Irrational Irony, Inexplicable Indifference & Inevitable Idiosyncrasy : Ingredients of Life

You’re in a crowd, but you’re alone. You explain, but that just makes things harder to understand than they initially were. You speak, but you can’t be heard, or you’re not listened to. When you’re silent, everyone hears. When you’re down, no one wants to help you up, but when you’re up, everyone wants to drag you down. They tell you to hold on when you’re trying to let go. They tell you to let go when you’re trying to hold on. You’re dying while you’re living, and living while you’re dying.

Life is pervaded by the essence of irrational irony.

You talk to a person present in the flesh and you’re ignored. You talk to your “wall” on a social media platform and people who aren’t well-enough acquainted with you connect the dots of your untold emotions. You are forced to wear a smile that conceals the scars lest someone should see them and question your sanity or gloat over your probable insanity. You are forced to line your eyes with kohl to camouflage the deed all the midnight tears have done, because people seem to notice, but won’t seem to understand. You love someone, but your love to them is no more than the earth they trample underfoot.

Life is garnished with the oil of inexplicable indifference.

You are told by people that you will be understood, but ultimately, you end up being either not understood or misunderstood. You are told to stay put by someone who persistently tries to push you off balance when you’re like a feather amidst an air current. You choose your path and traverse it only to realize you’ve been treading the wrong way all this while. You gain something only to realize it won’t last forever, but you lose something and realize that it will be lost forever, like a drop in a boundless ocean.

Life is sprinkled with a dash of inevitable idiosyncrasy.

But life has to go on through it all, doesn’t it? And it does…

You know you’re not losing life’s battle, you’re just fighting your way up from the bottom.

Life is crowned with the indomitable spirit that surmounts the issues so insurmountable.

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How to Evolve into a Full-Fledged Writer

If you’re at the pen to catch the attention of the masses that are super-saturated with the written word, there are some guidelines as well as thumb rules you should do well to adhere to. Writing is like a flower, it evolves from an inconspicuous, unremarkable bud to a widely admired blossomed delight.

  • The Habit of Reading

The first step to becoming a veteran writer is to be an avid reader. Exposure to ideas, worlds and characters- both real and unreal; living, dead, vampire or werewolf; Heaven, Earth and Mars- will constructively impact your perception of both fiction and fantasy.

  • Kicking it Off

When your confidence has reached its peak, seek your pen or your keyboard. Begin with either poems or short reflections of everyday life. Remember that expression creates an impression. After making the first draft, scout words that could be replaced with more powerful analogues, sentences that could be constructed in a more catching manner and ideas that could use better phrasing and expression.

  • The Power of Words

Just like the atom is the building block of all matter, words are the cornerstones, the foundation and the bricks of every language. They exude power, sentiment and expression. Words should be selected keeping the genre at hand in mind. When penning historical fiction, for instance, the words employed could very well be archaic and as long as your femur, but when composing a young-adult novel, excessive spillage of high vocabulary would be a major turn-off. In order to enhance one’s knowledge of words, the perusal of a thesaurus is recommended.

  • Language Tools

Figures of speech are the monarchs in the Kingdom of Expression. When reading acclaimed bestsellers, keep your eye out for those similes and metaphors interspersed within the text, but only reserve them as templates. Never be tentative to unleash the originality in you. Start looking at everyday things with the eyes of a writer. Make suitable comparisons and your figures of speech are ready to use.

Let us consider a trio of examples when dealing respectively with a simile, a metaphor and personification with a little elucidation.

So basically, a simile is a comparison between two similar things that may or may not be abstract. Instead of saying, “I looked into his blue eyes..” try instead, “I looked into his eyes that were as blue as the ocean on a sunny day.”

A metaphor is a condensed simile that proceeds as though the two things are a single entity. Rather than saying, “She is as meek as a lamb…”, say, “She is a meek lamb.”

Personification involves attributing living traits to inanimate objects or concepts such as love, death and time. Personification breathes life into a story and takes the level of expertise a notch higher. Examples include:

-The icy breath of the wind assaulted my pallid skin.

-The green field held me in its bosom.

-The eyes of the sky wept myriad tears.

-The ghost of Hope vanished without a trace.

-Fate has a savage heart.

  • What kind of a writer do you aspire to be?

Once you have discovered your talent, discover your niche and that can only be achieved when you explore the terrain of various genres. Aspiring novelists must possess adequate knowledge of the various categories and subcategories that are available to choose from and the best way to do this is to read an array of books and analyze which genre resonates with you more. On selecting your cup of tea, proceed onward.

