iRead: Waxy by Camilla Grudova

iRead: Waxy by Camilla Grudova

“The man ordered a whole Golden Syrup Toast from himself and ate it greedily, chewing with his mouth wide open in a grin. I felt ill, and never went back to that café again. It didn’t much matter, the café menus were the same everywhere:

COFFEE

GOLDEN SYRUP TOAST

BOILED TINNED MEAT WITH TOAST

The tinned meat became grey when it was boiled and made the toast all wet; most people just ordered the Golden Syrup Toast with Coffee.” – Waxy (Pg. 43 Grudova, 2017)

As a Writer, we have the super-power to create any world we wish! From the Wizarding World of Hogwarts, right through to cafes all around offering the same menu. I think it’s easy to forget that we are here to create! I inherently know I was born to create, and that’s all I do.

There are no rules to a Writers creation – You are the Creator in your world of Writing.  I want you to remember that. Even if you are only starting today, or you started a while ago, you are in charge of your creative pieces, and I implore you to create whatever you wish, in your own words.

Ted Hughes wrote Iron Man

JK Rowling created Harry Potter

Richard Siken penned You Are Jeff

And I created Exit Sasha

Creative Writing isn’t about writing for the sake of it and hoping it’s incredible. For me, it’s about writing from the heart, while remaining true to my mind. My amazing mind that produces unique pieces!

What super-powers do you possess as a writer? What advice would you share in this day and age?

I appreciate everyone who reads my blog, and I hope that you gain something positive from your visit.

Unique

About Earlier

📸: Taken by Crow

About Earlier

I went for a run.

Crow stayed near our home.

I went for a scan and was asked to return next week. Apparently, my bladder was not full.

I walked, and I walked, embracing the quieter roads and sounds of nature.

I bought mushrooms, broccoli, onions and rice.

I returned home and baked a banana loaf.

I sniffed the tulips, that rest upon the coffee table. I hate coffee.

Crow snuggled up in the corner of the window, the sunlight making his sapphire blue eyes sparkle like the crystals next to him.

We’re both introverts.

We’re both thriving.

We’re both happy.

Tomorrow, I will continue to read The Dolls Alphabet, and Crow will interrupt every three minutes. I like number three.

Now we sleep.

Lockdown

For the past few days, Unique has been indoors; anxiety has her paranoid.

Daily, she sprays disinfectant and prepares vegan food. Moaning at Crow, ‘stay indoors!’

But Crow wants bagels, Crow want’s joy. ‘Stop being a worrier; it’s not a pandemic its all a ploy.

Unique has not eaten much since last Wednesday I’m told, she’s developed an aversion to food – through worrying about the sick, elderly and the homeless. During a shopping trip Wednesday morning, she witnessed people with full trolleys fighting over pasta while elderly customers struggled to navigate through the crowds to get any essentials.

     Unique returned home and saw videos posted online showing selfish people stockpiling on essential items – Who needs so much loo roll? When did the flu cause you to shit more than usual? That’s unusual.

     Unique saw some positive posts via Instagram, showing fishes, swans and dolphins return to clear waters in Venice. Bull-fights have been cancelled, Cheltenham Horse racing cancelled and the consumption of plant-based milk soaring.

Yet, she remains indoors!

Crow lusts after the chances to fly out and explore the supposedly vacant streets. But Unique is down, and she’s his only reason for staying indoors…

*If you care about your friends, family and community you live in. I implore you to stay indoors!

Please follow the government’s advice and stay indoors! Those of you who have to go out for work, buying food, etc., please adhere to social distancing rules.

As Unique climbed into bed, Crow swooped down onto her headboard and whispered – ‘Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race. There are people dying if you care enough for the living make it a better place for you and for me’ – Michael Jackson

Crow Knows Virus

From the files of Crow

I sneezed on a train earlier today, and people looked on in horror and disgust.

I had sneezed into my tissue, my Kleenex tissue, my menthol double-layered Kleenex tissue.

