A safe story

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story.

Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

 

Hello. My name is Rusty. Well that’s not my actual name. I don’t have a real name apart from my model number, but I don’t want you to bore with that.
Anyway what you want to hear is my story, right? Okay, then listen closely, boys and girls, because I am about to share it with you.

It’s been an ordinary day at home. My home is, in fact a place humans would describe as ‘work’ but I am not human. To me, home is, where I am. And I am at the local bank in a tiny street in Nice, France. Usually all I do is sitting around all day, sleeping, until some female or male human pokes me so I open up. They store different things inside my belly. But most of the time it’s coloured paper and paper tubes filled with little metal plates. It can get quite heavy from time to time, but I am a strong guy. It takes a lot more than shredded trees and metal things to break me. The humans know that, too, but still they make sure they’re not storing too much. Maybe they think it’s not clever to do so. Well, if I could talk, I could reassure them that I am, what I am, (a) safe. So while I’ve been sleeping, the males and females did their boring work and the time passed by. In my dreams I visited all the places I hear the humans talk about. Sometimes they put pretty pictures up the wall, so when I get to see these, I dream of them as well. Most of my dreams are beautiful, I seldom have nightmares. After all what should I be afraid of? I am tall and solid.

Or at least I thought that. When the night crept upon the building like a dark shadow, the sounds became less and less until there was almost no sound at all. This is my second favourite part of the day, when everything is quiet and dark and different. I enjoy the music of the night, the soft hums of electronic devices on standby, buzzing insects flying towards the neon lights outside…it was magnificent. Humans usually don’t appreciate it. They’re busy with being busy and don’t stop to truly relax. It’s quite sad, when you think about it. However I shouldn’t remain alone. Muffled voices and steps approached me. There was no light. It wasn’t morning, no birds were singing, which means that something was wrong. Humans never visit my home during the night. And they surely don’t try to open me during the night!

But I was helpless. They kicked me, beat me, tried to crack my defense mechanism and eventually they started shouting. Although I was scared, it also angered me. All I wanted to do was to sleep and enjoy the silence. And now those stinky humans are abusing me. I wish I’d have a mouth and arms, so I could fight them back. But I don’t and my only trump card was my weight. They won’t be able to lift me. But humans are clever. They think. They produce ideas. They find ways.

Then suddenly I felt something cold. There were beeping noises –

The bang was deafening and left me unconscious. It was dark, so dark. I didn’t know where I was. I couldn’t see a thing. My stomach was empty and open for the world to see. The world could see my vulnerable insides and the humans chose to steal what I was sworn to protect… I failed.

 

My name is Rusty and I was (a) safe and this is my story.

Challenging myself

Hey there!

Recently, I’ve briefly talked about my difficulties finding something that interests me, as well as others.

A friend told me, that it doesn’t really matter what I talk about, as long as I like it. Okay we we’re talking about starting a youtube channel back then, but doing videos on youtube talking is awfully similar to having a blog, right? One uses pictures and sound to talk and bloggers mainly use words. I think while they’re still profoundly different, youtubers as well as writers often question themselves and are unsure what they should talking or writing about.

And that’s what I would like to try. But to make it more interesting, I came up with a challenge:

1. Writing about the things I like

2. Listen to a song which is between 3.30 and 6 minutes long – if I’m not past the first 3 sentences by then, which indicate the topic, save it as a draft and come back to it later, when the timing might be better and start with something new instead.

[I’ve been listening to One Night in Bangkok, which is 6.02 minutes long and that’s how far I came, so I’m continuing this post]

3. Don’t stress myself about the length. Quality over quantity!

4. Don’t spent more than 30 minutes per post, unless I can’t stop writing, because I have a lot to say – often I find myself sitting in front of the keyboard for 30 minutes without typing more than 3 words, maybe that’s the hint to either put an end to the post or postpone it.

5. Have fun, whatever happens!

 

So I’m trying to stick to these rules as long as I can. Some of them seem fundamental, but if I’m not writing them for me to read and re-read again and again, I think I’ll just forget them.

Which I don’t want, because right now I think it is really helpful to me and it feels right. So until these rules come naturally to me, I will follow them. Perhaps I’ll come up with even better ones in the future, but that’s not something I want to think about right now. I’m going down this road, step by step, word by word, bird by bird…

 

What are your rules when writing? Do you have any? How do you feel about them?

