The Wall

The wall stood before me, enormous, disappearing into the leaden sky full of clouds. I sprained my neck to try to see where it came, without success. Large blocks of ancient stone top upon each other, fighting to see who looked more impressive. Weed slipped between them, as long fingers that wanted to reach the other side of the wall.

Why was I here? What was my purpose? I looked at my hands to see if it was a dream, if I could wake up. Thin and tanned fingers found my gaze, moving like silkworms. I touched my face, wondering if I had metamorphosed as the bug from Kafka, story I was forced to read years ago, but only soft skin stroked my fingertips. I looked at my body, the same as always but in different clothes, as belonging to another era.

I furrowed my brow, I had been working in front of the computer a few minutes ago, how did I come here? I tried to remember what I was doing, but the memory slipped from my neurons like water through my fingers. Soon I didn’t know what was. Confused I turned around, but the wall appeared in front of me again. Should I climb it?

I placed a hand on one of the large stones, and my eyes widened opened at the perfect alignment between my skin cells and the rough rock surface. I put my other hand, and a connection to the stone hit me. I slid my hands up, as easily as the steel of a skate on ice.

I put my bare foot on the stone, connecting as my hand did. Soon I started to move as if on a horizontal surface while my feet and hands slid over the stone without a problem, up and up until there was only stone and weeds around. I laughed till I couldn’t anymore, feeling the wind caress my hair and taking away all bad memories, all pressure, all physical discomfort as I climbed up and up.

The end of the wall was seen, and with renewed vigor, I focused on the end. My right hand grabbed the ledge, and I hesitated. What would I see behind the wall? Did I want to see it? It felt like every muscle in my body tensed up, rebelling to move. And if it was a lie? And if I saw destruction behind the wall?

With the hand still on the ledge and my body leaning against the stone, I sobbed. My tears soaked my cheeks, my moans invaded the silence around me. The wind stopped, listening to my regret. And I kept crying until they left a salty path tears on my cheeks, a tingle on the skin that needed relief.

I did not dare to remove the grab of my hands on the stone, afraid of falling. I did not dare look down. There was only one thing to do.

Wiping the remnants of salt water on my shoulder, I let out one last sigh, and placed my left hand on the edge, and after hesitating a second, I pushed myself, falling like a cat on the ledge. With my knees bent and my hands ready to give support in case of a slip, I watched around me with my heart in my throat. A brown hand rested on the edge in front of me, and soon I saw another hand, this one white, and there another dark as ash, and another one thin, and another one chubby.

Gradually, those hands were transformed into arms, neck and head, rising upon the edge, looking frightened around until they met my gaze. Bent knees straightened up, and soon dozens of people were above the edge, peering smiles in different types of faces. Asian, Latin, Nordic, African…

Laughter took us all by surprise. The first came from one throat, then another joined him, and soon the chorus of laughter erupted in the edge of the wall.

And, laughing, we hugged each other, women, children, men, young, old… And walked out on the broad rim, some hugging and laughing, others side to side, walking until the wall vanished, and we were faced with another, this one even greater.

But this time, large, majestic golden gates stood before us. The eyes looked nervous at the anxious faces, faces that gradually relaxed. And one by one, we entered the city.

And one by one, we leave behind our past life, ready to start again.

