>The Life That’s Mine…

>…is the working title for this years NaNo Novel.  I’m not 100% it’ll be the finished title because I don’t know that it fits exactly with what I want to write.  

The idea is one I’ve had on and off since I was 15 or 16 and is also one I’ve written tiny bits of at least twice three times before in various forms but I don’t think I have any of those any more they are lost in various random notebooks.  In some ways that makes it very strange that I only just now have a probable title.

I’ve heard a lot of people say NaNo isn’t a great time to write something you are very invested in so as I’ve had this idea on and off for so long it would suggest it’s not a good NaNo project.  But if I don’t do it now I probably never will and also I’m not that sure I am particularly invested in it (yet).  I only actually have two or three very vague ideas and so each time i’ve written tiny bits of the whole it’s been a completely different whole if that makes sense.

>Welcome to life with a disability

>In passing conversation earlier someone mentioned that something vaguely disability related “wasn’t fair.”  And someone else mentioned something else related to disability (but a different type of thing and a different type of disability.  They thought it would slow you down too much and make things difficult.  I just about managed to refrain from pointing out that it’s the disability that makes it difficult not the adaptive tech.  Social model, baby!

Both of those things relate to adaptive technology, living life differently and the sacrifices we as PWD (and sometimes our friends and family) have to make in order to live our lives.  Both of the people who said those things were TAB.  And both of those things made me think about how many years they’ve known me and how that’s just how life with a disability is.  It almost surprised me that they didn’t realise that as we have known each other for some time.

Things aren’t fair.  Things hurt.  Things take longer, are frustrating and are more difficult.

But that’s just life – disability style.

>The Vagina Monologues

>Yes, I’ve come back to The Vagina Monologues again.  I got the book today.  Haven’t had a proper read of it yet but have had a good flick through it and it’s very good.

 Several of the bits are in the show but it is good to be able to revisit them in text form.  Particularly the “My Vagina is My Village” one.  Hugely hugely powerful piece of writing that and seeing it performed was very emotional.  So it was good to be able to read it because that took some of the emotional aspect out and I was actually able to take on board the content properly.  At least one woman at the show last week went out in tears at that part (it’s about a rape victim during the Bosnian war).

There are also some bits which aren’t in the show.  And that’s really great because to me the show was too short and I really was left wanting more! Oh yeah, baby.

I find it very interesting how hard some people find it to talk about these sorts of things – I get a little embarrassed but not really and seeing the show has kicked that out of me.  But I’ve been talking to a lot of my friends about seeing it and what I thought of it.  And I knew it could/would make people uncomfortable but what I didn’t predict was how much so.  What particularly surprised me was one friend being so uncomfortable and telling me to stop using “that word” (vagina) – totally not something I would have anticipated from that person.  I do suppose however that it;s a sign of a good friendship when you can suprise each other and react and stuff like that.

I’m gonna go offline in a minute and curl up on the sofa and read the book properly.  It’s not that long so I plan to go through in one go.  But I am tired so we shall have to see.

>Party Pics

>For once in my life I actually went to an “Event” without my camera but my sister posted some on facebook – I grabbed these from it and cropped and popped (and sort of watermarked them) to share here. The party was really really great fun if a little unexpected and bloody hot.

FThis photo is me at Geri's party last night.  It's the bloggy debut of my new ish (six week old) properly short hair.  I'm wearing my favourite purple party top.  The necklace and dangly earrings were a very early birthday present from a good friend (I already had the studs I have on) and she gave it to me now so I can have the use.
This photo is me at Geri's party last night. It's the bloggy debut of my new ish (six week old) properly short hair. I'm wearing my favourite purple party top. The necklace and dangly earrings were a very early birthday present from a good friend (I already had the studs I have on) and she gave it to me now so I can have the use.

 

Me and my sister at Geri's party last night.  She's stood behind me with her arms over my shoulders.  Her head is resting on my left shoulder (as you look at the photo so actually my right).  I'm reaching up and my hands cover hers as we hold hands.
Me and my sister at Geri's party last night. She's stood behind me with her arms over my shoulders. Her head is resting on my left shoulder (as you look at the photo so actually my right). I'm reaching up and my hands cover hers as we hold hands.

