August 22nd, 2018

Charah coffee

Fantastic Day

It's been a pretty productive day despite my spending too little time on Chapter 5 and getting up way later than I'd planned (i.e. 1.5 hours later). There is always time to make something of your day as long as 1) you are alive and 2) you are willing.

So here are the highlights:

1. I paid my entire 7 months' rent for my room in London (7 being the minimum term of the tenancy), which means it is official: I am moving to London. Now that I have gone through the uncertainty and dealt with the fear of leaving a familiar place, I am properly excited. I am, first, excited to decorate my new room and make it my own space; and second, excited about London simpliciter. It's going to be great.

(The reason I paid the rent upfront was because I couldn't be bothered producing documents for the landlord's reference check. It was too much effort to get a rent guarantee letter from my parents, too much effort to scan one of my payslips for some ad-hoc work I did at the university, too much effort to download my bank statement from the past 3 months. Since I can pay the GBP6,700 and still have a considerable amount of money left over, I decided to just do it.)

2. I wrote almost 1,000 words in a little over an hour--that's the bright side. The down side is, the second half of it is shit. But here's the other bright side: I am finally gaining understanding of how my theory actually works when applied to the cases. If I weren't playing tennis with Elijah at 4.30pm, I would probably have worked out the bit that stumped me when re-interpreting the Jehovah's Witnesses cases. This chapter is pretty fun (even if terribly written so far; oh my god, the language is so stilted that it makes me want to puke) because I can pretty much say whatever I want; there are virtually no rules except those that I have set in the last four chapters. It is awesome. I can't wait to finish it, and I want to finish a rough draft by Saturday at the latest, and Friday if possible.

3. Tennis: I won again! It was a reversal of the previous scoreline: 6-4, 7-5. That the score is always so close despite the fact that he hadn't played in years and is only playing with me is testament to his natural athletic ability, his ball sense and his determination to improve and to do something not just for fun, but to do it properly and do it well. Give him a few more months and he'd be blasting me off the court.

It was quite hot today, and the sun was pretty relentless by glaring down on me for two hours. I had a mild headache halfway through from the heat. I think I played garbage for the majority of the time; kept missing my favourite backhand return (the down-the-line on the deuce court) which I was killing two days ago; kept hitting my running forehand wide (then again, I don't think I have made a single one in the past month); hit a forehand down the line long; and so on. But on the crucial points--my set point on his serve, for instance--I made the shot: a forehand return winner down the line, and my favourite backhand return. And since it's tennis, that made all the difference.

Also: I served well today (for my lowly standards) despite hitting 3 or 4 double faults; served with purpose and conviction, and almost the right technique (still not consistently pronating. Annoying).

4. I want to submit a short prose poetry-type piece I wrote about Never Again to a journal. So I read through some of the pieces published by my target journal. And then I decided that what I have already written is too boring; the style is simplistic, the tone sentimental. It is supposed to be prose poetry but it is not poetic at all.

So I decided to rewrite it. I settled on the subtext that I want to convey--which entails a complete change in its meaning--and dug deep to come up with the imagery, and the right words to produce this imagery, that I think would do the trick. Suffice it to say that the rewritten version is a million times better than the boring, pallid first version.

Writing is exhilarating. I wanted to write another short piece but the words weren't coming, and I didn't know what I wanted to say. I don't think it's possible to write, certainly not well, without having a goal, a purpose, a meaning to be conveyed. I think the reason that a few of my projects have stalled is because I don't know what I'm trying to say with them, and so I don't know what purpose a particular scene, let alone how to weave everything together to convey something which isn't even clear to me.

The bigger problem, however, is this: I excel at writing emotively and semi-poetically, but I am terrible at describing objects, actions, scenes, places, etc. I also cannot sustain a narrative; I don't know how X leads to Y, or why X should lead to Y, or what comes after Y. I'm going to buy some books on writing. I don't like being stuck in this rut.