RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Writing

Reflections 2018 w10

I did a workshop earlier in the week and one thing has played on my mind since. It revolves around writing.

Writing was one of the words that came up for ways that we communicate, and when it was being labelled as how we would use writing it was given the title of – formal. I did not agree and my examples of forms of writing that would be anything but formal created a worrying reaction.

My three forms were poetry, which had little reaction, personal letters, and love letters. Now I am not in the position of being lovey dovey, and to be honest, I view the whole love thing rather sceptically at the present, so I am not on loves ‘side’, but the reaction that love letters got was – saddening.

It was riotous laughter, laughter at the very thought of having a love letter past the age of, what was called middle school, 8-12. I don’t know whether it is my age, or the fact I am a writer that still has the personal connection to ink and paper, also, for clarification, I love my ebooks – so it’s not a bias thing either.

Love letters have been found that were sent from grandmother to grandfather after they have passed away, stored for decades, and one hopes re-read from time to time. Some have had simple things like dried flowers with them, as a prop to stimulate the memory – this sentence should clarify one has never sent nor received such a letter in adulthood  – and stories have been told how the letters used to be sent with a spray of perfume, a photograph or lock of hair, again reinforcing the memory with sensory stimuli. You just cannot get this effect with an email, gif and an emoji. Look past the history of the events in the letters you can see the love between two people blossom, a side that no-one may have seen, not even their children. There is a power in the letters, which is why I believe they are saved, and sometimes cherished, right up to deaths door.

As a non romantic I hope that the love letter prevails past the instant technology, with it also the thought process that comes with the old fashioned way of writing; The implement – should it be the more expensive pen that writes smoothly with a uniform flow of ink? Or maybe the fountain pen, a pen that requires more time, patience in the pace and more control in the letters? The paper, coming from an artist, is just as important as the words used, some paper is ‘warmer’ than others, not only in colour but also in texture, making the choice of pad and envelope vastly important to how the letter is received before even opening. The whole process is tactile.

Wow a whole paragraph on just pen and ink, geek much?

One wonders if the group had a love letter sent to them, on and in quality paper, written with ink, emotion and style – would they laugh? Or would that letter touch a place in their heart; a place that they had forgot was there?

I do however find it sad that I , loves cynic, one who ponders what it wants, what its motives are, was also the only one in the group that believes that letters are also informal.


Dear Doctor…#Poem#Poetry#Prose

Dear Doctor

What pain do you seek of me,
in screams that can be heard?
How can I make it crystal clear,
with each, and every word?

My medication, poison pills,
upon prescription slip.
Tis all that you will give to me,
T’ help with bumpy trip.

Sodden I do slump in place
in tears that I have cried.
What will the treatment cost me now,
if not the suicide?

My veins should I give to you?
For payment in my blood.
Or would you just inject a drug,
I rather think you would.

You say that I am just unwell,
my mind it needs to heal.
Then medicate me to the hilt,
til nowt there is to feel.

Emotions that’re now suppressed,
always will break free.
Fix the problem at the source,
supply the therapy.

But this thing to me denied,
the reasons are unknown.
And then you go and wonder why,
I feel I stand – alone.


A § M

Reflections 2018 w05

Well another month has been and gone, not all the things I wanted to put into place have materialised and some were just late. Outside forces have played their role, and my unenthusiastic approach has been reflected by the weather conditions.

However one has managed to start on a website design, with Wix, for a friend from group, when it is completed a piece will be written on it as a kind of launch. It is a worthy cause I am glad I can help with it.

So January was not a complete bust, February it seems is wanting to start with the dentist as I sit here typing this with a quarter tooth missing. I so hope it has had a root filling in the past. There is a point of no return for teeth when the dental care has been lacking in years gone by, something I hope my son will not follow.

I finished the painting that was commissioned by the B-WELL group and when it is placed on the wall it will be placed on my website. Although I did not get paid for this commission, it is non the less my first commission, and it is my own design, heavily influenced by the Blobby Tree theoretics but far enough away from the actual picture that it has/will have its own identity, complete with my sense of humour. There may even be a cartoon on the trees growth and story of the little people and the well around it. I have seen the animated story in my head, it would not stop once it started.

