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Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #2149468
My journal and mirror
cover art for my blog

Possibly a mistake, definitely an experiment.

A politics free journal of personal reflections and achievements.

This is my first blog, so any feedback or advice would be appreciated.

Blog serials (will) include:
         *AsteriskW* Fairy Tales Told Wrong
         *Asteriskw* (a poem)
shortcuts for me:          
"Goals 2022 - May
"Contest Challenge 2017 - 2022
"Outstanding Projects
"Saved Prompts
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May 15, 2021 at 10:45am
May 15, 2021 at 10:45am
The Writer's Cramp 
5 June '21 - Write a STORY or POEM about someone missing an important deadline.
14 May '21 - Write about a conversation with a bird

Weekly SCREAMS!!!  
12 May '21 - Preparing for the inevitable
27 Apr '21 - A contractor’s obligation to make an unhaunted home a haunted one

The Prompt Me Contest 
They moved like hummingbirds: flitting, darting, jumping as if side-stepping through folded space. They glimmered all down the street, in gardens and over pedestrians, and worrying drivers trying to pass through the neighborhood. We didn't understand then why they had come.
April 23, 2021 at 11:09am
April 23, 2021 at 11:09am
Snow White is not a love story about Princess Sneewittchen and Prince Charming.

Anyone who has watched ABC's Once Upon a Time will remember one of the main plot lines for the first season was the obstacles between Snow White and Prince Charming both in the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke.

But the original Snow White story is not a love story. In the version first recorded by the Brothers Grimm, the prince is an unnamed plot device.

The main character of 'Little Snow White' is the stepmother.

Although Snow White herself is the heroine of her story, it's because she is a victim of her stepmother, not because she sets out to achieve anything. Snow White has no drive or direction, she is not seeking anything, she is a dramatic foil to the stepmother. She is innocent and naive to show us how wicked the witch queen is.

'Little Snow White' begins and ends with the stepmother's pursuit to destroy Snow White. It is a story about a woman utterly corrupted by vanity and envy. It is the story about the fall of that woman, not the accidental triumph of the princess.

That is the part that ABC's Once Upon a Time got right. Regina's fall and redemption made that show for me. It disappointed me every time she came nearly to the Light only to stumble back again. I love the parallels between Regina and her mother Cora: the woman who did deliberately forsake all good in herself and then wiped it out in her daughter.

Did you know that in the original original version of 'Little Snow White', the evil witch was Sneewittchen's biological mother?

It's not a love a story. It's not even about Snow White.
April 17, 2021 at 9:09am
April 17, 2021 at 9:09am
For anyone wondering why I never get round to actually writing anything, here is a full list of outstanding projects you didn't know I wasn't working on...

In the Fantasy category...
Art for Midnight Masquerade
A novel(la) sequel to Throne of Tides 
Wherein Sunpea learns the truth about the origins of geomancy and seeks to reunite with Briar.

A novel(la) prequel to Throne of Tides 
Refugees land on a new continent and one man finds himself caught between traditionalists clinging to the past and pragmatists trying to define a new future.

The Dragon Speaks  the story
A man living in a society with strict caste rules loses his way.

The One with Tiggy and Kel
Life changes in the slums when a sorceror washes up on shore.
I may do this one as an interactive story.

The Prince and the Pocket Watch
A prince travels the land seeking true love to avert a terrible curse, meeting other victims of witchcraft on his journey.

The Crimson Queen
A new crown princess must navigate plague and intrigue in a land where killing one's enemies is always a permanent solution.
See "A Crimson Queen Will Rise - Whatever Contest Nov 2021.

The 'I Watched Too Much Anime' One
Magical Boys & Girls vs throne-stealing conspiracy. No clue how to make that work in prose, but we might find out eventually.
Art for Midnight Masquerade

In the Fantasy Anthology category...
Art for Midnight Masquerade
Augustine stories
A band of adventurers unravel while hunting monsters.

Angelo stories
The inheritor of a magic legacy protects his lands from undead.

"Artapana and the White Fairy"
Starting off the back of Artapana and the White Fairy  a full set of short stories as Artapana tries to free Parivash from her curse and save his brother.

Seven Swords
A superhuman assassin hunts down revenge in an Asian inspired campaign.
Art for Midnight Masquerade

In the Romance category...
Art for Midnight Masquerade
The Duke of Fordstone
While the country recovers from a civil war, His Grace returns to the capital to rebuild his city and his life.

The Mermaid One
A woman forms a close connection with a local while on holiday.
This was inspired by a contest. I forget which one.
Art for Midnight Masquerade

In the Horror Shorts category...
Art for Midnight Masquerade
*Check* "Baggage [18+]

*Check* "The Runaway [13+]

"Hag's Rock"
A swimmer's jealousy is her downfall.
Conceived for "WEIRD TALES CONTEST "   [18+] by Beacon - Light 4ever but not started.

