26 Feb 20

Hello! It’s been a minute. Nothing important or interesting has happened to stop the flow of posts, just the normal unpredictable drama of a life lived.

I typed just twice there while I was writing. It’s something I’ve done all my life, repeat words as I’m setting them down. I remember getting corrected in primary school for doing it in an exercise. It happens because I don’t necessarily look at the pen, paper, keyboard or screen as I’m writing. Which is good, because my screen is slowly dying, and will randomly strobe an ‘OSD locked’ notification complaining that the buttons are being pressed, and I’m pressing no such buttons. If I weren’t deadly poor, it’d be for the scrapheap.

When writing, I’m making the sentence in my head, while letting the fingers record it pretty much as I’m saying it up there. It makes me a slow thinker, but not too slow a typist. But not quick at either. So if I stop at an awkward point, and then pick up on that word and take the rest of the sentence forward, the word can end up appearing twice. That primary school correction still bugs me because it’s not actually a sign of bad writing, as it was taken at the time, but of the process of composition happening elsewhere than on the page.

Writing on a page was actually one of the skills I learned on my master’s, bizarrely. My natural mode of poetry composition is similar to what I described, and when I’m happy the thought is completed the poem stops. This produces work that can be good, but can also be overly neat and stop short of fully exploring the topic. What I learned was something closer to free-writing, where the pen driving the thought, where the mechanical act of needing to write something is pulling the words behind it. You don’t just stop at the earliest convenience, you pry and worry at the piece. When it works, which is never a guarantee, it’s like in Spirited Away where they’re pulling that rope of rubbish and sludge out of the Stink Spirit, and in doing so transform it into a River Spirit, clean and beautiful. It’s something I recommend you trying: go out past the edge of something, and see what you find.

We’ve been watching a bit more anime recently, what with the debut of the Studio Ghibli collection on Netflix inspiring a (re)watch, and revisiting Blade Runner pointed down some anime-related paths. There may be posts forthcoming on some specific things arising from these movies, but there will certainly be a full round-up of this month’s films on Sunday 1 March. (I saw both Parasite and The Lighthouse solo on Valentine’s Day, and what a day that was.)

Otherwise, somewhat busy month. Visited the parents for a week (it was meant to be housesitting, but then they never left). Still working my way back into a rhythm – I slept until 11am today, for no real reason. Some old-but-great wireless headphones have given my turntable and my Spotify account a new lease on life. No real plans for the next however-long-you’ve-got, so I’m just chugging on really. And we’ll do cat news in another post. Otherwise, we’re back to it.