Thursday, 26 May 2011

Rag Doll 29.4.11

A post and also, in a way, an explanation of why I have not been posting.

Rag Doll

I am a rag doll,
lying limp and lazy.

I wish.

To be lazy is to have a choice.
I have not chosen,
I have been chosen,
the lottery has fallen.
It could be you.
And it is.


Could I be unchosen, please?
These legs, this body, this pain -
I'd like to take it back -
it's faulty -
it's not fit for sale -
may I make an exchange?
Surely my customer rights apply -
if it's not fit for the purpose.

It's only fair.

But life is not fair
and I still don't understand why.

Why, I scream.
Why, I sob.
Why, I whisper.


One day I will understand -
won't I?
Surely one day I will see, know.
Face to face, not blurred by dark glass.

You promised.

I cling to promises
to keep my hope afloat.
A life buoy in the sea of tears.

Take this pain, use it,
I am willing.

But please.
All I ask.
Show me why.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Egads, I would not send these people my book...

Direct quotes from a publisher's website - name excised to protect the guilty...

"When a submission is made to [our publishing house], it is judges on it's content"

"Do you pay advances to author's?"

(To which the answer is no, and they only pay royalties on books bought at full price)

They also ask me to 'please not[sic] that a small charge will be made for illustrations completed by [our publishing house]'

This is a publishing house who will charge me to illustrate my book if it's deemed necessary, they will not pay me anything unless my books sell at full price, and, more to the point, their website contains language mistakes that a child could spot. Now, we all make mistakes, but we don't all claim to publish quality books. It doesn't give me confidence in their editing process...

Suffice to say that I don't think I'd be desperate enough to see my work in print to send it to these folks.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Great article on criticism

I'm terrible at updating recently. Will do better.

In the meantime... enjoy:

On Criticism

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Please tell me you're joking...

I just read a post of someone daring to suggest that being a smoker these days would be enough to give one a good insight into being a black person in the 50s.

I had to read it twice to believe what the poster had written. It's not appropriate to bring any attention to it on that particular thread, but I'm struggling to believe anyone could seriously believe there's a valid comparison here. Or even that it was appropriate as a light-hearted joke.

I absolutely believe in any person's right to smoke if they want to, as long as they also respect my right to breathe clean air (something which some seem to think is unreasonable). I have many friends who do or who have smoked, and I don't think it's some mark of a flawed character or something. However, I do sometimes wonder about the martyr attitude some people have about being allowed to get their fix, and about the (largely very reasonable) restrictions placed around their habit. This is one of those times.

Seriously, Mr Smoker? You're going to go there?

You're going to compare a choice to pump yourself full of noisome and noxious chemicals with being born with the 'wrong' colour skin?

You're going to compare having to stand outside to have your quick fag break with only being allowed to live in certain areas, ride on certain buses, go to certain schools, take certain jobs?

You're going to compare a habit that many manage to break, for which much help is available, to indelible skin pigment that cannot be changed or disguised?

You're going to compare polluting the air around you with smoke that makes your neighbour's eyes water and his throat sore with being of a race that those around you believe only worthy to be servants?


I'm giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming the comment was meant as tongue in cheek... but even so. Come on. *shakes head*

Sunday, 21 February 2010

What M.E. feels like.

Ian Logan (chairman of Worcestershire ME Support Group): “Even thinking makes the brain hurt. It fogs over. You don’t know where to lie in bed. Your arms ache. Your head aches. An overcoat feels too heavy to wear, like a hundredweight. Your shoes feel like leaden boots. It’s like walking in mud, like trying to walk across a ploughed field or writing left-handed when you’re right-handed. The whole of your body feels as awkward as that.”

I don't usually write about my health on here - after all, that's part of what this blog is for, ever since an unusually sensible attempt to divide and conquer on my part. But this was too good an expanation of how I feel today to miss.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday, 19 February 2010

As Yet Unfinished/Excerpt

As Yet Unfinished...

If you saw a book with this title, would you be intrigued/pick it up to have a closer look?

As usual my title idea came about by accident. But I think it could work...

And I'm wondering if anyone cares to tell me who they would imagine was the viewpoint character in this excerpt - oh, and do you like it and stuff. (No clues from fellow 2YN folks who will know who's speaking, please! ;))

It's first draft, be warned, but yeah... be interesting to see...

Anyone who gets it right gets, erm, to be right? Unless anyone can think of a better idea *laugh*

The man appeared slowly, fading into view. He seemed to be asleep, but I stayed well back. People who appear unexpectedly but fully formed into a work of fiction are generally trouble, however peaceful they may seem at first.

It was when he turned over in his sleep that he realized, on some level, that something was wrong. He reached for a duvet that wasn’t there, tried to fluff up a pillow that had unaccountably turned to a flagstone beneath his head, and then opened his eyes and took his first bleary look at the Inside. His hair was a mess and he was in pyjamas – I almost felt sorry for him. He got up, stumbling slightly before finding his feet, and stared at his surroundings as if looking hard enough would make them dissolve back into the bedroom he had evidently fallen asleep in.

Outsiders’ reactions to finding themselves Inside tend to fit into one of two categories. There are those who flail around, demanding to know what is going on and what has happened to them. Sometimes they can turn violent, and generally it takes several days at least for them to become even tolerable company.

The other kind are no less disorientated, but respond by going into shock, their eyes staring and their limbs hanging limp as they take in their new surroundings. They’re not much fun at first either, but at least there is less risk of being hit.

Once it became apparent that this newcomer was of the latter persuasion I sallied forth, the first insider he would ever see, though hardly his last. Mired in shock as he was, he didn’t seem to notice me, however I tried to get his attention. He made his way slowly to the nearest house, felt the all too solid reality of its walls, then crumpled to a heap on the pavement and let out a low moan.

I considered hanging around and keeping him company, but it would be light soon enough. I decided to leave it to the townspeople to explain what had happened, and slinked away, still unnoticed.