Wednesday, December 26, 2012

stars and rivers

Hello, hello.

Along with all my other lovely presents, this year for Christmas I got a big dose of winter blues.

It's regrettable, but otherwise I had a nice Christmas. I wish I could've come back with a happy post, but I just can't as I am more blue than I've been in a while.

Speaking of blue, in my quest to buy all those albums I've always been meaning to buy, a few weeks ago I bought Blue by Joni Mitchell, which insured that my favourite Christmas song this year was her song 'River'. Not strictly a Christmas song, but it mentions that season several times so it's close enough for me. These lyrics have been the refrain circling my head (helped perhaps by the fact I've learnt the song on the piano) :

I wish I had a river / I could skate away on...

I have not been blogging lately, because I have been busy with work. Ha! I've never been able to say that before. Since the end of November, I've been working long hours. More than I've ever worked before. The work as a cleaner I mentioned last post has morphed into work as an angel of mercy. (Not in the serial killer sense. :P) This is due to the fact my dear employer has fallen and hurt her neck very badly, which I am told she does sporadically.

So along with the regular cleaning and laundry &c., I grocery shop and make food and drive Mrs. D wherever she needs to go, which usually ends in me sitting in the waiting room of some medical building.

I've had the past week off and I'm not exactly sure when I'm going back or how many hours a week I'll be working. It's great to make money, yes, but I am miserable. I enjoy it, but I also find myself hating it and wanting to just go home. I've been forced to have a lot of first-time experiences, such as grocery shopping. Did you know I was afraid of grocery shopping and had never done it by myself? Now I've done it many times. Still don't like it, but it doesn't terrify me. All this has been a good experience, but I'm tired of personal growth for now, thank you.

(The FitzOsbornes At War by Michelle Cooper)

Because I've been working, I haven't felt like writing. My days off from work I just want to laze. I am trying to be better about this. Today I sat in the midst of my family who were playing a game and I wrote. I had on my brother's noise-blocking headphones and I listened to the beautiful album Stars by Janis Ian (pictured at top) and wrote more in a certain story than I have in a while. Which was still a scarily small amount, but it's progress... right?

I'm trying to feel that I will find something in life that I am content doing, but the feeling that I don't want to be living anymore has been haunting me again.

Don't worry about me. I'll be sticking around. If only to listen to the Phineas and Ferb album my mother got my father for Christmas. (Seriously. So far I've listened to it more times than all the rest of my new music.)

I do so hope you, my dear friends, all had happy Christmases! Ta for now.

Monday, November 5, 2012

tea and misery?

{photo by anna morosini}

The Past has started to shine with such a bright haze it is painful to look upon. These Autumn and Almost-Winter months have brought a haunting nostalgia upon me. More than anything, I want to go to my grandparent's house. But it was sold a year and a half ago, and while I am happy that its occupants are still with us and close by, I still mourn the house that was a second home. (It's because we're nearing the holiday season, I think. Holidays, autumn leaves, winter coats, certain books - all these things seem to make me want to go to my grandparent's. And perhaps to be a child again. I'm going to stop before I start crying.)

Since I've last updated I got my hair cut (finally) to about shoulder-length; I finished the 18th and last (sigh) series of Byker Grove; and I (somehow) got work twice a week cleaning someone's house. Huzzah for earning money for something I enjoy doing, which also involves minimum interaction with people!

I've been well and content, for the most part. Now that I am not obsessively trying to finish Byker Grove, I will (hopefully) be devoting more time to writing. I've not felt like writing the past couple months, but I feel more open to it these days. November I shall hopefully be working on my 1960s story and another story which I've never mentioned before.

Ugh, I am freezing cold today. I'm already wondering how I'll make it through the winter. All I want to do is hide under the covers and eat, which is bad. Really bad. I'm seeing a long winter full of tea and misery ahead. :P

Would anyone care to come hibernate with me?


I don't know if anyone else cares, but Jenica does and that's all that matters. So here are two pictures of my hair, as it looks today. It's grown a bit since I got it cut, and it's not this curly every day.

The first picture is just my hair hanging loose, but in the second picture I pulled back the less-curly front part to display the glorious curls that live under them. :P Okay, so it really doesn't look that much different. I don't think my hair photographs well. (Also, the bathroom lights really bring out my highlights in the first one...)

Friday, September 7, 2012

In the Hot Summer

My summer in a picture? Well, almost. (Pictured: the '97 cast of Byker Grove; me and my stupid long, dirty hair which still hasn't been cut; a stack of books [not from the library though - but bought on vacation]; and Freddie Mercury. ♥)

My Summer in Fragments:

Long hair always crowding me. Vegetating on a couch of apathy.

(When I'm left alone, I sing; but I'm not left alone very often.)

Staying up til 2 AM doing nothing: such bleary-eyed decadence.

