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.

Writing. Some basics. Use ‘em or lose ‘em.

Not many people got to see this post. I think it’s worth a re-blog. Steve 🙂

Steve Still Standing

I’ve been writing for a short while. Obviously, I am now an expert and need to share my accrued wisdom with the world. Yes, that was a joke.

Like anyone who enjoys to read, I like particular authors for their creativity, their characterisation, dialogue and the worlds their characters inhabit – all part of a writer’s style. When I read, I apply the things I’ve learned when critiquing another’s work. This is not always a good thing, as it can distract from the pleasure of reading.

Nevertheless, here are some writing “rules”, by the great writer, Elmore Leonard. He was a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway, an author whose ‘lean’ and ‘muscular’ approach was a major influence on modern writing:

Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue. For example, “he berated”, or “she rebuked”. There are good reasons for this. Strong, well-written dialogue is the basis…

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Edgar Allan Poe and the First Exegesis

Edgar Allan Poe is considered one of the foremost exponents of the Gothic horror genre and is also well known for his poetry. His poem The Raven, published in 1845, was his most famous and successful work, and his short stories include The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum. Despite his years of success as a writer, poet, critic and editor, he died broke and was buried in a pauper’s grave, the location unknown to this day.poe

Poe’s essay The Philosophy of Composition, published in 1846, is considered the first literary-oriented exegesis. Poe uses the exposed rear of a theatre stage as a cogent metaphor to allow readers to glance into the workings of a writer’s mind. Poe’s variegating theatrical metaphors about a piece’s personal literary history are valid: “the cock’s feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.”

The exegesis is a way for writers to explain their process, to intuitively describe the spark of personal creation, to enlighten readers regarding the meanderings of draft and re-draft. As Poe puts it, a look “at the true purposes seized only at the last moment, at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view, at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable”.

Poe was a dedicated and brilliant writer, and his work continues to yield treasures to both those familiar with his work and the uninitiated. I am a fan, as this post will no doubt attest.

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Edgar Allan Poe

Cheers

Steve 😊

Another post from a uni subject I completed many months ago. I thought it was a useful, if brief, introduction to the concept of the exegesis, which new and aspiring writers might find interesting.

Still Standing. A poem.

Still standing.
Waiting.

Where are you?
When are you?

Your bus is long, long overdue,
but I will wait, anyway,
wondering if my timetable
is completely out of date.
Hoping my ticket to ride
is still valid, not expired.

Still standing.
Waiting for you.

Poets are facing extinction.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting this 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.

Haiku Friday. ‘Watery Kiss’, a haiku trilogy.

Watery Kiss. A haiku trilogy

1. Concrete
My feet are concrete.
I swim the depths of my heart.
Ocean bottom calls.

2. Goldfish
My lungs filling up.
liquid in mouth, on the brain.
Goldfish down, am I.

3. Calcified
Funereal bliss.
Watery embrace, you call.
Calcified love; gone.

Poets are facing extinction.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting this 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.

Beached. A poem.

Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
crunching below my feet,
sticking between my toes,
a first kiss of many.

Furtive, restless, heated,
fingers and palms hitchhiking
over a bountiful landscape.
A tsunami flowing through the fields,
disrupting your trains of thought
and once rational mind.

As the sun sinks lower and evening falls;
like time, we shall come to pass on these dunes.
Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
that crunch between our feet
and the small of your back.

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

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.

Upstart Photographer #2. And complementary poems, to boot.

Some more photos from my ongoing amateur photographic journey. These ones are many months old. About time they saw the light in some unfiltered, unaffected glory. Or some semblance of glory, anyway.

I’ve written some short poems to accompany them. I don’t know why; probably to make this post seem less boring.

church (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Church. A poem.
Towering, cascading walls and spires.
Dreams of saints and gorgons
all in one.

fort (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Fort. A poem.
You stand alone, forlorn,
neglected by time and tide.

Once you surveyed
the ocean with needy eyes,
lost in paranoid bliss.

Today, you mourn your loss
amongst rust, cracks and loneliness.

view (cropped) - stevestillstanding
View. A poem.
The view from here, looking up and down:
shades of today and yesterday,
visions of sun dresses and flowered hair,
offset by cell phone and emoji conversation.
 
The wind brings glad tidings
and I whisper thanks in return.

window (cropped) - stevestillstanding
Windows. A poem.
Just outside, a better world?
Perhaps the glass has
skewed your vision
enough to imagine roses.
 
Until next time,
 
Cheers

Steve 😊

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

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.

Dust. A poem.

Billions of microscopic particles
coalescing in the infinite.
The void in my heart, a macrocosm
blessed with spacial vertigo,
engulfing the dust of reason
and goodwill.

Pearl pinpoints provide minimal
illumination to highlight my
hope and perspicacity.
I float amongst the atoms,
dreaming of dark gravity
bending light to fulfil my dreams.

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

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.

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