 

— Baylie

Almost back…again

So I got inactive again – which I didn’t do intentionally. It just came over me. The ever-pending question ‘What should I write about?’

I’ve spent the past ‘inactive’ weeks figuring things out and collect topics that interest me. So what I’ve wanted to say – there are some posts

which I began but which are still unfinished. I’ll work on that. In the meantime I also hope to get well again, because I’m currently sick, which

I absolutely hate, because I’m seldom sick. Anyway I’m looking forward on writing here again and also reading other interesting blogs.

If you have any recommendations, feel free to post them in the comments, I will appreciate it :)

 

Until then, I hope you lots are all well and creative!

— Baylie

Back again – finally!

Hello guys!

The past weeks I was very busy with finishing projects for university. Now the semester is finally over and I can enjoy my summer holidays! Which means I will write more and more frequently – I hope. To be honest I missed writing a lot. The whole time I was exhausted and I felt uncreative and empty inside. Although there was just a lot of stuff I needed to let out via writing. To get into writing after a long hiatus, I started a ’30 days of writing’ challenge, which is more like writing a diary. My writing needs a lot of improving and in order to improve I have to train it. So I start by writing daily, even if it’s just answering questions like ‘what did you do today?’. I think it doesn’t really matter what I write, as long as I write. I believe it’s a lot easier to develop if I make daily writing a habit. Probably I won’t make a post everyday for I want to write about specific things instead of just clearing my head (I have this little journal for that), but that’s okay for me. Today I’ll start with something that’s been on my mind for some time.
One of my project for university was to portrait a person without necessarily showing him/her. So we had to shoot some meaningful photographs with things that person loves. For exampe: You’re portraying your grandmother, who loves knitting and tea. In order to show her passions you would take pictures of wool, sweaters, tea pots or that nice comfy chair she always sits in.
I chose to portrait a fictional, stereotypical drama queen. Someone who brags about that pink limousine her father bought her, someone who goes hiking in high heels, spends an awful lot of money on keeping her so called status as queen bee.
Just to be clear: I don’t know someone like this and I don’t mind rich people. I just wanted to create someone most people wouldn’t like, because she’s just too shallow. That girl might as well be poor. A pink (rented) limousine just happened to park in front of my block, which gave me the idea for the whole concept.
Anyway I wondered if I could take this fictional character to a whole new level by creating a fake online identity. You know, someone doing selfies all the time, talking about fashion, nail polish and how much fun it is to be an ignorant teenager – a stereotype we all know too well. Since this idea haunted me for a long time, I think I’ll give it a shot. I might broaden my horizont and become more aware of what impact my actions have. You are all welcome to the freak show, as soon as I gathered enough material to make this happen. At the moment I’m not sure, whether I’ll create a second blog, a twitter or a tublr account. No youtube, since videos would need too much preparation and my room isn’t exact the home of some rich chick.

Ah I’m so excited!

See you soon
–Baylie

Bodies.

 

picture by asurocks.de

Two days ago I came across a German blog I haven’t forget since then. It’s called Asurocks. And while I’ve only read one article (yet), I like the writer.

She writes about interesting stuff. At least in my opinion. How many times did you feel fat compared to the super-thin models on tv, in a magazine etc?

Asurocks says “NO!” to the idea that a specific bodytype should only wear specific clothes. (For example: Skinny jeans for skinny legs, hotpants only for those with toned legs, etc.)
Generally she wears what she likes and she doesn’t listen to those who tell her to hide her body beneath a pile of clothes just because she isn’t a size 0.
I think more people should follow her example, don’t you? This also applies for those who are rather skinny. Don’t let anybody talk you into wearing clothes you actually don’t like.
If you want to wear a shirt that makes you look even thinner – do it!
Because in the end nobody has a right to judge you just because they don’t like your clothes. Your body, your clothes, your choice!

Here are two other links to similar blogs (written in English) I enjoyed:

http://www.curvestokill.com/

http://www.nadiaaboulhosn.com/

 

What do you think about body-type-related-dressing-rules? Do you always wear what you want to wear?
Or do you sometimes wear clothes you think are socially acceptable?

