Influence. A poem.

I have read your words
And seen my influence

My mind is contours of constancy
Of riotous colour and ascendancy
My words spill across the canvas
Every emotion eagerly revealed
A zeitgeist for you to watch
And absorb and capture
Like a winsome butterfly

You take these pieces of me
And make them yours

But I am not bitter
I am a proud father
For a little part of me
Like strands of encoded DNA
And mental prevarication
Is birthed and lives on
In everything
You write

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Advertisements

The Creator’s Call. A poem.

The call of creation
Echoes in my mind,
Oscillates in my ears,
Reverberates in my soul.

This call cannot go unanswered;
It is the call of wild and reckless abandon,
The puissant grace of the cheetah
And the wind rustling the reeds.
Every word and image
Cast upon the page
and melded with my very heart,
Pumping lifeblood and illuminating
Each and every star above,
Pouring into every single
Excruciatingly luxurious ink stroke.

The overwhelming grace
That You have given me
Is clarity beyond simple hope,
And a new day
Every day.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Invisible. A poem.

Sometimes, I feel invisible,
someone the crowd will never see.
The collective and the individual
residing here inside of me.

Sometimes, I feel invisible,
my words a faint reprieve.
Their subtlety and subtext,
misconstrued and unperceived.

Sometimes, I feel invisible,
no recognition behind her eyes,
to signify a reminder of
a long, overdue goodbye.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Crowd. A poem.

From there, upon his pedestal,
he lingered longingly
on the crowd surrounding him.
Dialogue and dialectic,
commentary and whimsical surprise,
his cult of personality
awake and on the rise.

But fate is fickle, as is the crowd
and it passed subsequently;
a brief rejoinder as it exited,
a momentary lapse and then return
to unregarded reason
and art lost in the daily churn.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Winding Down Yet Winding On

I’ve been blogging every day for a little over one and a half years. I’m never short of material and I’m not one of those writers who suffer from writer’s block.

No, this is not a ‘brag’ blog. This is my way of saying it’s time to wind back so I can focus more on the other important things in my life.

When I started blogging, my main purpose was to use the web as a place to exercise my creative muscles, to force myself to write everyday. More importantly, it was cathartic, enabling me to address my various inner demons and hang ups—depression, anxiety, unrequited love, anger, pain, heartbreak—the whole box of dice.

Over time I’ve explored many of my other interests on this blog: role playing games, music, photography, short stories, movies, poetry. In fact, my first published poem was written and posted on this blog back in March 2017, what seems like a lifetime ago.

But life catches up to everyone, and the inevitability of uni, work, relationships, socialising (wow, hard to believe there was a time when I never thought I’d ever leave the house) and writing, mean something has to go. Or at least, reduce.

So, I’ll only be posting once every two days in future. That might not seem like much of a change, but it’s a big thing for me. For some of you it will be a relief—less emails from WordPress, for one.

Thanks for continuing to support me, and I hope to catch up with many of you in comments sections and future posts.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

The All or the Nothing

For my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Why do we blog?

Why do we blog?

Some say it’s cathartic. Some say it encourages and develops us as writers. A creative outlet. Some say we do it for fun. To get in touch with like-minded souls. Some say they just need to vent—anger, tears, love and fears. Some say they want to inspire. To express their opinions. And some say their blog is only for them, that they don’t care what others think.

All of these things are true. But there’s another, underlying truth: we blog because we want validation. We want people to acknowledge our efforts. We want people to like us and our work. Let’s not fool ourselves. If we didn’t we would write private journals, rather than sharing everything publicly.

The blog is an amazing tool. We create, and in creating reach out to others, raise spirits, inspire and influence.

I’m so happy I started blogging. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am today. Maybe you wouldn’t be, either.

So, why do you blog?

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Poetry. A poem.

When I read good poetry
I want to write good poetry
But my feeble affectations
And wanton masturbations
Pale to insignificance
When compared to
Browning, Whitman, Yeats

I yearn to write good poetry
The way I yearn to read good poetry
But such poetic vastness
Just becomes loquaciousness
Flowing perspicaciously
Away into a vast, uncaring
And unconcerned wilderness

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

On Writing and Editing Poetry

Explain your editing process. What works best for you? Do you take risks? Are you objective? How have you taken the poems through its steps to completion?

The Song Poetic. A poem about writing and editing poems.

The toilet provides solitude,
composure in a setting sometimes peaceful,
sometimes filled with the keen echoes of urgent battle.
It is here that fingers flicker with grace and iniquity
across the silky screen of my smartphone,
where auspicious notes take shape,
mellifluous harbingers of lyrical intent.
In minutes an ode is formed, a symphony is saved,
then forgotten until the next; sometimes minutes, sometimes days.
 
I return in no short time, or perhaps too short time,
to read and ponder, as you do, to consider
already considered notions of pomp and circumstance.
Sometimes the music is given voice, in all too muted tones,
whispered like dark secrets to a musing world.
Delete that line, change that word,
antonym or synonym, hyperbole or metaphor
magically enchanted with a wistful edge
that would hold a man to ransom (if only he were not so deaf).
What risk lies in changes? The page will not consume itself
in bitter apprehension, or come back to haunt
my sleepless nights, like an insomniac ghost.
 