A vacation, most of which I want to erase from my memory.

Listening to Queen: Freddie woos me with his voice and I let myself become utterly seduced.

Byker Grove: watched alone at first, then in marathons with my brother.
(He's an amused witness my squeals and frustrations. Yes, I am crazy.)

Letters and other correspondences: my spotty communication skills becoming more threadbare by the second.

A stack of library books that eventually becomes an Everest I've lost my vim to climb.

Clean Cups; Rowan and Martin's Laugh In; getting lost in my car; Bunheads; gif-making; Fleetwood Mac; emotional breakdowns; Ant and Dec (always).

Inspiration that leads nowhere; despairing at my ineptitude; feeling empty as I chatter to those I love.

But... perhaps overall... a lazy contentment?



In our house, summer has been over for about two weeks and I can't accomplish anything. I still have no further direction for my life, so again I'm not furthering my education except by continuing my copyediting course.

I really need to write because that's the only thing I can do, but I can't concentrate. I can't discipline myself.

I'm not suffering from writer's block. What is the problem?

Oh, life is so terribly unappealing.

(I hope someday that I will be glad I was born.)


My post title came from the song 'In the Hot Summer' by Catherine Howe. It just seemed appropriate, as the first line is: "In the hot summer / I lost my way..." Not sure she meant it the way I'm applying it, but it's a lovely song, at any rate.

How was your summer? I hope it was groovy and all that. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012



I seem to have lost the art of communication
somewhere in the time between riding this ghost-ridden carousel
and standing at the top of the Leaning Tower of Me.

And somewhere between the folds of my dirty sheets,
lies my heart, which must have slipped out while I was sleeping.
I keep the window shut, so it can't have gone anywhere else.

Oh, no matter how much you hum to yourself, it can't sate your craving of song.

And no matter how hard you search,
you won't be able to find what I really want to say
between these silly lines.


This is lame. But I feel rather lame these days; it's reflecting in these meanderings.

I feel like I've not had a real conversation with anyone in weeks. I've built a wall of chatter around me, and I throw loaves of drivel over it to satisfy those who may want to come in.

I'm tired of talking about my pain, since it just makes me feel worse. I prefer to let myself slip into that familiar emotional monotone. I'm very tired of it all. But even writing this has made me feel bad. Ugh. Let's move on to something happier....

Want to hear me singing a cappella?

Okay, well maybe that's not something happier, but I have all these recordings rotting on my computer, so why not?

This was recorded a few weeks ago, when everyone was out to dinner, but I stayed home, because I had eaten out with them the night before and that was enough for me. Not that I don't love my family, but I'm not a big fan of restaurants. (The grandparents were in town; we don't generally eat out that often. :P)

Here's me singing part of 'Hey, Who Really Cares' by Linda Perhacs.

Me, I am mediocre - but the song is wonderful, as is its writer.

Tonight I feel alright. Content, even? What is the secret to making these feelings last, pray tell?

 (P.S. I have recently come out of the closet to the general public about my real name. It begins with "Beth" and ends with "any". :P I don't care if you call me that, or if you call me Melee. I will continue to write under this dear pseudonym, though.)

{The text at the top was scanned from The Moviegoer by Walker Percy.}

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the cusp of wondering

I keep your chair warm with my loneliness.
(The fire burned out so long ago
that the flames have turned to ash
even in my memory.)

The grandfather clock still ticks,
but never proclaims the right time.
The flowers in the vase have created their own autumn
of brown petals on the table.

The tea is always cold here.
Bookmarks become cramped,
always stifled between the same pages.

Everything bears the stains of waiting:

the yellowing piano keys,

the lamps and surfaces now grey with dust,

and most stained of all: the demilunes under my eyes.
They are a shade of purple that can only be achieved by combining
the blue of sadness and the cranberry of wistful patience,
stirring gently,
and thinning with a handful of watery sighs.

I miss the forests of ink in your mind,
I miss your fingers sailing the tangled sea of my hair.
But most of all, I miss not being forever on the cusp of wondering:
forever waiting, frozen for something
that may never return.


I don't have much to say about this piece, except I wrote it a couple weeks ago and it's one of the better things I've written in the past 6 months. The self-portrait is about 2 years old. In fact, another photo from that 'session' can be found somewhere on this blog. I figured out how to blur parts of the picture, so of course I went for my face. ;)

I stayed up past 3 AM listening to my demons nattering, and have been in a proper foul mood today. But I am now in possession of a flapper dress (vintage, though not from the 20s), a new bio of Freddie Mercury is coming in for me at the library, and I found free sheet music for Fleetwood Mac's 'Songbird', so perhaps today won’t be a total wash after all.

('Songbird' is one of my favourite songs at the moment.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the sky has teeth marks

All complexity gleaming just beyond the panes,
all ache hovering just above the bones.

