And yet...I go on, still, though my heart trembles at even the thought of another moment on that accursed route. Is it pride, or courage, that pushes me on? I cannot say, for I do not know. I know only that were it in my hands alone, I would give it up, and yet...still, I go on.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
I know what it is to be a hero. To go on, when every trembling part would turn back. I know what it is to fear, and in that fear wish for such escape, only to keep going on. This is what it is to be a hero, though hero I am not; I am only the frightened labourer, who plods from place to place. I am not a hero, though like a hero I have wept with grief and despair for the odds against me. No, I am not a hero.
Written by Josiah English at 15:58
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Friday, 22 April 2011
The weather's too warm now, and I won't be needing it anymore. Even so, it was with some sadness that I took my electric blanket off my bed and packed it away. Not because I have any emotional attachment to the blanket itself, but by the time the weather is cold again, I'll be gone.
Gone. There's that word, and with it a sinking feeling right at the bottom of my stomach.
Gone. Such a vulgar, crass-sounding word, hard and Anglo-Saxon. Pitiless, and alone.
It's early to pack everything away, but as I slowly begin to dismantle this chamber that is my fortress, it touches me again, in realer ways, that it's all over.
Rather like the sad-but-happy ending to a series of good books that comes after a long journey with characters who feel as real as ice and fire, with you turning each last page with trepidation, that sinking feeling growing, knowing that when you reach the end of the last sentence, and read the death knell that is the final period: there's never going back. Oh, you can reread a series of books, and sometimes, if you're lucky, feel the same way about them as you did the first time; or almost. Life is different, in that way, and for that harder, and more poignant (a word I strangely despise right now).
And then comes that masochistic instinct of mine, to linger on every sad moment like this one, knowing it's being sad that means you have reason at other times to be happy, and seeing the very fringe of loss the best way to show what you've gained.
My bedroom really is my best friend, in a sense. It knows my darkest secrets, my deepest hopes, my greatest desires, my ugliest weaknesses, and most terrible fears. It can't talk or think, and that's why it has become to me what it is. It is my fortress, a strong shelter when I grow too angry at the world to face it, or too shunned by it to try. It keeps me safe when my heart breaks—once every few months or so, you know how it is—and it Never, Ever tells.
My room has seen the triumphs I've had, or many of them; the moments of glorious ascension as I write my own end to a novel, or read someone else's. And however far I go, however much I distance myself from it, till now it's always been something to come back to. When I've turned monster on those least worthy, and retreat in fear of my own created gore, it does not judge me, or ask me why: and while it lasted, it was good.
A fortress of my own making, a place to store my soul. Now, I oversee the destruction of it, watching it fall in pieces from now till September. A mighty fortress is my room, a bulwark rarely failing; A helper, it, amid the floods, of mortal ill prevailing. No longer now, to shelter thou from darkness penetrating. I'll hit the road and go to Wales, and...have a good life, or something.
I don't want to end on a lamely happy note, or dwell melodramatically on a sad one; my feelings are as mixed up as my soul, and just about anyone can tell you that's saying something. For now, my room's a wreck—yes, I did stop to write this in the middle of my work—and I should get on that, doing my best to let that tinglingly-sad feeling linger, savouring the pain by the drop.
Written by Josiah English at 12:05
Sunday, 17 April 2011
You get that nervous feeling, when you're talking, or you're thinking about talking, and you don't really want to, except you do, and you think it's the right thing...and you swallow, and you're sure everyone can see you, and that everyone notices, and you're actually probably right, and swallowing, on top of that, is just proof that you really are nervous, which is just the impression you'd like to avoid, but then you can't help it because, being nervous, and knowing you should speak but not exactly feeling full of a desire to do so, you do anyway...and really, it didn't matter so much after all now it's over, and perhaps you should've kept your mouth shut, now you see how people are looking at you funny like maybe your head isn't screwed on as properly as you think.
Still, it's too late now, isn't it?
