Back again

Edge reading poetry and orrery 002

As you can see, my desk space is now taken up by a giant orrery, which I have been piecing together on the less uncomfortable days. U2 poster in the background. (These are two of my interests: U2 and space, or in general terms music and How Stuff Works.)

So I’ve been on hiatus for the last few months, still writing obviously (see story published in MIROnline in July: http://mironline.org/tower-of-words-han-adcock/ ) and I have been doing an awful lot of reading, mostly in a horizontal position.

It turns out that I may have a form of arthritis (what, ALREADY?) However, I cannot get in to see the rheumatologist until September-ish, so finding out which sort (if any — hoping this is just a false alarm. But then if it is, where is all the growing gnawing pain coming from, and why does my spine burn when I stay upright for more than twenty minutes, etc yadda yadda whines on playing her violin) will take a little bit of time.

Still, I have now worked out how to email my writing from my iPad. (God, I sound like a 60-year-old). So I can now write lying down. Service is resumed.

Encouraging words

Quotes

Read a few of these if you ever have doubts, not just about writing, but about ANYTHING you are doing which can, or has to, be judged using someone’s personal opinion. Here are some of my favourites:

“This is not a book that should be tossed lightly aside. It should be hurled with great force.” Dorothy Parker

“Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.” Kurt Vonnegut

I’ve been reading reviews of my stories for twenty-five years, and can’t remember a single useful point in any of them, or the slightest good advice. The only reviewer who ever made an impression on me was Skabichevsky, who prophesied that I would die drunk in the bottom of a ditch.” Anton Chekhov

I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” James Lee Burke

 

And I probably should say “Sentience” (by me) has appeared in Poetic Diversity:

http://www.poeticdiversity.org/main/prose.php?recordID=2203&date=2016-04-01

Enjoy.

 

A story takes flight

Quite often, (especially when all the envelopes and stamps have been mysteriously eaten) a writer’s stories may end up hibernating in a special bottom drawer somewhere. (In her or his own house, obviously). This is essential to their well-being. Otherwise, loose stories will fly up and head south for the winter, or follow the writer from home to work to stationary shop, attacking their creator’s head in droves.

Unable to take the padlock off my drawer due to fear of impending attacks, I composed a little something that takes the Mickey, in a fond way, of Tolkien’s bad guy in a science-fictional way.

Was it going to attack me? No way, not this time. This time its doom was sealed, not mine. Sealed in a big envelope marked Doom.

Joking aside, here is the story.

“The Day That Went Hobnaciously,” by Hannah Adcock

Enjoy!

Only Time

What is time?

What’s it meant to be for, exactly?

I mean, you can do an awful lot of stuff with it – spend it, save it, kill it, keep it, waste it, half it (well, at least in sports) and you can even make it. But you can’t actually see it. It has no physical appearance whatsoever. It hasn’t got a sound (or has it? What if we could hear time?) and those of you who presume it ticks, you’re stereotyping. You can’t smell it, or hold it or do anything to prove its there, except maybe stuff with light. People try to measure it with clocks and watches and calendars, but these are all man-made objects, so is the notion of time just a man-made abstract idea for something else? We try to describe it with words – today, tomorrow, last year – but that puts limits on it that don’t really exist. Because whatever time is, or isn’t, it is endless. It’s been with us since the beginning of time and I dare say it will keep going until…until what?

What then?

Inevitably we’d call it something mundane like the Day After Time or something that just mitosisizes it.

I would sit here some more and cogitate about this, but I don’t know whether I have the time.

Book-finding Frustration

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence–and it is mainly down to frustration. I have a long list of poetry excerpts by people such as T.S. Eliot, Walter de la Mare, Christina Rossetti, W.H. Auden, etc, and they were excerpts I copied down from an old library book, aged twelve or so. I neglected to note down the title, the author, or anything else specific about this novel. Thus, when I went to find the book in the library and it was no longer there, I realised I couldn’t remember the title/author for the life of me.

Which brings me to this blog post. Perhaps if I can describe what I can remember, one of you crazy clever folks out there might know the thing I’m on about.

It was a children’s/young adult fantasy fiction. The cover may have been green and silver. Poetry was quoted before the start of each chapter, e.g.:

“I could come here and concrete the dark” – Anon.

“‘Oh where are you going?’ said reader to rider,

‘That valley is fatal where furnaces burn,

Yonder’s the midden whose odours will madden,

That gap is the grave where the tall return.'”

The story borrowed from Greek mythology, I think, in the sense that somewhere inside its pages it claimed that sleep was the brother of death. There were three brothers in the story who were banished from another world – not because they were evil, but because one of them fell in love with a human woman and had a daughter. The brothers might have been lords of sleep, death and dream, but my memory is nebulous. It is told in the third person, mostly from the girl’s point of view, about how she lives with her father (no mother?) and they meet up with her two uncles at a funeral for somebody in a big house in the countryside. She meets her cousin, a boy, for the first time. She is shy, and has a kind of crush on him (ergh) and won’t talk much, hiding behind her long hair. I remember her thinking she could watch him through her hair without him seeing her or something.

They find out their uncles/fathers were the three lords of this other world we go to when we die/dream, and that the two of them are their successors and should be able to visit that world to see their grandmother. Anyway, a doorway opens up to the other world at a certain time, and the other world is constantly changing depending on every random thought you have in your mind, which is why it is dangerous. Their grandmother rules it and she’s like a witch. She was the one who banished the three brothers. The boy and the girl have the idea that the three brothers would like to return, if only they could find it (they couldn’t any more, as they were kicked out). So, one night the two kids find the portal and go through, not fully aware of the danger. I don’t exactly recall why they went through – curiosity? Wanting to see Grandma? To steal a magic sword? Anyway, the three brothers find out when it’s too late, and can’t go after them. I’m not sure, but I think the kids went to the otherworld in their sleep, and the three brothers have to guard their sleeping bodies and hope they will wake up. They must hope their kids get out in time, because after a length of time they will be trapped in the otherworld. I’ve a feeling the childless brother deliberately arranged it so the kids would overhear them talking about the other world and go in, in case it would make the witch let them back in again.)

The rest is even more vague. The kids go through a sort of maze, then a desert, and all kinds of other things, losing track of time and trying to discipline their thoughts so nothing frightening appears. Finally they get into their grandma’s castle or whatever and it’s all topsy-turvy and sinister. Their grandma isn’t so nice. They nearly get hurt or trapped or something, but manage to make it back and “wake up”.

At the end there is a section where the two kids are outdoors, the girl is hiding behind her hair again and the boy tucks it behind her ear and holds her hand. (They don’t snog. That would be a bit yuck, in a children’s book.)

So there we go. Any title/author suggestions in the comments would be very welcome.

 

winter window 001 I doubt we'll be getting any snow in these parts this year, so I made my own and stuck it to my window. It throws interesting shadows when the moon's out. Regarding my piece of writing that is appearing in Poetic Diversity, it will be in next April's issue.

I doubt we’ll be getting any snow in these parts this year, so I made my own and stuck it to my window. It throws interesting shadows when the moon’s out. Regarding my piece of writing that is appearing in Poetic Diversity, it will be in next April’s issue.