Humour: How Unique, Do You Think, Your Writing Voice Is?


Creativity walks hand in hand with insecurity. Artists are hypersensitive and they constantly need reassurance and tender loving care. Urgh! Such a cliché! But it’s true. We, as writers are extremely vulnerable and no matter how accomplished we are (if we are accomplished at all), we always wonder whether we are good or bad or whether our latest work (piece, article, hub) is good.


I dreamed a dream

I dreamed a dream


Once I had a dream and I woke up in cold sweat. I dreamt of reading my own article and finding it absolutely unreadable. How could I expect others to read what I write when even I can barely suffer through it myself? The worst part, of course, was that that piece of writing was not a figment of my imagination. It was a real article, in fact one of my SIGNATURE articles - “Creating a Vision – It’s All in Your Head”. It is only moderately crazy, so it is only partially readable, partially unreadable. In short, not quite a complete horror. And it gathered wonderfully amazing comments and it is doing quite well on HP (unlike my other work that is quietly sliding into oblivion). [Hint: notice the horror part]


BUT!


I found an excellent way to feel better about myself. I promise that it’s going to work for you as well. And no, I am not talking about Hub Pages, even though Hub Pages is an excellent place to raise your self-esteem, if only as a writer.


Oh, yeah? Prove it!


Patience, my dear friends, patience.


I can only assume that the mysteriously magnetic force that brought you to HubPages in the first place was the promise that you can write and earn money (no experience necessary, no harsh requirements to meet, no competition to win. Just join, write and earn … easy as 1-2-3). Joining is easy, I won’t argue, writing requires expanding some effort and energy, but it is still doable, but earning money by writing is not within reach for most of us. Your competition is the whole world of professionals and it is strong and powerful, committed and knowledgeable and has too many other advantages. Oh, the world of winners!


BUT!


If you get enough traffic (congratulations!) and you earn some (good!) money, the more the better, this fact alone is very reassuring. Being a good writer and your ability to monetize your writing efforts are not necessarily interconnected and as long as you make income, who cares what kind of writer you are? It was not your goal in the first place. Of course, some people are both; they are good writers who make good money. Good for them, but they are minority. Let’s not kid ourselves.



The scale of exaggeration


For the rest of us, unfortunate souls, not so good writers after all or maybe those good writers who still cannot figure out how to monetize their wonderfulness, the biggest source of reassurance and sweetest boost to self-esteem comes from… right! … from HP community. All you have to do is write, then try to establish a circle of readers/friends and soon enough if you are a consistent and dedicated soul you invariably become a member of mutual admiration society of HP writers just like you. Or somewhat like you. The flattery is so sweet that is hard not to swallow. I am as guilty as charged.


- Am I a good writer?

- Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely.

- “Yes” is a comfort. “Absolutely” is not.


My friends always told me that I was powerfully unique, they told me so many times that I really believed in it. I felt into the trap of believing in my own amazing amazingness and wonderfulness. I thought that I have found my writing voice. It was captivating, enticing, moving, provoking, inspiring… and most importantly, unlike any other.


Notice the difference between “yes” and “absolutely”.


The sheer scale of exaggeration made me wonder… Compliments felt good, it was very much needed balm for my aching soul, but there was always a nagging suspicion that all of it simply cannot be true (it isn’t). As much as I wanted to believe it I could not. How could I not question the sincerity of others, if I did just the same? If I willingly engaged in dispensing flattery somewhat thicker than necessary? I don’t write constructive comments and if I slip I feel like “a weird minority of one”. If I slip I am promptly put back into my place. I write complimentary comments, the comments that should make the other person feel good. Sometimes I even wonder if the whole addiction to HubPages is the addiction to the Reassurance Club and Feel Good About Yourself Club. I think that is the whole point of the exercise – socialization, not exchanging ideas that are platitudes and have been exchanged so many times before.


But doubt is a creepy feeling. A shadow of a doubt, doubts, shadows creeping about the dark corners of a writer’s heart and soul..


What doubt?! It’s a fact that we are not literary giants. We are not a bunch of Dostoevsky, Dickens, …, Nabokov, Tolstoy. But that’s just it.


We are not them. We are LIKE them.


Did anyone ever tell you that you look like just …well, for example, your father or your mother? Does it drive you insane? Well, because you know for a fact that you look nothing like them (especially if you do). Or maybe you do look alike, but you don’t want to resemble your parents. Forget your parents; you just don’t want to bear any resemblance to anyone. But that is impossible. You look like somebody else whether you are related or not. It’s just inevitable.


I do look like Karishma Kapoor. I have been told before and I just brushed it off. I thought I did not really look like her and if people want to see me in her and her in me, let them. I also look like my mother and I hate admitting it. I just simply hate it. Nothing to be done – we do look like…


There was one creepy story that happened to me. When I went to the University in Moscow, on the very first day, I met a girl that was in my group. I kept staring at her because her face looked familiar, in fact painfully familiar, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. You know the feeling, you know you’ve seen the person somewhere, but it just escapes you where exactly. Close, closer… warm, warmer…


For crying out loud, where have I seen that mug? It came to me, eventually. I see that mug every day! IN THE MIRROR!


The horror! The horror!


