Sunshine Blogger Award. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of bringing sunshine, unless it was out of my…

Thanks, Mairi, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger award. Please check out Mairi’s cool blog, Hitting 60!

It’s always nice to be nominated, but it takes me so long to write a post about it – DOH! I may be a mature-age student with little to do, but I have only limited time in which do little. If that makes sense…

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are inspiring and creative (or, in my case, depressing and morbid). Once nominated, a blogger is required to:

  • Thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog (Tick!)
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you (Aghhh! More work! See my answers below…)
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer (Because I’m lazy I’ll nominate some, but I may not make the total number. Does this mean I’m disqualified?)
  • Notify your nominees (Aghhh! Even more work! Can’t they just read my blog post?)
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post (Aghhh! Yet more work. Oh, alright, I’ll do that bit. I suppose it’s the least I can do…)

My answers to Mairi’s questions

Do you believe in God or another deity?

I sure do! The Big Guy Upstairs (as I like to refer to Him) and I have been in cahoots for about four years now. Every day is an adventure and every day is a blessing. Even when I’m depressed (which is often).

Don’t believe me? Check out this poem in His honour.

Are you a quick thinker or a deep think?

I’m a bit of both. And a bit of neither. I’m usually in two minds about that sort of think (see what I did there? I’m so funny, I crack myself up).

How long does it take you to write your average sized blog?

Depends on the size of the average-sized blog. A poem usually takes me about 10-15 minutes. About the same amount of time it takes me to deliver my ablutions.

Yep, I write most of my stuff on the loo. Not joking.

Why do you blog?

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I have no life.

Actually, that’s not the real reason. The real reason was to use it cathartically and to encourage me to write every day, as I’m a lazy writer. It’s worked so far.

How many books do you read a year?

I’d love to say 100, but it’s more like 40-50. I’m slowing down in my old age. Uni and life gets in the way.

What was the last book you read and when?

I’m currently reading a number of books: The Zom-B Chronicles (Darren Shan), On Writing (Stephen King), The Making of a Poem (Mark Strand et al), Reaching Toward the Heights (Richard Wurmbrand), Stories of Your Life and Others (Ted Chiang), The Book of Joy (Dalai Lama/Desmond Tutu), Cultural and Media Studies: A Semiotic Approach (Thwaites et al), Batman Rebirth: Volume 1 (Tom King) and the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Role Playing Game core rule book.

I’m also reading a few e-books on my iPhone: Slow Horses (Mick Herron), Skykeep (Joseph R. Lallo), and The Language of Bears (John Eidswick).

And, of course, the greatest book of all: The Bible (The Big Guy Upstairs).

I always have a number of books on the go at any one time. It’s exhausting.

What country are you blogging from?

The great and wonderful land of Australia, where the skies are always blue, and the people are too (well, I am, anyway).

What is your current profession?

I am a humble, slovenly, misanthropic, mature-age student with a penchant for writing half-decent poetry. I just published my first e-book of poetry, so I suppose I can call myself an author, now.

Do you have a hobby outside of work and blogging?

I love playing table top role playing games. I love working out (HARD!). I love walking other people’s dogs (HARD!). I love writing and recording music (HARD! I mean, not hard as such, actually more laidback…). I love spending time with my son (although that’s not really a hobby).

I love being miserable. Oops, shouldn’t have said that last one; now people will think I’m depressed, or something.

How many times do you laugh a day?

Not as much as I used to or would like to. But I get a few in here and there.

Were the above questions thought provoking?

They certainly took me long enough to answer. Who made up the rules for this thing, anyway? How about five questions, next time. Or better still, two.