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A rollercoaster called Life

“Yihaaa! Hey, watch out for that turn! Holy sh*t I’m going dooooown!!”
Ahhh… how nice is to finally get out of a mad rollercoaster. The thrill, the fear, the excitement pumping through your veins while the wind blows away your hair, grabbing your scream and fading it away, somewhere, to the people behind you, or below you.
I love rollercoasters. Not the crazy ones, I’d never get up in Kingda Ka, not in my lifetime. But the smoother ones, the ones that drop some whatever-feet below with a jolt, that goes fast and turning, those I love.
So I hope that whenever I get out of this crazy rollercoaster called life, I could get down with a satisfied smile, watching at the people waiting for their turn, trying to look at your expression to see if the rollercoaster was something to be afraid of, or just to enjoy the ride. I’ll say to them, “Get on!”
And these past months it seems that the section of the rollercoaster I’m in, just get bumpier and added several sharp turns and big, big drops. There was a sign before I entered that section. The sign read:
WATCH OUT. YOU’RE ABOUT TO ENTER A NEW EXPERIENCE. GET A GRIP….
And boy was it right! (Wouldn’t it be nice if life actually hung signs like that? Wait… it does. But we go by so fast we barely catch the words.)
These past months have taken me to the top to the world and then drop me without warning to a black hole…I shouldn’t complain… How boring would it be if it the ride was “It’s a Small World”-type all the time, right? I mean, sometimes we need IASW, even the song…
“It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all…” playing over and over in your head, and then over and over again.. Oops I hope it’s not playing in your head right now 😀
We also need some “Rock’n Roll Roller Coaster”, some “Tower of Terror”, and definitely some “California Screamin’” to add the salt in our lives.
But I don’t think I’m enjoying so much those rides to the very top of the roller coaster, those clang-clang-clang rides when you peek around you and see how you’re getting higher and higher and higher… until everyone below you look like tiny little ants… “I’m an ant, I’m an ant…” and you look at the stairs and wonder if you should just jump from the car and ran screaming like a demented wacko. And then, you get to the very top, and for a second, just for a second, you think everything will come true. Your dreams, your expectations, your desires… You are there for a split of a second, and you hear a maniac laugh, Life is at your back and with a grin, pushes you down and down down down you go, screaming at the top of your lungs… well, I do hope it’d be like that… then I’ll open my eyes and let all my tension, my stress out in one, long, constant yell. But in real life, I close my eyes and feel the drop worse than when the Tower of Terror opens the door, a bright glimpse to the park outside, and then drops you who-knows how many floors down, then up again and down again, and then it repeats until every knot in your body is loosened. “Instant SPA”, I like to call that experience.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was like that? Then I wouldn’t be afraid to fall.
Wait…

Thick Skin Club

Since I started writing, I’ve heard a lot of the Thick Skin Club. “I’m part of the Thick Skin Club, give me your best shot!” “I can take anything, come on…” “Tell me the worst and I won’t even flinch…”

*sigh*

I’m not part of that club. I think it might have a privileged membership … I for one I’m part of what I called the “Three Layer Skin Club.”
The first layer is soft and tender, like a child’s. My first reaction is to cringe and fell bad, maybe a little doss of self-pity. I might even cry a little, just a few tears here and then. “Oh I suck! Oh they hurt me!”
Then comes the second layer… this is usually a few hours after the “event”. My emotions are calmer, as the sea after a storm, still rough but not frightened. This second layer is still spongy, still soft, but it’s stronger. The sting still hurts, but my emotions are finally put aside by my intellect, and I can see a ray of light shining through the darkness.
And finally the third layer appears, usually after 24 hours, sometimes (depending on the issue), days can pass before this layer appears. This one’s hard, made of steel. This one is the Thick Skin-thingy the TSC guys boast all the time.
When the sting reaches that layer, I don’t care anymore. The emotions are completely subdued, and I even laugh at myself for being so stupid and letting my emotions take control. I can take whatever life throws me. I’m strong. I can analyze the situation, let it be a critique, a fight, a problem, whatever… and sometimes I realize I overreact, there, in the first layer. It was stupid, just a simple thing.
That was why I was so hurt? I mean, I don’t cry when I see my newborn nephew, I’m happy, but that’s all. I don’t cry when my older nephew goes to another school in another country. He’s happy, and he’ll be fine, why should I cry? I am very happy, extremely, for those events.

But if someone tells me something idiotic, there I am crying a river. Bulls*it!
When I’m in that last layer, I can understand the situation better. Sometimes I see the value of the other person’s POV, even as if the way of saying it wasn’t correct or ideal.