It was a strange phenomenon – none of our facial features were alike, but the overall impression… We looked so much alike that most people thought we were sisters and a few unfortunate souls even mixed us up together and then stopped talking to either of us out of embarrassment. I did not like the fact that we looked alike. Most people don’t.


We look alike, we write alike. No, we don’t!


Authors, writers want to have their own writing voice, powerfully unique or uniquely powerful. I thought I was unique until I came across a program that analyzed any text and told in what style it was written.


Can you imagine me singing in that voice?

It tells you that you write like…


Of course, I was curious. Wouldn't you be? I took a few paragraphs from my writing and held my breath…


I write like Kurt Vonnegut. That is interesting because I have never read him. What a shame!


Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.
Pablo Picasso


It would be fine if I just wrote like Kurt Vonnegut, but it does not stop there. I write like a whole bunch of authors, not just authors, but the crème de la crème of the literary world.


For example, I write like Nabokov. How could I even imagine? But now, all false modesty aside, I would consider writing a novel – allusion “Humbertito”. Por que no?


I write like Oscar Wilde. I knew, I really felt that my love letter to my online friend was a masterpiece; the only missing piece was this confirmation, the attestation that I write like Oscar Wilde. “Aurea Mediocritas”, I called it. The letter was not about mediocrity. “Aurea Mediocritas” means “Golden Medium – the Center.” Applause, applause!


But let’s say you are not a genius like me. If you use this program, what would the result be?


I would not be surprised if you write like Mark Twain. Because I do.


The moment when I fell off my chair was when the program told me that I wrote like William Shakespeare. After I regained my consciousness, I thought that it all made perfect sense. My personality type is either Hamlet or Tom Sawyer. So, both authors are deep under my skin, I don’t even have to read them to imitate. It all happens naturally.


If you think that my literary gift is limited, think again. I write poetry. I wrote “Discovering My Blues” as Arthur Clarke would, I wrote down my preferences in the style of Anne Rice, whom I have never read and I wrote my best poem “Jumping into the erotic wave” under the influence (of a full bottle of red wine) just as Charles Dickens would have. I never realized that Charles Dickens wrote erotica, but I am becoming so light-headed with all the fame now that I cannot even say whether I read Charles Dickens at all. Maybe it is all in cosmic connections.


Kurt Vonnegut

Nothing is original


I wanted to know how my fellow writers would do on the test. No surprises here, all my friends write like masters, too. Cory Doctorow, Chuck Palahniuk, Raymond Chandler, Ian Fleming…


That is funny, but not specific. Specifically…


Writeronline came out to write like J.K. Rowling. She made a lot of money, he did not. I was curious enough as to analyze an article written by writeronline as a stream of consciousness. It had no punctuation and it was proclaimed as gibberish by one of the readers. To my greatest surprise and delight, writeronline later confirmed that it was not supposed to be anything but gibberish. Yet the program announced that this specific gibberish was written in a style of H.P. Lovecraft.


Who is this H.P. Lovecraft? I wonder because my writing is compared more often than I find it amusing to the style of H.P. Lovecraft.


Shall I be flattered or shall I be concerned? Who else is in my lovely terrifying family?


It turns out to be that besides writeronline and me (whom you might not know), Jim Jarmush and Niccolo Macchiavelli were also writing like H.P. Lovecraft, the most piquant detail, of course, that Machiavelli happened to write in H.P. Lovecraft’s style, when H.P. Lovecraft was not born yet. But it is such a minor detail!


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”
Jim Jarmusch


So which one of us is a good artist (writer)?.

Or a talented thief?

Are we authentic? Or pathentic?


The horror! The horror!



Sometimes I feel like


Maybe Machiavelli was writing about declaring a war on inauthenticity. Who knows? I did not read him either.


So, H.P. Lovecraft


It’s all funny. Funny, ha-ha-ha, but not systematic. I am an analytical (no such word) creature and I have to say that I did not stop at one excerpt; statistically one is not a number. I would take an article and “analyze” its parts separately. I am quite a genius, I have to admit. I am quite a genius just like someone else but there is no program yet to tell me whom my brilliance is akin to.


I took my moderately crazy, signature article “Creating a Vision – It’s All in Your Head” and that is what I got:


In one article I manage to write like:


One author that comes up more or less consistently is H.P. Lovecraft. I don’t know how I managed to be influenced by him if I have never read him or even heard of him. But I am flattered. Wouldn't you be?


H.P. Lovecraft came up four times and …the Oscar goes to … well, naturally. Funny enough, when I finished writing this satirical (for those who still in doubt!) piece, I put it in “I write like” program as well. Guess whose name came up? Right!


I looked him up – H.P. Lovecraft was a king of horror. He was weird. He was famous. At least I am consistent. Consistently crazy or consistently horrifying?


H.P. Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft … the Horror! The Horror!!! (“The horror!” theme is from Joseph Conrad “Heart of Darkness” if you did not know. Maybe you write just like Joseph Conrad? Don’t look down on me before you figure out shoes of which literary giant you are trying to fill).


I think like Gilbert O'Sullivan, naturally

But now you, would you like to figure out how you write?


The name of the program: “I write like”. It is the first site that comes up on Google.


