Posts Tagged ‘writing

19
Aug
19

The Doctor is Out

Dr. Gale was going to spend some time with her first patient today, but a few factors prevented that; the resurgence of T-Virus infected bedbugs, tweaks to my meds (and the poor choice of onion-and-pickle-laden egg salad sandwiches for dinner) keeping me up with severe heartburn and acid reflux, and the aftereffects of having the flu shot (I’m mildly allergic, so it tends to cause some pretty nasty pain and swelling, migraines, and aggravate my asthma for a day or two after getting the shot.)

So for anyone hoping to find out which of her four pet nutters are coming through the door first, I apologize. Hopefully, we’ll find out tomorrow. (If it’s any consolation, I didn’t know myself until a few minutes ago, and I still have only vague notions of how that initial consultation is going to go; we can be surprised together, for the most part!)

I may stream a little later today, depending on how the lungs feel and what the temperature is like. I picked up Rise of Insanity, and would like to give it a go, but playing VR when sick and trapped in high heat is a recipe for disaster. Alternatively, I could show some of Labyrinth Life, though that’s liable to lead to all kinds of rants regarding censorship (and I don’t even know if Twitch is okay with it; I know they banned Hunie Pop and Hunie Cam Studio, so I don’t know where they stand on games with a lot of ecchi content these days.) If you have a preference or want to see me play some other atrocious mess, drop me a line on Twitter, in the comments here, or on PSN!

Hope everyone’s Monday is going well; until next time, folks!

KA Spiral no signature

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18
Aug
19

Dr. Gale, Open for Business

Four folders laid out on the desk, like a fan of cards waiting for a fifth to make or break a hand.

“S. Crowe. Post-traumatic amnesia,” she muttered to herself in a husky, musing whisper as one manicured blue nail danced along the edge of the folder before moving on.

“Catherine Leone. OCD and anxiety.” Her finger dallied on the edge of the folder, danced for a moment as though debating on whether to open it, then moved on to the next.

“Hunter Woods. Severe disassociative identity disorder, possible solipsist.” Again, her finger toyed with the yellow tab at the edge of the folder, flirting with it, lifting it up a quarter of an inch before letting it fall once more and moving on to the last.

“Tom Torneau. Agoraphobia, codependence.” She sighed. “Almost boring, that one.”

She pulled her hand back, sweeping a critical eye over the folders once more. Which direction to jump? They all needed help, and all of them had something in the files that had called to her, but…

Her musing was interrupted by a knock at the door. Through the frosted glass pane and the black lettering proclaiming to all that the door belonged to Dorothea Gale, M.D., she could see a shape that was frustratingly generic and sexless. No way to identify which of her star patients – if any – it might have been, if it was indeed one of them at all.

“Dealer’s choice,” she whispered, rising from her chair to open the door and see what came next.

17
Aug
19

Voices

“I don’t know why you bother. It’s not like you’re going to manage anything useful.”

Her tone is mocking, the singsong of a child, though the voice itself is husky. It’s a voice I’d almost forgotten, one that might have been better off left in the mental graveyard. But I’d dug her up, because there was something else in there with her.

You dug me up? I don’t think so, Gumby.”

God, I hated that name. It’s what she used to call me. A million years ago. That annoyed me more than her rifling through my mind to spit my own metaphors back at me.

“I dug myself out, thank you very much. Once you finally stopped piling more pills on top of the grave you threw me in.”

My eyes drift to the corner of the desk, to the row of orange bottles with their child-safe tops and the dozens of capsules, tablets and pills inside.

Haldol. Prozac. Xanax. Lithium. They sound like the names of Elder Gods, come to drag your soul and sanity away. They had certainly taken away my soul. Sanity was up for debate.

I hadn’t taken any of them in a week. After three years of them, I’d gotten lonely. I could do without her voice, but they also blocked the other voices, the ones I had to listen to, the ones who whispered their stories to me in the middle of the night and begged me to write them down in the morning.

