Tag Archives: imagination

How Not to Kill Yourself paperback!

One of the few times waking up to a terrific banging is worthwhile. Author copies! Excited to recieve it, after waiting for what has seemed like half a century. I hope everyone else who were part of the Kickstarter enjoys their copy!

Official release date… not till March! Back I go into hibernation.

 

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HNTKY Kickstarter success!

Sorry for the lateness of this post. I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks, and then been trying to catch up with various things.

During this time my Kickstarter for my non-fiction anti-suicide/depression book How Not to Kill Yourself came to a close. I’m pleased to report it was a resounding success, making more than double what it was trying to raise!

I owe many thanks to Microcosm for making this happen. And I can only look forward now, both to the fulfillment of the many pledges by backers, to the official release date of the book in March.

Keep on chooglin’.

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How Not to Kill Yourself Kickstarter launch!

Howdy.

In advance of the official Microcosm release of How Not to Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists, it’s just been launched on Kickstarter, for anyone who wants to get preorders in and any of the other goodies that come with it.

Here’s the Kickstarter link. Have a looksee before time runs out (October 26th end date)!

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How Not to Kill Yourself published

Greetings,

It is my pleasure to announce that my please-don’t-call-it-a-self-help-guide How Not to Kill Yourself: A Survival Guide for Imaginative Pessimists has been published as a physical zine by the punk DIY Microcosm Publishing.

It offers unconventional advice and cynical motivation against depression, laced with mordant and tongue in cheek humour. Chances are, if you appreciate the title, you’ll appreciate the read.

Check it out here!

S.S.

 

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Writing update

It’s been a while since my last post, and for that I am sorry. Every revolution on the great ferris wheel of life the doors open – some qualities are gained and some qualities escape me. Qualities like discipline, optimism, motivation etc.

But I’m hardly alone in that.

Perhaps I should give myself space to write about other things, or make shorter posts, so this site keeps on going. I’ve been told a blog should at the least put out something once a week, that two a week is better, and that for some blogs it should be every day (which seems like overkill to me, but no doubt it works). I’ve always preferred quality over quantity, but to keep a blog’s numbers growing perhaps means I should be both more productive (I should always be more productive than I am) and easier on myself with what I put down.

Anyway, there’s more reasons than the unpredictable ferris wheel as to the slow spin of my writing engine. I’m writing a novel again – my first since Moral Zero. Or at least I hope to write it.  That makes it a much bigger – and much more daunting task than writing short stories, or even my novella The Violet Dark. The Violet Dark was supposed to be a novel – until I suddenly found I’d already finished it.

My troubled levels of determination and motivation, discipline and self-structuring will have to really start working out , what with a new (and ambitious) novel to compose, to arrange, to finish.

I also hope for it to be the first in a series. The title, possibly working title, for this first book (my reach exceeds my grasp!) is The Wulf and the Tiger. I don’t really know what it is at the moment; I have ideas, big ideas, but a lot of them are a bit ramshackle, and I don’t have any kind of middle for the book – what takes A to B? I’m not even sure what genre it is – it already seems like it could blend fantasy, high-concept sci-fi, western, horror and even comedy. Hopefully it’ll take on its own form as I write and I’ll understand more what I’ve got as I write it.

It is very early days. Nevertheless, stay tuned for future extracts, and I’ll see how high I can pull my socks up and for how long.

 

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Have A Necromantic New Year

2015, and I’m not alone in being minus a hoverboard. It’s quite clear that disappointment is edging the horizon, eager to shuffle in and take its place at camp. Not that we need let it.

Let two-thousand-and-fifteen be the year where the connections in your mind burn brightly. Don the mantle, the headdress, the mask and costume, and let the superpowers of creativity shine bad and brilliant.

“It’s all real. Think about it. Haven’t Luke Skywalker and Santa Claus affected your lives more than most real people in this room? I mean, whether Jesus is real or not, he – he’s had a bigger impact on the world than any of us have. And the same can be said for Bugs Bunny and – and Superman and Harry Potter. They’ve changed my life – changed the way I act on the earth. Doesn’t that make them kind of real? They might be imaginary but, but they’re more important than most of us here. And they’re all gonna be around here long after we’re dead. So, in a way, those things are more realer than any of us. ” – Kyle Broflovski

So. Let 2015 be full, let it be pregnant with new things – and I don’t mean a new haircut or a new toothbrush, but NEW new things. Discovery can be infinite. Sure, we live in age where pretty much every piece of land has been discovered and explored already; colonised, stamped, taxed and signposted. But you can provide the new lands, the new maps, new people and places for others to explore, as well as yourself. Exploration is ongoing – but internally.

When you make things up, they exist. In a different way to how you and I might exist, perhaps (although I’m not quite sure that you even exist… or myself), but nonetheless.

Let 2015 be filled to bursting. Then make more room, then fill it again.

