April 18, 2015



prologue. i'm physically and mentally weary today, and i don't know how to write. i want to write about ivar a little bit, and maybe boxing, and maybe boys or pink floyd or my scar, but i do not know how to weave these things together with continuity... do you know how many posts i have written and never posted? neither do i. there have been so many; there have been so many times when i have sat down to write and i have written and the words have poured out like blood and water but i could not let the world read them. oh dear, i am so tired. i am here in front of a screen and a blank page, weary and dry, and a waterfall of memories continues to wash over my head. it's steady; it flows heavy with pain and passion and joy and fear.  there are going to be many, many grammatical errors in this post but i am too tired to correct them.


i've had my scar for most of my life. i don't think about it very much; sometimes i forget about it. it's three inches long and it's near my hip bone; a little to the left. it is pale and white against my already pale and white skin. it is almost the same as the one natasha romanoff has, but hers was formed by a bullet and mine was formed with a surgeon's blade. i was a few months old and i nearly lost my life and if i had not acquired that scar i would be very much dead today. that's a metaphor, i guess. you can figure it out. maybe apply it to your life or something, i don't know. 
but i have a little white scar near my hip bone and it reminds me that i am alive, and that i am alive for a reason. 

scars heal.

it was the first night of youth bible camp and i was fourteen. it was late and dark with a rich and rough blackness to the sky, and everyone was high on hope and angst. it is a very exciting thing to be placed in the woods with a lake and Jesus and 63 other teenagers. everyone was wandering around and laughing, crowded sparsely around the light sources like moths. one of the girls in my cabin grabbed me and asked me if i wanted to go explore, and i said yes because that sounded like the best and worst idea i had ever heard. the exploration team consisted of myself and the girl and two other girls from my cabin and a boy, and they took the flashlights on their phones and we laughed and screamed and ran around the camp and then down to the big playing field by the lake. the grass was wet and there was barely anything visible in the vague blackness... except the stars. unobstructed by lights and anger, the stars burned innumerably in the fathomless black sea. countless, immeasurable. the milky way streamed across the sky in a soft river and there was a muted cloud of laughter, audible from up near the buildings... we lay down on the cold grass and watched the stars and poured out our hearts and felt safe. those will always be my favourite stars.

i can distinctly remember the first time i listened to pink floyd. it was summer and it was dry and hot and hazy. we were driving over dusty grey highways that were cut through the forests and blown through the hard rock of northern ontario; i was thirteen and i was with my brother in his small red car and we were driving to the cottage, and it was july. i'm starting to sound like hemingway; oh my word...
i remember thinking about the white lines in my jeans. my brother and i weren't talking very much. this wasn't because we are bad at talking to each other, i think it was because it was warm and there were things to think about. neither of us felt the need to talk and we were both okay with that. anyway, he did talk after a while. 

"want to hear something crazy?"
"this is the best album of all time."

the dark side of the moon begins with a heartbeat. at first you might think that the album isn't playing, but then you begin to hear a rhythmic pounding. it grows consecutively louder with each fall. it beats and keeps beating because the dark side of the moon album is about being alive and time and death. and then you hear the ticking of clocks, the tolling of bells, manic screaming and maniacal laughter... and it is terrifying and beautiful and terrifying.
i didn't like it when i heard it the first time.
a few months later was nanowrimo 2013, and i was writing my first novel. my brother gave me the dark side of the moon and i downloaded to my itunes and gave it back to him. i listened to it over and over while i wrote that story, and the heartbeat and the ticking of the clocks sank first into my mind and then into my words. time and death were woven into that book. it was not a very well written book but it was very important to me.

it's 4:19 pm and i'm a little more awake. i'm thinking about these things... it's funny how sometimes you do not know what is shaping your life until it is a memory. and now i've spent most of the afternoon emptying my mind of these memories. i am simultaneously slightly more awake but extremely drained of mental muchness. my mind is pretty much a skeleton. i am a skeleton, clothed in flesh. a shell. i'm a shell and a small, sad lady. i'm going to a ballet tonight.