My Questions for Nominees to Answer:

  1. What’s your favourite aeroplane story? Or airport story? Or failing both of those, your favourite time on a bus. (Oh, come on, you must have travelled on a bus at least once…)
  2. When you get up in the morning, do you blow your nose? No? Wow, you must get quite a blockage up there. How do you breathe at all? Are you a zombie or something?
  3. Now that we know you’re a zombie, how do you prefer your brains? Straight from the skull or with some kind of relish?
  4. If you were in a zombie apocalypse, which best friend would you want to have with you? (Make sure all your friends get a chance to read your answer so they can snub you when they find out it isn’t them).
  5. Okay, so now we know you have no friends. Are you a basement lurker or do you have your own place? If you have your own place, I know a guy who would make a great room-mate.
  6. How many more of these questions do I need to make up?
  7. Are we there yet? If you answer no, you should describe the scenery you are seeing RIGHT NOW outside your window in the form of a 39-line Sestina.
  8. There once was a man called ‘Backstabber’. He had some problems with his _________ . He bent over once, ended up with a ________ , and finally went back to his _________ . Fill out the spaces in this inspirational limerick. Make sure it’s funny (HAH! There’s a catch to everything).
  9. If you are a depressing person, are you on meds? What are they and where do you get them? Send some to me so I can test them out. If you’re on non-prescription drugs, send those as well. (REMEMBER, KIDS: Say NO to drugs.)
  10. I’m running out of ideas for questions. How much more of this to go? Not there yet? Damn!! Make up your own question.
  11. Ever been nominated for an award before? You have now. Enjoy my nonsensical questions. And write something interesting for this non-question.

My Nominees (Sorry, I’m tired. These wonderful blogs will have to do):

Thanks for making me work so hard, Mairi! Now I really am tired.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Whirlpool. A poem.

My head is spinning,
lost in your days/daze.
Your whirlpool pulls me down.
I clamber for extant purchase,
a drowning man on your razor edge,
gormlessly clutching at eidetic straws
as water chokes my lungs.

Your centrifugal force,
it wears my patience paper thin,
teaches me mock restraint
and leaves me listless
upon a narrowing ledge,
where vertigo takes control.

I have no love for who I am,
but who am I in this fixation?
You drain the life from me,
like a purulent vampire,
and let the swirling waters
claim my desiccated corpse.

Your twisting, seething depths,
that churn and bite and goad,
and send be back to whence I came;
embittered, emboldened,
to begin the game again.

 

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. A Movie Review.

No Spoilers!

My son dragged me (literally) to see the new Jumanji film. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Four teens given school detention find an old game machine with the Jumanji game loaded. They are sucked into the video game-world of Jumanji, where they take on the roles of four game characters to try to return the ‘Eye of Jumanji’ to the final level to stop some bad guy from taking over the jungle world. Along the way they discover the meaning of friendship, yadda, yadda, yadda. All very uncomplicated.

Jumanji_Welcome_to_the_Jungle

Dwayne Johnson (that guy is in everything, lately), Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan, all have a ball with their roles, with Black (playing a self-centred teenage girl in a middle-aged professor’s body) and Hart (a jock in a nerd’s body) getting the funniest lines (although most of the jokes fell flat with me, the teens in the audience seemed to be chuckling enough). There are some decent action set pieces, but the bad guy and the overall threat to Jumanji are pretty shallow.

The movie manages to deliver some nice moral messages—don’t judge a book by its cover; be yourself; your real friends are the people you can rely on—and it wasn’t even from Disney. And in an era of over-the-top violence and overwhelming narcissism (which, ironically, also feature in this film), that’s not such a bad thing, is it?

Jumanji is a movie best appreciated by gamers, teens and kids. And the occasional adult dragged along for the ride.

Rating: C

Icarus. A poem.

My love is Icarus,
screaming on molten wings,
searing clouds with body heat;
an elevator ride straight down
to my beckoning crypt.

The ground is a winsome friend,
cajoling me as I approach.
The flames are streamers
as I hit the finish line:
winner? loser? both.

The wreckage of my fuselage
lies scattered over miles
of quiescent plain.
How do I fuse these pieces
back together again?
I’ll need more than wax
to achieve a greater end.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Upstart Photographer #6 – Dogs and Monuments

When I’m walking the dog around town (not my own black dog*, mind you, although he is always with me), I often pass by monuments that look pretty cool. Naturally, I want to take a picture of them.