>Mitch Benn

>Mitch Benn last night was really fun.  It’s the first time I’ve seen him with The Distractions (his band).  It was different in a good way.  A lot more polished and rocky, showy perhaps is the term I’m thinking off.  I liked it, liked the new stuff although I had hoped so hear some of my older favourites too.  I guess that’s what the CDs are for ;o)

Mum liked it too I think, I’d not been sure but she said on the phone this morning (I think, we’ve been on the phone about four times today *sigh* I am disorganised) that she did so that’s good too.

This weekend is crazy, I’m busier than I’ve been at any weekend (or probably week either when it comes to it) in forever and I’ve also had to turn three things down because I am that busy.  I need to wake up and cheer up, however.

Oh and tonight is Geri’s party and Trudi will be here very soon! Yay!

>Taking a Break

>The following is from an e-mail I just sent to a friend as it covers the high points (or rather not so high points) I was going to blog about and saves me writing it twice.  I cut all the gossip and making plans to get together out so sorry it’s not interesting!

Sorry I’ve not been in touch things have gone a bit crazy over the last couple of weeks. The short version is I went back on antidepressants and have been arranging to take a break from being a CAB adviser and started an adult learning course at the end of September just one night a week but it keeps me busy. The drugs are working great for me again now and CAB have got another role they are very keen for me to take on for a few months and I’m very very interested in too so we had a meeting about that today and I’m excited about it. Not dealing with clients will be very good for me I think as I was beginning to find it very stressful.

This bit is just in this blog ;o)

A friend said to me earlier that she had the impression (from the “taking a break” discussion) that things weren’t great for me.  I told her that no, they aren’t but that I’m doing OK.  And that I actually think that things aren’t as bad as I’m making out they are (or feeling they are) but I’m panicking they will get that way so trying to be proactive and get on top of things now.  As I told both her and a couple of other people (separately) I don’t want finding it stressful to turn into “I can’t do this any more.” overwhelmedness.  And it was getting close to that.

>The Vagina Monologues

>My mum and I went to see The Vagina Monologues in Oxford tonight.  I absolutely loved it.

It was funny, it was graphic.  It was sad, it was thought provoking. It was happy, it was insightful.  It was educational, it was freeing.  Empowering actually might be a better word than freeing, but I’ll leave that in too.

It was great.

I think Mum enjoyed it too although she did say it was more graphic than she’d expected.  It was pretty much what I expected although for some reason I had thought that the woman in it would share some of their own personal stories.  But maybe that’s something that happens more when they have one off guest stars.

The questions which were asked in the interviews which form the monologues include what would your vagina wear? and what would it say if it could talk?  They took it in turns to read out one sentence answers to those questions.

One of the answers was “M&S” and the older cast member who sort of reminded me of Zoe Wannamaker went 

“This is not just a vagina, this is an M&S vagina.”

At one point they were talking about reclaiming words which is something I really believe in but had never thought about in that context.  They had us all yelling out “CUNT!!” which was fun.

They also told us some facts and had us yelling out certain parts of one of them with them (the bits I bolded).  They also said if we wanted to repeat that at any point to yell “clit fact!” and they’d do it again.  And, later in the show, someone did.

“The clitoris has 8000 nerve endings in it which is more than any other part of the male or female body including the finger tips, the lips and the tongue.  It also has twice, that’s twice, count them, twice the number of nerve endings as the penis.”

As someone sat near me put it after that bit “women rock.”

>First Lines

>Because I am curious and because I know several other people who read this blog are voracious readers like I am (although I haven’t finished a book in over a month *sigh*) – what is a great first line of a book or short story you have read.  And, as always, that ever present question, why? (I can think of a much better phrasing than “ever present” but am stumped on the spelling).