The prize for the writing competition was a £10 voucher for The Works, the story will be published in Brighter Futures February newsletter along with the other entrant/winners story. Hopefully there will be enough feedback from the piece to get a more popular writing competition next time. my-first-writing-competition-entry

My goal of mapping the local parks/woods and blogging about each one did not start last month partially due to the weather and partially due to the struggle to get out doors. I know that even warmer weather will not change that struggle to get out of the doorway.

Thats the rundown for the last month.

Where has the time gone?

Why are the weeks flying by so fast?


Reflections 2018 w03

I know now what it was that I jointly won in December for the writing competition. We will be getting book vouchers. I wonder if this was the original prize as its identity was kept secret for so long. The announcement, officially, has been held back by sick leave(s) but will be in the customer created newsletter next month, along with the printing of the winning stories.

There is supposed to be another taking place later in the year, and by those I have spoken to, it aught be for a larger word count. 500 it seems is not that popular. Ironically this number was selected as to not put off people writing a story as it was not that many, 250 word stories are an art in themselves, easily passing the count if not careful and cutting the story out in the editing to get down to the count. I think they aught try 750 next.

Can it still be called a win if both the entrants win because of the lack of turnout? There is certainly no sense of victory, I recognise the achievement – I entered, entering another will be easier now, but victory? The worst thing is that others may be inspired to enter the next one because they perceive it as being one, which is good, but we are looking at a totally different side of a box and if my attitude does not match their perceived competition success then I could come off looking aloof or ungrateful. Or even have them giving up on the idea of entering at all if I come off dismissive. For some in the clubhouses entering could be a big self esteem boost, as well as a major talking point for weeks.

Why should ‘I‘ care?

It has been noted that I am ‘popular’ within the framework of the mental health groups/clubhouses, and that is not by chance. It has been hard work. Interacting with others outside of the groups, even passing through a room, especially when I don’t want to, has been an uphill struggle. But I read a psychological study somewhere that stated we as a race seek positive social interactions, so much so that we receive a chemical reward when we have them, I admit I was very sceptical, it’s not like we liked World Peace 1 and World Peace 2 that much we are now eagerly awaiting for the start of World Peace 3. But what had I to loose? If coupled with the smile theories also read, it had heaps of potential reward for only the cost of time.

And this is why I should care.

The work that I have done to try and improve my condition, if only in these settings, is by choice. My interactions with these people is by choice and in the same setting their interactions with me is by choice, whether they know it or not. Sometimes one choice is easier than than another, sometimes we do it automatically, not really knowing why. But for whatever reason we all have chosen to spend time in those environments and should we not be looking to make those environments the best that we can? Finding a different viewpoint for the perception, to make it more positive, improves the environment that I share.

Is it manipulation?

If giving someone time, a smile, an ear when needed or even encouragement for no advancement or direct gain is manipulation then yes. If having your positivity towards someone reflected back to you is manipulation then yes. Yes I gain from it, but only as much as what I have put in to each person, it balances out, like the pendulum of a clock.

Who knows, maybe one day I will really need that positive greeting just to get me through it.

Reflections 2018 w01


I have just watched a film about a man that got cryogenically frozen and reanimated, well, about 25%, the rest was grown from DNA samples and mechanical adaptions. At one point they brought in a machine that recorded memories, overall the film has been interesting, and the growing of a new body that works symbiotically with a machine does seem realistic, it is half available now. But I have an issue with the cryogenics. That issue is all about memory.

Whenever the subject is approached upon the screen the struggleis all about the reanimation of flesh. Growing a new body covers that subject, except for the brain. This is most commonly just implanted, and away the person goes, memories and all.

This, in my mind, then places the brain as a organic hard drive, in as such the memories are just stored in a segment to be accessed when needed. In principle that is acceptable, when the brain is alive, and I have yet to hear about how it does the storing. I have heard how this memory gets this part of the brain working and that memory the other, but the actual storage and the management of that ‘data’, I don’t think we know yet.