But I can guarantee you one thing – you will never ever get this answer:


The answer the program will never give you:


NOBODY WRITES LIKE YOU. YOU WRITE LIKE NOBODY ELSE.


And I wish I could play the French Horn just like ...

I wish…


I no longer mind being or looking or writing like somebody else.


I wish I wrote music like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


I wish I looked like…


I wish I could sing like Lara Fabian…


I wish I was rich like… (is there ever enough?)


I wish I simply could play piano well or had piano for that matter… like…



A film adaptation of Lovecraft's two novels

© 2013 kallini2010

More by this Author


Comments 36 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Very clever! Who do I write like? No idea...don't care....I enjoy writing....it is a passion! Making money? No! Famous? No! Having fun? Oh my God, YES!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, billybuc, for your comment! Good for you that you don't care and that you enjoy being you.

I tried on my own a piece of your writing (to use the program that is), but I forgot that sometimes program give us such delightful answers such as

404 Not found.

Was it your particular style crashing the program? Or is it just the time of day? I don't know.

I might be writing like H.P. Lovecraft and be the Queen of Horror, but I know one thing for sure, I am writing for myself now.

I am no longer trying to reach an understanding where understanding is out of reach. I'd rather indulge in some other meaningless activities, such as eating a chocolate cake.

Cheers,


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

H.P. Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft, oh I see, H.P. Loves your Craft. Your talent as a first class writer is as yet undiscovered, but your humor, insight and panache is present in this article. And as for the French Horn, no one does in better.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, Mike! In fact, my favourite photo is of the reading couple - there is just such ease in feeling like an a...


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Svetlana,

I REFUSE TO READ YOUR HUB...no not today.

You and I are clearly musical soul sisters. I must tell you here and now I love you.

I sat with my 'icier than me' sister in the movie theater of Les Miz sobbing my ass off at this song...just as I am now...and she said " geez, it's only the first 15 minutes...". I promise I did not disappoint as I used two packs of tissues.

Oh darling, I shall return to dream more dreams and we can determine if we are good writers ... Love THeresa


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Actually, Theresa, this one (the hub) can be just the ticket out of sobbing.

I find it strange that we are ready to sob with the music when we are already in the mood, but when not, nothing, not even the saddest music can sway us.

I wrote this hub long ago and I only had to polish it a bit. It's not sad, not sad at all, it's supposed to be a satire, I don't know, of course, how funny it is. Maybe it is just as sad as it is funny, meaning not funny at all. But one must try.

Thank you for your comment and, of course, you are welcome to read it when you feel like it, there are no obligations.

Can we ever become good writers if others read us because they have to, not because they want to?

Even though, the whole hub is dedicated to precisely the same point - we don't have to be good writers to be good. A paradox?

And thank you for your sweetest declaration of love -

there is a lady whom I don't like and I would hardly ever like, who under the disguise of a peaceful/happy individual told me this:

"I'm sure it must be debilitating to carry around such a woeful load of pettiness on your heart. This is sad.

and....

That you reacted so strongly and negatively, to a simple, casual comment, gleans as much as I need to know."

That is my another mini-portrait (a cameo) in the eyes of someone else. After having boiled for a while (cannot be helped) and crafted an a clever sarcastic answer, I decide to let it slide. It's my new thing - disengagement - not feeding the fire.

One day we laugh, one day we cry... - I'm sure you know that song - Julio Iglesias...

I am only give you the link for the reference - don't listen if you are likely to cry (but it's in French). It's beautiful, but it's sad. But it's true, isn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fekAPxvY68I

Take care and enjoy your week-end!

Svetlana

still dragging my painful past badly packed around me! (I'm laughing!)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Funny lady, I 'am' in the mood to cry... I could probably listen to the theme to The Flintstones and start up...

But I shall indeed be back, with full composure and reading specs.

I like when you laugh and I am taking notes! You enjoy your weekend as well, Svetlana.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

remember this?

I listen to your music.

Devour every word.

You proclaim your cup is empty,

which is totally absurd.

You flourish as a writer,

and have an artist eye.

You’ve penned a solemn passage;

which is keen as it is wry.

You gave us your reflection

from your [own] quiet pool.

We’re left sitting

while we ponder

our luck to find this jewel.

I’ll scream across the distance,

don’t allow your dreams to die.

The midnight hour is upon us,

and alas the bottles dry.

~mckbirdbks


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Of course, "NOBODY WRITES LIKE YOU. YOU WRITE LIKE NOBODY ELSE."

Dear Svetlana, I enjoyed this hub of yours tremendously. At first, and especially with "I dreamed a dream" in the background, I felt this cloud of seriousness closing in on me, and sadness, because you were hitting one after the other nail on its head.

So true, as writers we have dreams, as humans we have dreams, but we will always be dreamers 'walking, talking and acting in our sleep' until we find ourselves all of a sudden in the arms of Lady LUCK. Being at the right place, at the right time in the company of the right person, and all of a sudden all closed doors swing open.

Success depends on Time and Opportunity.

And then, somewhere along the line (of your hub), you started to provoke smiles on my lips, and they grew and grew into giggles and eventually laughter.....

Honestly, your sense of humor is ABSOLUTELY delightful. Yes, absolutely for me.