The doctors claim it’s dangerous. Just going full-stop, cold turkey on a pile of psych meds that have been collecting in my bloodstream for years. They’re probably right. But I couldn’t keep going. If having her watching over my shoulder was the price, so be it.”

“So noble you are, Gumby. Don’t you think it’s a little pretentious?”

I felt a weight on my shoulder, both comforting and horrible. She was so strong, so there. I could feel her digging her nails in, and knew if I looked down I’d see the flesh of her fingers turning white with the pressure.

I didn’t look down. I didn’t want to be right. I acted like nothing had happened at all, that everything was fine, everything was normal. There was only one thing that would make her let go, make her shut up. Maybe not forever – maybe not even for more than five minutes – but at least for the moment.

I reached forward and hit the button on the back of my computer. Her fingers loosened just a bit… or maybe I only imagined it.

“Awww. You think you’re gonna do something? I doubt it.”

The last syllable was buried under the ominous but still comforting “bong” that any Apple user is familiar with. The word processor app popped up almost immediately, the window still open. The computer seemed to feel it had merely been put to sleep while I got a coffee, not powered down in a petulant fit nearly a year ago when I’d stared at the blinking cursor and empty white space for almost an hour while grinding my teeth and accomplishing nothing.

“Should have formatted it. Packed it up.”

Maybe she was right. But only one way to find out. I cracked my knuckles and settled my fingers on the keys, wincing at the electric stab of pain that worked through my wrists and forearms.

“I think you’re wrong,” I told her. Actually saying it, instead of just thinking it at her, seemed to be important. Sure, if anyone else was watching, they’d see an old gimp hunched over in a ratty chair and talking to himself… but no one was watching, unless you counted her.

“We’ll see, Gumby.”

I swallowed. The cursor blinked at me, patient and yet somehow snide.

The keys clicked. I wasn’t aware of them moving, but they seemed to know what to do. “Elle,” they spelled out. A name. I was always fond of starting things with names.

Click, click, click. “Might have been dead for years,” my fingers added. She had fallen silent. I was quiet, too. Didn’t even breathe. Writing is like casting a spell, and I was afraid to break it.

Might have been dead for years, my fingers said. That implied there was a “but” coming. Somewhere inside I felt something else waking up, some other part of me that had been buried in the same hole that she’d crawled out of, the same medically-induced coma all the other voices and drifted through for the last three years. That part of me was wonder, curiosity, the part that wants someone to tell it a story, that wants to know what happens next.

I gave in to that part. I let it listen, while my fingers did the talking.

09
Aug
19

How to Remove Blood Stains from Everyday Items — Spelk

I solemnly swear I am up to no good… (Comments disabled here. Please visit the original post.)

by Karen Jones What you’ll need (ideally): Cloths. Baking soda. Lemons. Hydrogen peroxide. Hand soap. Dish-washing liquid. 1. Removing blood from clothing. Use a baking soda/water solution. Dab the stains with mixture. Try to stop your hands shaking. Calm. If you don’t have baking soda, rub the stain with lemon juice. Add salt. Scour with a […]

via How to Remove Blood Stains from Everyday Items — Spelk

04
Aug
19

How The Act of Sharing Your Not So Perfect Writing Life Helps Other Writers #writer — BlondeWriteMore

Writing isn’t easy. Probably isn’t supposed to be. There’s some inspiration to be had right here. (Comments are disabled here; please visit the original post.)

Writing is not easy. If you have ever found yourself forcing out a few words while listening to a crowd of negative voices in your head or staring miserably at 1567 words you wrote yesterday, which now sound like nonsense, you will understand. Social media doesn’t help. There are days when it feels like everyone […]

via How The Act of Sharing Your Not So Perfect Writing Life Helps Other Writers #writer — BlondeWriteMore

01
Aug
19

Recurring and Returning Characters

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels a little prickle of excitement when a familiar name turns up in a bit of media I’ve been following. Whether it’s a callback to a random character in an earlier game, or the full fledged arrival of a beloved character thought long lost, I enjoy greeting my old fictional friends again after some time away.

