Summer Blues

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I started this post sat in the beautiful grounds of Bath Spa, overlooking the lake, whilst sipping my blackberry liquor and soda water, listening to a cute guy and his friend writing a song to an acoustic guitar. Now I’m typing on a bus, where there is free wif fi, with the drizzle and a Starbucks take-out.  I never really liked summer, but now I recon I do. This summer has already changed my life forever, and I know that it will continue to change.

I’m not performing in this, as I didn’t get selected into the cast, but The Idle Playthings are going to Edinburgh Fringe Festival! They are writing a blog about their adventures, http://ctrlaltsketch.wordpress.com/ so check it out, and if possible, donate a little bit of cash, as they need every penny they can get so they can get up to Fringe, and stay there for the duration of the festival. Every little helps 🙂

I also did my hair, so it is now a lovely rainbow colour! I decided on the radical makeover because I wanted to show off who I truly am inside, this crazy, multi-coloured soul who isn’t afraid of being out there any more. And it looks pretty wonderful, if I say so myself! I’m really proud of it, and intend to keep it this way for as long as possible.

Solstice was wonderful! We drank cocktails, played Cards Against Humanity, before heading out to the amphitheatre to show off talents. I performed some of my poetry, whilst my friend V performed some original songs and a stunning cover of ‘Wherever You Will Go’. After that, we went to the summer house by the lake, set up our altar, and burned paper with things we wanted to get rid of written on them. It felt really good to see the paper smolder and burn into ashes. Drinking mead, watching the stars was also amazing, and we headed back to the amphitheatre to watch the sunrise. All I can say is that I was so glad to have my closest friends with me to celebrate my freedom, and to welcome in a new season, a fresh start for everyone, especially me.

I’ve been on a few more dates, after the guy I was seeing turned out to be rubbish, and I’ve realised that maybe this way f finding love… Isn’t for me. It’s nice to take a few hours out of your day to meet a new person, be bought coffee and cocktails, talk sweet nothings until I’m blue in the face. But, that’s really not who I am, if I’m perfectly honest. I’m back to square one, and, you know what? I’m cool with that. For the first time in a long time, I’m comfortable being… Me. Me is a pretty alright person to be, to be defined by my talents, skills and personality, not for the person she has on her arm. Those days are over for me, and I’ve realised that I’m in no hurry at all to run back that way. I do like someone from back home, and I’m keeping my eye out, but what will be, will be.

Arthur is at a tiny bit of a block right now, as I’m juggling coursework with my personal situation, but hopefully I should get back into a proper routine with the novel soon. However, I’ve been writing an awful lot of poetry, mostly about matters of the heart. Maybe I’ll share a few with you all at some point or other.

But, in the meantime, I’ve started up another hobby. You see, I’m working on becoming a mixologist. Yes, a person specialising in the making of cocktails. I’ve started collecting the equipment, buying in the basic ingredients/spirits required, as well as cocktail recipe books. On top of that, I’ve started inventing my own cocktail recipes. At some point, when I perfect them, I’ll share them with you.

The last post I wrote turned out to be my 200th! A bit dark, I know, but that’s the way things go. I’ve had a lot of support from my friends and even people who I’ve never met before, and that means so much to me. I only hope that one day, young people won’t be afraid to turn round and say ‘no’ to an abusive partner. That when they cry for help, they’ll be listened to, and supported, without question. How can someone lie about being attacked, or controlled, manipulated or raped? How does that even work? Grrr, it makes me angry!

So, on that note, thanks for sticking around for 200 posts. Here’s to another 200!

I’m Writing!!!!!

 

For once, something good has come out of all the crap that I’ve been through in the past few days. So, before I go off to sit this awful English Literature exam in an hour or so, I thought I’d give you a good old catch up.

On Monday, I travelled back from London Comic-Con (I’ll dedicate a whole blog post to it another day). As I was sat on the train, I heard a little voice that I haven’t been able to quite catch in a while. It was Arthur.

“Hey, now that guy has gone, do you recon you could get on and write my story now?”

Considering that I was trying not to bawl my eyes out about a love that I can never have, he took me quite by surprise! I had missed attempting to write Arthur’s story, it’s taken so many forms, it’s crazy. He’s morphed from an angry detective to a love-lorn knight, to an English Literature professor. But he is always best when he ambles into my mind in an awkward manner, a young man without a clue, tripping up on his undone sneaker laces and smiling with a crooked grin, much like I do. Often, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to engage how well it’s going by how productive I am with novel/poetry writing. Considering in the two years I was with my ex that I wasn’t able to properly put pen to paper, that says a lot about how I feel. I’m just putting it out there.