The sun thudding on the naked ground,
loud as a rainstorm.

Two bleached lips forever coming together,
then coming apart, having forgotten
the moistness of words.

All alone in a cramped casing of flesh: stand.
Stand, stand with an iron taste ravishing the tongue.

Teeth marks bitten around the edges
of the heart, of the sky.

Birdsongs that taste unfamiliar,
yet eerily recall the ghosts of birches once known.

A wasteland. That is what this is called,
I believe. It is the only belief I let stay:
lodged securely in my windpipe.


This poem was written (for the most part) a few months ago whilst I was listening to Patti Smith.  It's the latest in a long series of attempts to write something ugly. Well... not ugly, exactly. I just get fed up sometimes when my words feel too glib and pretty and I want to tear them up and leave them lying around with the sharp edges pointing upwards.

I don't know how I'm feeling, so I canna tell you. I'm still here, though I am still often overcome with the desire to disappear.

I've been uncharacteristically busy, which is actually awful because it puts me in the mindset on my non-busy days that I deserve to laze around and make an inordinate number of GIFs. That's my new hobby, you see. That and scanning things. If you follow me on tumblr, you might have noticed. Not that I've been obnoxious about it, or anything.....

My scanning-obsession all started with me deciding to scan a W.S. Merwin poem. I discovered how easy it was, and how much fun, and since then I've just been scanning anything that catches my fancy in a book.

I don't want to post my GIFs on here, but I will post a few of my favourite scans!

The W.S. Merwin poem that started it all.

Julia Strachey "cogitating".

Dorothy Gish and Elmer Clifton, 1916

Marjorie Hart (author of Summer At Tiffany) and her friend
Marty at the beach in 1945.

The Beatles in Elizabethan Costume, 1964

Ant McPartlin, 9 months

Declan Donnelly, 3 years

 (As you can see I saved best for last - little Ant and Dec, awww.)

(And it is really hard to format pictures with the new blogger, so pardon my wonky spacing. >_<)

This is rather a patchwork post - two unrelated things sewn together. It feels like the old days! This is nice. For me, at least. ;)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"And it hurts to be here..."

As much as I may wish it, life cannot simply put on hold for those days, weeks, months, (years?) I can't get a grip. I must carry on, all the while feeling that everything is slipping past and my mind is stuffed with cotton. I see everything through a trance, but that trance is godsent, for when it clears that is when the guilt and sadness set in. It always seems to clear at night.

The past month or three, more nights than not have found me lying on my bed, wanting to disappear. Wanting it so hard, it aches.

"And it hurts to be here
I don't want to be here
And it hurts to be here

-Polly Scattergood, Untitled 27

Though a bad idea, I've done my best to put life on hold, but (unsurprisingly) it's fallen on top of me, and I'm suffocating.
It's just gotten really difficult, not knowing what I want, and not having the self-discipline to pull myself together.

I don't know what to say. I have no words.

(And Marjorie, my inner muse, has been giving me the cold shoulder. But since I wasn't even noticing, she decided to give me two stories in one day [really crappy stories, mind] to make me realize that she had essentially deserted me. That vixen!)

My days...

My days have been full of...

Going to the library, and getting more books than I have the time or inclination to read,

cleaning (which is, I confess, enjoyable),

listening to Polly Scattergood,

and trying to beat the record for amount of Byker Grove episodes watched in one day.

(I started watching the show because it features a certain pair [see below] as young 'uns. But I'm really enjoying the show in its own right too. I'm actually kind of obsessed with The Grove and its occupants... The whole series is currently on, since it's not on DVD, annoyingly enough.)

Actually, Byker Grove is the show Ant and Dec met on!!! And the rest is history...

This past week, I actually thought things were starting to get better.

In some ways, they have. Two certain fab girls have brought so much light and joy to my life recently. Life is beautiful, life is hilarious with them on the other side of the screen. ♥

I want to get out of the place I'm in, but I don't know how. I am so weak. I've never been this weak before, not even when I was harming myself.

I don't know, I just don't know. I am sorry.

(Just know, I love you all. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.)

Perhaps I will post something less pathetic in the week(s) to come.

{First picture is "Jove decadent" by Ramon Casas, and second picture was probably found here.}

Sunday, May 6, 2012

This year's passions.

I've just finished a glorious week, which was spent alone. Or as close to alone as I'm going to get. My parents and brothers were several states away from April 25--May 5, and since my sister has school and a social life she was in and out. I was actually going to do a post about "living alone", but I don't know - on Friday I was sort of overcome by my intermittent ennui/depression and I suddenly didn't feel like posting anything I had been considering posting.