Fountain - stevestillstanding.com

Here are some black and white, unfiltered (but slightly cropped) photos of things I’ve passed. Below is the Obelisk, a major monument overlooking the city:

obelisk - stevestillstanding.com

And a dog who ended up ‘following’ my father home when Dad found him wandering the streets early in the morning.

stray dog - stevestillstanding.com

He was returned to his owner after several days of advertising and Facebook searches. Yes, the offset shot was intentional.

Enjoy!

Cheers

Steve 😊

* Don’t know the Black Dog? Lucky you. Depression is the Black Dog’s name, hounding me is the Black Dog’s game. Check out this early poem of mine for more.

The Sale. Part 18.

Junifer Vasilikov limped closer. In the moonlight we could make out a ghastly, bloody smear covering her features. Her hands were empty. “My mother was killed by a vacuum cleaner,” she said, wearily.

Aisha leapt to her feet, knife at the ready. I stood up and we faced Crazy Junifer, together. I raised my hands in a conciliatory gesture.

“Junifer,” I said. “We don’t want any trouble. We just want to leave this place.”

The mad woman’s eyes were wide, her tears mingling with dewy raindrops. Every few moments she would quirkily brush her hand across her wet, stringy hair, as if something annoyed her there.

“My mother…” she said, the words almost a whisper. Junifer lowered her head. She stood trembling.

“Junifer,” said Aisha. “Please let us go.” She lowered the knife to her side and extended a shaky hand.

Junifer sobbed. The light rain was drizzling, now, and our clothes were wet through. Aisha looked at me sadly, indicating to go around the poor woman. I stepped to the right.

Crazy Junifer leapt forward, screaming like a banshee and clutching at Aisha. The two grappled, twisting around as I watched in abject horror. Then Aisha pushed Junifer away.

A trip. A scream. A nauseating crunch. Junifer had fallen down the open hatch next to the house.

Aisha stood in shock. “I didn’t mean to—is she?”

I knelt and glanced over the rim. At the bottom of the ladder, Junifer’s body was twisted, broken and deathly still. A pool of blood grew around her as I watched.

The rain’s intensity had increased, the sound of each drop a hammer beat on the mansion’s roof and walls.

“NO!” screamed Silas. I looked up; he was standing over me. He must have come around from the front of the house. His face was a contorted cacophony of pain and rage. Watery rivulets cascaded down his forehead and cheeks. His eyes were wide with fury.

“I’ll kill you,” Silas screamed.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Longing. A poem.

The loving and the longing
soaked into heart and soul.
Sponges wrung at a moment’s notice,
all captured in a bucket
and mopped across the entirety
of my empty little world.

Here loving words are written
on lonely pages in electric cursive,
tempting fate with imagery
born of perceptive symbiosis.
Singular takes on whole new meaning,
along with didactic metaphors.

I would douse this pain with you,
but you’re so far away;
an unearthly, flowering oasis
in the unimaginable distance.

And my mouth is so dry.
And still longing to drink of you.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Cut. A poem.

When the bone wails
in time to my beating, breaking heart,
and the blood curdles
along with my myopic tears.
I will reach for thee
and mark my emboldened flesh
in your honour.

I will scour my skin indelicately
so that I might feel again,
so that I might wallow in my
weariness and paint the sink
the bold colour of my distress.

Every scar will scream my story
behind a thin, linen veil
and come out to play
whenever I need your full
and desperate attention.

This is my needlepoint fairy tale,
umbilically wending its way along
my forearm and inner thigh.
Onwards, the fabulist spins
my yarn of truth and rage
and misbegotten sights and sighs.

This is my gift to you from me.

This silken cut that slices deep
and constantly reminds me
of your joyous regret.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

The Sale. Part 17.

The climb down was a blur of motion and fear. The air was musty, mouldy and laced with the smell of our sweat-soaked and angst-ridden bodies. At the bottom of the ladder, we stood before the exit panel to the basement storeroom. Aisha gripped the knife tightly, ready to stab anyone who might be waiting on the other side. In the gleam of the flashlight, her bruised and bloodied face was contorted and twisted in a psychotic melange. My expression wasn’t much better. In our torn and dirty clothes, we resembled vagrants without a street corner.

