Tagged: creative writing

How to act like an introvert in a public setting

Look around the room with wide eyes, never allowing any other emotion but interest and curiosity to take over your face.

Appear as though you’ve always got something to smile about, but only to a certain extent.

If you’re smiling with a smirk, you are content as an introvert. If you grin like a madman, people will ask what you’re on.

Guest Post: Prison Cell 228

Today the double doors of my school entrance looks like the prison bars of the toughest jail in the world. What is a simple hallway from Monday to Friday has morphed into death row on this particular Saturday. I stop in front of Cell 228, and open the door.

I walk in, and am greeted by multiple pairs of eyes, studying me. Obviously the inmates are glad that there’s one more person sharing in their collective misery.

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Effy Stonem and I – Happy Alter Ego Day

Coincidently at school today, it’s Alter Ego Day for the seniors. If I had to think of a concrete character as my alter ego, I would probably choose Effy Stonem from UK Skins, Series 1-4. She’s almost the complete opposite from me. She wears a ton of makeup, she is very daring and bold, yet she also manages to say very few words and maintain an enigmatic air. I on the other hand, wear relatively minimal makeup, seldom do anything that would be characterized as “daring,” and am an open book. It’s pretty easy to infer what I’m thinking, based off of the look on my face. She almost always wears black black black, whereas I always wear colors. Pretty much everyday.

To interact with someone like her would probably make me paranoid. I’m uncertain whether we would get along very well, or end up very annoyed with each other, due to our vast differences. They say that opposites attract, but I’m assuming that only applies in a romantic sense.

While I feel as though Effy would be my alter ego, I sometimes think that Effy is – at times – her own alter ego. In various scenes, she is seen from a completely different angle, makeup-free and vulnerable. At her core, she seems to be a little girl with a messed up conscience. Now, dramatic Effy and I are opposites, but this doesn’t make “clean” Effy any bit similar to me. This discussion is of opposites in two separate dimensions.

What constitutes your opposite character? What determines if someone is your alter ego? I think a prime example of criteria would be the decisions made in a split second. Someone approaches us and asks if we want to go to a party. Uh, no thanks, I’m good. I have a math test tomorrow, would be something I would say in this day and time. Effy on the other hand, would probably give a half smile and walk off and come back at 6 AM, sneaking back into the house, never saying a word.

In a world where I met Effy Stonem, I’d probably be overcome with overwhelming desire to be her, as naturally as anyone would want to be the bad-ass hip girl that she first appears to be when we first meet her. But she’s my alter ego for a reason, I think. There are days when you don’t feel like yourself and don’t want to be yourself. You want to escape your personality and the way that it weighs you down, limits what you can do in front of others. It’s days like these that make me want to put on ripped, black clothing and go to parties and be daring.

But in general, I’m pretty content with who I am. I wouldn’t be jealous of her personality and persona simply because we are so different, and that on an average day, I would probably not befriend her very easily. But life can surprise you, and you can become friends with someone you never envisioned before, which is why the concept of alter egos is totally acceptable, and why it’s 100% appropriate to have a relapse into a cycle of envy and desire to be who you aren’t.

– Daily Prompt

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Admiring Strangers: Coffee Shop Girl

I mean, of course I didnt actually take a picture of her. Got this online yo

She sits alone in a corner booth, as natural light peeks through the blinds. I don’t know how long she has been there, or how long she will stay, but I know that she looks comfortable. The table that is meant for four supports her computer, a notebook, a pencil, and multiple sheets of paper that she has spread out. There’s a neglected sandwich and diluted cup of who knows what drink sitting off to the side. The way that she listens intently to her headphones that are plugged into the computer and takes notes diligently seems to indicate that she’s probably in college. Her hair is dark and curly, yet all I see is her profile. People like her go to coffee shops alone because they don’t need to be with people 24/7. People like her either are introverted and work best individually or really just need to put their mind to the paper and study-udy-udy. Whatever the case was, I feel that this girl was truly working hard on that Monday afternoon.