So, on Friday I started pondering what to post about, for I knew I did want to post. The problem was, I wanted to be positive, but I'm kind of struggling with happy thoughts these days. It doesn't help that my birthday is on the 7th. Tomorrow, that is. I am going to be 19 and that sort of makes me feel sick.
Then I realized... this time last year, four things that are extremely important to me right now, were hardly on my radar, if at all. So this past year--the year I spent being 17--has been, if nothing else, crucial to my inner collection of things that lie extremely close to my heart. I thought, "Why not post about these things?" The answer was a surprisingly excited, "Okay!"

A photo representation of these four things which I am now going to talk about:

(Pictured: Season four of Gilmore Girls; Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim; a vinyl of Laura Nyro's album Christmas and the Beads of Sweat; and Ant & Dec's autobiography, Ooh! What a Lovely Pair.)

If you are easily bored, now might be a good time to leave. ;)

1. Gilmore Girls

 This show originally aired from 2000-2007, but I first started watching it at the end of May last year when I had my wisdom teeth out. By August, my mother and I had finished all seven seasons. (Many props to my sister for convincing me to watch it, even though I was initially reluctant!)

What makes this show so amazing? I don't know. It centers around the close relationship of single mother Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter Rory. Lorelai's banter and Rory's bookwormish-ness makes for two awesome characters. Also, the show is filled with wit, pop-culture references, and most importantly, a quirky cast of characters who are (for the most part) incredibly lovable. This is one of my top five favourite TV shows of all time. (Don't ask what the others are, because I haven't decided yet. :P)

2. Elizabeth von Arnim

Elizabeth von Arnim had been on my list of authors to-read for a while, but my county library had none of her books. They only had a movie adaption of Enchanted April, which I also watched when I had my wisdom teeth out. It was very good, but not as good as the book, which in June I discovered I was able to read on Project Gutenberg. But even better, in September I joined the city library. This library is amazing and has a plethora of old, hard-to-find books. Thanks to my new library, I've read Elizabeth and Her German Garden, The Solitary Summer, and The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rugen.
Elizabeth and Her German Garden is my favourite, but all of them are incredible books. (The library copies were all over 100 years old, too!)

Elizabeth von Arnim is one of my favourite authors now. I don't know what it is about her books I love. They are at least slightly autobiographical, I believe. She loves nature, she dreams and cherishes her solitude, but she is able to laugh at the absurdities in herself and other people. I like to think of her as a kindred spirit.

3. Laura Nyro

A few of you might remember me waxing eloquent about Laura Nyro back in November. She was practically all I listened to in that month. Though I'd know about her for a few years, it was not until this past year I grew to adore her innovative and passionate style of music. I've discovered a lot of great new music this year, but her music has been my most constant and desired accompaniment.

4. Ant and Dec

(They usually stand in alphabetical order, but in this picture it's Dec on the left and Ant on the right.)

Oh, Ant and Dec - my biggest obsession since my Beatlemania started in 2007. Those of you who follow me on tumblr might have noticed I am quite a fan of these two. This infatuation also started in November, when my darling friend Tilly indirectly introduced me to SM:TV Live, a children's show they presented in the 90s with Cat Deeley. (They are quite well known in Britain, but most Americans don't seem to know who they are, unless they watch Britain's Got Talent.)
Though Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly mostly just present now, they've done a little of everything in their long careers together.  I, personally, find Ant and Dec hilarious in all they do. This could partially be because they feel like old friends; I love their personalities and the way they interact with each other. Their genuinely close friendship on and off screen is beautiful, and--ridiculous as this may sound--I honestly can't imagine my life without knowing who these two are.

I'm actually really glad I took time to focus on these things. Looking at this makes me think life is pretty great. Sure these things are trivial, but hey - trivial things are important to me. They're what make life bearable, really.

And despite of how I sounded in the beginning of this post, I am not dreading my birthday; I just... am not ready to accept a full year has already passed since I turned 18. I did so little this year. *sigh*

(P.S. As you can see, I've updated my blog layout, so it looks a bit different now. But still essentially the same. I'm not savvy enough [or willing, really] to give it a bigger makeover.)

(First photo by me, of course, Second from here, third, fourth, fifth.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

a letter to no one and everyone

I Apologise
For I have been distant:
a whisper at the end of the telephone line,
quaffing my bathtub gin in a lonesome fog filled room.

I've been etching letters to you on my arm--
Did you never receive them?
You must remember how I like my tea:
with two lumps of longing
and enough milk to match the clouds in my eyes.

The rumours of my life
have been greatly exaggerated, I fear;
I've not been living for 3 months, at least.
But let us not dwell on that; we should never dwell for long
(but still should take care to not envy the mayflies,
as tempting as it may be).

Constantly, I am at a loss for words,
and so many things make me sad.

My spirit may forever be broken,
but the bones of my fingers are still intact,
still able to play me heart-dirges on this untuned piano.

I am satisfied, really.
(And you may come and listen any time.)


This piece is a conglomeration of poetic license and my life lately. I think it's mainly for you, my readers. Don't worry - while I am not happy, I'm generally content.

