Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another snippet of my novel

I once saw a man die. He looked shocked to see me. His eyes wide open and teary. But it was too late. The trigger was pulled. Life is just a series of random events that we walk into. Unwelcome guests.

His name was Mr White. He had two daughters; Janet and Kim, and a wife; Karien. He was quiet and distant.His classes were boring and stale. I never had the pleasure of being taught by Mr White, but Janine had. She was the reason I was there.

I had art with the youngest daughter, Janet. She was much like her father; quiet and distant, but her paintings were vivid, loud and full of colour.

One day Karel took their daughters and left Mr White. They flew to the United States to be with her much younger boyfriend. That same day Mr White took the .38 from his safe and put in his bag. He decided to come to class early. He stuck the gun into his mouth just as I opened the door to his classroom. I don't know if he would have really pulled the trigger or if it was me scaring him that made him pull the trigger. He looked straight at me for a split second and then in a spray of red mist he was gone.

Janine had claimed to have been off sick, but really she was just miserable with school and how fake it was. She had just read 'A Catcher in the Rye' and had begun thinking a lot of things were 'phony'. I knew if she didn't finish her year end assignment for Mr White's class she would fail the year. I couldn't take the risk of losing her. I went with the plan of convincing Mr White that Janine had swine flu and I would collect her homework for her. I should learn to knock before entering a room.

The whole class was let off of having to complete the task.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another part of my book. its coming along slowly

Hey, So not much feedback, but I only have a couple of followers so no wonder. Here's another couple paragraphs... enjoy.

I'd known Janine since I was 10 years old. My father had gotten a job in Cape Town so we all packed our stuff and drove from Krugersdorp.When I first attended Van Der Meyes Girls Primary School I was scared to death. I had heard about the cruelty of girls. It wasn’t their blows that hurt. I could handle physical pain. It was their words that I feared the most. Their words were like scalpels that cut into all your flaws. But Janine sensed my fear and she took me under her wing. I was always the smallest and weakest of the lot; the runt of the litter and I suspect it gave her a feeling of power to protect me from harshness of pre-teen girls. I spent my childhood sheltered from bullying and the general selfish acts girls enforce on others to make up for their own insecurities. Even now I am. People were intimidated by Janine. She had a confidence about her that made no one want to mess with her and by default me. The way she walked as if she was dancing; her hips moved side to side. She talked like she didn’t care and said what was on her mind. I fell in love with her.

Now I had to fight my own demons. It hurt every day that she never came into first period class. She always came late. She would have a quick come-back to the teacher’s “Thank you for joining us, Ms Van Wyk.”like "You're welcome". Everyone would laugh and all would be forgotten, but she never came. I watch the door waiting for her and everyday i didn't see her my heart sank. It was breaking.

“Jessica!” I could hear my mother’s foot steps coming up the stairs. Somehow I had managed to lose 2 hours. It was nearing 7am.
“Jessica, How are you feeling?” She didn’t even knock anymore. My mother was dressed in a black skirt and white blouse that showed a little too much. She sat on my bed and placed her hand on my head. She smelt like lavender.
“I’m fine.” I answered. I wasn’t. Anxiety had enveloped me. I felt like there was a rock sitting on my chest, squeezing the air out my lungs.
“Good. Go shower and get dressed.” She left my room leaving only a warm spot that smelt like lavender.

Monday, December 19, 2011

let the writing begin

So I've started writing again and I've decided to post the first paragraph. So all helpful criticism is welcome. Don't be shy. Its not much but its a start.

The rain splashing on my roof woke me up. It was 5:00am. I had that dream again. I am running through a corridor, but there’s never an end. I just run and run. I don’t know why I’m running but it doesn’t stop me from running. When I think I can see the end of the corridor, an open door; i wake up and find myself lying in my bed.

The leak in my bedroom was at it again. I lay in bed imagining the cracks in the ceiling growing larger and bigger. They begin to look like large spiderwebs. I sometimes would wish that my roof would collapse and flood my small bedroom drowning me in a sea of rain water. I had spent a week out of school due to “flu”, but really I couldn’t handle my teacher who persisted to single me out in classes. I was out of excuses. Being invisible was more difficult then I had first perceived. I missed Janine most of all. She had yet to return to school after a falling out with the same teacher. Its been a month now. I know that without her there I have no one to protect me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Its been too long

I haven't posted anything in ages! Now that I'm interning at a more news orientated magazine I feel the need to update you all.

I'm working at the Big Issue SA and I'm finally learning about real journalism and slowly but surely finding my niche (for those interested here's the link to the website so you can read some of my stuff ). I still have not worked on my novel, which is sad and I should really do something about that.

