Monday, 26 May 2014

Empty Nights

The dew is settling around me,
and the sun is threatening to rise.
The stars are twinkling above me,
even when I close my eyes.

The grass is a bed beneath me,
the wind on the mountains sighs. 
Your voice is a whisper within me,
but it's time to say our goodbyes.

My love you tried to save me,
but I will be my own demise.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
beneath these endless skies. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014


In the middle of a crowded city street a small girls stand alone. In a world of dirty snow and heavy black overcoats she stands out, a bright puff of sky blue, motionless against the swirling eddies of grey. People move all around her. Crazy busy people, not one of them the same. Sometimes they notice her standing so still as they hurry on past. They search her face with empty eye sockets and screech at her, their mouths filled with acid green spiders and rows of pointed teeth. The noise is like a million nails on a chalkboard. It chases shivers up her spine and sends her whirling away down the street in terror.
When the noise has stopped and she finds herself once again alone and unnoticed she looks down at herself and notices for the first time the shape beginning to grow from the end of her finger. Like a long skin coloured snake it burrows out of her flesh and pushes against her skin. It wiggles and squirms and thrashes her skin, trying to force its way out. The agony hits her like a wave. She can feel the empty tunnels all through her body where this creature has wandered aimlessly eating her alive as it tries to find its way free. Her ocean blue eyes are huge with horror in her small round face. She lifts her hand to her face and examines the snakelike head pushing against her skin from inside her hand. The skin is pulled tight against the creature's face as it tries to break free, stretching her skin grotesquely. She can see the ridges that would be nostrils and the tiny bulges which would be eyes.
With her snake-free hand she touches it and it writhes even more wildly. Desperate to get rid of the creature she squeezes the growth and it bursts in a spray of thick black oil.
The creature is gone and the pain disappears with it. Her body is her own once more.
She wipes the oil off on her pretty blue dress and when she looks again her hand is fine. Nothing to mark the demise of the monster.

No one knows how old this girl is, or even where she comes from. She just appeared one day, a poor tiny, fragile thing, alone in a world full of people.
This is Cecilia. Poor crazy Cecilia. She doesn't  realise the flesh eating snakes and screeching voices are all in her head. You could tell her if you like, but she probably wouldn't understand. Even if she did, she probably wouldn't believe you. She would be too distracted by the bugs crawling out your ears and back into your mouth. The purple goo leaking from your empty doll eyes wouldn't add to your credibility either. For Cecilia, her world is as real as yours is to you.
People used to try to tell Cecilia that it is all in her head. As if somehow that would make it less real. To Cecilia, the things in her head are the only things that are real, at least for now.

In the dark

In the dark I am afraid. When I am laying in bed on my own, looking up at the shadows playing across the ceiling, its hard to not feel the whole world moving swiftly around me. As my mind ranges out into the darkness I hear the house creaking as soft stealthy feet pad along the hall to my room. I hear the wind whispering voices outside my window. I hear the calls of night animals surge and silence with anger and anticipation. This world of muted shadows conceals everything. A whole world of malice painted in silver and grey.
When I am walking through the night, searching for a forgotten bottle in the car or a pet who wont come home, I feel the thick twisting tendrils of fear which trace their way lovingly down my spine. I feel the darkness creep up behind me and in response my muscles tense, my nerves are set on fire and my soul on edge. My body screams for me to run but I know that will only make it worse. The night loves a chase and while the fear tickles close behind me at a walk, it is restrained by my lack of acknowledgement. Once I run it is let loose like a crashing wave of galloping horses and sprinting lions and swooping bats.
There is no peace for me in the dark of night. There is only patient, silent, sleepless fear.

In the dark I am comforted. When I stand in a room with no windows and no light leaking in around the door, its hard not to absorbed into the emptiness of the universe. This dark is so complete. It is a thick wall of nothing pressing in around me. It is a heavy blanket that wraps me up and holds me tight. This kind of dark is nothing. It gives nothing. It conceals nothing. I am nothing.
In this kind of dark I am free. My body is forgotten and my mind is one with the universe, with everything, with nothing. I can feel the energy of this limitless abyss vibrating through me, like the bass at a rock concert.
It fills my head with clear and profound silence. I am completely at peace. One with the darkness around me, with me, within me.
I often wish that this kind of dark could be darker. That it could stretch beyond this single room and out into the rest of the world. I wish that it could fill every space, every open mouth and eye, every cave in the mountains, every pore in everyone's skin. But maybe then it would be less comforting to me. I really just wish that the dark could be so dark, so limitless, so close that I am absorbed into it forever. Then I will be forever dark, forever empty, forever nothing.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Writing Shadowheart Stories

Today I'm just going to do a short post on the process that I have used to write all of my short stories and poems so far.

For me, all of my writing to date has started with a phrase or combination of words that for some reason I just really enjoyed. These little pieces of inspiration might be something that I hear in a song, or on the street, or just something that goes through my mind.
At any one time I have a number of these nice little sayings floating around in my head, and I might just let them sit there for ages before I actually feel that it is the right time to sit and put a story around them.

