Revamp the writing experience – Productive Procrastination.

In this post I will be blabbing on about revamping your writing journals. I don’t know about you, but I love to keep a journal handy with me at all times, but there is nothing really “motivating” about a boring journal to write in. So, if you’re like me and you’re going through a bit of a rough patch in writing (writer’s block) then maybe this will help fill in the time… or help you further your procrastination from writing 😛

I’ve always liked to “liven” my writing experience. There is just something about having a uniquely decorated journal that appeals to my individual taste. I had started doing this kind of thing when I was a teenager but I never thought much about it back then – there was just love and enjoyment in adding something original to these little notebooks I carried around everywhere. There was more pride, those that I had decorated, and I found that with these I really felt more inspired to fill them with my words.

This is not really an original idea, it’s original to me as I had just naturally started doing it when I was younger and I am sure there are much simpler ways of doing this and much more interesting than what I have here for you, but this is how I’ve always done it. I’ve found this way the easiest for me and the most enjoyable. So hopefully you get to feel the same enjoyment as I felt.

What you will need is firstly and obviously, a journal. I like one with a stitched back but not one that is spiral bound. Those are more difficult to cover with the paper you want and they can become messy.  Here I’ve used an old moleskin I’ve had lying around… but really, whatever suits you. Here is a picture of what it looked like before:

When it comes down to what you want to use to decorate your journal there is no point in organising every single little piece of scrap-book accessory. You just need a box with stuff in it. One box will do you, a nice box, but one nonetheless. Unless you have LOTS of stuff, and then you might need two.  Don’t bother about buying things. Buying sucks.  Scrap-booking can be really expensive, so I just go around to garage sales and collect or journey around little opp shops. That’s the exciting, fun part. Plus, little old ladies will talk to you at the counter ~ and that’s always fun…

The point is, have a box of stuff to work with and dig your hand around to find something that you like. I really love collecting cuttings from newspapers and magazines. Newspapers especially have this old, grey, pulp feel about them. So I like to cut out pictures or random articles to play with – they tend to add a little something to the display but for the time being I’ve just taken images from my favourite magazines.

What you will need:

  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Scissors (also for different cutting styles)
  • Craft Glue
  • A Brush
  • Magazines
  • A Big Shoe Box (to keep the scraps in)
  • A Shoe (no not really)
  • A Journal (duh)
  • Contact Paper (You should be able to buy metre rolls. You really won’t need much, I have bought a LOT but only because I’m an idiot since I keep making mistakes)
Here you can see the whole, difficult and painful process of cutting out pieces of pretty paper. So difficult.

This is the shoe box with stuff in it.

A lovely selection of the finest magazines. Oooh.

Pretty scissors with cool cutting patterns. Gives the paper a unique affect.

Okay, so lets get started! You will need your craft glue handy as you pick and choose some cool picture designs from your cut-outs. Make sure you keep your decorations neat, sometimes if you overdo it you can make the picture appear cluttered. Use the brush or a paddle-pop stick (Aussie?) to even out the glue. If you make a mistake with the glue, it’s okay, it’ll dry transparent.

Here I have completed the front cover as you can see I have just chosen some random pictures with bright colours and have written in ink, on the girl’s collar, a little message to myself.

 After finishing both sides (and with a few extra little touches) I move onto sealing the cover by using contact paper. I find that this preserves the decorations and protects the journal itself from wear and tear. This may seem like a lot of work for a simple notebook, but seriously, if you’ve got writer’s block then this is probably one of the better things to do to fill in your time. And as you are creating it, you will soon rediscover your writing passion by wanting to use your newly revamped journal! Hurrah! You’ve cured yourself from writer’s block.

With the contact paper you only need about two centimetres outside the journal’s measurements. This is enough to cover and protect it.

And you are done! Well… what else should I do now?

All Eyes – Poetry

 

All Eyes

By J. A. Weymouth

 

All eyes are broken glass,

Fractured away from a whole,

Expression imprinted loss,

Nothingness – a black hole.

 

Tears are but a ripple,

Wavering across that loner pond,

Mirroring life as nothing but a cripple,

Despair dares not respond.

 

Loss breeds the need,

The need to see greater impressions,

Of souls born to be greedy,

For the better to question.

 

Left to shudder the anticipation,

Of crumbling sorrow,

Leaves us with the sensation

Of nothing.  Nothing for tomorrow.

The Red Scarf – Short Story (Part 5)

The Red Scarf [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

By J. A. Weymouth

There was an eerie silence about the derelict mansion when Henry returned.  Its stillness unnerved him.  It was in the trees, the overgrown shrubs – throughout the quiet grounds.  A curious sense lingered over him as he stepped towards the fallen passageway.  It was like stepping into a graveyard.