The supple net awaits, for me to cast my feeble musings
on the virtual sea, where they be caught
or slip into watery depths, obscured.
Perhaps, all for better, or all for worse,
one man’s love is another man’s curse.
 

Stephen Thompson 2017

I came, I saw, I edited.

I read my poems out loud once they’re written. I often return to them, sometimes several times, to edit and change lines, words, imagery. Sometimes they’re written and done in one, without any further editing. Sometimes my poems start off being longer, then get whittled down as the twisted bracken and rotting undergrowth is macheted away with the poise of a manic chainsaw juggler. But not often.

The poem above was written in one — I read over it, changed a few words and line breaks, but the length stayed the same, as did the imagery and intent. I read it out loud a few times. It took me, all up, about 15 minutes to complete. Most of my poems take less time, but then they’re generally shorter. Some poems just seem to flow from some undammed river of consciousness.

Editing requires patience as well as objective and subjective vision. I wish I could say I have more patience, but I don’t. I’ve often published poems I’ve looked back on later and said “DOH! I wish I’d edited that.” Sometimes I can be objective and subjective enough to edit succinctly, other times I’m too attached to the poem.

I truly believe that the reader is free to interpret a poem any way they choose, as poems, like songs, affect each of us differently. They wind and wend and burrow their way into each person’s soul, connecting or disconnecting as they see fit.

Editing poems is like editing stories: you step back, re-read it, reshuffle and rewrite, and then hope for the best. But I’m always hoping for chocolate, even if it just turns out to be vanilla.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Leibster and Versatile Blogger Award Noms—thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thanks so much to Follypen, who nominated me for both the Leibster and Versatile Blogger awards.

You can find Follypen’s wonderful site at this link: https://follypen.wordpress.com/

I’m gonna cheat a bit (as I sometimes do with Award-thingies) and refer you to a previous nomination of mine for some faintly amusing Leibster award answers and questions:

Some Leibster Award Goodness: I’d like to thank the academy…

I’m going to cheat AGAIN and direct you to some of my previous posts for Versatile Blogger Award nominations for some not-quite-so-controversial and possibly-funny-but-who-am-I-to-judge questions and answers:

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination – Woo hoo! Cheers and thank you 😊

Versatile Blogger Award 2 – Thanks muchly!!

And if you don’t want to read humorous stuff, how about some of my depressing poetry instead:

Steve’s angst-filled and depressing poetry (isn’t it about time he got a life?) 

Thanks again, Follypen! I know this is not the best response but I’m so time poor at the moment that this is all I could do (excuses, excuses!)

Cheers

Steve 😊

It’s a mystery why I’m nominated, but I gratefully accept!

Trudy K at Pinching Words has nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Thanks so much, Trudy! As usual I ‘m always a bit flabbergasted at why I get nominated; equally happy and bemused. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate it—I do!

As to this award, there’s some indicia I have to list:

The Mystery Bloggers Award

It’s an award given to amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with much love and passion.

Okoto Enigma

I didn’t write this. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed right now. But thanks for the kind words, Okoto, and thanks for thinking about my blog, Trudy!

The Rules (with my responses in italics):

  • Put the award logo/image in your post

That fancy, flashy logo is adorning my post above!

  • List the rules

Hey, they’re right here!

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog

Thanks Trudy! Trudy has a wonderful blog of poetry and writing, please check it out at https://trudykblog.wordpress.com/.

  • Tell your readers three things about yourself

I’m going to cheat a bit on this one. I did another award post a few days back where I listed stuff about myself. So, here’s a link to that one.

  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award

I listed a bunch the other day, so I’m gonna cheat and refer you to the earlier list.  

  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

So much work in these award things!

  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or one funny

Sorry, I only ever do weird in award posts. My questions to my nominees:

  • If you could make a meme about yourself, what would it be? Would it be funny or straight-laced? Do you think it would go viral? Well, you’ve got dibs on yourself, haven’t you?
  • Now that your meme is out there clogging up the internet, it gets stolen and used for evil purposes! Bwah-ha-ha-ha! What do you do? Steal an experimental superjet and track down the villains who did this? Shake your fist at your computer screen and vow vengeance? Write your own personal virus to destroy the internet so no one can use your meme for evil ever again? Well that’s a bit selfish.
  • Zombies have broken into your house. Do you defend or sacrifice your housemates? If you don’t share with anyone I’m afraid you’re the main course. Sorry.  
  • One of the Zombies has a T-shirt with your personal meme printed on it. You know for sure you never received any royalties for that. Do you tear it off the zombie, pin it to the wall and question it about where it got the T-shirt? Or do you sit in your room in a huff, refusing to let the zombie in?
  • It turns out the zombies are actually your friends after a big night out (yeah, hangovers can be killers—see my fancy double meaning there?). Do you kick them out after scaring you to death? Realise that one of your friends is the evil anarchist who stole your meme and question them all like Poirot or Holmes? Kill them all, just to be safe? Hey, I never said you liked your friends. One of them is an evil supervillain who stole from you, after all.

