I used to be able to do that once – that backward flip thing. Never in a bikini on a sunset beach, though. Back garden. Even my Mum used to do stuff. She’d tuck her voluminous 1950s cotton-print skirt into her knicker-legs (we all did that, it wasn’t just Mum) and execute a cartwheel or two on the bumpy grass that had once been a cherry orchard. Not bad after two or three babies. Leap while you may, Young Ladies. Leap for your lives and for the love of leaping.
Presumably this Leap ruse of WordPress’s is because it’s Leap Day – that extra day they put in every four years. I would explain why, but I expect everyone else is explaining why today. Google’s got bunny-rabbits, I see.
‘Leap’ unfortunately reminds me of stuff. At one point I signed on for a Creative Writing course at the University of Kent. I think I had actually got past that stage – sounds vain, but you know what I mean – but I wanted to be part of something for once. I was lonely. I wanted to belong to a Group. Fat chance. I found myself surrounded by Yummy Mummies some twenty years younger. There was one man (there always is) but he left after the first week (they always do) and was never seen again.
Earnest, they were, about The Art of the Novel and Being Creative. Earnest always puts my back up for some reason. I sat there week after week thinking, why do we need recipes for writing? Can there be a right way of writing? Why aren’t we just…writing?
So we sat there in this underground dungeon of a classroom, evening after evening, and we brought in our exercises and assignments, and we circulated copies, and we tore each other’s work to pieces in a Positive, Creative, Intellectual sort of way. I had written a very strange story about an insectoid creature, distasteful in a semi-sexual sort of way, that lands on an Eden-like planet disguised as an Angel and fools the innocent inhabitants into letting it have charge of their children. Then, Pied-Piper-like, one day, it leads them off the edge of a ravine and they are all found dead and crushed to bits at the bottom and he is eating them. Yum, yum. I was working through some issues at the time. [see Eden (1) and Eden (2)]
The stories were circulated anonymously but to my chagrin everybody recognised mine. One of the Yummies explained, with a flashing, fluoride smile that illuminated the basement darkness – it’s because Rosie’s stories are always about Dead People and usually about Dead Children. Everyone was nodding.
Gulp! Afterwards, I went back over my past oeuvre. Bloody woman was right.
I have since made a conscious effort to write short stories in which no one dies – at all. It’s no good – my characters will keep snuffing it!
I was talking the other day about that free app I found – Dark Echo – and how the footsteps clatter around in the pitch dark, echoing, visually, and how sooner or later they reach an invisible wall and just sort of mark time, echoing the while, until you turn round and retrace your steps across the screen. It’s an infuriating game. It reminds me of writing. That Dead People thing – my dead end.
I went back over the few bits of fiction I have written for, or uploaded to, this blog and blow me down, I’m still doing it. SnuffingIts are rife! I accept it now: I’ve hit the wall, game-wise and creative-wise. I’m clattering around in the dark, my footsteps echoing, echoing; waiting for the monsters to come.