On My Own

You close the door, sit in a chair and open your laptop.

There is silence in the room, or maybe there is background music – a tune that you routinely listen to.

You procrastinate. Scrolling through Facebook, reading the news, watching YouTube videos.

Then you get to work. Your document page comes up and the cursor begins to blink. You stare at the screen. You blink once for every three times the cursor does. Silence fills the room, or background music does.

You look around your room. At the mess your bed is in from the moment you woke up… seven hours ago. At the pile of books you should probably either return or start reading. At the papers that clutter the rest of your table. The post-its with illegible notes.

You are alone.

Even your muse is not in today.

If your background music is on, it has probably ended so you change the soundtrack.

Then you go back to staring at the cursor.

There’s dirt between the keys on your laptop, so you clean it out. You probably should use a cloth. And there are chores to do as well. You need to sleep soon. There is school or work tomorrow. Homework maybe. But you want to write this story.

You lean on one elbow.

You go lie down on the bed.

You fold your blanket.

You take a teddy bear and prop it up next to your laptop. You tell it to speak. It stares black plastic eyes back at you, almost taunting. It says, “You can’t do this.”

You sigh.

Then you close your eyes and place your hands on the keyboard.

You get a notification on Whatsapp. It’s from your friend. You lean back in your chair and start typing a message to him or her. He or she replies. So you have a conversation with them for a while.

Maybe you’ll get inspiration.

You don’t. The two of you have a good talk. Then he or she has to go and do their business. You tell them you are writing your story so they leave you alone. You close Whatsapp and tell yourself to get to work.

The silence becomes too loud. If you had music on, it probably stopped.

You’re on your own.

With a sigh, you type the first word that comes to your mind.

Then the words flow. Sometimes, they stop. You repeat the process. Standing up, walking around the room. Flipping open a book. Read a piece of paper that has been on your desk for five years. You look out the window at the dark sky.

You get back to writing.

Until you start yawning.

Your character starts looking fuzzy in your head. You cannot imagine him anymore. So you save the document. Then you watch another random YouTube video. Reply a few more Whatsapp messages.

Total writing time: 30 minutes.

You decide to watch a movie.

You close the document. And decide that you have done enough writing for one day. Or maybe the whole week.

It’s okay, you say, since it is just a story you are writing for yourself.




The Reading Challenge



Maybe I was a liiiittle inspired by Read or Die to read more books but I had already decided when school holidays loomed that I needed to read more books.

Books are a crucial part of escapism and also a crucial part of gaining experience in the world. It has always been a little dreary to just live my own life and the lives of the people around me. But with books, I can live in places that don’t exist and talk to people who will tell me their heart’s desires and deepest fears without my having to prod and infer.

I am excited about this challenge.

I am also banishing the thoughts of numerous essays and looming project deadlines…

Read or Die Review

R.O.D. the TV is an anime series based off the series of light novels titled Read or Die by Hideyuki Kurata about Paper Masters, characters with the ability to control paper, and who absolutely love books.

The anime follows three Paper Masters and a writer facing writer’s block after the disappearance of her best friend four years prior.

This anime gave off a slightly melancholic vibe despite having a light-hearted art style and bright colours. And I liked that. I thought it was a creative use of paper, of books and of stories. I loved how the characters, most of whom were acute bibliomaniacs, lived half in their world of books, absent-mindedly engaging in real life activities.

And okay, I could relate to their excitement at seeing bookshops.

These characters lived in a book nest, sleeping in beds buried under mountains of books, the writer working under an avalanche of books and papers. As an avid reader myself, I loved the setting of the story.

As for the story, personally, that mattered less because of how engaged I was in the characters. But the story revolved in a fairly logical manner, with the paper masters having to use their abilities on secret missions to earn money to fuel their book buying sprees.

And eventually, these secret missions reveal the underlying plot in the story – a diabolical plan to reform the world through writing.

Finding this anime was like a dream come true, a series revolving around books, about stories and how they have the power to change the world. I am not a fan of the art style but I am drawn to books and this anime had plenty of that.

“Please give me back my book!”

~by Yomiko Readman