My answers to Trudy K’s questions:

  1. Which song gets under your skin?

That would have to be Cole Porter’s I got you under my skin. Just to be literal. I actually play this song when I busk and gig. Yep, for real.  

  1. A leadership style which describes you best is?

At the moment I have no staff, so I’d say laissez-faire (yes, it’s a legitimate management style). When I was an actual manager I believed in empowering my staff (and still do) and was consultative. With a little bit of autocratic thrown in for good measure (because if you’re the boss, why not).   

  1. Blogging for life?

Damn straight I will! I currently have little else to do in my sad and misbegotten world.

  1. Do you believe in God?

Damn straight I do! The Big Guy Upstairs and I are Sympatico. We’ve got this bromance thing going on. He’s got this cool book. I read it and was hooked.

  1. Shopping or the beach? Why?

BOTH! Beach when I’m broke (which is most of the time, nowadays) and shopping when I’m not (so, not a lot of shopping nowadays). Ah, the heady life of an amateur poet/writer. It just gets better and better.

Thanks again Trudy K!

Cheers

Steve 😊

One Lovely, Bloggly, Nomination!

I would like to thank the lovely Kiera(n) Fortasse for a Lovely Blog Award nomination! Whilst I’m not really too sure what it all means (a lovely blog, that is, but you could include life in that statement as well), it does mean a lot to know that someone likes me (yay!).

Thank you, Kiera(n). Please visit Kiera(n)’s blog and say hello by clicking here.

‘Ere are ze rules (tried to make it a bit classy by sounding French. FAIL).

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • Share seven things about yourself
  • Nominate 7 other bloggers and inform them

At least it’s not 15 questions, like the last one I answered
 

Seven Things About Me (or Much Ado About Nothing)

  1. I read far too many books at the same time. Yeah, that’s right. Too many books. It’s one of my few (read: many) foibles. I often have about ten on the go at a time. Some people are sex addicts. I’m a book addict. (I’d love to be a sex addict but that would involve having someone to have sex with. Other than myself, I mean.)
  2. I like to draw fantasy maps. “You crazy cartographer, you!” Okay, that probably wasn’t the first thing that came to mind when you read that. More like: “He’s such a freaky nerd.” Yeah, well, you’re one, too. Otherwise you wouldn’t be blogging. So there (sticks tongue out in a very mature manner). You can check out some of my maps here. Nerd.
  3. I’m a pretty good guitarist and singer. So, got dibs on yourself, eh? I guess so. If you’re so good, why don’t you play us a song? Because, I’m shy. Actually, it’s more like I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. But eventually I’ll post some music. I’ve actually released seven solo albums, so I guess I’ll post about them sometime. Don’t hold your breath, though. I’m writing poetry, instead. Oh, alright. Here’s an old song of mine on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/2m3uMJPbTrJJ7FipkKWlro
  4. I love taking photos, but I’m a lazy photographer. I love my iPhone 8. I recently upgraded and now have a phone camera with a nifty optical zoom (only 2x, but hey, better than nothing). I take photos of stuff. Nothing crazy or illegal. Trees, buildings, statues, dogs. Boring stuff. Did I say boring? I meant INCREDIBLE!!! Didn’t sell that real well, did I? You can check out some of my photos here.
  5. I walk and swim regularly. I also work out a lot. I’ve got a pretty good bod (or so I’m told). So, why am I not having sex RIGHT NOW? Because, as a Christian, it’s not the done thing when you’re single. Yeah, I’m a Bible basher/thumper. But I believe everyone has the right to believe what they believe, so I’m not here to convert you. I’m pretty liberal, that way. Don’t believe me? Check out one of my poems about the Big Guy Upstairs, right here.
  6. I’m a mature age university student. Approaching middle-age is like a spaceship crashing into the sun. Is it hot in here? Must be male menopause coming on. Oh, I love uni, by the way. It hasn’t made me any smarter, but it does fill in my time. When I’m not thinking about sex, that is.
  7. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. Should I be a poverty-stricken writer? I’m already a destitute poet (I’m assuming you would have read some of my poems by now. But, if not, click here so you’ll know what I mean). I would REALLY like to retire but being broke isn’t conducive to retirement. I worked for about 30 years and I know I’ll have to go back to work at some point, but for now I’m shooting the breeze. I could make a gross sex-related joke right now, but I won’t. Because I’m classy, that way.

 

Nominating Seven blogs! If you’re blog appears here, smile! And get to it.

One Woman’s Quest – https://vjknutson.org/

Movie Babble – https://moviebabblereviews.com/

Crumpled Paper Craneshttps://crumpledpapercranes.com/

Firewatersitehttps://firewatersite.wordpress.com/

Little Fearshttps://littlefears.co.uk/

Nicole Sundayshttps://nicolesundays.wordpress.com/

The Board Game Shackhttps://theboardgameshack.wordpress.com/

Thanks again Kiera(n)!

Cheers

Steve 😊

Meltdowns happen.

Every once in a while, I find myself in a mental space I’d rather not be in. And it doesn’t seem to take much to get me there.

