Journal Entry – What I love about that magic with words

Hello fellow reader and writer,

you are reading that first piece of work of mine about our MOOC in BerkeleyX. As you may see, it is not my starting point with writing since I was playing with words months ago (at least in English, since it is not my first language). Even though I have started with short and brief paragraphs expressing my inner thoughts, I tried to experiment with my style trough short stories, mostly non – fiction stories, just to keep it simple. In a similar mood, my daily life, when it comes to write something in the english language, I prefer again to state my position in a more concise manner, that of business writing. My  level in academic writing still needs more time and less excuses to train myself more in depth.

I could only say that I both love and dread writing, mostly because I want to express myself as clear as I can, since something that is in a second language needs more practice. The  anticipation that a piece of work of mine could be criticized either postively or in a more negative way, could make feel less comfortable but nothing can be achieved if you do not risk and expose yourself out to the public.

As much I love writing, for sure I need to continue on by improving my personal style and vocabulary, since being a more creative writer could result one day to the first publish of a book written and filled with my own ideas.

Farewell dear friend, see you next week

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Speak and Wander #1 : How it started

Walking down an empty road as the midnight has passed, windows have been closed above my head, locking out all the madness of the day, since the people inside have survived, they could take a break and move one tomorrow.

Hey, you must be reading me, right? That little mess of mine that tries to catch your attention. No, please, just hold yourself and do not leave yet. My story has not even started so calm down and take a breath. Grab a pillow, take a seat and make yourself comfortable because this might take a while. Or maybe more than that. The story of mine could absorb your time but I hope it’s worth it. I hope.

My name is Steven. Steven Reid. Or at least, this is written on my ID. I used to go with that name when I was younger. Some people mignt have said it fits with my idiocrasy. I still womder why. But this part should be left for another time and place, you could be lucky  to find about it if you stay longer.

I am writing those words as I sit on a bench close to the sea. I could hear light waves as they spread along the surface of the sea. That’s how it usually sounds, I am sure I am not hallucinating. My earphones are plugged in my ears but they still cannot cover the sound of the water. Quite the atmosphere to begin my story.

It all started one common, cloudy morning in the office, just like each and other day. After a rough awakening, eyes still trying to open, a coffee cup on one hand and, as I have half – eaten my slice of yesterday’s night pizza with the other hand, dressed myself as formal as I used to and I grabbed my bag to leave. Jump on my bike and started pedaling as fast as I could. No more than fifteen minutes to arrive and place myself behind a desk and my computer. Waiting for me as usual to work. But this time, it was different.

“What happened to my computer Cliff?” I remembered myself asking a partner of mine that was sitting next to my desk “I have tried at least five times in a row and my working buddy doesn’t seem to be on the mood for something like that”.

He had just shaken his head with no worry but curiosity about my situation. Surely, he didn’t have a clue about what was going on with my machine. And I won’t blame you for not having a clue this time Cliff. But in the process, you might take the blame for some things.

“Don’t know buddy. Did you tried to unplug it, it might have a problem of connectivity or with the power provider”.

“Oh come on Cliff, it’s not a damn Game Boy to take out the cassete and blow inside to clean it up”.

“But you could try also, you have nothing to lose from that” you have said.

Until today, I wonder why I listened to your “advice”. Propably I was over with possible ways to revive it or any other explanations to my problem. Or I have taken your words for granted. And that’s how I got myself in the beginning of the unpredected. Of what I wasn’t aware of.

I hold the socket with my right hand as I try to unplug the computer with my left. No no, I am not left-handed as you may guess. Just that moment I prefered this side. The plug made sparkles of lost electricity as it got out and I fall back terrified. Next, my “working buddy” turned off and it wouldn’t turn on again, even though I plugged it back again and repeated the same procedure. Damn you, Cliff.

“Now it doesn’t even open! I am going to lose all my files. Oh God, the job of six months has gone to the trash! Why did I listen to you?” I have shouted to him “now what?”.

“Calm down man. Relax and take a breath. Don’t be a madhead. There must be a proper way to fix this.”

“Like what you clever? Hit it with your fist to make it obey you back again like a caveman?

“Funny. We can call the IT service that the boss is using to maintain and update our computers once in a while. They have their way into fixing stuff like that”.

“And what I am going to tell – Excuse me, boss, my computer has dropped dead for a while and I need some geek to revive it right away because I am going to fail the project we have preparing?!” I derided.

“Exactly this, it gives the other the right message you want. Let me make a call to his secretary to see if he is in his office.”

