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Random Articles
Dallas Half-dead crickets keep appearing from out of nowhere in my motel room. I found a squashed one under my sink (, must have stepped on it) and I found a couple of legless ones, too – still alive. Damn the housekeeper’s vacuum cleaner. I’ve seen grasshoppers, but don’t think I’ve seen any crickets in real life before, plus, I’ve never shared a room with so many. This morning I fed them to the birds that were loitering around outside....
I shot him at the base of the ear for kindness... I am not saying that writing is mandatory, but it has become the greatest distraction that I’ll ever need along with the aid of music. In my mind, I see a ghost, which is holding its index finger against its lips.  Am I supposed to keep a secret? Secrets are the last things I’ll ever have.  And yet I think my mind is trying to tell me something. Hating who I am has actually brought me closer to the...
Tell the kid to play Sometimes the feeling that you can do anything leads you astray and you are aware of it, but the idea of going wrong tastes so sweet on your tongue…  You spread the sweetness on your teeth and you swallow. The result is a tingle in your stomach.  Before you ask yourself where to go from here you do a little tango dance. It feels warm and familiar and yet you condemn it for its inexplicable presence. Lie. The truth...
Burn her! It only dawned on me today that I am probably too late. The reason why I admire E. is that she is beyond beautiful and has a fantastic job. And she gets the men she wants. Whereas I am continuously rejecting those that I don’t want – no matter how wonderful they are. I am not looking for anyone who is wonderful. I just want someone to ignite the fire so I can make myself suffer by telling myself...
Grotesque thoughts on December 10th 2009... For minutes I’ve been looking at this picture of a downward spiral. After a while, I got this feeling that the spiral was about to slap me hard in the face. It looks very scary, but I cannot help being curious. My mind is in a very dangerous state, where it is tempted to risk anything, anything that may cause thrill or excitement but may end badly. The interest is there, but it does not mean that I’m going to...
Setting fire to a sleeping giant... what a deceitful thing to do hear him snore hear him mumble fasten him onto the floor with thin threads speak the spell cut off a bit of the skin nails, body hair and clothes as souvenirs of your heroic deed see him dream in despair like you and me dreaming of a woman for whom he counts the turnips lying in ambush and eventually burning up with the forest but he’ll be back with the sum...

Five Questions picked for Paula

Why are your favourite male authors accused of chauvinism? – I don’t know why. But then again, I don’t see or analyse stories with an eye like that. Over fifteen years ago, when I first discovered these authors, I was a very angry person – with no ways of channelling negative emotions, except for listening to heavy music and reading books that described characters being chopped up, hearts being violently broken, etc. I was basically reading about arseholes just to try understanding them. Yes, the victims were women for the most part, but I viewed them as people. We are all victims in one way or another, even if you choose not to be. I’m not a feminist that analyses fiction with a gender approach, not like that. It gets too one-dimensional. Why are my top favourite authors men? I named a few on my website because I love their technique of storytelling. One aided my anger management by imagining my former ex being tortured for the pain he inflicted on people. The other writer had a semi-autobiographical style, which had a huge impact on the way I write today. You create a fictional character, dump your thoughts and feelings on them and see how they handle them. And voila, they handle it better than you – learn from them – they happen to be your alter ego. Your alter ego is often the better half of your mind or your dark side that nobody knows of. Anyway, that way you’re not hurting people for real, but you’re tackling your problems – on your own. You’re bringing across a new form of honesty that a lot of people cannot handle sometimes. This is how storytelling should be, especially for those who are unable to express their feelings in a way that people get it. Sometimes you have to feed a little bit off the dark to be able to understand yourself and the world around you. It doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say or write. It’s not like you’re going over the top like Cioran. It’s just that if you don’t go to your own personal dark place, you won’t ever understand happiness, and you won’t ever find peace. And yes, you can use this as a motivation to write. Why the hell not? Know your limit is all I can say. Oscar Wilde is the only one that knows the beauty of words and the power and passion that comes from them. Every choice of word that he uses has a purpose and the ability to...