It’s a sure sign of poor mental health when a clothes washing incident can bring you to the brink of despair. It’s not the incident itself, however, but the stuff that’s been weighing on your mind, piling up like dirty laundry in the corner, a tower of linen just waiting for a slight tap to bring it all down (I would have said crashing, but that doesn’t seem appropriate for a big metaphorical pile of clothes).

All the crap you’ve been carrying, all the anger and bitterness you thought you’d let go of, all the hopes and dreams you’ve quashed over time—they all decide now is the time to come out and play. And how they play. Not like your best childhood friends in the playground, but foul, demonic entities ready to pluck and rend and torture your soul until there’s nothing left to save.

Of course, it’s all well and good to say, “buck up, move on, get over it”, but people all too rarely do, despite all their affirmations and aspirations. And so they wait, all those little bugs, hiding in your mental cupboards, tucked away in your drawers, just waiting for the day when they will be set free and their fun can begin.

It’s at times like these I have to remember the importance of my anti-suicide vow: my commitment to stay alive for my son. I do NOT wish to be a poster boy/role model for taking the easy way out.

No, life is about facing s@“# and getting on with it. And, yes, every once in a while, having a meltdown and wanting out of it.

But life goes on. It must. Because while we’re alive, it’s all we have.

Stay strong.

Steve

PS I’m so glad I can blog cathartically. I don’t know what I’d do without it, because I certainly can’t wait until my next therapist appointment.

Another Sunshine Blogger Award! Thanks heaps – I am not worthy!

Thanks so much to beingmimismumma for the nomination for another Sunshine Blogger Award! I would love to answer the questions you have posed for me, however I’ve got two uni assignments due!!

But don’t despair: here’s a link to my previous answers from a few days back! (Big cop out, I know, but sometimes life gets in the way…)

Cheers

Steve 🙂

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 😊

Some Leibster Award Goodness: I’d like to thank the academy…

Hey, hey, hey! Thanks so much to littlemissbearpaw for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I am honoured, humbled and somewhat stumped, as always, as to why I got nominated. But thanks for liking my stuff, anyway!

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  • Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

My answers to littlemissbearpaw’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite blog post that you have written provide link and why?

My blog posts are my children: it’s too hard to choose which is my favourite. They get envious and squabble amongst themselves when I do.

Maybe I could use this to my advantage. Use their self-loathing, petty jealousies against them, turn them into an army to take over the world. BWAH HA HA!!!!

Oops. Sorry, got a bit distracted, there.

  1. If you could travel to any time period which one would you go to and why?

I would travel back to yesterday so I could finish the things I was supposed to do then, and thus have today free. Then tomorrow I’d have to go back in time again to today, to finish what I didn’t get done, today. And then I’d have to…

Damn these paradoxical time loops! Like fruit loops, only not as sugary sweet…

  1. What is your favourite holiday and why?

Being a lay-about, mature age student, almost every day is like a holiday.

Except for all the manic depressive episodes that bring me back to earth…bummer.

  1. What is your favourite holiday treat?

Occasionally, I like to eat. Nothing in particular, just food. A bit of gruel and some water. Maybe an occasional crumb of bread.

Actually, dark chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm…

  1. Do you read? What kinds of books? Which is your favourite?

I’m a big reader. Not exceptionally tall, but reasonable size. (Oh, I’m so funny. Not.)

As to books, my fave of the moment is Breath, by Tim Winton. I reviewed it a few weeks back (shameless plug for blog and link!)  

  1. What is something you ‘nerd’ out about?

How much Star Wars has changed and how much I despise the big corporate mouse for making a mockery of my childhood. Damn you, Disney!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in the style of poorly acted Anakin Skywalker’s initial Darth Vader Scene in Revenge of the Sith)

  1. What is your favourite kind of weather and why?

I like rain, as it matches my mood and provides me with lots of inspiring and morbidly depressing ideas.

And it’s wet. Which provides me with all sorts of sexual innuendos to fuel my sexual innuendos.

  1. What is your favourite Christmas memory?

When the whole family got together to celebrate Christmas.

Now the family is separated by distance, injustice and the tragedy of years, and it’s just not the same celebrating with friends and strangers. But it’s something, at least.  

  1. What is your go-to comfort food?

My go-to comfort food is…food. But never junk. I’m a health nut who works out four times a week, after all.  

Oh, and dark chocolate.

Did I mention that earlier? Maybe I’m reliving my previous day? I must be a Time Traveller!!!! Oh, wait, no I’m not.

  1. Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert who manages to manically leap into extrovertedness (yeah, I like to make up words) when he’s coming out of a major depressive phase.

I thrive on loneliness and longing. Oh, that’s not introverted, that’s just sad. My bad.

  1. Do you have special plans or a direction for your blog in 2018?

My plan is to be alive.

Aside from that: more sadness, longing, whimsy, plaintive moaning and bitter regret. And the occasional joke. And maybe a few sexual innuendos.