The coffee shop though, was more local than global. There’s only a few of its kind, all through that area. People in Pittsburgh will never taste its coffee. The shop’s got that rustic, neighborhood bread and bakery, homey sort of feel. The sandwiches are freshly made, the regulars are actually real-life regulars, and someone decorated the place so that it’s a one-of-a-kind. Who hangs out here? People who’ve been here every week for the past few years of their life. They come, buy something, and then settle down in a corner with a book or computer, the way that everyone seems to do in a Starbucks or Caribou. Somehow, though, this place is different. Where are the cake pops? The calorie counting menus? Nonsense; none of that here. Whether their coffee is somehow better than worse than the chains’, I will never know. You will never know, as it is a question largely indeterminable, yet often arbitrarily decided by the “experts.” What it may lack in flavor, this quaint little shop makes up in originality and character.

But what about the coffee itself? Where does it come from? You only know what comes in the paper cup. You only taste what is left after the beans have been ground and diluted with water, tainted with cream and sugar. Is it still the same bean that was growing on the tree in Colombia? As it lives, it exists in so many forms. The bean is harvested, packaged, shipped across the world, ground, brewed, and the remains are thrown away. But are the leftover grounds really “remains”? What if what we consume is the unwanted, the residual of something magical? What if the cure to cancer is in those little dregs? In the present day, they speed up the composting process, providing nutrients to soil that will eventually be used to grow more coffee plants. The simple bean reflects a continuous cycle.

Weekly Writing Challenge ayee

Why Am I Here?

whn i wus in middle skool i cr8ed a blog called “thoughts” in whch i jst ranted bout my angsty 7th grade life. it wsnt 4 neone 2 read n i had no idea how to control the theme or the background. i wus all pissy bcuz i wrote bout how certain ppl annoyed me. it wus the pinnacle of immaturity, sumthin tht im rather embarrassed bout, specially bout the way i typed.

Who writes like that anymore?? Certainly not me. I’m so glad that I got over this awkward phase of mine. So glad that it was only a stage.

I started another blog the summer before junior year, which was anonymous and not very well maintained. By then, I had matured quite a bit but upon reading back through my posts, I still sounded childish in my words. The whole blog was very random and scattered, and it was boring because no one read it and it almost became a chore for me.

All of October 2012, I contemplated making a new blog. I could start fresh, make each post as high of quality as possible. If there was nothing very personal on it, the whole world could read it. If I just wanted to write about my day and what happened in my life, why would anyone want to read that? Would a notebook not suffice? I could make it applicable to anyone who read, of whatever age, of whatever race, gender, or geographic region. I could even show my friends and family. I gathered the courage to start this blog, and now, over six months later, here I am, still writing.

I’m here on WordPress because I tested other blog systems but I found this one to suit me well. I love Daily Post, and the wide variety of prompts that they give me every day. My readers are genuinely wonderful people and I’ve found that there’s an astoundingly huge online community of people just like me, who love to write.

I started this blog with the intention of pushing myself to produce more creative writing pieces. I generally don’t write poetry, and whenever I did, I limited myself to simple 4-liners with alternate rhyme. Gradually however, I started stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ve started to think more professionally about the things that I write, and none of this would have happened if I had never started this blog.

What I initially was very timid and nervous about turned into a project that profited in every sense.

I feel more confident about myself and the future.

The reflection that I’ve had to go through when writing my posts has allowed me to make decisions that bring me out of misery.

I’ve encouraged a modest number of other people to start blogs or at least give free writing a try.

I’m here because I absolutely love writing and want to share it with anyone who is willing to read.

More importantly though, this blog is all mine. I run the blog; it does not run me. It’s freedom in a sense that I am free to choose what I write about, yet contained in an air of maturity and civility.

– Daily Prompt

The Pessimistic Fate of Future Generations

pessimism

In 50 years, the world will be in chaos.

The nuclear taboo will have be broken, and nuclear weapons will have destroyed the planet. We will finally have suffered the consequences of not taking nuclear threats seriously.

Countries will acquire bio weapons and wreak chemical terror on others. And if scientists are incompetent enough to not know how to create chemical weapons, cyber terrorists will hack our databases and intentionally start conflicts that escalate.

We’re going to run out of space as the population of the world outpaces the space available. It won’t be immediate, but we won’t think anything of it until disaster strikes and the damage is irreversible. By that time, we’ll have stripped all of the green off of the land, and the planet will be a mix of blue and brown. But the blue will be more abundant than the brown; our resource consumption and our CO2 emissions will finally catch up to us, and the resulting climate change will not directly cause extinction, but will cause a rise in sea levels, exacerbating the issue of overpopulation.

