Monthly Archives: January 2018

Why is it Winter Still?

Why is it winter still,

With the thrashing wind and slaving chill?

The splashing water beating panes,

My tears falling whilst it rains.

 

Why does this winter enslave the Earth?

Capture, hold it, demean its worth,

And steal the beauty of what once was

With icy breeze and chilling frost.

 

Why is my heart as cold as snow?

The swirling, drifting, cantankerous flow

Of fleeting white and beating flecks,

Flames of blue with thawing wrecks.

 

And why, even as winters pass,

And spring flowers return with gasp

And sunlight beams above the grass,

The winter inside, it still lasts?

Song: What wonder

First two verses and bridge (written more, but on paper!)

 

What wonder you clasp to,

My delicate soul?

Your hands are chapped and cold.

 

I worry about you,

Your pale from shaking

And flinching when you are told.

 

Such feelings inside,

So poisonous be

To curl you up so fierce

Such anxiety grips you, your outraged plea

Before your voice can pierce.

Song: Ghost of all my lovers past

A bit morbid, but one of the first songs I wrote guitar music to! Recording hopefully coming soon.

 

 

Ghost of all my lover’s past,

Come greet me now, come greet me last

Show me the mistakes I made

Before my memories start to fade.

 

I promise I will be behaved

My forgotten feelings can’t be saved

So, come greet me like we’re old friends

And I will try to make amends.

 

Chorus

You— broke me down

I— didn’t make a sound

I forgive them all,

The love was cold

I forgive them all

Our stories are all told

 

Follow me into my head

To see the memories of my dead

People who I have no more

People who I once adored

 

Turn the pages of my books

They tell it all, just take a look

People who I try to forget,

Filled up with stagnant regret.

 

Chorus

You— broke me down

I— didn’t make a sound

I forgive them all,

The love was cold

I forgive them all

Our stories are all told

 

Come my spectre, take me heart

Smashed to pieces; make it start

Once again, just heal the wounds

Hauled up in my catacombs.

 

I will live on, I will not die

I will not run away and lie

We are over it’s all done,

There was no game, it can’t be won (It’s clear that you were not my one)

 

Chorus

You— broke me down

I— didn’t make a sound

I forgive them all,

The love was cold

I forgive them all

Our stories are all told

Song: My Soul Fades

A song about getting over a break-up (what else?!):

 

Verse 1

My soul fades like another day

It wasn’t meant to be this way

I found your love and I thought it would last

By now it’s just a thing of the past

 

Verse 2

My heart breaks like a shattered glass

I didn’t think it would be so fast

How could you do this, I thought it was real

Did you ever love, did you even feel?

 

Chorus

I’m so tired – – –

Of starting over again

It’s too much Effort – – –

To get to know them

For them to break my heart

Like I am nothing but flesh

And make me feel like I was less

Do I hold out hope for that special one?

Or do I accept that all the good ones are gone?

 

Verse 3

My body breaks as he walks away

I have more pride than to beg for him stay

Wasted months, all wasted time

Wasted laughs on someone left behind

 

Verse 4

You go now, if I’m not good enough,

Or you say you have to figure out some stuff (I really hope that the next isn’t tough)

I expect it by now, nothing good lasts

The flow of river, the water has passed

 

Chorus

 

Verse 5

My soul fades like another day

I’m not sure if I still want to play (if I should stay)

I feel so lost in my life

Waiting for someone else’s love

 

Verse 6

I will move on, I will be strong,

I know the road of life is long

I might hit bumps, but I will survive

I need no other to feel alive.

Self-publishing on Amazon

So I was always very wary of publishing on Amazon. A lot of judgement seems to go around that authors that have to resort to self-publishing don’t have particularly good works in the first place. And given my naturally self-deprecating stance, I was inclined to agree that if my work hadn’t been noticed by agencies, then they probably not be noticed by anyone.