It’s a task for my creative writing class this week.  I think I’m probably going to go with Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier 

“Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again”

That was actually my friend Elisa’s suggestion when I told her about the prompt but it’s one I keep coming back to again when I think about it.  The amusing thing is she’s actually never read Rebecca.  I read it earlier in the year and really enjoyed it.  Although I must say the fact you get to the end and still don’t know the MC’s name is strange.  Also, I’m toying with asking for one of the “unofficial sequels” for christmas/my birthday but I’m not sure how great they will be.  Actually the one I’m thinking of is probably more of a prequel as it’s Rebecca’s Story (so you probably still don’t get a name for the MC of Rebecca).

My first thought was to use the first line of Pride and Prejudice but I always use that when we talk about examples of things we like from books.  So I’m considering the matter.  When we did favourite character I said Elizabeth Bennett – and the person who went next said Mrs Bennett which I found interesting.

“It is a universally accepted fact that a single gentleman of a certain age must be in want of a wife” 

[That might not be correct, I typed it from memory]

Oh and going back to the unofficial sequel thread of a minute ago, I read both Mr Darcy Takes a Wife* and Darcy and Elizabeth by Linda Berdoll last year which are sequels to Pride and Prejudice.

Very good books but I can’t help feeling not really in the right tone for a Jane Austen “sequel”.  The plot of those can basically be summed up as Darcy and Elizabeth have lots and lots of sex**.  I did like the books though and would read a third if she wrote it.

*published elsewhere as The Bar Sinister – I was disappointed when I discovered they were one and the same.

**There is more to the plot than the sex and it is a good plot which keeps you hooked but the sex is frequent and the main thing I remember and for an Austen sequel it’s detailed.

>Cryptically on Decisions

>I have made a decision which I am very pleased about and which I think will improve things greatly.  Or at least I hope so.  But the details, the details aren;t finalised yet.  So all I will say is a decision has been made and I’m feeling better.

There’s something else I’ve been debating deciding about too but I wouldn’t want to lose my indecisive crown so I haven’t.  Although given stuff that happened this afternoon it’s one that I now suspect may get taken out of my hands and made for me.  If I actually understood what had happened I may do something about that but I don’t and I’m not sure I want to rock the boat.  Also I’d like to care but at the moment… not so much.

So yes, life is interesting but fun.  And I am very cryptic.

>Creative Writing Prompt: Intruder In The House

>Another prompt from my creative writing class.  The prompt was to write 150 words or so about someone finding an intruder in their home and going to investigate the sounds they heard.  Those words were to be in the 1st person then to switch to the 3rd person and write another 150 words about what happened next.

It is slightly edited (but I haven’t checked grammar).  It’s still very new however.

Intruder in the house

Throwing my keys on the side, I slam the door shut behind me.  The house is noisy and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up.  It’s an old house and it creaks at times.  But those noises are familiar and these aren’t.  There’s someone here. That’s the only explanation. I stand there frozen for a few seconds unsure how to react. Then, squaring my shoulders, I turn in a slow circle and look around the room. Nothing here, it’s empty. The noises become clearer as I walk through the house on my guard. As I enter the kitchen I realise what the noises are – people rearranging furniture in the lounge. It worries me more, I still don’t know who they are or why they are there. My hand shakes as I reach out to open the door knowing that the intruders are waiting behind it…

The door creaks as he opens it slowly. They hadn’t heard him come home and so it made everyone jump. Time had run out. Pulling off a surprise like this isn’t easy and they are all excited that they’ve got this far without him finding out. They would have liked to have finished by now but it’s a big task and Shaun having decided that he is in charge tells them they should be proud of themselves for getting as far as they have. Most of them tell him they are. Almost all of the people there do mean it but for one of them it’s not enough. There isn’t any time to argue however as, at last, half an hour earlier than expected the door to the lounge opens fully and in walks Dave. He looks shocked but that quickly turns to confused relief when he sees the room is full of his friends Turning to face him everyone smiles. “Surprise!” They shout and then they all start singing. “Happy Birthday.”

 ~Emma Crees 16/10/08