The storeroom was bright. Both exit doors were open. We cautiously tiptoed to the lab entrance. On the floor were smeared blood and strands of sticky hair—the remnants of the fight with Junifer. Her body was nowhere to be found.

The lab was as it was before, less Silas and his omnipresent revolver: the steel tables with built in restraints angled at forty-five degrees; the sideboards filled with test tubes and equipment; an array of vicious looking implements obviously designed for torture; the ever-present smell of antiseptic. I searched the room while Aisha stood watch at the doorway. There were no guns, but in the rear, in a space behind an aluminium storage cupboard, a steel ladder to a trapdoor in the ceiling.

“Aisha,” I called. “I’ve found a way out.” I blinked back a tear, palpable relief in my voice.

She ran over. “Go,” she said. “I’ll be right behind you.” We hugged shakily; the pain of our wounds was sneaking back now the adrenaline was wearing off.

I climbed. At the top the hatch was locked with a simple sliding bolt. It worked it loose and pushed the trapdoor upwards.

Fresh air licked my face. A light rain dusted the grass as I stumbled over the rim into the dark night. I fell to the ground. The moon reflected off the whitewashed house wall behind me. Aisha collapsed next to me. “We’re finally out,” she said.

A twig cracked.

A dark figure stood several feet away, silhouetted against the moon, long hair flitting like Medusa’s snakes in the breeze. Each word it spoke was emphasised through clenched teeth. “My-mother-was-killed-by-a-vacuum-cleaner,” said Crazy Junifer.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Judgement. A poem.

No longer angry,
now the sum of abject
humiliation and shame.
I stand before you
in mute testimony;
judgement rests upon me,
a crow upon a broken scarecrow.
All I can do
is drink in this
desolate ambiance, and
lower my head in acceptance.

Every bitter face and whisper
slices me like pages
from a torturer’s manual;
every hoarse regret
is but a desiccated frog
in my parched and weary throat.

Every glance pierces
my pin cushion back,
and each contemptuous
and barbed arrow
finds its place, nestled
amongst its brothers and sisters.

As I walk towards my fate
and my deliverance,
I am unimpeachable.
I am ready.
I am willing.

I am
here.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Upstart Photographer #5. More B&W’s.

Tree - stevestillstanding

Here in my existential and physical womb, among my countless random thoughts and semi-branded column headers, I’ve decided to present yet more amateurish attempts at photography.

I’ve stuck with black and white this week, even though it can be a bit depressing. (If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m depressed enough without making myself more so. But just this once.)

Tree View - stevestillstanding

Here are my filter-free, semi-cropped, memory-smashing pics.

Hope you like them. If not, that’s okay.

Cheers

Steve 😊pole - stevestillstanding

The Rain and the Heart. A poem.

Rain swaddles the land
in an embrace of dewy tears.
Thunder racks like winded sobs
from the chest of the earth,
punctuated by lightning strands
sewing clouds together.

Here in my womb,
I lie and listen.
My tears fall in time
to the incessant, hammering drumbeat
that subsumes everything
but my yearning for you.

Steve is a sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

Waiting, wanting, waning.

I’m waiting at the Legal Aid office to get some advice about my upcoming property settlement. Needless to say it’s a dull experience, punctuated by the typing on my iPhone, the shuffle of papers, the muffled choke of a straining air conditioner and the murmurs of hushed and sullen conversations.

It’s not as depressing as it sounds (alright, it is as depressing as it sounds, but I’m somewhat biased since I suffer from long-term depression). My property settlement has been dragging on for several years now, and needs to be finalised soon, otherwise the process could start getting messy. Hah! As if it wasn’t messy already.

On a brighter note, I’m house sitting for the next few days, looking after a friend’s place while they’re on holiday. It’s nice to get out of my familiar womb every once in a while, even if it’s only to remind myself I’m not a monk. Actually, I may as well be one, since I’ve given up on online dating (meant to blog about that; reminder: blog about giving up online dating) until I’m in a better frame of mind. Based on previous experience, that may be never. But hopefully, sooner. Is ‘sooner’ part of the almost infinite measure of ‘never’? Is it a measurement at all? My brain hurts.