So here's my pic of the week! Its from Henri Cartier-Bresson's Magnum Photos from Queen Charlotte's ball in 1959.

I hope to do this pic of the week every Friday.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Belgium to ban Burqa

Another Country has jumped on the "Let's ban Burqas and therefore end terrorism" band wagon. Belgium has put through a bill that will ban burqas or a full body veil. The first country to ban burqas was France. The reason they are able to get away with this is because the Islamic community in these countries are a mere fraction of the population. And not even all practicing Islamic women wear full veils. In Belgium there are only a few hundred women who wear a full veil that covers their face.

Their reason for the banning is to protect women's rights. Though I'm all about equality between men and women, I'm also a firm believer in people choosing what religious views they want to have. I'm not religious in the least but I respect others' beliefs. So by protecting their "rights" they take away their right to practice whatever belief they have. In France any women defying the ban will receive a €150 fine or a course in "citizenship" lessons. Are they saying by defying this law it means they are not true citizens and therefore they should attend classes in order to "re-educate" them?

Who are Belgium and France to say that people can not dress according their religious laws? Sometimes I wish I could make a law encouraging more clothing. Its winter people... you no longer need to wear shorts or mini-dresses. You can still be pretty and dress modestly. Who is next? Is no one safe?

In Memoriam

J.D Van Rooyen 12.02.1988 - 05.05.2011

Creep - Radiohead

When you were here before,
couldn’t look you in the eye.
You’re just like an angel,
your skin makes me cry.
You float like a feather,
in a beautiful world
I wish I was special,
you’re so fucking special.

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.

I don’t care if it hurts,
I want to have control.
I want a perfect body,
I want a perfect soul.
I want you to notice,
when I’m not around.
You’re so fucking special,
I wish I was special.

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?.
I don’t belong here

She’s running out the door,
she’s running,
she run, run, run, run, run.

Whatever makes you happy,
whatever you want.
You’re so fucking special,
I wish I was special,

but I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here,
I don’t belong here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Eve Ensler talks to Marie Claire

From the activist author of Vagina Monologues comes I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the world. This book is Eve Ensler call to women around the world. “a call to girls, about girls, for girls, around the world, to be their own authentic selves”. We spoke to her about her new book, the girl revolution and how South African women fit in.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your book “I am an emotional creature: The secret Life of Girls around the World”?
Eve: It’s a basis of the theatre production, which we’re doing in South Africa soon. Also we want to create the next wave of V-girls and launch a power movement. V-girls empower themselves and one another in order to change the world they imagine. We want to create the next revolution. The girl revolution.

Q: At the moment South Africa is dealing with controversial “corrective rape” where some men rape lesbians in order to make them straight. How do you think this will effect your stage production of I am an Emotional creature?

Eve: I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I was thinking “Can I address it and write about it for my play?” I find these stories of corrective rape utterly appalling, grotesque and disgusting. What message is it sending to women that there can be such a things as corrective rape? As if its something that needs to be corrected or even can be corrected. I’m hoping that this allows women a platform to be enraged and outraged and to know that they can be powerful as a community

Q: In your book you deal a lot with violence against women, a subject very close to home here in South Africa where we have a the highest record of rape in the world. What message do you want to put out there for women in South Africa?

Eve: I’ve realised that South African women are powerful, giving, and envisionary and they are living in a patriarchal violent world. I want to empower girls, women and men and make them realise that women need to be protected and that there can be no future for humanity without this. We all need to collectively do something significant to pass laws and bills so that rapists and violators are held responsible.

Q: Where did the inspiration for the stories in your book come from? Are they bases on specific people you’ve met in your life?
Eve: It’s from all different experiences around the world. I travel a lot and I meet people with different stories to tell and I also try to imagine girls in different situations and how they would feel or act. For example I have never been to China but in my book I write about a Chinese girl who works in a factory making dolls. It’s a combination of fantasy; over hearing others and drawing on my own experiences. I think that’s what fiction writing is, really.

Q: You talk about the “girl self”. What do you mean by this?

Eve: When I speak about “girl power” myself its that part that is relentless, devoted, open, intimate, emotional, wild, fierce, intense, passionate, compassionate, connected to the heart, intuitive

Q: I love that you say the power of girls are the “greatest natural resource”. Can you talk more about this and how girls can empower themselves?

Eve: If you look at teenage girls they have an electric energy about themselves, you can imagine Southern girls at a slumber part- they’re wild (she laughs). Everyone is taught not to be a girl: boys are taught not to be girls, men are taught not to be girls, girls are taught not to be girls. It must be pretty powerful to be a girl if no one wants us to be like girls. I want this book to show girls to have an authentic voice to speak up and empower themselves.