Monday, 7 January 2013

Allen Yuan - Self-Imposed Creative Writing Test

Hello all,

Just thought I should have shared this. Back in November 2011, I tried to see how much I could write within an hour. My father wrote me a prompt and from there it was all me. I did it two times and it was certainly a tough experience on the finger joints.

Prompt:: However, at this juncture, XX just could not help indulging himself in his little secret habit again, that is, setting his mind free and letting it work on its own for as long as it likes. Had his mind been a tamed horse or a contained geyser? He did not know, nor did he care. He was aware that he would enjoy such thinking pleasure only when he could not fall into sleep soon enough after going to his hard-boarded bed at night, but now he seemed to need it more than ever before. [94 words]

Written from 4:00 pm to 5:00pm, nov 20, 2011 Sat

Like a fountain of free flowing thoughts and wonders, his brain releases every single memory and idea to cross his mind during the idea. The boy travels through the day’s events: from waking up to this very single moment. Often he wonders about the capabilities of the human mind. Was Einstein’s brain this uncontrollable? It seems so uncontrollable like a wild tiger roaming a privatized room of prey. In front of him, there is a limitless and boundless supply of things to choose from and explore. On his left, the boy remembers the things that cannot exist in the real world. On his right, the boy remembers all those logical deductions he made, whether they were one word or sentences. Now instead of trying to have himself fall asleep, the curious boy is not restless. Knowledge he said to himself. Knowledge is the food that anyone can have. It is the very fruit of mankind that was made for itself. Much more significant and useful than bombs and bubble baths, knowledge, he thought to himself, is the very trait distinguishes and categorizes mankind as the human species. The boy rolls over on to his right side and begins drawing exotic shapes on his sheets. He draws the obvious profile of a human person and roughly sketches the silhouette of an ape. What is the difference? Obviously one has more hair and the other has more brains. But are we truly not animals? Are we not more savage than animals? For god’s sake the boy shouted in his mind. We developed weapons to kill ourselves and blow pieces of the earth into smithereens. Do you see elephants splitting the land as they walk and birds dropping bombs onto birds that are feeding? No that is nonsense, so why would we do such things. One day we have a squadron of high speed planes that forever change the earth’s once beautiful face. On another day we have the same species killing each other off. The boy does not understand. This is one world, and all our problems are the same. But to hell with that! The boy goes back to his imaginative little world. Logical deductions are what any educated person can do. But can any educated person create seven worlds, four galaxies, and two universes? In this boy’s imagination, there lies things that are beyond not imaginable. New species with completely new functions roam the so-called planets. The boy flips over to his left side. His brown hair is still wet from his shower and his pajamas keep his body warm. His heavy blanket cuddles his little frame and the boy feels safe and at rest. People complain that there is never any time to rest besides the end of the day. But for this one boy, sleep is the busiest. No longer having the energy to keep those heavy blinds up, the boy falls into deep sleep and his eyelids fall like hammers hammering a nail. Now he finds himself in a place where people would go fishing. Why is he here? New knowledge enters his brain. “You are the one left out of five.” Apparently he is in some kind of competition where the only escape is death; or to win. Others have special abilities but the boy has none that he knows of. He turns around to surprisingly find a swimming pool. There are people, families, and other children there having a wildly fun time. He has no hesitation and dives in. As he swims through the calm waters, he see a few of his friends. Then a new thought suddenly appears. He must leave the pool and a trainer. He runs out and a black sheet covers his vision. Next he finds himself in normal clothing and in some sort of aquarium or futuristic structure. He turns left and right but he has no idea what to do. The competition has started and he starts running. He is afraid and dares not to look back. However, he does hear the shouts of his name. He knows that anyone and anytime could kill him. And when he dies, the boy knows that he will wake up in the regular world. So he pushes himself and continues to sprint through the round hallways to only find himself before a girl that he knows at school. This is another survivor he knows! He also knows that the girl has some power. As he comes close to her she looks at him and the boy finds himself back at the fishing area. Now he training to understand what kind of power he has. In front of him there is a vast deep blue lake. Then suddenly and huge whale bursts out of the waters and he sees a great black pupil. Is this my power? “No” The whale says. There is more. The whale tells the boy to leap onto his bumbpy back. The boy has no hesitation and takes a leap of faith. The first time he fails so instead he just climbs