Quotes About Madness

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The first one sums up the only feasible solution to survival that I have currently discovered. The ones after that are my attempts to find the justification to follow said solution.

* “He spread his arms out wide. “I will go mad,” he announced. “Good idea,” said Ford Prefect, clambering down from the rock on which he had been sitting. Arthur’s brain somersaulted. His jaw did push-ups. “I went mad for awhile,” said Ford, “did me no end of good.” – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

* “Have I gone mad?” “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Alice in Wonderland

* “There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.” – Aristotle
* Too much sanity may be madness, and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.” – Miguel de Cervantes
* A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
* “In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom.” – J.G. Ballard
* “Only those things are beautiful that are inspired by madness and written by reason.” – Andre Gide
* “To put meaning in one life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire – It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.” – Edgar Lee Masters
* “You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.” – Henry Rollins
* “There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” – Oscar Levant
I’ll leave you with that last one, perhaps one of my favourite out of the bunch. The very idea of sanity is in contradiction to the universe. The universe is not sane. The universe is chaos and madness.

The End

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I finished my novel yesterday. Or at least, the second draft of my novel. 86,214 words. It took me roughly three months to write. I poured my energy, heart and soul into. Now somehow, it’s done. I’m not sure what to think. I only know that it is going to be very difficult to put the thing aside for the next two or three weeks. What on earth am I going to do in the evenings? What am I going to occupy myself with? What will be the point in having free time if I can’t use it to write?

There is a universal law about the ends of books that states, whether you are reading a book or writing it, that you must neglect every other aspect of your life for at least three hours prior to the last sentence. You must ignore your dirty dishes, put off your housework, scorn your sleep pattern, and generally resign yourself to the fact that you will be getting nothing done for the next three hours. The book will demand you to finish it. It will be impossible to stop reading at the climax.

So it was with the end of my novel. I sat and wrote for almost four hours. I kept thinking I would stop, and then changing my mind. At last I simply realized that there was no hope for it and I would have to sit until I finished the thing. I ended up writing some 3600 words at the expense of my dishes, my bath, my baking, and all the other a hundred things I had planned to do that evening. But it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. I was wrapped up in a world of my own.

I felt like I had a hundred random threads and I somehow needed to weave them into a snug design. I could barely keep track of all the plot points that needed tying up, the twists that needed to be revealed, and the lines that had to – just had to – be said. Somehow I needed to keep a hold of the more finicky characters, remember to include the tiny details that meant everything, and illustrate the scenes in a way where things would make sense to people who are not insane and/or me. All this while I was focusing on conducting my symphony to a roaring climatic crash of symbols and holler of trumpets. And then of course, I needed to queue the flutes into a gentle sigh, bring the clarinets into a dancing lullaby, and let the drums ease off as it all came to a carefully constructed end. I also had to keep a firm eye on that one crazy drummer in the back who is prone to fits of cacophony in the last seconds of the performance.

I don’t really know whether I did it or not. Quite possibly I forgot something, or messed something up, or composed a line of such utter incomprehensible gibberish that not even I will be able to understand it. More likely my details weren’t subtle enough, my characters lacked strength and development, and my dialog was too unintelligible. But we shall see. I could drive myself crazy thinking about it. I must resist the temptation to reconstruct my entire novel in my head.

I need to take a step back from it, you see. I need to put it on a shelf in a corner of my mind and let it have some breathing room, so that when I return to it I will see with fresh eyes. I’m not going to touch it for at least two weeks. And then I’m going to settle down with a lot of tea and a notebook and read my novel as if I am not the author. I’m going to write down every idea or problem or potential improvement that comes to my head. I can only hope that I will actually enjoy reading it and don’t find out that it sucks.

For now, I will write a lot of blogs, try not to think about it and spend occasional moments of excited panic spinning around in the middle of my room like a maniac screaming that it’s done. And if I get bored… there’s always the sequel to start on.

The World’s Priorities

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We are rearranging the furniture on the Titanic. We are fighting over which seat we should sit in in the giant car that is heading straight at a brick wall. We are discussing what type of gun the man shooting us has. We are arguing over who won the poker match as we sit in the middle of a burning casino.