I saw the Dark Lord appear.

He hopped from a fat person’s fat head to an anorexic’s knee and said, ‘Tell me, oh! Tell me, how does one identify the Coronavirus?’

I sneezed again and folded my tissue around my nose, for snot had peeked out and well, I suppose, nose-wiping is permitted.

The crowd ignored the Dark Lord. The flabby man raised his scarf over his mouth.

‘I’m told by God that the flu kills more people each year than Corona. But you filthy fuckers scorn Unique! Was a black man not lynched the other week? Is there not a war being fought overseas? Didn’t good old Mrs Smith from Chiswick die from heart failure?’ He tilts his little head to the side and sees a woman with red hair, squeeze hand gel onto her hands, rubbing them vigorously together and then rubbing it over her face.

Our Dark Lord Crow stops the train; a few wrists are broken in the process. The red-haired woman falls onto her back, Crow glides down and perches on her disinfected face. ‘So tell me,’ he whispers, ‘how does a mortal know the difference between the flu and its cousin the Coronavirus.’

The red-haired lady stutters, from her view, all she can see is the ass of a blackbird. ‘The news, news said, said that, that you can catch it from infected people.’

‘So you’re telling me Unique is bad bacteria?’

‘No, but, but she sneezed.’

‘So you’re telling me Unique has the coronavirus?’

But before she could answer our Dark Lord Crow, turned to face her and hurled out the most disgusting sneezed ever witness on board a train. It was a blend of the usual snot and mucus. But it also contained rotten bits of bagel, congealed blood and a small piece of a rats tail. Once he finished sneezing, Unique knelt and wiped his face with a baby wipe. Kissed his little head and said, ‘time to go home now.’

He glared at all the other passengers before infiltrating the announcement system, ‘CROW KNOWS VIRUS, CROW KNOWS VIRUS.’

They both returned home and enjoyed a discounted bottle of Corona beer.

My Top Tips for Developing Characters

From the mind of Unique

Characters

I’m often asked about how I create such believable characters (for my short stories?) I enjoy helping others and sharing my knowledge etc. However, tonight I felt compelled to share 3 top-tips with our universe of writers.

People Watching

I spend a lot of time observing my surroundings, those that are around me and few that are at a distance. I look at their attire, listen to their voice (if I’m near enough) and imagine things such as:

  • What their name is?
  • Favourite food?
  • Preferable music to listen to unwind?
  • Loner?
  • Etc.

I make notes in one of many notebooks (I’m addicted to stationery from Paperchase! 😊 Love, forever.

I also observe those around me during my daily commute outside. If I’m on the train, for example, I make notes of their behaviours during different situations:

  • Another passenger asks them to move their bag.
  • The onboard announcement advises that the train service will be delayed.
  • The shop is closed.
  • The toilet smells are lingering into the carriage.

We are human!

We are surrounded by other humans!

All these humans are CHARACTERS!

Your Own Traits

What are your traits?

Do you cry during every sad movie? Then pee in the shower? Are you an early bird or a night owl?

With some of my characters, I instil a part of me. I wake up between 0400 and 0430 (GMT) daily. Therefore, some of my characters are early-birds.

I looooooooooove talking!

I enjoy jogging. I become annoyed when people waste my time.

Yes! You guessed it, some of my characters now do the same thing.

Who knows you better than you know yourself?

Traits of Others

This one was tricky for me when I first started doing it, as I was worried that it wouldn’t work out so well. However, we live in a world where so many people are distinguished by their traits.

Stewie from Family Guy.

Homer from The Simpsons.

Jessica Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Shirly Carter – Eastenders

Tommy Shelby – Peaky Blinders

You already know what you love about these characters; equally, you know what you dislike.

USE the traits of others.

Imagine you’re playing The Sims 4 and the time arrives to provide your Sim with traits. What do you tend to go for? Think about that, then explore the opposite.

Do you always have bubbly, joyful characters? Try migrating over to the dark side for a page or two. I implore you to try this and let me know how you found these tips!

