I Write Therefore I Am

Writing makes me happy. Simple as. It also regularly makes we want to bang my head off the table.

What makes someone a writer? It’s a pretty sweeping statement. Do you become a writer when you are officially paid to do it? Or is when when you first see your name in print? Maybe it’s simply something you are and not something you become. It’s the compelling urge to get your thoughts down whether you’re in the shower, running for the bus or lying in the darkness.

Don’t ask me about being a writer. lf when you wake up in the morning you can think of nothing but writing…then you’re a writer. – Rainer Marie Rilke

Nobody is forcing me to do it. I doubt anyone would be particularly bothered if I stopped… there’s one or two more blogs out there. And yet I have caught the bug, have experienced the satisfaction of people reading and liking what I write and the adrenaline hit that can only come from the ”publish’ button. Like I’ve just carelessly flung another piece of me out there, but the more I do it the less scary it gets, and I can’t seem to stop.

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When I started to blog I was sitting repeat exams and stressed to my eyeballs. My friends were still in America and I needed a distraction ANY distraction from chemical mechanisms. Writing soothed my nerves and it was never supposed to be any more than that. Then I found myself falling in love with my own little speck on the blogosphere and felt the compelling urge to show someone who knew me inside out.

I met Laine when we moved in together four years ago ( yeeks) and we instantly clicked. I love her completely and trust her enough to be honest with me. She is also the one who presented me with a notebook on my 21st birthday with the message to “get on it” and start writing, ..thanks lady. So I sent her the link and she sent back some much needed encouragement .

I’ve always been at my best when I let go completely and write from the heart. When I’m hurting or exhausted or a painful experience is still raw, that’s when the words flow. Equally when I’m brimming over with happiness they tumble out of me falling over each other in a bid to scrawl across the page. To write, to really write, is to show the world a vulnerability and that’s an aspect I’ve always struggled with. I got an A1 in English in my Leaving Certificate and can guarantee  a lot of the reason for that was the anonymity of the correcter. I could let every barrier come crashing down and pour myself into the words.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

Before I ever hit publish I will invariably have sworn at the screen, abused the backspace button and stared blankly into space for a while. Yet time becomes irrelevant and when what I’m feeling suddenly clicks in my head and the thought has slipped through my fingers onto the page the feeling of satisfaction is oh so worth it.

Reading amazing books has lit a fire in me to produce something real, not to be afraid of seeing and writing life how it is. Books have enchanted and gripped me my entire life.  Hours can pass by where I am oblivious to the world around me and captivated by the one I’m in. If I’ve had a rough day or just need a check out from reality for a little bit I open a book.

If ever something I write allows someone else to do that, then I will consider myself a writer

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” 
― Anne Frank

 

 

~Tracy Chapman~

Sometimes you just need to mellow and thaw out. Listen to lifelong loves, so familiar the notes hum through your earphones on a dark bus.

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Quote Fixx

Quote Fixx

Passion

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No Bra Burning Required

In reality feminism isn’t a competition for the moral high ground, it’s a long continuous battle in which many women have struggled to gain equality, each generation adding something to the achievements of the past.

Betty Friedman was an American writer activist and feminist. On August 26, 1970, the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment to the Constitution, Friedan organized the national Women’s Strike for Equality, and led a march of 50,000 women in New York.  The strike marked 50 years since women had earned the right to vote and was hugely successful in broadening the feminist movement with both men and women marching.

Society has changed hugely in the past 50 years and with it so too should the meaning of feminism. To me it’s never been about not shaving your legs it’s about going into work and receiving as much pay and respect as your male peers. If you want to do that in killer heels and a great bra. That’s your prerogative.

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I don’t think women are becoming compliant. I think if anything we are becoming smarter about what’s important. Real issues such as abortion and rape are no longer covered up in a hush of shame and swept into a corner. We are and always have been intelligent, independent and are continuing to break moulds.

The “Slut Walk” began on April 3rd 2011 in Toronto Canada after a police officer stated that to remain safe “women should avoid dressing like sluts” . The Slut walk criticised the idea that women were victimised because of their state of dress. It highlighted the issue that where rape is reported police remain the authorative voice and realities are often constructed to fit police versions rather than the victims experience.  The idea of the slut walk was to take back the power of the word slut to highlight that women should have the freedom to dress however they choose. When did it become our  responsibility to remain safe rather than focusing on the root of the problem the attackers themselves. The slut walk has become one of the most successful feminist actions in 20 years .