on through the water. He grips on the whale tightly and then they plunge into the ocean. A funny looking turtle swims with them. The turtle has spiky armor and looks like it can talk. And it can. The trio have a sort conversation. The boy quickly finds that his power is incredibly great. The sea life is his life. And the water is his domain. They plunge deeper and deeper into the ocean until they see a white glow… And then clouds. They are falling through the sky with all the other sea life in the world. There are giant squids, swordfishes, sharks, and other exotic creatures. In the distance the boy even sees supposedly extinct dinosaurs and monsters from the early eras of earth’s birth. Then a great explosion engulfs everything and the boy is thrown into the conclusion of the dream. The boy escaped the competition and used the sea life to destroy the united states of America. By doing so, the boy was able to free the country from evil rules. In the aftermath, only a small section of the great nation remains. From his judgement, the boy reckons it’s the state where Seattle is. He feels happy and victorious. In this action packed dream he feels more daring than he does in real life. Then realizes something: that he would much rather jump into unknown waters than from a plane or a cliff. He feels at ease in the waters. Perhaps he really does have the power to control this particular feature of earth. Then his brain bounces back to Seattle. It’s a city very close to his hometown, Vancouver, and houses his favourite singer of all time: Jay Park. This singer was born and raised in the states and did not speak a word of Korean until he was casted by an Korean entertainment agency. The boy loved dancing, b-boying and singing. With his mom’s encouragement, he auditioned and entered JYP Entertainment. There he learned Korean and other fundamentals of performing. After becoming the leader of 2PM, Jay was very successful until he was kicked out after some controversy. Then he decided to go solo and then came back to Korea as a new person. With no envy or jealousy, Jay was able to clean off his slate and come back better than before. With his return, Jay was able to make himself the great singer he was before. The boy is inspired by a singer who is determined and able to get back up from any fall. The boy remembers something. In his thoughts, a particular idea surfaces. The boy wants to write an English cover to one of Jay’s songs. But can he do it? A young lad with no musical talent and has never tried his hand in the world of music. But music is something that everyone has in common. So tomorrow, he thought, he would definitely try writing some lyrics despite not knowing any proper terminology. The boy also realized that he’s hungry. What time is it? It’s been a while since he has fallen asleep and has spent a long time thinking about various things. 2:30 am. The boy thoughtlessly opens his door and stumbles into the kitchen. Opening the big white doors that resemble the gates to heaven, the boy retrieves a golden halo, otherwise known as a bagel. He carefully dissects the specimen and spreads a thick layer of cream cheese onto one half, and then on the other. Then he closes the bagel tightly and takes a greedy bite. Just like that, a fifth of the bagel has disappeared. A spectacular and yummy taste floods his taste buds. The great flood is coming! And his tongue is Noah’s ark. It surveys that great waters and lets many things pass it. But when the flood is finally over the tongue is back to normal and the boy’s stomach is quite full. The boy then walks over to his room. The lights are off and the boy stubs his toe on the bed frame. Crying out in pain, the boy shouts loudly and falls onto his bed. But he does not land. Instead he just keeps falling, infinitely through space and time. He reaches out his little hands to grab hold of something. It is in vain, and he keeps falling. He turns around to at least look at what he’s going to fall onto eventually. All he sees is darkness. Darkness, darkness, darkness… And then a big pink slab of meat. His dog’s tongue whips the boys face one, twice, and a third time. The boy’s poor face now has slobber, that is not his own, all over and has a funky odour. He lifts the cute little corqi puppy and sets him on the floor. Then he walks to the hallway to fill the dog’s food bowl up. While he’s at it, he fills the water bowl up as well. The dog, hearing the sound of his food hitting the tray, dashes over and begins his breakfast. The boy on the other hand, rubs his tired eyes. The clock reads eight thirty a.m. It’s time for school except for the fact that it’s a Saturday morning. The boy goes and takes a shower. When he’s done, he flops onto the couch and turns on the TV. His favorite Saturday morning cartoons are being broadcasted so the boy is sure to keep his eyes locked to the channel. These images drawn by another human being appear as revelations to the viewers. The boy is entirely captivated and finds his hunger ignored. The dog, now full, runs over and claws at the boys leg. The boy pays no visual attention but makes the effort to grab the puppy and set it on his lap. The dog is snug in this position and takes a small nap.The boy strokes the dog’s soft fur. His hands travel to the dog’s pointy ears and then back to the underside of the dog’s warm belly. During a particularly boring commercial, the boy falls