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Random Articles
(no title) Rosa que al prado, encarnada, te ostentas presuntuosa de grana y carmín bañada: campa lozana y gustosa; pero no, que siendo hermosa también serás desdichada.   -Juana Ines de la Cruz...
I don’t Enough of beating around the bush and metaphors – I shall be plain and simple for this one.   I don’t care what people think anymore. I don’t care what people don’t understand. I don’t care what people really see. I don’t care if I’m a socially awkward introvert.   If it doesn’t feel right, it just doesn’t.   We’re all different and that’s all there is. I won’t take shit from anyone anymore. I won’t let anyone push...
Sweet gore I kind of ruined my appetite for dessert by watching Cannibal Holocaust. I didn’t throw up, though. I did throw up after twenty minutes of Blair Witch Project years ago. Motion sickness is always such a nuisance! I really like the theme song of C. H. – it softens everything a little bit, gives the movie some sort of an emotional standard.  I’m glad the UK version cut out the animal killing scenes; not sure if I would have...
I stole from Tom Waits Lay your head on where my heart used to be Sweet whispers drowned under the sea Forgotten words and heartbeats Say goodbye with the last breath of defeat   Rest your head on the green grass Think of me sharp as the clouds pass And if the sky falls upon your head The memories will long be dead   Lay your head on where my heart used to be Hear the mocking bird demean my plea Forgotten looks and...
Monday to Sunday ‘Monday’s child is fair of face. Tuesday’s child is full of grace. Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Thursday’s child has far to go. Friday’s child is loving and giving. Saturday’s child works hard for a living, But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.’ – Mother...
It was never meant for us Humans have the tendency to associate their five senses with memories. You hear a song and think of a place and time. You smell a particular scent and think of a person or a feeling. Every day we think of something from the past, because ultimately that is who we are. With that influence we try to resuscitate that memory and transform it into something new. There is this need to relive the past, not necessarily to make it...

It was never meant for us

Humans have the tendency to associate their five senses with memories. You hear a song and think of a place and time. You smell a particular scent and think of a person or a feeling. Every day we think of something from the past, because ultimately that is who we are. With that influence we try to resuscitate that memory and transform it into something new. There is this need to relive the past, not necessarily to make it better, but to feel at home and understood again. It could be a comfort zone or something. This is what it is when people talk about being born into the wrong era – a time and place where they don’t fit in and cannot adjust to contemporary customs, i.e. social media. Growing old is another possible explanation to all this. I am completely aware of what reality is. It’s something that doesn’t go away, even when you stop believing in it (P.K.D.). And it’s the awareness of it in the back of your head that will always leave a bad taste in your mouth. People no longer understand each other. They don’t listen, or there is a language barrier, or they hear what they want to hear. Blinded by capitalism and politics, misunderstood within the world of immigration and multiculturalism. It’s endless. The truth is we’re no longer trying to understand anything, because people don’t get on. How is this going to end well? These five senses that we have are enough to make us living creatures. What ultimately makes us human is our conscience – some form of cognitive voice teaching us what is right and wrong. That voice has been teaching us for centuries that life is more than just survival, but what we learn is all the same. Only our personal perception of things defines our personality and makes us different from one another. And that’s why humans don’t get on. And we’re not just territorial like the moose; we want power above all. More and more of it. Sometimes I just can’t help but think that we’re just an experiment. And I don’t know how we can still prove ourselves worthy. I have a childhood memory of writing in my old bedroom. I remember taming my conscience with pure creativity of the...

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...