But that’s looking at the publishing of books from a very narrow view. Yes, agencies are very good at finding talent and predicting works that sell. But that is their main priority; to sell. The literary world has far more depth than that, and many authors that have incredible stories and experimental styles which don’t fit in with the commercial market.

Looking at it from this perspective, it’s suddenly clear that any tool which allows an author to connect with the world on their own terms and not through the filtered and saturated world of mainstream publishing is invaluable. So I decided to give Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s own self-publishing tool a go last year.

Much like WordPress.com is made to be user-friendly and inclusive, KDP is also very easy to use. It’s simple to create your own book campaign with an Amazon login, and you can have your very own ebook up on Amazon within the hour. Your guided through appropriately, and also offered to start ad-campaigns to get your work noticed.

I used this to first publish a novel I wrote when I was about 19 called Of the Lies I Keep Inside, about a king with a curse which makes him have to choose between killing his queen or peasant children from his kingdom. Sound a bit like ethical fantasy bullshit? It was. But just like all my other tried and failed pieces, this piece shows a particular stage in my writing development, and though the plot and writing aren’t exactly award-winning, some parts are still readable. It got a small response having been published – I think I’ve sold less than twenty real copies. But, coming from a place where I had no way to connect and share my work with the world, all of those “sales” felt incredible – someone was reading my book! Whether they liked it or not, they had downloaded it and tried to read it!

I tried this again with a novella about falling in love with a dream. Nope, still not much notice. But I enjoyed having a copy of my own ebook on my kindle.

My self-publishing endeavours could be considered a failure in financial terms – I think I’ve only made £5.63 from book sales… But I still consider it a success as it publishing my books independently gave me a sense of power and motivation.

There’s the all too famous example of the 50 Shades of Grey series originating from the self-publishing world. Indeed, it is possible to have incredible success using this method, but this is very rare. For the majority of us, our works are only likely to be noticed by a few adept and random searchers. But that is still a success in my eyes – self-publishing meant I could share my work with the world, no matter how small. For me, that is what writing is all about.

If you feel like checking out my self-published attempts (this is not a marketing post, I swear!) please check out the links below.

New Year, New You

Ok, so we’re now thoroughly into 2018, and it’s clear that this yer is just as shit as the last.

I always used to make resolutions growing up, whether it was to try harder at schoolwork or run more, but this year I’ve decided not to. And this is why…

Much like the Christmas period gives us an excuse for drinking more, eating more and generally letting our normal lifestyles go, the new year gives people an excuse to go “I’m going to do everything at once and make everything better”. You sign up to five gym classes having never done one in your life and wonder why you can’t keep it up.

Resolutions encourage us to make large, unrealistic goals for ourselves, and this means that we are setting ourselves up for failure just as the new year gets most depressing.

Furthermore, new years resolutions are far too infrequent – why should there only be one time in the year where we are encouraged to make ourselves better?

For me, I find a much more effective way to change my lifestyle and wellbeing is, instead of making one massive goal at the start of the year, make several smaller, chunk goals at chosen increments. Since about October last year, I’ve been giving myself weekly goals which could be as small as 10 sit-ups before bed when I would really wish I could be doing 50. But giving myself a small goal in a small time-frame meant that I kept to it much better than if I had tried a bigger goal.

After each week, it can then be assessed what was working and what wasn’t, and how you can raise your goal slightly – say by doing 15 sit-ups.

So that is why I am not doing New Years Resolutions. They involve a lifestyle change and it is far easy to say you will change your lifestyle in a big way than to actually do it.

A Cut

Stasis in Darkness

The blood leaked from my hand in threes;

Into a pool it tapped and drank,

Much better than those stormy seas

Where ships sailed and gladly sank.

Bleeding all my woe in tomes

And beauty in the red of rose,

Where my battered spirit roams

And all my pain succinctly goes.

Burn on you blasted cut of mine,

Sting me with your fiercest blow;

Because I am the master of my time;

My skin will heal, knit and grow.

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