asleep. Before the boy is an array of TV screens that show moments in his brief life. In the top right TV there is that time where he let a red helium balloon drift freely into the stratosphere. In the middle, the boy sees a TV screen that shows the time where he lit his birthday candles when he was ten. On the far left there is a screen showing him drink a pepsi and coca cola fusion. Ah, that one he recalls. That was probably the best cola he’s ever had. A fusion he repeats. Fusing is a wonderful thing if you think about it. Potentially you can take multiple great or favourite things and put them together. But unfortunately, that’s not how the world always works. You cannot fuse a dog and a cat, or a flower and clothing without some form of scientific intervention. You cannot combine cars and planes, meat and fruits, chairs and lights, aquariums and sand pits, deserts and clouds, and hands with feet. There are many things in life you cannot do the boy sighes. Perhaps aliens have a better way. If he were an alien he would definitely give humans whatever method or technology that makes absolute fusion possible. If he were an alien, he would have different facial features and different knowledge. Perhaps he may have already traveled throughout the galaxy. The boy wakes up and observes that it is noon. The dog has already woken up and has just been lying there on his lap. The boy sets the dog back on the floor and strolls into the kitchen. He is not greeted by the luxurious smells of his mother’s cooking. Instead he finds nothing. Opening the gates to heaven once more, the boy takes out another bagel and does the same procedure. If only his parents were here he sighed. He could go out and not watch the house. He could go outside carefree. Of course, he does not mind looking after his little corqi puppy though. The boy goes back to his room and throws himself under the covers. And then he wakes up. It is 8:00 am and time to get up. It is a schoolday and the boy has just experienced a dream within a dream many times. The boy declares that those dreams were very varied. Variety is good for a change. Without variety, life would be dull and boring with no sense of creativeness. Individualism is what helps people create things. And as an individual, the boy strives to do something of his own. He dresses himself hurriedly and gathers his belongings. This time when he walks into the kitchen, he is greeted by his mother’s toast and eggs. Finishing his meal quickly, the boy feeds his puppy, which is not fictional. He grabs his backpack an jumps off the stairs. Then he wakes up in his bed again. How many times is this going to happen the boy explains? He is sick and tired of these dreams and cannot handle so many thoughts anymore. He grabs his pillow from underneath his head and tries to strangle himself without. To no avail, he remains lying there in his bed. It is still Saturday so there is no school at least. Boy, he could do this all day. Experience a dream, realistic or not, and wake up to only find himself in another dream. The boy thinks back to about what may have triggered such a thought process. The boy remembers that new viral movie, Inception. Inception was a movie that circled around the idea that you could put ideas into people while they are sleeping. Perhaps all the boy has to do is travel to the deepest depths of his soul and discard whatever is distracting him. Determined with a fresh mindset, the boy stands upright and walks out of his room. Now going out the house, he walks to the bank. Wouldn’t one want one’s deepest secrets and ideas kept safely? He bursts through the doors of the bank, leaps over the counter, and approaches the safe. Spouting gibberish from his mouth, the boy opens the safe. Inside is dark. But the boy goes in and grabs at whatever may lie in there. He grabs nothing but a firm hand that he knows all too well. “Are you okay honey?” The boy has truly woken up this time and finds his mom at his bedside. The boy has been sick for over a week with a high fever, chills, and coughs. He’s also had a terrible series of weird dreams. Day and night his mom is by his bedside, worried sick about his condition. In fact, the boy is so strangely ill that he is residing in a hospital. He grips his mother’s warm hands with whatever strength he can muster and asks to pull his mom closer. He whispers to the usual “I’m hungry” “I’m tired” and whatever more complaints he has. He then starts to describe his dreams. He says that he was victorious and brave until the end. He says that he gained wisdoms that he could never have in school life. He said he was able to remember and enjoy the simple pleasures that he has. He remembers the human functions that we have, from eating food to making music. But most of all, he tells of the dream where he saw his life in a series of TV screens. He recalls all his memories clearly and lucidly. At this point, the boy’s mother has started to cry and shouts for both the boy’s doctor and father. There is a sudden rush and a mass of people come into the hospital room. They start to move the boy out and to the operating room. But before he lets go of his mother’s hand, he keeps her close to say some final more words. “I love you mom”, and all becomes darkness. He is engulfed by whatever thoughts his brain can generate and greedily accepts his fate. [2,862 words for an hour:: 47.7 words per minute]
second exercise::