I should have stopped him. Or maybe not. You could have a word in all of that. Until we reach the end. Then, you could look back and say if I was unlucky or hit the jackpot. The point is that he managed to talk with his personal secretary but he seemed that he was out for a while. She was sweet enough, as Cliff has mentioned to call the service for us in person. A member of their team was on the way.

“See? He will be there and the pc guy will fix it and you will manage to continue your work without further disturbance, Steve”

“It’s Steven, Cliff. Don’t just cut letters from my name. I have told you I hate that” I said and I turned myself the other way to hide my anger. Better stay cool around other people and especially collegues, my father used to tell me. You never know when you might need somebody.

“Anyway, he might be close, the store is not far away from the office” he had said.

Oh lord, he was right. We didn’t count the minutes. And soon enough, tic toc, we heard a knock on the door. It opened slowly for a slim figure to enter.

And then, she appeared.

As I rush to catch up with everything

One of the themes for this post was supposed to be about fears, those frightened emotions somebody might have because of unexpected, usually, or even sudden and out of the program events. That could be the general idea you might get from this introduction.

But I would like to talk about a major thing that could have made me feel insecure many times in the past. And that is the possibility of lack of control over something.

Being a youngster with my mind over my head, daydreaming during most of the lectures in my school or even expressing myself through “creative projects” (as I like to call my sketches despite the outcome of the illustration) but being the older brother in my family, I prefered having everything as I wanted in my own way, with my own terms.

And then, it comes. Million of possible scenarios running in my head. Until the final countdown, each and every incident that could happen, will pass by my thoughts. Even if everything is running smoothly, I will not relax until the printing bell for the end.

That could only be good if you try to get yourself engaged with one thing. But for me, my enthusiasm might take over and I will try to catch up with everything. And then, hopefully, I will not lose the Control completely over them.


Words with a cup

Do you prefer coffee or tea? The one with flavour or the common but  with pure aroma? Maybe a juice to taste the scents of different fruits? Or are you a particular fan of sparkling water?

But I would like to take you out for a while, to a coffee shop close to the sea, since my city offers a lot of spots for discussions where the waves curl over and dissolve into foam. No loud musical playing on the background, only voices chattering for old and new, good hopefully, untold news.

If we were having coffee right now, you could have seen a grownup adult. Well, I have my moments from time to time, you know how it goes. Better age outside and keep an inner self that think a bit childish and younger than its age, the opposite might not end up well.

If we were having coffee right now, I could tell about my university years, how time passed so fast, and today you could have found me with a bachelor and a master, ready to conquer the world, as I first imagined. Nothing could be taken for granted and nothing is impossible, but need courage and strong will to achieve.

If were having coffee right now, I would have brought my laptop with me. You can’t imagine how many photos I might have in different albums from places you haven’t visited before. Of course, there are still countries and cities I’d love to visit but we could make a start before there will be too many of them.

If we were having coffee right now, I could share with you my dreams and fears, especially the last one. What are my chances in here, how could I move on or leave for the unknown and fight as long as I stand. The excitement tries to balance with my deep concerns about the future I imagine and with who I long, you might say.

If we were having coffee right now, I would probably leave you to speak more than I used to. They keep telling me that I prefer to discuss about personal matters, stealing the spotlight without giving your talking partner the chance to respond or even change to another subject he/she might prefer more. But in our coffee meeting, I could shut my mouth for a while and listen to you. And you know, everything will be on me!

∗The idea was taken from three different blogs, those of Jessica, Amber and Kate . Thank you for the inspiration and I could only admire the work they have done with their blogs! And as they may say, what would like to share if you were having coffee right now with somebody you miss?

 

Pencil, pen, where and when

Brewed coffee in a lot, jazz playing on the background and nobody around to interupt, a cozy feeling that could trigger a beginning. The start of that story, with the following paragraphs deciphering the mystery that was left luring until that time.

An ideal atmosphere, don’t you think? As it should be, since writers need that space to explore their inner thoughts and fantasies. Many of them might work in the night or luring those early mornings when most of us are still sleeping, if not yawning. Others prefer the presence of human beings around them, their company along with those coffee noises.

But personally, I can’t survive in the silence neither in coffee shops. I have found myself writing while I’m in the bus, talking by the sea or among people being in a hurry. Images that come and go as I am on the move, could be proved to be the perfect piece for each story puzzle I want to talk about.

You may be at work, going back home, fooling around with friends in a cafe, while you are reading those sentences. Take a look around you. Can you see those fella over the window, the other one in a state of almost sleep, somebody else playing with their mobile phone? Each one has a story inside that we can also imagine. Those pictures are my daily doses of inspiration. And all I need is to move my footsteps out to the world.

Let the desk in my home be the last place for writing, only for final editing and only when the weather doesn’t favour me.

So, which is your favourite place to write?
And what would you like me to write about next?

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Rejected by luck, accepted by life

They have traveled far away from their place. Different images of nature have replaced those of gunpowder smokes. Instead, the only grey they could see was that That cloudy, moody sky, that hasn’t changed too much since last week. Raindrops kept falling on our heads and our only way of protection were those feeble branches with few leaves still hanging from their edges. Our supplies have finished and the only sign of water could be found down to the river, but its freshness was questioned.

Nobody knew those places, not even an inch, not by coming for a holiday trip in the past. Some postcards with beautiful sunsets and idyllic beaches, tourists, adults and kids, relaxing as the waves were caressing their feet. On the contrary, they haven’t got those feelings so far, except dirt, mud and dust as their daily and sole partners.

“Mama, my stomach aches and can’t walk for now. I’m hungry and my mouth is dry” cried out loud a little boy, about six to seven years old “when are we going to arrive? are we close?”.

A gentle, slim figure of a twenty – something woman bent on the little boy. She stroke his head lovingly and left a dim smile to appear on her face. She couldn’t allow her exhaustion to affect her fondess. From her characteristics somebody could distinguish her fatigue all over her figure. A face covered with mud and few scars, her clothes with holes that were tried to be covered roughly and her hands injured and dried by the wind and drought.

“We are almost there my love” she replied “I know that you have made a great effort until now but you have to be patient for a while. We are almost there”.

“And where are we going to stay? Do we have a home in that place we are heading?”

She tried to hold herself, no tears should appear on her face. Keeping calm was one of her major role that she had to play. If not she, then who could do it?

“Yes my little boy. You will see, everything will be good again.” she said without even believing her own words “Mum will provide you with everything and you are not going to miss a thing!”.

She grabbed him from his waist and raised him on her arms. Even though some days have passed with only one meal for the whole time, from the daylight to the night, and her son has lost weight as she also, her arms didn’t feel so weak. Only her power of will was enough to continue their way.

Her head turned again to the river. Across their way, the other place they had to reach.  She could direct her gaze to the moving water, as the wind was blowing, dragging liquid and solid elements together and rain has joined his party again.

But they had to move on. Somebody, somewhere across that place was waiting. For those newcomers. For those “outcast of luck”, longing for that clear sky, crystal sea, bright future.

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As I captured the scenery in this photo, different stories came to my head. My last choice was that little glimpse of light inside this blackness one can find. And I admire those people that never surrender.

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Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday

We sat by the fire. Sawdust and ashes were scattered around or even swept in the air, making the scenery around us even more magical. Having bonfires close to the sea was one of our favourites, especially if it was served with cold beers, sometimes with sweets. No waves could be seen and the sun has set a few hours ago. Thankfully, blackness has been intruded by the light of the fire, so we could see each other faces when we were talking.

“And how we ended up being 40…” said a blond woman named Jane, sitting next to me “it seems like years rushed when we had the time of our lives, but they only left us with memories, good or bad. It’s a shame that we haven’t still managed to create an alternative to a typical time machine. Oh, how I wish that I could live my childish years like forever or when I first entered college having no clue at all what was waiting for me at the corner…”.

“But still, you managed to go through all of this, without getting stuck, without losing valuable time. At least, you are one of those people that do not need to worry about what’s coming next, right?” Tom replied directly to an imaginary, hypothetical question of her.

“What makes you feel so nostalgic? Life comes and goes, that’s its natural circle and you should better accept now that you can” he continued.

“But what has made you feel this way?” now I was the curious one “is a happy moment that you are missing right now that can’t be compared with your present, is somebody beloved far gone and you can’t find contact? Maybe that feeling of incompletness that have reached you in your 40s?

“I may go for the last one, it sums up all the rest. Because, there were few happy moments that I had the chance to enjoy to the fullest, imporatant people, not many but counted on the fingers of both of my palms, that I wish I could say a word with them, even a 5-minute will be ample. Or take the risk when it was worth the feeling, or travel when my program was free and I was young with less worries in my head.”

“Do you know why most of the time, if not always, you didn’t come all the way to those things?” I told her.

“Why is that?” she asked.

“Because you used to repeat one word when somebody or even yourself might have come to question those choices” I replied.

“And which is..?”.

Later” I responded and I turned my eyes up to the night, full of stars, bright sky.

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