Let 2015 be packed with witchery, with angels and demons, with redtops and black krull, with superstitious northern wulven, with daggered sea-knights and diseased limpers, with Eastern meddlers sailing their sky caravans, with spectral raggers crowned with opal and bone; a year of endless drowning nights and waves that stamp like men, with slithering ten-eyed ricksnakes  that burrow through the sandswamps of Jingarl and curl around the footsteps of cognisants and dread myths alike; a year of gun-spinning legends with great black beards and steel-tipped fingers, of noseless mystics worshipping a pissant moon, of moving biological dungeons where the walls squirm and pulsate, where rites are sung and phosphorescent balloons like fat glowing sacks hang sickly off chains, where scaled, translucent gorbecks are savaged daily by their carnivorous masters, and all is beautiful and terrible and wild.

2015, bring on the endless, the unknowable, the desperate specks of excitement, the wet jungles and the dipping cloud castles, and the knives and teeth glinting in the trees… and may every monster alive flock to me and you.

And defend us.

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“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” ― G.K. Chesterton

 

The Watcher

Here is a complete short story, which will feature in the upcoming compilation Faces in the Dark: A Short Compilation of Paranoid Horror.

It is also available as a standalone for Kindle.

I wrote this quite a long time ago now. It’s inspired entirely by not being able to sleep. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The Watcher

 

The air is black, and I do not sleep. The hours tick by. I do not sleep because someone is watching me. The hours toll by and my eyes are open.

In the dark, clouding my vision, I sense his presence. Like a reflection in a mirror he just watches me, hovering, or crouched, at times only inches from my face. He waits for me to look at him, but I never do, and so I never sleep. I fear him in the night, but in the light, when I am brave enough to look, he is never there. He is gone.

I know my surroundings out of the day, but through my imagination they have changed in the night. There are the walls, cracked and bleeding plaster, and the floor, rough, thick and scarred. The pictures around my room leer down at me, faces twisted like demented effigies. The room is no longer the semblance of order and right; it has spiralled down through waves of unease into a macabre cage, a prison of the dark.

My imagination runs further, deep into aberrant horror, and I see above me large black spiders crawling over the ceiling, the size of children’s hands. Their legs are permanently crouched and bent, as if ready to spring down onto me. They are shadows and nothing. They are the focal point of my hallucinations. He can control them, make them spring, with a word, but for now he says nothing.

I never look at him, I never know his name, but I always feel it is on the tip of my tongue. He makes no sound, but I can imagine it, should he ever open his mouth, as an ethereal moan, or a throaty racking groan. They would be at turns sadistic and pathetic. I pity him. He is a ghost. There is no corporeal body; he never truly belongs to this world.

The air is black, and still do I not sleep. There is no promise of a dawn; perhaps it may never come. Perhaps I will remain stricken to this bed forever, my eyes always open, and someone always watching me and my fear. I long for an end, for some burning light and sanity to sear me into reality.

I think I know what he looks like. He is clad in ragged cloth, which in the day would shine lurid white, but which in the night is merely images and shapes, fleeting and cowardly. His hair is dank and matted, strewn over his ragged face, and his eyes are worn and tired, the eyes of someone who never sleeps. Behind his eyes can be seen worry, and some semblance of neglect, and also evil, and anger, and hate. He is angry at me, for I never look at him, and for this he hates me; yet he must also love me, for he never leaves while the night still reigns. He knows nothing of the goodness of love.

The black air starts to scare me now, and I want him to go away. Terror is like a rolling wave washing over me and sending me shivers and cold clarity of the threatening silence that tries to engulf. I switch on the light by my bed, and the soft glow throws shadows around like paper. I dare a quick glance around my room to see if he is gone.

He is still here, but he is hiding in the shadows. I think he is close. I breathe in dryly and then I cannot resist as he climbs in my mouth and into my body, where he whispers to me, so quietly I cannot hear any words, just morbid intentions and whining pleas.

He cries out deep in the abscesses of my mind; he calls for rebellion and misanthropy, for anger and disgust, for guilt and the ending of all things that are good. I try to push him out but he has set up throne; he is reigning in demons and ghouls. He is everybody now. I have never known anything else.

Eventually he leaves, to wriggle into a gap under my bed, into the welcoming gloom. I can still feel him boring into me, puncturing my life. An hour creeps slowly and agonisingly past, and then another, with every second like a dead weight on my chest, until dawn finally seems to come, the thin sun slowly burning its way through my curtains. I crawl out of bed and open them, to flood the room with a dreary grey fire, to chase the shadows and the darkness away. Simple and natural illumination to destroy the phantasms of the night.

My room looks normal by day. The pictures are all blank on the clean walls. The floor is simple carpet. The ceiling is bare. There is nothing frightening anymore. There is nothing to fear anymore. He is gone.

I hear, or think I hear, a knock on my door, as the birds chirp their dawn chorus. I open it but there is no-one there. I look around the corridor but it is empty and barren.

Perturbed, I step away from the door, which quietly closes before me. I shrink back further into my room, feeling a slight chill, and a small sense of unease creeping up my back. Too many nights without sleep, I think.

There is another knock. I open the door again.

He is there, in the day. He has taken control now. It has taken time, but he has broken me. He is there, in the day, clad in white rags, with his arm outstretched. Maybe he has come to shake my hand. Maybe he has come to kill me.

 

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