But there’s two ways to do that, and I’m kind of curious about how folks think about them. There’s the recurring character, who keeps popping up and is either implied or explicitly stated to be the same individual; Stephen King’s Randall Flagg/Walter O’Dim would be a good example of this, even though he himself is not always aware of it (his incarnation in The Stand, for example, is lacking much of his memory.) Flagg is Flagg is Flagg, and most devoted readers are happy to see the Walkin’ Dude whenever his boots start clocking down the deserted halls of whatever haunted locale King has thrust him into. Well, maybe not happy, precisely, given that his appearance usually foretells gloom and doom for our heroes, but at least we know and love to hate him.

The other way is when a base concept and handful of character traits accompany a name, but it’s not intended to be the same individual and there may be drastic differences and contradictions between assorted portrayals. I can’t think of a good famous example off the top of my head – blame the meds, they’re always mucking with the memory – so I’ll use one of my own.

The Reverend Deuteronomy Jones, also known as Rev’rend Dewey, Reverend Billy Joe Bob James Deuteronomy Jones (with the first four names being shuffled about randomly for comedic effect) or just “The Rev,” has been a character lurking in my mind for literal decades.

What’s always the same about him? He’s a religious sort, obviously. Larger-than-life personality. A bit of an extremist, for whatever time and place he’s dropped into. His rough appearance – thick dark hair, white suit jacket over all black clothing, too much jewelry, obnoxious and oversized crucifix somewhere on his person, somehow able to turn nearly any conversation into proof that an individual is an evil, evil sinner. Sometimes his belief is genuine, sometimes it’s part of the show, but he’s always well steeped and educated in religious matters, regardless of the flavor, and willing to twist them for his own purposes.

Dewey has been used as a character in a Vampire: The Masquerade game (as a Panders pack priest and Infernalist), in a Vampire: The Dark Ages game that evolved into a Dark Ages Vampire game (as a Setite itinerant monk), in a Demon: The Fallen game (as a Lammasu huckster and tent revivalist), in a Beast: The Primordial game (as a monster of pride and desire, “educating” humans on the dangers of belief and how important the phrase “be careful what you wish for” can be), a television personality (his original incarnation, where he was a comedic character poking fun at television evangelists and faith healers), the antagonist of a short story (where a demonic variant rounds up people who should have died and puts them to work in his traveling tent show to find either damnation or redemption), the protagonist of another short story (essentially the same as the previous, except from Dewey’s perspective, which plays it as though this is his divinely ordained task, and is ultimately for the greater good) and back to television personality (sort of; working on a YouTube series with him, that’s somewhere between his original television self and his Beast: The Primordial version.)

They’re all separate people – except for the two short story incarnations, which may be the same one, though its not explicitly stated – but all of them are still Dewey.

Is that okay? Is it weird to ask if that’s okay? Is it a lack of imagination, an overabundance of imagination, or just the creative process at work as one keeps hammering at something until it’s what you actually want? I have no bloody idea, but I’m interested to hear your opinions.

If any of you out there would like to weigh in, I’d love to hear it. Do you prefer recurring characters, or repeating ones? Are you happy to see a familiar face, or prefer to see only new ones? Why? Let us know down below!

As a reminder, as most of you know, my health isn’t great. I’m doing what I can, trying to keep as active as possible, and slowly forcing myself back to the keyboard when I can. I’m hoping to manage at least posting something every day for the month of August. We’ll see how that goes. But to keep up, I can use some help; medical bills are unpleasant, surgery is apparently necessary, and the landlord doesn’t worry about the lung tissue in their carpet when the money isn’t in their account. I have a couple of places you can help out, if you’re of a mind; if you like my stuff and want to help keep me doing it, you can either pledge to my Patreon, or drop a dime in the bucket over at GoFundMe. If you can help, it’s greatly appreciated and helpful. If you can’t, that’s okay, too. No worries, no pressure. If you can drop a like, a share, or a follow, that helps, too. And if you don’t think I’m worth any of that, I don’t blame you; no hard feelings. But please consider it.

