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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.

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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.

Tiggy and Kel
Life changes in the slums when a sorceror washes up on shore.

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 '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 (CG#6)  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
"Harry's Trunk" or "Baggage"
A man's ex-wife comes looking for something at his wake.
Started for "WEIRD TALES CONTEST"   [18+] by Beacon-Light Forever and half written.

"The Runaway [13+]

"Hag's Rock"
A swimmer's jealousy is her downfall.
Conceived for "WEIRD TALES CONTEST"   [18+] by Beacon-Light Forever 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
April 2, 2021 at 8:12am
April 2, 2021 at 8:12am
Primary Objectives:

*Box* finish and upload "Harry's Trunk"

*Boxcheckr* wrote Behind the Circus  for "Dark Dreamscapes Poetry Contest"   [13+] by 🌑 Darleen's writing a novel
and also submitted to "The Whatever Contest"   [13+] by Schnujo

*Boxcheckr* entered In the silence between breaths...  into "Poetic Traditions Poetry Contest"   [E] by Brenpoet

*Boxcheckr* enter "SCREAMS!!!"   [XGC] by Fangus at least once

*Box* finish reading "Killer of Little Shepherds" by Douglas Starr (ISBN 9780857201669)

*Boxcheckr* finish and upload the untitled vending machine story (The Runaway )

Secondary Objectives:

*Box* participate in "The Bard's Hall Contest"   [13+] by StephB
probably put off to May for new prompts

*Boxcheck* entered A Cottage Garden  in "The Taboo Words Contest"   [13+] by Choconut
and also submitted for "The Whatever Contest"   [13+] by Schnujo

*Boxcheck* wrote A Treasure Hunt  - another poem for "Poetry Topic of the Month Contest"   [13+] by Sharmelle Expressions

*Boxcheck* sorted through 2 years of old newsletters in mailbox

*Boxcheck* wrote an article/entry for "World Weavers' Compendium [13+]

*Box* write scene(s) for "The Witch, the Wretch and the Warden [18+]
         *Box* Wren's arrival in Burghe ?
         *Box* Raleigh visiting Eden after the murder ?
         *Box* revise call to witness ?

Things I didn't know I was going to do:

*Boxcheckb* prepared the prompts for World Weavers' Championship  Round 10

*Boxcheckb* Entered Housewarming Negotiations  into "The Dialogue 500"   [18+] by W.D.Wilcox

*Boxcheckb* Entered "The Prompt Me Contest"   [13+] by 🌎Cubby✏️

*Boxcheckb* sorted growing poetry collection into folders

*Boxcheckb* Entered Summer Rain  into "Oriental Poetry Contest"   [E] by Chris Breva AKA Marvin Schrebe
and "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest"   [ASR] by Stormy Lady
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 Forever and opened World Weavers' Network . I'm also showcased in "OPEN HOUSE Forum"   [E] by Jayne this month, so there will be a few minor edits to my other items. I have a story planned for "Distorted Minds Contest"   [XGC] by warpedsanity 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**hug**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.
March 31, 2018 at 1:07pm
March 31, 2018 at 1:07pm
Back in September Professor Q bought a house! posted "Note: I am officially writing something about this. A pl..." linking to an article about the magazine Seitou.

Like her, I this story excited me and gave me several days worth of plotting.

'The Dragon Speaks' is a story about a poem that breaks caste. The titular poem is written by a man assigned a police vocation, and based on a martial art form. But that is as much as I have so far. I have the world build around Rya-Karin and I've written the poem, but I can't settle on what the story is about other than that poem featuring as the trigger event in his life.

Is it a story about sacrifice and love? Is it about self-realisation or a sinister tale about manipulation and indoctrination? Do I want to draw it out broader and write a story about civil unrest where the poet is just one key character? I don't know yet. So this one is going to have sit in a file for now.

"Finding the Right Story Sparks by Jay (away for a while)
Sometimes you have a good idea--and no idea what to do with it yet! (Short Stories Newsletter - February 28, 2018)

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