Elaine checks the date. She was behind schedule. IF she thought of a plot right now, her word count would have been more than ten K. Ten K!
Something bothers her.
She stops to think and she rememberes that she didn’t finish Googling about what the French does in a typical day. She takes her laptop and wills it to load faster than her thoughts.
She types and presses enter.
The next page confuses her because all it gives her are about how the French stay thin.
She looks at her own frame. She has to start working out one of these days. Her belly’s beginning to hang and she wouldn’t want it to sadly sag. Not sexy.
What she got wasn’t something that she needs and she did think about the foodie plot. No, she won’t do it. She will be miserable and she will just eat more. She feels her stomach, patting it like a pregnant woman.
Maybe she needs something simpler. She looks around her flat. She squirms as she looks around slowly this time. She needs to clean. She looks at a big bag of something that’s been sitting in their room for god knows how long.
Maybe the cleaning would help. Maybe she needs to discover something she’s forgotten. That’s probably it. She stands up, determined, rolls up her sleeves and takes a deep breath. She looks at the clock and she knows she has plenty of time to shove everything back in the bag if she ever feels that she’s too lazy to finish up.
She wants to think of this as an adventure. And she hopes that it’s going to be painless too.
She opened the box next to the ‘bag of things’. She should give that bag a name. She’ll think about it afterwards. She peered into the box like it was a time bomb. She wonders if she’s going to manage this at all.
It’s not like she’s going to feel any different but sometimes, it does serve its purpose. She gets over some things she doesn’t understand back when and sometimes, she feels a longing for something that she’s already lost, which is never a good thing.
She remembers a piece she read by Junot Diaz, ‘I love literature not because she is eternal but because she is temporary. I love literature not because she is a god but because she is human.’
All things are temporary. This blockage must be the same.
She looks at her diaries again.
She wonders how she’s changed, has her perception changed? She doesn’t have a definite answer. Not even now.
She wonders about what she’s really done for herself, as she digs in a bit deeper in the box. There are instances when she’s read some people write in forums or on websites she’s stumbled upon, she just gets insanely envious. She hasn’t written anything in four years.
Lam gave her that advance to get her ‘started’.
Elaine fished out one of her diaries and it stopped at some report about a tremendous hole in the universe. This was probably in 2007. She felt a shiver down her spine. She remembers the feeling well when she read this on the Internet. Astronomers discovered a giant hole devoid of galaxies, stars and dark matter and it’s supposedly one billion light years across. She reckons it is hell, purgatory you name it. She does not want to die in there.
She flicks to another page and she smiles at the entry.
“I just saw some random ad from the National Geographic site, it said:
‘What’s the most challenging environment to man?’
‘The Blank Page: Sometimes, that’s all there is to it but with a bit of lateral thinking anything is possible.’”
Elaine believes that this was around her writing block started.
Elaine remembers reading this book, ‘Breakfast in Pluto’, just because she wanted to get a new perspective, a shot or maybe a dose of it. And also that Cillian Murphy was in it.
She thinks he’s so yum. It didn’t do her any good though. All she can think about after reading that book is how love survives, whether it’s gay, straight or whatever.
She still believes that you can’t choose what people choose to love. And back then, she was also unable to find a story to write about or where to start it.
She wonders if she should start it with a toothache or a headache. Sometimes a good beginning carries the story all the way to the end.
Elaine remembers trying to simplify everything, each matter she looked into and the more jumbled up it got.
She read a statement that maybe she should stop being a writer, that maybe she thinks she’s just one.
She thought that maybe she just got lucky with the first book.
Maybe she’s meant to be a magician or perhaps she could have been a circus performer.
She realised that not being able to do what you feel like doing tends to make you feel trapped within yourself. She wishes she had simpler dreams.
She wonders where she would go from here.
Elaine flicks through the pages more and she stops at the page that is titled, ‘Patience’. She wrote about the email her mother sent her that day. Her mom used to send her daily email prayers every day.
Patience is the sister of Faith.
It’s hard as meditating, patience is. It takes a lot of discipline, practice and self-will.
Elaine smiles at this entry.
She hasn’t really changed so much. She still gets messed up, annoyed, feel down, cry about a thing or two like a child lost her toy. But at the end of the day and all that drama despite the hate for it, she knows that she has to be sensible about it. She is not super woman but she wants to try at least make the best of what she can, to be half as good. She does almost everything she could humanly possibly could.
She did learn in the end that she needed to reconnect to her faith again. She felt it being stripped off her slowly. And she didn’t want to lose what saved her more than she can admit.
In the next few pages, she found herself continually ranting. Most of the pages are calling out for help. She felt as uninspired then as she is today. Elaine checks the date and it was in 2007. She did worry that she was wasting her time, until now but then it doesn’t mean she needs to stop to find the answer.
And in another few pages, she writes about possible reasons why she can’t write anymore. She was an emotional wreck before and all the unstable predicaments she found herself in made her writing seem phenomenal. It came to her so naturally and it completed her in many senses. She felt like she couldn’t read or write. She felt then that she was a complete stranger to her creative side. As if it started to speak another language and they suddenly couldn’t communicate. And up until now, she feels rejected.
And to her, it seems that she’s killed off a whole universe in her mind.
Elaine remembered that she met an odd girl in a party. She met her a few times after that, with friends and Elaine found out that she was also an inspiring writer. One day, that girl told her she’s got a plot for a story. She asked her if she could help her write it, which confused Elaine. She told the girl that she should write it instead, it is her story. The girl, stomped her feet like a child and announced that she couldn’t actually write but Elaine could help her write it for her. Elaine asked what she would do afterwards and the girl informed her, without hesitation, that she would publish it and write a note of thanks to Elaine.
Elaine thought she was an overachiever and didn’t want to converse with that girl again.
Elaine doesn’t even remember her name. She couldn’t be bothered after what happened.
Her stomach started growling at the smell of food, coming from the kitchen. She has to shake off the bad vibes. And she couldn’t go wrong with food.