As I’m living in town the next few days I think I might do some busking. Busking, I hear you say? Yes, busking. I’m a poor, mature age student—emphasis on the poor. I’m also a musician, and this is the most convenient opportunity to play (read: embarrass myself) in public and maybe make a few bucks while I’m at it. Or not. Maybe I’ll make enough to cover my on-street parking fees? I guess it’ll depend on how much people enjoy my caterwauling.

Take care, all. I’ll tell you how it all works out.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Hello. A poem.

Linked by thoughts
known and unknown;
blinkered and guileless,
liberated, yet uncertain.

Your hand brushed mine
and every inhibition
was washed away by a rain
of dream-soaked inebriation:

You had me at “hello”.

Steve is a sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

Child of God. A book review.

Cormac McCarthy is a damn fine writer. He’s also a very disturbing one.

Child of God is one of his older books (1973), and tells the story of Lester Ballard, a lonely and erstwhile Tennessee hick who loses his home to live a vagrant life in the mountains. Lester comes across a dead couple in a car. It’s at this point he realises, for the first time in his life, that he can have a woman. After this, Lester satisfies his perverse lust by becoming a serial killer.Child of God

This is not a comfortable book to read (but then, most of McCarthy’s books aren’t). He eloquently describes Ballard’s dark decline with humour, compassion and a frightening edge that makes for gripping reading.

Child of God is well worth a look for anyone who enjoys exemplary writing; it’s a chilling and almost apocalyptic tale of the American South.

In Between. A poem.

Would that I could
rend
this universe asunder
to bring you that much
closer to me.
So near our timid
outstretched
fingertips could
touch,
so near we could taste
each other’s stuttering
exhaled breath
and our carbon dioxide
could mingle
like salient
bacteria.

Every rapid-fire conversation
and reluctant discussion
disguised as
commentary
or immersive peer review,
hiding behind saturnine
walls
of bifurcated emotion.
How similar we are
(and yet how antithetic).

Still, the space between
remains
undiminished,
no matter how much I long for it.
Is that a glimpse of
the real you,
I see?
Is that visceral desire you
harbour for
me?

Dream on, my friend,
in the infinite space left
in between.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Alive. A poem.

I am

ALIVE.

I see all that is and was,
every incongruous and congruous
method and selection,
tied and untied from destiny’s
disaffected strings.

I am

ALIVE.

I have dwelled in the shadow
of death’s supple embrace,
where carbon monoxide
bonds easily with erythrocytes,
in a long-term family reunion.
I have turned away in regret
and post-haste surprise.

I am

ALIVE.

Today and tomorrow and today.
I guess I’ll have to
keep it that way.

I am Alive.

Steve is a sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

Guide to the Unrequited Love Affair

Unrequited Love. That thing you have when you don’t have a thing—Clayton’s love (okay, only oldies may get that joke). Here’s a short guide on how to do it:

  • Fall in love with a person who is far too good for you, or is unobtainable. This could be a ‘love at first sight’ thing, or it could be a love that develops over time. Like a bizarre rash or a mild fungal infection.
  • Realise they are far too good for you, so avoid them whenever you can. Make sure you beat yourself up about not being good enough for them.
  • Learn to be miserable most of the time. If you’re already depressed this will simply reinforce how badly you feel about yourself.
  • Try and organise your time so you can run into them by chance. This will fail miserably, of course, because you have no idea what their schedule is as you were previously avoiding them and thus don’t know them that well.
  • When you do run in to them, make sure your conversation precludes any indication that you like them. Once they leave, beat yourself up about how stupid you are. Be miserable.
  • Realise you don’t know really know the person you’ve fallen for and that your conception of them is an idealised fantasy. Beat yourself up some more about how stupid you are.
  • See your unrequited love in public with another person, assume they are together and beat yourself up about it. Find out later this is not the case. Beat yourself up about how stupid you are.
  • Write poetry to reflect your passion and your sad and sorry state of mind. Realise your unrequited love hates poetry. Ensure that your unrequited love never sees your poetry.
  • Spend sleepless nights agonising over why you love this person and how you’re not good enough for them. Be miserable.
  • Find out the person you love is now in love with someone else and write more poetry to address how badly you screwed up. Get used to being miserable. (Oh, you already are. No worries.)

