Sunday, June 30, 2013

On Words

You are trapped on an island: there are many other islands standing in the ocean all about you, yet there is no way that you can reach those other islands. Thankfully, you have all that you need on your own patch of land in the water: fresh mangoes and coconut grow in great bounty in the jungles, while crabs line up at the shore, ready for you to cook. Yet you simply cannot quell your desire to reach those other islands, so like your own, but separated by an intangible but infinitely powerful force. You and the millions of other islands are not only separated by water, but by a pure incapacity in the ways of the universe.

Each of those islands is a human being, quagmired in their own psyche.

We cannot truly communicate with others: the bodily sensations, psychological trauma, emotions, even the tastes that come into contact with our tongues are impossible to accurately convey to other humans. That’s why language was invented: a way to conjure up ideas in the minds of other people in order to connect with them.

Still, language has its problems. It only roughly encapsulates the full scope of human thought. There are no words sufficient to describe everything, so we must use our words in conjunction with one another in just the right way to give someone a memory, something that they can relate to, and say “Yes! I understand that!"

But unless someone has knowledge of what is being communicated, all hope of connection is lost.

I love the idea of language’s evolution, of new words being invented to condense the array of words that were once combined to describe a concept, of original phrases coming into the language to describe something that did not exist yesterday. What is terrifying, however, is the possibility of losing meaning in language. I notice all of the time that the words envy and jealousy are used as though they are synonyms; they are not. Jealousy is spotting a woman wearing a handmade dress made of vintage fabric and looking down at your un-hemmed skirt made with fabric purchased off of the $1/yard rack at Walmart with a surge of self-loathing and a desire to do better. Envy is shooting the woman in the lungs and stealing the dress. It’s fantastic that these two words have different meanings that convey different feelings: the words jealousy and envy enrich our experience in the world by making it easier to describe things. But when jealousy and envy mean the same thing, all that you have is two words that mean the same thing, thereby making it just a bit more difficult to write a letter about that woman with the nice homemade dress made out of vintage fabric. You’ll have to put your pen to your chin and decide whether jealous or envious is more cute of a word.

The islands drift further apart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wow! Lens of the Day!

Last night I had a wonderful surprise. My lens on Squidoo, 10 Ways to Keep a Great Diary, was chosen as Lens of The Day. For those who are unfamiliar with Squidoo, it's a platform like Hubpages where you can write pages (lenses) about your interests, etc. It's not quite the same as blogging but it's a lot of fun and it's a good way to make some extra money from home.
It's such an honor and a blessing to be awarded with lens of the day. I'd been working on that lens a lot the day it was chosen and I never knew that anyone thought it was lens of the day quality.
Thanks so much to whoever nominated my lens! It's been great to see the feedback and to get a little boost in traffic.

P.S. Last week I was awarded the lovely crotcheted snowballs from fellow blogger Holly Day's Closet's giveaway. Thank you, Holly Days! They are awesome.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dear America Books are FAKE!!!

When I was nine, there was nothing I loved to read more than those Dear America books for kids. My adventure-loving mind gobbled up every bit of the supposed diaries of real girls throughout history. A compulsive diary writer even then, I loved the thought of reading actual girl’s diaries. What a fascinating thought that their journals had been preserved so long.
Your life is nothing but a lie, Julie
One day, I picked up a book “written by a little Jewish girl during the Holocaust.” At the time I was very interested in the authors name printed on the inside cover of a book. That was mostly because I dreamt of someday seeing my own name printed on the inside of my own novel. After I read the name, I wished that I had never let my eyes drift past the pages of the book. The book was not written by a real little girl. The name was totally different than the name of the star of the book. For a moment I sat in shock. After rereading it, I had a sudden vision of a lying, sniveling insect of an old lady who pretended to be a little girl all for money. How could anyone stoop so low? I couldn’t even fathom it. I screamed and hurled down that grimy book.
Later that evening I told my mother about my horrific discovery, hoping that somehow I’d been mistaken. Perhaps she would assure me that the book really was written by a girl in history, and simply edited by an old lady. Instead, she confirmed my fears. Having been obsessed with the books, I felt that my entire life was a fallacy. The next few nights I couldn’t sleep. Instead I plotted revenge against that insect; I may have been small but I planned to make that con artist pay.
The realization that I was reading a lie denied every hope I had. I’d imagined my own diary becoming an epic novel which girls of the future would read. That dream gave me energy and a reason to write.When I found out my favorite true stories were fiction, my faith in myself was decimated.
Eventually my rage subsided and was replaced by a faint sickness in the pit of my stomach which was released whenever I was reminded of how I'd been fooled.
Sure, these books may be educational. They, when seen for their true selves, are a fun way of taking a peek into history. Yet I don’t think I can ever come to terms with those feelings of being tricked. I can’t see myself ever allowing a child to believe Dear America books were really a little girl’s diary.
So now you know why last week I was so upset at seeing my little sister reading a Dear America book about a little Jewish girl in the Holocaust.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everybody!

This Christmas finalizes a hard year for Blue Pencil Diaries. I didn't write much as I was concentrating on my other blog, Longer Eyelashes. Longer Eyelashes, though, wasn't my calling. I don't care half as much about something minuscule like eyelashes as I do writing. After re-reading this blog, I promised to resume posting on Blue Pencil Diaries. I did write one post but it didn't hold up to my standards so I deleted it immediately. Hopefully I can force myself to stay away from the delete button next time. Ideas are whirring around in my head! I am currently working on a fiction story that I hope to finish before 2012 (the Apocalypse?) It's not that great but it should help me to restart after this year's writers block. Currently I've written 13 pages after about 2 months. Anyway, this Christmas, please stay away from the keyboard (or pencil), and spend some time with your family. Don't be like me.
Rest assured, I will be celebrating the holiday with family later today.
Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I made the below picture/animation with the help of some Gimp brushes created by Obsidian Dawn.