I would say what really matters is not to be a most famous writer, but to have the opportunity to interact with kindred spirits/souls. To know that you are not a freak, all alone in this world with perceptions and perceptive on reality that no one can identify with. We really have a very strong need to be accepted and respected by the very people we accept and respect.

So why do singers sing? They need that applause, that recognition, that confirmation that their emotions and believes are NORMAL and appreciated by crowds upon crowds of normal people.

So why do writers write? Surely they need recognition and a "yes-yes-yes, you've hit the nail so absolutely securely on its head that the sound of the bangs sounded like Julie Andrew's 'Do-Re-Me'."

So, this is all I can say: You are a good writer, able to hold a reader's attention from beginning to end. Among many genres, you would excel as columnist. Let's hope the editor of a newspaper or magazine discovers you.

Now let me read the comments in here....


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Dear Mike:

Yes, I remember. Believe me, your words and our exchanges made a difference even though it may look like it did not and I keep complaining about the same old things that were haunting me then.

I've read a book "I'd listen to my parents if they'd shut up" - the title sounds almost offensive, but it makes it a good attention grabber. Daniel did not yet reach the time of "the awkward transition" (that is how he "proved" that he understands what adolescence was), but he is such a smarty pants that sometimes I don't know how to get myself out of the minefield that he invariably leads me into.

Anyway, the beauty of the book that is very practical. The advice is very solid and a matter of fact. So, what I wanted to say regarding why I remember what you said and why your words made a difference -

the author assured readers that even though it might seem that teenagers don't listen to a word their parents say, that in fact they are literally allergic to their parents and there is no visible proof that parental advice took hold, in fact, it is quite the opposite.

Parents are heard, behavioral examples are followed and most teenagers outgrow their pains and become normal citizens.

In 2011 I wrote considerably more than in 2012 producing a flow to reflect upon. In 2012 I thought more and continued to drift... it's still a puzzle, I still don't have a solution, but there is one belief that I am not ready to part with -

we cannot expect different results if we continue doing the same thing.

That is what it is - a painful process of searching for the solution. Writing might or might not happen along the way. I am sure I am not a writer, but writing is a road to self-discovery.

Thanks for your support.

I appreciate it!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

My dearest Martie:

I am absolutely delighted to read your response. If I can be a columnist, I think you should be a cheerleader. Not the kind that jumps on a soccer team (supposed to read "soccer field"!) in a funny uniform and does questionable acrobatics, but the one who helps someone to bloom from "nothing to nothing with a twist". I really liked that quote by Vonnegut, I probably should read him one day.

It was certainly a challenge to drag a reader from a nightmare to somewhere where it was "supposed" to become fun. Theresa stopped at "I dreamed a dream..."

I even suspect that the first reader did not read it at all, his speed of reacting was nonhuman.

At least I know that you have read it and it makes a difference to me when I make a decision - to publish or to hell with it all.

You know that I take the question "why" quite seriously, but once I solve my little dilemmas I can laugh at it at length.

In the article that I mentioned there was that pesky question - for whom a writer writes? The answer that I am ready to accept is - the writer writes for himself. The recognition, the applause, the money even, it's all great and welcome, but you can't follow audiences fickle tastes, you'll never hit any nails. To be true to yourself, you have to write for yourself.

So, I made a decision "not to be upset if there are no comments or there is no traffic". It's an exercise in writing and hub composition (all multimedia) and not in "make me feel good!" thing.

But you and I might follow different paths, yet come to the same conclusions in the end and it is what delights me the most - that you and I can have a dialogue and a discussion without fighting.

I feel safe with you. The incident that I had with you-know-who was just pathetic. No matter what she says, I get angry. But this book that I mentioned to Mike teaches how to handle these little quarrels. It is especially helpful given that my mother creates gut-wrenching drama out of nothing daily.

So, all is good.

I did not get back to you on your comment about hope/regret because I was sensing that you were getting overwhelmed with the comments stream.

I just want to mention two little details of the same nature:

there is hope and there is faith (a much stronger feeling). Terminally ill patients need faith, hope is not as powerful.

I can rephrase saying:

Faith is a comfort. Hope is not.

And the same goes to regret vs. grief. Grief is so much stronger than regret.

The example that you mentioned about a woman grieving the death of her baby for over two years - it is an dysfunction, called Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD). She may need serious help. The acceptable duration for grief is about six months.

The strange thing about grief is that even though I managed to stop regretting my past, I am not able to overcome grief. Apparently it is a symptom of a bipolar/unipolar depression to grieve the former healthy self. The grief of what I once was and what I could have become.

I am just trying to concentrate on more practical stuff - what I should do to change my current situation. For example, if I made a decision to publish one hub (even if it one hub per year), I have to make sure that I do it. Regardless of where my imagination led me in the meanwhile.

This is a more concrete change. Make a decision and stick to it. At times, I might appear less than agreeable, but you can always point it out to me. The problem is when I don't listen to good advice only because I don't trust people enough and for a good reason. But I trust you.

Thanks for reading my hub and yet another long comment,

Take care,

Svetlana


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh placement...oh the passing of a day...ALONE AGAIN NATURALLY?