Written from 4:10 pm to 5:10pm, nov 25, 2011 Friday.] Now his mind begins to meander around again, not unlike a stream flowing freely down from an unknown mountain. In fact, he often recalls stream of consciousness, a concept he finds quite intriguing, though he tends to believe the human mind is more like a bog, or a cauldron where there are myriads of bubbles of thoughts that keep propping up and bursting all the time.

Am I awake or daydreaming? I do not know, nor do I care, for being awake is just another pain for many people on the earth. In places like Africa, living is just a suffering and perhaps death or help from countries is the only salvation. Daydreaming can also be suffering, where a person who has just been traumatized may have a reoccurring experience over and over… I’m positive I do not want to awake or daydream. Instead I would like to have a higher existence: a celestial being. It’s funny that I use this phrase because there is an anime which I quite like that uses this particular phrase. In Gundam 00, the group of protagonists is recognized as “Celestial Being”, and is somewhat of a terrorist group that is trying to unite the world by having all nations team up against Celestial Being. As I was saying earlier – oh, have I been talking to myself again? Yes I always enjoy doing this, what I would call the enjoyment of inner or spiritual freedom - the reason why I do not care about being awake is that life is too restricted. Every day one has chores to do and must follow the guidelines of time. In my opinion, I believe that if mankind did not create this measure of time, we would have as much time to do whatever we desire. We are not restricted to one day, one week, or one year. After all, many people often complain about the lack of sufficient time when the problem is actually caused by our own doing. On the other hand, if we had no measure of time, then our lives would be much more chaotic and less successful. Daydreaming, in contrast, is a waste of time and is simply a mass of useless thoughts to idle the brain. The brain is like swiss clockwork; the more you use it, the better it becomes. And vice versa, the less you use it, the more rusty it’ll become. I find the human brain to be something incredibly amazing. It’s probably the sole thing distinguishes humans from animals, but then again, we only distinguish ourselves because we say so. In truth, we are just the most sophisticated animals on the planet. Many recall one of the greatest scientists of all time, Albert Einstein. Researchers say that Einstein was only using around 15% of his brain capacity while the rest of us are only using around 10%. Such a small difference in numbers causes such a significant change in thinking ability! I often think about the possibility of someone using 20%, 50%, or even 100% of their brain capacity. Surely the brains would not explode? Of course, we are designed this way after all, so why can we not us this 100%? It is simple; it all comes back to time. With time, we can understand ourselves, our thoughts and our thinking process. I’m sure in the future, scientists will be able to develop a method with which anyone can become a genius. An opinion imposed on me by my father, although I do agree, is that everyone is really more or less the same in terms of intelligence. It is a matter of effort and thinking. When I say thinking I do not necessarily mean brain capacity, but rather just taking the time to think things thoroughly. In this way, I am sure many failing students or C students will be able to achieve more in life. Another major factor I believe is extremely important for accomplishing something is motivation. Recently in marketing we have learned about three motivational theories which I find quite interesting. What really causes humans to go out and do something? By definition, motivation is the biological, emotional, rational and/or social force that activates a certain behaviour to make a person to do something. In that order, I believe the most basic motivation is biological. For example, our body tells us that we are hungry, thirsty, or sick and so we do things that will satisfy our body. Next we have emotional force. As a shopper, a person will definitely engage in impulse buying, or see others engage in impulse buying. They are not thinking things through when they purchase products based on impulse; they purchase it because they want it. Similarly, there are many times where people act out on their emotions. A good instance is when a person protects a significant other due to love. As for rational motivation, it is about doing something because it is logical. For example, anyone can relate to the path of education. People take part in education because they will learn more things, have a brighter future, and be more successful. This is simple logic, and one that everyone can understand. So therefore, there are people trying to gain a decent education. Social force can sometimes be a deadly force; often it is the influence of others and can sometimes described as peer pressure. Peers may pressure a person to study harder, play games, do drugs, and to do many other things.

