fiction

The FOUR Challenge: Day Three Catastrophe

Time for McDonalds?

Going on this diet is a little like the first week of trying to be an evangelical Christian. I could also compare it to meditation but the concept is really the same.

You start with this idea that you want to make your life better and living the spiritual ecstasy of evangelism is one way to do it. Of course you could just read the Bible and be nice to everyone, or take a walk in the park every day and ditch and candy – but as the Bhuddha said – life is suffering – so embrace it. I chose to eat cabbage for a week – well variations of it that are all unappealing except for the fruit – and would never be found in any part of my normal bush hugger (but not quite tree hugger) diet.

During this week of dieting, I expect a point I wonder why I am doing it. Typically feelings such as these are followed closely by shame, self disgust, remorse – a thesaurus full of guilt at my weakness. Then I look around me, at the absence of self deprivation and I wonder if they are judging me. Once you start speaking in tongues, someone will judge you – as will someone else when you decorate a piece of lettuce with basaltic vinegar for lunch.

The problem with being social is that you hang out with people, and you have drinks. The other problem is that this week, alcohol was not on my diet….I’m a back-slidden dieter. One Apperol Spritz with Luca my Italian coach – and I’m wondering what does this all mean?

Nothing written (except this blog)

Nothing edited – I’m running out of time

I lost another half pound or so – I forgot since I weighed myself this morning.

I have nothing but time….4 whole days.

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Writing – the beginnings

I am a born and bred Zimbo. Lets start there. I was in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the economic decline and visited my family frequently (one a year or so) as it continued. These visits were an amazing snapshot of the decline and I was taken aback by the attitude of the Zimbabweans. We had had it good for a long time and so this was a set back, and it couldn’t get worse. That was a mantra I heard every year, “we survived this past year, it cannot get worse”. But it did. While the resilience was impressive, I observed things I thought, people who have never lived through this would never believe. So I noted everything I observed and converted it into a story about life in Zimbabwe over a short period of time.

In 2006, I wrote the first chapter. I was really happy with it. It had everything I thought would hook any reader. Furthermore, you could google what I wrote about and wiki would verify. I gave myself a Noddy badge for the excellent product and promptly put the 2000 word chapter away for some years. In 2010 or 2011 (I cant remember), I broke up with my now ex-boyfriend, so I had a LOT of free time to do a lot of things. I joined the Fairfield scribes, a writers group in the Greater Danbury area in Connecticut. At some point I presented my first chapter for critique. Now, this wasn’t a pat you on the back, stroke your ego type of group and I received detailed critiques from the small group of about six or seven people. They genuinely liked the premise of the story, but I clearly had a lot to learn about the art and science of writing.

Writing was new and different to what I did for work. I work in a scientific field where writing technical documents was part of my job description. So gears had to switch between work and my own writing. At some point I got into it and the science of creativity was an adventure for me, a challenge which took me away from the rest of my life.

I am editing the book now and hopefully make it ready for the readers and my multitude of supporters.