Henry felt unsure and wondered whether he should visit the room – the one with the mirror and ghost he thought was imprisoned inside it.

After avoiding the familiar traps that littered the path before coming into the room, he entered and realised how quiet the room was inside, almost peaceful yet incredibly lonely.

When he saw her he didn’t think it frightening like he thought it would be.  Instead, it was sad seeing her.  It was just like waking from a dream – or remembering one.  He wasn’t sure.  Her image was still smudged, blurred as it had been in the photographs so that it seemed to him that she was neither in this world nor in the world of the mirror. She was in between.  Her being struggled with the idiosyncratic existence as the mirror had trapped her soul but she was meant to be free.  It appeared to Henry as he looked closer that her image softly vibrated, struggling with her entrapment.

Henry trailed his fingers against the soft surface of the mirror then rested his palm over the place where her hand had touched.  At this, it was as if Henry could feel the restlessness of her soul.  He had realised that it had only taken a moment for each of their souls to coincide with the unique rhythm of both worlds connecting as each one touched the other.  Then, a strange sensation overwhelmed him as if being pulled by an unknown force.

The feeling lasted only a second but Henry moved by a strange urge to turn and find the girl standing behind him.

She was watching him as he stood to see her with a curious expression decorating her face.  Henry thought her pretty with her auburn hair tied up in a neat bun, the red scarf placed gently around her neck though hiding a shameful secret, and saw in her deep, brown eyes that still looked at him cautiously but with the same sadness that he found in those pictures he had seen yesterday.

He was about to speak but she moved towards him, very suddenly, even though she was standing as far as the other side of the room.  She had only taken one step and already she was in front of him with her hand open towards him in front of his face.  The movement was graceful and with her hand nervously meeting his cheek she spoke.

‘I’m sorry,’ she said with a displaced, little voice, ‘but I have to show you.’

And she did, with her touch, her memories passed onto him of the night she had died.

It was unbearable.  It was as if he stood by her side during her traumatic encounter with the older, vile man that had been chasing her and, in the end, had finally caught her.  He could not move as he flowed with every quickened step she took to get away from the man.  Henry barely was able to glance around to absorb their surroundings: forties London, war posters, apathetic scattering looks, and deafening alarms.

Then it came to her rape. Seeing everything, breathing, smelling the sweat on his face as he lay on top of her, then the blood… the blood as he scratched at her throat with a piece of the shared mirror; the vile man’s last pleasure as he finished with her.  Henry had absorbed all her senses, all her feelings, becoming her and it was too much to bear and yet, as he felt like he was going to pass, everything went black.

He woke to her hand on his chest.  It seemed too cold as he woke, and yet he was in sweats and shaking all over with the feeling of shamefulness from not being able to help the girl.  This feeling overwhelmed Henry for a long moment even though he knew that she was already dead and it had all been a memory.  With a sigh, and as he grasped the girl’s open hand to help pull him to his feet, he stood to find the girl gone and standing in front of the mirror, in the derelict room alone.

Angry, he took the mirror from its hanging, finding a sharp, dislodged piece of wood protruded from the collapsed ceiling; he swung and with great force and empathy, smashed the mirror against it and it shattered into a million pieces.  Henry fell to his knees and cried.

As he composed himself, and feeling somewhat at peace, he noticed a small light shining in his eyes.  The light irritated him.  Henry found that a piece of the broken mirror shone a new, morning sun into his eyes and picked it up to stop it from reflecting it into his eyes.  Before he threw the piece away, he noticed a scarlet thread attached to its side.  He picked at the thread and as he brought it in for a closer look, it vanished into dust.  Its scarlet particles shone like red glitter in the sunlight.