So, after clearing my head with letter burning, lake side walks in the rain and borrowing books for revision that I intended to do, but never got round to actually doing, I sat down at 11pm and began writing furiously…

And the first chapter of Arthur’s story was written.

Basically, Arthur is a university student studying creative writing, all whilst balancing a demanding long distance relationship with a girl who never loved him in the first place. So when she unceremoniously dumps him, he draws up a ‘bucket-list’ of things he wants to do with his life, hoping that he’ll finally discover who he really is… So, here’s a quick extract to tease you with before I start properly uploading chapters onto this blog!

 So, this is a story about love. I say that, not because I’m a soppy bastard, but because it’s what the story involves. It also involves adventure, impulse and rebellion. all stories involve love, you can’t escape that. It’s what happens in between that, that’s what people want to read. So I thought it was about time I told my story. I’ve ummed and erred about it for a while. But, you know what?

Fuck it.

It’s a story that ought to be told. A story about how a boring, lonely guy went on the adventure of his life, how he changed his stars forever. And the girl that showed him that there is so much more to life than wishful thinking, what-ifs and maybes. This is her story, just as much as it is mine.

So, I guess you want me to get on and actually tell you this story, reader. You are probably wondering why this story is worth telling. Why is this something you’d want to read, rather than some other story on the shelf? You could of chosen any other story, any other love. You could of gone on a wild adventure to another universe, hung out with people who are out of the ordinary, even mythical. But you chose to read this story instead. And I’m grateful.

This is a story about love. A story where two lives were forever changed, when a girl decided to share her dream, and a lonely guy decided to close his eyes, and leap into the unknown…

Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, I have to get my exam stuff together, and make a break for the exam hall, where I’ll reemerge in two and a half hours even more muddled up than when I went in…

 

NaNoWriMo #5

Current Word Count – 5582

As I’ve been back at university, I haven’t really written very much today. That said, I’m looking forward to November 9th, as that will be a day that I can spend writing… ALL DAY!!! MUHAHAHAHA!!!!

This is because November 9th will be the Marathon day, so I’m hoping that I can at least get to 10k by the end of the week thanks to that. I am at the point in the novel where my dear, awkward Arthur is searching for a Halloween costume (he is being dragged out to the SU Halloween Ball now, despite saying he didn’t really fancy it), and he’s gone into a charity shop with his best friend Jane. But he’s also going to buy a book, and he discovers Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (awesome book by the way!), so he goes to grab it, but accidentally brushes his hand over his mystery girl’s breasts! I do wonder how I’ll get him out of that one!!!

Oh, it literally just came right out and landed on the page. Just the way a story should. It made me chuckle, as it’s a very Arthur thing to do! I do know that we’ll meet the mystery girl in this chapter,and get to know her more as the novel progresses, but that’s spoilers, sweety!

So, back to work for me!

Arthur – Chapter Two

 

I guess college isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. I mean, when I was at school, all the teachers made the idea of going to college idealism, a dramatic way of changing your entire life forever. If anything, college is merely a stepping stone to wherever you want to go next, I mean, you could just go and get a job somewhere (I know a couple of my classmates are going to, idiots), get an apprenticeship (A bit like work, except you’re still training and are getting paid to do a qualification, slightly more sensible), or, like me, will go to university, which is by far the most sensible thing to do. I guess employers respect you a lot more, I mean, they’d much rather employ someone who is clearly intelligent, hardworking, resourceful, as well as skilled, rather than some oaf who just took a couple of A levels and left it at that…

 

Arthur finally got out of the house after enduring breakfast with Sue. He swore she was permanently miserable, either that, or she was out to get him in one way or the other. In any case, it was Thursday, the day of the week that Arthur Dent, his namesake, wasn’t any good at. To be fair, he himself never enjoyed a Thursday, he called Thursday he ‘darkest blue of days’. Most people, he mused to himself as he walked up to the bus stop, thought that the darkest blue of all possible days was a Monday, the day after a weekend, when they all had to go back to a normal routine. No, for Arthur, it had to be Thursday. For one thing, on a Thursday he had History, which he obviously enjoyed, because he picked it as an A Level, but he hated the lesson because he had a lecturer in it that didn’t like him very much, for any apparent reason. He called this particular lecturer very a nasty name or two in his journal, which he (quite sensibly) never took to college, just in case. Another issue that Arthur had with Thursdays was the fact that, on a Thursday, he had to sit next to a group of irritating girls who giggled all the way through English Literature classes, and he’d called them rather nasty names in his journal as well, as they usually were laughing at him in one way or the other, just because he’d much rather focus on getting the grades that he needed for university rather than flirting with them, like the other boys did. Not to mention that the canteen menu on a Thursday was simply appalling, soggy chicken and chips drenched in salt and oil. Yes, Thursdays were pretty nasty, and he hated them with every fibre of his being.