That makes me grow.
Oh why oh why I can’t be in that third layer from the first time? I don’t mind the second layer so much, I can live with it. It’s the first layer that makes me crazy.
The first layer which makes me overreact.

It stinks.

“I’m going to be honest…”

Every time I see those words at the beginning of a critique, I cringe. “I’m going to be honest,” “I always speak with the truth,” “I won’t sugarcoat anything…”
But what’s honesty? What do they mean by being honest? I’ve reach to the conclusion what they really mean is…”I’m going to say the things that cross in my mind without thinking them through or analyzing whether it’s really useful. I will blurt things without control. And that’s what I call true.”
I say to this…pfthftt!! As I said in an earlier blog, there is no one reality. There is no just one truth. Just perceptions. The critique might be an accomplished one, might be a fantastic writer, but maybe s/he’s not acquainted with the story, or the genre, and doesn’t understand it well.
S/he might see something and write, “this sucks man, you’re describing too much.” But that’s just perceptions. Another critique can say, “OMG I love it how you describe it!!!” And who’s right? Both and none. Just perceptions with different filters. Filters which can be language, culture, childhood experiences, adult experiences… the list can go on and on.
You can show a glass of water to two people, and they both can say, “It’s a glass of water,” and that’s the truth. I’m not even going to go with the “pessimist/optimist” view here. Maybe one of them loves water and drinks it all the time. So when she sees the glass of water, she can say “water” and at the same time she gets thirsty and wants to drink it. And maybe the other guy loves just sodas and don’t like water, so he thinks, “I can take this glass of water and splash it in her blouse”, and then there’s another connotation. One object, two feelings. Or more if we start with the half full/half empty issue.
So when someone says, “I’m going to be honest,” you should really hear, “I’m going to blurt my perception which I think it’s real, but it might or might not be…” The worst of it is that we believe it! (not everyone, of course, but naïve people like me, we do, believe me…) We really think they’re speaking the truth since they have more experience.
So.
There’s no one truth.
There’s no spoon.
None. Just perceptions.

Of writing and being an Engineer

I’m an Engineer. Well, that’s my major, anyway. If I knew what I know now, I might have studied English Literature instead.  But only King Salomon is wise, or “para sabio, Salomon,” as I like to say. And my life might have not been the same. Being an Engineer gave me a lot of advantages, getting jobs one of them. I have a good job. A job that lets me balance my family life, not asking too much after hours, and letting me live, if not with luxury, with ease at least. I don’t travel as much as I would like….well, except for some trips to Brazil I’ve done this year, but those were work trips so they don’t count.
Everything goes down to your experiences in life. I’m a firm believer that things happens for a reason. Every little thing that happens in your life, either good or bad, are for your own growth. Even as they hurt. Even as they pierce your soul. And if you turn your back on it, it’ll come again, but stronger. I like to think that Life (God, karma, whatever you like to call it) first give us a small warning, like a brief slap in the head. Just like this:
Life: Slaps your head.
You: Hey, what did you do that for? And keep doing the same.
Life: Slaps you harder to get your attention.
You: Why is this happening again? And keep on the same track.
Life: Makes you trip so you slow down.
You: Why the bloody hell I have dirt on my clothes? Sheesh… And back to the same.
Life: Kicks you hard in the butt and makes you yell.
You: Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand!! (Whining).
Life: *sighs*

That’s what I believe. So while we scream, yell, whine, and complain that life’s hard, we just don’t pay attention.
So why did I study Engineering if it wasn’t my call? Suits me. But I did, and life blessed me with that. Now, I wish hubby will win the lotto, and I could dedicate to my writing 100% and could polish it. But Life didn’t chose that for me, not right now anyway. And I have to work 40 hours a week in an office, be a mother 7/24 and do whatever it takes to keep the house up and running. And in the meantime, write.
Write, write, write…and keep writing, despite some negative comments I had about polishing my writing. Oh yes, I’m a novice and I have a lot to learn still. But how to do that? Writing. And keep writing.
And that’s why I have this blog. To push myself to write not only my stories, but to try to be coherent (hehe) and try to follow a career in writing.
I was trying to use a smart phrase to end this blog, but “Lights out” seems to cliché. I am cliché…sometimes. But I thought I’ll just cherioo’d you, even as I’m no English.

