superlatively rude

because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 11 September 2017

Fabio


I look at you sometimes, and I think: give me your seed. I look at you and I think, give me your seed. Plant yourself inside of me and grow and grow and grow, let two become one become three and let’s build something beautiful, together, forever. I love you. I am you. We are we.

I look at you sometimes, and I think: if you chew that way one more fucking time, I’ll punch you so hard my fist will go through you.


*

I can’t focus when we first sit down. When you talk, you are so handsome to me that it is a distraction. Laura, I remember thinking to myself, still watching your mouth move, how your tongue hits your lips, you have to say something. He asked you out because he thinks you have something to say for yourself, and you’re disappointing him. “Oh really?” I squeak out. “Tell me some more about that.” I continue to watch you. Mesmerised. This continues for five hours.

*

You meet my friends. I wear a yellow dress and you stand with me in a corner and it’s because you’re shy, you tell me, even though you haven’t paused for breath since the day I first met you. We look good together, and I know we do. They tell me it’s obvious, that I am myself, that there is no show. You make them laugh. The day after, I meet your friends. I make them laugh. We’re good at this. Our Uber driver asks if we’re thinking of having kids. The woman next to you enquires after your wife. My friend sees us from across the park and says it’s like we’ve been together for a very long time indeed. It’s been three weeks.

*

The months before I met you, I explored ethical non-monogamy. There was too much diary-management for me. Dating one person works just fine: I need time to write and eat and watch Netflix call my mother. I say dating one person works just fine, but so does dating no people. I’d decided to move to near my parents, to get a jog on with adopting a toddler alone. I was more okay than I had ever been, right before I met you.

*

We have our first fight on a Saturday morning, in your bed. I am naked and sat against the wall, a pillow pulled to my stomach, trying not to cry. You are my father in that moment, by which I mean you are me, because I learned how to pull away from him. From my father I learned that when somebody cries they are weak, and when confronted with weakness one must become resolute. Stronger. Carry you both. And so you lay there and do not move to rest a hand on my leg or pull me in close or hold me as the tears fall, instead you play the role I have practised for thirty-one years, and I assume the position of weakness, tears leaking from my eyes and words stuck in my throat.

“You need to decide what you want,” you tell me.

I want to go home, I reply, eventually. I want to go home and I want to do it alone and I want that to be okay. I tell you I am tired, and I don’t know how to be tired and overwhelmed and scared with somebody else. I only know how to do it alone, because I always have done it alone and that suited me, in the end, just fine.

I’m scared you’ll leave me if I want to be alone.

That when you said you liked a strong, independent, women, you fudged the truth, because that’s what most men do. Did. Are other men past tense now?

*

There is a leaf, a sort of bud, maybe blossom, trapped in the latch of my Macbook, even now, in the hinge bit, where the screen connects to the typepad, and it’s blossom (I’ve decided to call it blossom) from that Monday, during the heatwave, when we went to Hyde Park. I brought a blanket, and figs you didn’t eat because I didn’t know you didn’t like figs, then, and you brought wine and cinnamon biscuits your parents sent from home in a big box that costs thirty euros to post. The pretext was “work” – that you were going to read about neuroscience with a highlighter pen in your hand, and I was going to type some words, but I didn’t get beyond opening the computer and your pages lay in the shade, and half an hour before I had to leave and we’d held eye contact a bit and I’d made sure to touch your arm you kissed me, and I thought to myself, Huh. So that’s what it’s like to kiss a man with a moustache.


When I masturbate I think of you.


I’m almost embarrassed when people ask about you – and ­everybody asks. They meet you and comment on how handsome you are, how much space your 6’4 frame takes up, your deep voice, your greying temples and manicured moustache. They ask what you do and I tell them and they are impressed. I had started to answer the question, “Anyone special in your life yet, Laura?” with a joke about how I couldn’t find anybody special enough. You know. To prove the point that I wouldn’t settle. Now you are my evidence. The proof that I was right to hold out for the best. But how do I tell them my evidence, my proof, doesn’t always feel right. That it is the hardest work I have ever done to make room for somebody like you in my life? That I’m terrified that I could walk away any minute and survive, and that I absolutely cannot. Why does nobody say all this under their Man Crush Monday? Is it only me who finds being in a two this hard?