Really, Svetlana?? Now I am smiling in peaceful contemplative memories of my past, heaven only knows why... far from perfect, yet decent and simple times... thank you.

OK...now I have truly read in earnest your essay. I regard your writing as essay...to me, it is thought provoking, I have to come back to it/ complex but not ridiculous and it makes me go off on my own tangents...which I honestly appreciate.

Now, I want to revisit the site but on first 'exposure', I write like James Joyce...and that got me on a cool memory of my favorite HS English teacher Mr O, who asked us to read "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"...hmmmmm, I loved Dedalus.

May I tell you how good it feels to smile this morning...sandwiched between these sad songs are some very droll expressions, done as only you, and perhaps H.P. Lovecraft, can!

Enjoy your Sunday! Love, THeresa


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Dear Theresa!

At some point (actually - naturally! in that article that I mentioned - that was somewhat crazy or Lovecraftoesque), I said that I wrote ASS-says and I was making fun of myself only to find out later that there is such word as "assay".

So, naturally, since then, I refer to my writing as...

No wonder, I write like the weird King of Horror. I should probably read him some day, if only out of curiosity.

Mike said it nicely = HP loves your craft - I can settle for that.

I do regard my writing as a conversation starter and going on tangents is quite welcome. After all, I can only travel and explore my own tangents, but not anyone else's and I love perspectives of others.

I am sorry about sad songs that I included, but I did not feel so down and they did not seem so sad to me after all.

I have never read James Joyce and maybe I should. I started reading Nabokov in English and it is a small novel and what amazes me is his style. He does not even need a story to keep you reading - he creates such beauty in every sentence, that each and every one of them is an image worth looking at and savouring. It becomes a gallery of delicious images starting from page one.

He describes a boy having a fever and it feels like any mental illness should be described. I think you would agree.

For example:

"It stood to reason that if the evil designer - the destroyer of minds, the friend of fever - had concealed the key of the pattern with such monstrous care, that key must be as precious as life itself and, when found would regain for Timofey Pnin [the main character] his everyday health, his everyday world; and this lucid - alas, too lucid - thought forced him to persevere in the struggle".

or

"Vision was but oval pain with oblique stabs of light; familiar shapes became the breeding places of evil delusions."

Of course, my evil delusions stand to no reason, there is no way I can write like Nabokov. I don't have his extended vocabulary to begin with and it is the least of our differences.

Even though, the advice that I found in one book on how to become a good writer was precisely that - if you want to write like somebody else, you have to read that author a lot and try to imitate him. As simple as that.

So, thanks for visiting, reading and commenting again!

Have a nice day,

Svetlana

P.S. I know you like movies about people with mental disorders - there is a new one I was recommended - "The Silver Linings Playbook"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI_3ywJLQio


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Svetlana,

Very funny about ASSays... Now I will think of the word and grin like one...

That movie is on my immediate 'to watch' list...the minute it hits home viewing.

You may not realize it was filmed on the ground of Norristown State Hospital, where I worked from the time I was 21 until I pretty much had to leave, medivac, at the age of 37... A bit of my melancholy still stems from an incident of unnecessary violence at the hands of a sick nurse in 1999. I am hearing some interesting reviews and I especially like the work of Bradley Cooper.

I always appreciate your tips and will talk soon. Hugs, THeresa


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I hope you enjoy the film. I did not see it yet, I normally rent in our library which is free, so by the time I have to see it...

But someone recommended it to me after I wrote about bipolar characters in movies, so all in all...

I understand your sadness about things that happen to you that should not not have happened... We always ask "why me?" as if there is some "evil designer" behind those happenings.

"Is sorrow not, one asks, the only thing in the world people truly possess?"

I tend to think about all the previous generations in the human history that lived in their majority simply horrible lives and yet they somehow survived...

You did, too, and I am happy that you are here with to share with me NOW.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

So true, Svetlana: "..... there is hope and there is faith (a much stronger feeling). Terminally ill patients need faith, hope is not as powerful...... Faith is a comfort. Hope is not." This belongs in the comment section of my hub! Please be so kind and go paste it in there...

I also agree wholeheartedly with you about grief and regrets. Believe me, I was a griever (inside) all my life, but only my close friends knew this. Go ask Nellieanna, I was a griever until - If you ever get the time read some of the hubs I've published in the beginning and especially the comments.

And then, on a day, all of a sudden, beginning 2011 some events forced me into another mindset. And then, sort of sent by God, a visitor came and helped me over the bridge to "The Promise Land" - where the sun always shines even while it's raining. This visitor had all the reasons in the world to grieve, and yet he was, and still is, so absolutely positive and able to enjoy life just as it is. He taught me how to close the door to the past and how to NOT allow people, memories, and thoughts about to past to steal my happiness. I will forever be grateful to him...

I HOPE to never fall back into permanent mourning again, and I HOPE you, too, will get the opportunity to build a bridge AND to walk all the way to where the sun always shines.

Sadly, we can build bridges with positive thoughts and good intentions, but to actually use that bridge, to actually cross it, we need a shock of a kind and the helping hand of a friend.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Martie, I read your comment and I quite agree. Understanding comes or rather builds slowly, the action comes afterwards with maybe some kick you know where.