Need I go on?

We are trying to stop our ice cream from melting while a lava flow heads straight towards us. We are voting on what colour the flag on the top of our sand castle should be while around us the tide comes in. We are struggling to pick out our wallpaper while our house falls down. We are selling the lumber off our roof while the storms draw nearer. We are arguing over who won the House Cup in the middle of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Are you getting the point yet? How are these next ones for incredible:

We are bickering over the shares in our economy while destroying the entire world that supports that economy. We are hoarding our money while our neighbours struggle with poverty. We are turning our trees into lumber while our air grows more and more polluted. We are dumping our sewer into the waters we might one day need to drink. We are burning our coal while our cities grow smoggier. We are choosing to spend our money on countless pairs of shoes while the sea levels rise to cover the ground we walk on.

We are destroying the very resources that keep us alive.

Who cares where the furniture is on the Titanic, can we please focus on not hitting that iceberg? Stop discussing what type of gun it is and dodge the bullet! Does it matter who won the poker game when the cards will all be on fire soon anyways?

And most importantly: Does it matter how much money we all hoard if we have no food to eat, no water to drink and no air to breath? Does it matter who is richest when there is nothing left to buy but ruin? How many pairs of shoes do you need to walk on land that isn’t there?

Please, I beg of you, let’s drop the competition between who is richest and who is poorest. The car will hit the brick wall whether or not your sitting in the front seat.

I Am Nothing More Than Words

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My life is shaped with words,

Words to fill the spaces,

Words to make the empty full,

Words to sing my songs to others,

Words to heal this broken soul

I am nothing more than words,

Nothing more than letters,

Lost in time, lost in space,

Trying to make things better

When every thing I am,

Is written on these pages,

What will be left but parchment and ink,

What will be left but broken links?

When everything I am

Has been read until it’s passed,

Will anything be left

Or will these words be the last?

There is a hole in my crumpled heart,

Where nothing hides but words,

They fill the void,

too much they cloy

My appetite for tangibles

And will I ever touch the touchable,

Will I ever really feel,

Or will life be empty ashes,

With words that do conceal

My heart is made of paper,

My blood does run with ink

But I know no one with a pen,

That can save me from this brink

And what if there is nothing

That can turn these words to life,

Please tell me there is something,

That can sheath this silver knife

When I wake up in the morning,

I wake up just to write,

To pass these moments onwards,

To navigate the night,

But I crave something more real,

I crave the flame of being,

Beyond these paper hideouts,

Is the emptiness I’m fleeing

And it does not go away,

Though I cover it in writing,

It grows only deeper,

This loneliness I’m fighting

And the words come heavy to my heart

The sentences run thick,

Just to stop my mind from thinking,

Of this dying candle wick

I am nothing more than words,

I am nothing more than writing,

And when all this does come to pass,

Will these ashes be igniting?

Landing On A Comet

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History was made two days ago when a robotic probe, named the ‘Philae’ managed to land on a comet that is some 500,500,000 kilometers from Earth and is travelling 500,000 km/hour as it journeys around the sun on its 6.5 year long orbit. Let me say that again, more clearly: HUMANS HAVE LANDED SOMETHING ON A FREAKING COMET. Okay, good, I’m done freaking out for a little while.

The facts surrounding the whole event make it even crazier and awesomer than imaginings could. The Philae has been travelling through space for ten years, attached to the side of the bigger spacecraft, the Rosetta. It has no steering mechanism and, once launched by the Rosetta, took seven hours to touch down on the comet. I do not envy the poor scientists who were stressing out  helplessly for the entire time.

Unfortunately, the Philae’s landing harpoons – the ones that were supposed to secure it to the comet – did not launch properly. This means that the Philea hit the comet and immediately bounced a kilometer into space. It did not return to the ground for two hours. (This is the part where I start imagining the whole thing like some crazy cartoon, where the character jumps and then just keeps going up.)

