Journal

On Garbage

So I’ve decided to finally finish and edit my novel from NaNoWriMo. Just…

It’s complete garbage.

I didn’t make it 5 words before finding something I disliked, and wanted to vehemently cross out in bright red ink, like slashing a terrible monster or the like. It’s my worst nightmare come true, it’s 87 pages long single spaced, and I would rather print it off to experience the catharsis of burning that piece of $%#^.

10 year old kids can write better than this absolute tripe. It’s like watching a car with a bent wheel try to move, only to have the one side of the car lift and fall like some shambling Igor.

The bonus here is that, at the very least, I can tell it’s garbage.

It’s also telling that writing this abomination took a month, and after having spent months teaching others how to write basic forms of stories in a variety of uninteresting and curriculum mandated ways, I can look back on this thing and tell that it would take much, much longer to edit. Multiple months, to be sure. Five, if I had to guess.

Hulking is not a descriptor I would use for most novellas, but the one I wrote has earned it. Not because of deep, heavy hitting content. It’s also a novella, so not size. No, the hulking bulk comes from the pedantic, terrible pacing and ridiculous attempts at tension by focusing on the wrong parts of the story.

Focus on character would have been much better than focus on environmental factors. I was trying to write a video game, but it’s worse than that because video games present and environment for a player to interpret, and this story rams it down the reader’s throats.

Not to mention all the ‘edgy’ gore, the attempts at horror, action best described as a play by play on a football monitor. Clunky doesn’t begin to cover it, like a blanket for someone who is several inches longer than the motel bed.

There is much work to be done; if it can be salvaged at all. My Dad always could find uses for good quality trash; just the other day, while he was visiting, Dad picked out several doors, hooks, and shelving units that others had thrown out. To him, these items were still useful, helpful.

Some things, though, are just trash.

Journal: 2015/10/30

I’m a lucky bastard.

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog with an actual update about myself that wasn’t a cryptic reference to how I was feeling: usually mopey. But not today! I’m actually updating this thing with a real entry! Which, subsequently, will be interesting to see how many people actually like knowing about that kind of thing.

Stalkers, this is for you.

That sentence is extra creepy because I finished a book called “YOU” by Caroline Kepnes, and it’s a really creepy fucking book. Don’t read it unless you want to read a horrifying story from the point of view of the stalker. Seriously, it’s creepy. Did I mention that?

Anyway, I’ve been in France for the past week or so. The schools in the UK get a week off every 6 weeks or so. So, I get a week off every 6 weeks or so! Unfortunately, I don’t get paid, so my wallet it crying a bit. Regardless, it’s a welcome week off. My housemates and I made plans to go visit Paris for a couple of days, followed by a 5 day sojourn in a place called Hossegor. Once the plans were set, we only had to wait until the schools went on vacation.

The Friday the schools went on vacay, we celebrated with a glass on wine and a quick trip to bed. Because school is exhausting, mentally, and we’d had enough. We spent the Saturday packing and lounging and recovering, which would have been fine had the neighbours not had the birthday party of the century that night. We didn’t get to sleep until at least 01:00.

Which was hilarious because the car we booked to go to Heathrow was at 03:00.

We finally made our way to the airport. The car ride was uneventful: some napping, some chatting, but overall it was an hour of super tired whatevers. Once we paid and got out, we discovered that the security checkpoint wasn’t open yet. We got to the airport before the people who work there did! Which led to another hour of napping and such while we waited for the airport to man itself. Once it did, we got through security, had a shitty sandwhich, and got on our plane.

An hour later, we were in Paris.

In hindsight, my ability to speak and understand french was incredibly helpful. We got good directions very quickly and made our way to the metro system. Say what you will about it, but there was only one place the metro smelled (it smelled of pee), and it was faster and more efficient that the London metro. Suck it, England!

We got off about a 5 minute walk from our hotel, where we dropped our luggage. We grabbed a lunch, and that’s when I fully realized why I love France so much more than England: the French know how to cook. I ask for a tuna melt in England and it’s okay. I ask for the equivalent in France and holy shit there’s olives and fancy bread and everything. Long story short, I love French food.