But now I do not feel like talking anymore. Let’s move onto a different topic shall we? Something that I have pro-longed interest all my life is music. I am not really musical person so to say, because I do not play any instruments, or play them well, and I do not know how to dance our sing. But what really interests me about music is the deeper meanings, the lyrical content, and the feelings being conveyed to the listener. Recently I have started to listen the rap genre much more and I feel that it is something I can do too. At school, I have a small group of friends who hold “free style Fridays” which is when you just rap whatever you have on your mind; in other words, you free style it. With all this rap music flowing into my ears, I took shot at writing lyrics, and to my surprise, my friends said that I have potential and that my lyrics were pretty good. After that, I was motivated to keep writing, to let this small potential to grow further. I have written a full cover to a song, several other small covers to instrumentals and sections of other songs. However, I have never recorded because my voice poses a big problem. My “rapper voice” often fluctuates and sometimes becomes incredibly dull and fake. As for singing, my voice is much too deep. But hopefully in the future, I want to record with my friends a small mixtape. I have some really fun raps that I want to show off and put on the internet and see what other people think. Of course there will be haters and people who dislike my music but I won’t mind at all. I am an amateur and it would be great to see what kind of feedback I get. With this feedback I can continue to nurture my “rap talent” or I can completely because it would be a waste of time. I think of this of a fun and creative pastime, but I definitely do not wish to pursue a rap career. A good opportunity is coming up at school since they are holding a Churchill’s Got Talent. It’s basically a competition where people display their various talents. Were I to join with my friends, I wouldn’t be sure about the competition and the expectations seeing that I have not observed last year’s competition. But one of my friends can do very nice beat boxing and the other is a much better rapper than I. Perhaps we can get together in our free time a prepare for an audition; or not. Whatever happens though, I will always love music, for it is something that almost anyone can enjoy.

Now I was supposed to have a stream of consciousness describing a collage of memories. I’m not really interested in my memories, instead I am much more interested in dreams. In the past, I have had a reoccurring dream three times. The first time, I find myself on a sandy park where on my left side there is the rooftop of a building. First I head towards to the building and pick up various coloured balls. Then I walk back to the beginning and the dream is over. In the second dream, I avoid the rooftop and decide to walk on the bridges of the park. I simply walk as I would do in real life. In the distance I can see the setting sun. I walk straight and then take a right turn and the dream is over. In the third version of the dream, I do the same thing again except I keep walking and come upon a door. I open the door and inside I find a white room with a table and more doors. It looks like a integration room one would see in a movie or TV show. And that’s where the dream stops and I never have the dream again. I do not know if it is regular but I have had a few dreams that occur twice over a long period of time. For example, I had a dream, which I no longer recall, a few months ago and then just a few days ago. It is strange and I cannot think of any significance because I do not remember the dream anymore. I only remember that is was the same. They say that dreams sometimes reflect the opposite reality of your real life and I find this to be true. Often I have wants or things to do that are completely opposite in my dreams. People also say that flying in a plane or driving a car means that you may be progressing or going somewhere in life. I often have these kind of dreams but they bring no such fortune. I also have dreams where I have the ability to think and control my actions to a limited degree. Perhaps this is something a lot of people do not have. I believe that many people see themselves in first person or third person but feel like they are watching from afar and that they have no controlling of their actions. However, I am able to think in my dreams and move around a little bit. Usually there is no thinking in dreams. Perhaps dreams are a reflection of a different dimension? Another thing that really intrigues me is dimensions. Theoretically, there are many options we choose from in life. Each option splits off into a different timeline and that world follows from that decision. For example, I have the choice between riding on friend’s car home or another friend’s car home. From here, two dimensions will be created. In one, I will have taken the first friend’s offer. In the second, I would have taken the other friend’s offer. In these worlds, everything may be extremely different. A small action can change the world, just like the butterfly effect. I often think about what would have happened were I to make a different decision? We could try and see so far into the future but the future will just keep changing. In theory, there could be infinite time lines because there are infinite possibilities, and that is truly amazing. If one could just imagine it visually: one line dividing into two lines and then four lines and finally sprouting an infinite mass of lines spreading all over an infinite black map.