Note: No stalking! It’s weird enough that you’re in unrequited love with a person you don’t know that well, but don’t push it over the line into creepy/illegal territory. 

Come on people! Now you know how to fall in unrequited love, get out there and get to it! A whole new world of infinite yearning and morbid sadness is waiting for you!

Of course, you could try another tack, which is asking said person out and seeing if they say ‘yes’. But that would be too simple for your overly-complicated and insecure mind, wouldn’t it?

Cheers

Steve 😉

Love/Hate. A poem.

LOVE
The reason why I do
everything I do

The reason why everything
I touch is ruined
The reason why I’m
always left the fool
The reason why I always
come back to you
The reason why I’m
always left the fool
The reason why everything
I touch is ruined
The reason why I do
everything I do

HATE

 .

Steve is a sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

The Sale. Part 16.

At the top of the stairs, another corridor: four sets of doors, two on each side. Aisha smiled grimly. “I know this part of the house. The bedroom I hid in is the last door on the left.”

“The secret passage,” I said. “We can take the ladder down to the pantry and double back around behind Silas. We’ll be closer to the entry.”

There was a crash as the door at the bottom of the stairs slammed open. “Come back here!” screamed the aging butler/mad scientist/serial killer. A bullet impaled the frame next to me. Aisha and I rushed through the door she indicated and shut it behind us. We grabbed the dresser and dragged it to block the doorway.

The room was much as we’d left it. The panel of the secret passage stood open across from the antique four poster bed Aisha had lain under for a day.

The entry door rattled against the dresser, Silas cursing as he pushed. We ran for the passage, closing the panel behind us.

“We have to move quickly,” said Aisha. “Or Silas will work out what we’re up to and be down in the pantry before we get there.” We moved hurriedly through the tight and musty passage, my flashlight beam reflecting off floating dust motes and stringy, hanging cobwebs.

“Then let’s go down to the basement. He won’t be expecting that,” I said.

“Are you crazy? Last time we did that, we almost got killed.”

“We might be able to find a weapon.”

“I seem to remember you saying something similar last time. And we have a knife, now.”

“I was thinking more like a gun.”

“I’m sure Silas leaves AK-47s lying around everywhere,” Aisha said, raising an eyebrow. “If we do find something, I hope your shooting isn’t as bad as your throwing.”

“Hey, it was a heavy flashlight.” I paused and grinned. “If we get a gun, maybe you should handle it.”

Aisha’s strained laugh died as we reached the top of the stainless-steel ladder. I went down first, shoulder pain searing with every movement, gripping the Maglite in my mouth.

“I don’t want to even think about how bad this could turn out,” Aisha said.

I mumbled unintelligibly and kept climbing down.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Rancid. A poem.

All my rancid surprise,
broken and doubtful,
flayed thoughts drifting
behind sullen and tired eyes.

So many unspoken wishes
given lonesome flight
from these effluent cliffs
of anger and despair;
all the improbable,
impossible angst,
the seething pain
that my aimless tossing
and turning will allow.

I linger on the edge.
my toes sense the drop
and yearn to dance.

The sheets are a roiling sea
where my hope drowns deep,
the pillow, an almond-bitter cloud
that suffocates my dreams.

.

Steve is an sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

Upstart Photographer#4. Book Shelves.

I am, and always will be, a lover of books.

I currently live in a back room of my parent’s house (no job, no money; lonely but creative), surrounded by their bookshelves and my own.

So, what better topic than photos of shelves? In gorgeous black and white, of course.

I’ve included a friend’s bookshelves, as well.

Hope you like them.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Trapped. A poem.

You’ve trapped me again,
your maze of hedges
and hidden paths
has me wandering,
lost and praying,
searching for myself
and scrying for deliverance.

My head wants out,
each brittle burst of logic
and sedentary reason
tracing a path to set me free.

I may be turned around
for hours
and days
and months
and years,

yet my unfettered heart
will never leave.

.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

There is no cure for being short.