Random Fact: When I can’t visualise my character, I speak to them. I know, it sounds completely bonkers, but check out my short-story Exit Sasha to hear her voice. For a while I couldn’t picture her, I got to know her likes and dislikes. I built up her traits, and she became Sasha.

Finally, thank you.

If my blog sparks one mind to write creatively, then it has served its purpose. I started this blog many years ago, although I didn’t nourish it until June 2019. My seed has spouted many posts and promoted a phoenix that spreads fire between the stars.

Unique

Featured

Exit Sasha – A Short-story by Unique

Written by Unique

Exit Sasha

     ‘Sasha, you should use a saucer for dinner. No rice, no chicken, just have salad no salt.’

     ‘Why?’

     ‘Well, can’t you see that you’re gaining weight?’

My mother removes the plate of Chicken, rice, roast-potatoes, and sweet corn from my hands. Places it on the kitchen counter. Then serves up one lettuce leaf, one slice of tomato, and two paper-thin slices of cucumber. No salt. She hands me back what she boastfully referrers to as Sunday roast.

     ‘There you go Sasha, eating in moderation will have you as slim and trim as me in no time.’

     ‘But I’m not fat.’

     ‘Sasha, darling normal women your age are a lot smaller. When I was your age twenty years ago, I always ensured that I ate healthily. None of these alcohol-fuelled, kebab filled weekends. Maybe you should sign up to that gym in town, its affordable and open twenty-four hours a day.’

     ‘Mother, you know that I don’t drink alcohol and I’m not keen on kebab.’

     ‘I’m sorry darling, so that wasn’t you on Facebook last night, with that misshapen girl outside Bill’s kebab shop? Hash-tag take-away selfie, wasn’t that the caption?’

      ‘I was holding Stephanie’s food; Lorna thought it would be funny to pose outside Bills.’

     ‘Well, Sasha, I’ve been telling you for months now. But if you want to continue eating yourself into an early grave, then go-ahead! I suppose I can arrange for a bigger plot to be created to accommodate you.’

I feel tears peering out at my mother. I’m hot. This kitchen is getting hotter, I need to get out of here. I place the meagre portion of salad on the kitchen counter. Watching my mother smiling. Perhaps content that her advice is supposedly penetrating its way to, my last remaining intelligent brain cell instructing me not to eat.

     ‘I’m not saying that you’re Fatso, from the movie Casper, Sasha. I just wonder if you’ve ever picked up a copy of Vogue. Don’t you even aspire to look better?’

I’m too angry to respond; I turn away and retreat upstairs to my bedroom.

You’re Fine if Refined

I close my door and lock it. I turn on my iPod docking system search for Mariah Carey, and press play on Cry Baby, singing alternate lyrics every-time. It’s becoming a ritual.

     Late at night, like a little child wandering around, with my sweatpants on, in my black plastic bag…

     I turn and size myself up to the floor-length oak-framed mirror, interesting gift from Mother. For a moment, I close my eyes and inhale. I see black. I picture an ideal Sasha; she looks like Beyoncé’s alter ego Sasha Fierce. Slim with sun-kissed skin, big bright eyes, long slender legs, tiny waist only twenty inches. Sasha Fierce is sexy, every man wants her, and every woman is compelled to compliment her. I open my eyes and exhale. I see my big brown, dull eyes, my curves minutely visible through my black sweat-pants.

     ‘But you’re an average weight? Are you sure? What is that hanging from your waistline? Maybe that’s puppy-fat? Yes, you’re a fat bitch, just like mother keeps telling you.’

Slowly I remove my fat hiding, black, protecting clothing, tossing them to the side of my mirror. Unclasping my bra, my eyes record a mental image of the imprints left behind. Years of denial weaving its way into my shoulders, underwire impressions over-lapping impressions upon both breasts. Finally, I remove my knickers, a very cosy size 18. Here I stand in my rarely ever seen form, crying at the Sasha staring back.