Well, there was a good thing about Thursday, he thought to himself, as he signaled the bus and fumbled in his wallet for his bus pass, was Cynthia.

 

Cynthia was one of the only girls who would look his way without a mocking glare. If anything, she never said, or even did, anything at all. Her bleached hair and carefully applied eyeliner intrigued Arthur in a way that he had never been intrigued before. She had a lovely full bosom and shapely hips, which he also found to be wonderful, as he felt that it off set the brown fake tan on her skin quite well. She was in his History class, so, in a way, that kind of made his lesson there better, he could put up with several clones of his wicked lecturer and a thousand of those evil girls, just to see her face, no matter how emotionless it was towards him.

 

As he sat down in order to let the bus drive away from the stop, he rummaged through his bag and found a screwed up piece of paper, with typed words inscribed upon it. He re-read it, quietly speaking the words to himself, making sure that he knew it all, for although today was the darkest blue of days, he would at least attempt to brighten that day up ever so slightly. For today would be The Day of All Days, even if it happened to also fall on the darkest blue of days, for today would be the day he wooed her. He would recite one of the loveliest sonnets that Shakespeare ever wrote, and he had booked a table at one of the nicest restaurants in town for that weekend, and hopefully one thing would lead to another…

 

The bus pulled up outside the college, and Arthur shoved the sonnet into his pocket, and quickly smoothed down his auburn hair. This was it, he couldn’t mess this up. He had to get this right, and rejection couldn’t be something that he could accept. He would have a date this Saturday, he had to, it was all planned out ever so perfectly, the way he’d pick her up, how he’d compliment her, the food he would order, the conversation, the roses, the way he’d peck her on her brown cheek, like a gentleman. Everything was planned to be perfect, as long as he got this part right first. The bus driver cleared his throat, and Arthur hastily got off the bus, apologizing ever so awkwardly as he nearly tripped up on the step leading to the pavement outside of the bus, causing the students surrounding him to laugh wickedly at him. He brushed himself down, and decided that he needn’t get angry with them, if anything, he would ignore it, and focus on the mission that he needed to complete. It didn’t matter that he was tired after that all night writing session, he knew he’d been spot on, after all, if the mirror liked it, then Cynthia ought to like it too…

 

He stepped into the classroom, and saw Neil, his best friend ever since they were at primary school together. They had spent many hours playing pokemon cards and attending Dungeons and Dragons sessions together. They’d been friends through thick and thin, and would be going to the same university, although they would be studying different things, Neil would be going off to focus on his art, and he would be doing a Creative Writing degree. Their aim was to be able to work on books together, Arthur would write them and Neil would illustrate them with his specialist skills. It would be a perfect combination, Arthur and Neil. Neil motioned for Arthur to sit next to him, and smiled as he came over and landed in his seat with a thud.

 

“So, I’m assuming today is D Day,” Neil said as Arthur got out his History notebook and his pencil case.

Arthur got out a wad of paper that was his History essay, and replied, “It is indeed.”

Neil smiled, “So you went for Sonnet 18, huh? Good choice.”

“I didn’t think it was too bad, the metaphor that Shakespeare brings across will surely get her eating out of my palm.”

 

Neil nodded. He personally thought that Cynthia wasn’t all that nice; she talked about Arthur behind his back, and looked like a troll that had been dipped into an industrial tank full of orange paint. But he would support his friend no matter who he decided to woo, therefore he nodded to Arthur as Cynthia and her cronies walked into the room, signaling him to begin with the biggest moment in his life.

 

And Arthur took to his stage. He took a deep breath, and smiled at Cynthia, who looked at him with confusion with a raised painted eyebrow.

 

Arthur cleared his throat, and began his all important quest. It was now or never, he thought to himself, he would woo his woman in the most romantic way humanly possible, Shakespeare was the most romantic writer he knew about, unless there was someone he needed to know about. Pushing the thought out of his mind, he began to recite.

 

“Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?”

 

Cynthia butted in, “Excuse me?”

 

Arthur continued, “Thou art more lovely and more temperate; rough winds do shake the darling buds of May…”

 

“Dude, what drugs are you on?”

 

“And summer’s lease hath all to short a date; sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, and often is his gold complexion dimmed; and every fair from fair sometime declined by chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d…”

 

As he battled on through the sonnet, the girls around him burst out into shrill, wicked laughter, and Cynthia cringed with embarrassment. The autistic guy was attempting to hit on her? What a strange but terrible thought. She didn’t find him attractive what so ever, if anything, dating a disabled guy, even for sympathy, would seriously cramp her style.