(Huh. I just used the word 'conglomeration' without even thinking about it. Where the heck did I learn that word? It's pretty awesome, I must say. But wherever did I pick it up? Haha.)


Guess what!

My family was gone on Saturday (my sister was with her boyfriend and everyone else was playing/watching baseball), so I had the house to myself. At my mother's suggestion, I found out there is a sound recorder on my father's laptop, so I finally got some recording done!
The recorder is persnickety, though; you can stand in a different room from it and sigh and the recorder will pick it up, but it doesn't like full and loud sounds... like the piano. It records all tinny and icky, so I had to use my keyboard. On my keyboard there's setting that records the notes you play on the keyboard, so what I did was record the song and then play it back while singing to it. Kind of a pain, though it was nice to only have the possibility of messing up one thing at a time.

So, here is my version of the song 'Tea & Sympathy' by Janis Ian. *insert self-deprecation here*

The lyrics: [There's a second verse I skipped, because I didn't want to make the song too long.]

I don't want to ride the milk train anymore

I'll go to bed at nine and waken with the dawn
And lunch at half past noon and dinner prompt at five
The comfort of a few old friends long past their prime

Pass the tea and sympathy for the good old days long gone
We'll drink a toast to those who most believe in what they've won
It's a long, long time 'til morning plays wasted on the dawn
And I'll not write another line, for my true love is gone

When I have no dreams to give you anymore
I'll light a blazing fire and stand within the door
And throw my life away, "I wonder why?" they all will say
And now I lay me down to sleep, forever and a day

Pass the tea and sympathy, for the good old days are dead
Let's drink a toast to those who best survived the life they've led
It's a long, long time 'til morning, so build your fires high
Now I lay me down to sleep, forever by your side

(If the soundcloud player doesn't work for you, you can try listening to it on divshare here.)

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'll Cry Out From My Grave

{First of all, I know one shouldn't do this, but I apologize for the quality of this story. (SORRY. I can't help the self-deprecation.) I've been really worried lately, as I only seem to be writing self-indulgent crap that no one would want to read except me. But it's been forever since I've posted a story here, and I thought you all might like to know what I've been working on. Or I can't think of anyone I'd rather share it with anyway. :) I'll share some of the inspiration behind this story at the bottom.}

I hadn't requested that the radio be put on; if it had been up to me I would have let silence reign. But someone had turned it on during lunch, and it continued to play in the background during the after-meal conversation. It didn’t bother me. I was living in a haze anyway, and was indifferent to most everything. My dull eyes were screened by a large pair of sunglasses. My whole body felt like it was encased in clay, and I was slowly being hardened by the sun. This was due to post-lunch torpor combined with the other crap in my system.
My languor was interrupted by Neil's cry of "Hey! This must be from Thorin’s new record!" and his turning up the volume of the familiar voice that was singing. I didn’t mind too much. It's not that I’d wanted to hear one of his songs, but Rowe Thorin was a famous singer, and I’d long ago accepted the fact I’d come across his music, possibly quite frequently. I stared vacantly over the lake, as the rest of the table listened intently. Then the chorus began:

"God, I'm sorry for what I've done to her
Suzanne, I'm sorry for what I've done to you..."

Those lines slammed against my chest and my shell shattered. Playfully shocked cries rang out all over the table. "Suzanne, you minx!" "Well, no need to ask about your past, Sue babe." The chatter continued long enough to drown out the whole song. I laughed and offered a flippant remark or two, carefully skirting the truth. I wasn't sure whether they thought this whole thing was coincidence, or if they thought Rowe Thorin truly had done something awful to me (or if not that, at least knew me to some extent). I was curious, but the last thing I wanted was to ask and find out.
I only lasted for fifteen minutes longer at the table, and offered a headache as an excuse to leave. I did feel ill, but in case you haven’t guessed, it wasn't my head that hurt.
I went to the room I was staying in, drew the curtains, and lay down on the smooth, white covers. With an arm laid over my eyes, I tried to calm my racing brain. I was too thoroughly upset, though. I had been shaken; I knew the only thing that was going to cure that was time.
Frustrated, I sat up. I had to listen to the whole song. I decided that rather than gluing myself to the radio, I would venture out to a record shop.
I left the villa without being interrupted by anyone, as everyone had gone out on the lake. The nearby town was small, but they had a record shop I’d passed several times, which I now located with ease.
As if I had no right to be there, I entered tentatively, eyes hidden again by dark frames. It was empty except for the bald man who seemed to run the place. Gathering my scattered spirits, I walked up to him. "Good afternoon. Do you have Rowe Thorin’s newest record?" I used my most polite voice, but he still looked at me as if I was diseased. He grunted in what I assumed to be the affirmative, and then located the album without a glimpse of any emotion. I paid for it and surreptitiously walked back to the villa.

