EX/WHI :: Prologue

Next Part of EX/WHI can be found here.



The night before They came
, she dreamt of a child that would finally happen.

This body was broken, damaged beyond repair, and nothing could be salvaged from the broken wreckage of ovaries. It was, the Doctor had suggested, scans in slim, dark fingers, just unfortunate. Missing a birthday was unfortunate; forgetting Parmesan on Lasagne night. All those years of spotty periods and acne breakouts had been the warning, but there’d never been time to fix the underlying issue. Career mattered more. In many ways, that was still the case.

Amelia Bishop lies, sweat-drenched, crying into darkness.

Blood rushes in ears which won’t hear any more truths: what remains in this existence is a lie, impossible to deceive. Deep down, she knows conception will happen. Maybe it won’t take place inside her body, but everything else is possible, even if she cannot provide the raw materials. A vessel is what she has become: home, simply waiting for a family. Money is no object, and once today’s Court Case is concluded there’ll be holiday enough to make everything happen.

To add insult to injury, this Thursday was when girlfriend left for good.


The night before They came, Flight BA145 hits turbulence, just before breakfast.

Almost thrown out of the bathroom, Mark’s having to scrabble for a handhold as the plane drops, sickening lurch that wakes many passengers screaming. He’s struggling back to First Class, fighting desire to throw up, pastrami bagel eaten in the departure lounge at JFK earlier feeling uncomfortable and stodgy in body which aches in a way he can’t remember from countless physical beatings. There’s been too many nights of hotel rooms and bad take out and when this Court case is done, he’s putting in for vacation time, because being a secret agent fucking sucks.

Mark Chambers sits, wondering why life won’t just cut a decent break.

His son had cried as ex-wife had picked him up in Brooklyn, look of disgust that meant he’ll be paying more alimony and seeing the boy less going forward. Little Pete was perfect, the only thing he’d done right in ten years. Fact remained that Dad was a tool to him and treated mom like dirt. On reflection, Cassie’s threat to reduce visitation rights was probably as good a deal as could be expected. On the scale of 1-10 of shitty male behaviour, Mark hovered permanently in low 60’s, showing no sign of reducing the average. All those promises to not be the Navy Brat like dad had been lost, ignored in the clamour of CIA notoriety. What a fucking joke he was.

To add final insult to injury plane the suddenly drops: pastrami on rye ends up all over his lap.



Before scheduled arrival,
suitable matches were determined.


 

Next Part of EX/WHI can be found here.

 

Poetry Archive :: Transformation

** BING BONG **

This is a customer announcement: the ‘rhyming poetry’ phase on Internet of Words has now come to an end: for the foreseeable future this website will be dealing with more aesthetic poetic forms. Thank you.

** BING BONG **


Transformation

Make me something more:
Not pale version of her,
Life held before.
Instead, allow moments
Chance to erase;
Complete, differing start.

Create vision fresh:
Vital reinvention,
Born though feeling.
Form new relationship,
Strong foundations;
Brilliant structures.

Once established, give
Nurture plus compassion:
Care so worthwhile.
Us, indestructible;
Future-proofed love,
Embracing present.

These aspirations
Defining precious whole,
Building future.
Destination fixing
Current aspects;
Our explanation.

Together, beating
Pulses synchronising;
This body, whole.
Emotions come to rest,
Transformation:
Passion, transcending.


Poetry Archive :: Inhale

Always start with the inward breath…

In a week where it was almost impossible to meditate, I tried. Amazingly, the level of success was good. Things got done, there was less stress, considering my body was (for several days) rejecting the food it was provided with some speed. However, come the weekend and everything is finally working out.

Sometimes, you have to ignore the chaff and just focus on the seeds.


Inhale

With inward breath:
new drill begins.
Focus your brain,
release those sins.

A moment’s calm
in hectic day.
Expand belief,
anxiousness slayed.

Inhale allows
consciousness space.
Reducing fear
and heart-rate’s haste.

Now, look within,
identified:
Shortcomings marked,
not amplified.

To meditate
takes time, practice:
So much around
will deflect this.

Eliminate
distractions, then
Direct each thought,
start once again.

True clarity
appears by chance:
Brief moments grasped
training advanced.

When mind wanders
invite it back;
Find peace with self,
ignore what’s lacked.

Don’t hate yourself
Find love inside,
Halt stress and guilt
No need to hide.

To meditate,
a lifetime’s goal:
Your end result,
Awareness, whole.