 

Neil watched the scene and thought about whether it would better to put his friend out of his misery now and step in, or whether it would be better to let him learn the hard way about courtship, and let him suffer to the bitter end with the humiliation. He hated the idea that Cynthia was being this harsh about this, Arthur was genuinely trying to be a gentleman. Seriously though, what else would of worked? He supposed that girls like her only answered to being dragged off on a night out in order to have a one night stand, but then he shook that idea out of his mind. It might well be true, but thinking that way was just pure mean, stooping to Cynthia’s level, in a strange, yet awful way.

 

As Neil sat there, speechless at everything that was happening, and Arthur finished off the sonnet. He hadn’t noticed the ridicule that he was having thrown at him by the rest of his classmates, but as he stopped and took a sigh of relief, he stopped half way through, and heard the nasty cackling. He blinked back tears of humiliation as Cynthia laughed in his face, her eyes shining with pure evil as she told him that she would never go anywhere with him in a million years, and besides, she had a boyfriend in the public services course, who could easily beat him to a pulp.

 

“Aww, he’s going off to cry now, the cry baby!” Cynthia giggled, as Arthur walked dejectedly back to his seat next to Neil. “Poor Baby Boy!” she exclaimed to the girls around her, who laughed raucously with her as the lecturer, Rachel, walked in.

 

All the students fell into a panicked hush, as Rachel put down the shining new text books onto the desk and glared at them all.

 

“Can someone please tell me what the joke is? I’d quite like to know, especially as you decided to stop when I arrived. I do like to be involved if it a pretty good joke, I’m not made of iron, you know.”

 

“Rachel, Arthur decided that he’d recite some stupid poem to Cynthia!” One of the girls replied, before setting herself off into a fit of giggles once again.

 

“Seriously, he looked like an idiot!” another girl added. Arthur turned a really bright shade of red as Rachel looked at him in unusual sympathy.

 

She could see just how upset he was the other students began to sneer at him again.

“Right, that is quite enough! I could ensure that all your parents know about this incident of bullying, which is what this is. Alright, Arthur did something that isn’t quite usual in the way of courtship, but that is no way to treat him. If anything, he was trying to do something special, in a special way, and it might not of been to your taste. In any case, there is no reason why you all had to treat him in the way you did.”

 

The class quieted down as Rachel finished what she was saying. Arthur normally didn’t like Rachel, with her black hair pulled back into a tight bun and her black suit and white shirt. But she’d actually defended him, told the rest of the class to leave him alone! He never thought that this would actually happen to him, Rachel wasn’t normally this nice. There had to be a reason for this, there simply had to be.

 

As the lecture continued, Arthur said to Neil about this, and he replied, “You’re a student here, just like anyone else, she has to stand up for you if you’re being picked on, it’s what teachers do, Arthur. Trust me, she doesn’t have any secret missions are anything like that for you to be worried about.”

 

The lecture soon drew to a close.

 

“Arthur, I’d like a word please, stay behind…”

 

Arthur looked at Neil, and raised an eyebrow. “So, no secret agenda then?”

 

Neil shrugged, and shouldered his rucksack. He left with the stream of other students with a wave, and was gone. Arthur was left alone with Rachel. He gulped, as she drew up a chair to her desk and beckoned him to sit at it.

 

“So, can you tell me what happened?” she asked him, as he took the seat nervously.

He blushed as he told the tale of what had taken place that morning, and she listened to him carefully and with understanding as he talked about how he’d done the extensive research, and had spent a whole fortnight learning the words, practicing them most nights on the way home from college.

“So, you’ve booked a table, and you think it would be rather embarrassing to cancel on it?”

“Yes, it would be awful, especially as I have had to pay for the reservation, and they won’t give me a refund.”

 

Rachel thought about it for a moment. It was a rather sad predicament, and she could see how heartbroken the young man was. However, it would be rather difficult to help him much, as that would be breaching her contract as far as student and teacher fraternization would go. Unless…

 

“Isn’t there someone you could take, a friend or a sibling?”

 

“I don’t know. I can’t take Neil, people will think we’re gay, and I don’t really have any friends who are girls.”

“Perhaps you could go and meet some girls, some nice girls.”

Arthur looked confused. He was mortified at the idea of being rejected, it hadn’t been in his plans, but to meet another girl? How would that work?

 

He said as much, and looked on with worry as Rachel explained that maybe he ought to go to an extra curricular activity that he would like, where there would be girls who shared his interests, things that they would have in common to talk about. She would have to speak to Sue about today, there wasn’t anything else she could do other than that, but perhaps he could think about the extra curricular subject, drama, perhaps?

 

Arthur nodded, and thanked Rachel. He wouldn’t be so harsh about her any more, he thought to himself, she was genuinely trying to help him out. In fact, he would take up that idea, he’d look at the list of activities after English. He wouldn’t do drama though, he simply wasn’t going to learn lines again, not after what had happened today.