Mind caps

My name is John Hades. If you’re not familiar with Greek mythology you might be mispronouncing my name, or not, but technically, yes. The name has always brought along some sort of post-apocalyptic vibe to my life. Every time I hear someone say my name, it’s like the end is near, and I’m the one responsible for it. A girl I used to date once wrote a very dark story called, ‘Through the Eye of Hades’. I told her to change the title to something else before publication otherwise I’d leave her. She did change it, but I ended up dumping her anyway. Her name was Denise – an irritating girl, as irritating as her stories in which she would over-reference her favourite writers in a way that it was so obvious. That wasn’t the reason why I dumped her, though. I loved the sex, but she was allergic to my cat. So, in a way, I left her, but I wouldn’t let her leave me. I wouldn’t let anyone that entered my life, go. Not that there are many people in my life, despite being in college. I just loved watching how I brought out the darkest in her. When we first met, she was this inexperienced, happy small-town girl. I literally seduced her like the serpent in Eden by feeding her magic mushrooms for dinner. (Important note: The serpent in Eden is proof that there is always evil lurking in something good. However, harmless evil, because here, temptation is portrayed as bad, but the decision is yours. Pure evil will grab you instantly by the neck.) Everyone reacts differently to the effect of psilocybin. I didn’t trust who she was on the outside and believed that the mushrooms would tell me the truth. If you were a genuinely happy person you would normally experience some form of euphoria when you eat mushrooms. Denise, on the other hand, went through a drastic change of perception, which eventually led to a panic attack. It started with her pupils dilating, followed by her seeing cockroaches crawling down my walls. She imagined the fast-creepy crawling sounds and immediately jumped on my couch, screaming. “They’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill me!” she kept whining. It struck me that her biggest fear was death, which didn’t surprise me, because her dad owned a funeral home. She told me about her childhood nightmares and how she once saw her dead grandmother waving at her from down the hallway. Interestingly enough, that mushroom trip inspired her to her first piece of dark...

#Selfie

I can’t help but think of some friends out there that are lonely. Happy, exciting pictures don’t actually say anything, especially if it’s in the style of a selfie. That used to be a thing in 2003. I remember that well. It started with MySpace and all, but then the ten- to fourteen-year-olds began taking it over. And later Justin Timberlake did us a favour by buying MySpace and it was no longer about selfies and fake profiles. Speaking of which, I created a fake profile, too, once, because I was trying to remove my stalking ex from my life. I created an imaginary friend from Iowa – a fellow NIN fan by using a piece of NIN related artwork as a default picture. There was so much you could do on MySpace. It might’ve worked a little bit, I was actually expecting hate mail going to that fake account, but luckily that never happened. But back to selfies, people don’t really do that anymore, at least not excessively. What makes my friends’ selfies stand out is that they are by themselves. Their smiles feel like they’re 50% for real. I don’t know where the other 50% is. They look older, too. About thirteen to fifteen years ago we used to take group pictures. There used to be a photographer that was not on the picture but on other ones. This is how things used to be and should be. Don’t take selfies alone! At least get someone to take a picture of you while you’re admiring a tree or want to capture the background of where you are. The era of selfies started pretty much fifteen plus years ago. Now if you look back don’t you think it’s pretty sad? I feel sad when looking at mine. It’s the same with how smartphones have started to dominate our lives. It’s sad, and you wonder what will come next? I’ve got to admit that I have become a shitty friend in the last few years. I used to value every single friend that I had because I never had any until my late years of adolescence. As a loner and late-bloomer I had the time to get to know myself better, so that was fine. I’d learnt to live with myself, be productive and creative when alone. I wasn’t shutting anyone out, because there was no one. My family was busy with other stuff, which was fine. That gave me space. So when the Internet began to take over communication, I made virtual friends. No one will ever understand...

