Kaye to Moira

Letter #4: Of Sick Days and Snarled Feelings

Dear Moira,

I would have to say that the experience of wrangling an unexpected bout of flu makes me, sadly, not the right candidate for a dog exchange. Yours in particular sounds like a charming specimen of that long-forgotten sensation, “Energy”. It is hard to remember words that devolve emotions such as actual pleasure in aching muscles when huddled in a wool coat and blanket, tea mug at the ready in order to drown the next coughing fit.

Oh, right. This was a letter, not a monologue on the perils of common winter ailments.

I have had my fair of Jonah days recently, so I know very well how you are feeling. In particular, there is always this uncertainty in my mind, this veritable Night Vale-esque glow cloud letting off frequent and forbidding auras of low self-esteem, negative emotions and the occasional unexplainable jag of tears only assuaged with chocolate – which I am, sadly, lacking at the moment.

I find it gratifying, at least, to realize that a post I wrote to combat my own Jonah days, is now being peddled by acquaintances on Twitter as a decided way that they dismissed their own. In a way, that was what I needed to understand that these days are days when you are unraveled, when everything seems wrong, but someone else can use that snarled thread to mend themselves and, in their own way, wrap you back up the way you need to.

Like you said, I believe that at least aspiring to be content is a worthy cause. It is not the same for everyone, and God knows that it is not easy, but we must keep our knapsacks on and our walking sticks in hand as we move forward.

On the bright side of this dismal attack of the flu, I have been able to do a little reading – and, surprisingly, it helped to assuage some of my doubts about the looming recurrence of the Work-in-Progress I Will Not Even Have to Name. To sum matters up, a certain author I admire in terms of language and fairy tale situations is submitting her last book within her currently running series. That said, certain fans have organized a re-read of the first installment – and despite feeling as though this would be a Very Bad Idea, I pursued the challenge as well.

I was reading the book last night, and though I did have to pause and bite my lip at a particular turn of phrase, I realized a few things: there are aspects of the plot, the characters, their *cough* moral standards and what have you, that I dislike. There are flaws in this story. There are flaws in the author’s writing, which she is aware of, just as I am all too knowing of the mistakes and errors in my draft.

And yet, she keeps writing. She keeps her head down and she tries her best, and that is one trait I can admire her for. However, I realized (and I am aware this is a fact you’ve informed me of before), I no longer can hit myself over the head with this book – mentally, of course – for anything I find wrong with my own writing. It’s not perfect. Neither are my drafts.

And yet, both of us – this famous author and this girl huddled in a coat attempting to weave words together so her best friend does not take her sanity into question – we must persevere and put our words down on paper.

I suppose that should put an end to my stint on the soapbox. On to the list.

Touch: This woolly coat. I feel quite like a sheep at the moment, albeit a warm, possibly more pleasant-smelling sheep.

Taste: Soup, soup and more soup. At least it is palatable. I’ve been doing my best to pick out the leeks, though. They are of the frozen variety and thus rather bitter. I am utterly spoiled by fresh vegetables.

Smell: Is there something to smell? My nose begs to differ, ungrateful traitor that it is.

Hearing: I have spent most of the day thus far hopping from anime instrumental mixes to general lyric-less offerings. I am attempting to finish building a playlist for that Work-in-Progress That Is Spoken Of Too Much for Its Own Good, and have stream-lined it to be as wordless and non-distracting as possible from its predecessor.

Reading: I suppose I will finish the book I mentioned earlier, and then return to the pile that needs to be reviewed. I decided to stop reading a new release, pitched as a “YA Murder Mystery Satire”, which was ridiculously…disturbing. (Refer to my last update on the matter.)



P.S. Yes. Yes, it is.

P.P.S. This made me smile. I thought you might enjoy it as well.


Letter #2: The First Tentative Step (Ruined in Elegance by An Ineffective Stumble)

Dear Moira,

I well remember the years of the sandbox. Oh, those happy, idyllic childhood memories of the days when wet sand could yield lumpy mounds fit to rival Mount Everest, and questionably soggy pies fit for stuffing into a younger victim’s mouth when no one was looking (consider this a fit of wry nostalgia for a wicked deed never done, rather than a belated confession of a dark and troubled past).

Fortunately, one can look forward to virtual surfaces, where you do not have to worry about an unexpected rain shower ruining a masterpiece, or sand getting into a tender eye.

All this, merely to say that my shovel is at the ready, my sunscreen is applied, and I will try my best to not coerce you into eating gourmet meals held together by hose water and more than a little dirt.

Today is one of those most ominous days when it is hard to find something to be pleased about – Thursdays. I have a horrible streak with being able to find anything pleasant, or even motivating, on these days. My school project is still minimized. My book lies prone beside me, a few pages idly flipped through before it was unceremoniously left on its spine.

Well, I suppose there is some good in today. The spine hasn’t broken.

Touch: The comforting, albeit now lukewarm, surface of my tea cup. I made myself a brew of immune support tea (surprisingly decent tasting, in spite of the rather dubious name), and proceeded to ignore it as I hummed and hawed my way through a measly part of my homework. I doubt it’s salvageable now. But the tea cup remains pretty. I’ll have to take a picture for you one of these days.

Sight: I haven’t been able to indulge in any visual media, really, since the freedom of Christmas break – ah, break. How I miss you. However, I am gearing myself up to spoil some part of my weekend on some hoarded-away anime, preferably something with spirits and classic Japanese intrigue, since right now everything in my life seems to refer back to a certain work-in-progress. I also am debating the pros and cons of trying a series such as The Hour, The Bletchley Circle and Call the Midwife. Tumblr has betrayed me before.

Taste: A quick ramen stir-fry blend that Mom whipped up for a very late lunch. (Studies do not pity the hungry.) I can never have enough ramen. One of the critique partners has laughingly warned me that I will, sooner or later. I doubt it.

Smell: The lukewarm tea. It is judging me by its mere presence, silently counting the minutes that have passed since the last sip. Don’t look at me like that.

Hearing: A personal blend of video game soundtracks. I have yet to find anything else that fits my mood today.

Reading: A hodgepodge of this and that, as always. I have an ARC sitting on the floor that sounds unpalatable (three girls are finally contacted by their rich father, and decide to take revenge), Howl’s Moving Castle (which expired on its digital library loan and will have to be renewed post haste), Wintersmith by the dear Mr. Pratchett (same), and whichever of the copious library books I ought to finish so I can write up an appropriate review.



P.S. I hardly think our friendship is going to snap under the weight of unwatched Disney animation, if it didn’t after your *gasp* Chuck Norris joke back in the day.