     Mariah Carey continues to sing, oblivious to my imminent need for food in my life. I tip-toe and reach up, just above my stained oak wardrobe clutching onto Stanley. I resume my position facing myself. A clear shapely over-eater stares back, craving some of mother’s beautifully prepared Sunday roast. I close my eyes; inhale breathing in that succulent seductive scent of roast chicken. I see myself as Sasha Fierce. Exhale reopening them with Stanley clenched tightly within my right hand, I’m ready I can do this. Tensing my body, I examine my shameful exposed appearance from head to toe.

     ‘Go on Fatso, mimic Bernini, chisel yourself into a baroque sculpture then go and stand in the middle of Fontana Dei Quattro Fumi, and admire the world standing in awe at your beauty.’

     At first, I don’t feel the initial kiss of the blade against my skin or the marriage between old flesh and Stanley. I feel excited at the exhilarating thought that in a short time I’ll be brand new. I carve the fat off better than Bill with his minuscule portions of kebab every Saturday night. Starting with my right thigh, eagerly tending to the left, I start singing along with Mariah, which makes it easier to ignore my pain.

Late at night like a little child, exploring life at home, in my refined form with stilettos on, walking around so tall…

I bring Stanley up to my face, his shimmer of afternoon sunshine glowing from the tip as a gift to my double chin. Highlighting imperfection and with thoughts of perfection in mind, I slice away my double chin, dice off my chubby-cheeks, and with ease scale back my meaty neck that holds all of this fat upright. I stare down as crimson oozes out of both thighs. I look at the pounds of fat now divorced from my body, at rest by my feet, pure satisfaction. I pinch the over-hang of my waist with my left hand, and edge round my excess swiftly with Stanley. ‘Late at night…’ Pain shoots through my lower abdomen. I glance at my fat-free reflection, but before I could complete my new wash-board mid-section, I collapse right over the heap of freshly trimmed wholesome kebab.

May Sasha Rest in Peace

There she is peacefully at rest…

     ‘Inhale Think of that long winding path at the end, you arrive at your personal peaceful place. Life is too short to live regretfully. Relax you’re safe there, no one can harm you, release negative chi skyward.’

     ‘…Three, two, and one Sasha exhale and rise.’

I open up my eyes, a house sparrow sings right over me. ‘Bow your head, and Inhale Sasha.’ I caress the grass that surrounds me. ‘Look up, and exhale Sasha.’ Taking my time, I sit up. Outside is so beautiful, Kibbles my neighbours’ kitten purrs up beside my feet, I feel his little heartbeat.

     ‘Thank you, you were great today Sasha. You’ll reach your target weight in no time. Shall we say Saturday at 8am?’

     ‘Yes, thanks, Mark.’

My new personal trainer Mark Lincoln compliments me further, places my diet plan for the week on the garden table, then leaves. For a while, I take in my surroundings, staring up at the sky, baby-blue with mild hints of cyan complimenting the life that lives beneath it. Life goes on with or without Sasha…

Fierce and Flammable

5 O’clock naturally, I wake up. The scent of Mothers bacon attempts to lure me down. But no, I don’t need that. I climb out of bed and open both windows. I admire the vixen and her cubs scanning the garden before venturing out further, in search of breakfast. A squirrel races across our washing-line, hurrying to retrieve a tiny morsel of dog food that it dropped seconds ago. I turn facing my oak bookcase, pulling out all the diet books; Janet Thompson, Think More Eat less; Kimberly Willis, The little book of diet help; Robert Ashton, The life plan. Gathering my over-priced collection of diet magazines too, ranging from Weight Watchers, Women’s Health, and Slimming World. (I have issues dating back to January 2012). Finally, from the very top of my almost junk-free bookcase, I remove a large container of acai-berry weight-loss pills. Seven purse-friendly boxes of Senokot tablets, and the thirteen takeaway menus, that I placed here so that my mother wouldn’t notice. I throw them all into my wash-basket. Picking up my remote I select repeat, play increasing the volume Cry-baby starts to soothe me once more. I grab my overused black Pauls Boutique shopper bag, and empty my wardrobe of everything that’s black, excessively loose, and surely anything that suggests I like to hide my curves. ‘On my tippy-toes, so that Mother won’t know that I’m delighted with my bootyful body.’ I smile, and toss the bag into the wash-basket, and head downstairs, outside into the garden. No sign of the vixen, her cubs are now silent. A wood pigeon perches on the plum tree, awaiting my next move.

