Yawn – What Bores You — a response

( YAWN )
Day eleven into Blogging 101 and my response to the daily prompt — Yawn – what bores you.

One day my family’s sewer backed up and I was the one to stay home and let the public works guys in.  They went into the basement and I trailed behind, stopping on the steps to sit and watch.  They asked if we ever flushed kleenex or paper towel down the toilet – a big no-no — and explained the reasons for this.  I assured them I did not.  I listened to them talk about sewage and drains while they worked away.  It was fascinating.  They asked if I had an old wire coat-hanger, not a new flimsy one, but a good strong old one.  I told them I knew what they were after, and yes, I had one.  This excited them and I went and fetched it for them.  They turned it into a modern sculpture and used it to fish something out of the trap.  “Can we keep the coat hanger?”  “Of course!”  I was excited too.  I enjoyed the morning very much.

I find the strangest things to be fascinating.  Things that I think most people would find excruciating I find hugely interesting.  Take me to a shopping mall and I am bored beyond belief.  My husband puts a romantic movie on for me and I am likely to go to bed early.  But, I am the one at the party quite happy to sit beside someone who speaks for an hour about his job.  I find if someone enjoys what they are talking about that I enjoy listening.  “Our Alice” who everyone in my family dreaded visiting — “she’s always complaining” — was someone I liked to go and see.  I have never been blind, old and suffering back problems.  Did you know that whey your back is out that you take shorter steps and consequently bang into everything?  Nothing is where you think it should be.  It’s true.  And she didn’t complain.  She just talked about what she knew.  Wonderful.

Maybe I’m built backwards.  Maybe it’s a writer thing.  But no, not much bores me.

Why am I writing and for whom?

So, exercise 9 for my way behind blogging 101, and I’ve chosen to expand on the comment I left on a writer’s site where she was questioning why she was writing and who it was for.  I commented:  “It’s the big question isn’t it? Why are you writing and for whom. I try to write for both, as I have discovered how exciting it is when somebody actually reads what you wrote. I go back to something Fay Weldon wrote in her “Letters to Alice” where she basically advises writers to ignore other writers because it’s readers that matter.”

Now a lot of us will say that we are really just writing for ourselves and it doesn’t matter if nobody else reads what we’ve written or what they think of it, but if you are writing a blog that is an obvious lie, some misplaced idea of modesty.  We aren’t writing in a diary that we will lock up and place carefully under our mattress, nor are we just tapping out our thoughts or tales on the computer to store in a folder until some later date.  We are throwing our words out into the ether where I, for one, know I am hoping someone will read them, like them and maybe even respond.  So no, I think it matters to most writers that they are being read and I think it also matters that for the most part people like what they have written.  This is not the same as having everyone agree with what is said.  This is part conversation and some disagreement will always occur in conversation.   It’s part of the fun I think.  At least if properly considered and thought out.

I love Fay Weldon’s advice that writers should consult readers, not writers.  I try to keep it in mind whenever I write.  As a writer I know I am terrible for wanting to rewrite things for people.  Granted, that’s often what people come to me for, to polish up or edit some letter or presentation, but that’s very different to this creative writing.  What does surprise me is how personally I take a reader’s criticism or advice, especially as it is almost always something I have already been thinking.  I guess it’s like being caught at cheating, I put something forward without finishing it properly and it was noticed.  Naughty girl.  You’re not so clever as you thought.

I guess, in the end it feels easier when something is important to you to pretend that it doesn’t matter what people think, that I don’t care if I am read or not or if people like my work, but really there’s no point at putting this time into something if it’s just for me.  No, it matters and I admit it here in front of all you other writers.  I write this in hopes it is being read and that people like it.  

So here’s hoping that I and you, and all like us foolish and conceited enough to put our words out there are being thoughtfully read and enjoyed.

P.S.  Thanks to

rubyarmour.wordpress.com for providing the jump-off point for the initial comment and my later thoughts.

Installment 31 – “That’s not what happened”

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So, now that the new year is here and I am returned to blogging, I thought I had better return to my story.  A new installment to my Frankenstein tale.

 

After Mr. Frankenstein’s announcement, conversation turned to other topics — the wet fall weather, Ernest beginning a military career, the political state of Europe.  Elizabeth hardly heard any of it.  There was a strange whirring noise in her head and the room spun around her.  Agatha said something amusing and everyone laughed.  Elizabeth laughed with them, giving no hint of her inner turmoil.

Ever observant Agatha though, was mindful as ever and eventually asked,  “Elizabeth are you alright?”

She looked up.  “I’m sorry, I was lost in thought.”

“You look a little tired.  You’ve had a busy week.  Shall we get you upstairs?”  Agatha rose.

“Yes, I am a little tired I suppose,” said Elizabeth and she obediently followed

The old gentlemen commented on the young being unable to keep up and said goodnight to their respective daughters without rising from their comfortable chairs.  Agatha accompanied her friend to her room where Elizabeth sat down numbly on the edge of her bed.  Agatha remained standing, silent and watching as Elizabeth repeatedly gripped and released the counterpane.