Cherioo, mate.

Alive and Kicking

So this is it. This is how it feels to be alive. This is the sound of life, as I write in my computer. The sound of love.
How could I’ve been slept all this time? How could I’ve been alive before without writing?
Oh this sounds so melodramatic! But it is true. Since I found my calling, I haven’t been able to stop. I haven’t been able to enjoy something as much as this.
No more TV, no more movies, no more anything that can be as wonderful as this… Well, maybe I’m exaggerating. Travel comes near. Just thinking in the idea of traveling somewhere else than here pumps energy into my system.
But since I can’t travel often, then writing is what’s left the remaining of the 368-something days in the year. And boy is this good!
And as everything in life, everything that’s magical… it has also its dark side. The Dark Side of Writing. And that is… having no one to read your books…. No one to read the wonderful stories that come out of my fingers. Oh yes, they’re wonderful… for me at least.
But again, I’m overreacting. I have a wonderful critique partner, and some family that have read my stories.
As a writer, though, that ain’t enough. I want more. I need more.

I need audience!!!
Where are yoooouuuuu?
You
You
Youuuuuu

Echo.

Well, it doesn’t matter. I might die with an unfinished story in my hands, but I will never quit. I will never stop writing, not matter what. I actually wish days can have a couple of hours more, a couple of hours I could be dedicating to writing my stories.
Wouldn’t that be neat?
Lights out.

A new chapter is submitted

“Sir, no, watch out, you’re going to step on me!”

Just like an ant walking down the street, that’s how I feel sometimes. Invisible and wanting to shout out. But that’s an exaggeration, reality’s not like that. Just my perception. A perception of invisibility that I just can’t shake it out. Maybe because I’m the youngest in my family? Maybe… but this is not the point.

Perception… isn’t that an interesting concept? We mistake perception with reality. There’s no reality, just perceptions. Our eyes are limited, our minds even more so. How can we even attempt to describe a room without our filters? Ask two people and they will give you different accounts. And who’s right? Both. Maybe the first one notices the deterioration of the walls, whilst the other is focused in the large Windows and the way the light enters the room.

Only perceptions. And then we want to impose our perceptions in others, arrogantly saying that’s the real thing, just because our eyes transmitted the images, sounds and colors to our brain, interpreting them at will. There’s not just one reality.

So am I really invisible or that’s just my perception? I’ll go with the latter. I’m not invisible at all, I just feel like it because my perception is showing me only what my brain chooses to see. If someone tells me, ‘hey, I love your story!’ and then it’s just him, and I think that my story sucks before no one else reads it, does it really suck because it’s bad written, or I just think it is because others hadn’t read it? I’ll go with the latter too.

Writing is just like drawing. Unless you’re a natural, your first drawings will suck. Only with practice and constant practice it’ll improve…wait. That sounds familiar…

Okay. Writing is like everything else in life. You have to practice and practice to improve. Whether is for social capabilities, playing basketball or being good at school, you have to practice and practice. There’s no easy way, just hard work.

I learned that the hard way. My family always says that mana will fall from the sky and everything will be fine. Hubby says that you have to work hard and there’s nothing as a free lunch. Who’s right? Sometimes I think both are, but life has shown me the hard path. There’s nothing free in life and you need to work for it. At least that’s my perception, since that’s my experience. And my experiences will shape my perception. Since I’ve never had something for free, then of course for my life has to be hard. You want to get married? Work hard and save money for the expenses. No parents to pay for it. You want to go in vacation? Work hard and save money for it. You want to buy an expensive coffee? Work hard… you got it.