Written by Josiah English at 20:59
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Pain is a funny thing. It's not hilarious, but it is funny. There's pain that just bugs you, and that's body pain. I almost said physical, but emotional pain hurts physically too. And that's the other sort of pain: the kind that comes on strong, then dissipates to lure you into the sense that you're over it...and just when you really could use some peace and quiet, hits you over the head again as if to say, "Hah! You thought I'd gone! But I'll never leave!" and cackles evilly, running away to plan another ambush.
Does pain actually think about this and premeditate how it strikes? I wouldn't put it past it, but I don't think so. It's just the inanimate nature of pain, and if it were planned around the times when it wouldn't hurt, that wouldn't be pain anyway. You have this hole in your heart, or your soul more-like, and you can't fill it with anything because it's a hole: whatever you put in it just falls through. It's not like a hole in the ground which isn't a hole but a pockmark; this is a hole all the way through, the kind you can look into and see the other side, like a glittering black she-devil. Or he-devil.
Pain, pain, pain. We wouldn't know we were human if we didn't feel, because we wouldn't know anything with it. I'm not complaining. But sometimes you do wonder how long it takes to disappear.
Written by Josiah English at 16:16
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Until recently, it took time for a film to be made out of a book. I mean this in both senses: a book had to be proven as a popular or worthy story for years, and often decades or longer, and not only that but more time went into adaptations of novels.
Maybe I'm partly imagining things, or being selective in my thinking, but even if that accounts for some of it, there is a fact that the book-into-film method is beginning to shift, or has already shifted.
I Am Number Four, a book released in August 2010 about an alien in high school (to simplify the storyline) had its own movie come out in March 2011. Not only did the film makers start work on the adaptation before the book came out, but they did it all at breakneck speed.
Twilight as a franchise has been pumped out every year, or even every six months, and work on the first film couldn't have begun much after the book turned into a hit.
One might list Harry Potter among these, but while I think it is itself part of the shift I think it happened during the tide and managed to escape the mistakes made in other examples.
Why is this happening?
It's quite simple. People's interest and taste changes constantly, more so these days when we have so many new books, movies, music, and electronic gadgets to choose from. Trends in the "what's popular among teenage girls" are in and out at a moment's notice, and if you want to climb on that bandwagon you'd best do it fast.
Someone, whether it be a publisher, author, or affiliate of I Am Number Four let someone else in some film studio know about it, and work got started before it came out. Why? It was a popular book or film formula currently, and expected to be a hit. But not only do books usually take longer to become hits, a book has to become and then stay a hit before it establishes a fanbase that will follow it to the box office.
Twilight is a similar example. The books were a raging success, but for how long? I'm sure people realised that the quality of the story and writing wouldn't allow it to be successful for longer than the fashion stays "in" and if you wanted a piece of that action, you would have to be quick. Which is precisely what went on: before the books were all released, before the blaze could die down, the movies were pumped out lightning-quick because if they produced them in the normal way, their chances of big rakings at the office would drop significantly.
With Twilight, it worked. At least, they made money and lots of it. With I Am Number Four, they got ahead of themselves and it was a complete flop. But when you start with books that follow the current fashion and produce them with such blazing speed not only are you starting with something less than great, but you're rush creating a cinematic version which can only mean one thing: good or bad, whatever you started with will be degraded in your absurd and money-hungry haste.
Even when it does what the movie producers were hoping, and makes box office gold, the films suffer, from the acting to the editing. Though cinema has always had its sections of dedicated filmmakers who make it for the art (a small section, surely), always had its somewhat larger section of those dedicated to making as much money as possible, along with blends of the two mentioned, these days with more and more films being made and people turning to bestsellers for ideas or even possible hits in literature not yet released, it seems a newer and more shameful sort of scratching for money.
However things go, whether we as a society entrench ourselves deeper and deeper into this habit or break it for some other one, the culture's reasons for and ways of making movies will find someway to deprave itself, I have to say, I'd rather it wasn't this one.
Written by Josiah English at 11:51