After lunch, we made our way to the Eiffel tower. We found it, no real issue, but our first order of business was to find our tour guide; and find him we did. Nice guy, his name was Alex. Super awesome french accent. Once we got rolling, it was like being treated to an educational stand up routine. The Italian heckled, the Swede mediated, and what did I, the Canadian do? Antagonize him, and pull puns out of my ass. In short, I felt like apologizing afterwards.

Anyway, it was gorgeous. Got to see the top, and see Paris from on high. It was a gorgeous view; everything was in front of you. On one side, la Seine and the bridge from Inception: another had a massive financial district with massive skyscrapers. Notre Dame, the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, the Middle Finger of Paris… it was all there. Oh, you don’t know about the Middle Finger of Paris?

Now you know. It’s called the middle finger because LOOK AT IT.

Seeing as this was the day we woke up at 03:00, it was time to pass out. And pass out we did, happily in our hotel.

We woke up the next day, and set out for the Louvre; for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a huge museum. With three nerds, it would eventually take us 6 hours to skim through an 8th of the place. When I say huge, I MEAN huge. But first, we had to print our tickets! We got to the Louvre at 09:00, but couldn’t print our tickets there: instead, we had to find the closest FNAC store. Why? Fucked if I know!

We spent an hour finding the store, cursing it being closed, eating at a cafe, finding the store again, getting our tickets, and then walking back to the Louvre. When we finally got in… holy shit. Did I mention we spent 6 hours in there? Because we did. We started with the Antiquities, specifically the Greco-Roman stuff. So a good few hours staring at statues with dongs and oversized feet and boobs. In short, a great way to begin my morning! No fig leaves; I learned that the fig leaves wasn’t until much, much later. The Greeks and Romans kinda thought “eh, it’s a bunch of dongs and tits, whatever.” Someone else thought that was unseemly and hid them behind plants. My question is this, Fig Leafer: what if the leaves had parasites? Now the dongs have parasites! THAT’S unseemly!

After that we spent a ┬álot of time in the Italian painters section. Because, Mona Lisa. That’s why. I was a bit more interested in the painting with Napoleon being ballsy and crowning his own empress. Usually that’s what the Pope did, because through the Pope, allegedly god says it’s okay. The painting is essentially showing Napoleon’s ego: he’s better than god.

The balls on that motherfucker must have been HUGE, which is hilarious considering the rumours about Napoleon himself. Also, those were proven false: although we was about 5’4″, that was the average for his time. We’d just be abnormally huge.

That’s what she said?

After our long stay at the Louvre, we went back to the hotel to nap. Why? Exhausted, that’s why. We had a good long rest, which ended up with us leaving around night time. Where were we headed? Back to la Seine, of course! We had a boat to catch.

La Seine, the big river that runs through Paris, is jammed in between the many, many landmarks that make up the city. An hour long tour on those boats lets you see quite a bit: and at night, it’s something special. Mostly a lot colder, but it is nice! I know this because we did exactly that: a night time tour of the river on a boat. It was awesome: all the landmarks were lit up to show them off, and it was crazy cool to see Paris when it was sleepy rather than jam packed.

I spent a lot of time thinking. Boats are great places to think, especially when it’s a smooth ride on a cold night. It was cool being in Paris, right then and there. Not as many tourists, a great temperature, and wonderful food… that’s when I thought back to how it was for me before I left.

This past summer was a depressing one. The only things that kept me moving forward and waking up in the morning was my YouTube channel and my friends (I miss our runs, guys, and Sam? You and I need to rot teeth the next time I come over): everything else was depressing and had me stuck in a rut. If it wasn’t for moving over to the UK (which I’m honestly still deciding whether I like the place or not), I’d still be living in my room, desperately attempting to just keep getting out of bed and such.

So, I guess I’m okay with the move here, even if there are days where I’m not.

On Tuesday, at 05:00, we got a cab to the train station, played some public piano, and hopped on a train by 06:28, and made our way to Hossegor. It’s a coastal town with the distinction of being one of the “surfing capitals of the world.” More importantly, it’s my favourite place on the planet: the sounds and smells of the ocean, the feel of grainy sand, and the perfect place to read a book or swim. If there’s anyplace where I can recharge and recoup, it’s here. I’ve been here since, but I leave on Saturday to go back to England, back to work.

I’d rather stay here, but… money.

So that’s it for now.

-P.