I read your comment and maybe I need to think more about it (maybe not), so I am not approving it yet - not to forget to come back to it.

But a helping hand of a friend? Definitely!!!


HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 3 years ago from Illinois

This is an excellent article and the reason I know is because I have had many of those same thoughts and feelings and you, my dear, have brilliantly, yes, I said brilliantly, crafted into a piece that kept me wanting to know what was going to happen (to me) and you! Thanks for sharing.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Martie, I came back to your comment, read it again, thought about it...

I think my response was quite sufficient. But there is one detail in my life, that might be a good sign after so many years of self-delusion - somehow during my waking hours, I might seem like my old deluded self unwilling or unable to act, but at night, I keep waking up with the most lucid thoughts of "I have to change!", "What am I doing with my life?!", "Why have I let it happen?" It is almost frightening...

I think it is a process in my almost conscious mind that reaches the surface. And indeed, if I have not done some things I intended to do, there are other things that I did. I am revisiting my relationships and leave those that never served me right - behind me.

As Nellieanna likes to put it - growing always means going through pains.

I am so glad that HubPages turned out to be the place where I met like-minded people - it is harder to make new connections in real life (at the moment).

So, yes, first - painfully building the bridge of Understanding and then crossing it...

There was a caricature I shared recently on FB -

a yogi is sitting on a field of spikes. The other yogi asks him:

"Does it hurt?"

and the first one responds, "Only when I exist".

Take care,

Best wishes from the Capital of Winter Winds...


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, HoneyBB, for your nice comment. I wanted to make people at least smile. I think being funny is one of the hardest challenges in writing or cinematography. It is easier to be serious, but funny?

I am glad you enjoyed it!

Take care,

All the best from Toronto, Canada


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Just reading your comment after a few days of teaching...thank you so much. You know how much I treasure NOW and those people I truly care about...(you included) when I think what could have been...

And I hate to admit it but this has forced me to finally grow up in some ways...never all, I will not allow it!

I know instead of " why me" the question I ask now is " why not me"? I am blown away by example of example of the strength we all possess and the unique hardships we have all had...have to endure. and I know I am not alone on those days I allow myself to feel sad...it makes me even more grateful to feel joy when I look out the same window...listen to the same song in a new light with a fresh perspective.

Svetlana, it is cold as sh~~it here as well...I am thinking of fueling the jet and swinging by to take us away to SA to enjoy Sista's new aircon


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

My dear Theresa:

I am also very grateful for the people I have met on HubPages, it seems that over time I met those few who share the understanding of what is the most important in life.

Once I venture out in the "real" world, I keep bumping into those who don't understand me even in the least. I realize that it is all circumstantial, that people like you and Martie (and others) live here as well, in my very own city (I don't own the city, of course!), but finding them is so hard. The world is not made exclusively of those who understand.

Here we have the luxury of exchanging ideas, sharing our experiences and maybe our shared passion for writing makes it all easier, I don't know...

What could have been if we all made a different choice here and there...?

But we are here now and the decisions that are available to us, the choices exist only now.

Sadness is normal, as normal as joy. When I was "incarcerated" for one day only in the hospital for being suicidal, all I was doing was watching out of the hospital window - and looking a my building - yes, we are that close... and realizing that when I thought I could not feel any worse than I felt at home, the very worse was just around the corner... and it was hospitalization.

I begged them to let me out and since then I never went to the hospital again. It is a very mild example of how relative our happiness and misery is, but to me, it was almost a turning point.

Why me and bipolar, why me and destructive marriage, why me and et cetera...?

But we only go forward.

There is a new song I discovered sung by Julio Iglesias and even though it is sung in Spanish and it is about romantic love, I prefer to think about it as if about making choices - any choices in life - either this or that and if this does not suit me, I'd rather "break up" or stop doing this ...

==========================

http://lyricstranslate.com

Either love me or leave me

Either love me or leave me

Or should I forget about you?

Rather than being like this, with you

I'd prefer for us to break up

I love you, you know that

But games doesn't suit me

Nor to keep putting up with your whims

And your way of thinking

==========================

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7EQrfpZiU8

I hope you like the song.

And, yes, I'd love to bask in the sun and enjoy the waves somewhere...

Take care,

Hugs,

Svetlana


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

My dear Svetlana, as you know advice is the last thing we want while we are in the depths of depression. But I would like to share my experience with you.

"I have to change!", "What am I doing with my life?!", "Why have I let it happen?" - These were my thoughts for more than 10 years of my life. Absolutely devastating! I wasted my most beautiful years (35-45), torturing myself like this. On the other hand, not wasted. Reviewing, I can see that I have grown tremendously during those years. I've studied so many subjects, gained so much knowledge, expanded my perceptions, etc. etc.

But absolutely therapeutic was the short stories I have written - instead of pondering. Based on reality, but as I would have liked it... with happy endings. Doing this according to the rules of short-story writing was a marvelous challenge with soul-enriching results.

Instead of "I have to change... What am I doing with my life... Why have I let it happen...." I've made myself in stories the heroin, facing the antagonist and all the problems I had to deal with; in stories I lived the way I should have lived and I've done what I should have done and I've given every story a happy ending.

Slowly but certainly I was able to face reality and to change my mindset to "I am changing all the time for the better. I AM alive, I AM living my life, I AM grateful for what I have NOW, I AM making the best of every day and the privilege I have to exist on this beautiful planet, and so THIS is what I AM doing with my life, and I am NOT going to repeat the mistakes I've made in the past."

And to emphasize my positive thoughts, I went (in stories) on the most exiting holidays and had the most exiting adventures with the most charming gentleman - (a different one for each story.... lol!) Of course, I lived in my imagination - the hours I were alone (and not at work where I was actually only a machine doing the necessary.) However crazy this may sound, it WORKED for me.

And today all those magnificent stories are my life/reality.

Think about this, Svetlana. You can write. You have the time to write. Why not study the rules of short-story writing and grab the challenges it offers? I am sure you will get the guidelines you need via Google, and you are welcome to send me your efforts for more guidance.

Doing this will be HARD work, believe me, but the positive results will surprise you.

Oh, the sharing of my experience changed into advice! LOL! But you know, it is for you to accept or reject. I am not forcing it down your throat.

In the meantime, take care!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

And just a word to my sweet sista, Maria Theresa - ref her "I am thinking of fueling the jet and swinging by to take us away to SA to enjoy Sista's new aircon..."

All you have to do is dream, Maria, dream-dream-dream...

Something in this line, but puleezzz, bring your own boyfriend :)

http://youtu.be/i90r6OX3RYo


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Martie, it was an excellent way for you to recover and I am sure your stories were very entertaining.

I have a policy about gifts - in order not to be disappointed EVER about gifts that I give to others, I decided to look at it as "no strings attached". Once I transfer "ownership", a person who receives my gift is willing to do with it whatever he pleases - re-gift it, dispose of it, put it in the garbage can (just not in front of my eyes!) and ever since... it became easier to handle all the gifting dilemmas.

I never thought of this strategy applicable to advice. Receiving advice often irks us, giving it - there are other feelings including our own attachment...

I am just sharing my newly found perspective (and it is new to me - I just read it in the book!)

I am unlikely to engage in writing short stories, well, not anytime soon. My strategy (planned) is a bit different.

I was dedicated to asking and answering my own questions in 2011 and then I derailed.

After derailing, I spent 2012 not letting myself to go high. Was it a time of contemplation of my past experiences? I don't know - 2012 remains a mystery to me.

The questions that pop up when during my sleep are not the conscious ones - I don't torment myself with them when I am awake.

I only wanted to demonstrate that the process is going on, even when it seems like nothing on the surface. I call it "before stepping on that bridge..."

Maybe what I say makes little sense to others, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Just imagine me as a vehicle - in order to travel I need my vehicle (physical and mental health) to be in good operating condition. Yes, the bridge is within sight, but the vehicle is in disrepair.

So, the first stop? Maintenance. Repairs. A date with a mechanic.

Ha-ha-ha!!!

Take care, Martie

Have a good time and, yes, enjoy the weather!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

Svetlana, as long as it makes sense to YOU - your destiny, route, condition of vehicle, etc.etc. - you are OKAY. Nobody knows you better than you. We all instinctively know what works for us and what would be a waste of time and energy.

Glad to know you can see the bridge.

Now just keep on going one day at a time.... and even one hour at a time. Believe me, I can clearly see/hear/read your progress, and I am proud to be your friend. Between you and me, I do have a lot of patience, compassion and comprehension, but not for born losers. You are NOT a loser.

Also believe me when I confirm that 'this, too, will pass'. There will come a time that you will look back and know why this period in your life was an essential course/adventure/trip to the end of the universe and back....

Take care, Svetlana!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

My dearest Martie,

thank you for your understanding and patience.

I am reading a rather dry book "Emotional Intelligence", but it explains why some of us are lagging behind the others (I meant why are some people are more successful than others).

IQ is such a faulty predictor of happiness and success. There are other factors at play.

It is not my intellect that does not understand things, but my extreme emotions (sometimes) that make my existence sheer misery. I am not on a mission to read the book, but I like the way it sheds light on many things that I found puzzling before.

Maybe every loser has his own story. Maybe there is a reason. Maybe if we knew the story, we would have compassion for them, too. Empathy is natural for humans.

I was glad to find the support of my (!!!) idea, that schools have to teach emotional intelligence to children and maybe there will be fewer "born" losers. Certain things we don't understand.

And maybe the sweetest thing about emotions - at least it is new to me, maybe not entirely new, but put in a new light (frame)

"the emotions, then, matter for rationality".

There is no decision making without emotions.

Well, anyway, maybe for the first time, I am reading with making jot notes hoping to retain more. Call it self-education.

After all, emotional hijacking was always my problem and even the author admits that extreme emotions are the hardest to manage.

While I cannot write, I can read. Hoping to get out of it - the maintenance, the maintenance - never exciting, but absolutely necessary!!!

I hope you have a pleasant week-end!

Take care,

Svetlana


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Ah, such wonderful music...loved Julio Iglesias, thoroughly appreciating the lyrics and sensual melody as well as The Everly Brothers, who are indeed dreamy to me...

Hoping Svetlana and Sista are well this weekend...