Sorry, but eleven is too much hard work, so here’s less than eleven blog nominations and less than eleven questions:

 Noms:

 Questions for Noms to answer:

  1. How far can you throw a ball? What do you mean, ‘what size ball?’ Just a ball. This isn’t a freaking physics dissertation.
  2. If you could throw a ball at anyone, who would it be? Why? I don’t know, maybe you don’t like them. Or maybe you think like a child and it’s the only way to get the attention of that girl/guy you like.
  3. If balls ruled the world, what kind of world would it be? Ball-like, I assume. But I’m not answering the questions, you are.
  4. What’s the biggest ball you’ve ever handled (is that a sexual innuendo? Possibly). Was it heavy? Soft? Hard? Round? (Okay, this question has just gone totally sexual innuendo. You can choose to skip this if you’re offended,)
  5. If you were to invent something, using only balls as your main component, what would it be (Trick question? Or not?).
  6. Why does this person have balls on the brain? Lack of insight? Run out of ideas? You tell me.

Thanks again, littlemissbearpaw!

Cheers

Steve 😊

PS My spelling is English, not American, which is why there’s an occasional odd ‘U’. That’s life. Just when it’s going well, the odd f’U’ appears when you least expect it.

What do you want to write?

What are the issues that you especially want to talk about / celebrate / examine in your stories?

There are a lot of stories in the world. There are many more hovering in the random threads and wings of my head. They long to burst forth from their cocoons, bright and beautiful butterflies ready to shake mountains, half a world away.

I’ve led a very interesting life, but by some measures it may not be very interesting at all (I have never run away from ravenous cannibals, for instance). I have many personally-affecting issues that I’d like to examine in my stories, yet when I think of what I really want to read in one of my tales, issues are not the first thing that come to mind.

As a burgeoning writer, I first and foremost want to entertain. I want to write stories that are emotionally engaging, that are exciting and that surprise with their twists and turns. I want my readers to feel that they connect with me as an author, that they “get” me in ways they didn’t think were possible except with perhaps a well-known friend or loving partner.

I may not be the best writer in the world, but if I can achieve this in at least some basic way (whether that be a reader’s fleeting smile or a tightness in their chest), I will have succeeded in what I set out to do.

Okay, so that didn’t really answer the question. In short, I love all genres of writing.

Like Iain M. Banks, I want to write speculative fiction and current-day serious fiction. Like Patrick Ness, I intend to write kinetic young adult novels. Like Nam Le, I want to write short stories of every type, that bring a tear to my eye and that provide a fascinating juxtaposition to life. Like Justin Cronin, I want to mix literate writing with the horror thriller. Like George R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien I want to write fantasy fiction that astounds.

But I don’t want to write like any of them. I want to write like me.

Cheers

Steve 😊

This was my response a number of months ago to a question posed to me in one of my writing subjects. My answer still holds true, now. (It also contains links to some of my favourite authors’ websites.)

So, what would your answer be?

Go wild in the comments, if you dare 😉

Guest Post: Mind Matters 

I’ve never had anyone do a guest post before, but I was chatting with my sister-in-blog Donna, of mind matters, and asked her if she’d like to write one.

Donna and her family were traumatised while living with a religious cult, and she works through her issues in her blog, along with providing snippets of her photography and poetry. Sometimes she’s a bit controversial, but she’s always interesting.

So here is the first guest blog! Enjoy.

Steve 🙂

I Beg To Differ

Is chivalry dead? Should it be? A lot of people might say yes.

Sometimes certain issues seem to illuminate themselves in me. The other day when I was heading into a store, a man who had already walked out of the store turned around and grabbed the door for me. It was kind. It was an innate response. He didn’t even pause. He just did it. Then, when I was leaving the same store, a young male teenager whose hands were loaded with cartons of napkins, reached out–causing his load to teeter–and opened the door for me.

My point is: maybe a cause can begin in a legitimate way and then morph into something it was never meant to be. By then, it’s too late to back up. Believe me, I know what it’s like to be kept down by the opposite sex and stripped down until I thought I was nothing. But I also know what it’s like to fight my way through raising five kids and getting a degree in my forties.

I know I am not inferior to any male. But everyone is uniquely endowed by God, who equips us all differently for purposes and roads that lead in many directions. Is either sex inferior? No. But generally a man’s body is built differently than a woman’s. If we are at war, who would I want at the front lines in battle? A man. Does that make me sexist? No. When it comes time to do one of the most important things in life, who does it? A woman. What am I talking about? Giving birth. We as women are equipped to grow a human being in our bodies. No inferiority complex here.

Anyway, back to my original point of a gentleman opening a door for a lady. I love it. My husband opens the door for me. I am grateful that the women before me fought for the rights that we didn’t have before and I am in no way disagreeing with that; I just wanted to give a little food for thought.

You can read more from Donna at mind matters. 

Writing…stuff.

So, I’ve posted a few things about writing. Not that I’m an expert or anything, but readers seem to like me rambling on.

I’ve made it a ‘thing’ (I like to do that–‘Haiku Friday’ anyone?). So, now you can find all the posts grouped under Writer Interrupted in the menu. It saves me from creating another blog (I’m pretty lazy, y’know).

As always, I love your comments, and I love the fact that you pay me any attention at all.