We’re going to run out of effective antibiotics, and all of the bacteria will become resistant, eventually allowing a deadly, widespread disease outbreak.

And the polar bears? They’re gonna die. So are all of the tigers and elephants that we’ve been poaching for generations, and overall biodiversity will plummet, and the zoos will be empty soon enough.

Not as though people will want to go to the zoo though. The skies will turn more and more gray and the gas mask industry will prosper, but the overall quality of life will go down. Air pollution won’t kill us all, but we won’t be happy. We won’t have a blue sky to gaze at, and we’ll see fewer stars to wish upon.

Technology? Well, we’re going to develop so many new types of technologies in the coming years that will eventually take over the role of humans. Vending machines replace vendors, and factories and mass production replace handmade goods. While this may be good when you initially think about it, what happens to all of those jobs? My thought is that eventually every role today that requires a person will eventually be replaced by a robot, and that the only new job will be as mechanics and engineers, to fix the robots when they fail, and to create new robots that will fix broken robots.

Increased communication through technology will cause an inability to speak to others in person without feeling extremely awkward, and eventually people will never leave their houses. I mean, why would they need to? You can shop online now. Food delivery is such a commonality, and windows and natural light is overrated anyways.

Computers will be cheaper. People will be less inclined to get out of their chairs and go outside to exercise.

The media will continue to infect our minds with arbitrary and flawed perceptions of beauty. We as a society will become more insecure, prone to suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

In 50 years, we won’t know what an apple is. Everything that we eat will come in the form of a vitamin or supplement and everything will be mass-produced and modified by science because our crops are struggling so badly. The quality of meat will decrease, animal abuse will skyrocket, and even the most exclusive and high-class restaurants will serve subpar food.

The people will revert to savagery. We won’t have anything else to do.

And all of those dreams you’ve had as a kid? They won’t exist anymore.

President? The government will revert to anarchy because they won’t be able to solve problems well enough, and the people will mutiny and overthrow the bureaucracy.

Astronaut? Well, space tourism will be such a plausible concept in the next few years that if you’ve got the money and time, you can fly to Mars or a nearby comet for fun. While the role of astronauts won’t become obsolete, the wonder and mystery and prestige that you initially thought to be associated with being an astronaut will cease to exist; you’ll just be one of those people.

And if none of these manages to throw our planet drastically off of its balance, we’ll probably face extinction from threat from a large asteroid slamming into Earth.

Enough said.

*Note: this is a creative writing prompt; I don’t necessarily agree with everything said above.

Urban Myths

Sometimes I listen to music – raging and energetic

The lyrics sound like they’re sprinting in whatever path they see

Sometimes when I write

I think about myself – commonly perceived as 100% committed and ready to go

I think about the kids in high school – moving so fast yet they don’t know where they’re going

And I wonder:

Do people actually stop and think

And maybe turn around and chase the polar opposite

Or is that just an urban myth?

Somedays I listen to music – nostalgic and lonely

The lyrics – they sound like they were written just for me

So sometimes when I write

I think about myself – so often left alone in a sea of my own thoughts

I think about the kids in high school – our perspectives so easily distorted, and by no means permanent

And I wonder:

Do people actually exist that actually know what they want

And what the future holds

Or is that just an urban myth?

On special days I’ll listen to music – rebellious and insightful

The lyrics are a call to action, illuminating the daily injustices

But sometimes when I write

I think about myself – a young person with the innocence and motivation to spark change

And I think about high schoolers – writing songs, directing plays

And I wonder:

Do we actually understand what we rant about

And do people ever actually form masses

And does social change ever really happen

Or is that just an urban myth?

Vampire Weekend June 2007Lacking the letter Z – Daily Prompt

On Happy Endings

Ideal happy ending, based on my childhood. Not in this real world though.

Daily Prompt: “And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there?

First of all, who is “they”? Right now, it just seems like it’s just me. Alone, but not lonely. Alone, not in the sense that I have no friends or people who love me, but in the sense that this year has been full of reflection time and I’ve changed so much over the last couple of months that I feel totally different. My priorities and my perspectives have shifted. There seems to be just one dominant voice in my head (mine) echoing in a collection of thoughts. Sometimes I get semi-paranoid because it’s just my opinion, distorted and volatile.