 

— Baylie

 

 

 

O Friend, where art thou?

Where is my friend when I need you most?

Gone away.

– Ordinary World by Duran Duran

 

Friend: Do you know what? I’m in love with this guy […]

Me: Oh that’s great!

What I’m really thinking: Oh s/he deserves this so much! | Oh no, say goodbye to your friend for a while.

 

Why exactly do I have these thoughts?

One of my friends being in love often means for me, that they’ll spent every waking hour talking about their love interest.
Or when they’re finally a couple they stick together all the time. All of the time.
While I can totally understand this, for I have been in love myself, I don’t understand why having a boy- or girlfriend means that
you just abandon your old friends? I wonder whether it’s just my experience or if other single friends know it as well. Whenever my best friend is in a relationship she practically has no time for me at all. And if she finds the time, she either talks about her lover or she invites me to join her with her lover.
Sounds quite nice, right? Yeah. I’m always a fifth wheel, because she and her girl/boyfriend will always do anything else but making out or talk about how much they love each other OR if I’m lucky, I get a little small talk. So I’d rather not meet my friend the first weeks of her new relationship. Because for me it means spending a whole afternoon watching my friend enjoying herself, while I’m bored to death.

Have I done anything to prevent this?

Well. Not really. I told her that I always feel like I don’t belong there,  but that I’m still happy for her. My friend feels sorry, but she can’t really help herself. She is a lover of the extreme. It’s either pure obsession or pure disinterest. There is nothing in between.
It is probably also my fault. I’m not good at talking about my true feelings. Writing – yes. Conversation – no. In her eyes I’m the most strongest person she knows (emotionally). I don’t cry in public, I don’t let sadness take over me, I don’t let the bad things influence the way I interact with my surroundings. I keep anything negative to myself. Locked away.
Telling her that I feel neglected when she’s in a relationship just seems so strange. I’m scared that she feels bad for me or something.I also don’t know HOW much it really bothers me. Because in the long-run we will both be happy once the ‘making out’ weeks have passed and she can bear being away from her boy/girlfriend. I guess the selfish-me wants all the attention, although logical-me knows that being neglected is just a temporary state. It’s not like I have some serious issues anyway.

I’m always okay. I’m the Queen of okay.

(And I know that I’m actually lying to myself.)

That’s it for now.

— Baylie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication design & projects

Hello there!

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I am a communication design student. This time I want to take some time to explain what a communication designer is and what I really do, whenever when I’m talking about ‘stuff for university’. Most people think it’s the same as graphic design, but graphic design really is just a part of communication design. At my university, communication design includes:

  •  graphic design (like ads, posters, charts,)
  • typography
  • editorial design (like newspapers, magazines, books)
  • illustration
  • photography
  • packaging design
  • animation
  • audio/ video (films, ads)
  • webdesign

and there are surely a lot of other fields I left out. But these are the basic things you learn about in the first and second semester. I am now in the second semester and I couldn’t be happier. I love my course and I like the professors as well as the people. Everyday I learn so much and communication design has a huge influence. I don’t look at ads the same way I did before. I notice bad designs and sometimes I think about how to make it better. But I still make a lot of mistakes, which is totally fine. You learn from mistakes.

So what do I do at the moment?

I work at multiple projects right now, for every course has it’s own project. Some courses only last 5 weeks and then a new course starts, so sometimes work has to be finished really fast.

My current 5-week-project is to make a fashion website about ‘fandom’ t-shirts and stories. I have a lot of Doctor Who related t-shirts and I often meet new people who talk to me because of my Doctor Who shirts. So over the past 8months I have some stories to tell. And these short stories will be featured at my fashion website. Next week we all have to present what we’ve done. I’m not finished yet, but I’m confident that I will be finished by Monday.

I’m also creating a graphic novel about Helena Curtens, one of the last alleged witches burned in North-Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The novel is due to July and I’m very excited although there is a lot of work ahead of me! I also plan to share some concepts and pages with you guys, so keep your eyes open ;)

Another project is a magazine design. We got some articles which should be featured in a magazine and newspaper. So I have to choose a good font, a layout and I also have to make some appealing charts. It sure is a lot of work and will cost me some nerves, haha.