Cheers

Attention-seeker Steve 🙂

 

The Great Australian Novel. A pondering.

So, what exactly happened with the writing of my great Australian novel (and I use the term ‘great’ very loosely)?

I don’t have writer’s block*. I know a lot of writers suffer from this, and I am always sympathetic (did I say sympathetic. Sorry, I meant uncaring and sociopathically lacking empathy), but not me. Actually, I tell a lie—twenty years ago, in my first novel, I wrote my protagonists into a corner I couldn’t get them out of. It took about ten years to resolve (hey, it was a very tight corner). So, George R R Martin, I get where you’re coming from. But finish bloody Winds of Winter, already!

I’m not suffering from a paucity of time, although I assure everyone who’ll listen that I am. Don’t you realise how difficult life can be for a lazy, sociopathically uncaring, student? This morning I noticed my toenails had grown out to about an inch. The nail clippers were sitting on the table just out of reach. You can guess how that story ended. I think from now on my preferred footwear will be thongs (flip flops, not g-strings), rather than shoes. No reason. Loose rubber slip ons are just very stylish.

I’m still motivated to write. Admittedly, I tend to write more poems then anything else. I haven’t actually written any of my novel for about a month. Let me point out that I do have a very short attention span. If I was to have a competition with a gnat, the gnat would win. But as insects go, gnats are THE most attentive insects in the animal kingdom. Of course I may have read that while I was sleep-deprived and brain-addled at 3:00am. Or maybe I just made it up.

The ideas still flow—sometimes they don’t stop, streaming forth like water from a broken pipe neglected by council workers checking their Facebook timelinesI recently had to (yes, HAD to) get myself a new iPhone 8, ostensibly for the bigger storage capacity (I use my phone to store ideas and write on the run. And on the toilet). Oh, alright, I just wanted a shiny new phone. Yes, now I’m more broke than I was before. But: shiny new phone! (“My precious,” he says, stroking it adoringly in a disturbingly Gollum-like voice.)

My commitment is still strong, despite my ongoing depression. Did I tell you I suffer from depression? “Only about a thousand times,” says regular reader with not much better to do, rolling your eyes. I guess I better tell you again, then. I’m like a roller coaster: manic high days and abyssal troughs. High days, I can’t stop talking. Low days, I’m a puddle. Today, I’m marginally angstified. (Yes, I just made up that totally and awesomely significant new word. I’m waiting for my new urban slang dictionary prize in the mail.)

I’ve been thinking about writing other stories. The torrid and passionate affair I’ve had with my novel still burns bright, but I find myself drawn to shinier, prettier things (and chocolate). Is it a victim of mid-life crisis, my ravenously short attention span, or my ongoing sociopathic egomania? Or all three? I may have answered that question already, but I’ve forgotten what I wrote previously. (Damn you, short attention span!)

If I start writing another novel I know I’ll neglect the other**. But maybe that’s what I need to do. Maybe my current novel isn’t any good. (My only slightly bruised and sociopathically egomaniacal ego refuses to believe that. It’s currently screaming at the wall: “you’re too good for this place!” I think it might be a bit deluded, as well. Now it’s rubbing ice cream all over its face…)

My excuses (uni, dating, music, reading, working out, movies, blogging, D&D, laying about avoiding cutting toenails, etc.) have become my crutches. I can barely move without them. (Perhaps I could invest in a better metaphor—a wheelchair, maybe. Then I could pretend to motivate myself to move a little faster.)

In the end, I guess I could have been writing my novel if I hadn’t written this post. Am I just delusional? Or is that my sociopathic egomania talking? I’ll ponder it while I eat some of this delicious ice cream that somehow got smeared on my face. Mmmmmmm….now, what was I talking about again?

Cheers

Steve 🙂

*Unlike many writers, I’ve rarely suffered from this. If writer’s block was a cold, I’d be interminably hot and sweaty most of the time. 

**Like my previous unfinished novels: they wait politely and patiently, trying to catch my eye. Unfortunately, they don’t realise that I’m very short sighted—literally, not just figuratively. 

Every Word. A poem and a thank you.

Every laboured keystroke,
every considered verb and noun.
Every gritted mental blank,
every meaning so profound.
Every silken metaphor,
every glorious turn of phrase.
Every underlying message,
every edit, every change.
Every keystroke, every line,
ever thankful every day.
Every joy I write that lies within,
that flowers on every page.

Thank you.
.

This poem is a thank you to all of my readers. Everything I do is for you.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Avoidance? I think not, my friends, I think not.

Sooooo…today, I had to do paperwork for my long-suffering and very overdue property settlement (like a promised rain storm after years of drought, it shimmers like a mirage in the heat haze…sorry, got distracted. That happens). Seeing as how I’m very focused (Yes, I won the ‘Far Too Focused’ award at work three years running from 2003-5) on getting things done, an over-achiever (I won the ‘Far Too Much of an Over-Achiever’ award at work three years running from 2006-8) and certified obsessive compulsive (no, missed out on that award. Was beaten by Jenny Falucci. Damn you, far too overly obsessive compulsive award winner Jenny Falucci!! There’s a place in obsessive compulsive Hell for people like you!*), I saw that considerable pile of paper and…did other stuff.