  • Characters

Characters are the centers of gravity and the focal points of any story. The bestselling novels incontestably have characters that are so highly addicting that they don’t just feel like names printed on heavy paper. They ought to be magnetizing and riveting, making people hold their breath, choke back tears and explode with laughter.

When tailoring a character, one needs to adopt a character sketch. Note down the traits, the specialties and the eccentricities appertaining to him/her/it.

For instance, in my novel, Insanity, the protagonist, Juliana Steele was a latte lover with raw umber hair that she liked to do in a ponytail. She was a psychologist specializing in psychiatry with a soft edge. She was fond of solitude, owing to past circumstances of abrupt deprivation of vital people.

These character sketches could also include catchphrases, background stories, habits and mannerisms, likes and dislikes.

  • The Perspective

The most frequently adopted perspectives are those from the author point of view (third person) and the character(s)’ point of view (first person). The first person narrative is generally employed by authors who can metamorphose their minds and hearts into those of the characters concerned and the narrative is typically shared between two main characters. The third person is used when the story is better narrated from the author’s point of view. It sits well with mystery/thriller and historical fiction.

  • The Setting

Miami beaches, a KFC outlet, best friend’s house, Mars… and the possibilities stretch from here to infinity. When choosing a location, it should have some sentimental value to the characters and it should blend well with the series of events that will unravel there. Research on the trivial and non-trivial must-knows about a location is mandatory.

  • Reviewing

Once your material is closing in on the finish line, it must be proofread. This might embarrass you initially, but as your skills with the pen are honed, you might be more than impressed that something that boasts of such supreme quality came forth from you. Rectify any spelling/factual/punctuation errors you may come across. Delete portions that throw the story off balance and add in fresh replacements if it be necessary. Once this rigorous process is over, you can throw your hands in the air and give yourself a pat on the back and take yourself out on a solo date to KFC because you have just achieved a milestone as a budding writer.

So, gear up for an incredible journey that only words can take you on and evolve into a veteran!

Dedication: Faustina, my baby cousin, this one’s for you to glean from.)

Remedies for Healing a Hurt Heart

There is that one feeling that cuts deeper than a razor-sharp scalpel- hurt. Hurt is a consequence of love- love that you gave but never received in the way you hoped to. There are ways of coping with the pain inflicted by love. These are my self-discovered therapeutic remedies to refrain from imploding or exploding, or in extreme cases, both…

  • Let your mouth speak for your heart

If talking to someone aids you to express your love, it will also serve you well to express your hurt. No matter how deranged this may sound, talking to yourself or an inanimate object is also remedial. But if you’re bent on speaking to a mortal in the flesh, select that person with as much care and caution you would reinforce while selecting your wedding gown. Never seek sympathy, rather, seek counsel, warmth and understanding.

  • Let your eyes water and be your own comforter

Crying is a means of purging oneself of the debris of accumulated hurt. Doing it in solitude is most preferential to me because when I’m hurt, I feel like I am my own comforter and that my own heart understands the reason behind my tears better than anyone else would. Somewhere I read that “clouds burst when they can’t withhold their contents any longer, and so it is with us.”

  • Allow time to be your doctor

Just like a physical wound requires time and treatment to heal, so does an emotional one. Never pick at a scar that has closed after much ado. But remember that time doesn’t relieve you of the weight you are bearing. It just accustoms you to carrying it.

  • Learn to accept

Once Doctor Time has accomplished his job, you will be in the phase of accepting your altered state of emotional affairs. Never expect to be skyrocketed to Planet Euphoria in no time. Recovering from the sting of heartbreak is equable with recovering from a malady. Remember that your heart might still be fragile and vulnerable, so do not dive headfirst (or heart-first without using your head) into the pool of pleasure because you aren’t going to know whether it will suck you in and spit you out in a mortifying condition or cause you to hit the solid bottom. Accept what has been and hope in what is yet to be.

  • Move ahead and move on

Never let the past remind you that you were weak and broken. Rather, let it be a reminder that you fought that interior battle and have emerged triumphantly. The past is irreversible and unchangeable, so leave it be. Let the past follow you, but let the present live in you as you live in it, and let the future lead you. Move ahead and move on. Hurt can last only as long as you allow it to.

A Drop of Strength in an Ocean of Weakness

I left myself wide open again and now I’m in a million pieces, but does that make a difference? After all, I wasn’t even whole to start with. Sometimes I feel I keep my heart in all the wrong places.

I spill all my contents to people and finally I’m left empty. I then run back to them to have them fill me again. I am then filled, but only with hurt the weight of lead.

In the face of all these emotional calamities, I have indeed lamented, cried and complained, but I have also learned that love and strength are tested and refined in situations as these.