If we don’t know how it is stored whilst the brain is working, how then do we get it to work after the electrical impulses have stopped? Can a persons memories be stimulated after death now, whilst experiments on the brain are being done?

On a side note, could your memories be used as evidence in court after death if the process to read these memories is ever found?

Also, the brain is organic and as such their is, even in cryogenic status, a decay of the matter. Effectively creating bad sectors on the ‘hard drive’, and with the lights turned off, there is no disc management available. One bit of damage, in the wrong place, and the disc drive won’t work, you don’t know until the booting up sequence.

So then, the recording of the memories will be the answer for immortality – grow a new body, transfer the memories over.

Lets say that the essence of a person is the unique data processing and logical algorithms for a particular outcome. And our emotions are just a chemical response to that processing conclusion. Both of which could be replicated. 

Could you then be completely be replaced by a fresh new you?

But if a person is just what is in their head, a steady stream of data. Why do we need to bother within the body?

And could multiple copies of a single identity be made?

And what would it be truly be like waking up in a new body? Or even one that may not even be your own, even if it is the one you asked for?

I don’t believe in a soul. But I do believe that person is more than just memories and chemicals, and when we die ‘we’ die. Even if physically the person is brought back to life with all memories intact. The spark that made us – us is too unique to be replicated. Would you have then condemned yourself to an eternal prison upon being awakened?

I don’t think cryogenics is for me!

My First Writing Competition Entry


The sun shined down on the sand of this little cove, seagulls screeched overhead, joyous chatter of children and adults alike mingled with gentle music piped from the carousel as it spun around. The smell of the sea, chips, popcorn and candy floss waft around the rides and stalls of chance. Fond are the memories from when I first arrived.
Now the music is of a blaring kind, each of the rides trying to compete with one another for the attention of the modern youth. The smells wafting around the stalls are still the same, but not – the chips don’t smell as good as they did and the aroma of overdone burgers has been added, along with the odour of sweaty onions; progress smells like grease. The games of chance have been changed to games of luck, tat replacing the goldfish that once did hang from the beams.
The rides themselves have changed from gentle, simple, fun rides for the family, to stomach churning thrills, their sole purpose to bring back up the burgers quickly scoffed before going on. Somehow I missed the transition, or maybe it happened that slowly I failed to notice, but in any case I did not see it till I was old.
Age itself is not to blame for the outlook, it has changed. Greed has set into what was a business for family pleasure. The old rides pushed to the side, or replaced altogether.
One thing that has not changed with the passing of years, that is the season itself. Three quarters of the year the fair stays open, with the rides spinning and blasting out their music for most of the day and all of the evening. Then the holiday makers call it time, too cold, too wet, only the few dare to brave the coast in the latter months, or those of the winters end.
The fair takes on an eerie feel in the season known as closed, the sun oft hidden by huge black clouds, perhaps with the flash of light and rumble of thunder. Even the sea takes on a more menacing look, waves get bigger and carry the sand in the water, making their soul look dark, as they roll and crash against the shore. With these storms come sinister shadows, jumping from whence they hid with each flicker of light from the sky. I look upon them glad to be hidden under this big heavy canvas, sheltering from the whipping wind and driving rain. This is my home for the night, my refuge.
For many a year I have hidden here, out of mind, peaking through the hole in the canvas. My colours have faded, my paint chipped and now cracked; the rain runs like tears down my cheek.


I was pretty once, the star of the show.
With my piped music, small faces would glow.
But now I’m forgotten, cast to the side.
Oh how I would love it, once more, on me ride.


500 words, rather journalistic, Influenced by Bill Bryson? But it was a start. My next story written is more flowing and at 250 words was more of a challenge, it missed the deadline for the competition entry it was written for, so will be saved for another.

This is the start of many one thinks, clunky it may be, but one hopes it will inspire others to give writing competitions a go, especially free ones.

Just have fun.

Reflections…Week Fifty One

canstockphoto8630797This is the last blog of 2017, and for my part I have completed my goal of blogging on a weekly basis for the entirety of it. One has even surpassed what I thought was a challenge by doing multiple blogs in a week and in doing so surprised myself with the gusto one has approached it. But not so much with this one.

