Aimless (AKA as the one in which Past Emily must be relied upon for content)

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If this blog post feels a little aimless, then I suppose I have done my job – provided of course that my job is to accurately convey my emotions into a word-like structure.

It’s a weird time at the moment. I can’t put my finger on why, or whether it’s just me, but there is certainly something happening that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’m wading through exhaustion fuelled nonchalance, and I want to do is sleep and write poetry. (And yes, that probably is the most pretentious sentence I have ever conceived). I think it’s mostly due to my brain’s attempt to deal with the rising temperatures in the metaphorical cooking pot I’m boiling in. So to save you all from the weirdness, and mostly indecipherable train wreck that is my thought processes at the moment I thought I would share the first part of a story I’m writing. I wrote most of this in bunk-bed in a youth hostel pretending to be a hotel down in London. I hope you enjoy!


So I’m stood, gazing out the window in the student-film lighting, trying to estimate the social standing of each area of London from the aesthetic of it’s tube station.

Here are grim-faced, straight-laced, fine suited and booted folks. “We’re in a posh bit here”, I  think to myself with a smile I hope is wry.

Dirty wood and bare concrete, out-dated 80s decor. “Oh, a bit of a rougher patch here”

And I live for a moment in the buzz of my own insight, as for a passing minute I can pretend that I have knowledge of this strange world I have never been able to fully comprehend.

The underground is a strange place, you see it so often on TV and in films and god-knows where else that, even if you’ve never actually been on it, late at night when there’s only a handful of people in that warm yellow glow it’s like you’ve been there many times before. My headphones jammed in my ears, gentle music playing, and as my bones begin to warm for the first time in 5 hours, all I want to do is sleep. Only the over-hanging fear of missing my stop keeps me awake, so I sit, enjoying existing in this mellow setting for a brief juncture in my day.

When I step out into the street it is raining. It’s been raining all day, but I am still for some reason surprised. I pull my beanie hat further down over my ears, and wrap my arms around myself in an attempt to hold onto my rapidly depleting warmth. The sun has just set, and it brings a whole different tone to the chill that’s now starting to set back under my skin. All I can think about is having a hot shower, but tonight there is other business to attend to.


Thank you for reading! I hope to resume usual blogging style soon, but I’m in London again next week so I’m not making any promises I’m afraid.

See you soon!

Emily

xxx

 

The Author is Dead (AKA the one where Emily takes on CS Lewis from beyond the grave)

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The impact a creator’s intent has on a project is undeniable. Whether it’s a book, a film, a painting or a podcast, it’s the creator’s intent that ultimately shapes it.

I recently had a day off, so whilst tackling the ominous mountain of ironing, I decided to re-watch the Chronicles of Narnia films. I only made it through the first two as I had other things to get done that day, but what surprised me was how much I enjoyed watching these films. Growing up, I adored the books of the Chronicles of Narnia. I got the whole set for my eighth birthday from a family friend, and I devoured them. My favourite was always The Magicians Nephew, as I lived in a terraced house just like the one Diggory and Polly played together in, and I spent years hoping a best friend would just move in next door, and then we would go on magical adventures together. I also loved the character of Jadis. She was one of the first female characters I had come across who was purely self-confident, and although this is obviously framed as a negative trait in the context of the books, I just thought she was really cool. (If you’ll pardon the pun).

However, as I got older, my bubble was broken. I don’t remember who first pointed it out to me, but once I realised the underlying religious tone of this series, I immediately distanced myself from them. They were no longer my favourite childhood books, and I plunged myself into Harry Potter instead. (Which is actually equally problematic in some aspects, but I’ll get to that another time). I went to go see the films when they came out, mostly because I’ll go and see pretty much any fantasy film, but I generally talked about Narnia with a hint of scorn amongst my social circles.

But when I re-watched the films this time around, I was just struck with how much I loved them, all cheesy fantasy tropes aside. I still love the characters, the plot, and honestly even some of the heavy handed moral lessons – such as the importance of not dismissing children, that making mistakes does not make you an intrinsically bad person, and that being kind is just as important as being brave. So honestly, I don’t care about the religious elements to this series! I acknowledge they exist, but they will no longer change the way I love Narnia!

I guess what I’m trying to say (in my usual hyperbolic manner) is that the intent of Lewis may have shaped these books, and perhaps are at the root of some of the themes, but at the end of the day, it’s what I took from these books that is really important. And I believe this can be applied to creative work in general. It’s what you personally take away that is what really matters, as art is the most subjective thing you can get.

Thanks for reading! Sorry I missed last week – it was a bit hectic so I didn’t get chance to upload anything. But regular programming has been restored, and (much like the Backstreet Boys) I am back!

See you soon,

Emily

xxx

Origins (AKA as the one where Emily is a blogging cliché)

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Some say that there are only eight stories, eight tales that repeat themselves throughout history and throughout cultures, changing slightly, but are essentially the same. Now I’m no expert on these things, I haven’t studied nearly enough History or Literature to give a valid judgement as to whether this is true, but the issue of originality is something that I think about constantly.

When I was younger it was my dream to be an author, and as I got older I considered going into film-making. But the one thing that always held me back (other than my habit of procrastinating EVERYTHING) was the fear that I wasn’t creating something original. If something I wrote in any way resembled something I knew existed in media I would abandon the project to the wolves. This meant that I have to yet to actually ever finish even a short story. I kept subconsciously drawing from other books I have read and films I have seen, and so considered myself a terrible creator, and threw in the towel. Now the speed at which I will give up on something deserves a blog-post of it’s own (and will probably get one at some point in the future) but that looming fear that I simply wasn’t an original writer meant I practically gave up writing altogether.

Over the past year or so I have considered what makes an idea original probably far too deeply. But the conclusion I’ve come to is that honestly? It doesn’t matter. I’m not saying you should steal from other people! Respecting other writers and artists is very important! But if you spend all your time fretting over whether what you make is fresh and new you’ll never get anything done. I know it’s a cliché, but there’s a lot to be said for just making things that you enjoy making. If your short story ends up being just like every other sci-fi book you’ve ever read, or your short film accidentally turns out to be the plot of an Adventure Time episode, don’t sweat it. It is better to have something unoriginal created than having crated noting at all. And keep in mind that early human communities invented farming at around the same time, in separate unconnected parts of the globe. So we’ve always been subconsciously unoriginal.

Thanks for reading, now go forth and create!

See you soon,

Emily

xxx