Don't go anywhere. 

Give me space. 

Come here. 

I love you.

*

You give me a shelf in your bedroom. I clear closet space in mine. We plan trips and split checks and take photos and misunderstand each other and sit in happy silence and hostile space and make love and cook and take a suitcase back and forth across the city. You say things one way and I hear them another and I almost made you cry, that one time, and I have never felt worse. We wrestle. We push and pull and decide what feels comfortable and these growing pains - they hurt. But for you, and me, and us, I want to grow. I just never knew this is how it would be. That I would want nothing from you except all that you are and all that you do, and sometimes, want to punch you. Because you chew too loud.

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

SUMMER SCHOOL IS HERE!


SUPERLATIVELY RUDE SUMMER SCHOOL PRESENTS:


DON'T BE A WRITER, BE A STORYTELLER

WHERE: WORLDWIDE! THIS IS ONLINE

DURATION: 6 WEEKS

WHEN: JULY 5TH - AUGUST 9TH

PRICE: £99




"Laura, I love your spirit - you are so alive! Everything you said was very actionable... you have a beautiful way to deliver knowledge: entertaining and easy and emotional."

Anyone can write, but it takes craft - skill - to tell stories. Stories people want to read. Stories that people want more of. Stories that linger long after they've finished.

Readers seldom remember the exact words you used, but they remember you made them feel. Isn't that what art is for? To make us feel something?

(Spoiler: yes.)

Good storytelling isn't about the writer. It's about the reader. That's the basis of Don't Be a Writer, Be a Storyteller, a six-week online course designed to hone the tools it takes to create new worlds from both fact and fiction.


HOW THE COURSE WORKS

Everything will be delivered by email.

In weeks 1-4 week you'll get:

- a 30-minute video introduction to the topic

- explicit examples of what "works" for the topic, and what doesn't

- a set exercise

- feedback on your homework

In weeks 5+6 you'll undertake self-directed study and undertake a final project





"Very, VERY, comprehensive... allowed us to create our own process and felt challenged in a very nurturing way."

SUMMER SCHOOL SYLLABUS 


WEEK ONE
The Creative Process and Writing What You Know

In our first week together we'll explore what a writer is and does, how writing differs from storytelling, how to disengage from perfection and actually get words on the page, prompts for generating ideas, free writing, and ultimately how to start from the self: from own experience, emotion, and memory. 


WEEK TWO
Writing What You Come to Know

Writing What You Know can be a limited practice, full of restrictions. In week two we'll shift our storytelling to uncover a sense of newness and discovery. Rather than writing directly about experience, we'll create a new world where the jumping off point is what you know, so that you might discover a world waiting to be written. 


WEEK THREE
Other People

It can often be easier to write about ourselves than other people, and that's what week three is all about. I believe that characters pre-exist, and it is our job to find them. Week three will be about all the different ways we can find these characters: autobiographically, biographically, inventing them from scratch and a combination of all three. We'll discuss the difference between flat and round characters, how to develop character, credibility and complexity, and touch upon the dialogue these characters use.  


WEEK FOUR
Writing the Story

Using the building blocks of character, week four sees plot development. We will cover what drives your characters and how that might be at odds with their world so that we generate conflict, and thus drive story forward. We'll discuss setting, structure, chronology, forms of narration and you'll write a 1,000-word piece taking into consideration both the prompt, and your previous three weeks' of feedback.


WEEK FIVE
Workshopping

Week five kicks off self-directed study. You'll be paired up with another course member, and according to Workshopping Guidelines dissect and analyse each other's work. This serves two purposes: you get feedback on your own piece, but you also learn to begin flexing critical thinking that will help the analysis of your own work: a invaluable skill and one all writer's must master.


WEEK SIX
Re-Drafting

In your final week you'll revise your piece according to your partner's notes and own preference. At the end of week six you'll be requested to submit both your earliest draft and final draft, and within one week of completing the course you'll have final notes and feedback from me.

"Laura, you have a huge heart and wealth of knowledge and experience that you were fully generous with"




PERTINENT INFORMATION

You'll be expected to commit about 2.5 hours minimum a week to the course, for the duration. Lectures will be delivered on Wednesday, and you'll have the weekend to do your homework. All homework submitted by Monday 9am GMT will be returned marked within 48 hours. 




GOT ANY QUESTIONS? EMAIL ME ON LAURA AT SUPERLATIVELYRUDE DOT COM OR TWEET ME ON @SUPERLATIVELYLJ

PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE - JUST ASK!


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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Number Two


I wanted a record, somewhere, that this is what I wrote the afternoon before my second book came out, and that I stood on a chair to read to a room full of people I love. A first book party felt huge. This second one almost more so.


*


(FYI writing this speech felt like writing my Oscar acceptance speech, except that I knew I’d won.)

(Prepare yourselves for some words about my ~feelings~.)

This time last year, I was sad. I felt like the saddest girl in the world, actually.

Now I know just how common depression is, but last March - when I finally got diagnosed with an illness I reckon I’d had probably six months before that - I was the most isolated, and empty, and lifeless I have ever been.

I didn’t want to die. But. I sort of... couldn’t see the point in living.

The lesson of my life is letting myself be loved. And being sad – having depression and anxiety – was the ultimate lesson in what it is to accept love. I wouldn’t survive, I knew, if I didn’t let myself be loved.

When I was in therapy (more affordable and less wanky than you’d think!), I said I felt like I’d been smashed open, somehow. Broken – but broken open.

I know now, on the other side of it, that I was absolutely right. I was smashed open by depression so that I could learn to let love in.

I wasn’t going to have a party to celebrate this book, because - and this is the biggest of humblebrags - ICE CREAM has happened so close to the first book. Having another party when I still go to bed thinking and dreaming about the last one seemed indulgent – like having a gift registry at my second wedding.

But.

This is a room of people who love me. A room of people who taught me how to accept love. You are a room of my teachers, and that makes me the luckiest human alive.

I wanted to have this party so that I could say thank you.

However you reached out, however you held my hand when I needed it – thank you.

In my recovery – in the days and weeks and months I learned how to accept love and channel it into the strength it takes to get up, to stand, to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, I met three little girls in north London as I nannied them.

And because you loved me, I was able to put one foot in front of the other to their front door every morning at 7am, and the nine months I spent working with them was an honour, and a delight, and they were my teachers, too.

I learned forty little life lessons from them that helped me to step into this new version of myself, and that’s why this book – ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST – is dedicated to them. Because they taught me how to have adventures and be silly as a virtue and laugh loudly and dick about.

But I could never have been open those lessons if you hadn’t carried me so far.

So.

This is a book about embracing what it is to be childlike so that we might rediscover our joy. And friends? It exists because of you.




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Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Film Trailer Editor

I saw you, and you looked happy. 

She wanted you in a way I never could. She nuzzled into your neck, lips-to-skin not enough so pressing her cheek to yours, her arm to your body, the length of her leg to the length of you. 

When I had done that, I didn't mean it.  

I tried. 

I wanted to. 

I wanted the mis-matched pieces to fit, because I wanted to be part of a two. I don't now. But back then, I did.

I wish I had been kinder about explaining that it wasn't you. That is was the maths of it. The equation of our parts. I wish I'd been kinder in general. Because, that's just it: you are kind and gentle and sensitive and I treated you as "not enough", somehow, because you weren't what I needed in those moments, what I'd imagined, and I knew that if I came over to say hi you'd continue to be kind and gentle and sensitive and that, truth told, I don't deserve that. 

Not from you.

Not when she looked so happy, too.



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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

L

I hung out with the girls used to nanny, because I love them and miss them and they teach me so very much, and the seven-year old fell off her scooter on the way to the cafe because of a Very Big Stone. She cried, it was the end of the world, and then we decided to take the stone home to (wash, first, and then) keep on a shelf, so that we could show it who the boss is. And you know what? Ain't that just it? You can get tripped up and be afraid, or you can get tripped up, wrangle the motherfucker that dared, own it, and then take it home to draw a moustache on in Sharpie, next to the word "LOSER". 


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