Sunset at 18:23

Why am I me with this conscience that doesn’t want to be? At least I think it doesn’t want to be, as it needs a constant reminder that it’s there, whether it wants to be there or not. It’s similar to having your head in the clouds (because reality is draining). You just don’t want to think or do anything, speak no word, react to nothing – just nothing. Creative introverts cannot handle the ordinary life cycle and yet they are caught in it. Everything and everyone has expectations of them. Yesterday your conscience was that of a child’s and today you’re wondering whatever happened to it? It used to be more creative, angrier and more honest. It’s when you didn’t have control over your feelings. Now that you have control, it seems like you’re letting your creativity grow up by paying rent and bills, which constitutes responsibility. And isn’t responsibility supposed to bring stability and make you a decent human being? Yes, all’s good, except that one morning you will look at yourself in the mirror and wonder whether you’ve ever created anything that mattered to people. So what do you do? You spend ten years writing something that turns out to be Heart Like A Hole, you rack your brains over a short story that you named Silicon Dreams, because that’s the best you can come up with for now while the story isn’t really coming along. The idea is there, the set up is there, but what else? Can’t play God anymore? Well, of course not, because there is no God in fiction writing. The story is already there – you’re just figuring it out. It’s almost like a fucking game of chess or a puzzle. There are endless ways, moves and pieces – more than you can ever take. I’m not saying that what I create should matter to anyone unless they choose to. You don’t impose. That’d be selfish. Presenting your art is necessary, though. I remember my tutor used to say that writing (or art in general) is all about exposure and that’s what you want. Unlike others, I am not scared to expose anything. I’m only scared of not being able to express myself – especially before the sun goes down. It’s like there is never enough time to let everything out that needs expressing. How do people become wise as life is happening? Do you have to grow old for that? What phase of adulthood am I in when I’m trying to find out when my life actually began? (I.e., the...

Heart Like A Hole – Publishing process

I self-published my book as an eBook version at the beginning of June using Draft2Digital, which has been a very good and user-friendly platform! I’m very pleased I found them after a long time of research. If you are looking to self-publish your eBook, you should give them a try and check the results for yourself. After another month of formatting and design editing, I finally published the paperback version of my book using Amazon’s KDP and Ingram Spark. Amazon was very straightforward in terms of uploading your book and cover design. They also offer templates that you can use, or you can use your own front cover, but you can choose the spine and back cover design if you don’t have one. Once you uploaded it you can download a PDF proof as well as order a proof copy before submitting the file. You have to cover the print charges, and they will send you your proof copy within a week. One thing I noticed about Amazon’s print services is that the quality is top, but the actual trim/cut varies. It’s printed in different locations in the States. I’ve had two proof copies printed; the first one was printed in South Carolina and the second one in Kentucky. And although I’m pretty sure that I’d centred the title and name on the page, it seems that the alignment is always different on each print. But I guess that’s just Amazon. I also ordered ten author copies and at least three or four of them were trimmed pretty poorly and that even affected the interior look. So I’d like to apologise in advance if that is the case with your copy. If you’re not happy with it, do let me know. The other publisher, Ingram Spark, was, by far, the most complicated publishing system I’ve ever used. I’m not a designer but IS needs you to have it all done and ready to go: The interior text as well as the artwork. And the guidelines were so basic you might as well have been a superstar in formatting and InDesign. So I what I did for the artwork was, use my Amazon design, but I had to tweak around a lot to make sure it was 300pi and perfectly sized as per the instructions. I’m almost ashamed to say that it took me a good extra two to three weeks to get it right. My first proof never arrived, either. The second one did, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the quality of the artwork. Despite following their instructions,...

Grey Skies

When I woke up this morning the sky was grey. First, it was eerie, as if waking up from a weird dream, which you don’t remember. The sky evoked a past sentiment that I was trying to associate with something. I was glad I woke up early (before 7 a.m.) because I’d set the alarm for the wrong day. Today I got stressed about finding a free notary in town. Eventually, I found out that the consulate did it for cheaper than any law firm, so I went ahead with it, instead of waiting for the bank to call me back and confirm that they do document certifications for free! Whatever. I almost went crazy (with a panic attack) and was unable to make small decisions (i.e. whether or not I wanted to go to the library, what time to go to the gym, which tea to drink, etc.). Everything worked out fine in the end, though. I mailed out an important request on paper to Toronto this afternoon. Apparently, it takes the people of my country up to nine months to determine whether they’re able to grant me dual citizenship. Of course, I’m nervous. My German identity is still something I wanted to examine in greater depth. I discovered the actual me in Great Britain, which was why I ended up living/studying there for so long. But I never denied my home country and my nationality. I am thankful for the many cultures that my identity represents, but if I have to choose between one and the other is a different question. My sense of focus is low today. I can tell whenever I have to re-read instructions three to four times. My attention span is low because I haven’t meditated in many months. I wonder if I’m ever going to experience that inexplicable sensation of stillness again. I only vaguely remember what it was like. I met a few people at the meditation camp that would do that ten-day course once a year, but I haven’t been since 2014. You should consider going, because, why shouldn’t you (https://www.dhamma.org)? Having a low attention span is no good, as you will become a person that doesn’t complete what you’ve started and your analytical skills will go down, too. The last time I was in a state like this (triggered by social anxiety and stress) I meditated and it helped recover my focus for a while. But obviously, if you don’t do it for at least 20-45min (twice) a day you will lose it all again. Right now I don’t...

