Breath


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Merry Christmas y’all!

As I predicted, I’ve been jolly busy doing busy things at home. When I’ve not been busy, I seem to have been ill, twice. Still, I promised a more substantial post in December, so here it is.

A New Year is about to hit us, and for me, it’s a strange mix of old and new. I’m going back to Barcelona, a step that has surprised a few friends and family. They’ve seen me as Matt; International Traveller (I especially like the semi-colon),

Japan

so they find it odd that I’m planning on spending a year or more somewhere I’ve already been. Well, when I was about to go to Japan, a friend asked me, “Where next after Japan?” and I came to the realisation that I only really wanted to visit Japan. I also only really wanted to learn Spanish and Japanese. “Well, there’s other Spanish speaking countries…” Yes, there are, and one day I’ll probably go, but for now, I want a life in Barcelona.

Continue reading “Breath”

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Aunt Wendy’s New Home

Every break from class
I rush to the computer
and pray for wickets.

 

Hey all. It’s getting towards the end of the month and there’s only two posts up. Why? Well, excuses are lovely things, but the only one worth spouting is it’s the dreaded time of year where I have to write reports, and while they’re not too onerous a task, they’re mind-sapping.

courtesy of bbc.co.uk/sport

The above haiku was a silly one I threw together about today. For the first time, well, ever, I’m making the effort and paying attention to the Ashes (giant up-to-25-day cricket competition between the best two teams, England and Australia). This was written during a day of Australia batting, of course.

Before we get to the story, I’m making a new Category in the side called “Haiku”. I know Haiku are poems too, but I’m going to class them differently so it’s easier to find the haiku if you’re looking for them.

So, I’ve got some Flash Fiction for you today. It is, strangely, a sequel to Tomatoes, although that’s not apparent by any character names, or by the narrative voice, or location…. or anything. It has the same source material; my grandmother, telling me stories from when her grandchildren were just little. She has a natural gift for storytelling, and perhaps this has something to do with her being born a Ridgwell (there, the “original” spelling of my pen name). It’s called:

Aunt Wendy’s New Home

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You don’t remember? Well, this story is the type you always liked the best – it’s one about you.

Continue reading “Aunt Wendy’s New Home”

Silence down a Phone

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

We’ve kicked the cousins and their entourages out of the house at last, so it finally feels like we’ve had Christmas. It lasts a long time in my family. Now for New Year’s.

At this time of year, for the brief period of time when I’m back in England, I sometimes get in touch with old friends. This year, I’ve put my mobile somewhere stupid, so I’ve not spoken to anyone except those who’ve rung the home phone. And Nick (my twin) has dealt with calls from local, mutual friends. And actually, strangely, it’s a bit of a relief to be away from everyone, and just with the family. I’ve always been close to my cousins, and we’ve always got stuff to talk about… and we never seem to have awkward silences, as we can just move on and talk to the next one.

This poem was written over the summer, when I was rushing around trying to meet people. It also fermented during the “let’s get drunk and write poetry” experiment. Looked back on it today, and decided it was reasonable, so I’ll post it up.

Silence Down a Phone

We haven’t spoke in months.
Sure, Facebook, once or twice.
Does that count? Still, it’s
your voice, this time. Different.

I planned jokes, in fact.
Silly things to say, but
I dropped them, not knowing if
you’d changed, or worse,

stayed the same. Strangely,
we picked up as though nothing –
but with extra silences.
As if our natural conversation

always had those gaps, between.
So I quickly turned the call
to a purpose. Let’s all meet up
I said, catch up, I said.

Yeah. Good idea. What’ve –
what’ve you been doing,
these last few months.
Oh, you know. When I don’t,

really. That wasn’t the question.
The question was, are we…?
Are you? And more, am I?
Because I don’t know.

But neither do you. And maybe,
if we meet, we’ll know. But
we have, you know. Changed.
But let’s regress for a day.

Links

The new regime has hit some early obstacles.

I’ve been away from home. Nothing new there, as in the last month, I’ve been to the Cotswolds, London, the Cotswolds again, Eccleshall, Leeds, Edinburgh, Eccleshall again, Manchester and now I’m off to London again.

I’ve also been sick. Not the trapped in bed unable to move sick, but the grumpy, fed up with things (especially my parents) kind of sick.

And then, to top it off, my computer overheats (yes! Overheats! In THIS weather?), so it’s off getting repaired. This edition is being brought to you by the Letter O, for Office Computer, that my father usually gets cross with me for using. There is a Farming Program open called Gatekeeper, and there is information about Winter Beans on the Hillwicket Field, not to mention Potatoes Early and Potatoes Maincrop. I shall try not to mess with them.

So this post is all about the Links on the sidebar on the right. The “If you like this…” section of the blog that I’ve recently posted.

I’ll start with Lomo y Queso. This is Spanish for Pork and Cheese, and is dead tasty in a baguette, eaten in Barcelona. It’s a blog posted by my flatmates in Barcelona, and sometimes I feature for a sentence or two. If you’ve not heard from me for several weeks, check there for the report on my funeral after the freak yachting accident. My flatmates are an English husband, a Chicagoan wife and their adorable 3 and a half year old daughter, Lily. They often post amazing Youtube videos where I feature for a second or two.