I could never boast of strength if I hadn’t any weaknesses to overcome and I could not fortify my love had I not met with insult and coldness from the people that I held dear.

It does take something to bare your heart and mind to someone, but I did that anyway. Sometimes I was consoled, sometimes I returned more out of shape than I was to begin with.

Those moments I might have cursed, but to be honest, I was blessed with them, for in my weaknesses, I discovered my strengths, so I wouldn’t trade those happenings for anything under the sun. All those moments brought me closer to myself and to the people I cherish.

It’s like being the sole survivor of a tempest- battered and shattered, but still a survivor with a story worth telling.

If I didn’t know I was weak, I could never have known I was strong.

So, to everyone who has ever broken me, thank you. You taught me to repair myself and to give my love and my feelings a voice. So, feel satisfied for every stone you’ve hurled at me. Not one went in vain.

Separation

One thought that has been lingering in my mind like a nimbus cloud over the earth: Do some people walk into your life just to walk out of it so suddenly?

There comes a point in a close-knit relationship when the person becomes imperative to your existence- where he/she becomes an indispensable part of you, without which, your wholeness would just be a fantasy.

The thought of separation is as dismal as the deed itself.

Having to do without someone who means the world to you is like having to do without a limb. It’s a sort of emotional paralysis, goodness knows whether benign or chronic.

There are so many metaphorical comparisons that can be drawn.

For instance, it’s like a tramp with one single lucky cent that he holds dear. When it’s snatched from him, he sinks into despair, not knowing what to do in the near future.

And the worst part of it is when they have a choice between staying and leaving, and they settle on the latter. No matter the sincerity of your pleas to remain, they choose to go their own separate way.

That parting moment is like watching the only light in your life slowly recede until you can see it no longer and you’re abandoned in an impenetrable darkness.

Imagine a piece of your heart tearing itself away. That’s what it’ll feel like.

That’s the pain of separation.

Love the Life You Live

“Living is the most beautiful part of life.” — Me

I’ve been disheartened with it, I’ve questioned the point of it, I’ve sometimes cursed it, but I was wrong to have done so. It’s taken me on some electrifying rides and sometimes I fell off, badly hurt, but not dead.

Such is the beauty and the priceless nature of life. It’s like this opus being filled everyday, one chapter at a time, such that when it’s been writ, the tome is a cocktail of genres.

Life is not a bed of roses; it’s not a bed of thorns either. It could be equated with a scintillating star that effulges so long as Fate wills it to.

Sometimes it’s more obfuscating than rocket science, sometimes it’s too plain to even think about. Maybe it gets jejune once in a while, but that’s just because we don’t pause a microsecond to ponder over the privilege of being able to live.

Merely existing is plain fatuous. You’ve got to live your life, because you’ve got only one and there’s no second chance. Life has so much of pulchritude, but your eyes must be willing to see it.

It’s a concoction with an array of tastes that include saccharine, pungent, acidulous or wersh.

Life is your personal teacher that sometimes teaches you through words, experiences, people inside it or meaningful silence.

Consider the fact that you are living today. That is because life had a lesson to teach you and there was a purpose for you waking up alive to this day.

Mae West said, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Wearing Your Heart on Your Sleeve

We are prickly about disclosing to people how many years we have been living and breathing for, how much dough is doubled and stashed up in our wallets every month and what number the weighing scale shows us, but, are things like these really significant when there are issues about us out in the open that were better repressed within us?

Take for instance your fears and inhibitions, the reticent desires of your heart, the humiliation you were subject to and much more.

When someone asks you what’s on your mind, answer him with much caution- the way you would had he asked you how much is in your purse. No, I’m not suggesting giving him the cold-shoulder. I’m just recommending that you weigh on the scale of discernment what you tell him, how you tell him and how much.

Our complexities are not taken very kindly in this eon where understanding is as rare as freshwater and genuine care is scarcer than water in a desert. When our weak points are known and made manifest, then comes the opportune moment for the carnivore of exploitation to lunge for its unsuspecting prey that is not rendered dead, but is rather gravely injured at heart.

The problem is that in our moments of crisis, we are willing to pour out our hearts and minds to anyone who has ears to listen, regardless of whether their concern is genuine or as fake as artificial flowers. It’s something like waking up with a hangover after being punch-drunk and regretting in leisure everything said and done and being tremulous over the repercussions.

Hereinafter, be wary of wearing your heart on your sleeve. Guard your inmost thoughts like diamonds in the safe of your head and ensure that there’s only limited access. The door of one’s mind and heart are sometimes better kept shut than open.