After a workout (no biggie there, I usually exercise every morning, part of my overly excessive compulsiveness), a three kilometre walk (no biggie there, I often walk in the morning, but not compulsively. I do it because I want to…along with the lunges and calf raises. That’s right, biatches, feel the burn! Oh, that’s right, I burned. I guess I just burned myself. I get distracted easily…), shaving my head (it was time to get a haircut, and as a universally known cheapskate and all-around poor person I preferred doing it myself. Did I say prefer? I meant no one else is good enough to do my hair. What little there is of it) so that I now look like a criminal (not my wisest choice, especially after buying a year’s worth of illegal hair wax, but at least when I’m arrested trying to sell large volumes of illegally voluminous hair wax to balding crackheads I’ll look just right for the mug shots), compulsively re-arranging my room (yes, I live in a tiny room, I’m over it now. But it’s so small…), marathoning Brooklyn Nine Nine compulsively (season 2 to be precise. Maybe I should watch season 1 first? Hey, it’s not Game of Thrones, I can live with that), I decided to write this blog post. That was possibly one of the longest sentences in history. Or was it…

Now, really, I should have focussed on getting that paperwork in order. Time is ticking and I would like to get the property settlement finalised this year (think of it as a time bomb, just waiting to go off—in my ex-wife’s face!! Yeah! How do you like them apples! Oh, sorry, got carried away…). I’ll have time after this. Although my guitar is looking very lonely on its stand and I haven’t picked it up since about one minute after I got up this morning…

Okay, it’s now ten minutes after I almost finished this post. I played guitar (okay, I noodled around. That’s jamming with yourself, which is sad in itself, but also not achieving any real outcome. Like playing a song, for instance). There’s this thing called ‘avoidance’. If I was a pop-psychologist (which I’m not) as opposed to a gynaecologist (which I’m not), I’d think the painful memories of my ex-marriage (which they’re not) were making me avoid doing my paperwork (which I’m not. I’m just lazy). Which I’m not, I’m just lazy. Oooh, déjà vu, anyone?

I think I might do some D&D stuff instead (what’s D&D you say? Click here). Where was I? Short attention span. Hey, my guitar looks a bit lonely over there…

Okay, just finished playing a guitar concerto in B minor (okay, no I didn’t, I just noodled. But I sounded really self-important for a minute there…). Now that’s over, perhaps I’ll give this avoidance thing a little more thought. Do paperwork?

Hey, my guitar looks lonely over there…

Cheers

Steve 😊

PS  Why the cat? Because I could. HAH!!

* Let me set the record straight: Hell is not for overly obsessive compulsives. Just those who steal awards from me. That’s right, Falucci, I said STEAL. That award was mine!!

10 000 views!

Thanks so much to everyone who has visited, commented and enjoyed or hated my blog! I’ve reached 10000 views. Yay!

I started this blog on 9th January 2017 as a way to encourage my writing, and to be a catharsis for my mental health issues. Over that time I’ve posted almost every day, and I’m still loving it.

So thank you all, once again. And if you’re reading this for the first time, please check out the menu above,  click on a category, and enjoy 🙂

Cheers

Steve 🙂

The Sale. Part 13.

As Aisha and I ran down the underground corridor, squinting in the dim light, we heard a voice crackling from an old wooden speaker box on the wall. It was Silas.

“You can’t escape you know.”

We darted to the passage’s end. A blank wall. Backtracked to an intersection. Ran right.

“I had the tunnels built like a maze for just this reason.”

Another dead end. Aisha swore. “How do we get out of this insane asylum?” she cried. We backtracked to an earlier junction and took a left.

Silas continued, his voice echoing through the stone halls from various speakers. “I’ve been doing this for years, you know. And I haven’t lost a victim—that is, a subject—yet.”

“I guess we’re going to have to hear his monologue after all,” I said.

Silas talked as we ran down more corridors, hoping to find a way out. “I’m not happy about what you did to poor Junifer. She suffers from mental illness, you know. You took advantage of her condition.”

Aisha and I stopped at a cross junction. The tunnels went four ways. We gathered our breath. We hugged each other. Silas’s eerie ventriloquism continued. “Her mother suffered from the same condition, you know. I tried to help Junifer as best I could. But my experimental treatment was ineffective. So, I set her up as the mistress of this house. Only the best for my daughter.”

“She’s his daughter?” said Aisha. “That explains a lot.”

“Let’s go,” I said. I placed my hand on one wall and we jogged along, my fingertips always keeping contact. At the end, instead of retracing our footsteps, I kept my fingers on the wall and followed it around until I was next to the opposite wall. “This will take a long time, but eventually we’ll get out. As long as we follow the walls, rather than the floors.”

Aisha nodded and smiled. “So, what were you, John? A boy scout?”

“Just call me the ‘labyrinth lord’.”

Aisha rolled her eyes. We moved on.

 

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

The Long Haul. A poem.

