Thursday, April 10, 2014

And the Mind Refused

A writers block.*


 

(Side note to Ally: Is an apostrophe supposed to be somewhere in the word "writers"? Well, you're the grammar Nazi not me so you deal with my grammatical errors and I deal with your state of mind. Get over it.)

What exactly is a writers block? 
A writers block is a state of mind or an unspecified amount of time in which a person, specifically a writer, is unable to form proper thoughts, sentences, or words to support a thesis, carry a story, pen a letter, etc., and/or when the words with which they desire to express themselves cannot be found within the recesses of the mind. 

How often does one experience this so-called writers block?
The writers block asks no one, refers to no one, and listens to no one concerning who it's next victim will be or when. It lives in the shadows of a writer's life, observing the writer's every move and pondering when It will strike. It comes at the worst possible moment, having planned it's offensive maneuver since the first sign of letters upon a page. 

How does one know when he or she is experiencing the onslaught of the writers block?
It is quite obvious, to say the least. The victim will experience frustration and/or depression, depending on the severity of the block. If one finds himself, pen in hand, staring at a blank piece of paper for a span of time longer than ten minutes, one should immediately consult a trusted friend or understanding family member and seek instructions on the best way to proceed. 

Upon the realization that one has the writers block, the following instructions should be followed. 
First, all forms of personal writings should be put aside. These should be put aside, not in defeat or despair, but with perfect composure and realization that no more progress can be made in that present moment. 
Second, the victim should relocate to a new setting. Examples: a library (privately owned or public), a kitchen (for food purposes), a garden, or any place that offers a change of scenery that will probe the mind's creative genius and refresh it. 
Third, in the first stages of healing the block, do not read. Again it will be said. DO NOT READ.  This stage is vital to the curing of the writers block. Reading will not refresh the ill mind in the way it needs to be refreshed. Instead, during the first stages drop all literary and wordy things and try something new. Paint, sketch, origami, take a walk, go to the city and observe the crowds as they pass, do crafts, get a coloring book and crayons and pretend to be five years old, rearrange your bedroom, organize, and above all, if possible, be with others. Don't ever be alone with your thoughts because they can be dangerous in times like these.  
Fourth, the above instructions should be followed for a few days, no less than two but no more than a week. The idea is to refresh the mind, not pull it away from the objects of it's critical thinking. When the victim feels ready to face words again, follow that inclination immediately and do not let that sit on the mind for more than an hour. It must be acted upon immediately.  
Fifth, pick up a book. The victim's own writings should still be avoided and the victim should instead pick up the writings of others. Children's books are the best to start with. This gives the mind something easy to conquer and comprehend. Plainly speaking, books without having complex plots, characters and themes. Books of a classic nature and poetry should be read next, whether they are read thoroughly or briefly. This gives a formal introduction back into the world of words. The next step in this delicate process is reading a book on a subject alien to the reader. Historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy. Normally, a good writer does not have many genres or styles which are alien to him but a book should be sought out that would not normally have been chosen. This gives the mind something new to adjust to and understand. A book with a complicated plot should then be read.  The above process is as it is because this exposes the mind to a whole world of new ideas and styles and characters and plots and themes which fill the mind with fresh starts and untarnished endings.  
~ Athena


*I dedicate this to my friend, Josefa, who is (was? Haven't talked to her in a while. Lost my phone again) struggling with the writers block thing. :) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How To Split An Ice Cube

SPLITTING AN ICECUBE: A TUTORIAL

You've had to wait a whole year for this.  A whole year.  But it was worth the wait.  Because now you'll know how the three of us at Charlie and Me amuse ourselves when we're not blogging.*

If you're hungry but you don't want to pig out on Easter candy?  This is our gift to you.

  
1. Find a pitcher of ice cubes.  (Parties are great for this.)


2.  Take a serving utensil and scoop a single ice cube out of the pitcher.




3. Place ice cube on decorative cutting board (seasonal or non-seasonal).



4.  Take a clean, sharp knife from the drawer, making sure the tip is always pointing down.





5.  Place knife in center of ice cube and gently apply pressure.




6.  Enjoy!





If you're wishing for more but don't want to go through the whole process again, gently tilt the cutting board to drain the runoff into a cup and voilĂ !  You have a refreshing after-ice-cube drink.

le runoff



*Because, reasons.  We're not as random as you think we are.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Stirpressed

I find, dear readers, that we have reached the 31st of March and I have only posted once this month instead of twice, as usual.  Ha!  So, here I am to remedy that.  Please--hold the applause.  My delicate emotional state can't handle the love.



I really have nothing of great importance to say.  I mean, other than the fact that last week I convinced the Director of Student Activities to watch Frozen in about 30 seconds over a deli sandwich and a hamburger, there really hasn't been that much going on.  It's that part of the semester which is the lull that lies, devoid of all productivity and motivation, between Midterm Madness and the Finals Storm.  I'm, hmm, how do I say this. Mmmyep, bored.  Normal coursework? Please, give me some tests, I don't know what to do with all this freedom.

Also, speaking of freedom, I don't really have much because I don't have a car, soooo ... yeah, some immediate deadlines would be awesome.  But if anyone would like to send me a car or other long distance vehicle or a ticket to anywhere, that would be cool,  too. That type of freedom I could handle.  My mailbox is 131. Actually, I had a dream last night about a car.  My car, specifically.  I had it here at school and I was planning on going home for the weekend, so I was packing.  It felt like a stress dream, but in reality it was the opposite of a stress dream because I was planning what clothes and accessories I would take home so I wouldn't have to lug it all back in May.  But then I woke up.




Hmm, so this post turned out to be more depressing than I had anticipated.  On a lighter note, the stink bug on the window sill next to me--the one that perfectly fits the description of poised to attack--hasn't moved in the entire hour that I've been sitting here, so it's probably dead and I don't have to move.

I also watched this crazy little movie last night with Cary Grant and Shirley Temple.  The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.  At first, I thought it was Body Snatcher, but it wasn't.  Cary Grant ... and a body snatcher? LOL.  I don't know, actually, I might have something there.  The Bachelor and the Body Snatcher.  I may write that into a movie for my school to put on for Coffee House next year.




But, ok, you guyz.  Really, what am I doing here?  What are we dealing with?  I'm not sure whether I can attribute the strangeness of this post to stir crazy or whether I should just classify it under the umbrella term depressed.  All I know is that when the shuffle feature on your iPod brings up Jackie Evancho's Christmas album and its the first time all day that the stressed feeling behind your eyes lifts (even though it's Spring and it's practically Easter), you're probably not in a normal frame of mind.


whatever it is, don't let my outward composure throw you off


But, my friends, on this last day of the month of March, I will in fact leave you on a literary note.  (I make no promises that it is a happy note, but literary it is.)  Here is a quick link to one of my favorite posts so far this year.  It's touching and more than a little heart-wrenching.  But, in addition to everything else, it showed me that stories are a powerful medium for the most important lessons we will ever learn if only we can see through the eyes of a child.