Yesterday I went sea fishing with my brother, it went less than planned. The tackle and bait shop we go to is no longer there, it is being replaced with flats, this caused a diversion to an alternative. Time seemed to be slipping away as the journey progressed, to the point that we changed destination for the fishing to suit the tide time.

This is a place I like going to and although the pier was in no fit state to be walked upon it somehow had sentimental value for which one cannot explain. However when we got there the pier was no longer in the sea, rather it was on the coast line piled up behind railings. After talking to a local fisherman we discovered it was pulled down for safety reasons about three weeks ago, thus making it a sombre visit, and at the moment un-fishable.  One hopes that the spider crabs that the locals catch won’t be negatively affected.

The weather was also making a turn for the worst, with an ice cold nip to the increasing wind. This was not the warm sunny day forecast.

We headed back the way we came. Checked out a new spot, ruled it out, went to an old spot that has been good for bass before ruled that out due to the exposure for the wind and decided to cross back over the peninsula to get some wind defence.

We looked and looked for a new spot and eventually ended up, at the place we originally went for bait, at Rhos-on-sea, sheltered from the wind. Halfway back home. Eight hours of driving to get an hour and a half away from home, you could tell my brother was not pleased.

Spot got to run on the beach for a bit, and we ate with a cuppa before even thinking about setting up, as high tide was another hour away, and by then we could not be bothered to be tide chased with our equipment. So we just waited.

This spot has been a poor show for fish before and we had almost given up on the location. It was chosen for the shelter above all else, just so we could fish.

It has been ages since last having a day out to try and catch dinner for the next day and as Spot and I played on the beach I asked the sea to be kind to my brother and let him catch some fish. It was less of a thing for me as being at the coast was allowing me to chill for just a little while, as the coast always does, and Spot loves the beach.

So as the tide came in we got ready, spot for a nice change, was able to stay in the car as it was parked right next to us, curled up in the footwell, where the heater had warmed her towel and the carpeting.

First cast had been in the water less than five minutes when my brothers rod stated to nod up and down violently, not one on the line, but two. Next cast he did was pulling a fish up within a minute, and the same again with the next.

As he took the fish down the steps to the water to release the fourth fish, they were undersize, I thanked the sea for visibly cheering him up. Then my rod started…

For the next Five and a half hours we had fish after fish, the best session ever, even beating some boat trips. True we returned over forty, but we came home with five whiting each, enough fish for a couple of meals.

My arms and shoulders at the end were aching, my nerves on fire and lacking strength to real in two small fish on the line that should have been done with ease. I had to stop with them as my arms went numb and the fireworks started in my legs. My brother called it time when he reeled in the next fish. We packed up and headed home, straight into the wind, and now heavy rain, we had earlier left behind. Somehow it had missed our little spot.

The concentration on the rod tip light now over, my body could release the headache for the trip home. Today I have been in pain and struggling to stay awake. I hate what is happening to my body right now and the way it seems to be punishing me for doing things I like to do. But it’s got another thing coming if it thinks it is going to make me stop. All the doctors want to do is increase what was my anxiety meds, as it is also a pain medication. It’s funny how I am going to be over the maximum dosage for the anxiety it’s not working for, because it is now for the pain. The pain it may very well be causing. And the medication I wanted to stop, because it’s not working.

The merry-go round of the doctors continues…

Oh, an update on my story that was entered into the Brighter Futures writing competition that was scheduled for America’s Thanksgiving day, that was then altered to the Christmas Party, that was then, I would say delayed again due to there still being only two entries, I would say delayed as the winner was not declared, Is a winner!

Not quite, so is the other one as well.

I wonder if my request to withdraw my story if it had been cancelled again, so it could be entered into another competition, had anything to do with the decision?

At least the disappointment of the whole affair is over now, and the story will be published in the next couple of days. I hope all who read it find some enjoyment in it.

If you don’t, tuff, I am still proud of my first writing competition entry.

The fireworks of the new year have been going off as this long winded entry has been written, so it is with love and peace that I sign off the Reflections of 2017.

Happy New Year!