     I empty the contents of my wash-basket into the incinerator, pulling it down the path to a better position. I remove the box of matches that I grabbed on my way out. Setting alight eight years of stubborn fat, my history. Tears escape my eyes. I’m hot, so I remove my sweatpants, ill-fitting black sweater, and cosy Bridget Jones styled knickers throwing them into the flames. My vision is blurred drowning in relief; I sing in loving memory of the old Sasha Walking around alone, on my tippy-toes…nothing ever has to be perfect.

Here I stand for the world to see, I am Sasha.

Enter Sasha

It’s a warm Sunday afternoon in March. Mother has prepared roast lamb, roast potatoes and a selection of seasonal vegetables. Oh and gravy, I love gravy.

She then places two equal-sized plates on the kitchen counter, and serves up dinner; two slices of lamb; two small roast potatoes; two sticks of asparagus; three slices of carrot; and one large floret of broccoli.

     ‘May I have a bit more lamb please, Mother?’

     ‘Well, I suppose one more piece won’t do any harm.’

She begins to carve again. Slicing off the smallest piece of lamb, I’m guessing 2 inches long and 2 millimetres thick. Smiling, she places her generosity on my plate motioning towards the gravy-boat, she pours a faint drizzle over dinner. Then with a sarcastic remark, she says.

     ‘You’ve now got enough to feed a zoo.’

Closing that sentence with a little laugh, mother hands me my plate and picks hers up then heads to the dining-room. I follow her taking a seat directly opposite her. I bite into this succulent, tongue tantalising nit-bit of roast lamb, and glance up.

     ‘Thank you, Mother.’

     ‘No need to thank me, dear, I’m your mother and mothers always know best.’

I glance down at my reflection on my knife. I see my big bright brown eyes, high model type cheekbones, my long slim neckline, and I see my beautiful lips…my beautiful smiling lips. I make a mental note about how sexy my body feels in the new red fitted size 12 peplum dress that mother bought for me from Topshop last week.

I’m happy. Welcome back, Sasha.

Bah! Humbug!

📸: Unsplash

Bah Humbug!

December is the month we indulge and be indulged, overeating roasted flesh and vegetables that accompany the dish.

We like to spend!

We like to spend what we have.

We like to spend what we don’t have.

TREAT YOURSELF!

Scream the lights hung up inside windows of our local ‘Highstreet.’ We hate being told what to do, but we are obedient when those lights tell us what to do.

Bah Humbug!

To the one use only Christmas jumpers – Yes! I know you felt you would get your wear out of it. But you say this every year, and every year you buy a new jumper. Donating £2 no £3 to the Christmas Jumper day charitable event.

Which as some say, ‘every little helps.’

How much did you spend on gifts this year?

Ooh! How much have you spent on food?

Don’t worry, you donated a few cans of chickpeas back in March to your local food bank. That’s alright, someone will benefit from your out of date donation. What did you say you’re having for Christmas dinner again? Ah! Let’s recap.

Starters

  • King prawns roasted in garlic butter laid on a bed of lettuce.
  • Sweet Thai chilli chicken, served on bruschetta.