Second up is Mr Brown, a blog that has only just started but is sure to take off soon (nudge, nudge, Steve). Steve is a muser, a storyteller, and an excellent photographer, and his photos often tell stories that he can muse about, so that all links in pretty nicely. I’m sure if you all pop over and have a look, he’ll be encouraged to keep up the good work.

Angelic Dynamo, eh? What’s that when it’s at home? Why, it’s a Poetic Democracy! 3 poems by amateur poems go up each week, often with a similar theme, and we the readers get to choose which one makes it to the edition. Fun, although sometimes frustrating when the bad poet gets all his friends to vote for him. Like the Le Pen of poetry. Political commentary for you there. I’ve posted one poem there, once, and it didn’t win. I will post some more soon, so watch that space and this for notification of this.

Finally, there’s Ten Bandits. Not actually ten, but the work of one comic book artist, who up until very recently was posting a new comic book sketch every day. He has an excellent archive of pictures, and often takes requests, so give him a look up if art is your thing. Or superheroes. Or both.

There will be more links to come soon, when I get my computer back.

Hopefully, I’ll see you soon, but I might be away in London ’til Sunday afternoon, so don’t expect my next post ’til Monday.

Riddle

Hello Loyal (and disloyal) Blog Readers!

It’s been a slow week. A lethargic week. A week, not coincidentally, where I put aside lots of time to write. Maybe I’m spending too much time waiting for inspiration in front of a computer screen, and not enough time travelling, or walking, with a notebook, waiting for ideas. I also think I need to go back to readng short stories.

Anyway, I needed to get more writing done this week, as I’m going to visit friends in Leeds and Scotland and pop on up to the Edinburgh Fringe this coming week. Ideally, I’d get well ahead with my writing and set up the blog so it releases the new posts on the days when they are due, therefore keeping up with the deadlines and giving myself a bit of time off to socialise at laugh at some comedies. Surely, that’s when I’ll get all my best ideas, right?

Okay, so I still owe this site one story or poem from my backlog of unwritten posts. However, I’d prefer not to put up anything too rusty or incomplete, so I shall keep that in an “IOU” box, and just give you the one for today:  another riddle poem. I’d like to get a lot more of these done, so I would really like suggestions on this – make them as silly or as sensible as you like. Preferably things not famously riddled before. I especially like the idea of giving something inanimate a human voice, emotions, and some kind of character. That way, while the solution is a “thing”, it’s also an aspect of human nature, or a moral, or message, or satire, or in some way, valuable on two levels. Riddle poems, of course, do make it very hard for me to stick up pictures…. Ah well, this poem shall go without one.

Riddle

Ice in first.
There till the end,
Pealing for attention.

Then, layer by layer,
I build, ever growing,
Ever changing, ever swirling,
Impression on impression
Onto rocks below.

I am formed by the saccharine,
The sour, the mundane,
And the unusual.

But if they ever stop mixing,
I will fuse and be one,
And the taste I leave on your lips
Will always be the same.

Haiku and “Save Point”

Hey all.

It’s the weekend, and I’m locking myself into what has become my “office”, where my desk is some big planks of wood across the snooker table in the room that has all our old games and books from childhood. Still, it works quite well – I have internet, but only JUST, so I can check my emails but any silly TV shows would take hours to load, so I mostly don’t bother.

While I’ve been more productive at my 1,500 piece jigsaw and trying to get my head around cryptic crosswords than I have writing, I have done a bit of work. However, most of it has been on as-yet unfinished works. First off on my catch-up day is a little riddle haiku I came up with in Bristol last weekend. It only works, unfortunately, if you pronounce “ordinary” “ord-en-ree”… you know, the ordenree pronunciation of ordenree (ordinarily). “ord-en-airy” messes the rhythm. Admittedly, I could choose a different word, but now I’ve typed all that, I won’t bother.

abig clue that I couldn't resist

Haiku

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Searching ordinary art

for spatters of irony;

sneaky graffiti.

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As before, answers in the comments. Not sure, but I think this one’s harder than the last, and I doubt American readers will get it…. but we’ll see.

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Second up – computer games. This poem has gone through quite a lot of incarnations, and hopefully, it’ll go through a few more soon. Somehow, it’s managed to turn loosely into a sonnet today. Don’t know how that happened. Anyway, here it is:

aDungeon Siege

Save Point

Here, I retreat from real life (RL)
to realistic, from decisions to
return-to-last-save-point.
I swap chores for quests and
homework for spellbooks.
Here, the people are glad when I come.
They ask for help, I oblige;
I raise one point of Charisma.
It’s not quite happiness, not quite
an answer, but a stall for time –
life goes on hold as the game does,
a pause button for a sullen dinner,
then I escape into the fantastic
to gain valuable experience.

http://uk.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/dungeonsiege2/index.html?tag=result;title;0

a#I

If I do make up that final backdated post today – and there’s a reasonable chance of that, by the way – I think it would be better in a separate post. So it’s easier to find things when you’re going back through my old posts. See you soon, and feel free to comment.