For me feminism is about having the right to stand up for what I believe in, for the opportunity to earn respect from my peers based on who I am and what I achieve not by my gender. To have the freedom to celebrate my femininty as men cherish their masculinity in every aspect of life and to never let anyone take that away from me.

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Gems

I don’t really like the word favourite. It narrows thing’s down, squashes the great into a box, sticks it on a pedestal and stubbornly turns away from all the other possibilities.

But there are certain songs, books, pieces of art that resonate within people. When I finish a book and know I will one day return, or the very melody of a song beating out a feeling you couldn’t define. When they say it so you don’t have to.

So here is a glimmer of some of my greats. That give me my Fixx. That and too much coffee.

Music: 

‘The Airborne Toxic Event’ are an American Indie rock band. They’re named after a section of the book “White Noise” by Don Delillo

The first time I heard this song I fell for it. It’s timeless, beautiful and there is such a rawness to the lyrics. Is it heartbreaking? Absolutely, but how many songs can really do that. And I’m a sucker for strings

“And it starts, sometime around midnight.
Or at least that’s when you lose yourself
for a minute or two.”

Books: 

If you read my bio/know me then you will understand picking just one was a struggle. I’ll even read the Business Post if things are bad enough. But this is one that I first picked up when I was about 15 and get more from it every time I curl up with it again.

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Synopsis :

In 1939 Nazi Germany the country is frozen with fear and bated breath. Death has never been closer, or busier.

Liesel Meminger and her younger brother are being taken by their mother to live with a foster family outside Munich. Liesel’s father was taken away on the breath of a single, unfamiliar word – Kommunist – and Liesel sees the fear of a similar fate in her mother’s eyes. On the journey, Death visits the young boy, and notices Liesel. It will be the first of many near encounters. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

Review

Far from your usual been there, read that WW2 novel.  t’s never morbid, for a start. A lively humour dances through the pages, and the richness of the descriptions as well as the richness of the characters’ hearts cannot fail to lift you up

Death narrates the novel and provides incredibly insightful observations and occasional dry humour.  Rendered vividly, a lonely, haunted being who is drawn to children, who has had a lot of time to contemplate human nature and wonder at it.

The novel opens with spoilers, putting you in the unusual position of knowing all along what’s going to happen. Death has no patience for mysteries. However, anticipation of the inevitable makes it even worse.

Instead of focusing on the Jews it focuses on the minority of Germans who sympathised with them. They aren’t the bad guys, but not necessarily the  good ones either.

They don’t speak up for the Jewish people, they don’t try to change popular opinion, they don’t stand for what’s right. They quietly try to get by without causing waves and without risking much of themselves.

“Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. That’s how it feels to harbour a Jew”

They aren’t bad just inevitably human, and you come to care deeply for them.

Overall it’s a powerful book that only serves to heighten my belief on how important literature is and how mere word’s can help us through the worst of times

With wonderful characters, rich beautiful imagery and a fantastic story,I’d highly recommend.

“Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.” 

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Fixx Begins

Claire is a 22 year old English and Economics student. One for the absolute love of it, the other because of the gripping fear of holding up the McDonald’s queue moaning about how “she just wanted to write!!…and would you like fries with that”

She’s had a life long love affair with books. The intoxicating, just can’t get enough of each other kind. Creepy? Yeah just a bit but she doesn’t care she’s too busy wandering around Waterstones reverently stroking “allll the books” She may have also once drunkenly announced she doesn’t need a guy to buy her Jewellery just a really pretty bookshelf.

She has genuinely no idea how many book’s she’s read, she doesn’t even know how many she owns and is a little afraid to count. She doesn’t consider this avoidance, more like blissful ignorance.

Two things she has realised since she started blogging is that quality triumphs quantity every time. And also that once you start talking in the third person it’s really hard to stop.

Okay I know it’s unusual to switch from third gear to first I was starting to hurt my own head. This is just my little cyber slice in which to review books/music and anything else that pops up.

I really hope you like it and do say hi.

Claire

~ It’s In Me ~

Because when I don’t, I feel like I can’t.

And even though sometimes each word has to be tugged

Stubbornly clinging at the edges of scattered thoughts,

The rush of calm,

When they spill and tumble,

Dancing and scattering across the page,

Fingers chasing after the keyboard.

The clarity and ease of doing what comes so naturally,

Free falling.

It’s in me

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