“I don’t understand.  That’s not what happened.  Not at all what happened.  Why would he say such a thing?  No promise was made.  Nothing like that.”  A stunned Elizabeth addressed some point in the darkness beyond the window.  She smiled a weak smile and turned to Agatha.  “That was a bit of a shock.  I’m sorry.  You must have been surprised yourself.  That such an agreement might exist and that I would not tell you.”

Agatha, who had not been surprised at all explained, “The way you talk about Victor.  The way you hover around him and he around you.  The way the family talks about the two of you as if you are always a pair — you seemed to have an understanding, although it wasn’t clear what it was.  I assumed that’s why you each call the other cousin, when you are sister to the others. . .or. . .or to Ernest, I should say.”  Agatha lowered her eyes, momentarily lost as they were both reminded of their terrible grief.  She collected herself again and continued.  “So no, I wasn’t shocked by this evening’s announcement.  What did shock me was your reaction.  For up to this point I believed it what you wanted.”

Elizabeth looked at her with raised eyebrows.  “I’ve never had those kinds of feelings for him.  Have never really considered it before.” She then corrected herself.  “No. . .no, I suppose I did think about it once, but not the way you might imagine.  Firstly, I should make clear that what father said did not happen, not the way he said it did.  My mother did join our hands it’s true, mine and Victor’s, but it was understood that it was not only Victor standing there, but that Ernest and William were present in spirit, that all our hands were joined.  She took our hands and asked me to be mother to them — to her boys — and to care for them and nurture them as if they were my own children.  There was no mention of Victor and I uniting in the future.  I think one of the reasons she asked me to take care of Victor and the others was so that such a thing would not happen, so that I would never be looked upon that way by Victor.  I resented that later when I realized what she had done, though I was very flattered at the time – that she considered me worthy to take her place.  But he’s changed it.  Why?  I was asked to be mother to Victor, not wife, just as I was asked to be mother to Ernest and William.”

Agatha closed the heavy curtains as they gave thought to the matter.  Elizabeth had already abandoned the notion that Victor was not sane.  Victor was just as he always was in her eyes, driven, impetuous, sensitive, brilliant.  Different to most people, certainly — that was part of his charm — but not mad surely.  Nor did she give any thought to the notion that his father, old as he was, must himself be aware that he may not always be there to take care of his son at those times that he was less than rational.

She rose.  “Well, there is no point to fretting over it now.  Victor obviously has no feelings for me beyond the fraternal and will have the same recollection of his mother’s wishes as I have.  My goodness, he has barely spoken to me since his return from Ingolstadt.  He will set things straight with father when he gets back from his wanderings.” She embraced the doubtful Agatha and thanked her for her concern and her invaluable friendship.

“I think I will get ready for bed now for I find that I am indeed quite tired.”

Agatha found herself dismissed.  They each bid the other a far too cheerful good night and retired to their beds.

 

Blogging 101 – 2nd exercise

Well, here I am attempting two posts today, though most of my first was started yesterday.

So, titles and taglines.

I suppose at this moment my title of Elizabeth Lavenza blog is a bit specific, considering I am not currently working on it.  Elizabeth Lavenza is the doomed foster sister and momentary wife to Victor Frankenstein and the purpose of my blog overall is to write her story.  Although, I realize only those familiar with Frankenstein will get the reference.

I have considered starting another blog, and so a less specific title, but that really starts to get fatiguing.  Especially when I really do wish to finish what I started in November.  But still. . . a title. . .a tagline. . .

Elizabeth Lavenza. . .Elizabeth Lavenza. . .The truth beyond Frankenstein.  Nope

Elizabeth Lavenza – What Victor Would Not Say.  I think that’s better as a title.  If you are going to rewrite a classic novel, point out why.  And Frankenstein is told from only one point of view and the teller is highly suspect.

And I suppose the tagline is obvious.  A retelling of Frankenstein.  Or — Frankenstein from another point of view. . .because you can’t always trust what you hear.  What you come up with when folks make you think.

I guess I will have to see if I can get it up there.  And what I think of it in the morrow.

 

Blogging 101 – my first post

Hello, I am Karen and I am a writer.

It’s sort of like standing in front of a crowd at a twelve step program.  Except at a twelve step program you are trying to quit something, while my declaration is an attempt to start something.  Or perhaps finish something.  Follow through.

I am basically a collection of unfinished projects.  I have a collection of unfinished sweaters piled up, my bookkeeping is behind, my files are awaiting the pages and invoices covering my tables.  And I have three novels started.  And of course I have my blog page started as part of NaNoWriMo 2015 and promptly abandoned when November ended.

I am trying to organize.  That’s why I’m here.  Getting prompts and deadlines is a great way to get going.  And I have decided that this year I am going to stop dreaming idly, I am going to dream purposefully.  So an assignment a day is just what I need.  Although I am already ten days behind.  My biggest and most important unfinished projects are eleven years old and seven years old and this was a very busy week for us and them.

But I am here now and looking forward to see who all else have embarked on this with me.

Best of luck and thanks to all.