Electric Dreams

It had been a bit of a struggle to come up with a theme for June’s content, until an idea for the Twitter short story presented itself…

This week’s been a lot about how Online deals with reality and vice versa, and with a cracking idea now in the planning stage, it was time to start making the graphics and planning a way forward…

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I’ll sort out the #Narrating2018 and #Soundtracking2018 titles in the next few days, but I severely doubt there’ll be any struggle coming up with suitable subject matters. The Internet’s a big place, after all. It’s also full of some QUITE RIDICULOUS STUFF.

https://twitter.com/FodaseEuSouALei/status/990050841116794882

The problem I forsee, at least is planning, is finding enough stuff other people haven’t shared about a bazillion times in the first place…

Don’t Dream It’s Over

This morning, a lot of things disappointed me.

Some of them I was able to put into words. Others were not as easily corralled. Absolutely the best thing that could have happened then did so and necessity forced body away from Social media completely to go do some important stuff with my daughter. It was even better for everybody that she got Friday afternoon off.

The only way sometimes to counteract the pure toxicity Twitter can generate is to not use it. This has nothing at all to do with contentious topics or difficult discussions, and everything around the fact that, like it or not, it is not a complete version of reality. Thinking that the future somehow involves this and everything else wrapped up in a version of reality isn’t quite the truth either. At some point in the future, when someone looks back to this moment and considers it to represent ‘the good old days’ it will be time to point out to them that it’s a lie. Everything is subjective. Absolutely everything.

The present is where everybody needs to live more.

Without rehashing old ground or trying to make people who clearly don’t listen to do just that, all the issues in our lives right now are often far more easy to solve than is at first apparent. The key, undoubtedly, is an ability to step outside of ourselves and look inwards with a more objective eye than exists in the storm you’ve just left. Watching total strangers proclaim what terrible things they’ve done in order to court reaction sits uneasily beside the real-life tragedies of those who just stopped caring and gave up. For some, it is more important to hate than heal, or hurt rather than forgive. This has been no different for thousands of years. The key now is that you can be a fuckwit on one side of the world and someone on the other side gets to attack you with more vitriol than was ever possible previously.

Oh, what a brilliant thing modern life has become.

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I feel that everybody should now be made to take mandatory leave from the Internet for a sense of proportion. Anyone getting too emotionally invested needs to take a reality break, which involves somewhere with somebody they care about, and the chance to talk about nothing in particular. Most importantly of all, anyone using Social media to further an agenda needs to be far more comprehensively vetted than is currently the case.

These are the good old days, right now, that we’re all pissing up the wall because nobody grasps the real damage being done to society from the ability to say what we want when we want it, and not worry about the consequences

Building the Perfect Beast

I am beginning to see areas in my organisation and planning schedules that require improvement. One of them is having content ready before it needs to be published. This has meant a quite significant re-organisation of how things work and what is written at certain times of the week, leading to a provisioning of days for each particular part of the scheduling process. For now, things are working quite well, but there are holes and issues, especially when the desire to write effectively evaporates. The plan in these spaces is to try and capitalise on the periods when I am productive, and ‘load up’ content then.

That’s why you’re seeing this post on a Friday when it should have been here on a Tuesday 😀

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This means today I’ll be catching up on the backlog, but at the same time planning forward. Friday is now Poetry day so there’s not a panic at weekends about content. YouTube’s often complicated, organic development from the original concept is now scheduled on Wednesdays (and was, quite successfully) whilst Thursday covers the long-term #WarcraftMotivation project. This then frees up Tuesdays and Thursdays for writing and Mondays for forward planning, and once exercise is successfully inserted on top…

Yes, this will all work, but just needs some time to bed in.

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Once it is all established I can begin the process of expanding and stretching the writing muscles a bit more. The house will get a bit cleaner too, and my personal interests will finally be given some much-needed love.

If only all this stuff weren’t so bloody difficult to organise successfully…

Poetry Archive :: Reflections

Last week I wrote poetry on Saturday night, and it was a HUGE success. Using a Spotify relaxation playlist as a prompt, two REALLY strong poems emerged after a couple of hours work, and this gave me all of Sunday to edit at leisure. On consideration, this is a decent way of improving craft going forward. Next week, therefore, I intend to write outside (and make the most of the Spring sunshine.)

I’m really pleased with this set of Haiku. It has a depth and breadth, plus covers the initial idea which inspired it: shining light on yourself, being capable of accepting faults and shortcomings, allowing means to improve and grow. I hope this new working arrangement brings more fruitful work in the weeks that follow.


Reflections

Prism, turning slow
Refracting intent: daylight
Pierces gloom within.

Corners enlightened
Dust blown, surface cleared, reset
Re-calibrate soul.

Look outside yourself
Redemption glitters; intent
Possibility.

Each second, strengthens
Internal belief: shifting
Impetus outwards.

This life, a mirror
Penance carried: salvation
Found in reflections.


Vogue

Arguto is an Italian word, which roughly translates as sharp, witty or clever. I’ve chosen it as the title for a fanzine because I’m not comfortable borrowing or punning a title of anything else or trying to pretend this whole project is something it isn’t. The initial idea has been kickstarted by the fact that this year, after several decades of wanting to travel to Italy, I’m going to finally make it there. The birthplace of the Rennaisance in Europe has generated the same change within me.

This is the moment to create something truly special.

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Arguto will combine my love of photography, writing, music and fiction in one place. It will be a Fanzine portal for a number of photography projects, plus other audio-visual gubbins. It has all the backend organised (although Google’s being a bit problematic, no change there) and will begin to propagate next month. I’m not saying anything else right now, but it is me attempting to evolve.

If you’re interested at this early stage, bookmark arguto.net and follow @ArgutoFanzine.

Oh, Joy

As a writer, there are days when knowing what to write is a tough ask. I can remember weeks when I was paid to produce words about one subject where finding an angle to cover was nigh-on impossible, and there’d be lots of frustrated staring at a blank screen, hoping inspiration would be forthcoming. Then there are the days when, like today, I wake up to find some random hooligan’s dropped into my Social media mentions with an inflammatory comment, clearly hoping to start a fight. Part of you dearly just wants to respond and to hell with it, when the sensible course of action is to ignore and block.

I reported him as spam too, for the record, because twats like that deserve all they get.

Giving everybody a voice will, inevitably, have its shortcomings. The people you’d like to speak won’t (because sensibly they understand the consequences when they do) and those who are unable to cope with the pressure of expectation inevitably fail to cope and implode. There’s also a thousand points in between: the wannabee Internet celebrities, the Experts, people writing books (or selling them) and then there’s the advertisers desperately trying to jump on everybody’s coat-tails.

Making sense of the Social media quagmire used to be a problem, but that’s really no longer the biggest challenge. Reality, such as it is, now accommodates shortcomings in the platforms: no edit function on Twitter means that stupid remains, often with a prophetic ability to return from the past to taunt the present (see American Presidents) The nerdier of my Nethead buddies will tell you that if you do fuck up, the Internet never forgets, which is often enough of a threat to prevent someone like me from even starting the post I’d like to write.

Today, for instance, is a case in point.

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When I look back on the moments which have defined my journey online, 99% of the issues stemmed from other people’s drama. If you take a breath, consider the consequences and then don’t say what you think so many of the issues would just go away. I’m getting better at not vague tweeting, and my subtweet GIF’s are beginning to gather dust. More importantly, when I look at all the people who have been removed from my online experience in the last year, none of them is missed at all.

It’s great these people are popular and liked by others. I get how important they are in the Community, or the community or even the community. You don’t have to like everybody. Yes, you can respect them, and understand them, plus you can occasionally be a wee bit jealous. All these emotions are perfectly acceptable, and very human. The fact remains, if you are friends with everybody, I’m going to look for a catch. Genuinely good and decent people can be so without everybody being their besties.

Adults get how Social media is only a version of reality.

As I become more comfortable with my own voice on contentious subjects, there are undoubtedly casualties. I’m not interested in NSFW sexualisation of computer game characters, or women who decide to use their bodies as means to forward their careers. Neither of these preferences has changed over decades, it is just that with Social media shoving stuff in my face 24/7 I need to impose my preferences on it, and not the other way around. It all comes back to curation: if you don’t like what you’re given, it is your job to alter that, not other people’s.

Spending more time making online life more bearable is an effort worth making.

Back in the Saddle

Well, it is good to be back at a PC this morning, organising myself for the first time in a few weeks. There’s a lot to catch up on, and so it’s probably the right moment to announce what you can expect this week, plus what is coming up in May. I’ve picked the word ‘Ambiance’ to describe next month, which will involve the introduction of Spotify playlists to our gamut of inspirational sources, plus a full-blown photography project as bonus material. For now, however, let’s work out what’s missing from April.

Occam's Taser

The three short stories started this month are in the final stages of completion, and you’ll see them all on the site at some point in the future. I’ll be spending this week catching up on poetry archiving and the like, with all the regular features returning to the Twitters. After that, there’s going to be some explanation of what you can expect in the months that follow, including some exciting new features which will be worked on across the Summer. Oh, and if you’re waiting for an alpha read of the Novel?

You should watch your Inbox sometime next week.

WE ARE STRONG

Mostly, it is business as usual, with a bit more organisation behind the scenes that existed before.

I can’t wait to share with you what’s coming.