A perfect example of this would be 'Your Sunlight and my Shadow Heart'. It might be kind of obvious, but the phrase that started all of that was "I'm sitting cross legged on my floor in the middle of my life", something that just appeared in my mind when I was sitting in my room about 7 years ago. The phrase has stuck with me all that time but it just never felt right to put it into words until recently. Then, when it did feel right, I just sat down and let the words flow however they wanted.

This is how I write most of my stories. I just kind of start with an idea and then sit down and write the whole thing from start to finish in one go. I give all my work a quick proof read at the end of course, but usually I only changed a word here or there.

I really love this way of writing because I find that it gives the story a nice cohesive flow, but also, because I feel like it allows me to give myself over to the story completely.
I often feel like I am just a medium through which the story travels to get onto paper.
I don't try to control it or manipulate it into being what I want it to be. I kind of just let it evolve however it wants.
Sometimes this means that the story I end up with is nothing like the story that I thought it would be when I started, but I don't really mind. I always figure that if the ending of a story surprises me, there is no way that the reader will see it coming.
A great example of this would be in 'Freedom' with the dead body on the floor...I don't want to give it away, but I did not see that coming at all (but maybe you did and I'm just a bit slow).

Another example of my writing not turning out how I thought would be 'White Knight'. The inspiration for that work was "You might be my white knight, but I'm the light that makes you shine". This is one where I kind of wanted the phrase to work as part of a short story, but when I sat down to write it, the words that came out had another idea altogether and it turned into a nice little poem.

Very rarely this method of writing doesn't quite work and I know where the story is going, but can't quite see how to get there. When this happens, I tend to just leave a few empty lines and then just continue with the rest of the story. Then, some time later it will become clear how to bridge that gap and I will go back and write the words to fill it in.

So, really I just start with these little phrases as  inspiration for a story which evolves whenever and however it wants. The phrase isn't necessarily an opening sentence, it is more of a central idea or theme around which the story or poem forms. I just sit and write whatever my brain tells me. There is no planning or structure whatsoever.

I think that it is a really great way of writing really organic and flowing short stories and poems. However, I would like to write a novel one day, and the process that I use now isn't really conducive to a lot of character and back story development.

On occasion I have tried to force a story into being what I want it to be, or I have tried to plan a story from start to finish before I begin, but this has always resulted in awkward and cumbersome work which I really don't enjoy writing or reading.

Based on all of these experiences, I think that I'm going to need to do some research and start working on using some other methods of writing.

The end.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some insight into why my stories are like they are.
Maybe it has even provided you with a new method of writing to try.
I would love to read about what writing process works for you, so please feel free to post a comment and tell me all about it. :]

Sunday, 11 May 2014

White Knight

Ever playing the hero,
you help me up when I fall down.
But you never lift me high enough,
that I no longer need you around.

You let me fall to the ground again,
when you ego needs a raise.
People see you help me just a bit,
and shower you with praise.

But I deserve the praise, not you,
for living through this hell.
People think you fix me,
but you're keeping me unwell.

I may never have been perfect,
but I'm glad I'm not like you.
The need for constant admiration,
guiding all that you ever do.

If you were a half way decent person,
you would really save me from myself.
But you don't want me whole again,
you have no interest in my health.

My darkness casts a shadow,
in which you love to hide.
No one can see your flaws,
with a wreck like me at your side.

You might be my white knight,
but I'm the light that makes you shine.
But now I have had enough of you,
I'm taking back what's mine.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Let's Play a Game

This is my favourite paragraph from my favourite book.
Do you know what the book is?

I'll give you a hint.
The main character is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille

Another hint.
It's set in France

Update 12/5/2014: Well, this page has had a tonne of views, but no correct guesses. So I can only assume that none of you knew what book the quote is from. That's a bit sad. So I think you should all go away and read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind as homework. :]

He was delighted by moonlight. Moonlight knew no colours and traced the contours of the terrain only very softly. It covered the land with a dirty grey, strangling life all night long. This world moulded in lead, where nothing moved but the wind that fell sometimes like a shadow over the grey forests, and where nothing lived but the scent of the naked earth, was the only world that he accepted, for it was much like the world of his soul.

Cherry Blossom Branches

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

An open letter to my missing friend.

It's been years since we talked, but I still think of you Theory.
I wonder where you are and what you are doing. I can't help but question if you are even alive any more. You have to be. I can't bare to believe that you are gone. That I am sitting here thinking of you as your body rots in the ground. Cold and alone. An empty shell of the man that I loved. And I did love you Theory. I know that I shouldn't have. That I barely even knew you. But none of that mattered to me. How could I not love someone with whom I could share worst parts of myself?
We didn't talk about movies or books or the weather. Our lives were made up only of the things that mattered most, and so too were the conversations we shared. We talked of life and love and death, hope and despair, family and friends, those we loved and ultimately lost. We shared the parts of our souls that are too raw and damaged for the rest of the world to see. I made you question everything. You loved me and hated me for that.
I cant bare to think that the most real thing I have ever known is gone. I can't bare to believe that you are gone.
But why don't we talk any more if you are still here?
Every logical part of my brain knows that you probably did it. That for you the pain is probably over now.
Even if that's true and you did manage to pull off one of your plans, you will live on as a shadow in the corners of my mind. I'm not ready to give up on you Theory. You will forever be a half seen figure standing at the edge of my world. I'll let you into the deepest parts of me, just like I always have. You will not be good for me. You never really were. But you will speak French to me in the darkness and somehow I'll find the will to keep on breathing, to keep on loving the memory of you.