April 11, 2015

you can't win | an undefined list


I've been hesitant to talk about this because it's so young and kind of dumb, but as I said previously I have a new work in progress. It's eight terrifying pages in; I write slowly because I don't have the time (and also no concrete plot). I guess this is an introduction to You Can't Win, which I will hopefully talk about more in the future.

I. THE BOY | His name is Ivar Volkov. He's seventeen in the opening scene but most of the book will describe his life as he is nineteen years old. Ivar is the Anglicized version of the Russian name "Yvor". He's a fighter: little quiet, a little sad. He's calculating and perceptive; he cares profoundly for people.

My vision was black with swimming stars when he hit me again. My fault; my head wasn’t tucked to my shoulder and I wasn’t paying attention. It’s very bad, my attention span. It’s very bad for a boxer. It’s sad, really. The boxer with ADHD. I’m half Russian. Russians are supposed to be good at this. I swung a hook and missed, but I brought my gloves to my face and the ends of my elbows back to my torso in time, this time, to absorb his retaliation: a jab to the body. I was happy. But I was still losing, with twenty seconds. You can’t really win in twenty seconds, unless you’re very good and not tired. I was not good yet. Eight years, almost nine, and I was not good in the ring yet. It’s one thing to stab at a heavy bag, and it’s another to stab at a man who stabs back.


II. THE CREW | Ivar's crew: a little street gang of young, unabashed New York City club boxers who consist mostly of his childhood friends, I guess. The cast has tended to be a bit fluid so far, so these boys that I'm going to tell you about might not be in existence in a week. Or they might have a different name, a different face, or [heck.] even a different gender, because I'm perpetually changing my mind. 

i. Aleks is Ivar's little brother. Passively angry most of the time. Likes Radiohead and dogs. Changes his mind a lot. Doesn't know what to do with himself. He admires his brother deeply and thoughtfully, but wouldn't admit it for the world.

ii. Andy is Ivar's best friend. He probably has some sort of very deep and tragic back story that I haven't figured out yet. But anyway, he's quiet and solid and he plays guitar. He's a bit of a steamroller in the ring; he's the middleweight of their crew. I love him.

iii. Jess is the glue of the pack, and a lightweight: quick, with very good footwork. He's optimistic and extremely alive. He laughs, a lot, talks a lot, and lives and believes with passion. He thinks he's a Bollywood star. He also has an older sister with whom Ivar is a little bit in love.

iv. Kieran is a welterweight, like Ivar. He's erratic. He's unpredictable; he wins his fights with ingenuity. He's a bit of a genius, I guess, but it comes with a price. He has a very important role to play in the novel which I cannot tell you about.


III. JIST | I have many, many ideas for this novel, but unfortunately I am still without a story. This is usually my problem... I can create a sphere of flavours, people, sounds, emotions, aesthetics and pains, but I cannot easily construct a working series of events. I don't know very much about what will happen in the story, but I know what it is about.

It is about boxing: the pain and the calculation and the insecurity and the sweat and the lights and the shaking lungs. It is about New York City: the people, the yellow lights, the steel castles, the aura of ordered chaos and the streets that shine and glow silver in the rain. It is about physical and mental pain. It's about depression. It's about growing up. It's about everything that is hard and cold, and everything that hurts, and everything that reminds you that you are human. It's a little bit about nice, happy stuff too. And it is about Jesus Christ, somehow.

April 7, 2015

some things...


01. i ran yesterday, drank a lot of green tea, did some yoga, then wrote a 250 word post which i promptly deleted after i reread it. whoops.

02. what would you like to hear more about from me? i have a poll set up, but if you have any ideas you can tell me in the comments section or something. email me. write me a letter. idk bro.

03. i might try to post every week. wouldn't that be nice? it kind of sounds like a fantasy, honestly, but sometimes dreams come true.

04. i hope you all have a very, very nice day today.