The Coffee Shop One
A barista writes his number on her cup, but doesn't stop there.
Inspired by an old prompt for "Write From the Heart - Story Contest"   [E] by Purple Princess
Art for Midnight Masquerade

In the Science Fiction category...
Art for Midnight Masquerade
"Jaguar Jones in the Talons of the Illusionist" or alternatively "Jaguar Jones Ghosts"
A claims investigator returning from extended leave is assigned a case that hits close to home.

"Jaguar Jones and the Burning Man" or "Jaguar Jones Smoke Trails"
A murder of a family friend provokes J.J. into opening a cold case.

The One in Space
A man living in exile is on a lonely journey home.
Art for Midnight Masquerade
March 21, 2021 at 6:19pm
March 21, 2021 at 6:19pm
Beautiful banner art by minja gifted to me by warpedsanity
I told you I would be bad at this.

Looking back at the last update I did, a lot has happened.

I have my Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Diploma and I'm working on the next level.

You might not be surprised to learn that I'm working from home. I find I miss the long drive and the hour of mental space it gave me.

I have... tidied up "The Love of the Harvest Queen [18+]. I need to work on the ending, but I wanted to get it rounded off and shared.

The shoes and handbag are still only half done and waiting in two separate cupboards.

The young family friend got a girlfriend and disappeared. He broke up with her and re-appeared, then got a new girlfriend, moved in with her, and disappeared again. He has recently tried to get in contact with us. My suspicion is he is recently single. But it's hard to want to talk to someone who ghosts you and then gets passive aggressive when you don't reply to his text message immediately.

Dog was fine. We don't bring her over to the flat nearly as often as we used to. She's getting on now and on medication for her arthritis, but she is still the goodest girl.

We eventually collected every korok seed in Breath of the Wild. We haven't been able to complete the master sword trial though. I then went on to put nearly as many hours into playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Beautiful banner art by minja gifted to me by warpedsanity
And now for new news.

My Darling and I got married in September 2019. I was about to start sending out thank you cards to our guests when we were all sent home last year. So those are still in a box on top of the dresser.

We now have an old friend living with us. He was going to look for work, and then 2020 happened.

We have been playing Dungeons & Dragons with my siblings. I'm currently Dungeon Master, and then we'll probably swap back to my sister's campaign when we get to the end of this first adventure. I am plotting for "book two", but it needs a while more to bake.

Apparently we collect ball joint dolls now. We have three off with artists for body blushing. One is stood upstairs all by his lonesome. Another three are waiting to be shipped. I'm determined for seven will be the final total. As beautiful as we are we just don't have the space and we're supposed to be saving for a home.

I have spent far too much time on reddit. I've stopped following a lot of the subs I used to read because it is bad for me to read people being horrid to each other over the internet.

I really want to get some more writing done and more things uploaded. I haven't done any since my last blog post. I have a few ideas from contest prompts that never got written that I will see if I can pick up again. I might also just try some random Artapana nonsense, because he's always good for that.
January 17, 2019 at 10:43am
January 17, 2019 at 10:43am
There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
I'm scared I'm going to die.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
Why me oh why oh why?

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
Why me oh why oh why?

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
I'm scared I'm going to die.

There are bees buzzing buzzing buzzing round my head.
They're going to make me cry.
September 10, 2018 at 9:08am
September 10, 2018 at 9:08am
Give me proud and prowling men.
Give me cocks with bright gleaming plumage,
who know what they've got and mean to prove it.
Give me men who mind their looks.
Give me dandies who'd rather go nude,
than clad themselves in clothes lazy or crude.
Give me men who strut and stride.
Give me gents of grace and poise and style,
who will take time to make women smile.
Give me men who give a damn.
Give me men who understand.
The rest aside and alone can stand,
I'll take a sophisticated man.
June 28, 2018 at 2:09pm
June 28, 2018 at 2:09pm
I said, when I started this blog, that I wouldn't get political, so I won't.

I just want to share a thought   with you, one I have whenever I see an article in the tabloids or hear twenty-somethings on the radio talking about any diversity issue.

Things have changed a lot since I was a kid and overall I feel British, and Western, culture has improved. In many ways we treat each other better than we used to. Not every individual, not in every way, but on the whole we have become more accepting and inclusive.

I also feel it's important to stay grounded when thinking about these things. It's harder to identify a cause to an effect, or the full effects of a cause, than we sometimes consider and sometimes it takes longer than we want to see results.
June 10, 2018 at 4:59am
June 10, 2018 at 4:59am
'The Ugly Duckling' is a meaningful story about identity.