The only record player was in the large, open living room, but I figured the house should stay empty long enough to listen to one song. I sat on the settee next to the record player and studied the album cover. It was a distorted photograph of Rowe with his guitar, and the title, The Creaking Floorboards, in the bottom right corner. I flipped over the record cover and skimmed the list of songs. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but when the penultimate track caught my eye, I knew it had to be the one. Side B, Song #4 -- 'I'll Cry Out From My Grave (God I'm Sorry)'. I gently set the record in place and released the needle.

"Got the freedom of this song
To tell how sad I’ve been so long
Gilded words can’t help replace
The love I’ve taken and disgraced..."

Yes, this was the one. The song progressed too quickly, and the chorus arrived before I was quite ready.

"...This song is here to help me say
God, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to her
Suzanne, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you

I suspected half of the UK and US would have this refrain circling their heads for weeks, but I knew it was a dragon that would circle my heart for years.
The lyrics and his voice were full of regret, and by the end, my heart was too. What did he want? Just to apologize? Did he want me back, or was I just a convenient muse? I didn’t know what to think, so I sat and wept. Great, ugly sobs came from a place deep inside me, yet they still felt too shallow to ever help. Their sound drowned out the last song and the hum of the machine as the needle resumed its resting position. Teardrop stains dotted my skirt, and I helplessly watched them multiply.
I heard a door slam downstairs, and not wanting to be caught at the scene of my composure’s murder, I gathered the record and fled the room.
I put the album in the back of the wardrobe, miserably aware that no matter how dusty the corner was where I stuffed the record away, it wouldn't succeed in suffocating the memories that were even now coming forth to be recognized.


So, yeah. This is the beginning of a story I'm writing right now. It's set in the midst/at the end of the 1960s. (An era I've had a passion for for many years.) At the moment, I have no idea how long the story will be; I'm just writing and hoping for the best.
Actually, what I've just shared didn't start as the beginning. At first, the story began around when Suzanne, the main character, first really talks to Rowe Thorin, a singer/songwriter who eventually, in case you hadn't guessed, becomes her lover. But then I wrote a new beginning, and decided the story would be told (for lack of better word) in a flashback.

The story came to me while I was reading Marianne Faithfull's biography (who is the girl in the pictures). That being said, it's not the most innocent of stories. There are drugs and such things. (Not represented in a glorified way, though.) In fact, it's the most un-innocent thing I've ever written. I'm going to have to tame the original beginning, because as it is now, I wouldn't let anyone read it.

The lyrics included in my story weren't written by me; they're from an actual song. When I first started writing this story, I was living deep within it, and to keep the mood, I mainly listened to Volume I of the Soft Sounds for Gentle People compilations. (These compilations are basically collections of obscure sunshine pop from the 60s. I talked about them some on my music blog once.) I hadn't listened to this compilation much before the past few weeks, but very quickly the song 'I'll Cry Out From My Grave (God I'm Sorry)' by a band called Brigadune became one of my favourites off the album. When the time came to pick a name for my character, I picked Suzanne, inspired by the song. Then I thought, "Hang on - why not incorporate the song into my story?" So I did. And at the moment, the story's title is the same as the song's.

In my head, the arrangement, speed, and vocals sound different, so this isn't "the version" that Rowe Thorin is supposedly singing, but have a listen to the song, if you like!

Well, I'm off to read in bed. I hope everyone is well!

{Both photos are of Marianne Faithfull, and I don't have the sources.}

Monday, March 5, 2012

Grey Gardens

I watched Grey Gardens on Saturday.

Grey Gardens
is a documentary about a mother and daughter ("Big" Edie and "Little" Edie) who don't know how to listen to each other, living in a house full of decaying and thwarted dreams. Along with at least half a dozen cats and a raccoon or two in the attic.

From the DVD back: Meet Big and Little Edie Beale - high-society dropouts, mother and daughter, reclusive cousins of Jackie O. - thriving together amid the decay and disorder of their ramshackle East Hampton mansion. An impossibly intimate portrait and an eerie echo of the Kennedy Camelot, Albert and David Maysles's 1976 Grey Gardens quickly became a cult classic and established Little Edie as a fashion icon and philosopher queen. Thirty years later, the filmmakers revisited their landmark documentary with a sequel of sorts, The Beales of Grey Gardens, culled from hours of never-before-seen footage recently found in the filmmakers' vaults.

I had been meaning to watch it for a while, and I finally got it from the library the other week. (I originally heard about it from the show Gilmore Girls when Lorelai and Rory are seen watching and talking about it in one episode.)
Actually, I didn't realize that the companion piece to Grey Gardens, The Beales of Grey Gardens, was on the second disc till Sunday. I had to watch it as soon as I found out, of course; and I knew I had grown to love these people because as the titles started and I found myself back at Grey Gardens, with Little Edie's face smiling and her slightly strident voice talking again, I felt happy. I liked The Beales of Grey Gardens as much as the original. It had less arguments, more dialogue and more of Little Edie's musings.