I’m not in the habit of bagging blogs. But I came across one the other day which purported to provide remedies for various ailments. The post that first drew my attention was about five ways to increase your height.

Yes, you read that correctly: your height. And, yes, it was serious.

The post listed the five things you could do to get taller. Like exercise. Drinking more milk. Eating eggs. I won’t go on. Not only was the advice laughable, it was misleading. Your height is determined by your genes, people. No amount of milk and eggs is going to make you taller. Wider, maybe. But not taller.

This was not the only lamebrained remedy on that blog. There were also posts about numerous mental health and medical condition ‘cures’, all of them irresponsible and potentially harmful.

I’m a physically healthy, mentally unhealthy, short person (5 foot 7 inches). And I’m not going to get any taller in a hurry. I’d like to think that people in the world have more common sense than to follow potentially dangerous health blogs.

Please take care out there. The blogosphere can be a wonderful place of discovery. But sometimes it can be very misleading.

Oh, and one last thing–there is actually a cure for being short. It’s the same as the cure for baldness:

Develop a sense of humour.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Anew. A poem.

I reach with spider lines of filigree
fanning out to touch the universe
and in your winsome eyes I see
the love at length I will traverse.

Across the stars, to circumvent
stormy nebulae within your heart,
your storied pain, I will prevent;
navigate and birth a brand new start.

.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Down again. A poem.

Down, again,
and the anxious riptide in my brain
wills and drags me to sullen depths,
where the ocean bed is pock marked
with tears and fears and
ample insomniac nights.

Down, again,
and every fading couple in the street
with supple smiles and ignorant eyes
just make me want to waste awhile,
and shrink into a microcosm of truth,
a vast and endearingly unsubtle void.

Down, again,
and the shelter of my artless womb
is where I find myself wholly entombed
in bitter isolation and self-immolation,
to smother my feckless heart and cheer
as I watch it gasp and choke.

Down, again,
and every word upon the doubtful page,
each cluttered and endearing artifice
brings relief through its catharsis
and brings me slowly
back to dreary life.

Down, again, until I’m not.
Until next time,
my lonely, lovely
black dog refrain.

.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Free Dungeon Map!

Time for another of my (currently) irregular Laidback DM posts, and a new free map! Map drawing for D&D adventures is my thang. I have far too many maps, so I’m giving them away every chance I get.

This week: They Came from Outer Space!

You can use this map for any type of RPG, but the protagonists are obviously aliens/robots of some kind. For D&D, I’d fill the place with Clockwork Huntsmen and Clockwork Mymidons (from publisher Kobold’s wonderful Tome of Beasts), with the installed laser turrets firing as per high level Magic Missile spells when PCs walk over the touch plates. Sprinkle a bunch of Clockwork Hounds and various oozes through the ship.

For good measure, why not have a bunch of Bearfolk (see Tome of Beasts) pinned down in the main area by clockworks, with the PCs having to either join them or fight them for access the ship.

In the big cave on the other side of the crashed ship, place some big alien Boss Monster. I’m sure you can create one or find something suitable.

They Came from Outer Space - 20x13 - stevestillstanding

Above: Actual map is 13cm x 20cm. Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

Upstart Photographer #3: Black and White.

Beached - stevestillstanding

I love black and white photos. They seem to capture a rawness, a natural quality that is sometimes lost in the way digital images capture colour. I’m no expert, of course, and I’m sure some real photographers out there could explain just what it is that makes black and white photos so cool.Tully - stevestillstanding

The city I live in on the east coast of Australia is naturally bright. There’s a lot of sunshine, so blue skies are a feature of many of my shots. Taking black and white photos drains away the colour (naturally) but brings everything into, if it’s possible, starker reality.

I hope you enjoy these shots.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Guitars - stevestillstanding

My River. A poem.

My river:
your familiar effulgence,
wrapping my distress
in your gracious tributaries.
Changing my name to chance
whilst fate looks on,
somewhat perturbed
but unmoved all the same.

My river:
sweeping me through
your conquering rapids,
beating my insensitive brow,
slashing my effluent heart,
shaking my corpulent bones,
until I rest again on your
ever patient shore
and you take me again.

.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: