thetillyvanilly

Awkward things.

To-do List Done

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I’ve spent a lot of my life knowing that one day I will do something freaking awesome. I was always going to be an author, the reincarnation of Enid Blyton specifically. That was a certainty, no questions asked, especially annoying questions like ‘how?’ and ‘when?’. It would happen when it was supposed to happen. Of course, that led to me getting older and not achieving anything. I was jealous of everyone, Lena Dunham specifically, for creating and achieving. ‘What have they got that I haven’t got?’ I’d ask myself every time I was feeling particularly shitty. Uh, determination? Tenacity perhaps?

It turns out, if you want magic to happen, you’ve got to plunge your hands into the cauldron and stir. No wands around here, we do things properly; well, we do now anyway, because this year I worked, and I worked bloody hard. At the end of 2012, I wrote a list, which I am including for your viewing pleasure…

 

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Ignore the unticked things, they are dead to me now. Ok, we’ll talk about the unticked things. Fine. I am not Wonder Woman. I am Rogue, and Rogue’s got a life and issues and really good hair. Ok, everything but the hair. Life happened this year. Of course I started out meaning to accomplish everything, but it didn’t happen. My mum got ill, I got sad and half the year disappeared like when you put candy floss on a dog’s tongue and they FREAK. OUT. I’m not making excuses, but I am excusing myself from feeling bad about it.

In other news, check out all my ticked things. Oh yeah. Notice the greatest one of all. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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That’s become an official writer for HelloGiggles.com. Note the tick, meaning that I did it. I achieved that. That is a thing that I achieved. In real life. Me. Seriously, I am still not over being proud of that. If nothing else on this list was ticked, I’d still be smiling. I wouldn’t be posting the list on the internet, but I’d be happy.

So I achieved a lot of things this year. Yes, I know there are hardly any fun goals and only two ticked fun goals; I’ve already been berated for that. Achieving is fun. It is. Anyway… Rather than sit back and be all smug, I’m gonna keep going. I’ve built up a flow, and this is a marathon, as people are fond of saying. As a super-non-sporty person, this means little to me, apart from that I get a foil coat and a Mars bar when I’m done, so it’s all good.

Next year, stuff is HAPPENING. Note the emphasis. That emphasis roughly translates as ‘I’m doing special, secret, important, exciting stuff, but I can’t tell you because eek!’ Yeah, I can tell that you’re enthralled. Basically, big things are about to go down and I’m so grateful and so terrified, and I might be sick, but in a good way.

The point of this all is that if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for muddling your way through my ramblings because you care or think I’m fun to stalk. Thank you for giving me a kick up the arse to keep going, because without eyes on my writing and clicks on the links, I’d have a lot less ticks on the list. So thank you a zillion times, my wonderful reader, you are epic. And if I wake up tomorrow with a plummy voice and the urge to moralise fairy folk, I will know it’s because of you.

 

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Writer Things

I am a writer. Because I am a writer, I’m allowed to do strange/stupid/freaking insane things and call them research. This is a fun game to play when you fancy chatting up a stranger whilst throwing random words like ‘Aubergine’ or ‘Scurvy’ into the conversation, (trust me, it makes you seem either super intelligent or like you’ve lost your straight jacket, but either way, you’ll find out if they can put up with your writerly ‘charms’.) however, this is a less fun game to play when you’re throwing yourself into terrifying situations like dating psychopaths and looking at the dark bits in your brain.

Do you know why this isn’t fun? Well, writers have crazy awesome imaginations, and when a writer tells themselves that they love someone or that they hate themselves, just to make notes, writers tend to fall into the fantasy land and become it. This is how I managed to convince myself that I was terrified of heights, (to get out of climbing St Paul’s Cathedral, when I was eleven, because child me was bloody lazy) and how I managed to convince myself that I wasn’t at all afraid of heights, (because I need to climb ladders to advance the feminist cause or something, and also, I want to know all the secrets of the attic).

My life tends to be a game of creative cat and mouse. It goes something like: Oooh, I should go talk to that man who looks like he’ll chop me up into little pieces. That would make an excellent story, maybe a memoir… Maybe I should read a survival skills book beforehand, so that I can defend myself from the whole murder thing and write a bestseller about still being alive and stuff. *Reading survival skills book* Oooh, I should go into a forest, alone, with no supplies or food and survive, that would make an excellent book, or maybe a memoir… Maybe I should read the chapter on forest food first. Oooh, maybe I should eat nothing but nettles for a year. That would make an excellent story, or maybe a memoir…

Basically, everything that ever happens to me EVER is book/story/article/scrawled on the back of a receipt fodder. No-one is safe, not even you, especially not you. You would think, with all of this creative posturing, I’d have a wonderfully erratic life, but no. I am the most risk-averse dreamer in the world. I try, I really do, but most of the time my brain’s too busy with the what-ifs of failure to catch a killer. Which is a good thing, I suppose. But sometimes I wish that I was less scared. Not that I want to be murdered. At all. Murder is deadly serious. Obviously. But I would like to talk to a stranger without assuming that rejection is imminent, and I would like to look into the attic without assuming that I’m about to be grabbed by a creaky, Japanese corpse.

Luckily my brain is so rich in wonder that I don’t even need to go outside. I can stay in my house and have a nice cup of tea with a family of unicorns, who get out the best china because I am the Princess of the Sunshine Isles and the heir to the Rainbow Throne. I can sail a ship to the end of the earth and fall off, only to land on the back of a dragon, who will obligingly fly me to the ship of the sexiest, rogue-iest pirate captain he knows, because dragons are cool like that.

The trick is to know what to do in your head and what to do IRL. I am not always the best person to judge that, but I’m lucky to have some awesome friends with their feet superglued to the ground. “Hey, do you think that it’s a good idea to explore the sewers?” “No.” “What if I was wearing a neon leotard and legwarmers?” “What?” “I could go hunting for alligators at the same time. Yay multitasking!” “No.” “Dragons?” “What?” “Never mind.” Actually, scratch that. These people don’t understand me at all. If anyone wants me, I’ll be in the attic, knitting hats with the child catcher, who loved my aubergine chat up line, for the record.

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