These are some screenshots I took from Grey Gardens. (I didn't take any from The Beales of Grey Gardens because I was feeling too lazy.)


Grey Gardens certainly isn't for everyone, in terms of personal taste, but if this has at all piqued your interest you should look into it more. It is a fascinating piece: strange, saddening, and beautiful all rolled into one. (And just a note, there was a movie made in 2009 about Big and Little Edie which is also called Grey Gardens.)

My sleeping problems mentioned in last post have gone away. Strangely enough, I've been going to bed earlier than I have in years. (Earlier meaning closer to midnight than 1 o'clock.)

I can tell I've been down lately because I haven't wanted to do much of anything. Sadly, it's the ennui where I don't really want to read or write, I just want to watch British telly on youtube. I like the depression that makes me read a lot - then I at least feel like I'm accomplishing something. Ah, well. :P

I think for the most part the ennui has skulked back to its corner. I've made yet another to-do list for the month of March and I am going to accomplish things; yes, I am! It's funny, I never used to make to-do lists, but I have been since last September. I find it helpful to step back and look at what I need to accomplish. I used to think free spirits didn't need such lists, but they do, really. At least this one does. It's probably because I'm not in school and find myself suddenly without direction. (Not that I ever followed my school schedule very well...) My to-do lists are in no way set in stone either. If I don't get everything done, I don't really care. As long as I did the things that really needed to get done.

Actually, I've been very productive today! Huzzah!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

snow and sleep (or lack of both)

it had been streaming past
leaving trails on our windows
but at the graveyard
the car slowed
and i saw clearly the airy tufts of ice
like dust motes shaken from the clouds
too soft, too frail
to make any difference

on the soggy ground
(not that anything would make a difference
to the occupants of the cemetery:
the ghosts and the ersatz flowers)


Inspired by observations from the car window, I scribbled this poem on the back of a bulletin on our way home from church. It is still snowing slightly, but it's not leaving much effect. *sigh* Besides some flurries/light snow last Sunday, we've had no other snow this season.

I hate February. I've been distracted and depressed, and, to top it all off, nights haven't been good lately.

I lie down to sleep and my mind won't shut off. It jabbers on and on and I have to lay there and listen to it.

I don't know what the problem is. Actually, I haven't been taking as many walks, which is most likely a contributing factor (Easily rectified, too!) Thankfully, I've remembered what a soporific effect the music of Trespassers William has on me. So many nights this week I've turned to their album Different Stars when I can't stand lying awake in the darkness any longer; it soothes my mind and soon sends me into the streams leading to sleep.

(Anna-Lynne's voice just breaks my heart.)

Also, a lot of you know this already, but I caved and made a tumblr. The world of tumblr still makes me feel slightly like I'm being swallowed whole, but I've loved being closer to certain friends.

Well, that's all, I think. Sorry this post is rather down in the mouth. Winter always gets me in the end.

I hope your Februaries have been more satisfactory than mine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

insanity - 3 A.M.

The absence of snow wakened me last night. The edges of the earth were folding inwards, and the trees were rattling their dry bones.

I thought I saw a stranger hunched in the corner; I thought I saw a forgotten bit of sanity scuttling across the floor.

The feeling I was lying in the wrong bed presented itself to me and then refused to leave. With infrequent breathing, I lay and listened to the sound of nothing humming somewhere in the distance.

I told you not to wake me til my eyes are blue, I mumbled at the blank, dim expanse of ceiling.

The sheets were taut over my body: a cocoon, a straitjacket. I found them comforting: knowing they, at least, would hold me forever.

My thoughts hopped around the room, with heartbeats as delicate as those of winterbirds.

Oh, how silent the birds are,
was the last thought to slip across my mind, as once more I slipped into a sea of uneasy sleep.


{Though not what originally inspired this piece, I dedicate this post to the wee hours of the morning and my tendency to wake up during them and exist in an incoherent state, where I am technically awake, but still asleep in many ways.}

{Photo is the cover of Jesca Hoop's EP, Snowglobe.}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

of 100th posts and stitches.

I just realized yesterday night that my last post was my 100th. I wish I could think of something exciting and different to do to celebrate that fact, but nothing is coming. (Funnily enough, I reached my 100th post on my music blog in December. I actually did do something different there which you can go listen to if you want to be tortured.)

What I will do, though is tell you about a strange even that happened last week! Last Wednesday, I was putting a dish in the refrigerator and it slipped and essentially broke in my hands. Long story short, I got a horrible gash in my pinky and had to get seven stitches. But I was very brave, according to my mother, and she bought me coffee afterwards (which I suppose is the adult equivalent of a lollipop). ;)
I have to wear a finger brace because I'm not supposed to bend it til this Saturday. I can't write by hand very well. I also can't play the piano. *sigh* Well, I can... kind of, but only select songs, and still not very well. I've finally mastered buttering toast/English muffins, though! Overall, it's been much more inconvenient than painful, thankfully.