But it's not a story about transformation. It's not about a duckling that becomes a swan. It's not about a hero evolving or inner beauty blossoming.

The cygnet was always a swan.

What happens in 'The Ugly Duckling' is a cygnet is held up against a duck's expectations and standards. The baby bird is grey with a black beak, not bright and bouncing. It doesn't look like a duck or quack like a duck. The ducks don't recognise the cygnet is swan and the poor little thing doesn't know any better than the ducks tell it.

Then the cygnet matures and one day he meets swans and learns who he is and to hold himself to his own standards. He doesn't have to be what a duck is, because he is not a duck.

The story of 'The Ugly Duckling' is not about an ugly duckling, it's about a young swan.

If the standards you think you're supposed to live to are making you unhappy, really think about whose standards they are. Is there another path which works for you? There is no universal truth. There is no perfect answer. There's only your answer.
June 3, 2018 at 7:51am
June 3, 2018 at 7:51am
I have not been good at blogging. I can do better.

When did I last post? Mid April. Let's see...

I have completed a staff development programme and (almost) completed the accompanying personal/professional project. I need to finalise the second draft and start working on the follow-up actions.

*Scholar* I am to start reading for a Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Diploma to start doing exams in November.

*CarR* I have started driving to work and back, which is slightly faster than getting the train, a good bit cheaper (at least if you only count petrol) and more flexible. It has given me a lot more confidence with my driving.

As you can see in my Biography tab, this week I've written The Oracle  for "WEIRD TALES CONTEST "   [18+] by Beacon - Light 4ever and opened World Weavers' Network . I'm also showcased in "OPEN HOUSE"   [E] by Lilli ☕️ this month, so there will be a few minor edits to my other items. I have a story planned for "Distorted Minds Contest"   [18+] by Warped Sanity as well, so expect that by the end of June.

*Heel* I have started customising a second pair of shoes and making a handbag, or rather I started the bag first and decided I wanted to do some shoes to match. There will be a blog post about those when they're done. I make no apologies for this *Pthb*. That's been on hiatus a couple of weeks because... *Hug1**Frown**Hug2*

A family friend lost their father in March. He's being very needy, which is understandable, but it's taking up a lot of My Darling's time. Specifically time after he gets home from work, which is time after I get home from work and means My Darling and I aren't getting any quality time together until the weekends. Weekday nights consist of My Darling running frantically about the house trying to get things done, dreading an inevitable phone call that will last over an hour, and breaking down if I'm anything less than chipper. That's the part that's always been hard: I'm not allowed to feel low or awful because My Darling implodes. Going through an extended period of stress has caused a few implosions.

But that seems to be easing up now.

We have successfully saved enough money to pay for my car insurance renewal next month. My Darling has been working diligently to bring in the extra and we're doing our best not to spend anything we don't have to for a while because... *Dog1*

The dog has to go back to the vet. Again. Roxy has a misshaped dew claw (inside of the front paw like a thumb) which is causing her pain and has to be removed. At the same time we are going to get a cyst taken out because it might be a cyst or it might be another tumour. And of course no-one on My Darling's side of the family helped with the £1500 bill last August despite the fact Roxy isn't legally our dog, so we can't expect any financial support from them this time either.

And then we have the car tax and MOT as well as probably having to replace my windscreen thanks to a chip that I suspect is more than a chip. You can probably guess by now that money is source of frustration. The reason for this is that My Darling and I have already put our wedding plans back a year and it is looking increasingly likely we might have to do delay again.

All of which is why I have been too angry, depressed, anxious, or busy to write.

What I have done is collect 868/900 korok seeds in Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. This is mainly because the task is easy to pick up and put down when you're interrupted every fifteen minutes by drama. I've also watched through all of the Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Tales from the Crypt and Goosebumps episodes I can find on YouTube. If anyone has suggestions on similar horror anthology series they are very welcome.
April 17, 2018 at 4:57am
April 17, 2018 at 4:57am
‘I was a teacher for 17 years, but I couldn’t read or write’  

It's incredible that John Corcoran retired from teaching before learning to read. He went to such lengths to keep his secret and lived in constant fear of discovery. Even his wife didn't believe him when he tried to tell her.

Just think of how critical literacy is to our day to day lives: Bank account and job applications. Emails or letters. Product descriptions and instructions. Driving theory tests. There are graphical cues for things and ways to learn without reading, but this modern world is hostile and exclusive to anyone with a low level of literacy. Our world operates on the written word.

Just thinking on how hard this was to do, how afraid and ashamed John was for so long, sheds a new light on dystopian fiction and human drama.

John has now gone on to write three books: an autobiography and two books on the subject of teaching and illiteracy.

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