The long haul north
The highway like a dreamtime serpent
Twisting forlornly through valleys
Of gum and wattle, towns and fields

I am an island moving
In the relentless torrent north
Towards faithless destiny
Not remembered or forgiven

Just complete the task assigned and say goodnight
I’m just a chauffeur on the fly

.

I recently drove 2200kms giving a lift to my aging parents to and from their holiday destination up north (there and back twice: all up 4400kms over 4 days).

I didn’t mind the distance. What I did mind was not seeing a family member I was once close to, who I haven’t seen for about four years, and who hasn’t talked to me since a falling out.

I’m not angry. I’m very disappointed. And sad. Maybe one day we’ll reconnect again. I hope so.

Steve

House. A poem.

I would build you a house
If you would live in it with me
I’d build it tall and proud
To share with you and family

We could live in golden halls
Dance to music from above
Until the furtive angels called
Our love I’m not worthy of

Let me build you a house
And together we will be
A perfect love to dream about
As one until eternity

A Rabbit Passes. A prose poem.

The rabbit’s body is stiff and heavy in my hand. I wrap it in its funeral trappings, a plastic cloak as light and airy as its existence. It’s family lies in burrows deep below, the farmer’s poison dried within withered veins. I place it within its casket, a waste bin its solemn ferry to where its family’s souls gently sleep.

There was a family of rabbits that lived next door. The guy there has chickens and sheep, so it was only a matter of time before he took steps to bait them. For a while that happy family of rabbits was something for me to look forward to each morning and evening, when they would enter my backyard to feed. 

Now they’re a reminder that not everything lasts forever, a sad metaphor for the briefness of our lives and the need to achieve what we can now, before our own time runs out.

Steve

Anniversary. A poem.

An anniversary
Three years of torment
Ashes from which I arise
A new man
A better man
Beholden to the past
But reaching for the future

From this crucible
I am forged anew
To rebuild
To refine
To create
Never to revisit past sins
But to find a better life

With you

.

Not long ago, I said I wouldn’t be posting any poetry for a while to give myself space to create poems for the poetry subject I’ve just started at uni.

Well, I couldn’t help myself. Looks like there’s room for both, after all: poetry blogging and poetry coursing (yes, I like to make up words. So sue me).

Steve 🙂

Rebirth.

Yesterday was the three-year anniversary of the worst day of my life. Those of you who are regulars will know that I celebrated (rather insanely) by walking 24 kms.

But before I did that I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and had an epiphany. Despite the fact that three years ago I lost EVERYTHING that was dear to me, that I’ve been near crippled with depression and anxiety ever since, that I tried to kill myself, that I’m still undergoing therapy to recover from PST–I am a better man now than I ever was before. 

I have accepted my failings. I took responsibility for my actions. While I can never forgive myself, God in his infinite grace, has. I find myself humbled, but stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually. Although I will never recover from depression (I’ve had it all my life), I’ve learned to manage it better. I learned who my true friends are and I value them more than anything. And I have vowed never to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I realised that I had to go through hell to find heaven (that might be a bit of a pithy analogy, but you know what I mean). Like the Phoenix, I needed to burn to rise from the ashes (I’m full of cliches today). Whilst I will always acknowledge my past, it no longer defines me. I am a new man, and I face the future with belief, hope and surety. 

That doesn’t mean you won’t hear me agonising about life. But it does mean I have a new found respect for it (life, that is). And with that comes a new found self-respect. Take that, low self-esteem.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Marathon Walk!

Today I walked 24 kilometres. Why?

I dropped off my father’s car at a smash repair place, and rather than catch a combination of trains and buses home, I decided I’d walk. Five hours and just under 24 kms later, blisters and sore legs, but not too worse for wear otherwise. Hungry, though!

Had to tell someone, as I’m a wee bit proud of the achievement. Yeah, it was dumb, but I’m not renowned for my smart decision making.

Happy walking!

Steve 🙂

Poetry Drought!

I started a new uni subject today, on writing poetry. Because I have to write a lot of poems for this subject it’s gonna mean a bit of a drought for my blog (normally I post a poem a day).

So I’m going to publish a few of my older poems to keep readers going until I have some time to post some new original poems (I can’t post poems from my current uni subject until it’s over, otherwise the plagiarism checker will pick up my own poems on this website lol).

So, without further ado, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

https://stevestillstanding.com/2017/02/23/today-a-poem/

Steve 🙂

Legend of Zelda -Amazing Sculpting!

I looooooooooooooove Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, having been a fan since Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. The almost mute Link is the ever youthful and inimitable hero of the long standing fantasy console gaming series.

My son recently showed me this incredible sculpting video on YouTube, by Sculpture_Geek. If you’re a fan of Legend of Zelda, you’ll nerdgasm as much as I did.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbt17LLH54

Is that great or what?!

Steve 🙂

Sands. A poem.

I rise before the first blush of dawn
Dappled sunlight like reedy fingers
Touching the grey surrounds
Blooming refulgent petals
Apprehension in alpha and omega
What fearsome beasts should rise
On wings of measured determination
Cunningly disguised and lividly forthright
Trapped in sundered cogitation
An hourglass of intimation curtailed
Until sands cease to flow
And all begins anew

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: