Violet, Horseradish, P.S.-s


I decided to buy a horseradish and a bunch of violets to give my day some taste and colour. The funny thing about both the horseradish and violets is that they aren’t easy to define. You could think about the colour violet that’s actually a mixture of red and blue, two states of a soul that are contrary in such a way that the final result can’t be explained in an easy way. It’s almost dangerous to mix the passion of red with the sadness of blue, it creates an explosion which is just as strong as the perfume of these violets. As strong as the horseradish taste, which is too strange to be defined: is it bitter?… is it sweet?… It’s violet. Just like life.

P. S. 1. I wrote this little article at the Arvon Creative Writing workshop back at the end of August – if you follow me on Facebook, you know about it already. The very first exercise we received was to choose two random words that we like or we find interesting. Easy. Mine were ‘violet’ and ‘horseradish’, violet because of this and horseradish because of this. But actually both of them come from Lemony Snicket, with Violet and the word horseradish that I first encountered – in English – in one of those amazing books. But anyway, while the first exercise was piece of cake, the second was to write a sentence containing both, and the next one to just immediately continue writing and see what you get. That’s my result.

P.S.2. I didn’t have the chance to post it until now. I actually didn’t have a chance to post anything, not even another piece of writing from the workshop, or something related to one of the many, many ideas I have. It’s been a long time, I know, and I thought that starting a new job, moving into the capital city and getting used to everything that’s new could be good excuses. Guess what, they aren’t. I had a chat last night which made me realise they aren’t. Made me wake up in the morning and write this before work, and I’m thankful for that. Everyone knows that if you really like doing something, you’ll make time for it. So I hope I’ll manage to find a timeslot in my busy-or-not-so-busy-but-lazy life for writing on the blog 🙂

P.S.3. I haven’t forgot I promised myself I’ll create my own website for the blog. It’s there, in a very early version, but again, it wasn’t in the top of my priorities recently… Same as in P.S.2, I’ll make time for it, at least until I decide it looks good enough to be publicly announced, even if not completely finished.

P.S.4. I GOT PUBLISHED!! Or actually, I will this Saturday 😀 One of the articles written at Arvon was chosen to be included in an anthology for young people, which is launched this Saturday in Winter Gardens, Sheffield, UK. (Facebook event here). I will post it here as well after that. I know it’s probably not much, but then again, it makes me a little more motivated to continue with all this, which can’t be bad at all.

P.S.5 I realised that instead of P.S. I could have used ‘Note’, as P.S. is usually for ending letters. But perhaps all this was addressed to whoever is reading, so it makes a little bit of sense. I know it wasn’t the usual type of posts, but those will come pretty soon. It’s a promise.


Voice Without a Face

Last month I took part into a writing challenge called Writing101 – I haven’t written too often for that one, but I still managed to publish two short posts: one about a mysterious letter and the other about personalities that are so different, yet have so much in common.

Writing201 has started this week, and the first workshop is about finding our unique perspective in writing, our own voice. It immediately reminded me about an interesting question someone asked me the other day:

‘Why don’t you have a mouth?’

He was obviously referring to my profile picture (click here for a full-size image), and I know the question was somehow funny, but it made me think. Indeed, I don’t have a mouth in that photo. It’s a drawing of Violet B., my favourite character from my favourite books – it belongs to winsane on deviantart, no copyright infringement intended – and I am unsure about the reason why the mouth is missing. But I’ve realised I don’t need a mouth in order to have a voice, if that makes sense. Just like Les yeux sans visage – Eyes without a face… Cause if you look closely, you’ll see that Violet possess something as powerful as a mouth, or, why not, perhaps even more powerful when it comes to the message that is being delivered: a feather.

It’s somehow a difference between a message that is written and one that is spoken. It’s much easier to write, but I’m not sure it’s always the right way (I’ve explained a similar idea here). Cause if you look at Violet and mentally draw her a mouth, how would that be? A wide smile? 😀 A shy one? 🙂 Or perhaps the expression of sadness? 😦 Or broken-hearted? It depends, it could actually portrait almost any emotion; but no matter her appearance, she’s still writing. She may write funny thinks while she’s sad, or sad things while she’s happy. You’ll only have the written message and the ‘voice’ associated with it, not the actual voice which would quite clearly provide details about her feelings. But it’s still a voice, a perspective of a writer. You can never be sure if that’s her real voice, or if it’s the feather which puts those words on the paper.

You can quite easily change voices when you’re writing. The same way you do when you switch languages – if you can speak more than one, of course. And just as it takes time to learn a language, the same way it takes time to find your voice. ‘Let her find her own voice, even if she has to try on the voices of a hundred others first to do so‘, I was quoting in my post about writing. And I know it’s true, but the same way you learn a language only by speaking it, you discover your writing perspective by… writing.

And the main quality of a writing voice is, I believe, to be capable of spreading certain feelings. If the reader can actually feel what you’re talking about, then you’re on the right way to finding a voice that’s suitable for both of you. A voice spreads feelings the same way the appearance does. ‘Are you okay?’ is the most confusing question ever, cause it means that someone perceived some feelings from you, a certain sensation, which may or may not be what you intended. And when a random man asked me this question, while we were waiting at a traffic light and I probably had a lost look in my eyes, I blinked. What wouldn’t I be okay? Well, I could think of a few reasons, but still. What made that person ask me that?… And I remembered another quote from Sherlock… ‘Are you okay? Don’t just say you are, because I know what that means, looking sad when you think no one can see you‘…

The workshop is about finding the voice that describes what you want to describe in the best way possible. But does that voice match you as a person? Does it complete you, rather than splitting your personality in two? Does it show the others who you really are, instead of giving them false sensations the way a deceiving appearance does? And most importantly, does it make you, you?…

Violet Raindrops & the first attempt

This is my first blog post ever, so it will probably be quite short, just to let me know how things are going. I don’t know why I waited so long until I realised that’s what I should do – start a blog. Cause I enjoy writing down my own thoughts, hoping that this way my mind will become more organised, even though, in fact, if you write you actually discover new thoughts, and it’s easier to get lost amongst them. But anyway, I’ve created this blog to see how it feels to actually know that someone may at some point read what you’re writing. And perhaps, why not, maybe what you’re writing will have an impact, smaller or bigger, on that person’s way of thinking. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not writing in order to make others think like me. If you like the way I’m seeing the things around me, that’s fine, if you don’t like it, that’s fine as well. I’ve realised I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, as it’s said, and the best part is that I don’t have to be.

Anyway, it was quite a challenge to choose a perfect name for this blog. And I think I found it. Violet Raindrops. Violet as in the colour, which is neither red nor blue, although it can easily resemble more or less with one of them, just by adjusting the RGB a little bit. Violet is not red like the roses, nor blue like the violets – and by violets I mean the violets from the poem, which are blue, not the ones everyone knows that are violet.
Raindrops, which form the rain, and just as the rain can be purple, it can be violet as well. After the rain there comes the rainbow, and at the end of the rainbow there’s the colour violet. Raindrops, which can fall down either easily, tender and sweet, blessing the nature, or furiously and full of rage, devastating everything. Violet, as the girl who needs just a drop of red in order to love with passion, and a drop of blue to dive into sadness. But she tries to keep the balance. The raindrops are swelling from her eyes, tears of joy or, more often, sadness. And also she falls like a raindrop, falling in love, falling into loneliness, falling into her own thoughts, sometimes slowly, sometimes not. She’s powerful and weak at the same time. Rain makes her blue, and Violet’s not blue. So she takes advantage of the rainy weather, by the passion of writing – adding a drop of red to the blue and becoming Violet again.

I’ll end this short note with one of my favourite quotes, which describes the whole naming idea quite well, actually: “She says she wants to be a raindrop. She doesn’t mind falling, as long as she’s not alone. And raindrops are never alone”. But if she’s not a raindrop, is she alone?…
We’ll figure out later.