For photography class we have to do

  1. portraits with hard light, soft light, soft light + hard light
  2. a night shot
  3. a picture where shadows are an essential part of the photograph
  4. fashion photography

I’ve already done the portraits which was a lot of fun and I’m quite satisfied with the results.

Then there’s a video project we have to do. We still don’t know what we want to do and slowly I’m getting really nervous, because shooting a (short) film takes quite some time. You need to get the people, locations, props and then the actual shooting which could take a few day as well as days to edit the whole thing.

Last but not least, we have to design a package that contains a specific need. I for example chose health. So when you look at my package you should think that it has something to do with health and being healthy. It is quite challenging, because how would you package health?

 


 

Now it’s time to show some things! These are results from my third 5-week-project course of my first semester. We had do design three novels (cover + few pages) and a book featuring some pictures.

I chose to re-design Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I also added 2 fictional books in order to form a trilogy.

The other book is about one of my favourite films: We’ll take Manhattan. The film (and my fictional book) is about the relationship of famous photographer David Bailey and supermodel Jean Shrimpton in the 60s, where both changed the history of fashion photography with their NY photographs.

Fahrenheit 451

Cover_Bildband01   Cover_Bildband02   Bildbandseiten04

(sorry for the bad pictures, I quickly took them with my mobile phone)

 

So that’s it from now! Have a nice day!

— Baylie

Travelling alone

deanna asked: What do you think about travelling alone?

I could’ve given her a straight answer, but I prefer to answer it in a post! A while ago I talked about travelling with my friend’s boyfriend, which cities to visit in Germany and which cities we still want to visit. He told me that he’d love to go to the Baltic Sea and since I went there once a year he wanted to know which cities I loved. So I gave him a small list (Neustadt in Holstein, Kiel, Fehmarn and Travemünde) of cities where you can eat delicious fish, visit ship museums, camp, riding the bike etc.
He then told me that he’d love to do all these things but unfortunately there was nobody to come with him. His friends already have babys or don’t like camping and his girlfriend is rather busy with her art.
Why didn’t he travel alone? He feared it might be lonely.
Would he regret it later on that he didn’t travel? Absolutely.
I convinced him to travel on his own. He will be a doctor 5 years from now and he and my friend plan to marry and having a family on their own. Of course he knew that travelling then would be quite stressful and difficult. He wouldn’t be able to do the things he likes (like biking all day), because then he’d have a little child which wants his attention. And since he intends to be a good dad, he wouldn’t let my friend handle everything on her own. Yes, he really is a responsible person! So I hope he’ll take my little piece of advice and pack his bike and his tent to go to the seaside. His girlfriend, family and friends will be there when he gets back. And they surely be a little jealous that they didn’t go…or they’re happy that he did go.

So whenever you get the chance to travel: DO IT.

Really, you don’t need your family, you don’t need your friends to come with you in order to have fun! You will get to know new people, if you’re open-minded. I mean look at all the advantages! You can get up whenever you want, eat what you like and when you want to, if you don’t want to visit a single museum, it’s up to you. Or you could do nothing but visit all the museums you can find. Hopefully you get the idea.
The fact is: Life goes on and so must we. And there will be times when we’re not able to travel anymore, because of our bodies, because of our responsibilities like a demanding job or a family, or even due to financial issues.
And I bet that you will all regret it in the end. All the beaches you could have seen, all the cathedrals, museums, restaurants and people you could have met.
Would you rather regret not staying at home when you had the chance to leave the continent?

I always admire those who travel on their own. I would also love to go to different countries on my own. But I often hesitate because if there’s something, I really am on my own.
Especially when it comes to big cities like London. As much as I love London, when the sun goes down, I feel anything but safe, at least when I’m alone. If there’s a friend or if we’re in a group I don’t worry much about it. Of course I could just get back to the hostel when the sun goes down, but what about taking amazing pictures in the dark? Looking at the city lights in the dark? Go into different bars or clubs (although I’m not 21 yet and  clubs aren’t my thing, I’d still like to see what foreign people at my age do and how they party)…
To me it’s a big risk I don’t want to take that easily.

Ah well. 

Perhaps I am worrying a little too much. But I surely won’t let worries get the best of me, because I’m certain that I will visit Wales on my own and I will like it.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank everybody who comments, likes, links or follows my posts/blog – I really appreciate it :)

— Baylie

 

 

 

 

Travelling

I love to travel.

Unfortunately I’m not travelling as much as I would like to. At least travelling to foreign countries.
I’m lucky enough to be on holiday with my family once a year somewhere in Germany, but usually the east coast. Really, soon I know all the cities there.
When I was little the whole family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins) went camping together in Travemünde. Later we went camping alone
in Neustadt in Holstein. It’s like our village. I would never go there without my family because this place holds so many beloved memories.
But I’ve been ot other countries as well. And often it’s the ‘culture shock’ that leaves a huge impact on me.

Three of my favourite cities in Europe (excluding Germany) are:

1. London

2. Nice

3. Monaco

Especially London will always hold a special spot in my heart. I don’t know why, but I always long for it. (It’s always a good idea to go to London!)
The last time I’ve been there was in 2012 just after I finished school and a few days before the Olympic Games began. Together with two friends I had a really good time. I think what makes London so special are the people and their lifestyles as well as the sight. It’s like you walk pass Big Ben everyday but you still marvel at it. If I was to move to England, I’d probably never want to live in London City, so that the sights will always be special to me. I haven’t visited many other cities in England, just the City of London & Westminster, South Croydon, Greenwich, Brighton and Horley. I liked them very much because each city/borough is quite unique.

In 2011 I visited Nice and some cities at the Côte d’Azur (Nice, Cannes, Antippes, St. Tropez & Monaco) with my French class. It was a picturesque vacation: palm trees, sun, beaches, French food and relaxed people. Really. I’ve never seen a more laid back volk than the French (no offense!), although I have to admit that we met a lot of Americans, Italians and Germans in Nice. We were all quite astonished because this is what we saw/experienced:

friendly chats
the cashiers took a lot of time to do their job
easy come – easy go
time is relative
shops opening at 10 or 11am and closing at 6 or 7pm

but what we were used to:

everyone minding his/her own business
the cashiers rushing and wanting to get as much work done as possible
harder, better, faster, stronger
be five minutes early than one minute late
shops opening at 7am and closing at 9 or 10pm

I like the famous culture shock because it makes me feel uncomfortable and in the end it broadens my horizon. It’s nice to know that people across the world live very differently. Some things are great (No one queues like the British or flirts like the French and Italian) and some things aren’t (punctuality anyone?).
In the end I think that Nice as well as Monaco will always be holiday destinations for me. I could never adapt to the ‘5-15 minutes late is totally acceptable’ (of course I’m exagerating. I know not everyone abroad is unpunctual and I know that not all Germans are punctual).

Do you have favourite cities? What do you like about them? What can you learn from them?

 

— Baylie

 

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction

Have you read yesterday’s Daily Blog about Flash Fiction?
To be honest, until yesterday I’ve never actually heard of Flash Fiction. So if you want to know what it is, you better check it out.

The idea of writing a story that has less than 300 words or just 6 words sounds like a lot of fun to me. I like to try different forms of writing.

I tried poetry that rhymes, follows the ‘classic’ structures: AABB, ABAB. ABBA, etc.
Poems that don’t rhyme as well as Haikus. And I tried to write a sonnet. When it comes to fiction….I’ve wrote some short stories (for contest, for myself or for school) and when I was much younger I attempted wo write my first novel.

I think that different forms of writing can really help to sharpen your writing skills. I mean for each new form of writing there are new ways to go.
At least that applies to me. When I’m writing poems I think and start differently than I would when I’m writing a story.
And I’m quite sure that a novelist wouldn’t begin to write a book the same way like s/he would begin to write flash fiction.

So new forms of writing = different thinking?

Even if my little assumption is wrong…it could never hurt to broaden your horizon by trying new things. That’s why I’m off to write some short stories now.

But here is my first try writing a 6 words story:

Home alone. Glowing eyes, purring cat.

Conclusion: It’s quite difficult when you have to limit yourself to as little as six words. It really keeps you thinking about your choice of nouns, adjectives and verbs.

 

— Baylie