Poor Philae at last, after another bounce, landed slightly on its side in the shadows of some very large boulders, where its solar panels only get an hour and half of sunlight time. The Philae landing team spent a frantic two days trying to locate its landing spot and retrieve the scientific data from the tests Philae has been conducting – before the batteries ran out. After all, there doesn’t seem to be any chance we’ll ever get up to the comet – the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – to retrieve the data ourselves anytime soon.

Now, Philae has gone silent again. It has recently passed out of communication range – angle? – and scientists fear that it has spoken its last. They also say, however, that the probe helped them to achieve at least 80% of the scientific tests they wanted to. Now comes the part where they analyse the data. Already, they have made some surprising discoveries, most popular of which is the comet’s ‘singing’. Look it up and listen to it – it is incredible.

What I am getting to with all this is how this historic adventure made me see how much there still is to learn, and how much we do not know. The thought fills me with wonder – out there there could be anything, anything at all. There are discoveries, mysteries and secrets. Things we will never know and things – with bravery and determination – that we might find out.

Right now I feel that we are tiny and that there is a whole universe to explore beyond our home. Maybe it comes from reading the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at the same time as all this is going on, but I am beginning to feel smaller and yet more connected with the universe than ever. The fire for exploration is burning in my veins and I almost think – like Douglas Adam did while lying in a field somewhere in Europe decades ago – that if there was a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy I would be one of the first to run off on an adventure.

Random Thought Gallery #5

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Is it really five though? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m not about to search through my hundred or so blog posts and find out. So. Enjoy the thoughts.

* Thinking outside the box and knowing that where there’s a will there’s a way has brought humanity this far. Join in the movement. I dare you.

* “If not me, who? If not now, when?” – Emma Watson

* You know you need sleep when you write the sentence “Zema spooned soup into her mind to give herself time to think.” I mean… oops. She spooned it into her mouth. Obviously.

* Why would I worry about not having anyone to talk to when I can have such fascinating conversations with myself?

* I don’t understand Thursdays. Somehow every single time one rolls around I wake up and think ‘How the hell is it Thursday already?”

* Life wound be a lot more fun if it was a musical.

* People say life is a road. Well… would you rather be stuck in a traffic jam, or take the scenic route?

* I wonder what all the people on the other side of the phone at work would think if they found out they were talking to a seventeen year old girl?

* I swear, the main goal of the black feral cats who live around the grocery store is to jump out of bins in front of people on dark nights and scare the crap out of them.

* Who needs sleep when they can have writing?

* I have a feeling peer pressure wouldn’t be very effective on me. “Smoke this, everyone else is doing it.” And I would respond with “Yes, well, ‘everyone else’ is an idiot.”

* My travelling adventures in the spring are seeming closer and closer.

Hope you enjoyed the strange array of thoughts! Happy Thinking!

The End Approachs

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The end draws nearer. I creep towards it. I run towards it. Hesitantly, eagerly, hopefully. I predict that within the week I will have reached it: the end of my novel. The end of my second draft. And of course, the beginning of my third draft, and a whole new stage of writing.

It has taken me only three months to write nearly 80,000 words. A record for me, though I suppose it is nothing to those who have succeeded in the November challenge of writing a novel in a month. But I have worked hard, diligently writing a thousand words or more almost every day. My novel has made itself a permanent home in the forefront of my mind. It has burrowed in, wrapped the blankets of my thoughts around it, and nestled closer. Sometimes my characters seem more real than those of you who dwell in reality.

The first novel I wrote that I managed to bring to the end of the first draft took me two years. It was 64,000 words long. It was also, delicately put, crap. I started to work on my current novel in February. The second draft will be done in November. This taken into account, I am happy to say that I feel hopeful, like this could actually happen. Maybe I really will become a published author. All I need to do is keep writing.

The dream, like fire, only grows. It feeds on the tinder of my hope, the kindling of my words. The dream refuses to go away, and so I cave in to it. I work towards it. I strive for it. Partly for what I want to achieve, partly for the joy that goes into achieving it. My soul is only paper, my mind only ink. Writing is one of the only things I really know. So with the end of my second draft comes the beginning of my third and the beginning of a new period of possibility.