A soft breeze carried like a whisper and Henry then knew that the girl had passed with a final thank you in the wind.

~~~

Final part to come soon ~

Whole Words – Poetry

Whole Words

By J. A. Weymouth

There is a lonely man who ponders still

That crazy hoax that is beyond, near all

Of contemplation and sour thrill

The experience of many: the advanced scrawl.

 

The energy draws back in uneasy steps

Trailing inwards and coiling your insides

Quickening with horrid, trepid missteps

The look received fools and divides.

 

It is the poet who sees those naked eyes

Wandering over many matching reflections

Their quiet tastes of the idea standing by

Of all that fails those contemplative questions.

 

Who is the poet? Is that the man or the deer?

That doe-eyed look of words that do come forth

Sprung up beneath or beyond that higher seer

Come from unwavering lengths of tender thought.

 

It is like this equivalence, this treasured creativity

That is beyond all of me and my soul

These words are not mine, simply pure proclivity

From an un-tranquil mind in need to become whole.

Ink – Poetry

Ink

By J.A. Weymouth

 

Damn it all the eye that sees

Past.

A crying pain, a sinking hope. Lost now

 

The modern feeling is beyond all me.

 

A touch of a sinking age, now

Beyond.

And always through a pictured

Lover.

 

Her legs spread for an insurance add.

 

Oh screaming children who cry against,

The elder men and women. No gold for these

Wrinkled eyes.

 

No respect for the elderly.

 

No handicapped ear.

 

And what form do you have? For a stamp.

Or a dollar?

 

No print can remember us.

The Red Scarf – Short Story (Part 4)

The Red Scarf [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

By J. A. Weymouth

The next day, Henry took the newly developed photos and began studying each subject to choose those that stood out and toss out some that he was unsatisfied with.  Those that he would decide to put up as part of his exhibition he started preparing them for larger sizes and the frames that he would later fit them in.

While Henry had placed his prized photos under the enlarger he noticed something odd about one of the photos that he had taken from his first photo shoot.  What he had noticed could not be possible.  At first he thought it was the speck of dirt or spot of light he tried to ignore while he had been trying to take the photo.  What appeared to be a disturbance of the lens was in fact a blur or a motion construed by something in the picture.  As he stared at the image, he slowly began to understand the shape – a blur of movement, like someone turning away.  Faint and distant.  It seemed to Henry like an outline of something small but distinct but almost as if it were a shroud of light broken by shadow.

As Henry stared closer, he began to think of it as something like a figure with the soft outline of someone’s head, crouched over in the very far corner of the room, as if in a strange way, that it was hiding itself from the mirror.

Adjusting the enlarger, and focusing the lens more, he then removed the photo and cleaned it for a better look.  It was distracting him.  But it was no good.  The motion was still there and as he looked at it closer, he realised the shape that formed in the picture had now moved.  The faint outline of a feminine figure became the centre of the photo.  She had raised her head as if something had caught her attention.  The movement was a blur but the gesture had never been so clear.

Henry was positive that he had been the only one present in the room at the time so it was impossible that someone else had been there at the same time as him.  He was sure since the door was the only entrance to the room, or at least, he thought he was sure.

Henry took the next photo and placed it in the enlarger.  It was another photo of the mirror.  Again he sees the disturbance in the picture.  He was sure it was a girl because now, unlike before, he could see the girl’s face.  It frightened him, the way the girl’s face seemed to move in his mind, but obviously it wasn’t possible.  Her figure in the picture seemed somewhat blurred still even though he could clearly see her as if someone had dragged their figure over her image, smudging the outline of her.

Something unnerving and cool coiled around his stomach as an idea throbbed inside his mind, itching to be thought. Soft drops of sweat beaded his forehead as Henry glanced over the photo again.  It couldn’t be.  He was certain that he had been the only one in the room at the time.  Not only that but he was sure the girl had moved, which was impossible.

The photo shook.  No, not the photo but his hands.  The idea that something that was not supposed to be there, in the picture, had moved physically, changing from one frame to another.  The impossible became more absurd with every new photo as he watched and trembled all over with each picture he picked up and put it through the lens.  Henry felt like screaming.  She was standing still, slightly turned but now facing him.

Each photo depicted her movement as she appeared closer to him.  Henry took the photos away as the image of her was large enough for him to see without the lens.  He saw her and realised, beginning to understand the unreal.  Hands still shacking, he looked at her closely and watched (still half denying and half accepting) her move before his eyes.  She appeared to struggle with her movement.  The outline of her stilled then blurred and stilled again in quick vibrating motions which gave Henry the impression of a hummingbird’s wings fluttering so quickly that it had stilled itself into a slow motion of beauty.  It was beautiful but frightening.  Her elegant neck twisted against the red of the slash in her throat – her eyes deep with despair.

The idea lashed out at him as he realised what this was.  He bit his lip as he thought the word.  Ghost.

Fear subsided as he held her picture and realised something.  The picture was empty.  He had blinked only for a second.

***

Henry had awoken the next day to red with the memory of the girl and her bloodied neck.  She had haunted him in his dreams that night but was not completely certain if the whole ordeal had been real, not unlike his nightmare.

Flicking through the photographs with a desperate need to confirm this ghost Henry tried to find his proof but found only pictures of a derelict room.  The pictures that had once been the photographs of the mirror were now blank.  All he had left was the reminiscence of a mirror in empty pictures.  There were no signs of the girl.

Starting to doubt himself, Henry went to the bathroom and washed his face.  The ice cold water jolted his senses but did little to remove the unnerving feel he had since the night before.  He was sure it was real, as any shocking truth could be.  He would have liked to deny it but the flashes of the girl’s disfigured neck had seemed as an all too real thing – and the insurmountable sadness that he felt from her.

He decided there was only one way to confirm it by going back to the mansion and seeing it with his own eyes.

~~~