Until next time, folks.

KA Spiral no signature

03
Jul
19

Why I Haven’t Written

It’s been a while. Some of you may have thought I finally died. Contrary to belief, I haven’t… though it’s been close a few times.

My health problems aren’t getting any better; now they say I need surgery. If you want the full lowdown, or are in a position to help, you can stop by my GoFundMe. Anything helps, and it’s really down to the wire, here.

But that’s not why I’ve been in submarine mode. It’s fear. I mentioned this before, but it seems to be getting worse. Now it’s not just about fiction; now it’s about literally anything you say, anywhere.

In the last week, I’ve been accused of being alt-right four times. I’ve had dozens of people comment bomb my YouTube channel. I’ve been locked out of one social media website and warned of it on another. What is the root of these issues? Questions and opinions. Not of the type that one might once have branded as racist, misogynist, transphobic or fascist, mind.

One was earned by commenting on how odd I found San Francisco’s recent vape policy changes. Apparently thinking SF loosening up on marijuana while banning vape devices – including potentially fining citizens who import them from elsewhere or have them shipped in, if some reports are to be believed – means I am a racist fascist.

Another was earned when I commented on a video showing what are known as “sovereign citizens.” If you haven’t read up on these idiots or seen their antics, I encourage you to do so; they are a fine example of how dangerous a little stupidity can be. My comments questioning why these individuals feel the law does not apply to them, but how they also believe the law must protect them and serve their interests when they have been “wronged” lead to an individual commenting back about how rights are constantly taken away from us, and in particular how he isn’t allowed to own a gun. I responded, asking him to cite what rights he was referring to, and why he was not allowed to own a gun, pointing out that the primary reason that would be forbidden to him is if he is a felon, which led to him name-calling and starting the comment bombing, rounding up his couple hundred subscribers to start downvoting my videos, flag me for hateful content, and leaving such charming statements as “holy shor r u an ugly slob and weirdo,” for one that is actually printable.

Managed to earn a banning from Whisper because I made the mistake of responding to one that stated “Dear cishet people: fuck you, you should die.” I asked them why they felt that way, to which they responded “Because of alt-right transphobic faggots like you.” I then – stupidly, I admit – said “Okay. So what if I said ‘Dear transpan people: fuck you, you should die’ because of alt-left nonbinary attack helicopters like you?” I got no response, but was informed my ability to access Whisper was terminated shortly thereafter.

The last was for mentioning that Antifa is much closer to a terrorist, fascist organization than seemingly anyone they claim to oppose. While that sentiment has been festering for some time, the most recent situation in Portland just drove it further home. I live an hour away from this crap… and this is not the first time this particular band of jackals has gone berserk. Questioning them, finding their tactics deplorable, wanting actual police or legal action taken against them, or pointing out that they seem far more ready to use violence and underhanded tactics against those they claim to oppose – while spouting or supporting rhetoric about tolerance, equality, and peace – is enough to earn you some stern warnings from Twitter (even though the discussion was occuring on YouTube), some charming DMs informing me that “the alt-right cesspoll (SIC) would be a lot cleaner without u, kys” and a few more comment bombs on my YouTube.

I don’t have it that bad, in this respect. Others have had it far worse. There have been more than a few folks who have lost their internet presence entirely, who have been physically assaulted, have had their bank accounts closed, have been doxxed, fired, or swatted, or some combination of any or all of the above… and all for the crime of wrong think, mind crime, speaking their mind, or asking questions.