Ah, yes - c'est moi modeling my lovely metal finger for you all. It's going to be the latest fashion, let me tell you. As is wearing the old nightgowns of one's mother, as I am in this picture. :P

This debacle has screwed with my brain, though. I had just gotten out of vacation mode, and then this this whole thing came along and left me in invalid mode, which is quite similar to vacation mode.
So, I'm not entirely sure if I'm out of the funk I was in at the time of my last post... I am still lacking passion about any number of things, but I have been feeling less at a loss with my writing, which is excellent.

So... yes. This is just a little update.

Carry on, then!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

But it's my theme, really.

Emily's Theme
by Charles Simic

My dear trees, I no longer recognize you
In that wintry light.
You brought me a reminder I can do without:
The world is old, it was always old,
There's nothing new in it this afternoon.
The garden could've been a padlocked window
Of a pawnshop I was studying
With every item in it dust-covered.

Each one of my thoughts was being ghostwritten
By anonymous authors. Each time they hit
A cobwebbed typewriter key, I shudder.
Luckily, dark came quickly today.
Soon the neighbors were burning leaves,
And perhaps a few other things too.
Later, I saw the children run around the fire,
Their faces demonic in its flames.


Feeling strange & undefinable. Nothing seems important anymore & that scares me. I'm not depressed, or at least it doesn't feel like I am; but strains of November echo back & my dreams feel like they never belonged to me. I don't know what to do now that my hopes, my passions stare at me with the eyes of a stranger. So I devour the printed word & pretend that this ache is negligible & will go away even if I do nothing to try & alleviate it.

I don't know what else to do.

Also, I wasn't going to tell you all this now, but I keep putting it off, though I did wish to get it off my chest, so... The problem between my mother & I that I mentioned a couple of posts ago was this: she found out about my self-harm of last winter. There are no words to describe how it felt to make her so sad & guilty. Because, of course, she blamed herself to a greater extent than she should have. I always knew she would, should she (God forbid) ever discover this secret; still, there was little I could say to assuage her sorrow.

Things are all right now. A little different, but good. Admittedly, I do still feel a little on edge at times...

Of course, this might have come as a surprise to everyone, since I never made more than a couple, vague allusions to my cutting. I want to make it clear I'm not that girl anymore. I haven't been for a while; I had moved on, which is why it was so painful to have all those memories dredged up.
Thank you all for always caring. I don't know where I'd be without my dear blogging friends.

I felt calm today while sitting in church. I am daring to hope that soon my dreams will be mine again, cherished & familiar; they will come back, wagging their tails behind them... :)

{Photo is by Linda McCartney.}

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

a love letter

My darling iridescent angel,

Today I cannot shake you from my mind. I believe my dreams must've been full of your singing, you adorable siren.
These days I am strangely silent, as if everything I want to say doesn't seem worth saying to anyone but you. You--you make my favourite topics even more dear, with the way you firmly grasp them and spread them out before you--the way they make your eyes come alive.

I don't know how much longer I can go without hearing your laugh and seeing the way your eyes and nose screw up with merriment. I am saving up amusing things to tell you--I've got quite a trove of them now. I suspect, though, when I finally am able to be with you I shall lose them all in the flood of my long awaited happiness.

My hands are cold. Every single bit of me is cold. I wish you were here to warm me.
The shipwreck known as me has never longed to land anywhere but in your arms, I hope you know that. Every day spent all these miles from you makes that painfully apparent.

All my love to you and many kisses. For the two little rascals, as well. (I hope you tell them stories of me every night, so they are not forgetting their absent father who would really much prefer to be with them then stuck in a mire of endless business.)

I love you for always--till the moon crumbles, till the sun turns to ash, and far beyond that too.

Ever your incurably infatuated husband,


Postscript - Make sure you write your reply in the strongest ink you can find--I always fear I'll fade your words with my constant readings.


I finished reading the biography Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy - A Lost Generation Love Story by Amanda Vaill yesterday and for some reason it inspired me to write this imaginary letter. There weren't really any love letters in the book, but spending time in the midst of that era (n.b. the 1920's and 1930's) and its people (the Murphys, the Fitzgeralds &c.)inspired me. Actually, it wasn't till I was looking up a picture of Sara Murphy that the letter started coming into my head. That would be the picture above, by the way. Isn't she lovely? She also happens to share a name with one of my favourite people... :)
The initials C.E. were pulled out of thin air, in case anyone was wondering.

Still don't really feel like talking about life. I am feeling pretty positive about this new year, though. I hope everyone else is too!