The ant has to work hard for the winter to come. I’m an ant. I’m an ant. I’m… a tinny little ant that has given up in trying living like the grasshopper in Aesop’s fable. And that’s actually made my life easier. Accepting the inevitable. Inevitable… Inevitable to think in Mr. Smith from The Matrix. Love how he pronounces that word. I can’t. Inevitable… It rolls in my tongue and trips just at the tip. Inevitable. The day I master pronouncing that word, I’ll be ready to conquer the world. Just like Pinky and Cerebrum. I’m Pinky, by the way. Pinky, pinky, pinky…

Just perceptions, not reality.

Lights out.

The beginning.

I decided to write a blog. The idea to write in a place where someone may or may not read my nonsense sounds exciting. Thrilling. To be able to shout with the strength of my fingers words that cannot find echo somewhere else. To bounce in the cybernetic space walls.

Hmmm… that sounds just right.

So I will. Create a blog full of empty words. Words that have spun in my head for years, yelling to get out from my brain’s limitation. As a good jailer I refused to let them out, so only I could enjoy them, those words that formed stories in my head, romances that made me sigh, happy at my creation.

Until they had enough. They decided to break the wall, finding their liberty in a blank document in my word processor. And voila! My first romance story was created. Crappy one by the way, but fun to write, no rules, no structure. Just words swirling one next to the other in a maelstrom of words, telling the story that night after night my imagination dictated.

And I want to shout them, I want to stand on the top of a cliff and throw them to a world that might not be ready for them.

Isn’t that exciting? I think it is.

So I decided to leave my rational mind outside of here. I mean, it’s already present everywhere: at work, at being a mother, at being a good citizen out there…I guess. And have fun here, doing what it started as a hobby and now I can’t live without. Writing.

One of the things I don’t want to do is think about who might read me. That’ll make me nervous and I’ll write even more nonsense… so I’m going to write as if I do a diary.

So let’s start, shall we?

Dear diary.

How are you? I hope you’re fine… I’m doing okay… well, more than okay! I’ve discovered my true passion, my real motivator. Writing. Love it. Though what I love the most is writing stories. I’ve been whispering romance stories to myself for a long time now. Thought I was a little peculiar about that, since I saw them movie-style. Created characters and plots out of the blue so I could fall sleep. Yep, that’s right. Some people count sheep, I count stories.

So I wrote the first (the crappy one). Then I wrote another. And then another. And suddenly, I got two or three simultaneous stories, and I jumped from one to the other, like a teenager girl who suddenly realizes she likes boys and just can’t decide whom she likes the most.

Until my fingers (dictated by my mind, of course) decided to be faithful to one, and I devoted myself in writing my first novel. Yay I was a writer! Bought a book to improve my writing, downloaded some lectures from a funny psychiatrist who teaches writers how to make powerful characters. Done it all and edited the story. Once, twice…thrice…and then more. Yikes! Put it aside… that hurt. Oh boy did it hurt! Loved my male character, but couldn’t get around the female, couldn’t create a believable back story for her.

But the stories kept going. Kept pouring into my mind, into my soul, pounding with their fists to get outside. And I let them. I opened the door and puff! Three more came along. Three stories that find their way from my mind to my heart, and I poured them in paper.

You gotta love what you do. You gotta love what you write. And I love it.

Am I rambling? Yes, I am. I do that, a lot, changing train tracks with every thought that crosses my mind. So that’s why this blog’s fun.

I used to just scramble my thoughts in the back of a notebook I used for work… and then I realized I could just open a Notepad, write my feelings, blow some steam and closed it without saving the document… And now I can use a blog, yay!

I wonder if anyone would actually read this. I do wonder that. But if not, that’s okay. I can shout my words into the internet, words than can get lost in the immensity of it. I mean, how many are writing nonsense right now? Maybe even better nonsense than mine.

Lights out.