What is even more interesting is extraterrestrial life. Often I read up on government conspiracies or simple space observations. Do we really have alien abductions? Do we have aliens and their weapons in Area 51 in the United States? I would love to journey to an alien planet, or just into space itself. Some people say that it is dangerous for mankind to have alien contact because they may try to colonize our planet. I hope this is not so, because a war against aliens would certainly mean death for. If they are able to travel through space, their technology must be incredible. At the moment, we are still using missiles and nuclear weapons. Who knows what extraterrestrial beings are using for weapons? They could have laser cannons, mini black hole generators, teleportation devices and various things that can annihilate our civilization into smithereens. By then, will we still see them as celestial beings?

Now I begin to restart my thinking engine and take a different route. I remember in my childhood where I used to run in the back alley with my Caucasian friends and scavenge raspberries from someone’s bush. I also remember that I would get nosebleeds so I could not go outside anymore. During my childhood there were not many fun things which I could do so I had to go to other people’s houses to enjoy some of their fun activites. I do regret though not developing good study methods earlier. I did not really care about school until grade seven. I remember it clearly, when I actually started doing homework and studying for quizzes and tests. School was so easy to me because all I had to do is try. I had much more earlier opportunities to make my school record look nice but I did not bother. I also remember the deep regret and disappointment when I found that I was two percent away from principal’s list. It would have been one of my greatest achievements. Although is not a very nice or descriptive collage of memories, I am remembering what has left a deep impression on me. I also regret not developing any hobbies when I was young. When I was young, I had never heard or seen dancing or b-boying, or even learning how to sing properly. Now that I want to, it is too late and I cannot. Finding about these things now makes me angry and regretful. Why did I know about these things earlier? There is a voice screaming in my head and deep greedy desire to learn and master these things. I have no particular skills that dazzle people and that makes me feel insignificant and useless. But now, I have rap, and I won’t give that up unless I have to. It’s fun to throw out metaphors and rhymes, to make references to things people know or do not know about. It’s also fun to loose yourself in the music and let whatever words come to your mind flow right out. How often is it in society when a person can speak whatever’s on his mind? The answer is almost never. Society gives us restrictions and guidelines we must follow. We must speak to please and to understand. In rap, I enjoy being able to talk things that I would not talk about otherwise. Sometimes I gain inspiration from what other people say, sing or rap about. I love taking the time to write it out and then rapping it against the beat. It is a form of poetry I like to think although not as complicated and beautiful. Rap is much more simple but at times can convey much more feeling. My friend has taken up producing beats that we can listen to. He’s also got a decent amount of knowledge about making music so in the future I really hope that my friends and I can do a successful collaboration. Unfortunately, none of us of a good microphone for recording so I hope we can find one we can use. One my friend’s has one but seeing that he probably won’t be a part of our collaboration means that he is less likely to lend it to us. I think that with practice and time I can overcome my bad rapper voice because I would definitely not enjoy being a ghost rapper. You write things you want to tell the world, but only to have other people say it. There’s really no point in such a thing. In recent times, I have started to slowly listen to more genres of music including rap, r&b, and hip hop. I usually do not listen to western music but now I have started to sample some of that too. *******[2,682 words or 44.7w/m]

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