I'll force myself to believe that you are happy now, and that's why we don't talk any more. I'll believe that you found someone to guide you out of the darkness the way that I never could. I'll believe that you fell madly in love and that you don't even think of me any more. That you no longer need the company of my sadness to help you feel your own.

I'll believe all this in the broken things where my heart should be, even though my head knows that you are already laying six feet beneath the stars.

I'll smile for you

Laughing, smiling,
Talking loud.
Screaming, crying,
Alone in the crowd.

Hanging with friends, 
Playing the part.
Streams of tears 
Drip down my heart.

I'll smile to make you happy, 
But I'm bleeding deep inside.
I'm drowning oh so slowly
If only you had tried.

Laughing, smiling,
At least I did try.
Screaming, crying,
I'm waving goodbye. 


She is awake, but you wouldn't know it. Her eyes are closed and her breathing is soft and even.
She lets her mind wander back through the haze of memories from last night and starts to piece together where she is and how she got there.
It started out as after work drinks on a typical Friday night, but with maybe a few too many bourbons. When everyone should have been making excuses about other commitments or early morning yoga classes and heading home to bed, some some devil of a person came up with the brilliant idea of going out to a club.
More drinks on that dark sweaty sardine can of a dance floor combined with the hypnotic music pulsing through her body, and the guys from the office started looking pretty good.
She locked eyes with Jerry from accounting and smiled seductively. Then....nothing.
Her pounding brain refuses to relinquish any further information without at least a coffee, but that must be where she is. The warm body the she can feel in the bed next to her must be Jerry's. With a silent groan she imagines the hell that Monday will bring. The gossip will travel like wildfire and by morning tea nowhere will be safe from her co-worker's judgemental looks.
Pulling herself back from her mortification, and an inventory of all the places in the office that would be large enough to hide in until this all blows over, she begins to contemplate the task of getting out of this bed, out of this apartment, without him waking. Maybe if she is lucky he wont remember what happened and without finding her naked in his bed, he wont have the proof needed to tell the story.
Contemplating the amount of light filtering through her eyelids, she realises that it is still almost completely dark in the room. The only light is from a street lamp which is filtering into the room through half closed curtains.
"Yes! Finally a win!" She thinks to herself. In the darkness her chances of slipping out unnoticed increase.
She slowly opens her eyes and confirms her suspicion. It's still night.
Forgetting to keep up the charade of natural sleeping breathing, she holds her breath and slowly, inch by inch, folds the covers back off herself. There is a tense moment when his breathing falters and all might be lost, but with a light snore he rolls away from her to face the wall.
"Another win!"
Moving with more confidence now, she sits up and turns herself around so that she is perched lightly on the edge of the bed. She feels around on the floor and gradually finds all her clothes. She doesn't even bother with her underwear, just gets slowly up off the bed and pulls on her jeans, quietly zips up her jacket and  stuffs everything else into the pockets of her jacket.
Creeping to the open door she gives herself a mental pat on the back for her supreme stealth and mourns the successful career she could have had as a ninja.
Turning to take one last look at the sleeping man now all alone in his giant bed she is shocked to find eyes staring back at her.
Softy sleep bedroom eyes struggled to make sense of why she was across the room and not wrapped up in his arms where she belonged.
She takes a breath and prepares to turn on her heel and stalk dramatically from the room but the hurt in his eyes gives her pause. It weakens her resolve with each passing breath as he looks into her eyes.
With a crooked grin he shrugs, "Hey, it didn't really go how I planned it either. I would much rather know that you remembered our first night together, but you practically barged down my door and wouldn't really take no for an answer. What's a guy to do?" He laughs at the memory and seeing the worried look on her face adds, "You can go if you want, forget that it ever happened. I wont hold it against you, I swear."
Quickly sorting through the muddled memories of the night before she finds some vague recollections of abandoning Jerry on the dance floor and making her way to Scott's house, desperate to see him and tell him how she felt. The look in his eyes makes her think that she succeeded and spilled her guts, saying way more than anyone should say to someone after only a few dates.
But he didn't seem to mind, maybe he even felt the same way. Her still hungover brain struggles to make sense of it all so giving up on thinking it all through, she takes a running leap and casts it all into the wind and throws herself back into his arms. With passionate kisses she endeavours to replace the blurry drunken memories from the previous night with ones that she will never forget.