Main

  • Roast Turkey/Chicken/Lamb/Salmon/Duck/Pig
  • Roast potatoes
  • Various vegetables – Must have sprouts
  • Pan-fried bits of bacon
  • Rice
  • Lashings of gravy
  • Stuffing balls

Pudding

  • Apple-pie
  • Apple Crumble
  • Christmas Pudding
  • Jam Roly-poly
  • Ice cream

A general idea of what some families have on Christmas day

It’s sad. We do so little to help those less fortunate – I’m not knocking your mini donations, a £1 here or a £1 there. ‘Every little helps.’ How much did you say Christmas dinner costs?

Christmas Day, one measly day out of the entire year. I use the term measly because it’s a day where the many are for themselves, and the few go on to suffer…

Bah Humbug!

Indoors overeating and eating, feeling full and still eating. Some people in receipt of gifts and tweeting their disgust, ‘I didn’t ask for this! I wanted that!’

Tis the season to be jolly.

You deserve all your heart desires and more. Let’s not think about the homeless this season. You received £600 worth of gifts. But that’s not enough! You expected more, you’re worth more.

John received a meal and a pair of socks, which was a gift from a charity.  On Boxing Day the 26th of December, most of the nation will be battling their way through the sales. Indulging even more.

There exists a plethora of reasons why I don’t like Christmas, and overindulgence is my primary one. It’s like we are a world of split-personalities. On the one hand, we infrequently feel charitable and donate from time to time. What is £1 compared to £600? Well it’s £1 more than £0

     I wish the month of December weren’t so commercialised. That we helped one another willingly and showed gratitude genuinely. It’s tiresome seeing the fights recorded the day after Christmas.

Our world is being destroyed by our own destructive choices, our indulgence in consumption and our lack of care for others.

“Heal the world

Make it a better place

For you and for me

And the entire human race

There are people dying

If you care enough for the living

Make it a better place

For you and for me”

– Michael Jackson

Green

📸: Unsplash

Gratitude

I expect what I expect, and I want what I want, I demand what I feel like at the time I state it. Only, it’s not mine to ask for. The image I see before me looks appetising, everyone is beautiful, and the materials that cover them, with the objects that surround that are luxurious.

*I click LIKE!

I love that you post up and show up.

*A few more LIKES!

Oh! How delightful you are, I just adore your outfits and the setting.

#GOALS

#MyLife

#Love

#MoneyMoves

Rude

I message you, I call, I email, I write, I want to see you. It’s rude as fuck when you are too busy for me. I know, I know, I’m asking a lot from you. But you know, there’s an old saying, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ So I ask, and I ask and well, I haven’t gotten anything.

I mean, do people now die from replies?

Were you injured from texting?

I’m kidding, come on, I mean it’s not as if you would do that on purpose now. KMT

Envy

Yes! I heard that’s what my behaviour can be described as, but I’m not envious. Why would I be? I don’t even care about whatever I asked you about three days ago. I mean, that was three days ago, it’s forgotten.

It was only something about where did you purchase your dress from? But, I forgot about that come nightfall. I found something better online.

I found this er, this dress from? Oh, sugar! I can’t remember which site exactly, I had a bit of a splurge that night, I’m positive it was Wednesday night! I must have spent like? A lot!

I even bought those earrings, you know the ones you’re wearing in the pic you posted up onto Insta. I think you posted it that morning, beautiful earrings and yes! That’s why I called you a few times.

Evil

Why on earth would anyone describe me as evil? What have I done exactly? I know I had to send your correspondence to voicemail, but I was so busy. I had family over from Canada, and well, you know what happens when family from overseas visit, it’s like they each need a minder!

Honestly, hun, I wasn’t ignoring you.

I would never do that. I was just busy, you know with work and family, and I felt sick, I had a cough.

I didn’t complain when you were the same, a mere two weeks ago! Not that anyone is counting dates or anything.

Nonsensical

I’m unbothered.

You’re paranoid. Do you really think I could be so? Childish? I mean, I don’t even recall half the things you’re complaining about. But that’s okay, I know you’re going through it, so I’m going to just leave you to it.

Whatever you think it is, it really isn’t that deep.

I mean, you say it like I’m jealous or something.