Rx

This year’s first Mercury Retrograde has been one of the most challenging ones. Exchanged words result in misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Delayed responses either fall on deaf ears or fail to show on the screen – because – battery almost dead. And cell phones don’t like the cold. Then your dentist’s assistant cancels your appointment by leaving a voice mail because the doc is having a baby. My first thought was to write a short story about being born during Mercury Rx. Chances are that at least one or two planets will be in retrograde when you’re born, but most of them are likely to have a positive effect on you, but Mercury will complicate your communication skills. Saturn, on the other hand, has its bad and good qualities. It has karmic energies and requires all the patience that you have, which means that you have to work hard, even more, if you are a Saturday child. This might be too much to handle for some, and a lot of people don’t believe in the influence of the stars. What if I said that the time and place you were born will determine who you are inside – the alignment of the planets and the type of moon on that very day? A psychology student once told me that you don’t inherit your parents’ characters. If anything that’s what you observe throughout your childhood. Also how you were brought up plays a big role in the person that you become. If your mother has a bad temper, all you’ll do is copy her and make that bad temper your own. I’ve always wondered why I have a fear of taking responsibility for something or someone. Your parents usually get you a pet when you’re young so you learn to be responsible, but I don’t think our pets have ever been my or my sister’s responsibility. Although I do remember my mother saying that we were responsible for them, but she didn’t give us the chance of taking any responsibility, as she would change the hay in our guinea pig’s cage, or she would walk the dogs – every day. All my sister and I did, in the end, was to take it for granted. We still played with our pets, but we were not looking after them. For that reason, they loved my mother the most. But for my mother, it was more of a responsibility that she had to take as a mother. This is one reason why motherhood will always be daunting for me. My sister and I didn’t even do...

When doves cry

When you say, “It’s happening”, it means a lot of things, mostly exciting things. Decisions have to be made for it to happen, though – and make those decisions before retrograde, which is taking place next week! Of course, making decisions isn’t easy if too many things are involved, such as financial or occupational sacrifices, etc. But by all means, you need to stop doing what makes you unhappy! Sure, things get more difficult as you grow older. You cling on fears. Making decisions was way easier when you were in your early twenties, when you had the whole future ahead of you, such as another university degree to take. For me, it was always ‘studies over work’. Stepping in a professional job market was one of my biggest fears. I almost had permanent rosacea from the stress and fear that it’d brought along. Anyhow, I would say I’m still very determined about my decisions. It’s more about timing these days. Just remember to take action when something doesn’t feel right. So I decided that I want to leave Calgary and that’s what we’re going to do. The one way to make it official is to quite the job(!). There are two decisions in one here: Quit the job and move away. Calgary has been a good home for me in the last few years, and I thought that it was the place to settle, but if you’re in a place where too much has happened and you’ve not been happy the for the last while I’ll know it’s time to move on. It also took me a long time to decide when to publish my book, but it was partly my fault for not giving people that were involved a deadline since I’m the only one that really priorities it. I obviously feel bad taking people’s time. I always have, especially if they don’t ask for anything in return. The book is still in progress, though, and I won’t have much time to promote or market it here in town. I don’t want to worry about it too much. True, I have spent over ten years on it. I wouldn’t say I am a perfectionist; it’s not that I’ve spent this huge amount of time obsessing over it. If anything, it has been more of a learning process and overcoming my fear in getting it out there. There was fear of sharing it with people, but the feedback for redrafting purposes was essential. Generally being criticized and judged is scary, but if you see what kind of garbage...