Am I living happily ever after? Well, my story isn’t finished yet. I’m just at the beginning of what I hope will be a long, fulfilling life. I’m still in high school, which I always regard as just a stepping-stone in my life. Metaphorically, my decisions will decide whether or not I stay on the correct path. At least, that’s what it seems like. The pressures of high school are starting to get to me. Everywhere, people emphasize that the trivial choices I make everyday determine who I am in the future, especially where I go to college.

It saddens me somewhat that so much of what we do in our teenage years impacts our future. Who are we, hormonal, moody teens? Do we know what we want, or do we just listen to what others tell us? How do we get there? What if we aren’t mature enough to discipline ourselves to reach our personal goals? And even if we eventually come to realize the big picture and the “objective,” what happens if we don’t take a step back soon enough? What if we’re too late?

All around me I see burnt-out people. People who don’t have any motivation or inspiration to do what they love. It seems like we’ve all been brainwashed into mindless, emotionless robots. Okay, exaggerating slightly. No doubt we all have our aspirations and our passions, and I question whether or not these zeals are valid or just hopeful, childish wishing, but in doing a little risk calculus, a lot of people decide not to invest too much in activities that might not work out in the long run.

I think a lot of them COULD work though, provided that it’s a mature, rational passion. Does such a thing even exist though? Who knows. I certainly don’t.

We should be more daring.

THIS. IS. DARING.

^What do you think I’m referring to though?

Happy endings, right. “Happily ever after.” My opinion? No, I’m not at that stage yet. Maybe I’m veering off that path a tad bit as well, distracted by everyday problems and immature desires. What it will take me to get there? A whole lot of discipline, reflection, and sacrifice.

We’ll get there soon enough.

We Are All Alone

The picture can be somewhat misleading; being alone doesn’t have to be a sad occasion!

They say that when you’re suffering, there’s someone out there that feels your pain. They say these things to calm us down when we throw tantrums about the difficulty of our life and the uniqueness of our dilemmas. True, maybe someone else has had similar situations as you have, but in the end, really and truly, we are all alone.

Sometimes I wish I could just sit down with someone in a quiet and lonely corner, and tell them my life story. If only we could sit there for hours and I could tell the story of my parents, and how they grew up and moved to America, and then how I was born. To truly understand someone, you have to start before Day 1 of their life. You have to start at Day -1000, because there was a chain of events leading up to their birth that influenced their life, no doubt. Life isn’t just one microsecond after another; rather, it is a collection of events that influence each other in ways that no one is able to predict or comprehend.

I’d start with the story of my parents, and then talk about my childhood and what kind of environment I grew up. I can’t afford to skip over whole YEARS of my life like Charlotte Bronte did in Jane Eyre, because each seemingly insignificant moment has led up to today. Rather, I’d have to go into extreme detail about the time I was in pre-school and “accidentally” keyed my mom’s car by etching my name into the side, spelling it incorrectly. Id’ have to explain as well as I can how I’ve often thought back to that day and felt guilty. I’d tell everything there is to tell a person in the timespan of an afternoon and still, I would not be done. I’d still have to expound on my political views and my taste in music, and still, I wouldn’t be halfway there.

After an afternoon passes, I doubt this person would even have a clue what kind of person I really am.

No one knows what goes through our heads. You can use every word in the English dictionary to try to describe what you’re feeling, but ultimately you are the only one who can experience exactly what you are feeling. Everything, whenever we attempt to communicate with others, is misperceived and wrongly interpreted. Each person is his or her own self, and when we try to express our feelings, there will always be crucial details omitted for the sake of not embarrassing oneself, etc.

It’s a sad feeling, no? Realizing that no one around you understands what you’re going through, not even your twin sister, or your closest friend. We are born into this world with our mind alone, and that’s how we leave it.

This sort of miscommunication is the cause of many conflicts. Making a choice that you feel in your gut is the right choice might not seem like the best choice for someone else, and that sort of disagreement sparks all sorts of problems. When someone that you thought understood and agreed with you completely takes a separate path, you feel betrayal and confusion. You’re upset because they ended up deciding something different, deviating from your usual mutual agreement.

But I have a kindred spirit!, you say. Maybe it seems like it. But ultimately, a conflict will come between the two of your and drive you apart. There are no kindred spirits. There are no soul-mates and no perfect other-halves. But it’s not the end of the world. Humanity has survived without understanding each other; our ability to communicate has skyrocketed since our first days on earth. As long as we are able to get general points across, total communication is not necessary to survive.