Not to fear, Sista dear, I will BYOB... (boy)...!

Hugs, Maria Theresa


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hi, Theresa:

I am glad you liked the music! On some days it is the only consolation!

I hope you are having a pleasant week-end, as well!

Hugs,

Svetlana


Majadez profile image

Majadez 3 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

I think I write like Maja Dezulovic.

I may not be an expert but your style reminds me a lot of that of the famous female Russian-Canadian writer Svetlana Ivanova.

And yes, you do look like Karishma Kapoor. It's uncanny actually. She is beautiful and so are you.

"The horror. The horror." It was an ongoing joke between my friend and I when we studied Conrad's Heart of Darkness in school. It made me smile to see you use it in the same way here.

You have also been influenced by Victor Hugo. Have you seen the new movie? Unsurprisingly, I prefer the book. Well, I dreamed a dream that I gave you a copy of your book. Sigh... That dream may soon be a reality - let's hope. ;)


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

My dearest Maja!

True to your name, the illusion that you are, a dream... you seem to write well even from upside down. I am so glad to see you here. There is no doubt in my mind that you write like Maja...

I wrote this piece as an entertainment (a while ago), but surprising result was that after I have had my laughs, I was curious to check out a few authors, the names of which were totally unfamiliar to me before.

And the book... I am not dreaming about writing a book, I am perhaps dreaming of building up my life back to normality and if I can achieve that, I think it would be as big an achievement as some prolific careers of some most brilliant people. Who needs my book? I don't. Who needs my life? I need it so desperately back. I need it back so desperately. I am writing like an imb....

To be honest, I don't think I have ever read "Les Miserables" and I think I saw one film that was an adaptation, it was set in France occupied by Nazi. Jean-Paul Belmondo? I am not sure it was actually "Les Miserables". I did not see the new movie either. I am so poor at this time, that I mostly watch old films - old as in accessible via public library. A good film is a good film plus or minus two years.

Speaking of films and "Les Miserables" - I watched the film "The Disgrace" with John Malkovich - it is set in South Africa and I found it truly disturbing and yet somewhat comforting. Certainly moving. Yes, it was not a huge production, but I think it is one of the gems that I will certainly recommend for others to see.

And consider my own misery now - it is questionable whether it is entirely misery or not, but here is the gist - Daniel who is struggling with both English and Russian started learning French at school. It is now the end of February and all he can say "Je m'appelle Daniel". He also started "losing" his homework and getting in confrontations with the French teacher. So, to help him, I decided to learn French with him - and it goes .... I don't even have a good word for it. Yet, I see no other way.

So, so far we rely on memorization

of what can easily can be memorized.

Therefore, I sing like Joe Dassin:

"Salut, c'est encore moi!

Salut, comment tu vas?"

I sing like Salvatore Adamo

"Tombe la neige..."

You see?

The book is written here on bits and pieces - a comment here, a comment there.

And it was a pleasure to see you again!

Au revoir!


Majadez profile image

Majadez 3 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi Svetlana.

Well, the cinema version of Les Miserables was a total disappointment for me. I expected that they would have cast actors who can sing for a musical production. They did not.

Anyway, I read Disgrace but I have not yet seen the movie. You've reminded me of it so I'll take a look. I love Coetzee's writing style, although the stories themselves are usually disturbing. His style is somewhat poetic.

I hope the French comes along better. ;)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Svetlana - This is oh so clever and now you have me wondering the answer to that question. I am going to that website and just hope they don't give me an error code. I, too, have found the Hub community encouraging. On occasion I do get someone who gives me some ranting or crackpot feedback. The terrible ones email it, the buggers. I guess they're just keeping it real.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

FlourishAnyway:

Thank you for reading my article and joining the mysterious crowd of my followers.

I haven't posted anything in years, so you are not in great danger of reciprocation.

I found it to be the most excruciating part of "support" - the more people read your articles, the more articles you have to read and it became exhausting. I can imagine how many people comment on your articles!

A lot of people skip, skim and scan and they post a comment as general as it can be.

I was not very good at it, so my readers however few of them became my friends.

I don't have to lie much, my Hub friends know me well enough.

I have read recently that we learn more not from the things we like, but from the things we dislike. We need buggers, too.

And as far as error codes come - I have been struggling for achieving mental balance (between the highs and the lows) for so long that I thought that I finally succeeded only to realize that the balance that I got was "zombie" state.

A friend sends me an e-mail "that he is going to stab me in the brain so I won't eat his flesh", I read it as "I will stab you in your bra".

He is comforting me that I am not a zombie, my reading skill serves as yet another proof that I AM a zombie,

whose BRA is in total and irreversible freeze.

I think I will be able to embarrass my son without even trying!

Best regards

from Zombieland,

Toronto, Canada


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

This really is very, very clever, and a joy to read. A job well done and a pat on the back go to you, my friend. Excellent job!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 2 months ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, Bill. Now, four years after this article was published, I would have rewritten it if I still had interest, but I have sailed from it far, far out...

but now

Now

I am a Mountain

heavy,

cold,

far out,

inhospitable,

insurmountable,

oxygen deprived,

in short,

an accomplishment without accomplices.

Who writes like me? Hopefully,

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