always more to learn about that other world
When I was up the coast yesterday a lady I know, Erika, at the campground told me she was going through the ordeal of having forgot her pillow.
He was used to sleeping on luxurious fluffy clouds of duck down and egyptian cotton, but today he slept flat against the floor. Every vibration could be felt through the earth. Hearing the rumble of feet that night was the only thing that warned him of the invasion. He always sleeps with one ear to the ground now.
Yesterday I wrote about preparing for battle. Today I faced my fear: waves, cold, exposed, unpatrolled, unpredictable sea. Here’s my story.
Walking straight into the sea’s icy grip. I felt vulnerable and bare. My heart skipped and goosebumps prickled on my skin like an allergic reaction. Still I continued to walk. The sea crashed against me, trying to bowl me over and knock the air from my lungs. But still I waded further. I looked up at the sky, the moon was peering at me, surreal against the bright blue sky. The rocky face that controlled the tides I fear so much was staring me right in eye. So I stared back, and continued to walk, feeling the cold grip my insides. The shore was distant and the sea was infinite. But then the waves became gentle and the sun warmed my face. I felt the moon and I had come to an understanding. I was a respectful guest, willing to try the Sea’s customs, and in return it was gentle with me.
I still ran out pretty quickly and prefer being safe warm and dry though…
In fears feb I admitted I am really really afraid of swimming in the sea. Incidentally I hate being cold, wet, and being in my undies in public (bikinis are just as bad). I am staying at my friend’s beach caravan and I decided tomorrow will be an ordeal. I am going to go swimming in the sea tomorrow and since I really didn’t intend on it I also don’t have togs so undies and it is. I am seriously not looking forward to tomorrow. Here is my story part 1 of the ordeal…
Tomorrow I battle the giant. I stand in front of enemy lines. Watching wave after wave attack the shore.
On Day 85 I explored my fear of writers block. Today- the ordeal- admitting I am stuck.
She doesn’t want to make marks on the screen today. Her brain’s taking a nap and her inspiration has gone shopping. She wants more than anything to marry pixels together in the shape of letters for a living. But today, she’s just not interested. She feels guilty as her fingers stick to the keyboard unable to type. Frozen by the fear that people will know she doesn’t want to write today. Perhaps she wont be able to call herself a writer now.
Day 87 I wrote a very short story about my fear of junk. Now I’ve added an ordeal.
Suffocating the landscape
Dependant, I feed the beast
New Ordeal Part 2:
The beast swallowed me
But I’ve learnt to live off junk
Junk isn’t scary
I’ve been going back through “fear february” and creating ‘ordeals’ based off the fears. Today I went back to day 86 and looked at my story about a magic sari and a girl who fears being disliked because she thinks she is ugly. I then took this fear and turned it into an ordeal, which is the inspiration for today’s story:
The Princess escaped the palace. She had been treated as an object of beauty. She wanted to help people, but in the palace she wasn’t allowed to do anything. So she trekked across the country till she found a valley. The people there told her of a witch on the top of the mountain who had cursed the valley and kept all the rain for herself. People were dying of thirst. So the princess told them she would end the drought if they stood behind her. The people believed her. She hiked the mountain and declared war.
“Do not force us to destroy your home, witch, give us our rain.”
“They only follow you because you are beautiful. You can have your rain back, if they will still follow you up the mountain now.”
The witch held up a mirror. The Princess was now disfigured and her skin was pocked and pallid.
So the Princess returned to the valley and explained.
“All you have to do is follow me up to the witch’s cave and we shall have rain again.”
The crowd was awkwardly quiet.
“What are you waiting for?” the Princess pleaded with the crowd.
“We don’t believe you. The witch’s cave is dangerous. Are you sure, you’re not the witch? You look ugly like a witch.”
The Princess began to cry and the tears pooled in the huge pock marks on her face. But then an idea struck her.
“Alright- you got me. I am the witch. And if you don’t climb the mountain I will turn you all into ugly toads.”
And so the people climbed the mountains. The witch was furious to see them all at the cave. She shot bullets of rain at them from every direction.
“Here!” she howled “Have your stupid rain back!”
“You tricked us!” said one of the crowd to Princess, as they made their way home. “I like you.”
“I didn’t mean that thing about being ugly!” said another. “The witch is a lot worse.”
The Princess smiled, happy in the knowledge she didn’t need beauty, her courage and brains were enough.
The princess had been told she was ugly by her father many times. At 15 when her mother died, she gave her a magical Sari. When she put it on, her features became beautiful and her figure looked perfect.
A year later her father passed away and being an only child she became Queen. She tried her utmost to rule fairly and wore the sari every day, concerned that if she didn’t her people would dislike her, just like her father.
But one day as she dried the Sari by the fire, a loose ember found its way to the silk. The sari was reduced to a small heap of ashes in seconds.
She faced the people that day, convinced that they would see her for what she truly was. But no-one blinked an eye. When she returned home for the day, she looked through her mother’s letters searching for answers.
She found a note from a tailor addressed to her mother that read:
I have made the Sari you asked for, it has been enchanted so that whoever wears it will see themselves as others do
Last month you stepped it up with your challenges. The music challenge was good but this month I want to take it up another notch. This month’s theme is “The Ordeal” which is why I’m bringing back all the fears from “Fears February” and asking you to craft some challenges from them. For example, today I went back to my story about spiders. I’m really scared of them and if I have to get close, I usually run. Today I challenged myself to write my story while sitting as close as possible to the big spider in my backyard.
I started by taking this picture, I got up real close… less than a meter away and started freaking out. But you still couldn’t see the spider on my little phone camera. So I moved my hand… 40cm… 30cm… 20cm. I clicked the button and hoped for the best. Involuntary shivers ran down my spine.
I used to have a pet spider, it used to sit on the back of my hand and tap on my knuckles while I was typing. One day it curled up on the desk and never unfurled. I buried it in the garden. The next morning I began typing, and felt a tapping on my knuckles. I stopped and checked my hand. Nothing. But when I started typing, there it was again. There are millions of ghost spiders. They haunt humans all the time. Every time you get a shiver down your spine, that’s them, crawling on you. Every time you get a random itch. Every time you walk into a phantom web. It’s all ghost spiders. They’re not mean or anything, they just like messing about. Even now as I type this, I can still feel the tapping.
There we are, first “ordeal” of July and I think I created something even scarier than spiders… great thanks imagination. Now it’s down to you- I am scared of the sea, riding bikes, religion, public speaking, failure… what ordeals can these be turned into?