Of course, let us not forget that individuals such as Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian have gone to the U.N. to stop the evil internet bullies, such as those I’ve earned the enmity of lately… of course, that only counts if you’re a woman, or a person of color, or of a sexuality other than straight.

That’s not a cry for attention; it’s just my general sardonic amusement at how things work, now.

Still, it’s a scary time. Plenty of people will be quick to inform me that I’m right to be scared. I’m an evil oppressor, after all, and I’m sure I’ve done plenty that could be construed as a hate crime… or will be branded as one in days to come, as that particular goal post keeps getting shifted, and as we all know, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done today when it comes time to burn a cross. It matters what you’ve done, ever, in any situation – because context is also irrelevant. Others will leap to tell me “Good. Now you’ll know how it feels,” because they’ve been so oppressed in their sub-30 years on Earth that punishing everyone else for things that are often centuries dead arguments somehow makes sense to them.

I’m not well; that’s well known. Physically I’m falling apart, and I have numerous mental issues that aren’t helped by that. But want to know what really aggravates my depression, and makes me wonder how schizophrenic I actually am, instead of being legitimately paranoid? The idea that I have to tiptoe around everywhere and everyone, carefully evaluating every single word I say or type, every image I upload, every game I choose to stream for fear that every carefully laid brick of my corner of the internet or my books – or even my bank accounts, freedom or life – will be torn down because I pissed off the wrong person or group, or someone called me a name in reference to it – earned or not – and someone else decided to take action.

I may be paranoid… but that doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you, as some sage or another once said. Some may accuse me of hyperbole. To those people, I suggest you try putting the phrase “conservatives banned from” into Google and just follow the suggested links. Look at people jailed for false rape accusations, or for things that are considered “rape” these days. Look at people losing access to education, to community or government services. Look at people having their careers decimated. Look at people being doxxed and swatted. Look at people being assaulted. How long before it escalates to murder, whether due to intent or because one of their coshings does more damage than initially assumed or intended?

The really funny – if you can consider any of this a laughing matter – part about all of this, is that I am not even close to being right-wing. I think the only marker I have from that camp is the belief that laws should be followed, endorsing and enforcing those laws is important, and that they apply unilaterally. Otherwise, I could care less. On most issues I’m a lot more liberal. Let people call themselves whatever they want, have sex with whatever or whoever they want (within reason; pedos and zoophiles steer clear, please), profess to whatever higher, lower, or interstellar power they please (or none at all), dress how you want, do as you please. I’m a LaVeyan Satanist with a strong Thelemic stripe; “If it harms none, do as thou wilt.” I’m just apparently not left enough (or maybe not self-hating enough) for some folks’ taste.

So yeah, I’m afraid. Afraid my lungs are going to shut down, afraid I’m going to be evicted, afraid that no matter how many meds I take or nice, calm doctors I speak to my depression is going to push me over the edge. But all of those pale in comparison to the fear that one wrong word at the wrong time is going to destroy my life, and some so-called journalist will be sure to tell the world I had it coming and want a parade for the “heroes” who finally ended me. It’s a shitty way to live, but I don’t know what else to do with things what they are, and I feel like they’re only going to get worse.

Anyway. That’s enough from me for now. I’ll try to be more regular, to do more. I want to, and it might help with the depression. Or it might make it worse, amping up the fear. Who knows? We’ll see.

If any of you out there want to help out, to keep me breathing until the men in the white coats drag me away or the men in the black hoodies and bandanas clock me with a bike lock or shut me up permanently, it’s certainly appreciated. You can drop a dime in the bucket on Patreon, or contribute to the surgery fund on GoFundMe. Even if you can’t, consider giving either or both a share; everything helps. If you want to stalk me, you can find me playing bad games on Twitch, and a follow there helps, too.

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading. It means a lot to think that someone out there may actually read my words and not immediately inform me to kill myself, that what I type isn’t completely falling into an empty void. Stay safe out there, folks.




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