Ghosts

Ghosts aren’t what you think.

Ghosts are the arguments that you have with your mother every time you see her, even though you both know that you’ll never agree. And ghosts are the arguments that your father continues even when you agree with him, as he tries to prove that he is right to his own father, long dead.

Ghosts are the fears that stop you asking someone out, because they might reject you like someone else did, long ago.

Ghosts walk your house at night, as you worry whether you have made the right choices. Ghosts walk your house in the morning as you worry whether you’ll be able to solve the problems you face today.

Ghosts give good advice, and bad. Often the same ghost gives both. They’re only human, after all.

Sometimes ghosts tell you that you’re wrong, and sometimes ghosts tell you that you’re right. (Ah, but they lie, they lie).

Ghosts watch and tut as you have the same arguments with your children that your parents had with you. Ghosts tell you that this wouldn’t happen if you’d listen to their advice. (But their advice is the same now that it was then, so I wouldn’t trust them if I were you).

Ghosts are everywhere. You may not see them. But you hear them. They sound like you.

Ghosts follow you. You can’t run away from them, they will always come with you. When you break up with your new lover for the same reason you broke up with your old lover, the ghosts applaud.

Ghosts don’t like change. They’re dead. They follow the same patterns, over and over. But they want you to stay with them and keep them company. Ghosts need the living.

When you walk with a ghost, you make it stronger. When you listen to a ghost, you make it louder. You can’t run away from a ghost, but they will fade if you let them. Slowly, so slowly.

Ghosts are terribly strong. They’re as strong as you can make them. And when you fight a ghost, only you get hurt. (They’re already dead).

Ghosts aren’t what you think. They’re all around you. We all see dead people.

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NaNoWriMo

It’s nearly November, and this year I’m finally going to have a try at NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month. It’s a great idea; but very badly named given that it’s international.

The last two or three years I’ve been reminded about NaNoWriMo part-way through the month after seeing comments on Twitter, but it’s been too late for me to start. This year, I saw something ahead of time and I’m getting prepared, one step at a time.

Step 1 was donating some money to the organisation, since I think they’re doing a great job. That’s not compulsory to join in, by the way – I just wanted to.

Step 2 was thinking of what I wanted to write. There’s a story I really want to write, but it’s also important to me and I don’t want to mess it up. It didn’t feel like the right story to start with – but I didn’t have a better idea. I was stuck – until a dream came to my rescue. Now I have a strange and wonderful story ready to tell. At least, it’ll be wonderful as long as I don’t mess it up.

Step 3 was making notes on the characters and locations, and filling out the plot a bit. A dream will give you a great idea, but it doesn’t do the hard work for you.

At this point, I discovered that The Guardian is running a series on writing a novel in 30 days. I’d say it’s a wonderful coincidence, but I should think they’re aware of NaNoWriMo, so it may well not be a coincidence at all. It is wonderful though, take a look.

It’s T-7 days and I feel like I’m on track – let’s see how it goes.